Talk:Noah's Ark/Archive 5.2

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Archive 5.1 Archive 5.2 Archive 5.3


What Year did Noahs Ark happen?

I ask because I am sure that Some thing else was happening in this world at the same time.

The Global Flood happened somewhere between 2300 and 2500 BC. Yes, something else was happening - vegetation was being compressed into future coal and oil deposits. rossnixon 02:40, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
The section "Biblical literalism and the Ark" gives a brief overview of the subject. As for what else might have been happening at a moment when the entire world was under 20 feet and more of water, one can only speculate - but I imagine it involved a lot of holding of breath. PiCo 03:05, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
It didn't. The historical event on which it was based happened about 2900 BC, when there was a catastrophic river flood at Shuruppak, Sumer. See Ziusudra. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:49, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
That would have been a different flood. You don't need an ark to save humans and animals from local floods - you just move to higher ground. rossnixon 01:56, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Is that so? We can tell that a local river flood happened c. 2900 BC, but apparently not a worldwide flood c. 2400 BC! Imagine that!
The details of what happened are unknown since by the time we have any documentary evidence a few hundred years later, a considerable amount of legendary material had already accumulated around the historical event. My own experience with sudden floods convinces me that one does not necessarily have time to get to higher ground; a nearby barge may have been the only choice. Regardless, the flood at Shuruppak and the almost immediate rise of Kish afterward, both of which are archaeologically attested, correlate with the sequence presented in the myth and the traditional Sumerian King List. Every other flood myth recorded in the Fertile Crescent is for all intents and purposes identical to the story of Ziusudra as we first see it. TCC (talk) (contribs) 02:19, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Couldn't resist adding this link PiCo 05:55, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

The time the flood supposedly occured ancient Egypt was doing quite well and there was a lot of activity in Mesopotamia, as well as in China. It "should have" happened during recorded history, but is conspiciously absent from all written records from the time period. Titanium Dragon 04:09, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Deleting intro to Other flood stories/Mesopotamian flood myths

I deleted the intro to this section - anyone interested in seeing it can look it up in the history section - because in my view it took up too much space (this is already a very long article) and said too little. The relevance of Mesopotamian flood myths to the Noah's Ark story is contained in the remaining section. Comment welcome. PiCo 02:59, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any consensus or compelling reason to suppress this information, so I am restoring it. Til Eulenspiegel 03:29, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with PiCo. Reverting. Orangemarlin 06:13, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Reverted again. Til is still as disruptive as ever, I see. •Jim62sch• 12:09, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Ad hominem. Til Eulenspiegel 12:21, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
You reverted twice, on the basis that you didn't see consensus. That's disruptive. -- Ec5618 12:38, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
That's also not what ad hominem means. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:52, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Ad hominem means taking the argument away from the facts and "to the man", ie trying to argue about the person making the argument, a classic tactic common in politics of the last 15 years that is also logical fallacy. For example, making comments like "Til, you're living up to the meaning of your moniker..." as we saw earlier today, is an ad hominem. What does my "moniker" mean to you anyway? Was it the story of a simple man who exposed pretentiousness with his wit and made the haughty high and mighty self-styled "authorities" perpetually cringe? Or do you see it as having something to do with owls and mirrors? Either way, it's an ad hominem because it is irrelevant. Til Eulenspiegel 05:50, 27 May 2007 (UTC)


(Reducing indent). Here's the deleted intro to the "Other flood stories" section. Repeating what I said above, my reason for deleting was that it's very long and doesn't actually say much - not much of direct relevance to Noah's Ark, anyway. I'm not saying that any of it is untrue - flood myths are indeed widespread - but they aren't Noah's flood. The crunch for Til comes in the first sentence of the second para - "Biblical literalists point to these stories as evidence that the biblical deluge, and the Ark, represent real history" - this is true, but do we need all these words to make that point? PiCo 13:07, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Flood stories are widespread in world mythology, with examples available from practically every society. Noah's counterpart in Greek mythology was Deucalion; in Hindu texts, a terrible flood was supposed to have left only one survivor, a saint named Manu (reputed author of the Manu Smriti law code), who was saved by Vishnu in the form of a fish; and in the Zoroastrian Avesta the figure of Yima saves a remnant of mankind from destruction by ice in an "enclosure" (vara). Flood stories have been found also in the mythologies and religions of many preliterate peoples, from areas distant from Mesopotamia and the Eurasian continent; the Chippewa Indians' legend is but one example.[22]

Biblical literalists point to these stories as evidence that the biblical deluge, and the Ark, represent real history; ethnologists and mythologists suggest that legends such as the Chippewa have to be treated with great caution due to the possibility of syncretism from contact with Christianity (and the desire to shape traditional material to fit the newly adopted religion), as well as a common need to explain common natural disasters over which early societies had no control.[citation needed]

I am perfectly capable of speaking for myself, PiCo. Don't write things like "The crunch for Til comes blah blah blah" because you cannot read my mind. In fact, you are wrong. The part I particularly want to keep is the mention of the Avesta, Yima and Vara. This is fair to mention in the article as a parallel to the Flood story (Vara being a parallel to the Ark), it is easily referenced as such, and it is not fair to delete or suppress it. Please put it back. It isn;t there to prove anything or make any point, it is only there simply because it is entirely encyclopedic to trace these parallel developments that one would find in any book on the subject, and it's unencyclopedic to leave it out with no very good reason. Til Eulenspiegel 20:07, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
You don't get to draw those parallels yourself. That would be original research. You need to find a reliable source that does. But they don't sound all that similar to me anyway. (No boat or rescued animals in the Manu story, and the Zoroastrian story isn't about a flood.) TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:52, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not drawing any paralells myself, nor am I engaging in original research. Finding a source shouldn;t be too hard. As I said above already, if you were actually to do some research, practically any book on the subject of Noah's Ark you might pick up is going to pick up on the parallels with the Zoroastrian Yima and the Vara. And vice versa. Til Eulenspiegel 20:59, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
How about this book? If that's not enough there are lots more [1]

Til Eulenspiegel 21:10, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Have you read it? Do you know what it says? Can you reference a specific page?
Also, someone wrote an entire book on the Zoroastrian Yima? Must have been quite the best-seller. •Jim62sch• 21:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Did you notice, the "a sort of"? •Jim62sch• 21:14, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
And here it is in Britannica. [2] But I guess here, it's "original research", just because you don't like it. Til Eulenspiegel 21:14, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
From the Encyclopedia Britannica:
"Iranian religion also had a variant of the Noah's Ark myth. In this myth, Yama appears as the first herdsman and leader of humankind. After a long rule during which he has to enlarge the earth three times owing to overcrowding, Ahura Mazda tells him that a great winter is coming and advises him to prepare for it by building a gigantic three-story barnlike structure (vara) to hold pairs of animals and seeds of plants."

Til Eulenspiegel 21:16, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

By the way, when EB says "gigantic", it is understating. The dimensions of the Vara were said to be two miles to a side. Another interesting, encyclopedic tidbit you may want to consider adding. Til Eulenspiegel 21:50, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Now was that so hard? Please -- don't add unreferenced material to a featured article. It brings down the quality. Of course, a secondary source would be better than the Britannica, but the one you cited from Google Books is one of those Indo-centric weirdness that we're better off leaving out entirely. The overall thesis is that all modern monotheistic religions are based on the Vedas. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:26, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Some scholars do say the Vedas inspired the other religions, but that is of course much more contentious. But any source you can find that even mentions the Vara, is also going to mention the Ark. I admit I know nothing about the google book, I found it in one minute google search, so it may not be worthy, but for that one that isn;t, there are scores more that surely are. Til Eulenspiegel 21:33, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Wow, old Ganga gets 300+ hits on "Ganga Prasad"+religion. Whoo-hoo! •Jim62sch• 21:17, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I must be missing the part about the flood and the boat. •Jim62sch• 21:18, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
The overwhelming consensus of scholars who actually study such thungs as "Comparative religion" is that there are parallels between the Avestan Yima story, the Vedic Manu story, and the Biblical Noah story, regardless of whether there is an actual boat and a flood, or a "vara". If you can find a source disputing this connection, I would like to see it. There may be some disagreement over whether one of these stories directly inspired the others, and if so, in what order, but no scholars disputes the paralells between the Ark and the Vara AFAIK. Til Eulenspiegel 21:22, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Oops! I see you still don't get it. It's the other way around. We cite things we want to include, not things we want to leave out. If it's an overwhelming consensus that these stories are parallel is should be easy to reference. And from a mainstream source, not one on the fringes. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:26, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
You mean, not like the Encyclopedia Britannica? Til Eulenspiegel 21:28, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Britannica is acceptable, even if secondary sources are to be preferred. My point was just that we need something other than a sweeping assertion and a demand for contrary evidence. "You can't prove me wrong!" is insufficient for inclusion in the article. You have to prove yourself right. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:46, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Britannica is a tertiary source. A secondary source would be preferable. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:31, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Not sure who wrote that bit, but calling it a "variant of" is utter nonsense. Is causation proved (as in, Noah's ark was borrowed to create the other myth)? Are the parallels really all that close, or are they really tangents (like David v Goliath, and Odysseus v the Cyclops)? •Jim62sch• 21:33, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Okay, moral of the story, Jim62sch is the authority, and the Britannica is Original research. Amazing. Til Eulenspiegel 21:35, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
  • How about Professor Darmesteter, the scholar who translated the Zend Avesta (whom the other source was quoting)? [3] Til Eulenspiegel 21:40, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Did Darmesteter make the correlation in a published work? KillerChihuahua?!? 21:52, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Not that I'm taking sides here, but an online source is suddenly not good enough? This is an online version of a work published in 1880. In any event, this citation actually undermines Til's thesis. See this footnote [4] It seems the connection to the Hebrew Noah was made deliberately, even to the point of using the Hebrew word for "rain". This is therefore an a posteriori parallel, and isn't a good example of what this section is about. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:06, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Ah! I didn't see the footnote, thanks. Ok, we now have a comment in a footnote of a published work dating to 1880, correct? And the comment states the translator made the parallel and not the original work? KillerChihuahua?!? 22:11, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
No, I think the footnote is from the original. It's the translator's saying that the Zoroastrian mythographer was trying to make that connection, and borrowed a Hebrew word for the purpose that was later misunderstood. Added: He was quoting a commentary there, but I can't tell if it was a traditional ancient commentary or not. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:16, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Please, stop saying these things like "undermines Til's thesis"... I have not actually made any kind of "thesis" here whatsoever, unless simply to point out that practically every scholar in the field who has ever had anything to say about the Vara, has made some kind of connection with the Ark - granted, some a stronger connection than others, but at a minimum, drawing similarities between the two. We should strictly leave our own "theses" out of it, and let the readers infer what they will, right? Til Eulenspiegel 00:17, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

(Reducing indent). Til is actually correct, there is an established scholarly link between the biblical Ark and the Zoroastrian myth. Not only the Ark, either: scholars see Iranian influence in the Genesis creation account, in the conceptualisation of angels and demons, (the Zoroastrian Ahriman is described as "the prototype of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic Satan), in the post-Exilic development of the idea of the messiah, and many other areas. The Jews seem to have come into contact with Iranian religion at the end of the Exile, through the Persians - thus just in time to be included in the composition of the first chapters of Genesis. If Til really feels this is important, I'd be willing to put a sentence in saying that the Noah's Ark story was influenced by the Zoroastrian myth. PiCo

Once again, that would be drawing too much of an original inference that is disputed and not supported by any of the refs we have dug up. Just suffice it to say that scholars have noticed similarities between Noah's Ark and Yima's Vara. Something like: "Scholars have pointed out similarities between the Ark story and an account in the Avesta where Yima constructs a Vara - a three level structure, two miles square - to protect mankind from an ice age". This is more neutral - remember, there are also the POVs that the Zoroastrian story was influenced by Noah, or that both were dervied from the Vedas, etc., rather than the other way around, so we don't have to take any of these POVs, just state that they have been connected. Til Eulenspiegel 03:11, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Except that the section under discussion is about parallels in other mythologies which are used by literalists to bolster their claim that the deluge was a historic event. If the Persian myth was deliberately connected with the Biblical one at some point, as that one source says, then this is less meaningful than might otherwise be the case. It seems to me there are better parallels that might be drawn with other mythologies. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:04, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Well we've got several different pictures of the Ark from several different sources. We've got those who say it was shaped like a cube, those who say it was shaped like a pyramid, etc., we've got all the various dimensions and floorplans, etc. Then we've got the description of the Vara, which is considered relevant to the Ark by those who publish books about Comparative Religion, other encyclopedias, etc. Note that I am not trying to argue that any one of these contradictory descriptions is "correct" or "incorrect", I merely find them all "encyclopedic" -- and the opposition to including this encyclopedic material, for the silliest pretexts, just seems to be a rabid knee-jerk assumption that I am using them to try to "convince" you of something, or building some kind of "thesis". You've got me all wrong, I just want to list them all, not synthesize them in any way, but what all this says about the way this article is edited isn't a very pretty picture, I'm afraid. Til Eulenspiegel 05:22, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Til, we have to have some mechanism for deciding what goes in and what doesn't, otherwise we end up with a book instead of an article. PiCo 05:55, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Disputing Neutrality

This article is not at all neutral and with one sided editors summarily deleting all cited, verified information that does not pass the litmus test of their agenda (they don't like it and wish it weren;t true, so they don;t want readers to access it) it is getting less and less neutral all the time. Til Eulenspiegel 12:18, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

You can go back into the archive and see that the POV debate has a long history. Until every knee bows and every tongue confesses the same thing, frankly there will remain arguments about POV. But they make interesting reading and reveal a lot...Katherin 05:40, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
The NPOV policy requires us to present EVERYTHING that is relevant to the topic, not only the things that support a certain POV. Til Eulenspiegel 12:19, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Please stop making grand claims, and try to make points regarding the text. Why should this be covered in the 'scientific and critical scholarship'-section? -- Ec5618 12:42, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Til, you sound a bit paranoid. There is no "agenda" here other than to maintain an FA article. And no, NPOV makes no such claim re "relevance" as relevance is a vague and often disputed concept.
For the rest, I agree with Ec -- explain why the material belongs in the 'scientific and critical scholarship' section. •Jim62sch• 12:58, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
The section proposed was POV: It listed any myth that had a flood willy-nilly, without making any effort to show how, say, a legend of being turned into a fish related to Noah's Ark. It was unreferenced, avoided mentioning any criticism of the idea, and so on. Adam Cuerden talk 14:25, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
The article is actually very POV towards the religious aspects of Noah's Ark. There is barely a reference to the undisputed facts that there was never a worldwide flood, that it's impossible for a ship that large to stay afloat, and that a few hundred animals stuffed on a boat wouldn't account for the diversity of species today. So, if anything, I'd throw an NPOV tag on it for being an unbalanced article to religious POV. However, we don't do that, but at least we're going to keep the religious aspects accurate and reference. Orangemarlin 16:48, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Orange, Your comments always make for a good read. Did you not notice the categories of “Abrahamic mythology” and “Mythological ships”? But since you asked Dr. Gillespie (and maybe Dr. Donbaz) for a denial of their involvement, then I actually have a special level of respect for you.
If you honestly had a desire to make it more scientific then by now you would have included the Ahora Covenant inscription published in National Geographic research and Exploration article from 1994 [5]. You would also have included in the article the only latitude and longitude location ever published in a notice of discovery about the Ark.[6] Since there has never been a worldwide flood, then you certainly would have recognized the value of including the only scientifically testable announcement of the Ark’s location. To disprove it would settle the score for generations to come, since there never has been a scientifically testable announcement of discovery before; How many years would it take for a new scientific opportunity to come along.. I mean since the hope is to make the article more scientific. Hugs. Katherin 06:36, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Since there is a content dispute, there needs to be a NPOV tag until all NPOV issues are resolved. Pretending there is no dispute because I do not "count" and only certain editors do, is arrogant, insulting, and at the centre of what this content dispute is about. Please do not unilaterally remove dipute tags again, I have every bit as much right here as anyone else. Til Eulenspiegel 19:54, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
No one is saying you don't "count". You have yet to provide anything but your assertion that these things are POV in any way. Other editors are attempting to discuss this with you. Please take the time to discuss this rationally. This is the encyclopedia anyone can edit; this is not the encyclopedia anyone can disrupt. Work in good faith with your fellow editors. I assure you, the world will not end tomorrow. We can afford to take our time to discuss this politely, rather than rushing into accusations and edit warring. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment: this is a Featured article, and as such, changes are more carefully considered, and consensus must be gained on the talk page prior to making them. If you make an edit and it is reverted, do not revert again, discuss on talk. Work with other editors to gain consensus. Be aware that edit warring against consensus is disruptive. Please ask me if you have any questions at all about this. KillerChihuahua?!? 20:03, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Question: wasn't the bit about the parallels in the "featured" version, and was consensus achieved prior to PiCo's removing it? Or does the above prescription only apply to certain editors here, while certain others are exempt? Til Eulenspiegel 00:20, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Provide a diff. Don't make unsubstantiated claims. Orangemarlin 04:38, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's no answer to my question, is it? Is the question too hard for you? Til Eulenspiegel 05:09, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
I will remind the Til Eulenspiegel to be aware of uncivil comments to other editors. Once again, you have made an accusation regarding PiCo's editing, but you have not substantiated it. I am not going to look for the edits, because I did not make the accusation. Please provide the diff. Orangemarlin 05:21, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually I was not even talking to you, but since you bothered to say please this time instead of issue me an imperative, I will tell you it was the edit in which PiCo suddenly removed the section without any agreement to do so whjatsoever, and this section was in there since long before this was ever a Featured Article. So I see a double standard here, with two classes of editors - those to whom "extra rules" apply, and those who have free reign to do as they wish without fear of breaking any rules. In other words some people are using the "featured article" thing as an excuse to dismantle the version that was featured, not preserve it, while giving the opposite impression, very clever.. Til Eulenspiegel 05:34, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the portion I removed was in the FA. But I put a note here on the Talk page and asked other editors for comments - in other words, I sought concensus. That's what the discussion is about. (Incidentally, I was the one who put it in the FA version in the first place.) PiCo 05:58, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Dinosaurs?

