Sunday, 17 January 2010

Noah's Ark

You'd expect me to like this, and I do. I didn't see it in the news anywhere, but as I don't read newspapers, I do rather cut myself off. To compensate, I read a magazine called The Week, which is a weekly digest of the world's news. I've mentioned The Week before, and I recommend it highly. There is a US magazine of the same name, but whether they're related or not, I don't know.

Anyhow, to the biz: Noah's Ark. Reported in the most recent issue of The Week, a Mesopotamian clay tablet dated to about 1700 BC (ie centuries older than the Old Testament) has been found to have an account of the Flood, and the Ark it describes was a circular raft woven from reeds and commissioned by the Sumerian king Atram-Hasis. There was actually a Guardian article published on January 1st, so this is old news.

The shape makes a lot more sense than the boat-shape of the biblical Ark, since all it would have to do was float; there was no need for a pointy end, because it wasn't going anywhere, just up and then later, down. Which isn't going to please the biblical-literalists, now is it? Good!

Well, I've believed for years that the Flood was real but localised, and that the people who floated in any kind of a boat-like object probably just carried their immediate family and a few goats and sheep, but that the story became inflated with time, as these things do.

And it's nice that it pre-dates the Bible, but that doesn't really prove or disprove anything.


Pondside said...

No, it doesn't prove or disprove, but it just makes sense, doesn't it?
If I ever get to England, I'm going to hear your choir sing. I can imagine the acoustics - nothing like that here.

Confounded said...

Very interesting. I'm not an atheist but I am agnostic and I believe it's good to be bold and hold to your own beliefs in a religious world.

Rob Clack said...

I do sometimes think I'm being a bit aggressive in my atheism, but then I see Dawkins or Hitchens and realise that actually, I'm not being as extreme as I'd imagined.