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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the you-both-get-dirty-and-the-pig-likes-it dept.

McGruber writes:

"Following up on the Bil Nye and Ken Ham debate on Creationism, Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced Thursday that a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016. Ham credits the high-profile evolution debate he had with "Science Guy" Bill Nye on Feb. 4 with boosting support for the project.

After learning that the project would move forward, Nye said he was 'heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky,' lamenting that the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham's Young-earth Creationist ministry. 'Voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest.' Nye hopes."

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by EventH0rizon on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:15AM

    by EventH0rizon (936) on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:15AM (#9019) Journal

    It really is going to be built.

    In retrospect, this may be seen as a turning point in the sad descent into idiotic magical thinking that has gripped the US.

    I am so sorry that why of my countrymen is doing this to you guys...
     

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by LaminatorX on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:21AM

      by LaminatorX (14) <reversethis-{moc ... ta} {xrotanimal}> on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:21AM (#9020)

      What blows my mind is that they're using municipal bonds for it. That seems like red letter state establishing religion.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:06AM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:06AM (#9031) Journal

        That was my initial thought as well.

        My second thought, as an atheist, is that this is a salient example as to why one should never try to use logic in an attempt to dislodge irrational belief. I mean, that should be self-evident -- just like no amount of rationality will convince a foilhatter that the government isn't using mind reading satellites. As an example, I once had a potential client come into my office, toss a tooth on my desk (and no, I'm not a dentist, IAAL), and say "look at that." I said "okaaay?" He said "you see that?" pointing to discoloration on the base of the tooth. I said "yes??" He said "That's the residue from the mind reading powder and I want you to do something about it." I most definitely did not engage in a rational discussion with him about plaque and how silly the notion of mind reading powder on his tooth was, because really, exactly where would that go? He would redefine my rational arguments into an attempt by a covert government agent, i.e. me (which I really am not), to trick him into thinking it was poor hygiene rather than what he knew it to be, specifically, mind reading powder. Needless to say, I didn't take the case and instead gently focused on getting him to leave.

        Religionists are like this potential client -- but it is no use pointing that out. Now, I'm not saying atheists should be silent, it's just wiser to refuse to engage in this type of debate. It is better to be known as an atheist and leave it at that because those who come to their doubts about religion on their own, will find you, and there will be actual conversation. It may lead them to recommit to faith, or to abandon it -- it doesn't really matter -- what matters is that there will be an honest exchange of ideas. However, no such exchange is possible with those wholly committed to an irrational belief system, and any such exchange is just a waste of breath. Sometimes, as seen here, it ends up being more than a waste of breath and instead results in a mammoth waste of resources.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ezber Bozmak on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:16PM

          by Ezber Bozmak (764) on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:16PM (#9194)

          It is better to be known as an atheist and leave it at that because those who come to their doubts about religion on their own

          I think what you wrote is an irrational belief rooted in confirmation bias. The problem here, as in much of life, is that there are no easy answers. Frequently there is no choice available that will have a perfect outcome. As you recognized, Nye's engagement with Ham was never going to change the minds of the fanatics. That option wasn't even on the table. But what was on the table was the potential to influence fence-sitters and anyone else who simply hadn't though very deeply about the issue because that's all the heard growing up. Mainly kids and teens who may be per-disposed to doubt and just need a means to make that doubt more concrete.

          You know the saying, "Two steps forward, one step back?" People tend to say that in frustration, but that ignores the fact that the net is still one step forward. This bond issue is the "one step back" and the kids - who have no say in bond issues - are the two steps forward. You just won't see their impact for years.

          Besides, who is to say that this ark bond won't turn into a boondoggle and end up getting Ken Ham drummed out of town? That he hasn't bit off more than he can chew? As the bible says, "pride comes before the fall."

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:27PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:27PM (#9117)

        It is, but this is an area of the country where "not establishing a religion" means that they'll accept any path to accepting Jesus as your personal lord and savior. And they know they don't have a leg to stand on, but they'll talk about it in terms of bringing business and tourism to their city and try to get away with it that way. If the project gets shut down, Ken Ham and his crew will generate even more cash with their cries that those evil secularists in Washington are oppressing them (by making them follow the same rules as everyone else).

