A company associated with the Christian apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis has announced plans to build a full-scale replica of Noah’s ark in Grant County, Ky., southwest of Cincinnati.
The 500-foot ark will serve as the main attraction in a theme park to be constructed by Ark Encounter LLC, a partnership headed by AIG.
Despite the economic stimulus the park is expected to provide, critics have condemned the project as a potential violation of the separation of church and state.
The Louisville Courier-Journal quoted attorney David Tachau:
“It certainly sounds as if the mechanism for supporting a particular religious dogma would violate the establishment of religious prohibitions in the state and federal constitutions, but there may be slippery ways this could pass muster.”
“We see increasingly in our nation a generation of kids who don’t hear about the Bible anymore in the schools,” said Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, the ministry that runs the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky, about 40 miles from the planned location of the ark.
“We believe that rebuilding Noah’s ark out of wood according to the dimensions in the Bible would be a tremendous way to get people to think about the Bible and that particular story,” Ham explained.
“People have heard about Noah’s ark all around the world. There’s been a lot of interest in the searches for the ark on Mt. Ararat. In a survey a year ago by CBS and Vanity Fair, 43 percent of people said the archaeological object they’d most like to see is Noah’s Ark,” Ham told WND.
The target date for opening the $150 million park is the spring of 2014. Initial studies project as many as 1.6 million visitors to the park in the first year of operation.