Noah’s Ark Discovery: Competition Among Kooks

WE recently posted WorldNetDaily: Noah’s Ark Found!, about a silly claim published by a silly outfit, WorldNetDaily (WND). Boldly headlined in their worthless, raving pages was the “news” that an obviously non-existent artifact had been found.

Any rational newspaper or blog site would have published this latest Ark “discovery” under “News of the Weird” or some other appropriate section. But WND treated it like the real thing. Why? Because they’re creationists, and they have no ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. At the end of our report on their ridiculous story we said:

This could be the most important discovery since … ah … well, since Elvis was spotted at a 7-11 buying some Slim Jims and a Dr. Pepper.

Now it appears that WND — with no hint of embarrassment — is backing down from the story it so foolishly headlined. They’re not really denying the story, but perhaps they’re in quasi-retraction mode. Anyway, here are some excerpts from Latest Noah’s Ark ‘just wood planted on Ararat’. The bold font was added by us:

Has the real Noah’s Ark spoken of in the Bible truly been found?

At least two seasoned archaeologists who have made numerous expeditions to Mount Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark are throwing cold water on this week’s claim the Old Testament vessel has finally been discovered, saying it’s a hoax involving wood hauled in from the Black Sea region.

Ah, WND is reporting, with total credibility, the opinions of two “seasoned archaeologists” who are also Ark-hunters. Okay, what do those “experts” have to say? Let’s read on:

“To make a long story short: this is all reported to be a fake,” said Randall Price, director of Judaic Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

M’god — Liberty University! That’s where WND goes for its archaeology experts. When they’re not hunting for the Ark, they’re probably searching for Joshua’s jock strap. We continue:

But Dr. Price, who is spearheading efforts to explore two competing locations for Noah’s Ark, sent an e-mail dispatch to supporters with his personal take on the alleged find, asserting the structure is a hoax perpetrated by a Kurdish guide and his partners to extort money from Chinese evangelical Christians.

WND provides a link to some articles by Dr. Randall Price, but this is his organization’s website: World of the Bible Ministries. It’s wild stuff, and this too is one of WND’s expert sources.

All the Ark-hunters seem to be in disagreement, with each claiming that he alone is on the right track. It’s an armada of Arks! But wait — all is not yet lost for the latest finding:

Another ark-hunter, Richard Rives of Tennessee-based Wyatt Archaeological Research, said while he’s skeptical of the new alleged find, he’s not completely ruling it out it just yet. “Just because Randall Price says something doesn’t make it so,” Rives told WND. “We don’t know what it is until we get a little more information. It is something of interest. I can’t wait to find out to find out the real truth.”

Go ahead, check out the Wyatt website. It’s even wilder than that of WND’s other expert source. Then they get around to saying:

If the latest proclaimed find of Noah’s Ark does indeed turn out to be false, it certainly would not be the first time phony claims have been floated.

But then they abandon that line of thought and go on to quote some other Ark-hunters. Aha! Get this:

Today’s interactive WND poll focused on the purported discovery, and 32 percent of respondents said “I don’t know if this is the Ark, but I have no doubt Noah and his flood are reality, as all civilizations tell a similar story.” Another 26 percent indicated, “It may be that in this increasingly faithless age, God is unearthing some bits of faith-enhancing evidence.”

WND’s readers are very astute. Then the article trails off into various scripture quotes, and that’s how it ends. It’s not a retraction, really, but we don’t know what it is.

So where does this leave us? Some WND readers are hoping the latest find is the real thing. Others are waiting to see what the other Ark-hunters find. All seem to have faith that the Ark is real, and perhaps it will one day be found. And WND is certainly catering to its readership.

As we’ve said before, when one strays from the road of reason he is doomed to wander in the wilderness — with only WorldNetDaily as a compass.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Noah’s Ark Discovery: Competition Among Kooks

  1. Gabriel Hanna

    the structure is a hoax perpetrated by a Kurdish guide and his partners to extort money from Chinese evangelical Christians.

    Of course this is exactly what happened to St Helena…

    In this altar they used to keep one of the most curious relics that human eyes ever looked upon—a thing that had power to fascinate the beholder in some mysterious way and keep him gazing for hours together. It was nothing less than the copper plate Pilate put upon the Saviour’s cross, and upon which he wrote, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” I think St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, found this wonderful memento when she was here in the third century. She traveled all over Palestine, and was always fortunate. Whenever the good old enthusiast found a thing mentioned in her Bible, Old or New, she would go and search for that thing, and never stop until she found it. If it was Adam, she would find Adam; if it was the Ark, she would find the Ark; if it was Goliath, or Joshua, she would find them. She found the inscription here that I was speaking of, I think. She found it in this very spot, close to where the martyred Roman soldier stood. That copper plate is in one of the churches in Rome, now. Any one can see it there. The inscription is very distinct…

    From the cistern we descended twelve steps into a large roughly-shaped grotto, carved wholly out of the living rock. Helena blasted it out when she was searching for the true Cross. She had a laborious piece of work, here, but it was richly rewarded. Out of this place she got the crown of thorns, the nails of the cross, the true Cross itself, and the cross of the penitent thief. When she thought she had found every thing and was about to stop, she was told in a dream to continue a day longer. It was very fortunate. She did so, and found the cross of the other thief.