Perhaps we should mention this somewhere in the article. http://www.yahoo.com/s/589907 I didn't do it. 22:19, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

If anywhere, it would belong in the last sentenec of the last paragraph of the Literalism section - but that sentence is already overburdened IMO. Somewhere in the wonderful world of Wiki there's an article on dinos and the flood, or dinos and the ark, and you could consider adding a "see also" link to that in the appropriate section. PiCo 02:33, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
I am now officially nauseous. Those people couldn't have used $25 million to, well I don't know, help the poor? Feed the starving? Something Christian? What a waste. Orangemarlin 04:37, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Good grief, what the hell is that interviewer doing? About Adam living with dinosaurs he says: "Scientists .. A lot of scientists .. Secular scientists say that's not true." -- Ec5618 07:19, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
99.6% of the scientists in the US would say not only is it not true, but Adam never existed, and dinosaurs died out 64.5 million years ago. Typical right-wing press pandering to the Christian right. The Right Wing press gave us Bush, now this waste of good money. I'm still nauseous. Orangemarlin 14:52, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
The upshot of the discussion of the issue at Wikipedia talk:NPOV is that while Wikipedia indeed requires neutrality between religious and scientific points of view when a controversy between the two is claimed, and it cannot endorse one or the other to the reader, nonetheless scientists are in charge of saying what is correct science just as theologians are in charge of saying what is correct religious doctrine. A representation that a particular point of view is scientific or is supported by scientists has to come from credible scientific sources (just as a claim that a particular statement is correct religious doctrine has to come from credible theologians of the religious denomination involved), and recognized experts in the respective field are to be prefered over general media. Once again, per WP:NPOV, While Wikipedia can say whether something is science or supported by scientists, it cannot endorse a particular worldview of method of making sense of reality and hence it cannot say whether what scientists say is true. --Shirahadasha 18:09, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Shira is essentially correct pursuant to the pseudoscience arbitration and the undue weight clause of NPOV. The second is relevant not just due to the opinions of science in this case but also because most major religious denominations do not believe in a literal genesis story. JoshuaZ 03:18, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Civility

I would urge keeping this discussion civil and on topic. Statements pushing political or religious (or anti-religious) positions as such are particularly inflammatory and inappropriate to this talk page under the talk page guidelines. Best, --Shirahadasha 18:09, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Then archive the Dinosaur section. I still think it's not so far off-topic, that it didn't warrant a humorous discussion or two. Orangemarlin 06:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Duh

Before I get deluged (get it?) by dozens of comments, I know that Armenia is a country. I was half-asleep, and really meant to say that Ararat is in Turkey, and I don't think that Wikipedia is a placed to discuss what may be historical Armenia or not. I'm tired. Lots of POV reversions today. Orangemarlin 06:01, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Mythological ships category

Hi! A proposal was made on Category talk:Mythological ships to delete the catrgory. Since the proper place to discuss category deletions is WP:CfD, I've transfered the deletion discussion there as a procedural matter. Please join this discussion. Here's a repeat of the standard notice with link to the discussion:

Removed cfdnotice, cfd has completed. --Kbdank71 17:26, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Best, --Shirahadasha 19:13, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I noticed the proposal over there. I am going to delete the category from this article on the grounds that Noah's ark (real or mythical) was not clearly a ship. It is called a "vessel" in the opening sentence. There is no reason to think it could be propelled or steered as a ship must be. Steve Dufour 04:18, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
It was propelled and steered and guided by God. You are deying the might and power of God by not calling it His ship through he saved all life for us! PiCo 03:56, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
If it was propelled and steered by God then it was a barge, not a ship. Steve Dufour 04:01, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "ship" as "any large seagoing vessel". The category stays. --Gene_poole 04:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I think we discussed this previously, and the conversation was settled. I love this habit of bringing up stuff over and over and over and over and over and over...oops...again. It's a ship. It was mythical. The category definitely will stay. Orangemarlin 04:07, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I only came across this discussion yesterday. To me it seems that every large object that floats on water is not a ship. That is why we have words like "barge" "pontoon" and so forth. I would think that to most English speakers a ship has to have some way of getting to where it is going. From the story in the Bible (and I do believe it is a story BTW) the Ark seems to float passively on the water. It is not "seagoing". Steve Dufour 04:12, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Note:While WP:CONSENSUS makes clear that consensus is not permanent and new editors with new opinions entering the picture can result in consensus changing, nonetheless it's not a good idea to change something that's been heavily discussed without talking about it. I also want to remind editors of the three revert rule and strongly discourage editing in a back-and-forth fashion. Best, --Shirahadasha 04:25, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I love our rules, but the fact is the discussion was settled a month ago, maybe more. We got down to the fine points of OED definitions of everything. It was concluded it was a ship and again, before we repeat ourselves over and over, why can't others read what was written, especially when the editor obviously isn't at the level of an anonymous vandal, but appears to be an intelligent, well-informed editor? Orangemarlin 06:03, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry if I got a little carried away. However the Ark, although in my opinion mythical, was not a "seagoing vessel." It did not have the power to go anywhere. Steve Dufour 12:21, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Here's where I am troubled by Biblical inerrancy. You can't have a shifting target, that the Bible says one thing or another as a defense against what is another interpretation. Where does it say it did not have the power to go anywhere? Are you "interpreting" that it does not? If you are making that interpretation, why can you not "interpret" that this whole story is a metaphor (taking my logic to an extreme). Anyways, a seagoing vessel does not presume power. Trying to prove that the ark existed by disputing every little thing that is written here is the wrong way to go about it (especially dealing with definition of words). You lack positive written or physical proof, so therefore it is mythical. Orangemarlin 12:38, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for asking. I personally believe that the story of Noah is an myth, allegory, or something of the kind. If you read the story you will see that there is no mention of sails, nor have I ever seen a picture of Noah's Ark with sails. I also don't think that the eight people on board would be very effective at rowing it. I guess they could have harnessed whales to it and pulled it that way, however in that case it would be considered a "barge" not a "ship". At least in all my years living near one of the world's major seaports I have never heard of a ship that can not travel over the water. Wishing you well. Steve Dufour 01:35, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

As I understand the argument being made here, it's being claimed that the term "ship", somewhat like the term "myth", has a technical meaning that's somewhat different from its popular meaning, and it is being argued that if one term should be understood in a technical sense, then both should be. What is the evidence that the term "ship" used in a technical sense refers only to a vessel that can proceed under its own power and excludes a seagoing barge? Which dictionary/ies are you using to reach this result? In all candor, given the amount of dispute this issue has had, if the only evidence is "I think most English speakers..." etc., this proposal is probably a non-starter. Note that an editor has found an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, a very well-recognized dictionary, that suggests otherwise. Best, --Shirahadasha 16:04, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

wWhat an odd discussion? Is the debate over "ship" or over "mythical?" Noah's ark - historical reality or literary invention - was obviously a sea-going vessel, but it is essential to the Biblical narrative that it was neither self-propelled nor self-navigating (steering), that is why it is called an ark. But what does that have to do with the discussion over deleting "mythical ships?" Slrubenstein | Talk 16:22, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I must confess. I am a theologically liberal, universalist Christian. I would personally like to see fundamentalist Christians develop a more open-minded view of the Bible. I don't think that insulting and offending them will be very helpful towards that goal. With that in mind I am trying to get the story of Noah's Ark out the category "mythical ships". The Ark's non-ship status, although I am perfectly sincere in my opinion that it was not one, is a technicality I am using to try to end the "controversy", not very effectively it seems. :-) - Steve Dufour 01:42, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I have plenty to say about this, but I was reverted by some anonymous lurker. Let me just say that I strongly oppose deleting the category or removing Noah's Ark from the category. And why should anyone be offended? Should that be our only criterion on WP? We would remove all of science and a lot more if that was our criterion here.--Filll 02:17, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I am not saying change the article, however the category doesn't seem to me to add very much to our understanding of the topic and it does seem to have the effect of hurting some people's feelings. Steve Dufour 04:10, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

The existence of any science or any discussion of politics or religion whatsoever will hurt people's feelings. So you are arguing to remove 90% of WP to avoid hurting people's feelings.--Filll 04:15, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I am not advocating removing any information or opinions from the articles. I think that categories are intended to be non-controversial however. Besides that I can not imagine someone changing his or her opinion about the reality of the Ark (for example) because its article was put in a category. It would be much better to engage them in the articles themselves and the discussion pages. Anyway I am not planning on doing any more editing on this article. Wishing everyone well. Steve Dufour 04:20, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
"Evelyn (held a) brooding sense that the barbarians were not at the gate but inside the citadel, indulged by the apostles of moral equivalence in the name of a vapid tolerance. His foreboding has been all too cruelly vindicated." I don't think Evelyn would have had much time for people who hold the avoidance of hurt feelings to be the highest moral good. (Evelyn being, of course, Evelyn Waugh). PiCo 05:50, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I usually find myself more inclined to listen to, and sometimes change my mind and agree with, people who are polite to me than otherwise. Steve Dufour 15:11, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Please see the discussion in Wikipedia talk:NPOV#Scientific v. Religious POVs: What exactly do we mean by pseudoscience regarding the applicability and manner of application of the Neutral Point of View policy. Vapid or not, immoral or not, neutrality among worldviews is Wikipedia policy. Best, --Shirahadasha 15:03, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Duhhh

-- Nigel Barristoat 16:33, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

This is an intersting point. Nesting a Noah's Ark category in Category:Mythological ships (where it appropriately belongs) might actually be a useful idea.--ZayZayEM 02:44, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Come on. Nesting it is a fake way to hide what some people think is a POV, and some, like myself, think is NPOV. Let's decide (for the third time I believe). It will show up again in a few weeks/months, so why waste the time creating something that is not necessary. It should be in the open or not. Orangemarlin 09:13, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I see. So, while creating a Noah's Ark category might be the most logical and customary manner of handling all of the related articles, it now transpires that it will not be "allowed", because it would "defeat the purpose", by not being contentious enough. This is getting more interesting all the time! Nigel Barristoat 11:35, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
It seems that in order for it to be acceptably neutral and fair to everyone, the category would then have to be named Category:Mythological Noah's Ark (which must be understood to be a myth)... ! Til Eulenspiegel 11:58, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with an article being in multiple categories. Some categories will be compelling to some people, and not to others. The purpose of the categories is to make these articles easier to find, and not to pass some sort of universal judgement on the subjects involved. To some appreciably large segment of the editors, Noah's Ark is accurately described as a myth. It is inappropriate for some other segment of editors to dictate how others classify or think of Noah's Ark or where they will look to find it in a tree of categories. That is why there are categories like

  • 24th century BC (does anyone with a rational scientific outlook believe that this is a reasonable category? Give me a break)
  • Biblical phrases (in some bibles, but perhaps not all, and certainly not in all other religious texts)
  • Noahides (a doubtful category and only vaguely related)
  • Old Testament topics (Jews and others might object to the phrase "Old Testament" and it is not really a topic but an object)
  • Torah events (again, the word "Torah" might offend some Christians and Muslims and those of other faiths. The word "event" seems to confer a reality on Noah's Ark that some might disagree with)
  • Abrahamic mythology (some might claim that this is more broad than the Abrahamic faiths, or that this account is more closely associated with the Christian version rather than the Jewish or Muslim versions and so might object to this category)

Therefore, it is clear that if one wants to find a single category that everyone agrees on, this will be exceedingly difficult and in fact not useful to anyone.--Filll 14:36, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

  • If one is looking for articles on various ships discussed in the literature of ancient cultures what category would make sense other than "mythological ships"? JoshuaZ 15:35, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
This article, the main article on Noah's Ark, is currently in seven categories (not counting those produced by citation requests).
What normally happens in a case like this is that all seven categories would be replaced by a single category, Category:Noah's Ark, then all of the bickering about which of those other seven categories to make it a subcategory of could take place at the Category talk:Noah's Ark page, instead of here. There are possibly a few articles besides the ones listed above that could be put in the category of Noah's Ark, like Noah, Johan's Ark, etc. The only objection we have seen so far is that this wouldn't hurt enough people's feelings, or be 'in your face' enough, or whatever... Nigel Barristoat 15:40, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
The claim that "the only objection we have seen so far is that this wouldn't hurt enough people's feelings, or be 'in your face' enough, or whatever" is not true see my comment above. Furthermore, to list some \ships from religious texts in the category but not others is a massive NPOV problem. JoshuaZ 15:59, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Huh? The category I am proposing would be called Category:Noah's Ark. It would contain all of the several articles pertaining to Noah's Ark. Since this is the main article, this would probably only need one category, Noah's Ark. All of the bickering about what categories are appropriate to Noah's Ark would then become an issue of subcategories at the category talk page. I've seen this solution implemented umpteen times before. The only problem is, apparently then all the contention would not not prominent enough for some people. Nigel Barristoat 16:06, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Look, if it's too hard for you to understand, I guess I will be bold and demonstrate the arrangement. Then if anyone doesn't like it, they can explain at CfD why they don't think there should be a category for Noah's Ark. Nigel Barristoat 16:29, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment: Failing to gain consensus, and then stating, and actually carrying out, the unsupported suggestion could be viewed as a violation of WP:POINT and is certainly a violation of WP:CON. Rather than taking the attitude "I don't care if you don't like it, I'm doing it anyway", which is not condusive to harmonious editing, try working with other editors, and abiding by consensus. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:43, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I've observed a number of outside editors come in with various concerns and proposals, some of whom have proceeded to implement them without realizing the extent of other editors' objections. My perception is that the concerns and efforts involved are honest attempts to improve a perceived problem. Whether or not their actions are appropriate or have consensus, I'd hesitate to bite these individuals or to perceive their behavior as disruptive. Best, --Shirahadasha 17:32, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

The problem with the post at the top of this section is that it makes two proposals, which should not be confused.
  1. Create a category "Noah's Ark" to contain all related articles.
  2. Nest this category within "Legendary Ships" (i.e. not within "Mythological Ships").
I have no problem with the first proposal. The second might be seen as an attempt to circumvent the debate about whether this article belongs in "Mythological Ships", "Legendary Ships", etc. by choosing the category the author deems most appropriate. I believe it was this proposal that Orangemarlin objected to.
As I've said above, I think the word mythological, as used academically and in wikipedia, is exactly the right term to describe Noah's Ark. Therefore, if there is to be a category "Noah's Ark" it should be created within "Mythological Ships". I would urge editors who feel unhappy about this to review the short introductory paragraph to the mythology section, and repeat that its use does not imply anything about veracity or falsehood. SheffieldSteel 17:53, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't mind the "Noah's Ark" category, because there are a lot of good articles in that category. But I do have a problem eliminating the Mythological Ships category. Here is what I wrote elsewhere today: This ship is a myth using the following definition from the Oxford English Dictionary, the foremost dictionary in the English Language: A widespread but untrue or erroneous story or belief; a widely held misconception; a misrepresentation of the truth. Also: something existing only in myth; a fictitious or imaginary person or thing. We do not mean myth in the form of something of supernatural origin. This ship is a myth, because it is a widespread story with no supporting documentation, save for a biblical account. There has been no archeological or historical proof of its existence. Hence it is mythological. Orangemarlin 01:34, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
If the dictionary definition of the term "mythological" is "untrue or erroneous story or belief", then I must conclude that the use of that that term raises serious WP:NPOV issues when applied to religious doctrines. Wikipedia cannot express an opinion on the truth of religious claims and doctrines. It can state that they are contradicted by scientific claims and doctrines when this occurs, but it cannot say that either are erroneous. It had been previously claimed that the term "mythology" implies no opinion on the truth or falsity of a narrative, and this claim was the basis of the previous consensus. If this claim is being abandoned, then I would agree that that consensus may need to be rethought. Best, --Shirahadasha 04:16, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
We are not using the dicdef as given by OM. We are using the academic def as is appropriate for an encyclopedia, which makes no judgment about truth at all. See extensive discussions on Tak:Myth and related pages. KillerChihuahua?!? 09:41, 31 May 2007 (UTC)


  • Re: Orangmarlin -- I definitely wasn't supporting nesting to hide. I thought this was silly. A Noah's Ark category would go exactly where the Noah's Ark article goes (i.e. Mythological ships, Abrahamic mythology, Torah events etc.) - but the interesting pointv here is that perhaps a group of articles is sufficiently related enough to warrant a category for Noah's Ark itself. I think this should be discussed, I'm a bit abivalent as to the result. Do Noah's Ark, Noahides and Searches for Noah's Ark share enough for a category to be made for them?--ZayZayEM 11:24, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Noah's Ark category

with the creation of the new category, aren't all the other categories now redundant?--ZayZayEM 02:30, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

No why would you think that?--Filll 02:39, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. I'm posing a question. I'm ambivalent either way. I notice wikipedia has an irregular practice of letting epynomous articles exist in both their *private* category and it's immediate parents (If taht makes sense)--ZayZayEM 17:12, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
The relevant guideline is at WP:SUBCAT. It enumerates all the appropriate circumstances for making such exceptions and listing any article (main or not) within a category and its parents. I'm not clear on which of those circumstances might possibly be applied here. The only rationale I have seen offered so far is that we have to do it just to prove we aren't afraid to be controversial and to hurt certain readers' feelings, but I can't find that one listed on the guideline page. Nigel Barristoat 18:09, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Disputed category warning

It is clear from the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 May 27#Category:Mythological ships that some people dispute whether Noah's Ark should be in Category:Mythological ships. I have therefore placed a warning in the article. Please do not remove it until the issue is fully resolved. Dr. Submillimeter 08:53, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

This has been discussed previously. If you want to discuss it again, let's go for it. But don't throw on tags because you want to. If we go through this again, and another consensus is formed, I will be the first to tag it or remove the category. Orangemarlin 09:11, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
The discussion above under Proposed deletion of Mythological ships category and at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 May 27#Category:Mythological ships does not show that people have reached a consensus on placing this article in Category:Mythological ships. It really looks like this issue should be discussed further, and it really looks like the warning tag should stay in the article.
However, I am just an outsider who encountered this problem at WP:CFD, and I am not too strongly interested in pursuing a debate on this myself, so I will leave this article and this debate alone. I just thought that the warning was appropriate based on the lack of consensus regarding the issue. Dr. Submillimeter 15:16, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
We all believe consensus was reached once in the face of a uncivil and belligerent editor. This is what is so frustrating, that it had been brought up again. I'm kind of used to it with these articles, however. Unfortunately, you got caught in the crossfire. If you truly have a neutral opinion here, you really should stay and participate. But please read the previous discussions, so that you know that we pretty much covered this from head to toe. If you see something we failed to do, please please, give your thoughts. Orangemarlin 16:46, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. There were two who opposed it, one who had been involved in a lot of POV disputes because of his fundamentalist Christian idealogy (and who has subsequently seem to have left the article). Fundamentally, it was more or less them thinking mythology = false and/or them not wanting Christianity lumped in with other religions. Titanium Dragon 01:24, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Flood itself has no article

This article is quite good. However I noticed that the Biblical Flood itself does not have its own article. That seems kind of odd to me. Is there a reason for it? Thanks. Steve Dufour 00:23, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

