An article in New Scientist
magazine recently cautioned parents and schools not to allow children to
visit a Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky, citing scientific errors and
an underlying message that praises the “obliteration of humans.”
In a column published by New Scientist
last week, evolutionary biologist Josh Rosenau of the U.S. National
Center for Science Education explained that parents should look beyond
the Ark Encounter’s petting zoo when deciding whether to allow children
is, in fact, a hard-core creationist extravaganza replete with
pseudoscience. It is no place for field trips,” Rosenau wrote. “Perhaps
because of disappointing visitor numbers so far, it is offering reduced
rates – $1 a student and free tickets for accompanying teachers – to
tempt schoolchildren through its doors. Schools and parents should know
that a visit wouldn’t educate or entertain, it would misinform and
In addition to the constitutional prohibition against government promoting religion, Rosenau observed that the park’s message to students would undermine their education.
in the park is designed to promote scientifically impossible ideas that
contradict everything that scientists know. From astrophysics to
zookeeping, the visitor is deluged with misinformation,” he said. “It
may be impossible to find a single sign in the park that is free of
But it was the Ark Encounter’s “subtler form of indoctrination” that really disturbed the evolutionary biologist.
relentless message to visitors is that our world is as fallen and
wicked as Noah’s, and that the destruction of the flood – including the
obliteration of all humans other than a virtuous few – was not just
acceptable but praiseworthy,” Rosenau lamented. “Under the pretence of
illustrating a beloved tale shared by Jews, Christians, Muslims and
others, Ark Encounter presents a message as socially divisive as it is
scientifically inaccurate, instilling fear, hatred and hopelessness.”
“Those are lessons no school or parent should want their students or children to take on board.”
"Blue" in Blue in the Bluegrass refers to my politics, not my state of mind, although being progressive-democratic in Kentucky is not for the faint of heart.
The Bluegrass Region of Kentucky is Central Kentucky, the area around Lexington. It's also sometimes known as the Golden Triangle, the region formed by Louisville in the west, Cincinnati in the north and Lexington in the east-south corner. This is the most economically advanced, politically progressive and aesthically beautiful area of the state. Also the most overpopulated by annoying yuppies and the most endangered by urban sprawl.
A Yellow Dog Democrat is one who will vote for even a yellow dog if it is running as a Democrat. I can't claim to be quite that fanatically partisan, especially since quite a few candidates who run as Democrats in Kentucky are more Republican than a lot of Republicans I can name.
But I do love the story Kentucky House leader Rocky Adkins never tires of telling about the old-timer in Eastern Kentucky who was once accused of being willing to vote for Satan if Satan ran as a Democrat. Spat back the old-timer:
"Not in a primary, I wouldn't!"