We had the opportunity to visit The Ark Encounter which is a replica of Noah's Ark located in Williamstown, Kentucky. I have been eager to visit the attraction since its completion in 2016.
As we drove to Williamstown, I was not sure what to expect. I suppose my initial thoughts were just the sheer size of the ark itself. I never looked up the details, I hate to spoil surprises.
As I look back on our experience, I honestly felt like The Ark Encounter was a bait and switch. Draw Christians in to admire the Ark, but then immerse Christians in their Biblical beliefs.
That is why I have written this comprehensive review of The Ark Encounter. You will learn what is being taught as Biblical fact at this attraction. We go into detail and explain why these teachings are not Biblically accurate.
These untruths have great ramifications Christians should be aware of.
This visit, I will now share with you...
Unfortunately, once we stepped foot inside the ark, the exciting experience quickly turned into a Biblical nightmare.
Within each level of the Ark, there are various points of interest to read and view. We noticed, each point of interest drilled into the mind of visitors the belief system of The Ark Encounter, not necessarily Biblical fact.
As we moved through the Garden of Eden section, which really had no business in "Noah's Ark," we saw a picture of Adam and Eve standing in the water with Dinosaurs off in the distance.
We all looked at each other in dismay at the imagery.
There is no Biblical or historical documentation to support such a belief.
There is no Scripture we can point to that says, Dinosaurs walked with Adam and Eve. These are simply the beliefs of young earth creationists who wrap Creation and world history into a 6,000-year timeframe.
They depict such scenes in order to make their theory seem believable.
I should not have to tell you, flesh-eating Dinosaurs could not have existed with mankind in the flesh. Man would have simply been exterminated and in very short order.
Further, Dinosaurs date millions of years in age, something the Bible does not disagree with when properly understood, (see: In The Beginning: The World That Was).
As we moved further into the Garden of Eden display, there is a picture featuring Adam and Eve hiding, and baby Dinosaurs being cooked on an altar.
The caption reads,
“First Sacrifice God Provides A Substitute”
First off, nowhere in the Bible did God require Adam and Eve to perform a sacrifice due to their sin. Nor were Adam and Eve to be sacrificed themselves and in need of a substitute, much less baby Dinosaurs roasting on an altar, and who did the roasting?
The Ark Encounter provides Genesis 3:7-8;21 as documentation for the depiction, (see photo).
However, these verses have nothing to do with Dinosaurs or sacrifices on an altar.
Turn your Bible with me to,
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Clearly, these verses have nothing to do with Dinosaurs and sacrifices being required by God. They simply cover the sin of Adam and Eve.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
God, our Heavenly Father used animal skins to make clothing for Adam and Eve.
Obviously, several animals must have been killed by God since He is the one who provided the clothing, but how did this turn into sacrifices and burning baby Dinosaurs on an altar?
The graphic imagery in no way, shape, or form is Biblically accurate.
It was simply one of the uncountable tactics used by The Ark Encounter to mold the mind of visitors into accepting their belief system.
As we continued our tour in the Garden of Eden section, evolutionary concepts were placed into the mind of unknowing visitors. We were led to believe Adam and Eve were the first people on earth. Of course, this is a commonly held view among Christians, though it is not Biblically accurate.
This teaching stems from not properly understanding the Sixth Day of Genesis, where God created all of the races, (Genesis 1:26-27).
After the Sabbath Day, God created Adam for a specific purpose. Adam and Eve were the family of the 12 Tribes of Israel who were to pass down God's Word from one generation to the next. This would also be the family that brought about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Ark Encounter teaches the various races were created by Adam and Eve.
They assume Adam and Eve possessed genes that contained various "skin tones" which allowed them to have children of different races. This not only introduces evolution into their explanation of the Bible, but it reduces the difference in race to "skin tone".
- Related: Did We All Come From Adam And Eve?
We can clearly see with our own eyes, the differences in race are not just "skin tone," but various facial and other features that are specific to each race. To reduce race to "skin tone" robs each race of its own unique identity and heritage.
