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]