Kentucky creationism theme park set to open in 2014 will “include dinosaurs”

Creationism has been criticized by many scientists and science organizations. The National Center for Science Education asserts that “students who accept this material as scientifically valid are unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level.”

There’s a reason Kentucky elected a senator, Rand Paul, who, when asked “how old is the world,” answered, “I think I’m just gonna have to pass on that one.” Yesterday, Kentucky’s governor Steve Beshear announced that a creationism theme park “” called “Ark Encounter” “” is planned for 2014.

Think Progress has the sad story — and funny video:

The park “will feature a 500-foot-long wooden replica of Noah’s Ark containing live animals such as juvenile giraffes.”

The project is a collaboration with a non-profit organization Answers in Genesis, which runs the Creation Museum in Boone County, KY. The Nation’s Chris Hayes noted on MSNBC last night that Answers in Genesis “is dedicated to portraying the Bible’s view of history. Among their claims, the Earth was created in six days, just 6,000 years ago, and that at one time, man and velociraptor co-existed peacefully.” (Of course, dinosaurs went extinct nearly 65 million years ago.) Yesterday during Beshear’s press conference announcing the plan, a Barefoot and Progressive‘s Joe Sonka asked if there will be dinosaurs at “Ark Encounter”:

SONKA: Will there be dinosaurs on the Ark?


ANSWERS IN GENESIS OFFICIAL: [off-mike] Well you know the position of Answers in Genesis so you can probably answer that yourself. We’ll have appropriate animals on the ark based on “” [on mike] I’m sure we’ll have representative kinds of animals on the ark, to include dinosaurs.

The park’s developers are seeking $37.5 million in state tourism development incentives which, the Louisvillle Courier-Journal reports, has “sparked debate among experts on church-state issues as to whether they would violate the constitutional ban on the establishment of religion by government.”

Sonka also noted that the “Creationuts handed out the fanciest press kit I’ve ever seen, with the following descriptions of the ‘attractions’ in their park, including a ‘Tower of Babel’ which ‘introduces exhibits on the origination of languages and people groups (so-called ‘races’).'” Sonka added that most of the questions during the press conference were “about the dimensions of the Ark, which couldn’t have been more useless considering that the governor of our state was up on stage presenting his endorsement of a theme park devoted to intellectually molesting children.” “Be ashamed, Kentucky. Be very ashamed,” Sonka wrote.

And folks wonder why China and other countries have surpassed us in clean energy.

45 Responses to Kentucky creationism theme park set to open in 2014 will “include dinosaurs”

  1. cervantes says:

    What is really sad about this is that Beshear doesn’t immediately get laughed out of office. He actually made the calculation that it was in his political best interest to do this. Actually it isn’t just sad, it’s appalling. We are a nation of proud idiots.

  2. caerbannog says:

    Couldn’t Time-Warner (current owner of the Flintstones cartoon collection) sue these guys for copyright infringement? ;)

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    We need to face the fact that about a third of Americans are hopeless embarrassments, and couldn’t find their asses with a road map. They live among us everywhere, even in states like Massachusetts and California.

    Historically they have been outvoted at the national level by the majority, but this is changing in Congress. All Republican Senators now essentially embrace the man-lived-with-dinosaurs story in their denial of global warming science. The oil and coal companies have bought politicians at all levels, and own the mainstream media, blocking change at every step. I expect them to vote against building insulation incentives next.

    Climate Progress has become a beacon, along with people like McKibben and Hansen. Somehow a path must be devised to make this an effective ground up transformation of this country, through unconventional media, aggressive education campaigns, and forthright support from academia (under assault themselves), community leaders, and suffering farmers and fishermen.

  4. Alec Johnson says:

    Kentucky brought us Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. There’s already a creation museum down there so while its appalling on many levels, it makes perverse sense that this theme park is happening there. For my part, if my choice was between northern Siberia and anywhere in KY, I’d be investing in a very warm parka.

  5. Warren Rempel says:

    “students who accept this material as scientifically valid are unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level.”

