When Australian creationist Ken Ham pitched the idea of building a giant Noah’s Ark in a rural area of Kentucky, folks in the community of Williamstown got excited. Many of them were certain that the ark would become a major tourist attraction and bring visitors – and their cash – to this struggling area.
A Kentucky elementary school has a strange concept of what constitutes a reward given that it took a group of students to Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in 2012 as a prize for having “perfect” attendance.
“Perfect” belongs in quotes, here, because Lee County Elementary in Petersburg, Ky., has a rather flexible definition of perfection: students could miss one day of school and still qualify for flawless attendance. (Who knew perfection was open to interpretation?)
On Dec. 20, 2005, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania handed down an important ruling in a case challenging the teaching of “intelligent design” creationism in public schools.
In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Jones struck down a policy that had been approved by members of the school board in Dover, Pa., a small town of about 2,000 residents. His ruling was a slam dunk, making it clear that intelligent design (ID) is not science.
Americans United has long been skeptical that Ark Encounter, a proposed theme park in Kentucky that will feature a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark, could ever live up to the enormous projected attendance figures claimed by its leadership in order to secure public assistance. As it turns out, the numbers submitted by Ark Encounter were indeed wildly inflated.
I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., suburbs since 1986, so when it comes to museums, I am spoiled. Just a short subway ride away is the National Mall, lined with the Smithsonian museums. They are an incredible national treasure.
When I’m traveling, I try to take some time to visit local museums as well. When my children were younger, we never missed a science museum. Several cities have them now. Not only are science museums a great educational resource, they can also be a significant income generator for communities.
P.T. Barnum, founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, promoted a number of hoaxes in his day. He probably never said “there’s a sucker born every minute,” but it seems he embraced that idea throughout his career. Now, it appears Barnum has an ideological descendant in Ken Ham, head of a creationist ministry that is trying to build a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky.
Kentucky lawmakers seem to be doing all they can to plug holes in the perpetually leaky “Ark Park.”
We haven’t heard a whole lot lately about Ark Encounter, a proposed Christian fundamentalist theme park that’s built around a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark. That’s because the project has sailed into a sea of trouble.