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Researchers To Climb Ararat To Seek Noah's Ark 2226

Posted by simoniker
from the try-everest-next dept.
fudgefactor7 writes "CNN/AP has a story about researchers that plan on ascending Mt. Ararat in search of the Ark of Noah. My favorite quote: ''We are not excavating it. We are not taking any artifacts. We're going to photograph it and, God willing, you're all going to see it,' McGivern said.' As if pictures can't be doctored and are absolute proof...."
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Researchers To Climb Ararat To Seek Noah's Ark

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  • Gee... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlueCup (753410) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:35PM (#8979204) Homepage Journal
    10 to 1 they're going to bring back pictures. 100 to 1 says that others will try and find what they've taken pictures of but it will have "mysteriously disappeared" ...
  • Re:So..... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Peyna (14792) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:38PM (#8979231) Homepage
    Finding a boat at that altitude would raise some significant questions as to how it got there.
  • The survey says... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zx75 (304335) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:42PM (#8979277) Homepage
    And when they reach this structure high on the mountain one of three things will occur.
    1) It is not Noah's ark, we will go on with our regular lives, and the people who believe in it will say that it doesn't prove anything, they simply have not found it yet.
    2) We don't know if its Noah's ark, we will go on with our regular lives, and still argue the existance of such a thing.
    3) It is Noah's ark, we will go on with our regular lives, and the scientists say "Umm... can we have a closer look at that book of yours?"

    But in the end... regardless of what happens, I'll go back to playing World of Warcraft.
  • Strangely enough ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlad_petric (94134) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:43PM (#8979282) Homepage
    Arafat is actually geographical. If you don't believe me, google for "Arafat plains".

    Both Arafat and Sharon took their last name from geographical locations that have historical connotations for their respective peoples.

    But I agree, it'd be quite difficult to climb Arafat ...

  • Doomed to fail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlueOtto (519047) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:47PM (#8979326)
    I've done a lot of research for school into the search for Noah's ark, and I think this mission is doomed to fail. Every documented mission to find the ark has failed. Three major factors have kept searchers from looking on Mt. Ararat-- #1. The frigid weather, #2. The Turkish Government (security concerns, blah blah blah) #3.Kurdish people who have the nasty habit of killing people who want to go up the mountain. I find it amazing that nobody has been able to check out this 'anomaly' on the mountain that has been documented by the CIA and was classified for 50 years, especially in the day and age of technology that we live in-- able to get to the moon, but not to a mountain. Personally, and go ahead and mod me down for this, but I believe God has kept people from checking out the location. Cool stuff, to me.
  • by CaptainCarrot (84625) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:50PM (#8979355)
    Well, let's be fair here though. If he finds a very large boat stuck on top of a mountain, there are very few possibilities as to which boat it might be. And *if* it's really there (I'm a Christian and I regard the odds as very low) there will be proper archaeology done on it in due time. Not by this guy perhaps, but by somebody.

    While I was typing this comment in, someone modded parent down 2 notches as Flamebait. Come on folks! He's making a valid point, as far as it goes. This is definitely one of those times where you should post instead of moderate if you simply disagree.

  • by linzeal (197905) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:51PM (#8979367) Homepage Journal
    I had a hell of a time dealing with my ex-ex-gf and her belief in chakras, OTO, and the like. Than I got turned on to a Mr Shermer who wrote things like Why People Believe Weird Things [amazon.com] and The Borderlands of Science [amazon.com] (which is unfortunately out of print, try to grab a used!) helped me understand her predicament. People of even average intelligence are gullible when it comes to science like people a hundred years ago were prone to believe the local parish's view on the "big questions." When you combine these two it is like a double alluring dose of sweet fantasy that non-science types slam down like a tequilla sunrise in an 80's movie.

    If you want to help people buy books like this on tape, and than lock them in a car and drive around till they realize how foolish it is to believe that their are dinosaurs at the bottom of lakes and secret nazi occult space temples on the dark side of the moon.

  • Historical flood (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LarkaanSoban (748920) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:54PM (#8979406)
    Interesting, the idea of a cleansing flood is pretty much a world-wide thing. The Babylonians had the Epic of Gilgamesh with a flood, the jews with the story of Noah, there are even stories in east Asia and in Central and South America among the Incans and Aztecs and the other local civilizations. Such a widespread story probably means it has some historical basis in the distant pass; perhaps a brief but intense period of global warming, melting the ice caps for just a few years? As for the expedition, well, I'm not a religious fellow, but I am interested in the outcome.
  • Re:Oh great (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:03PM (#8979483)
    It's pseudo-science because there's no evidence to support a global flood, and tons of evidence against it. There's this thing called geology that studies (among other things) rock layers around the world. Ever heard of it?

    If you're trying to do science you don't get to make plausible claims just because you want to believe them. You need credible evidence, and in this case you'd need an enormous amount of evidence to explain why there's absolutely no evidence of a global flood several thousand years ago. These people have NONE of that. I saw the satelite photos on the history channel, and they're FAR less believeable than even the face on Mars pictures. (And that at least resembled a face). Do you believe in a flat earth too because the bible mentions the four corners of the earth?

    Obviously the bible mentions things that actually happened. That gives no credence to the truth of fairly tales like Noah and the Ark and Adam and Eve.

    It's like the comedian Harry Anderson said. The idea is to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.
  • Re:Uhhh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Curtman (556920) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:04PM (#8979489)
    But at least it could be carbon dated to determine if it was from the right time.

    Carbon date what? The story says "We are not excavating it. We are not taking any artifacts".

    You can't carbon date someone's claim. Or are you thinking of a polygraph?

    P.S. Why does the dictionary say a polygraph is a "An instrument for multiplying copies of a writing; a manifold writer; a copying machine"
  • Science? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by supradave (623574) <supradaveNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:14PM (#8979600)
    Once again, stupid people in search of fantasy because they can't handle reality.

    Where did all the water go to?

    How did Noah and family manage to get all the animals from the Western Hemisphere?

    How come Noah save fleas and ticks?

    How come Noah save poisonous snakes and man eating tigers?

    How many Bigfoots were there on the Ark?

    How large was it and for how long did they sail and if there were only 2 of each animal did any of the animals die and then did they just die out?

    If we ignore science, anything is possible.
  • This reminds me... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jin Wicked (317953) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:21PM (#8979669) Homepage Journal

    Of this, a couple of years ago:

    http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/10/21/jesus.b ox/

    It was pretty thoroughly and harshly debunked within a few months afterwards by most experts in dating, and deemed a forgery to some extent, but there are still people who refuse to accept that explanation.

    They have been debating the "dark splotches" in photos on top of that mountain for years now. I'm fairly certain at one point they even dated samples, and it wasn't old enough, but I'm not positive on that. I know there have been many, many photo expeditions there before.

  • Re:Uhhh (Score:-1, Interesting)

    by rwven (663186) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:23PM (#8979685)
    lol, the "inventor" of carbon dating himself said it was only accurate on objects that were less than 200 years old. The dating itself proves how innacurate it is. Different labs producing results that are hundreds of millions of years apart? sounds really "reliable" to me...

    thought food: http://www.wyattarchaeology.com/noah.htm
  • Re:Why so negative? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:25PM (#8979703)
    They laughed at Einstein... but they also laughed at bozo the clown.

