Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hope for the Ark Encounter?

Utnapishtim's, ahem...Noah's ark
Depending on how much you pay attention to issues regarding religion, you may or may not have heard of the Ark Encounter. In a nutshell, it's a museum devoted to the Biblical flood story, and it's a life-size reconstruction of Noah's boat. I suppose it's more of a construction than a reconstruction for the simple fact that NOAH'S ARK NEVER FRIKKEN' EXISTED.

Yeah, I'm being a little harsh, but if you think that the Noah story actually happened, or you even entertain the possibility that it happened, then the rest of this post isn't going to appeal to you. Unless you can provide some AMAZING evidence (you can't) of a global flood, I'm going to put flood believers into the same category as Scientologists who learn about Emperor Xenu and still stay in the organization anyway.

It opened on July 7th, and from what I've read, opening day didn't have quite the turnout that they were expecting. Maybe there aren't as many Biblical literalists as they were hoping for? Or maybe the literalists just don't care that much? Who knows? I'm not expert in these matters, and I haven't seen any official figures, but I have to wonder if this thing will one day go the way of Jim Bakker's Heritage USA, and become a monument to religious folly.
Let's just assume that I'm right and this thing will eventually go bankrupt and have to close down one day. Overall, this would be a good thing. Perhaps it's too bad that the state of Kentucky is losing out considering how many tax breaks Answers in Genesis (the company that built the thing) got for it, but the good far outweighs the bad. For starters, the place is basically devoted to spreading ignorance and anti-science. Even worse, it's targeted at children with its inclusion of dinosaurs. (It's funny how for some people the dinosaur thing is what puts it over the top into Crazy Town territory. Guess what? It's crazy without dinosaurs.) It will also be good to see the end of a place that has discriminatory hiring practices (no non-Christians, no gay people) while receiving taxpayer money. 

With that said, I wouldn't want to see the place get torn down. I also wouldn't want to see it just sit there and rot. Here are some possibilities as to what can be done with it:

1. Turn it into a science museum. Have a big part explaining how flood geology is riddled with fallacies.

2. Have it be a museum devoted to mythology. Utilize much of what's there, and keep the dinosaurs in a section entitled "What happens when people take myths literally." Include displays for various flood myths, paying special attention to Utnapishtim and his similarities/differences with Noah. 

3. Make a nautical museum. Yeah, it's in a landlocked part of the country. Well, who would be more starved for boat-related stuff than them? People on the coasts have their fill of that sort of a thing, thank you very much.

4. Make it a literal monument to religious folly. Have displays ranging from the weird to the outright dangerous like snake handlers and Jim Jones.

5. Why was the world flooded? Because of sin, right? Make it a museum of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. People will love it. Throw in some hookers while you're at it. See if the firmament opens and the waters pour forth. 


Deron Murphree said...

I'll take option 2. I've been following this for quite a while. I am dumbfounded that it actually got up and running.

Narayanan Shanker said...

good idea sir

Tim Mitchell said...

I'll take option #5, please. :)