“Blind Monkeys” could be a heavy metal band. It also could be a modern mental disability: People who feel threatened by opposing viewpoints declare the argument is “settled,” and assume the hands-cover-eyes posture of… blind monkeys.

Sometimes they even put their hands over someone else’s mouth to silence anything that might pop their bubble of pseudo-certainty. Speakers are banned from campuses the way racy books were once “banned in Boston.”

Meanwhile, meteorologists who can’t forecast rain on Tuesday now declare that climate science is “settled” for the next 100 years.

And evolution cannot be debated because millions of science teachers and textbooks can’t be wrong—even though they often are (ask Pluto—the former planet, not the Disney dog). In fact, being wrong is the way science eventually gets it right.

So when Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, challenged Bill Nye “the Science Guy” to a debate on creationism vs. evolution in February, Nye’s own team scolded him. Not for losing, but for debating at all. It would only give credibility to creationism, they griped.

The debate went off anyway, and has been viewed by 14 million on the Internet and YouTube. The comments (“Caveman!” “Atheist!”) suggest that few minds were changed. But the only losers were the blind monkeys who covered their eyes and shuttered their minds.

And now they need to go shopping for some bigger shutters.

The same people at Answers in Genesis who built the Creation Museum are now building an ark in Kentucky, using the blueprint in the Bible. It will be very hard to ignore: 510 feet long, 51 feet tall and 85 feet wide, the same dimensions that are in the Bible.

To put that in perspective, that’s two football fields long, minus a couple of first downs. The Ark Encounter, scheduled to open in 2016, will be on 800 acres off I-75 at the Williamstown Exit.

It will loom over the landscape like a dry-docked supertanker and will be one of the biggest tourism draws and cash magnets in the region, expected to attract as many as 2 million visitors the first year.

To get an idea of what a Noah’s Ark theme park will be like, a good place to start is the Creation Museum, south of the Ohio River, off I-275 west of Hebron. It has drawn well over 2 million visitors since it opened six years ago, sometimes hitting 3,000 on a busy summer Saturday. Attendance has stayed ahead of estimates and is climbing with the recent addition of one of the biggest zip-line courses in the Midwest—27 lines—and one of the world’s most complete skeletons of an Allosaurus (like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but with longer arms) that will be on display soon.

License plates from Texas, Washington, Vermont and Georgia testify that the Creation Museum has become one of the most successful attractions in the Midwest.

But it’s something of a well-kept secret.

The Creation Museum website steers visitors to regional attractions such as the Cincinnati Zoo, the Museum Center, the Reds and Bengals, Newport Aquarium, museums and arts. But the friendly referrals are not reciprocated.

“Secular places are afraid to talk about Christian places,” says Ham. “There’s something wrong with that.”

People who take a look with an open mind are often surprised, he says. “We will tell you what we think, but we want people to think for themselves.” The exhibits present both sides of the debate honestly—no straw men or fish with feet.

Ham proudly shows off a case of trophies and plaques won by the Creation Museum, putting it in the same competitive class with Disney and Universal Studios.

News reports and critics have not been so kind. “They have portrayed us as some sort of way-out cult building, some low-class facility,” Ham says. “But people who come here realize it’s not what they say. You don’t have to agree with our point of view, but you have to admit it’s very professionally done.”

And given their record of outperforming their business plan and defying critics, the Ark is likely to be more of the same. According to Mark Looy, vice president of outreach, the $73 million Ark Encounter will double the Creation Museum’s tourism to the region and double overnight stays, boosting restaurants, hotels and other attractions. “When finished,” he says, “the Ark Encounter will employ about 900 people in full- and part-time positions. About 500 will be full-time jobs, with about 100 of them being salaried positions. Furthermore, the ripple effect in job creation in the region for the first year should be over 10,000 new jobs.”

And contrary to media reports, the state of Kentucky is not “giving money” to the project to build the ark. If the Ark Encounter is successful and hits attendance targets, the state will return a quarter of its sales-tax revenues. “It means the state gets more money,” says Ham. “The media reports say the state gives us money, but what they’ve said is the opposite of the truth.”

He’s right. The only way a refund can occur is if Kentucky collects a huge increase in tax revenues from the project. And even then the state keeps 75 cents from each tax dollar—a dollar that would not have existed without the Ark. If the Ark doesn’t meet expectations, it doesn’t cost Kentucky a cent.

Gripes about “church-state” conflict are also incorrect, because the incentive is available to all economic development. Reporters either don’t understand the tax incentive or they are deliberately misleading their readers, Ham says.

The clash of worldviews over creationism vs. evolution is real, and it’s far from being “settled.” Ham believes debate is healthy. “There’s a big Christian population in America and they see the Creation Museum as a rallying place,” he says. “We publicly stand up for what we believe.”

America’s founders said that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights—and one of those rights is to find the truth however we choose, through science and faith. It doesn’t take Charles Darwin to see that blind monkeys are an evolutionary mistake.