If you click on it and read the article, you’ll understand how this shot my day and send me Snopes-ing it, Ancient Aliens-ing it, and then pontificating about it.
Before reading Mr. Eden’s article I had dutifully classified the Noah’s Ark on Ararat as a natural geological formation, as TV programs over the last several decades had urged me to do. Now, Eden says that’s wrong and states there is scientific proof. Furthermore, the article implies that all this data was uncovered in 1977 (remarkably about the time my sci-fi characters are trying to find Gimish’s remains). Given the date and the extraordinary claims that have been made, one would think that by now further investigation would have either supported those claims or refuted them. I could find neither. That’s puzzling.
The implications of the article are a bit scary and deep inside I wish the ark would turn back into a fault line again. For one, how messy does this make of our understanding of genetics? We have found no genetic indication that all cats, all dogs, all—you name it—converge to ancestor pairs that existed a few thousand years back. Just as a sidelight, there is evidence that humans converge to a bottle neck about 150,000 years ago (Could Noah have lived then?), a time when the species (that’s us) decreased to a few thousand. We also know that all cheetahs are identical, so possibly Noah’sArk carried all the humans and cheetahs, bottle-necking both ancestries.
I’m joking—I think.
Anyway the other animals seemed to have climbed trees or found mountain tops allowing their genetic diversity to survive the flood. Maybe God wanted a pair of each in the ark as a backup plan and it turned out that only humans and cheetahs were stupid enough to need the backup plan.
Forgetting genetic and other scientific issues, Eden provides some interesting historical references to the ark’s presence on Ararat, tracing it back as far as 800 BC including many medieval citations. Beware, I suspect that those ancients weren’t good at differentiating a geological formation from a human construction, either.
Generally I’m skeptical of any new discoveries whether wacky fringe or main line science. You can throw “cold fusion” into that pot along with my wife’s declaration that Dr. Oz’s says such and such was proven good for you in a scientific study. I tell her not to get too excited, in six months they’ll find out that the study was defective. Yet we’ve been waiting since 1977 for these ark claims to be disproved.
My science mind wonders where the defect is, but my sci-fi mind loves the ark with its advanced metallurgy and primitive stone anchors. I guess the extraterrestrials were miserly about dispensing knowledge, only giving just enough to insure our (and the cheetah’s) survival.
Okay, let’s assume that the ark up there on Ararat is real along with its advanced metallurgy. Does that mean the Bible should be taken verbatim? If you believe in a benevolent or benign God as I do, then no. Would a good God give us brains to discover all this science only to mislead us to erroneous conclusions? Should I be more blunt—Do you think God is a jerk?
Science tells us that if it rained for forty days and forty nights, it would not raise the oceans to the height of Mr. Ararat. If it rained for four hundred and forty days and nights, it would not raise the oceans up the slopes of Mr. Ararat. If it rained for four million days and nights it would not raise the oceans up the slopes of Ararat because there are not enough water molecules on Earth to raise the oceans that high. So how did it get there?
I believe a reasonable approach is given in Knight and Lomas’s book, Uriel’s Machine. They suggest that the ark could have been carried up Ararat by a tsunami, the result of an asteroid or comet impact in the ocean. Scientists believe a similar event ended the dinosaurs.
Now we are left with the more interesting mystery—how did Noah know to prepare for the catastrophe? Knight and Lomas draw from the Book of Enoch, saying that “watchers” taught our forefathers how to build astronomical calendars, Stonehenge types, there are many of them, and these were used to predict the asteroid collision. While I believe that Stonehenge type structures are calendars, I don’t believe they could forecast an asteroid or comet strike. This leaves me wondering who the watchers were and, given they were advanced enough to predict a strike, why weren’t they able to prevent it?