Up until today, the largest wooden structure in the world was the Todai-ji, which housed the Great Buddha and is in the old Japanese capital of Nara. Now, that title has been taken over by the new Ark Encounter, in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Below is a short news story on the event. In waxing on the new ark, the reporter reminds us of the astonishing fact that the original ark was built without the benefit of modern tools. Of course, the Todai-ji was built in 728 A.D. without the aid of modern tools also.
One part of the interview involves a molecular geneticist who has signed on with the staff of the ark encounter. She is asked how her degree has informed her in her work and she remarks that it confirms what the Bible says. At one point, she is asked how they came up with the animals that are on the Ark, given that there has been so much speciation. She responds that they got experts together, classifying animals into their original “kinds.”
What is glossed over here is that, if the ark actually dates to around 2400 B.C. (an absurd number given that we have recorded histories of other civilizations that date back further than this), then the level of speciation and extinction would be orders of magnitude greater than anything we have experienced before or since. Entire groups apparently went extinct with no written record of their existence. Why, for example, did the winged reptiles go extinct when they could have just flown away once the ark landed? How did the vast majority of the marsupials end up in Australia? These are just two of many, many questions that have no easy answers. For a list of the staggering implications of a literal flood story and why it requires hundreds of separate miracles to pull off, see this FAQ from Talk Origins.
It is a remarkable achievement, but further contributes to the Disneyization of Christianity (zip lines, anyone?), where we focus almost entirely on what we think the Bible says rather than what it means. Ken Ham and his organization are so engaged in the message that the earth was created 6000 years ago that they completely miss the fact that the early church writers who formed the foundations of our faith and guided the church into the second century, couldn't have cared less about when the earth was created.
The Ark Encounter: A monument to indulgence.
Hat tip to Rob Mitchell.