Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not Noah's Ark

UPDATE: Absolutely not Noah's Ark

I just noticed today's article at AIG: Has Noah's Ark been found?

Short answer: No.

To clarify, a Chinese group called Noah's Ark Ministries International announced over the weekend that they found the Ark at 12,000 feet up the side of Mt. Ararat in Turkey. Fox News reports the announcement with little critical commentary. The Daily Mail was considerably more skeptical, quoting Oxford University's Nicholas Purcell calling it "the usual nonsense."

If you visit the NAMI website, you'll find a number of pretty pictures of the inside of some kind of wooden structure. Notice that the locality of the discovery was not disclosed, and external photos of the discovery were not released. There was no report of a formal description of the find submitted for peer review either. Basically, the outside observer has no way of verifying the discovery (yet). You'll recall my fondness for hype-driven science.

Here's why I'm skeptical:

1. They claim that radiocarbon dates the wood to 4800 years before present, but the Ark was constructed of pre-Flood wood, which would mean that the carbon dating should be much, much older.

2. The modern "Mt. Ararat" (Agri Dagh) is a post-Flood volcano. The Ark could not have landed on Agri Dagh because it did not exist at the end of the Flood, and even if it did land on modern Agri Dagh, it would have been destroyed by the many, many eruptions of Ararat since the Flood. You can observe all the fresh lava flows on Agri Dagh at Google Maps.

3. Given that the Flood survivors left the Ark to find a devastated world, the Ark would have been the best source of timber for the first decade or so. I think it highly likely that the Ark was dismantled to supply the growing population with building material for shelter.

What did NAMI find? Beats me, but I'm reasonably certain that it's not Noah's Ark.

(By the way, Ron Wyatt didn't find Noah's Ark either.)