Last updated: August 06. 2014 12:33PM - 358 Views

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When Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” was theatrically released earlier this year, the people who are trying to build the Ark Encounter theme park in Northern Kentucky were not on board.

In a March 29 online dissection of the movie, Roger Patterson and Tim Chaffey, writing on the answersingenesis.org website, offered “counsel” on the story as told by the filmmakers. Among other criticisms, the Answers spokesmen labeled it “unbiblical,” and assailed what they called its inaccuracies and its misrepresentation of God. (The film scored slightly higher on the secular rottentomatoes.com review aggregator, with 76 percent from top critics.)

It’s not that the writers had problems in general with artistic license — “We used artistic license, for example, in portraying Noah at the Creation Museum, and we will be doing the same at the Ark Encounter,” they wrote. “We don’t know what Noah looked like, what he wore, how he spoke, etc.” — apparently it just depends on who’s the artist and how the license is being used.

This is the same problem some people have with Answers in Genesis receiving the preliminary OK from Kentucky for tax incentives to start building that Ark Encounter in Grant County.

The group’s fundamentalist “artistic license” and literal reading of Genesis flies in the face of mainstream science. And peddling their story that the Earth is only 6,000 years old in the name of tourism and with the state’s help produces blurred lines that have drawn the concern of citizens and groups such as Americans United for the Separation of Church and State alike.

Beyond the legal aspects surrounding this theme park — state officials have long insisted it passes constitutional muster, but court challenges could and should await — are the implications of what its cozy berth in and with Kentucky (along with a Creation Museum in Boone County) means to the state’s national profile.

— Courier-Journal, Louisville

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