You have to look a bit harder. For example, see Deluge (mythology).--Filll 00:29, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Steve Dufour 02:43, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
And Flood geology Orangemarlin 03:29, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. That's an interesting article. Steve Dufour 14:47, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't believe the Deluge (mythology) article is or can be an adequate article on the Biblical Flood (meaning the flood described in the Bible.) It's an article on the claim made by certain Western academics that there is a general pattern of flood stories which the flood narrative described in the Bible is claimed to fit. Assuming the claim to be true, it would be a bit like saying that the Culture Hero article adequately covers Jesus of Nazareth or Politician adequately covers William Jefferson Clinton. Perhaps a better analogy that captures questions about the appropriateness of the POV would be to attempt to cover Geology in the Narrative article. Many scientists, even those who agree that rhetoricians can fruitfully study scientific discourse as a kind of narrative, would disagree with the idea that studying scientific discourse solely from a rhetorician's POV adequately captures what science has to offer: an adequate article has to include an "inside" view that includes what scientists themselves have to say on their subject. Many religious folks would say similar things about too "outside" a view of religion. Best, --Shirahadasha 03:51, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

The Deluge (mythology) article seems quite adequate for the subject it covers, which is mythological deluges in general - the biblical flood gets a subsection, which, since the article deals with the entire world and all its cultures, is probably about right. But it also directs eraders to "see main article - Noah's Ark", which is not correct - this article is about the Ark, not the Flood, and not Noah. Yes, I know it's hard to disentangle the three, but it's been done for two - Noah and the Ark - and there's no reason why there shouldn't be a separate article on the Flood. Opportunity awaits. PiCo 04:34, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to know what more needs to be said about it. The Biblical account doesn't take much space to summarize adequately. Theological ideas based on it, perhaps? Not Creationist rationalizations of it; there's already an article on Flood geology that covers that subject thoroughly. TCC (talk) (contribs) 06:41, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
The "theological ideas" aspect of biblical stories is one of the most fascinating aspects - for the Ark, for example, the way the Jewish wrtiters concentrated on practical questions such as how Noah which animals were 'clean' at a time before sacrifices, and therefore before 'clean' and 'unclean', were known, and the way Christian and Muslim writers tried to appropriate the Ark for their own theologies, the Christian Hippolytus making it sail in the sign of a cross and the Muslims making it circle the Kaaba. For the Flood, there should be a couple of paragraphs in the battle early geologists must have had in putting forward ideas so at odds with accepted traditions - this would have been largely in the 18th century I imagine. Yoiu coulkd even bring in Leonardo, musing about how seashells got into the Alps. It could make a very good article - but concentrating on geology, just as this article concentrates on biology and related fields. PiCo 08:56, 31 May 2007 (UTC) Later:P Have a look at this article.PiCo 09:36, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I think the Flood (which IMO did not really happen the way it says in the Bible) also brings up important ethical issues. Like, was it really fair for God to kill all those people, and the innocent animals besides? I'm sure this kind of thing has been written about over the years. The Flood has also been the inspiration for many works of art. Lots of things far less important have their own WP articles. Steve Dufour 14:27, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
You may wish to take a look at Biblical literalism. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:34, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. That article makes the point that very few (if any) Christians really believe everything in the Bible literally. Yet most of WP's coverage of the story of Noah seems to focus on the question of its literalness or nonliteralness. Even as fiction it is very important. Steve Dufour 06:09, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Feel free to write a flood article, Steve. There's a bit of a paucity of info in the bible, but I'm sure there's much exegesis you can pull info from. •Jim62sch• 19:48, 1 June 2007 (UTC)


Deluge_(mythology)#Hebrew Directs readers to

- Genesis Flood or The Genesis Flood I think is a notable enough topic to warrant it's own article, which may result in some information being merged out of here, and more focus on the Ark itself. However some editors may feel the two topics too closely intertwined to tear apart.--ZayZayEM 17:19, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it needs a seperate article, as it and Noah's Ark have a great deal of overlap. Titanium Dragon 01:22, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

biblical proportion

In the ark under scrutiny section, I unsuccessfully tried to restore this line:

There was also the problem of an ever-expanding number of known species: for Kircher and earlier natural historians, there was little problem finding room for all known animals in the Ark, but by the time John Ray (1627–1705) was working, just several decades after Kircher, the number of known animals had expanded beyond biblical proportions.

The line now reads:

There was also the problem of an ever-expanding number of known species: for Kircher and earlier natural historians, there was little problem finding room for all known animal species in the Ark, but by the time John Ray (1627–1705) was working, just several decades after Kircher, their number had increased dramatically.

The "beyond biblical proportions" version is both literally and figurative more precise than "increased dramatically", and I don't find it any less neutral or encyclopedic.--ragesoss 01:55, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Well, could you define biblical proportions? I don't think there is a definition. If you mean, "the number increased beyond what could logically be held in an ark that can't float anyways" I could accept that. Orangemarlin 03:44, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
"Beyond biblical proportions" has the advantage of being more concise, and having the meaning of both a reference to the literal proportions of the ark and a better figurative description of the degree of increase in known species... not just a dramatic increase, but an increase to a previously unimaginable level. There may not be a fixed definition, but context is quite sufficient to convey "increased dramatically" at the bare minimum, and most readers will be able to pick up on the relevance of the description.--ragesoss 04:36, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
What wording does the source use? If this phrase is in the source, it would be reasonable to reflect that. If the phrase is an editor's own invention, an editor's own attempt to extrapolate an inference might be original research. Best, --Shirahadasha 04:40, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
The phrase doesn't come from the source (I think it might be PiCo's), but it's not an extrapolation or original research: it's pretty straightforward. The source says the number of known animals increased dramatically, so that all known animals could no longer fit in the biblical ark, and so that naturalists had to reformulate their ideas about classification and the relationships between organisms. The phrase "beyond biblical proportions" is just an exceptionally elegant way of saying this.--ragesoss 05:08, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
On further investigation, it looks like I added that line... which is really weird, since I remember being surprised when I first noticed it, during this article's Featured Article candidacy, and thinking "wow, whoever took the information I added and reworded it like that is a much better writer than me." I guess it was some sort of self-delusional hallucination. I have no objection to the new wording; I thought I was defending someone else's prose.--ragesoss 05:23, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
"biblical proportion" doesn't add anything but immature sarcasm to the matter. "increased dramatically" is much more conscise than "expanded beyond biblical proportions".--ZayZayEM 10:44, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. The "beyond biblical proportions" is a bit confusing, as it can be read to imply that species classifications existed in biblical times. When the sentence ends in "increased dramatically" it's clear that it increased from the time of Kircher. Sxeptomaniac 21:29, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I believe that I once edited that line to remove the phrase. It comes from the movie "Ghostbusters" and was intended there to be humorous. Whatever the intentions of the editor who placed it there, it's more likely to elicit a laugh than convey useful information. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:15, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

*slaps forehead* I knew that sounded familiar. Sxeptomaniac 16:55, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

The paragraph comes from me, and the phrase 'biblical proportions' was indeed intended to raise a smile - it doesn't actually mean anything precise, it's just a humorous use of a stock phrase (and has nothing to do with Ghostbusters, even if it was in the movie). PiCo 05:58, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

St Hippolytus of Rome (recent addition to the article)

An editor has just added this paragraph to the section on the ark in Chritian tradition:

St. Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235) recounted a number of early traditions specific to the Ark. He stated that it was built in three storeys: the lowest for wild beasts, the middle for birds and domestic animals, and the top level for humans; he adds that the male animals were separated from the females by sharp stakes, to help maintain the prohibition against cohabitation aboard the vessel. According to him, a door was built on the east side, the bones of Adam were brought aboard with gold, frankincense and myrrh, and the Ark floated to and fro in the four directions on the waters, making the sign of the cross, and eventually landing on Mount Kardu "in the east, in the land of the sons of Raban, and the Orientals call it Mount Godash; the Arabians and Persians call it Ararat"[8].

I have no inherent objection to it, but I do wonder whether it actually adds anything to the article - the fact is that there's probably no end to what could be said of the Ark in early and medieval Christian traditions, and we have to limit, somehow, what goes into the article. I'd like to hear what others think about this addition. (Also, the reference isn't quite complete - references should enable readers to look up the source, but this one doesn't - I suggest the editor give a reference to the secondary source where he found this quote, rather than to Hipploytus's primary materials, which I suspect might be a little difficult for the common reader to get hold of). PiCo 05:51, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

In case you haven't noticed, there are very similar traditions, recorded by much later authors than Hippolytus, in both the Judaism and Islam sections. Your reaction above (which was not unexpected), questioning whether the inclusion of the early Christian author is 'relevant', only furnishes still more evidence, that will eventually be used to make the case that there is indeed an inherent systemic bias, specifically against Christianity, among the "proprietors" of this article. Til Eulenspiegel 11:06, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Til, if you read the archives, every significant addition to this article is examined. There is a plethora of Ark-related commentary and data out there, and as this is an article, not a comprehensively exhaustive book, we must be selective. Please stop accusing others of bias; your constant attacks on fellow editors is not helpful. Instead, focus on the article - do you feel the Hippolytus content is worth including? Why or why not? KillerChihuahua?!? 11:31, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
This is b;atant bias and favoritism. Moreover, this discussion is strictly about the article content and nothing else, so your criticisms here seem to show your customary favoritism (which is all in the permanent record, and I stand by every word I have said). The Hippolytus content is worth including. His comments were echoed by Baidawi a 13th century Muslim writer, and Mediaeval Rabbinic writers, but noone is contesting their inclusion tooth and nail. Note that Hipp. who lived in the first century, before Christianity was even legalized in Rome, mentions "Mount Ararat" by name. According to the article Searches for Noah's Ark, the first author to mention a "Mount Ararat" by name lived in the 5th century. So yes, this is highly significant, and only an extreme systemic bias would consider cutting it out of bigotry. Til Eulenspiegel 11:39, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Til, I'm really tired of your constant attacks on me. Stop beating that horse. Either post on AN/I, file an Rfc, or drop it.
Ok, I've looked at the content of the exigis.[7][8], and in addition to the three stories bit, H. also gave the names of the wives on the Ark, and recounted a story about Noah and his sons going into a cave where they found a lot of dead bodies of significant ancestors: "And on their first approach, indeed, they happily found the bodies of the fathers, Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kainan, Mahaliel, Jared, Mathusalach, and Lamech. Those eight bodies were in the place of deposits, viz., those of Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kainan, Mahaliel, Jared, Mathusalach, and Lamech." He recounts that Noah took the body of Adam on the Ark. Other than that, he doesn't say anything particularly interesting. As a side note, H. also recounts how to make a skull talk.[9]
Til, do you have a source for Baidawi? Right now I'm not seeing anything in particular about the H. content except the three stories bit, is that expanded on anywhere? Is it relevant? Right now the only reason you have given for inclusion is that H. was supported by B., which IMO isn't much help if we don't have the B. text to look at; and that he was the first to mention Ararat. If H. was the first to mention Ararat, that is indeed highly significant, but we need a source saying specifically that H. was the first - we cannot state it of our own knowledge, that is OR. KillerChihuahua?!? 11:57, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
The Islam section of this article quotes Baidawi as saying there were 3 levels in the Ark, but puts them in a different order, and that males and females were separated by Adam's body. If that 13th century account was added to the article without any objection or litmus-test for certain agendas, why would there a problem with a patristic account that is 1000 yeras older?
I do not have any idea who was "the first" to mention a Mount Ararat (as opposed to "mountains of Ararat". But I am certain that your Wikipedia article Searches for Noah's Ark that claims a certain "Faustus of Byzantium" of the fifth century, as supposedly being the first author to ever speak of a single Mount Ararat, is both mistaken AND original research. Til Eulenspiegel 14:27, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Then that needs to be removed, or at the very least citeneeded added. Sorry to say, the Searches article tends to get cluttered with original research on a regular basis, as well as POV edits.
Does anyone on this talk page know who was the first to mention Ararat? That should be included in the article, if we can source it adequately.
Baidawi is dated from around (1226-60) to about 1286. That puts him about a thousand years after Hippolytus, yes? Its a logical assumption that Baidawi got his data from, if not Hippolytus, then from a source which used Hippolytus, although it seems unclear where Hippolytus got his info - although given the dreck he wrote about other things he probably swallowed a lot of rumours and hearsay. Is there a source which states that Baidawi used H. as a source? If there is, I see three possible places for the info:
  1. In the H. para
  2. In the B. para, as a possibly parenthetical bit
  3. Both
IMO, its either 2 or 3. I welcome feedback. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:50, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
It may be a "logical assumption", but it is still an assumption, and one I do not know anyone to have ever published. I would not make that assumption myself. Hipp. and Baid. were both students of Syrian traditions, and my guess would be that both were reporting on the same thing, not that Baid. had access to Hipp. But we don't have to engage in any original conjecture here at all. Hipp is at least one of the first Christian authors to give a Christian viewpoint on the Ark, so he belongs in the Christianity section. Baid. is a Muslim author, so he belongs in the Islam section. I don't know of any published source specifially connecting the two. Til Eulenspiegel 14:56, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Too true, which is why I asked if you had a source. If you do happen to come across a good source for the source of H and B's info, please post it, and unless someone objects we'll add it to the article. I don't know that anything goes back further than H at this date, but then I'm not an expert. Same for first person to mention Mount Ararat - my money is on H, as he recounted so much urban legend and crap, but that's mere speculation on my part, no sources at all.
Nice fix on the ref, btw - this being Wikipedia, if there is an online version of a source, it is always good to add it. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:03, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Now puppy, you aren't actually saying that someone actually saw this mythical ark? You're just asking the first claim to seeing the mythical ark, right? Orangemarlin 21:02, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I have no idea where you think you see I'm saying anyone saw a thing. KillerChihuahua?!? 21:08, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Besides, what does it matter? We aren't here to argue what we believe. If a person makes good, NPOV, sourced edits, I don't care if they believe the earth is flat. There are a lot of sites for arguing whose beliefs are right, and this isn't one. Sxeptomaniac 23:50, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

I think a description of the Ark would be appropriate, and if this is one of the early sources for it, so be it. We should take care not to duplicate material, though; however, a description of the ark would be good, I think. Conversely, though, this is pretty obviously Christian mysticism, and a lot of it doesn’t seem all that notable (floated in the sign of the cross? Pure comedy gold). It looks like someone trying to tie the Ark to Jesus to me, and I don’t care that he lived in the second century. I think stating there were three storeys to the ark would be useful, but I don’t think the rest is at all relevant to the article or notable enough for inclusion. Titanium Dragon 04:43, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Til, stop being paranoid - I said I had no inherent objection to your addition, but wondered whether it added any points that weren't already present in the material from Origen, Jerome and Augustine, who are far better known figures. Titanium, there's nothing wrong with quoting Christian mysticism, if the Ark has some appearance there - but in fact Hippolytus was a translator and interpreter of Jewish texts. So this is scholarship (of it's time), not mysticism. Inidentally, back to Til: you seem to thuink Hippolytus is earlier than the Jewish traditions, but the earliest of those traditions date from at least the time of Christ, and probably a few centuries before that even - Hippolytus was adapting those traditions to Christianity, not simply reporting them. And as for Hippolytus getting in first with the identification of Ararat as a single mountain where the Ark came to rest, yes indeed, Searches for Noah's Ark seems to be wrong on that point - feel free to edit it.
Whoops - meant to add an explanation of my recent edits to the Christian traditions section. What I tried to do was to arrange the various bits of information by subject matter and, more roughly, by the date at which they appeared. Early Christian authors approached the Ark with two objectives in mind, namely allegory (and Hippolytus falls into this area - he wasn't just recording facts for the sake of it, he was trying to link the Ark story to the theological meaning of Christ's coming), PiCo and apologetics, which was what Origen was doing in giving practical answers to problems raised by scoffing pagans on such matters as whether the Ark was big enough for all the animals. Til does make a good case for keeping Hippolytus, but I still wonder whether he's prominant enough - the general reader, faced with Hipp's name, is likely to say, "so who's he?" PiCo 06:01, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
So you're arguing that Hippolytus may be "unencyclopedic", becuase the average reader is unlikely to have ever heard of him?
Now I've heard everything!
At any rate, it may well be that Judaic sources had recounted these same legends that he did, before he did. But we as yet don't have any published source that makes this case, or any hard evidence. So stating this is Original Synthesis. The earliest Jewish documents stating anything similar (ie that the Ark had 3 stories) only appear in the Middle Ages. Now you might have a strong case that the Jewish legends really are older, and that Hippolytus directly borrowed from them, and you might even convince me, and you might be correct, but unless someone other than a wikipedian has ever actually argued this point, it's still Original Research. Til Eulenspiegel 11:42, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not arguing that H. is unencyclopeadiac because he's obscure, but that we should quote well-known writers in preference to little-known ones - we're trying to reflect what the Church believed, not what individuals believed, and Jerome, Origen and Augustine are far more representative of the Church as a whole than is H. As for H. and the Jewish traditions, he was quite consciously quoting those traditions - that's why he was known as "Translator of the Targum". PiCo 05:46, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
In this case, the "Targum" is a Syriac version used by Syrian Christians. I suspect you are probably right that St. Hippolytus was quoting an as-yet unattested earlier Jewish tradition, but I feel strongly that we should strictly stick to stating what we can source, without adding any of our own conjectures. In this case, the relevance comes from the fact that it is a very early source or evidence we have for these Syrian traditions existing, it's not about the actual person who is quoting the traditions. Til Eulenspiegel 06:00, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I've deleted the sentences which say H. was basing himself on the Jewish traditions. Please bear in mind that I have no objection in principle to including H. in the article, I just want to keep it manageable - if H. says what Jerome and others say, there's no need to add him. My focus is on the theological meaning which early Christians gave to the Ark (reinterpreting it in a Christian framework) - I find it fascinating that whereas the Jewish writers seem to have had largely practical concerns ("how did Noah get light inside the Ark? ... well, he had these stones that shone as bright as midday..."), the early Christians were almost as preoccupied with allegorical meanings. Neither are exclusive, of course - the Jewish writers were very concerned with the question of righteousness, and the Christians had to find answers to literal-minded pagans who questioned how Noah managed to fit all those animals on board. But the distinction is important - the old traditions were not simply catalogues of facts, they were facts plus meanings. PiCo 06:14, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
That could be one interpretation I suppose, but H's info is certainly presented in the form of extra, concrete details that are not found in Jerome or the other later patristic writers, as far as I know. The entire fragment on Noah's Ark in Hippolytus has many fascinating details beside what he says was on the Ark, such as the names of the three daughters-in-law according to the Peshitta, the story of Noah being told to destroy the first person who said the flood is comng, then when it turned out to be Ham's wife, he is told not to destroy her, but instead the bread in the oven was destroyed, etc. If these things were meant to be "allegorical", he does not make this clear, but rather leaves it to the reader to deduce any 'between the lines' meaning if there is one. I didn't mention all this in the paragraph, because this is the article specifically about the Ark, so I tried to keep the entry to his physical, tangible description of the Ark, but his little gem about demons who throw visitors off of Mount Ararat to stop them from finding the Ark should be a fitting entry over at Searches for Noah's Ark, I would think. (And NO, I am not trying to argue that this is true! Only interesting, and encyclopedic, for tracing the development of the story through the ages! Especially seeing as we haven't yet unearthed anyone else who lived earlier than 200 AD, to whom these kind of views have been attributed...) Til Eulenspiegel 06:31, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
A couple of elements contained in Hippolytus I recognize from the Syrica Cave of Treasures. Str1977 (smile back) 09:09, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Science and Noah's Ark

