Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Researchers To Climb Ararat To Seek Noah's Ark 2226

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...."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Researchers To Climb Ararat To Seek Noah's Ark

Comments Filter:
  • 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:Gee... (Score:4, Funny)

      by SQLz ( 564901 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:40PM (#8979263) Homepage Journal
      They call these 'mysteries' my friend. If you don't believe in them you go to hell. So buckle up.
    • Do you people realize you are acting like religious zealots, in dismissing the findings of an expedition that hasn't started yet?

      Mount Ararat is named in the Bible as the resting place of the Ark. That section of the Bible was written more than 2000 years ago. Scientific principles absolutely demand that someone must go up there and search for it.

      If they find what looks like the remnants of a big wooden ship then whoopee, we get to debate what it really is and launch further expeditions and employ other technology and analysis to see if this is true.

      If they find nothing, Someone will claim that they looked in the wrong place and try again. (Ararat is a big mountain)

      If they die trying; tough luck. That happens sometimes to people trying to test an important theory.

      At the very least searching for the Arc on Ararat is more important than going back to the Moon or climbing Everest again. It is roughly on par with searching for signs of life on Mars and the SETI program. I.e. Published and authenticated success would revolutionize thinking.

      For the record There were many attempts to launch such an expedition in the 20th century, They all suffered political trauma. I.e. Ararat, sat on a border between enemies. The political climate has changed and former enemies are now tolerant neighbors.

      • Mount Ararat is named in the Bible as the resting place of the Ark. That section of the Bible was written more than 2000 years ago. Scientific principles absolutely demand that someone must go up there and search for it.
        No, scientific principles demand no such thing. There is no law of nature to be proven or disproven. No fundemental theorem to examine. Nothing scientific at all.
        If they die trying; tough luck. That happens sometimes to people trying to test an important theory.
        There isn't a theory at stake here. Quit using scientific terms to describe a situation in which they don't apply.
        At the very least searching for the Arc on Ararat is more important than going back to the Moon or climbing Everest again. It is roughly on par with searching for signs of life on Mars and the SETI program. I.e. Published and authenticated success would revolutionize thinking.
        It's interesting that you only adress the consequences of sucess. Your only comment on possible failure is "well, they'll just try again".
        For the record There were many attempts to launch such an expedition in the 20th century, They all suffered political trauma. I.e. Ararat, sat on a border between enemies. The political climate has changed and former enemies are now tolerant neighbors.
        For the record, no not all expeditions of the 20th century met with such fates. There were several before WWII, and several more in the 19th century. None yielded and definitive results.
      • by perly-king-69 ( 580000 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @04:45AM (#8981453)
        Two points (one only slightly 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?
  • by schmidt349 ( 690948 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:38PM (#8979240)
    Clearly their expedition will fail... they're going after a find of "tremendous historical significance," particularly to Biblical studies, and they're not bringing along Indiana Jones?! What were they thinking?
  • by ignatus ( 669972 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:39PM (#8979249)
    These explorers will reveal once and for all that the B arc crashed on this planet and we are all ancestors of the Golgafinchan.
  • by dj245 ( 732906 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:42PM (#8979279) Homepage
    ''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,'

    I love how he assumes that he is going to find a large boat, and he assumes that any large boat he happens to find is going to be the one and only Noah's Ark. In his mind, "It" is Noah's Ark. He isn't looking for evidence that whatever it is on top of Mt. Ararat is Noah's Ark, he is already firmly convinced that it is.

    Compare this with an arcaeologist excavating a tomb of someone. Who? I don't know, anyone: "Well, we're going to go inside the tomb, and hopefully we will find stuff. We hope we will find things that can prove who this person was, and what thier daily life was like, and maybe what their beliefs were; and maybe we'll find something really cool."

    See the difference? This guy is no archaeologist. He is a christian on a quest for the 21st century holy grail.

  • by smithmc ( 451373 ) * on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:43PM (#8979283) Journal

    ...NASA is preparing a deep-space mission to the planet Magrathea, to take pictures of Slartibartfast.
  • -1: Flamebait (Score:5, Flamebait)

    by glpierce ( 731733 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:45PM (#8979305)
    I think we need to mod this story Flamebait and be done with it. I'd be surprised if we can garner 5 posts that don't offend somebody.
  • by Brakz0rz ( 773616 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:46PM (#8979317) Journal
    "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

    "But," says Man, "Noah's Ark is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have occurred by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."