    This won’t be a problem for long; once they force the teaching of creationism-as-science at the college level, these students will do just fine…

  6. Sasparilla says:

    #1 cervantes you really said it, the sitting Governor made the calculation that this wouldn’t be damaging to his political image, to stand up and show this off….unbelievable.

    #3 Mike Roddy, so well put.

    Its hard to take all this. What a bleeping circus our country has become.

    As things get hard in the coming years, which direction will people gravitate? To the givers of true science and even harder truths or to these fountains of non science (religious and political) that tells you what makes you feel better? I remember hearing an interview (can’t remember the guys name of course), but it was on climate change and what he thought would happen as things got sticky in the future – his response was that alot of people would probably gravitate to religion that knows what it thinks (said very diplomatically, meaning not open to what science is telling us).

    Welcome to the United States of America where your reality is – whatever you want it to be.

    Extremely sad.

  7. Bill W. says:

    As a Christian engineer, here’s my answer to the creationists: Jesus, who was God incarnate, taught in parables. Why, given all the evidence to the contrary, would you assume God was speaking literally in Genesis?

  8. Peter M says:

    Kentucky is a state that in the 21st Century with a bleak future.

  9. Man has been able to avoid the worst parts of evolution for some time now due to technology (agriculture etc.).
    We subsidize those who wish to live in flood plains.
    We let people build in areas prone to fires.
    We build cities where the water needs to be transported hundreds of miles.

    We are seeing the results of survival of the stupid or audacious.

  10. Colorado Bob says:

    Stupid, like rust & gravity never sleep.

  11. Chris Winter says:

    The park “will feature a 500-foot-long wooden replica of Noah’s Ark containing live animals such as juvenile giraffes.”

    I hope they’re going to make it out of gopher wood. Anything else would be inauthentic. ;-)

  12. Sure they will have dinosaurs in that Ark Park, I’ll bet Shimkus is already planning a visit with Rohrabacher (that name could be made into a therapod hunting cry) not far behind.

    In the meantime here is a small antidote bookmark I cooked up awhile back that I can print out as many on a page as possible:

    A Richard Dawkins based bookmark

  13. Roger Wehage says:

    Also on display will be the Honest-To-Goodness Real Dinosaur Saddle.

  14. TomG says:

    A return to the dark ages. Keep the peasants stupid and they won’t stray.

    Darwinism in action?

  15. BillD says:

    Don’t worry about anyone not teaching evolution at universities, except, perhaps at extremely conservative fundamentalist schools. As someone who teaches biology and ecology, I can say that evolution is completely accepted as the most basic and key underpinning of biology (and earth’s history) by university faculty. In my view, the “creationist theme parks” are probably a reaction to the fact that creationists and intelligent design proponents have lost every where else–in the courts and in the conpetition of ideas and data in science.

    The Dover, Pa court case will make it very difficult for conservative states to promote or allow alterntives to evolution in science classes. Some individual teachers may propose that creationism has credibility, but they do that at their risk, since parents can easily bring complaints.

  16. Roger Wehage says:

    On a more serious note, perhaps NASA would send those Kentucky Creationists to the promised land a little ahead of schedule.

  17. Bob Doublin says:

    (Since no one else has done it yet)
    “Flintstones, meet the Flintstones,
    They’re a modern Stone Age familyyyyy
    From of Bedrock
    It’s a place right out of his-to-ryy.
    Let’s ride with the fam’ly down the street
    Through the cur-te-sy of Fred’s-own-feet
    When you’re with the Flintstones
    Have a yabba-dabba-do time
    A dabba-doo time
    You’ll have a gay old time!!!!”
    (All from memory, any corrections?)
    I loved the show when I was 8 but my interests have evolved (ahem) during the last 50 years.

  18. Jim Groom says:

    Wonderful news indeed. More for the rest of the world to laugh at when remembering how America used to be the world leader. I can’t help but think that the children of the idiots who expose their families to such nonsense will see the folly of their parents. I sure hope so.

    Seriously, this juvenile disregard for reality is either hilarious or tragic, depending upon your world-view. Has there been a time in the countries history when anti-intellectualism and intolerance been more pervasive? The right in this country lives on self-constructed myth, fear of demographic shifts and extreme prejudice against evolutionary science. Their ever increasing attempts to subvert science and education does not speak well of our future. I’m very concerned about the nation my grandson will find when he reaches adulthood.

