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Scholarly Squad Debunks Biblical 'Discoveries'

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posted on May, 2 2010 @ 05:10 PM
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(May 2) -- When Robert Cargill got word this week that a group of Chinese evangelicals had uncovered Noah's Ark atop a Turkish mountain, the archaeologist's reaction was a familiar one.

"I thought, here we go again -- another fake 'ark-eologist,' " says Cargill, an adjunct assistant professor of Near Eastern languages and cultures at UCLA.

His skepticism may prove well founded: A former member of the joint team from Noah's Ark Ministries International and Media Evangelism Ltd. that announced the find has circulated an e-mail suggesting that the discovery might have been staged. And if that's the case, it would be just the latest in a series of hoaxes surrounding the much-searched-for vessel.

Indeed, it was word of two previous ark expeditions that helped prompt the American Schools of Oriental Research, the leading professional organization of American Middle Eastern archaeologists, to take action.

Fed up with the exposure these types of stories were getting in the media, the group last year launched a committee tasked with taking aim at archaeological frauds.

"We really just decided that it was time to take back our field," says Eric Cline, a George Washington University archaeologist. He and Cargill co-chair the committee, whose membership also includes the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society of Biblical Literature.

'A Spade in One Hand and a Bible in the Other'

In the past, biblical scholars and archaeologists rolled their eyes when claims of a blockbuster find emerged, preferring to keep quiet rather than dignify them with a response. But scholars now worry that their silence has allowed such claims to breed, damaging the whole field's credibility.

"We said, 'We have got to find a way to respond to these amateurs,' " Cargill says. "We can have a coordinated response on behalf of the academy and say, 'No that's not true, and here's why.' And we do it in the public media and not some obscure journal that nobody reads."

Now, whenever a suspect archaeological discovery hits the headlines, the committee and its associated scholars churn into action -- reaching out to journalists, writing blog posts, sending out Twitter and Facebook alerts, and dispatching op-eds to newspapers and magazines.

Last year, the committee geared up when media began reporting that a German archaeologist was claiming a link between the site of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey and the Garden of Eden. Members blogged about the claim, with one calling it "unnecessary and unscientific." Later the group held a conference titled "Archaeology, Politics and the Media" at Duke University, with sessions including "Scholars Behaving Badly: Sensationalism and Archaeology in the Media" and "The Lure of Proof and the Legacy of Biblical Archaeology: Scholars and the Media."

Then Cargill went after a former Oklahoma arson investigator's claim to have "broken the code" on an ancient copper Dead Sea Scroll that purports to be a list of buried treasure.

And he minced no words this week when he tore into the new ark claims on his blog. Cline, for his part, got himself on "Good Morning America" and Fox News and was quoted in Time.

The latest Noah's Ark report highlights a larger issue that has faced the field of Near Eastern archaeology since its early days.

The problem, scholars say, emerges when religious believers -- largely evangelical Christians, but some from other faiths as well -- head out into the field seeking physical proof for articles of faith. "A spade in one hand and a Bible in the other" is a common sobriquet for their efforts.

While there's nothing to prevent well-trained believers from being good archaeologists, Cline says it becomes a problem when "amateur enthusiasts" organize expeditions to hunt for specific biblical artifacts.

"When you call yourself Noah's Ark Ministries and you go out looking for the ark and you find it -- boy what a coincidence," says Cline, author of "From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible." "If we [scholars] find something, we will evaluate it on its own merits rather than jumping to the conclusion that we found what we're looking for. But the evangelicals or fundamentalists of whatever faith don't have that training and cannot separate the science from the faith.

"It's not that we professional archaeologists are more elitist or better than they are," Cline adds. "But we're trained to separate our beliefs from our science."

'Publishing by Press Conference'

But Randall Price isn't so sure.

The former ark-hunting team member who has now cast doubt on the recent find, Price says that in a scientific age, faith often is not taken seriously -- and objects like Noah's Ark, which are associated with supernatural events, are therefore labeled as myths. Scholars who accept the historicity of the Bible, he says, see it as the historical documentation of biblical events and artifacts, and view archaeology as a means to demonstrate the plausibility of biblical accounts.

"If the Bible is real history, it can be confirmed by real discoveries of the past," says Price, who directs the Center for Judaic Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. "For this reason, it is both acceptable, and desirable, that archaeology and other means of the scientific investigation be employed as handmaids to biblical faith."

There's a well-established history of faithful seekers flocking to sites where famous relics are thought to be buried.

"There are certain biblical artifacts -- like the Ark of the Covenant and the Ark of Noah -- that just seem to bring out a lot of amateur searchers," says Bill Crouse, president of Christian Information Ministries, who has spent years searching for Noah's Ark. "My concern is that well-meaning Christians jump the gun, and this thing becomes viral on the Internet. A lot of Christians are confused because they thought the ark was found two years ago, or two years before that."

