Pharyngula

Liberty University is fielding an expedition to Turkey to dig up Noah’s Ark.

When your professors are looking for a 4,000 year old boat that beached on a mountain top after a global flood, you might as well give up on any pretense to scholarly credibility, OK?

Comments

  1. #1 Abdul Alhazred
    December 28, 2009

    ?While we?d like to think it?s Noah?s Ark, we?re not sure what it is, but it?s in the right place,? he said.

    Price said whatever there is to be discovered, it should be found when he returns in the coming summer.

    Benefit of the doubt time.

    Might be something interesting up there, if not Noah’s Ark.

  2. #2 Porco Dio
    December 28, 2009

    2 words: google earth

  3. #3 Mick
    December 28, 2009

    What’s next? Atlantis?

  4. #4 natural cynic
    December 28, 2009

    What? He can’t wait another decade? The glacier will probably be gone in a few years.

    But, that can’t happen because global warming is only a hoax.

  5. #5 abhishekmanoj100
    December 28, 2009

    Nope The garden of Eden’s Next;) Hope They ask NSF for funding coz it’ll make their day!

  6. #6 Sven DiMilo
    December 28, 2009

    oo!
    It’s all very hush-hush.

  7. #7 history punk
    December 28, 2009

    Given the CIA’s repeated displays of interest in it, perhaps it is not as far-fetched as one would believe.

    For sources, go to the CIA’s Electronic Reading room and search “Noah’s Ark.” Unfortunately, the CIA Electronic Reading Room does not allow for direct linkage to documents.

  8. #8 bckcntry
    December 28, 2009

    Even if there was a boat, would it be possible for it to have been buried more than 18 feet by a glacier in just 4000 years?

  9. #9 Abdul Alhazred
    December 28, 2009

    Let’s see if they are honest about what they find or don’t find.

  10. #10 Techskeptic
    December 28, 2009

    When they don’t find a boat, or when the boat is clearly not big enough to hold all the animals by two’s….

    what will be their excuse? How will goal posts be moved this time?

  11. #11 Chuck
    December 28, 2009

    I’d love to see them find an actual ark, only to have the name “Utnapishtam” from the Epic of Gilgamesh inscribed on it.

    Chuck
    http://www.irreligiosophy.com

  12. #12 MrFire
    December 28, 2009

    Let’s see if they are honest about what they find or don’t find.

    Hmm. My guess is, it’ll be:

    We’re just one more dig away! We’re right on top it! I can feel it!

    AND BY THE WAY PLEASE SEND LOTS MORE MONEY

  13. #13 Shawn
    December 28, 2009

    God is such a practical joker. He’s been hiding a boat big enough to carry 3 (to 30?) million species of animal and insect for 4000 years. Of course *this* dude is going to find it *this* time.

  14. #14 somewhereingreece
    December 28, 2009

    …must…resist…temptation…to say greek proverb regarding ships on mountains…

    (first time poster, long time fan. keep up the good work!)

  15. #15 Abdul Alhazred
    December 28, 2009

    I like the version of the universal flood story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses best. No ark in it, though.

  16. #16 Brownian, OM
    December 28, 2009

    What? But they have such a scholarly syllabus.
    I just picked up their course calendar, and am pleased to see they plan to excavate sections of the Black Forest for evidence of confectionery housing; another professor is looking for grad students with remote sensing technical skills to analyse the region north of Luton for megaflora of the beanstalk variety; they’re paying well for mother-and-child pairs to assist in a cohort study to examine the correlation between local pavement quality and spinal injuries; and the meteorology department has teamed up with the arachnologists to assess the relationship between vigour in individuals in local populations and rainfall patterns.

  17. #17 sqlrob
    December 28, 2009

    Given the CIA’s repeated displays of interest in it, perhaps it is not as far-fetched as one would believe.

    You mean like psychically setting goats on fire?

  18. #18 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 28, 2009

    Meanwhile, the Oceanography Department is readying their submarines to embark on the search for Atlantis (or was that Bikini Bottom?)

  19. #19 David23
    December 28, 2009

    Just think of all the private funding they will get.

  20. #20 Shatterface
    December 28, 2009

    The CIA found this decades ago. It’s stored in the same vast underground warehouse as the Ark of the Covenant and the Roswell spaceship.

  21. #21 Bad Albert
    December 28, 2009

    Love the comments at the end of the article.

  22. #22 Celtic_Evolution
    December 28, 2009

    I never cease to be amazed at the level of abject stupidity that religion can cause one of otherwise reasonable intelligence to attain.

    This guy thinks nothing of saying this:

    ?While we?d like to think it?s Noah?s Ark, we?re not sure what it is, but it?s in the right place,? he said.

    But if a group of researchers from Athens told this guy they were looking for the dwellings of the Greek gods on top of Mt. Olympus, he’d belly-laugh at the absurdity, no doubt.

    “We’d like to think this is where Zeus kept his lightening bolts. We’re not sure what it is, but it’s in the right place”.

    Why is that any more absurd than what this guy said, exactly?

  23. #23 Eddy
    December 28, 2009

    @22

    hahaha nice, sir. Oh and by the way, Zeus and his lighting bolt analogy may actually be less absurd. hahaha

  24. #24 rlrrlrll
    December 28, 2009

    I like the version of the universal flood story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses best. No ark in it, though.

    Yet fundies cite the flood story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses as evidence for Noah’s flood

  25. #25 Abdul Alhazred
    December 28, 2009

    But if a group of researchers from Athens told this guy they were looking for the dwellings of the Greek gods on top of Mt. Olympus, he’d belly-laugh at the absurdity, no doubt.

    If a sizable fraction of the population believed in said dieties, and the expedition was honest about what they found or did not find, it would be worth doing.

  26. #26 davem
    December 28, 2009

    Even if there was a boat, would it be possible for it to have been buried more than 18 feet by a glacier in just 4000 years?

    Easily. Last year I watched a documentary where several planes from WWII had been buried 30 feet down in a glacier. Also saw another where a plane downed in the Andes in 1949? emerged from the other end of a glacier, a few km from where it entered. The ark would probably have been ejected from all but the largest of glaciers by now.

