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A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

s8int has located some more background information about Bob Cornuke's discovery of what may be Noah's Ark in Iran. As I noted previously, the interview with John Kasich didn't give much in the way of background information concerning the find, but the article published on s8int by Bill Wilson, Koenig's International, gives a great deal of more detail. The article reports:

1. The object that is being identified as possibly being the remains of Noah's Ark (for convenience, I will reference it as just "the Ark" from this point forward) is located in the mountains about six hours North of Tehran, Iran. The article includes photos of Sabalan Peak Lake, so it appears that the Ark is near that Lake. A photo of Mt. Sabalan is at left.

2. Contrary to the claims of a skeptical blogger that I read, the team that went with Mr. Cornuke to examine the remains consisted of "15 geologists, historians, archeologists, scientists and attorneys." Thus, Mr. Cornuke did take with him people who knew what they were doing and would be able to bring some training in both archaeology and geology to the investigation.

3. The object is ordinarily covered under a glacier but our warmer worldwide temperatures has revealed the object's "450 foot by 75 foot" footprint.

4. The heart of the article reads:

After crawling on hands and knees miles above the earth’s surface in four below zero weather, the expedition found an altar, which could very well be the altar Noah built because it was made from the same materials they later found in the Ark.

They found grapevines over two inches think in the area, of which the DNA from the grapes is the oldest known to man. Genesis 9:20 says that Noah planted a vineyard. But most amazing was the ark itself.

It was found in sections, somewhat like a house that had collapsed over the years. Sections of petrified wood 12 to 14 feet high and 40 feet long were found.

They found a huge pile of timber, thought to be floors or walls, in four-to-six foot sections.

Looking at this last bit critically -- I find this last quoted part to be disturbing. I am trying to determine why the team needed to crawl on hands and knees when Mt. Sabalan is a walk-up mountain (according to Peakware, the self-proclaimed "world's premier mountain and mountaineering resource.") I am also puzzling over the fact that the DNA results from the grapes have been made public so quickly when I would have thought that such a determination would take longer than the analysis of the wood of the ark itself. And exactly how did they determine that the DNA of these vines are the oldest grapes known to man? And what about this altar? It's "made from the same materials they later found in the Ark" but we don't really have any details about what the Ark itself was made of (the Ark is described in Genesis as having been made of gopher wood, but no one is certain as to what type of wood was being described because we don't have any gopher trees). Thus, I would have liked to know what type of wood made up the wooden structures found.

Again, I expect that evidence of Noah's Ark will be found someday, and I further believe that this find could actually be Noah's Ark, but there are some things about this report that continue to trouble me. I look forward to more details being released.

7 comments:

Keeping tongue firmly planted in cheek--

I can resolve a couple of those caveats, I think.

a.) The report (such as it is) claimed the altar was made out of the same material as they _later found_ in the Ark. i.e. they went into the structure later, and it was made of the same stuff. (This in no way confirms anything, of course, including that the whole report isn't bogus somehow. But taken as it stands, it isn't really a problem. This thing they found was made of the same stuff as this other much larger thing they found nearby.)

b.) Crawling around on hands and knees, doesn't have to be in order to _get_ there. The structure was evidently buried under a glacier, and (from the wording) would seem to still be largely there. (I recall, by the way, that previous teams have claimed to get inside some structure under a glacier in one of the 'Ark' regions; with supposed ariel photos of the structure under the glacier. This may have been discussed already; links to previous supposed-success expeditions featuring similar details would be appreciated, though.) Some crawling would probably have to be done topside; and probably inside the structure, too. That's how archaeology is. {g}

So far, all I've read from these reports are the usual folk legend claims that have historically never proven themselves and probably never will. A case in point being the supposed cuneiform tablet on which the five cities of the plain were supposedly written--and in the same order as scripture also.

What we need in any archaeological setting, whether possibly Biblical or otherwise, is caution, skepticism, and commentary after extended investigation and detail. Let speculation and intrigue be silent until the evidence has done the talking.

Jason,

Don't be too tongue in cheek -- it causes your taste-buds to go bad. :)

I certainly appreciate your resolution of these problems, and while they make sense, I don't necessarily pull them out of the article that I linked. Thus, while I don't doubt for a minute that your resolutions are possible, I will wait for further reports before making judgements.

Yes, the Ark has been "found" several times before. That is one of my reasons for not being too excited about this particular find. I am not saying it's not the Ark, but I am trying to be wary because too many claims like this turn out to be hoaxes or just plain wrong. I am not, however, going to link to the other discoveries. They are available for anyone to find with a simple Internet search.

SlavetoOne,

I agree wholeheartedly -- we need to be very careful in adopting these findings without a careful investigation. That is the reason that I am posting on this particular find, i.e., it has been published on Fox News, but I don't think that there has been enough checking to verify what has been said. I am anxiously awaiting more thorough news.

{lol!} Well, I certainly know some tongue-in-cheekers who now seem only able to taste the bitter!

{{I don't necessarily pull [those resolutions] out of the article that I linked.}}

{shrug}

"the altar... was made from the same materials they later found in the Ark"

That seems straightforward enough. This thing was made from the same material as that other thing over there.

And, now that I look a bit more closely (unless there are contexts in the main article which would point elsewhere--and I didn't find any), they were crawling around on their hands and knees when finding the altar. Which makes a certain amount of sense if what they found was the _foundation_ of the structure. (In which case they _would_ have to crawl around on their hands and knees to delimit its position.)

Analysis of the soundless(??) video linked to from the article: some crawling around on hands and knees in order to uncover pieces-of-something. One area under observation (_especially_ in the hands-and-knees shots) could be the 'altar'; and the material is certainly the same as the other large pieces in the footage.

It does look rather like petrified wood of some sort. The notch does look rather like a notch for putting together large beam-members. (I've done a bit of restoration of log cabins, and I recognized the shape immediately.)

Seashells at 14000 feet, in themselves, aren't incongruent with long-term geophysical mountain range development. Will be more interested in a valid radiocarbon dating. (If they're 5000ish years old, or thereabouts, then they weren't deposited by normal sediment and then raised up by plate tectonics.)

Regarding the grapevines: DNA release isn't really all that contentious compared to release of analysis of the putative 'wood' material. It would simply confirm that the grapevines aren't recent. By this time there are probably databases for tagging different varieties of grape genetically; they know where to look on the genome. The grape variant need not even be extinct.

All things considered, the analysis of the wood is going to take a lot longer to release, because (frankly) no one cares about grapevines in conjunction with the other implications. {g} (The flip side to this, of course, is that a mistake might be more likely concerning the grapes.)

Slightly more impressed now than previously.


Oh, regarding the Q&A section: actually, it wouldn't be surprising if the interview was softballed _even if_ the whole thing is legitimate. Interviews tend to follow questions prepped by the person being interviewed, and the group may have agreements to leave the release of technical news to National Geographic etc. Kind of useless for what we'd really prefer to be hearing about, but not necessarily suspicious.

For the sake of the debate, lets say that they found a REALLY, REALLY big boat. It is imbossible to take all species two by two. Lets look at some numbers of KNOWN species.
287,655 plants
1.5 million fungi
10,000 lichens
1,190,200 invertebrates
58,808 vertebrates
5-10 million bacteria
1.5 million

Grand total = 8,046,663 (low estimate)
Two by two = 16,093,326

Must have been a really huge boat equipped with a modern lab to house the bacteria and fungi....

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