  19. Bob Doublin says:

    I love those bumper stickers that ask: “When the Rapture comes, can I have your car?”
    Any of you legal scholars out there know if there’s anything fraudulent about those services that offer to walk your dog or water your plants after you’re taken up in the Rapture? The provider FULLY intends to do it, but doesn’t for a second believe it will ever happen. Just curious.

  20. TomG says:

    I had forgotten the Flintstones theme song.
    I used to watch the show all the time when I was a kid.
    Thanks Bob.

    I wonder if anyone has told these theme park people that they used to have “a gay old time” in Bedrock.

  21. peter whitehead says:

    Sadly this is not a joke. Your country is heading for theocracy. These people do not realise how much they have in common with the Taliban, Al-Q, and other Wahabi Islamists. They also reject evolution, and Copernicanism. Wait till the Tea Party decide to abolish NASA. The age of reason is ending – welcome to the Dark Ages. Everyone remembers Galileo – time to remember Giordano Bruno.

  22. I now see only a big black frame where that video clip was earlier in this CP post, anybody else the same?

  23. Lore says:

    Where’s Bam Bam when you need him!

  24. MapleLeaf says:

    Will every day at the theme park conclude with a giant flood? ;)

  25. Cinnamon Girl says:

    I dunno, maybe there is a use for a theme park where the synthetic dinosaurs are smarter than the synthetically ignorant people who visit and run the place. It evokes memory of that Married With Children episode where Kelly gets a job at a theme park. In the prelude before she gets the job, she’s shown feeding bread to a plastic duck lawn ornament, saying “What’s wrong, ducky? You haven’t touched a thing. I don’t blame you. I’m not hungry either.” Later, the groundskeeper is sweeping up the bread crumbs and he says “Who keeps feeding this duck?!” I figure the parallel is to ask of the builders/promoters/customers of this waste of land, energy, and materials: “Who keeps feeding these #ucks?”

  26. Michael Tucker says:

    Beshear thinks the earth is 6000 years old. So all radioactive half-life data must be wrong! Both can’t be true.

    Kentucky has just volunteered to receive all nuclear waste. THANKS BESHEAR!

  27. Jeff Craft says:

    Beshear is doing what is in Kentucky’s best interest. As stupid as this concept is, boatloads of people will bring boatloads of cash (pun intended) to Kentucky because of it.

    Fools and their money…

  28. Roger Wehage says:

    FYI, December is National Fruitcake Month.

  29. Steve Metzler says:

    Yeah, creationists. The people who think the Flintstones was a documentary.

    I always wonder when we’re discussing the 400,000+ year history of CO2 et. al. provided by the likes of the Vostok ice cores: if there are any creationists reading this… like, what? Do you just tune out? Put the TV on hold and go down to the 7-Eleven for a coffee?

    Not to mention the speed of light and galaxies that are demonstrably billions of years old. I suppose for the likes of the Koch brothers, billions of dollars is something they can appreciate; billions of light years, not so much. It’s all just sad that it had to come to this, and that mankind will likely go down the tubes due to collective ignorance (so shortly after enlightenment. Alas, Douglas Adams got it right).

  30. Leif says:

    Coming soon to a sky near you? You better hope not!

    But they are out there…

  31. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    If the ark will be an actual replica, it’s a great idea. This is about as close as they’ll get to doing any sort of experimental science. Challenge the museum folks to demonstrate that the animals would fit on the ark. Calculate how many different animals/kind are around now, and then have the museum build stalls for them. A zoologist could let them know how much room how much food (and room for the food) would be needed. Someone else with sanitation and ventilation…etc.