    "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

    "Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed at the next zebra crossing.

    Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book, 'Well That About Wraps It Up for God.'
  • 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.
    • God of the gaps (Score:5, Informative)

      by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:12PM (#8979583)
      You are falling for the god of the gaps [don-lindsay-archive.org] fallacy.

      You claim that someplace or something isnt known then it must be the work of the gods. This argument keeps getting killed everytime a rational/scientific explanation comes about for such things as the weather, evolution, gravity, etc.

      Now your just taking the god of the gaps to a friggin mountain. Not terribly convicing.

      So today its a mountain, will your grandchildren be telling us that its in a far off galaxy (just interpret the ark as being a spaceship) when this is debunked/explained? When will the "gappers" stand-down and not take some ancient script as fact, but as interpration of events through the eyes of highly religious and uneducated peoples?
  • by tweakt ( 325224 ) * on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:47PM (#8979328) Homepage

    I'm not even going to bother. Those of you with a bit of logic and reasoning skills can already figure the impossibility of the whole idea.

    So, for a some more fun, check out this cute rebuttal [westarkchu...christ.org] of the scientific arguments against the story. It boggles the mind how people can accept this as truth.

  • by Teclis ( 772299 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:48PM (#8979334) Homepage
    Step 1: purchase the Ark of the Covenant [ebay.com] on eBay
    Step 2: travel up Ararat with your purchase
    Step 3: Seek the power of the Ark to find the Ark
    Step 4: use the Ark to ask for another flood in which you use the other Ark to live (repaired) provided the first Ark works and you find the Ark with the Ark in the first place.

    Ark Ark Ark

  • by yecrom2 ( 461240 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:58PM (#8979437)
    Was I the only one that read that "Researchers to climb 'Arafat' to Seek Noah's Ark"

    Lead Scientist - "Lets get a move on. We're only at the armpit and I hear Israeli helicopters coming!"

    I really need more sleep.

  • by ObviousGuy ( 578567 ) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:59PM (#8979446) Homepage Journal
    About 4000 years ago, not too long after the world was created, God looked down at the people and was a little disappointed. They were mostly doing their own thing and not paying much attention to doing God's will (they played a lot of D&D and listened to rock music mostly). Among the people was a family headed up by Noah that was trying to be good and follow God's laws.

    So God said to Himself, "Well, it looks like all of humanity except for this Noah cat seems to be completely fucked up. I think I'll just wipe everyone out and start over." That wasn't the end of it, he then proceeded to test Noah's faith by giving him boils and killing off most of his flocks (not that bad, most everything died later anyway).

    Then God said to Noah, "You go and build an Arky Arky." And Noah said to God, "WTF is an Arky Arky?" To which God replied, "Build a big ass wooden box and paint it black. If anyone asks you what you're doing, tell them to fuck off because they had their chance to please me and they blew it. I'm only saving you and your family Noah."

    So Noah, realizing that he was dealing with a kind and merciful God, went ahead chopping down trees and eating his lunch and going to the lavatry. He built a big-ass wooden box using only his forearms as measuring devices and '3' as the value of pi when calculating circular arcs for the corners so that no one accidentally stubbed their toe on anything sharp.

    This was important because God then said to Noah, "Take your kids, Ham, Shemp, and Japheth, and their wives and your wife and a shitload of animals with you on the Ark."

    "A shitload, huh? Is that the offical term?"
    "Okay, okay. Take 2 of every animal except for animals not found in this area. Oh, and for some animals take 7. You'll probably get hungry later."

    So Noah went and gathered up all known animals because we all know that at that time the great Diaspora hadn't happened yet and some animals hadn't appeared in far away places that couldn't possibly have been reachable from the Mideast.

    Once Noah was done doing all these jobs, he pulled up the door to the Ark and sealed everyone in for a long passage. God, for His part, started rain. It should be noted that until this story occured, rain didn't exist. The plants were watered by a very light mist that arose every morning.