        --
        Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by bill_mcgonigle on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:04PM

        by bill_mcgonigle (1105) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:04PM (#10758)

        Indeed. This seems like an awesome archeo-engineering undertaking and I'd buy tickets to see it. Yet I find the use of citizen bondage completely unacceptable.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RobotMonster on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:26AM

      by RobotMonster (130) on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:26AM (#9022) Journal

      It should nicely demonstrate practical problems with the myth.
      I somehow doubt the ark will be self-sufficient with regards to food for the animals or the staff.
      Indeed, some of the animals will apparently be robotic, which is pretty funny as they want to build the thing with wooden pegs instead of nails....
      The number of animals they're able to fit in the thing should nicely demonstrate a lack of variety.
      Only two of each animal should lead to serious genetic problems with subsequent generations.
      Seems to me this project is a brilliant example of irony in action.
      Personally I prefer Ned Flander's ark, where he had two of each animal, but only boys, to prevent any hanky-panky :-)

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by nobbis on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:28AM

        by nobbis (62) on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:28AM (#9024) Homepage Journal

        Ned turned out to be a Gay rights activist ? who would have thought it.

        --
        It's easy to look up when your mind's in the gutter
      • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:49AM

        by mojo chan (266) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:49AM (#9039)

        Presumably they won't try to move it on the ocean as it would deform and probably break in two like previous very large wooden ships have. I expect it will get hosed down in chemical preservatives that obviously would not have existed back in Noah's time, lest it rot away in short order. Are they going to build it without modern machinery like cranes? Considering the technology and number of labourers available to Noah that would be a quite incredible feat, in the literal sense of the word.

        --
        const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by lubricus on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:48AM

        by lubricus (232) on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:48AM (#9049)

        Creationists simply adapt their story.
        For example, in regards to the lack of variety, creationists no longer claim 2 of each species, now they simply claim 10,000 "kinds" whatever that means. This is because they will always claim a monopoly on the interpretation of the bible.

        I think the only way to address this is at the educational level, which is why it's so important to fight bad textbooks and non-scientific science curricula at the state level.

        --
        ... sorry about the typos
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Pslytely Psycho on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:15AM

          by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:15AM (#9056)

          "Creationists simply adapt their story.
          For example, in regards to the lack of variety, creationists no longer claim 2 of each species, now they simply claim 10,000 "kinds" whatever that means. This is because they will always claim a monopoly on the interpretation of the bible."

          Beautiful....just beutiful. So now rather than letting people think of zoology in terms of "what fauna is local to my area and the zoo" they can give an example more like "imagine the largest zoo on earth, and then multiply it by 10 and you have the minimum size of Noahs Ark."

          I don't think that helps their case much....

          --
          Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
          • (Score: 3, Funny) by Pslytely Psycho on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:32AM

            by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:32AM (#9061)

            I wasn't too far off for numbers I just pulled out of my ass.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoologischer_Garten_B erlin [wikipedia.org]

            20,500 animals but only 1500 species.
            So since it is 84 acres, lets see, minimize the space down to cruel as fuck, make it four levels deep, maybe the 10K worth of animals could fit into an ark of maybe 30 or 40 acres...an aircraft carrier is about 3.5 acres.....and made of steel...so, uh, yeah, even make it more cruel and say 20 acres...oh shit, I forgot about food storage for 40 days at sea and a few years to desalinate the soil and grow food, even if the salinity was reduced by volume and you could use the soil, a full season to plant and harvest. Damn, I forgot to add seed storage as well.....

            Yeah, fuck all! This is totally doable! (pulls groin from laughing)

            --
            Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
            • (Score: 2, Funny) by Pslytely Psycho on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:42AM

              by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:42AM (#9064)

              Damn, I forgot WATER. Noah must of had a nuclear powered de-salination system.

              Excuse me, GOD powered de-salination system.

              Water brings in a whole new problem unless the dilution was enough to render it passebly potable. (Math whiz problem of the week!)

              --
              Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ryuugami on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:13PM

                by Ryuugami (2925) on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:13PM (#9148)
                Well, since the flood was caused through 40 days & nights of rain, if the Ark started deep enough inland, probably the sea water wouldn't have enough time to spread the salt around before the waters receded. Especially considering the water currents of the newborn World Sea. I assume that the Bearded One would point Noah to a good enough location to minimize such inconveniences, so they would probably be fine even without desalinating water.

                Of course, the other problems still stand...

                (GNPS [Grammar Nazi PS]: "Must've". Not "must of".)
                --
                If a shit storm's on the horizon, it's good to know far enough ahead you can at least bring along an umbrella. - D.Weber
                • (Score: 1) by monster on Wednesday March 05 2014, @11:30AM

                  by monster (1260) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @11:30AM (#11274) Journal

                  Well, if he was capable of sustaining a whole nation in the desert for years just by raining manna and no word of water, sure he would be able to support the animals in the ark for 40 days without any food or water. Even more, that way the ark also wouldn't need sanitaries (otherwise keeping the ark clean would be a hell of a job!).

                  I mean, once you put an all-capable being in the story, why limit your options?