    They builders would quickly realize the ark wouldn’t fit all of the animals. They could go with a minimum number of “kind” (e.g. dog-like), but then they’d have to explain how the dog-kind evolved to become so many vastly different species (some with different chromosome numbers) in just a few thousand years–far faster evolution than what we’ve seen. hm, cat-kind is an even better example…

  32. Ed Hummel says:

    For those of you who wonder how creationists can reconcile radiation half life, the speed of light, galactic distances, etc., it’s simple: God made them all like that so that we could use the laws of science to invent things that we have today. In other words, when the heavens were created 6000 years ago, God made the light from distance stars travel at its established constant speed and look like it would if it had to travel all that distance in the time necessary to cover that distance even though in reality the light itself is only 6000 years old! At least that’s what a creationist true believer explained to me about 30 years ago when I confronted him with interstellar and intergalactic distances as well as the half life of Uranium disintigration. And this guy was a weather forecaster with a BS in Meteorology who worked in the same forecast office that I did, and there were two others working there just like him. That just gives you an idea what we’re up against.

  33. Leif says:

    Ed Hummel, @32: Holy Mackerel, then those stars and planets, perhaps even earth like planets are far closer than we rationalists realize perhaps even reachable in the life span of us travelers. As we trash out the earth, no problem, we can quickly get to one of those hundreds of others that we are discovering as we speak. Perhaps again as Douglas Adams suggests we can even give the honer to the Creationists and let go first. A reward for their insights and discoveries!

  34. Ziyu says:

    The project is a collaboration with a non-profit organization Answers in Genesis, which runs the Creation Museum in Boone County, KY. The Nation’s Chris Hayes noted on MSNBC last night that Answers in Genesis “is dedicated to portraying the Bible’s view of history. Among their claims, the Earth was created in six days, just 6,000 years ago, and that at one time, man and velociraptor co-existed peacefully.” (Of course, dinosaurs went extinct nearly 65 million years ago.) Yesterday during Beshear’s press conference announcing the plan, a Barefoot and Progressive‘s Joe Sonka asked if there will be dinosaurs at “Ark Encounter”:

    The people who believe this are sad. And not just because it’s totally bogus. These beliefs arise from a specific interpretation of the bible that the church gives that people just accept without question.
    When the universe was created, how long was 1 day? Is that an earth day as it is today? A solar day? A galactic day? A universe day? There’s no medium or units it gives to measure days so people just go ahead and assume that it’s earth days even though it never said that. Dinosaurs and people existed peacefully together, but that depends on how you define existence. Even after they’re dead and fossilized, the dinosaur technically exists. But the dumb people auto-assume it means life in the traditional sense. I can see science education is failing. People still unquestioningly accept church teachings instead of applying some thought to interpretation.

  35. Jim Groom says:

    Here is a short guiz for all. Who do these believes come from?

    The favoring of theocracy, curtailing civil liberties for a portion of the population, the embrace of torture, the repression of women, the reviling of homosexuality, the subverting of science, the hatred of teaching evolution and favoring force over diplomacy.

    The above are suppose to be the drivers of our main international enemy–Islamic radicalism–but it certainly applies as well to the American Taliban and the extreme right of our political spectrum.

    Those of us who believe in science and education are in for a bumpy ride for many years to come. The selective memory and hypocrisy of those aligned against us are very strong indeed.

  36. A face in the clouds says:

    Shoot, there’s money to be made here. A short term investment could be turned into enough money to start an evolution park down the road. In fact, one could simply put up a billboard announcing their intentions and the churches in Kentucky would buy back the land for a tidy sum. Why not? There’s no need to let the Russian mafia make all the money off of religious saps. (Sorry, God, I didn’t mean you.)

    In the meantime, please feel free to ask me about my online degree programs in language (Speaking in Tongues) and medicine (Faith Healing).

    And, Joe, I will understand if you don’t publish my comments. I think I may have even offended myself this time.

  37. Roger Wehage says:

    One should not take creationism lightly; just ask the world-renowned climate science expert Roy Spencer, Ph. D.

    Spencer is a proponent of intelligent design as the mechanism for the origin of species. On the subject, Spencer wrote in 2005, “Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as ‘fact,’ I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism. . . . In the scientific community, I am not alone. There are many fine books out there on the subject. Curiously, most of the books are written by scientists who lost faith in evolution as adults, after they learned how to apply the analytical tools they were taught in college.” In The Evolution Crisis, a compilation of five scientists who reject evolution, Spencer states: “I finally became convinced that the theory of creation actually had a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution, for the creation model was actually better able to explain the physical and biological complexity in the world… Science has startled us with its many discoveries and advances, but it has hit a brick wall in its attempt to rid itself of the need for a creator and designer.”