    And the rain started, and it continued raining for 40 days and 40 nights. The windows on the ark were sealed too, so it must have smelled really nice inside.

    After 40 days, Noah's kids started complaining about the elephants and rhinos crapping all over the place and decided to open a window. They cracked one of the windows open and saw that they were surrounded by water on all sides. An eagle also took the opportunity to get the fuck out of there. The eagle never returned. It's thought he went over the mountain and married a nice girl eagle on the other side.

    Later, the kids decided that they'd send a pigeon out to survey the area because pigeons always fly home. It flew off and came back with a branch from an olive tree. Apparently, the water was everywhere but only a few feet deep.

    Next thing they know, they crash onto Mount Arafat and everyone slowly disembarked into their new home, just like their old home.

    God realized that maybe killing everyone and everything with water was a pretty shitty thing to do and made a covenant with Noah that He wouldn't do it again. Next time the world would end with fire. To seal the deal, He made a nice rainbow and everyone who saw it automatically realized how good God was and stuff.

    From these four families (Noah and his three sons), all of us are derived. Following our family tree back up, we can all trace our lineage back to one of these four families.

    Praise the Lord!
  • by Hamster Lover ( 558288 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:02PM (#8979474) Journal
    Canadian scientists have announced an expedition to the North Pole in search of Santa's Workshop (TM).
  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:03PM (#8979477)

    Noah's Ark

    Noah's Ark is the boat built by the Biblical character Noah. At the command of God, according to the story, Noah was to build a boat that could accommodate his extended family, about 50,000 species of animals, and about one million species of insects. The craft had to be constructed to endure a divinely planned universal flood aimed at destroying every other person and animal on earth (except, I suppose, those animals whose habitat is liquid). This was no problem, according to Dr. Max D. Younce, who says by his calculations from Genesis 6:15 that the ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet deep. He says this is equivalent to "522 standard stock cars or 8 freight trains of 65 cars each." By some divine calculation he figures that all the insect species and the worms could fit in 21 box cars. He could be right, though Dr. Younce does not address the issue of how the big boxcar filled with its cargo rose with the rainwater level instead of staying put beneath the floodwaters.

    Those not familiar with the story might wonder why God would destroy nearly all the descendants of all of the creatures he had created. The story is that God was displeased with all of his human creations, except for Noah and his family. Annihilating those one is displeased with has become a familiar tactic of the followers of this and many other gods.

    Despite the bad example God set for Noah's descendants--imagine a human parent drowning his or her children because they were "not righteous"--the story remains a favorite among children. God likes good people. He lets them ride on a boat with a bunch of friendly animals. He shows them a great rainbow after the storm. And they all live happily ever after. Even adults like the story, though they might see it as an allegory with some sort of spiritual message, such as God is all-powerful and we owe everything, even our very existence to the Creator. Furthermore, the Creator expects us to behave ourselves. But there are many who take the story literally.

    According to the story told in chapter 7 of Genesis, Noah, his crew, and the animals lived together for more than 6 months before the floodwaters receded. There are a few minor logistical problems with this arrangement, but before getting to them, there is one other thing that needs commenting on. It is obvious that floods are no laughing matter. The destruction of life and property caused by floods has plagued many animals, not just humans, from time immemorial. To watch one's family or home swept away in floodwaters must be a terrible spectacle. To see one's children drown, one's life and dreams washed away in an instant, must be a devastating experience. But if one were to discover that the flood was not a whimsical effect of chance natural events, not unplanned and purposeless, but rather the malicious and willful act of a conscious being, one might add rage to the feelings of devastation. I suppose one could argue that it is God's world; he created it, so he can destroy it if he feels like it. But such an attitude seems inappropriate for an All-Good, Loving God.

    the "finding" of the Ark

    Yet, as preposterous as this story seems, there are people in the twentieth century who claim they have found Noah's ark. They call themselves "arkeologists." Yes, they say that when the flood receded, Noah and his zoo were perched upon the top of Mt. Ararat in Turkey. Presumably, at that time, all the animals dispersed to the far recesses of the earth. How the animals got to the different continents, we are not told. Perhaps they floated there on debris. More problematic is how so many species survived when they had been reduced to just one pair or seven pairs of creatures. Also, you would think that the successful species that had the furthest to travel, would have left a trail of offspring along the way. What evidence is there that all species originated in Turkey? That's what the record should look like if the ark landed on Mt. Ararat.

