Saturday, June 17, 2006

Josh McDowell helps discover Noah's Ark

Yet another rock formation has been misidentified as Noah's Ark by evangelical Christian explorers ("Arkeologists"). They apparently forgot to bring a geologist or archaeologist with them, but they did bring "some of America’s leading businessmen, an attorney who has argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and two leading apologists" and take some incredibly unimpressive photographs. The expedition was led by former Costa Mesa, CA police officer turned "international explorer and author," Bob Cornuke, who runs something called the BASE (Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration) Institute. I hope his ethics are better than those of former nurse-anesthetist turned international explorer and author Ron Wyatt, who found a profitable career by claiming to find virtually every possible biblical site and artifact. (Wyatt, a Seventh-Day Adventist, was best debunked in a book by his fellow SDA members Russell R. Standish and Colin D. Standish, Holy Relics or Revelation, a book I highly recommend.)

Ed Brayton has done a good job of dissecting the claims in the announcement article. As he notes, this is far from the first such claimed discovery of Noah's Ark. This one is in Iran rather than the usual location of Agri Dagi in Turkey. I actually give them credit for not looking on Agri Dagi (Mt. Ararat), since the Bible only says that the Ark landed in a region called Ararat, not a mountain of that name (2 Kings 19:37, Jeremiah 51:27).

For a review of some previous claimed Noah's Ark sightings, see my 1993-1994 articles from Skeptic magazine, "Sun Goes Down in Flames: The Jammal Ark Hoax" and "Update on the Ark Hoax".

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