Behind the Scenes at the Creation “Museum”

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By Dan Phelps, [Enable javascript to see this email address.]

Dan&Ken.JPG

Dan Phelps, right, armed for battle, with his new friend, Ken Ham.

On July 28, 2012, Answers in Genesis (AIG) held a “Behind the Scenes” event at the Creation “Museum’s” Legacy Hall. The event was free but with RSVP required via the Ark Encounter website. I made it a point to register well in advance and ask for a space for a guest. I invited reporter Joe Sonka from LEO Weekly to come along since he has done numerous critical news articles and blog postings on the Ark Park. Indeed it was Joe who asked Governor Beshear and Ark Encounter representatives some embarrassing questions revealing that the Ark would have dinosaurs on it when the project was announced in December, 2010. What follows is my account of the event and summary of the status of the proposed park.

Arrival

I arrived at 11:30 AM for the noontime event. The parking lot included numerous church buses and the museum was busy. Joe and I made it a point not to draw attention to ourselves or be disruptive; we were there only to learn the status of project. We had no problem finding the sign-in table for the “Behind the Scenes” event. A nice lady at the table found my name and checked it off. She gave us the event passes, and never asked Joe his identity. A young volunteer, who said he was 13 years old, escorted us to the event. He told us that he was an unpaid volunteer for one week and didn’t get any perks other than half-price coffee, not even a free snack at Noah’s Cafe. He was glad to leave the table and walk for a bit. On the way to Legacy Hall I noted a small, but nice meteorite exhibit and stopped to look. He informed us that iron meteorites are called “sky Iron” and that King Arthur’s sword was made from one. Joe asked if Arthur killed any dragons, but the young man wasn’t sure. He noted, though, that Beowulf fought dragons and killed a flying fire-breathing dragon that was probably a pterosaur.

One of the Creation “Museum’s” more ridiculous claims is that dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals survived Noah’s Flood via the Ark and lived until historical times, when they became known as fire-breathing dragons and other mythological creatures. Recently the Creation Museum put up various billboards of dinosaurs around the country and included one of a fire-breathing dragon. The image is now sold on T-shirts in the Creation “Museum’s” bookstore. Additionally, they sell an assortment of dragon and knight figures as toys in the bookstore, which has a dragon theme with a faux medieval look to it. Apparently this fantasy is being passed along to children and their parents by the “museum.” Obviously Answers in Genesis has not thought through the idea of putting fire-breathing animals on a wooden boat. Perhaps they need to tell everyone that Noah owned an asbestos mine.

The well-equipped Legacy Hall seated about 500. The sound system was excellent, albeit set rather loud, and there were three screens for showing slides and videos. Several cameras were set up to record the event. Somewhat more than 350 people, including lots of families with younger kids, attended the Ark Encounter “Behind the Scenes Event”; there were very few empty seats.

Since we arrived at least 15 minutes early we were subjected to numerous advertisement videos. It seemed as if the volume was gradually turned up as noon approached. The mercifully short video advertisements included:

  1. Noah’s Ark “thinking outside the box” video, $14.95 for the DVD.
  2. Book Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer with Todd Hillard. The visual content of this video for this book was most remarkable in spite of the advertisement’s short length. The ad depicts teens at a party drinking and suggests they are having sex afterwards; eventually the girl becomes pregnant and seeks an abortion after the boy dumps her. He is using cocaine and after a failed marriage is in a rundown apartment contemplating suicide with a gun next to him. The narrator’s voice intones: “Nearly two thirds of students who attend church walk away when they turn 18.… Answers in Genesis will show you how to make a difference in today’s culture. Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer shows how to fight back for our families, church, and world.”
  3. Wild animal encounter and musical extravaganza at the Creation Museum. The show costs $5 ea. with Museum admission. There is a maximum $30 charge for a family.
  4. “Foundations” apparently a DVD of Ken Ham preaching,
  5. Buddy Davis’s “Amazing Adventures” DVD.
  6. 8-DVD set of anatomy videos “Body of Evidence” by Dr. David Menton. Shows how human anatomy proves the Bible!
  7. Incrediworld Amazement Park VBS (Vacation Bible School) curriculum by AIG.

Ken Ham - an Ark on Every Corner

Ken Ham started the event a little before noon. In spite of his stern manner, he is a good speaker with a clear, folksy, yet authoritative voice and an Australian accent. His purpose for this event was to explain the current state of the project and introduce some of the people involved in the Ark Encounter’s design. More importantly, he was also trying to find funding to get the project afloat.

According to Ham the Creation “Museum” was built as a reminder to people that the Bible is true and is a walk through the Bible. “How do we reach millions more?” said Ham. “Noah and his family had to go through a doorway in order to be saved and we need to go through a doorway to be saved. The Lord Jesus Christ said ‘I am the door’ … Imagine if we were to rebuild Noah’s Ark. … We want people to come and have an encounter with Noah’s Ark, but at the same time to have an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ham continued by stating that in 2009 CBS/60 Minutes and Vanity Fair Magazine did a web-based poll asking which archaeological discovery people would like to see made next. Apparently Noah’s Ark was the leading choice. According to Ham, since Satan got Eve to doubt, doubt leads to unbelief. Ham said, “The teaching of evolution, Big Bang, millions of years, telling people there never was global Flood, there never was an Ark, Noah couldn’t fit all the animals on the Ark anyway, so you can’t trust the account in the Bible, it has a dramatic effect on generations of people.”