    Still, none of t
  • Ark Myth (Score:5, Informative)

    by anphilip ( 737117 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:06PM (#8979507)
    Something that I think gets lost frequently in the Noah's ark discussion is the fact that most relegions have a flood myth in one form or another. Off the top of my head I can recall a Roman myth, a Norse myth, a Chinese myth and a Native (or whatever the politically correct term is) myth that involve the Earth's destruction by a flood followed by a re-building by a man-woman team. Therefore any finding of a boat proves that something majorly wrong involving water and a boat happened early on in human history. We already knew that from geological surveys of the areas where early humans resided, any proof for or against the presence of the ark answers nothing one way or the other for or against the Judeo-Christian point of view.
    • Re:Ark Myth (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stand ( 126023 ) <stan.dyck@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:49AM (#8980746) Homepage Journal

      I don't understand why anyone would find the fact that most cultures have some sort of flood myth unusual. Humans tend to collect themselves around bodies of water for various reasons having to do with commerce, agriculture, transportation, etc. People that live near bodies of water occasionally experience floods. Flood stories tend to be dramatic because people have to make heroic efforts to make it through the tough times that ensue. It's not surprising that these flood stories make it into their mythology.

  • The Theroy (Score:4, Informative)

    by skzbass ( 719269 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:13PM (#8979585)
    During the Ice Age, Ryan and Pitman argue, the Black Sea was an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland. ? About 12,000 years ago, toward the end of the Ice Age, Earth began growing warmer. Vast sheets of ice that sprawled over the Northern Hemisphere began to melt. Oceans and seas grew deeper as a result. ? About 7,000 years ago the Mediterranean Sea swelled. Seawater pushed northward, slicing through what is now Turkey. ? Funneled through the narrow Bosporus, the water hit the Black Sea with 200 times the force of Niagara Falls. Each day the Black Sea rose about six inches (15 centimeters), and coastal farms were flooded. ? Seared into the memories of terrified survivors, the tale of the flood was passed down through the generations and eventually became the Noah story. from: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/blacksea/ax/fram e.html
  • by yopie ( 470181 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:21PM (#8979663)
    The space.com [space.com] have the satellite image [space.com] of the object that they suspect the Noah Ark. The enlarge image [space.com]can be seen here.
  • Gilgamesh (Score:5, Funny)

    by thales ( 32660 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:21PM (#8979666) Homepage Journal
    It Would be Funnier than Hell if they found an Ark and proof that the version in the Epic of Gilgamesh was the true story instead of the Noah version.
  • by superyooser ( 100462 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:31PM (#8979756) Homepage Journal
    Answers in Genesis has an article debunking claims that Noah's Ark is on Mount Ararat [answersingenesis.org]. It should be noted, however, that the Ark explorers they mention are not from the same group as this current expedition mentioned in the CNN article.
    The Main Claims at a Glance

    • Radar shows man-made (boat) structure..........FALSE
    • There is a regular metallic pattern............FALSE
    • Lab tests show petrified laminated wood........FALSE
    • Turkish scientists found metal rods............FALSE
    • Metal artefacts have been proved by lab........FALSE
    • There are 'ship's ribs' showing................FALSE
    • There is lots of petrified wood................FALSE
    • Turkish Commission says 'it's a boat...........FALSE
    After giving a lot of details to back up these verdicts, they conclude with the following statements.
    For the many who had their hopes built up that this may be Noah's Ark, it needs to be kept in mind that the Bible in no way says that Noah's Ark would be preserved as a witness to future generations. Nevertheless, it certainly would be an exciting and powerful testimony to an unbelieving world for the Ark to be found, but if that is to happen it will be unmistakably God's doing in His time and in His way to bring Him the glory.

