Kentucky ‘Creationist Theme Park’ gets preliminary OK for tax incentives

Earlier this month, I reported that the Kentucky creationism theme park set to open in 2014 will “include dinosaurs.” The park “will feature a 500-foot-long wooden replica of Noah’s Ark containing live animals such as juvenile giraffes.”  It will also include “a replica of the Tower of Babel with exhibits.”

Now TPM — the source of this photo illustration and the great name “Park of the Covenant“– reports:

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority has granted preliminary approval for a creationist theme park to get up to $37 million in tax incentives, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The theme park — dubbed Ark Encounter — is backed by both Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) and Answers in Genesis, a Christian organization that also built a similar attraction, the Creation Museum.

In the news release announcing the plans, Beshear touted that the park would create around 900 jobs and bring 1.6 million tourists to the state in its first year. Those numbers were based on a feasability study, commissioned by Ark Encounters LLC — a study that state officials, including Beshear, reportedly never actually saw.

The tax incentives could subsidize up to 25 percent of the project. As part of the incentives, the state would return the sales tax on costs such as food, admission and gift sales.

The National Center for Science Education asserts of creationism thatstudents who accept this material as scientifically valid are unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level.”

23 Responses to Kentucky ‘Creationist Theme Park’ gets preliminary OK for tax incentives

  1. Anne van der Bom says:

    Does Disney get tax breaks for their fairy-tale theme parks?

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    Did they ate the dinos during the deluge?

  3. Anne van der Bom says:

    No, these were removed from later tablets by ClayShop Pro!

  4. Ziyu says:

    Whatever happened to the first amendment? Does the need for religious righteousness really trump the Constitution?

  5. From Peru says:

    “The theme park — dubbed Ark Encounter — is backed by both Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) and Answers in Genesis, a Christian organization that also built a similar attraction, the Creation Museum.”

    “Steve Beshear (D)”… (D)?!?!

    Is a Democrat?! If so he should be expelled from the Party right now!

    Seriously. AiG is one of the most anti-scientific organizations.Their campaign of disinformation is breathtaking. They want us to believe that the Earth is just 6000 years old and a global flood covered the entire planet 4000 years ago creating the geologic column …

    I think this people should be put in their “ark” as one of the species of dinosaurs in the exhibitions!
    (no offense to dinosaurs intended)

  6. I. Snarlalot Theisdaise says:

    Hmm. Oh dear, promoting stupidity is good for the economy? Then we should be in better shape than we are. Seems like we already have a surplus.

    If deniers insist on being Orwellian, and if up is down and black is white, then science is really religion and should be tax exempt while denialism is secular and shouldn’t.

  7. Lionel A says:

    What silliness.

    I guess the Beshearadocus will attend the opening and with a bit of luck will become a permanent exhibit.

  8. Adam R. says:

    I think I’m starting to see the plan: return America to the Dark Ages before the climate catastrophe so we won’t have to deal with the culture shock at the same time we’re starving to death.

    It’s an adaptation strategy.

  9. Prokaryotes says:

    Creation Museum’s 1st visitor? Bill Maher
    Comedian sneaks peek at new $30 million tribute to biblical view

    You can watch his visit here

    Bill Maher’s take on the current state of world religion.

  10. Prokaryotes says:

    Researchers: Ancient human remains found in Israel

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.
    A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said Monday they found teeth about 400,000 years old. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half that old.

    Archaeologist Avi Gopher said Monday further research is needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, “this changes the whole picture of evolution.”

  11. Is this the time to say “Your tax dollars at work”?


  12. Jim Groom says:

    It is amazing what American politicians will do in the name of jobs. Perhaps the locals in Kentucky need something to do for amusement besides watching basketball. I may be wrong, but I believe that most of the children that are taken to the ‘park’ by their parents will see through the nonsense and question the smarts of the grownups. ???

  13. Ray Kondrasuk says:

    Charlie Pierce (from NPR’s “Wait-Wait-Don’t Tell Me!”) has a delightful chapter about the creation theme park in his book “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of The Free”.

  14. Robert J. Guercio says:

    I’m embarrassed!

  15. Bill Butler says:

    The best weapon against creationists is to drive home the point that they are scientifically ignorant. Creationists are not capable of understanding evidence, but they understand if/when they are publically ridiculed. This won’t change their “minds”, but it will cause them to be less arrogant, and buy additional time for the educational system to work.

    Here’s an example of public ridicule:
    ( 34,000 hits via )

    The web link for my name goes to “Creationism = Willful Ignorance”
    Currently number one in Google if you search using:
    ignorant creationists

  16. David B. Benson says:


  17. Steve says:

    Can they at least make the park energy efficient. Noah didn’t have eelctricity on his ark.

  18. PurpleOzone says:

    My Dad just picked a fight with his great-grandson, a Liberty baptist attendee, over how Noah got all those animals on the ark. The ggson explained that it didn’t have to all varieties: one pair of bears will do, don’t need brown bears, black bears, polar bears…

    I wonder what it feels like to be so smart about being so stupid.

  19. Bob Doublin says:

    Reminds me of the comment someone made in an article debunking the Creationist silliness about the way the fossil record appears the way it does: I guess oak trees are higher up in the record than dinosaurs because they were able to run faster uphill in trying to escape it.
    Speaking of nuts: Can anyone recommend a good article debunking Benjamin Creme (or Cremo) the big brave Forbidden Archaeologist (and I think ISKCON fundamentalist)? He’s written Forbidden Archaeology.

  20. Bob Doublin says:

    My apologies.It’s MICHAEL Cremo.Hard to keep the cranks straight.

  21. Ray Kondrasuk says:

    An eloquent guest on Wisconsin Public Radio was confronted by an obviously conservative caller who asked the guest’s opinion about the Creationist Museum.

    I still smile at his disarming answer.

    He responded, more or less, that creationism renders shallow, simplistic, limited and downright boring a subject which is endlessly fascinating.

  22. One Investegator says:

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.. just ask Myrtle Beach south Carolina how many Jobs the $400 million dollar Hard Rock Park created.. in less that 7 months the park crashed and burned.. according to court documents, the park drew less than 400,000 visitors the first year! Finally sold to a Russian entertainment company for $25 million dollars and just so happens that park FreeSTyle Park is bankrupt and millions in debt. Both of these offered Jobs,Jobs and Jobs as well as local economic impact.. Well they got the impact, many local companies that had provided services and goods are left holding the bag and in court for Non Payment.. Millions have been lost and all with with the Governor originally suggested Jobs, Jobs and more jobs!

    Now are you folks donating to build the ARK? Although they claim the $25millon they will collect in donations will be Tax Deductible the question is, what will happen to that money when the ARK sinks.. Will Ken Ham just increase their Executive pay now exceeding $3 million dollars… I”ll just bet you that money will not be returned to the donnars.. How about you..

  23. Esop says:

    #22 (One): considering the mindless stupidity and anti-science preferences of many in the US (and increasingly also elsewhere), I would not be surprised if the theme park does quite well.
    It seems that evolution has reached a point where it can be argued that an increasing number of groups are actually devolving.