    And actually, I don't think they really laughed at Einstein.
  • Re:Uhhh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by microwave_EE (768395) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:32PM (#8979763)
    While I have my qualms about the various and sundry radio-dating methods (Carbon14, Potassium-argon, Uranium-lead, et al) I'd like to see some good sources in the scientific community (for example, an article in a widely accepted research journal) that can show some sort of proof that the depositing of Carbon14 into the atmosphere is a uniform event. Additionally, I'd like to see the research supporting/or not supporting a stance of uniformitarianism with regards to the depositing of C14 into the atmosphere.
    Essientially, I'd like to read whatever ya' gots on the commonly held presupposition that the present rate of depositing of C14 has *always* been the rate of C14 depositing.
    Any links to scientific journals appreciated.
  • by JoeBuck (7947) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:42PM (#8979839) Homepage
    If you're a Catholic and don't believe in evolution, you are going against official doctrine. Interestingly, about 50% of American Catholics haven't gotten the word: they say they don't believe in evolution, despite the Vatican repeatedly saying that it's a fact as far as they are concerned.

    "Scientific folk" only see religion as a competitor when politicians use religion to shut down science (as George Bush did with stem cell research), or to prevent teaching of science in the schools.

  • by Black Art (3335) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:42PM (#8979841)
    Actually the worldwide flood of Noah was disproven at least 100 years ago. (Further back than that if you count Leonardo Divinci's treatise on the motion of water.)

    There are very ancient and fragile geological structures that would have been destroyed by a flood.

    But then the claims in the Bible for the worldwide flood as absurd on its face. If you calculate how many animals there are and the time needed to load them into the ark in the period of time described, they would be going so fast they would be a fine paste at the back end. (Not that they would fit.)

    Creationists have been pushing the ark myth and various other Biblical claims for a while now. There is plenty of physical evidence that shows that they are wrong.

    But faith overrides reason.

    The "hatred" you are precieving is that of having to deal with a large group of supposedly educated people who will not listen to reasoned arguments or physical evidence. You insist on making claims that are shown over and over to be without merit, yet you insist on claiming that there is no evidence refuting them.

    talk.origins on usenet has been dealing with the same arguments over and over for more than 10 years.

    The Creationists have yet to be able to present any sort of theory that has any predictive value about the world. Their excuse is "God did it". No evidence. Nothing but contradictory religious writings.

    It is not hatred, it is frustration. Frustration with the willfully ignorant. People who are willing to believe Creationists who have been shown over and over to be lying and ignore Scientists who have physical evidence showing them that they are wrong.

    Seeing people tell the same lies over and over just starts to get you pissed off after a while.
  • by beeplet (735701) <beeplet@gmail.com> on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:46PM (#8979877) Journal
    There is a very interesting article from Harpers Magazine [worldagesarchive.com] which details many discrepancies between biblical accounts and archaeological findings.

    Some tasty excerpts:

    The first archaeologists were thus guilty of one of the most elementary of scientific blunders: rather than allowing the facts to speak for themselves, they had tried to fit them into a preconceived theoretical framework...

    The enormous ideological edifice that Yigael Yadin and others had erected was weakening at the base. Whereas formerly every pottery fragment or stone tablet appeared to confirm the biblical account, now nothing seemed to fit. Attempting to pinpoint precisely when Abraham had departed the ancient city of Ur, the American scholar William F. Albright, a pillar of the archaeological establishment until his death in 1971, theorized that he had left as part of a great migration of "Amorite" (literally "western") desert nomads sometime between 2100 and 1800 B.C. This was the theory that Paul Johnson would later cite in A History of the Jews. Subsequent research into urban development and nomadic growth patterns indicated that no such mass migration had taken place and that several cities mentioned in the Genesis account did not exist during the time frame Albright had suggested. Efforts to salvage the theory by moving up Abraham's departure to around 1500 B.C. foundered when it was pointed out that, this time around, Genesis failed to mention cities that did dominate the landscape during this period. No matter what time frame was advanced, the biblical text did not accord with what archaeologists were learning about the land of Canaan in the second millennium.

    This was not all. As Israel Finkelstein, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University, and Neil Asher Silberman, a journalist who specializes in biblical and religious subjects, point out in their recent book, The Bible Unearthed, the patriarchal tales make frequent mention of camel caravans. When, for example, Abraham sent one of his servants to look for a wife for Abraham's son, Isaac, Genesis 24 says that the emissary "took ten of his master's camels and left, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master." Yet analysis of ancient animal bones confirms that camels were not widely used for transport in the region until well after 1000 B.C. Genesis 26 tells of Isaac seeking help from a certain "Abimelech, king of the Philistines." Yet archaeological research has confirmed that the Philistines were not a presence in the area until after 1200 B.C. The wealth of detail concerning people, goods, and cities that makes the patriarchal tales so vivid and lifelike, archaeologists discovered, were reflective of a period long after the one that Albright had pinpointed. They were reflective of the mid-first millennium, not the early second.
  • Re:Why so negative? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JoeBuck (7947) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:51PM (#8979913) Homepage

    This kind of stuff makes most of the world think that the most powerful nation on earth is run by some Taliban-like cult: the last nation on earth of Christian heritage where significant numbers of people count the "begats" and argue that the world is under 10,000 years old, that almost all living things were destroyed by a world-wide flood, that dinosaur bones were (pick one) created by the devil, or by God to test our faith, or were forgotten by Noah when he collected two of each animal for the ark.

    There are a lot of Christians I respect, but they treat the Bible as inspiration and consider most of the stories in it to be legends and parables. Just as Jesus told the story of the mustard seed, the Bible tells the story of a man named Job. It's a lesson, like Aesop's fables.

  • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:08AM (#8980035)
    Trying to establish biblical tales in the chronology of actual history is usually an attempt to "prove the truth" or "expose the fraud" of the bible. I find this tiring. Suppose they find a boat sealed with pitch? Suppose they find what looks to be a still nearby? There's no context other than what the expedition is trying to impose. History doesn't give the satisfactory answers to the questions that theology is trying to answer.

    Trust is built from a person's knowledge and experience with someone else. (Your parents, friends, teachers, etc.) Faith, on the otherhand, is at best only second-hand trust for most people. You trust in the bible, God, Allah, Jesus, because someone else that you trust has said they trust in it. It's very hard to evaluate and build that trust first-hand yourself. With the different translations and interpretations of the bible, even RTFB doesn't always build trust. Trying to somehow "verify" the Bible with science is so sought after because people trust science more than they actually trust the bible (their faith may prevent them from admitting this though).

    I have to say that it more than bugs me when I see the bible refer to pi as 3.0. This one mistake really blows my trust, but not my faith. Seeing more and more contradictions really makes me start to question how my parents reconciled these discrepencies. After reading enough of them it really makes me question my faith.

    I don't pretend to give answers. But I recently started to read one of the best "intellectual examinations" on the Jewish version of the Old Testament. It's called God, A Biography and it's "agenda" is to explain God as an evolving character in a book. Quite deservedly, it won the pulitzer prize in biography because its quirky title is more than just a marketing effort. It really does try to be a good biography of God.

    It doesn't try to explain away contradictions in the bible other than saying that God can change just as man can (and yes, I know some people who will find that fact alone to be sacrilege). The author doesn't seem to push either a pro or anti religious agenda. God is just a character. If you want, you can read it like you'd read the Cliff's Notes version of Hamlet strictly for a deeper understanding of the character portrayed in this book whether you "beleive" the book is the truth or not.

