This was posted yesterday at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else: Thankful for God’s Blessings Through 2018. It was mostly blather so we ignored it. However, it contained one interesting paragraph:
Every day we’re seeing thousands of guests at the Ark and the museum. These individuals and families from across the world have now heard the message of the gospel and biblical authority! Even last month (October is not a typical vacation month), we welcomed over 100,000 guests at the Ark! What an incredible spiritual impact!
We noticed that, but we shrugged it off. However, our clandestine operative operative in Kentucky, code named “Blue Grass,” sees it differently. He thinks there should be an audit of the safety tax numbers Hambo reports to the city of Williamstown.
As you recall from our recent post: Ticket Sales for Hambo’s Ark — October 2018, Hambo reported that there were 89,343 ticket sales at the ark in October 2018. So we have the “Two Numbers” to which our title refers — the 89,343 ticket sales Hambo reported to the city of Williamstown, and the claim of “over 100,000 guests at the Ark” he reported in his blog post. What’s going on here? Is Blue Grass right to call for an audit?
For there to have been more than 100,000 visitors at the ark in October, we need to make some assumptions. Did all of them enter the ark, or did some just use the skating rink outside? It wouldn’t be right for Hambo to claim that people who were mere skaters were ark visitors — and we all know that Hambo is an honorable man — so it means that in October, “more than 100,000” people actually entered the ark. That’s nearly 11,000 more than the ticket sales that were reported. What accounts for the two vastly different numbers?
The lower figure reported for the safety tax doesn’t include hard-core droolers with lifetime passes who — we’re led to assume — are visiting the ark over and over again. How many of those showed up in October? Who knows? Was it a thousand? Okay, so they wouldn’t be reported to the city of Williamstown. If Hambo is telling us the truth — and of course he is! — it means that in addition to those with lifetime passes, there were at least 9,000 other ark visitors who didn’t buy tickets and therefore weren’t reported for safety tax purposes.
Some of those 9,000 — we don’t know how many — were allowed in free because of various multi-pass deals, but we assume the vast bulk of them were children under the age of 5 who get in free with their ticket-buying parents. How many of those were there in October? Let’s play with the numbers.
A lot of those reported 89,343 ticket sales were to groups from churches and retirement homes, and to bus-loads of others who didn’t bring any children. We’re not told how many so we have to guess. Let us pull a number out of the air and suppose that 50,000 of the reported 89,343 tickets were sold to adult couples with children. That’s 25,000 families. Now we’ll make another assumption. If almost half of those couples brought a child under 5 who got in free, that would be at least 12,000 toddlers and babes in diapers.
Referring to those tiny children brought by their parents as “visitors” is a bit of a stretch, as they certainly didn’t make the decision to visit the ark, and it’s unlikely that they were able to comprehend anything that they saw, but let’s ignore that. If all of our assumptions are correct — or nearly so — it means that Hambo’s claim of “more than 100,000” ark visitors in October is also correct.
It would certainly be useful if we had more details, but unless the city of Williamstown demands more information, we’re not likely to learn anything other than what we already know. And as we’ve previously reported, we know that actual ticket sales at the ark were down from the previous year by almost 17% for September, and almost 5% for October.
So make of it what you will, dear reader.
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