Talk:Noah's Ark/Archive 5.5

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Archive 5.4 Archive 5.5 Archive 6

"Seaworthiness" and "Practicality": new version

  • Seaworthiness: Biblical literalist Websites seem to agree that the Ark was approximately 450 feet (137 m)long. [1] This is considerably larger than the schooner Wyoming, at 329 feet the largest timber-hulled vessel built in modern times. The Wyoming and similar ships of her class suffered chronic leaking, warping, and hull separation due to hogging and sagging, despite reinforcement with iron bracing.[2][3] "The construction and use histories of these [i.e. modern timber-hulled] ships indicated that they were already pushing or had exceeded the practical limits for the size of wooden ships".[4] In response to the claim that the Ark had to be seaworthy, literalist websites cite various studies which, in their view, indicate that Noah's Ark was seaworthy, [5] including a Korean paper demonstrating that the dimensions, shape, and structural materials of the Ark are realistic and that the Ark 'had a superior level of safety in high winds and waves compared with the other hull forms studied'.[6][7][8] In this regard, some apologists cite the Chinese Ming Dynasty 'Treasure ships', or 'baochuan' (the largest of which are claimed to be 400 to 600 ft long), as examples of large seagoing wooden vessels[9][10]: however, the actual size of these ships is disputed[11][12], and one explanation for their size is that the largest Treasure Ships were merely used by the Emperor and imperial bureaucrats to travel along the relatively calm Yangtze river[13]. Some apologists claim that the Flood was merely a local phenomenon confined to Mesopotamia, and hence the Ark would not have needed to survive wave action on a worldwide ocean.[14]
  • Practicality: Were the technology and materials available to Noah to make the Ark's construction possible?[15][16][17] Ark-believers claim that there is ample evidence for ancient timber vessels comparable in size and construction to the Ark:[18] Sir Walter Raleigh was among the first to argue that the Ark was smaller than the Syracusia, a cargo ship built in the 3rd century BCE during the reign of Hiero II of Syracuse (180 feet in length), and the giant warship Tessarakonteres built by Ptolemy IV Philopater.[19] The Tessarakonteres (420 feet long, and recognized as a historical vessel by standard historical authorities,[20][21] albeit with caveats regarding its practicality: Plutarch says "she was moved only with difficulty and danger"[22]), remained a common point of comparison to the Ark throughout the 19th century among Flood-apologists, naval historians, nautical engineers, and scientific journals.[23][24][25][26] Other ancient ships commonly used as points of comparison by modern Ark apologists are the giant obelisk barge of Hatshepsut (206-311 ft), the Thalamegos (377 ft), Caligula's Giant Ship (341 ft), and Caligula's Nemi Ships (229 ft),[27][28] the historicity of which is accepted by standard historical authorities.[29][30][31][32][33][34]

Summary of changes: As per my suggestion a while back, I think this provides a better separation of global-flood and local-flood apologetics. Rather than mixing these in the same sentence, I now have the article progressing from global-flood "seaworthiness", via a separate sentence at the end (mentioning local-flood, though the main article should probably raise this elsewhere too), into the "practicality" section which describes the various non-oceangoing historical examples (though I don't specifically point this out, as it's not clear whether Raleigh and the others actually were local-flood apologists, and even global-flood apologists would probably want to mention these). I've put back some of the material regarding the treasure ships, but dropped the reference to Gavin Menzies' claims (as per WP:UNDUE, he seems rather fringe). I disagree with Taiwan Boi's opinion that these are less notable: they are mentioned at TalkOrigins (whereas the Tessarakonteres appears only in the "feedback" section), they feature prominently at the Worldwideflood site, and so forth: as we have no reference for any claim that they are less notable, we shouldn't be injecting original research there. As for the other "original research" charge regarding the treasure ships (more specifically WP:SYN): well, this is dependent on whether or not the subject of "large wooden ships" is considered "directly relevant" to the article's subject, Noah's Ark (the counter-arguments against them aren't mine, they are those of cited skeptics of the claims regarding the treasure ships). I had earlier assumed this was relevant, hence references regarding such vessels would be on-topic even if they didn't mention Noah's Ark (especially as the connection to Noah's Ark has been established by other references): Taiwan Boi disagreed, but apparently did not consider the fact that this restriction would disqualify at least eight of his own references as WP:SYN violations (as mentioned previously). I'd rather not butcher the article, but if no consensus can be reached, those additional references (and the statements supported by them) would have to go. "Practicality" is unchanged, apart from two points: I've removed the speculation regarding the Ark's ability to support its own weight (this apparently cannot be reliably sourced, and is already addressed by the rest of the paragraph anyhow), and I've included Plutarch's comment regarding the practicality of the Tessarakonteres (relevant as he's a cited "historical source" for the ship's existence). I've also incorporated PiCo's suggestion of quoting the lengths of the ships. --Robert Stevens (talk) 11:11, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

...Well, I don't exactly see howls of protest here. So I'll copy it across. --Robert Stevens (talk) 15:40, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
You waited a day on a article that dosnt seem to get much action, and who cares ifd it was practical... --Jakezing (talk) 00:33, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Having read the Korean paper and WorldwideFlood's analysis, I'm sure that the Korean paper only deals with the "dimensions, shape," of the Ark as far as safety and stability were concerned. It does not deal with the "structural materials" of the Ark. The Engineer and Naval Architects of Worldwideflood's website have done strength of materials and structural design of a proposed wood ship. They do not depend upon 19th century ships for their design. In fact, they avoided the design of "modern" ships because they were inadequate and desperately flawed. And they used some design features of ancient ships, not used by 'modern' sailing ships, that greatly increase the structural strength of wood construction. These guys know what they are talking about. The only ones who disagree with them are people who do not have the education or experience to know.
--Christian Skeptic (talk) 04:00, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Using edit summaries to attack editors

I've noticed that an editor has written in an edit summary 'rv censorship'. This is an attack on an editor clearly, and a breach of WP:CIVIL. And in Wikipedia terms, rv censorship means replacing text about explicit sex, etc.--Doug Weller (talk) 06:15, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

I see you just use the talk page DouglasAndycjp (talk) 06:20, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Pointing out potential breaches of WP:CIVIL is not an attack. It should be viewed as a request to bide by the guidelines.--Doug Weller (talk) 06:56, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Proposed re-write of the Literalism section

I would like to propose to editors a re-write of the existing Literalism section. The only reason that we have this section at all is because it represents a significant popular belief in the US. The actual arguments that go with that belief are totally outside the mainstream of scientific or scholarly discourse, and we really shouldn't be reflecting them in a supposedly scholarly article. So here's my proposed new version for discussion:

"According to a telephone poll conducted by ABCNEWS/Primetime in 2004, 60% of US residents believe the story of Noah's Ark is literally true.[insert ref from article]. Literalist websites carry detailed but inconclusive discussions of such matters as the seaworthiness of the Ark and the arrangements Noah might have made for the care of the animals - essentially the same concerns as animated medieval rabbis and Christian scholars. Despite the fact that the idea of a world-wide flood, and of a literal Ark, has been dismissed by scientists and biblical scholars alike since the 19th century, Ark-believers continue to explore the mountains of Ararat on the modern Turkish-Armenian border for the remains of Noah's Ark."

PiCo (talk) 04:45, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

As I have said repeatedly, the entire 'Literalism' section needs a rewrite because it contains a collection of beliefs which are both 'literalist' and 'non-literalist'. It really just needs the title 'Literalism' to be changed, as I have also said repeatedly. The beliefs in the current 'Literalism' section reflect a very broad crossection of Christian and non-Christian beliefs, which are certianly not confined to the US. That is exactly why the should stay there, but under a different title and with a distinction made between literalist and non-literalist beliefs. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:16, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Here is my proposed edit of this section.

  • The Ark In Current Christian Interpretation

The Genesis Ark narrative continues to hold a significant place within the Christian community, though there exists a broad spectrum of interpretations of the narrative (from literal to allegorical), as with the Genesis creation account.

    • Biblical Literalist and Fundamentalist Interpretations

Biblical literalists and Fundamentalists tend to trust in traditions regarding the composition of the Bible and generally accept the traditional belief that the Ark narrative was written by Moses some time between the 16th century BC and late 13th century BC and describes a real event which took place in the 4th or 3rd millennium before Christ.

Biblical literalists explain apparent contradiction in the Ark narrative as the result of the stylistic conventions adopted by an ancient text: thus the confusion over whether Noah took seven pairs or only one pair of each clean animal into the Ark is explained as resulting from the author (Moses) first introducing the subject in general terms—seven pairs of clean animals—and then later, with much repetition, specifying that these animals entered the Ark in twos. Literalists see nothing puzzling in the reference to a raven flying over the Flood for two weeks—it could have rested on carrion floating on the waters—nor do they see any sign of alternative endings.

    • Liberal and Non-Fundamentalist Interpretations

Non-Fundamentalist and Liberal Christians typically view the Ark and flood narrative very differently to Biblical literalists and Fundamentalists. As early as the 19th century the view that the flood was merely local and did not cover the earth was well established within mainstream Christianity. This interpretation remains popular and important among more liberal Christians who retain a belief in the historicity of the Ark and the flood narrative.

Doublets and apparent contradictions in the text are typically explained by non-Fundamentalist Christians as the product of standard Hebrew literary forms, whilst the sending of the raven and dove is understood as a historical reference to authentic ancient nautical practice.

More liberal Christians such as the Universalist Church see the Ark narrative as essentially allegorical and non-historical.

    • Historicity

Apart from questions of date, authorship, and textual integrity, a number of subjects concerning the historicity of the Ark narrative are typically debated among Christians and skeptics. The following section sets out some of the more commonly discussed topics:

      • Gopher wood: Gen 6:14 states that Noah built the Ark of גפר (gofer, more commonly gopher) wood, a word not otherwise known in the Bible or in Hebrew. The Jewish Encyclopedia believes it was most likely a translation of the Babylonian "gushure iş erini" (cedar-beams), or the Assyrian "giparu" (reed). The Greek Septuagint (3rd–1st centuries BC) translated it as ξύλων τετραγώνων ("xylon tetragonon"), "squared timber". Similarly, the Latin Vulgate (5th century AD) rendered it as "lignis levigatis", or "smoothed (possibly planed) wood". Older English translations, including the King James Version (17th century), simply leave it untranslated. Many modern translations tend to favour cypress (although the word for "cypress" in Biblical Hebrew is erez), on the basis of a mistaken etymology based on phonetic similarities, while others favour pine or cedar. Recent suggestions have included a lamination process, or a now-lost type of tree, or a mistaken transcription of the word kopher (pitch), but there is no consensus.
      • Seaworthiness: Biblical literalist Websites seem to agree that the Ark was approximately 450 feet (137 m) long. This is considerably larger than the schooner Wyoming, at 329 feet the largest timber-hulled vessel built in modern times. The Wyoming and similar ships of her class suffered chronic leaking, warping, and hull separation due to hogging and sagging, despite reinforcement with iron bracing. "The construction and use histories of these [i.e. modern timber-hulled] ships indicated that they were already pushing or had exceeded the practical limits for the size of wooden ships".In response to the claim that the Ark had to be seaworthy, literalist websites cite various studies which, in their view, indicate that Noah's Ark was seaworthy, [35] including a Korean paper demonstrating that the dimensions, shape, and structural materials of the Ark are realistic and that the Ark 'had a superior level of safety in high winds and waves compared with the other hull forms studied'.[36][37][38] In this regard, some literalist apologists cite the Chinese Ming Dynasty 'Treasure ships', or 'baochuan' (the largest of which are claimed to be 400 to 600 ft long), as examples of large seagoing wooden vessels[39][40]: however, the actual size of these ships is disputed[41][12], and one explanation for their size is that the largest Treasure Ships were merely used by the Emperor and imperial bureaucrats to travel along the relatively calm Yangtze river[42]. Non-Fundamentalist apologists claim that the Flood was merely a local phenomenon confined to Mesopotamia, and hence the Ark would not have needed to survive wave action on a worldwide ocean.[43]
      • Practicality: Could the Ark have been contructed from timber as described in the Genesis narrative?[44][45]Were the technology and materials available to Noah to make the Ark's construction possible?[46] Ark-believers claim that there is ample evidence for ancient timber vessels comparable in size and construction to the Ark: Sir Walter Raleigh was among the first to argue that the Ark was smaller than the Syracusia, a cargo ship built in the 3rd century BCE during the reign of Hiero II of Syracuse (180 feet in length), and the giant warship Tessarakonteres built by Ptolemy IV Philopater. The Tessarakonteres (420 feet long, and recognized as a historical vessel by standard historical authorities, remained a common point of comparison to the Ark throughout the 19th century among Flood-apologists, naval historians, nautical engineers, and scientific journals. Other ancient ships commonly used as points of comparison by modern Ark apologists are the giant obelisk barge of Hatshepsut (206-311 ft), the Thalamegos (377 ft), Caligula's Giant Ship (341 ft), and Caligula's Nemi Ships (229 ft),
      • Capacity and logistics: According to Ark dimensions commonly accepted by Biblical literalists, the Ark would have had a gross volume of about 1.5 million cubic feet (40,000 m³), a displacement a little less than half that of the Titanic at about 22,000 tons, and total floor space of around 100,000 square feet (9,300 m²). The question of whether it could have carried two (or more) specimens of the various species (including those now extinct), plus food and fresh water, is a matter of much debate, even bitter dispute, between Biblical literalists and their opponents. While some Biblical 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—for instance, a male and female of the cat "kind" rather than representatives of tigers, lions, cougars, etc. The many questions associated with a Biblical literalist interpretation include whether eight humans could have cared for the animals while also sailing the Ark, how the special dietary needs of some of the more exotic animals could have been catered for, how the creatures could have been prevented from preying on each other, questions of lighting, ventilation, and temperature control, hibernation, the survival and germination of seeds, the position of freshwater and saltwater fish, the question of what the animals would have eaten immediately after leaving the Ark, how they traveled (or were gathered) from all over the world to board the Ark and how they could have returned to their far-flung habitats across the Earth's bare, flood-devastated terrain, and how two or a few members of a species could have provided enough genetic variety to avoid inbreeding and reconstitute a healthy population. The numerous Biblical literalist websites, while agreeing that none of these problems is insurmountable, give varying answers on how to resolve them.
    • The search for Noah's Ark

Biblical literalists feel that finding the Ark would validate their views on a whole range of matters, from geology to evolution. "If the flood of Noah indeed wiped out the entire human race and its civilization, as the Bible teaches, then the Ark constitutes the one remaining major link to the pre-flood World. No significant artifact could ever be of greater antiquity or importance.... [with] tremendous potential impact on the creation-evolution (including theistic evolution) controversy". Non-Fundamentalist Christians typically believe the discovery of the Ark is unimportant to the historicity of the Genesis flood narrative, and that the Ark cannot be found as it would have long since been destroyed by weather or recycled for other projects.

Searches have concentrated on Mount Ararat in Turkey itself, although Genesis actually refers only to the mountains of Ararat.The Durupinar site, near but not on Ararat, and much more accessible, attracted attention in the 1980s and 1990s; In early 2004 a Honolulu businessman traveled to Washington DC to “announce with great fanfare” a planned expedition to investigate a site he called the Ararat anomaly but National Geographic later concluded it may have been an ineffective stunt to “persuade the Turkish government into granting him a permit” that “few expeditions have actually obtained.” and in 2006 there was brief flurry of interest when an expedition reported a potential site in Iran.

In 2007, a joint Turkish-Hong Kong expedition team found what is thought to be fossilized wood in a cave on Mount Ararat in Turkey. A sample of the "wood" was analyzed by the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Hong Kong but the results were inconclusive. The origin of the out-crop remains unknown, but the group suggests that it is part of Noah's Ark.Photos of geologic thin-sections of the "wood" have been examined by several creationary geologists who concur that this is likely volcanic tuff. It has been suggested that the finding is a ploy to increase tourism in the area. --Taiwan boi (talk) 09:39, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for what is certainly a serious contribution to the debate. I've taken the liberty of removing the section-breaks, as they made it impossible to navigate your text.
You've made some valuable suggestions, but my basic concern remains: the section is simply too long for the importance of this particular aspect of the subject. Fundamentalist/literalist ideas on the Ark certainly need to be mentioned, but really all that needs saying is that a large segment of the American population, and a far smaller segment in other Western countries, hold such views. We don't need to cover in detail the arguments that literalists put forward - they're rejected by both science (there never was a biblical flood, and therefore never was an Ark), nor by mainstream biblical scholars. We should also mention the fact that searches are being made around Mt Ararat, but not with details - there's a whole article on just that subject. (For that matter, there's a whole article on gopher wood, and the same point applies - we don't need to repeat material when a simple link will carry the reader to a full treatment of the subject; incidentally, where's the article on the Genesis Flood?).PiCo (talk) 16:27, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
What you are saying makes no sense. At least two thirds of the article treat the historical interpretation of the Ark narrative in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Biblical scholarship, yet you want to throw out any mention of current Christian interpretations except for a passing mention of the Fundamentalist view and nothing else? We can redirect the 'gopher wood' section (with a short introduction), and the 'search for Noah's Ark' section (with a short introduction), but the others need to stand. The arguments in this section are not simply those of 'the literalists', as I have already pointed out. Not only that, but they are notable and mainstream views in current Christian interpretation, and they receive a very wide airing in secular literature also. That there was a Biblical flood is certainly not rejected by science, as you surely must know. There are plenty of secular readings of the flood narrative attributing it to a historic memory of either a Black Sea flood, a Caspian Sea flood, the Tigris-Euphrates refill deluge, or else one of the many Mesopotamian mega-floods in the region. I don't agree with the literalist readings either, but I don't insist that they should be removed from this article. They shouldn't. But that aside, saying we don't need to cover the arguments literalists put forward because they are 'rejected by science' is like saying we don't have to include Christian arguments in Wikipedia concerning the historicity of the Bible or the resurrection, or any mention of miracles in Wikipedia because they are 'rejected by science'. There's a massive article on Resurrection in Wikipedia, despite the fact that it is 'rejected by science'. Are you going to delete that article as well? What are you going to do about all the articles recording religious beliefs? Just start deleting them because they are 'rejected by science'?
Once more you are demonstrating you do not understand what constitutes encyclopedic content, and once more you are demonstrating you do not understand WP:N. Once more, you are also demonstrating that you really want most of the information in this section thrown out because you personally do not believe in the Biblical flood or Noah's Ark, because you personally believe that it has all been 'disproved by science'. This is transparently self-motivated editing. --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not prposing the wholesale deletion of all the content about Creationist views of the ark, just cutting it back to a realistic size. All we need to do is to note that literalism is important in the US (it's very much a US thing), and make some mention of what literalists believe and why, including internal links to articles like gopher wood and the searches for the ark. All the things you mention as deserving whole paragraphs - seaworthiness, capacity and so on - are really just apologetics from the literalist point of view, attempts to "prove" that the ark could be true. OEC is a literalist belief-system, by the way.PiCo (talk) 01:42, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
As I have already explained, there is plenty of material in there which is not 'literalist', including the views of Christians who don't even believe in the historicity of the Ark or the flood. The section has been retitled and edited so that it is not simply about literalism, and every view described in the section as I edited it is more than notable. You are supplying no good reasons for throwing this material out. --Taiwan boi (talk) 01:58, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

PiCo, please visit WP:N. Then come back and explain why you want to throw out everything in my proposed edit except for a passing reference to 'literalism is important in the US' and 'make some mention of what literalists believe and why'. To date you have not given any explanation for this. You have also wrongly dismissed this entire section as consisting of nothing other than the views of Biblical literalists, which is completely untrue. --Taiwan boi (talk) 02:02, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Sections: Documentary Hypothesis, 20th century scholarship