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bucc5062 on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:02PM

            by bucc5062 (699) on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:02PM (#9086)

            I have this problem with the story of Noah. Let's skip over the salient facts and look at hwhat was going on in the first place. God is really pissed off at mankind. SO upset that he decides to exterminate the whole population, but for one pious family. Okay, I'm down with that for it sure is easy to get that pissed off and human beings and let's face it, there are one or two diamonds in the sully pile.

            But what I don't get is why kill off the animals. God instructs to take two of each, according to their kind then what, he commits general extermination of the rest? What did those animals do? Are they not a part of God's creatures (and creation). Since this is God he clearly could have taken steps to save all the animals, let Noah build his ark for the family and then start on the great washing machine.

            This is why the story is unbelievable. It is a story that actually reduces the power of God, not enhances it. A more acceptable version is that Noah and his family were taken up into a space ship. A very large ship that housed samples of animals from Earth. They were taken for the ares where they lived was prone to flooding and predicting the event, the Aliens had time to only rescue Noah. Once the flood receded they were dropped back down to earth where in short time they came across other survivors. With no reference point at all, they could only describe their experience as then told in the story. How does God fit in...he sent the Aliens to be there at just the right time. Now that is more God like.

            --
            The more things change, the more they look the same
            • (Score: 3, Funny) by Pslytely Psycho on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:30PM

              by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:30PM (#9134)

              Hehehehe. I like. (;

              Funny, my problem with the story is it's utter complexity.

              The way I see it...

              God is all powerful.
              Man is not.
              God has a bad hair day, decides to commit genocide because he's a petulent 4 year old at heart. Decides he likes a few and won't kill them because they make a great beer or something...

              choice A: flood the world, drown everything, major cleanup, wasted resources, big headache arranging for it all OR
              choice B: God snaps fingers. everyone he doesn't like dies. The lions are fed well tonight.

              If he picks choice A, it proves he is a psychotic sadist.
              If he picks choice B, it proves he a compassionet psychopath.

              But he loves you!!!

              --
              Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
            • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:33PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:33PM (#9136)
              You're right that this points out some absurdities in the story of Noah Arc. But another way of thinking about it, is that it points out inconsistencies between the way this particular religion is described/interpreted modernly, versus how it was interpreted back when those passages were written.

              With regard to animal well-being, animal rights wasn't really a concept back then. Exterminating untold trillions of animals perhaps wasn't viewed as having any moral downside. It's only modern people, who have internalized the notion that animal's have some rights, that would view God's actions in that story as being immoral. (This is of course just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how God's ancient actions, viewed modernly, are evil.)

              With regard to the power of God, I don't think the christian God was viewed as omnipotent back in the day. For one thing, the world was polytheistic; religions were fighting about whose God/Gods were better, but they often accepted that the other Gods were real. (Even some bible passages suggest that the other Gods were real, just not 'the right God'.) In this context, Gods were not viewed as omnipotent: merely extremely powerful. So the ancient version of the Christian God actually could not just magically make every human on Earth disappear. He could only use things like floods and volcanoes to enact his fury (or try to persuade humans into waging the wars he wanted, etc.).

              The religion has evolved over time, and has been converted into a monotheistic faith that claims God to be omnipotent and omnibenevolent, even though these assertions are directly contradicted by the supposed holy texts.

              All of this of course bolsters the case that the story is ludicrous, and that believing in it doesn't make sense. But it additionally calls into question the internal consistency of the whole religion. The modern version of Christianity (even the version of literalists and Creationists) bears little resemblance to what was practised back when the religion was founded.
            • (Score: 1) by Ezber Bozmak on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:22PM

              by Ezber Bozmak (764) on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:22PM (#9196)

              > But what I don't get is why kill off the animals.

              Animals don't have souls, for the purposes of old testament theology they aren't any different from rocks.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RobotMonster on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:30AM

          by RobotMonster (130) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:30AM (#9060) Journal

          I'd like to seem them get anywhere near 10,000 "kinds" into a self-sufficient ark. That would be quite impressive!

          A quick internet search reveals that the Berlin Zoological Garden (Zoologischer Garten Berlin) has the largest collection of animal species in the world. They have 1,500 different species and around 17,000 animals the zoo. The zoo covers 34 hectares, and is unlikely to grow all its own food.

          I think that any attempt to recreate Noah's Ark can only help to highlight the fantastical nature of the tale.

          You're right that it is important to fight bad textbooks and non-scientific science curricula, but I think that arming children with the skill of critical thinking attacks the problem at a more fundamental level.

          • (Score: 1) by Pslytely Psycho on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:22PM

            by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:22PM (#9071)

            "I think that any attempt to recreate Noah's Ark can only help to highlight the fantastical nature of the tale."

