Bill Nye's debate with Creation Museum founder Ken Ham had some unintended consequences: Ham says fundraising around the debate will enable the museum to build its Noah's Ark theme park. Oops.
The debate took place a few weeks ago, and shockingly, neither side was convinced of the other's argument. Meanwhile, Ham's Ark project was in danger of collapsing without investor support of $29 million in municipal (or, as Slate described them, "junk") bonds by February 6. The debate took place on February 4, which is great timing (Ham does not mention the possibility of raising funds for his Ark project in his column on why he decided to debate Nye).
Now the project, which was announced in 2010 and will receive "generous tax incentives" from the state of Kentucky, is going forward. Ham told the AP that his widely-publicized debate "helped encourage more of our ministry friends to get involved in the past few weeks." It will cost $73 million and take several years to build.
The ark will be life-sized (that is, if it had actually existed in the first place, which is debatable. But it's probably not a good idea to have a well-publicized debate about it ... ) and feature animals in cages, vegetable gardens, Noah's living quarters, a restaurant, something called a "Christ Theater," an elevator and restrooms. Very authentic!
Nye told the AP that he was disappointed that the project was now going forward and hoped it "goes out of business." It may well have if not for Nye.