Wonders they say, shall never end! One of the latest wonders on our desk is that someone has spent almost 100 million US Dollars to construct a replica of Noah’s Ark, in the bid to prove that stories in the Bible are true, and should be believed.
The mastermind of the venture is an Australian man known as Ken Ham, founder and president of a fundamentalist Christian group called ‘Answers in Genesis’.
Back in 2010, Ken Ham, who believes everything in the Bible should be taken literally, announced that his organisation, Answers in Genensis would construct the 510-foot-long ship in Kentucky. According to him, they “want to challenge people that Noah wasn’t a primitive brute; he was very intelligent”.
Since after the proposal, scientists have been arguing that it would be detrimental to children’s education – taking particular umbrage with the fact that it was granted state tax incentives.
However, Ken Ham and his organisation have succeeded in making their dream a reality. The finished ark is situated inside a unique US amusement park that has just opened its doors for the first time in Kentucky.
The ark was launched Tuesday, July 5th amidst great fanfare, and a high school marching band performance, with about 7,000 visitors in attendance.
In a speech delivered by Ham at the opening ceremony, he said:
“In a world that is becoming increasingly secularized and biased, it’s time for Christians to do something of this size and magnitude. I believe this is going to be one of the greatest Christian outreaches of this era in history.”
The Noah’s Ark of our time, called Ark Encounter, is based on the Old Testament tale about a man who got a warning from God that a flood would destroy the world. Ham says the ark will now stand as proof that stories in the Bible are true.
The ark is 510 foot long and stand 80 feet high, and will be able to accommodate 16,000 guests per day.
It also has an inbuilt gift shop. Donations for the project poured in from all 50 states and Ham hopes to attract at least two million visitors in the first year of operation.
Inside the Ken Ham’s Noah’s ark – the largest timber-framed building in the world, are several exhibits featuring Noah and his family and the animals the Bible says he rescued.
Apart from many of the cages, Ham has included replica dinosaurs that are caged up because it is his, and other fundamentalist Christians’, contention that humans and dinosaurs co-existed for some time.
Ken Ham is still harboring plans to build a Walled City from the Tower of Babel, a first-century Middle Eastern village, as well as a walk-through aviary and a large petting zoo.