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We can expect to find Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (We can expect to find Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CH501:

We can expect to find Noah's ark on Mount Ararat.

Source: LaHaye, Tim and John Morris, 1976. The Ark on Ararat, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc. and Creation Life Publishers


CreationWiki response:

A better way of stating this claim would be "If Noah's Ark is to be found it would most likely be on Mt. Ararat." This is because, of all the prominent sites, Mt. Ararat is the only one with an environment that would protect it from decay and relic hunters. (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Mount Ararat (known locally as Agri Dagi) is very likely the wrong place to look. Genesis says only that the Ark landed on the mountains of Ararat, where Ararat is not a single mountain but a region (2 Kings 19:37, Isa. 37:38, Jer. 51:27). That region, known in Assyrian records as Urartu, is roughly bounded on the west by the Euphrates River, on the south by the western Taurus Mountains (northern Iraq), somewhat east of Lake Urmia, and north to include the plain of the Araxes River. "The mountains of Ararat" implies not a single peak, but a mountainous region within this area, such as the Qardu region (northern Kurdistan) west of Lake Urmia. Early reports of the ark place it on several different mountains, including some in the Qardu region. Mount Ararat is not mentioned as a landing site until the eleventh or twelfth century.

Most creationists recognize all of this. That is why not finding the Ark would not be a problem, but finding it would be the greatest creationist find possible.

2. No wooden structure, including the ark, should be expected to survive intact after 4,500 years. The weather on Ararat is harsh and changeable; it would have destroyed the ark if it were exposed. Some people claim that the ark could have survived in a glacier, protected by the covering ice, but this also is unlikely. First, the ice would have crushed the ark. Second, glaciers flow, carrying along whatever is inside them. Different parts often flow at different rates, which would deform the ark. And the ark started on the ground, so it would have been eroded as the glacier dragged it over the rocks.

No one said that if the Ark is on Mt. Ararat that it would be completely intact. It would probably have been damaged and the reports support this. Some even imply that it has broken in two. The door of the Ark was probably left open, allowing it to be filled with snow as the glacier formed, preventing collapse—and the ice could have lifted it off the ground sufficiently to prevent serious erosion. It is true that only on Mt. Ararat would the Ark have likely remained sufficiently intact for 4,500+ years to be found.

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