Answers in Racketeering (Does Ken Ham Think Noah Was a Millionaire?)

P. Z. Myers drew attention to the fact that the infamous Answers in Genesis has hit a snag in their plans for an “ark park.” They aimed to raise $24.5 million for the project, and have stalled at around $4 million.

Why does one need even 4 million dollars to demonstrate the literal truthfulness of an ancient story about a lone man, without modern technology, perhaps helped by some family members and slaves, building a box-shaped boat capable of housing two or seven of all kinds of animals, if Answers in Genesis and their interpretation of the Noah story is correct?

Are they suggesting that Noah was the equivalent in his time of a millionaire? I know they will want to complete the project more quickly than Noah did, but even so, if it takes $24.5 million dollars to get it done, doesn’t that suggest something about the feasibility of the ark itself?

Would it be inappropriate to treat the exorbitant price tag of this project as evidence of what most people, including most Christians, can figure out even without calculating the cost of such a boat, the required space, the fact that the amount of fresh water they would have needed would have sunk the vessel, that the carnivorous animals needed to eat during the trip, or any other such details. It isn’t a story about something that actually happened.

And thank goodness. Most people are so inoculated against the actual story through exposure to versions in childhood featuring lots of cute animals and no emphasis on mass extermination, that they fail to notice what sort of deity the story actually depicts.

But the truth is that the amount Answers in Genesis was trying to raise doesn’t really prove anything about the Biblical story. What it demonstrates is something about Answers in Genesis. They aren’t interested in having one person or a small group show that it is possible to build an ark like Noah’s, as a man in the Netherlands recently did. They are interested in getting people to donate to a project that involves them turning Noah’s ark into a money-making enterprise aimed at bilking the gullible. Apparently in their thinking that is what Christianity is all about.

As Proverbs 17:16 says, “Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?” (NIV).

Of course, with all the people who have claimed to find Noah’s ark in various places, perhaps one could treat that as “evidence” that Noah had an enormous multi-million dollar fleet?  :-)

  • Anonymous

    Heck, why stop at building the ark? Why not do a full reenactment? It must be very simple for a man and his family (maybe Ken Ham?) to build and ark by themselves, fill it with animals, and set to sea. Then afterwords they can isolate the animals, have them all inbreed, and we could see these amazingly fast “natural selection rates” that creationists keep talking about.

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  • http://www.rethinkingao.com Mike Beidler

    I don’t quite understand the purpose behind the project.  Wasn’t the truth of the Noahic Flood recently demonstrated in the documentary film “Evan Almighty”?

    • Helena

      That’s Noahide.

      • http://www.rethinkingao.com Mike Beidler

        Not according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Helena.  Even the Oxford English Dictionary parses the terms in this fashion:

        “Noachian: Of or relating to the patriarch Noah or his time.”

        “Noachic: Of or pertaining to Noah; Noachian.”

        “Noachid or Noachide: A descendant of Noah.”

        And other reputable sources say that “Noachic” is interchangeable with “Noahic.”  So, my usage is quite proper.

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  • Anonymous

    i bumped into a reply to J.McG entry here.
    http://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/was-noah-a-millionaire-james-mcgraths-theology-stumbles-on-scripture/ 

    i did not write this. don’t reply to me! go to his page and do it there.
    i wonder why people brother writing a reply and never tell the other person about it?
    seems like a waste of time to me.
    no dialogue.

    • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Thanks for pointing that out. Scarcely seems worth a reply, does it, given the fact that the author of that post (1) spends so much time discussing side issues, like the shape of the ark, and (2) is persuaded that the fossil evidence can be reconciled with a worldwide flood. I don’t know that I have the time to try to present all the information and arguments that I would have to in comments on his blog in order to make a persuasive case, if he were even willing to genuinely listen.


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