Facing declining ticket sales, Creation Museum opens zip-lining facility and other godly attractions

June 8, 2013 • 2:54 pm

Well, I’m glad to hear that the Creation Museum and the proposed “Ark Encounter” park are going to financial hell, but it was predictable given the limited audience, the high ticket prices, and the sophistication of foreign visitors who don’t want to shell out $30 to see a bunch of lies. The audience is dwindling, and even a creationist probably wouldn’t want to visit the Museum more than once.

According to WCPO.com:

HEBRON, Ky. – The Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky is adding several new attractions this summer in hopes of pulling in new customers who are not as likely to come for the museum itself.

“The whole purpose of the new attractions is to bring repeat customers in and also to attract new people to the museum,” said Mike Zovath, Cofounder and Vice President of the museum.

One addition is a zip line and sky bridge course set to open in mid-June.

The course will feature at least 20 zip lines and 10 sky bridges to become the biggest course in the Midwest.

“I think it’s going to be a big draw for people who might not be interested in the Creation Museum but they have zip lines on their bucket lists,” Zovath said.

The museum hopes the zip lining customers will then be interested enough to take a look inside the building as well.

Tickets to the museum are priced at $30 while a full zip-lining course will cost $89. Zovath said they are offering zip lining plus museum entry for a discounted $99.

The Creation Museum has also added a Dragon Legends exhibit and a high-tech display named “Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium.”

The dragon exhibit explores eight legends in a festive environment, Zovath said.

Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium is a $50,000 to $60,000 display of bugs collected over a 30-year period.

As Mark Joseph Stern wrote in Slate  on Darwin Day (Feb. 12) of this year:

But there’s trouble in Ham’s creationist paradise. In 2012, the Creation Museum reported a 10 percent decline in attendance from the previous year, and its parent group, Answers in Genesis, posted a 5 percent drop in revenue. That continues a four-year slump and a new low for the museum at 280,000 total visitors last year. Even more ominously, fundraising for the Ark Encounter has slowed to a crawl. Its future is further imperiled by the decline of the Creation Museum, whose visitors were expected to be a huge source of funding for the ark park. As of January, Ham had failed to raise even half the money required to build the ark replica itself, let alone the rest of the park. To help out, you can buy a peg, a blank, or even a beam for $100, $500, and $1,500, respectively—but seeing as the fate of the ark is in serious jeopardy, is a free pass to the grand opening really worth the risk?

. . . A spectacle like the Creation Museum has a pretty limited audience. Sure, 46 percent of Americans profess to believe in creationism, but how many are enthusiastic enough to venture to Kentucky to spend nearly $30 per person to see a diorama of a little boy palling around with a vegetarian dinosaur? The museum’s target demographic might not be eager to lay down that much money: Belief in creationism correlates to less education, and less education correlates to lower income. Plus, there’s the possibility of just getting bored: After two pilgrimages to the museum, a family of four would have spent $260 to see the same human-made exhibits and Bible quote placards. Surely even the most devoted creationists would consider switching attractions for their next vacation. A visit to the Grand Canyon could potentially be much cheaper—even though it is tens of millions of years old.

Like good theologians, the is making a virtue of necessity. As HuffPo reported on Wednesday:

In an email to the Huffington Post, Zovath elaborated on the logic behind the expansion:

It is a good reason for youth groups and corporate groups to meet and use the museum for their outings. We will do some nature trail teaching from the actual trails, and identify tree species, and other flora in the area as well as some fauna making them very educational. We wanted to give guests another good reason to plan a visit to the museum.

. . . The push to diversify also includes a flashy new “Dragons Legends exhibit and a high-tech display named ‘Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium,’” involving a $50,000-odd display of bugs collected over a 30 year span, reports ABC. Though these additions aren’t explicitly creationist, Zovath insists “the message stays the same…whether it’s bugs, dinosaurs or dragons – it all fits with God’s word.”
Of course! What wouldn’t fit with God’s word? I doubt that Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium will feature the ichneumon flies that helped convince Darwin that any deity could not have been a kind one:
With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.— I am bewildered.— I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I shd wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. (Darwin to Asa Gray, 22 May 1860).

90 thoughts on “Facing declining ticket sales, Creation Museum opens zip-lining facility and other godly attractions

  1. A dragon exhibit could be a wonderful feature of a zoo or natural science museum. Have some Komodo Dragons on display, have a dragonfly pond, have some acid-spraying beetles, have some fireflies, have some dinosaur skeletons or reconstructions, and explain the origins and adaptations for all. For bonus points, show relatedness / family tree information for all. For extra bonus points, bring in the humanities and have some artwork and summaries of legends and the like. Get some mechanical engineers together with some biologists to try to figure out what sort of an environment would support an actual dragon. Gravity? Food source? What would drive a fire-breathing adaptation to arise in the first place?

