"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?