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Noah’s Ark?

June 30th, 2006
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You are going to be hearing in the media reports about a team of Christian explorers and archeologists who have travelled to Iran and have ascended a mountain to try to identify what has been known about for years: a long boat-like structure on the mountain. Here is the official news and information site on the expedition, with photos. I do not know what to think about it at this point. It clearly looks like wood and apparently tests have confirmed it is petrified wood, with marine creatures attached to it in places that could only have come from the ocean. Interesting?

Link: Noah’s Ark? For Real – CWN.

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Categories: Science
  1. Holger Sonntag
    July 1st, 2006 at 10:18 | #1

    Interesting news, but what troubles my mind here are statements like this one in the article: “These beams not only *look like* petrified wood, they are so impressive that they *look like* real wood.”
    I’m not a geologist / chemist, but isn’t there a way of telling petrified wood apart from basalt?
    I’ve just read on Wikipedia that petrified wood typically is a form of quartz, since quartz or other silicates replace the organic matter in originally wooden objects.
    So that’s a start.

  2. July 1st, 2006 at 23:30 | #2

    My initial response is extreme skepticism. Here are my reasons:
    1. The nature of the “research team.” The website referred to lists the team members as a “Who�s [sic] Who of business, law, and ministry leaders including Barry Rand (former CEO of Avis), the author and Christian apologist Josh McDowell, Frank Turek (co-author with Norm Geisler of I Don�t [sic] Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist), Boone Powell (former CEO of Baylor Medical Systems), and Arch Bonnema (president of Joshua Financial).”
    Where is the geologist? Where is the archeologist? Do any of these guys have the slightest idea what they are doing? Can the President of Joshua Financial distinguish in the field between a natural formation and a man-made one? Is the former CEO of Avis qualified to properly observe and interpret the relationship between the “ark” rocks and the marine fossils?
    2. They did consult a geologist back in the states, and his opinion was “the object appears to be a basalt dike.” I’ll take his word for it. Basalt is an igneous rock (formed from molten rock) and is easily distinguishable from petrified wood.
    One can believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God without resorting to this type of “apologetics.” These guys have a long way to go before they have made a credible case.
    One valid point they made is that the Ark, if its remains still exist, could be anywhere in the Mountains of Ararat region, not necessarily on Mount Ararat itself.
    Grace and Peace

  3. Frank Marron
    July 2nd, 2006 at 12:19 | #3

    Kevin brings up some good points. The natural man is always intrigued with anything newly discovered that reinforces his beliefs. Unfortunately, the Old Adam within each person is the same in this respect, even Christians. I once heard it said that perhaps the reason we do not have any original autographs of Scripture is because men would begin to worship these documents rather than the God behind them! All men have tendencies to idolatry in one way or another.
    Frank Marron
    ———-
    McCain: Whether or not not this find is “the Ark” will be impossible to prove. Whether it is even wood they have found, though initial tests indicate it is petrified wood, remains to be seen. I think we should keep an open mind here and not judge one way or the other until all the data are in.
    ———-

  4. Chaplain Jim Lucas
    July 3rd, 2006 at 11:21 | #4

    I would seriously doubt that the ark survived the harsh conditions existing after the flood. No doubt most of the lumber was pillaged for fireword, construction material, and maybe even a totem or two, judging how quickly things redegenerated after the flood. Also, the assumption that the ark settled “up” in the mountains is tenuous. It may well have settled much lower, and the family hesitated in leaving until there was more surface showing (like the beginnings of plains or valleys) than merely crags and cliffs poking up out of the water.
    I agree with the skepticism and the evaluation about those who think such a find would “prove” the Bible’s inerrancy. Even if petrified wood turned up in Ararat, I would not be impressed. I have found it in Arizona and Manitoba as well. The presence of petrified wood in Ararat would only prove one thing, that something made of wood once was there and spent some significant amount of time under water where it was mineralized. That would actually speak against the likelyhood of the wood being from the ark, since most of it was above the water, and that which was below didn’t stay there long enough to fossilize! I also doubt that mountain glaciers have the capacity to fossilize anything. Finally, after living in Yosemite and seeing what glaciers did to granite, I can only imagine the ark ending up as matchwood after a few centuries!

  5. Tim Schenks
    July 4th, 2006 at 05:42 | #5

    I think Noah and family dismantled the ark for building materials and/or firewood.

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