    Having been nastily betrayed by two life long friends in the name of Christianity, I still don't feel that I'm ready to accept most churches as anything other than as organized political organizations. But I still have theological questions myself and this biography has been able to make more sense of the Bible and God. No clue where this will lead me in my spiritual journey (heck, I may even go back to agnosticism or athiesm), but it was a very helpful read.

    No expeditions to Mt. Arrarat or carbon datings of the pollen found in the shroud of Turin is really going to come up with as satisfactory an answer. My apologies in advance if this is considered off-topic.

  • by Prior Restraint (179698) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:11AM (#8980067)

    Gilgamesh was the builder of the boat

    It was part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, but Utnapishtim [pantheon.org] built the ark.

  • Re:Um... it's a myth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mantorp (142371) <mantorp 'funny A' gmail.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:17AM (#8980100) Homepage Journal
    I've met people who believe that dinosaurs are a hoax by scientists to get famous. It's hard to have meaningful conversations about these things when you can't agree on a starting point.
  • Ararat (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sdjunky (586961) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:18AM (#8980103)
    Who says that what is recorded in the Bible as Ararat is the same mountain we know of today as Ararat?
  • Troll (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:21AM (#8980123)
    You know, the Jews and I think the moslems (sp?) believe in Noah also. Also, in your post if you replaced christians with Jews, Gays, Blacks or some other group you would sound like a complete idiot/racist. Good thing no one notices when you say christian.
    -James
  • by rizzo420 (136707) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:22AM (#8980125) Homepage Journal
    there are theories that the ark could really be there. there's aerial photographs of the mountain that show something that could possibly the ark. so yes, there is a good reason for this and it's something highly debated, so of course it makes it to slashdot...
  • by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:25AM (#8980153) Journal
    The problem, as often, is history. The concept and idea of God has evolved over the ages, and although religions try to preserve traditions and attempt to justify themselves by pointing back in time by saying that they've existed for a long time, the truth is quite different. The God of Genesis is not the God of Exodus, or of Kings, even less that of Isaiah.

    But through that period, "Eli" was a tribal God who was worshipped by the Israelites ("I am the God of your fathers").Moise didn't claim that the Egyptian Gods didn't exist, he simply claimed that his God was more powerful, and that his people should only worship that single God. He used the stories (myths) they held from their ancestors before being enslaved to help free them. He was a tribal God. Vengeful and jealous, as he says in the Bible. Not evil, simply a different vision of God than we have today. Why? Because we create the image of God that we use. Not to say that there is no such thing as "God", but I say that what we hold, what we call God in various eras is really a reflection of ourselves, of what we believe could exist that is greater than us. A "father figure", in a way, and also a protector.

    Now, from the time of the Exile at Babylon, things changed for the Hebrews. Their contact with Zoroastroism changed their vision of their God and that's when they turned a bit more philosophical. Further penetration from Greek hellenistic thoughts (Plato and others) furthered the drifting toward a new kind of monotheism: before, they believed that their God was the only one for themselves, but now they started to believe it was the only one there was, that other tribal Gods were false ones.

    Then we get Jesus, and Paul, and the influence of Mithraism, but I don't want to get into this too far 'cause this post is going to be long enough as it is and I'm not sure getting into a deep religious debate on Slashdot is a good idea, but Jesus and his followers brought a different perspective, a universalism that the Jews never had: a single God for all.

    Until I'd say Aquinas this fusion of Jewish monotheism and hellenistic philosophy progressed, and then it pretty much congealed, as far as the catholic church is concerned, at least. Other currents continued and are still progressing: pantheism, new age philosophies, people are still creating new, more progressive images and ideas of God.

    The point is this: the God of Abraham is NOT the same God as the one we see today. The image has evolved, and changed. Although the ideas answer the same basic needs in humans, the need has evolved, as has the response to that need. The problem of entranched religions is that their traditions and history at one point prevents them from progressing in such a way. They get stuck, and Christianity (as a Jewish sect) is the worst of the lot, as its history dates more or less 4000 years into the past. Some traditions simply cannot be reconciled with modern viewpoints about the idea of God. You can only stretch it so far.

    So I'm, not convinced that the idea of perfection and love that we attribute to our modern idea of God is a device of the church. I think it's more of an evolution of the modern mind.

    Luckily, I have karma to burn lately. Hope you liked my little dissertation.
  • Re:Uhhh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FCAdcock (531678) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:25AM (#8980155) Homepage Journal
    Actually, evolution has been poven. I do believe that Charles Darwin first provided us with that information.

    He did not however, tell anyone that they came from an ape. He was a deeply religious man who was troubled enough by the idea of evolution to eventually have to leave the priesthood.

    His idea was that if the birds that he used as basis for his ideas on evolution had evolved, we could have also.

    Evolution is true. It happens. It's fact. I am not, nor have I ever been an ape though.

    I think.
  • by handy_vandal (606174) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:26AM (#8980163) Homepage Journal
    [atheist or agnostic]... About 14% [adherents.com]

    From the above link I see that:

    67% of the world's population are doomed to spend their afterlife in the Christian hell.

    78% of the world's population are doomed to spend their afterlife in the Islamic hell.

    97% of the world's population are doomed to spend their afterlife in the "Other" hell.

    -kgj
  • by hazem (472289) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:29AM (#8980187) Journal
    Finding a boat on top of a mountain only proves there is a boat on top of a mountain. Let's not forget:

    Submarine found in Colombian Andes [cnn.com]
  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:47AM (#8980322) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it would be nice if his followers acted according to his teachings. But they seem to have twisted those words to use as justification for persecution of Jews, among other people. The Blood Libel is my favorite example, but I could go on.

    Bruce

  • Re:Conspiracy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mikehoskins (177074) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:01AM (#8980411)
    Now, I actually believe there was a literal ark. However, I don't believe they'll ever find it, at least not there.

    Why? Because according to Genesis 8:4, [biblegateway.net] the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

    That would be like saying that I own a moderate-sized building somewhere in the Rocky Mountains; now go find it. That's a BIG region to cover -- a whole mountain range....

    Ararat is only one mountain in the mountains of Ararat. I think they're looking in the wrong place, assuming that 5,000 years of decay has left anything standing, in the first place.
  • Re:Uhhh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by microwave_EE (768395) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:06AM (#8980458)
    Sorry if I come across as a stickler, but I'd really like to see some scientific journal articles. My university has access to many, many archived journals, so even older stuff, as long as it's quality.
    Regarding your examples of how to set the production rates:
    fossilized trees: without knowing the age of the event of the fossilization of the trees, you're using circular definitions for establishing the date. -A quick Q for biologists: do all already established rings in a tree still receive C14? I'd assume they do, but I'm into engineering, not biology. If they don't, you'd have a nifty way of guessing at the rate of C14 production over the lifespan of the tree, just do some rather painful curve-fitting with the different C14 levels present in each layer and assume that each layer marks one year-and I don't believe that's always the case, especially in tropical and subtropical zones.
    periodic sedementation layers: this grossly assumes that the periodicity is uniformly periodic across the entire region of interest. Of course, any periodic sedimentation layers are really *nearly* periodic, because true periodicity requires a signal of infinite duration, and the lake(s) in question have existed for a finite length of time. (Sorry, just had a flashback to Signals and Systems.)
  • No no no no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by isomeme (177414) <cdberry@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:06AM (#8980461) Homepage Journal
    As all the Tim Powers [amazon.com] fans engage in a collective shudder...
  • Re:Conspiracy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:10AM (#8980502)
    also assuming, that they didn't tear the bitch down for firewood, and building materials.

    i mean, after 40 days floating around, you _will_ build some solid accommodations.

