Chinese Evangelical Explorers “Find” the Real Noah’s Ark

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The Great Noah’s Ark Hoax
by D.M. Murdock
April 28, 2010

You can hardly blame the Turks around Ararat. There’s a lot of money being poured into the local economy from these numerous creationist expeditions. It only makes sense to salt a few sites with chunks of wood… Dr. P.Z. Myers

Good news for bibliolaters! At last, there is evidence that the Bible is true – well, actually, it’s pretty much the same “evidence,” over and over again.

News agencies have been reporting that a Chinese and Turkish team of “evangelical explorers” have discovered the “real” Noah’s Ark, the wooden ship recorded in the Bible to have contained two (Gen 6:19) – or is it seven (Gen 7:2)? – of every animal on the entire planet, including whales and kangaroos! (Okay, so the Bible doesn’t say exactly that, but the story implies that the world’s subsequent many thousand species were reseeded after the flood by the happy animals of the ark.) Along with the announcement came pictures of a “boat” supposedly found at 13,000 feet on Mt. Ararat in Turkey that has allegedly been carbon-dated to around 4,800 years ago.

The reasons for doubting this alleged discovery are many, including the plethora of previous purported “arks” dating back centuries, a fact that immediately causes one to turn a jaundiced eye toward this one as well. There are also various scientific arguments against a global or even local flood and the subsequent dispersion of all human and animal life from Mt. Ararat. Moreover, the Bible itself doesn’t really state that the ark landed upon Mt. Ararat per se but only that it rested in the “mountains of Ararat.” (Gen 8:4) Nor does it indicate where “Ararat” was at the time, so it may not have been in Turkey. Also, the current structure in question has been pointed out to look quite modern in its appearance, so freshly preserved that it could have been created in the past couple of centuries.

In reality, there are many other possible uses for this structure, if it is even on Mt. Ararat in the first place. Some have suggested an old shepherd’s hut, but most people are probably unaware that there are “many monasteries” on Mt. Ararat, of which this “find” could be a part, especially if it turns out not to be at 13,000 feet.

In addition, in other parts of the world we find stone arks or ships on high places, apparently as burial sites in emulation of the practice of sending off deceased royalty on burning boats, or for other reasons.

Furthermore, Noah’s Ark is quite evidently based on previous myths from ancient Sumeria, Egypt, Babylon and elsewhere. Indeed, such flood-and-ark myths are found in many parts of the world, as I explain in my article “The Myth of Noah’s Ark.”

Where’s the beef?

The Christian “evangelical explorers” who were looking for the ark obviously assumed a priori that the biblical tale was true, calling themselves “Noah’s Ark Ministries International.” Hence, they are blatantly biased when they make statements like the following, according to FOXNews, which was quick to promulgate this tale:

The significance of this find is that for the first time in history the discovery of Noah”™s Ark is well documented and revealed to the worldwide community…

The discoverers of The Other Noah’s Ark(s)â„¢ also believed the same thing; indeed, some also went to elaborate measures to “prove” their “finds” as well. The current would-be discoverers made other such “scientific” declarations as:

There”™s a tremendous amount of solid evidence that the structure found on Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey is the legendary Ark of Noah…

We are also told that “several compartments, some with wooden beams, are said to be inside and could have been used to house animals…” And we are shown a photograph of what is supposed to be one of the “compartments” in which animals were allegedly held, complete with apparently 4,800-year-old straw strewn about!

While the focus right now is on this wooden structure’s supposed age, size and features, we will be quite interested if its discoverers find any kind of evidence that there were two/seven of every animal inside this building and that it actually was a boat that could float at any point.

‘A boatload of skepticism is in order’

Various scholars and professors are being promoted in the press as fairly gushing over the purported find, while others are, of course, skeptical. The fact any professors and archaeologists are giddy over such a “discovery” is a reflection that academia has completely dropped the ball when it comes to mythology – not realizing that this biblical story is clearly an ancient myth and that any attempts at finding such a structure therefore will undoubtedly prove to be a waste of time and money.

Fortunately, not all scholars and experts are so quick to board the ship, as MSNBC relates:

But researchers who have spent decades studying the region – and fending off past claims of ark discoveries – caution that a boatload of skepticism is in order.

In this regard, one professional scholar did not mince words, as also reported by MSNBC:

Cornell archaeologist Peter Ian Kuniholm, who has focused on Turkey for decades, was even more direct – saying that the reported find is a “crock.”

Read the rest of this article here.

D.M. Murdock is the author of controversial books and articles on comparative religion and mythology that can be found at Stellar House Publishing and Freethought Nation.