    In the meantime, as Christians we need to always exercise due care when claims are made, no matter who makes them, and any claims must always be subjected to the most rigorous scientific scrutiny. If that had happened here, and particularly if the scientific surveys conducted by highly qualified professionals using sophisticated instruments had been more widely publicized and their results taken note of, then these claims would never have received the widespread credence that they have.

    There is an enormous amount of evidence for creation and the Flood, so we don't need the Ark to be discovered in that sense.

    Here is AiG's Noah's Ark FAQ [answersingenesis.org].
  • Don't you suppose that the money spent on finding the ark might be better spent feeding someone who is starving? Hell, they are going all the way to Turkey. It's just about as far to some starving kids in Africa.
  • 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.

  • Forget Noah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Magickcat ( 768797 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:58AM (#8980392)
    When are they going to the North Pole to take pictures of Santa's House?
  • by bmajik ( 96670 ) <matt@mattevans.org> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:23AM (#8980594) Homepage Journal
    Lots of the comments revolve around a few themes

    1. the bible is all made up
    2. there's no way $situation could happen
    3. this wont prove anything

    To which i have a few short responses. Please give them some consideration before flaming me :)

    1. This is a hard argument to make. The bible talks about lots of different things. Some of these things have been verified via archalogical evidence. Insofar as a recording of ancient history, the bible is surprisingly accurate in all of the things it depicts which are verifiable

    Note that this is sort of the same as me writing a book with 100 pages, and on 3 randomly distributed pages, i describe newtonian physics, and the other 97 pages contain stuff that doesn't make sense to anybody, and can't be proven or disproven using any known technique

    From a scientific perspective, my book isn't very interesting.

    Until somebody figure's out page 4. And then in another 50 years, maybe someone figures out what page 5 means. And so on.

    There's lots of stuff described in the bible that has been shown to be historically consistant. Much more than has shown to be historically inconsistant.

    2. This won't be a very satisfying answer, but here goes.

    the bible is sort of axiomatic. If you beleive
    - that god is all powerful
    - always does what is right
    - is smarter than you
    - the bible is the inerrant word of god as transcribed via people divinely inspired to do so

    then a lot of what happens in the bible can be swallowed. Still, some things are hard to beleive. It's hard to beleive that somebody could part a body of water so that people could walk through it unharmed. It's hard to beleive because we've never seen anything like it, and because we cant explain how it would work.

    There are lots of things in the bible that we have a hard time buying for those reasons - we've never experienced it, and we can't understand/explain how it would work.

    The first "Reason" isn't a reason at all. We never experienced the creation of planet earth, but we know it happened. None of us were alive when president lincoln was shot, but most of us know it happened. The issue of never experiencing something personaly is really not an effective argument against unbeleivable things depicted in the bible.

    The more interesting and common argument is the second one - there's no way that could happen. This usually revolves around some scientific argument, or rather, some lack of a scientific explanation for how it _could_ have happened. Parting seas, turning water into blood, feeding thousands with just a little food, healing blindless/leprosy/etc.

    This is where the axiomatic nature of things comes into play.

    If you buy that God is all powerful, then god can do whatever he wants to, certainly any of the above mentioned things.

    The part is what people _Really_ dont like to hear. Just because _you_ cant explain something, doesn't mean god doesn't know how it works. Your inability to come up with a thoery or explanation for how something could have happened isn't standing in the way of an all powerful smarter-than-you god in the slightest.

    So, if you buy the basic axioms of god, the rest sort of comes out in the wash. It's nice when science or achaeology catches up with what the bible has already described, but its not necessary.

    3. Of course not. The point isn't to prove god exists. You either think he does or you don't. If it was factually obvious that god existed then you having a choice in the matter of wether to beleive or not wouldn't be very useful, now would it ?

    I'm frankly not sure what the point of this trip is, but it won't prove god does or doesn't exist. People that refuse to beleive in god will read the results of this journey how they want to. People that refuse to beleive in anyting but god will read the results of this journey how they want to.

    But there's the ever important swing vote.