The article has this in its first part: "By the beginning of the 19th century, the growth of geology and biogeography as sciences meant that few natural historians felt able to justify a literal interpretation of the Ark story." If one tries to examine if the story about Noah and his ark really happened you are going to come to a quick conclusion. According to our understanding of many many scientific fields that deal with the different aspects of the story, it could absolutely never have happened. So I think it is fair to change this part into: "By the beginning of the 19th century, the growth of geology and biogeography as sciences has allowed for the conclusion that the story of Noah never have happened and that the story should be recognised as being mythology." There are many fair scientific reasons to adopt this phrase or something similar. The phrase that is currently part of the article is just not accurate or efficient and it clearly shows a motivation to cover up the evidence in an attempt to prevent to offend some people. This does not help to educate people, the ultimate goal of an encyclopedia. And according to the NPOV policy it is perfectly NPOV and acceptable to have bias towards science as long as there are scientific reasons to do so. And there are, as everyone probable knows.--80.56.36.253 17:47, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Before I say anything, if you look at my edit history, you know I don't give any credence to Noah's Ark or anything like it. It is a myth. However, this article isn't about the science of Noah's Ark (you might want to look at Flood geology to discuss that particular issue), it's about Noah's Ark as a story. The NPOV would be that we neutrally describe the story, since it is a religious one essentially. If this article were called Proof of Noah's Ark, then the NPOV would be ever stronger than what you suggested. But as a religious article, the historical discussion of natural science and Noah's Ark is acceptable. Orangemarlin 18:02, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
You are right. This is the article about the story of Noah. So it should say that this story is a mythological story. What it does now is present this story as historical event with making a disclaimer that few natural historians feel like they are able to justify a literal interpretation. That phrase is like sugar coated 5 times. That phrase just doesn't do if you ask me. The amount of evidence against this story is absolutely tremendous.--80.56.36.253 00:43, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
It's also more correct as phrased. This was a conclusion that was reached reluctantly, and against considerable effort to justify it with the available evidence. It was more a realization that this was no longer a worthwhile exercise than a declaration of the story as fictional -- although that was a natural consequence of that realization.
But be careful with phrases like, "it is perfectly NPOV and acceptable to have bias towards science". You'd be surprised by how many people have a problem with that idea. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:44, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
That's what the NPOV policy page says.--80.56.36.253 00:43, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I know. But we've had admins enforce something else on this subject. If you get the impression that he/she is saying that the scientific view is just one more opinion and can't be presented as anything but that, you're right. I asked for some valid reason why this should be so, and -- much as I expected -- got no answer. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:30, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I just went and looked at WP:NPOV, and it says something else. Oh, well. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:37, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
"Scientific Bias-favoring a scientist, inventor, or theory for a non-scientific reason."--80.56.36.253 14:12, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
One final comment to bury this suggestion: It's also not true that scientists in general believe it "never happened", as some scientists have argued that the myth is based on a real event (see Flood (mythology)#Theories of origin), even if they don't believe the Noah's Ark myth should be taken literally. Sxeptomaniac 22:13, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Huh? •Jim62sch• 22:32, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
What Jim said. Huh? Orangemarlin 22:41, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
So you want the wikipedia page to suggest that the story about Noah and his ark is true because it may be based on stories that are based on events, though of a totally different nature as those in the story, that did happen? Are you sure you know the story we are talking about?--80.56.36.253 00:43, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I think we should address the fact that there are a number of different ways scientists and historians have attempted to look at the mythology of the ark and the flood. It "never happened" does not do a good job of taking the variety of viewpoints into account. Sxeptomaniac 16:05, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
There is no question that mainstream scientists and historians considered the question of Noah's Ark at least semi-seriously at one time. However, those days are long gone, by hundreds of years. Some historial material describing past scholarship is noted in the article. To have a more extensive historical exploration of who believed what about the Ark and when is beyond the scope of this article. There just is not room for it. But you are free to start a new article, like History of Noah's Ark scholarship and to write it. Good luck.--Filll 16:18, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
That's not what I was saying, but it doesn't matter at this point. This argument has gone on too long and doesn't serve much of a purpose. I'm done. Sxeptomaniac 19:59, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
That is the problem with having to do real work, right? Oh well...--Filll 22:42, 8 June 2007 (UTC)


It's the difference between "it never happened" and "it didn't happen that way". There have been several attempts to tie the flood myth to the evidence of actual cataclysmic floods found in the geologic record. Sxeptomaniac 23:48, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Surely one can interpret the bible in different ways. But are you truly suggesting that literal interpretations of the bible can be vastly different? Surely no one reading the story of Noah in a literal manner, considering it to be the inerrant word of god, will claim that the story says that there never was a global flood in which Noah saved human and animal life, using an ark. The story of Noah is based on the Sumerian flood myth. And that one may very well be based on a local flood that seemed global to the people in the region because they had absolutely no idea about the world they lived in. But that doesn't mean one could consider the story of Noah to have literally happened based on these facts. Seems you are trying to use some equivocation to get your way: "A flood happened, so one can consider the story of Noah to be literal." A flood is not the same as the story of Noah and his ark.
We are talking about the story of Noah in the bible. There is only one story. It either happened or it didn't happen. If it didn't happen the way the bible tells the story then that story just never happened.--80.56.36.253 14:40, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by cataclysmic floods. Locals ones sure. The Lake Missoula flood is a perfect example. But a worldwide one. No way. It never happened, and it didn't happen that way. Orangemarlin 00:10, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
My "reliable source" says otherwise. ;-) It depends how you interpret the evidence. rossnixon 02:34, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Please show us the source. There is no scientific evidence of worldwide flood, and if you mean by interpretation that 99% of scientists interpret fossils and other evidence as conclusively supporting the hypothesis that there was no general flood, then sure, it was interpreted. But science doesn't exactly interpret things. Orangemarlin 07:47, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I linked to exactly what I meant by cataclysmic floods, Flood (mythology)#Theories of origin. Be sure you aren't stopping at the first paragraph of the section. Sxeptomaniac 16:05, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

It is important to keep those quotes around your "reliable source". There is no way that any religious tract is a reliable source, particularly in matters of science and often in matters of history. You are free to personally and privately interpret the evidence whatever way you want. However, when it comes to the mainstream and science and teaching children and an encyclopedia, it really is not appropriate or possible for you to impose some sort of unsubstantiated myth as the truth on anyone else. Sorry.--Filll 04:06, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Religious tracts are (or at least can be) reliable sources on matters of religion, and Noah's Ark is a religious subject. Best, --Shirahadasha 05:21, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely correct, at least for some religious topics. However, if you present something as science or fact, then a religious tract is not a reliable source. Nice try though.--Filll 05:28, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the view of science should be properly included. However, it shouldn't be done as "reject literal interpretation" as this doesn't say what a "literal interpretation" is supposed to be. If science rejects a global flood, then say so. Str1977 (smile back) 07:20, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't often agree with you, but I do here. This is a religious article, and it should stay like that. Flood geology is the article that covers the "science" or "pseudoscience" of the so-called flood. This article is about Noah's Ark, whether some of us consider it a myth or some of us consider it real. I think both sides know what the story is, and that's what this article should strive to present. It can even include searches for the ark, if it makes sense. But if a POV is going to be entered as "science" or "biblical" the article is going to end up being a giant mishmash of conflicting POV's. The NPOV of the article should be it's a biblical story, and leave the interpretation of whether it is real or not to POV forks, such as Flood geology. Orangemarlin 07:47, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Though that was not actually what I had in mind, Orange, I cannot disagree with you.
What I objected to specifically was the subsumation of anything under "literalist" interpretation. Sure there are those insisting on a global flood insisting that their interpretation is what the Bible literally says - missing the limited scope of the Biblical author, but if we refer to such a position we should accurately say what it says and not refer to some label.
I also have a problem with the passage beginning "Many Orthodox Jews and conservative Christians are believers in Biblical inerrancy ..."
That is quite true and it is also true that they hold "that the Bible, as the word of God, is without error, but must be interpreted properly in order to be understood correctly."
However, I can't see where anyone would not hold that the Bible must be properly interpreted (except maybe really extreme literalists that oppose any form of exegeis).
But I cannot see where this has anything to do with literalism.
Sure, literalists hold these views too but they are hardly special to them. Str1977 (smile back) 08:43, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

What I have found is that it is quite clear that EVERYONE "interprets" the bible in different ways, even those who claim that they take the "literal meaning" of the text. Some discussion rapidly demonstrates that it is often impossible for two people to agree on what the "literal meaning" of the text is, even if they claim otherwise. This is because:

  • whether Biblical literalists admit it or not, there are way too many versions of the bible that exist. --Filll 11:11, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
My comments have repeatedly been edited by an anon engaging in ad hominem attacks and illogical nonsense. I object strenuously but I will not get in an edit war with someone like this.--Filll 11:35, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I think that corrections of your own comments on a page that's supposed to be a record of a conversation isn't on the same level as edit-warring over content. TCC (talk) (contribs) 16:23, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm. I think it is stretching the truth to refer that the anon's actions as "correcting Filll's comments" when the actual diff shows 90% of the comment being simply deleted. More importantly, though, Both edit warring and editing other user's comments are actions which are against WP guidelines. Surely there are exceptions in both cases, but it's quite debatable whether Filll's contribution merited being deleted wholesale. I found at least some of the deleted material to be quite relevant to the article. Should I then partially revert the anon's edit based on my opinion of Filll's text? Of course not. That approach would lead to talkpage chaos. The best approach to this kind of situation is to discuss it here. Comments can always be withdrawn using strikethrough. SheffieldSteel 17:13, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
If you're going to call me a liar, then the least you could do is to at least fake AGF first, or perhaps just read more carefully. When I said "corrections of your own comments" in a reply to Filll, the most reasonable way to read that is that I was referring to Filll's consideration of reverting the vandalism, not the vandalism itself. I was not commenting on the appropriateness of the deleted material, although I agree that it's out of place here. TCC (talk) (contribs) 18:00, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Since you were not referring to the anon's actions, you were not stretching the truth. I have withdrawn my contentious statements and invite you to do likewise. The issue here should not be your post or my misinterpretation of it, but Filll's post and the other editor's deletion of most of it. SheffieldSteel 20:37, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree that a discussion of biblical literalism and biblical inerrancy and similar topics is inappropriate here. The entire reason that this article exists, and that its writing and maintenance is contentious is because of a blind insistence on biblical inerrancy by a certain tiny anti-rational, anti-intellectual and anti-science minority. I have no problem with their belief in biblical inerrancy or biblical literalism or the alleged and purported historical accuracy of the Noah's Ark account. What I have a problem with is the lack of acknowledgement that others do not share the same view, and even insistence that others acquiesce to their own mythical ruminations in public venues, like public schools or secular encyclopediae like Wikipedia. If one wants to write a religious tract, there are many religious schools and religious websites and religious encyclopediae and religious wikis in which one can do this. But someplace that is meant to be a mainstream guardian of mainstream information cannot be subverted to extremist and nonsensical views in this manner. And I will stand up for reason and science and evidence. Sorry if this offends anyone.--Filll 18:55, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't say this article exists for no reason other than Biblical literalism. It's a very well-known story with a considerable history preceding it, it inspired a great deal of commentary and art, is very significant within a purely religious context, whether informed by Biblical literalism or not (which isn't inappropriate as long as its identified as such and not presented as fact), and was a crucial factor in early scientific geology. However, I do believe it contains a bit more literalist material than it otherwise would if no literalists were involved. And yes, Biblical literalism is irrational for many reasons. However, the substance of what you were saying didn't address article content at all, and that's what this page is supposed to be for. You didn't use it to argue for any changes to the article that I could see. TCC (talk) (contribs) 19:08, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

<undent>I think you are confused and misunderstand me. Of course the Noah's Ark story is well-known and has been for many years. But there are many many stories from mythology, other religions and even the bible that are not so well known and are not so celebrated, and which are not the subject of so much attention on Wikipedia. Jonah and the Whale? Tower of Babel? Joshua's Long Day? Changing water into wine? The story of the Fishes and the loaves? Why are these less celebrated and the subject of less attention than Noah's Ark? It is probably because of the agenda of biblical literalists and creationsits, rather any romance associated with sea voyages and cleaning dung piles out of animal cages or any deep Christian message about the nature of God and how humans should behave, care for each other and the earth. It is a story that biblical literalists can use as a weapon against scientific explanations of nature. Some of the material on the talk page is about improvements to the article, and some of it is a dialogue with conversations ongoing with other editors. Some of these will lead to new material for inclusion in the article, and some of these conversations are basically defenses of the current status of the article, to discourage assorted agenda holders from wantonly attacking articles.--Filll 22:38, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, by Fill's logic, we shouldn't have articles on Zeus, the Bull of Heaven, Mímir, etc. The article reached WP:FA status by doing a good job of documenting various viewpoints. Biblical literalism is also a significant movement, and their viewpoints should be documented. Sxeptomaniac 19:59, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

<undent> We are missing plenty of other articles about bible stories and mythological figures. Instead of trolling for rationalists and scientists to attack, and trying to turn Wikipedia into a religious tract, why not try to write some new articles that are missing?--Filll 22:38, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Attack? I'm sorry you've gotten that impression, as it's not remotely my intent. I guess that must come from some of my comments above, but I think my meaning was misunderstood. Perhaps you have misinterpreted what I was saying to be arguing for biblical literalists and creation "science"? I'd explain further, but I don't believe that's appropriate at this point in time.
I also think accusing me of trolling is quite unfair. I intentionally cut off my involvement in the above debate because it was running too long and not serving a purpose. I will do the same with this part, if necessary.
As far as other articles, I work on articles and issues as I have time and the inclination. If you feel the need to look at my contributions, you'll see that I don't spend all, or even a majority, of my time on this page. Sxeptomaniac 00:18, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Ok, since everyone seems to agree that the Noah's Ark story is a religious story then let's make the article reflect this. Sure, this article should mention that there are people that believe this story actually happened, just as wikipedia should mention that there are still people resisting the idea that the earth is not flat and not the center of the universe. But surely this article sows too much doubt about if this religious story may also be a historical event. It is so obvious to see that this story could never have happened that the statement I already referred to just doesn't cut it. And on top of that there is the utter lack of evidence. This is a mythological story with many absurdities and concepts that contradict everything we know. When you try to fit the story into reality things go horribly wrong. But the phrase I quoted from this article clearly suggests otherwise. Surely no one doubts this? Also, no one denies that there were never any floods. This story is about Noah's Ark, not about floods. Floods happen all the time.--80.56.36.253 14:29, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

"This is a religious article, and it should stay like that."

Orangemarlin, I am not certain exactly what you meant by “a religious article” and I am not sure the article should be viewed primarily as "religious"--at least not to the exclusion of "science" or other disciplines, as if the topic can only be written about one way.

As one who greatly appreciates the logic and rea<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Lupin/navpop.css&action=raw&ctype=text/css&dontcountme=s">son inherent to science I think our article should be judicious in the manner in which we may describe Noah’s Ark as religious. The ancient text does not give a “religious” description of the dimensions, materials, contents, purpose, or resting location of the Ark. Indeed it is these literal descriptions of the Ark’s alleged natural attributes that lend the Ark to a legitimate scientific evaluation by natural scientists. As mentioned in the article, the seemingly unlimited and continuing discovery of new animals was the genesis of scientifically rejecting the literal possibility of all the animals actually being contained within the Ark. Also the literal attributes of the alleged flood (that gave rise to the alleged purpose of the Ark and also gave rise to the alleged landing site, no pun intended) are what provide the natural scientist with criteria to do a scientific evaluation. If there were nothing but “religious descriptions” then scientists would have no comment.

In other words, mainstream scientists have no doubt that a wooden structure of the described size could have been built, but a majority of experts conclude that a wooden structure of that size could not be sea worthy, so if it existed it surely wasn’t used as described. Biologists conclude there are too many animals to fit, so they certainly could not have all been saved. Geologists find no evidence for a world wide flood, so there was no need for the Ark, neither was there a means for it to have been floated high to a mountain top. Surely there are additional disciplines of science that share the same view, i.e. some of the literal aspects of the Ark narrative are outside the possibility of natural causes while other aspects are within the possibility of natural causes.

My opinion is that “Noah’s Ark” does not have to be solely a “religious” article. I would acknowledge there are at least four views of the Ark narrative that can be reasonable, well cited, and appropriately included within the Noah’s Ark article. Those four views being:

  • An evaluation of the literal claims of the narrative find several aspects completely outside the possibility of natural causes and it is therefore patently false in it entirety.
  • The narrative is merely allegorical in nature, rather than literal or historical.
  • The narrative is historically true in its entirety, while acknowledging, that some literal attributes of the narrative are indeed beyond the possibility of natural causes.
  • The narrative is an amalgamation of several other more ancient narratives of previous lost cultures and texts, and its real meaning is therefore essentially unknowable.

Most of these views are not “religious” and some of them explain the Noah’s Ark narrative without even havening to debate whether or not it is “religious” or “scientific”. Indeed, there may be still more views that should be considered for inclusion in the artilce.