  • by cwspain (774211) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:11AM (#8980513)
    If you're going to use an ancient text to launch an expedition like this, you should understand what you are reading. The genre of the first 11 chapters of Genesis is myth. It is best read within the context of neo-Babylonian mythology, in which humanity is created as an afterthought and destroyed in a flood because they were making too much noise and annoying the gods. In the Genesis account, however, mankind is the pinnacle of creation and companion of God. When man fails to live up to his potential and is thoroughly evil and violent, creation is uncreated then recreated so humanity has a chance to start again.

    Note that calling the story a myth is not the same as calling it fiction. It is the genre of literature. My point is that it does not have to be historical in order to be true. (In fact, an argument about historicity would have been puzzling to the Jewish community living in exile in Babylon that gave us the story in its current form.) OK, so you've decided that the story of Noah is in fact historical, or at least there is enough of a possibility that it is worth trying to find the ark? Read the text more closely: "the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8.4). The Hebrew text is definitely plural. When the waters of chaos recede, the ark would naturally come to rest on high ground, such as the mountainous region of Urartu (called Ararat in Hebrew) to the north, rather than the plains of Mesopotamia. Mount Ararat is one mountain in the range, but the ancient text does not specify a particular mountain.
  • by Zareste (761710) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:43AM (#8980718) Homepage
    As if pictures can't be doctored and are absolute proof....

    Wow, they haven't started and it's already a big conspiracy cover-up!

    *Puts on a tinfoil hat*

    Thought I'd join in on the fun. We're all in the matrix!
  • Re:Gee... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chadjg (615827) <chadgessele2000@ y a h o o . com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @02:01AM (#8980808) Journal
    Yes, that's a reasonable thing to say. There is a long and glorious tradition of liars and hacks searching for the Ark and other relics.

    Surely they could find some well known and well financed skeptics that have outdoor skills. It would be good quality control.
  • by thogard (43403) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @02:04AM (#8980829) Homepage
    Funny thing that in many cultures that live in places without well defined seasons count in moons and not years. Even more interesting is how many cultures far enough north where the weather will kill you if you don't properly prepair have been using moons as their basis for counting. There is some evidence that a "year" in Egypt was defined by the Nile floods and if they didn't happen, they just ended up with a longer than normal year. I would also doubt the average persons ability to count that high in the time most of the stories were 1st written down. Many groups didn't have good counting systems until very recently. It was common to use concepts like 2 dozen and a three score even two hundred years ago.
  • Re:Uhhh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @02:06AM (#8980845)
    ..snip.. "Despite what you might hear from nutty scientists and nuttier religious zealots, religious faith and science are not mutually exclusive." ..snip..

    Well..... I am not so sure on this. Like your post says you take religion on faith. So if you read the religious text's of many religions there is a pre-programmed conflict with science. Some religions more than others.

    Without understanding Buddism too well, I think that is the one of the only religions that does not conflict with science too much. But take Christianity, or Islam and you are asking for problems.
  • by RevAaron (125240) <revaaronNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @02:22AM (#8980928) Homepage
    If you're a Catholic and don't believe in evolution, you are going against official doctrine ...

    Rejecting some official dogma is part of being a Catholic. I think non-religious people and especially folks from other christian sects have a hard time with this. largely, I think they think "if you don't agree with it, why not leave?" hell, in my confirmation interview with the woman who ran the program and the priest, I told them outright I rejected the very idea of the pope, although i agreed with some of the biblical justification of it, I just didn't think it was the best idea. Among many other things. Confirmed. In some ways, I'm still Catholic, although I've not believed in something recognizable by anything remotely christian in many years. Funny, that.

    But yeah, what the pope said about evolution was pretty interesting, and I have to say it makes sense. I often bring it up with super-christians when they're getting weird. Basically, the pope said that with all of the evidence for evolution that we have, there were two basic possibilities. Either:

    1. Evolution is more or less the way life happened on earth. It may have been "guided" by god or somesuch, but in this option we are trusting what we find out by science. Or-

    2. God is being nasty, and "planting" all sorts of evidence, in geology, the fossil record and living beings. Perhaps just to trick us, to test us, whatever. If that's the case, then we cannot trust the information science brings us on the topic.

    If you accept #2, then you have to reject pretty much everything else, including the bible. If not, how can we know how far the ruse extends? Is the bible itself a jest? etc etc.
  • by Micah (278) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @02:51AM (#8981034) Homepage Journal
    > In my opinion the "great flood" was perhaps a severe localized flood

    I'm a Christian who takes the Bible fairly literally, and I actually agree with this statement. It is the position [reasons.org] of Old Earth Creationism, which I believe in.
  • by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gmail.CURIEcom minus physicist> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @03:12AM (#8981119) Homepage Journal
    To pick nits, the real true God created Sophia (wisdom), Sophia created the Demiurge, known as YHVH, who in turn created the universe, then The Demiurge created Archons, which we call angels, to carry out his ill will. But in each person exists a bit of the True Gods Light, and this is our only hope to escape from prison. The Apple for Adam was our first chance for escape (hence knowledge of good and evil), and the Christ our second. According to them. The Demiurge is not evil, just too big for his britches, his universe is a lie, and hence evil.

    The term "Gnosticism" means wisdom, personally attained revelation with the Godhead. Only through revelation can we escape the cruel cycle or existance (yes, the Christian Gnostics had a vague form of reincarnation).

    Gnosticism outdates Christianity buy a thousands years or so, and some scholars think it is evolved from ancient Egypt. The Zoroastrian and Mithric influence are really too heavy for it to be a pure early Christian invention. Also it fairly wreaks of bastardized Platonism.

    Sorry, everyone is a geek in their own little way.
  • by Pseudonym (62607) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @03:16AM (#8981140)

    Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can look at Mount Ararat [terraserver.com] for yourself. Happy ark hunting!

  • by loic_2003 (707722) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @03:29AM (#8981200) Homepage
    Firstly, at the time of writing an ark the size described would have been impossible to build due to the building materials available. Only wood was used and an ark of biblical proportions would simply fall apart. Secondly, there's not enough water on the planet to cover the entire earth, especially to the height of a mountain!!! It has been found that noah was infact just a trader and that the 'flood that covered the earth' was simply the local river flooding. The story has been basically dramatised for the bible. What a waste of time trying to find the thing...
  • Re: Doomed to fail (Score:2, Interesting)

    by artakka (114455) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @04:25AM (#8981381)
    Armenian 5th century historian Ghazar P'arbec'i in his book named "History of the Armenians [rbedrosian.com]" mentions the Ayrarat (old Armenian spelling) province, that has been and still is one of the key Armenian provinces (except the mountain itself that ended up in Turkey after World War I).

    I am sure there are many earlier references.

    I do not claim they will find the Ark. I lived in Yerevan for 30 years and I could see Mt. Ararat towering above the city from my living room window. Never noticed the Ark, though.