[CONTINUED]




posted on May, 2 2010 @ 05:10 PM
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Scholars acknowledge that amateurs can make important discoveries: a Bedouin goat-herd found the original Dead Sea Scrolls cache while searching a cave for a missing member of his flock. The problem, they say, arises when these amateurs try to interpret what they find instead of passing it along to scholars for investigation and publication in scholarly journals.

When they "publish by press conference," Cargill says, the ark hunters betray their real motive: cash. "Noah's Ark quests are always about the money -- always," he argues. "This group was put together to do one thing and one thing only: make money and spread ideology by pimping both archaeology and religion."

He points out that one member of the recent expedition, Yeung Wing-Cheung, has directed a documentary about the hunt for the ark and is selling the DVD online. The Media Evangelism Ltd., meanwhile, operates a Noah's Ark theme park that needs to sell tickets.

All this, Cline says, makes the lives of real scholars more challenging. "The gullible believers and evangelicals, along with other faiths, throw money at these expeditions not knowing whether they're going to produce anything," he says. "Every year we have to scrounge for money to run a real excavation that may shed some real light."

In any event, Cargill says, if Noah's Ark existed, it would have been taken apart years ago for its wood -- which long since would have decomposed. "It's just one big scam. The ancients were great recyclers," he says.

"In my opinion, there is no Noah's Ark. And if there is, it's not there anymore."

www.aolnews.com...



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 05:13 PM
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As I said before, anything dealing with Religion falls into a gullible category because so many people want proof to back their religion up to say "see, I told you so!" - So people will jump at the chance when they see stories like these and justify them as being true.

When fact is, IMO we'll never find anything like the Ark, Holy Grail etc. Its just too good to be true.

[edit on 2-5-2010 by -Blackout-]



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 05:24 PM
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Good post, the problem with this group is they're trying to affirm their religion with "proof". As soon as I read "evangelical" in their group title I thought "oh boy, here we go".



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 05:31 PM
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reply to post by -Blackout-
 


I cannot agree more. I am over the "science" of people finding exactly what they are looking for right away. It just doesn't seem to work that way with any other field of archaeology. Take a paleontologist. They don't just go and look for a tyrannosaur and find one. Often they look for a tyrannosaur and find a rare plant fossil, or a bird or even nothing. It would be much more believable if this were the case. If they went looking for ancient stone ruins and stumbled onto Noah's Ark it might have some credence. It is all such a shame really, with what that kind of research money could help discover in that field. Even in biblical archaeology. The art itself does have merit at least to help discover better what life was like at the time, but has sadly become duplicit in the bigger con.

Great write up cheers._javascript:icon('
')



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 06:17 PM
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Well for a Topic titled Scholarly Squad Debunks Biblical 'Discoveries' it sure falls short of the mark.

I had expected some evidence to suggest some Biblical Discoveries of one type or another where false, but all that is offered is hearsay and dismissive remarks based on just perspective alone.

It is always nice to have opinion, and it is always nice to offer it as such, but nothing presented within the Post offers anything other than supposition and actually could be deemed as slander, debasing one's charater solely based upon speculation of someones intent.

It is also nice to see the sheep baaaaing in with their uniformed voices of conformity praising the efforts of narrow minded scholars who seem to be presenting themselves as Judge, Juror and Information Minister on all things.

It's just funny how Orwell had things figured out. Thought control enmasse.

Ciao

Shane

P.S. Hey Pablos

Did you ever hear of Heinrich Schliemann? Went out and found exactly what he was looking for. Didn't he? The location inwhich the City of Troy would be located. I suspect he may even have found Troy itself, although their is valid debate with evidence to support it that he only found it's location. Nonetheless, he did find exactly what he was looking for.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 07:22 PM
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S&F

This is an excellent post.People have been searching for proof of these fanciful stories for a long time.Hopefully one day people wake up.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 07:40 PM
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They knew where to look because 1. the source material names the location, 2. locals have known about the location's existence for countless generations, 3. other expeditions have journeyed to the location in the past.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 07:41 PM
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What can I say?

Desperate people sink to desperate measures - religion is on the ropes, and being beaten senseless. Logic, and empiricism will ALWAYS wail on blind conviction - and I will love every minute of it.

Parallex.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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How about instead of viewing the find as an actual Noah's Ark (and thus lead to the obvious science-religion based dialectic of interpretations) why can we not see this (if true) of validation not so much of the bible's story (and thus beliefs) but the validation of ancient texts detailing such events?

I mean what if the various texts, legends, and myths are trying to tell us something about our history? This find could very well confirm such "stories" or "hogwash". It just doesn't seem logical to be forces to interpret it under a science vs. religion context, and it would seem wise to be open to other interpretations.....



