Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Science News: Noah's Ark Discovered...Again?

Eric O. wants to know (and that rhymes):
What do you make of this one?
"Evangelists claim Noah's Ark found"

REPUTABLE SOURCE UPDATE: It's probably a fraud.

REPUTABLE SOURCE UPDATE #2: Noah’s Ark Discovery Exposed

This sounds super cool. But my critical thinking sense says, "Not so fast..."

It's a little hard to comment about this particular "discovery" because the information in the news article and elsewhere on the net is fairly limited (The best article I found was on the World Net Daily site that I linked to above.), so I'm going to turn this into a critical thinking exercise. These are the kinds of questions Christians should ask whenever one of these sensational announcements is made.

Right out of the gate, the first question that inevitably pops into my mind is, Who are these so-called experts and what are their credentials? As far as I could find, the main person mentioned in the popular news articles was Yeung Wing-cheung, a documentary filmmaker who is accompanying the alleged team of experts from a Hong Kong-based ministry, Noah's Ark Ministries International. Unfortunately, the web site is in Chinese and I'm a little rusty in that area. UPDATE: I just noticed a small 'ENG' button on the right side of the page. Lots more info if you click there. I was able to get a couple other names off the web site but when I Googled the names, they appear to be listed on web sites in Turkish.

An extraordinary claim like this requires corroborating evidence. So my second question is, what lab processed the sample on which carbon-dating was performed? Again, that wasn't mentioned in the news piece. These so-called researchers need to release their data to make it available for public peer-reviewed study.

These pictures are posted on the WND web site, but it's hard to tell any context or their relation to the excavation site.

Here a short video clip of the wooden structure.

This brings me to a third question: How was this excavation performed? Was it done using the usual methods? How carefully was the excavation documented?

A related question: Why didn't these so-called researchers release their findings in a peer-reviewed journal like normal archaeologists? Whenever so-called "discoveries" are announced at press conferences and not accompanied by a responsible academic paper, I'm immediately suspicious. Why? Not because I hate God but because they invariably fall by the wayside into the realm of junk science. I've seen it happen over and over again.

That's about all I can say at this point. If anyone out there knows more details, please pass them along. For now, I'm holding off judgment, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is either a hoax (quite likely) or the discovery of something else, but not Noah's ark.

REPUTABLE SOURCE UPDATE: It's probably a fraud.

REPUTABLE SOURCE UPDATE #2: Noah’s Ark Discovery Exposed


Eric Olsen said...

Thanks Krista! Once a year, I hear about something like this, and I'm always excited to learn about the findings. But, after the umpteenth time of being shut out, I'm not going to jump up and down until someone like you is convinced.

Eric Olsen said...

haha, exactly. all it took was one short day for my hopes to be dashed.

boy, talk about the boy who cried Ark.

aviewfromtheright said...

Thanks for the updates, Krista. Very helpful.