    Quite how they got a ‘satellite fix’ in the first place is a bit of a puzzle, though.

    Porco has it right: Google Earth or Google maps will tell all, without requiring any money. Not so nice as visiting Turkey wityh a stash of cash, though…

  27. #27 rlrrlrll
    December 28, 2009

    Since genetic evidence suggests homo sapiens originated in Africa, shouldn’t the Ark have landed there?

  28. #28 Abdul Alhazred
    December 28, 2009

    Google will not show you what is under a glacier.

    This issue is not whether Randall Price is deluded at the present time, but whether he will be honest in the future.

  29. #29 Bilbo
    December 28, 2009

    Wasn’t there evidence of a local flood in the Black Sea area after the last ice age? Even if the flood wasn’t global, the many legends might be rooted in some sort of historical event. It sounds like it’s worth looking for something.

  30. #30 John Frum
    December 28, 2009

    #11
    If I was Bill Gates rich I would put it there for them to find.

    #14
    Please don’t resist. I don’t get what you mean.

  31. #31 The Other Ian
    December 28, 2009

    Benefit of the doubt time.

    Might be something interesting up there, if not Noah’s Ark.

    Under 48 feet of glacier? While there could be something of geological interest there, it’s highly unlikely that there’s an archaeological site of any kind waiting to be found. If they do actually reach the object, most likely they’ll have discovered a large, vaguely boat-shaped boulder, declare it the fossilized remains of Noah’s ark, and then deny real scientists any access to the samples they bring back.

  32. #32 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    December 28, 2009

    @Abdul:

    This issue is not whether Randall Price is deluded at the present time, but whether he will be honest in the future.

    certainly he’ll be honest. about what he deludes himself into thinking that he found.

  33. #33 mxh
    December 28, 2009

    I’m sure they’ll find something and claim that it’s part of the ark and call their expedition a success.

    …and @#27, since genetic evidence says that life has existed for more than 6000 years, I’d guess that these “scholars” don’t really care what the evidence really says.

  34. #34 Celtic_Evolution
    December 28, 2009

    If a sizable fraction of the population believed in said dieties, and the expedition was honest about what they found or did not find, it would be worth doing.

    Really? No… I’m sorry, I have to disagree with that. If the intent of the expedition was in the honest pursuit of scientific inquiry, and there was something evidenced of value in the site being investigated, it would be worth the effort.

    The expenditure of time and money on a purely speculative mythological artifact from an event that has been proven to have never occurred is a total waste.

  35. #35 eddie
    December 28, 2009

    How many millions of years ago was the mediterranean basin inundated from the atlantic? This would seem to be way too old to be the source of a folk legend among the peoples around that area. It’s surely way before homo Sap Sap so is this evidence (that there exist such legends at all) that pre-sapiens hominids had folk legends?

  36. #36 raven
    December 28, 2009

    There already is an ark on top of Mt. Ararat, Turkey.

    Some monks long ago decided there should be one. So they carried boards up and built a replica ark.

    It is known to be a replica, not a real boat and not all that old either.

  37. #37 Islander
    December 28, 2009

    Given the CIA’s repeated displays of interest in it, perhaps it is not as far-fetched as one would believe.

    For sources, go to the CIA’s Electronic Reading room and search “Noah’s Ark.” Unfortunately, the CIA Electronic Reading Room does not allow for direct linkage to documents.

    They don’t seem interested at all to me. There are only about 10 documents concerning “Noah’s Ark” since 1980, and they are all responding to requests from Christian congressmen, film studios and other curious people who apparently have nice connections. Every one states that there is no evidence for Noah’s Ark.

  38. #38 eddie
    December 28, 2009

    I hadn’t heard before about the black sea flood Bilbo refers to. To wiki…

  39. #39 semi
    December 28, 2009

    @8

    Glacier Girl, one plane of a squadron of P-38 fighters that was forced down and abandoned in Greenland in 1942 was recovered fairly intact 50 years later buried under 238 feet of ice.

    Story here: http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl-recovery.htm

    What buries objects on glaciers is snowfall. The snowfall accumulates, compacts, and becomes the glacier ice.

    However, glaciers move. They tend to carry whatever’s buried within them to their mouth and eventually dump them as a bunch of crushed pieces.

    Of course the Ark story is a crock. It will be interesting to see how the investigators will explain recovered timber from old trees buried in the glacier and claim that they have found pieces of the Ark.

  40. #40 Harry Tuttle
    December 28, 2009

    Wasn’t there evidence of a local flood in the Black Sea area after the last ice age? Even if the flood wasn’t global, the many legends might be rooted in some sort of historical event. It sounds like it’s worth looking for something.

    The Ryan-Pitman hypothesis.

  41. #41 Romeo Vitelli
    December 28, 2009

    Even a superficial read of the Book of Genesis shows that there really is no mention of where the Ark supposedly landed. All that it says is that the Ark settled in the “mountains of Ararat” which could mean any mountain in that entire region of what is now Turkey. It’s only vague tradition that names Mount Ararat as the place to search. You’d think someone at Liberty University would know how to read a Bible properly.

  42. #42 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 28, 2009

    According to this Christian site discussing the Ark:

    They [Kurdish Separatist Party or PKK] have commanded the presence of the Turkish Army as they find refuge in the crevasses and nooks of Mount Ararat. It is this group which has caused so many problems for past and present expeditions to locate Noah’s Ark. Their terrorist tactics have captured past explorers on Mount Ararat at gun point and detained them. Currently the Turkish government has forbidden all climbing in and around Mount Ararat because of the PKK activity.

    Like they used to say about the Navy, “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.”

  43. #43 MadScientist
    December 28, 2009

    Even if there were a historical ark, at the very least it would have been scavenged for resources so you can safely bet nothing recognizable remained of it. Who would be so stupid as to fell a small forest then simply leave the timbers to rot in a heap?

    With any luck the students will learn something in Turkey (quick, someone send them a geologist). There’s a lot of great stuff to see and eat in Turkey. :)

  44. #44 Glen Davidson
    December 28, 2009

    Sounds like a great thing for them to be doing, looking for mythical nonsense that cannot be found.

