We have received many questions about the Ark Encounter based on misconceptions about the project itself. Some of these come from people who are supporters, and others come from critics and skeptics. These types of questions give us an opportunity to correct common misunderstandings, so we’ll spend several posts addressing these issues.
This question is based on a misunderstanding of the ship that will be built at the Ark Encounter. Our boat is going to be a depiction of what the Ark may have looked like shortly before the Flood started. As such, there would be no need to put it in water at this point.
Also, while similarities exist, the purpose for our Ark and the purpose of Noah’s Ark are different. Noah’s Ark was built so that its eight human passengers and a large number of animals would survive the global Flood. The Ark Encounter is being built to accommodate thousands of visitors on a daily basis, so we will need to include numerous features that were not part of the original Ark, such as HVAC, large restrooms and dining areas, and handicap accessibility features.
Certainly, it would be fun to put the Ark in water to demonstrate to the skeptics that a large wooden boat of this magnitude could indeed float. However, countering this particular objection is not the primary goal of Ark Encounter. Noah’s Ark likely only needed to float for 150 days or less (Genesis 8:3) and protect the Ark’s inhabitants for the remainder of the time they were in it. We hope that our Ark will stand as a vivid testimony to the biblical account for many years to come.
To learn more about the purpose of the Ark Encounter and to hear some responses to common questions we have received, please listen to this Answers Conversation podcast between Steve Ham and Tim Chaffey, content manager for the Ark Encounter.
Thanks for reading!