    The walls and roof of this grotto still weep bitter tears in memory of the event that transpired on Calvary, and devout pilgrims groan and sob when these sad tears fall upon them from the dripping rock. The monks call this apartment the “Chapel of the Invention of the Cross”—a name which is unfortunate, because it leads the ignorant to imagine that a tacit acknowledgment is thus made that the tradition that Helena found the true Cross here is a fiction—an invention. It is a happiness to know, however, that intelligent people do not doubt the story in any of its particulars.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3176/3176-h/p6.htm#p564

  2. Competition Among Kooks

    “Dueling Dingbats”

  3. Jousting jesters?

  4. When someone from Liberty University is called in as a credible expert…wow.

  5. Michael Fugate

    …. and Dr. Price and Mr. Rives are not perpetrating a hoax to extort money from American Evangelical Christians?

    They both have prominent donation buttons on their websites – and please buy my books while you are here.

  6. My pet theory was that the ark was found shortly after the first Crusade, and cut up to provide sufficient fragments of the True Cross.

  7. Aardvark says:

    My pet theory was that the ark was found shortly after the first Crusade, and cut up to provide sufficient fragments of the True Cross.

    Don’t you know? Area 51 is where the Darwinists have hidden Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, the True Cross, the Holy Grail, the Tower of Babel, and the Porn of Gomorrah.

  8. I sometimes wonder: do these people see Indiana Jones and The Librarian as—hum—witchcraft and blasphemy, or do they watch the films as documentaries?

    @Gabriel Hanna:
    Speaking of the devil… Actually, the story of “St.” Helena finding the pieces of The cross, from the first time I’ve heard it, reminded me of a particular spark of inspiration of Tom in Tom Sawyer Abroad, when he found the very brick from some Arabian Nights story, much to he surprise of Huck.
    (As it happens, you see, I’ve heard of most of the Christian popular tales after reading the whole Tom Sawyer series; and the kids’ version of Arabian Nights (with the sex rendered in properly euphemistic ways); and quite enough about Egyptian, Greek, Norse and Chinese myths; and so on, and so forth.)

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    @Armand K.:

    Since Tom Sawyer Abroad was written long after Innocents Abroad I am not at all surprised that Twain drew on St Helena and her numerous followers in credulous archaeology.

    It’s not just the Bible. The early excavations of Troy and Knossos seem very similar; as well as Viking-hunters in North America and Mormon archaeology in the Midwest and Central America.

  10. Since Tom Sawyer Abroad was written long after Innocents Abroad I am not at all surprised that Twain drew on St Helena and her numerous followers in credulous archaeology.

    With hindsight, neither am I. And I was from an early aged somewhat amused of the “innocence” of what you call followers of credulous archaeology… I practically grew up in a museum, among (real) archaeologists and historians, you see. As a side effect, around the age of 12 I knew way more about ancient Rome and European bronze age than about modern Europe, and could properly tell apart Vinca from Bodrogkeresztur ceramic, for instance.

    I don’t remember too much about Knossos, but I’ve always seen Schliemann not as much the genius some take him for granted to have been, but as an extremely lucky guy. Besides, unlike the “urban myth” that he discovered Troy only from hint in Homer, some ancient philosophers mentioned it too as a real place (Strabo and Eratosthen, I think; maybe Herodot too).

    What’s worse, the “Troy event” is used by many fantarcheologists as a “proof” that Atlantis must have existed (after all, it also appears in some ancient Greek account, right?); and Camelot; and
    what not!

    Didn’t hear too much about the Mormons and their “speciality”… They must be searching for relics of Jesus’ visit to America, I suppose?

  11. Gabriel Hanna

    Didn’t hear too much about the Mormons and their “speciality”… They must be searching for relics of Jesus’ visit to America, I suppose?

    And all the Nephite civilizations that supposedly existed before they all killed each other, except one guy, who wrote a book about it and died.

    Really.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon

    Having ground their horses’ bones to powder first, or something.

  12. Fascinating… in the same way most kooksearches are. Thanks for the link.

    Having ground their horses’ bones to powder first, or something.

    I suppose. They are, after all, not as bio-degradable as the corn, potatoes and tomatoes cultivated by the ancient Romans.

  13. Gabriel Hanna

    Do you think that five thousand years from now the same school of archaeology will be trying to find Gondor or Mordor?

    Because it’s exactly the same situation as Atlantis. J. R. R. Tolkein (Plato) recounts an interesting story about Gondor and Mordor (Atlantis) and cites the Red Book of Westmarch (Plato’s uncle, who heard about it in Egypt) and nobody ever heard of this place before Tolkein (Plato) wrote about it.

  14. Gabriel Hanna, obviously bored, asks:

    Do you think that five thousand years from now the same school of archaeology will be trying to find Gondor or Mordor?

    Maybe. But they definitely will believe that Gone With The Wind is word-for-word true, because they’ll find the ruins of Atlanta, and there will be undeniable evidence that it was burned, just as it says in the book.

  15. Gabriel Hanna

    I once asked my students, when we were studying capacitors, to consider the possibility that the Ark of the Covenant was a capacitor and that is why one person who touched it died. (It was made of wood, with a layer of gold inside and out.)

    They asked me if I really believed that was true, that the Ark was a capacitor and that it killed people. I said I was pretty sure you wouldn’t make a capacitor accidentally (you have to take care with which metal parts are touching which), and to me it was more likely that it was story about a miracle and that there needn’t be any kind of factual underpinning.

    I’ve never understood why people need to interpret myths in terms of things that could have happened. People are good at imagining things that don’t exist.

  16. Just wait and see… But Kurdistan is one of the oldest area on the World. With or without “Noah’s Ark” there are many valuable historical things to explore in Kurdistan.