  • My own thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aptenergy ( 688428 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @03:27AM (#8981188)
    This is definitely my second or third post on Slashdot. After not commenting for a long time, I think I'll step in for a bit. So what is this tolerance stuff that I keep hearing about? As in, tolerate gay marriage. Tolerate all religions. Tolerate points of view that are different from your own. And yet when I come on Slashdot and read this article, and all the (I read at +4) comments, my face turns sour because of the horrendous amount of crap that I see from people here. Look, you don't believe Christianity, fine. You think the ark idea is crap, and that science proves yadda yadda yadda, fine. At least have the guts to refrain from bashing those who do. It takes a mature individual to let people have their say without exploding in anger or cracking up in laughter. You have to understand that most people have developed for themselves a framework for how they view life. Most /. readers, I'm guessing, are scientifically minded. So they believe in all the things that science has accomplished. Good work. Hooray for you. Then there are those who believe that a God exists and has made everything we see, and created laws that science is discovering and utilizing. Good work, hooray for you. If you were really tolerant, and if you were really following what you believe you should be doing, then you'd have a solid discussion with them based on the facts, based on what you've seen, etc. etc. But... no. All we see are lousy jokes and other definitive statements - "the Bible is crap," "the Bible has contradictions," etc. etc. I just don't understand how some /. readers can force Christians onto a pedestal ("You have to be perfect, you Christian moron, and aren't you supposed to LOVE everybody?!") and cannot subject themselves to any sort of standards. If you're going to argue that the Bible has bad teachings, or that it has contradictions, read the Bible yourself before you make a decision. Actually, don't do just that - be a real student and go and find commentaries from Christian writers. Find commentaries from non-Christian writers. (Why commentaries? Have you ever really been able to explore a book without seeing what lots of people thought about it?) Read it with an unbiased eye. If you think you've found a contradiction, then see what the other side has to say. Read it for yourself. If you end up unconvinced the Bible is true, then great. If you don't find contradictions, then great too. Decide for yourself what you want to believe. What astounds me is how FEW people actually take that offer. Personally, I don't know of anyone who has. Why? Because they're lazy. Too lazy to go and find out things for themselves. In the meantime, they (non-Christians AND Christians) rely on a few lousy articles and information (which are debunked by different people, depending on who you ask), and then post knowingly uninformed, uneducated entries on /. to the approval (and subsequent positive moderation) of their knowingly uninformed, uneducated peers. Watch people read this comment and ask, "Is the author of this comment a Christian?" If the answer is yes, they immediately go and trash it because suddenly none of my arguments and comments make any sense. "Those moronic Christians, what a bunch of idiots, they must not believe in science..." right? So maybe I am, or maybe I'm not. I will say that I HAVE taken up my own challenge. That should be enough for you.
  • by CdBee ( 742846 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @04:29AM (#8981397)
    The legend of the Ark is not solely a Christian tradition! Refer to Surah 11 of the Qu'ran

    011.040 (Thus it was) till, when Our commandment came to pass and the oven gushed forth water, We said: Load therein two of every kind, a pair (the male and female), and thy household, save him against whom the word hath gone forth already, and those who believe. And but a few were they who believed with him.

    011.041 And he said: Embark therein! In the name of Allah be its course and its mooring. Lo! my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.

    011.042 And it sailed with them amid waves like mountains, and Noah cried unto his son - and he was standing aloof - O my son! Come ride with us, and be not with the disbelievers.

    011.043 He said: I shall betake me to some mountain that will save me from the water. (Noah) said: This day there is none that saveth from the commandment of Allah save him on whom He hath had mercy. And the wave came in between them, so he was among the drowned.

    011.044 And it was said: O earth! Swallow thy water and, O sky! be cleared of clouds! And the water was made to subside. And the commandment was fulfilled. And it (the ship) came to rest upon (the mount) Al-Judi and it was said: A far removal for wrongdoing folk!

    Link for further reading: Surah 11 at Islam.tc [islam.tc]
  • by mightypenguin ( 593397 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @10:15AM (#8983579)
    The reason nobody can find it is because it's probably not there. The modern mountains in Turkey were named from the account in the Bible as people thought that was the place, but in actuality the real location isn't known for sure. It's just the "traditional" site. Just like Mount Sinai is actually just across the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. But anyway, that's just my opinion, for some interesting research look at:

    http:/ /www.noahsarksearch.com/iran.htm
  • 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

Computers don't actually think. You just think they think. (We think.)