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Faking Noah's Ark

A major breaking news few days back was the “discovery” of “Noah’s Ark.” Yes, that Noah’s Ark. It was discovered by Turkish and Chinese Evangelicals on top of Mount Ararat in Turkey. For years many explorers, who literally believe in the Bible, have searched for it in Turkey and it was even featured on PBS.

Finally the lucky ones were the Noah’s Ark Ministries from Hong Kong and their partner The Media Evangelism.

The team said it had recovered wooden specimens from a structure on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey that carbon dating proved was 4800 years old, around the same time the ark is said to have been afloat.

“It’s not 100 per cent that it is Noah’s Ark but we think it is 99.9 per cent that this is it,” said Yeung Wing-cheung, a Hong Kong documentary filmmaker and member of the 15-strong team from Noah’s Ark Ministries International.

The structure had several compartments, some with wooden beams, which were believed to house animals, he said. [Noah’s Ark ‘found’ in Turkey]

An artifact from a story, recycled from a Sumerian epic, discovered by a group of people who want to “advance the Kingdom of God.”; What could go wrong? Especially when the same group runs a theme park by the same name.

It is bad when one of your team members think that a group of local Kurdish men hauled the wood from the Black Sea area to Mt. Ararat to stage a hoax. It is a disaster when members of Creation Institute want to stay away from you. So it is not surprising when scholars dismiss the story, here and here and here and here. And now the Turkish authorities are investigating

Adam Rutherford at The Guardian writes about these artificial relics.

It seems to me that the physical aspects of Christianity are so much less interesting than the intellectual. Did Jesus exist? No one knows. And while I understand the import of his actual existence and more significantly his gory death, what’s far more fascinating is that billions of people believe in him. Did Noah’s ark exist? No. But there are diluvian myths in many cultures and religion, and that’s interesting. The problem with relics is that they are fundamentally silly, and that limits discourse to the absurd. [A pain in the ark]

10 Responses to Faking Noah's Ark

  1. Chandra May 6, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    JK,

    If some Hindus did this kind of thing, wonder what the scorn poured by secularists types in India and in west on the so-called Hindu fundamentalists would be!!

    I actually saw a news report headline on the find when it first came out.

  2. Gaurav May 6, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    But but I thought it was Indiana Jones

  3. Kaffir May 6, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Gaurav,

    This is the Indiana Jones’ ark: Ark of the Covenant

    This is not: Noah’s Ark

    :)

  4. Steve May 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Jesus did exist. Even if you want to discount the Biblical accounts Josephus a famous historian from that time also mentioned Jesus. Now for the rest, the religious part, that’s up for you to decide, but he did indeed exist.

    Some have even speculated that after surviving the cross he went to India.

  5. Joe May 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Steve,

    The testimony of Josephus is not solid proof. There is major controversy on the passages he wrote about Jesus. Wikipedia is not the best place for settling these debates, but it has a fairly good summary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

    If he went to India after surviving the cross, it puts an end to the theological position that he died for our sins, which is the foundation of Christianity.

  6. Gaurav May 6, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Kaffir, I knew, but you have to grant me blogger’s license ­čśÇ

  7. Kedar May 7, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    >>”If he went to India after surviving the cross, it puts an end to the theological position that he died for our sins, which is the foundation of Christianity.”

    I like it. Its a nice argument, but how do we counter it when the theologists retort “The important thing is that he ‘suffered’ for our sins, whether he died in the process is not important for christians.”

  8. Joe May 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    Kedar,

    The death is an important concept. Only then you can have resurrection and he becomes the messiah. It also helps with the theological position that those who are dead now will be resurrected in the second coming.

    Now you asked what if the argument is that he suffered for our sins. I don’t think the first Gospel treats it that way. In that he asks his father why he was forsaken. So there is no divinity to him and he is as perplexed as any other person. It is in later gospels that you see this interpretation being added. Note that by the time these gospels (other than Mark) were written, it was already 40-50 years after the murder.

  9. seadog4227 May 12, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Thanks Joe!

  10. Babychen May 13, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    The Noah’s Ark matters only to those literal christians who want to see real-world proof. Oh, I am a christian and it would be fun its its true – but no chance!

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