    …of course, that ain’t gonna happen at anything run by the Hamster….


    1. Actually, that’s all very smart. But I suspect the proprietors didn’t put a lot of thought into this. I mean, once you start thinking about things… you start thinking about things.

      1. “But questions, I’ve learned since, can be like ocean currents. Wade in a little too far and they can carry you away. Follow one line of inquiry and it will lead you to another, and another. Spot a yellow duck dropped atop the seaweed at the tide line, ask yourself where it came from, and the next thing you know you’re way out at sea, no land in sight, dog-paddling around in mysteries four miles deep. You’re wondering when and why yellow ducks became icons of childhood. You want to know what it’s like inside the toy factories of Guangdong. You’re marveling at the scale of humanity’s impact on the terreraqueous globe and at the oceanic magnitude of your own ignorance. You’re giving the plight of the Laysan albatross many moments of thought.” (Donovan Hohn, Moby-Duck, p.4)

  2. With the staff of the Creation Museum’s tenuous grasp on science, I’m afraid people trying out that zip line may find their grasp of the cables equally tenuous.

    1. “…tenuous grasp on science…”

      I see Ms. MacPherson is in rather a generous mood today!

      1. Yeah I thought it was a bit generous too but I really wanted to make the joke about people losing their grip on the zip line due to bad engineering so I had to give them more science credit than they are due for the sake of the joke. 🙂

        1. A joke can’t do any harm. Losing your ‘grip’ on reality also can’t do any harm to yourself, but others might suffer. Losing your ‘grip’ on a zip line, well…, that’s another story. Reality has consequences. Pretending things to be true when they’re not, then the consequences fade away as so much dust in the wind. I’m glad someone out there can see the humor in a bunch of creationists making fools of themselves.

          1. I really, really, really hate quoting Ayn Rand, but this quote is so good I’m compelled to, and rather frequently: “You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”

              1. Feynman said something very similar – “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

                But my favourite is a tagline – “I have a firm grip on reality. Now I can strangle it.”

  3. Limited and declining audience. Good test of the marketing adage: good marketing will increase sales of a sound product and speed the disappearance of a poor one.

  4. For our first anniversary (last year) my wife gave me *one* ticket to the place. A couple of observations. First, about the first third of it attempts to trash evolution and Darwin, and the remainder basically says “now here’s the true story”. Second, the animatronic Noah and the diorama of Adam and Eve (both Northern Europeans, and Eve with her flowing hair strategically positioned) are absolutely hilarious. Finally, I hope that its financial difficulties are reflective of a decline in belief in this nonsense.

  5. But to infer from this nonsense (it’s actually worse than nonsense) that Christianity is false, is pretty obviously bad logic.

    1. That Christians resort to such absurdities to attempt to convince others to join them in their scam is a pretty good indication that Christianity is false — but, you’re right. It’s not proof.

      For proof, all you have to do is read the Bible to know that the notion that it’s even vaguely hand-wavingly true is absurdly laughable.

      I mean, really? A book that opens with talking animals in an enchanted garden ruled by an angry wizard; features a talking plant (on fire!) that gives magic wand lessons to the reluctant hero; and whose grand finale is some sort of bizarre zombie snuff pr0n fantasy with a dead dude getting his rocks off on his thralls fondling his intestines through his gaping chest wound?

      Why are we even pretending that it’s anything other than yet another ancient faery tale, just like all the other ones from the Mediterranean and elsewhere everybody readily recognizes as faery tales?



      1. Once you’ve grasped the stuff’s mythological (or similar), you have to ask, “What’s the meaning of the myth, and is *this* true.”

        There’s no sense in saying the meaning of the myth must be false simply because it comes via myth. That would be like saying the meaning of an advertisement must be false simply because it came via an advertisement.

        1. Thing is, there’s no profound meanings in the myths, either.

          Adam & Eve is just a story about a deadbeat dad who told his pre-pubescent kids not to drink the paint thinner he left in the juice jar in the ‘fridge while he went to work. When he gets home and finds them puking their guts out after his stoner brother tricked them into drinking the juice, he flies into a rage and kicks the kids, naked and still sick, straight to the curb “and don’t you dare come back!” Much of the rest of the book is about said kids and their descendants trying to get back, but the deadbeat just keeps beating them down whenever they get close. And the kids and especially their descendants turn out to be every bit as nasty as dear old dad.

          Moses’s magical mystery tour is much more about all the different kinds of biowarfare whoop-ass cans YHWH is going to open up on all y’all than it is about anything else.

          And Jesus’s whole message is that he will personally see to the infinite torture of anybody who fails to properly kiss his ass. And that he’s gonna nuke the world any day now to get the party goin’.