I've made 2 sections out of the old Scholarship section. One is on the Documentary Hypothesis alone, because the Noah story is so central to the DH theory. I think this section is still too long, although I tried to shorten it. A new section on 20th century scholarship: it takes in post-documentary hypothesis ideas on the composition of the Torah and the Ark story (noting Noth and Wenham), and modern thinking on the theological meaning of the Ark. Not complete of course - nothing here about the Ark as an image of the universe, nor any detailed analysis of the Flood chronology (but that would belong in a separate article on the Flood alone, which doesn't exist). Please note in the article where you feel citations are needed, and note here any major additions, subtractions, and alterations you feel are needed. PiCo (talk) 05:57, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I've added material to this section which was in a previous edit of the article. --Taiwan boi (talk) 03:11, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate the sincerity of your edits and your beliefs, but we have to bear in mind that the purpose of an encyclopedia is to give readers an idea of what the mainstream ideas are for any given subject. It would not be appropriate, for example, to give prominence in the Aids article to the idea that Aids can be cured through diet - I understand this idea is put forward quite seriously by some very important people in South Africa, but it has no standing at all in medical circles. Similarly for your additions to the 20th century section of this article. You put forward some scholars who have argued in favour of the compositional unity of the Ark story, but the fact is that this idea has won no following in scholarly circles.PiCo (talk) 05:56, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm not going to put up with this kind of behaviour any more. I've had enough of you and others making up Wiki rules which simply don't exist, with the sole aim of preventing edits which you don't like. Firstly, the purpose of this encyclopedia is to present notable views.
Taiwanboi, please calm down, you are not being persecuted. Ok, you say the ppurpose of Wikidedia is to present notable views. So it is, and if you can somehow make a distinction between presenting mainstream views and notable views, please enlighten me, because I can't.
Please don't accuse me of claiming I'm being persecuted. I've said no such thing. I've objected to consistently bad behaviour in this article, especially yours, which has included appealing falsely to non-existent Wiki rules. If you don't understand the difference between mainstream views and notable views, then you shouldn't be editing this article. I refer you to WP:N. But as it happens, the compositional unity of the flood narrative has won a following in scholarly circles, notably with Wenham (whom you describe as 'an authority'), and is certainly mainstream even by your definition. You were the one who mentioned the fact that one of the new theories which has replaced the Documentary Hypothesis is the view that the flood narrative is 'the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document'. You even mentioned Wenham as supporting this theory. So there's no reason for me not to mention others who support this view and the 'fragmentary' view of Noth, and no reason for me not to include a citation of Wenham to this effect. --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Secondly, when it comes to 'mainstream' scholarship you've devoted an entire paragraph to the Documentary Hypothesis, which even you acknowledge is not longer accepted by the consensus.
You haven't understood the structure of the article. It presents a historical overview of interpretations of the Ark, from the earliest Jewish interpreters, through the Christian ones, through the Islamic, all of these being essentially theological/religious in nature. Then the next major section shows the ways the Ark story was interpreted in the modern scientific world, from the 17th through the 19th century - the DH gets a whole paragraph because the Ark story was a showpiece for it, and because the DH itself was so important in the history of biblical scholarship. Then there's a subsection on the 20th century. The DH isn't the consensus, but it isn't dead, either - it still has plenty of followers, and so still gets a mention in the first paragraph, along with post-DH approaches. (The last part of the article, on literalism, is about a peculiarly American way of regarding the Ark narrative. It's far too long, and needs to be cut back to a single paragraph - I'll do that tomorrow).
I have understood the structure of the article, and I don't have a problem with it. Though even if I did, you've made it clear that no one else is allowed to change the structure because it was your idea, or something. You just didn't understand what I wrote. I pointed out that it's ironic for you to complain about undue emphasis on views which aren't accepted by the scholarly consensus, and then spend an entire paragraph on a view which isn't accepted by the scholarly consensus. A mention of the Hypothesis as part of the interpretative continuum of the flood narrative could have taken a single sentence (though I'm still happy with the size of the paragraph as it stands). Of course one wonders what this is even doing in here since the subject of the article is the Ark, not the flood narrative (as I have been told several times, ironically by you). The section on literalism certainly isn't too long, and it is actually on topic. It addresses specifically the Ark, and it is a good length given the fact that the issues it covers are the most significant and well discussed in contemporary culture. --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Thirdly, both Kitchen and Hoffmeier agree that the Genesis flood narrative is 'the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document', which is the view specifically mentioned in the paragraph as mainstream. But you wouldn't know that, because you haven't read either Kitchen or Hoffmeier.
Bully for them, but so what? Kitchen and Hoffmeier aren't the leading scholars in this field.
They don't have to be 'leading scholars in the field'. Their views are notable because they are notable commentators on this subject, and because the views they hold are notable within the academic community, being held by notable scholars other than them (including Wenham, to whom you refer as 'an authority'). You dismissed them because you mistakenly thought that their view wasn't held by any notable scholars, when in fact you were wrong (among others, it is held by Wenham, to whom you refer as 'an authority'). This is a typical example of you removing material because you were completely mistaken about it, you simply didn't know the facts. --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Fourthly, Wenham himself argues that doublets and apparent contradictions in the flood narrative are simply typical Hebrew literary forms, and do not necessarily indicate separate sources, just as Kitchen and Hoffmeier argue. Both Kitchen and Hoffmeier agree with Wenham's view that 'Genesis 6-9 forms one complete literary unit that cannot be divided into different sources without disruption of the structural integrity of this account' (Wenham cited by Shea, Origins 6 (1):8-29, 1979).
And bully for Wenham (whom, incidentally, I deeply respect). But Wenham is being mentioned here for his contribution to the analysis of the chiasm in the ark story. You seem to be obsessed with the composition of the narrative to the exclusion of all else. There's more to the bible than the way it was put together.
And I'm including Wenham for his contribution to the structure of the narrative, especially since his analysis of the chiasm is central to that thesis. It's interesting that when you want to include some of his views it's ok, but when I want to I'm 'obsessed'. --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Fifthly, you have no reason to omit the references to Cassuto et al.
I took out Cassuto because his ideas on the composition of the Torah haven't become mainstream. He's a great scholar, but like every scholar, not every word he wrote has become accepted.
Again you are not reading what I write. I didn't include any of Cassuto's ideas on the composition of the Torah, I included his views on the literary unity of the flood narrative, a view which is not unique to him and is accepted by a wide range of scholars, including Wenham (whom you refer to as 'an authority'). --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
The issue here is that you don't know what Kitchen's view is, because you haven't read Kitchen. You don't know what Hoffmeier's view is, because you haven't read Hoffmeier. You don't know what Cassuto's view is, because you haven't read Cassuto. I've read all three. So I was aware that Kitchen, Hoffmeier and Cassuto are all in agreement with Wenham's central thesis (literary unity, one primary text, later edits but not separate sources), and that Wenham himself argues that doublets and apparent contradictions are actually better explained by standard Hebrew literary forms than by separate sources (the very argument of Kitchen and Hoffmeier which you deleted).
That's not quite true. But I repeat: you need to get over your obsession with questions of composition. The section has three paragrpahs, each dealing with a separate topic - composition, Wenham's chiasm, and the relationship of the narrative to Babylonian mythology and the meaning of this for the intentions of the original authors. We can't keep dragging in composition at every turn just because you have a bee in your bonnet.
It's completely untrue. I knew that Kitchen, Hoffmeier and Cassuto are all in agreement with Wenham's central thesis, you weren't. You didn't even know what Wenham's central thesis is. You were so ignorant of Wenham's thesis that you weren't aware that Wenham's chiasm is the central argument of his overall thesis of literary unity. It's actually about composition. I added material on composition, to the paragraph on composition. You have given no rational reason for keeping this material out of the article. Why should this material (on composition), be kept out of the section which is actually about, wait for it, composition? --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
This is why I'm in a much better situation to edit this section than you are (and indeed than pretty much everyone who has tried their hand at this article). It is absurd that random people can make edits simply on the basis of what they think the text should say, without having actually read the relevant scholarly literature themselves (as I have). I will revert your edits until you have demonstrated a firsthand knowledge of the subject which is at least comparable to my own. You simply don't have the experience or knowledge to be editing this article as if you were an authority on the subject. Remember when you tried to exclude half a dozen academic references on the basis that they were insufficiently authoritative, and on the false argument that the Tessarakonteres couldn't be referred to unless blueprints could be presented? Absurd.
Please try to remain civil - Wikipedia is a community, we all share what we have to offer, and we all assume good faith. As for your knowledge of the scholarly literaqture, I can see you've read it, but are you sure you've understood it?PiCo (talk) 10:14, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a community in which people who are more informed on a given topic (that's me), have more weight than those who aren't (that's you). It's difficult to assume good faith when people invent Wiki rules which don't exist, as you've done. And yes, I do understand the scholarly literature. That's why I knew the view which Kitchen and Hoffmeier hold (which you wanted removed from the article), is the same view that Wenham holds (Wenham, whom you identify as 'an authority'). You weren't aware of that.
Finally it's highly ironic for you to be reverting my edits on the basis that I don't own the article, when you feel free to dictate to others the structure of the article, the length of each section, and the content of every paragraph. You have given no rational reason for your revert, you have once again deliberately removed relevant academic sources and commentary from the article, and you are once more attempting to dictate article content. All this from someone who isn't even qualified to edit the scholarly content of this article. --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Note that in my latest edit (as in my previous edit), I have retained this sentence at the end of the paragraph on structure:

'Nevertheless, there is general agreement that two distinct narrative strands exist in the Ark story, which, though as yet still unprovenanced as such, continue to be called the Yahwist and the Priestly.'

This ensures that the views of Wenham, Kitchen, Hoffmeier, Cassuto, et al are not given undue weight. --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:26, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

PiCo, at present you make edits to the article without consulting anyone, but you insist that no one else is permitted to do this. Then when people add to your edits with their own material (add to mind you, not removing your edits completely), you accuse them of acting as if they own the article, and remove what they've added (ironic indeed). You insist that others obtain 'consensus', but make your own edits without even attempting to obtain consensus. The only person who has objected to my last edit is you, and you reverted it without even giving a reason. I've already demonstrated that your initial objections were completely unfounded, based as they were on a lack of knowledge both of the topic itself and the relevant scholarly literature. If you have a valid reason for removing the material I am adding, then let's see it here please. Remember, you've already made several mistakes in your claims regarding the relevant scholarly literature, because you haven't actually read it whereas I have. I see no reason to permit this article to be dominated by someone who admits that their 'interest in the OT is fairly minimal', who does not read regularly the current scholarly literature (if at all), who habitually includes material without citations (or with inadequate citations), and who insists that their views of the article's structure and content take precedence over other people's. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:23, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

As you can see from the thread a little lower on this page, I do indeed seek consensus for changes. As for your changes to the 20th century section, I'd let them pass without comment if I agreed with them, but the whole point is that I don't. I'll explain again:n The section has 3 paragraphs, each dealing with a distinct topic. The first deals with the composition of the ark narrative, the second with the chiasm that Wenham found in it, and the third with the links with Babylonian myth. The material you want to add is exclusively to the effect that the narrative might have had a single author. That's an aspect of composition, and if it belongs anywhere it would go in the first paragraph. Yet you try to add it in all over the place. But even if you put it into the right paragraph I still wouldn't like it. Why? Because it isn't a notable view. The overwhelming view among scholars is that the Ark story does indeed contain distinct strands, Jahwist and Priestly. There's disagreement over whether they represent distinct documents or distinct redactional layers, but not that they exist. That's my reason. Your comments are of course welcome, but try to remain civil, and don't put your material back in until you have agreement.PiCo (talk) 08:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
As I've pointed out, you don't always seek consensus for changes. You make changes before even seeking consensus, though you claim others are not permitted to do so. You make changes and then revert other people's edits of them. You even tell people how the article is going to be structured, how large each section is going to be, and what material they have to include. What you've just admitted is that you removed my edits because you don't agree with them. Not only that, but you haven't understood them or even read them properly. The information I am inserting does not claim that the narrative had a single author (there's a difference between 'a single literary unit' and 'a single author'), and is specifically identified as the theory that the Ark narrative 'is the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document'. And I haven't tried to insert them 'all over the place'. If you had even read my latest edits (instead of simply reverting them), then you would have seen that I placed this information in the 'composition' section, nowhere else. So you're not even reading my edits, you're just reverting them on the basis of personal bias.
This aside, the view that 'is the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document' is a notable view, and you even include it in the opening of the paragraph as a notable view:

'...newer theories propose instead that Genesis was composed from a host of fragments rather than from complete documents, or that it is the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document.'

How can you deny that it's a notable view, when you've included it in the opening paragraph as a notable view? You're not even reading what you wrote, let alone what I wrote. And what possible justification do you have for removing a scholarly citation I included which supported one of your own statements, namely this:

'The documentary hypothesis still has many adherents in academic circles, but can no longer be called a consensus view.'[47]

The citation I added from Thompson L Thompson (a Minimalist, the kind of source you typically view as authoritative), substantiates your statement that the Documentary Hypothesis 'can no longer be called a consensus view'. You didn't provide a reference for your statement, I added one (from a scholarly source). Incredibly, you promptly removed a perfectly valid edit which actually substantiated your statement with a reliable source.
Once again it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that you are not reading what I write, and you don't actually understand the topic under discussion. This is why you shouldn't be editing this section, you're just not qualified. I'm having to spend half my time correcting your mistakes, amplifying your comments to a useful degree, and providing scholarly citations supporting your edits, citations which you promptly remove. Ironically, your edits have also removed a section of the paragraph which I did not write, and which I am quite glad to see gone. --Taiwan boi (talk) 09:38, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Your additions amount to special pleading for the idea that the Ark narrative might be a single story recording a real flood. This is simply not a notable view - no respectable modern scholar holds it. Nor is is it true that I don't allow others to edit this article - when I put the new paragraph on 20th century views up I gave an explanation on this page and invited the collaboration of other editors, and Til Eulenspeigel made some changes, and I accepted them - jis edits are still there. I accepted his edits because I thought they were good ones. I'll be happy to accpet any edits of yours that I think are good, but at the moment you're simply pushing a personal agenda.PiCo (talk) 16:11, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
This is complete nonsense. You've ignored everything I wrote, especially the parts where I demonstrated that you've completely misunderstood the arguments under discussion. As I said 'a literary unit' does not necessarily mean 'a single author', the sources I cited do not argue for 'a single author'. Acknowledging that 'newer theories propose instead that Genesis was composed from a host of fragments rather than from complete documents, or that it is the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document' is not 'special pleading for the idea that the Ark narrative might be a single story recording a real flood', and it is not 'pushing a personal agenda'. You were already perfectly happy with the acknowledgment that the Ark narrative may be 'the result of a complex process of additions and supplements', but as soon as I provided scholarly citations for this view, you removed them. Why? I have not included anything other than references to scholars holding this view. Wenham holds it, and you referred to Wenham as 'an authority', citing him in the relevant section. Kitchen holds it, and he is a respectable modern scholar, likewise Hoffmeier, Shea, Millard, and a number of others which I could cite. This is certainly a 'notable view', and I can bury you in citations from the scholarly journals I read (which you don't), to demonstrate this.
I never said you don't let others edit this article. Nor did I say you never seek consensus. I said that you edit without seeking consensus, and that you tell other people they are not allowed to edit without seeking consensus. Please stop putting words in my mouth. By the way, you still haven't explained why you removed the Thompson L Thompson reference I included which actually supported one of your statements. Why did you do that? --Taiwan boi (talk) 17:02, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Here's another chance to explain yourself and keep things simple:

  • Is it a notable view that the Genesis flood narrative 'was composed from a host of fragments rather than from complete documents'?
  • Is it a notable view that the Genesis flood narrative 'is the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document'?
  • Is Wenham 'an authority'?
  • Why did you remove the Thompson L Thompson citation, when it substantiated your unreferenced statement?

I'll give you this opportunity to explain yourself. Please do so. --Taiwan boi (talk) 17:08, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

PiCo, I'm still waiting for your answers on the first three of these questions --Taiwan boi (talk) 03:18, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit without explanation

I see that the first paragraph of the section under vote has been edited since I proposed my edit, without any explanation here for the edit. It used to read thus:

'Newer theories propose instead that Genesis was composed from a host of fragments rather than from complete documents, or that it is the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document.'

It now reads thus:

'Alternative theories on Pentateuchal origins hold that the Torah, and the Ark narrative, were the product of the slow accretion of blocks of material over time, or the result of extensive editing and additions to an original text.'

Could someone please explain the purpose of this edit? Why does this now include the entire Torah, instead of simply Genesis? I do want to see people explain themselves. --Taiwan boi (talk) 03:10, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

The two aren't radically different, the only change is that it's been extended from Genesis to the Torah. This is an accurate statement of the facts - theories of Pentateuchal origins take in the entire 5 books, not just one. But I could live with the original text if the word "Genesis" were changed to "Pentateuch."
While I'm here, I apologise for deleting the footnotes from your earlier thread about the Literalism/Religious views section, but they were playing havoc with the footnote numbnering for the thread on the vote. I do recognise that the footnotes are important, but I can't see any other way to solve this problem and the vote is currently more urgent.03:52, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation PiCo (your signature hasn't been entered correctly. Yes that's an accurate statement of the facts, but I'm wondering what relevance the entire Torah has to the paragraph. It's Genesis which is specifically under view (though I could live with 'Pentateuch' as you suggest). I would prefer the words 'fragmentary' and 'supplementary' in there somewhere, since they are the key words used to identify each of these hypotheses.
Don't worry about the other footnotes for now, we'll deal with that later. By the way, if you're going to get your friends along to vote try and invite friends who are actually familiar with the topic and the relevant scholarly literature. It's a credit to Ragesoss that he acknowledged he was way out of his league. --Taiwan boi (talk) 04:02, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
To take your last point first, canvassing votes is a very serious offence on Wiki and I hope I'm not guilty of it. What I did was go through the History page and invite everyone who appears in the last 50 edits, minus bots. That means that I invited Andycjp. I've also notified a few editors who aren't currently active but have been notably involved in the past - not all of them are my friends by any means (Til Eulenspeigel would choke if I told the world he was a friend of mine).
I expanded from Genesis to Torah simply in the interests of accuracy. I admit to being an inveterate fiddler, unable to leave anything alone. I could probably live with just Genesis.
Like you, I want to keep the words "fragmentary" and "supplementary" in the paragraph. Also the word "documentary." Personally I view these as signifying models rather than hypotheses - even Wellhausen's was only one version of the DH, although it seems to have usurped the name. But I don't think this is the place to go into details on theories of Pentateuchal origins - that's the job of the documentary hypothesis article, or better still a new article on Theories on the origin of the Pentateuch, although I guess we shouldn't be creating new articles all over the place - better to raise the quality of existing articles.
Thanks for being understanding about my deletion of the footnotes. PiCo (talk) 04:15, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Fiddling back and forth with the article doesn't contribute to a satisfying reader experience, as the content keeps changing randomly. Perhaps you could discuss edits here first instead of making several edits a day without notifying anyone as to why.
If we agree on the words 'fragmentary' and 'supplementary', then that's fine. I'll make sure they're in my suggested edit. That section does not go into theories of Pentateuchal origins, it simply makes an important reference to current Biblical criticism of the flood narrative (namely that the Documentary Hypothesis has been largely abandoned in favour of newer views). A large article on the historical Documentary Hypothesis is already in there, and this section brings the reader up to date on current views.
I'd like to make it clear that I don't object to you getting people to contribute to this poll, whether they're your friends or not. What I am concerned about is that they are sufficiently informed on the subject. Your presentation of the facts is completely wrong (Whybray, Wenham and Van Seters are all notable sources on this subject, and all three are well recognized and highly influential), and it's important that people understand this when they assess the decision. Your real issue, as you've made perfectly clear, has nothing to do with scholarship and everything to do with your bad faith accusation that I am trying to smuggle in a POV with which you personally disagree. Not only is that completely false, but it only highlights the fact that you shouldn't be editing this article since you're just not sufficiently informed on the relevant scholarly literature.
Of the regular editors here, I am the only one who is, and I have contributed more reliable sources both to my edits and other people's than any other editor here. I have had to face incredible opposition from you and Robert Stevens, as you each attempted to exclude references to scholarly works. Robert Stevens simply invented arguments based on history he had made up and complete misrepresentations of standard authorities (such as William Dever), and you even resorted to appealing to a non-existent standard for WP:RS. I've had to run around and find reliable sources for edits made by both of you, simply because you wouldn't do it yourselves. --Taiwan boi (talk) 05:33, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Poll on proposed edit

I am proposing two edits of the section entitled 'Biblical scholarship and the Ark in the 20th century'. I would like to clarify that these edits relate only to the first part of the first paragraph, and that the second part of the paragraph (and the other two paragraphs), are left as they are.

So this would remain:

There is general agreement that two distinct narrative strands exist in the Ark story, which, though unprovenanced, continue to be called the Yahwist and the Priestly. Disagreement continues as to which passages in the flood narrative belong to each strand.

Please read the following and express your view below.

  • First edit

This edit adds a reference to a currently unreferenced statement at the start of the paragraph (edit this page to see the reference):

'The documentary hypothesis still has many adherents in academic circles, but can no longer be called a consensus view.[48]

Express your view here:

  • Yes. The statement concerning the loss of academic support for the Documentary Hypothesis was unreferenced, and the reference substantiates it from a reliable source. --Taiwan boi (talk) 01:58, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes Problems with the documentary hypothesis need stating.Andycjp (talk) 02:31, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • No. We already have an article on the documentary hypothesis and there's no need to rehash here the arguments in that place, even in a footnote. The paragraph as a whole certainly needs to be referenced, but it should be possible to find a single authoritative tertiary source - the Anchor Bible Dictionary, for example - so that this article doesn't become over-laden with footnotes. PiCo (talk) 02:18, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes. It is important to include an objective, academic critique of the documentary hypothesis.Sporkboy (talk) 05:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC) Note: talk is an account created today, 2 June, without a user page, talkj page, or contributions history. On this evidence, Sporkboy shows every sign of being a sockpuppet. PiCo (talk) 15:07, 2 June 2008 (UTC) PiCo, if you had bothered to look around, you would have found that this account was created near the start of this year, and my first contribution was in February 2008. You can view my contributions history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Sporkboy, and if you can get hold of my IP number you will see that I live in the UK (unlike taiwanboi, whom I assume is a resident of Taiwan). I am definitely not a sock puppet, and resent the accusation.Sporkboy (talk) 12:23, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. I notice that there is a whole section presenting a summary background to the DH. Perhaps DH readings should be presented in such a way as not to invoke the theory in more detail than its name. This would obviate the felt need to explain the absence of the DH in the contemporary views section. Alastair Haines (talk) 14:48, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. Useful edit. --82.36.131.223 (talk) 17:26, 2 June 2008 (UTC) (Sorry, I forgot to sign in: --Woofboy (talk) 17:29, 2 June 2008 (UTC))
  • No I find myself in agreement with PiCo. This article has tended to become a coatrack one at times, and a lot of the problematic material needs to be cut. Unless it directly relates to the Noah's Ark story, it should go to more appropriate articles, whether they be Documentary hypothesis, Biblical criticism, Genesis, etc. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:59, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • No as per Sχeptomaniac, we need to keep the focus on the Noarh's Ark story. Doug Weller (talk) 08:14, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. The last no votes above (and below) appear to be arguments for the removal of the DH section and an assertion of bad faith. They make no comment about the proposed edits' actual contribution to understanding of the biblical story, except hypothetically—"Unless it directly relates"—or by asserting other things that it refers to. As the proposed edits do relate directly to "the flood narrative as a literary unit" (precluded by the classical DH), the no votes are inexplicable. Please explain. Alastair Haines (talk) 11:40, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
    • How about asking for an explanation before accusing editors of bad faith? At the moment, about 1/6th of the article is about the Documentary hypothesis, discussing technical details such as palistrophes, etc. I'm not at all convinced that help the article proportionately, and would like to see one section, not two. I agree that the Documentary hypothesis is not the scholarly consensus today, and we probably need to be explicit about that, but we do not need all this detail, the detail should go in what is a technical article, Documentary hypothesis. I like the abstract of a recent article by Anselm C. Hagedorn, "Since the latter half of the twentieth century the literary origin of the Pentateuch and its sources have been re-evaluated. As a result the validity of the long-standing classical formulation of the Documentary Hypothesis has been called into question. Recently several new theories of the literary formation of the Books of Genesis-Deuteronomy (Joshua) have emerged that maintain the existence of a priestly source but view the other material as much more fragmented in character than proponents of the classic hypothesis were willing to do. A closer look at the text itself suggests that a combination of documentary, fragment and supplementary hypothesis is probably the best way to explain the long and complicated literary history of the Pentateuch."[1]
    • I think we just need one section, probably shorter than either of the existing sections, not giving the history of the DH, not trying to resolve the disputes, just a comment on the current situation and how it relates to the Ark story. This comment applies to the 2nd edit also, which I find over-complicated for this article. Doug Weller (talk) 13:07, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Exactly. There was no bad faith involved, as WP:COAT merely helps explain what the issue is. The documentary hypothesis information doesn't necessarily need to be cut completely, but it does need to be cut back quite a bit. I believe we should give just enough information to give a very basic understanding of the greater issues, so that those wishing to learn more can use the links to go to the appropriate articles. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 20:33, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Second edit

This edit adds a number of references to currently unreferenced statements later in the paragraph (edit this page to see the references), as well as explaining an area of common agreement between the two views described:

'Newer theories propose instead that Genesis was composed from a host of fragments rather than from complete documents (a view represented by Martin Noth and RN Whybray),[49][50]or that it is the result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document (a view represented by Gordon Wenham, William Shea, Kenneth Kitchen, and James Hoffmeier). Proponents of these two views do however share some common ground in their rejection of the classical Documentary Hypothesis. Among scholars of the 'fragmentary' view RN Whybray held that repetition and differences in nomenclature are best explained by stylistic conventions[51]. Among scholars of the 'supplementary' view, John Van Seters views only doublets as indicative of different sources<[51], Wenham argues that doublets and apparent contradictions are actually better explained by standard Hebrew literary forms than by separate sources.[52] and Kitchen argues that doublets and apparent contradictions of the Genesis flood narrative are in fact standard features of analogous Ancient Near East texts, rather than indicative of multiple authors.[53] Hoffmeier notes that increasing understanding of Ancient Near East literary forms has resulted in the realization that the flood narrative is a literary unit.'[54]

Express your view here:

  • Yes. The edit provides the name of two notable scholars who support the 'host of fragments rather than from complete documents' view, and provides a relevant reference substantiating this from reliable sources. The edit also provides the names of several notable scholars who support the alternative 'result of a complex process of additions and supplements to an original document' view, and provides relevant references substantiating this from reliable sources. It also explains an area of common agreement between the two views, and provides relevant references substantiating this from reliable sources. --Taiwan boi (talk) 01:58, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes Honest debateAndycjp (talk) 02:32, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • No. The edit is an attempt to introduce a particular pov by stealth - namely, that the Ark story was composed by one person. The current consensus among biblical scholars is exactly the opposite. Nor are the scholars cited here notable on this question - their arguments have not been adopted by the profession. Let's use footnotes to show where we get information from, not to make special cases for personal favourites. PiCo (talk) 02:18, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes. The edit improves the quality and neutrality of the article by introducing valid material from recognised scholars and clarifying this aspect of the debate for less academic readers.Sporkboy (talk) 05:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC) Note: talk is an account created today, 2 June, without a user page, talkj page, or contributions history. On this evidence, Sporkboy shows every sign of being a sockpuppet. PiCo (talk) 15:07, 2 June 2008 Again: this account was created near the start of this year, and my first contribution was in February 2008. You can view my contributions history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Sporkboy, and if you can get hold of my IP number you will see that I live in the UK (unlike taiwanboi, whom I assume is a resident of Taiwan). I am definitely not a sock puppet, and resent the accusation.Sporkboy (talk) 12:23, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. I can see no suggestion of a single author view in the paragraph. Single original document, yes, single author no. I can also see no suggestion of final form reflecting an unmodified original either. I do however see comments that suggest apparant contradictions are explained by Hebrew itself or by conventions in ANE literary forms. Perhaps it may be helpful to note that the final quote says "literary unit" not "textual unit". That sounds very contemporary to me — literary analysis is the dominant contemporary approach. Alastair Haines (talk) 14:33, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. Interesting additional info in the edit. --82.36.131.223 (talk) 17:26, 2 June 2008 (UTC) (Sorry, I forgot to sign in: --Woofboy (talk) 17:29, 2 June 2008 (UTC))
  • No The paragraph is about Genesis and the Documentary hypothesis, not Noah's ark, so it is not appropriate here. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 23:59, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • No Again as per Sχeptomaniac Doug Weller (talk) 08:14, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Commentary on poll

PiCo, and ragesoss, please read what is written. With regard to the first edit, the footnote does not rehash the arguments concerning the Documentary Hypothesis. It simply substantiates the statement that the Documentary Hypothesis is no longer supported by the consensus. With regard to the second edit, neither the fragmentary nor the supplementary hypothesis argue that the Ark narrative was written by one person. They both argue the complete opposite. If you don't understand this, even after it has been explained to you more than once, then you shouldn't be voting. The two positions represented here (the fragmentary and supplementary hypothesis), are both notable. Likewise the view that doublets etc are the product of style and literary forms is held by notable scholars on this topic (Wenham, Van Seters and Whybray), even though they may hold opposite views of composition. There is no POV being introduced here, still less one by stealth. This view has been adopted by a wide range of scholars within the profession, including those who don't even believe in the essential historicity of the narrative (Van Seters, Whybray). Vote 'No' by all means, but please do so on an objective basis. ragesoss, your edit doesn't even explain why you want the Thompson reference removed. His comment is an authoritative overview, as you require.--Taiwan boi (talk) 02:43, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I'll add that previously PiCo was entirely happy to cite Wenham, praising him as 'an authority', but now he realises that Wenham's case is different to what he thought it was, suddenly Wenham is dismissed as not notable. If you don't believe that Noth and Wenham are sufficiently notable to have their views referred to in this article, then why did you specifically include them yourself in this very section? --Taiwan boi (talk) 02:55, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

ragesoss, the proposed edit makes it totally clear that both the fragmentary and supplementary views are 'widely accepted'. Neither is marginal. The very fact that the views on doublets are held by a wide range of notable scholars (Whybray, Wenham, Van Seters, etc), including those who don't even believe in the historicity of the narrative (Whybray, Van Seters), is demonstrative of the fact that it is not a 'marginal' view. There is no mere name dropping here, as links are given to each of these scholars so the reader can assess the significance of their views. Of the sources, I don't think any are anonymous or fail WP:RS:

  • A peer reviewed collection of scholarly articles: McKenzie, Steven L and Graham, Matt Patrick (editors), 'The History of Israel's Traditions: The Heritage of Martin Noth', JSOT 182, Sheffield (1994)
  • A publication by a notable scholar on the subject: Whybray, RN, 'The Making of the Pentateuch: A Methodological Study', JSOT Press, Sheffield, (1987)
  • An article by a notable scholar on the subject, in a peer reviewed journal: Wenham, Gordon, 'Pentateuchal Studies Today', Themelios 22.1, page 7 (October 1996)
  • Course material written by the Associate Professor of Religion at Butler University, Indianapolis: James F MacGrath, 'Introduction To The Torah'
  • An article by a notable scholar: Kitchen, Kenneth, 'The Old Testament in its Context: 1 From the Origins to the Eve of the Exodus', Theological Students' Fellowship Bulletin 59, Spring 1971 (sure it's a student journal, but he's a notable scholar)
  • A publication by a notable scholar which cites a developing consensus: Hoffmeier, James, 'Ancient Israel In Sinai: The Evidence For The Authenticity Of The Wilderness Tradition', Oxford University Press, 2005, page 14

I see you've now withdrawn from this discussion anyway. Thanks for your contributions all the same. --Taiwan boi (talk) 03:33, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Might I say that we don't vote on WP. See WP:DEMOCRACY. RC-0722 361.0/1 04:08, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
What we do is we seek the views of the editors. I choose to call that voting. You can call it polling if you wish. But there's only one way to seek the views of the editors, and that's to invite them specifically to comment. In this case there's a deadlock as a result of two editors having one view and one editor having another view. I have chosen to integrate the work of PiCo into my edit, whereas PiCo wants to keep his entire work without any of my edits at all. Holding this poll presents my proposed edits to the other editors, along with an explanation for my edits, so that they can contribute their views. --Taiwan boi (talk) 05:12, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
WP:! RC-0722 361.0/1 13:59, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
WP:VINE! If you haven't already noticed, there has been plenty of discussion already. --Taiwan boi (talk) 14:15, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Might I point out that that is an essay. Good day. (blip) RC-0722 361.0/1 14:43, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Our user with the complicated tag is quite right: this article is indeed an essay. I wrote it that way. PiCo (talk) 15:24, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. And he completely missed the fact that there has already been two days of discussion. Why don't people read before typing? By the way, are you claiming that you wrote WP:VINE? If so, the irony is acute. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:45, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
What does WP:WINE have anything to do with this? RC-0722 361.0/1 18:46, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
It was supposed to be WP:VINE. --Taiwan boi (talk) 22:50, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Alistair, thanks for your comment. You are reading the edit exactly as it is intended to be read. As you note it says nothing about a single author, or a single unedited final document (the context says the exact opposite). And yes, it is very important that the last comment says 'literary unit' not 'textual unit'. This has been pointed out to PiCo before, but it's useful for him to hear someone else say it. --Taiwan boi (talk) 14:37, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

PiCo, nice try. If you think that Sporkboy is a sockpuppet of mine you're very far wrong. He isn't. I don't use sockpuppets. I'll add that to the list of bad faith comments you've made. I was hoping for established Wikipedians rather than lurkers suddenly turned users, or drive by commentators, but what I really care about is whether or not he understands the issues at hand. There are plenty of ways for Wikipedia to assess whether or not users are sockpuppets, and I'm sure you know the relevant people to ask, so if you want to waste your time go ahead and be a detective. Your time would be better spent reading WP:N. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:18, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I never thought for a moment that Sporkboy was a sockpuppet of yours - believe it or not, I have a high opinion of your personal integrity. I also respect your knowledge of scholarly sources. It's your ability to construct a well-made piece of prose that I have problems with. PiCo (talk) 15:22, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I appreciate that (except for the last part). Exactly whose sockpuppet do you think he is then? Alistair's? Andycjp's? Yours? We're the only four who have voted. By the way, for future reference I construct excellent prose. It's a gift. ^_^ --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:26, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
No idea. But the lack of any history suggests sockpuppetry.
PiCo, what's this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Sporkboy - if not a history? You might also be interested in the contributions under my original account (here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Teutonic_Knight) which I abandoned after changing ISPs and losing the email address to which it was connected. I've been contributing to Wikipedia since November 2004. Sporkboy (talk) 12:45, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Well your sockpuppet comment doesn't make sense if you didn't view this user as a sockpuppet of one of the four people who have already cast their vote. Sure, it looks like a sockpuppet, and as I said there are plenty of ways of determining whether or not it's a sockpuppet if you really care. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:45, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Don't let my comments about your abilities with English prose upset you.
It's ok, they don't since I know they're wrong. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:45, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Suggestion: Let's use Alastair's comments as a way forward. I respect Alastair, and is he says I/m wrong (and that's essentially what he's saying), then I'll reconsider my position. It's late now so I'll get back to you tomorrow. PiCo (talk) 15:30, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh I'm all for using his comments as a way forward, especially given that he understood the natural reading of the edit to mean exactly what I intended it to mean. And not a single comment has been yet made which actually points out why either of my suggested edits are wrong. You've erred very badly here, first in totally misreading the sources I quoted (including Wenham, which is ironic since you referred to him previously as 'an authority'), secondly by not understanding the scholarly consensus, and thirdly by posting an objection to my second edit which consists only of an accusation in bad faith. The lessons you should learn from this are 'Read carefully', 'Don't make gratuitous edits concerning subjects on which you're not well read or well informed', and 'Don't enter into a discussion with someone who knows a great deal more about the subject than you do'. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:45, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Ways forward are often two-edged swords.
Those perceived to be truly great are those who are gracious in victory.
I'd like to add something here. I'm humbled by PiCo's kind words. I respect (and like) PiCo a great deal.
The nice thing about Wiki is that it doesn't matter too much whether we are right or wrong as editors, there are lots of people (especially future readers) who can sort things out when we are wrong.
I like to think it matters much, much more that we grow accustomed to enjoying improving articles as a co-operative activity. Editing Wiki, for my personality, is much more challenging and enjoyable than many things in life.
I think Taiwan boi's edit was brilliant and inspires respect. I think PiCo's concession was gracious and inspires respect. Gloating is something I enjoy very much, but only when playing games with friends who themselves enjoy giving me such pleasure. Given the superfluity of IQ points among editors at this page, I'm confident my elliptic comment will be interpreted as intended. Alastair Haines (talk) 16:07, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Alastair, I very much appreciate your involvement and comments. I know you think I'm being insufficiently gracious, but I've been obstructed, opposed, accused of bad faith, and generally mucked around by PiCo for months in this article.
He has made edits to the article however he pleased without seeking anyone else's input first (despite the fact that the Talk page is headed 'This is a controversial topic that may be under dispute. Please read this page and discuss substantial changes here before making them'), yet he has reverted edits by other people who have done the same, he has repeatedly inserted material without citations (despite the fact that the Talk page is headed 'Make sure to supply full citations when adding information'), yet he has removed valid citations from reliable sources when they have been added to his material. He has objected to (and reverted), edits by other authors simply on the grounds that they do not conform with his views on how the article should be structured (instead of reaching a compromise).
He repeatedly blocked the insertion of references to the Thalamegos and Hatshepsut's obelisk barge, claiming 'They are not documented to a standard acceptable for inclusion in this article - blueprints only please', despite the fact that I had documented the vessels with four reliable sources (including one authority). I pointed out that 'I have cited academic works which all meet Wikipedia's standards for reliable sources and verifiability', yet he continued to block the inclusion of the material, on spurious grounds which he had simply invented specifically to exclude the material from the article because he didn't want it there. This was an arbitrary standard of his own making (insisting on blueprints for ancient vessels before they could be considered sufficiently documented!), which is not in agreement with Wikipedia's standards for reliable sources and not required by standard historians as evidence of historicity.
I have also been accused by PiCo of attempting to smuggle in my personal POV on a number of occasions, even when the edits I made had nothing to do with my personal POV, or when the POV he attributed to me was one I simply don't believe (he has continued to claim I support a 'single author, single text' view of the flood narrative, when in fact I have made it clear more than once that I hold to the 'supplementary' model).
He has repeatedly misread, misconstrued, or demonstrated complete ignorance of, a wide range of academic sources. Take his complete misreading of my second proposed edit for example. He was claiming (against all the facts), that I was trying to use these scholars to smuggle in a POV which is actually explicitly contradicted by each one of them. You yourself identified his misunderstanding. He hasn't read their works, so he has little to no idea what they actually wrote. I always provide overwhelming support from reliable sources for my edits, and yet he has challenged a number of them repeatedly with the claim that the sources I cite are not reliable or insufficiently notable. In doing so he has simply made things up. On one occasion he appealed to Wenham in support of his own edit, describing Wenham as 'an authority', yet when I cited Wenham in a proposed edit, suddenly he told me that Wenham was not a notable scholar. From 'authority' to 'not a notable scholar' in just a couple of days. Remarkable. Similarly, he claimed that John Van Seters, Whybray, Wenham and Cassuto were not notable scholars on the subject at hand, despite the fact that they are viewed as such in all the relevant scholarly literature (see J Emerton's articles 'An Examination of Some Attempts to Defend the Unity of the Flood Narrative in Genesis' in Vetus Testamentum, volumes 37-38:1988, for example).
So with all this history (and believe me there's more, namely his similar conduct in other articles I edit), you may be able to understand that my opinion of PiCo is not exactly glowing. I have nothing personal against him, and I have no problem with his edits except when they are personally motivated and demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the relevant scholarly literature. Of the regular editors here, I am the only one who is familiar with the relevant scholarly literature (which I read on a regular basis), and I have contributed more reliable sources both to my edits and other people's than any other editor here. So I object when other people attempt to dominate the article without knowing what they're talking about, and I object my edits are completely thrown out by people who are insufficiently informed on the subject, especially when my edits consist of a citation which supports another editor's unreferenced edit. --Taiwan boi (talk) 22:50, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm. I don't doubt these things are likely true. I still think PiCo's "robust" editing has probably led to tighter text and better sourcing. Robust editing is not always good, it can discourage those making sincere and quality contributions, but without time to endlessly defend them. I'd better not say much more, because it prolongs an important digression beyond its value. I've only wanted to contribute two things to this discussion. Defence of the quality of Taiwan boi's edits, and defence of PiCo's character. I've nothing to add to either, so now hold my peace. Alastair Haines (talk) 07:19, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
The problem is Alastair that PiCo's editing behaviour does indeed discourage those making sincere and quality contributions but without time to endlessly defend them, such as myself. There appears to be no obvious way to hold him accountable, which is why he feels free to do as he pleases, reverting whatever he likes. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:23, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Doug Weller and Sχeptomaniac, your objection appears not to be to the proposed edits as such, but to the inclusion of the material which they are editing. If I'm mistaken and you are actually arguing that the material already in the section under discussion shouldn't be referenced, please do make that clear. I am in agreement with you that the entire Documentary Hypothesis section (and related material), is basically WP:COAT. I have objected to the inclusion of this material myself previously. However, bear in mind that PiCo was largely responsible for this material, and PiCo wants it in, and PiCo doesn't like people editing it, so if you wish to propose its removal or pruning then you will have to deal with the fact that PiCo disagrees with you and be ready either to convince him otherwise or to see your edits reverted repeatedly. Since a number of us seem to agree that this entire section needs a major overhaul, I will propose a suggested rewrite. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:23, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Rewrite of Documentary Hypothesis section

I have previously objected to the size and detail of the Documentary Hypothesis section on the grounds that it exclusively discusses the flood narrative, and says absolutely nothing about Noah's Ark (which is the subject of the article). My objections were resisted by PiCo, who has wrongly claimed more than once that I believe the flood narrative was the work of a single author (despite being told several times that I don't), and who has accused me of attempting to introduce my POV into the article by stealth ('The edit is an attempt to introduce a particular pov by stealth - namely, that the Ark story was composed by one person'). Leaving aside PiCo's bad faith, the fact is that we now have a number of editors who believe that the the Documentary Hypothesis section (and related material), is substantially WP:COAT and needs to be reduced. The very first sentence is completely off topic, and breaches both WP:NPOV and WP:COAT, 'Scholars had puzzled for centuries over the many apparent confusions and inconsistencies which mark the Bible'. It goes on to say 'The Ark story seemed particularly rich in such problems', but here 'Ark story' is an obvious coat for 'flood story' (the material which follows has nothing to do with the Ark). I therefore propose the following edit:

'The Biblical flood narrative in which Noah's Ark appears has been subjected to considerable literary analysis. The flood narrative is a Biblical text central to the Documentary Hypothesis, which proposes that the flood narrative was composed by combining two independent stories on the same subject. This hypothesis still has many adherents in academic circles, but can no longer be called a consensus view. Alternative theories on Pentateuchal origins hold that the flood narrative was the product of the slow accretion of blocks of material over time, or the result of extensive editing and additions to an original text. There is general agreement that two distinct narrative strands exist in the Ark story, which, though unprovenanced, continue to be called the Yahwist and the Priestly. Disagreement continues as to which passages in the flood narrative belong to each strand.'

This edit collapses both the 'Documentary Hypothesis' and 'Biblical scholarship and the Ark in the 20th century' sections into one section entitled 'Literary Analysis'. Material currently in these sections which has been omitted by this edit should be placed in a new article specifically on the Genesis flood, to which a link in this edit can be included. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:39, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

If this gains consensus, and it ought to, since it reflects almost everything people have said, I would think it a very good outcome. It would be a shame to lose the excellent, concise description of scholastic comments related to seeing a literary unity in the final form of the flood narrative, but I trust Taiwan boi to move that valuable text to at least one article dealing with the topic. Alastair Haines (talk) 10:21, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Alastair, I'll certainly be retaining that material and placing it in an appropriate place. That would be a 'Genesis Flood' article, which needs to be started. --Taiwan boi (talk) 14:59, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Definitely an improvement. But I don't think accusations against other editors have helped get there. Doug Weller (talk) 11:17, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
May I congratulate Taiwanboi on an excellent siggestion. I'd just like to see added to this proposed paragraph (which I accept in full) a further sentence noting the importance of the Ark narrative to the DH - it's constantly being quoted as an example of the two-editors hypothesis.PiCo (talk) 12:57, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I still agree with everyone. You're right Doug, but stuff happens and it looks to me as though there was a bit each way. More than a bit, but the blood's under the bridge now. I think PiCo's hit something that could be even better than Taiwan boi's suggestion. The section could retain a cautious bit of Noah's Ark featuring in debate over the source or sources of the flood narrative. We don't need to be drawn into saying what current consensus is, or too much detail. DH idea first, refinement second, end of story. Title of section, "Noah's Ark in Source Criticism", or words to that effect. Source criticism is self-defining. It's a more indirect approach than claiming source criticism is essential to understand Noah's Ark in context. Less prone to challenge from future readers and editors. What do y'all think? Alastair Haines (talk) 13:10, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback everyone. PiCo, 'a further sentence noting the importance of the Ark narrative to the DH' is certainly important, but it should be identified as the flood narrative (there is no 'Flood/Ark narrative' or 'Ark narrative', and no one talks of an 'Ark narrative', it's all about the flood). I have included a suggested sentence in bold. --Taiwan boi (talk) 14:59, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm copypasting your latest draft here to make it easier to see:

'The Biblical flood narrative in which Noah's Ark appears has been subjected to considerable literary analysis. The flood narrative is a Biblical text central to the Documentary Hypothesis, which proposes that the flood narrative was composed by combining two independent stories on the same subject. This hypothesis still has many adherents in academic circles, but can no longer be called a consensus view. Alternative theories on Pentateuchal origins hold that the flood narrative was the product of the slow accretion of blocks of material over time, or the result of extensive editing and additions to an original text. There is general agreement that two distinct narrative strands exist in the Ark story, which, though unprovenanced, continue to be called the Yahwist and the Priestly. Disagreement continues as to which passages in the flood narrative belong to each strand.'

Thanks for this effort. A question: Is the flood narrative actually central to the DH? The idea of markers such as names of God etc is central, but the FN in itself isn't. Rather, it's often quoted as a test-case of the way two closely intertwined and originally independent narratives can be disentangled by applying the methodology. I'd suggest your sentence be changed to: The Flood narrative is often held up as a test-case for the documentary hypothesis, which proposes...
Next point: I'd question that There is general agreement that two distinct narrative strands exist in the Ark story..." The "narrative strands" thing sounds like the DH again - more recent thinking talks about redactional layers. And the final sentence, "Disagreement continues as to which passages in the flood narrative belong to each strand", also applies to the DH rather than to contemporary theories.
But overall I think we're moving in the right direction. PiCo (talk) 02:22, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I should leave it to Taiwan boi to propose this himself, but PiCo's comments sound fair to me. Replace: "text central to" with "text often cited in support of". Also: "two distinct narrative strands exist in the Ark story" might be better as "the Ark story is embedded within a context suggestive of parallel editorial influences". Emphasis for talk page only. The right phrase here needs refinement. Alastair Haines (talk) 06:01, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Alastair, that edit sounds fine to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Taiwan boi (talkcontribs) 00:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


Recent major edit

These are my initial reactions to Taiwanboi's recent edits.

