EN15: Is Noah’s Ark still on Ararat?

Every living room should have a couple of “coffee table” books lying around. I recommend two inexpensive, but visually appealing candidates:

1. Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Flood Fossils, by Vance Nelson, 2014.
2. Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Dire Dragons, by Vance Nelson, 2013.

Each book is chock full of spectacular photos and drawings, and can be skimmed or read in an hour or two . . . most of that time will be taken up in ogling the photos. If you have small (or larger) children, you will likely find them paging through these books repeatedly. I recall a large and expensive coffee table book from my youth that featured spectacular photos of Earth’s geology, flora, and fauna . . . all the while interleaving evolutionary fairy tales. No doubt but that book contributed to me embracing evolutionary nonsense as a youth, especially since I was not yet exposed to rational alternatives. In this present culture, your children are and will be continually inundated with atheistic mumbo jumbo. Do expose them to truth and explain the rationality of the Biblical worldview early and often.

artist rendering of Noah's ark in build phase

Flood Fossils begins with a substantial section detailing extra-Biblical descriptions and sightings of the ark. For example, Berosus, a Babylonian who lived about 300 years before Christ, wrote of people visiting the ark and making amulets from the hardened pitch. Abydenus, a Greek historian in about 200 B.C., recorded that people in what now is Armenia collected small pieces of wood from the ark.

More famously, Josephus in the 1st century A.D. wrote that the ark’s “remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day.” John Chrysostum in the late 4th century wrote, “Do not the mountains of Armenia testify to it, where the Ark rested? And are not the remains of the Ark preserved there to this very day for our admonition?”

Modern sightings of the ark are compelling. There are eyewitness accounts from people in the early 1900s who would make the difficult trek to Ararat in a “no snow” year, which occurred about once every twenty years. The ledge where the ark rests is hardly accessible at all, a situation exacerbated in the 20th century once the Communists established the Soviet Union, following the Bolshevik revolution in 1917.

Nelson details the Russian army expedition of 1916-1917, sent by the czar to find and document the existence of the ark, after an army pilot sighted it during reconnaissance. Many men died on that expedition, but photographs were taken and drawings were eventually made by people who had seen the photos. Interestingly, after the revolution, the Bolsheviks confiscated and destroyed the expedition’s records, and tracked down and murdered as many of the surviving members as they could find.

Accounts like this indicate that there is an intense spiritual warfare associated with the existence of the ark. The Devil knows that a modern ark discovery and exhibition would play severe havoc with the evolutionary worldview’s stranglehold on government, media, and education. So he will do everything possible to keep the ark hidden. My speculation is that God permits this for now. The Great Commission is not primarily about apologetics, although many Christians (including myself) would rejoice in the apoplexy that would result if the ark were fully revealed today.

Nelson goes on to describe accounts from a U.S. Army visit to the ark during World War II and U.S. Air Force reports in the 1980s. You’ll have to get the book for the details.

The rest of the book features a wonderful exhibition of fossils, with a sensible description of how fossils form. Fossils can form very quickly if the physical conditions are right, especially the chemical environment, pressure, and temperature. If the conditions are not right, fossils simply won’t form, no matter how many millions of years you might like to wait. Dead organisms routinely decay and fall apart, or are scavenged within hours or days.

Billions of fossils are found worldwide in sedimentary rock, which forms when particles or fragments of rock settle out of water that contains the right cementing chemicals, such as calcium carbonate or silicon dioxide. Nelson includes photos of “modern objects” including a spark plug, a dollar bill, coins, and many other objects that have been encased in rock when subjected to a mineral rich flow of water. Animal and plant fossils will form as minerals fill in the gaps within the biological structure and / or replace the organic material with the minerals themselves.

Tapeats Sandstone map

The global flood recorded in Genesis resulted in sedimentary rocks that cover much of the Earth’s surface, in some places one to two miles thick. One notable layer within these stacks of layers is the Tapeats Sandstone, featured in the Grand Canyon. It’s about 100 meters thick and extends far beyond what the tourists see in Arizona. In fact, the Tapeats Sandstone extends in one contiguous layer to cover much of the United States, from Arizona through the Midwest and into New York and beyond into Nova Scotia, and also north under the Rocky Mountains through British Columbia, Canada’s wilderness islands, and even into Greenland.

Evolutionists often try to “explain away” fossil rich sedimentary layers by trying to associate them with the flooding of a river delta. Well, river deltas don’t cover continental areas.

Large fossils, such as “polystrate trees,” make life hard for those who claim that sedimentary layers build up over millions of years. A dead tree trunk simply won’t hang around without rotting away for thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of years while sedimentary rock layers build up to encase it. Fossils are buried rapidly. “Polystrate” simply means “many strata” – many layers.

Polystrate tree fossil

Nelson’s compelling photos include not only vertically encased trunks, but also horizontally oriented trees, which show a significantly squashed cross section. Such squashing indicates that such a tree is buried quickly by hundreds of meters of sediment, and deforms before becoming mineralized. Therefore the thick sedimentary layers above the tree must have been deposited rapidly, in a matter of weeks or months, perhaps, consistent with the Genesis flood account. If the tree was mineralized before the thick layers formed above, it wouldn’t squash smoothly, leaving the growth rings intact, but would simply break apart. Rocks are not pliable.

Also dramatic are Nelson’s photos of bent strata. Throughout the world are found rock layers that appear to have been bent without cracking and breaking, indicating that the entire collection of layers was deposited quickly, and while still wet and pliable, was bent by a geologic shift, described so graphically in Psalm 104 as the rising of the mountains and the sinking of the valleys during the Genesis flood.

Ah . . . so much good material in this book! Get a copy.

Muav limestone - only wet strata can fold

In Dire Dragons, Nelson makes startling connections between historical accounts and descriptions of dragons and the obvious source of such stories . . . men and dinosaurs lived at the same time. Any Christian who reads Genesis Chapter 1 should not be surprised by this. Nelson does a worldwide survey of paintings and cave drawings of “dragons,” showing striking similarities with a variety of dinosaurs . . . specifically, modern reconstructions of what dinosaurs must have looked like based on fossil discoveries and modern advances in our understanding of biomechanics.

The book has a fascinating section on recent discoveries of soft tissue in dinosaur bones . . . including bones that “stink” because they are still rotting. Such bones cannot be millions of years old, of course. Nelson also documents Carbon 14 dating of specific dinosaur bones. Since the radioactive half-life of Carbon 14 is only 5730 years, it is impossible for even one atom of Carbon 14 to survive in a bone that has been dead for millions of years. Yet such bones display substantial Carbon 14 residue, indicating ages of just thousands of years. Thus the evolutionary time scale is baloney / kaput . . . a farce.

Your kids will get a kick out of medieval art depicting St. George slaying a dragon, which bears startling resemblance to the dinosaur Nothosaurus. Also, the African artifact showing a man riding atop a creature that looks a lot like an Ouranosaurus. And many others.

St. George and the Dragon

I do encourage you to get these books. Keep them on your coffee table. Bookmark a few pages, especially for that dinner guest who thinks that dinosaurs and fossils have something to say about evolution.

– drdave@truthreallymatters.com

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