Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Well, At Least Now No One in Kentucky Has to Learn How to Swim

I will start things off with a heartfelt disclaimer to assure that I will not feel any personal regret for any of the things I am about to say:

I try really hard to think of religion as something that is personal and special to all.  It is somewhere to turn in a time of need, and it gives comfort when thinking about the daunting nature of the unknown.  Because of this, attacking it as I attack all other bullshit is always, for me, toeing my line of decency.  This is good, however, because it proves to me that I still have one.  But, when people start forcing their religion on others, killing in the name of their god, fucking little boys, or substituting spiritual beliefs for rational thought, I tell my conscience to take the rest of the day off.  Guess what, assholes?  There are billions of people in this world that think their religious beliefs are correct.  But no, it's fine, I'm sure yours is the one that's right.  Let's do this.

...But how are they going to get it to the ocean? (Image)

It was recently brought to my attention that Northern Kentucky will soon to be home to a new theme park that will not, I have been assured by its website, be funded by taxpayer dollars, but will obey the physical laws of buoyancy, which I find ironic.  The theme of said park, which is set to open in 2014, will revolve around the main attraction: a full scale model of Noah's Ark.

For those who are unaware, the biblical story of Noah and his great big friggin' boat can be summed up as follows:

God decides everyone is a douchebag and wants to clean the slate.  However, he decides Noah and his family are alright people, and instructs him to build an ark that is able to hold two of every animal on Earth, one male and one female, so that they can bump uglies and repopulate our forests and grasslands and what not.  Then, and here's the kicker, God floods the world for like a month, then something about a dove snacking on a branch.  I don't know, I stopped reading.  Which I assume is the same thing religious people did when they started reading this.

The theme park, currently named Ark Encounter, is being built at a site about 45 minutes from the recently erected Creation Museum, which was an idea that evolved from religious teachings and was selected, naturally I would hope, to become a tourist attraction in Kentucky.  And as I stated before, the park will not be funded by taxpayer money.

There are several things about this that really chafe my caboose.  And let's start out with the stuff involving all that religious business, which is already addressed for my blogging convenience on the Ark Encounter website:

"The Ark is a common target for those who wish to mock the Bible or turn its historical accounts into fables with maybe an element of moral teaching. Rather than taking the account in the Bible at face value, many allow a modern 'scientific' mindset to impact their understanding of Scripture. And that’s one main reason why we’re building an Ark."

I understand how people thinking that the story of Noah's Ark as a fable of moral teaching could be frustrating.  Thinking about something critically is dangerous.  After all, if you open your mind too much your brain may fall out.  So let's do it your way, Ark Encounter, let's assume the story is historical and not a fable.

Noah's Ark's dimensions were 475 feet by 73 feet by 44 feet (1,525,700 cubic feet total), and there are around 2 million identified species in the world, with an estimated 3 to100 million more unidentified.  Granted some of these are in the ocean, and we can likely discount their ark attendance.  I don't think Noah brought any blue whales on the ark.  Those fat fuckers can already swim just fine.  Noah supposedly took two of every species on his boat.  For the sake of ark feng shui, let's examine nature's largest land animal, the African elephant, and not the Argentinosaurus, because dinosaurs are assholes and aren't invited on the ark.

The average size of an African elephant is about 12 feet high, 20 feet long, and 7 feet wide, totaling a whopping 1,680 cubic feet.  Simple math tells us that only 908 African elephants could fit on that boat, making the idea that two of every species could fit absolutely adorable.  Moving on.

Now I don't want to explicitly state anything that may be considered to be outlandish, offensive, or hyperbolic, but God wiped out an entire race with that flood of his.  Didn't Hitler try to wipe out an entire race too?

What irks me most about the theme park is not the religious technicalities, its the economic ones.  The park is not being funded by taxpayer dollars, and will supposedly create 900 jobs.  It's being funded partially by a for-profit LLC to the tune of $125 million, and the other $24.5 million will come from....donations.

If you want to throw your hard earned money at what you think is a philanthropic endeavor, I really can't stop you.  I haven't hit the gym in a couple of weeks, and besides, the donations as far as I know are anonymous.  Above all else I'm lazy.

Isn't there something more worthwhile to donate to?  Disease research?  Well no, that might involve stem cells.  Okay well what about education?  No, no, that won't do, they might make our children's brains fall out.  Well what about Haiti?  People forgot all about them after helping them wasn't popular anymore.  They still need help.  Hell, with $24.5 million they could buy a whole new goddamn island.  Maybe even one that isn't near a fault line.

And on that whole creating 900 jobs thing.  That needs to stop being a valid justification for making a political, financial, or any other kind of move.  Building a strip club could probably employ 100.  A successful yet illegal drug dealing hierarchy? Probably multiple hundreds.  So that makes it okay, right?  Because it creates jobs?

In the end, a good amount of my disdain for this project stems from my lack of organized religious beliefs, due to the things mentioned in my above disclaimer.  Faith, the basis of religion, is impervious to rational thought, because it is by definition the ability to believe in something that has no tangible evidence.  Call me crazy, but I'm big on theories based on evidence.  And for those who are tempted to tell me that a theory, such as evolution, by definition can never be proven correct, I will quote the Australian ginger comedian Tim Minchin in hoping that you feel the same about the theory of gravity, and float the fuck away.

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