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”.
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
A sky bridge (think rope bridge)
An insect collection
A Carnivorous Bog Garden
A Butterfly / Hummingbird Garden
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.
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 next big addition is going to be the ARK Encounter!
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?
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.
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!