Friday, April 30, 2010

Noah's Ark Found! Oh Wait.

Noah's ark has been found, according to Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers. Well, more like wooden remains of something, which they're pretty sure must be the ark from the bible story, since they can't think of any other reason for wooden remains to be up there. To be fair, they're erring on the side of caution and not claiming absolute certainty. Merely 99.9% certainty.

The fact that this archeological dig is being conducted by Noah's Ark Ministries International couldn't possibly be biasing the conclusions they are drawing from what they've found so far, could it? Some other possible hypotheses for the presence for the remains of a 4800 year old wooden structure could be, perhaps, a house? Those existed 4800 years ago, so did farms.

Oh, of course, the group "ruled out an established human settlement on the grounds that one had never been found above 3500m in the vicinity, Mr Yeung said."

I think, perhaps, you just did find one, Mr Yeung.

Ruling a normal human settlement out as a possibility just because no other such examples of settlement remains exist nearby would be like ruling out the first fossil ever found as being a fossil because you hadn't ever yet discovered fossils.

The bible claims that Noah, following God's orders, built a giant ark which carried all known and unknown species of animals* for a period of 40 days and 40 nights on the waters of an enormous, global flood which covered even the highest mountains of the earth until the ark finally came to rest on mount Ararat when the waters receded**.

The fact that these researchers consider this the most likely explanation for these wooden remains to have been found where they are speaks volumes about how seriously we should take their scientific credentials. Or not.


* For simplicity, we're not mentioning the need for food, water, waste disposal, proper separation and containment of predators and their prey, animals that don't normally live in social groups, like Tigers, etc.
*** Receding to whatever magical place the water would have had to have come from in the first place.

Larian LeQuella in the comments below has reminded me that while it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, the bible states the flood lasted for over a year. It only gets worse for the religious version of events.]


  1. Actually, it only rained for 40 days and 40 nights. They were on that boat for a year and ten days or so!

    And there are rumours out there that they may even have faked the whole thing. It may not even indicate a settlement...

  2. Ah yes, I get confused about the time it rained versus the time they were on the ark, thanks for picking that up.

    And about the 'salting' of the area with wooden remains by either the team or the locas, I did read about that in P.Z Myers' blog, but hadn't seen a news article where that was presented as a possibility. I suppose I'm too trusting.