Ham then played a short clip from the 2009 movie about Darwin, “Creation,” in which the Thomas H. Huxley character says to Darwin “You’ve killed God, sir! You have killed God!” Then Ham played a YouTube clip by physicist Lawrence Krause where he states (discussing nucleosynthesis of elements in stars), “Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be here.” Then Ham played yet another YouTube video of a teenager who became an atheist after learning about evolution in high school biology. This was followed by still another video clip, of President Obama before his election saying that the United States is “no longer a Christian nation, at least not ‘just,’ we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” Ham certainly knows how to push his audience’s buttons. He continued by mentioning various court cases that took prayer, bible reading, and nativity scenes out of schools.

The evils in the world

With the audience sufficiently warmed up and frightened by various boogey men, Ham began selling them the Ark Encounter. He repeated the claims of the Beemer study done by American Research Group that 1.2 to 2.1 million people would visit the Ark Park the first year. They settled on 1.6 million people per year as the likely attendance figure. Ham stated, “Friends, if you owned a business, and you had that sort of response to your business, you’d build one on every corner, like McDonalds or something.” He went on to state, “The Lord has led us to a very special property. Interstate 75 one of the busiest north-south corridors in America from Canada all the way down to Florida. At an interchange at Williamstown, I think it is Exit 154, …you will see there that we have 800 acres.” He continued that this is within a one-day drive of 2/3 of the US population. He didn’t want to build in Florida where he would be competing with Disney World or Universal Studios.

Ham said that the largest all-wooden structure currently in North America is a Farmers Market in Indiana and was built by the Amish. The Ark will be much larger and also will be crafted by the Amish. “We’re doing an Ark raising!” Ham said imitating an Amish man.

Ham then claimed there will be a three-part PBS documentary on the Ark Encounter project called “Replicating the Ark,” produced/directed by Johan Bos. The first part is coming this fall. Ham claimed that when the Ark is built it will double the attendance of the Creation “Museum.” Ham then plugged an AIG-produced 70-minute DVD on the Ark available in the lobby.

Patrick Marsh - Head Design Director

The next pitch for the Ark was by Patrick Marsh. Marsh is Director of Design at the Creation “Museum” and for the Ark Project. Before coming to Kentucky he was the art director who designed the Jaws and King Kong attractions at Universal Studios in Florida and the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

He started off his explanation for the design of the Ark Park by asking the audience “What if we are last generation?” Since, he claims, so many people have turned away from the Gospel, Ark Encounter will present an evangelical yet entertaining Gospel message. According to Marsh the project is really about evangelism to the unchurched. His goal is to build the Ark in as short a time as possible and present Noah’s flood as true history.

Marsh also wants to show that early man was not primitive and not a cave man. Marsh claimed that “Adam one of the most brilliant people that ever lived on this earth. In a very short period of time he named all of the animals that there were.” Marsh hopes the Ark will show that the antediluvian culture was an intelligent and sophisticated society. The park will also show that Noah could have built the Ark and taken care of the animals.

The Ark Park will be built in phases. Other attractions will include Noah’s Village, which will represent the pre-Flood society; the Ark exhibits; a Galilean Village from the time of Jesus; the Tower of Babel (“we are going to talk about the races and nations and languages”); the Ten Plagues ride (the only ride in the park [I wouldn’t take my first born on this one!]); a kid’ s area; a petting zoo and aviary; live entertainment and restaurants. These will all be built on the rolling topography of the Outer Bluegrass.

According to Marsh, they will have a pagan temple with pagan ceremonies. Noah will come out and preach against the pagans. “Additionally there will be a lot of entertainment and serious things going on,” said Marsh.

Eventually there will be a lake adjacent to the Ark, and a parade will go around the lake twice a day. Marsh indicated there will be a depiction of the “Fountains of the Deep” breaking open in the lake.

Phase I will be the Ark construction zone, and the basics of parking and ticket taking will be set up. The queue line to the Ark will display the story of “Pre-Flood culture.” Woodworking and construction shops like Noah would have had will be shown, along with a blacksmith shop and a restaurant. Marsh wants to show that Noah was capable of building the Ark with the tools he had. Marsh said, “What we want to do is tell you the story of the pre-Flood It is so important to introduce you to the culture itself. Number one, as I said, we want to show that the culture was sophisticated, that the people were smart, that they were intelligent, they were capable, that they were artistic, as the Bible says. That they had the capability of working with iron and bronze and instruments. BUT of course they were EVIL. And we want to be able to bring that out as well. What was the greatest evil that they lived in? God detested it so much that he wanted to destroy the world.” Marsh never named the “evil.” Perhaps it was aggressive fundraising. Marsh continued by describing the Ark pre-show theatre. In the show Methuselah delivers scrolls with the history of world to Noah right before the Flood. As Noah is leaving to board the Ark, he is accosted by several women. Marsh did not elaborate what the women wanted, but this could be one of the most interesting parts of the park. It is remarkable that the Ark Park will be engaging in some non-biblical fantasies.

