September 23, 2004

Noah's Ark Expedition: Publicity moreso than Arcaeology

Compiled by Ted Olsen of ChristianityToday on Sept. 22 2004:

National Geographic: Ark expedition was probably about publicity, not archaeology

Daniel McGivern's $900,000 effort to investigate a Mount Ararat structure he's "90 percent sure" is Noah's Ark never happened, National Geographic News reports. But the news service says McGivern may have known that the Turkish government wouldn't allow them to climb the mountain due to security restrictions. "McGivern may have been more interested in generating publicity than mounting a serious search, critics now suggest," writes Stefan Lovgren. "By making an early announcement, he may have tried to persuade the Turkish government into granting him a permit. Few expeditions have actually obtained clearance to climb Mount Ararat, which is located in a military zone. The choice of expedition leader—a Turkish academic named Ahmet Ali Arslan, who claims to have climbed Mount Ararat 50 times in 40 years—also raised a red flag with those familiar with previous expeditions."

Sources told Christianity Today earlier this year that Arslan would be a boon to the expedition and would help the team get the necessary permits.

"The government of Turkey did not issue a research visa, which is sad, but it's their country," McGivern told the conservative news site WorldNetDaily for an August article. "We haven't totally given up, but it's pretty obvious they're not going to give us one."

But earlier this month, McGivern told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that he has given up and won't try to put another expedition together. "This was the year," he said. "I don't have Ark fever like many who go year after year. … A good businessman calculates what amount of money and time he will invest and has to know when to walk away. Of course, Noah's Ark is totally different, way beyond business for me. Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe in it. It will confirm the faith of millions … and many will be brought to faith. It will change how scientists look at the world."

To me, McGivern's motivation, perhaps being the confirmation of or bringing to faith of millions of people the world over, is terribly misguided. It seems McGivern misunderstands the true meaning of faith.

Do we need to ever unearth the ruins of Noah's ark (if they even still exist) to justify our Christian faith to the world?

Absolutely not.

We do not need signs or physical evidence of any sort to prove the legitmacy of the Lord's sovereignty... Those who place their faith in the Lord, already have all the evidence they need in life--His creation as is...and the acknowledgement of the everyday effects of His grace in our lives.

By the way, there are quite a few scientists of faith out there who do not require the discovery of an ancient vessel.

Posted by Kyer at September 23, 2004 01:45 AM