Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho…Onto The Ark We Go!

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho…Onto The Ark We Go! January 25, 2012

I just took a few days off to go to Walt Disney World with my daughter and we had a great time.

Speaking of Fantasyland, there is another legend that’s getting its own theme park, but this time it’s in Kentucky and called “Ark Encounter.”  It’s a production of Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, the people who brought you the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky.

Ark Encounter is intended to be a genuine, full-scale replica of Noah’s actual, real-life ark!  Having just seen Cinderella’s castle, a genuine, full-scale replica of Cinderella’s actual real-life castle, I’m stoked.  Like Cinderella’s castle, Noah’s ark will be the hub of related fun like a replica of the Tower of Babel, a walled city and other attractions.

All joking aside, unlike the Disney parks, Ark Encounter regards its legends as the unmitigated truth – science, logic and common sense be damned.  If anything, its visitors will leave the new park even more scientifically literate than when they entered.

What is even sadder than the fact that millions of dollars are being wasted to build this inanity is that while Kentucky is cutting $50 million from its education budget, the governor has managed to find $43 million in tax incentives and infrastructure improvements to benefit the Ark Encounter:

In one of the most spectacularly mis-prioritized state budgets in recent memory, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D), is suggesting over $50 million in cuts to education – while preserving $43 million in tax breaks for the Ark Encounter, a creationist amusement park centered around a life-sized Noah’s Ark. The park is sponsored by Answers In Genesis, a non-profit organization that promotes a “literalist” interpretation of the Book of Genesis while promoting an anti-evolution (and other sciences) agenda.

Despite the protests of many of my fellow secular advocates, there’s probably nothing illegal about this.  The state might even eventually see some return on its investment.  This should not comfort us because in the long run it is just one more example of how real educational needs are de-prioritized while religion continues to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars.

Disney also received lots of tax incentives and cushy deals to build its parks in Florida.  But at least Disney never tried to teach us that Cinderella was a real person.

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