Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The Ark Encounter
Photos used with permission from Answers in Genesis
The ark from the Ark Encounter is 510 feet long, 51 feet high and 85 feet wide.
Bottom of Form
Prepare to be astounded if you visit Noah’s Ark in the Ark Encounter park, which opened July 7 near Williamstown, Ky. The ark was built based on the flood narrated in Genesis in the Bible.
We had a great time and had reservations about only one exhibit, which we will mention later.
The parking lot was a mile or so away from the ark, but we could clearly see this magnificent structure that is 510 feet long, 51 feet high and 85 feet wide. It is seven stories high, including three decks of exhibits, and is the world’s largest timber-frame structure.
We arrived at noon to see hundreds of cars already parked and busloads of visitors being carried from the visitor’s center to the ark and its surroundings, which include a petting zoo, a large restaurant and an Ararat Ridge Zoo with yaks, kangaroos and ostriches. We stopped at the restaurant and found it filled with what we at first thought were stuffed animals. Where in the world had they found so many?
On the ark, the guide said the animals in cages were like what Noah carried on the voyage. We again were impressed with how realistic they were. Was it possible they were based on skeletons of real bears, for example? We learned they were created by artists who made the animal forms by using digital 3-D computer programs. Once the bodies were created on screen, they could be printed using foam in a 3-D printer.
Adding the final fur, scales or skin was a longer process. In a film, the artists stressed that the animals’ covering was the real problem, and they put the hair or fur on one hair at a time. The reproductions were realistic.
We were, however, a little put off by the presence of dinosaurs in several of the cages.
To add a sense of validity, food and water supplies surrounded us in some parts of the ark.
At the beginning of our tour, we saw a diorama of the family: Noah, his wife, three sons and three daughters-in-law in prayer. Dioramas were on every floor. The reproductions of the family members were so realistic that we almost expected them to be able to speak to us. In fact, in one of the settings a recording of Noah talks about his tasks on the ark.
Noah explains the purpose of the Ark
Living quarters on Deck 3 were magnificent. The guide explained that because family members worked hard feeding, watering and cleaning up after the animals, they deserved a place to relax and needed good nourishment to keep up the hectic pace.
The life-size scene where Noah climbs a ladder to put a dove into the air to find land, as his wife looks on, nearly took our breath away.
How could Noah and his family have done all of this? One section on the second floor shows all of Noah’s skills working with wood and metals. Again, life-size dioramas told the story.
At home, Wayne had seen a YouTube feature that showed this ark being constructed, with use of major hoists, cranes, modern tools and 1,000 craftsmen. When we asked one of the docents how Noah could have accomplished something this size, we were told Noah was 480 years old when God told him to build an ark. He was 600 years old when the flood came, so during that 120-year period he built the ark. The docent added that Noah’s children were not born until his 500th year.
Ark Encounter is operated by a group called Answers in Genesis, which also runs the Creation Museum 45 miles away in Petersburg, Ky.
We suspect most of the visitors believed that the world was created 6,000 years ago and that, for them, this was a realistic presentation of what happened.
Visitors do not need to be believers in this particular interpretation of creation to appreciate what has been accomplished here.
Fundraising for the project was helped by a debate in 2014 between Ken Ham and TV personality Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Ham, who also founded Answers in Genesis, does try to answer all of the questions raised by evolutionists and scientists who believe otherwise.
An exhibit is given over to Ham disputing scientist Nye about evidence for multiple ice ages based on drillings in Greenland.
Ham counters Nye’s evidence with a reinterpretation of what is being discovered.
In another source we found Nye’s response to Ham: “It’s all very troubling. You have hundreds of school kids here who already have been indoctrinated and who have been brainwashed. This is about the absolutely wrong idea that the Earth is 6,000 years old that’s alarming to me.”
Depending on your beliefs, prepare to enjoy the particular exhibit or skip it and enjoy the rest of the exhibits as an interesting story from the past.
Considerable thought has gone into the creation of this attraction, including some court battles. Although it probably will not change anyone’s basic beliefs, it is a presentation of the other side of the story.
Life Sized Animals on the Ark were made on a 3D Printer