            As a poster above pointed out, the will just adapt their story. When it fails it just "proves" man needed God to pull it off. While wasting Millions of public dollars.

            That last line is what really disturbs me. Thank (insert favorite diety, demigod, demon, political figure here) I don't live in KY. (hmmm....no...I won't go there.....K...Y....KY....NO, NO, NO, NO!)

            --
            Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RobotMonster on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:32PM

              by RobotMonster (130) on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:32PM (#9077) Journal

              Many will adapt their story, hopefully others will become unconvinced.

              Yes, this project is an offensive use of public money --unfortunately misusing public money is fairly typical these days. Kleptocracy is almost ubiquitous. :-(

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by crAckZ on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:14AM

        by crAckZ (3501) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:14AM (#9055) Journal

        According to the debate it is animal "kind" which means 2 dogs to cover all k9. 2 feline to cover any cat type animal and so on. I guess 2 mice to cover elephants since they are of the same family as well

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by SpallsHurgenson on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:07PM

          by SpallsHurgenson (656) on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:07PM (#9127)

          IF only they would continue that train of thought and take it to the logical extreme, they would save a lot of money.

          Instead of the 500-foot, $30 million monstrosity, we can get something a lot more manageable:
          Noah in a small rowboat with two small mice (mammals), a couple of newts (reptiles, well okay amphibians but this isn't Science), a sack of waterlogged grain (vegetable) and all covered in mold (fungus).

          Not as exciting to look at, but an even more impressive example of God's omnipotence. After all, from this limited genepool He will develop all of life's current diversity. It's also much more believable (well, except for that God bit but that was a major flaw in the original concept too).

          In fact, for a mere $15 million dollars - half what they are current paying - I am willing to deliver this more realistic interpretation of this divine miracle. Not only will it be a huge savings, but it will silence many of the critics of the project. It's win-win! Ken Ham, please contact me as soon as possible to follow up on this amazing offer! I'll even throw in the mice for free!

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by similar_name on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:42AM

        by similar_name (71) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:42AM (#9063)
        I've never understood why some people have the desire to 'prove' Noah's ark. Isn't it supposed to be a miracle. If they can do it then it's not really a miracle is it? Don't get me wrong, it didn't happen. But if I believed in miracles I wouldn't try to prove they could happen naturally.
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by RobotMonster on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:58AM

          by RobotMonster (130) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:58AM (#9066) Journal

          I'm not a religious scholar, but I never got the impression that it was supposed to be a miracle. IIRC God told Noah about the impending flood, and instructed him to put his family to work building and populating the ark so they might survive while God cleansed the world with his mighty flood.

          You could argue that the warning was miraculous, and the flood itself, but the Ark itself I thought was supposed to be a "divinely inspired" but otherwise "mundane" creation of the "righteous".

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @02:35PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @02:35PM (#10047)

            the Ark itself I thought was supposed to be a "divinely inspired" but otherwise "mundane" creation of the "righteous".

            I believe the miracle involves finding a righteous Jew to build your ship.

      • (Score: 1) by mrider on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:53PM

        by mrider (3252) on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:53PM (#9141)

        I somehow doubt the ark will be self-sufficient with regards to food for the animals or the staff.

        The carnivores would have plenty of food... :)

        --

        Doctor: "Do you hear voices?"

        Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:05AM (#9030)

      Yeah, but will it run Linux?

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by nobbis on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:23AM

    by nobbis (62) on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:23AM (#9021) Homepage Journal

    Are they hedging their bets on global warming ?
    Anyway I didn't RTFA , but will tickets be on sale ? - (only 2 per species presumably )
    and I really would like to see them get 2 of every animal on board, though things could get messy so best to visit in the first couple of days.

    --
    It's easy to look up when your mind's in the gutter
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by c0lo on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:27PM

      by c0lo (156) on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:27PM (#9074) Journal

      Anyway I didn't RTFA , but will tickets be on sale ?

      Yes [wikipedia.org]

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bd on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:48AM

    by bd (2773) on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:48AM (#9025)

    This is an aspect of the US that I have always considered quite fascinating as an outside observer.

    It seems to be such a country of extremes. On the one hand you have top notch research institutions, a tech industry that is quite forward thinking, a political tradition that is rooted in the separation of church and state, an obscene amount of wealth generated by this rational approach to the world... on the other you have a _lot_ of people that I would _wish_ were insane, but are not. That actively try to dismiss science and push some agenda that is strikingly non-rational. You would think this is not a stable state for a society, that one side clearly must win over time... yet somehow the country has always been like that and never completely tipped to one of the sides.

