Dispatches from the Creation Wars

A young earth creationist, Tas Walker, has posted the first of what I expect will be many articles by creationists debunking the new claimed Noah’s Ark site. What they have found is so obviously a natural rock formation that even creationist geologists can recognize it as such. As Walker notes, all of the pictures that Cornuke and his team brought back from the mountain in Iran are entirely consistent with a standard rock formation that has undergone deformation and metamorphosis:

From my perusal of the photos, (and I can only go from the pictures, not having visited the site), the object does not look like Noah’s Ark to me. The black object looks like a rock outcrop, and the close-up shots of the ‘beams’ suggest that the whole area has been sheared by tectonic movement, causing folding and metamorphism.

The beams with their hewn surfaces at right angles look like rock that has fractured along cleavage planes. It is just fortuitous that the resultant pieces look like wooden beams. In fact, there is an abundance of broken pieces of rock in the pictures, and most of them are smaller than beams.

He then goes on to explain how such artifacts can form as a result of mundane geological processes:

When a large region, such as a mountain range, is uplifted, the rock strata are sheared and metamorphosed by the immense forces involved. A new texture develops in the rock strata.

The new texture often involves parallel ‘cracks’, like the pages in a book, or a heap of timber planks, depending on the type of rock and the degree of metamorphism. This texture is called foliation. Once a rock is foliated, it tends to fracture along these planes.

Most people would be familiar with the way that metamorphic rocks such as shale and slate fracture. Sometimes a region can experience multiple folding and the rocks can have fracture planes in two directions and the broken pieces can look like timber when they break.

And he provides pictures of similar outcrops found elsewhere in the world. Like these rocks in Thailand:

i-0ec08c34a71542fe32513a283c6b8849-4471-thailand-beamssmall.jpg

It looks very much like planks of wood, splintered due to weathering. In fact, it’s a natural rock formation that has undergone metamorphosis. Here’s another picture from the same formation:

i-079ef573028c4a231f73d4fbde5655ff-Mylo2.jpg

Looks just like wood grain, doesn’t it? It’s not. Here’s another one that looks like a huge plank from the same formation:

i-60527e032438f70793df4cb19f7d98ba-3Pagodas.jpg

Walker also points out the improbability of wood becoming petrified in a mountain environment:

If the black object is the petrified remains of the wooden Ark, how was it petrified? To petrify, the timber would need to be surrounded by a mineral-rich solution and absorb it into its pore structure. It is difficult to conceive of how that could happen for a timber structure sitting on the side of the mountain. If the Ark still existed high in a mountain somewhere, it is more likely its timber would be exposed to rain and snow which would not contain the minerals to petrify it.

Like Walker, I would like to see the results of the tests they claim to have that shows it to be petrified wood. They say they have them, but have never revealed who did the testing, what tests were performed, or released the actual lab report. Having seen such claims in the past from Ron Wyatt, who claims to have all sorts of lab tests but never actually produces them for anyone else to see, a little skepticism is more than warranted.

Comments

  1. #1 llDayo
    July 5, 2006

    Amazing. I always thought YECs didn’t accept plate tectonics?

  2. #2 ArtK
    July 5, 2006

    Ed, they used the Freedlehoffer Offset Ocular Laminate test.

    In the FOOL test, if you look out of the corner of your eye and something appears to have wood grain, then it must be wood.

  3. #3 mark
    July 5, 2006

    After carefully looking over the Base Institute photos, I can only say that I’ve actually seen Noah’s Ark!
    I’ve seen it in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Arizona, Maine, South Dakota, Indiana…just how many One True Arks were there?

  4. #4 Reid
    July 5, 2006

    Yeah YECs do not agree with Plate Tectonics, but they have another crazy “theory” about subduction. Its originally Walt Browns idea that most of the water for “The Flood” came from vast caverns underground, and the sudden release of this water caused the continents to rush around like crazy. Of course it doesnt happen NOW, it the same sort of thing as the hyper-evolution many YECs put forward happened after The Ark grounded.

  5. #5 llDayo
    July 5, 2006

    Yeah, I’ve heard of Brown’s Heat Problem Theory. Funny stuff! :)

  6. #6 tacitus
    July 5, 2006
  7. #7 Erich Vieth
    July 5, 2006

    As you mention, this story indicates that the B.A.S.E. Institute’s samples “are being examined at labs in Texas and Florida.” The story doesn’t mention whether the sample will be analyzed using secular methods or Bible methods. Choice of methodology might matter, though. According to the official website of BASE (http://www.baseinstitute.org/methodology.html), here is the methodology used by BASE:

    The BASE Institute employs a methodology that seeks to apply the best practices of many disciplines, while giving absolute priority to the Bible itself. While we do not discount the opinions of scholars, we do not place undue emphasis on them.

    Here are the highlights of this BASE “methodology:

    -We recognize that scholarship does not have the final say on the Bible; rather, the Bible has the final say on scholarship.
    -We recognize that because scholarship can “prove” anything, it ultimately can “prove” nothing beyond doubt.
    -We recognize that history by its very nature cannot be “proved”; it can only be argued on the weight of evidence and testimony.
    -We recognize that older sources are superior to newer sources, that ancient testimony is superior to modern testimony, and that original evidence is superior to later opinions about that evidence.

    Therefore, when real life evidence conflicts with the Bible, BASE urges that we ignore the evidence.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for those test results . . .

    Erich Vieth
    http://www.dangerousintersection.org

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