This story appeared in the leftover links a few days ago but more has developed as the Creationists are busy trying to shore up their own big boat debacle.
A new set of ark instructions describes a coracle: a large, round vessel that is impossible to sink. It doesn’t sail, it just stays afloat. Neat.
A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia – modern-day Iraq – reveals striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah. It tells a similar story, complete with detailed instructions for building a giant round vessel known as a coracle – as well as the key instruction that animals should enter “two by two.”
The tablet went on display at the British Museum on Friday, and soon engineers will follow the ancient instructions to see whether the vessel could actually have sailed.
Elizabeth Stone, an expert on the antiquities of ancient Mesopotamia at New York’s Stony Brook University, said it made sense that ancient Mesopotamians would depict their mythological ark as round.
The tablet records a Mesopotamian god’s instructions for building a giant vessel – two-thirds the size of a soccer field in area – made of rope, reinforced with wooden ribs and coated in bitumen.[Irving] Finkel [a curator of Middle Eastern objects at the British Museum] said that on paper (or stone) the boat-building orders appear sound, but he doesn’t yet know whether it would have floated. A television documentary due to be broadcast later this year will follow attempts to build the ark according to the ancient manual.
Oh this won’t do for Ken Ham who has something to say about this (and shills for his own ark project JUST in case you think this puts the kyboshes on that!). He calls Finkel’s conclusion “assault on God’s Word”. He hints that this promotion of Finkel’s new book on the subject was nonsense because THE BIBLE IS THE REAL, it’s no rip-off from prior times.
Over the weekend, media outlets from around the world ran a story about a “recently deciphered” tablet that bears strong resemblance to the biblical account of Noah, the Ark, and the Flood. We have been asked by many people (especially those who visit the Fox News website) to respond to yet another Ark report attempting to undermine the historicity of the Genesis account.
Should this tablet “cause consternation among believers in the Biblical story” as the article suggests? Of course not—in fact, this is just another archaeological find that corroborates the biblical Flood account. It is only reasonable that people in cultures the world over—being descended from the eight people that got off the Ark—would recall various versions of the Flood in their cultural memory and traditions. Hundreds of flood stories have been found in cultures around the world. While many of these contain legendary embellishments, it is very obvious that many of them refer back to a real event described in Genesis, many of the details of which were passed down through the generations.
Ken has a belief in the Bible that will never go away. No amount of evidence will ever convince him. It’s irrational, that’s how religion works. So, you can’t fault Ham for his faith, he’s got that in spades.
Genesis is a story. If we take it literally, we run into scads of unsolvable problems right off the bat – including contradictions about the ark and it’s passengers. Besides the fact that it’s ridiculous and to believe in such a story is pretty much to take a simplified child’s view of biology and nature. Grow up, Ken, and give up childish things.
Finkel writes about the discovery himself here: Noah’s Ark: the facts behind the Flood – Telegraph.
More on Ham:
Tip: Multiple people