The Ark Encounter simply introduced their "skin tone" theory in order to explain how all of the races came into existence. Yet, their theory is not logical, nor Biblical, and is void of all rational.
Common sense should tell us, one pure race of people cannot evolve and produce children of an entirely new race of people.
The level of indoctrination continued to escalate as we moved from one display to the next.
Within The Ark Encounter, there are various cages depicting how the animals could have been stored and cared for on Noah's Ark.
Unfortunately, it was not just animals in cages, but Dinosaurs as well. Dinosaurs were not just mentioned, they were almost the main theme.
We saw large Dinosaurs in cages.
We saw small Dinosaurs in cages.
We even saw Pterosaurs in cages.
Why all the graphic and bold depictions of pre-historic creatures?
To convince the visitor, it was not only possible for Dinosaurs to have lived with Adam and Eve, but to make it appear as if Dinosaurs were transported on the Ark, and survived Noah's Flood.
This was done in an effort to explain their young earth and global flood theories.
The Ark Encounter explains, Noah would have selected young Dinosaurs as they were much smaller than their adult counterparts.
Unfortunately, they once again left the Bible out of their logic.
God told Noah, the animals, not Dinosaurs "shall come unto thee". Meaning, God sent the animals to Noah, Noah did not select them, he merely collected what God had sent, (Genesis 6:19-20).
Their explanation simply adds to the Scriptures, which we have been instructed not to do, (Revelation 22:18-19).
- Related: Were Dinosaurs On Noah’s Ark?
At this point, we were not sure what was more disturbing.
The graphic imagery of Adam and Eve next to grilled baby dinos. Dinosaurs in cages, or the next display, the use of evolutionary principles to explain Noah's Flood.
The Ark Encounter underwent great effort to explain how all of earth's animals could have fit on the Ark. They explain, Noah only needed to collect 1,398 vertebrate "kinds".
They cunningly use the word "kinds", in place of "species", in order to make their theory "work".
I will explain in a moment.
The reader should understand, there are over 45,000 different vertebrate species in existence.
So how could Noah only take 1,398 of them and we have 45,000+ today, (not including marine, insect, microbe, or plant life)?
God told Noah to bring the animals after their "kind," this is where The Ark Encounter introduces evolution with a Biblical twist, (Genesis 6:20).
"Kind" is a broader category than species, and usually includes many species.
That is not true.
The word “kind” in Genesis 6:20 literally means, “species”.
You can verify this in the Strong's Concordance.
The creators of The Ark Encounter blatantly used a generic and "broad term" definition in order to explain their theory.
With their newfound "definition" they explain, Noah only needed 6,744 total animals from 1,398 "kinds". With those animals, the entire earth was repopulated as we know it today.
This means, and they actually teach, all of the dog breeds, wolves, and foxes evolved from a single male and female "canine kind".
They use this logic for every species of animal.
To use their words with respect to bears,
The various bears of the world belong to the same kind. The two bears on the Ark were the ancestors of the many bears in the world today, including polar bears.
The Ark Encounter teaches, this is due to "design features" or "mode-of-life changes" within the animals that enable them to evolve into different species of bears, dogs, and so on.
I should not have to tell you, this is a fabrication of the truth. They are blatantly using the concept of evolution to support their theory.
How many Christians realize this is one of the ramifications when one believes in a global flood?
We noticed The Ark Encounter focused on dogs during our visit. It is widely known that dog breeds have largely changed within the last 200 years. This does not mean new breeds formed or changed on their own.
It means breeders have mixed and matched dogs of various breeds to acquire certain features in the breed they are raising.
These are not "design features" as The Ark Encounter teaches.
It is well documented, the mixing and matching of various breeds have introduced numerous health issues in today's dog.
We do not see such chronic health problems in the animal kingdom which negates their point.
The Ark Encounter has introduced evolution with a Biblical twist in order to explain the Flood of Noah.