First, a brief review of what the changes are: Broadly, the subsection on the documentary hypothesis has been drastically shortened; the material on scholarly interpretations of/comments on the ark has been deleted entirely; and the section on literalist interpretations has benn hugely expanded and renamed as The Ark in Current Christian Interpretation. PiCo (talk) 17:59, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that's exactly what I said the edits would be, when I first proposed them over a week ago. So there are no surprises here. These edits have already been known and discussed for days. --Taiwan boi (talk) 00:07, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Now my comments:

  • I think the original Documentary Hypothesis subsection needs to stay - it's part of a section tracing the changing interpretations of the ark story through time, from the earliest rabbinical stories to the dawn of the Enlightenment - it's actually about the role of the ark story in the early development of modern biblical criticism.
  • For similar reasons the section on 20th/21st century scholarly interpretations of the ark needs to be restored - this is a very important subject, and can't simply be dropped. (The section which Taiwanboi titles "documentary hypothesis" is actually about the fate of the documentary hypothesis in the 20th century, and can't substitute for the original section, which was about the dh and the ark in the 19th century). PiCo (talk) 17:59, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand this at all. Firstly, these changes were previously agreed to by yourself, Doug Weller, Alastair, Sχeptomaniacχαιρετεm, and myself. They were agreed to specifically because the sections to which you refer had been identified by several of us as WP:COAT:
  • Doug Weller: 'At the moment, about 1/6th of the article is about the Documentary hypothesis, discussing technical details such as palistrophes, etc. I'm not at all convinced that help the article proportionately, and would like to see one section, not two. I agree that the Documentary hypothesis is not the scholarly consensus today, and we probably need to be explicit about that, but we do not need all this detail, the detail should go in what is a technical article, Documentary hypothesis'
  • Doug Weller: 'I think we just need one section, probably shorter than either of the existing sections, not giving the history of the DH, not trying to resolve the disputes, just a comment on the current situation and how it relates to the Ark story'
  • Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε: 'This article has tended to become a coatrack one at times, and a lot of the problematic material needs to be cut. Unless it directly relates to the Noah's Ark story, it should go to more appropriate articles, whether they be Documentary hypothesis, Biblical criticism, Genesis, etc'
  • Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε: 'The documentary hypothesis information doesn't necessarily need to be cut completely, but it does need to be cut back quite a bit. I believe we should give just enough information to give a very basic understanding of the greater issues, so that those wishing to learn more can use the links to go to the appropriate articles'
  • Alastair: 'I notice that there is a whole section presenting a summary background to the DH. Perhaps DH readings should be presented in such a way as not to invoke the theory in more detail than its name. This would obviate the felt need to explain the absence of the DH in the contemporary views section'
The Documentary Hypothesis has nothing to do with the Ark, it's about the flood narrative, and the material which was removed said absolutely nothing about the Ark. The section entitled 'The Ark in Current Christian Interpretation' discusses 20th/21st century interpretations of the Ark. The sections I removed did not. That's why I removed them, by common consent:
  • Alastair: 'If this gains consensus, and it ought to, since it reflects almost everything people have said, I would think it a very good outcome. It would be a shame to lose the excellent, concise description of scholastic comments related to seeing a literary unity in the final form of the flood narrative, but I trust Taiwan boi to move that valuable text to at least one article dealing with the topic'
  • Doug Weller: 'Definitely an improvement'
  • PiCo: 'May I congratulate Taiwanboi on an excellent siggestion. I'd just like to see added to this proposed paragraph (which I accept in full) a further sentence noting the importance of the Ark narrative to the DH - it's constantly being quoted as an example of the two-editors hypothesis'
So I really don't understand this backflip of yours.
  • Finally, we need to be very careful using words like "Christian" in the titles of articles like this - the ark is in fact a Jewish story, and the Jewish religious view has to have priority. Nevertheless, I think it's a good idea to have a section on religious interpretations of the ark story. Perhaps a more neutral title though - something like The Theology of the Ark? PiCo (talk) 17:59, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we need to be 'very careful using words like 'Christian' in the titles of articles like this', if the relevant section deals specifically with Christian views. I see no reason to give the Jewish religious view priority, since it is far less notable than the Christian religious view. Count all the Jewish Websites and books discussing the details of the Ark, and then count all the Christian Websites and books doing the same, and you'll soon see that the Jews are far less interested in the Ark than the Christians. If you can find evidence for notable current Jewish interpretations of the Ark, then we can certainly include them in a relevant section of the article. --Taiwan boi (talk) 00:07, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Anyway, my congratulations to Taiwanboi on the hard work he's put into this first attempt. PiCo (talk) 17:59, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. --Taiwan boi (talk) 00:07, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I've tried to meet your points by shortening the documentary hypothesis section by about 2/3rds, but I really think it's relevant and needs to stay. Also we need the section on critical approaches to the ark. And also, your religious views section is far too long - I'll try to shorten it down to about 3 paragraphs, which is the size of other sections in the article. PiCo (talk) 04:52, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Briefly:
  • As you well know, I am using the term 'Literalist' to refer to Biblical Literalism, not simply the belief in a literal Ark and literal flood. I have correctly distinguished between the views of literalists/Fundamentalists, and non-literalists/liberals. Yet you have deliberately obscured this distinction all the way through the edit I made (which you have really hacked up).
    • The belief in a literal flood and ark, is literalism.
That is not the literalism discussed in this section of the article, and you know it. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:20, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
    • So what?
So it passes Wikipedia's guidelines for notability. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:20, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • You have thrown out the entire edit of the Documentary Hypothesis section, which was agreed to by Doug Weller, Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε, Alastair, myself, and even you. Why do you agree to edits one day, and then throw them out the next? --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:05, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
    • On gthe contrary, I'm trying to accommodate all views here. I want the DH section to be succinct, and to relate to theark-narratigve's role in the development of critical scholarship. For this reason we need to retain the section. But as Doug and others say, it needs to be much shorter. The section on 20th century scholarship also needs to stay - no-one suggested it shouldn't. Please don't revert this again until other editors have had a chance to have their say.PiCo (talk) 07:14, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
You're not trying to acommodate all views. You, and four other editors already had our say about this. It took several days, and the edit I made today was approved by all of them, including you. You are certainly not trying to make the Documentary Hypothesis section succinct. You're attempting to make it at least double the length of my edit, and you are trying to make it a coathanger for a subject which shouldn't be treated at such length in this article. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:20, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Phoenix and Bird of Paradise

Why would you include mythological creatures into the debate if you're discussing it from a literal point of view.--SilverOrion (talk) 06:58, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Because the people doing the discussing (in the pre-modern age) didn't think it was mythical. PiCo (talk) 07:11, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

My edits

The Documentary Hypothesis section is now pretty much what was discussed recently. The 20th century biblical scholarship section is an important body of information and needs to be kept. The Literalism section is short, possibly too short, but the previous section was definiltely too long. I'm open to discussion and welcome the comments of other editors on this. PiCo (talk) 15:11, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for returning the Documentary Hypothesis section to something close to what was discussed. It still isn't what was agreed on. I see no reason why it should not be edited according to what was agreed on. The Literalism section is already included in the edit I suggested, which has yet to be discussed. I didn't see you discuss your complete removal of the previous 'Literalism' section. Why is that? The edit I suggested should be included because it balances the article. You have yet to explain why you want Literalist, and only Literalist, views on the Ark in this article. --Taiwan boi (talk) 11:01, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Biblical scholarship and the Ark in the 20th century

As discussed at length and agreed on earlier, the section 'Biblical scholarship and the Ark in the 20th century' says nothing about Biblical scholarship and the Ark in the 20th century, and is a mere coat hanger for an extended discussion of the flood narrative in the context of source criticism and the Documentary Hypothesis. It has no place in this article, and I have deleted it since this was agreed on earlier. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:54, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Literalism

I have replaced the 'Literalism' section. That section was an edit made by PiCo without any corroboration with other editors, and was opposed by myself. The original section had been discussed at great length and agreed to by a number of editors. PiCo, you have been told before not to delete whole sections which have been discussed and agreed to by other editors. Edit an existing section, or propose an edit or deletion here, but do not delete half a page of material without warning, without explanation, and without any corroboration at all. This consistent vandalism of yours is completely destructive and is NPOV as you have yourself acknowledged. You only want Biblical Literalist views referred to in this article and none others, but that is not your choice to make. --Taiwan boi (talk) 08:01, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Reverting recent major edits made without consensus

Some major edits were recently made by user Taiwanboi without consensus. I must remind all users that major changes to this or any other article should not be made unless it is clear that they are acceptable to the community of editors as a whole. This is especially true of Featured Articles - they are the result of a long process of community discussion and consensus-making, and this is reflected in the FA status. I realise that Taiwanboi wishes to insert into the article his own particular Old Earth Creationist perspective, and indeed I have no objection to this, but it should only be done after the proper procedures have been followed. PiCo (talk) 15:13, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Firstly these edits were not made without consensus. The edits to the section on the Documentary Hypothesis were agreed on after considerable discussion. See the consensus documented here. What I did was to place in the article the text which was agreed on in that discussion. You have replaced it with your own text, most of which was specifically opposed by Doug Weller, Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε, and Alastair. The edit to the original 'Literalism' section was discussed extensively here. My edit incorporates all of the material suggested and approved by the editors in that discussion. Subsequent to that discussion I placed the proposed edit in the Talk page on 1 June 2008, and 16 June 2008. Few objections were raised to the first proposal, and none to the second. After that you took it on yourself to delete the entire section without any warning or discussion whatsoever. That is a major breach of Wikipedia policy, and is part of a repeating pattern of ignoring consensus and acting without any discussion. I objected here to your edit and gave my reasons. You did not respond at all.
Secondly, you are again accusing me falsely of bad faith. You have made it clear that you want the entire section thrown out and replaced by a short paragraph which excludes reference to any position or discussion on the Ark other than that of Biblical literalists. You have not given your reasons for this, and you have not discussed it with anyone here. I have made it clear that I want all relevant notable views included in the article, not simply my own.
You need to explain why you repeatedly edit this article without any discussion, even to the point of removing material which has been agreed on after considerable discussion, and consensus. --Taiwan boi (talk) 04:57, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree, it is a pity that a FA gets mauled about this way. Doug Weller (talk) 16:21, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
It gets mauled about by PiCo, and you don't object in the least when he deletes entire sections without consulting anyone. I discuss all my edits here, he doesn't. See the consensus documented here. What I did was to place in the article the text which was agreed on in that discussion. I follow the consensus, PiCo doesn't and neither do you. --Taiwan boi (talk) 04:57, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Taiwanboi, you hace a history of disruptive editing and of unwiullingness to accept any view but your own. As I've explained, tis is a featured article, and the level of consensus has to be high. Please leave it alone now and seek consensus here. I've explained that I'm not averse to including a reference to your Old Earth Creationist perspective. This, i.e., discussion and compromise and respect for other points of views, is the proper path to follow. PiCo (talk) 14:56, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
That is all completely untrue. That is a deliberate falsehood. I have already linked to several examples of me seeking consensus. Those same examples also demonstrate that I have always included views other than my own. You on the other hand have made repeated edits without seeking any discussion or consensus at all (particularly in June), and you have removed a paragraph which was agreed to. See the consensus documented here. The edit to the original 'Literalism' section was discussed extensively here. My edit incorporates all of the material suggested and approved by the editors in that discussion. You are not being honest. You did not seek consensus for your complete rewrite of the section you have now entitled 'Literalism' and reduced to a single paragraph which excludes every view but that which you want included in the article, you did not seek consensus for your edit of the Documentary Hypothesis section which had already been agreed on, and you have consistently ignored calls for you to discuss your edits here first. One more thing, stop calling me an 'Old Earth Creationist' when I've told you several times I'm not. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:46, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Removed citations

I have been looking through some of the removed citations. PiCo, you deleted this:

  • '*Brenton, Sir Lancelot C.L. (1986) [1851]. The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English (reprint). Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 0-913573-44-2. '

You said 'I can't see the relevance of a 19th century work on the Septuagint to the Noah's Ark story'. This only demonstrates why you should not be editing this article. You are simply insufficiently informed on the subject. Brenton's is not a 19th century work on the Septuagint, it is the Septuagint, in English translation. It's one of the standard English translations of the LXX, and one of the major primary sources for traditions concerning Noah's Ark.

You also deleted this:

  • '*Woodmorappe, John (1996). Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study. El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research. ISBN 0-932766-41-2. '

You said 'This is a literalist work, not suited to a scholarly article'. That misses the point. Woodmorappe's work is not being appealed to as a scholarly work, it is included because it's a notable work on the subject of Noah's Ark, one of the most notable in fact (and most notorious).

You also deleted this:

  • '*Young, Davis A. (1995). The Biblical Flood. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN 0-8028-0719-4. '

You said 'Young's book presents a personal viewpoint rather than being an overview of the subject'. You didn't provide any evidence for this, but why would this be sufficient reason to remove the work in any case? It is one of the most notable works on the subject. As it happens, your lack of knowledge has let you down yet again. Young's work is an overview of the subject. He presents a comprehensive historical review of Christian and pre-Christian interpretations and commentary concerning the Ark, over some 1,800 years. From the Amazon entry (which you clearly didn't read):

'Young, who teaches geology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., engages in a rather exhaustive survey of attitudes about the flood, from ancient Near Eastern history to recent theories and commentaries on the story of the deluge, to demonstrate the ambivalence toward extrabiblical evidence that has always existed in the Christian community.'

You should not be editing the article when you are insufficiently informed on the subject. --Taiwan boi (talk) 09:00, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Edits without consensus

PiCo, please explain why you made the following edits without seeking consensus:

  • The Documentary Hypothesis:
  1. (cur) (last) 04:50, 9 June 2008 PiCo (Talk | contribs) (56,668 bytes) (→The Documentary Hypothesis: shortening subsection and re-naming) (undo)

Why did you do this, and why did you do it without seeking consensus? I have made no edits to this section for which I did not first seek consensus, and I have made no edits to this section without first having them discussed extensively by a number of editors. Your new 'Documentary Hypothesis' section has not been approved by any consensus, and you made it without even seeking discussion.

The edits to the section on the Documentary Hypothesis were agreed on after considerable discussion. See the consensus documented here. What I did was to place in the article the text which was agreed on in that discussion. That was the consensus reached. You have replaced it with your own text, most of which was specifically opposed by Doug Weller, Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε, and Alastair.

  • The Ark In Current Christian Interpretation:
  1. (cur) (last) 02:32, 9 June 2008 PiCo (Talk | contribs) (50,872 bytes) (→The Ark In Current Christian Interpretation: cutting this back to the essential point) (undo)
  2. (cur) (last) 02:29, 9 June 2008 PiCo (Talk | contribs) (53,591 bytes) (→Historicity: merginfg sections) (undo)
  3. (cur) (last) 02:28, 9 June 2008 PiCo (Talk | contribs) (53,609 bytes) (→The search for Noah's Ark: merging sections) (undo)

Why did you do this, and why did you do it without seeking consensus? I have made no edits to this section for which I did not first seek consensus, and I have made no edits to this section without first having them discussed extensively by a number of editors. Your new 'Literalism' section, with its single paragraph, has not been approved by any consensus, and you made it without even seeking discussion.

The edit to the original 'Literalism' section was discussed extensively here. Contrary to your false claim that I refuse to include any view other than my own, my edit incorporates all of the material suggested and approved by the editors in that discussion. Subsequent to that discussion I placed the proposed edit in the Talk page on 1 June 2008, and 16 June 2008. Few objections were raised to the first proposal (which I subsequently amended), and none to the second. After that you took it on yourself to delete the entire section without any warning or discussion whatsoever. That is a major breach of Wikipedia policy, and is part of a repeating pattern of ignoring consensus and acting without any discussion. I objected here to your edit and gave my reasons. You did not respond at all. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:56, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

PiCo, you have been asked here to explain why you made your edits made without discussion or consensus. Please do so. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:42, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

PiCo, you have been asked here to explain why you made your edits made without discussion or consensus. Please do so. --Taiwan boi (talk) 11:16, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

How to introduce major changes to a Featured Article

Taiwaon boi, I've explained this above but I'll do so again: Noah's Ark is a featured article, and it reached that only after a long process of consensual editing from many hands. It should be not be changed in a major way without further consensus. And you simply do not have consensus for your changes. I made clear my own opposition some time ago, which is why I didn't want to comment at your second attempt to introduce them. It's clear that other editors also object. Now please drop this and accept the majority opinion. PiCo (talk) 15:08, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I have linked to the discussion of the edits I have made, and demonstrated that consensus was reached. You have not provided any evidence that your single paragraph 'Literalism' edit (a major edit which removed several sections of the article, including material agreed on by several editors), had any consensus support. Nor did you even seek any discussion. Similarly, your edit of the 'Documentary Hypothesis' section direction contradicts the consensus which was reached, to which I linked. Neither of the edits you are making have any support from the editors whatever, nor have they been discussed. They haven't been discussed because you have refused to have them discussed here. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:40, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, what you've demonstrated is that you made these changes (which are pretty much uniformly bad) pretty unilaterally with little consensus. The historicity section, for instance, is complete garbage. Titanium Dragon (talk) 09:29, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
That is false. I have provided several links. --Taiwan boi (talk) 11:12, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
In fact, there was no consensus at all. Your claims of consensus are farcical at best. Let's look at how many people support your edit: none. Zero. Nada. There are ZERO comments on the talk page supportive of your edits. Let's look at how many people opposed your edits: three. Therefore, the consensus was against your edits. Please stop messing up this article. Thanks. Titanium Dragon (talk) 09:32, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
See here for support for the Documentary Hypothesis edit:
  • Alastair: 'If this gains consensus, and it ought to, since it reflects almost everything people have said, I would think it a very good outcome. It would be a shame to lose the excellent, concise description of scholastic comments related to seeing a literary unity in the final form of the flood narrative, but I trust Taiwan boi to move that valuable text to at least one article dealing with the topic'
  • Doug Weller: 'Definitely an improvement'
  • PiCo: 'May I congratulate Taiwanboi on an excellent siggestion. I'd just like to see added to this proposed paragraph (which I accept in full) a further sentence noting the importance of the Ark narrative to the DH - it's constantly being quoted as an example of the two-editors hypothesis'
I added the sentence suggested by PiCo. This was the last comment on the edit. As you can see, it was overwhelmingly in favour. There were no objections.
The edit to the original 'Literalism' section was discussed extensively here. My edit incorporates all of the material suggested and approved by the editors in that previous discussion. Subsequent to that discussion I placed the proposed edit in the Talk page on 1 June 2008, and 16 June 2008. Few objections were raised to the first proposal (which I subsequently amended), and none to the second. You have provided no links at all of any discussion which opposed the section. Not only that, but you have failed to explain why the historicity section 'is complete garbage'.
By the way, please show me all the discussion of PiCo's 'Literalism' section. Do show me that he posted that here for discussion before inserting it in the article, and do show me that consensus was reached. --Taiwan boi (talk) 11:12, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I thought Taiwanboi was talking about the Literalist section? Which section or edit is actually the problem?PiCo (talk) 15:15, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I have made that totally clear here. Both the 'Documentary Hypothesis' and the 'Literalist' sections. You have been told this several times now. --Taiwan boi (talk) 16:07, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Hello all. I know I have never contributed here, and my contributions have been few and far between elsewhere, but I thought I'd say something here. I've read through the entire talk section and reviewed the changes over the last little while. It seems to me that there was consensus to the changes Taiwan boi made, and that the reversions should not have happened. That being said, I also think that Taiwan boi's edits in the "Biblical Literalist and Fundamentalist Interpretations" section needed more links to current Young Earth/Global flood scholarship. I found the "Historicity" section to be well documented and have no idea why Titanium Dragon would say it's garbage.
I also find it ironic that above in this talk section that there was an argument about the length of the In Christian tradition section and that since the story is Jewish in origin, the Jewish view point must take precedence but the In Islamic tradition section is significantly longer than both of them. Cdelph (talk) 16:58, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. The 'Biblical Literalist and Fundamentalist Interpretations' section could do with more links (you can tell that I didn't write that section, as it is under referenced), and we can work on that. Your point about the 'In Islamic tradition' section is well made. It is indeed strange that no one yet has identified that as WP:WEIGHT. --Taiwan boi (talk) 23:47, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Lack of balance in article

In my opinion, the current article doesn't give proper mention to the view that the flood recorded in Gen. 6-9 was a local flood (not a global flood). I think a section on this should be included/expanded for a rounded article. In general the current article also doesn't mention more recent explanations for various criticisms made about the flood account - these should be included. The article seems to me to be weighted in favour of the view that the flood account in Genesis is a myth. For example, one section is titled "The Documentary Hypothesis", as if this is the only view of the flood account (however, alternative views are expressed in the section, which demonstrate that the section title is misleading), when a better section title would be something like "Authorship of the flood account", and then the different hypothesises (including the Documentary Hypothesis) mentioned under that title. A balance needs redressing, and my opinion (for what it's worth) is that Taiwan boi's edits help redress the balance. Please can they be included?! Additions can then be made to them if someone thinks they tilt the balance too far. Currently, though, there is still no balance. In fact, there seems to be a stuborn refusal to allow edits. --Woofboy (talk) 17:29, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

You are correct, PiCo's 'Literalism' section is a classic example of WP:WEIGHT, since it excludes all reference to all notable views found in reliable sources, except for one (and very little is even said about that one):
  • 'NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each.'
As for the Documentary Hypothesis section, it should be very brief (in fact it should be exactly what was agreed on), since the Documentary Hypothesis deals with the flood narrative, and not the Ark specifically. It was noted by several editors (Dougweller, Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε and myself), that the Documentary Hypothesis section as insisted by PiCo was nothing more than WP:COAT, dragging the Documentary Hypothesis into the article in a completely invalid way, and using the Ark as a coatrack for discussion of the flood narrative. This article is about the Ark, not the flood narrative. There's no need to discuss here different views of the flood narrative in any detail. --Taiwan boi (talk) 23:43, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Wkifying

How much more Wikifying does the section 'Historicity' actually need? Almost every proper noun has been Wikified. --Taiwan boi (talk) 14:07, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Woofboy, thanks for contributing to Wikifying this section. Personally I didn't think it needed any more Wikifying, and it seems Til Eulenspiegel doesn't either. But at least we've sorted that out now. --Taiwan boi (talk) 13:36, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I didn't think the section needed it, either (it already appeared the most wikified (and referenced) section of the article to me); but I thought I'd follow the advice of the wikify tag. Hope I didn't cause too much trouble for Til Eulenspiegel! --Woofboy (talk) 14:24, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for section heading change

Hello. Currently the article follows a general chronological sequence of views on Noah's Ark, starting with the Jewish views, on to Christian, then Islamic, followed by Renaissance to mid-20th century, and in to current interpretations. This seems to me to be a good approach, although one of the section headings is inconsistent with the flow of the article. I think it's reasonable to suggest a change to the section title The Ark in scientific and critical scholarship to something like The Ark in scientific and critical scholarship: Renaissance to mid-20th century: there is no change to the content of that section (because it's talking about the views of that period of time), it brings clarity to what the section is referring to, and it makes sense in terms of the flow of the article (which starts with early views of the account and ends with modern views). --Woofboy (talk) 10:34, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Fine with me. --Taiwan boi (talk) 11:34, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

"Global v. Local" debate

This article is about the Ark. I'm not sure that detailed references to views of the flood are relevant.