    Allowing that most students won’t learn from their failure, still a few might.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  45. #45 Biology Blogger
    December 28, 2009

    I have nothing against any university funding this. If there is a somewhat of a public interest in it, why not? I mean, universities still fund departments that are asking how can we prove we exist (I always tell the philosophers, ‘your annoying me, thus you exist’)

  46. #46 mdcaton
    December 28, 2009

    Here’s the conundrum. Would it be immoral to lie to Liberty University to get a free trip to Turkey to climb Mt. Ararat? I mean it. I’ve wanted to climb Ararat for a while. So if concepts like “God” are inherently meaningless (the semantic equivalent of nonsense syllables), and it’s not immoral for me to submit an application to Liberty U filled with garbage characters like “%&$%*&^(#(*&#(*&”, how can it be immoral to submit one with combinations of garbage characters like “God faith grace” in a specific order that happens to make them give me a plane ticket to Ankara? I’m putting it in a funny way but I’m serious and I’m genuinely curious what the rational thought community thinks about this.

  47. #47 blf
    December 28, 2009

    What’s next? Atlantis?

    Probably. That’s were Noah’s Ark, the Reptilian flying saucer base, and G.W. Bush’s brain all reside.

  48. #48 mdcaton
    December 28, 2009

    @John Frum #30: Bill Gates comment = nice, and by “nice” I mean TOTALLY NICE! If I were Bill Gates rich I would put an Ark for them to find except I would have the whole thing inscribed with verses from the Qu’ran. That, or Origin of the Species in Aramaic.

  49. #49 KOPD42
    December 28, 2009

    Have a nice trip, Price. Don’t come back til you’ve found it.

  50. #50 NewEnglandBob
    December 28, 2009

    Why do they need to go to Turkey?

    All they need to find what they are looking for is to turn around and look up their own butts.

  51. #51 shonny
    December 28, 2009

    At least there are places where you can get Thor’s hammer (Tors hammer), so our Norse gods are much more forthcoming with proof of their existence.
    http://www.viking.se/torshammare-561.html
    And we are reminded of him every Thursday!

    Better than That scrawny nut-case on a cross, eh?

    As to Loki, he is a bit more elusive.

  52. #52 Insightful Ape
    December 28, 2009

    In the meantime we, pastafarians, will be embarking on an adventure on board a pirate ship in rememberance of the chosen people of the FSM. Arrgh all on board mateys.

  53. #53 Cheryl
    December 28, 2009

    In the mid 1980’s, my then boss went with a group out of Nashville, TN to Turkey to look for the ark. The trip was based on some new information (i.e. local gossip) that the structure believed to have been photographed atop Mt. Ararat at the end of WWII had shifted some down the mountain. They were able to climb about half way to the spot the locals had claimed to have seen it before rebels and the Turkish army forced them back.

    My boss had pictures of what looked like petrified wood a local had brought down previously. Later he found out that testing dated it to just a few centuries old. Of course the group dismissed the findings because carbon dating is against their religion.

  54. #54 Carlie
    December 28, 2009

    “We’d like to think this is where Zeus kept his lightening bolts. We’re not sure what it is, but it’s in the right place”.
    Why is that any more absurd than what this guy said, exactly?

    That’s easy – because Mount Olympus is above the Empire State Building, silly! Everybody knows that.

    (And seriously, run, don’t walk, to read that series, especially if you have middle school-aged kids. They are fantastic. Think Harry Potter, but actually teaching them real Greek mythology at the same time, and a heck of a lot funnier.)

  55. #55 H.H.
    December 28, 2009

    mdcaton asked :

    Would it be immoral to lie to Liberty University to get a free trip to Turkey to climb Mt. Ararat?

    So long as you promise to turn over any arks you find, I don’t really see a problem.

  56. #56 thisisentirelybogus
    December 28, 2009

    So, not only does Liberty University not have a real Biology department, now they don’t have a real History department either.

    Notice how shadowy figures either demand secrecy or alternately block the efforts of honest Christian folk?

    How stupid does it have to get before people just flat out ignore them? Of course you can’t as long as there are Christian accreditation authorities that dig this kahretsin.

  57. #57 sasqwatch
    December 28, 2009

    All you sciency know-it-alls’ faces are sure going to be red when Randall Price is vindicated. If any of you had even bothered to investigate the serious research on the topic, you would have come across this article showing the Ararat Anomaly and describing astronaut Jim Irwin’s previous attempts to find the wreckage.

    Then again, perhaps because he lived in my home town of Colorado Springs, or the fact that his Masters of Science was only in aeronautical engineering undoubtedly qualifies all of you to dismiss this worthy endeavor. Well, you smarty-pantses can just fuck off.

  58. #58 sasqwatch
    December 28, 2009

    Dang. My brilliantly-crafted message was held until PZ gets around to approving it. I wonder what I did? (perhaps it was the links in the message?)

  59. #59 Richard Eis
    December 28, 2009

    I see nothing difficult in finding a piece of old wood and claiming it to be from a badly made boat.

  60. #60 Eetto
    December 28, 2009

    They are doing the right thing which is looking for actual evidence. So long as they don’t make anything up.

  61. #61 Kaddath
    December 28, 2009

    In Latinamerica, today (Dec 28), is the equivalent of April Fool’s Day… so maybe they’re just pulling a fast one… on themselves!

  62. #62 Strangest brew
    December 28, 2009

    Fine they can look and finally might have to admit that is was all a xian wet dream after all.
    yeah! right not a chance in a frozen hell methinks.

    More likely they will just invent and make things up, guaranteed, there will be no ark, they will finally invent a story that it was in another place after all but they are very close to finding it!

    Any artefact they might boast of will be fake and any ‘University’ that goes looking for a myth will find what they want to find, only they will be lying their raggety arses off!

  63. #63 Larry
    December 28, 2009

    Shouldn’t be too hard to find. Just look for a couple of dinosaur fossils with saddles on ‘em.

  64. #64 nejishiki
    December 28, 2009

    A group of creationists is going to leave the country, albeit only temporarily.

    Where do I donate?