When God was done creating mankind and the animals on the Sixth Day, He said, "it was very good", (Genesis 1:31). There is no room to believe or insert that God allowed His Creation to evolve.
The Ark Encounter simply stole a page from the evolutionary handbook and has presented it as Biblical fact in order to teach a global flood.
The Ark Encounter teaches fresh and saltwater marine life could have survived a global flood in "water layers".
Freshwater and saltwater do not necessarily mix together, so freshwater layers may have existed within the global flood, allowing the freshwater creatures to survive.
That is true to a degree, freshwater is lighter since it does not contain salt as seawater does, so freshwater "floats" above seawater.
However, considering their global flood scenario, it seems probable the waters would have mixed together which would have destroyed most marine life.
Nevertheless, The Ark Encounter teaches theoretical fresh and saltwater layers could have enabled marine life to exist in their own specific water environments.
This immediately should make one wonder how whales, as one example, would have survived as they live in saltwater environments and must surface for air.
Considering the fact that Noah's Flood consisted of freshwater from rain and springs, how much freshwater would have been over the seawater surface in their global flood theory, (Genesis 7:11)?
29,029 feet, enough to touch the top of Mount Everest.
This would have trapped saltwater creatures below a freshwater surface depriving the deep of air, light, and nutrients. Their theory raises more questions than answers.
However, they have a backup theory, they explain,
Many fish, such as salmon, striped bass, and Atlantic sturgeon live in both freshwater and saltwater during their lifetimes. In most families of fish there are both freshwater and saltwater varieties, which may imply that the original marine creatures were more capable of tolerating both types of water.
Their entire theory is made out of thin air.
"May imply" in their statement is pure speculation, and they once again introduced evolution to fit their theory. If "water layers" are not possible, then "the original marine creatures" evolved into the marine creatures of today concludes The Ark Encounter.
We constantly noticed this evolutionary tactic being used in order to explain their theories.
What about using the Word of God?
What about common sense?
Had there been a global flood, the lakes of the world would be filled with salt, but that is not the case.
The creators of The Ark Encounter even had an explanation as to how insects could have survived a global flood.
They explain mats of vegetation could have existed outside of Noah's Ark.
As the floodwaters began to rise, the insects could have climbed on these vegetation mats to escape the Flood. There was no mention of how snails, slugs, and microbes like bacteria could have survived such an environment.
God's Word tells us this theory is simply not true.
Please turn your Bible with me to,
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
If Noah's Flood was global, this verse indicates everything outside of Noah's Ark perished.
All marine life, every insect, and all microbes would have perished. Every organism would have died except for those people and creatures on the Ark. This verse alone simply erases the last two theories of The Ark Encounter.
The Ark Encounter even had a section dedicated to the creation of the Grand Canyon.
They teach the Grand Canyon was formed over a very short period of time, during Noah's Flood.
They continue by explaining, each layer of rock within the Grand Canyon was formed by the sentiment of the Flood (including the fossils) and the great canyon itself was carved by the receding water.
They explain, this was due to 'continental lift' which we will explain in the next section.
Common sense should tell us a single flood, global or not, would never have created the extensive and multi-colored rock layering we find at the Grand Canyon.
At the very least, the layering was caused by numerous flooding events that brought various colors of debris to the region. Including standing water, assuming all layers were formed by water to begin with.
Additionally, the entire earth would have similar and extensive layering throughout which is not the case.
Considering their teaching, how did raging waters stir up enough rock, dirt, and silt to create the Grand Canyon, but be still enough to maintain "water layers"?
We should also consider other environments before we accept such teachings. In the state of Tennessee, we find solid rock under very little surface dirt. This is made apparent by the rock that has been blasted away for roads, and other construction, or natural areas of erosion.
Had a global flood caused the extensive layering at the Grand Canyon, why do we not see this extensive layering in Tennessee or even the Rocky Mountains?
If there was a global flood in the days of Noah, where did the water go after the Flood?