I'd be inclined to agree, given the title of the article; but the article seems to cover more than just info about the ark at the moment. --Woofboy (talk) 07:35, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
It does, but it shouldn't do so in any detail. We really need an article specifically on the Noachian Deluge. --Taiwan boi (talk) 08:28, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. One article is more than enough, and the two aren't really seperate topics. We should try and keep it together, as there really isn't enough information for them to be seperate articles and seperated articles are far more likely to suffer from undue weight. As far as mythology goes the flood and the Ark are inseperable. Titanium Dragon (talk) 09:30, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
As has been agreed by a number of editors here, the Ark and the flood are indeed two completely different topics. There is plenty of information on the flood, more than enough for a separate article. And the flood and Ark are indeed separable, especially as although the Ark is not regarded as an established historical vessel by historians, the Genesis flood narrative on the other hand is widely considered to have been based on a historical event around which a later mythology grew. --Taiwan boi (talk) 11:21, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Undue weight

This article suffers greatly from undue weight; there is far too much talk about the historicity of the ark, especially from the fundamentalist Christian standpoint. As far as the Ark article goes:

  1. Should be the mythology of the ark and the flood. This should be the majority of the article.
  2. History of the flood myth as relates to Noah's Ark, as well as the legends it is derived from (though this may be more appropriate in Great Deluge, perhaps as a short summary section with a link to it).
  3. History of the Ark myth in terms of acceptance, going from widely accepted to being completely discredited by evolution, geology, our modern understanding of history, ect. This section should probably be about as long as the section currently is, but somewhat strengthened and with less weaseliness, as well as some discussion of what happened with the 19th and 20th centuries as well as its rejection by all mainstream communities which would deal with it (history, geology, physics, biology, ect. ect.). Right now it isn't worded strongly enough and cuts off abruptly in the 18th century, when really it was still a matter of discussion in the 19th century as we learned more about geology.
  4. Inclusion of the historicity of the Ark today as seen by creationists should be very short; this mostly has more to do with creationism (particularly young earth creationism) and fundamentalist interpretations of the bible, as well as "creation science", than with Noah's Ark and the Flood as well. More to the point, it is undue weight. Every other serious article about the history of the Earth on Wikipedia doesn't even note the Flood, indicating what an extreme minority viewpoint it is.

I think we need to chop out the garbage and viciously; this article is a mythology article, not a creation science one, as the Ark is primarily notable as the former, not the latter. Titanium Dragon (talk) 09:40, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

  1. The Fundamentalist Christian standpoint receives no more weight than any of the alternative Christian views.
  2. The article is about the Ark. It is not about the Ark and the flood.
  3. It's unclear whether or not you're talking about the Ark or the flood here. You seem to be talking about the flood (the Ark has not been 'completely discredited by evolution', still less by geology). In that case you need to be reminded yet again that this article is about the Ark, not the flood. But in any case, there's already plenty in the article about how developing scientific understanding had an impact on the interpretation of the flood narrative (here).
  4. Inclusion of Fundamentalist views of the historicity of the Ark is very short. It is not undue weight. And once again you mention the flood, which is not given undue weight in this article.
You don't actually identify what you think is 'garbage', nor do you make any reference to relevant Wikipedia policies which might identify 'garbage'. The article as it currently stands could do with a little polishing, but it is substantially sound. It does not breach any Wikipedia policies, and it is not a 'creation science' article (creation science gets barely a mention). I note that you don't express any objection to the fact that the Ark 'In Islamic Tradition' section currently far outweighs both the Jewish tradition and Christian tradition sections. --Taiwan boi (talk) 11:33, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
  1. The historicity section is pretty much entirely fundyland.
  2. The article is about the myth of Noah's Ark, which includes the flood.
  3. The Ark didn't exist and the flood never occurred. Just read all the articles about the history of the world, evolution, science in general, ect. Including a long section on the Ark's existance is undue weight and detracts from what the article is supposed to be about in the first place.
  4. Its got at least three sections.
What I think are garbage is basically everything between the Seaworthiness and Capacity and Logistics sections. Titanium Dragon (talk) 07:57, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
  1. The historicity section is not 'pretty much entirely fundyland'. Just look at the material in it.
  2. The article is about Noah's Ark, not the flood. How many times do people have to be reminded of WP:COAT? Attempts to smuggle in offtopic material will be rejected.
  3. Your first two sentences are simply an expression of your personal bias, and unfortunately demonstrates that your edits are not made in good faith. There is not a long section 'on the Ark's existence'. There is a long section on the historicity of the Ark, which presents the views for and against. This does not detract from what the article is about, since the article is about the Ark. Nowhere is the historicity of the Ark asserted by the article itself (people always miss this).
  4. It doesn't have three sections. It has one section ('Biblical Literalist and Fundamentalist Interpretations').
  5. You don't explain why you think all of that is 'garbage'. But you have already helpfully demonstrated that the reason why you think it's garbage is simply because it disagrees with your personal views. Unfortunately your personal views are not taken into account when assessing whether or not material should be included in a Wikipedia article. When I look at WP:NOTE and WP:RELIABLE I see nothing about your personal views. The material in this article has been rigorously edited to ensure that it conforms to WP:NOTE and WP:RELIABLE. That is what matters. Your personal views are irrelevant. Try and get used to the idea. --Taiwan boi (talk) 08:39, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Mythology

This article is about a mythological story. I've added that in (and also the box on mythology which explains the terminology), and do not want to get into a revert war over such a small change. I can't see why anyone would object to this being called mythology (e.g. "a traditional tale" related to sacred or religious stories). I should emphasise (as the mythology box makes clear). There's no claim to true/false nature of the story, just that it has passed into one classed as mythology. NathanLee (talk) 11:06, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

You can't see why anyone would object? Even the current Pope has written a book stating that Christian sacred narrative (the Bible) is NOT "mythology", and asking people please to not refer to it as "mythology". So, clearly, there are significant, citable POVs that differ from your POV that it is to be categorized as "mythology". Of course to be fair, there have also been significant voices that do share your POV, including the leaders of the French and Russian Revolutions -- who in both cases declared that the Bible must be referred to as "mythology" and nothing else. So you see, this has been a contentious issue for quite some time, and the word "mythology" (possibly because of its blatantly ambiguous nature) has historically been used by various interests as a propaganda-pushing word to attack the Church and others who endorse the Bible; but it is not at all neutral to endorse this POV, nor is it good form to use such an ambiguous and provocative/inflammatory word for any of the major sacred narratives of the world - which is why we also do not, and must not, categorize the Quran, Talmud, Lotus Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Book of Mormon, etc. as "mythology". Per WP:NPOV, these works should all be seen as in a distinct category from "mythology", because they were not intended as "mythology", and all have significant numbers of adherents in the world today. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:31, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Read the mythology box, it says it doesn't make any claims as to true/false nature. Wikipedia has lots of articles that talk about something being part of mythology. Do you object to the term "greek mythology"? Muslims might object to the picture of mohammed (and do) but we don't accept that as a reason not to show it. Same applies across all religions INCLUDING Christianity. This story about floods has no backing whatsoever from the scientific, historic or geological fields and is thus "mythology" (e.g. a tale which may or may not have elements of truth).
We aren't here to write wikipedia to cater to every bizarre viewpoint and to avoid any offence to those who are fundamentalists. As per the wikipedia definition of mythology: this article is exactly that.
By your logic there should be no such page as Christian mythology, Greek mythology or in face the page Mythology because everything in the bible/qur'an/religious texts is/are more than just true: it's divine instruction according to some people.
So my argument is: if the term mythology (which can reasonably be used to describe this) is offensive to someone: tough luck. Refer to the page on mohammed as to why we don't use "peace be upon him" and enforce the "no pictures of mohammed" rule. NathanLee (talk) 14:29, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Your idea of WP:NPOV seems to be that the project should go out of its way to attack and weaken these institutions by being offensive, and "tough luck" to any who hold the point-of-view that is targeted. That seems more like using wikipedia as an instrument to effect some social change by those who have called the Bible, Quran, etc. "mythology", instead of as an impartial observer of the status quo of what the various viewpoints currently are. We don't categorize the Quran as mythology because that is not impartial, and writing 'peace be upon him' would not be impartial either; compromises typically ensue from trying to use a neutral wording that keeps all POVs happy. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:50, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
"Myth" is a neutral term used to desrcibe a story with sacred meaning for a community, whether true or not. It has nothing to do with any attempt to "weaken institutions". This is similar to the problems with the use of the word "Theory" in science articles. --Michael Johnson (talk) 15:07, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
No, Til Eulenspiegel, the idea is that wikipedia needs to be neutral with respect to covering topics. There's nothing "going out of the way to attack" by calling mythology mythology. That means that just because a religion or bunch of followers regard some particular observance be followed (e.g. regarding this story as factual and historical without question) does not impact on the need for a detached view of the topic. There were a rather large group of people who regarded the greek gods and the stories around them as factual and 100% true. That doesn't change the fact that these stories are known as "mythology" (they have sacred meaning, are stories, may or may not be based on actual events etc). So while someone might regard mentioning Mohammed without saying "(peace be upon him)" immediately after: that's not a suitable observance for wikipedia to adhere to (any more than catering to observances of preceding "that false prophet" that followers of other religions might use).
Are you disputing that this is an ancient story with sacred meaning to several religions which may or may not be based on actual events? Do you object to the label "ancient greek mythology" to describe tales from that culture and time, or is it just christian ones which must be presented as non-mythological lest they be treated equally like other similar stories? NathanLee (talk) 16:38, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I for one agree in principle with Nathan and Michael here. The same dispute is ongoing at Creation myth where some editors feel that the Christian view deserves distinguished treatment from the views of other cultures. However, the terminology is solidly established throughout cultural anthropology and other academic fields. No other phrasing has nearly the same degree of traction. That said, I don't really care one way or the other about this edit and, if there is another NPOV way to describe this story without the need for a big ugly "myth" template, then I'm all for it. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 16:43, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
It is undeniable that the very term "mythology" has historically been used to attack and/or weaken the institutions, and peoples adherence to them. Your tired claim that usage of the term is now suddenly benign and non-offensive, "and if it is offensive, so what?", isn't going to make this longstanding issue suddenly go away. Neither is one POV, unilaterally declaring that there is no longer any issue here, simply because other significant POVs no longer "count" for anything and are somehow disqualified. That is not at all in the spirit of neutral compromise, more like making wikipedia engage in open antagonism on behalf of one POV against another, something wikipedia already has a widespread reputation for. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:05, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree that template is ugly, although it is probably necessary to clarify the meaning of the word (in case people, like Michael above says of the word "theory"). I'd think that it's probably appropriate to mention the context with respect to Deluge (mythology) (e.g. this is the Abrahamic religions' version of a flood story). But if the only argument for not using "mythology" so far is roughly "the pope reckons it shouldn't be called that" and "some people might be offended by it not being called factual" then I think this is bowing to an idiotic argument.
So to lay it out: Christian mythology, Islamic mythology,Jewish mythology, Deluge_(mythology), Greek mythology, Australian Aboriginal mythology all seem to exist with the term mythology. This story is part of a bunch of those and seems to fit the definition: why are people scared to call it that? NathanLee (talk) 17:00, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Added to the mythology wiki-project list.. Perhaps people there will be able to provide some input too. NathanLee (talk) 18:31, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
The irony of TE's argument is that it probably has been the established religions TE defends that have most used the concept of mythology as false and a superstition to promote the conversion of "savage heathens". It seems to me that the argument is that "mythology" is a term that can only be applied to the beliefs of dead people or savages, civilised people don't believe in myths. Of course maybe the argument is that everybody's sacred stories are of equal value, and none deserve to be described as "myths" in which case the word ceases to have meaning. But then we still need to have a word for sacred stories that may or may not be true. --Michael Johnson (talk) 03:01, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
The irony of TE's argument is that it probably has been the established religions TE defends that have most used the concept of mythology as false and a superstition to promote the conversion of "savage heathens". --- Have you actually tried to analyse your own statement? I didn't know it was possible to cram so many stereotypes into one sentence, but that one may set a new record! I am defending ALL significant points of view that have significant numbers of followers, not trying to exclude or purposefully offend anyone. Recently, several articles on indigenous tribal religions still practised today in Africa, the Americas, etc. were moved from, for example, Yoruba mythology to point instead to Yoruba religion, and so forth. This is a step in the RIGHT direction, because these religions are still practised today, and calling them "mythology" is POV and gratuitously offensive. But at the very same time, we see certain editors pushing things in the opposite direction for other religions. That is quite blatantly a bias on the part of some editors; all religions practised today have a right to be called religion and not mythology as their detractors would prefer, and we must be strictly impartial to ALL religions in this regard, not show favour to only some. Your perception of how "mythology" has been used as an attack word in the past, and by whom (and make no mistake, it certainly has been used as one, by multiple parties) does not really help your point any. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:11, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but "not offending" everyone is impossible, nor is it policy that I know of. You seem to be unable to grasp that with any religion comes mythology (in most cases). Whether or not something is practised today is completely irrelevant. You can't say one religion deserves one set of treatment because there are "significant" followers and another deserves to be called mythology purely because no one follows it: is hypocritical. The nature of them or their stories doesn't change because someone believes them or not. They're all religions, they're all equally valid (or invalid) and all deserve equal treatment. Otherwise by your rationale we should treat a religion with more favourable/factual wording depending on number of followers.
Your example of Yoruba religion, if the mythology of that religion has enough material then it can be two articles. e.g. like Religion in ancient Greece and Greek mythology. Just like Christianity and Christian mythology.
Are you detecting a pattern? NathanLee (talk) 21:18, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
No, please do not put words in my mouth, or reinterpret my argument for me in your own terms. That is a strawman technique. If I wanted to say "By my rationale we should treat a religion with more favourable / factual wording depending on number of followers", then I would have said it. But that is not at all what I am arguing, that is a strawman. Please refer to the reasons why Yoruba mythology was moved to Yoruba religion and all similar cases. It is specifically because the admins recognize that labelling a modern religion that is sill practised today as "mythology" is POV and offensive. Not because some people disagree and think it simply "is: mythology anyway no matter what term anyone else uses, and that only their own POV, and nobody else's should "count". The motivation on the part of the editors who thinjk like that seems to be to deliberately be offensive to the faith or religious beliefs of others, then say "nanna nanna boo boo, it's on wikipedia, so it must be correct". WHat are they really accomplishing, are they changing even one mind or winning even one convert? No, they are only demonstrating their ability to make wikipedia more obviously biased, and les neutral, by saying in effect "we're going to use this offensive terminology JUST BECAUSE WE SAY SO, and because WE are the only ones who get to make decisions, not the targets who are offended, who don't count and don't have any voice as to how WE are going to label them." Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:36, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Hmmmm... WP Policy on this does not seem to be limited to modern religions that are sill practised. WP:NPOV/FAQ#Religion says, in part, "NPOV policy often means presenting multiple points of view. This means providing not only the points of view of different groups today, but also different groups in the past.", and "Wikipedia editors ought to try to write sentences like this: 'Certain adherents of this faith (say which) believe X, and also believe that they have always believed X; however, due to the findings (say which) of modern historians and archaeologists (say which), other adherents (say which) of this faith now believe Z.'" -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:32, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
TE: that's exactly what you ARE saying. That if there are no believers then it can safely be called mythology. If there are some significant number then it can't use "mythology" because it is offensive to people alive today. What about all the past religions: you would have them labelled differently? As Wmtichell points out the policy doesn't support what you're saying. NathanLee (talk) 12:24, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Err.... I don't know who this "you" which you are speaking to there might be, but it is not me. I was calling attention to WP policy I dredged up which I interpret as saying that if there is a record that anyone presently holds or that anyone ever did hold any particular religious view at any time in the past about anything whatever, then it is inappropriate to present that view as mythology. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 12:59, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
I read what you posted as confirming what I said that we don't treat current and "no longer followed" religions any differently. As Religion usually consists of folklore/legends (mythology) then the term should be applied equally. I'm not really sure how a religion could ever have existed WITHOUT followers or people who held that belief.. So if you're saying that's the case then the term should not exist. What I'm confused about is why people differ from what wikipedia defines as "mythology". This is the christian/jewish/islamic version of "flood mythology". I can't see how this page can be linked from, categorised under mythology and yet not get referred to as that. Adam and eve, noah's ark etc are mythology. They're certainly not scientific fact or fall within the range of recorded history. NathanLee (talk) 16:52, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

The article is listed under 'Folklore', Christian mythology', 'Jewish mythology', and 'Islamic mythology'. I have no problem with that, or the 'Mythology' box. --Taiwan boi (talk) 02:09, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Comment: a myth is a religious belief. The argument that some people believe this story merely reinforces that it is a myth. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:23, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Covenant

Could someone please clarify the nature of the covenant at the end of the Noah's Ark story? It's mentioned in the lead, and then only other place in the article, and I find it quite cryptic. Thanks, siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 01:26, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

The Noahide covenant (i.e. the agreement between God and Noah) comes immediately after the Ark story in Genesis. Noah and his family and all the animals exit the Ark, Noah makes a sacrifice to God, and God promises never to destroy the world by water again (leaving open the possibility of some other means of destruction - quite a lawyer, is Yahweh). There's a quid pro quo involved - in return for God's non-destruction of the world, Noah and his descendants - i.e., everyone, since we're all descended from Noah - have to follow a few rules. Primary among these is that life will be sacred - only God could create it, and man shall not destroy it. This applies to all life, not just human life. And this in turn brings up the question of the eating of meat, or rather the slaughter of animals which are to be eaten. God's rule is that if an animal is slaughtered for meat, it should be bled of its blood, and the blood offered to God - this is the origin of the kosher slaughter rule. The entire Ark story exists as a lead-up to the Covenant - it has no meaning apart from it. PiCo (talk) 04:32, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. I see that there is some material in the article about this already, but the link with the covenant isn't made clear. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 04:47, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

POV concerns

This article is becoming a one sided POV travesty, let us restore neutrral balance and compromise wording instead of being deliberately inflammatiry

This sentence:

Predecessors of the Hebrew myth[citation needed] are the Sumerian Eridu Genesis, where Enki instructs Ziusudra to build a large boat. After a flood of seven days, Zi-ud-sura makes appropriate sacrifices and prostrations to Anu (sky-god) and Enlil (chief of the gods), and is given eternal life in Dilmun by Anu and Enlil.

contradicts several significant povs. Are you now again disputing that creationist pov is relevant and significant? You seem to be saying that these people do not count because you have decided on the readers' behalf that they are simply wrong. However it is easy to cite many sources who disagree with this statement because they feel the Ark actually existed, and therefore the Sumerian myths are just a distorted memory of an actual event. In order to be neutral, you must back up this statement by writing "According to ___, " instead of stating this to be a fact. Just look at what the Ethiopian Orthodox Church states about it, for one, among many other significant organizations, but this POV is unacceptably polemic and antagonistic against them. It's supposed to be easy to find a neutral wording in article intros that keeps everybody happy, but this ain't it, and I am more than prepared to take this to mediation and arbitration, because you cannot pick and choose religions or parts of religions, and tell the readers that all of their cherished beliefs are really "mythology", the exact same mistake the Soviets made. Please have a conscience and stop using wikipedia as a propaganda platform to push your own POV on others, because most people who do believe this, do not want some snooty POV of some editor or editors, dictating to them that they believe in mythology.