For this reason, Orangemarlin, I am not comfortable with your claim "this is a religious article and should stay that way.” There are several disciplines that hold different views that are well cited and widely accepted (even if they are fully at odds with what might be called a “religious” view). Lets not propose excluding them from the article just because they aren’t “religious”.Katherin 17:55, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Katherin. I do enjoy when you show up, because you do bring new perspective to this article. I actually like your idea of establishing four views for article. However, #3 is going to be a killer, because it's going to cause an NPOV battle that will never end. What I mean when I say "religious article" is that Noah's Ark should stick with a recanting of the biblical myth. You move into anything else, and it's going to cause a battle that you can't believe. A few months ago, when I first encountered this article, I wrote a whole section debunking the possibility of this article. It was well-written and referenced (if I say so myself...LOL), but it was reverted and I was reprimanded by an admin whom I consider to be fairly anti-creationist. He told me that the NPOV of this article (if I can say it that way) is that it should be about the religious POV of Noah's Ark, not if it existed or not. What you are suggesting would be a whole can of worms. The POV forks such as Flood geology allow us to discuss whether it happened or not. Orangemarlin 18:24, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Orangemarlin: I wrote a whole section debunking the possibility of this article.
Actually, I wrote too fast. I meant debunking the possibility of the subject of this article.Orangemarlin 02:02, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
That was kinda silly wasn’t it. It seems obvious the article is possible since the article exists. (sorry I couldn’t resist, but loose use of terms is what often makes this article so contentious.) Obviously the four views that I previously acknowledged are mutually incompatible in many respects. However, it should not be the purpose of an “encyclopedic” article to choose which is correct, but it should rather acknowledge the different points of view and allow them to be represented in their own terms to the extent that they are well cited. The article should not care if it is true of not. Readers are free to choose who is correct and who is wrong. It should be the responsibility of the editors to acknowledge each position honestly. The “religious” view obviously accepts “super-natural” causes and finds the narrative to be historical. The “natural science” view rejects “super-natural” causes and finds too many dependencies in the narrative on “super-natural” causes and therefore finds the story must be 1)false, 2)allegorical, or 3) unknowable because Moses didn’t understand or preserve the meaning that the original more ancient writers intended. To deny the “scientific” views or to deny science the right to evaluate the attributes within the narrative that can be evaluated by scientists would simply be inexcusable prejudice. And while it may be true that the article should not choose which view is correct, it certainly must not suppress an honest representation of each point of view, when well cited.
In fact, rather than saying this is a “religious” issue, I would go so far as to say that Noah’s Ark is now, more emphatically than ever before, very much a scientific issue rather than “religious”, for reasons of which you of course are very familiar. In fact for scientists or folks who love science (even Orangemarlin) to deny that it is now, more than ever, an issue for science to evaluate would border on being “religious”. Katherin 19:35, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

I am fairly confused. There really is no room in this article to include any scientific evaluation. And there would be very few if any real scientists that would find much of the Noah's Ark/great flood story compelling or plausible, especially if one accepts the details that are claimed by religious proponents.--Filll 01:02, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

While lengthy scientific evaluation might not fit in the scope of this article, there certainly is room in the article to have scientific conclusions. The sentence that states “..the growth of geology and biogeography as sciences meant that few natural historians felt able to justify a literal interpretation of the Ark story.” is a perfect example of how scientific evaluations can appropriately be cited and included in the article.
Why do you raise the point that few scientists would find much of the Noah’s Ark story compelling? That is not a problem. The article can't require scientists to be constrained to one opinion or the other. My point wasn’t that scientists conclude the details are compelling, but rather that they are uniquely qualified to make, (and have made, and will continue to make) scientific evaluations of those details.
And lastly, the details of the ancient text are its own details. They are not details claimed by religious proponents of today, but rather are details written by the ancient author, to what ever purpose he (or they) originally had. The author(s) wrote the details long ago, nevertheless, all of those details lend themselves to evaluation by scientists today. It would be inexcusable to deny that they are qualified today to speak intelligently to those ancient details, for which their particular disciplines suit them.Katherin 01:49, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
But once again, there is absolutely no referenced scientific sources that back the Ark story. Let's stick with the religious story, and let POV forks deal with the various issues. Orangemarlin 02:04, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Orangemarlin, Why do you keep insisting that science should not be included unless it “backs the Ark story.” Science is very relevant when addressing the details of the Arc story and it is inexcusable to deny that science has much to say about it. It is incorrect to label it a “religious story” as if only religious people have the right to comment on it. There is no right of exclusion. Scientists and Religious people alike are entitled to comment and evaluate the details. Indeed both have. As one who thinks we should not be prejudiced against science having their legitimate say, I take offense to any insinuation that science can have no bearing on it. There are many proofs of science that give strong credence to the belief that the Ark never existed, and we should not exclude them.Katherin 02:56, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm not saying that. I'm saying that there is NO referenced science that backs the Ark Story. If you want science in this article, and that's not what I'd want, there would be nothing left of this article. So, once again let's stick to religion. Orangemarlin 03:58, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

How many times do we have to remind ourselves that there is no necessity for science to comment on the details of the Ark story only if scientists agree and back the Ark story? The seemingly continual assertion that the article is exclusively “religious” and should be treated that way is terribly prejudiced. There are many highly qualified scientists from many disciplines that can be (and sometimes are) cited in the article. There are many details within the narrative that are neither inherently religious nor scientific and are also included in the text.

For instance, how is “300 cubits long” a “religious” detail or a “scientific” detail? And even if it is one or the other, who can argue that it should be excluded? But frankly, science has a lot more expertise when dealing with many of the details recorded in the ancient text and this article. The fact that there is disagreement of whether or not the details in the ancient text are true in no way excludes qualified scientific conclusions from being included. Or how can someone religious say, “This is a religious article, and even if there are details about the narrative that science has expertise in, they cannot comment, because it is “religious”? That is preposterous. Or how can a scientist say, “That is a religious issue. We cannot bring any science to bare on the questions that are raised according to the details within the text.”?

Both answers would be prejudiced, ignorant, calculating, or a copout. None of which are acceptable.Katherin 05:56, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

This article is about a mythological event/object of high significance to Abrahamic traditions. Its relation to creation science and natural history, and the history of both of this inquisitive entities is also significant enough to merit attention.
I would love to see accurate, well referenced, NPOV articles on Jonah and the Whale, Hades and Persephone, Argonauts and other significant world myths -- in as much as we have well developed articles on The Battle of Helm's Deep, Tears of the Prophets and Podracing (I think I'm gonna cry...)
Bottom line: Noah's Ark is mythical. The article should definitely make no support, even through omission, towards the idea that the concept of Noah's Ark is anything other than entirely mythological entity according to any and dare-I-say all available reliable sources. This article should also make it clear that the ark is a very significant part of certain mythologies and cultures in order to accurately reflect its notability.--ZayZayEM 14:10, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
My view is that it is not unreasonable to discuss evidence and argument for and against Noah's Ark's occurrence, although I have no opinion on whether to do this in this article or elsewhere. Once again, per WP:NPOV, Wikipedia cannot tell people whether to believe theologians or scientists: (The "reliability" question is whether a source reliably represents a particular point of view, not whether we think it's true or not. Note that many organized religions, particularly traditional ones, have formal or informal processes to determine whether a theological statement is consistent with a particular denominational view, as well as professorships at theological seminaries, societies that determine which books get published, etc. These are peer review processes.). Best, --Shirahadasha 14:30, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

As long as this article talks about literalist interpretations of the flood, it absolutely must state that ONLY literalists believe it. Every single modern scientific field rejects the flood as never having happened out of hand. Every single modern scientific field says no. Geology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, anthropology, archeology... the list goes on. It just didn't happen and no one who isn't a fundamentalist believes otherwise, and not even all of -them- are willing to stick up for the flood story because it is so completely implausible. The Bible is not a reliable source, and the Flood is fictional. Whether or not it was inspired by a real local flood is completely irrelevant; that is in the Deluge article, and rightly so. What is discussed by this article is the Biblical Flood and Noah's Ark, and that is completely rejected by all but the fundies. That should be made very clear. It should not take over the article; it should be a couple sentences, maybe a paragraph at most, because the article is primarily about the myth. But as long as it mentions literalist interpretations of the Flood and has entire sections on it, it needs to be clear who believes this and why it is a fringe viewpoint. Titanium Dragon 22:07, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes. I agree wholeheartedly. The article absolutely must address the fact that the overwhelming majority of scientists completely reject the possibility of Noah’s Ark being real. And it is advisable that the article doesn’t simply state these conclusions in general terms, but as you have done, it should be clear which disciplines of science reject the story and briefly why. In doing so it then becomes evident that the story is not rejected by scientists out of hand because it is “religious” (ie. in a prejudiced manner) but rather because the specific details within the ancient text have been meticulously considered by the appropriate disciplines and were found to simply fail the test of scrutiny from multiple disciplines across many years of research and publishing in peer reviewed works.
Not only would this help scientists avoid being seen as prejudiced now, it would also protect scientists by setting aside any accusations that they are unwilling to do research on any future alleged evidence that might be viewed by some to support the literal truth of the ancient text. Recounting to some degree the vast amount of study that has occurred already, would demonstrate an acknowledgement and assurance that future study would also be conducted if any evidence came to light that might call into question earlier, long established findings.Katherin 02:01, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Palistrophe

I reverted this recent addition to the lead: "...in its present form, the Ark story may be a palistrophe with notable parallels to Babylonian flood stories which are not present in reconstructed sources[2]." I did this because the new material is incomprehensible - what's a palistrophe, and what are these parallels? To be added to the article, the information needs to be made comprehensible, and should presumably go in the modern biblical scholarship section. (So I'm not against the addition per se, just its brevity and obscurity). PiCo 01:38, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I added the palistrophe comment to balance out a piece in the introduction that referred to the Hebrew ark story in source criticism. I didn't want to remove this piece (though it seemed a tad out of place), so extended it as best I could. The palistrophic form and significance of ANE flood story parallels should indeed be referenced in the modern biblical scholarship section, and "palistrophe" itself should be explained in a separate article.Cvtosh 13:36, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Having read that, I just now took about 25 seconds to find out what 'palistrophe' is, and learned that it is a term used ib some Biblical scholarship as a synonym for chiasm. So the appropritate article to explain palistrophe would be chiastic structure. Til Eulenspiegel 13:47, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I've already redirected palistrophe to the chiastic structure article - but palistrophe is a specific type of extended chiasm rather than simply a synonym, and would benefit from a (brief) explanation in said article.Cvtosh 13:57, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I'll have a try (tomorrow, not tonight) at re-writing the section on scholarly views to take this into account. Thanks for your contribution. PiCo 14:04, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Intro

I generally believe that in religion articles, it is better for the intro to be relatively brief and present common bare facts that both religious and academic scholars would agree on -- in this case things like the narrative's plot, and its commonly-agreed cultural importance, and similar -- and leave it to later sections to discuss its origin, interpretation, religious perspectives, relationship to other cultures, historical perspectives, etc. Best, --Shirahadasha 04:59, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I've had a similar sense of uneasiness about the intro for some time, and so I've taken this opportunity to draft a new version. For comment please. PiCo 07:09, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
It seems a little early to be going into detail about the various ways people have interpreted and analyzed the story. Isn't the whole issue of the scientific analysis of the Ark better placed after the story itself has been discussed, in its original location? Shirahadasha listed the basic plot and cultural importance as the most important part of the lead, and I'm inclined to agree. Sxeptomaniac 16:52, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I think recent changes are moving in the right direction - i.e. towards a concise (brief) summary of the article. Good work folks. SheffieldSteel 17:21, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Mythical ships...again

If a ship has been seen by many eye witnesses, it clearly is not mythical. On June 2nd, 1840 a terrific earthquake shook the highest mountain of the Armenian plains, located north of Lake Van in Turkey. The name of the shattered mountain was Aghri Dagh, better known as Mount Ararat. The earthquake wiped out ther town of Ahora and the monastery of St. Jacob. Since the earthquake, a number of sightings of an ark like structure of hand tooled timber have been made on treeless Mt. Ararat. Here is a brief summary of several eye witnesses accounts of the Ark. This material is from Willmington's Guide to the Bible, p 31. "A summary of the eye witness reports since 1840 proves facinating reading indeed. Their tesimonies bear striking similarities. a. the ship is half buried in a partly melted lake. b. The altitude is around 13,000 feet. c. The inside of the ark is filled with wooden separators (like bars inside a cage). d. The outside and inside are covered with a heavy varnish or lacquer. e. the wood is extremely hard, almost petrified. f. the main door is missing." Mr. Willmington continues citing more than 12 people and the dates of their ark sightings. The first few names and sighting dates are as follows: (1) Haji Yearman (date of sighting 1865) He was an Armenian who lived at the base of Mt. Ararat. He died in Oakland Ca in 1916. (2) John Joseph The Archbishop of Babylon and head of the Christian Nestorian Church, Joseph reported his experience at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. (3) W. Roskovitsky A Russian airman. The sighting was in 1915 during WW I. Later in 1917, a Russian expedition numbering 150 men saw it. (4) Carveth Wells A popular radio commentator over KFI in Los Angeles reported seeing wood from the ark while at the site in 1933. (5) The ark was also sighted by various airmen both Russian and American during WW II. Mount Ararat was on a direct flight between the allied base in Tunisia and the Russian base at Brivan. One of the Russians claiming to have seen it was Major Jasper Maskelyn, wartime chief of Camouflage (1941 - 1945). Sighting number (6) was by Resit, a Kurdish farmer, his experience was published in an Istanbul newspaper on November 13, 1948. On to sighting (7) by Dr. Donald M Liedman Dr. Liedman is a Jewish scientist and medical doctor. He has given sworn testimony that he was shown actual snapshots of the Ark on two occasions while in Hamburg, Germany, by a Russian air force major who had personally taken the pictures during WW II. (8) George Jefferson Greene, Greene was on a helicopter research mission for his company in 1953. While flying over Mt Ararat he spotted a strange object and took pictures from ninety feet. When developed they showed a large wooden object. These pictures were seen by many. (9) Bernard Navarra, this French explorer visited Mt Ararat and later wrote a book on the subject entitled "Noah's Ark, I Touched It" Navarra cut some wood from an object on Mt Ararat and subjected it to C-14 testings at two universities. The Univeristy of Bordeaux issued an official statement that "the fossilized wood was derived from an epoch of great antiquity." The Forest Institute of Madrid results were "Our analysis estimated the age of the fragment at 5000 years." Ark sightings have been clearly documented, analyzed, and reported else where. They have not however been widely made known. The Ark is not a myth. It is not the case that scientists stopped trying to justify the literal existence of the Ark. It was many eye witness reports that stopped the need for saying it was a myth. Jbdm 17:42, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

I move Jbdm's comments here, because it was lost back there. Couple of things. First, this conversation was resolved a month ago. Second, until you can give us peer-reviewed references, not second-hand, and really old, descriptions, none of us are going to be convinced. By the way, I could find a piece of wood that is easily carbon dated to 5000 years ago. Furthermore, I can give you radiometric dated stuff from 200 million years ago, which kind of defeats the whole Noah's Ark story anyways. Orangemarlin 20:35, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Jbdm, while it makes for interesting reading that many have seen the Ark, and that people have brought back potions of it for carbon dating, it still begs the question, and does not provide scientific proof of its presence on the mountain. Orangemarlin is correct and is not alone in this understanding. The scientific standards, and the pitfalls that are easy to fall into, are clearly demonstrated in the opening paragraphs of Project Vonbora (www. vonbora.net)
While those who are inclined to believe in the Ark may be convinced by eye witness accounts and may accept that alleged wood came from the Ark, there is a stringent scientific process of validation that is necessary. There are many scientists who are working on the subject who understand the necessary methods and are employing them.
If someone claims to have found old wood, there is no doubt that it can be tested and shown to indeed be old wood, but unless it is independently verified en site, and properly cataloged and removed for testing, then there is no valid correlation, because the “sample” cannot be verified to be from the object claimed.
Orangemarlin understands this well (better than most who believe the Ark is there). He often repeats the stringent necessities of science, and well he should. He also has personal knowledge of the involvement of some scientists who are approaching it correctly, though he of course does not think they will find anything.Katherin 04:25, 23 May 2007 (UTC)


And just to clarify, when Orangemarlin says "us", he is speaking on behalf of himself and the other select editors who have been granted executive authority over this article -- which ain't you, so, seeya... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.253.143.177 (talkcontribs).
To to the cowardly anonymous editor, oh well, whatever.. Back to Katherin. Thanks, and yes, you are right. Hey, I'm not so closed minded that I wouldn't read up on something that was verified. I still have stated that their might have been a big ship that dealt with some 5th Century BCE localized flood. But unless someone carried it up to a mountainside, it didn't float more than 10-20 meters above sea level for a couple of days. Orangemarlin 05:24, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Even if the world's leading professional archaeological society verified the existence of the remains (or intact) of a sea-worthy vessel capable of transporting large quantities of paired animals of various size for a long period o0f time (and had evidence of having done so) and dated it to a time period roughly equivalent with biblical estimates - this page would still rightly belong in Mythological Ships category, as it is a ship contained in a very powerful and developed mythological narrative with elements of religious and supernatural nature that cannot be simply confirmed by just saying "well the ship existed, Ha!". Think of this way, if I told you a story that I bought a hot dog, it talked to me and then I ate it: I could show you there was definitely a hot dog, I have a receipt and a wrapper; I definitely ate, let's analyse my "byproduct"; but I still can't definitively show that it actually talked to me and said the world was going to end tomorrow so you should sell me your car.--ZayZayEM 01:48, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
ZZ, I appreciate your two examples and the contrasts and similarities you provided. It makes for a great object lesson. You neglected some important details that would make your proposed scenarios scientifically valid. As to the “leading professional archaeological society” verifying the existence of a sea-worthy vessel, you must include the detail of “location, and dimension” as described in the ancient literary source, otherwise their comments are useless and without scientific basis. If the location and dimensions of a sea-worthy vessel happen to be the same as described in the ancient source, then in order to deny that it is the ark as described (and had arrived there as described) scientists would have to explain by what engineering and logistic marvel such a construction site was suitable for such a structure (especially if it were on top of a mountain inside a glacier). And if so, why would such a colossal effort be expended in order to build a useless structure? And as to your hot dog that talked. There is no historical record of facts proposing that there is something that can be scientifically observed today regarding the “talking” of your hot dog, and since you already ate it there is no possibility of observing it speaking again (and even if it did speak today it would not prove that it had talked before).
Both your scenarios are useless from a scientific perspective. You prevented your “professional archaeological scientists” from being scientific (since you neglected to include the testable and necessary observable facts of “location and dimensions” according to a historical record); and you proposed a scenario that cannot be scientifically tested when you proposed that your “hot dog” talked. But your most obvious leap of faith you asked us to take was when you expected us to draw the conclusion that a silenced voice or yore has any scientific commonality with a structure of specified location and dimension that can be observed today.Katherin 06:57, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
My main point was that even if a leading body confirmed a discovery of a vessel/part of a vessel resembling the ark from an expected time period in an expected location, the ship would still have a mythological aspect. It would not be proven that it had done what it had been said to have done (carried all the animals for x days), by who it was said to have been done (Noah son of Lamech, especially considering competing historical record of ark builders), and for what purpose (God said to because he flooded the entire world). Existence of one small part, or evidence of one small part of a myth does not prove a myth, especially when that evidence is simultaneously evidence for competing myths/interpretations--ZayZayEM 08:17, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
If a structure of the described location and dimensions is proved to exist according to the description in the ancient record of Moses I (and by the way none of the competing records to Moses I have the specificity necessary to scientifically locate or identify) then scientist are free to propose 1) a reason for the structure’s existence on top of a mountain underneath a glacier, 2) a description of how it came to be at that location, and 3) a purpose for which the structure was built---all necessary elements of a valid hypothesis if such a structure was verified. And then they could set out to prove it. Otherwise their prejudices would make them out to be more akin to a religious cult belief group than scientist.Katherin 17:18, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes. But it would still be mythical, it's part of a very well developed mythology. This is where it is important to understand the usage of "mythology" in context. Moreso than Noah's Ark, the existence of the Ark of the Covenant is rather historically sound - whether it pertained to the exact Mythos contained within sacred texts or certain films is an entirely different matter, and as such it is a mythological entity.--ZayZayEM 01:52, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
It would still be mythical. I see. A mythical-scientifically verified discovery? That sounds like an oxymoron. LOL.
Now ZZ, you should read your argument closer. Do you argue that such a scientifically verified discovery would still be “mythical” because it fits the description of an “ancient myth”? or is it that the scientists that verify such a discovery could not possibly come up with a more credible or plausible explanation than the text that led to its discovery? and would thus resort to citing “mythology” to explain it?Katherin 05:25, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry mythological not mythical.--ZayZayEM 05:21, 22 June 2007 (UTC)