The creators of The Ark Encounter teach the earth had no hills or mountains to speak of during the time of Noah. They maintain the earth was essentially flat from a topographical perspective.
Of course, the Bible tells us this is simply not true.
Please turn your Bible with me to Genesis 7 where God begins to unleash the Flood of Noah.
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
As we can clearly read, there were certainly "high hills" and "mountains" during the days of Noah. The Hebrew word used for "hills" and "mountains" is H2022 which means,
a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively): - hill (country), mount (-ain), X promotion.
So their premise is simply not true, and with that premise, it brings forward their theory as to how the Flood waters receded from off the earth...
The creators of The Ark Encounter teach, due to the amount of water during the Flood of Noah, a great shift of earth's plates occurred, 'continental lift'.
They explain, this not only created the continents of today, but brought up the mountains from the ocean floor to create the mountain ranges. This is the logic that is used to explain how the Flood waters receded from the earth.
They sum up the question, where did the water go?
By simply saying,
"The water is in the oceans of today".
This theory is not based on Biblical fact or science. It is manufactured from the minds of men in order to explain their global flood teaching.
God's Word already told us, "mountains or ranges of hills" were present in the days of Noah, and His Word will tell us how the water receded.
Please turn your Bible with me to,
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;
God made a "wind" pass over the earth, and the waters "asswaged" which means, "abate a flood, make to cease".
The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
God simply stopped the rains and the fountains of the deep which brought about the Flood to begin with.
Due to this, "the waters returned from off the earth continually," (Genesis 8:3). Simply meaning, the waters evaporated and were absorbed back into the earth where they came from.
Nowhere in Scripture are we told that 'continental lift' or plate shift occurred due to Noah's Flood.
These are made-up theories.
An event of this magnitude, that would have caused mountains to form would have certainly been placed in the Bible by God, but we find exactly the opposite from Scripture.
Further, it is unfounded in earth's history.
Their entire theory is contradictory to the Bible.
God's Word declared,
- There were hills and mountains before the Flood
- God stopped the Flood: the rains and fountains of the deep
- God sent a wind to dry up the waters
As we continued our tour of The Ark Encounter, we discovered they also discuss the ice age.
There was just one problem.
They place the time of the ice age after Noah's Flood.
Not only do they teach Noah's Flood caused the 'continental lift' we discussed earlier, but they teach the Flood caused the ice age as well. There is no basis in the Bible for such a belief.
God never said He would raise up continents and cause an ice age due to Noah's Flood.
In fact, after the Flood, God made an everlasting covenant that He would never again curse the ground, (Genesis 8:21). Had God or the Flood He brought about caused an ice age, it would have certainly been a curse on the ground and made God a liar, blasphemy!
I believe the creators of The Ark Encounter manufactured the timing of the ice age in an attempt to explain how Wooly Mammoths and other creatures are found frozen in Siberia.
Had a global flood occurred, it would have washed away these creatures that were supposedly killed by the Flood, but they are there today, frozen.
Due to that, they placed the ice age after Noah's Flood to account for these frozen creatures.
Scripture tells us after the Flood of Noah, the animals left the Ark and went on their own to repopulate the earth, The Ark Encounter agrees.
However, had the flood been global, Scripture already explained everything outside of the Ark died, (Genesis 7:21;23). This brings about a major problem for young earth creationists.
What did Noah's animals eat after they left the Ark?
If everything outside of the Ark died in a global flood, there would have been no plants or other animals for them to eat. Noah's animals would have survived the flood to go die in the wilderness of starvation.
Of course, The Ark Encounter never addresses this concern.
In no way, shape, or form can we be led to believe, Noah provided for these animals outside of the Ark.
That would have required fencing and barns, something the Bible never mentions.
The only structure Noah built after leaving the Ark, was an altar to God, and he later planted a vineyard, (Genesis 8:20;9:20).
God simply told Noah,
Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.
Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.Genesis 8:16-19
This tells us, plants and animals continued to exist outside of the Ark during the flood, outside of the flood plain.