  65. #65 semi
    December 28, 2009

    There’s a poll on one of the articles about Price finding Noah’s Ark:

    http://www2.newsadvance.com/lna/news/local/article/lynchburg_man_looking_for_noahs_ark/13000/

    Do you think Liberty University archaeologist Randall Price will succeed in finding the remains of Noah’s Ark?

    Yes (51%)
    No (49%)

    There is also a great quote:

    ?There?s a whole trail of history pointing to it (Mt. Ararat),? Price said. ?But in our age, people tend to think it is more of a story like ?Jack and the Bean Stalk.? Our aim is to show that the Bible is good history.”

    So if they don’t find anything, will the bible continue to be bad history?

  66. #66 Sven DiMilo
    December 28, 2009

    I wonder what I did? (perhaps it was the links in the message?)

    Probably. You can usually get away with 3, sometimes up to 5, without triggering moderation. It’s that or you used a flagged name or term. Some of these are hard to predict.

  67. #67 sasqwatch
    December 28, 2009

    65: Thanks, Sven. Must’ve been those 5 links, plus a particularly flaggy term. Sorry PZ. Will be more careful in the future.

  68. #68 Badjuggler
    December 28, 2009

    My vote put it to 50/50. Pharyngulize the mother!

  69. #69 mxh
    December 28, 2009

    I supposed I’d rather have them waste their money on something like this (they might actually learn something about a different part of the world), then spending money for proselytizing or putting crosses everywhere.

  70. #70 nitramnaed
    December 28, 2009

    I found this when researching the distinguished Dr. Price:

    http://www.raptureready.com/index.php

    I so want to download one of those “rapture ready” wallpapers!

  71. #71 Olowkow
    December 28, 2009

    Hmm, what method of dating will be used on the ark? Radiometric dating is clearly a hoax.

  72. #72 David Marjanovi?
    December 28, 2009

    Google will not show you what is under a glacier.

    Radar would, though.

    Wasn’t there evidence of a local flood in the Black Sea area after the last ice age? Even if the flood wasn’t global, the many legends might be rooted in some sort of historical event. It sounds like it’s worth looking for something.

    Fine, except it’s completely unreasonable to look for something way southeast and 5000 m above the current shoreline of the Black Sea.

  73. #73 Peter G.
    December 28, 2009

    I don’t imagine for a second that the aim of religious institutions whether they be fundie colleges or madrassas is to be accepted into the scholarly mainstream. The whole point is to create an alternate reality.

  74. #74 David Marjanovi?
    December 28, 2009

    Yes 48% (258 votes)
    No 52% (276 votes)
    Total Votes: 534

  75. #75 Sioux Laris
    December 28, 2009

    Hey! That’s SOME hole!!!!

  76. #76 raven
    December 28, 2009

    Randall Kook Price:

    Our aim is to show that the Bible is good history.”

    Bit late for that. Much of the bible has already been shown to be nonexistent history. David and Solomon were backwoods chieftans, Exodus never happened, the genocides of the Canaanites never happened, Noah’s ark and Genesis are mythology and so on.

    Oddly enough, some of the later material has some truth in it, the Kings part.

  77. #77 judgedead
    December 28, 2009

    Whilst as an atheist I don’t believe in the biblical flood, it is quite clear from stories from many different parts of the world that an ancient flood event may have taken place and therefore some part of the ark story may be true albeit a small part, which means that it could be possible to go searching for some 4000 year old wooden ship that could have been washed half way up a mountain by some tsunami and later being related to biblical bullshit story.

  78. #78 Sioux Laris
    December 28, 2009

    #77 Um,… that’s some deadpan humor you’ve got going there, Judge.
    Tell us about yetis and dragons now. Or about how the Olympians were really advanced aliens who came to Earth and posed as gods, like in that TOS Star Trek.

    (If you’re under 15, all is forgiven.)

  79. #79 Multicellular
    December 28, 2009

    Chuck #11 – exactly what I was thinking. Far be it those who believe the Bable is 100% true to ever read any other ancient text. The Sumerian Gilgamesh/Utnapishtam story is, in my opinion, so much more entertaining than the plagiarized version of Genesis.

  80. #80 John Morales
    December 28, 2009

    judgedead,

    Whilst as an atheist I don’t believe in the biblical flood, it is quite clear from stories from many different parts of the world that an ancient flood event may have taken place […]

    Um. Are you suggesting that, were you not atheistic, you would buy into the Flud?!

    … it could be possible to go searching for some 4000 year old wooden ship that could have been washed half way up a mountain by some tsunami …

    Well, only if it’s gopher-wood! ;)

  81. #81 sandiseattle
    December 28, 2009

    Raven @ 76

    The Naked Archaeologist
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Naked_Archaeologist

    He has done some very good make you think programs, check him out.

  82. #82 KOPD42
    December 28, 2009

    @77

    Something just about every ancient civilization had in common was proximity to fresh water. It seems more plausible that each culture that has a flood myth experienced a local flood than to assume that they are all survivors of one large-scale flood (global or otherwise). Especially since the flood myths of each region differ considerably from the next.

  83. #83 W. H. Heydt
    December 28, 2009

    I always kind of liked Asimov’s suggestion. He noted that probable original launch point was on the Babylonian planes and the ark wound up in mountains *north* of there. He suggested that a tsunami from a large meteorite strike in the Persian Gulf would have done the trick.

    In general, though, one rather suspects that all of the various flood myths are exaggerations of local floods of note. (Hey, kid, did I ever tell you about the flood we had when I was young? It was so big….)

  84. #84 raven
    December 28, 2009

    Sandi, sorry. A Canadian TV program isn’t very scholarly. Might as well cite this Robert Price clown, a Rapture ready religious fanatic who pretends to be an archaeologist or the voices in your head.

    Sone of the experts in the field are Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberstein. They’ve done some of the actual digging, Finkelstein being an Israeli archaeologist. I’ve read their reports.

    The quality of the history in the bible ranges from somewhat to nonexistent. Among the weird stuff, some of the NT is almost certainly forged and this was known or suspected millenia ago. The Book of Daniel is historical fiction written in around 200 BCE.