The Ark will sit 12 ft off ground, and visitors will enter from below. Therefore there will be a ground floor and three decks above. The first deck will be “the darkness floor” and feature “the spooky things” including spiders, snakes, and bats. All sorts of animals will be in cages along with supply barrels. The second deck will have more light and animal “kinds” exhibits. Because they will need elevators and various utilities, the replica Ark will not be as tightly populated with animals as the original. There will also be a discussion of the pre-Flood world; Marsh later displayed a map of Antediluvian world. There will be live animals including birds and a petting zoo, not to mention animal care and waste-disposal exhibits. One display will exhibit Noah’s workshop, showing the tools he might have had. One important exhibit will be the Ark Door where visitors will learn that they have to go through the door to be saved. There will be a children’s interactive area. Noah’s family life on the Ark will be depicted, even the kitchen and bedrooms. Vegetables will be grown on upper deck.

Marsh also explained that there will be a video account depicting the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent during Noah’s Flood, as well as an exhibit depicting the Rainbow covenant after Noah did animal sacrifice. The main theatre in the Ark Park will be the “Christ the Door Theatre.” This will be the “most highly evangelical theatre we have,” according to Marsh. Outside, there will be a live parade (what other kind is there?) of people dressed like animals and local pagans heckling poor Noah. I wonder if there will be employment opportunities for “Furries.”

Marsh then introduced the design team that will supposedly build the exhibits. The team, besides Marsh himself, will include Mike Zovath, VP of AIG (Mr. Zovath was not present); landscaper/horticulturist Tim Schmitt; and lead production designers Kristen Anderson, Travis Wilson, and Jon Taylor. These all are talented individuals who have worked at the “museum” for some time.

Answers from Ken Ham

At this point Marsh turned things back over to Ken Ham so he and other people on the stage could answer frequently asked questions about Ark. This event seemed scripted, and most of the questions were not very difficult.

Ham says the most asked question is, “When is the Ark going to be opened?” Ham never answered the question, but deferred it to the later presentation by Joe Boone. How many animals were on the Ark? AIG’s research group says 1000-2000 “kinds.” There will plenty of room for all the animals to fit on the Ark.

What was the shape of the Ark? The Bible states only the size and that it was made out of gopher wood. AIG designed a boat that “floats well” and added the fin on the back to point it into the wind.

The Bible says the Ark was built out of “gopher wood.” What will Ark Encounter use? They will use Michigan pine, fir, and cedar. The timbers will be 18 in to 2 ft thick How many “bays” (rooms) will be on the Ark? There will be 44, 18 x 12 ft bays for each of the 3 decks, 132 total.

How many people can fit in the Ark replica? 10,606 total guest occupancy is allowed (by unnamed local authorities) inside the Ark. 11,291 if people are on the roof as well.

Joe Boone - Director of Advancement

Ken Ham then introduced Joe Boone as the person who will raise money to build the Ark. According to About Us on AIG’s website, Boone joined AIG in 2006 and was previously president and past owner of a fire truck manufacturing business. He also spent time as a volunteer fireman with his local fire department. He is a licensed CPA and manager with a large CPA firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Ark Encounter will need lots of money; it is a for-profit company. They are looking for both donors and “qualified investors.”

Phase I will cost about $73 million. AIG has already invested $6 million (mostly the land purchased in Williamstown), leaving $67 million to raise in total. Future phases (The Walled City/Noah’s Village, Children’s Area, Zoo and Aviary, Tower of Babel/4D Theater, and Journey through Biblical History) will cost $53 million over the first 10 years and will be self funding. AIG will provide $24.5 million to Phase I. AIG is non-profit and will accept donations and sell Lifetime Charter Boarding Passes, or “Memberships.” The rest will be raised as a private investment “opportunity.”

AIG will manage both the non-profit and for-profit aspects of the Park in order to maintain the ministry message. AIG will control all decisions and operations.

The membership aspect involves donations sponsoring pegs, planks, and beams on the Ark. For the donation you get a certificate with your name and a serial number. They also have a “Charter Boarding Pass Program,” where you can get individual ($2,000) or family ($3,000) lifetime free admission. Additionally, you may sponsor individual exhibits (from $10,000 and up). Ark Encounter will be a private placement investment offering and will not be publicly traded, so no one from the public will have ownership of the park. According to the slide Boone showed, it will be exempt from SEC registration. Investors will have to sign an acknowledgement form that they “will be on board with the mission and purpose” of the Ark Encounter. Accredited investors have to meet certain requirements and have $1 million net worth or $200K annual income ($300K if joint). The Accredited Investor can be an individual or a couple, a trust (including self-directed IRAs), a Donor-Advised Fund (as a program related investment), a private foundation, qualified 501(c) (3) organizations, or private businesses. The audience was told that if they didn’t qualify, they probably know someone who does and were encouraged to get information on the project to distribute.

Boone then discussed how far along the project is. AIG needs $24.5 million and has raised $7.49 million. When the for-profit investments are added to this figure, another $15.5 million are available. This means that approximately $23 million of $67 million has been raised. Ark Encounter will break ground when $45 million is raised. Boone claims that raising this amount will take another 12 to 24 months. When ground is broken, it will be another approximately 24 months to construct Phase I.