Hi! I opened up a thread Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of view#Scientific v. Religious POVs: What exactly do we mean by pseudoscience using some of the difficulties we've been having on this page as an example. Perhaps some of the editors here might wish to comment. Best, --Shirahadasha 03:06, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi! There had been a proposal and discussion in Category talk:Mythological ships to delete the category. I've transferred that discussion to the proper forum for these things, WP:CfD, as a procedural matter. Please see the notice at the top of this page for the link to reach that discussion. Please join it. Best, --Shirahadasha 19:23, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

  • NB: The category is "Mythological ships" not "Mythical ships". Please do not stuff straw men--ZayZayEM 05:21, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

24th century BC category

Surely this is a somewhat doubtful category for this article. For one thing, even if we accept this as a historical event, how do we know if it was 23rd or 24th or 25th century? Then, if anyone wants to assert this as a historical event, there will be an immense battle here again, as everyone knows. Someone looking for Noah's Ark will be looking in this category? I doubt that, frankly. This seems to be someone who just wants to pick a fight or make some sort of point.--Filll 13:07, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

That's exactly the problem: it is not history. The only place it could go is "24th century BC in fiction and mythology" within the 24th century BC article, and even that is shaky as the actual dating (even given all of Ussher's hard work) is really only a guess. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149; 21:13, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I think we can safely remove it without further comment whenever it's re-inserted. TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:42, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
The category has few entries; and true, it can't be pinned down to that exact century, so I accept this deletion. rossnixon 03:01, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

References

OK, this shouldn't be too controversial. I'm cleaning up the references to standardize them per WP:CITET. What I've found is that when the references are clean and easy-to-use, it makes it a better and more academic article. I do this with total NPOV, meaning, I don't care what the reference says, unless it's a dead link, or absolutely does not say anything that would support the statement in the article. If i really think something is off-base, I'll post here. This takes time, so be patient. And I'll be pretty uncivil to anyone who adds a reference that doesn't adhere to the CITET standard. Grrrrrrrrr. Orangemarlin 23:48, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

3rd Millennium BC

It can't be pinned down to that millennium either. It can't be pinned down to any particular time. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:53, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

(RI) Sorry, does third millennium bc refer to the date the story was thought to have been compiled or the when the flood was supposed to have occured? ornis 05:03, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

According to the Bible, if you work the dates backwards, you'll find that the flood would have occured in the 24th century BCE. Obviously it didn't (Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China all writing well before then, and many other cultures beside) but that's when the Bible says it did. I'm not sure it is inappropriate to place fictional/mythological events in those categories, as they supposedly happened at that time. Titanium Dragon 07:07, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I see. In that case, I'm removing the cat. If someone can point out a reliable source placing the origins, or at least redaction of the myth then perhaps there article can go in that era's cat. ornis 07:57, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

TD, The oldest verifiable Chinese dates are from the Xia_Dynasty 2070-1600 BC. The dates were revised downward following new scholarship in recent years. Slightly OT: The oldest living organism is a Bristlecone Pine (4650 years old). Anyway, there are at least 5 ways that this category is acceptable.

  • The Bible is a reliable source
  • Much lower standards of verifiablity are accepted in other articles
  • The "story" is set in that millennium
  • This is not a science article or science encyclopedia
  • The majority of people accept the historicity of this event. rossnixon 02:09, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • The Bible is a reliable source. No it ain't.
  • Much lower standards of verifiablity are accepted in other articles. That's not really an excuse, given that only 1 in 756 articles are considered 'Good Articles'.
  • The "story" is set in that millennium. Fair enough.
  • This is not a science article or science encyclopedia. No arguments here.
  • The majority of people accept the historicity of this event. Only if you assume that all muslims, jews and christians accept its historicity and then it's only just a bare majority.
Anyway, I won't remove it from the category again, based on the 'setting' rationale. ornis 02:31, 25 June 2007 (UTC)


Records of the Xia Dynasty are no older than 3rd century BC, based on older legends. Although archaeology has discovered urban sites from around it's supposed time that may well be the culture described, but we have no contemporaneous records from then. Since the Chinese were well able to predict the motions of the planets, any recorded astronomcal indicator of Xia Dynasty times could easily be a product of computation by later chroniclers. So this proves nothing.
  • The Bible is not an entirely reliable historical source.
  • Much lower standards of verifiability exist in other articles, but are not accepted if challenged.
  • The story is not "set" in any particular time that can be positively identified. It certainly doesn't give any date internally. You have to use extra-Biblical computations to arrive at a date, so even assuming it's literally correct as history this is a matter of opinion. Ussher's date isn't the only one, after all. His epoch is over 1,000 years more recent than that in my (much older) tradition, and there's no NPOV reason to assert one tradition over another.
  • Scientific or not, we cannot place a firm date on an event that cannot otherwise have been shown to happen.
  • The majority of people do not accept the historicity of this event. You'd have to assume that every single Christian, Jew and Muslim in the world did, but that's not true. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:00, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
If you study up, you will find that the genealogies in the Torah matched up with known secular dates such as the building of Solomon's Temple[10], do place the 'setting of the Noah's Flood "story" smack in the middle of the 3rd Millennium BC. rossnixon 02:38, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
If you read that page carefully, and not with the idea that it proves your opinion beyond a shadow of a doubt, you'd see how much guesswork went into that calculation, and that the accounts in Genesis were intended to be read as literally true, which cannot be concluded. There is furthermore no reason to put "story" in quotes. An account can be true or not without changing its story-like character. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:27, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Biblical chronology is a fascinating subject. Ross, I think your source is wrong on a few points. He says that Japhet was born before Shem, but the birth-order given in Genesis is Shem-Japhet-Ham: "The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan." This is important, because one of the themes of the entier series of biblical books from there to Samuel is to establish a direct line of descent from Noah (and hence Adam) to David, either as first-born (as in the case of Shem here), or as receiver of the birthright (on those occassions when a younger son is given priority over the first-born). The point being made is that the kings of the Davidic line are the first-born, favoured sons of the entire human race. (And one of the equally interesting spin-offs of this is that are two competing accounts of just who got the birthright of Jacob, either Judah, according to one account, or Ephraim, according to another - Ephraim being the tribe of the first kings of Israel after Solomon, and Judah the tribe of the Davidic kings). Anyway, all that aside, there's a problem with the way numbers are used in the OT. Far too many things happen in units of 40Today we interpret 40 as meaning 40, but in Hebrew it had two meanings: a single generation, and "many" (because the words for "forty" and "many" sound very similar). So Solomkon and David reign 40 years, and the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years, and 480 years elapse between the Exodus and the building of the Temple (480=40x12, twelve being the highest number you can count to on the fingers of one hand, hence, like our Indo-European 10, a number signifying completion, fulness). The upshot is that the numbers, let alone the computation of numbers, in the bible can't always be taken literally, and weren't always meant literally. PiCo 04:31, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
It was precisely the numbers that I had in mind in my post just before yours, but you expressed the idea with far more clarity. TCC (talk) (contribs) 04:34, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Mythological Ship

You know, it's totally irrelevant whether or not the ark actually exists in any form. The one this article focuses on is still mythological, because it's a feature of a very well-known Judeo-Christian myth.

To put this in perspective, I would consider the City of Troy to be a mythological city, even though archeologists have unearthed the city that the myth was based on. There was a real city of Troy, yes. But that doesn't make Homer's stories about gods and goddesses true. The Troy of his poems is a mythological version which mirrors whatever city actually existed.

In the same way, I don't care if a ship is actually found on Mt. Ararat. That doesn't prove the existence of the ancient Hebrew storm god Yahweh, it doesn't mean snakes can talk or people can walk on water, or any other mythical aspect of the Bible, and the mythological ark in Genesis would still just be a fantastical story at best partly inspired by some real life events.

If an actual ark were found, it would not make Christian fairy tales true any more than it would prove any other flood and ark myth true, like the ones featured in Greek or Babylonian mythology.Rglong 23:17, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Not a forum 172.145.222.35 00:31, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Concerning supposed discovery of ark someone keeps adding

Yeshua2000 keeps adding information saying that the ark was discovered in Turkey in 1987. See his edit [[11]]. Here is a picture of the supposed ark he says was found [[12]] which is obviously fake. I'd recommend someone revert his edits due to the sources being unreliable and apparent fraud. Wikidudeman (talk) 16:16, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I disagree with Yeshua2000 that this IS Noah's Ark. But the photo itself is not a fake. The object is real. Someone in the field put tape on the object to outline supposed structural components then took the photo. I'm certain that this has not been Photoshopped.
I believe that Wyatt actually believed all the stuff he said, but the poor man was ignorant and self-deluded. The problem is that he was an effective communicator especially to people who knew even less than he, such as Yeshua2000
It might be useful to have reference to Wyatt in the to show how ignorance can lead to deluding one's self and others. Allenroyboy 17:56, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Surely it is our duty to make personal judgements and pronouncements on what we consider fake and ignorant, in order to enlighten all the deluded masses out there to our most correct way of thinking. 172.133.94.242 18:07, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Just for the record. I personally believe that there was a global cataclysm and that there was an Ark. And I'd love to see the Ark found. However, so far, other than reported sightings, there is no hard evidence that it may still exist. Wyatt's claims were [he died several years ago] made out of ignorance. I believe he may have been well intentioned, but simply self-deluded. Allenroyboy 19:22, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
IF it's a photo of a boat, It's not on Mt.Ararat. If it's on Mt.Ararat then it's not a photo of a boat. If it is a photo of a boat and it is on Mt. Ararat then someone manually put it there recently for tourism purposes. Either way you cut it, It's a fake in that it's not what it's pictured as being. Wikidudeman (talk) 17:54, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
The object is real, but it is not a boat. It only superficially resembles a boat. It is a geologic structure composed solely of rock and soil. Wyatt's claim is that it is petrified. But the rock is igneous, not the type of rock that forms in the mineralization of a fossil.
It is not on Mount Ararat, but in some mountains just south of Ararat and the town of Dogubayazit. Allenroyboy 18:03, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I didn't know for sure. Wikidudeman (talk) 18:07, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

See the Ron Wyatt article for an assessment of Ron, whether con-man,charlatan, sincere seeker of truth, or whatever. See also Durupinar for an assessment of his version of Noah's Ark.PiCo 23:05, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Only one Christian view of the flood and Ark?

The article almost uniformly presents the 'literalist' view of the flood and Ark, without any reference to the views of Christians who believe the Genesis account to be historical but who do not believe in a global flood or a 450-600 foot Ark. I'd like to see this corrected, and I've added a little material to get this going. --Taiwan boi 08:42, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I see the information I added to the article on this has also been removed. Is there a reason why only one Christian interpretation is to be presented in this article? --Taiwan boi 09:13, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Historical evidence for similarly large timber ships

The section on the physical practicality of the Ark described the standard skeptical arguments whilst only mentioning in passing Christian apologetic responses. The only response listed was that of Christian 'literalists' who apparently believe that 'Noah must have built the Ark using advanced post-19th century techniques such as space frame construction'. No reference was made to Christian apologetics who advance different arguments, using historical evidence of similarly pre-modern timber ships, so I have added material which reflects this particular Christian argument. I endeavoured to be thorough, but people might think it's too detailed or too long. Let me know. --Taiwan boi 08:41, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Ok, the information I added was promptly removed without any explanation. That was unexpected. --Taiwan boi 09:01, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
While I think your concerns may be valid, for the moment I've reverted them so we can get a bit of consensus first. For one thing you've put them in the wrong section, and for another, they're largely a copyright violation, since it seems you've cut and paste large blocks of text from your source. Anyway here's the diff. ornis (t) 09:13, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
The section I placed them in was a section comparing the Ark to historical timber ships, discussing Christian responses to criticisms regarding the size of the Ark. The material I added also compared the Ark to historical timber ships, discussing Christian responses to criticisms regarding the size of the Ark. I'm uncertain as to why this was the wrong section. With regard to copyright, a reference was made to the source of the material which was added, a direct link being provided, and since I have permission to use the material on that site in this Wikipedia article, I fail to see how copyright was breached. --Taiwan boi 09:19, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Among other things, couldn't you just summarise the material in a sentence or two then put a link to your source? We're an encylopedia here, whose role is to summarise knowledge. Reproducing material, writ large, defeats this objective somewhat. And, regardless of having permission to reproduce material, if it does become necessary to reproduce material here, at least mark it up as such by placing it in quotes. If nothing else, such lifting of material may otherwise be mistaken for plagiarism (or the work of neutral Wikipedia editors!). --Plumbago 09:39, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
From what I've seen on Wikipedia, the standard practice is to use text directly from various articles (sometimes word for word, sometimes slightly paraphrased), with a link to the source article (sometimes with a note saying 'This article uses text from the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica', or 'This article uses text from the Encyclopedia of Judaism'), without placing material in quotes. The MacTutor Mathematicians Archive is one source commonly used in this way (without even saying 'This article uses text from...', simply placing a link at the end of the article). But I'm happy to use quotes instead. I'm also happy to rewrite the information in summary form. --Taiwan boi 09:52, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
The 1911 Encyc. Brit. is in the public domain. It's also considered a reliable source. Your source is neither. ornis (t) 09:56, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I believe you've missed the point of what I wrote. The fact that the 1911 Britannica is in the public domanin doesn't mean that people can use its words without quotation marks as if those words were their own. As far as my source goes, if you have information that it is unreliable please do present it. It cites Robert Seppings on the issue of 19th century ships over 200 feet in length, it cites Memnon as a source for one ancient Greek warship and Plutarch as a source for the Tessarakonteres, it cites Egyptian inscriptions and a work on Egyptology as a source for the details of the obelisk barges, and it cites recognized scholarship and archaeological finds as sources for the details of Caligula's 'Giant Ship' and 'Nemi ships'. --Taiwan boi 10:10, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh really? ornis (t) 10:20, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, 'Oh really'. The fact that a work is in the public domain does not mean you can use its words and pretend that they're your own. That is plagiarism, regardless of the fact that the work is out of copyright. The article you quoted (and let's remember 'Wiki is not a reliable source' according to ConfuciusOrnis), does not say anything of that kind. It does say 'The eleventh edition has become a commonly quoted source'. That is why Wiki articles using it carry a statement saying something like 'Information in this article has been taken from the 1911 Encylopedia Britannica'. --Taiwan boi 10:29, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
No, the section I linked to shows that Project Gutenburg is in the preocess of re-titling and redistributing the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica as "The Gutenburg Encyclopeadia"... looks a lot to me like using "its words without quotation marks as if those words were their own". ornis (t) 10:49, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I suggest you actually read the introduction of 'The Gutenberg Encycloaedia', which makes it very clear that these are not their own words: 'The Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia is a reproduction of a 1911 edition of a famous encyclopedia. The text has not been updated. Although the text is in the public domain in the United States, the original publisher still has a valid trademark in the original title of the encyclopedia.' --Taiwan boi 11:17, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
The section is meant to be an overview of literalist ideas, not an in-depth review of them - in other words, we don't have the space to add all that material. Far better to give links to any websites you feel are relevant, either through the footnotes or through the external links section. --PiCo 09:45, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't expect this section to be an in-depth review of literalist ideas. I do expect it to include relevant material from a range of different views, including those of Christians who do not believe in a 450-600 foot Ark. I also expect the material concerning the physical practicality of the Ark to be factually accurate. --Taiwan boi 09:57, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The section you placed them in was discussing literalist interpretations, and I was under the impression your objection was that the article didn't give a voice to non-literalist christian apologetics. And really, how am I supposed to know you have permission, I couldn't find anywhere on the site where the author gives permission to reproduce the material in whole or part. Also I should point out that blogs are generally not regarded here as terribly good sources. ornis (t) 09:48, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I do object that the article doesn't give sufficient voice to 'non-literalist christian apologetics', but the information I included in that section was not included in order to provide voice to 'non-literalist christian apologetics'. It was included to balance the claims made regarding the practicality of timber ships over a certain size. I know you couldn't find 'anywhere on the site where the author gives permission to reproduce the material in whole or part'. That doesn't change the fact that I have such permission. Furthermore, whilst 'blogs are generally not regarded here as terribly good sources', that particular blog provides appropriate references and verifiable information (some of it from Wiki in fact). --Taiwan boi 09:57, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is also not a reliable source. If the blog provides other good sources, then you should go to those instead. The fact that you have permission is neither here nor there, if the author has made no clear disclaimer of copyright over the material. Anyway, as others have said, it's better to use short quotes and summaries, over wholesale cutting and pasting. ornis (t) 10:02, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Well that's quotable, 'Wikipedia is also not a reliable source'. I get that all the time. The fact is that Wiki is reliable where it is correctly referenced. I don't believe that particular blog uses any information from Wiki which is not correctly referenced. As for linking to 'other good sources', you've missed the point of the link I included. The link I included was to provide an example of Christian apologetic arguments for the practicality of Noah's Ark on the basis of historically large ships of similar dimensions. Linking to an archaeological article does not constitute an example of Christian apologetic arguments for the practicality of Noah's Ark on the basis of historically large ships of similar dimensions. Furthermore, I fail to understand why the author's permission to use their material is 'neither here nor there' simply because no explicit disclaimer of copyright has been made. I'll rewrite the information in summary form. --Taiwan boi 10:15, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
In other news, here's the copyright notice of the source under question: 'Material from this site may be quoted, paraphrased, or cited on the basis of 'Attribution' and 'Non-Commercial' Creative Common licenses. This means that material can be used as described on the basis that the author is credited for the material (by a link to the article or by crediting 'J Burke' and the article name), for non-commercial purposes.' --Taiwan boi 10:26, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
The problem is not that you have permission to reproduce copyright material, but rather that the material is copyright. That means that there is an implied protection against modification. So once you place the copyright material here, any other editor can alter it. The authors credit then becomes problamatic. The 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica is out of copyright, so no such problems exist. Much better to summarise and reference. --Michael Johnson 10:51, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate what you're saying, and your points are valid. However, in this case the material in question is usable under the 'Attribution' and 'Non-commercial' Creative Commons licenses. If it is paraphrased and a link is provided, then there's no problem with anyone changing the paraphrase, since it is not being represented as the exact text of the article. If on the other hand it is quoted directly in quotation marks and a link is provided, then I doubt anyone is going to change the text in the quotation marks, so copyright issues will not arise. --Taiwan boi 15:02, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

The problem is not the copyright, nor the lack thereof, but the poor quality of the material itself. Here's some notes on the ships mentioned in Taiwanboi's proposed addition to the article. I've compared each of his four ancient ships to the Wyoming, the largest all-wooden ship ever built, by hull-length (we cite this in the article). As you see, these ships were all either the same length as the Wyoming, or shorter, and none of them were sea-going:

  • Tessarakonteres, 100 meters, same length as the "Wyoming": built for show, not use, could be moved "only with danger".
  • Egyptian bronze-age barge, 63 metres: shorter than the "Wyoming".
  • Hatshepsut's bronze-age barge, 95-140 metres est.: the shorter end of the estimate is about the same as the "Wyoming", and the experience of the Tessarakonteres and the Wyoming suggests that the shorter end is more accurate.
  • Roman Nemi ships, 75 metres: shorter than the Wyoming.
  • Caligula's giant ship, 104 metres: not much different from the Wyoming.