    Fundie Death Cult Xians such as yourself don’t worship god or jesus. You worship a book, an anthology called the bible. An antiquated, flawed book riddled with inconsistencies, wrong information, fogeries, mythology, outdated and evil morality (stoning kids to death?),_ and lies.

    New World Encyclopedia Timothy
    .
    why most scholars consider it a forgery.
    .
    However, many modern scholars, beginning in the nineteenth century, have concluded that Paul could not have been the author. First, more than one-third of the letter’s vocabulary does not appear in any of the other Pauline epistles, and more than one-fifth of the vocabulary does not appear anywhere else in the New Testament. However, two-thirds of this non-Pauline vocabulary was indeed used by other second century Christian writers.[2]
    .
    Also, such terms as “elders,” “deacons,” and “overseer” (bishop) refer to a church structure not yet in place during the lifetime of Paul, who refers in other letters to “apostles,” “prophets,” and “teachers” as the primary church offices. Each of these, to the “authentic” Paul is a charismatic office, endowed directly by the Holy Spirit and not to be any human authority or ceremony.
    .
    Finally, the attitude expressed toward women in the epistle is distinctly un-Pauline. In virtually all of his other letters, Paul insists vehemently that salvation comes through faith in Christ, not works. He also insists that in Christ “there is no male or female.” But 1 Timothy states that that women are to be subordinate to men, that they should be silent, and that “women will be saved through childbearing”?the exact opposite of Paul’s usual insistence that salvation comes not through works but through faith in Jesus.

  85. #85 F
    December 28, 2009

    ?It?s a very delicate and almost clandestine environment,? he said of the area, which is near the Turkish border to Iran and Armenia. ?The danger level is high.?

    WTF? Does this guy play Mad Lib with his sentences, or what?

  86. #86 Sastra
    December 28, 2009

    Maybe there will be a mix-up with all the paperwork, and instead of fundy Randall Price, the expedition ends up being led by former-fundy Robert Price (humanist author of Deconstructing Jesus, The Reason=Driven Life, and Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today’s Pop Mysticisms — plus stuff on Lovecraft.)

    If you’ve ever met Bob Price, or heard him speak — you know that would be one hell of a trip. I would so sign up.

  87. #87 black-wolf72
    December 28, 2009

    People? Hello?
    This article is dated
    Published: January 31, 2009
    Updated: February 3, 2009

    You’ve been fooled.

    Not that this changes the ridiculousness of the endeavor or the comments below the article one iota.

  88. #88 nejishiki
    December 28, 2009

    Yes, it’s from Press Release Mad Libs. Here’s the template:

    “It?s a very ___ (adj.) and almost ___ (adj.) environment,? he said of the area, which is near the ____ (place) border to ___ and ___(places). ?The ___ (noun) level is ___ (adj.).?

    My version:
    “It?s a very post-modern and almost lousy environment,? he said of the area, which is near the Canadian border to Margaritaville and Mordor. ?The penis level is salty.?

  89. #89 Hypatia's Daughter
    December 28, 2009

    #54 Carlie I had never heard of the “Percy Jackson & The Olympians” series. But I saw Avatar on Xmas Day and there was a promo for a movie about some kids who find they are the offspring of the Olympic gods (the hero was the son of Poseidon). Same series?
    BTW, Avatar lived up to its rave reviews. Reminded me of both Little Big Man and Star Wars VI (The Battle for Endor).

  90. #90 Carlie
    December 28, 2009

    Hypatia’s Daughter – it’s the same; the first book is the first movie. The plot line is pretty identical to Potter, but then again it’s the same plot line as coming-of-age stories since the dawn of time, right? Kid at puberty finds out they’re special rather than a loser and is needed to save the world with the help of their plucky friends. But the writing is sharp and funny, and the author blends in not just major Greek characters, but a lot of the minor gods/monsters/people as well. Some of them are explained outright, but some are more in-jokes. They get trapped at the Lotus hotel and casino, they encounter “Krusty” the mattress salesman who likes to make people fit the mattresses… The author was a mythology teacher who made up the stories for his kid and then spent 10 years trying to find a publisher, so it’s a neat story from that perspective too.
    Much more realistic than the Bible, I’ll say that for it.

  91. #91 kokoluvsallball
    December 28, 2009

    I would be interested in which “thoroughly discredited” dating technique they will use to date it. Nothing like railing against the empirical, observable peer-reviewed data until you need it to make your lame case. I wish they could find Gilgamesh’s ark while they are at it.

  92. #92 hje
    December 28, 2009

    Part of their drive to find Noah’s Ark is that some of them see it as a sign of the Second Coming (why, I never understood apart from some supposed vague connection of the last days with the days of Noah, blah, blah). But most of them are now counting on Sarah Palin to usher in the apocalypse.

    Perhaps there will be Predator vs. Alien kind of end to their expedition when they discover it’s not a buried ark but …

  93. #93 Pastor Farm
    December 28, 2009

    It’s obvious to me that not only will they find the Ark, but they’ll find his diary as well.

    Page 1 Day 1

    So many people died and we just stood there impotent, watching as they hopelessly begged for their lives. I felt wretched, horrible. Men, women, children crying out in vain and God just laughed the entire time. What a bastard. I’m totally going to sink this bitch. What will He do then?

    Page 2 Day 2.

    God poofed me a hot little number into existence. Just turned 13; that’s right, barely legal. All’s well that ends well!

  94. #94 Menyambal
    December 28, 2009

    Good one, Pastor Farm. Wickedly true.

    Didn’t the ark get burnt up a few years back? I heard that some godless-atheist scientists went up on Mount Ararat to prove that the ark wasn’t there, found the blessed thing, and promptly set fire to it.

    That doesn’t sound very scientific to me, but it does sound like a good case of projecting by a religious myth-maker.

  95. #95 John Morales
    December 28, 2009

    black-wolf72,

    You’ve been fooled.