    Believe it or not, very little research has ever been funded to search for natural mechanisms of warming…it has simply been assumed that global warming is manmade. This assumption is rather easy for scientists since we do not have enough accurate global data for a long enough period of time to see whether there are natural warming mechanisms at work.

    It is interesting to note that, even though carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth to exist, there is precious little of it in Earth’s atmosphere. As of 2008, only 39 out of every 100,000 molecules of air were CO2, and it will take mankind’s CO2 emissions 5 more years to increase that number by 1, to 40.

    With that in mind, we shouldn’t feel too guilty loading our kids into our SUVs and tooling right on down to Kentucky’s little Jurassic Park for a tour of Noah’s Ark and a ride on those created plastic dinosaurs.

  38. There are a number of fine books that give the lie to the ramblings of Spencer on evolution and some can be found depicted on that Dawkins bookmark that I linked to in post #12 above, in particular I can recommend his latest ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, ‘The Ancestor’s Tale’ (that is a mammoth work), ‘Climbing Mount Improbable’ and ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’.

    A more condensed, but still detailed with apt examples to counter specific ID misdirection comes from an American author:

    Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A Coyne

    Spencer is sure full of bull on both fronts Roger

  39. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    I second Lionel’s book picks. With the exception of Unweaving the Rainbow I own and have read all of them. If you’re new to learning about evolution/biology, start with The Greatest Show on Earth (or Carl Zimmer’s The Tangled Bank).

    Ed…not only was your creationist friend espousing bad science, he was also guilty of bad theology/philosophy, or just poor critical thinking. That leads into the Divine Deceiver trap where God deliberately made things look old even though they were young. This fallacy has been been thoroughly debunked even by many young earth creationists (as well as by Dawkins (Blind Watchmaker (?)) and Miller (Finding Darwin’s God).

    I must admit to taking a bit of evil delight in making someone who espouses this Divine Deceiver view squirm when I ask questions and force them to follow their own statement to its logical conclusion.

  40. I hope they remember to include a couple of Neanderthals on their fantasy Ark. Or if not, perhaps that is why our cousins went extinct some 30,000 years ago.

  41. It never ceases to amaze me that the KKKristian fundaMENTALists like to limit God’s greatness to only 6,000 years of existence, not to mention refuting God’s scientific laws, which hold true throughout the universe. This truly is blasphemy!

    Although in Kentucky and the rest of the Bible Belt,there is no gravity, instead it sucks!

  42. From Peru says:


    I am a Roman Catholic, yet (as most Catholics) don`t believe the ridiculous claims of a 6000 year old Earth, a Global Flood, and creation from nothing.

    The Book of Genesis was written in an ambiguous language.Every sentence used by creationists to make their claims, could be interpreted in the opposite way also. A few examples:

    “Day” in Hebrew, Latin (and probably also Greek, but I have no ckecked the Greek Bible) could mean a 24-hour day, a 5-minute period, a week, a year, or a million years.

    “According to their kind”, the quote that the anti-science crowd uses to accuse evolution to be “contrary to scripture” is in no way in conflict with evolution. In latin and Hebrew, “specie” and ” genera” mean “split” “family” or “lineage”. What a better word for evolution could be used?

    These people claim to defend the “literal” Word of God. What they defend is just an INTERPRETATION of It. A deadly wrong, and ridiculous inrpretation. They are just a shame for every Christian with a minimum amount of grey matter.

    How could people vote for these political dinosaurs?

    The only dinosaurs in the Ark should be these anti-science crowd!

  43. Richard Brenne says:

    I’m not one of those wingnuts who think the Earth and Universe are all 6000 years old. . .when obviously they’re 6014 years old (Adam and Eve appeared 4004 BC, plus 2010 AD).

    This view totally ignores all Cosmology, Astronomy, Geology, Biology – it is a complete and utter rejection of science. So when Rand Paul and essentially all other Republican politicians say they don’t know how old Earth is in order to suck up to complete idiots, that means they’re not only complete idiots themselves, but idiot-whores.

