Sunday, May 30, 2010

Putzes claim they found Noah's ark?

I received this email from a reader:

"What's your opinion on the recently found "Noah's Ark" by Hong Kong fundies? And what's your favorite relic?"

The email contained a link to this article in Time magazine.  The article is about some putzes who made an expedition to a mountain in Turkey, and they found some old wooden structures.  Just how old they are will be discussed below.  They claim that the wooden structures are parts of Noah's ark.  It's noteworthy that no boat shape can be made out from the findings, only some beams and planks.

My first thought is that the editors of Time magazine are not stupid enough to believe this.  OK, maybe they are, but my guess is not.  This is a tabloid-esque magazine-seller, and nothing more.  Time knows that the American market is large, and they are well aware of just how many bible-thumpers there are with a few bucks to spend.

Now on to the claim itself.  I want to ignore just about everything except for one point:

"on show are pieces of petrified wood allegedly carbon-dated at 4,800 years old..."

Now, this really pisses me off!  I'm having a hard time finding the exact words and insults necessary to properly express my disgust, but here is a summary.  In order to be a creationist and believe in biblical young-Earth creation, you must ignore radiometric dating techniques, including carbon-dating, along with a whole lot of other science.  We have mountains (literally, mountains) of evidence demonstrating that the Earth is billions of years old, that there was no global flood, etc, etc, etc.  A lot of it was obtained with radiometric dating.  Creationists spend a whole lot of time bashing science, and radiometric dating in particular, because it absolutely pummels their beliefs into submission if it is allowed to be reliable.

But what do these same creationists, who ignored scientific radiometric results to get this far, do when they discover a piece of wood that they need the age of?  They turn to science and radiometric dating!  Then the sneaky, dishonest, intellectually-void bastards present the result to the world and expect us all to believe it!

This is intellectual dishonesty at its finest, and we have even seen an example of it on this website before.  When 'Nathan the less-than-intelligent-Christian' was commenting here, he attempted to use evolution to support his argument about some of the similarities between chimps and humans, specifically that they both have been known to kill each other.  The major problem, and what put a big red 'I'm a dishonest retard' sticker on his forehead, is that he refused to state that he accepted evolution was true.  He used biblical creation arguments when it suited him.  They'll use whatever tactics are necessary to support their argument, even if the support for one contradicts support for another.

As for the alleged date of the wood, I read another article on this topic which said that the preliminary tests shown to an expert gave a result of much less than 2,000 years, and now he is demanding to know who did this new test showing nearly 5,000 years.

Now, what is my best guess about what will happen here?  First, this story will disappear about as fast as it appeared.  I'd bet that in two years, this story is long dead.  What is the wood?  A former human settlement.  The expedition group claims that the area was not populated a long time ago, a claim which I do not believe, but there is another explanation.  This mountain has been thought to have Noah's ark on it for a very long time, back to biblical times (simply by definition).  This is not the first expedition to find the ark, and I'm sure there have been expeditions to this mountain since the bible stories were first written.  The explorers built a base camp out of wood.  That's a much more reasonable explanation than a supernatural being creating a supernatural event for which there is no evidence, while being mountains of evidence to the contrary.  Isn't it?

For the question about my favourite religious relic, I don't have one.  I never thought about it.  Does the supposed image of Jesus in toast count as a relic?


Magnamune said...

I don't bother with time magazine. And the link failed me, so I have only your post to go on. So, instead of stating an opinion formed from only evidence given by a biased observer, I'll instead say my favourite religious relic.

But first, must it be christian? Or can I take one from the religion I just started? Christian relics i know of very few, but the spear of truth/destiny/whatever would be my favourite. As for the latter, my teacup. It's more of a mug, really, but I make magical tea potions in it, so it's a religious relic.

Admin said...

Fixed the link.

Clown said...

I have even better explanation for ANY possibly arc-connected relic found there: tourist bait. Take the false gold mine example; tourists come to a place that was in a heart of gold fever in 1876. You sell tourist fake gold mine map, he finds something that looks like mine and finds fake nugget just lying there.

