CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

According to Hearland on Fox News Saturday Night, Bob Cornuke of the BASE Institute has found the petrified remains of a wooden ship situated approximately 14,000 feet on a mountain-side in Western Iraq. A two and one-half minute video (no sound) of some of the footage shown on Fox News can be found here. I had a couple of reactions to this video I wanted to share.

First, I admit to being one of the people seen as fundamentalists in the eyes of skeptics on the issue of Biblicl inerrancy. (I am not a fundamentalist in my theology, but that seems to make little difference to skeptics who believe that if you believe any portion of Genesis as being true you must be a wild-eyed fanatic.) Thus, I do believe there was an ark as described in the Bible. I do believe that there was a flood, although the extent of that flood is somewhat questionable. Certainly, the time in which the flood took place is very questionable since the Bible does not say when the flood took place in a way that I think can be measured. But I certainly do believe that eventually evidence of an ark will be found.

Second, I do believe that the ark would have come to rest not on Mt. Ararat, but elsewhere in the "mountains of Ararat" which would include the area where the structure found by Mr. Cornuke was found.

Third, it seems that the interview that Mr. Cornuke had on Heartland was almost a waste of time since Mr. Kasich didn't seem to ask him a legitimate question in the entire interview that would have told us anything substantive about the find. The only thing worthwhile about the interview was the video footage played in the background.

Fourth, I have concerns about the BASE Institute. While I find what they do to be interesting, it almost seems as if their finds are too tidy. Moreover, if the BASE Institute's discoveries are so obvious, why in the world are they not adopted by the majority of archaeologists? I cannot believe that the majority of archaeologists would let such obvious evidence of events in the past be thought false just because they aren't Christian or Jewish (and I expect there are a large number of Jewish, Christian and Muslim archaeologists who would love to see the Ark found). Thus, while I certainly cannot show that the BASE Institute is wrong, I have questions about their finds whenever I see them pop up with a claim.

Fifth, the structure on the mountain (exactly where it is is still somewhat unclear to me) could be just that -- a wooden structure that became petrified over time. Perhaps it was a building or temple built in honor of Noah's Ark by the local residents who have -- through the passage of many, many years of time -- morphed the idea of a monument of the ark into the real thing.

Sixth, the fossils of the seashells could be much older fossils of an age when that entire mountain was underwater.

In sum, I find the report that this is optimistic both very intriguing, but so far very short of sufficient proof for me to crown it "Noah's Ark found". I look forward to seeing the results of the tests on the "petrified" wood published and to see what, if any, comments other archaeologists make to the finding. I remain hopeful, but skeptical.

(HT: for the video.


Here's a website claiming noah's ark found in a different spot. This one is "offically" decliared by scientsits to be Noah's Ark! the Turkish government even put up an offical rest stop saying "Noah's Ark Vistor's center."'s_ark.htm

I expect the video of the "ark" will prove to show a metamorphic slate with a phyllitic texture or some other natural rock outcrop. Notice the bands of white which may be quartz injected parallel to cleavage. I wonder if there are similar outcrops in the area. Shell fossils at 14,000 feet are certainly not evidence for a global flood. The chemical and petrographic analysis of the outcrop should be enlightening and will hopefully be published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. I'm always saddened that pseudo-science news of this sort presents new fodder for skeptics while misleading others.

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....

It is NOT impossible to take all species two by two. You are dealing with GOD here, not man. Maybe you should look past yourself and realize there is something BIGGER than yourself out there. Anything is possible with GOD........

Actually, I was going to ignore the first comment because I thought its flaws were obvious. But, since a second reader posted a comment in response, I thought I should add my thoughts.

First, looking at the numbers provided by Anonymous #1, of the 8,046,553 species, it appears that 6.5 million of them are fungi and bacteria. Supposing for the moment that Moses had to herd 5 million bacteria on board, how much room exactly would those take up? And exactly how much room would the fungi take up? I suspect that the answer is very little indeed.

Also, of the approximately 7 million bacteria, fungi and plants, exactly how many of them are classified as "animals", "birds", or "creatures that move along the ground, male and female"? I am very sure that the answer is "none".

Now, of the invertebrates and vertebrates, how many of them are animals that dwell in the sea? I mean, Noah didn't bring any whales on board, right? I suspect he didn't bring any of the 67 recognized species of whales. I also suspect that he didn't bring any of the 20,000 to 40,000 species of fish on board, either. I also suspect that he didn't bring on board any of the 5,000 species of sponges, 9,000 species of corals or jellyfish, 24,000 roundworms or earthworms, or all 132,000 species of arthopods.

In fact, I think that you can readily narrow it down to the following groups:

Reptiles 6,300 species
Birds 9,198 species
Mammals 4,170 species.
(Insects would kind of take care of themselves).

Granted, that's a lot of animals, but the ark was kinda' big, too. Of course, many don't believe that the flood was global, and if it wasn't then the number of species that would need to be taken on board would be cut dramatically. But assuming that the flood was global, one does need to remember (as Anonymous #2 pointed out) that God, in his omnipotence, is involved in this process. A person can't say that God wouldn't be able to crowd all the animals onto an ark that small because, as the Bible relates, God did other miraculous things that humanity, in our limited wisdom, wouldn't expect could happen either. For example, he fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes and had enough crumbs left over to fill 13 baskets. God also extended a day beyond 24 hours.

I expect that you won't like the answer because it requires you to think beyond what would ordinarily be expected in a universe with no miracles, but the miraculous is part of God's nature. You can't dismiss one of his miracles by saying it couldn't happen.

If the fish weren't taken onto the ark, then how did they survive? Keep in mind that salt water fish are very sensitive to salinity changes and can not survive in fresh water. The rain that would be coming down, would be fresh water. Unless of course, you don't believe the flood was global.

Also, note that tigers are difficult to breed because at one time in history there were only a few of them. Because of this, there is very little genetic variation and they are more prone to genetic diseases. For example, the white tiger is especially prone to genetic defects because of inbreeding.

So, if only a few of each animal survived the flood, why don't we see a large tendency for genetic defects in all of the animals that come from the region of Iraq? Compared to say, marsupials.

I suppose you could posit a series of miracles to explain these things. But isn't it more likely that this flood story was just made up. Just like the movie Waterworld?

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