    Very interesting indeed. I guess it sucks living in Kentucky right now, though.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:09AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:09AM (#9032) Journal

      I would _wish_ were insane, but are not. That actively try to dismiss science and push some agenda that is strikingly non-rational.

      How much irrationality is sane?

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bd on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:53AM

        by bd (2773) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:53AM (#9040)

        How much irrationality is sane?

        It is dangerous to think they are insane. Not many of them run around with their underwear on their heads. I am sure I would have seen that on one of the youtube-like sites.

        Chances are, they (well, most of them) are perfectly capable of rational thought. They use their ability of sane thought processes to work towards their agenda. While I consider the agenda they want to achieve irrational, as science is fundamental for the well-being of your (and every other) nation, I am sure they would tend to disagree.

        Luckily, there have usually been enough people of differing opinion working towards their own goals that hinder them from achieving theirs. If these were ever to disappear, your country would be in Deep Trouble.

    • (Score: 3) by BsAtHome on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:55AM

      by BsAtHome (889) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:55AM (#9041)

      When nutjobs take over, you know that you are in for a hurt. Doesn't matter which "cause" they have or follow. Extremism has always resulted in violence one or the other way and the world is full of examples. When a society gets more extremist, then a change for the worse will most likely follow before a new era of reason can be established.
      I'll probably be dead before the US implodes (and maybe explodes afterwards) and that may be for the good. I'd not want to live in that world.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by johaquila on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:21PM

      by johaquila (867) on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:21PM (#9090)

      Bob Altemeyer, a Canadian psychology professor who found the behaviour of some of his students fascinating for similar reasons, actually studied it scientifically. The result is his book "The Authoritarians", which has a free online version: https://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/ [umanitoba.ca]

      Let me try to explain what he found out in my own words, as it applies to this topic. These people, whom Altemeyer calls "right-wing authoritarian followers", were conditioned by their own parents into not applying their reason for what most of us consider its normal application, and certainly not to admit it. For them, rationality and rational thinking are just something you have to pretend while you are actually trying to figure out which authority you must follow to avoid being punished, and what it is that this authority wants you to do, think, and most importantly say. It doesn't matter whether it makes sense. You just have to proactively do what you have been, or anticipate to be, told by the authorities that can punish you. (Even left-wing authorities, so long as they are in power!)

      So they are not insane, they are just victims of something that you can either call a specific culture, or a form of child abuse. It's not necessarily connected to this, but for example there is also evidence that psychopathy is often a natural reaction to how a child is raised, a reaction necessary to protect the child from even worse damage, rather than something people are necessarily born with. E.g. most African child soldiers become psychopaths because nobody can survive the horror otherwise.

      Such aberrations are stable when, as in these two cases, parents who have them normally behave in such a way that their children develop them as well. In the case of right-wing authoritarian followership, Altemeyer also found that experiences with diverse, 'different' people as e.g. at a university helps a little, whereas becoming a parent generally makes it worse.

      • (Score: 1) by GeriatricGentleman on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:36PM

        by GeriatricGentleman (1192) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:36PM (#9237)

        "university helps a little, whereas becoming a parent generally makes it worse"

        So educate or sterilise them? I like it. How do I contribute?
        Of course, once we get a foothold on the religious whack-jobs we can extend to the next subset of the population - maybe politicians? Hopefully it won't be too long before we get to my kids - a free full university education would be most welcome! Or if they fail their uni entry - maybe a sponsored o'seas adventure for a year to immerse themselves in a diverse and different culture? Hmm, I might be a little intolerant myself - perhaps I should go too!

        As an aside, I am not from the US, when I read "Noah's Ark to built in KY" I confess it took me a second or two of wondering...

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:10PM (#9112)

      It always sucks living in Kentucky. Right now is not all that special.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @02:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @02:59PM (#10059)
        But it's where that wonderful, wonderful bourbon is distilled. That somewhat balances out the religious clown show...
    • (Score: 0) by cubancigar11 on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:21PM

      by cubancigar11 (330) on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:21PM (#9150) Homepage Journal

      The tech industry and the top notch research institutions are running because of positive influx of brilliant immigrants. While its narrative in USA is a little convulated because americans have vested interest in opposiing immigration, in reality USA is quite open to immigration. If left to their own devices, these institutions will collapse like they have in rest of the world that is not as open as USA.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Mr_Flibble on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:50AM

    by Mr_Flibble (286) on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:50AM (#9026)

    I mean is it possible to build it using the old construction techniques,how big will it be and would it actually float and not sink or capsize.
    Basically is it even possible without cheating.
    I suspect it isn't and they will lie about it.