You also seem to be arguing that Christian Churches are not allowed to have a significant pov on how to interpret their own scriptures, and that we must instead rely solely on those who say it is only "mythology" to interpret it for us. How can this attitude be neutral? I for one am totally sick of these scholars telling the Church how they must interpret their own scripture, as if what the Churches themselves say on the subject is irrelevant and FRINGE. Neutrality demands better than this. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 15:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC) Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 15:27, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Maybe you don't have any awareness of religion outside christianity: but take a look at the Deluge (mythology) page and maybe you'll see a bit wider context of why your protests are a little over sensitive. There are TONNES of examples of similar stories, if you read more than just the bible you'd know that. There's a very real POV that this story about Noah is complete bulls**t: are you happy for that to be included? I'm not proposing that but your insistence that your sensibilities about this being anything other than factual be pandered to is getting a bit tiring.
The article rambles on about very obscure and completely discredited by science theories. It's mythology, yes people believe it, if you insist science can't be trusted on religious matters: it's never going to be disprovable. People believe a lot of weird stuff: that doesn't mean the nature of the thing is changed. Flat Earth theory is an early, incorrect and discredited model of the universe. Because people believe it still doesn't mean we have to treat the topic of modern astronomy with kid gloves.
BTW: Still awaiting your answers to some questions above that will help to get your views on things. Any reason you can't answer them to help resolve this? NathanLee (talk) 22:20, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with any pov being included as long as it is properly attributed to the source per NPOV. You are making a lot of pre-judgements about my familiarity with comparative religion that are once again stereotypes. I have studied the sacred narratives of many faiths and as my discussions I have already had with you above last week should show I am opposed to wikipedia telling any of their followers that their beliefs are mythology. Neutral wordings require terms that are less ambiguous; unfortunately mythology is very ambiguous because one of its most common definitions is decidedly "fictional". You are seriously mistaken if you think I am arguing that we state the Churches' viewpoints are the correct ones. I'm only pleading, once again, that the various Churches' various published opinions about their own scriptures not be dismissed as "irrelevant" or "fringe", and that the article not dictate only other opinions than these; and that a balance be struck between the various povs, since it is not neutral to declare one pov "correct" and the opposing one "insignificant" when it is not. I also consider the opinions of other religions' organizations about their own scriptures to be equally significant povs, and oppose wikipedia taking a hostile, non-neutral stance toward any of them. Just lay out the citable facts neutrally, readers can decide for themselves what to believe in or what faith to follow, without telling them what to believe or not believe.
Also your analogy of the Flat Earth is childish, since it is not anywhere as significant a viewpoint as the groups that say they believe in Genesis; the numbers of people who believe in a flat earth are actually infinitessimally small. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:33, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Well the article as it currently stands certainly buries the fact that "Modern science completely refutes this version of events" pretty well AND doesn't clearly label the nature of this story. I think your desires to remove a word that you regard as hostile are a bit of a fringe idea, although perhaps stems from a desire to get neutrality. Like it or not: this story is part of a set of creation mythology, namely the jewish/christian/islamic version of a flood myth. In scientific terms this global flood myth is one which leans very much in the "did not happen" type of myth rather than the "we don't know one way or another". Sure, people had a small view of the world back then, but genetically we (and the animal kingdom) did not reduce down to two pairs of each just as the adam and eve concept just doesn't work.
The article lists crackpot unverified "made up" stuff in incredible detail and quantity, so you've got no concerns that some believer version of events isn't getting its place in the article (how many thousand years and still no one has found the ark?? Yet still hope survives! Quite a lot of it if you read this article..). If you want to provide a link to the church's current views on the term mythology: great, but you're acting as though that needs to be the primary POV and enforced in wikipedia editing styles. Time to adhere to the "separation of church and encyclopaedia". :) On the flat Earth idea: the flat earth society has the POV that they are correct, that doesn't mean we can't use the terms "completely disproved by science" in an article on that topic. That you've decided that numbers make a difference, well my take is that numbers are irrelevant if you consider time. We can't be editing with a "right now" viewpoint if we expect pages to ever stabilise. In a thousand years if christianity joins the other religions that have come and gone: does the treatment of the story of Noah's ark have to be re-adjusted significantly?
I could probably find a large number of geologists, biologists and historians who can take offence at the fact that this ISN'T clearly labelled as mythology, they have rational reasons for this view point. Religious ones stem from "because the bible says so" or "because people believe". They're hardly equal basis for saying something. One can cite scientific findings in one case, the other just has argument from authority or argument to the masses (fallacious arguments). While I respect your attempt to find neutral ground, that isn't always possible particularly in matters of faith vs science. If you want religious stories presented as if they were factual: there's always the religious texts themselves, an encyclopaedia is going to be quite different. NathanLee (talk) 23:10, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi! I just want to point out that this page isn't here to debate the truth of the matter or convince anyone else. NathanLee, your arguments seem to be entirely in the nature of a claim that the point of view is false, plus you seem to find it disagreeable. But the truth of a point of view, and whether you presonally find it agreeable is simply irrelevant to its significance. You don't seem to have presented any argument that actually addresses the significance issue. I think neutrality and and factual accuracy could be maintained here by using language in the nature of "anthropologists generally characterize it as a myth." and citing anthropologists who do so. The community recently voted to delete a "BibleAsFact" template, see the discussion. Our encyclopedia is different from most encyclopedias in the world because of its emphasis on neutrality, and this applies even in matters of disputes between religous and scientific viewpoints. We can certainly report that scientific consensus is currently against the narrative being a literally true account, and it's really basically a language and attribution issue. We might for example say that certain scholarly disciplines generally characterize it as a myth anc find it similar it to other narratives, rather than saying it is a myth or that it is similar to other narratives. We can only report what people say. Although I think the neutrality policy warrants being careful with language, this is not to say that religious viewpoints get carte blanche, and some content added about what contemporary people in religious communities say about the topic may well be excessive. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 22:42, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Religion articles of this sort represent a difficulty in how to neutrally represent different viewpoints reflecting different subjects. Imagine if editors on the United States currency article insisted on basing the article solely on research by paper scientists who found its paper content similar to various other kinds of paper, and based on that research, objected to points of view characterizing it as having some sort of special value or regarding it as something in nature other than a class of paper, on grounds that the paper-science research had refuted and debunked other viewpoints, and had proven them to be unscientific and hence not worthy of inclusion. Clearly the paper-science point of view would be one relevant point of view, but not the only relevant point of view, and not necessarily the sole basis of classification, or the only or most appropriate thing to emphasize in introducing the subject. I think this situation is similar. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 02:22, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Shirahadasha you obviously haven't read my arguments at all, what I'm saying is listed above if you want to read it. In short: the argument that using a term that's applied across many other pages and which has a definition which does NOT make any claims about truth or lack thereof. The argument AGAINST using the term mythology is that because some people currently believe in the religion we can't use it because it might be offensive to some niche group. Anyhow, if you wish to see the arguments I put forward including the example of putting up a picture of mohammed. My argument on this has zero to do with how ridiculous or not the story is or my views on it. NathanLee (talk) 20:55, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I've read your arguments I don't agree with many of them. The facts here are the narrative. Everything else is context. The viewpoints you rely on place the narrative in a particular context, other viewpoints place it in a different context. "Flood myth" is a category created by folklorists. Folklorists place this narrative in that category as part of the context they give it. We can report the fact that they do this, as well as their explanation of why they do so. We can report the context each view places the narrative in, in whatever detail we want. But whose context is the "real" context is not for us to say. I don't think anybody's context should be reported as absolute fact. I've supported minimizing or deleting content on "archaeologists" with no scientific credentials who've claimed to have discovered remnants of the ark and similar content various people have attempted to add. But I also support the view that the particular context the academic community places the narrative in cannot be presented as the factual or real context or the only context the narrative has or can have. Various religious views have regarded the narrative as having historical, allegorical, and/or theological meaning, we report that they believe that and why. Various academic views have placed the narrative in the context of ancient near eastern flood myths, we report what they say and why. But in the introduction, my view is that we should simply report that it is a narrative in the Bible and briefly mention the context both views have placed it in without putting either context in narrative voice or presenting it as the "real" context. Religious views see it as containing a sacred truth whose nature depends on the particular religous perspective; academics generally see it as containing a false myth. Neither statement should be presented as fact. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 04:35, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Well said. Just one point though: academics don't regard myth as 'false' - that's the popular meaning, but it's not valid for the academic study of myth, any more than 'true' and 'false' can be applied in literary studies (Shakespeare's Macbeth isn't a true history of medieval Scotland, but it isn't false, either).PiCo (talk) 06:41, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I've taken this on board and re-worded the start to put more emphasis on making context clear and detached narrative of the story. I think the page was a bit confused about whether it was talking about the ark itself or the story of the ark. Think it is more appropriate/useful to talk of the whole story as we've no ark to look at or any other account other than as part of the story. What do you think? Used more neutral (I think) way of dealing with the description of the god in the story (e.g. acknowledging that this is a story of a god or deity directing a man, flooding etc.. Rather than just "the god" which is from the assumption that there's only one god we could be talking about). In the narrative part I wonder if that particular mention of god should link to Yahweh? NathanLee (talk) 10:05, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
The tension between ark-as-narrative and ark-as-artifact is exactly what lies at the centre of the problems we have with this article. Personally I approach it as narrative. Shira and Til and others approach it as religious history. The only way to get a text agreeable to everyone is to respect (underline that word) the viewpoints of everyone involved - and respect begins with understanding and accepting. Many - almost all - of our editors are honourable, decent people, willing to accept the point pf view of their colleagues - Til, in fact, I've always found to be exemplary in that regard. He's merely asking that we extend the same respect to him. PiCo (talk) 11:05, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Top-of-the-head: perhaps the article can divide into two main sections something like ark-as-narrative and ark-as-artifact (headed with better titles). If one of those two sections overwhelms the other, perhaps smaller summary-style articles can be forked off. That'll be inconvenient for POV-pushers, though. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 11:20, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I think there's a pretty strong preference against such POV forks, every contentious article would end up with a hundred forked articles. But sections.. Well.. :) Is there much info on the ark without the context of the narrative? NathanLee (talk) 19:49, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Islamic tradition

The Islamic tradition section has a lot of excellent material, but it's getting rather long. How about we hive it off as a separate article, "Noah's Ark (Islamic tradition)", with a shorter summary of just 2 or 3 paragraphs here? I'm aware that we shouldn't produce pov forks, but I don't see this as such a fork - there's no pov involved, it's simply a set of fascinating traditions which is long enough to form it's own article. PiCo (talk) 03:48, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Well I startd incorporating it into this article (including the islamic naming Nuh's ark) as it is the same story and feely admits that it takes the same roots as the jewish and then christian ones. If we're going to do that then it starts getting tricky: which one is the primary one? How do we separate jewish/christian viewpoints on the story too?
Ideally I'd think we can cover all bases by making it a bit more generic and beef up the islamic discussion a bit (I suspect this article is just suffering the "western world" viewpoint a bit, which was why I did a bit of reading up on the islamic side. My concern with splitting it up would be the vast amount of overlap? I think there's probably room in this article if we re-factor the page a bit and reduce all the rambling and entirely speculative material about its existence. NathanLee (talk) 09:12, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Rewriting Documentary Hypothesis section

I have made a comprehensive re-write of the "Documentary Hypothesis" section, retitling it "The Ark and the Higher Criticism". I was unsatisfied with the section as it stood because it was little more than a summary of one theory of the composition of the Ark story - a theory which actually is probably held by a minority of scholars today, if a substantial one (although I doubt that there are any figures on this). My re-write focuses more on the Ark story itself, and its importance in the development of secular biblical scholarship in the 19th century - this, I think, is more appropriate than a simple re-hash of the Documentary Hypothesis. Anyway, open to comment. PiCo (talk) 07:26, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Edit wars, Christion POV (with the expected capitalization) vs.irreligious POV (no cap either expected or provided)

Never the twain shall meet, it seems. Perhaps this article, and perhaps all articles touching on topics of religious sensitivy (Christianaty in its various flavors, Islam, Hindu, Shinto, Wicca, Rasta, Scientology, whatever) should have links at the top of the article to fork off to various religiously-oriented POV versions.

No, I'm not serious about that but, in the words of that American philosopher Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" -- Boracay Bill (talk) 11:09, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Was that directed at me? My issue is more that attempting to make a mythological story more like "proven historical fact": that is a problem. Some stories are never going to be able to be proven/disproven and have a lot of unlikely/contradictory/nonsensical stuff in them: they need to be marked as mythology, plain and simple. From our beloved wikipedia "meaning "a story-telling, a legendary lore". If that's in dispute then I'll back out the changes (and go remove the page Christian mythology as well as Jewish mythology, Greek mythology,Islamic mythology etc). NathanLee (talk) 11:24, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it was directed at you NathanLee - just a general comment by a user who feels tired of feuding. The article is currently in the hands of a single editor, a Creationist who won't admit that he is one, not even to himself, but who makes sure that only his views prevail.The rest of us have just given up. PiCo (talk) 12:00, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Sounds a familiar story, but I don't think your approach of tiptoeing around the issue (e.g. let's not mention it and keep 'em happy) will fix anything. We can't have one rule for non-Christian/Judaic religions and another for the rest (including historical ones). It's not the most egalitarian approach to regard the stuff the ancient Greeks, Egyptians etc believed in as mythology and what the Christians believe as "fact". They're all stories which may have meaning, but still at the end of the day: stories. NathanLee (talk) 16:46, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
The distinction you fail to appreciate is that Christianity, Islam and Buddhism are all significant enough world viewpoints to have sovereign countries that officially subscribe to each of them. (See State religion). Hinduism, Judaism, and Mormonism are also significant world viewpoints, which is the first thing i learned in Comparative Religions class. Perhaps where you are these worldviews are not so significant, but if you will look a little past your own nose, you may see that there are actually a host of other significant povs in the world, beside those who share your own, held by real people who do not choose to call their beliefs "mythology". By contrast, there are no significant povs in the world today who dispute that the extinct religions are "mythology". Insofar that one of the most popular definitions of mythology is "an extinct religion". It's a little premature to call any of today's World religions "extinct" or even to imply this by stating they simply ARE "mythology" as if nobody disagreed. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:23, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Argument from "Sovereign countries that officially subscribe to them" is a non-argument (variation of the fallacious "argument from authority"). Strength in numbers does nothing to change whether something is mythology or not, nor does it have any impact on the truth of said mythology. You're citing "don't offend my beliefs" as your other reason: I'll refer you again to the Mohammed picture. If it's a matter of scale and passion: pictures of the prophet mohammed ended up in massive riots and many people dead. Some people choose to call electricity "witchcraft", factual matter is that it isn't witchcraft. Do you have a reference to "mythology" as "an extinct religion"?
I'll point you to mythology here on wikipedia. "From the greek: μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling, a legendary lore") refers to a body of folklore/myths/legends that a particular culture believes to be true and that often use the supernatural to interpret natural events and to explain the nature of the universe and humanity."
Encyclopaedia brittanica seems to think it belongs in that category.
Historically the earth being flat was a "significant world view". That doesn't make it any more or less valid (or else all urban legends would be true), nor should we attempt to portray it as anything other than an early view of things.
I suggest if you're offended by the use of this appropriate term for an ancient parable/tale/story: your view is somewhat clouded and you should perhaps refrain from reverting other people's improvements to the article. No one is trying to attack your beliefs by stating this is folklore/mythology. NathanLee (talk) 17:44, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Strength in numbers of course does not establish that a POV is correct, but it certainly does establish it as "significant POV" according to the NPOV policy. btw If pictures of the prophet Mohammed resulted in massive riots and deaths, I'd seriously consider respecting their POV and refrain from offending it by putting up gratuitous pictures of him, but that must be where you and I are different. We can usually find more neutral wordings for sensitive issues like these on most articles, (for example if mythology supposedly is used to mean "sacred narrative", just say "sacred narrative": it's clearer, less ambiguous and less inflammatory) but here now there seems to be resistance to more neutral compromise wording on the part of one POV that does not care if another POV is offended, not a good mix at all for a solution. And I have been editing this article for 3 years, thank you. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 18:01, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, you cited the wikipedia definition of mythology as it was revised, but please check the very earliest versions of the article mythology. For a very long time, the article included "fictional" as part of its definition, as most readers still do. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 18:13, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
(indent) Significant POV is one thing: altering the article to make it sound factual to suit that POV while treating identical articles/topics elsewhere (with less CURRENT numbers of followers) is wrong. You would succumb to censorship and bullying (or seek to impose that): I'm more of a free speech and facts kinda guy myself. In this case no-one is at any risk of getting killed. Putting this up as mythology will only offend those too sensitive about their beliefs or too stupid to know what the meaning of "mythology" is, or how it would be hypocritical to call greek creation stories from ancient times "Greek mythology" while demanding that Christian creation stories from ancient times do not use the same term.
For consistency with the pages Christian mythology, mythology, Deluge (mythology) : this page should mention that this is mythology.
For three years of editing this page: so perhaps it's time you let someone else have a go (in the spirit of wikipedia) as you seem to have missed things, maybe have the blinkers on a bit too long and you're preventing people like myself from contributing to the consistency of the project by adding a few words.
Maybe if you answer a few questions we can nail this one down:
  • Do you agree that this is a piece of Christian, jewish or Islamic mythology?
  • Is this not what could fairly be called the arahamic religions' version of the "flood story" or "deluge story"?
  • As you're convinced mythology is such an offensive term: should we be deleting Christian mythology, Hindu mythology and Islamic mythology? And while we're at it: how about a block on condoms and birth control lest we have any strict catholics floating around the site. Consistency is all I'm arguing for.
"most readers still do": I'm glad you're so in tune with the masses, care to supply a reference? I'm supplying plenty of links to pages where this page is referenced as exactly what I tried to add to this page. Your view is getting more and more niche the longer you go on without any references. NathanLee (talk) 18:22, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm not aware of anyone arguing that condoms and birth control be blocked from wikipedia, or any riots going on over it. I can see the connection of this topic with what everyone agrees is mythology, so the cats are understandable, and in fact could better apply to the entire Category:Noah's Ark and not just this one article. But it has proven inflammatory when used in many articles, so we have to draw the line at not telling readers what to believe and not believe, or declaring any significant faith's scriptures false or fictitious or even mythology. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 18:35, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Let's try again..
  • Do you agree that this is a piece of Christian, jewish or Islamic mythology?
  • Is this not what could fairly be called the arahamic religions' version of the "flood story" or "deluge story"?
  • As you're convinced mythology is such an offensive term: should we be deleting Christian mythology, Hindu mythology and Islamic mythology?
Thanks, NathanLee (talk) 20:52, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I can see why you might group christian beliefs with Greek mythology, neither can really be proved with factual evidence. But why can't we find middle ground? Wikipedia is supposed to be constantly expanding, why don't you make a "christian mythology portal", or expand the existing one. But why is this debate on Christian belief necessary?

There is no such thing as a truly neutral oppinion, to exist is to have an oppinion. Therefor, the only oppinion that is truly neutral is no oppinion at all. So instead of continuing this debate where it becomes increasingly obvious that neither party is willing to give ground, let us simply agree to disagree and leave eachother's beliefs, views, and or oppinions alone. There is a difference between mythology and religion, to some it may be psychological , but it exists. --Michael_Johnson (talk) 04:21, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Science needs a voice

The views of science are significant. On one hand you have a story from the bible, you then have in detail the view of more religious people who have made up elaborations on about how it would work.. But where's the science view that this story is impossible? I've put back in the referenced material, dunno why/how someone decides a writer for the BBC isn't a reliable source and nor can I see how "this is about the ark, not the flood" is really a possible reason. The ark and flood mythology are intertwined. You can't have one without the other. As for determinations about whether a journalist is qualified to write about Noah's ark: any of the religious references on this are a case of biblical scholars writing about logistics and engineering presumably without any expertise. The bible was written without knowledge of modern day geology/biology/geography/other science which completely refute the idea of a global flood, or the idea that genetically the human race reduced to the handful in the ark etc etc. That should be important enough to warrant a mention in the lead. NathanLee (talk) 21:15, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

It would be completely false to say that science has "disproved" anything whatsoever in relation to this story. There may be prevalent, or favored, hypotheses. But hypotheses and "proof" are two vastly different things, as any scientist well knows. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:20, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
They may not have to you, but within the scientific community there's no "debate" amongst geologists. It's so incredibly niche and unscientific.. There are peer reviewed papers covering millions of years of geological events, they must all be missing the "global total flood event" that this story talks of. Do you know of any respected geological findings? e.g. ones not from biblical organisations perhaps?
Let's talk references: "unequivocally rejected" I believe is the term used in one of the articles I had to put back in as they were deleted. "psuedoscience" the other one said. Are you suggesting that this is not the case?
I think you misunderstand how science works versus religion :) There's no current conflicting THEORY in science that there's been a global flood that wiped out all life. What you're talking about in scientific terms is "fantastic, unfounded, made up stuff" (e.g. not science).
How about instead of "prevalent or favoured" you take the definition: "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." [2] Which applies here.
The idea that there wasn't a global flood isn't something which is in the status of awaiting some outcome (indicating something which was believed by science to be true thanks to evidence, but which new evidence and resulting theories may replace it): there's just no evidence for it in science currently across multiple fields of science, thus it has never made it to "hypothesis". Here's what the USGS thinks happened in pretty pictures, take a look at the events/periods listed on Geological history of Earth or dig around one on berkeley's site. Compare to biblical timeline, which is a little different.
The idea you speak of has never originated via scientific means, so the moment science started building up its scientific findings and replacing inherited superstition and traditional stories, it has never had evidence of a global flood capable of wiping out all life on the planet. There have been floods, most certainly. But no covering of highest mountains and wiping out all but 2 of each species as far as science is concerned.
This reference sums up a lot of quotes from scientists, and talks about why the flood myth fell out of favour: [3]
I've read science textbooks, magazines, articles and papers over the years and I haven't come across any of them referring to "post world deluge" event, which would have had massive impact on the world had it happened as described in this story. Best that I can find is the idea that because of the extremely local view of the people back then: a flood event might have seemed like "the whole world", but it was not even close with humans continuing on with agriculture/civilisation etc. [4] [5]
It's like all stories from so long ago: the subject of much elaboration, mistranslation and exaggeration over the centuries. But the current claims as they sit in the bible if taken as anything approaching literal meaning: are at odds with science. And that's why it needs clear treatment of the scientific viewpoint on this story which makes claims about the history of the planet. NathanLee (talk) 03:38, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
There's a page on Flood geology which addresses the issues. I've also taken a step towards addressing them here by combining all the "science and scholarship" sections into one, albeit it runs only up to the end of the 19th century. I'd have no objection to adding a very brief paragraph there about the impact of scientific geology on the contemporary understanding of the flood/ark story, but I'd like to see it kept very short in view of the existence of that other article. Til, does this sound acceptable to you? PiCo (talk) 09:37, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I went ahead and was bold, added a para on how geology impacted popular approaches to the Ark story in the 19th century. The lead is still crap. PiCo (talk) 08:31, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Of course the Ark and the flood are connected. However, addressing in the article the historicity of the flood, or other issues relating to the flood, is off topic and may constitute WP:COAT. There is already a comprehensive article on flood geology in which science has 'a voice'. The 'science view that this story is impossible' is well represented in this article:
  • 'By the 19th century, natural historians and other scientists no longer felt able to justify a literal interpretation of the Ark story'
  • 'by the middle of the 18th century few natural historians could justify a literal interpretation of the Noah's Ark narrative'
  • 'It would have been about 450ft long, and experts say it would have broken apart'
  • 'the odds are that the technology of the time and the reputed material (gopher wood or shittim wood = ?acacia) would have made such a structure too flimsy for the purpose'
  • 'Many writers (e.g., Kenneth Feder, Frauds, Myths, and Mysticism, Mayfield, 1990) point out that the construction of the Ark, given the conditions stated in the Bible, would probably have been impossible'
I have no objection to the BBC link, but this article is about the Ark, so let's keep it that way. --Taiwan boi (talk) 08:34, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
My very limited understanding of claims of historicity is that the narrative may have been connected to a local flood in the Mideast, perhaps related to the Black Sea, which plausibly went from a smaller inland freshwater lake to a larger connected sea through a catastrophic event in the last ice age. I'm not aware of scientific support for, or serious suggestions of, a genuinely global flood after human beings appeared on the planet. I have supported a strictly neutral presentation of the introduction, but the scientific views section is a different matter. In my view the subject of this article is a Biblical narrative, just like Prodigal son. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 15:10, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

The way I see it, as long as the page is about the myth, its okay. If it strays into "The flood happened" territory, then it needs to be marked as the fringe view that it is with criticism, ect. Titanium Dragon (talk) 10:08, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