    Nope, it’s current: Report on the Ark Search LLC Expedition to Mt. Ararat July-August 2009.
    Upon return to the U.S. our satellite operator determined that our test hole was only 30 feet from the anomaly and new information was gained from another satellite photo of a possible structure above the shepherd site. The team will return for a second season this coming August.
    […]
    If
    you wish to make a tax-deductible donation toward the work, please make your gift to World of the Bible Ministries and earmark it for Noah?s Ark Search LLC. We have a pledge for a matching gift of up to $75,000, so we encourage your end of the year donation as it will be doubled at this time!

  96. #96 John Morales
    December 28, 2009

    Oops, forgot to include the URL above.

    http://www.worldofthebible.com/Documents/Winter2009.pdf

  97. #97 Hurin
    December 28, 2009

    People? Hello?
    This article is dated
    Published: January 31, 2009
    Updated: February 3, 2009

    You’ve been fooled.

    Not that this changes the ridiculousness of the endeavor or the comments below the article one iota.

    quoted from the article above:

    Home > News> Local
    Excursion continues to find Noah?s Ark in Turkey
    Excursion continues to find Noah?s Ark in Turkey

    Submitted photo

    Randall Price works at the site of his expedition in Turkey

    Related Info

    Lynchburg man looking for Noah?s Ark
    By Dave Thompson

    Published: December 28, 2009
    Updated: December 28, 2009

    [ENDQUOTE]

    Check the link again. Its dated the 28th unless you have some evidence it has been reposted.

  98. #98 bastion of sass
    December 28, 2009

    From the article:

    Headline:

    Excursion continues to find Noah?s Ark in Turkey

    When did “continues to find” mean the same thing as “continues to search for”?

  99. #99 Robert MacDonald
    December 28, 2009

    One thing that struck me when I read the first books of the Bible is that Noah made sacrifices from the animals of the ark after it landed. So not all the breeding stock that marched up the gangplank, in twos and twos or in sevens, got very far after marching back down again. Genesis 8:19-20.

    “Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.”

    “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

    So the Liberty University first unit should be on the lookout for remains of that massive pile of charred bones. The boat can’t be far away.

    Their second unit can locate the city of Midian by looking for another pile of bones, the legacy of Moses.

  100. #100 raven
    December 28, 2009

    What is silly is that people have been looking for the Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, Jesus’s tomb, the true cross, the holy grail and so on for thousands and thousands of years.

    If any of these ever existed or still exist, they should have been found by now. The ark in particular was a 400 foot long wooden boat.

    It looks a lot like a way to skim some money off of gullible xians and spend some quality time vacationing in exotic (to us) locations.

    Mt Ararat itself, the high mountain and most logical place, is apparently off limits right now. This is in a Kurdish-Turkish war zone and soldiers and shooting seem to be common.

    Now really. A vision just told me the Ark landed in Hawaii, on one of the high stratovolcanoes. Your contribution will enable me and my friends to mount an expediction to continue to find the true ark. Small bills only please.

  101. #101 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 28, 2009

    I am spending my evening* reworking a budget for an NSF proposal that has a 5-8% chance of being funded. I need to find a way to sex this up…hmmmm, let’s see. Maybe I can write in an expedition to find the holy grail, which our reliable satellite information indicates may be residing under Mt. Kinabalu. Definitely an anomaly there. A little one, grail-sized.

    That’s SO money…BUT any other ideas would be appreciated. I have enough scientific ideas, mind you. I need some fun-type biblical shit to make this baby bird fly. Any matching donors?

    *When I’m not on the internets, people.

  102. #102 KOPD42
    December 28, 2009
    Excursion continues to find Noah?s Ark in Turkey

    When did “continues to find” mean the same thing as “continues to search for”?

    Maybe they meant something more like “excursion to find ark continues.”

  103. #103 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 28, 2009

    “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

    He didn’t kill them. Just charred them a little.

  104. #104 Hurin
    December 28, 2009

    I predict that the Lib U loonies will find some old boards or boughs under the ice (or perhaps buy some at a local hardware store when they don’t) and subsequently they will tell every journalist who will listen that they found the ark. Then when legitimate scientists and historians ask questions about the age of the timber and whether the wackjobs can reasonably conclude that it came from the ark, The Lib U people will deploy their specially trained denial squads to scream about “elitism” and “religious tolerance”. This will induce the media to conclude that there is “an ongoing controversy” surrounding the recent claims that Noah’s ark has been found, and they will report on in it in exactly those terms without any investigation or fact checking whatsoever. No one who isn’t a total fool will believe that the ark has been found, but 3 million or so christians will, including those at the discovery institute and AIG. The whole episode will conclude with these organizations publishing special press releases under the heading “more evidence that Evolution is in trouble” and using the find of Noah’s ark to argue for a young earth.

    Or in any case I could see it going down that way.

  105. #105 Hurin
    December 28, 2009

    kokoluvsallball

    I would be interested in which “thoroughly discredited” dating technique they will use to date it. Nothing like railing against the empirical, observable peer-reviewed data until you need it to make your lame case. I wish they could find Gilgamesh’s ark while they are at it.

    Oh come on dude, do you really think they are going to bother with that? Obviously nothing wooden could ever get to the summit of a mountain without a giant flood pushing it there, and clearly the only thing that would ever float in a giant flood would be a giant boat constructed with plans received directly from God. See? No fancy schmancy dating techniques needed.

  106. #106 raven
    December 29, 2009

    I predict that the Lib U loonies will find some old boards or boughs under the ice (or perhaps buy some at a local hardware store when they don’t) and subsequently they will tell every journalist who will listen that they found the ark.

    No, No, No.

    They will find tantalizing clues. A piece of wood that might have been from the ark. A stone that might have been an anchor. A beer bottle labeled Enoch, the first city. A nail that could have been from the ark. A bone that could have come from one of the dinosaurs.

    All they need to get conclusive proof is,…..MORE MONEY. Send them more money. If you don’t send them more money, the evolutionists will do something horrible like find a cure for AIDS, invent a swine flu vaccine, develop a new high yielding crop, algae that produce biofuels, or something.

    This has been going on in one form or another for 4500 years. Then after they have finally proven that the bird tracks are from Noah’s raven, they will simply go look for something else. I believe the Holy Grail and the True Cross are still in play.