    --
    Just because I suffer from paranoia doesn't mean people aren't out to get me.
    • (Score: 0) by evk on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:26PM

      by evk (597) on Sunday March 02 2014, @09:26PM (#9745)

      The project is a really interesting experiment. To bad it's done for all the wrong reasons. I can't see any good coming out of this. Worst case scenario; they succeed(*) and according to their usual flawed logic, that would be proof for all their claims. If they fail, it doesn't really matter for them. It's still plenty of publicity and they'll have all kind of excuses.

      * I didn't bother to check if they've even defined the goal, and I highly doubt that it will be relevant. I guess it'll be a fairly big boat that floats (or at least looks like it could). Certainly not big enough to house 10k "kinds" of anything bigger than rodents.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by PrinceVince on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:19AM

    by PrinceVince (2801) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:19AM (#9034)

    Nye said he was "heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky" after learning that the project would move forward.

    That kind of wording is only going to affirm creationists and create antipathy towards the secular cause. I wish he had conducted himself smarter during the debate and its aftermath. I think Sam Harris is one of the few "movement" atheists with enough emotional intelligence to not alienate religious moderates. Once people feel attacked any hope of genuine debate (and reflection) goes out the window.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:03PM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:03PM (#9274) Homepage
      Was there ever any hope of genuine debate?
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by lubricus on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:34AM

    by lubricus (232) on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:34AM (#9046)

    I really respect Bill Nye, I remember "Bill Nye the science guy" with great fondness.

    Having said that, Nye got played.

    The whole creation vs. evolution debate was a publicity stunt to justify raising money for the ark, which until then, was probably going to fail, and the junk bonds Ham issued were going to be worthless without the infusion of public money.

    Many scientists have entered into debates with creationists and and they always "lose". Even though he's not a biologist, I think Nye, as a mass market science educator, had the best chance of "winning". I put everything in quotes because "winning" and "losing" in this instance has nothing to do with stating a well-founded cases, but rather what the crowd "believes" ie. feels, as they leave the room. Scientists will always try to present data to support ideas, creationists just have to keep talking or repeat statements like "you weren't there". Debates don't provide the time, nor the mechanisms for conveying lots of data. Finally, the presumption of the scientist will always be that data makes the argument, but this is not the case for non-scientists. For those with strong faith, the converse is true: the more emotionally impactful argument will "win" and how does a scientist compete with the immediate emotional impact of faith?

    Scientists: "debates" do more harm than good to the goal of promoting science and rationality. Please don't participate in them.

    --
    ... sorry about the typos
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:13PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:13PM (#9087)

      I would wish that scientists stop trying to debate creationists. That is not where the fight is at. WHen I come across one who believes in the literal writing of the bible I just grin, metaphorically path their head and say almost nothing except to say, "I don't agree with your view". That is it. I understand religious fervor (grew up a PK) and it cannot ever be changed by logic. Emotion, maybe, but not logic.

      The fight is within the Constitution and our government to strongly enforce the separation clause. More time, more effort needs to be made to ensure governments cannot sanction one story over another. If Crazy Hamm got a Muni Bond to build his ark, then I figure someone else should be able to (at least) petition a bond to build the Temple of Pasta or recreate some ancient story object. If not then Hamm should not be granted a bond. Build it on personal money, not government,

      This is our undoing, we try to convert the crazy when we need to use the Law to just stop them. Most people in this country will and do support separation. It just needs to be made clear. "No one is stopping you from building an Ark. You just cannot use government money for help".

      --
      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: 1) by M. Baranczak on Saturday March 01 2014, @06:08PM

        by M. Baranczak (1673) on Saturday March 01 2014, @06:08PM (#9180)

        If Crazy Hamm got a Muni Bond to build his ark, then I figure someone else should be able to (at least) petition a bond to build the Temple of Pasta or recreate some ancient story object.

        That's basically what they're doing now in Oklahoma City. The yahoos in the state legislature put the Ten Commandments in front of the state house. So now there are other groups that want to put up statues of Hanuman, Satan, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, among others.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @07:22PM (#9197)

        I had bought a sex toy online, and since my billing address is still with my parents, the company sent them a catalog. "Discreet shipping" somehow includes sending catalogs to your billing address.

        My dad then called to express his concerns that the devil had my soul and that I was going to hell. I explained to him the wild difference in views of the afterlife between the OT and the NT as well as the Zoroastrian hypothesis accounting for this change. (Corollary: there is not a hell to go to.) I also mentioned the insoluble discrepancies in the birth narratives of Matthew & Luke as well as in the resurrection accounts. He dismissed this for the most part, but said he would do more reading.

        Do you think this kind of approach is helpful? Previously, I wouldn't have said much at all, but he was laying it on pretty thick, and I felt the need to defend myself...