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Shane
Well for a Topic titled Scholarly Squad Debunks Biblical 'Discoveries' it sure falls short of the mark.

I had expected some evidence to suggest some Biblical Discoveries of one type or another where false, but all that is offered is hearsay and dismissive remarks based on just perspective alone.

It is always nice to have opinion, and it is always nice to offer it as such, but nothing presented within the Post offers anything other than supposition and actually could be deemed as slander, debasing one's charater solely based upon speculation of someones intent.

It is also nice to see the sheep baaaaing in with their uniformed voices of conformity praising the efforts of narrow minded scholars who seem to be presenting themselves as Judge, Juror and Information Minister on all things.

It's just funny how Orwell had things figured out. Thought control enmasse.

Ciao

Shane

P.S. Hey Pablos

Did you ever hear of Heinrich Schliemann? Went out and found exactly what he was looking for. Didn't he? The location inwhich the City of Troy would be located. I suspect he may even have found Troy itself, although their is valid debate with evidence to support it that he only found it's location. Nonetheless, he did find exactly what he was looking for.





LOL. That is point blank true. What some people consider mainstream science is losing their grip on the masses and it is scaring the hell out of them. There are to many unexplained archeological discoveries that are put into the realm of religious area's to explain it away. Truth be told it has mostly been the rogues of science who has provided the greatest evidence to our reality.

Here are a few quotes on science.




There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. ~Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, 1883





Science does not know its debt to imagination. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson






Scientists should always state the opinions upon which their facts are based. ~Author Unknown





The radical novelty of modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief, which is at the heart of all popular religion, that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart. ~Walter Lippmann





Facts are not science - as the dictionary is not literature. ~Martin H. Fischer





I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups rather than to make men happy. ~Bertrand Russell, Icarus, or the Future of Science, 1925





In comparing religious belief to science, I try to remember that science is belief also. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:08 PM
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I was brought up in a fundie church and bought the whole package. Then I got conned by a 'Christian' and in my fight for justice I discovered that Christianity is just a con for controlling people and getting their money.

www.swindledforjesus.com... - my story.

I was raised on the threat of hellfire but don't give it a second thought anymore. When you do some honest research you can see for yourself.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:12 PM
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Evidence is over rated .



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by Parallex
What can I say?

Desperate people sink to desperate measures - religion is on the ropes, and being beaten senseless. Logic, and empiricism will ALWAYS wail on blind conviction - and I will love every minute of it.

Parallex.


Lol.. The greater our intellect becomes, the more we will head to the point of singularity. Or we will just die. There is the problem. You think it is science vs religion. There is no battle. Only men who disagree. You have put those men in a boxing ring while you stand up and cheer for your hero.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by AndersonLee
Evidence is over rated .


Evidence of what? I have not seen any evidence that the Ark was found.

We'll never find it. Only gullible religious fanatics will believe in stuff like this.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by Conclusion
It is also nice to see the sheep baaaaing in with their uniformed voices of conformity praising the efforts of narrow minded scholars who seem to be presenting themselves as Judge, Juror and Information Minister on all things.



Science does not know its debt to imagination. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


My, my...a group of philosophers disparaging the veracity of science. And some actually come out of the last century!

Emerson...what else does he have to say?

Emerson discounted Biblical miracles and proclaimed that, while Jesus was a great man, he was not God: historical Christianity, he said, had turned Jesus into a "demigod, as the Orientals or the Greeks would describe Osiris or Apollo" en.wikipedia.org...


So, when these free thinkers also call down the tenets of Christianity...are they still quotable?



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:39 PM
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Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how many arks have been found in say the last 50 years?
It seems Noah was not a Captain but an Admiral!



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by -Blackout-

Originally posted by AndersonLee
Evidence is over rated .


Evidence of what? I have not seen any evidence that the Ark was found.

We'll never find it. Only gullible religious fanatics will believe in stuff like this.


And only people who don't want to believe the Ark is real will not believe even if it was found. You can't find what you don't want to see.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by novastrike81

Originally posted by -Blackout-

Originally posted by AndersonLee
Evidence is over rated .


Evidence of what? I have not seen any evidence that the Ark was found.

We'll never find it. Only gullible religious fanatics will believe in stuff like this.


And only people who don't want to believe the Ark is real will not believe even if it was found. You can't find what you don't want to see.


Funny since I do not want to believe in cancer but...

Well, you can see where I am going with that.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by g146541
 


If this find turns out to be a "boat" or fits the description of the "ark"...then the significance is that it was found on Mt. Ararat, the location, as it is claimed by the Torah, that the "ark" came to rest.

Doesn't matter what anyone believes. Whatever it is, it's ancient and by virtue of it's location, it's significant.





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