|Oy, When Canadians Imitate Bad American Ideas: The Ark Encounter
||[Sep. 21st, 2016|09:06 pm]
So this guy Ken Ham, who believes stuff happened in the real world exactly as it's described in the Bible, has constructed a boat-shaped building, a "replica" of Noah's Ark, that is apparently based on the specifications in the Bible. He says it's the largest timber-framed building in the world. I don't know why anyone would care about that, but people like different things. I'm sure there aren't many who would be as excited as I was to see a 1300 copy of the Magna Carta.|
Of course, the ark can't be built exactly to the specs in the Bible, because building laws won't let it, so it's got steel and concrete. It was built with construction machinery. I have read that the shape of the bow was invented a lot more recently than six thousand years ago, and also that a wooden boat of that size wouldn't be sea-worthy. Inside are a bunch of stuffed animals, some human figures, a lot of guesstimations about how the animals were fed, what was done with the waste, and what Noah's family were like. Really deep stuff like that one of the wives enjoyed looking her best and dressing up. There are also attempts to explain creationism with science-esque language. Outside is a petting zoo and a ... zip line? There are future plans for a Tower of Babel, a town along the lines of what existed pre-flood, and something else I can't remember right now. It cost $100 million to make. Parking is $10 and the fees are $40 for adults and $28 for kids, which I think is scandalously high.
Why it's a bad idea: I really don't care whether this thing flops or not, but it seems that it is. While Ham is claiming that there have been more than 300,000 visitors since the boat opened in July, there is no photographic evidence to support this. There were something over 5,000 on the first and second day, but Ham and his supporters keep using the photographs from those first two days as evidence of high attendance since then. This picture is from the first day, and a lot of those in attendance were press. http://www.afterthealtarcall.com/2016/09/21/check-out-a-life-sized-version-of-noahs-ark/ By the way, that picture is part of a post that was put up today, but the post doesn't make it clear the photo was from that first day.
Also, notice that big water stain near the bow of the boat? And then that discoloration? That can't be a good sign.
The parking lot is massive. Someone sent a drone over it, and I read that it was meant to accommodate 4,000 vehicles. Ham has a very close photo showing a few hundred cars, and he keeps using that photo to demonstrate ongoing attendance. If that parking lot had a lot of visitors, he would use a longer angle. Most photos and videos show maybe a dozen or so vehicles. Also, the area where tickets are to be bought has one of those mazes in front of it to organize the visitors, and every picture I've seen has only a few dozen at one end and all the rest of the lanes left empty. Every video on youtube, including from those who support the ark project, show very few visitors. One guy spent two minutes showing different parts of the building and in that time only one other person crossed the screen. Things may pick up, except we're heading into winter, when people are less inclined to travel. Many who have visited the building say that, while it was nice to see once, it's unlikely to be something people will visit more than once. Ham seems to believe that the boat will draw in non-religious people and convert them, but I can't really see atheists or agnostics being willing to fork over that much cash to look at a building and a bunch of stuffed animals. They certainly wouldn't go more than once.
Anyway, that was a very long introduction to the Canadian bit. Because of course there is someone who has sought and gotten approval to build an ark theme park or whatever in Saskatchewan. (Big flat prairie province in the middle of Canada.) Without waiting to see if the Ark Encounter in Kentucky is even going to work. The person behind the scheme is described in the headline as a Chinese merchant, and he apparently has built a similar park in China. This article, however, involves only Marc L’Hoir, the manager of a nearby cemetery. He thinks the park will be good for business for the cemetery. Seriously.
The article is kind of hilarious. L'Hoir claims that this park will be one of the biggest attractions in Canada. Canada just doesn't have as many Christians, on a per capita basis, as the States has. Far fewer of them are literalists. In my life, I've met a single Christian who believed the world was only 5,000 or 6,000 years old, and I was a kid then.
The plan involves bringing in Chinese people, from China, to build it, because there's nothing as good for a business as pissing off the locals by giving all the jobs to foreigners.
I have not found any other sources that support this story, so it may be satire. It certainly looks like satire. I kind of hope it is. But some Canadians do get starry-eyed over American ideas, as long as they can do it on the cheap. (The estimated cost is $1.2 million.) That never, ever works. http://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/biblical-theme-park-proposed-for-moose-jaw