Boone then pitched the Ken Ham DVD on the Ark Encounter, which Ham mentioned earlier. He seemed to indicate that this was a pre-release of the PBS special that they claim will be aired in the fall. They presented the DVD in a way that makes one suspect that the “documentary” might be something they offer to PBS stations and it may be up to local stations to air the video. The DVD will also include bonus video of Ken Ham’s DVD “Science Confirms the Bible.” Boone also plugged special Ark Encounter promo items available in the lobby: T-shirts, back packs, water bottles, that “you can pick up on your way out.” Parents were encouraged to buy these for their kids to support the Ark. Boone concluded by stating “you are storing up treasures in Heaven when you get all these goodies for your family” and [investing in or donating to the Ark] “is an incredible ‘Kingdom Opportunity’.” With that, the sales pitch was over for the time being.

Information, Photo Op, and Aftermath

Reporter Sonka and I left the hall and perused the books for sale and got copies of the various sponsorship and investment “opportunities” brochures. I talked to a representative of Ark Encounter and was given a copy of the portfolio for accredited investors. We turned in our contact information including home and e-mail addresses. Ham came through the lobby, and I managed to get a photo op for Joe and me with him. When I took Joe and Ham’s photo I said, “Don’t say cheese, say ‘diny-sore!’” He had no idea who we were.

Joe and I were both numbed by the many outlandish and ludicrous things we had heard. On the way out I even passed on the opportunity to have my photo taken on the saddled Triceratops and exited the “museum” via the bookstore.

Apparently we had not been recognized while in the “museum,” but the card I filled out got the attention of the Creation “Museum’s” Chief Communication Officer Mark Looy. By the time I got home, only a few hours later, I had an e-mail from Mr. Looy:

Mr. Phelps:

Greetings. Thank you for attending our Ark Encounter briefing today. I noticed the info card you filled out.

I trust you will re-consider the possibility of engaging one of our scientists in a public debate, such as geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling. You indicated in the past: “Why would any scientist waste their time debating morons?” You have written thousands of words about the Creation Museum, and have appeared nationwide on PBS TV to speak so publicly against us, so apparently we are worth some of your time. Yet you have so far refused to defend your views in a public debate. Would you reconsider if the debate were held in a public university using an impartial moderator (e.g., a TV or radio journalist)? Thank you.

Regards,

Mark

The last time AIG attempted to goad me into debating them I explained that a debate would make it seem as if there were something valid to actually debate. AIG’s “scientists” are welcome to write scientific papers and submit them to journals where real science is actually debated. If any of the “scientists” at the Creation “Museum” were to get an article published in the Journal of Paleontology or The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology documenting the existence of fire-breathing dinosaurs/dragons or showing that Tyrannosaurus was originally a vegetarian (as the “museum” claims), I would be glad to write a reply/rejoinder to such an article. If Answers in Genesis has any real science to show the world, they should be doing it in peer-reviewed science journals instead of blowing their money teaching little kids that Beowulf fought fire-breathing pterosaurs and other ignorant drivel.

On August 10, 2012, I received Certified Mail from Ark Encounter Attorney John E. Pence asking that I confirm that I have qualified as an “Accredited Investor” or return the documents by August 15. I would love to discuss these documents here, but Ark Encounter claims the documents are confidential, even though I was encouraged to show them to interested parties. Suffice to say the contents are similar to the public presentation we had just witnessed and equally reflective of reality.

On August 1, Joe Sonka’s LEO Weekly article Investors of the Lost Ark was published. Sonka documented some of the things we experienced, but also discussed the financial woes Ark Encounter is having with fund raising. Sonka calculates that, at best, the park will take 12 to 24 months to break ground, then another 24 months to complete construction. This means that it will be late 2015 or sometime in 2016 before the park opens, if ever. It also suggests that the $43 million in tax rebates from the Commonwealth of Kentucky could expire. Presently, Kentucky will only rebate sales tax for what has been spent constructing the project by May 2014. It is always possible that they will attempt to get an extension.

Conclusions

I will leave it to the reader to judge the validity of the innumerable claims made at the Ark Encounter event by Ken Ham and his associates. Unfortunately, no one at the meeting, as at the meeting in Williamstown a year ago, asked any hard questions. These should have included, at a minimum:

  1. What happens if the projections for attendance and economic impact turn out to be totally off base?
  2. What happens if the project is built and fails? What happens if it never gets built?
  3. Who keeps the invested and donated money if the Ark Park isn’t built?
  4. If the park fails, will Ark Encounter return or sell back the 100 acres sold to them by the City of Williamstown at a discount price?
  5. What happens to the nearly $200,000 given to the Ark Encounter by Grant County’s economic development arm if the park fails or never is built?
  6. How is Ark Encounter going to use 800 acres of land in Williamstown? This looks like far more land than is needed.
  7. What good will the $11 million I-75 exit upgrades be if the 1.6 million visitors a year fail to show up?
  8. How much tax rebate, if any, will Ark Encounter now receive from Kentucky?
  9. If Ark Encounter doesn’t receive the Kentucky tax rebate, can they now discriminate in hiring? Even a rural area like Grant County is religiously diverse, and not all the citizens there would believe the version of Genesis promoted by AIG.
  10. Why aren’t reporters from the Grant County News doing more to investigate the ever-changing nature of the project?

I am certain readers of this article can think of many more questions about this project and comment on it.

131 Comments

The expression on Ken Ham’s face suggests he’s wondering why Dan’s hand is burning his shoulder. I can’t, however, explain the dead eyes. Shouldn’t Ham’s eyes be glowing with the light of Jesus? I hear that’s helpful when the night-light goes out.