  107. #107 John Morales
    December 29, 2009

    raven,

    All they need to get conclusive proof is,…..MORE MONEY. Send them more money.

    A “a tax-deductible donation”, even.

  108. #108 sasqwatch
    December 29, 2009

    Thanks PZ, for approving my silly but oddly informative comment (currently #57). One of the links (to Jim Irwin’s MS in aeronautical engineering) did not come through. Perhaps it was malformed. It was supposed to link to here.

  109. #109 Capital Dan
    December 29, 2009

    John Morales | December 29, 2009 12:14 AM

    A “a tax-deductible donation”, even.

    Actually, I think they call them “gifts” now. For some reason, I’ve always found that disturbing.

  110. #110 tim Rowledge
    December 29, 2009

    And more from the diary room of the Big Brother Ark –
    (needs to be read in a rather plodding sorta-kinda northern UK accent) “day 3 in the ark. Damn. The dodos died. Tasty though. The unicorn stallion went berserk and got his horn stuck in the hull. When we pulled it out there was a rush of water so we stuffed one of the squiddy things that we don’t like the look of into the hole.”

  111. #111 sasqwatch
    December 29, 2009

    #99 Robert MacDonald spake thusly: “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” — So the Liberty University first unit should be on the lookout for remains of that massive pile of charred bones. The boat can’t be far away.

    There’s a few loopholes in that passage. Firstly, only clean beasts and fowls were involved. I imagine after 40 days and 40 nights cooped up in an ark that this could hardly have amounted to many animals. Secondly, it is unclear to me what “took of” implies, specifically. It seems to me that the Liberty U first unit should be on the lookout for a tiny pile of ancient burnt poo. Hopeless, if you ask me.

  112. #112 Jadehawk, OM
    December 29, 2009

    There’s a few loopholes in that passage. Firstly, only clean beasts and fowls were involved. I imagine after 40 days and 40 nights cooped up in an ark that this could hardly have amounted to many animals. Secondly, it is unclear to me what “took of” implies, specifically. It seems to me that the Liberty U first unit should be on the lookout for a tiny pile of ancient burnt poo. Hopeless, if you ask me.

    actually, what they should be looking for is a time machine. “clean animals” in the biblical sense weren’t defined until after Abraham showed up, so Noah had to travel to the future and ask Abe which critters are clean.

  113. #113 sasqwatch
    December 29, 2009

    That’s what I get for skipping Bible study.

  114. #114 chrstphrgthr
    December 29, 2009

    All that is necessary for the triumph of good is for religious institutions to waste their dirty tithe money.

    Maybe the Turks will make better use of it and nudge past us in the public understanding of science.

  115. #115 raven
    December 29, 2009

    actually, what they should be looking for is a time machine. “clean animals” in the biblical sense weren’t defined until after Abraham showed up, so Noah had to travel to the future and ask Abe which critters are clean.

    Time machines were common back then. Moses used his often. He and his band met the Philistines millenia before they appeared in the area and ran across camel caravans centuries before the camel was used in the middle east.

    The Israelites invented anachronisms.

  116. #116 Rorschach
    December 29, 2009

    Someone should point out to these clowns that they are a bit too late with their attempts to locate “Noah’s ark”.We have found amino acids in comets in space, the god hypothesis is dead as a dodo, get over it already.

  117. #117 scooterKPFT
    December 29, 2009

    I wonder how many cubits they will have to move before they find NoahSnark ?

    Probably 5 X angel-pinhead units or more.

  118. #118 Rorschach
    December 29, 2009

    scooter !
    How are you mate ?

    I remember being to the site of Troy in Turkey years( saying “decades” makes me look old !) ago, it was pretty impressive, but at least that place had some real historical significance.

    I like Ryan and Pitman’s idea of the flood myth origin, it makes sense, the book is warmly recommended to anyone !

  119. #119 Vaal
    December 29, 2009

    Could be some money to be made out of this, from the terminally gullible, maybe plough it back into real scientific research?

    Anybody keen on planting some old wood with Noah’s initials on, maybe some listing of the animals? Don’t forget T-Rex!

    In the future, we could point to this being the Piltdown Noah hoax. Of course, it would be lost on the terminally stupid, but it would certainly elicit a chuckle from everybody else.

  120. #120 applescrapple
    December 29, 2009

    Still time to Pharyngulate the poll – see commetn65.
    GO TO IT

  121. #121 The Tim Channel
    December 29, 2009

    Liberty University ranks right up there with Saudi art training as a huge waste of money and time.

    Free tuition for aspiring Saudi artists.

    http://thetimchannel.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/aspiring-saudi-artists/

    Enjoy.

  122. #122 madbull
    December 29, 2009

    did u guys read the comments on that poll site ?
    some of them make me wanna punch a hole through my monitor

  123. #123 petitlait
    December 29, 2009

    I think that this might actually do the world some good. There is so much rubbish being circulated about Noah’s ark and Mount Ararat, and this might go a long way to setting the record straight.

  124. #124 Josh
    December 29, 2009

    Huh…so there was apparently some fairly extensive volcanism going on in the post-Fall, pre-Flud world?

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/30059010

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1386g/turkey.pdf (page 28 of 33)

