The Disintegration of the Modern World, American-Style

There’s too much to learn about the disintegration of Western culture simply to ridicule the worldview behind the new Noah’s Ark Theme Park in Kentucky, and the “Answers in Genesis” group behind it. (I mean “disintegration” not in its general meaning of “disappearing into little bits” or “dissolving,” but in its more specific meaning of “not being whole; split; fractured.”) There’s too much to learn about the world we live in, simply to dismiss these people as crackpots: like you and me, they’re trying to make meaning in a world where meanings are elusive. That doesn’t mean we have to accept nonsense: it just means we can learn something about ourselves and our time, by shining the searching, sympathetic light of God-given reason on this fundamentalist worldview.  The following is from Howard Friedman’s “Religion Clause,” which you can track back for more on this story:

Kentucky Gives Tax Incentives To New Noah’s Ark Theme Park

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced yesterday that, subject to approval by the state Tourism Development Finance Authority, the state will grant tax incentives that could total more than $37 million to developers of a new theme park, Ark Encounter. The park’s centerpiece will be a 500 foot long replica of Noah’s Ark, and will also feature an ancient walled city, a petting zoo, live animal shows featuring giraffes and elephants and a replica of the biblical Tower of Babel. The day-to-day operation of the park will be handled by Answers in Genesis, the group that operates the successful Creation Museum in northern Kentucky.

Mike Zorvath, co-founder of Answers in Genesis ministry, says the mission of the new park is to dispel doubts that Noah could have fit two animals of every kind on his ark. The Lexington KY Leader-Herald reports that the Governor at a news conference yesterday rejected church-state concerns about the state subsidies, saying that the law does not allow the state to discriminate against a non-profit business on the basis of subject matter.

via Religion Clause.

Crucial issues regarding how we know what we know, are raised by “Answers in Genesis” and their ideological relatives. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a deep breath and read about what really happened to the dinosaurs. I will be trying to clear a path through this epistemological underbrush in the days ahead.

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