Am I reading this correctly, that there are going to be lots of live animals at the Ark Park? What regulations does KY have for such arrangements? There must be many health and safety issues that, as far as I can recall, were not discussed in the public deliberations held to date.

The cynic in me would just love to see PETA camped out at the entrance to the Ark Park in perpetuity.

Arthur,

I would presume Ken Ham and his associates would try to construct the “ark” as if it was a zoo. (Though I concede that may be optimistic wish fulfillment on my part.)

I heard that Ken plans to have actual fire-breathing dragons. I wonder where he plans to get them from.

Remember the “Oh, what a tangled web we weave” dictum?

Same problem with creationism. Start with the simple false premise that the entire universe was created only 6K years ago, and end up with a byzantine, mutually conflicting can of worms complete with fire-breathing dragons and saddled ornithischians!

Shouldn’t this post have the title “Behind the Schemes…”?

asking which archaeological discovery people would like to see made next. Apparently Noah’s Ark was the leading choice.

Noah’s Ark has been discovered. Many times.

It gets discovered every few years.

The various discoveries are unconvincing, conflicting, and in some cases known to be outright faked.

The narrator’s voice intones: “Nearly two thirds of students who attend church walk away when they turn 18.…

This is true, at least for the Southern Baptists, by their own polling.

Reasons given include the hatred of science and hypocrisy of the members.

It’s questionable whether lying to kids about science is going to drive more people away than it convinces to stay in. In fact, the creationists drove me out of my mainline (noncreationist) Protestant religion.

If their religion was true, they wouldn’t have to lie all the time!!!

“In the show Methuselah delivers scrolls with the history of world to Noah right before the Flood.”

Where on earth did they dig that up? This is a common idea in Arabic Hermetica (alchemical texts), except they say it was Hermes Trismegistus, rather than Methuselah. I guess so long as they don’t understand it, they have no objection to Islam or magic.

Helena Constantine said:

“In the show Methuselah delivers scrolls with the history of world to Noah right before the Flood.”

Where on earth did they dig that up? This is a common idea in Arabic Hermetica (alchemical texts), except they say it was Hermes Trismegistus, rather than Methuselah. I guess so long as they don’t understand it, they have no objection to Islam or magic.

Wait, I thought these guys were “Biblical literalists” …

Museum: Attendance is Dropping and They Can’t … - Patheos ww.patheos.com/…/creation-museum-attendance-is-dropp…

by Hemant Mehta

5 Jul 2012 – To add to the bad news, the Creation Museum is having its lowest attendance year yet. Last fiscal year, 280,000 people visited, compared to …

They might be wildly overestimating the attendance figures.

Attendance at the creation pseudomuseum peaked the first year and has been going down since.

This isn’t too surprising. It’s a static exhibit of mostly plastic. Seen one plastic dinosaur, seen them all.

These fundie xian theme parks haven’t worked too well. The one in North Carolina went bankrupt and Jim Bakker went to prison. The one in Florida was heading towards bankruptcy but was rescued by Couch’s TBN.

#3 - Who gets the money?

[b]Ken Ham of course.[/b]

#9 - If Ark Encounter doesn’t receive the Kentucky tax rebate, can they now discriminate in hiring?

[b]”The Ark Encounter will need lots of money; it is a for-profit company.”[/]

If it’s a for-profit company and not a religious enterprise, then it can’t discriminate. Sue their butts off.

[b]Did anyone ask about the already completed Ark in the Netherlands?[/b]

If one can sit through this message to the AiG staff by Hambo without falling asleep, one gets some interesting hints of trouble in Hambo’s code words and use of 2nd Chronicles.

Within the last few months, Jason Lisle has left AiG and joined ICR; obtaining the title of “Director of Research” in the process. One wonders if he sees something that the general public and the rube investors don’t.

On the other hand, we all know what kind of “research” goes on at ICR.

The first deck will be “the darkness floor” and feature “the spooky things” including spiders, snakes, and bats. All sorts of animals will be in cages along with supply barrels.

No, you don’t want to put your supplies on the bottom deck! Not unless you want your supplies floating in sewage that is.

Oh wait, all the animal waste was probably miraculously turned into butterfly kisses and the laughter of children for the duration of the voyage.

Never mind…

Why would Troy Britain believe animal waste was a problem on the ark? All Noah needed were the equivalent of squeegies. Too much sea to ever let ark waste ever be an issue.

Then see, when the flood subsided you’ve got all this compost ready for the first post-flood planting season.

Design, baby. Design!

Steve, just checking. We already know that you endorse intelligent design. From the last comment it appears that you also believe the story of Noah and the Ark is literal history, or at the very least, is credible.

Have I got that right?

The silliness of the Ark project is overwhelming. Raven is right. This is an effective way to turn people away from Christian faiths (apparently there are several almost non-overlapping ones).

I am particularly concerned with the ignorant rewriting of fairly recent history. St. George supposedly killed a dragon in Turkey some time around 300 A.D., and Beowulf killed another one in Sweden around 500 A.D. Beowulf was supposedly born within the present municipality of Gothenburg (Göteborg) and died while killing the dragon at Earnanæs, in modern Swedish Årnäs. There are several places with that name, all within a few hours drive from my summer house. I should to there and look for dragon bones.

