Ark Encounter Project May Become Insolvent in Short Order

As a card-carrying YEC (voting member of the Creation Research Society), I don’t think the Ark Encounter project is viable, nor do I think it is a wise use of God’s money. I speculate it may go insolvent in short order. Just a guess….

170,000,000 for an amusement park? Do you know what guys like Rob Carter, Walter Brown, John Sanford, Don Johnson, the Discovery Institute could do with money like that?

Seeing an amusement park doesn’t make Noah any more real to me than going to Disney world makes Tinkerbell more real. Sorry for my cynicism, but that’s how I feel. Faith in the truthfulness of Noah’s flood comes elsewhere, not from big amusement parks.

Here is a photo 14:30 opening day:
https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/751127116960428032/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The other thing, in creationist circles I mingle in. I hardly hear anyone saying, “Oh I can’t wait to see the Ark.” There are lots of other places like baseball games where YEC parents are eager to take their YEC kids for fun.

Here is another observation:

A fun day at Ark Encounter’s “grand” opening.

News reports say attendance was around 4,000 today. Of course, that’s not sustainable. But let’s imagine it was. That comes out to 1,460,000 attendees in the course of a year. That’s nowhere near what they promised, it assumes there are no days the park is closed, and it assumes attendance will continue to be at least as good as on opening day with all the hype and advertising.

Here is a supposed photo of the ticket line, I have no reason to doubt its authenticity. Should I doubt it? We’ll find out if Ark Encounter goes bankrupt:
https://twitter.com/MrAtheistPants/status/751130524949905408/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

ark ticket line

Looking at some of the photos of the Ken Ham’s Ark, this looks awful.
https://twitter.com/mattstonephotog/status/751019902203523073/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
ken ham's zoo

I just as soon go to a farm or zoo if I wanted to see animals being fed. And beside zoos look more humane for animals than the cramped quarters of the ark. If you want to see the horrors Noah went through to survive the flood, the real Ark would have been the place. So the concept of this place being a fun place (an amusement park) is not so wise from the start since any semblance of what the Ark might have been like would have been one of incredible hardship.

The Ark Encounter project may do one thing, it may show how infeasible it is to feed and manage all those animals without a miracle. My reading of the flood account is that God miraculously provided for Noah in the ark to keep all those animals alive. As it said, “God shut him [Noah] in [the ark]”. The ark was miraculously protected on the inside and outside. I suspect lots of animals went into God-induced hibernation (pure speculation on my part).

So, I’m sorry, I can’t bring myself to pray for the Ark Encounter project anymore than I’d pray for an unwise endeavor. There are lots of Christian causes in much dire need of attention and money like the International Justice Mission, which I support:
https://www.ijm.org/

In some sense, I’ve desperately hoped creationists would stop supporting stuff like Ark Encounter. You want to donate to YEC or creationist causes? I recommend CRS for YEC and Discovery Institute for ID. I support both.

145 thoughts on “Ark Encounter Project May Become Insolvent in Short Order

  1. John Harshman and GlenDavidson,

    I had essentially the same thoughts, but decided to focus on a science factoid that many kids understand on graduation from from high school. I was in the fourth grade when I learned that the radioactivity of atomic fallout was halved after a certain number of years, and halved again after the same number of years, …, and never went away entirely. That’s a very strong memory for me, perhaps as a consequence of the “Duck and Cover” anxiety of kids in the Fifties and Sixties. And that’s perhaps the reason that Salvador’s insinuation that radioactivity “goes away” grabbed me.

    John Harshman: As I think about it, it seems to me that this may be the craziest thing Sal has ever said. And I say that even though I know there are a great many other candidates.

    Think of the implied scenario here: Somebody comes along, drills a hole into solid 65ma rock, drops in a puppy, and fills in the hole with rock. And not just that puppy, as this is apparently proposed as the explanation for the entire fossil record: billions upon billions of holes for billions upon billions of puppies. Of course it also completely contradicts the flood theory too, but internal inconsistency isn’t really the part that makes this a winner.

    It’s somewhat crazier than that. The holes are drilled to different strata for different biota, strikingly consistent with phylogenies constructed from molecular data. Of course, Salvador dismisses a huge volume of data by pointing to a geological anomaly. An exception disproves a theorem, so it must be the same with a theory — right? Isn’t falsification the same thing as disproof?

    GlenDavidson: Poor old Satan had quite a job to do, didn’t he?