  • Re:Gilgamesh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gallowsgod (766508) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @04:36AM (#8981422)
    Well, at least part of it is belived to be true: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2982891. stm

    Wether the flood story part is true or not, is in my opinion not to relevant. Both the Gilgamesh epos and several other myths at the time tells a story about a flood that is very similar to the story told in the bible. Most of these myths are much older than any parts of the bible.

    There has also been found evidence that an early sumerian culture was destroyed by a great flood.

    Another funny fact is that the first sumerians lived in the plains south in Mesopotamia. The sumerian word for plain is 'Edin'
  • by CGP314 (672613) <CGP@ColinGregory ... t ['Pal' in gap]> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @04:38AM (#8981431) Homepage
    We just want lasting peace, which only Christ can provide.

    Oh that's so cute in a brainwashing kind of way.

    Reminds me of the other day when I was at Speakers Corner in London talking with a guy about how multicultural the city is. I commented that from my perspective as an American, London seems like a melting pot/mosaic society that works pretty well -- not perfect mind you, but better than anywhere I've seen before.

    His comment: ``Once everyone has found Christ, then a multicultural society can work.''


    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
  • by perly-king-69 (580000) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @04:53AM (#8981483)
    Two points

    1. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Basically this guy called Utnapashtim has to build a really big boat, gather all living things aboard it and wait for the flood which lasts for seven days and nights. The boat comes to land on a mountain. This story comes from Sumeria and in written form is over 5000 years old. This thing is just a middle eastern folk tale.

    2. Which culture's creation myth doesn't have a flood story? Aztecs, Incas, Sumerians, Mayan, Jews, Greeks all feature catastrophic flooding. Could it just be something to do with the fact that early settlements had to be in a riverine environment and before they were able to control that environment floods were a real risk - and their tales reflected these concerns?

    ...and as an aside...if there were two of each animal...what did the carnivores eat?
  • god as man (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @06:21AM (#8981731)
    > The concept and idea of God has evolved over the ages,

    I challenge the use of 'evolved' in this sentence. Changed perhaps, but 'evolved' implies improvement.

    Changed it certainly has. It is now used to mean some sort of magic space pixie, though of course there are uses in recent times that are more accurate. Hirohito was a God until the allies made him stop being one. Chin was a God, most of the Roman emperors became one.

    Probably the best way to explain what a 'god' actually was in past times is to use an example: The term Bael (or Baal) is much like the term Lord as used in Britain in the middle ages, ie the Lord of the Manor. A person who owned the land and everything on it and expected taxes or offering to be paid to support him and his armies. Lords or Baels had the power of life or death over those within the manor but would also listen to requests or prayers made to them. They were Gods, attributed with magical powers to be able to know everything that happened, and to cause it, to be the 'father' of everyone, to be their protector, but also to cause fear in the subjects.

    These titles were territorial and dynastic, so there were many Baels, each in their own region. One well known one was Bael Zebub. Literally Lord of the Manor, it would be Bael Zebul to be Lord of the Flies.

    When a new God, or Lord (actually a new dynasty), took over the old lords were derided. Bael Zebub became the devil when the new Jehovah took over the teritory and claimed that he was the only god that must be obeyed.

    I have no doubt that when Moses led a group out of Egypt around 1500BC he met with the current Jehovah, or his agent, and formed a contract, the covenant, in which the jews could occupy a parcel of land as long as they recognised Jehovah and obeyed a set of laws.

    The point being is that if were to be around today then Jehovah would be regarded as a warlord, just as the Baels were. They, like many warlords in recent times, regarded themselves as 'gods' and gave themselves powers and attributes above and beyond those of ordinary humans, they required obedience to the point of absolute sacrifice. I am sure that most could recognise that many leaders today or of late that have attracted the same sort of fanatical reverence that could lead to godification: Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Stalin, Kim Jong, even Hitler, but also Ghandi.

    I have no doubt that most of the gods of the ancients actually did exist, just as Chin and Hirohito did, they just weren't supernatural.

    In much the same way there really was a real Saint Nicolas yet he too has become godified as an eternal gift giver with magical powers to fly from his mythical toy factory in excess of the speed of light while being all seeing and all knowing. He was deified a as mechanism of social control (only good children get gifts from Santa).

    > The God of Genesis is not the God of Exodus, or of Kings, even less that of Isaiah.

    Exactly. And the Queen of England today is not the Queen of England of 1600, for exactly the same reason.

    Everything that you say is entirely correct, but I suspect that when you use the term 'god' you have a mental image much like a North Korean peasant has for Kim Jong, while I also conjure an image of much the same type of person but from quite a different standpoint.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @06:33AM (#8981793) Homepage
    Actually the bible suffered most of it's "modification" in the hands of the catholic church.

    they removed and bansihed the texts of mary Madgeline, and other "unappropriate" sections.

    The Old testamanent has been altered by the jewish leaders before the Catholics arrived, and the Koran has certianly been modified by the extremist muslim leaders trying to ensure their desires are there and the ideas against them were squished.

    If you could point to proof that says "God Wrote THIS!" what we have today has been overly perverted by man so much that it is almost nothing like the origional.

    Hell, many properly translated sections lose almost all the meaning in translation. Like whaty Jesus said on the cross at his death was not "it is finished" but "the debt is paid" which mean two very different things... yet is any english bibles corrected? nope..

    If anything on this planet was handed to man by God, man certianly perverted it to his own uses by now.... and we all know that the church is generally interested in power and control instead of their real purpose... why does a church that asks for feeding the needy have to be made out of solid marble and granite cost 22 billion and have a solid gold statue or three? you could house and feed for 5 years EVERY homeless person in america with the hidden wealth in the catholic and prodistant churches.

    Just my beef, 90% of christians are hippa-christans.. they have the fish on their car as the careen through traffic flipping off the slower drivers... so they tell the world.. "I'm christian! I'm an ASSHOLE!.... Christians are Assholes!"

    and for the record, yes I AM christian.

  • by SharpFang (651121) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @07:10AM (#8981971) Homepage Journal
    unless of course you count miracles in.
    Or you take the story as retold by people who don't understand basic concepts of modern science.
    Consider the flood a big cataclysm, like an asteroid, "the evil people" as dinosaurs, the arc as an ecological niche and Noah with his family as mammals in general. Now tell the story of extinction of dinosaurs to a man who was born and lived some 4000 years ago, and see what he makes out of it, retelling it to others of his kin.
  • Re:Conspiracy (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @07:33AM (#8982091)
    Even the most die hard christian fundamentalists would have a job believing so much patent bullcrap. Please, if you want to be christian then at least be one of the ones that whines "well, you ren't supposed to take it all litterally" every time you are challenged.

    I'm willing to believe there was a flood large enough to wipe out a large village. Cities near rivers can get some serious floods. I'm willing to believe there was a boat, a big boat. I'm willing to believe it was big enough to store some animials enough for a small tribe. I'm even willing to believe that some dude decided to build a boat on dry land in an area that gets floods, and when the flood came the boat travled somewhere and they made a nice home for them selves.

    At the same time, I'm willing to believe that the same dude who really didn't get out much thought that the whole world got flooded when it was really just his neck of the woods.
  • by gunnarstahl (95240) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @07:33AM (#8982093) Homepage
    ... is how much faith and trust many people put into what is called science.

    I guess that most theories were not made to find the reasons behind a certain thing but were made to proove a certain believe. At the beginning was not a question without an answer but there was an answer without a question. And most times the reason behind the answer was: "There is no god".