The greatest problem with Beowulf, however, is his existence. Even if there are references to historical events the poem about him is a work of fiction. Swedes don’t know about him at all. He belongs to English literature, not to Scandinavian traditions.

I feel sorry for the kids who get cheated by Ken Ham and his gang.

SteveP. said:

Why would Troy Britain believe animal waste was a problem on the ark? All Noah needed were the equivalent of squeegies. Too much sea to ever let ark waste ever be an issue.

Then see, when the flood subsided you’ve got all this compost ready for the first post-flood planting season.

Design, baby. Design!

Dream, moron, dream! Presumably you’re back safely in Taipei now, capable of writing yet more risible intellectually challenged nonsense like this “edifying” observation of yours. Do you think that an Intelligent Designer would have conceived of THE FLOOD in the first place? Would be such a horrible waste of good DESIGN, don’t you think, Stevie Proulx?

SteveP. said:

Why would Troy Britain believe animal waste was a problem on the ark? All Noah needed were the equivalent of squeegies. Too much sea to ever let ark waste ever be an issue.

Then see, when the flood subsided you’ve got all this compost ready for the first post-flood planting season.

Design, baby. Design!

LOL! LOL! I can’t stop! LOL! Oh little …little …little Stevie PP brain! I just love the morning bullshit laughs that you, FL, IBIG, and Booby Byers bring on.

Oh, P.S. Steve – there was no Noah’s Ark (as conventionally envisioned). There was no global flood. Grow up, manchild. It’s obvious that you have never lived or worked on a farm or been in stable during your life. There would be a BIG (IMPOSSIBLE) PROBLEM with waste. LOL! Squeegies! Describe please “equivalent squeegies!” LOL!

Hey, at least Stevie P’s little fable would explain how Psychodid flies survived duh flud

SteveP,

Why pretend? The only explanation for any of a thousand myriad problems with the Ark story is a miracle. If you choose to believe that a tiny wooden boat could hold sufficient animal, plant, and human life to repopulate the entire planet in a few months, then why try to explain shit (literally) away with science?

Just admit that it was all a miracle. At least if you do that, then you’ll have the advantage of not having to admit you know nothing about science, engineering, or reality.

I would encourage you to study the concept of buoyancy, structural strength, and what would happen to a boat like the Santa Maria if you put a pair of elephants on it during a category 5 hurricane that lasted for 40 days.

Just admit you think it was all a miracle, then we don’t have to explain to you (again) why all the idiotic apologetics for an Ark are complete and utter BS.

For once, I think SteveP is right. If one is able to feed the animals one should also be able to take care of their waste. One task is not worse than the other. They didn’t have to think of the environment in those days. They could just throw the waste overboard.

There is a valid question whether 8 people were enough to keep all the animals alive for about half a year. Noah and his family, however, had capabilities that are unknown today. For instance, the Bible tells that Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood.

Having said this, I agree with SteveP’s opponents: Of course, there was no universal flood.

Just a little research into modern livestock carriers provides a clue: if the livestock is carried below decks, it is absolutely necessary to have air circulation systems with fifteen to twenty changes of air per volume per hour, a rate that cannot be reached without steam-turbine power driven machinery. If that is not done, the animals are asphyxiated within hours.

Livestock may be carried above decks on modern ships, because top-hamper is nowhere near the problem it would be for a wooden vessel; but even if carried in open pens, stacked several high, on deck, modern livestock carriers must provide powered ventilation systems for periods when the ship is before a following wind and there is little net movement of air over the deck. Since ancient wooden ships were before a following wind most of the time, they still need powered ventilation.

Look, really. All-wooden ships the size of the ark were never built, and when they were attempted, they proved unseaworthy. When Bessemers and blast furnaces made iron, then steel, cheaply available in quantity, and rolling mills were developed to produce plate, the size of ships promptly skyrocketed. So there was an economic need in the early nineteenth century for larger ships, but the practical limits for wooden hulls had been reached. The American and British shipwrights of 1820 were the most skilled in history, and they had steel tools and all the timber resources of the new world to call on - and they still could not produce something the size of the ark in wood, and make it seaworthy.

It’s a story, for cryin’ out loud.

SteveP. said:

Why would Troy Britain believe animal waste was a problem on the ark? All Noah needed were the equivalent of squeegies. Too much sea to ever let ark waste ever be an issue.

Have you tried hiring a team of eight people to keep a boat clean by moving animal waste from a million different species of animals from below the decks with only squeegees? For forty days and forty nights?

Then see, when the flood subsided you’ve got all this compost ready for the first post-flood planting season.

Design, baby. Design!

You ever tried growing plants in soil soaked in salt water?

RM said:

For once, I think SteveP is right. If one is able to feed the animals one should also be able to take care of their waste. One task is not worse than the other. They didn’t have to think of the environment in those days. They could just throw the waste overboard.

There is a valid question whether 8 people were enough to keep all the animals alive for about half a year. Noah and his family, however, had capabilities that are unknown today. For instance, the Bible tells that Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood.

Having said this, I agree with SteveP’s opponents: Of course, there was no universal flood.