On this basis, I don't think we can accept the proposed addition. PiCo 10:58, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Nothing you have provided there indicates that the quality of the information is 'poor'. You are instead contesting its relevance in the context of this particular section. The issue under discussion in that section is not whether timber ships larger than the Wyoming could be built, but whether it was practical for ships of a size comparable to the dimensions suggested for Noah's Ark to be built (the title of this section is 'Seaworthiness', but the actual issue of seaworthiness is not specifically addressed in this section, which as it stands should read 'Practicality'). The Tessarakonteres was the same length as the Wyoming (the fact that it wasn't very navigable doesn't change the fact that it was built), you've chosen to ignore the longer posited length of Hatshepsut's barge (whereas even the shorter length is around the same as the Wyoming), and you're misinformed on Caligula's giant ship (the Nemi ships were lakebound floating palaces, but the giant ship was a seagoing transport barge). These vessels are relevant to the issue of whether or not a ship of dimensions similar to the Ark could be built. Comparisons with the Wyoming are only slightly relevant given that the Ark was a barge like these other ships, whereas the Wyoming was not a barge and was subject to stresses from which these other ships were free. Comparing them to the Wyoming is comparing apples to oranges. --Taiwan boi 11:13, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I've realised my error about the Giant Ship and have corrected myself. As for your main point: the section on literalism doesn't deny that ships the size of the Wyoming could have been built in ancient times, it suggests that they wouldn't have been seaworthy. The Ptolemaic ship certainly wasn't sea-worthy (moving it was deemed "dangerous"), Caligula's pleasure-barges floated in a lake, and the Egyptian barges were used on a river. The problem that huge wooden ships face is hogging, which is caused by waves - so the lake and river bqarges are irrelevant. The only one that could be relevant is the giant ship, but did it ever go to sea? I see no evidence that was ever used as anything more than the foundation for a lighthouse - a giant caisson to be filled with rocks. We need something better than this. PiCo 11:28, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
PiCo, I've realised that we are in fact discussing the merits of the arguments raised by Christian apologists, which is not the purpose of this talk page. Whether or not you or I agree with the merits of the arguments raised by Christian apologists on this subject, the purpose of citing this blog is as an example of arguments used by Christian apologetics on this subject. I will endeavour to correct this in my next revision. By the way, you'll find that the river barges that the Egyptians used overcame hogging problems by using hogging trusses, that Caligula's giant ship is recorded as having moved an obelisk from Egypt, and you'll also find that the blog argues that the Ark was a landlocked barge experiencing a local flood, which is why comparisons with analogous barges are relevant. Comparisons with multi-masted, heavily rigged, ironclad sea-going Western vessels with steam powered bilge pumps constructed on entirely different design principles, are not relevant. --Taiwan boi 13:50, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Blogs almost never meet WP:RS, a policy on Wikipedia. The blog being used as a source does not. If someone has a reason why that blog should be considered as a source, please let me know, because otherwise this whole discussion is rather off-point, as it seems to be discussing the merits of content from the blog. KillerChihuahua?!? 11:32, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
The blog cites Robert Seppings on the issue of 19th century ships over 200 feet in length, it cites Memnon as a source for one ancient Greek warship and Plutarch as a source for the Tessarakonteres, it cites Egyptian inscriptions and a work on Egyptology as a source for the details of the obelisk barges, and it cites recognized scholarship and archaeological finds as sources for the details of Caligula's 'Giant Ship' and 'Nemi ships'. If that means it's not a reliable source, then I would have to wonder what is. But you are correct, the merits of content from the blog should not be discussed here. It should not be cited as a reliable source if people are going to argue about it. But it should be cited in the main article as an example of Christian apologetics in the relevant section, because it is an example of Christian apologetics on this subject. Whether or not you, or I, or anyone else agrees with the content of the blog, that is how it should be cited in the article. The problem was that neither the criticism nor the apologetic material was really presented with NPOV. I will rewrite later today. --Taiwan boi 13:50, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) No, we should not use a blog which does not meet RS as an "example", or for any other purpose - it does not meet RS. Find another source for Seppings, Memmon, and Plutarch. In your proposed rewrite, use those cites. Avoid weasely "Some Christians" or "Some apologists" in favor of "Seppings states" etc. Attribution needs to be specific, not to some undefined "some". We do not give "examples" from unreliable sources; we may use an article or other reliable source which does comment on a blog or its contents, but to do so ourselves is original research. Wikipedia is a tertiary, not a primary, source. And finally, remember that this is a featured article and any proposed changes must meet consensus as being considered an improvement; please work with other editors on the talk page on your desired changes. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:03, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

You seem to have misunderstood what I am saying. I am talking about using the blog as an example of what Christian apologetics say about the Ark. If we want examples of what Christian apologetics say about the Ark, we do not look to Seppings. Seppings is not an example of what Christian apologists say about the Ark. Seppings did not write a Christian apologetic on the Ark. Seppings may or may not have even been a Christian. This is irrelevant. If we want examples of what Christian apologetics say about the Ark, we do not say 'Seppings states'. We say 'Some Christian apologists say', and then link to the blog as an example of what 'Some Christian apologists say'. That is not using 'weasel words', it is stating a fact unless you can demonstrate that the site is not saying what is attributed to it, or you can demonstrate that the site is not a Christian apologetic. Is this clear yet? On the subject of what is and what is not a reliable source, if a direct quote from Seppings does not constitute a reliable source for what Seppings said then what does? --Taiwan boi 15:02, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

The problem with making any citation from a blog is really a combination of two factors:

  • Our guidelines specifically state that self-published sources such as blogs can only be counted as a reliable source for what the author says and not for any other subject.
  • The author of this particular blog is not notable (unless you intend to show evidence to the contrary).

Therefore, it would not be appropriate to cite this blog because it would just be stating one person's opinion. You would need to present further evidence, again from a reliable source, that that author's opinion was typical or representative of some larger group. I hope this sheds some light on the problem. The best solution I can suggest is to find a website (or a published position document) from a group which states their position. SheffieldSteel 17:22, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I suggest you've misread my proposal also. I am not suggesting that the blog be cited as a 'reliable source'. I am suggesting that it be cited as an example of an argument raised by Christian apologists. I originally wanted to cite it as a 'reliable source', but later agreed this was inappropriate and suggested it be cited as an example of an argument raised by Christian apologists. KillerChihuahua kept thinking I wanted to cite it as a 'reliable source'. Currently the article makes numerous claims about what 'literalists' say without actually providing any information as to who these 'literalists' are, and without providing any evidence that this is what they say. Instead we have vague handwaving references to 'many websites'. I wasn't aware that this was the correct way to support statements in a Wiki article. What I am suggesting is the kind of reference which already does exist in the article. In the article we have the statement 'While some literalists hold that the Ark could have held all known species, a more common position today is that the Ark contained "kinds" rather than species', and a single website is provided as evidence that this is 'a more common position today'. I am suggesting the same kind of thing, a statement that 'Christian counter-arguments include', or 'Christian apologists reply' or something similar, and then a link to the blog as an example of how 'Christian apologists reply'. Is this valid or not? --Taiwan boi 14:22, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
What SheffieldSteel says! I didn't misunderstand Tawian boi, but it seems I was less than clear in my post. If you still don't see the problem after reading SS's post, let us know. But you cannot use a blog as an example, that's Original research, just like using an interview you did yourself is Original research. We're not a primary source, and OR is not allowed. KillerChihuahua?!? 17:30, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Online text of Genesis

The article used to link to the UNi of Virigina online etxt of Genesis in the Revised Standard Version. The National Council of Churches of Christ, which holds the copyright to the RSV in America, has now withdrawn permission for its publication in favour of the King James, to which they also hold copyright. I've found a different online source for the RSV, but it seems to be hosted by the Uni of Michigan, so might also be forced off.

And why does the NCC want to ban the RSV? The RSV has been controversial with fundamentalists ever since its publication, not least because of Isaiah which they take as a prophecy of Chrit's birth - "a virgin shall conceive", or words to that effect. The Hebrew word the fundamentalists want to translate as "virgin" is more accurately translated "young woman", and this is what the RSV has. That's one of their most important objections, but there others, all to do with the RSV preferring accuracy over theology. I don't know why it's taken them so long to ban the thing, but at last they have. I'll keep an eye out for further events. PiCo 01:09, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

The KJV is public domain in the US, and the NCC owns none of the copyrights to any of the recent versions that incorporate "King James" in their names.
But why link to a particular translation at all, when we can use {{bibleverse}} to let the reader choose? If you don't specify a translation, you get a list: {{bibleverse||Genesis|6-9}} yields Genesis 6-9. Or you can pick one and go there directly: {{bibleverse||Genesis|6-9|50}} gives Genesis 6-9.
The RSV has been controversial for more than just fundamentalists, but the NRSV is even worse. That is really the version they want to promote, but my church has specifically forbidden its use for liturgy and spiritual reading. (Not academic study for the purpose of analysis, of course.) Well, the NCC might want to push the NRSV, but I don't see any sign on their website that they've banned the RSV. They may well have withdrawn permission for online access, but that's not really shocking. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:40, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Looking at your recent edits I started to wonder why you were so wedded to the RSV, but then I re-read your comment above more attentively. The problem isn't really that the RSV "prefer[s] accuracy over theology", but that they not uncommonly use a minority witness in the ancient sources to put forward their preferred meaning. This is more a problem in the NT, where they rely on the Alexandrian texts more than is really warranted.
In any event, the "virgin" reading in Isaiah is nowhere near as cut-and-dried as some like to make out these days. It obviously has an ambiguous meaning: The 3rd century BC translators of the Septuagint used the Greek word for "virgin" there, which must reflect their understanding of it at the time and which must necessarily be free of any Christian theological bias.
That's of secondary importance anyway. When Matthew quotes it, he clearly thinks it means "virgin", but he says flat-out that Mary was a virgin anyway. More problematic is the obscuring of Messianic prophecy in many OT verses. In both Greek and Hebrew the words for "annointed one" would be the same in either the context of, say, the Psalms and in NT use -- if the NT were translated from Greek to Hebrew -- making the connection stand out if that's what you're looking for. But in the RSV they deliberately chose to use "annointed one" or similar everywhere in the OT, while retaining "Christ" in the NT. Greek has "christos" in both places; Hebrew would similarly use "moshiach". A translation concerned primarily with accuracy would have found a way to show this in English.
Never mind that the English is just plain ugly in places. And the way they use the archaic second-person pronoun is absurd. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:07, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I like the KJV for the poetry - perhaps it's just a matter of childhood memories, plus the way it's so intertwined with English literature right up to the early 20th century. I like the RSV for attempting to get closer to the Hebrew, which unfortunately but inevitably has meant moving well away from the KJV. What many in the US don't like about the RSV is, as you say, the obscuring of what they take to be Messianic prophecies. Whether you believe those prophecies are there depends very much on whether you already believe in the Messiah. (Outside the US the question doesn't really arise, as so few people read the bible in any edition).PiCo 00:04, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
It's intended to be a Christian translation, isn't it? So it should be written to meet the needs of Christians. I know of no Christian denomination that doesn't see these prophecies as important. And again, it's an obscurity that simply would not exist in either Hebrew or Greek. To that extent it's artificial.
It's not clear that a direct translation from the Masoretic is really desirable anyway. The differences between it and the LXX were once thought to be errors, but if the Dead Sea Scrolls have showed nothing else it's that the two simply represent different textual traditions, both of which were current in the 1st century. The NT quotes from the LXX far more than it does from the tradition now represented by the Masoretic. (The LXX as a translation predates the addition of vowel points to the Hebrew Scriptures by at least 1000 years.) One might therefore be justified in thinking of the LXX as the "Christian Old Testament". TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:17, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
"It's intended to be a Christian translation, isn't it?" I'd prefer an English translation. "So it should be written to meet the needs of Christians." If those Christians merely want their existing beliefs reinforced, yes. But their beliefs are extraordinary - an incarnate god who dies and is resurrected, descended from a man (David) who died a thousand years beforehand, and so on. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proofs, as someone once said. The bible itself is the only proof these claims can have, and so they (Christians) really shouldn't be looking for a translation which merely reinforces their beliefs - they need to be sure they're right. PiCo 00:27, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Then why is is so important to hide things that are actually in the text? TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:00, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Water

Why is there no mention of the fact that there is not enough water on earth to be able to completely cover it? Ian 17:27, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

The reason is, that when similar scientific criticisms were suggested, they were shot down as being inappropriate for an article that had already reached FA status. A proposal to write a separate article dealing with criticism, or history of criticism was considered, but the effort has not progressed very far yet.--Filll 18:07, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

It's already being addressed at Flood geology#Source of flood waters, which is more appropriate. Perhaps we need a "See also" link at the head of the section to redirect those seeking information related to Creationist arguments regarding the flood itself. Sxeptomaniac 23:16, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

This article is abt the Ark rather than the Flood. Yes, I know, no flood, no ark. But we try to disentangle them, just to keep the thing manageable. PiCo 23:57, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with PiCo and Filll. I would like to know if the separate article dealing with the history of criticism has actually been started. --Taiwan boi 12:21, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Well-reminded Sxeptomaniac - the Flood geology article covers the point that Ian is asking about. While, yes, the Flood and the Ark are separate subjects, jointly criticising their historicity over at Flood geology seems most sensible. Unless, that is, one would like to see specific criticism of whether, for instance, the Ark would float in principle, etc. A detailed engineering critique of wooden shipbuilding seems a little redundant when one considers the sheer weight of biological, geological and physical evidence stacked up against the elevated sealevel a particularly literal reading of religious texts implies. --Plumbago 12:47, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Proposed edit: cubit

I would like to propose the following edit:

Many different cubits were in use in the ancient world, and various commentators differ in their opinions as to which should be used to interpret the Ark's dimensions. However, 8th century BC Siloam inscription indicates a Hebrew cubit length of around 17 inches, which is 431.8mm (making the Ark about 410-425 feet long), and is the earliest written evidence for the cubit length used in Israel before the Babylonian exile.[1][2][3] This is the nearest written Hebrew source to the composition of the flood narrative in Genesis, and so this is the most likely length of the cubit used by Noah. Literalist websites seem prefer to use a larger cubit, possibly in order to maximize the available space within the Ark in order to contain all the animals a literalist reading of the text requires, and seem to agree that the Ark was approximately 450 feet (137 m) in length.