    Fundamentalist Christians and Muslims are in a contest to see who can misunderstand their religion more.

    Historian and Author Kevin Phillips pointed out in “American Theocracy” how during WWI English clergy had their congregations sing “Onward Christian Soldiers” not with the spiritual meaning of good fighting evil, but with a literal meaning of the English Good fighting the Evil Germans.

    That is what taking spiritual texts does – it sucks any genuine spirituality out of them.

    Moving from Boulder to my hometown of Portland, Oregon we stopped in Idaho Falls and visited the Idaho State Museum and one employee told me global warming isn’t happening because she read it. When I asked “Where?” she answered – I kid you not – “I read it in a letter to the editor in Boy’s Life Magazine.”

    There was a long, awkward pause, and all I could think to answer was, “Well, I can’t argue with that kind of research.”

    Then another employee told me the Earth was 6000 years old (the museum itself was excellent), and I realized that I’d been speaking to Idaho’s intelligentsia.

    At the entrance to Mt. St. Helens about 10 miles east of I-5 a retired pastor and his wife bought a beautiful property to create the Creationist Museum. I spend a couple of hours talking to the pastor to identify what their mind-set was. They liked the catastrophe of Mt. St. Helens and the nearby Missoula Floods (about tied with a flood in Siberia for the largest in the geologic record) because they help revive a catastrophic view that they feel is consistent with the Bible.

    (Actually geology did reject catastrophic causes too much in a kind of scientific dogma as a reaction to prior religious dogma that was catastrophic, and in 1980 Luis and Walter Alvarez largely brought back an appropriate view of catastrophic impacts with their irridium-supported hypothesis that an asteroid had killed off the dinosaurs and 75 per cent of all species 65 million years ago, which is longer than 6000 or even 6014 years ago.)

    I’m quite familiar with both Mt. St. Helens and the Missoula floods and found the scholarship on those two subjects mostly sound among the couple of hundred books the museum featured.

    Then I noticed that one of the museum’s books had a picture on the cover of someone riding a dinosaur, and all I could do was spit-take my Jesus Juice.

    Which is all very funny but here’s the thing: As a species everywhere in the world and in America we have run into limits to growth, and most things are going to start contracting, including population. If we as a nation and species understand this, we can act as appropriately as possible to lessen the suffering and premature deaths of billions.

    If we have no idea what’s happening, then inevitably various religious and ethnic groups will be scapegoated in wars, torturings and genocides that could exceed the numbers of all those killed in all previous wars put together.

    That’s why it is absolutely imperative that we understand and communicate what is going on, and that this becomes accepted at least by the world’s intelligentsia, the vast majority of all teachers, writers and all other communicators.

    No place is trying harder than CP and everyone who comments here. You are our antidote to the madness. By the way, I was kidding about the 6014 year thing – more like 4.6 billion years for Earth and 13.7 billion years for the Universe, which coincidentally is how long it feels like it takes for a creationist to explain intelligent design.

  44. Emilio says:

    I hope that the site has a ginormous sinkhole having its genisis upon the completion of the exhibit, and continue to evolve, finally revealing itself when the place is packed with the morons.

  45. From Peru says:

    I have read for a while the “Answers in Genesis”(AiG) website…

    It is a mass of anti-science nonsense that makes WUWT an accurate scientific blog in comparison!

    (if you go to the AiG website, do not forget to wear a head vise, please!)

    Seriously, these far-right people have convinced nearly 40% North Americans that the Earth is just 6000 years old and the entire geologic sedimentary strata was deposited in a global flood 4000 years ago…

    So they believe that all past climate changes that we know take millions of years just happened in a few centuries. They also believe in a conspiracy of left-wing atheists to exclude the “Word of God” from the People’s knowledge.

    And, keep in mind that almost half of USA believes this madness! With these disturbing statistics, any wonder why the much less extreme pro-pollution disinformers (Anthony Watts, TVMOB, Steve Goddard, etc)have such success in make people believe that Global Warming is a left-wing conspiracy and/or is just a natural fluctuation?

    Is there any hope aganist such well organized, succesfull campaign against science?