    Or if not, I can’t make any sense of Sal’s claim at all. With Satan it’s pathetic, but at least not utterly senseless.

    Well, some Christians say that Satan did not rebel against God until after the creation, and perhaps did the work of creation for God. With intimate knowledge of microbiology, it would have been much easier for him to figure out later where to plant the fossils. But it still seems like an awful lot of work for the Great Deceiver to do, considering his unbounded capacity to cloud the judgment of unbelievers like you and me. He assigned a demon the job of possessing Darwin, you know. I’ve never seen a similar claim about Wallace. But, by the Principle of Parsimony, Wallace must also have been possessed.

    Sarcasm aside, I grew up hearing, over and over, that God tests our faith. When you have doubts, pray for understanding. In retrospect, I see that as inexcusable simplemindedness, born of cowardice. But I do not see it as deceitful. No matter that I grew up in a conservative Christian environment, and had my head filled with garbage, I never encountered anyone remotely like Salvador Cordova. I insist that it’s wrong to attribute his behavior to Christianity.

  2. Do you know what guys like Rob Carter, Walter Brown, John Sanford, Don Johnson, the Discovery Institute could do with money like that?

    Speaking of crazy.

    Are all of the other guys YECs (not necessarily crazy)?

    Robert Carter: “Young-earth creation is the only way to have both science and the Bible.”

    Walter T. Brown (Aug 1937) is a young earth creationist, who is the director of his own ministry called the Center for Scientific Creation.”

    Don Johnson: ‘After my first Ph.D. in chemistry, back in 1970, I encountered a creationist scientist who challenged me to look at the facts differently. At that time I believed that people who believed in 6-day creation and the strict biblical account had their heads in the sand and didn’t really have much intelligence, because obviously they were ignoring all this “body of facts”. When I actually looked at the evidence properly, my first thought was “this can’t be”, and then I was angry that I was deceived in so many ways for so long.’

    Three of the four have retired from their professions. It’s interesting that Salvador would funnel the money to them.

    As for the Discovery Institute, the most effective employee it ever had, Casey Luskin, makes a big point on his website of not being a YEC:

    I am very interested in whether nature displays scientific evidence of purpose and intelligent design (ID). Note: This is different from young earth creationism; I accept that the universe and earth are billions of years old and I am not a young earth creationist.

    From 2005 to 2015, I worked full time in Seattle, Washington with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, the largest intelligent design organization. As of December 31, 2015, I am no longer a staff member at Discovery Institute as I am pursuing a lifelong goal of furthering my studies.

    Perhaps the DI, which indicated in its last nonprofit filing that it had spent 22 percent more than it had brought in, has started making nice with YECs, in order to gain funding. It is perhaps uncoincidental that Bill Dembski, who pissed off YECs with The End of Christianity, “retired” from ID about the same time that Luskin left the DI.

    Edited to change “25 percent” to “22 percent” after taking the exact figures from lines 12 and 18 of the DI’s Form 990 for 2013. It’s been a while since I checked for filings, so there may be data available now for 2014.

    ETA: In 2014, the expenses of the DI were 5 percent less than its revenue, which rebounded (but was still somewhat less than its revenue in 2012). Its net assets at the end of the year would have covered 9 months of its operations.

  3. Adapa: Well, there is a certain less than honest YEC who on other science discussion boards earned the nickname “the human shit stain” for good reason.See if you can figure out who.🙂

    Gee, what I remember is:

    You cottage cheese dripping pussy. You lack the courage of your convictions. You, who wont publish under your real name. You, who only accidentally let your Uni know about your ‘activities’. You, who can lie until everyone within a 50 mile radius of you is covered in milky slime without losing the ‘respect’ of your peers and superiors in Creationist World. You, who has a lifetime-job-guarantee from any well funded Creationist or Dominionist organization for the rest of your life.

    And as for people knowingly misleading people, you need to look no further than your loser friend who sold his soul for a shot at fame, Michael F. Behe. Unlike him, I actually consulted relevant experts before I published my essay. Of course the Usual Suspects, but HIV researchers, including last authors on Vpu papers (Who got back to me within 24 hours! Scientists are nice people!). The only logical conclusion from F. Behes exquisite book and the stunning silence my essay has received from the Creationist Community is that every damn one of you creeps is knowingly misleading people for your own sick pleasure.

    Run back to your sewer, you disgusting lump of a human.

