So you remember that “round ark” story from a few weeks ago, right? Brian Thomas has finally gotten around to poo-pooing it with an article called “Cuneiform Reed-Ark Story Doesn’t Float.” He begins:
News emerged in 2010 that Irving Finkel, a cuneiform expert at the British Museum, had translated an ancient tablet describing Noah’s Ark as round and built of reeds. Now, Finkel is publishing a book on the find, and news reports again assert the tired tale that the Bible’s authors borrowed a Babylonian flood tale like the one on this tablet and modified it into their “story” of Noah. Babylonian or biblical, round or rectangular—which Ark story stays afloat?
A new That’s a Fact video, Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark, jumped today to the head of the short queue of episodes that I have yet to present to you. This is a topic we’ve seen many times before (e.g. two days ago), but it’s always fun:
As you’ve probably heard, Ken Ham’s Creation Museum has recently acquired it’s very own Allosaurus skeleton. Ham boasts that it “is believed to have one of the four best-preserved Allosaurus skulls ever discovered.” He elaborates:
The new allosaur, as today’s news release states, “probably stood 10-feet high and 30-feet long. It stands out for a few reasons. It was found with its bones arranged in their correct anatomical positions relative to each other rather than in a scattered assortment of bones as is often the case. Also, much of the spine and 97% of the skull were found. Lastly, the skull is much larger than the famous ‘Big Al’ dinosaur at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana.”
“What if Noah got it wrong?” is a question recently posed in a ScienceDaily article. “What if he paired a male and a female animal thinking they were the same species, and then discovered they were not the same and could not produce offspring?”
These were probably not intended to be serious questions. But if Genesis provides real history, maybe they should be.
The ScienceDaily article – Genetic Matchmaking Saves Endangered Frogs – is about a frog breeding project that is using “DNA barcodes” to ensure that they don’t try to breed similar-looking frogs that are of different species. Andrew J. Crawford is quoted in that press release as saying:
If we accidentally choose frogs to breed that are not the same species, we may be unsuccessful or unknowingly create hybrid animals that are maladapted to their parents’ native environment.
The journal paper the release relates to can be found here (pdf), but is not actually particularly relevant to the subject Thomas wishes to talk about. Continue reading →
The first edition of Acts & Facts for 2013 has been noticeably redesigned from last year. Aside from various cosmetic changes there is now a dedicated contents page, a new series of articles, and some of the usual sections have been rearranged. For its part the A&F page on the ICR’s website now has pictures, linking to some of the articles which are similarly highlighted in the magazine itself. Because I have been going through these articles for the last five days this recap is mostly for future archaeologists, but there are still a few things I missed. Continue reading →
As part of the December edition of the ICR’s Acts & Facts magazine I looked at an article by John Morris attempting to defend the feasibility of constructing the Ark by arguing that Noah and his sons would have had time to move the required volume of lumber. This is, however, hardly the most problematic aspect of the story, and so for the just-posted January edition Morris has written The Survival of Noah’s Ark, which is an attempt to defend the boat’s ability to float in the conditions.
Skeptics raise a serious objection to the Flood account given in Scripture: How could Noah’s Ark and its precious cargo survive the turmoil of the Flood? Wouldn’t it have sunk beneath the waves, sending its cargo to a watery grave?
Some very important questions there. Having read Morris’ defence, I would have to say that the answers are still “it couldn’t” and “it would have” respectively. Continue reading →
John D. Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research, has a new book – called The Global Flood. I’m not entirely sure to what extent this book is supposed to be a successor to Whitcomb and (Henry) Morris’ 1961 tome with a similar name (The Genesis Flood), but I don’t get the impression that this was the intent. That’s not important, however. More relevant is that John Morris’ usual Acts & Facts column has been replaced this month by an excerpt “adapted” from the book, entitled An ‘Impossible’ Task?
Forced to pick the most implausible part of the Flood story, it is easiest to talk about the ark itself. The ark is supposed to have been a very large, wooden ship that was supposed to hold a very large amount of animals for about a year in what had to have been, factoring in your favourite hypothesis for how the flood itself worked, some extremely rough seas. For their part young Earth creationists have done their best to try to justify aspects of the account – whole books have been written about the topic. The excerpt here is one example, and if it’s in any way representative of other attempts then the YECs are in a bad way indeed:
By any estimation, the building of Noah’s Ark was a monumental task. Assuming an 18″ cubit, the Ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Could Noah and his sons have accomplished it? By making reasonable assumptions, we can perhaps determine whether the task was too great.
Morris’ “reasonable assumptions” are, of course, of the “just make up a number and call it a conservative estimate” school of educated guesswork. Continue reading →
Bible critics have long discounted the biblical narrative of Noah’s Flood as an adaptation of flood myths from the surrounding area of Mesopotamia. One such flood myth is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which has many similarities to the biblical account of the Flood. But just how well do the two stories compare, and which one is more feasible?
Young Earth creationists have a complicated relationship with flood stories from other cultures. On the one hand, they are used as evidence that the Flood was global etc etc. But on the other hand they also defend their claim that theirs has the correct depiction of events by rubbishing the feasibility of the other accounts. For example in November of last year John Morris said of the Gilgamesh flood story:
It is so full of fanciful and unbelievable details that probably no one ever considered it true.
The new That’s a Fact video for this week, Land Ho!, consists of a jab against those silly, silly people who believe that the biblical flood was somehow ‘local.’ I don’t think I’ve ever met such a person myself, with most non-creationists I know not really believing in a literal flood at all, but young Earth creationists do seem to devote a fair bit of their energies to attacking them as a perceived threat.
Land Ho! Getting ready to book that flight? Despite the no-frills travel these days, millions continue to fly each year.
Jab it might be, but this video takes an awfully long time to get to it, dealing mostly with irrelevancies. Continue reading →