Creation Museum Heading For Choppy Water

Creation_Museum_logoThe “Museum”

The Creation Museum is run by Answers in Genesis and promotes “Young Earth Creationism” in this case about 6,000 years.   They believe in a “literal” reading of the bible.  Of course, it is their “literal interpretation” and anyone that reads the bible “literally” but gets a different interpretation is wrong.  The logo (right) says it all, “prepare to believe”.

From Wikipedia…

The 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) museum cost $27 million—raised entirely through private donations to AiG—and opened on May 28, 2007. In addition to the museum proper, the facility also houses a special effects theater, a planetarium, and a gift shop, and serves as the headquarters of AiG.

Since it opened the “museum” added several other features:

A zip line (over a pond) called the “Screaming Raptor”

A petting zoo

Camel Rides

A sky bridge (think rope bridge)

An insect collection

A Carnivorous Bog Garden

A Butterfly / Hummingbird Garden

A “Rainforest”

and a real Allosourus skeleton.

Many people have visited the “museum” and AiG says that more than 250,000 people visit per year.  The first year had over 400,000 guests.  In 2009 I went PZ Myers and 300 of my best friends.    The place is beautiful.  You can buy a lot of cool stuff with $27 million.

Most of the “exhibits” show a panel that contains “Human Reason” on the left and “God’s Word” on the right.

Human Reason

The “Reason” side often contains factual errors or distortions about science.  The other side contains Ken Ham’s opinion on the bible.  As the photo shows above Ken uses the bible to support his position, “Reasoning is God’s gift to Humankind, but He has instructed us to use the Bible as our ultimate starting point (proverbs (1:7)…”

Here is Proverbs 1:7…

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

There is no instruction here suggested.  Additionally, you need to replace “fear of the LORD” with “Bible” and change “Beginning of Knowledge” with “ultimate starting point”.  So in classic christian style, you need to rewrite your sacred book to get what you want.  I will point out that Mr. Ham completely ignores the second half, “…fools despise wisdom and instruction”.  Mr. Ham is not open to wisdom or instruction so……

I also found it hysterical that the “original” model for “Adam” may have been involved with porn.

You can see all of this and a dinosaur with a saddle for just $29.95.

 The Ark!

The next big addition is going to be the ARK Encounter!

background-construction-wide_sm

 

They claim to have $18 million of the $30 million needed to build the thing.  This is down from the original amount of $172 million.  Recently, Ken reported that they have started to pour some concrete in a hole.  They are using huge machines, concrete and steel just like Noah would have done.  Ken also tells us….

“Space-age technology is being used at the Ark construction site!”

They also have to build a cistern to hold 50,000 gallons of water.  This was required by local fire code.  Ken claims that this (except for the all of the concrete and steel) will be the largest wooden structure in North America.

As you may know AiG was hoping to get an $18.25 million in tax credits from the state of Kentucky.  The state has now come to its senses after learning about some job requirements.  AiG wants all employees to sign “statements of faith” to be considered for the jobs.

“Employees at Ark Encounter don’t just have to believe in God; they have to believe in Christ, the Holy Spirit, Satan (as “the personal spiritual adversary of both God and mankind”), Adam and Eve, “the Great Flood of Genesis,” a 6,000-year-old Earth, and the eternal damnation of “those who do not believe in Christ.” All employees must follow “the duty of Christians” and attend “a local Bible believing church.” Just for good measure, employees must oppose abortion, euthanasia, gay rights, and trans rights.”

New Law Suit

Mr. Ham and his minions are now suing the state of Kentucky!

The ministry is asking a federal judge to compel tourism officials to place the ark project back into the incentive program.

The lawsuit also argues Kentucky’s action violates religious freedoms protected by the First Amendment, along with the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and state laws.

Here is a video from Mr. Ham.  Does he have a case?

Finances

From a blog post at Pharyngula…

AIGFinances

One of PZ’s readers, Brian, made this cool chart with data from Answers in Genesis’s 990 tax forms.  It does not look good.  While AiG brings in around $20 million per year the “museum” is losing about $3,000,000 per year.  That place is costing them a fortune but, they have found a way to collect more money from the suckers…. The ark!

Brian sums it up pretty well….

The most interesting conclusion I have come to is that the Ark Project is quite clearly an effort to gain a massive cash injection into the organization given the losses they have been sustaining due to the Creation Museum’s operation.

They are losing money while collecting millions for the boat.

Future

If Mr. Ham can’t find a new source for lots and lots of money (or win his lawsuit) his boat may never open.  At this point, I expect they may actually get the thing built (or partially built) and then the creditors will come looking for their money.  With a little luck maybe you can get your own ark in a bankruptcy auction!

