What A Creationist Ark Encounter Is Like, And #SpoilerAlert: Dinosaurs

Our trip to Kentucky last year included a visit to the new Ark Encounter — we couldn’t pass up a chance to see something so monumental that’s been so widely reported on (including the NYT). And the most interesting thing to me: knowing that it was a project by a Creationist, how will that color the experience?

But first of all, just take.that.in. Massive. 510 feet long.
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

There’s a line for tickets, which took us about 15 minutes, then a few minutes waiting on a bus to take us up to the ark, then we stood in queue over another hour for admittance to the ark:
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Everyone who enters is asked to stand in front of these green-screens so they can have the opportunity to purchase their picture later. We always, always pass at these and don’t even take the picture.
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

There are three floors at the ark, and the first shows much of the storage: how were things kept?
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Other floors have exhibits and displays to explain the founders’ Creationism beliefs:
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I looked around to see if anyone else…nope. No one seemed to give the displays of dinosaurs any more consideration than those of any of the other animals on display. Did every other person fully expect to see displays of dinosaurs on the ark? Were they also Creationists? Were the other guests not Creationists, but simply accepted it as fact because it was displayed as such? I admit, I was surprised no one else seemed as…surprised as I was that they depicted dinosaurs here. 
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Btw, there are things about my own religion that I find mystifying too, so there’s that.

There was more theology

Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

including connections from the flood to Christianity
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Another display was this one, depicting the ‘deceptively cute’ ways that the ark story is communicated to children and how it’s ‘distorting the message’ — so while one is instructed to keep in mind how incredibly serious and sincere this all is, outside they haveExtreme Zip Lines: Soar down thousands of feet of zip lines, reach up to 50 mph and 17 stories in the air. Ten of these super-zip lines are 1,000 feet or longer!‘ and a zoo. That doesn’t seem to square.
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Elsewhere, ideas of the living quarters are displayed
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Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY

Noah, the O G prepper.
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

and, yes, you exit through the gift shop.
Ark Encounter, Williamstown KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js


I enjoyed getting to visit this attraction for the sheer scale. And it helped me understand how Creationists view things, so I’m glad I had this opportunity. If one already subscribes to this way of viewing the world, it has to be *the* place to go. Otherwise, take it in like I tried to do for the architecture, the workmanship (it was put together in part by Amish from Lancaster County), for the opportunity to better understand others.

Here’s Ken Ham (the founder of the Ark Encounter) speaking with Bill Nye (science guy) while they tour.

And guess what? Looking just now at reviews from TripAdvisor, the Ark Encounter gets *great* reviews.

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