Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth, Texas. The letter is titled Creation Museum. It’s the first of a few letters at that link. The newspaper has a comments section, but they probably won’t all apply to the letter that interests us. Anyway, there aren’t any comments yet.
Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a special situation. The letter is from Mark Looy, who signs as “chief communications officer, Answers in Genesis.”
As you know, Answers in Genesis (AIG) is the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed not only for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, but also for building an exact replica of Noah’s Ark. We’ll give you a few excerpts from Looy’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go:
It’s amazing how many wrong claims were made about our organization in such a short letter to the editor (Oct. 7).
This is the earlier letter Looy is talking about: Creationism. It’s brief enough that we’ll quote it all right here:
Those who believe that creationism is a science will want to visit Ark Encounter in Kentucky. Creationist Ken Ham, who believes he is scientist, has built (with taxpayer dollars) a replica of Noah’s Ark. Ham figures that dinosaurs and humans lived peacefully together with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He proves this by his display of the first family with a Brontosaurus. The kids will be thrilled to know that Triceratops wore riding saddles!
Looy is outraged! He says:
First, our life-size Noah’s Ark south of Cincinnati was built with zero taxpayer dollars.
Well … technically, the taxpayers didn’t literally write a check to build Hambo’s ark. But Answers in Genesis got a good deal from the county when they purchased the land on which the ark is built (reportedly 99 acres for $1), and a nearby city cooperated by issuing tax-free bonds to finance the ark’s construction. The bond sale certainly wasn’t hurt by the promise of state sales tax rebates which would be paid to the operator of the ark. There were other goodies too — see Newsweek Story on Hambo’s Ark and also A Summary of Ark Park Financial Gimmicks. Anyway, after that Looy tells us:
Second, Ken Ham, the Ark Encounter’s founder, does not claim to be a scientist, although he has hired several scientists for our staff who hold Ph.D.’s from places like Harvard, Brown, Ohio State, Indiana and Vanderbilt. At the same time, Ham has more scientific training than someone like Bill Nye, the so-called “Science Guy.”
Your Curmudgeon could say a great deal about that paragraph — but we won’t. We don’t need to. Looy continues:
No museum exhibit exists in our Creation Museum of a Triceratops with a saddle on it; that’s an old Internet myth.
Myth? Looy is opposed to myths? Hambo himself wrote that “we do have one sculptured dinosaur with a saddle … used for a fun activity for kids to climb on and have their photographs taken” — see Dinosaurs and Saddles. He’s even got pictures! So a saddled dinosaur does exist at Hambo’s museum, but it isn’t an exhibit — it’s an attraction. Maybe Looy will escape the Lake of Fire for saying that no such “museum exhibit exists.”
Okay, back to the letter. It ends with this:
I doubt the letter writer, who wants to come across to readers as knowledgeable about us, has ever visited our museum or Ark.
So there you are. Hey — if you want to read a great article by someone who really did visit Hambo’s ark, we recommend Kentucky Gets an Ark-Shaped Second Creation “Museum” by Dan Phelps, President, Kentucky Paleontological Society. It appears at the website of our friends at the National Center for Science Education.
Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.