The Phil Ferguson Show – 109


Guest – Jamila Bey & Karl Wulff

This week is my good friend Jamila Bey!

This handy summary from WIKI…

Jamila Bey is an African-American journalist and public speaker. She was host of a weekly radio program The Sex, Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR With Jamila on Voice of Russia, and writes for the Washington Post‘s blog, She the People. Before working for the Washington Post and the Voice of Russia, Bey spent around a decade working as a producer and editor for National Public Radio, including for Morning Edition.

Jamila on religion…. (also form Wiki)

Besides for her journalistic activities, Bey is notable as an outspoken African-American atheist, who has publicly stated that she believes religion to be actively detrimental to African-Americans, suggesting that religion both contributed to the physical enslavement of African Americans, and continues to contribute to their mental enslavement. she significantly objects to the common characterization of the civil rights movement as a religious one, acknowledging that although churches were significantly involved in the movement, “humans did all the work.”

You can learn more at her web page.

she is also on Twitter…

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Talking about Bankruptcy law – Karl Wulff

Karl’s Web site.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Webster University in 1993 and his Juris Doctor degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1996. Prior to attending university Mr. Wulff served in the United States Navy on board the amphibious assault aircraft carrier U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10) in the air department from 1987 to 1989 and later on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-60) as a reservist, earning the Sea Service Ribbon and the National Defense Medal. Mr. Wulff is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and is a founding member of the Bankruptcy Association of Southern Illinois (BASIL). A frequent speaker at seminars on the topic of bankruptcy law, Mr. Wulff’s practice has been concentrated in consumer bankruptcy for more than seventeen years, during which time he has represented over four thousand individuals and small businesses in bankruptcy cases. Mr. Wulff is admitted to practice in Illinois and Missouri, as well as the United States Judicial Districts of Southern Illinois, Central Illinois and Eastern Missouri.

Bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives – Would Make Student Loans Dischargeable in Bankruptcy

Wulff-Karl-J-2004-150x150

 

 

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NOTE: This post is part of an ongoing education series. This information is for educational purposes only. This information does not constitute investment advice. Please consult with your financial advisor before taking any action.

The Phil Ferguson Show – 108 (Old 401(k) & Atheists On Air )


Guest – “Cash” from “Atheists On Air” Podcast (more below)

Investing Skeptically….

Top 5 Reasons To Move That Old 401(k) – NOW

The Bureau of Labor Statistics say that the average person will have 11 different jobs between the age of 18 to 44. That is a new job every 2.4 years.

 

There are several things you can do with that old 401(K)

1. leave the money in your former employer’s plan;

2. roll over the money to your new employer’s plan, if the plan accepts transfers;

3. roll over the money into an IRA;or

4. take the cash value of your account.

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The Phil Ferguson Show – 107

Guests – Muhammad and Mya members of Ex-Muslims of North America (more below)

US Market Segment Analysis Ending 2014 (More Detail on post at Polaris Financial Planning)

12-Month Return 3-Year Average 5-Year Average 10-Year Average
Total Stock Market Return 12.56 20.49 15.70 8.10

You can also use this as a guide to check the performance of your portfolio. If the US stock segment of your investments have returned 7% per year for the last 5 years – you may have a problem.

The Swiss Franc

The Swiss central bank introduced the peg in September 2011 in response to investors buying up massive amounts of the Swiss franc as a safer foreign exchange alternative to the euro or the dollar.

In a statement Thursday, the SNB said the franc was now out of the period of “exceptional overvaluation” during which the minimum exchange rate had been introduced.

“The euro has depreciated considerably against the US dollar and this, in turn, has caused the Swiss franc to weaken against the U.S. dollar. In these circumstances, the SNB concluded that enforcing and maintaining the minimum exchange rate for the Swiss franc against the euro is no longer justified,” the statement said.

 

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The Phil Ferguson Show – 106

Guests – Jason Torpy, Mario Mouton & Joey Kirkman (more below)

The price of oil. Is it just supply vs. demand?

Story on oil from Forbes.

Initial Jobless Claims….

A measure of the number of jobless claims filed by individuals seeking to receive state jobless benefits. This number is watched closely by financial analysts because it provides insight into the direction of the economy. Higher initial claims correlate with a weakening economy.

Unemployment rate is now 5.6%

Stock Market Returns (link for all of the numbers discussed in the show)

The Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund was up 12.43% (2014)

Investing for just 5 years, the worst case is a loss of 2.35% and you have a 90% chance of doing better than -0.47% in total returns. When you look at the 10 year results the worst is -1.38% and there is a 90% chance that you will do better than +5.86%.

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