    It is like the gartner group coming up with the results of a survey which was paid by Microsoft. You probably know the outcome. Microsoft is better than *n[ui]x. And if you love Microsoft, you believe the results of the survey. If you're an Open Source enthusiast, you rebut the results.
    On which side you stand is defined by what you want to believe.

    And now, try to find _real__proofs_ for your favoured where-do-we-come-from theorie. You'll be amazed how much unproven theories there are and how much power people invest to defend these theories instead of trying to proove/disproove them.

    Strange enough.
  • by Vexar (664860) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @07:59AM (#8982247) Homepage Journal
    The running theory I have read is that the waters were trapped in two locations, below the earth's crust and up in the skies. Ignoring the rather difficult "canopy theory" and just assuming they meant the earth was a bit more steamy and muggy, focusing on water beneath the earth's surface, it certainly would explain the violent scarring visible in our bathyscapes not as a slow, mundane expansion in millions upon millions of years, but a tumultuous, fervent upheaval over the course of a year. If you consider that the waters of the planet were trapped under the crust, then the world would be much more condusive to natural springs sustaining life, and yet totally absent of rain storms or clouds. I'm trying to remember the name of the other planet in our solar system which has most of its water trapped beneath the surface, but it escapes me. We sent some probes there looking for water. What was it now?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @08:30AM (#8982486)

    The stereotypical personality type of a scientist is INTJ, which is what I happen to be, and I'm Agnostic because it is the only intellectually honest thing that I can be.

    I'm also an INTJ, I'm not a scientist but my IQ is 157. I went on an intellectual quest a few years ago to see if I could find the truth. I read dozens of books for a long period of time to try to "figure it out". My conclusion? Christianity is true.

    Rather than just dismiss it, I'd urge anyone to honestly assess the topic, to really research and examine it, without any preconceived notions, (as a scientist should). What I found is that it all logically hangs together perfectly. You just need to study it and understand it -- without doing this, highly intelligent people may have a hard time accepting it due to the difficulty of accepting what you can't prove. You can, however, examine all of the evidence and come to a logical conclusion. That's what I did, and if you give it your intellecually honest best attempt, you may be very surprised with where you end up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @08:34AM (#8982521)
    sorry, but I AHVE read the books of the bible in the origional language and it is VERY different to the King JAmes or NIV texts we have today. some of the origional words have NO TRANSLATION to today's lenguage, espically english. now we translet that english text to a chineese text and it get's worse.

    find me someone that understands those dead and aincent languages the bible is written in and is 100% fluent in chineese.... it is not going to happen.

    and dont you dare tell me that man is noble enough to not pervert the word of God. The catholic church did it for centuries and still is to some extent, and there are huge numbers of cults that pervert the word of God for their use.

    anyone that thinks that man is noble and honest enough to ensure God's word is intact is a fool that lives with horses blinders on.

    I do believe the the bible is based on God's word. and did at one time contain 100% his word, but it is not 100% fact anymore due to the evil and selfishness of man.
  • by cluckshot (658931) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @08:42AM (#8982598)

    Regards the "Flatter Planet" I would not suggest that but rather that continents etc have moved up and down a fact for which we have an enormous abundance of evidence. (Like the Appallacian ridges being ocean bottom sediments etc.) However; having known several parties who attempted to find the Noah's Ark I can report a few curious things.

    I always found these persons remarkably well motivated, extremely well intended and scrupulously honest and bluntly just awfully poor scientists and mountain climbers. There was one exception who was Neal Armstrong (Yes that one!) and he tried to mount a proper effort. It got hit by Kurdish Terrorists.

    Years ago I was talking with some of them and I suggested to them that the use of photos from space or high altitude would help and they acted in awe at the concept. There actually is pretty good evidence for the Ark being there.

    Up until about 850 years ago regular annual trips went up to the Ark with Many persons reporting on it. Too many of these occurred for this to have been fiction. On one of the modern expeditions (1980's) men brought back wood which appeared to match the ark specs which was taken from near the historically reported site. (Currently under ice) This wood is of a species not living today and similar to cypress which lives nowhere near the mountain now. It is of the proper carbon dated age range and has the proper machining marks to match. I have personnaly seen the article of wood. It isn't little!

    I sincerely doubt that even if the ark is found and is substantially intact that it will change any hearts or minds. The Atheists will remain adamant that it is a fabrication. The Biblical scholars will argue as usual and the Islamic nuts will...

    There is a large amount of other evidence supporting the Noah's ark story in the region. Recent expeditions found the anchor stones from it in the proper region for them to have been dropped.

    One thing that should be abundantly clear to those of us not from the region is that the people there have an acute and long mememory of events including the keeping of relics and "holy" sites. The current Iraq war should have brought this home. The local people who have very accurate data on many thousands of years of events have no doubt of the Ark story. Archeology types haave spent a great deal of effort trying to deny bibilical stories as with many others from the region only to find that they confirm the stories and deny almost nothing. Frankly it would be a bad bet to bet against them on this one.

    A classic in Archeology about how outsiders try hard to ignore the locals occurred in the research on Easter Island. (AKU AKU the secret of Easter Island is the book) The investigation went on for about 2 years and about the time they were going to leave, with many puzzles in mind, the head researcher asked the mayor of the Island if he knew anything about these statues etc. Then the story came out. The Mayor was a direct decendant of those who made the statues and he even knew how to make them, move them etc. He then showed them how! All over the world arrogant academics have tried to explain things any way but how the locals say and they end up finding out that the people know!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @08:56AM (#8982710)
    The story of "Noah" (probably not his real name) may have had some basis in fact. This is my best (and probably the best you'll ever hear) theory on what really happened.

    I hope it doesn't get moderated into oblivion simply because I don't have an account at /.

    In Reality, "Noah's Ark" was probably nothing more than a reed raft built or used to evacuate farm animals, family, etc. from the middle of the Tigris/Euphrates river.

    The Noah mentioned in the various religious texts most probably belonged to the Madan or "Marsh Arab" tribe, which then and to this day are a group of river people living among the reeds that grow near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iraq.

    See:
    http://www.iraqfoundation.org/news/2003/da pril/28_ marshes.html

    The Madan build their shelters, rafts, etc., from local materials, which consisted mainly of tall reeds. Their entire village probably consisted of one or more floating reed mats, held in place by reeds still attached to the river bottom.

    Any extended period of rain *upriver* would cause flooding in the Madan village, even if no rain occurred locally. If seasonal (how long - 40 days?) rains were expected, the resultant flooding could be predicted. It would certainly cause some to consider moving out of the river to higher, safer, ground.

    According to the story, Noah decided in favor of safety, even though few if any other villagers made the same decision. The other villagers may have felt that it was more important to remain in the village working to prevent it from being uprooted and washed downstream.

    As for "Noah's Ark" being found on a 17,000 ft. high mountain, here's some simple math:

    Taking most of the biblical story at face value, "Noah's Ark" could actually have come to rest on almost any land area with an elevation of around 960 ft. above Noah's original elevation.

    A very heavy rainfall would be in the area of 4+ inches of accumulation per hour. Assuming 12 inches/hour for 40 days+nights:

    12*24*40 = 11520 inches
    11520/12 = 960 feet.

    So you don't really need a big mountain to beach your craft. Many smaller hills will do.

