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Massive Full-Scale Version of Noah's Ark Comes to Life in Kentucky


There might not be a flood of biblical proportions in the forecast, but Noah's Ark is coming to Williamstown, Kentucky, this summer.
A full-size version of Noah's Ark is expected to be completed before Ark Encounter, a Bible-themed park, opens July 7.
Ken Ham had the massive ship built to match the dimensions set out in the Bible. The entire project is expected to cost $100 million.
"The message that we have — it's making the Bible come alive, really. By building Noah's Ark, we're saying, 'This really happened. This is plausible,'" Ham told "Nightline."
According to Ham, his ark is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high. "It gets bigger and bigger. When you get inside, it gets bigger again," he said.
Ark Encounter is just a few miles from Ham's Creation Museum, which attracts nearly half a million visitors a year and teaches a young Earth theory of creation. Ham calls his ministry Answers in Genesis.
"We have a lot of people who are not Christians who come here, and they appreciate the way it's presented. It's presented very tastefully," said Ham. "It's educational."
Visitors to the Creation Museum can find exhibits like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, which is next to one showing dinosaurs playfully eating fruit.
One of Ham's biggest critics is Bill Nye, an evolutionist who is known as the television personality the Science Guy. He dismissed Ham's creationist exhibits as biblical propaganda. Nye said dinosaurs died out long before human beings ever came along.
"I can prove that beyond any reasonable doubt. That is what's very troubling. Allosauruses and humans did not live at the same time. Teaching the earth is 6,000 years old is completely wrong and inappropriate," he told "Nightline."
"When they dig up dinosaur bones, they don't dig them up with labels on saying, 'Hi, I'm 70 million years old,' or whatever it is," Ham said. "We're saying that most of those bones they dig up are actually from the flood of Noah's day, not from millions of years ago."

Ham rejected mainstream science institutions as evolutionary doctrinaires.
"Museums like the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., Smithsonian or Chicago Field Museum, mostly they teach that we supposedly evolved [from] apelike creatures. Why shouldn't we be able to use the same technology and really challenge people to consider the Bible as the true history of the world?" he said.
Ham's Noah's Ark project took advantage of $18 million in tax benefits and tourism incentives.
The state of Kentucky attempted to block the project from receiving public funding, but Ham took his case to court and won. "Christians pay taxes in this world. We live in this world. We're not second-class citizens. The federal judge rule in our favor," he said.
"It's just inappropriate. To me, [it's] a clear violation of the First Amendment, for crying out loud," Nye argued.
To work at Ark Encounter, job applicants must sign a statement of faith, professing a Christian belief in the creation story. For instance, they agree that the "great flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide in its extent and effect."
Ham said this is necessary because "we are a Christian organization and we have a Christian message."
Among the construction workers who have helped build the ark are Amish carpenters who said part of their faith included accepting the Bible as truth. The artists who created the ark's exhibits are believers too.
"There's a lot of people that scoff," Ham said. "We get a lot of attacks by some of the aggressive secularists. Sometimes I feel a bit like Noah."
Admission to Ark Encounter will be $40 for adults and $28 for children, and Ham said he expects that fascination with Noah and his ark will result in 1 million to 2 million visitors in the first year.
"We really do believe that if we build it, they will come. And they're going to come," Ham said.


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