Otherwise, Noah’s animals could not:
- Breed Abundantly
- Be Fruitful
The fact Noah’s animals did this, tells us there was food to sustain them outside of the Ark. Otherwise, they would have perished in the wilderness of starvation.
These simple facts erase the possibility of a global flood, and re-enforce a local flood.
If Noah's Flood was global, we should ask ourselves, how did mankind, animals, insects, and microbes return to each continent and island after leaving Noah's Ark?
The creators of The Ark Encounter teach a land bridge existed in the bearing strait connecting Russia to Alaska. They claim the ocean levels were 180 feet lower after the Flood than they presently are today.
Of course, they stole most of this theory from evolutionists.
Further, if the ocean was 180 feet lower after Noah's Flood than it is today, where did the 180 feet of global water come from that now covers "the bridge"?
I found no explanation for this.
How mankind, animals, insects, and microbes ended up on the various islands is not explained either, they simply state,
'They got there somehow'.
The more we walked through The Ark Encounter, the more untruths surfaced.
They teach Noah's family re-established life on earth which became the races of today. This is an evolutionary concept.
Essentially an Adam and Eve redo.
We should understand, Noah was "perfect in his generations," (Genesis 6:9).
This word "perfect" means,
"Without blemish, without spot"
While "generations" means,
"Posterity" which is "all future generations of people".
This simply means, Noah's family was of one pure race, the descendants of Adam, who had not intermarried with the Fallen Angels or any other race for that matter, (Genesis 6:1-4, Jude 1:6).
This is important to understand.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came through Noah, and His genealogy was "without blemish, without spot", (1 Peter 1:19).
That is aside from the point.
It would have been impossible for Noah and his family to have produced, for example, Chinese babies, that went off to establish the Chinese culture.
Teaching such a thing makes a mockery out of God's Word and is an insult to the intelligence of the listener. Further, it robs each race of their own unique identity and heritage.
As we documented earlier, The Ark Encounter teaches that Dinosaurs were aboard Noah's Ark which means Dinosaurs also left the Ark.
So where are the Dinosaurs?
They explain, the world was far different after the Flood and the Dinosaurs could not adapt,
"They simply died out".
If we are to embrace a global flood that destroyed everything, then the world would have been different to every single creature on the Ark, not just the Dinosaurs. So other creatures should have died out as well, but that is not the case.
Once again, we find their theory is not logical. It is simply another manufactured theory to push forward their belief system.
To say we left The Ark Encounter disturbed is an understatement.
In fact, roughly halfway through the tour my wife and friend had to sit out having seen enough. I pressed on with the kids so I could capture enough information to fully grasp all of their teachings in order to share with all of you.
What I originally thought was going to be a great experience to share with our readers turned into a Biblical nightmare.
After our visit, we sat down and had lunch.
I had to admit, I felt a little defeated.
The Ark Encounter complex cost over $100 million dollars to construct, thousands and thousands of people are walking through this exhibit yearly and being told that is the truth. The attraction already has plans for further expansion which added to the disheartenment.
Here we are eating lunch together talking over our experience.
We began to ask ourselves,
- Why are Christians teaching evolution to explain the Flood of Noah?
- Why are theories being made up that are not supported by the Bible?
- How many non-believers are being created due to a lack of common sense and logic?
When we went home, we all brainstormed to create this article.
During the writing process, I realized I could not explain everything that was required to completely document what we saw and refute it with the Bible in this article. This led us to create an entire Noah's Flood Bible Study series.
I hope you take the opportunity to read the studies contained in that series.
If you find this article, or the Bible studies helpful and informative, please share them with your family and friends. We cannot compete with multi-million dollar organizations, but that is not the purpose is it?
Our purpose is to share God's Word with you. Your job is to ensure we have taught correctly by verifying our teachings in the Bible, and then passing on that information to enrich and help the body of Christ, (Acts 17:11).
Our purpose is to share God's Word with those who will listen.