You could do the same with Noah's ark, especially since Ararat is in the middle of nowhere. If your very life and well being depends on how good your forgeries are, you might as very well be good at them (several centuries of experience here :)). As for my favourite relic, I like the blood of the saint something or other that doesn't clot (which scientists discovered to be of catchup consistency).

Jim said...

My favorite relic is the Shroud of Turin. Scientists used radiocarbon dating to prove that it was created around AD 1260-1390. It is my favorite because it is one of the relics that all Christians like to point to for proof of Jesus, but ignore the part about it being about made about 1300 years after Jesus supposedly died. They also claim that radiocarbon dating was not reliable and that it proved nothing.

And again, like Admin said, they are now trying to use techniques they tried to discredit to prove their own theories. But, again, if we accept radiocarbon dating is fact, we have to discredit a lot of religious items, and accept a lot of scientific items that support evolution and the Big Bang.

Which is it? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Feki said...

I go with Clown's opinion. These so called archeologist also happen to run a scripture-inspired amusement park in Hong Kong and this "finding" would prove very convenient for their business.

The ark is too much an absurdity to even consider it archeaologically plausible. And yes, the extend of the media coverage that these idiots have received somehow adds credibility to their ridiculuos claim. It is highly irresponsible for a news source like Time magazine, even if they make a few bucks more out of gullible fundies too eager to validate their fantasy. What'd be Time's next big story? Finding the skeleton of Goliath? rubble from Babel's tower? salt statues from Sodom?

It might be on "Noah's Mountain Adventure", the newest waterpark in Turkey.

And the shroud of Turin is also sort of a tourist trap, even though the church does not state that it is authentic. The church's official position is that if christians choose to believe the rag is legit they are free to do so. All the while, the church purposely allows thousands of people to pilgrimage (and spend thousands of dollars) for something they can't even assert is real!

As for my favorite relic it would be this


Magnamune said...

Just read the article... At least they point out that there are skeptics... And I did enjoy the quote "When people of faith go out looking for things, it seems they almost always find them." This is a very true statement. You can't throw a stone without it landing on something potentially religious. Actually, that'd be an interesting experiment.

Step 1: throw marked stone.
Step 2: Find marked stone.
Step 3: Claim landing place as theologically importatnt.
Step 4: Count the people who believe.

Of course, this would be followed by losing credibiliy in both actual science AND the crazy findings science.

Feki said...

Hey Magnamune. You are probably right, I’d read a bunch of news reports on the ark that didn't question its authenticity, so Time's skeptical remark went unnoticed. Still, the fact that such an iconic (for lack of better adjective) publication chooses to report on crappy pseudo-news like that one is a bad omen to journalism.

It is just like when reporters write an article about homeopathy /acupuncture in which certain unknown researcher from University X in Northern Uzbekistan had possibly found a relationship between drinking distilled water/pressing of the chakras and peeing more often, and then remotely suggesting that homeopathy/acupuncture could help you get rid of kidney stones and hair loss.

Objective readers would know this is pure B.S. But it’s exactly what the phonies need to feel their beliefs “validated”.
Media coverage of religious artifacts without labeling them Weapons of Mass Delusion is so irresponsible, it goes beyond First Amendment rights: it should be illegal in secular countries.

Feki said...

Here is an example of a real, useful ark, courtesy of Norway:

Ironically, Norway is said to be one of the least religious countries.

Jim said...

I have a new favorite relic. It is a meteorite that has been dated at approximately 4.5 billion years old. Which theists have to agree is accurate if they want to claim the "ark" dating is accurate. But by agreeing, they have to admit that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and formed through natural processes. By disagreeing, they invalidate their ark, and look like morons. I love getting theists caught in a Catch-22.

Here's a video link about the meteorite:

Admin said...

Jim (others too, but especially Jim), I think you'll enjoy the conversation I just had with a Muslim over on this thread:

Jim said...

Thanks for the heads-up Admin.