I once was talked by a particularly dense Creationist who insisted that Noah’s Ark existed (and who laughed at me and condemned me to Hell for not believing that the last mammoths were killed and frozen in place by pieces of magic falling ice). She insisted that Noah and his sons took one hundred and ten years to build the Ark, and was quick to remind me that Noah lead his sons in prayer every morning before they started work each day.

One should not compare the fictional Ark with European wooden ships but with the ships used by the Chinese navigator Zheng He, who led 7 expeditions around the Indian Ocean between 1405 and 1433 and even reached Africa. The biggest ships in his fleet were not as long as the Ark but much wider.

There has been a discussion of the seaworthiness of Zheng’s ships and whether the biggest ones were actually used for the expeditions. Smaller Chinese junks, however, may look clumsy but are known to be easy and safe to handle with a small crew.

Well, the Ark was not a sailing ship so Noah didn’t have that problem.

The early Christian writer, Origen (who wrote in the early 3rd century):

Homilies on Genesis 2.1

“Certainly since Scripture related nothing about the places which we said were set apart for the excrement of the animals, but tradition preserves some things, it will appear opportune that silence has been maintained on this about which reason may sufficiently teach of its importance. And because it could less worthily be fitted to a spiritual meaning, rightly, therefore, Scripture, which rather fits its narratives to allegorical meanings, was silent about this.”

Marsh indicated there will be a depiction of the “Fountains of the Deep” breaking open in the lake.

What’s he gonna do, stop up all the toilets? (At least that would produce an authentic stench.)

Worth some added emphasis:

TomS said:

The early Christian writer, Origen (who wrote in the early 3rd century):

Homilies on Genesis 2.1

“Certainly since Scripture related nothing about the places which we said were set apart for the excrement of the animals, but tradition preserves some things, it will appear opportune that silence has been maintained on this about which reason may sufficiently teach of its importance. And because it could less worthily be fitted to a spiritual meaning, rightly, therefore, Scripture, which rather fits its narratives to allegorical meanings, was silent about this.”

But what would Origen know about the early Christian understanding of Scripture?

This actually raises a question for the Bible literalists.

Is it the case where everything in the Bible is true and nothing is true that’s not in the Bible?

OR

Is it the case where everything shown to be true is true, unless the Bible contradicts it?

Obviously that determination raises a whole host of issues for Bible literalists. If the first is correct, then how can you people possibly be using computers (for one example).

If the second is true, then the Bible doesn’t say jack about a lot of things that are claimed like evolution (for one example).

So, someone doesn’t like a group that lies, steals, uses religion to fleece the rubes, has negatively impacted religion in two countries, and is actively trying to disrupt education… the one chance that a lot of kids have to make their live better, is someone who should be watched because they might show at a dinner dressed nicely.

Again, your biases are showing.

franky said:

… This is my last post, …

It will be interesting to see if this is true.

franky said: I mean what harm could come from someone who has voiced their hate toward AiG?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/15/us/dc[…]ef=allsearch

Do I need to say more?

Probably not. Its fairly clear from your collective posts that you see “acting flamboyantly gay” as an act of destruction or an indicator of potential criminality. Some guys hatch a plan to talk male fashion and use the word “fabulous” at your dinner, and you think this gives you a legitimate suspicion that they might shoot people.

Should science museums turn people away who are “flamboyantly Christian”?

Let’s tell the truth about what franky hints at, but won’t say. What he’s afraid of is that the two “gay” actors would begin talking about interior decoration or window treatments or something at the dinner table, and one of the creationist would freak out and attack them.

What he’s really afraid of is that a creationist would cause a disruption in response to their having a polite “gay” conversation. Franky knows they won’t disrupt the creationists– franky knows that the creationists would cause a disruption if they suspect a gay couple in the dining hall.

What franky is admitting is that creationist can’t control their urges to violence. However, we’re responsible for their lack of physical self-control when they sense gays nearby.

It’s the same logic as the Taliban. If a woman doesn’t wear a veil, well, she might get raped. If she does, it’s her fault because she’s to blame for men’s inability to control themselves.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Should science museums turn people away who are “flamboyantly Christian”?

Let’s tell the truth about what franky hints at, but won’t say. What he’s afraid of is that the two “gay” actors would begin talking about interior decoration or window treatments or something at the dinner table, and one of the creationist would freak out and attack them.

What he’s really afraid of is that a creationist would cause a disruption in response to their having a polite “gay” conversation. Franky knows they won’t disrupt the creationists– franky knows that the creationists would cause a disruption if they suspect a gay couple in the dining hall.

What franky is admitting is that creationist can’t control their urges to violence. However, we’re responsible for their lack of physical self-control when they sense gays nearby.

It’s the same logic as the Taliban. If a woman doesn’t wear a veil, well, she might get raped. If she does, it’s her fault because she’s to blame for men’s inability to control themselves.

Agreed, Diogenes. Frank reminds me a lot of our “pal” bz. They’re both suffering from an acute form of delusional thought.

Did he seriously just compare someone being gay in public to someone trying to kill people?

I almost feel sad for both creationists and Christians when people like this are on their side.