    Signed, /.AC, the Least Reverend Unbeliever
  • I'm not surprised that the old testament scrolls are good copies of ones made at the same time as they were. For those interested, here's some snippets of the scrolls that we have been allowed to view dead sea scroll. These are very small sections of text in comparison to the monolith that is the new and old testaments. Scrolls like Leviticus would be particularly important since these are the laws of their land and you don't go around scribing those without a good reference.

    I just read through much of the 12 scrolls on display and saw very little of the original bible in them. I saw a lot of talk about who was king, how to worship god, some prayers, but very little that relates to the bible as it stands today. Perhaps you can point us all to a link that would support your posting because all I am seeing is stuff like:

    The Damascus Document is a collection of rules and instructions reflecting the practices of a sectarian community. It includes two elements. The first is an admonition that implores the congregation to remain faithful to the covenant of those who retreated from Judea to the "Land of Damascus." The second lists statutes dealing with vows and oaths, the tribunal, witnesses and judges, purification of water, Sabbath laws, and ritual cleanliness. The right-hand margin is incomplete. The left-hand margin was sewn to another piece of parchment, as evidenced by the remaining stitches. In 1896, noted Talmud scholar and educator Solomon Schechter discovered sectarian compositions which later were found to be medieval versions of the Damascus Document. Schechter's find in a synagogue storeroom near Cairo, almost fifty years before the Qumran discoveries, may be regarded as the true starting point of modern scroll research.

  • by indigeek (755687) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @09:13AM (#8982879)
    Well one thing about Islam...
    Islam has the Koran and they have the assorted sayings of the prophet, hadith or something. After Mohammeds death, they decided to transcribe the whole thing down. This probably was the most enlightened period for Islam, so they decided to be as correct as possible about what was going on. They decided that they will not only write down what they thought Mohammed said but also who said that mohammed said so. So it comes out like, A told me that B was told by mohammed at the lunch that world is so and so.
    So the Koran etc. are some of the most undiluted historic texts probably. Most of the extremism in Islam is either quoting mohammed out of context for example: suppose Mohammed says in Koran "We are at war with the unbelievers in Mecca, Kill the unbelievers" and somebody quotes only "Kill the unbelievers" .
    BTW: Im not a muslim though I have a friend who is and he told me this. I am not religious
  • by chewmanfoo (569535) * on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @09:19AM (#8982924) Homepage
    What you're suggesting is simply incredible (as in, not credible!) You're guilty of a lack of scepticism over issues of faith. I encourage you to read Placher's "Unapologetic Theology", and even Schleiermacher's "On Religion". Reading only books by Josh McDowell et al will lead you to conclusions which, although encouraging and self-edifying, are also weak in critical thought.

    Let's examine your argument for a minute. You suggest that a collection of documents survived over 2000 years at the hands of all sorts of people to arrive in your lap in 2004 "99% pure". I argue that in any other context, you would approach that sort of assertion with a health heap of scepticism, but in this case, you are willing to believe others who have always argued for inerrancy. Why? Study the scriptures. Does the Christian Faith teach such rampant gullability?

    Your brain is certainly capable of reason and critical thought. Without it, you would be unable to work on a computer, or maintain an automobile. You simply refuse to apply it to religion! Someone in your past has taught you that criticism of the faith is sin, that the capacity of a man to reason about God is so sadly inadequate as to make pondering on things of God a waste of time. Perhaps the scriptures are in fact, on average, about 60% pure, but as it turns out, that's just what God intended! Wouldn't that be a hoot!
  • by voicecrying (774890) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @09:39AM (#8983157) Homepage
    I challenge those who disagree to tell me where I can find an Evolution Temple where people pray to Darwin.

    Any local school will do - or university for that matter. Just look at the controversies surrounding the preposterous idea of trying to get schools to teach the scientific problems with the theory of evolution. No, we can't have that. We must indoctrinate our little children to believe evolution even though it has known problems.

    The origins of life and the earth are a matter of faith, whether you believe the Bible or you believe in evolution. No person was there and no person can scientifically prove molecules to man, goo to you via the zoo evolution - just as no man can scientifically prove the 6 day creation account. Creationists and evolutionists both have the same facts, the same evidence. It's just a matter of how you try to fit that evidence into your worldview.

    If you believe the Bible account of creation, then you believe that by faith in God. If you believe in the big bang or any other of the assorted theories, then you believe those by faith in man. You either trust God and what he said about it, or you trust man and what he says.

  • Practical concerns (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tormentae agent (763372) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @09:45AM (#8983231)
    Ok...the vikings and others had shipburials. Due to the immense differences in practicality between:
    I) hauling a ship out of water onto land and into a pre-dug hole, and
    II) hauling a ship out of water and thousands of meters up a mountainside, I'd assume most people here (moderators included) would consider the above post less than insightful.

    Before anyone even considers the "What if it was built on-site, for this particular purpose?"-nonsense, it appears that this would be well above the tree-line, even in nice'n'hot Turkey, and it's not the sort of altitude that people would like to do hard work in.

    To further debunk your middle-of-England analogy: The middle of England is never too far from navigable rivers. Viking ships had very shallow keels, allowing them to navigate many of them.

    Furthermore, viking shipbuilding skills were wide-spread after conquests to the East, West and South. Any rich fuck could commision a few people knowledgeable in the art to chop down some lumber and make a boat on-site.

    Your argument has no relevance to the matter at hand. Sorry if mine has a sort of neurotic twist to it...the coffee got to me hours ago.
  • by evil-osm (203438) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @10:29AM (#8983757)
    What if this *does* turn out to be the Ark, putting asside all the arguments for why it isn't possible and what not. Wouldn't that just be the wildest thing. I mean a story (that I personally took as just a tale) suddenly becomes true. I mean holy shit, thats pretty mind blowing if you ask me.
  • by EReidJ (551124) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @10:52AM (#8984035) Homepage
    I'm sorry, I rarely get involved in religious wars, but I had to correct a falsehood about the story of Jephthah that you posted. You said:

    "As an example, the writer had the audacity to say that Jeph'thah had his daughter sacrificed on the alter, when clearly if you read the passage further you would find that she lived a good long life, and that the daughters of the land would commend her for her devotion from "year to year". She was given to God to serve him. This was the same thing that Han'nah did with her son, Samuel."

    This is completely false. This is a story I know better than almost any other; I'm a choral music director and there have been more oratorios written on this story than almost any other. Please look at the entirety of the last verses of Judges 11:

    35: And when he saw her, he rent his clothes, and said, "Alas, my daughter! you have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me; for I have opened my mouth to the LORD, and I cannot take back my vow." 36: And she said to him, "My father, if you have opened your mouth to the LORD, do to me according to what has gone forth from your mouth, now that the LORD has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites." 37: And she said to her father, "Let this thing be done for me; let me alone two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my companions." 38: And he said, "Go." And he sent her away for two months; and she departed, she and her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. 39: And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had made. She had never known a man. And it became a custom in Israel 40: that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.

    End of chapter. Jepthah's daughter is not mentioned from there onward. Jephthah's vow was:

    30: And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If thou wilt give the Ammonites into my hand, 31: then whoever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the LORD's, and I will offer him up for a burnt offering."

    I used the Revised Standard Version for the quotes above. It's a harsh story, I admit, but Jephthah's daughter died. And of course, if you have any biblical documentation to back up what you said, I definitely want to read it; I am big enough to admit that I was wrong if you can show me the evidence.

