In this series of posts, I will walk you through the Ark Encounter, then the Creation Museum and give you my impressions of both exhibits. In the next three posts, my plan is to walk you through each of the Ark’s three decks which are themed according to pre-flood, flood, and post-flood exhibits respectively. Then, I will follow with a post or two on the Creation Museum.
You can get a combo pass to both exhibits for $60 which gives you a full day to explore the Ark and 2 days to explore the Creation Museum. Joel and I went to both in a single day.
We arrived at the Ark Encounter around 10 am and disembARKed a few hours later before we headed for the Creation Museum. The two sites are about 45 minutes apart. We stayed at the Best Western in Georgetown about 40 minutes south of The Ark Encounter — hotel rates were cheaper and it was meeting point close to equidistant from our homes in Ontario and Alabama.
Upon arrival, I will admit that I was a little disappointed that there were no protestors singing “Big Wooden Boat” when I arrived at Ken Ham’s parking lot. Having arrived early, we waited in a short line to purchase our tickets to both exhibits. From entry to exit, the Ark Encounter staff were cheerful, friendly, and helpful.
From the ticket booth, visitors board a bus which takes you closer to the Ark but still leaves you a bit of walk. As a father of a son in a wheelchair, I noted that they had wheelchairs available at the place where the bus drops you off. The whole exhibit is spacious and wheelchair accessible. However, if it is raining, bring an umbrella because you will still need to walk to the Ark after you get off the bus. They may also have umbrellas for visitors to borrow but our visit was on a gorgeous Kentucky morning. Kentucky is a beautiful state.
We took our time getting to the Ark. It is impressive and the sheer size of it is worth taking in for a few moments. There are a couple of really good vantage points for taking photos which are indicated on the map that you receive when you purchase your tickets.
The one door which is massive from the inside appears minuscule on the side of the ship. If you go be sure to take a photo of the door from the outside and then again from the inside. In this way, you will be able to get a sense of the scale of this project. Have some fun with it!Unfortunately, the side of the ship already appears to be weather worn and I do not think this look is intentional. You just can’t get quality Gopher Wood these days. (N.B. Nobody knows what kind of wood “gopher” wood is. Also, the name has no connection to the rodent of the same name. “Gopher” is the transliteration of the Hebrew word but the identity of the wood has been forgotten. Or maybe Noah used the last of the gopher wood in building his Ark.)
Both externally and internally, Ken Ham’s Ark is an impressive architectural work. Both Joel and I commented a number of times that if it weren’t for the propagandistic agenda, the ridiculous pseudo-scientific and pseudo-historical claims that underly the exhibits, the Ark Encounter could be a really cool attraction. In other words, if someone simply said, “Hey, I’m going to make a life-size version of Noah’s Ark, fill it with animals, and offer a creative, artistic interpretation of the biblical narrative.”, then that would make for a pretty awesome themed attraction. Yet, despite Ken Ham’s claims to be biblical and historical, it is precisely his unbiblical, ahistorical, claims that detract from a potentially solid and enduring attraction.
As I will suggest in upcoming posts, some of Answers in Genesis‘s suggestions regarding the water supply and waste disposal are ingenious and creative. Indeed, they are fun to speculate about until you remember that Ken Ham and his team of self-proclaimed “creation scientists” want you to accept these fun speculative solutions as plausible historical and scientific facts. Yet, ultimately, as Biblical language functions for the teaching of Answers in Genesis itself, so the Ark is an impressive structure that gives its unbiblical, ahistorical, and unscientific contents a Biblical and Christian veneer.
Next Post: #POPChrist Goes to the Ark Encounter Part II: The First Deck
Related Posts: Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis Posts
See Joel Edmund Anderson’s post about our trip to Hamland on his blog resurrecting orthodoxy