  4. It is perhaps uncoincidental that Bill Dembski, who pissed off YECs with The End of Christianity, “retired” from ID about the same time that Luskin left the DI.

    For the record, I don’t know what happened to Bill. I actually learned of Bill retiring from ID by reading the announcement at TSZ. Didn’t read, don’t own a copy of that book by Bill.

    Bill is a friend, was an inspiration, but I have moved on from his CSI concept. I felt Patrick/Mathgrrl proved his/her point that no one could figure out how to actually apply it. Since CSI is part of how Bill’s versions of NFL and conservation arguments are framed, I have little hope the derivations and results can be reduced to analytical practice even if true.

    Are all of the other guys YECs (not necessarily crazy)?

    I don’t know about Don Johnson, PhD PhD being a YEC. I wasn’t aware of that quote. He worked on recombinant DNA and is a computer scientist. Smart. Programming of Life is my most recommended video.

    Rob Carter did some genetic engineering. Was among the first to make glowing fish through transgenic engineering.

    The DI aren’t YECs. That’s ok. I was an IDist and OEC before becoming a YEC.

    You’re reading too much into what’s happening, imho. Starting to sound like Gregory.

    John Sanford

    Well, probably one the most influential applied geneticists on the planet, at least in the 1980-1990s time frame.

    See:

    http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1167048

    It’s interesting that Salvador would funnel the money to them.

    Why? Would you prefer I send it to Ken Ham or Kent Hovind? I listed them because I liked their work. There is one non-creationist I like:

    http://www.flinders.edu.au/science_engineering/caps/staff-postgrads/info/cahill-r/process-physics/

    I should have listed evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg. I like his work to.

    And a new comer, former atheist, turned Christian, former curator and practicing paleontologists Gunter Bechley.

    Bechly’s research as palaeoentomologist is mainly focussed on the evolution, phylogeny, and fossil history of odonates and other basal pterygotes, and fossil insects from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Plattenkalk of Germany and the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil, as well as diverse amber inclusions. Bechly described about 167 new species and numerous higher taxa, including a phylogenetic re-classification of dragonflies and damselflies. The description of the new fossil insect order Coxoplectoptera in 2011 provided new clues to the evolution of insect wings and received a broad international media coverage.[3]

    In 2009 Bechly organized as project leader the special exhibition “Der Fluss des Lebens – 150 Jahre Evolutionstheorie” at Rosenstein Castle, which attracted over 90.000 visitors and was one of the largest events of the “Darwin Year” celebrations in Germany. The concept for this exhibition was among the winners of the idea competition “Evolution heute” by the German VolkswagenStiftung in 2008.[4]

    Bechly has made several appearances on German TV.[5]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BCnter_Bechly

    But now he’s in our camp. Bwahaha!

  5. Tom,

    Edited to change “25 percent” to “22 percent” after taking the exact figures from lines 12 and 18 of the DI’s Form 990 for 2013. It’s been a while since I checked for filings, so there may be data available now for 2014.

    You can find the DI’s 2014 Form 990 here.

    Some interesting compensation data for 2012-2014:

    Stephen Meyer:
    2012   $180,000
    2013   $200,000
    2014   $200,000

    Bill Dembski:
    2012   None reported
    2013   $115,500
    2014   None reported

    David Berlinski:
    2012   $100,782
    2013   $115,000
    2014   None reported

    George Gilder:
    2012   $120,000
    2013   $166,500
    2014   $120,000

  6. stcordova,

    So Bechley now thinks his life’s work is based on nonsense? Just goes to show.

    ‘Former atheists’, ‘former evolutionists’ – they’re the best! Nothing like parading a few of them to show it’s not just indoctrination from birth.

  7. keiths,

    I’ll take a slice of that action! I have just discovered a fatal flaw in evolutionary theory … former atheist and evolutionist nobody Allan Miller sez …

  8. From Bechly’s (no e) page:

    ” I am a German scientist (paleo-entomologist), specialized on the fossil history and systematics of insects (esp. dragonflies), the most diverse group of animals.

    I am also a conservative, evangelical Christian, who supports Intelligent Design Theory and Biblical Creation. I strongly reject secularism, materialism, naturalism, and scientism. “

    And, somehow, cognitive dissonance is a stranger to me.

    But then … I have not become a Christian in spite of being a scientist but because of it. My conversion was purely based on a critical evaluation of empirical data and philosophical arguments, following the evidence wherever it leads.