  • by Newtonian_p (412461) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @10:56AM (#8984069) Homepage
    If you're going to criticize something, you should a least inform yourself about it.

    First, the big bang did not start in a small confined space or 'dot'. That would imply that the universe has an edge which is not what science says.

    Second, we use the term explosion as an anology, the big bang was not an actual explosion. An explosion is the rapid expension of gas in a space, the big bang is the rapid expansion of space itself in a period of high density.

    Third, the big bang theory is not based on some dogma or made up story, it shows up in Enstein's equations, it was observered with telescopes that our universe is expanding and the background radition that floods the entire cosmos is a leftover of the big bang.

  • by Megaport (42937) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:14AM (#8984313)

    I can't tell you how long I've been waiting to use the IAAT tag :)

    So here's the deal folks, I've got a B.Theology with majors in systematic theology and biblical studies, I read/write biblical greek and ecclesiastical latin and I'm a soon-to-be candidate for ordination. I have some Christian street-cred.

    Also, look at my /. user ID number, and compare it to your own. I'm a professional software developer and I've worked with some of the biggest names in the industry.

    Also, for the record, I love science and see no conflict between it and religion, just as long as they keep out of each others hair. If science tries to tell me the meaning of my existance or if religion tries to tell me the true value of Pi, I yell bullshit and bitch-slap 'em back where they came from.

    So what I want to say, and hopefully my short intro is enough to make some of you pause for a moment to listen, is that many people here seem to have an innacurate idea of what Christianity is all about.

    I come from the Catholic tradition, and about 1 in 5 people on this planet identify themselves as Catholic so I think I'm safe in saying that official Catholic doctrine would be a safe place to start if we are looking at 'what do Christians believe?' I'll let the smaller denominations speak for themselves rather than attempt to cover their views too, but here is the official Catholic view on whether we should take the bible literally.

    The following quotes come from the document, Verbum Dei (Latin, "The Word of God") which has the status of being an 'Apostolic Constitution' of the Second Vatican Council. Basically, it doesn't come any more official than this folks - All Catholics are required to adhere to these guidelines or otherwise get out of dodge, so this is what a numerical majority of Christians on the planet believe.

    Is the bible history?

    However, since God speaks in sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, the interpreter of sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.

    To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to "literary norms." For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse. The interpreter must investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture. For the correct understanding of what the sacred author wanted to assert, due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of feeling, speaking and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer, and to the patterns men normally employed at the period in their everyday dealings with one another

    Sorry if your neighbourhood or country is full of Christians who are sure that the true value of pi is 3.0 because that's the figure that the bible gives, but you can be rest assured that the vast majority of Christians do not hold anything like that view.

    Noah's Ark is clearly a literary form (flood story) that is documented to have existed all over the ancient world. The official methodology that Catholics would use to understand this story involves looking at the ways in which the Jewish version is different from say, the Sumerian version, thereby gaining some insight into what the Old Testament authors thought was important about it. Also, we'd look at it to see if it can shed any light on our understanding of the New testament too, because, well shucks, we're Christians not Jews and we like to see eveything in terms of Christ - even the Old Testament.

    But you won't find any Catholic theologians freezing their ass off on top of

  • by jafiwam (310805) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:15AM (#8984340) Homepage Journal
    I don't know the geology but...

    There has been some speculation that the "great flood" written about in the Bible is oral tradition that was spawned when the Mediterranean basin was re-flooded again the last time.

    It happened when there were people around who could have added it to their folklore.

    The basin used to be like a super-big death valley, dry, but below sea level. The Atlantic rose (due to ice melting I suppose) towards it's present level and flowed over the landmass that kept it out. A torrent of sea-water would have flowed for several years into the basin to fill it. That allowed the folks living there time to get out alive but also worry about huge masses of water coming at them for no reason that they could understand.
  • Re:Which shows .... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fingusernames (695699) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:19AM (#8984387) Homepage
    I will immediately and readily acknowledge that I know very, very little about "modern" Christianity. But I did double major in history in college, as well as it being an avocation. I studied and recall the interactions of the original Christians with the Roman Empire (ever heard of the Name?). So, I'll ask what do you know about Christianity, the 2000 years ago original REAL version?

    The Empire was a heterogenous place. There were lots and lots and lots of gods and religions. One more, the Christian verison (a stoic Judeaism preaching eventual salvation for the downtrodden), would have easily been absorbed. Many, many other religions were. However, those original Christians were persecuted. Why? They were hated, by the people. Why? Because they were not tolerant. They actively worked to convert people. They actively tried to disrupt families, to disrupt the common observance of family deities (ancestor worship). They caused turmoil, violated law.

    The Roman authorities originally considered Christians to be Jews (after all, they were). The Romans had a "special understanding" with the Jews. The province of Judea had an arrangement unlike nearly any other province. The Jews were protected by the Roman authorities and given a great deal of autonomy. Recall Paul, a Jew and a citizen, protected as he travelled. The Roman authorities actually protected early Christians from popular anger.

    However, eventually, due to inquiries by provincial authorities asking how to deal with these people, the Romans decided that Christians were not Jews. They lost their protection. At popular DEMAND. Not because they were tolerant, peaceful, introspective religious people. They then were persecuted, not without some cause.

    And what happened later? Christianity supplanted other religions in the Empire, by law. Wars were fought to spread it. Crusades. The Spanish in the New World. Uncounted numbers of people killed.

    That is a tolerant religion? Sure, 2000 years later, modern "Christians" may have decided that now that they are dominant and have supplanted basically all other forms of religion in their western societies, they can be peaceful, quiet and tolerant. But I assure you, that is NOT the origin or history of Christianity.

    Therefore, I ask again, are you a "for-real" Christian if you aren't on the street corner with that loud speaker? Do you truly believe in the Day of Judgement and the possibility of it happening tomorrow? Or are you some comfortable, 2000 long years later, tolerant pervision/derivitive of a Christian? Which is more "for-real?" The one practiced within mere years of the death of Christ, or today?

    Larry
  • by STrinity (723872) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @11:33AM (#8984562) Homepage
    The "modifications" to the Bible theory was disproved by the Dead Sea scrolls... that's why they were such a big deal! The Dead Sea scrolls contained thousands of parchments preserved since 100BC.

    Since the person you're responding to referred to texts concerning Mary Magdalene, I hardly think the Dead Sea Scrolls apply.

    There are numerous texts dealing with Jesus that don't appear in the Bible. Why? Well, a bunch of men meeting in Nicaea several hundred years ago decided that they weren't canonical. Now tell me, why should I trust a committee appointed by the Catholic Church to decide such things? Why should I believe that Jesus raised a man from the dead but not that killed a boy who picked on him as a child? Why should I believe that a Roman stabbed Jesus on the cross, but not that Mary Magdalene preserved Jesus' foreskin in oinment which she used when washing his feet?
  • by lcsjk (143581) on Wednesday April 28, 2004 @01:37AM (#8993703)
    The real point is not whether you call scientific evidence "belief". The real point is that theories that don't have "evidence" have to be taken on faith, even in scientific circles until we can find some evidence. Somethings cannot be explained by science as we know it. Are you sure that your brain or some other part of you does not communicate to others? Can one explain what causes some twins to do things at the same time even when they have no direct communication? Point is that there is lots we don't know and cannot explain.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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