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Noah's ark project in Ky. to move forward


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Christian ministry's long-stalled plans to build Noah's Ark in the hills of Kentucky have been revived.

Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced Thursday that a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.

Ham said a high-profile evolution debate he had with "Science Guy" Bill Nye on Feb. 4 helped boost support for the project.

Nye said he was "heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky" after learning that the project would move forward. He said the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham's ministry, which preaches that the Bible's creation story is a true account, and as a result, "voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest."

Ham's Answers in Genesis ministry and the Creation Museum enjoyed an avalanche of news media attention during the debate, which focused on science and the Bible's explanations of the origins of the universe.

Answers in Genesis unveiled the proposal in 2010 for a $150 million theme park that would include the ark. But private donations to the project did not keep pace with the construction timeline, forcing its backers to delay the ark's construction and divide the park development into phases. The bonds were offered last year by the city of Williamstown, site of the planned ark about 40 miles south of Cincinnati.

Ham said the bond issue faced many obstacles, including what he called misleading news media reports and attempts by opponents to disrupt the bond offering.

Ham would not disclose the total amount of bond funds raised because of underwriter restrictions. But a December bond document describing the project listed the amount at $62 million. Mark Looy, a vice president with Answers in Genesis, said the figure is less than $62 million, and that the minimum funding requirement was achieved.

Nye brushed off a question about whether he might be criticized for taking part in a debate that boosted fundraising for the ark.

"Me? I've always been criticized," he said.

The bonds are to be repaid through revenue from the park, and the city is not liable for the money, according to bond documents.

The wooden ark would have old-world details, such as wooden pegs instead of nails, straight-sawed timbers and plenty of animals - some alive, some robotic.

The Creation Museum opened in 2007 and has been criticized by scientists as an affront to evolution science. Ham said Thursday that 2 million visitors have entered the museum since it opened.

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ginagallion February 28 2014 at 4:34 PM

Why don't they take the 73 million and feed some poor people or help the sick as Jesus asked his followers to do rather than waste it on yet another entertainment complex for overfed American Christians?

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smart8001 February 28 2014 at 2:49 PM

great idda...and first two passengers, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul

Flag Reply +3 rate up
eltrip February 28 2014 at 2:41 PM

I have no problem with building a boat but municipal bonds? Just remember the 2 happiest days of a boat owners life (when it's bought and when it's sold) and the definition of a boat (hole in the water folks through money into). I just don't see how a project like this qualifies for $62 million in muni bonds but good luck Kentucky....

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dmickeyde February 28 2014 at 11:17 AM

They laughed at Noah , hey you never know !

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gracecfl February 28 2014 at 2:38 PM

Well they have just discovered that the ark was round, and they have proven that the earth is over 6500 years old, but there are stupid people who will pay to go and visit this guy's museum. He's laughing at them all. All the way to the bank! Ken Ham? Hmmmmm I'd call it a pork barrel deal, but seems more fishy to me. I have heard Ham speak and the guy reminds me of those snake oil salesman from the movies.

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w1yw February 28 2014 at 2:32 PM

Be sure it includes timbers from those trees dated a 6,500 years old; forged with rocks 4.4 billion years old; and built by people made of carbon formed 7 billion years ago in the detritus of long gone dying stars. What a wonderful excuse to learn some real, wonderful science!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
no1gum w1yw February 28 2014 at 2:38 PM

Creationists are pretty sure the entire earth is only 6,000 years old and that nothing is older than that. Scientists weren't here 6,000 years ago (the fact that none of us were seems to escape Creationists), they're only guessing by using science, for crying out loud. So dinosaurs are only 6,000 years old at the most.

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1 reply
Wiley no1gum February 28 2014 at 3:04 PM

PLANET EARTH has been here for countless trillions of years - it was 6,000 years ago that GOD ALMIGHTY put light and life on it AGAIN OR FOR THE FIRST TIME, ONLY GOD KNOWS THAT.

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bdetermination3b February 28 2014 at 11:18 AM

What does the story of the Ark have to do with Creation? The family and the animals were already alive, having evolved from prior forms. A project recreating the Garden of Eden would be another thing.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
usapaydirt bdetermination3b February 28 2014 at 11:28 AM

Now see, talking snakes, beautiful landscape with fresh fruit and apples on the tree, while a toned body dude named Adam wickedly eats from Eve's fruit all while the snake eggs him on . I hands down ( not in my pockets ) would rather see that, any day, than go to see a big old wooden boat.....

Flag Reply +1 rate up
topspin360 bdetermination3b February 28 2014 at 11:28 AM

A couple Mexican landscapers , some land ,and seeds from a home depot, and you got your garden of eden.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Mik's $ Toy February 28 2014 at 11:19 AM

if this project fails, who will they blame and who will pay for it and to clean up what is left?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
topspin360 Mik's $ Toy February 28 2014 at 11:27 AM

As long as they stay within the funding from the bonds, the bondholders lose if there's no profit. Invest in humans ,not in useless idols like this.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
art6111 Mik's $ Toy February 28 2014 at 11:49 AM

Who's going to clean up the mess all you liberals are making in this country?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
topspin360 art6111 February 28 2014 at 12:40 PM

First of all, I'm not a liberal, second I served my country as did many males in my family all the way back to the revolutionary war. You can leave,we don't need you.

Flag +3 rate up
Beautiful February 28 2014 at 11:19 AM

The best shape for an unpowered floating craft would be a saucer or raft barge shape.
Anything long tall and narrow would broach and capsize or be beat to pieces by wave against the broadside, heaving to would still not help as the craft would yaw around. The ride would be intolerable unless it was a saucer or barge.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
lodz61261 Beautiful February 28 2014 at 11:52 AM

Wow you're absolutely right a saucer shape would be the best shape I can almost picture what it would look like

Flag Reply +1 rate up
marysheepdog70 February 28 2014 at 2:57 PM

This is just going to be like a theme park...it's all about money.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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