Holy Crap!! was my reaction in February when I read that one of the world's leading marine archaeologists, Robert Prescott of St Andrews University, was "quietly confident" that he and his team had found Charles Darwin's ship, HMS Beagle buried in the Essex marshes.
Holy Crap (without the exclamation marks) was also my reaction yesterday [30-Apr-2004] when I read that Christian activist, Daniel McGivern, is "98 percent sure" that he and his team have found Noah's Ark buried in the snows of Mount Ararat.
It may well be true that there are none so blind as those who will not see, but it is surely equally true that there are none so eagle-eyed as those who are absolutely determined to see: "In one [satellite] image we saw the beams, saw the wood," said Mr McGivern.
As a rule, I have avoided (well, pretty much avoided) poking fun at religious fundamentalists on this website. I have asked them to leave me alone, and I try to return the favour. It's not that I don't find it fun pointing out how mental these fundamentalists are, you understand, it's just that it's far too easy, life is too short, and I have better things to do with my time.
But the discovery of Noah's Ark, if it were true, would be an event of such profound significance to the way we see the world that some comment is surely in order.
So here goes:
Mr McGivern, I'm sure you're not a betting man, but I'm equally sure that you wouldn't object to some juicy, anti-Darwinist propaganda. So I'll make you a deal:
If this thing you have spotted on your satellite photograph turns out to be a large section of an ancient ship, I am prepared to travel down to Kent, meet you in the village of Downe, and allow you to photograph me as I bare my peach-like arse in Charles Darwin's study window.
If, on the other hand, this thing turns out not to be a large section of an ancient ship, you must allow me to photograph you baring your arse in the church of my choice.
Mr McGivern, you claim that you are 98% sure that this thing is Noah's Ark. That means I'm offering you odds of 49:1!
Who says Darwinists and Creationists can't engage in serious debate? (Apart from me, I mean.)
- On 03-Sep-04, the Honolulu Star Bulletin reported that McGivern had been denied access to Mount Ararat by the Turkish government, who cited security concerns. It looks as if my peach-like posterior will remain covered.
- See also: Noah's Ark Quest Dead in Water—Was It a Stunt?
This article was published on 1st May, 2004.
My peach-like arse remains resolutely covered.