Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kentucky's monument to ignorance

Kentucky, home of Ken Ham's infamous Answers in Genesis sponsored Creation Museum, will soon be hosting a young-Earth creationist theme park featuring a life-sized (according to the account in Genesis) Noah's Ark.  This is another silly monument to the incredibly ridiculous idea that the Earth is 6,000 years old, humans and dinosaurs were tromping around together as recently as 4,000 years ago, and all of humanity except for Noah's family were wiped out by a global flood - the koala bears and kangaroos and anacondas and naked mole rats and platypuses and camels and polar bears and moose and baboons and lions and parrots and Bolivian swallowtail butterflies and earthworms and grizzly bears all came marching two-by-two from all four corners of the Earth to board the boat.  Dinosaurs were on the ark too, did you know that?  Bet those atheist teachers never taught you that in public school, did they?

People are upset by this monument to stupidity being built in Kentucky but also to the fact that Ark Encounter will be benefiting from millions of dollars in tax incentives sponsored by Steve Beshear, the state governor. The excuse for this is the claim that:

An independent consultant hired by Ark Encounter estimates the ripple effect on the surrounding area could be much larger. The total number of jobs created as a result of the project is anticipated at 14,000 and the overall economic impact to the region is projected at $500 million in the first year of operation.

Of course this "independent"consultant is America's Research Group run by Britt Beemer, Ken Ham's personal friend and coauthor of Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it.  Not quite an "independent" consultant.  Young-Earth creationists are used to stretching the truth, however, so I'm sure this little ethical lapse bothers them not at all.


People criticize, and rightly so, many Islamic countries for their Medieval world view but Biblical literalists right here in America aren't all that different elevating a Bronze-age myth above hundreds of years of scientific investigation of the natural world.  I believe that children exposed to young-Earth creationists ideas are much more likely to have a crisis of faith when they get into the outside world and learn how crazy these beliefs are and how easily they're debunked by, for example, an introductory Earth science class taught by an evil geologist such as myself.  All I need to do is take them outside to look at some rocks on the side of the road and apply a little critical thinking.

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