    http://www.erudit.org/revue/GPQ/2003/v57/n2-3/011314ar.html

    Yilmaz et al., 1998, Geology of the quaternary volcanic centres of the east Anatolia. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 85(1-4):173-210. Abstract: Following the collision along the Bitlis?Zagros suture, a north?south convergence between the Arabian Platform and Laurasia has continued uninterrupted until the present. As a result, the continental crust has been shortened, thickened and consequently elevated to form the Turkish?Iranian high plateau. On the high plateau volcanic activity began during the Neogene, intensified during the late Miocene?Pliocene and continued until historical times. Large volcanic centres have been developed during the Quaternary which form significant peaks above the Turkish?Iranian high plateau. Among the Quaternary volcanoes, the major volcanic centres are Ararat, Tendürek, Suphan and Nemrut. Ararat (A?ri Da?i) is the largest volcanic center and is a compound stratovolcano, consisting of Greater Ararat and lesser Ararat. The former represents the highest elevation of Anatolia reaching over 5000 m in height. Tendürek is a double-peaked shield volcano, which produced a voluminous amount of basalt lava as extensive pahoehoe, and aa flows. It has an ill-defined semi-caldera. Suphan is an isolated stratovolcano, capped by silicic dome. It represents the second highest topographic elevation in Anatolia, with a height of over 4000 m. A cluster of subsidiary cones and small domes surrounds the volcano. Nemrut is the largest member of a group of volcanoes, which trend north?south. It is a stratovolcano, having a well-defined collapse caldera and a caldera lake. Various volcanic ejecta have been extruded from these volcanic centres over the last 1 to 2 million years. The Quaternary volcanic centres, although temporally and spatially closely associated, display a wide range of lavas from basalt to rhyolite. The volcanoes have diverse compositional trends; Ararat is distinctly subalkaline, Suphan is mildly subalkaline, Nemrut is mildly alkaline and Tendürek is strongly alkaline. The major and trace element compositions together with the isotope ratios indicate that their magmas were generated from a heterogeneous mantle source. Each of the volcanic centres has undergone a partly different magmatic evolution.

  125. #125 umkomasia
    December 29, 2009

    The original wording of the article indicated that they were to climb the twin peaks of Ararat. Any wood found will probably be from the bridge.

  126. #126 black-wolf72
    December 29, 2009

    John Morales,
    black-wolf72,

    You’ve been fooled.

    Nope, it’s current: Report on the Ark Search LLC Expedition to Mt. Ararat July-August 2009.

    You are correct, I retract my claim. Thanks. Somehow I had the old article open.

  127. #127 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 29, 2009

    Posted by: petitlait| December 29, 2009

    I think that this might actually do the world some good. There is so much rubbish being circulated about Noah’s ark and Mount Ararat, and this might go a long way to setting the record straight.

    You are gravely underestimating the abilities of people pulling the wool over their own eyes.

  128. #128 black-wolf72
    December 29, 2009

    Josh #124,
    there you science people go again with your millions of years and your big words. You’re not fooling anyone, and you’re laughable in your feeble attempts to push Jesus out of the world. You might have been successful with your heart, but your denying your conscious. You’ll understand when it’s too late, and this makes me very sad. All your arrogance and your “knowledge” wont help you to cool your very hot feet then! I’ll pray that you see the Light and repent. Maybe you have enough time left to study at a real university away from that liberal indoctrination you fell for.

    [/creotard]

  129. #129 Strangest brew
    December 29, 2009

    #123

    ‘There is so much rubbish being circulated about Noah’s ark and Mount Ararat, and this might go a long way to setting the record straight.’

    That was my first thought.
    But it would never be allowed to be an abject failure that in its way supported the rational attitude to this fairy story.

    The flud and Noah ‘s canoe is a main fallacy the creo bots love to boast about, you can not possibly think an expedition launched by creationists for creationists about the main creationist element would ever contemplate blowing their own belief out of the flud water!

    It would not be ‘clever’…

    The betting is that outrageous lies prevarications and appeals for more ‘gift’ for further ‘research’ will be the result.

    They might indeed boast about finding wood or some such nonsense that they surmise is arc debris…of course independent analysis will not be possible and it will end up in Ham’s emporium to severe ignorance.

    They will not admit to failure to promote the flud ‘hypothesis’ certainly not to debunk it, They will endeavour to reinforce it, that is what it is about, that they will lie is a given, what about is yet to be revealed!

  130. #130 Josh
    December 29, 2009

    black-wolf72, that was great. Well done. All you needed was a couple more randomly capitalized words in there (like maybe heart and conscience).

    *claps*

  131. #131 CalGeorge
    December 29, 2009

    He’d have just as much luck searching for it in Lynchburg and he could go home for dinner.

    What a doofus.

  132. #132 Richard Eis
    December 29, 2009

    You are gravely underestimating the abilities of people pulling the wool over their own eyes.

    He he, thats sheep for you. Always able to supply their own wool.

  133. #133 SteveM
    December 29, 2009

    Headline:

    Excursion continues to find Noah?s Ark in Turkey

    When did “continues to find” mean the same thing as “continues to search for”?

    consider it this way:
    “Excursion continues, to find Noah?s Ark in Turkey”

    Just an ambiguous construction for, “Excursion to find Noah’s ark in Turkey continues.”

  134. #134 neon-elf.myopenid.com
    December 30, 2009

    Excursion continues to find Noah?s Ark in Turkey

    How did they fit that big boat up that little bird?

    And what’s wrong with regular stuffing, anyway?

  135. #136 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncaaGEF8-j_E4J1QomVScKQlNcQJECp50
    December 30, 2009

    #7: The CIA documents are entertaining, but they don’t so much indicate *CIA* interest in Noah’s Ark, they indicate interest by various creationists in pursuing the urban legend of Noah’s Ark satellite images in the possession of the CIA. There are requests from creationist Walter Brown from 1974, when he was at the U.S. Air Force Academy, from John Morris of the ICR, from creationist astronaut and Noah’s Ark hunter James Irwin, from Sen. Barry Goldwater, from the producers of “The Secret of Noah’s Ark,” and so forth.

    Most interesting is the 23 Jan 1995 memo about a phone call from Jim Hanford of Sen. Lugar’s staff, which says in part “[Hanford] noted that he had accompanied Senator Lugar to a White House meeting during the Bush tenure at which Bob Gates (then at the NSC) had shown one of the old images of the Mt. Ararat area. Mr. Hanford said that imagery showed something sticking out from the ice and snow–but that it could have been almost anything.” Interesting because Gates is our current Sec. of Defense. Nice to know he’s a Noah’s Ark promoter.

    There are multiple formations on the mountain that have been incorrectly identified as Noah’s Ark. I discuss some of them in the article I wrote for _Skeptic_ magazine back in 1993 (including alleged CIA U2 spy plane photos in footnote 19):

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ark-hoax/jammal.html

  136. #137 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncaaGEF8-j_E4J1QomVScKQlNcQJECp50
    December 30, 2009

    Last comment is from Jim Lippard–can’t say I like how the Google account login works here…

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