You can almost imagine the buzz and murmurs that came from a recent news conference proclaiming the discovery of Noah’s Ark. The Noah’s Ark Ministries International” scientific expedition team declared with ninety-nine percent certainty that they have discovered Noah’s Ark on top of Mount Ararat in Turkey. This team of explorers have been searching since 2003 for the famed animal-transport vessel mentioned in the Bible. The alleged discovery has already created a buzz of speculation and opinion in secular and spiritual communities alike. Could it really be Noah’s Ark? The narrative of this cataclysmic event is found in chapters 6-9 of Genesis:
Because of mankind’s wickedness, God sent the judgment of a great flood to destroy the earth and its evil inhabitants. God instructed Noah, the only righteous man in his generation, to build a large vessel to save his family and a pair of each of the world’s animals. God gave detailed instructions for the Ark and after completion, Noah gathered his animal cargo. God sent the Flood, which rose until all the mountains were covered, and most living things died. When the water subsided, Noah, his family, and the animals left the Ark, and God promised to never again send a flood to destroy the Earth.
This story creates such an incredible, unbelievable, and unimaginable narrative that many people have assumed that it is a parable, legend, or allegory that never actually transpired. Obviously, if this discovery of the ark is scientifically validated, it will certainly become worthy of front page news… or will it?
As a Christian, I have come to love and embrace archeology, ancient history, and scientific evidence. Over the past 30 years, archaeologists have uncovered a plethora of discoveries that validate and affirm the words of Scripture. These discoveries, however, will never stop scientists and cynics from attacking the Bible on its accuracy, authorship, or dates of origin. Despite these attacks, the Bible is still the world’s most translated and published book.
As I have read and listened to reports regarding this possible ‘Ark’ discovery, I realized that this topic will create opinions, dialogue, and interest…. at least for a short time. Many Christians will rush to this discovery as if it were the proof that the world needs to believe. Other Christians will inevitably advertise and sell ‘ark fragments’ for profit, while you can be certain that another group of Christians will attempt to build an amusement park around it. (I shudder to even think about it!)
That is why I would call your attention to the comments of two Christian scientists that were interviewed. Their statements were reserved, cautious, and spoken like the true scientists that they are.
Dr. Randal Price, an evangelical who who was on this expedition at one time stated,
“If the world wants to think this is a wonderful discovery, that’s fine. My problem is that, in the end, proper analysis may show this to be a hoax and negatively reflect how gullible Christians can be.”
Dr. John D. Morris, president for the “Institute for Creation Research” has been a consultant to the team since 2005, but declined an invitation to be a part of this week’s press conference in Hong Kong.
“I’m a scientist. I need to have good evidence,” says Dr. Morris. “As of right now, there is not. I think it would be highly unlikely that anybody could carry wood up. I can’t comprehend that. I don’t think there’s fraud involved. But that is a possibility. And only serious scientific work on-site can resolve that.”
Over the next several months you can almost guarantee that there will be claims of fraud and counter claims of naturalistic bias and fingers will point from both sides of this ‘alleged discovery’. Eventually we may know the truth about ‘Noah’s Ark’. In the meantime, I salute Dr. Price and Dr. Morris for their decision to follow where the discipline of science will lead in this investigation. This could take several more months or years to reach a well researched conclusion. My hope is that they would take the time they need to do the research publicly and professionally. Time is not an enemy… After all, the ark wasn’t built in a day! (Soon, however, we may just discover that it was built….after all!)