Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood - Genesis 6:14
Welcome to another edition of the Science Pastor. My name is Steve and as you can tell we have an ark behind us. We're at the Ark Encounter in Kentucky... and... it's BIG.
I'm glad you could join us today. This is Patrick. He is with Answers in Genesis and he's joining us today to answer some questions about this big ship. Let's start with, “What is this?”
Patrick: This is a life-size replica of Noah's ark. We took the biblical dimensions, 300 cubits long, 30 cubits tall, and 50 cubits wide, and we created this iconic Noah's ark.
Steve: What was the purpose? Why did you build this? Is this an amusement park? Is this a classroom?
Patrick: It proclaims the gospel. What we're doing is proclaiming the gospel. We're proclaiming the biblical account of Noah and his family, and what happened. Hy did God destroy the earth in the first place? What was going on before the flood? What did God tell Noah? All of these things are a part of the exhibits that are inside. There are over 100 exhibits. This is exhibit one (pointing to the ark) right here.
Steve: What will people see in there?
Patrick: They are going to see the eight family members on every level of the ark. There are three levels of exhibits. The family is praying, Noah's praying for the family on level one. Level two they are actually feeding the animals, caring for the animals. Cleaning the ship. Noah is in his office and you can ask him questions. And he'll answer you. Which is really neat. And then on deck three the family members are in their living quarters.
You see the animals as well throughout the ship in cages. We actually have live animals on the ark that come in from the zoo every day. They come in about mid-morning and they stay through the afternoon.
Steve: I have to ask you this. This is a beautiful looking ship But, will it float.
Patrick: (Laughing) That question is prevalent. That is always asked. It is a building that looks like a ship. So the hull that we have is much much thinner than what Noah would have built. You actually see a replica of what we think the thickness of that hull would have been to carry the weight, to make sure it was waterproof, and all that. The outside of this ship is maybe three inches at the most. The wood, a couple of inches. And we have foam and all that.
Steve: So if there is a flood... don't come here?
Patrick: Don't come here. Although we do have from NOAA, we do have a designation that this is a place to get out of the weather if there is severe weather.
Steve: We're fortunate that God has promised that He will not flood the earth again.
Patrick: Well a couple of weeks ago it kept raining and we were wondering. But, we're in good shape.
Steve: What is the most common question people ask?
Patrick: The most common question... is this the real size of what it would have been?
Steve: And it is?
Patrick: Absolutely. It's the 300 cubits by 30 by 50. It's 510 feet long. 51 feet tall. 84 feet wide. These the dimensions from Genesis that God told Noah to build. We wanted to represent this is a true-to-life form. And along with seeing it, is it possible that all the animals would have fit? So we do talk about that... there is a lot of science on the ship. We talk about what an animal kind is. We talk about...based on the number of kinds of each animal, clean and unclean, how many animal;s would that have been, total? With that number of animals, is this ship big enough to carry that number of animals?
Steve: I'm looking at this. And I've seen how big an Argentinosaurus is for example. That's a big dinosaur. How would you get it on the ark. How is it going to fit?
Patrick: Great question. The guests ask a lot of these things also. In the exhibits we try to answer all the questions you might have, before you have the question. And maybe there are some things you haven't thought about.
But to answer your question, we think, and there is a chart in the ark about this. God brought the animals. Noah built the ship. God brought the animals. God probably would have brought adolescent animals. Why bring a big old elephant, for instance? The big, old elephant maybe wouldn't even survive the trip. Too much to care for. Takes up too much space. Too much waste.
Steve: Also you want the ones that are going to make babies.
Patrick: Yeah. And maybe it could reproduce when it got off the ship. So, bring an adolescent. That reduces the volume they would have taken up. Less waste. Less to care for. And they're going to reproduce.
Steve: That makes a lot of sense. Besides, I though I heard the average size of a dinosaur might be the size of a sheep. Now, I want to get some tips from you. How should somebody prepare for coming here? Do they need to bring a lunch? Walking shoes? How should they prepare?
Patrick: Definitely bring comfortable shoes. As you can see we're in the area where the buses are dropped off. You can probably hear the buses in the background. The buses are dropped off here from our very large parking lot. It's about a mile ride on the bus. They are dropped off here. And there is probably a 300 meter walk to get to the entrance of the ark to begin with. So there is a bit of walking. I recommend comfortable shoes. A lot of folks bring stylish sandals and that. Your feet are going to hurt by the end of the day. Especially if you have some leg or feet problems.
You're going to do a lot of walking. In addition to getting to the ship, you have to go back and forth inside the ship on the three levels. And the zoo is out back. And then you have to walk back to the buses. So there is a lot of walking.
Steve: And I have to admit. One of my key criteria is food. And I love your restaurant. I had a great meal there last year.
Patrick: Emzara's Buffet is now a full-fledged permanent buffet. When you were here last year we were still getting things set up. Steve: So now it's even better.
Patrick: It's even better than it was before. The food is fresh. We make all of our food here. We prepare it here fresh. Our fried chicken is just...
Steve: It is good. Yes!
Patrick: It really is good. So it's a two story buffet. The seating capacity is about 15 hundred people. As near as we can tell... we've done a little research on this... it might be the largest seating capacity restaurant in the United States. Not the largest area wise, but the largest seating capacity.
[Note: I thought there might be a larger restaurant at the Medura Musical in Medura, North Dakota. But, when I checked they told me that they only seat 1,200 people.]
Obviously this is the largest timber framed structure in the world. Things are big here.
Steve: They are definitely big.
Steve... interrupting the interview video: I'm going to interrupt Patrick right here because... well Patrick is a little bit biased. He works for Answers in Genesis... works specifically for the Ark Encounter. He's biased. I want to give you by straight forward, straight from the heart, evaluation of what the Ark Experience is like. I want you to get the truth. The absolute truth from an outside observer. I've been there twice. I've been through the whole ark twice. We've seen it, and I have to say... that it is...
You will exist forever. The question is, where? Disobeying God is the road to death, and we have all disobeyed God:
For all have sinned [disobeyed God] and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23
The consequence of sin is death. You will exist experiencing death forever.
For the wages of sin is death... - Romans 6:23a
But there is GOOD News! You can have life!
...but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23b
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
Instead of our experiencing death forever, Christ died in our place. Repent (turn away from disobeying God), believe this, trusting that Jesus truly did die in your place.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 5:1