Ken Ham has wood for ark park supporters

"Noah's Ark" (1846) by Edward Hicks.

From one of our clandestine operatives comes the following scan of a solicitation document from Answers in Genesis, as the deeply confused “ministry” continues to seek millions to construct its horrifically misguided Noah’s ark replica in rural northern Kentucky.

A mass-mailer fundraising solicitation for Answers in Genesis' "Ark Encounter" project. Just like Noah used.

A mass-mailer fundraising solicitation for Answers in Genesis’ “Ark Encounter” project. Just like Noah used.

As you can see, like any slick, massive, well-funded, fine-tuned integration awareness/fundraising campaign worth its salt, the flyer offers a wide variety of avenues for funneling money out of your pockets and into the coffers of AiG.

An entry-level donation will net you a copy of “A Pocket Guide to Noah’s Ark: A Biblical and Scientific Look at the Genesis Account,” but you can tell by the solitary dot in this sad, lonely column that it is no place for the True Christian™. The leaflet looks like a real masterpiece, though, and it can be yours for only $35!

Of course, AiG and their fundraising team are hoping you look a bit to the right of that column, where — based on the level of your donation — you’ll be assigned a peg, plank or beam in the actual construction of the ark.

That’s right. Peg, plank or beam. Honestly, if they were deliberately trying to set us up for a series of jokes centered around male insecurity, they could not have done a better job. (I wonder how much you have to give to be awarded a shaft or a rod?)

Anyway, whatever … piece of — ahem — wood you settle on, you’ll be entitled to a number of privileges, including the ability to locate the bit you contributed using conveniently placed digital kiosks available on site. You know, just like the real ark.

I’m joking. I think we all know that this project is not, nor has it ever been about demonstrating the plausibility of the literal interpretation of the Noah’s ark story (which is something they originally claimed, evidently before they realized how much workers comp insurance costs for 600-year-old laborers).

A snapshot showing heavy machinery and other modern construction implements at the construction site of the "Ark Encounter." Just like Noah.

A snapshot showing heavy machinery and other modern construction implements at the construction site of the “Ark Encounter.” Again, just like Noah.

Honestly, I don’t think it’s even really about promoting or defending their literalist worldview in general, since they surely know how hilariously bad their track record is at convincing anyone who knows what they’re talking about that their scientific perspective makes sense.

Having a deeply intellectual and ground-breaking epiphany is not a common experience for your typical theme park attendee, and I can’t imagine anyone over the age of 10 (and that may be stretching it) being swayed by the puerile just-so stories and cartoonish displays that Ken Ham and his brain trust have come up with over the years.

Above all, this project is not about sharing the gospel, because Ham and AiG, for one thing, don’t know what the gospel is. And for another, if they really did care about spreading the good news, this would be the most wasteful, ridiculous and ineffective possible way to do it.

So what is all this really about? I can only speculate, of course, but money is a big part of it. That much is obvious.

For the second, you have to look at who groups like AiG, and thus, their absurd outreaches like the ark park, cater to. And since it’s not working scientists, and it’s not skeptics and it’s certainly not non-believers, who does that leave? Conservative evangelical Christians. In other words, the folks who already agree with them to begin with.

This is about power, people. Power and influence. These big-budget young-earth charlatans don’t care about adding to the church or unifying the church, they want to be the church.

And if the way to do that is consolidating their base and subtly ostracizing (or should I say “stiffing”?) the rest of us, so be it.

Tyler Francke is founder of God of Evolution and author of Reoriented. He can be reached at tyler@godofevolution.com.

  • If he rounds up two of each kind of animal and spends 40 days on that thing with him, I’ll buy a peg (I’m not compensating for anything).

    • I wonder if they’ll give Michael Peroutka the keel if he donates another dinosaur.

      • As long as they have a human skeleton mounted in a saddle on the dinosaur. Tell me you would not pay money to see that. The mileage you could get out of that photo. Not to mention being the most bad ass fossil ever.

        • Totally depends on what type of dinosaur it is, bra. If the human’s riding a T. Rex, heck yes. If it’s riding a Bambiraptor, not so much.

          • The natural history museum here in Overland Park has a Bambiraptor model in its current dinosaur exhibit. Super cute. I’m sure the early Israelites had some as pets. Or familiars or whatever.

          • I don’t know. I always thought those little guys would be ticked off at humanity for giving them such a stupid, wussy name.

          • They’re probably just glad they made out better than the Dumboraptors.

          • No kidding. The Toystoryraptors and Simbadons didn’t fare much better.

  • Chris Mason

    “That’s right. Peg, plank or beam. Honestly, if they were deliberately trying to set us up for a series of jokes centered around male insecurity, they could not have done a better job.”

    Okay, that was genuinely hilarious.

    “I can’t imagine anyone over the age of 10 (and that may be stretching it) being swayed by the puerile just-so stories and cartoonish displays that Ken Ham and his brain trust have come up with over the years.”

    The interesting thing about that is how critical they are of “just-so” stories. They allege that this is done all the time with evolution.

    • Thanks! 😉

      Yeah, I know, but I’ve always thought of the weird little “explanations” they come up with for the scientific and theological issues their views create as “just so” stories. From Cain marrying his sister after he had just murdered their brother to the “floating forest” and “vapor canopy,” the creativity of these guys makes Rudyard Kipling look like a freaking technical writer for instruction manuals about stapler use.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      But when the only choice permitted is between “BE-LEEEEVE every word of the Just-So Stories or Burn In ETERNAL HELL?”…

  • “Peg, plank or beam.” To help with the erection… (of his ark, of course, what else?) And the customers have to pay for this. Remind me… what’s this called in a court of law?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    (I wonder how much you have to give to be awarded a shaft or a rod?)

    “Killing zombies gives me total wood.”
    — Lollipop Chainsaw

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Is the “peg, plank, or beam” genuine Gopher Wood?

  • Timothy Swanson

    One sad thing about this is that there is already an outstanding Noah’s Ark exhibit for kids to enjoy – one that is better than anything Ham will do. It is located in the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. (Our family has visited it a few times.) Perhaps it is better because the Skirball, a Jewish organization, interprets the story as an allegory, and explores its meaning in a whimsical and creative and interactive manner.

    • Thanks, TImothy. Here’s a link for those who are interested: http://www.skirball.org/noahs-ark. It does look like a pretty neat exhibit.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        First thing I noticed is that the Skirball Noah’s Ark Exhibit has something completely missing from Ken Ham’s —
        WHIMSY!

        • That’s because young-earth creationism proponents believe it’s a sin to have fun. Unless they say it’s OK first.

  • Dylan Cook

    You are right about Young Earth Creationism wanting to be the church.