The sources cited are an article from the Atlantic Baptist University, an article from the Harper Bible Dictionary and an article from the Tyndale Bible Dictionary. These may or may not be considered 'original research' or a 'reliable source'. All three say exactly what the article in the blog says, all three citing the Siloam inscription as the relevant proximate literary evidence for the length of the Old Testament cubit, as the blog did. Please comment. --Taiwan boi 15:26, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

That much info would be fine in the Cubit article, but far more than we have room for in this one! PiCo 15:43, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I have only added two sentences. We don't have room for two sentences? Remember, that paragraph in italics is a proposed edit which incorporates existing text. It's not a new paragraph to be added. --Taiwan boi 15:47, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I see the sources as being reliable. Why do they think the 8th century BC is close in date to the composition of Genesis? Van Seters and Schmid place J in the Exilic period, the Copenhagen School puts it even later, and almost everyone except Friedman dates P to the Exile or later. In other words, all of them put the Noah story several centuries later than the 8th. That's among the Americans: in Europe, Rendtorff and Blum see Noah and the entire primeval history as a post-Exilic addition, the very last part of Genesis to be written - again long after the 8th century. The only contemporary scholar who would agree with your 8th century date for the Noah story is Erich Zenger - he gives the primeval history a date in the 7th to early 6th centuries. Your sources seem unaware of any of this. (To put this another way, there's no point in looking for a pre-Exilic cubit when the majority of biblical scholars give the primeval history and Noah a post-Exilic date). PiCo 16:58, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
If you read what I actually wrote, you will see that I did not cite them as sources saying that the 8th century Siloam inscription was the closest proximate literary source to the Genesis narrative for the cubit. I cited them as sources saying that the Siloam inscription is the earliest written evidence for the cubit used in Israel before the Babylonian exile. I understand that you're saying that you want this part of the article to reflect a certain POV (secular Higher Criticism), though I don't agree with the decision (when you refer to 'the majority of biblical scholars', you refer of course to the majority of secular biblical scholars). But from a quick review of the other comments on the Talk page today, I can see that this is the general aim of the editors here. I'll make another attempt at suggesting an edit:

Many different cubits were in use in the ancient world, and various commentators differ in their opinions as to which should be used to interpret the Ark's dimensions. Literalist websites seem prefer to use a larger cubit, possibly in order to maximize the available space within the Ark in order to contain all the animals a literalist reading of the text requires, and seem to agree that the Ark was approximately 450 feet (137 m) in length. Other Christian websites suggest a shorter cubit of around 17 inches, making the Ark 410-425 feet long (125-129 metres). --Taiwan boi 23:58, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Since Moses - a prince of Egypt - wrote the book of Genesis in circa 1560-1520 BC, one should look for a definition of cubit in ancient Egyptian records. Looks like a 20.6 inch cubit is likely (see [13]rossnixon 02:11, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Nice guesswork, but that has nothing to do with article content. Taiwan boi wants to include information that some literalist groups use a different standard for the cubit than the conventional "royal cubit". To establish that he only has to cite sources from those groups. TCC (talk) (contribs) 02:26, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Moses didn't write the book of Genesis; it was ascribed to Moses to lend it credence, but it was written long after Moses (assuming he even existed, which we don't really have evidence for) died. Titanium Dragon 01:16, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
That depends if you looked for evidence or not.[14][15] rossnixon 02:22, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
The sole purpose of this talkpage is to discuss changes to the article, not to endlessly seize every available opportunity to push your own minimalist POV. 70.105.57.17 01:38, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
in ref to titanium d. - let alone saying the exact same of your own statment what sources do you have to say otherwise? as the editor above said this isnt' the point of article talk pages. it seems to be about your personal pov. So never mind. --Xiahou 02:58, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
See documentary hypothesis for sources. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:04, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
existance not writing. anyway back on topic how to improve the article particularly "Proposed edit: cubit " which this section is not did Moses exist. --Xiahou 03:22, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Narrative

The narrative presents one intepretation of the Genesis account as if this is exactly what the Genesis account is saying. Several different POVs of the Genesis account exist. The only one represented in the narrative is the 'globalist' view (note I will not say 'literalist', since 'literal' in this article is being misused). I suggest that the narrative section needs to be edited in order to identify the fact that it can be, and is, read from different POVs. --Taiwan boi 15:29, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think this article was written in any POV rather than describing the biblical account. Interpretations, whether scientific or otherwise, probably are better placed in POV forks to this article. For example, see Flood geology where I believe there are any number of different accounts of event. Orangemarlin 19:04, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Of course it's presenting a POV. It's presenting what is called the 'literalist' POV, which it presents as 'according to chapters 6 to 9 in the Book of Genesis'. It assumes a global interpretation of the language used to describe the flood, which is not necessarily global in its meaning. --Taiwan boi 00:02, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Gen.7:19:"And the waters prevailed so mightily upon the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered." I think the POV might be yours. PiCo 01:27, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, you have just quoted to me one English interpretation of the Hebrew text. That is one POV. That is not a representation of what the Hebrew text necessarily says, that is one English interpretation of what the Hebrew text says. What you have quoted is itself POV, the KJV POV. --Taiwan boi 05:45, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
It's a translation, not interpretation. Do you have scholarly support for a radically different translation? rossnixon 03:27, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
It is not a translation, it is a paraphrase of the English text of the KJV. I am not suggesting replacing it with a 'radically different translation'. I am suggesting replacing it with an NPOV paraphrase. --Taiwan boi 00:35, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Tb, while some of your complaints are valid, this one is way off base. This is the English Wikipedia; we can't give the text in Hebrew and expect that most readers could derive any information from it. The purpose of the "Narrative" section is to convey what the text says. To that end it gives a paraphrase of the scriptural story. The whole section begins with, "according to chapters 6 to 9 in the Book of Genesis," clearly indicating that it's only presenting the story as its given. There's no interpretation whatoever.

Yes, it would be good if the very sketchy "in Christian tradition" section was expanded to be commensurate with the wholly out-of-proportion section on literalism. However, you can't expect an article about a text to avoid any mention of what the text says. That's just unreasonable. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:45, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

I am not suggesting giving the text in Hebrew. I am suggesting replacing it with an NPOV paraphrase. You cannot say that there's 'no interpretation whatsoever' whilst at the same time acknowledging it's a paraphrase. It's not even a translation. A translation would be a rendering of the Hebrew text into English. The narrative does not do this. It is a paraphrase of the English text of the KJV, and as such it is an interpretation.I am not suggesting avoiding any mention of what the text says. I am suggesting replacing the current narrative with an NPOV paraphrase. I will write up an example of what I mean. I will also look at writing up an expansion of the 'in Christian tradition' section. --Taiwan boi 00:35, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
"All the high mountains under heaven were covered" seems to be the universal translation. I'd be interested to see where you find a translation that says something different. Here's a Jewish translation that seems to stick very close to the Hebrew: "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered." - not much room there for inferring anything less than a global flood. (Sorry about the Hebrew - I can't seem to make it cut and paste properly). PiCo 01:39, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
As I said above, I am not suggesting replacing it with a 'radically different translation'. I am suggesting replacing it with an NPOV paraphrase. See my suggested edit below. Your interpretation of the text as 'not much room there for inferring anything less than a global flood' is a classic case of 'exegeting the English'. The phrases used in the Genesis flood narrative and elsewhere which appear to indicate a global scope (such as 'all... under heaven', 'every living thing', 'under the whole heaven', 'all flesh', 'every... on the face of the earth', and '‘The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the wild beasts, all the things that creep on the ground’), are regularly used in the Old and New Testament in a non-literal sense. They are usually translated as they read in the Hebrew, because that is how they should be translated, just as 'raining cats and dogs' in an English text should be translated 'raining cats and dogs' in a French rendering of the English text. But that does not mean that the meaning of the phrases is necessarily what they appear literally to mean, any more than 'raining cats and dogs' means what it seems literally to mean in English. --Taiwan boi 02:58, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
However, that section is not about interpretation. The text says the waters rose to cover the tops of the mountains to a depth of 15 cubits (~20 feet), and that's simply what the paraphrase is reporting. It doesn't even say the flood was global. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:49, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree that section is not about interpretation. I am not suggesting changing ANY of the text in the paraphrase. Please read my suggested rewrite. I am simply suggesting identifying those parts of the text which are subject to a range of interpretations, and have traditionally been interpreted in a range of different ways. It should be noted that the paraphrase as it stands is not a direct quote, and is not an interpretation. --Taiwan boi 07:17, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
That would be pretty much all of it. We have at least 3,000 years' worth of exegesis here. TCC (talk) (contribs) 07:51, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
No it wouldn't be 'pretty much all of it'. If you read my suggested rewrite below, you'll see I suggest placing in inverted commas (or whatever you want to call ' '), those specific details of the narrative which have been subject to a wide variety of interpretations. That is not 'pretty much all of it'. --Taiwan boi 09:16, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, every specific detail of the narrative, from the dimensions of the ark to the summoning of the animals, to the kind of wood used, to the order in which the different birds were sent out to find dry land, to the ark landing and the covenant established with the rainbow, to the duration of the rain and of the flood in total, to the age of Noah when all this happened, and everything in between, has been subject to one interpretation or another. When you speak of "a wide variety of interpretations" you're talking about far more than just a literal or nonliteral reading. But why should we do this anyway? You really haven't established a good reason for it. All this section is supposed to do is summarize the story. If we're going to write about different interpretive traditions, fine -- but why single out the interpretations of certain features for special treatment? And according to which traditions? And why flag them in the narrative? TCC (talk) (contribs) 10:21, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
No, it would only be the phrases I have highlighted. Remember (or just read what I wrote), I am not suggesting REPLACING the narrative as it stands. I am suggesting an ANNOTATION of the narrative, with an indication of the key BIBLICAL PHRASES which are subject to a range of interpretations. The narrative as it stands does not say anything about the size of the Ark, so that wouldn't have to be referred to. The narrative as it stands does not say anything about Noah's age, so that wouldn't have to be referred to. The narrative as it stands does not say anything about the kind of wood used, so that wouldn't have to be referred to. It's clear you still haven't read what I wrote. Why do this anyway? Because it results in a narrative which is NPOV. The narrative given is not NPOV. It's from one specific POV, which is the 'literalist' POV, which is clearly the only POV which the majority of the editors of this article want represented here. The 'literalist' POV is being presented here as the POV of the text which was intended by the original author of the Genesis account. I agree the purpose of this section is merely to summarize the story. That is why I am suggesting KEEPING the text of the narrative as it currently stands. What I am opposed to is your insistence that this summary be written in such as way as leads the reader to think that the 'literalist' POV of the Hebrew text is the original meaning of the Hebrew text. --Taiwan boi 16:38, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Claims without references

In the article as it stands, we are told 'Literalists explain...', 'literalist websites seem to agree', 'literalist scholars who accept these objections believe that Noah must have...', and 'numerous literalist websites...', all without a single link or reference to prove that this is what 'literalists' actually say (even though I know from experience that this is indeed what they say). I'd just like to check that this constitutes acceptable Wiki practice, so I can include a few choice claims of what 'skeptics say' without providing any evidence. We're talking about a Featured Article here, after all, so I'm assuming such a practice is A-OK. --Taiwan boi 16:41, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

It's more often just the way things happen. Sections tend to get added based on someone's general knowledge, then, as it gets reworked later, citations are gradually added. Citations most often get added when something comes under dispute, as the burden of proof is on the person who wishes to add text. {{fact}} tags are an excellent way to mark statements you believe are in need of citation. Sxeptomaniac 17:36, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll tag them. --Taiwan boi 23:18, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Make sure you add a date. If it gets old, I feel we have every right to delete the section. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:10, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Although if no date is added, a bot will usually come along and add one. TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:15, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
  • {{who}} is more specific for when a weasel entity is used to push a "fact"--ZayZayEM 10:14, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
  • This is a very valid criticism of the article. Whiole it is practically standard practice on Wikipedia, I am surprised it exists in a FA-class article.--ZayZayEM 04:43, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Durupinar, Judi, and Islamic tradition

I just cut this for the second time: "There is also a taller mountain in the east of Turkey, near to Iran border, which is called Mount Judi or (Cudi), 17 miles south of mount Ararat, this "Mount Judi" hosts the Durupinar site, which is believed by many to be the resting place of the Ark of Noah or Nuhun Gemisi as called in the local Turkish language." For the ercord and for the benefit of the editor who keeps adding it, Islamic tradition very clearly links Mt Judi with the one near Mosul; the "tradition" of the so-called Judi near Durupinar can't be traced back further than the 1980s, and is very firmly lnked to Doug Fasold, Ron Wyatt, and their group. PiCo 06:08, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Aaboelela insists on reinserting this material abt Durupinar after being repeatedly told why it's not appropriate. Can someone with admin status issue a warning, or something? PiCo 06:48, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Troubling questions?

Caution: Early scholars pondered such troubling questions as Just how did kangaroos get to Noah's Ark? and Why weren't such unusual creatures mentioned in the flood story?

Why are questions troubling and kangaroos unusual creatures? Is there a reference to the scholars’ pondering in the article that I missed? Chesdovi 14:18, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Let me try to explain, since you seem to be new here. The editing of this article is strictly controlled by a tiny unofficial "board" of highly opinionated POV editors and sympathetic administrators who will pull out ANY stops to attempt to selectively restrict what facts the public are "allowed" to read about, ie. only the ones favourable to their militant atheist POV. There are quite a few articles like this on wikipedia, but this is notorious as being one of the worst travesties. Many editors have been permanently banned, just for trying to bring balance and neutral wording here. It does not matter to them what the belief-systems and religions around the world say, "neutrality" to them means militating against these beliefs in the most overtly hostile manner imaginable, at every opportunity. Also, rules that apply to everyone else, like WP:CIVILITY, do not apply to them; hence they will label YOU the "pov warrior" and si,milar discourtesies in their edit summaries. If you can manage to change things here, you will have done more than most.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.105.51.163 (talkcontribs) 14:47 15 August 2007
This is pretty funny, considering that several pro-science efforts to introduce a more pro-science article ended in abandonment. They felt that this article was protected by a group of pro-Christian fantatics. So...interesting, isnt it?--Filll 15:35, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


Temper, temper. Chesdovi added a line to the photo of the kangaroo to the effect that rabbis had an explanation for how exotic animals got to the ark (they "gravitated" - I don't think that's quite right). But this is already in the article, in the section on Jewish tradition - so no-one's trying to suppress Chesdovi's point, it's just a matter of not inserting it in an inappropriate place: this is the section on early scientific views on the Ark, that is the section on traditional Rabbinic views. A place for everything, and everything in its whatsit. If Chesdovi had asked whether any early 17th century scuientists had ever considered the kangaroo, he would have had a very good point - as I say below, they never did, as they had no idea kangaroos existed. They considred rattlesnakes, and legless birds of paradise, but not kangas. PiCo 15:15, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The photo of a kangaroo-sign is a bit cute, I must admit - so far as I know no scholars ever questioned why kangas weren't on the Ark. The reason for this was simple: by the time they appeared in the European consciousness - the very late 18th century, when European settlement of Australia began - the academic debate had been over for a hundred years. As the section which the roo-pic illustrates makes clear, it was a debate of the 17th century, not the 18th, and involved the creatures of the Americas, not the Antipodes. Nevertheless, the photo does illustrate the general idea, even if Sir Thomas was asking about rattlesnakes rather than marsupials. PiCo 14:43, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Why do you indeed condone such fabrications? Chesdovi 15:16, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
"Condone such fabrications"? I don't follow. PiCo 15:20, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
To me this jocular image and accompanying false assertion of "Early scholars" which according to you never made such comments, doesn’t belong on wikipedia. It is unencylopeadic – it is made up. It is a phoney embellishment. I would rather add something which was actually said by a scholar. “Nevertheless, the photo does illustrate the general idea” is lame in the extreme. Chesdovi 15:35, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
How early "early" is, is made clear by the section in which the illustration appears: it's about the development of one specific branch of the biological sciences from the Renaissance to the about 1700, at the end of which period it had abandoned the religious worldview which had informed all earlier speculation, whether Jewish, Christian or Islamic, and become wholly secular. That's a pretty important development, and one to which Noah's Ark was central. The question of exotic animals was indeed an important one - viz. the brief account of early puzzling over the position of the bird of paradise, which was really, and really was believed to have no legs, and also the question of how animals not found in Europe got to the Americas - these, rather than kangaroos, were the creatures that scientists pondered; but they certainly did ponder them. As for the "fabrication" of the jocular cautionary kangaroo, Wiki can be edited by everyone, including you - b ut the illustratoin in this section should be appropraite to the section. If you can find a picture of the bird of paradise to put here instead of the kanga, I certainly wouldn't object. PiCo 15:48, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

[Decrease indent] Taking a different track, can someone remind me why we need a photo of a kangaroo warning sign in the article? While I like the comedy reference it's making, it doesn't seem terribly relevant, nor befitting an encyclopedia. Also, its caption refers to "early scholars", but what "early" means here is rather ambiguous. To me, "early" suggests the first millennium (or earlier), not scholars from the enlightenment (as the neighbouring text seems to imply). Anyway, I know my point has little to do with Chesdovi's question, but I'm just wondering why we need the sign at all. Cheers, --Plumbago 15:28, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm surprised the kanga has lasted this long (I didn't put him there, honest); I quite agree that he's more funny than relevant, and I wouldn't fight his deletion. PiCo 15:34, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I would favor removing it frankly. It is funny, but it is irrelevant, unfortunately.--Filll 15:41, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Bye-bye roo, but why does Rashi have to go? He's more relevant to the Rabbinic traditions section than that paintintg of Moses coming down off Mt Ararat. PiCo 15:57, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

<undent>I would favor putting the kangaroo sign picture someplace else, but I am not sure where. It certainly is an important question for current advocates of a biblical literalist interpretation of Noah's Ark.--Filll 16:01, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

You will find it here. Chesdovi 16:17, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Is there any precedent for such a synthesis outside of wikipedia? 70.105.51.163 16:14, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

You have to be kidding right? There are literally thousands of WP:V and WP:RS sources that raise this question, both in the creationist community and in the science community and skeptic community. You claim you have never seen one? That is a ludicrous comment, frankly. But that is how these articles end up heavily over-cited and unreadable, because of such ridiculous challenges.--Filll 16:27, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

So there is a verifiable, reliable source that uses a kangaroo crossing roadsign to illustrate a pov about the Noah's Ark story? Sorry, I had thought that was a wikipedian original. 70.105.51.163 16:33, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is nothing if not original.PiCo 16:38, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Yet another stunning example of how "cornerstone policies" are only applied selectively, in one direction, but aren't applied in the other direction. Til Eulenspiegel 16:44, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that wikipedia has a policy stipulating that images must have been used by a reliable source in order to be acceptable as illustrations. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 17:11, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I am amazed. You all claim that this is somehow novel, only ever been seen here on Wikipedia? You claim you have never seen it before? You claim that this is such an imaginative question that it has never been published before in any source? Primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, etc? You do not think this has been used in debates and polemics, by both sides? You do not think this has been the topic of consternation on the part of creationists? You think no one ever noticed this before? If you claim all those things, I will humbly submit that perhaps you should not be editing Wikipedia, or at least this article. Anyone care to make a wager that such citations do not exist? My goodness.--Filll 16:52, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

If they do we can use them as such, but my question is, where is a RS that uses a kangaroo road-crossing sign to ilustrate this? Has this ever been done? 70.105.51.163 17:00, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Dear heart, the kangaroo road sign is gone. Go to bed. PiCo 17:03, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

[Reset indent; edit conflict] Enough already. I think we've now completely satisfied Chesdovi's original query by removing the roo image from the page. And it sounds like we're more or less all agreed that it shouldn't have been there (even, and I want to make myself perfectly clear here, even if some of us did find it amusing). Can we please get on with the rest of our lives? --Plumbago 17:05, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I disagree; I think that it belonged there. It was funny AND relevant, something few images are. I think that one key to a good article is humor if it is possible, and this sign was humorous but illustrated the point eloquently. Titanium Dragon 11:31, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Then I must repeat my question yet again: where is a RS that uses a kangaroo road-crossing sign to ilustrate this? Has this ever been done? (Note that when I asked this last time, I was told to "go to bed" because the picture is gone and "nobody" wants to put it back, but clearly that answer was mistaken). Can I please get a correct answer this time? 70.105.36.251 11:35, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not restrict us to images that have previously been used by a reliable source, and I cannot see any reason why we would want to adopt such a policy. Improvements to the article are welcome, as is discussion of improvements; disruption of the discussion is not. I would suggest therefore that you do not need to repeat your question yet again. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 14:42, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
So, you're saying that it is not covered by WP:SYNT. Again, more open display of the double standard here, because images are indeed covered by SYNT, when you want them to be. 70.105.36.251 15:20, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Er, no. I have not mentioned synthesis in this debate. Things that I have said include:
  1. calls for reliable sources are bizarre
  2. wikipedia is unlikely to ever have a policy calling for photos to be used by a RS
  3. continuing to argue the point is disruptive.
I don't think there is much more to say on the matter. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 01:33, 19 August 2007 (UTC)


  1. ^ Graves, David & Jane (1995). "Weights & Measures". Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  2. ^ Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row, P., & Society of Biblical Literature (1985). Harper's Bible Dictionary, article 'Weights and Measures', page 1,130. Harper and Row. 
  3. ^ Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). Tyndale's Bible Dictionary, article 'Weights and Measures', page 1,299. Tyndale House Publishers.