A 510-foot reproduction of Noah's Ark is the centerpiece of the $101 million Ark Encounter theme park that opens on July 7 in Williamstown, Kentucky. The ark will include replicas of 2,000 animals, young dinosaurs and Noah, a 500-year-old man, and his family.
The ark and the park are being built by the Christian organization Answers in Genesis, whose president Ken Ham believes the Earth and universe were created by God in six days, approximately 6,000 years ago, notes Newsweek.
“No Kentucky taxpayer money is going to build the Ark Encounter,” Ham told the news site several times.
The attraction is paid for by donations that come to almost $30 million, and $62 million in unrated municipal bonds.
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The Ark Encounter is designated as a tax increment financing district, and includes an agreement with the state that will allow for $2 of every $100 of income earned by park employees, and those working near the park, to help pay off the park's debt. While technically not a tax on the community, it is a tax on park workers and nearby employees.
Kentucky tourism officials were concerned about public money mixing with the park because of “separation of church and state issues,” but the Ark Encounter has promised not to base its employment decisions on religion.
The park previously listed job requirements that included a “salvation testimony” and a statement of faith from a creationist perspective.
Most scientists and archeologists do not believe humans and dinosaurs co-existed because human remains and dinosaur remains are not found together, among other reasons.
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The University of California Museum of Paleontology's website states: "'The Flintstones' and 'Alley Oop' notwithstanding, the last of the dinosaurs -- with the exception of the birds, which are dinosaur descendants -- died about 65 million years ago. There is no reputable evidence of human life at the time, or at any time until about 2.5 million years ago, the age of the oldest known fossils in the genus Homo."
Ham's Answers in Genesis website states: "As biblical creationists, we don’t require that human and dinosaur fossils be found in the same layers. Whether they are found or not, does not affect the biblical view of history."