Ken Ham is erecting a colossal model of Noah’s ark to spread a particular brand of Christian fundamentalism, known as “young earth” or “young universe” creationism.
A minute ago (1:40 pm), I read Laurie Goodstein’s marvelous New York Times article about the ark–yeah, The Ark–going up and out in Kentucky.
Her writing is the witty part. Take a look at the beginning:
WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. — In the beginning, Ken Ham made the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky. And he saw that it was good at spreading his belief that the Bible is a book of history, the universe is only 6,000 years old, and evolution is wrong and is leading to our moral downfall.
And Mr. Ham said, let us build a gargantuan Noah’s ark only 45 minutes away to draw millions more visitors. And let it be constructed by Amish woodworkers, and financed with donations, junk bonds and tax rebates from the state of Kentucky. And let it hold an animatronic Noah and lifelike models of some of the creatures that came on board two-by-two, such as bears, short-necked giraffes — and juvenile Tyrannosaurus rexes.
And it was so.
The not witty part:
“The reason we are building the ark is not as an entertainment center,” [Ken] Ham said in an interview in a cabin overlooking the construction site. “I mean it’s not like a Disney or Universal, just for anyone to go and have fun. It’s a religious purpose. It’s because we’re Christians and we want to get the Christian message out.”
The ark is also intended to serve as a vivid warning that, according to the Bible, God sent a flood in Noah’s time to wipe out a depraved people, and God will deliver a fiery end to those who reject the Bible and accept modern-day evils like abortion, atheism and same-sex marriage. “We’re becoming more like the days of Noah in that we see increasing secularization in the culture,” Mr. Ham said.
Yet his interpretation of what he calls “the Christian message” is derided by most scientists and educators, and resented even by some Christians who consider it indefensible and even embarrassing. Young earthers believe that God created the universe in six 24-hour days, and since all of history is only 6,000 years, humans coexisted with dinosaurs. An exhibit at the Creation Museum shows two smiling children playing in a lush garden next to two petite Tyrannosaurus rexes.
Big sigh from me. And from Bill Nye, the Science Guy:
Bill Nye, best known as “the science guy” on television and in books, said in a telephone interview, “Humans and ancient dinosaurs did not live at the same time. It’s completely unreasonable.” Science has established that the earth is billions of years old, and no worldwide flood occurred in the last 6,000 years.
“We’re going to raise a generation of kids who are scientifically illiterate,” said Mr. Nye, who debated Mr. Ham at the Creation Museum in 2014, a matchup watched online by millions.
But geez, they’ll know Ken Ham’s bible.
By the way, Mr. Ham, I learned, is Australian by birth.