  9. the hierarchically ordered pattern of similarity between organisms, and the orderly pattern of biogeographic distribution, could be well explained without common descent by progressive creationism with the following metaphysical assumption: a logical order of forms (templates) in the divine mind, based on pattern-cladistic maximization of information content, was instantiated or emanated in the spatio-temporal realm in a way that reflects this divine order (I borrowed this idea from a private talk with Rick Sternberg).

    http://gbechly.jimdo.com/world-view/intelligent-design/
    Likewise that invisible pink unicorn could well explain the observed patterns. I wonder how many cardboard pyramids this guy get’s through a year. FMM, Sal, how many do you wear out in a typical year?

  10. Strange that Sal claims him as one of his own. They share Christian faith, but not much else. I wonder where he stands on Da Fludde?

  11. Bechly again: “Young Earth Creationism arguably has to deny much of well-established science in modern cosmology, geology, and biology. Contrary to OEC it cannot easily explain the orderly pattern of stratigraphical and biogeographical distribution of fossil and recent organisms, and it has to assume an extremely fast evolution of the numerous fossil and recent species from the few natural kinds that found place on Noah’s ark. Nevertheless, YEC in my view is a highly respectable position, because it is consistent and plausible for a devout Christian to give God’s infallible word the priority over fallible human science. “

    Wrong in every respect, but respectable ‘cos what could be more holy than dogged denial in the teeth of all evidence? I do sometimes think people adopt YEC as some kind of penance – they think God will reward their dogged sticking-to-guns. And how can I say he won’t?

  12. Allan Miller: I do sometimes think people adopt YEC as some kind of penance – they think God will reward their dogged sticking-to-guns

    Yeah, that’s why I’d like to know what Sal thinks will happen to OECs re: Sal’s wager: Will they burn in hell? Will they go to heaven but have a lower status in the divine hierarchy than YECs, like YEC’s slaves maybe?

  13. Allan Miller: …YEC in my [Bechly’s] view is a highly respectable position, because it is consistent and plausible for a devout Christian to give God’s infallible word the priority over fallible human science.

    Allan quotes a YEC whose religious belief trumps reality. Fair enough, if your beliefs are more important than being able to examine the world about us dispassionately, it’s a choice I can understand that some make. But Sal? To claim that he is attracted to the YEC belief because of how he interprets reality? That the evidence leads him there? Just takes my breath away.

  14. Alan Fox,

    Allan quotes a YEC […]

    Bechly’s actually OEC, but is expressing sympathy for the YEC position. He’d like to place the Bible above all else, but there’s this nagging problem of a scientific education and career …

  15. keiths: Bill Dembski:
    2012 None reported
    2013 $115,500
    2014 None reported

    I supplied a link to the 2014 Form 990 in the second edit to my comment above. But now I’m being asked to subscribe when I click on it. Anyway…

    Erasmus Communications, listed as a contractor receiving about $120 thousand in 2014, is Bill and Jana Dembski. I’ve seen Dembski indicate here and there that he’s worked on educational software. He evidently contributed to the DI’s online course for home-schooled children. Note also the right column where you see Meyer’s salary. That’s a cool $16 thousand in “other compensation.”

  16. Allan Miller:
    Alan Fox,

    Bechly’s actually OEC, but is expressing sympathy for the YEC position. He’d like to place the Bible above all else, but there’s this nagging problem of a scientific education and career …

    Oops DNRCE but I’m still gobsmacked by Sal claiming he is led to the YEC worldview by evidence.

  17. Adapa: Don’t worry Mung.We always have you to pull the IQ average down andback to normal.

    I’ve noted before that when Mung spends more time at UD than here the average IQ of both sites increases.

  18. Alan Fox,

    Oops DNRCE but I’m still gobsmacked by Sal claiming he is led to the YEC worldview by evidence.

    I’m prepared to think that’s what he thinks. Many not-exactly-thick people have a strong contrarian streak. See Fred Hoyle FE.

    Interesting that Bechly thinks the difference between YEC and OEC is hardly worth bothering about, united as they are against materialism and scientism. Interesting too that he pretty much swallowed everything the DI shoved his way, with props to every one of the leading lights. He may have had to dislocate his jaw initially, but then it went down OK.

    Oh hang on, I clean forgot I’m now an ex-evolutionist myself, hoping for a slice of the DI pie. Did you know there is C14 in coal … ? 🙂

  19. Patrick: I’ve noted before that when Mung spends more time at UD than here the average IQ of both sites increases.

    But that’s not ad hominem coming from someone who is supposed to be a moderator. You’re not fit to be a moderator Patrick.

