Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, March 10, 2006

Can You Find Noah's Ark?
From the Space.com website comes this exclusive article detailing the search for Noah's Ark with satellite technology. Identified as the "Ararat Anomaly," an odd shaped feature submerged in glacial ice at an altitude of 15,300 feet on the NW corner of the mountain, the object has within the last few years become the scrutiny of high tech satellites and commercial remote-sensing spacecraft.

Driving this search is Porcher Taylor, an associate professor in paralegal studies in Virginia. It has been Taylor's quest for some 13 years to identify this anomaly and with the aid of the newest, commercial satellite technology, he is convinced he will be able to in the near future.

Now, before any Christians go running out the door to wrestle to the ground the first God mocking atheist they come across so as to rub his nose in the Bible because it is believed the Genesis record is on the verge of being vindicated by the discovery of a massive, coffin shaped ocean liner on Mt. Ararat, let us all take a collective deep breath; count to three; and then let it out. OK now, let us ponder some thoughts...

First and foremost, nothing has really been confirmed. All we have are a series of "interesting" photos. Apparently, this anomaly has been of interest for ark hunters for several years, but until someone actually goes up the mountain to give an eyewitness investigation and collect data, the object is left in the realm of active imaginations.

Though the Canadian radar imaging satellite seems to suggest there is some solid object underneath the glacial ice, who are we to say the object is not a rock formation giving the appearance of a barge due to light and shadow?

Remember the "face" on Mars? Mars was surveyed by the first man-made satellite back in the mid-70s and one of the more intriguing images the satellite captured was what appeared to be a "face" carved into the top of a plateau. All of the barking at the moon UFO kooks claimed it was proof of extraterrestrial life. Books were written speculating as to what the "face" represented. Other UFO believers expanded the image to include what they believed to be a lost, ancient martian city. Still today, if you were to listen to Art Bell and Coast to Coast radio, you may hear on occasion Richard Hoagland who operates the Enterprise Mission website. He is the foremost apologist for the ancient civilization on Mars fantasy.

Mr. Hoagland capitalized on the "face" image and invented an entire ancient history on Mars replete with pyramids, cities with a network of glass transportation tubes, martians and a cultured civilization. Some unknown disaster threatened Mars, and so the inhabitants came to earth where they planted their "seed" so to speak among our ancient cultures. Foreknowing that eventually humanity would gaze out into space with wide-eyed wonderment at all the glorious celestrial objects, before the ancient martians left their home, they erected archaeological clues on the surface of Mars, i.e., a humanoid face carved on top of a plateau, in order to remind humanity from where they came. That sounds like a plausible theory, doesn't it?

Then in the late 90s, the new Mars Global Surveyor went into orbit around Mars. Guess which one of the areas it surveyed first? You guessed it, the "face" region on Mars. The surveyor intentionally took pictures during mid-day Mars time to take in account for any cast shadows. Instead of a massive stone sculpture that looked like the flying robot from Johnny Sokko, the image came back as a benign looking hill with some gullies. The entire ancient civilization on Mars scenario quickly flew into space.

Undaunted, Mr. Hoagland still vehemently maintains the face is really a face and insists the pictures have been doctored or fixed to take away the stunning truth that intelligent life lived on Mars.

Christians need to be weary of falling into this sort of foolishness with an alleged photograph of Noah's Ark that could turn our faith into a laugh stock if it is shown to be false. At this point, the picture still has to be interpreted and even the best analysts may have differing opinions as to what it is. I, for example, see a smiling, cartoon fish holding a book, or perhaps a drumstick from KFC.

Then last of all, do we need to have a physical, tangible ark to prove the Bible is true? That the global flood describe in the pages of Genesis really happened? Of course not. The fact that the Bible is God's revelation is certainty enough the historical account of Noah and the flood took place. Besides, whose to say there is an ark up there anyways? The integrity of the Bible doesn't demand it. More than likely, after Noah and his family left the ark, they dismantled a good portion of it to use in construction for their own shelter. What was left has since been covered over or left to deteriorate in the elements.

When it comes down to it, even a physical, tangible ark will do little to convince the most stubborn of skeptic unbelievers. His disbelief is a heart problem, not one that lacks credible evidence. Let us say for the sake of argument this anomaly was confirmed as being the ark of Noah. Would skeptics then fall to their knees and beat their chests with remorseful repentance for all their years of denying God and His Word? No, of course not. They would find some other clever way to conveniently explain away the discovery. In our day and age, it would be viewed as a plot by dastardly Republicans (and Haliburton) to get Bush's faith based school initiatives passed. So goes the sinful heart of men.


