Ken Ham is at it again, folks. This time he’s created “Ark Encounter,” a biblical theme park with a real life Noah’s Ark, built to the exact specifications given in the bible. It’s located in Kentucky (shocking), and opens July 7th. While I can’t say that I’m shocked that Ham is doing this, I can say that I’m shocked at the price tag for this endeavor:
$100 million. Million, with an M.
Ken Ham is spending $100 million on a biblical theme park and a replica of Noah’s Ark. Because, you know, God and stuff. Clearly, God wanted Ham to spend that much money–including $18 million in tax subsidies from Kentucky–on a biblical theme park. Instead of, you know, actually doing something to help people. And this is perhaps what I love the most about Ken Ham: he’s excellent at exposing not only how clueless and ignorant Young Earth Creationists are, but also how completely selfish, misguided, and hypocritical many religious folks are.
To put this perspective, here’s what else you could buy with $100 million dollars, besides a theme park dedicated to fairy tales and nonsense:
- 40,000,000 mosquito nets for people who live in Malaria ravaged areas of the world
- A year’s worth of HIV medication for 50,000 people
- 12,500 wells of clean drinking water wells for villages in Africa
But it’s not like God cares about helping the poor and sick, right? I mean, we wouldn’t want to use that money on something stupid like building schools, homeless shelters, medical treatment, rehab programs, funding cancer research and treatment. No, better spend that money on building a replica Noah’s Ark.
After all, according to Ham, he’s building the ark because “It’s a religious purpose. It’s because we’re Christians and we want to get the Christian message out…We’re becoming more like the days of Noah in that we see increasing secularization in the culture.” Because, in Ham’s own twisted mind, if he doesn’t build this theme park the world will continue to become more wicked/less Christian and then God will flood the earth again and rain fire and brimstone upon us all. You know, quality family stuff.
The more I thought about this and the opportunity costs associated with it, the more my blood boiled. But then I tried to think of a silver lining. And I know what you’re thinking. What silver lining could there possibly be in someone wasting that much money to build a Christian theme park dedicated to Noah’s Ark? I’m so glad you asked. The answer is that it let’s you literally see how stupid the bible is.
When you’re in Sunday school or church as a child and they tell you that Noah built a boat for all the animals you can accept that because, in your mind, he must have just built a reeeeeally big boat. It remains abstract, intangible, and therefore plausible. But not anymore. Now you can take your kids to see the actual ark Noah allegedly built. And when they actually see how small it is, I have no doubt at all that scores of kids will look up to their parents and ask, “How could ALL of the animals have fit on that?”
And they’ll get an unsatisfactory answer because there is no answer because the whole story is stupid bullshit. But by then it’ll be too late. The damage will have been done. The kids will have already seen the Ark and at that moment have realized it couldn’t possibly hold two of every animal on the planet. It’ll plant the seed of doubt.
Ken Ham made the worst move possible: he’s built an actual moment to cognitive dissonance. He’s eliminating the very things that actually give him power–vague details and lack of tangibility, the con man’s best weapons against reason.