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Noah's Ark replica planned for Kentucky

An ark of “biblical proportions” complete with animal and human actors is being designed in order to create jobs and educate Christians in Kentucky.

Image: Al_HikesAZ via Flickr

THE GOVERNOR OF Kentucky has spearheaded an usual idea for creating jobs within his state: building an ark.

Entrepreneurs are being offered tax incentives for taking on the project to build a full-size replica of the Noah’s ark, the New York Times reports. The ark would be contained within a Bible-based theme park designed to immerse guests in bible stories.

However questions have been raised about whether Governor Steven L Beshear’s plan is constitutional – as the United States’ First Amendment demands the separtion of church and state. The theme park has been envisioned by Answers in Genesis, the same Christian ministry who built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

The Creation Museum, unsurprisingly, projects a strong creationist angle, including material that informs visitors that humans and dinosaurs lived peacefully together on earth (which was created by god over the course of six days). The ministry also insists that the Earth is just 6,000 years old.

Beshear has dismissed the accusations that building a giant ark would be unconstitutional, however, saying:

The people of Kentucky didn’t elect me governor to debate religion. They elected me governor to create jobs.

The developers of the project, Ark Encounter, say they expect to spend $150 million (€112 million), create 900 jobs and attract 1.6 million global visitors in the first year.

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