Blogger Cedric said...

I just discovered your blog, and I like it. Very thoughtful and well-written. I of course would be very excited if the ark turned out to be real (I once did a report on it in school), but you are right--either way it does not prove or disprove Chrstianity. More than likely the ark has long since crumbled to dust, although if an ancient ship was discovered on Mount Ararat with the same size and dimensions as the Bible records, I think the secularists would have a hard time explaining it away.

Anyway, keep up the great work!

1:08 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger Nathan said...

Very well said, my friend. Although That martian face on the moon stuff (and all related paranormal nonsense) fascinated me as a kid. I think I checked out every book in the library on the Bermuda Triangle.

Must be the reason I'm a Stargate SG-1 sucker.

8:55 AM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Jared said...

Interesting, I personally don't think its there. (not that my opinion carries any weight on this issue at all). Climbers and helicopters and satelites have looked all over ararat in Turkey and nothing ever pans out... I don't think it is there.

I think Bob Cornuke has made a pretty good case, as a Bible believer, that the ark is in Iran and maybe he saw part of it. I know not everyone agrees with him but he's got some pretty intriguing photographs and a pretty convincing story in his book "Ark Fever." I think his point that modern ararat is not necessarily the "mountains of ararat in Genesis 8:4 certainly has merit. Anyways, thanks!

11:52 AM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger donsands said...

the physical, tangible ark will do little to convince the most stubborn unbeliever."

Ain't that the truth!

I was sharing with my church the other day on John 11, where Jesus said, if you believe you will see the glory of God. Lazarus came out of the tomb, and the glory of God was seen, and it wasn't seen, though all saw.
Amazing that those who saw Lazarus raised from the dead, wanted to kill him.
So, yes, if the ark is found, it matters not really. Of course, if God wants to use finding the ark for His glory He surely shall.
Thanks for the well spoken words. Very encouraging.

12:41 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

There is some questionable research with regards to Bob Cornuke. He has a lot of reputable critics of his findings.

However, just doing a google search did not turn up a whole lot of information he provides concerning the Ark being in Iran. Do you have a specific article or web site you can direct me to? From what I can gather, he seems to depend upon the eye witness testimony of a handful of people who "claim" they saw a boat in rural Iran. But nothing tangible. At least with the current ark search on the official Mt. Ararat, they have some satellite photos.

Again, however, finding a real ark or not does nothing to either establish or falsify the biblical record. That is the important thing.


1:40 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Jared Page said...

Cornukes website is baseinstitute.org, his section on Noah's ark has not been completed. His main Critic seems to be a man named Gordon Franz, and there is a reply to Franz on the Base institute website. I thought it was ably done. Franz's big argument with Cornuke is over Mt. Sinai, which Cornuke thinks he's found in Saudi Arabia. I don't agree with some of Cornuke's tactics, particularly that he lied to get into saudi arabia, but I don't believe anyone has made the claim that he is a complete charlatan. It seems he's come accross some pretty intriguing stuff, unless he's just completely making it all up, and like I said no one's claiming he is. He does have photos in his book of something that looks like petrified wood high on a mountain in Iran, shaped roughly like a boat and with evidence of man's work, hand cut notches, etc. And he has worked out a theory that matches the Biblical data. Pretty interesting. I'm not ready to be his apologist, but I wish someone would be able to excavate the site further. He seems to be a sincere brother.
I agree, ark found or ark lost, the Bible stands on it's own merits. But it would be really cool to find it. :)

7:00 AM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...

I'm not even sure how they see an anomoly in that picture? If it is the ark, that would be really cool!, however our faith is not to rest in the efforts or wisdom of men but in God.

There is another website purporting to have already found the ark. It is rather interesting and somewhat plausible? You can see it at http://www.wyattmuseum.com

7:17 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Peter D. Nelson said...

The best explanation I have ever read froma Christian scientist regarding why we don't find Noah's Ark on Ararat is that it was probably the only source of planed wood nearby and would have likely been torn apart to be made into tools and shelters. Of course this may be too pragmatic for some.

7:04 PM, March 15, 2006  

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