          All in all, it’s little more than a bunch of demented ravings by some very angry anonymous authors.



          1. Ben, you bring a certain colour to these myths. Someone should commission you to write a modern translation of the bible. 🙂

            1. I would happily accept a suitable commission for such a project. Not sure I’d be interested in convincing somebody to commission me, but, should it fall into my lap, I’d certainly take it.

              I’m also not sure it’d make sense to do the entire Bible…too many begats, too much boring stuff.


              1. Your version would be *much more fun,* you’d bring a new perspective to (what I consider to be) a boring book. For instance: what if the prompt to eat the apple was *not* at the behest of a Talking Snake, and that Adam was a ventriloquist?

              2. You could loosely base your stories on the bible much like O Brother Where Art Thou was loosely based on The Odyssey. 🙂

              3. So now it’s got to be a brilliant musical as well as a witty satirical paraphrase of one of the most cherished works in Western literature?

                Great. Just great. Now I’m never going to get caught up….


              4. Maybe you should do it as a movie. Treat it as a black comedy, it could be good.

              1. The did a Brick New Testament too. Here is one of the reviews from Amazon which made me LOL:

                This book is terrible and scary for children! It has put a very untrue and negative spin on the bible and I am very sad that they had to use a great toy such as Lego to get their misleading message across. I would not give this book to anyone.

      2. Actually the bizarre zombie snuff pr0n fantasy with a dead dude getting his rocks off on his thralls fondling his intestines through his gaping chest wound is just an interlude. Don’t forget the zombie apocalypse through Jerusalem unnoticed by the Romans a few days before. The grand finale that hasn’t yet happened is with stars falling and the rider on the horse with the sword coming out of his mouth saying “I mf Ammp anf Omemf” – it all makes “Battlefield Earth” look sane.

    2. The brand of Christianity peddled by Ham and AiG, and paraded at the Museum is false.

      Different brands of Christianity which do not accept this nonsense are false for other reasons 🙂

  6. Bets on whether they’ll accompany the bug collection with J. B. S. Haldane’s ‘God must have an inordinate fondness for beetles’ quote 😉

  7. It would be amusing for a science group to purchase the facility and modify the display to point out the misinformation and mis-reasoning embodied in every exhibit.

    1. Best idea of the day! Like that guy I read about a few weeks ago who bought a house across the street from the Westboro Baptist compound, and turned it (the house) into a gay pride center.

      1. The problem with buying it is that you’d be giving a lot of money to Ken Ham; better to let it drag him further into debt. And unless you think it would be a much more effective attraction as an exhibit-of-an-exhibit than it is currently, it doesn’t make much sense financially. Caveat: IANA investment advisor.

        1. As frequently happens, I managed to communicate poorly. I meant, once it goes belly up and is put on the market, the price should be minimal, at which point it should be purchased and turned into a science museum.

          Start with the terrain on which the museum is located; I read once somewhere that the rocks in that very location show a particularly fine stratigraphy illustrating much about the geological history of the earth.

  8. Pretty hilarious! As one commenter noted in response to an article about a battle with cancer by Seattle-area anti-gay pastor Ken Hutcherson, “Ain’t karma a bitch?”

  9. I’m only a 2-hour drive from there! One of my coworkers went there in all seriousness. I sniggered but now that it might fail, I want to go before it turns into a generic ride park.

    1. Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering, once most of the atheists that wanted to go for the lulz had all attended the place seems to have lost its appeal. Maybe the place has been kept afloat by atheists and others snickering.

  10. Another thing was bugging me…$90 seems like an awful lot to ride down a telephone wire, but I have no experience with such things.

    So, I did a bit of Googling and found out that, sure enough, the local amusement park (Castles -n- Coasters) has a zip line, and an all-day pass there for unlimited rides on whatever you want is only $23. (Which still seems like a lot of money, but I’m old enough to know that I’m at an age where everything seems like a lot of money, even though I’ve got more money than ever before. Go figure.)

    Seems to me the pricing policy of the “museum” is as out of touch with reality as everything else there.


      1. Zipline to Hell is more exciting.

        A boiling cauldron of red-hot liquid, flames all around, yet at the last minute, the Heavenly Host speaks your name in stentorian terms, and says, “Hell cannot be for the faithful, (insert name here) !! I whisk you to heaven!”

        The far end of the line elevates, and you land in fluffy white…pillows!

        1. Unless your name ends in Myers, Coyne or Dawkins when the elevation circuit unaccountably fails to operate… 😉

        2. The far end of the line elevates, and you land in fluffy white…pillows!

          Let me guess. That’s when the pillow fight with the Playboy Bunnies dressed in raisin suits starts, right? Or am I getting the after-death fantasies all mixed up again?


