Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No, but thanks for asking

Let's not say the Fair 'n' Balanced Network hates science. It just has -- oh, a sort of unusual set of conditions under which science stories are believed. And evidently, being a story in The Sun is one of those conditions.

Here's what made the No. 3 story at Fox this afternoon:

A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say wooden remains they have discovered on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey are the remains of Noah's Ark.

The group claims that carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old, meaning they date to around the same time the ark was said to be afloat. Mt. Ararat has long been suspected as the final resting place of the craft by evangelicals and literalists hoping to validate biblical stories.

Yeung Wing-Cheung, from the Noah's Ark Ministries International research team that made the discovery, said: "It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's Ark, but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it."

And, except for the Fox byline and the absence of the Sun's lede, that's more or less exactly what the Murdoch stablemate had to say. But Fox does add some value from a press conference:

There have been several reported discoveries of the remains of Noah's Ark over the years, most notably a find by archaeologist Ron Wyatt in 1987. At the time, the Turkish government officially declared a national park around his find, a boat-shaped object stretched across the mountains of Ararat.

Nevertheless, the evangelical ministry remains convinced that the current find is in fact more likely to be the actual artifact, calling upon Dutch Ark researcher Gerrit Aalten to verify its legitimacy.

“The significance of this find is that for the first time in history the discovery of Noah’s Ark is well documented and revealed to the worldwide community,” Aalten said at a press conference announcing the find. Citing the many details that match historical accounts of the Ark, he believes it to be a legitimate archaeological discovery.

“There’s a tremendous amount of solid evidence that the structure found on Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey is the legendary Ark of Noah,” said Aalten.

Just in case, have a look at another hot science story from the Sun: Nessie existed 'beyond doubt'. Note that, like the Ark tale, it bears the flag reproduced at the top of this page. "Got a story? We pay £££."

* It's kind of fun to watch an American news organization copying such distinctive style features as "the ark and her inhabitants."**
** Though with its zealous attention to any and all slights against the Faith of our Fathers, you'd think Fox would have noticed that "two of every animal species" isn't exactly how the story goes.


Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Why is it that they like this carbon dating, when it's pretty clear that most of it means the whole Flood story is a load of ... er ... dingo's kidneys?

7:36 PM, April 28, 2010  

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