As I keep telling people, there shouldn't be any talk about whether or not the flood happened here. The subject of this article is the Ark, not the flood. --Taiwan boi (talk) 06:06, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Amen to that! -- Boracay Bill (talk) 08:54, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
In view of what seems a pretty one-sided agreement here that the Flood shouldn't be introduced into this article, I've revised the lead to something like its original form. PiCo (talk) 06:18, 28 August 2008 (UTC) Extra to that: There's a short para in the third section (about changing attitudes to the Ark narrative after the Renaissance) which mentions the Flood in the context of the growth of geology as a science: I tried to keep it within the confines of 19th century knowledge about the age of the Earth and the consequences for Biblical chronology, and hence the Flood and Ark as history; I hope this makes it impossible for future contributors to wander off into their own views on whether the Flood was a real event. PiCo (talk) 06:23, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
If you're going to somehow separate out the notion of a flood and the ark: you're into some strange territory. The ark and the flood are linked. There's no reason why the view of science that the flood described in this story did not happen should be excluded. That's not outside the realm of relevant information. Or, I'm happy to have it labelled mythology clearly.. But chopping out that this is clearly a mythological story AND removing science's view that this story did not happen: that's hardly fair to the overwhelming findings of science. It's like "here's a wild claim, which says X which depends on Y, but science has found no evidence of Y but because that's about part of the story: that's not allowed". NathanLee (talk) 16:45, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Nathan, I am going to say this again, but I don't want to have to keep repeating myself. Of course the Ark and the flood are linked. However, separating them is not 'strange terrtory'. This article addresses the Ark. Addressing in the article the historicity of the flood, or other issues relating to the flood, is off topic and may constitute WP:COAT. There is already a comprehensive article on flood geology in which science has 'a voice'. As for scientific views on the Ark, they are well represented in this article:
  • 'By the 19th century, natural historians and other scientists no longer felt able to justify a literal interpretation of the Ark story'
  • 'by the middle of the 18th century few natural historians could justify a literal interpretation of the Noah's Ark narrative'
  • 'It would have been about 450ft long, and experts say it would have broken apart'
  • 'the odds are that the technology of the time and the reputed material (gopher wood or shittim wood = ?acacia) would have made such a structure too flimsy for the purpose'
  • 'Many writers (e.g., Kenneth Feder, Frauds, Myths, and Mysticism, Mayfield, 1990) point out that the construction of the Ark, given the conditions stated in the Bible, would probably have been impossible'
If you are going to continue to try and insert material on the flood into this article, it will be thrown out. If you want to start contributing constructively to the article, please do so at any time. Otherwise find somewhere else to fool around. --Taiwan boi (talk) 05:43, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
And mentioning "Noah" or the bible or god or the church is also COAT by your definition. If you're opposed to having this classed as "flood mythology" and thus clearly stated that this is yet another flood myth: then it's kinda hard for people to see that it belongs in that group. The vast body of material in this article is about various religious viewpoints on the topic which are niche and purely speculation with zero basis(e.g. theories about the search, landing point, waste disposal etc) yet you can't spare a handful of words in the lead to make it very clear that there's no scientific basis or support for this idea? The lead should reflect the later information, which by your list above: a clear statement that summarises those points is perfectly suitable for inclusion in the lead. It doesn't have to be buried in the later text since it is a signification source of information on the topic at hand. NathanLee (talk) 08:26, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I see you still don't understand WP:COAT. Mentioning Noah, the Bible, or God or the church in the context of Noah's Ark is not WP:COAT. Trying to include in this article a discussion of Noah, the Bible, or God or the church in a context other than Noah's Ark would be WP:COAT. Trying to include in this article a discussion of the historicity of the flood or flood geology is WP:COAT. If you had read this talk page you would have seen that I have no objection to this article being listed under 'mythology' or 'flood mythology', and I have no objection to the 'Deluge (mythology)' article being linked to from this one. Of course the vast body of material in this article 'is about various religious viewpoints on the topic'. That's entirely appropriate. It's giving due weight to the religious viewpoints, which constitute by far the vast majority of material on the subject. Whether or not you think they are 'niche and purely speculation with zero basis' is utterly irrelevant to this fact. You're arguing against Wikipedia guidelines. The lead contains more than enough information on the scientific views of the Ark, and even on the flood itself (which isn't directly relevant). This article tends to be a lightning rod for raving atheists who appear amusingly fearful that the article lends credence to the historicity of the Ark and flood. At least their prejudices are easily exposed, so the article doesn't suffer from their personal agendas (we've even had atheists come here and claim the entire article should be deleted!). --Taiwan boi (talk) 08:48, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality dispute by Til Eulenspiegel

So TE: do you have any reasons for your tagging the article (as you have used your 3 reverts up). I've asked above some specific questions about the particulars of your dispute about this STORY in the bible as falling under the banner of mythology. Here they are again:

  • Do you agree that this is a piece of Christian, jewish or Islamic mythology?
  • Is this not what could fairly be called the arahamic religions' version of the "flood story" or "deluge story"?
  • As you're convinced mythology is such an offensive term: should we be deleting Christian mythology, Hindu mythology and Islamic mythology?

I think first of all you're assuming that if a story in the bible is called a "mythology" then it is attacking the bible or attempting to deeply offend. Not understanding the accepted use of a word is not an excuse for offence. There are so many religions which share this flood mythology, see Deluge (mythology), it is strange that this one is magically outside that grouping. NathanLee (talk) 13:34, 14 August 2008 (UTC) Also: Inca mythology, Muisca mythology, Maya mythology, Arabian mythology etc etc.. There's a large list of groups that have held beliefs from ancient times which also fall under this category. NathanLee (talk) 13:40, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

The obvious answer is to start an RfC on the matter. I'm just a hair's breadth from recommending this entire incident to WP:LAME. For the record, I prefer Til's (i.e., the original) version of the lead, despite agreeing with many of your points. But I honestly don't care all that much. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 13:49, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

This is, of course, an article dealing with a mythological topic. It is a Hebrew flood myth, as recorded in Genesis. The myth has secondarily entered "Abrahamic" traditions, and accounts in later sources such as the Quran, Christian iconography etc. should be treated separately, as elaborations on the original myth. --dab (&#55304;&#56435;) 14:40, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

looking over the article, it devotes far too much space to fundamentalist/crackpot theories about the ark. This sort of stuff should be strictly restricted to topics of "flood archaeology". Its presence here violates WP:DUE. --dab (&#55304;&#56435;) 14:53, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the edits. Again for the record, you have now settled on a wording that I am comfortable with. I suspect it will last about 5 minutes ;-). I had the same impression as well. I think a more constructive direction of discussion for this article would be to try to trim out some of the excess bits connected with historicity (such as the inordinate amount of space spent discussing what the "actual" dimensions of the ark were, and so forth). Not enough of the article is spent on the cultural implications of the story. Until I added a wikilink just a few days ago, the article barely mentioned the Noahide covenant which is, apparently, the single most important thing emerging out of the Noah story for Jewish tradition. At least a section needs to be written on this, and then the importance in various other traditions, such as Christianity and Islam, can be dealt with as they are now. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 15:43, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Agree that this dispute is pathetic, but going to RFC when the person with the issue can't respond to some simple questions that might help resolve this thing is a waste of everyone's time. I've laid out why I think it is labelled mythology, a bunch of people agree, the article is in categories for jewish, christian, islamic mythology: So why are we putting up with one person with a bizarre allergy to a word in widespread use to describe exactly this type of story..? NathanLee (talk) 22:23, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
It should go to RFC. Past attempts to label most of the entire Bible as "mythology" including even the Resurrection of Jesus, have always met with failure, even though similar arguments may have been used; it is regarded as forcing a point-of-view on the article and telling readers what not to believe; articles pertaining to many other religions here on wikipedia are fairly neutral as far as letting the readers make up their own minds, but the very same arguments you used here, could be used to introduce blatantly biased language into numerous other religion-based articles, for many other religions; we should not get in the business of deciding which religions beliefs to attack or antagonize with ambiguous language, and which ones to describe neutrally, or it will never end. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:10, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
That's not how wikipedia works, RFC is not for single person being a recalcitrant style issues. In this case we have you with your questionable definition of a commonly used term and under the mistaken idea that to label one of the stories in the bible as mythology automatically means more than just that.
RFC is not the process for dealing with one person's hangups. WHEN or IF the hoards of mortally offended christians descend upon the page, how about we deal with them the same way the Mohammed page deals with complaints about the pictures of him. Or using his name without the (peace be upon him). If you can tell me how we can have decided that in the interests of accuracy and information to offend one overly sensitive religious mob but one word here seems to send you into a rage and thus it needs to change or go to RFC. Explain to me how "may possibly offend some christians" is not permitted, but "will offend some muslims" is. This is an even more niche set of criteria with which to be offended by. NathanLee (talk) 02:05, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that you are editing wikipedia with an agenda of forcing your pov and your own personal beliefs down everyone else's throat, and I intend to take every means necessary to avoid your ad hominem attempts to single me out as if I were the only person in the world who recognises what you are doing. It is the same thing the Soviets tried to do for 70 years, and once wind of your pov pushing gets around, there will be a much greater uproar over your picking and choosing what widely held beliefs to attack and be hostile to, and what beliefs to describe neutrally. The whole concept of "neutrality" is just too much for people like you, you want to use every trick in the book to declare the discussion closed immediately without going through due process for dispute resolution, all my good faith with you has gone out the window, you are just so convinced that only your POV on religion telling people what to believe in, is the only valid one. You have expressed your personal mirth that hordes of offended Muslims have staged deadly riots because their religion was offended, and your stated goal now seems to be to offend Christians to the greatest extent possible. What arrogance and contempt for neutrality. I insist that this be taken to mediation and arbitration now, because you are attacking a major religion in a way that upsets the balance of neutrality. Please look up the definition of the words magisterial and dogmatical while you are at it. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 07:24, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
(indent) Do you dispute what I say about how the RFC process is supposed to work? E.g. You went to three reverts without discussing anything on here and have repeatedly gone off on random arguments rather than answer some simple questions above that I'm trying to get your view so we can resolve this. Where was your assumption of good faith anyhow? In your attack: I'm surprised you didn't drag out some nazi comparisons or something, get over trying to act all oppressed because someone wants this article to be accurately worded rather than reading like a factual historical piece on a religious story of mythical sort. On here, this is just another flood story to go with the hundreds of others listed on Deluge (mythology) page. You seem to want this one labelled differently to all the others. Why? Because it's to do with Christianity? Why one rule for mulsims and zeus worshippers, pagans etc and another for Christians?
I've asked a few simple questions of you personally MULTIPLE times to try and get what the hell your issue is with a term that is in widespread use across all sorts of similar pages, why your "mainstream views.. no offence to them" type approach isn't valid (see mohammed page), why we need consistency: e.g. we have "greek mythology", "xyz mythology" etc but have an exclusion for this piece of Christian mythology or Jewish mythology. We have a box that describes what "mythology" means for people who, like you, don't know the meaning of the word as applied in this encyclopaedia.
Here are some more definitions via google that were pretty easy to find: [6], try any and all of these definitions here. Any that don't apply here? Instead of dogmatically etc, try starting with mythology, myth etc. You need look no further than wikipedia if you like.
You can deny that the word "mythology" applies to this story of ancient, most likely unverifiable, possibly true or false, religiously significant story nature. How this one word is attacking a major religion or telling someone what to believe in I don't know. People believe in a bit of mythology or they don't. You can get the factual sounding POV by reading the bible: an encyclopaedia isn't a place to lend extra validation to mythical stories. NathanLee (talk) 00:49, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I think a basic problem here that this is an example of specialists in field using a word in a different way that it's used in ordinary speech without any warning about what is meant. It would a bit like a physicist dropping a word like charm or flavor without any warning that the words are being used in a physics sense, or a lawyer talking about service or prayer without any warning that the words are being used in a legal sense. It would be a particular problem in a context where the words might sensibly be interpreted either way. In this case, it would be helpful to supply the additional information that a term is being used in its specialized rather than its general-English sense and perhaps explain what the specialized definition is and what kind of people use it. One could argue that such clarification isn't necessary. There can certainly be debates on which meaning is the "ordinary" one in some cases, it may depend on ones community and culture. But even where these matters are disputable, it doesn't seem to me that adding clarity results in harm. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 00:49, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree. And the lead is now a God-awful mess. PiCo (talk) 09:01, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I had added the myth box which clarified this, but it was removed. That should have been sufficient, and the fact that there is a myth box for this specific purpose should lend weight to it being an acceptable word. But the inability of people to read that before reverting under some misconception that it was an attack on a whole religion. NathanLee (talk) 22:51, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Consensus

Since this discussion appears to have ended, I'm going to remove the NPOV tag from this article. --Gimme danger (talk) 23:30, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Note on international english variations

Hi all, just a quick reminder: if you make edits, think about variations of English. If possible avoid the words that would be spelling mistakes in others (e.g. in US English the -ize, -or versus -ise, -our). Wikipedia really needs to have a way to fix this (how it has come this far without it I don't know), but until then.. Thanks. NathanLee (talk) 12:21, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Stop WP:COAT

I have removed references to the flood as worldwide from the lead, since it skewed the introduction considerably. The lead already contains a statement that 'By the 19th century, scientists discounted a literal interpretation of the Ark story', which should satisfy even the most rabid spittle flecked atheist since it addresses specifically the Ark, which is the subject of the article, for those who are having difficulty reading. Trying to sneak in bits and pieces from the article on flood geology is WP:COAT. --Taiwan boi (talk) 05:56, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

There's no reference for that statement is there? Leave the one that has actual references perhaps? I've renamed the "Deluge" as "mythological deluge" as to describe it as anything else would be making it more historical rather than mythological. Also: the bible describes the flood as a worldwide one, why would calling it a worldwide flood be inconsistent with that? NathanLee (talk) 08:18, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes there is a reference for that statement. The term 'Deluge' is already a recognized term for a variety of deluge myths (the article to which it is linked makes this clear). Your addition makes complete nonsense of the statement, as it now represents the flood narrative itself as saying that God wanted to save Noah from a 'mythological deluge'. This is lunacy. The flood narrative does not say that God wanted to save Noah from a mythological deluge. It says that God wanted to save Noah from the deluge. As for the Bible describing the flood as a worldwide one, that is a matter of interpretation. The earliest extant Jewish commentaries on the flood are by Philo and Josephus (1st century), and both of them interpret the flood as local. --Taiwan boi (talk) 08:34, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, so let's label the *story* as biblical mythology if you have issues. SOMEWHERE it has to make clear that this is mythology rather than accepted historic account. Yes, within the context of this mythical account it talks factually. The story is mythical, therefore any reference to the deluge ("A mythical global flood"). I'm pretty sure that interpretation is a bit naive and neglecting that this is the biblical account we're talking about (not some niche view you're plucking out of somewhere): why bother taking animals on board if it was just a local flood? Why the mention of covering everything.. Why the talk of wiping out all life? The idea of a typical Deluge in these sorts of tales is for angry gods/god to wipe out all life and start again. NathanLee (talk) 20:00, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Clearly you haven't read the article, which is tagged as 'Christian mythology | Jewish mythology | Islamic mythology'. I was one of the editors who argued for that classification, not against. The rest of what you wrote is irrelevant, since it is not discussing the editing of the article's content. Remember, Wikipedia is not a forum. You people do keep forgetting this. To date you've contributed nothing constructive to this article's content, and you've made it clear all you're here for is an argument with people about the flood. That is an abuse of this Talk page. Go and find a forum. --Taiwan boi (talk) 06:34, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Also, although you can say it is "sneaking in" articles: have you read the title of the article you keep removing? It's got "Noah's flood" in the title.. I think that qualifies it as addressing the story of Noah enough. NathanLee (talk) 08:19, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
It qualifies as addressing Noah's flood, not the Ark. This article is about the Ark. The title of this article is intended to inform you of this. What are you missing? --Taiwan boi (talk) 08:34, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Can you point me to the article that refers to Noah's flood that isn't part of the story of Noah's ark? This article is about the STORY of Noah, the ark, the flood etc, it can only be about that, for there is no ark outside the story on which to base things on. People only know of the ark because of the story, it doesn't exist anywhere else. It's like all flood mythology (which I notice you chopped out that qualifying word again for no reason). We shouldn't mention Noah in this article, the animals, god, water, rain etc then if this is purely about the ark. You're making such a bizarre bound on what this article is about. NathanLee (talk) 19:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
This is not about 'the story of Noah', it's about the Ark. See the article title if this is confusing you. An article about Noah's flood is going to include a reference to the Ark, just as this article on Noah's Ark is going to include references to Noah, God, the flood, the animals, and other subjects directly related to the Ark (and it does). But extended discussion of the Ark in a flood article is WP:COAT, and the extended discussion of the flood which you want in this Ark article is likewise WP:COAT. This is not difficult, yet you seem to find it incomprehensible. And as I have told you before, I'm entire happy with the flood being classified as mythology. I argued for this classification earlier when it was raised. The part I removed was a redundant part of the lead. --Taiwan boi (talk) 06:30, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
It's about the story of the ark. You must have worked hard to stop yourself saying that. See the section below for either a rename or perhaps you can adhere to what the article is about: which is the STORY of the ark, the flood, noah, animals etc. NathanLee (talk) 11:39, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it's about the story of the Ark. The relevant background to the story of the Ark receives due weight in the article. What I and others have objected to us giving undue weight to these issues. See WP:COAT and WP:WEIGHT. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:45, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Is there enough water on the planet to cover whole surface?

I think I saw an estimate that all ice on the poles, if melted, would raise sea level for 80 meters or so, certainly not enough to cover whole planet and smother all life. If it is true then maybe it can be mentioned in main article, somewhere near section about practicality of ark itself? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.116.147.65 (talk) 17:21, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

One of the current flood models in circulation among creationary geologists has the earth being impacted by a 'storm' of hundreds of asteroids striking the earth (much like comet Shoemaker-levy 9) for a period of 40 to 150 days. Impact tsunami would sweep ashore hundreds to thousands of meters high inundating the continents far inland. There would be so many impact tsunami in a short time that water would not be able to drain off before more tsunami would bring more water onto the continents.
The highest elevation of the pre-flood continents is proposed to be about 2000 meters high with most of the gain in elevation being gradual. Most of the imparted kinetic energy of the asteroids would stimulate Catastrophic Plate Tectonics during which the continents move to the positions they now inhabit and causing massive orogenetic activity pushing mountains up to the extreme heights that now exist.
It is estimated that moving 1000 feet deep of water onto the entire gradual slope of the pre-flood continents would lower the surface level of the 14000 foot deep oceans by a mere 300 feet. After the asteroid 'storm' ends, the agitated waters would then drain off the rearranged and reshaped continents during the latter part of the Flood.
So is there enough water on earth to flood the continents during an asteroid impact storm caused catastrophe? Yes.
I realize that most evolutionary geologists (of which there are none among the editors here) will reject such a model. And I know that it will never make it to this or the Flood Geology WP pages, because it is a creationary model and therefor automatically expunged as fringe and POV. Christian Skeptic (talk) 19:23, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
How many times do I have to remind people that the subject of this article is the Ark, not the flood? There's already an article on the Genesis Deluge. Please take your toys and go play over there. --Taiwan boi (talk) 06:35, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
You can keep saying it, but it's a strange view. Read this article: it's about the flood story, ark and Noah as per genesis. From the top of the page: "This article is about the vessel and the Flood narrative described in Genesis. For other uses, see Noah's Ark (disambiguation)." Discussions about the validity of the flood as described by genesis are quite valid in this article. All you appear trying to do is to remove any references to whether the story is valid while leaving the rest of the discussion of the story untouched. The ark wouldn't/doesn't exist except because of the story of the flood, saving animals etc. That's most people's understanding (as per its use in newspapers, articles etc), get your views into line with this. You don't see references to "noah's ark" without there being reason to believe there is a worldwide cataclysm also on the table.
A quick search on google news for "Noah's ark" references: talks about storm/flood,animal preservation,"stories of great flood", lots of animals reference. Here's finally one just talking about the ark, but wait, it's because of the new orleans flood that it's newsworthy [7]. A movie about the story (article titled Noah's Ark movie.
So I think it's time you gave up this notion that there's an ark without the background story of flood, animals, vengeful god. Common use is to lump them all in together. You don't talk about Noah's ark without the flood, saving stuff (animals, people), disaster etc. NathanLee (talk) 12:01, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
You're just not getting it. I have never argued for a notion that 'there's an ark without the background story of flood, animals, vengeful god'. All of that background receives due weight in the article. What I and others have objected to us giving undue weight to these issues. See WP:COAT and WP:WEIGHT. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:44, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Propose rename: The story of Noah's Ark (with redirects from Noah's ark, Noah's flood etc)

Since this article is artificially drawn along people saying "it's just about the ark" who keep chopping out information relating to the overall concept I propose (since there is no sensible way to separate out the ark from the story. The ark only exists (as far as can be determined) as described in the story. It has no purpose for existing except within the context of a story about a flood. Check the current article: some things (namely any scientific references that refute the whole story) keep getting removed citing "this is the ark not the story", but the lead is all about the story of Noah. Does anyone have any objections? I think this will stop the bickering about what is in context and what isn't (but has no where to go if not in this article) and makes the title consistent with the content (which is about the story, including the ark, the flood etc).

Currently we have an article which is about the story but some people say it is just about the physical ark itself (but the content says otherwise as it details out the story in the lead, and again in another section), there's a section on the search for the ark, interpretations of the story over the ages. It's akin to having an article about the loaves and fishes from the story of Jesus and the loaves and fishes. Or the rock that david felled goliath with.

I think people (and this is reflected in articles about Noah's ark) refer to the whole thing: story, ark, flood. There's really no point saying this article is about "just the ark" as it is meaningless without Noah, a flood, a bunch of animals and a wrathful god.

