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Friday, April 30, 2010

Is the Recent Discovery of "Noah's Ark" a Hoax?

News spread across the world on Tuesday April 27th that a team of archaeologists (probably should be called arkaeologists) have discovered Noah's ark on Mt. Ararat in Turkey. Many Christians hope this is the evidence they have been looking for to finally confirm the global flood of Genesis and silence all the critics. Interestingly enough, though, the biggest defenders of the global flood and a literal six day creation of the universe, the Institute of Creation Research, is dubious about the find.

Dr. Randall Price, a professor at Liberty University and a former member of the Chinese-led team that announced this week’s finding, says the latest purported finding may not withstand closer scrutiny.

He says: If the world wants to think this is a wonderful discovery, that’s fine. My problem is that, in the end, proper analysis may show this to be a hoax and negatively reflect how gullible Christians can be .

Price, who was on the Chinese led team in 2008 when the discovery was first made says he has difficulties with a number of issues related to the evidence at hand.

A news article reports:
Price declined to elaborate. However, a leaked email from Price, which he confirms that he wrote, shows that he has reason to believe that a group of local Kurdish men trucked wood up to the mountain and staged an elaborate hoax for the Chinese team.
A group of Kurdish workers are said to have planted large wood beams taken from an old structure in the Black Sea area (where the photos were originally taken) at the Mt. Ararat site. During the summer of 2009 more wood was planted inside a cave at the site. The Chinese team went in the late summer of 2009 (I was there at the time and knew about the hoax) and was shown the cave with the wood and made their film.

John Morris, son of Henry Morris, the founder of the Institute for Creation Research and the father of modern "scientific" creationism, is also dubious about the find. He says that a lot of additional research is required. But in the final analysis, according to Morris, it doesn't matter whether the ark or any other evidence confirming the Bible is found because Christians believe out of faith, not evidence .


  1. Christians. Gullible? Say it ain't so! :D I figure to swallow that book they keep pounding on, that was a pre-requisite!

  2. Most likely a hoax, although it could have been 4000 year old wood. It could even have been an old boat, but how do they know that it belonged to Noah? A giant leap of faith needed there. Interesting that suddenly the "intelligent design" believers now suddenly believe in the accuracy of carbon dating.

  3. Clare,

    Yes they believe any science that confirms their faith but deny any that does not. I was reading a person the other day who ought to know better saying that he thinks the carbon dating done on the shroud of turin is suspect. This person desperately wants to believe in the shroud so he is willing to dismiss the science that shows it as originating in the middle ages.

  4. It should be noted that Randall Price is currently conducting his own search for Noah's Ark elsewhere in the region. I'm not saying that he is just trashing the Chinese team because of competition, merely pointing out that he seems to know the area and local people well and is actually a pretty intelligent and fair sort of guy. I saw him on some God TV show once talking about the many alleged resting places of the Ark and he approached the subject with a thoroughness quite unusual in Evangelical Indiana Jones wannabes.

    That said, he does believe his team may have found the *actual site* of the Ark, but it's encased in a fair amount of ice. I fear that after excavation or thawing or whatever, poor Randall is going to be disappointed.

  5. Ken,
    I never thought I would defend a young earth creationist but I doubt that Morris would say that Christians believe out of faith and not evidence. That part was put in by the author of the article and is not a quotation. Earlier in the article Morris is quoted as saying, "“I’m a scientist. I need to have good evidence,” says Dr. Morris. “As of right now, there is not.” Morris also says, "I think it would be highly unlikely that anybody could carry wood up. I can’t comprehend that. I don’t think there’s fraud involved. But that is a possibility. And only serious scientific work on-site can resolve that." Morris does not appear to be against the use of scientific evidence based on the actual quotations.

  6. Joseph,

    I think you may be right that its not a quotation as there are no quotation marks yet, the author of the article puts in "says Dr. Morris" so I guess he was paraphrasing. Nevertheless, the way I read it was that Morris was saying that a Christian does not need to find Noah's ark or any other evidence in order to believe the Bible. Faith is in the Bible not in the evidence.