  11. You know, I am just struck by the sort of roadside tourist trap mentality of adding zip lines. New exhibits and outside nature trails at least seem on-topic, but ‘build a mini amusement park on grounds’ pretty much seems like admitting ‘this is a thing that primarily exists to make money’.

    1. “‘this is a thing that primarily exists to make money’.”

      Makes you wonder how much dough went into the Ham hands. He has a known history of pilfering money away, at least in general. In fact, I think he is still in prison for that.

  12. Having been involved with zip lines and sky bridges I would say that having qualified staff on hand would be more important than faith. I suspect his insurance premiums for such high risk activities will outstrip ticket sales.

    Desperate times for desperate people. Ken Ham’s “ministry” is more amusement attraction than anything else, said nobody surprised.

  13. Since Darwin was quoted on this thread, I take the opportunity to pass along info from a recent book (2007) I recently read, “Young Stalin” by Simon Montefiori. The excellent book reveals that young Иосиф Виссарионович Джугашвили, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili,read “Origin of the Species” by Charles Darwin at an early age. He became a firm atheist before he turned thirteen, because of information he absorbed from the book.
    He joined the local seminary in his mid-teens for two reasons: to honor the wishes of his adored mother, Keke, and because the seminary was “the only game in town” as it were. A very crude, brutal institution, it added more cruel aspects and tools to his inherently deviant personality.

    1. What sources does Simon Sebag Montefiore give for The Milkman’s interest in Darwin’s book?

      1. Among “Stalin’s” various aliases was “The Milkman”. Here is a partial list:

        Pockmarked Oska
        The Caucasian
        The Milkman
        The Pockmarked One
        The Loper (Geza)
        The Staggerer (Kunkula)
        Pockmarked (Chopura)
        The Priest
        Father Koba

        As a child, ‘Soso’ was whip-smart and a voracious reader. I myself was surprised that Darwin’s book had been translated and penetrated the Caucasus region.

  14. Zip lines? C’mon! I’ll bet that a casino and brothel would do very well right there in the heart of redneckistan.

  15. Don’t they realize that its failure is the will of God? Therefore they are building a zip line straight to bosom of the devil.

  16. The Creation Museum has a fundamental problem (ha ha) in that the nature of the displays and the story linking them is fixed and already known to most people. And also it is ‘educational’. Why would anyone want to go twice?

    Now if they added ‘Iron Chariot’ simulators, Sodom and Gomorrah 3D films, and Song of Solomon lap dancing they would bring in more punters… but that would be ‘unchristian’, somehow.

    1. Hmm, and I thought that picking and choosing from the Inerrant And Inspired Word Of God was unchristian. Oh wait, I keep forgetting I’m no longer a fundamentalist crazy…

      Good idea. Also a bear pit, for snarky teenagers who guffaw at the exhibits, a witch holding seances, a pay-by-the-minute lake of fire… The possibilities are nearly endless!

      It’s almost a shame that the museum is hardcore creationist, and not into ID; I’d love to see an exhibit showing how the irreducibly complex plasmodium-mosquito-human congeries, responsible for what, a billion deaths or so? was intelligently designed.

        1. After all, without witches, who will we “not suffer to live”?

          I forgot to mention the unicorns, basilisks, dragons and other beasts, too; I think they’d be as much a draw as the dinosaurs.

  17. The ichneumon fly and the kitten were vegetarians until Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden; a few days after Creation.
    This is written in the Holey Babble so cannot be denied by all who wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

    1. Furthermore, since plants were eaten before the fall, and since death entered into the world before the fall, a necessary conclusion, “without which nothing in biology makes sense,” is that plants are not alive. See the ICR for more details:
      http://www.icr.org/article/are-plants-alive/ (warning: the stupid burns)

  18. Their new advertising slogan could be “The Creation Museum: Come for the zip-line, stay for the Jesus”

    1. “The Creation Museum: Come for the zip-line, stay for the Jesus”

      Well, if they opened a good cheese shop, that could be worth staying for. Especially if the cafe served the Christian specialty: cheeses fried with lamb and cod.


  19. I was a little baffled by rhe “zip line” terminology. It doesn’t sound like the sort of thing your average moral absolutist would be likely to encourage in broad daylight.

    Then I found that a zip line is what we in godzone call a “flying fox”, which is possibly just as baffling to non-Strine speakers. I remember them from my youth as a few moments of exhilarating terror, usually followed by strangulated screams of pain when you misjudged the landing distance.

  20. You can fool some of the poeple all of the time.
    you can fool all of the people some of the time.
    but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  21. I assumed – seriously – that zip-lining would involve removal of ones trousers, then the lining put onto the zip to reduce getting ones todger caught when zipping up!


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