I know that there are nice quiet Christians who aren’t psychopathic lunatics. I know that there are Christians who are idiot creationists. I know that there are Christians who are quite intelligent and are capable of rational thought, but in the end…

these clowns are the ones everyone hears about. No one cares about old lady Montgomery who went to church 3 times a week, never said a unkind word to anyone, who studied the Bible and archeology with the same passion. Nope, it’s almost as though the media and the internet don’t like Christians. The only ones being promoted are the nut cases. If anything will rid the world of religion, media will. Of course, media and religion are very much the same and neither can handle competition. And however much money religion has… it can’t touch media on the resources level.

hmmm…

I am a Christian and I would much rather attend a party with Austin Scarlett than with Ken Ham. The Bible implies that Jesus would, too.

John said:

Am in full agreement here, except in your unnecessary observation regarding the Republican Party, which I, as a registered Republican do resent. (Not to start a flame war with you here ogremk5, but there are other Republicans, Conservatives and Libertarians posting here who reject all forms of creationist nonsense. Just bear that in mind please.)

I know you are Republican, but if you have any sense of integrity, then there must be some point in which your party becomes so degenerate that it must be abandoned and overthrown before it ruins everything we Americans believe in and have worked for. For me, that was when Bush Jr was President. I may vote for Democrats, Liberatarians or Greens, but NEVER Republicans again!

dalehusband said:

John said:

Am in full agreement here, except in your unnecessary observation regarding the Republican Party, which I, as a registered Republican do resent. (Not to start a flame war with you here ogremk5, but there are other Republicans, Conservatives and Libertarians posting here who reject all forms of creationist nonsense. Just bear that in mind please.)

I know you are Republican, but if you have any sense of integrity, then there must be some point in which your party becomes so degenerate that it must be abandoned and overthrown before it ruins everything we Americans believe in and have worked for. For me, that was when Bush Jr was President. I may vote for Democrats, Liberatarians or Greens, but NEVER Republicans again!

Dale I want to do whatever I can to make my party the one that did understand and appreciate science from the Civil War to the 1950s as has been documented extensively by Science Debate co-founder Shawn Otto in his book “Fool Me Twice”. I understand your sentiment but I do not wish to subscribe to it. Let’s just agree to disagree please.

franky said:

harold said:

franky said:

ogremk5 said:

franky,

Again, you seem to be missing the point. Please explain, in detail, why being flamboyantly gay is disruptive.

Again, my understanding, and you have yet to provide any evidence that this is not the case, is that two gentlemen, dressed in suits (or tuxedos) arrived at a dinner that they had paid for and were turned away and not given a refund. These are the facts.

If you put his in front of a jury, then the facts are clear. There was no actual disruption. There didn’t even appear to be any intention of disruption. If everything said on a blog is intent, then I’d like to have kairofocus that often posts on the DI blog arrested for mass murder. I’d have JoeG, likewise, arrested for multiple counts of assault and battery.

Here’s the problem, Christians are so used to this persecution complex that the can’t even take a joke. Of course, not all Christians are like this, but those theocracy promoting, scientifically dim-witted ones sure are.

So, keep crying about persecution. It remains that there isn’t a single instance of any Christian being fired from a job for talking about ID. There is at least one example of a person being fired for talking about evolution. Until, you produce some evidence to support your notions (all of them), then I suggest you quit whining about how no one is playing nice with you (in the collective sense).

No sir you are missing the point. If I were to tell you that I was coming over to your house with bible in hand, what is my intent sir. Am I coming to have a relaxing evening, enjoying food and telling jokes. I suppose I could just be carrying it as an accessory to my outfit and not really use it, but what would you assume to be my intent sir? And you are correct the facts are crystal clear, which is why I’m so bewildered as to why you people are still not getting it.

You endorse turning people away from a public event for being gay, which is bad enough, and probably illegal.

Then you further endorse taking their money, knowing you will turn them away, and then refusing to refund the money.

I interpret that as an unethical gesture of hate.

As I have often said, there would be a tremendous silver lining to making the Ten Commandments the law of the land - those who claim that they want it the most would immediately find themselves penitentiary inmates for their covetousness, thievery, false witness, adultery, etc.

Alright, it would appear that you all are correct. Having “secret police” watch people that have strong biases against a certain establishment is just plain silly. What were we thinking, I mean what harm could come from someone who has voiced their hate toward AiG?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/15/us/dc[…]ef=allsearch

Do I need to say more? Make your excuses of how this was one guy, blah blah blah. This is the real world, wake up. How many people do you think that guy would have killed if it were not for the Family Research Council’s “Stalinistic” security guard? We don’t care who’s gay, we have gay people come through the museum all the time and never are they confronted, belittled, or asked to leave. It’s the people who want to “make a statement” that we have a duty to watch and deny entry to at our best discretion. So Joe, Matt, Dan, do us a favor quit wasting our time and let us focus on keeping wack jobs like Floyd from hurting innocent people. You have so much drive and energy, raise money to feed some starving third world children or something. This is my last post, I have more important things to deal with.

Irrelevant. No-one has argued that you shouldn’t defend yourself against violence.

The reality is -

You endorse turning people away from a public event for being gay, which is bad enough, and probably illegal.

Then you further endorse taking their money, knowing you will turn them away, and then refusing to refund the money.

I interpret that as an unethical gesture of hate.

You can’t come up with a rational justification - because there is no rational justification.

As I have often said, there would be a tremendous silver lining to making the Ten Commandments the law of the land - those who claim that they want it the most would immediately find themselves penitentiary inmates for their covetousness, thievery, false witness, adultery, etc.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on August 12, 2012 9:55 AM.

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