  20. keiths: it licenses us to do the same, including with regard to the New Testament.

    It would be a nice change to see you drop your insistence on a woodenly literal reading of the New Testament.

    Maybe all this “son of Man” and “second coming” stuff was just allegorical. Better not to go there.

    As usual, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  21. Mung: But that’s not ad hominem coming from someone who is supposed to be a moderator. You’re not fit to be a moderator Patrick.

    That’s not ad hominem at all, it’s simply a rather convoluted insult. An ad hominem is an instance where the substance of an argument is rejected based on who made the argument, rather than on the argument itself. A true ad hominem would be something like “the sky isn’t blue because Mung, who claimed it’s blue, is a lousy parent.”

  22. Flint,

    You’re trying to teach things to Mung… brave guy you are. Yes, the same Mung that just called Keiths out for “a woodenly literal reading of the New Testament” and the next thing you know he’s calling him out for saying it might be allegorical

  23. dazz:
    Flint,

    You’re trying to teach things to Mung… brave guy you are. Yes, the same Mung that just called Keiths out for “a woodenly literal reading of the New Testament” and the next thing you know he’s calling him out for saying it might be allegorical

    I guess you gotta watch out for these woodenly literal allegories, because they can be tricky when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  24. At the end of the day understanding the Bible is all too easy: you just need to find the right guy to provide the right interpretation in bible studies of a book written by some guys who claim to speak in the name of these other guys who claimed to have met a guy who claimed to be the son of the the god who previously wrote another book for guys that don’t believe what the former guys wrote about that Jesus guy.

  25. stcordova

    Think again about this photo, the smooth layers at the bottom suggest the accumulation wasn’t over hundreds of millions of years. It is the reverse of what long age theory would predict.

    I’ll see your “smooth layers” and raise you this formation.

    Go ahead Sal, tell us how Da FLUD formed this.

  26. Tom:

    Allan, you’re hopeless. You’re an ex-Darwinist with DVD series to sell, not an ex-evolutionist with pamphlets to give away.

    But Allan can learn all of this and more, for the incredibly low price of $9,999, in my new course, How to Fleece the ID Rubes for Fun and Profit.

  27. Adapa: Go ahead Sal, tell us how Da FLUD formed this.

    Ha ha, you lose. No matter how you look at it, some of the fossils are going to be in the wrong order for evolution. Sal wins.

  28. Tom English,

    The pamphlet has all the subscription details. I’m starting with the Anomaly Of The Month Club. Builds up steadily until you have nothing but anomalies.

  29. Besides, wouldn’t lower layers be under greater compression for longer periods of time? Seems intuitive to me this would have a progressively more smoothing effect.

  30. Allan,

    The pamphlet has all the subscription details. I’m starting with the Anomaly Of The Month Club.

    Issue #1: Puppy Holes!

  31. Rumraket,

    I think it’s simply a combination of perspective and different erosional behaviour of different rock types. If you ground the vertical surface flat, much of the supposedly anomalous layering would disappear.

  32. It also makes sense that they are moving to the next stage of the project given the recent ‘ID has won’ thread at UD.

    EDIT: oops, wrong thread! 😛

  33. OMagain:
    It also makes sense that they are moving to the next stage of the project given the recent ‘ID has won’ thread at UD.
    EDIT: oops, wrong thread!

    How can you tell?

  34. Flint: A true ad hominem would be something like “the sky isn’t blue because Mung, who claimed it’s blue, is a lousy parent.”

    LoL.

  35. dazz: Yes, the same Mung that just called Keiths out for “a woodenly literal reading of the New Testament” and the next thing you know he’s calling him out for saying it might be allegorical

    Another failure in reasoning. Is it something in the water here?

  36. Adapa: I’ll see your “smooth layers” and raise you this formation.

    Go ahead Sal, tell us how Da FLUD formed this.

    I just want to know how Satan stuck those vehicles deep inside 350 million year old rock.

  37. llanitedave: I just want to know how Satan stuck those vehicles deep inside 350 million year old rock.

    If he can dig puppy holes he can also dig pickup truck holes. 🙂

    Sal seems to have flounced from the thread as soon as questions on his geology claims / knowledge came up. It’s the same pattern we see from him. every time evidence to refute his YEC stupidity is introduced.

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