Church Hopes to Crush Science With Giant Noah's Ark

Answers in Genesis' Ark Encounter opens this week in Kentucky
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2016 5:40 PM CDT
Church Hopes to Crush Science With Giant Noah's Ark
Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, speaks during a news conference at the Ark Encounter theme park on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A massive, $100 million replica of Noah's Ark will open Thursday in Kentucky to—its builders hope—"undo the brainwashing" done to children by science, the Courier-Journal reports. According to the Guardian, the Ark Encounter, which was built by Answers in Genesis, is 510 feet long and seven stories tall. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, tells the AP he hopes it will prove that the Bible is true. The ark is filled with testaments to Answers in Genesis' beliefs: the Earth was created in six days and is only 6,000 years old, dinosaurs coexisted with humans, and Noah fit the ancestors of modern animals onboard. That last item has led to the replica's animal pens being filled with bizarre creatures, such as a house cat with a lion's head and some sort of hornless rhino.

“In a world that we see becoming very secularized before our eyes, it’s really time for Christians to do something of this size,” Ham tells the Courier-Journal. Meanwhile, the paper states many people see the ark as an "embarrassing, entertainment-cloaked attack on science that uses tax incentives in violation of the separation of church and state.” A judge ruled Ark Encounter could get $18 million in tax incentives despite having a "strict religious test" for employees, who must be Christians and pledge to oppose same-sex marriage and pre-marital sex. The project was announced in 2010 but had trouble raising funds. Strangely, Bill Nye may have saved the ark by inadvertently drawing attention to it when he agreed to debate Ham about evolution. The noted Science Guy says he's "heartbroken and sickened" by Ark Encounter. (Read more Noah's Ark stories.)

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