|» ||Is Attendance at the Ark Encounter Dwindling?|
Atheists happily suggest the project is failing.
Some atheists are delightfully reporting that attendance at Answer in Genesis’s Ark Encounter has been collapsing. Apparently, something called a “safety tax” based on attendance has to be reported to the city of Williamstown, where the Ark is located, and an attendance figure for September, 2018 was supposedly down to 69,207 from 83,330 in September, 2017.
Daniel Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, obtained these attendance figures and sent them to various science, anti-creationist, atheist and other groups which oppose the Answers in Genesis organization. An article in a Lexington, Kentucky newspaper said tickets sold between July, 2017 and July, 2018 totaled a little more than 860,000 although AiG estimated visitors in 2016 numbered between 1.4 and 2.4 million.
AiG founder and CEO Ken Ham responded angrily to this report in an opinion piece titled “Media Bias—Again!” on his website. Ham says that the report does not accurately reflect actual attendance at the Ark Encounter, which he says actually increased during its second year of operation. He maintains that there is in fact a tourist boom in the region as a result of the opening of he Ark.
Ham’s main point of emphasis is that this is all the work of militant local atheists. “The ultimate source for this article is not AiG but local atheists who have continued to voice their disdain/hatred against the Ark (and Creation Museum) and do all they can to spread misinformation in their failed attempts to undermine the phenomenal success of the Ark and Museum attractions,” he writes.
In an editorial in a Cincinnati newspaper, Ham added other information. He points out that the 862,000 attendance figure, even though it is an impressive figure in itself, does not include children under five, who attend free, or lifetime, annual and multi-day tickets, which do not require ticket purchases at the gate.
Comment: To be honest, it is a little disappointing that Answers in Genesis does not report actual attendance figures. Even if attendance has declined somewhat, that is not at all unusual for a new attraction, as Ham himself points out in his editorial in the Cincinnati newspaper. Perhaps some of the confusion could be avoided with more accurate information.
As someone who visited this attraction along with my wife in August, 2017, I can attest to the large crowds at that time. It was often elbow-to-elbow when moving through the three decks of the Ark, and we had to look around a while before finding an empty table for lunch in the main restaurant.
This attraction is very valuable in that it answers many questions which atheists often use in order to confuse the public. Some of these questions involve how Noah could have gotten all the animals onto the ark, what life may have been like on the ark, and how we have gotten all the animal species we see around us from the animals which left the ark.
Atheists will always be with us. We will frequently have to confront their lies and misrepresentations. Although it is our Christian duty to witness to them with the truth of God’s word, we must otherwise keep our distance. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what partnership does righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14, EHV)?
On the last day God will separate the unbelieving “goats” from the believing “sheep.” “He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world'” (Matthew 25:33-34, EHV). We eagerly await that day!
Reference: Ken Ham, “Opinion: Reports of Ark attendance woes misleading,” Cincinnati.com [November 8, 2018]. (Photo of the Ark Encounter from Wikimedia Commons, by OlinEJ.)
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QUESTION OF THE DAY
How much sitting can lead to health problems?
According to one study tracking 127,554 women and men for 21 years, people who spend more than 6 hours a day sitting are more likely to die of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and other causes when compared to people who spend less than 3 hours a day sitting.
Source: “On Your Mind,” Consumer Reports On Health [November, 2018], page 12.
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