Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kentucky plans Creationist Theme Park "Ark Encounter"

Ark Encounter Theme Park in Kentucky
A planned creationist theme park in Kentucky, "Ark Encounter", which will feature a 500-foot-long wooden replica of Noah’s Ark containing live animals such as juvenile giraffes, is projected to cost $150 million. The park, to be located on 800 acres in Grant County off Interstate 75, also will include a Walled City, live animal shows, a replica of the Tower of Babel, a 500-seat special-effects theater, an aviary and a first-century Middle Eastern village.

The main forces behind the theme park are Ark Encounters LLC, the young-earth creationist ministry Answers in Genesis, which already operates a Creation "Museum" in northern Kentucky, and the governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear. The theme park will receive state tourism development incentives.

The Kentucky governor Beshear touted the benefits of the park to the state's economy by creating an expected 900 full- and part-time jobs after its completion and attract 1.6 million visitors in the first year. Nevertheless, I think it is very questionable if a governor endorses a religious project (aka separation of church and state) - not to speak of the highly questionable message of young-earth-creationists. The Ark Encounter park and the Creationist museum aim to present creationism as scientifically valid alternative to evolution.

Understanding evolution is central to understanding modern biology. 50% of US americans already reject the idea of evolution. National and international studies (see PISA study 2010) report that the US keeps falling further behind in science education. Projects like this creationist theme park and the creationist museum are certainly not helping to increase scientific literacy in the US.

Controversy over proposed creationist theme park | NCSE

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