        And for fuck's sake, sexual thinking dominated my life to a much greater extent when I was religious because I thought it was sinful. I feel like my thinking in this area is much healthier now that I don't believe that shit. But my dad believes "by simple faith" that the devil is out to devour me and that I'm going to hell. God of love, my ass.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Sir Finkus on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:33PM

      by Sir Finkus (192) on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:33PM (#9135) Journal

      I could not disagree more. I grew up a creationist, and never got exposed to evolutionary theory. As a child, I actually received a wonderful book filled with illustrations and explanations detailing how the process took place and it was taken away from me by my parents. My teachers cumulatively probably spent a week glossing over the subject. It was only when I started watching debates and lectures by Dawkins and other scientists that I understood that I was wrong. The process wasn't immediate, but watching the debates was highly entertaining and I did my own research. Eventually I realized that evolution was really the only theory that made sense.

      People tend to put themselves in bubbles where they only hear perspectives that align with their own. A lot of people don't even really think all that deeply about some of their most deeply held beliefs. Ham may get his ark, but Nye presented a great case, and maybe planted a spark in some people.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:44PM (#9154)

      Nye made a good point at the beginning of the debate about how true science makes useful predictions. So, even with all the warnings in advance, he didn't see this coming?

      As one writer put it, The Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate Was a Nightmare for Science [thedailybeast.com]

  • (Score: 1) by Debvgger on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:53AM

    by Debvgger (545) on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:53AM (#9050)

    How is it going to be named? TitanIIc?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Pslytely Psycho on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:05AM

    by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:05AM (#9053)

    ...their chief lumber supplier probably just bought an island in the Carribean.

    If they don't cheat and use archaic methods to assemble it (even using modern machine harvested/milled wood) they will discover quite quickly the meaning of the term "myth." So I propose than Adam and Jamie oversee the project and ensure that everything is authentic, from the number of people working on it, harvesting and milling the trees by hand to construction, loading and launch!

    After all, if they want to convince me a collection of historical scraps, fairy tales and psychotic gods is true. This would be my minimum standard and then ONLY if they can pull it off under said conditions within the biblical time frame.
    If they could do that, I would overlook the problem of getting animals from across the globe to a specific location without the use of modern shipping.

    It could become the greatest Mythbusters episode EVER!

    --
    Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Pslytely Psycho on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:14PM

      by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:14PM (#9070)

      Ok, "launch" ain't gonna happen. Aside from the fact it would fall apart under it's own weight. Kentucky in land locked.

      I don't think there is a sufficiantly large body of water nearby.

        I have been past their sign (I think it is on I-70) that for years has said "site of reconstruction of Noahs ark" or somthing along that line. A giant open metal frame sits near the sign. I always wondered it the STEEL FRAMEWORK was the start of it. The steel appears to have no specific function so I always assumed it was part of a project that had failed.
      (yeah, it took me that long to connect the dots and realize this story was about that site I had seen so many times as an OTR driver, fuck it, I live in Washington, so I'll have another toke of 'Girl Scout Cookie')

      --
      Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:12PM (#9113)

      Please... If this project fails it will only 'confirm' that said project was impossible without divine intervention! We are all wasting our keystrokes on this story.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:27AM (#9397)

        > If this project fails it will only 'confirm' that said project was impossible without divine intervention!

        And so God commanded Noah to do the impossible, rather than snapping his divine fingers and accomplishing it with no effort... so why didn't God just zap an Ark into existence? Or zap the animals to another planet that could support them until the flood was done? Or just zap those evil sinful humans away instead of covering the ENTIRE EARTH with water?

        For an omnipotent God, there are endless better solutions. The Flood is probably the worst conceivable way to accomplish the goal... unless he wanted it to "look like an accident."

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by JimmyCrackCorn on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:43PM

    by JimmyCrackCorn (1495) on Saturday March 01 2014, @03:43PM (#9140)

    Please do not give up on people that have followed a poor example. Everyone has moments in their lifetime when a story, or something they believe to be true, is completely changed from understanding another story. Look how powerful that idea is by the acceptance of the stories about this noah and his ark.

    One way to have your story change another story is to make sure people know your story.

    No, nut bags are not easy to de-nutify. At the very least, I feel that relating your version of a story can give another human an example of another way to think.

      I do not think it is a good story to tell that some weirdo named noah had a direct feed from some entity called god and saved the earth from having no animals. Hero worship stories are not good lessons for humans. We work together, better.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01 2014, @08:38PM (#9220)

    So, my perspective of this seems very different than most people. This ark will be nothing more than a tourist attraction and it WILL attract people from all over and for many varied reasons. The city is certainly not stupid for investing in that. It is however stupid if it promotes any religion. I still have no idea how that tiny city can afford the $50mil or whatever. Cincinnati, Ohio is the nearest largest city to the creationist museum. Sometimes i wish they would have built on the Ohio side of the river instead of the Kentucky side.