Note: this does not mean duplication of the material in:

  • Deluge (mythology) or that article is still about a class of story (of which this story is just one of)
  • articles on the bible/qur'an/torah and genesis

Thoughts welcome. NathanLee (talk) 11:35, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Alternatively: we just all agree that this article is (as it says "This article is about the vessel and the Flood narrative described in Genesis") about the story and chopping out material citing "this is about the ark, not the story" is not allowed. NathanLee (talk) 11:37, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
The only one bickering here is you. No one has argued for a notion that 'there's an ark without the background story of flood, animals, vengeful god'. All of that background receives due weight in the article. Have you even read the article? What I and others have objected to us giving undue weight to these issues. See WP:COAT and WP:WEIGHT. There are already plenty of scientific arguments in this article which have been raised against the Ark, and a number of scientific arguments against the flood being global have also been included in this article, in the correct place, and given the correct weight. So what exactly are you complaining about? --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:49, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Do you not read what you write. I believe you've specifically said "this is about the ark, not the story" or words along those lines. You object to this being identified as completely unscientific. The repeated removal of references to articles that state that this story of a global flood that specifically mention the story of Noah: and you chop them out, time and time again. There's no undue weight when the sentence is "this has been rejected by science", but you've chopped it out. Why? Is this article about the story of Noah now in your eyes? Because you were using "this is about the ark, not the story" as a reason for your edits previously. NathanLee (talk) 00:16, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I have not objected to this story being identified as completely unscientific. Indeed, I have included a number of links which say exactly that. As I said, there are already plenty of scientific arguments in this article which have been raised against the Ark, and a number of scientific arguments against the flood being global have also been included in this article, in the correct place, and given the correct weight. I know, because I put most of them there. I know more about this subject than anyone else who edits this article, I have contributed more reliable sources to this article than any other editor, and I am the one who has been responsible for maintaining the correct balance of this article against the rabid atheists on the one side and the rabid Fundamentalists on the other side.
What I said is that this article is about the Ark, not the flood narrative. That means that any discussion of the flood must receive due weight, and no more. What I and others have objected to us giving undue weight to these issues. See WP:COAT and WP:WEIGHT. If you look at the section 'The Ark in post-Renaissance scholarship', you'll find that it's almost entirely about scientific objections to the flood narrative, which is more than enough mention of the flood in an article on the Ark.
This is what is in there at present (not including the links I put in which say the Ark and flood are both unscientific):
  • 'By the 19th century, the discoveries of geologists, archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most scientists[3][4][5] and many Christians to abandon a literal interpretation of the Ark story,'
  • 'By the 17th century, it was becoming necessary to reconcile the exploration of the New World and increased awareness of the global distribution of species with the older belief that all life had sprung from a single point of origin on the slopes of Mount Ararat.'
  • 'Incorporating the full range of animal diversity into the Ark story was becoming increasingly difficult,[5] and by the middle of the 18th century few natural historians could justify a literal interpretation of the Noah's Ark narrative.'
  • 'Scientific geology had a profound impact on attitudes towards the Biblical Flood and Ark story: without the support of the Biblical chronology, which placed the Creation and the Flood and Ark very precisely in history, the historicity of the Ark itself was undermined.'
  • 'As early as the 19th century the view that the flood was merely local and did not cover the earth was well established within mainstream Christianity.'
So again, what exactly is your objection? --Taiwan boi (talk) 10:51, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

God, grieved and pained

A recent edit has rightly corrected the completely inaccurate statement that God was 'angered', and replaced with with 'God, grieved and pained'. However, given that this is a direct quote from a particular English translation of the Bible, it may be worth placing this in quote marks and indicating the source of this specific wording. --Taiwan boi (talk) 07:26, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, various English translations all tend to rewrite the text with different slight nuances, so when in doubt, go to the original... My copy of the Masoretic Hebrew 6:6 says : "WeyinaHes YHWH ki-`asah 'et-ha'Adam ba'arets, wayit`atseb 'el-libo". (Sorry if you don't like my transliterating skills!) I would render that literally, word-for-word as something like: "And YHWH regretted because He made the man on Earth, and He was grieved / saddened in His Heart." Cheers, Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 20:28, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
I like your edit, thanks. --Taiwan boi (talk) 08:03, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Which "original" is this? As far as I'm aware there is no "original" text to go from. We could look at the stories from which this story was derived from if you want "original" of sorts, but flood stories are a dime a dozen. NathanLee (talk) 00:25, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
The term 'original' is being used to refer to the Hebrew source text of the Old Testament. It is not being used to refer to an 'original' flood story in the sense of 'the first' flood story. The term 'original text' is commonly used as a reference to the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Old and New Testaments respectively (even though strictly speaking the 'original text' no longer exists). He is referring specifically to the Masoretic text (as in fact he said). --Taiwan boi (talk) 10:38, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

References

NathanLee, you replaced a couple of references. It might have been a good idea to check the first. Here's the statement in the article to which those references were attached:

  • 'By the 19th century, the discoveries of geologists, archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most scientists[3][4][5] and many Christians to abandon a literal interpretation of the Ark story,'

What we need here are references which provide evidence that the discoveries of geologists, archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most scientists to abandon a literal interpretation of the Ark story. The article from the BBC (which I actually included later in the article), does not say anything about this. It doesn't say anything about the 19th century at all. It is not a valid reference for this sentence. It is valid for a sentence in the article which comments on contemporary scientific skepticism concerning the Ark, and in fact I already included the link in such a section later in the article (Did Noah Really Build An Ark? 'It would have been about 450ft long, and experts say it would have broken apart'). Plimer's book may state or provide evidence that the discoveries of geologists, archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most scientists to abandon a literal interpretation of the Ark story, but no page reference is given so it's not easy to verify this (and I don't have a copy of the book). Can you confirm that Plimer's book states or provides evidence that the discoveries of geologists, archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most scientists to abandon a literal interpretation of the Ark story? If not, then the reference is not valid. Janet Browne's book is likely to make such a statement or provide such evidence, but I can't confirm that it does. Can anyone else? The article by Davies certainly does make such a statement and provides such evidence, so I have included it. Please people, read references before you include them. This is a very basic rule of editing. --Taiwan boi (talk) 11:10, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

The lead is meant to summarise the rest of the article. Extra references don't hurt. Why do you have a problem with the scientific view that this story is pure fiction and could not have happened.
The part about the 19th century is purely linked in with it because you keep removing the reference to the current state of science on the matter as "too much". Are you happy to let me put back in the earlier wording that modern science completely refutes the story? Make up your mind what your disagreement is and stick to it. Now it's because the mention of the 19th century. Earlier placement of that reference was just to state what science thought of the matter, but you objected to that as I recall. If you'd leave it how it has been in there numerous times before as simply a statement that science today disproves the whole story: you'd not be making this latest of argument to prevent the view that this story is not at all factual.

The reference you removed was from the BBC, titled "Did Noah really build an ark?". It states in it: "And a flood that engulfed the Earth would have left a signature for geologists - yet none has been found. " and "Geologists have also proved that there is not enough water in the world to cover all the continents, then or now. "

It is a relevant reference if you'd just let the voice of science get a say without constantly trying to minimise that significant view. NathanLee (talk) 15:42, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I know what the reference I removed is, I am the one who found it in the first place. I placed it in the article in an appropriate place, months ago. I removed it from where you put it, because it was not relevant to the 19th century. You have to include appropriate references. I objected to your previous use of it because it was being used to refer to the flood, not the Ark. I have not objected to the reference as long as it is used properly. I myself found that reference months ago, and I'm the one who placed it in the article in the correct place. I even provide a quote from it in the references. You keep trying to change this article to a flood article, when it is actually about the Ark. I have already demonstrated to you that there is sufficient reference to and discussion of the flood in this article. As for me not letting 'the voice of science have a say', you clearly haven't read the sentence which says that by the 19th century '[b]the discoveries of geologists, archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most scientists and many Christians to abandon a literal interpretation of the Ark story[/b]'. What do you think that is saying? It's saying that from that time until now, most scientists do not accept a literal interpretation of the Ark story. Please also note the references which I have included from the position of modern science (not just 19th century science). —Taiwan boi (talk) 00:59, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Have added a separate sentence which mentions geology specifically, is not linked to the 19th century, and clearly states the position of modern geology. Hope that will suffice. NathanLee (talk) 16:08, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
If you provided a reference which mentions the position of modern geology on the Ark, it would be relevant. But you keep trying to drag the flood in here. That isn't relevant, especially in the lede of this article. Why don't you just go over to the Deluge article, which you can fill with all the science references you want? Why do you keep trying to drag this article off topic? For the record, I'm entirely in agreement with you that there was no global flood, since all available scientific evidence contradicts it, but the subject of this article is the Ark not the flood. —Taiwan boi (talk) 00:59, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
If an article is about the story of the ark and it happens to poke holes in it because a key element of the story cannot be true: that IS relevant. LOOK at the article, or just read the title if you can't take the time to think about it. You can't have the ark without the flood, that's logical. If this article is about a story, that science says is not factual: stop having issues with a sentence that states that. Stop trying to say "this article isn't about the flood": the flood is a key element, it isn't taking it off topic to simply and succinctly state in the lead that this story cannot be true as per science. That article does state the position on geology about the story of noah's ark: that it did not happen for numerous reasons. The other reference has tonnes of other reasons. I mean how much more about Noah's ark can an article titled that way be? Perhaps we should chop out the mention of the history of church thought on the story: because we have a page on the bible: you can fill that up with all the history of the church/theology you like. It doesn't belong here! Nor does the search for the ark stuff, we have a page on "wild goose chases" or similar. The view of science about this story should be attached to the story. You're arguing about one simple sentence that makes that clear. The nature of the story, as according to science, is that it is fictional. Simple. NathanLee (talk) 01:15, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I have explained this to you before:
  • You used the reference with a sentence to which it did not belong
  • I have no issues with a sentence that says 'science' says this story is 'not factual', I have included such a sentence (twice), with a number of references. The 'view of science' about this story is well represented in the article
  • This article is about the Ark, not the flood narrative. This does not mean the flood cannot be referred to in the article. The flood is referred to in the article. If you look at the section 'The Ark in post-Renaissance scholarship', you'll find that it's almost entirely about scientific objections to the flood narrative, which is more than enough mention of the flood in an article on the Ark.
This is what is in there at present (not including the links I put in which say the Ark and flood are both unscientific):
  • 'By the 19th century, the discoveries of geologists, archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most scientists[3][4][5] and many Christians to abandon a literal interpretation of the Ark story,'
  • 'By the 17th century, it was becoming necessary to reconcile the exploration of the New World and increased awareness of the global distribution of species with the older belief that all life had sprung from a single point of origin on the slopes of Mount Ararat.'
  • 'Incorporating the full range of animal diversity into the Ark story was becoming increasingly difficult,[5] and by the middle of the 18th century few natural historians could justify a literal interpretation of the Noah's Ark narrative.'
  • 'Scientific geology had a profound impact on attitudes towards the Biblical Flood and Ark story: without the support of the Biblical chronology, which placed the Creation and the Flood and Ark very precisely in history, the historicity of the Ark itself was undermined.'
  • 'As early as the 19th century the view that the flood was merely local and did not cover the earth was well established within mainstream Christianity.'
  • Likewise, I have never argued for a notion that 'there's an ark without the background story of flood, animals, vengeful god'. All of that background receives due weight in the article. What I and others have objected to us giving undue weight to these issues. See WP:COAT and WP:WEIGHT
Furthermore, if you actually read the BBC article you will find to your surprise that whilst it argues the Genesis flood narrative is a myth, it claims that the Genesis flood narrative is based on fact. It claims there was a Noah, he built a barge, there was a flood, and he did take animals on board. This is hilarious, given that you claim 'The nature of this story, as according to sciene, is that it is fictional'. According to the BBC article, the nature of this story, 'as according to science' [sic] is that it is based on fact. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:25, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

(indent) I'll make it simpler: the article referenced (one of two actually) is titled with direct reference to this article's topic. The BBC article explores whether the story (of which this article is about) could be true or not. For you to make the determination that because those reasons are about something that there is a another topic (global flood mythology.. although we can't describe this particular one as mythology either because some people can't accept their faith has mythology in it) you regard it as unsuitable for inclusion in this article. So because flat earth theory is disproved by satellite photos or ships sailing around the curve of the Earth: but we have topics on those so they couldn't be included in an article on flat Earth theory. THIS IDEA IS RIDICULOUS and one might fairly think nothing more than an attempt to make this appear more factual than it is. NathanLee (talk) 01:26, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

You are still not reading what I write. I have not said that we cannot have references to the flood in this article just because we already have an article on the flood. There is already plenty of material in this article which is specifically on the flood. Let me say that again. There is already plenty of material in this article which is specifically on the flood. Not only that, but all of the material in this article which is on the flood declares explicitly on scientific grounds that a global flood never took place. I am responsible for a number of those very statements in the article. I will keep saying this until you understand it.
The BBC article discusses whether or not the flood was global, and whether or not the Ark was feasible. I have already cited and quoted the BBC article in this article, in the section discussing the feasibility of the Ark. I have quoted from the BBC article directly saying 'It would have been about 450ft long, and experts say it would have broken apart'. You tried to use the BBC article as a reference for how 'By the 19th century, the discoveries of geologists, archaeologists and biblical scholars had led most scientists' had abandoned a literal interpretation of the Ark story. But the article contained no such statement, even though that is a fact (a fact for which I provided a proper reference). You were misusing the BBC article. I have used it correctly later in the Ark article.
As I have already demonstrated more than once, If you look at the section 'The Ark in post-Renaissance scholarship', you'll find that it's almost entirely about scientific objections to the flood, which is more than enough mention of the flood in an article on the Ark. --Taiwan boi (talk) 15:25, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Mass Genocide

According to the story, god committed an unmercifull act of mass genocide. I think there should at least be a mention of this in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.23.7.181 (talk) 20:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

No, we couldn't mention it at all - unless maybe you found a prominent source that has ever shared your interpretation, but this is actually the first time I've ever seen anyone make that specific assertion about Noah's Ark.. Also, traditionally, other words are used for genocides that took place before, say, 1900; the nuance of that word seems to imply something that happened in more modern times. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:15, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Other words are used for pre-1900? Go tell them that in Australia! PiCo (talk) 07:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess that case could be an exception! But in several other cases throughout earlier history, I have read things like "It might have been called genocide, if the word had been coined yet" keeping the point that it is an anachronism, but that is the closest they come. Of course, it is still the same thing no matter what it's called. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Online Etymology Dictionary says, "genocide 1944, apparently coined by Polish-born U.S. jurist Raphael Lemkin in his work 'Axis Rule in Occupied Europe' [p.19], in reference to Nazi extermination of Jews, lit. 'killing a tribe,' from Gk. genos 'race, kind' (see genus) + -cide, from L. -cidere 'kill,' comb. form of caedere 'to cut, kill' (see concise). The proper formation would be *genticide." -- Boracay Bill (talk) 22:52, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Mediator's Notes (Mediation Cabal)

Other means of dispute resolution of being exploited be other parties. Will re-open if parties request. Wikipedian2 (talk) 21:40, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

You closed it only an hour or so after opening it. Ben Tillman has expressed interest in re-opening it, and I agree, so please do reopen or at least relist the case. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:44, 5 December 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ How BIG was Noah's Ark?
  2. ^ Noah's Ark
  3. ^ Isaak, Mark, 'Problems with a Global Flood', second edition, 1998
  4. ^ Gould, R (2001). "Asia's Undersea Archeology". Public Broadcasting System. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  5. ^ Yes, Noah did build an Ark!
  6. ^ S.W. Hong, S.S. Na, B.S. Hyun, S.Y. Hong, D.S. Gong, K.J. Kang, S.H. Suh, K.H. Lee, and Y.G. Je, 'Safety Investigation of Noah’s Ark in a Seaway', Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 8(1):26–35, 1994
  7. ^ NOAH'S ARK SAFETY PAPER
  8. ^ Ark
  9. ^ Compare Noah's Ark
  10. ^ http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH508.html
  11. ^ Ancient Chinese Explorers, Evan Hadingham, Sultan's Lost Treasures, NOVA, PBS Television
  12. ^ a b Asia's Undersea Archeology, Richard Gould, NOVA, PBS Television article
  13. ^ [http://www.travel-silkroad.com/english/marine/ZhengHe.htm The Archaeological Researches into Zheng He's Treasure Ships
  14. ^ The Genesis Flood
  15. ^ Did Noah Really Build An Ark? 'It would have been about 450ft long, and experts say it would have broken apart'
  16. ^ Noah's Ark 'the odds are that the technology of the time and the reputed material (gopher wood or shittim wood = ?acacia) would have made such a structure too flimsy for the purpose'
  17. ^ The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark, 'Many writers (e.g., Kenneth Feder, Frauds, Myths, and Mysticism, Mayfield, 1990) point out that the construction of the Ark, given the conditions stated in the Bible, would probably have been impossible'
  18. ^ The large ships of antiquity
  19. ^ 'For [z] measuring the ark by the vulgar cubit, it did not exceed the capacity of that vessel built by Hiero of Syracuse, or the ship of Ptolemy Philo-pater', Raleigh, Sir Walter, 'The History of the World', Book 1, in 'The Works of Sir Walter Ralegh, Kt', volume II, 1829, page 213
  20. ^ Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World, Lionel Casson 1994
  21. ^ The Age of the Supergalleys, Chapter 7 of Ships and Seafaring in Ancient Times, Lionel Casson, University of Texas Press; 1st University edition, March 1994 ISBN-10: 029271162X.
  22. ^ Demetrius, 43.4-5
  23. ^ 'Ancient History boasts of many large vessels, which prove the possibility of the size of Noah's Ark… PLUTARCH, in his life of DEMETRIUS, relates that PTOLOMEY PHILOPATER constructed a galley, of the same length, with forty ranges or heights of oars, navigated by four hundred sailors, and four thousand galley slaves, which could contain three thousand fighting men on its decks', Radford, William, 'On the construction of the Ark, as adapted to the naval architecture of the present day, &c.', 1840, pages 21-22
  24. ^ 'Mr. A. HENDERSON has communicated to the Institution of Civil Engineers a paper on "Ocean Steamers," wherein he made some calculations respecting the comparative bulk of the most famous vessels of antiquity and of our own times. Thus, a ship constructed by Ptolemus Philopater was 420 feet long, 56 broad, and 72 high from the keel to the prow, and it was manned by 4000 rowers, 400 servants, and 2820 marines. It was estimated, therefore, that this vessel had a tonnage of 6445 tons, builder's measurement, and an external bulk of 830,700 cubic feet. Noah's ark would have a tonnage of 11,905, and a bulk of 1,580,000 cubic feet', Timbs, John, 'The Year-book of Facts in Science and Art', 1854, page 42
  25. ^ Van Rensselaer, Cortlandt (editor), 'A ship was constructed for Ptolemy Philopater, which was 420 feet long, 56 feet broad, and 72 feet deep, and of 6,445 tons burthen', The Presbyterian Magazine, volume IV, 1854, page 93
  26. ^ 'Very large vessels — their seaworthiness.', 'By old law, the tonnage of Noah's Ark was 11,905 tons, and calculated on this estimate, her external bulk would be about 1,580,277 cubic feet ; the ship built 2000 years ago at Alexandria, by Ptolemaens Philopater, 6445 tons', Report Of The Twenty-Fourth Meeting Of The British Association For The Advancement Of Science', 1855, page 154
  27. ^ Impossible For Ancients
  28. ^ The Genesis Flood
  29. ^ 'It is estimated that the obelisk barge [of Hatshepsut] may have been over ninety-five metres in length and thirty-two metres wide', Technology along the Nile
  30. ^ '[the Thalamegos] was over 300 feet long, Casson, Lionel, 'Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World', 1995, page 342
  31. ^ 'Athenaios does not indicate his sources for the second ship, [the Thalamegos] but it must have been an eye-witness or a person who obtained measurements and other details from a contemporary', Sarton, George, 'Hellenistic Science and Culture in the Last Three Centuries B.C.', 1993, page 121
  32. ^ 'Similar techniques were used in the gigantic Lake Nemi ships of the early first century AD', McGrail, Sean, 'Boats of the World: From the Stone Age to Medieval Times', 2004, page 157
  33. ^ 'Archaeology Italian archaeologists and engineers drain Lake Nemi near Rome to recover two giant barges that had been built by Roman emperor Caligula', Bunch, Bryan and Hellemans, Alexander, 'The History of Science and Technology', 2004, page 513
  34. ^ 'Atop one of these was erected a lighthouse that used as its foundation the giant ship that had been built to transport the obelisk of Heliopolis from Egypt to Rome under the reign of Caligula', Aldrete, Gregory, 'Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia', 2004, page 206
  35. ^ Yes, Noah did build an Ark!
  36. ^ S.W. Hong, S.S. Na, B.S. Hyun, S.Y. Hong, D.S. Gong, K.J. Kang, S.H. Suh, K.H. Lee, and Y.G. Je, 'Safety Investigation of Noah’s Ark in a Seaway', Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 8(1):26–35, 1994
  37. ^ NOAH'S ARK SAFETY PAPER
  38. ^ Ark
  39. ^ Compare Noah's Ark
  40. ^ CH508: Chinese treasure ships and Noah's ark
  41. ^ Ancient Chinese Explorers, Evan Hadingham, Sultan's Lost Treasures, NOVA, PBS Television
  42. ^ The Archaeological Researches into Zheng He's Treasure Ships
  43. ^ The Genesis Flood
  44. ^ Did Noah Really Build An Ark? 'It would have been about 450ft long, and experts say it would have broken apart'
  45. ^ Noah's Ark 'the odds are that the technology of the time and the reputed material (gopher wood or shittim wood = ?acacia) would have made such a structure too flimsy for the purpose'
  46. ^ The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark, 'Many writers (e.g., Kenneth Feder, Frauds, Myths, and Mysticism, Mayfield, 1990) point out that the construction of the Ark, given the conditions stated in the Bible, would probably have been impossible'
  47. ^ 'Thomas L. Thompson notes that, under continued scholarly scrutiny, the Elohist has disappeared from view entirely and the Yahwist is fast fading from existence, even as P grows beyond all reasonable bounds. The hypothesis has no value as a guide for continued research (1987:49). Whybray, too, in outlining especially the recent contributions by Rolf Rendtorff and H.H. Schmid, demonstrates how the consensus for a “theology of the Yahwist” among critical scholars is collapsing (1987:93–108).' Duane A Garrett, 'The Documentary Hypothesis', Bible and Spade (Spring 1993), page 48
  48. ^ 'Thomas L. Thompson notes that, under continued scholarly scrutiny, the Elohist has disappeared from view entirely and the Yahwist is fast fading from existence, even as P grows beyond all reasonable bounds. The hypothesis has no value as a guide for continued research (1987:49). Whybray, too, in outlining especially the recent contributions by Rolf Rendtorff and H.H. Schmid, demonstrates how the consensus for a “theology of the Yahwist” among critical scholars is collapsing (1987:93–108).' Duane A Garrett, 'The Documentary Hypothesis', Bible and Spade (Spring 1993), page 48
  49. ^ McKenzie, Steven L and Graham, Matt Patrick (editors), 'The History of Israel's Traditions: The Heritage of Martin Noth', JSOT 182, Sheffield (1994)
  50. ^ Whybray, RN, 'The Making of the Pentateuch: A Methodological Study', JSOT Press, Sheffield, (1987)
  51. ^ a b Wenham, Gordon, 'Pentateuchal Studies Today', Themelios 22.1, page 7 (October 1996)
  52. ^ 'Wenham argues that the seeming contradictions fall within the known conventions of Hebrew storytelling, & without other evidence for source division, this evidence is inconclusive.', James F MacGrath, 'Introduction To The Torah'
  53. ^ 'Genesis 7: 17-20 with its four-times repeated increase and prevailing of the flood waters (each with a fresh complement)28 is a good example. This kind of feature (plus general repetition on a grand scale) can be observed readily in Sumerian and Babylonian epics, e.g. as in Lugal-banda (Sumerian)29 or Atrakhasis (Babylonian).30 Such a style may well have marked the original versions of the matter now found in Genesis 1-11 as brought by an Abraham from Mesopotamia, where Western Semites came to share in a cultural heritage. And these phenomena of style, both the use of couplets (single or multiple) generally in the Near East and the repetitious style in Genesis and Mesopotamian literature, are an inherent part of Near Eastern and biblical literary usage; to scissor-up their elements among imaginary 'source-documents' is a pointless waste of effort,31 producing tatters that have no relation to attested usage in the biblical world.', Kitchen, Kenneth, 'The Old Testament in its Context: 1 From the Origins to the Eve of the Exodus', Theological Students' Fellowship Bulletin 59, Spring 1971
  54. ^ 'The fact that chiasmus operates both on the micro and macro levels, for instance, has resulted in recognizing the literary unity of the flood story.', Hoffmeier, James, 'Ancient Israel In Sinai: The Evidence For The Authenticity Of The Wilderness Tradition', Oxford University Press, 2005, page 14