On July 7, 2016 something almost completely unbelievable happened. The douchebags behind the anti-science factory, known for its dinosaur statue having a saddle on it, otherwise called the "Creation Museum" opened their latest absurdity - a claimed re-creation of the Noah's Ark story. They call it "The Ark Encounter", the Tri-State Freethinkers call it, more appropriately, "The Genocide and Incest Park".
Until days before the opening of the Ark Encounter, I lived my life wrongly assuming that I didn't regularly spend time with people who actually believed that a 500 year old man spent 120 years building a massive "boat" that would fit 2 or 7 of every animal on earth. As the opening day of the Genocide and Incest Park neared, promotional videos were shared on my wife's Facebook timeline. Little did we know that the person sharing it, someone my wife considers to be a friend, actually believed in a literal interpretation of the story and that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Little did he know that I (along with my wife and a number of others from Sarnia) was actually going to Williamstown, Kentucky to protest the opening of the re-creation of, arguably, one of the most unbelievable stories in the bible.
On opening day, I was part of a group of a hundred or so people who participated in an organized protest of the "park" for a number of reasons. I honestly believed I'd be attending a protest that would simply be making points about the unbelievable story and that we'd be explaining the myth to people who simply hadn't thought about it. Despite me knowing people who, at the surface, believe that the biblical story of a "perfect" god creating an imperfect world and, because of her mistake, decided the best way to make things right was to kill everyone but 8 people - Noah, his unnamed wife, Noah's three children (Shem, Ham, Japheth) and their unnamed wives.
When I further think about the story, however, I want to believe that none of my friends actually believe the story. I was pretty certain that the people we would encounter in Kentucky (the counter protesters and those trying to show us where we were mistaken) would make points and arguments about the story that involved retrofitting the story, trying to explain away inconsistencies or offering ideas that they claim come from other sources that I wasn't familiar with.
What I was pretty certain about turned out to be something I was certainly wrong about. The creators of the Ark Encounter and their "crack" team of counter protesters (more on them and how they acted in another blog) actually believe the unbelievable. Not only did they believe it, they were willing to put it on paper and hand it out to us to try to get us to accept "the truth". In my next blog entry, I'll show pictures of the brochure I was given and give a few thoughts on it. To my friends who have seen it, they questioned whether it was a Poe and suggested that it may have been made to make fun of the park and not as a serious argument for the truth of it.
I suspect I struggled with anyone "really" believing the story because, as I see it, the Noah story requires a person to accept (in no particular order):
- A 500+ year old man and his three sons could build a massive raft ("arks" are nothing like what is drawn in kids’ books or what was built by Ken Ham's group)
- That there could be enough water to flood the entire world and that it could nearly entirely disappear with no evidence it was ever here
- That two (or seven) of every species of animal on the planet could get to the middle-east -- and in less than 7 days!
- That dinosaurs and humans lived on earth at the same time
- That the earth is less than 10,000 years old
- That 8 - 4 (all related) men and 4 women - people could reproduce (incestuously) fast enough to ultimately create 7 billion people in less than 6000 years
- That a boat not big enough to even fit two of every beetle and two of every rodent could fit 2 (or 7) of EVERY species on earth
- That the boat could also fit enough food for all these animals (forgetting that some of these animals rely on the other animals for their diet, that there was no refrigeration back then and no room to store fresh water!)
- That 8 people could take care of millions of animals (never mind their waste, their requirements for fresh water and the inability of many of the animals to regulate their own body temperature)
- That a "perfect" god would create an imperfect world and would punish almost everything that they created because the objects of their creation simply didn't worship them
- Genocide is moral and acceptable in certain instances
- That upon the waters residing, the pairs of animals (warning: more incest) could each find their way back (and leave no evidence of having been anywhere but where they are found today) to far-off lands and reproduce at such rates to create the populations of today
And I'm sure, as some have, that people would be able to, through mental gymnastics I'm clearly not capable of, rationalize certain aspects of the story to themselves, I can hardly believe that anyone does believe all this but Ken Ham got over a hundred million (yes, $100,000,000) dollars invested to build a fantastical re-creation of a literally unbelievable plagiarized myth found in the bible. People, not only as a story, literally believe this batshit crazy idea and are bringing their kids to this monstrous absurdity to indoctrinate their children into accepting the ridiculous. Science education at its worst - congratulations Kentucky on being the poster-state of absolute stupid.