    But whatever, it's not like people care about Kentucky anyways. Bill Nye certainly didn't. It felt like he spoke of residents here as ass-backwards. Just because we let people do whatever they want doesn't make the state ass-backwards. I remember him talking about how you couldn't even get a nuclear medicine degree in the state. What? Yes you can, there are two accredited schools. You can get a degree in almost any science you want, the schools are good. A three second google would have prevented his mistake. I'm not religious at all and think Bill Ham is silly. But what would religious people feel about Bill Nye's speech? They'd probably pool some resources and give him the finger, lol.

    Nye said he was 'heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky,' lamenting that the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham's Young-earth Creationist ministry.
    I'm sorry, should we hide ideas from people? Let everyone see and make up their own minds. If someone wants to believe in creationism then it is their right to do so. I personally would think them a little simple minded though. Tolkien's universe makes more sense than Bill Hams. Probably more people believe in the Force than creationism but we don't get heartbroken and sickened over it. We laugh : )

    Didn't plan on posting anonymously but what i said could be offensive to someone. I'd rather not have any foes so soon.

  • (Score: 1) by ccanucs on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:37PM

    by ccanucs (3539) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:37PM (#9238)

    Hi,

    I do not believe this is the right thing to do. Neither necessary nor appropriate - especially in the context of the governmental structures that separate Church and State - especially if it is indeed using public funds.

    I am an Electronic Engineer by training, a Software Engineer and Systems Architect by discipline; I currently program Beowulf Supercomputer Clusters and I believe fully in the principles and practice of observational science - like many of those who were quoted in the debate.

    I am not a "crazy American Fundamentalist" - I am British.

    I grew up in a typical areligious British household. We did not go to Church. I did not believe in God. I studied Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and still hold to all of the observational and proper historical and present-day scientific principles that those and other scientific disciplines taught and which I make use of every day in a multiplicity of ways - even typing this on a computer, sitting on a manufactured chair made of materials carefully researched by scientific approaches and engineered into materials that are incorporated in every day use in this modern world :-)

    I believed - as I had been taught - the theory (for so it still is) of evolution. I had no reason to think otherwise.

    Nevertheless, *having* been brought to the Gospel (not by any person, not by me "searching and finding") - and then not immediately afterwards - I do believe in a 6-day Creation. I believe the earth is young - though I am not sold on 4004 BC per se.

    My reason however for believing as I do now that the earth is young and in a 6-day Creation is *not* because I was convinced by anyone - certainly not Ken Ham, who I only got to know about 20 years afterwards. Rather, now, *as* a Christian, (who did not believe in the same *when* I was converted - an act of God - not man), and in spite of what some "day-age" so-called Creationists believe, or other such who seek to reconcile the theory of evolution with the Bible, there is no possible way to understand the whole of the Bible taken together - especially in the light of the words of Jesus that reference the Old Testament in this context - in any other manner. Either there was a literal Adam and Eve or the rest of the Bible is bunk. Either there was a worldwide flood or the rest of the Bible is bunk. And so on.

    Seeking to convince others (which is not what I am trying to do here - simply answering the issue and addressing a little why the debates go on and how useless they are) and especially seeking to convince people with the kind of Ark that is being proposed - is completely unprofitable. It will never change anyone's mind. Never. It cannot. I believe what the Bible says that people are "dead in sin" and *can't* reach out after God and won't be convinced of anything else otherwise. It takes an act of God to save anyone. So, while I might agree with almost every point that Mr. Ham believes and makes, what he *did* in his opening presentation was to declare what the Bible says about man and about God and about the need of the Gospel and what it was, which, the hearing of which - and the consequent act of God in applying it to the person - the Bible says is the means by which people believe. Most people seem to have missed that and focused on the scientific aspects of the debate. However, the rest of the debate was - if you like - a sideshow to that and for all his possible good intentions or the supposed good intentions of others, nobody ever believed Creation by being convinced of it by so-called rational argument. I didn't. I don't. I believe it *because* I have come to faith and not the other way round.

    There is a verse in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament that nails this completely. It says: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible". i.e. It is as a *consequence* of faith that I believe that.

    That, as an engineer with a keen scientific mind, who analyzes evidence, who does not reject theories "just" because they are theories, but who does seek proof of scientific theories in the proper scientific method of experimentation and validation of hypotheses, does not mean I do not undertand, appreciate, take advantage of, respect, and fully embrace proper science and engineering, but neither does that sit at all inconsistently with me believing in a rational God Who created a rational universe.

    Regards

    W.