Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, has thanked a group of atheists planning to protest his latest project, the newly-opened life-sized replica of Noah's Ark in Kentucky, for the free "publicity."
"Many news sources today (including my homeland of Australia) are reporting on a group protesting the life-size Ark opening today in N. Kentucky. News.com.au states there'll be a 'renewed wave of protest' - as if there's some sort of massive protest against the Ark. One news source had the headline 'Protesters fire up as Aussie's ark opens.' Wow. This must be some massive protest!" Ham wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday, the day of the official opening of the theme-park.
"Now let's see - first of all, it is a group of primarily atheists who will be protesting a Christian facility - not a surprise! Secondly, according to their Facebook, they have just over 100 going to protest," he added, posting a screenshot of the planned atheist protest's Facebook page.
Ham noted that while a mere 112 atheists are planning to protest the Biblically-accurate replica, a staggering 8,000 visitors attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, and another 7,000 people came on Wednesday to the Ark, and that was even before the official opening.
"The interest is very high - the people reach on my Facebook has over 7 million the last few days. So a handful of atheists protest thousands upon thousands of people coming to a Christian-themed attraction and attract media attention - thanks for the publicity," he added.
Recently, Ham told NBC's Kevin Tibbles he hopes to draw at least a million visitors to the replica this year.
"We wanted to be as good - or better - than Hollywood," Ham said,"We hope they show up two by two, seven by seven, hundred by a hundred."
Built with the same measurements God gave Noah in Genesis 6:15, the upcoming ark is the largest timber-frame structure in the world. It's just over 500 feet long - one and a half times the length of a football field - about 50 feet tall, and 85 feet wide.
Inside, life-like displays and animatronics tell the Old Testament story of Noah, his family, the animals, and the flood that destroyed the world thousands of years ago.
Earlier, Ham explained that the Ark Encounter is a fun and exciting way to present God's truth to the word.
"More than ever, people need to discover the truth of God's Word beginning in Genesis and the saving Gospel of the New Testament. That is especially true today for teens and millennials (including those inside the Church)," he wrote earlier this year.
"Our culture needs to take a voyage of discovery and discover that: God's Word concerning the history of the universe and all life is true. God's Word concerning man's sinful state and his need of salvation in Christ is true," he added.
The Ark Encounter website includes information about the various exhibits and the other attractions connected with the Ark, including the Zip Lines and Ararat Ridge Zoo.