What does the Ninth Commandment say again?

The South China Morning Post reports that Christian fundamentalist group Hong Kong Media Evangelism has discovered what may well be an authentic remnant of Noah’s Ark on eastern Turkey’s Mount Ararat.

This is in fact the second time the organization has accomplished this feat. The first was in October 2004, when the biblical literalists returned from an expedition up the snow-capped peak with a petrified part of the boat’s wooden structure. I personally witnessed this alleged fossil just a few weeks ago. It is kept under respectfully subdued lighting in a secure glass case at the famous Noah’s Ark at Ma Wan Island and looks remarkably like a lump of rock.

This time round, the intrepid believers have procured real pieces of relatively recent-looking tree, which they say has been carbon dated as 4,800 years old; this, it goes without saying, matches the date of the flood implied in the Book of Genesis.

However, the dangerously splintery-looking bit of cypress (apparently) is just a hint of what they have found. The team, the SCMP informs us, “said they had excavated and ventured inside seven large wooden compartments.” Accompanying photos show the fundamentalist amateur archaeologists peering into a small black crevice among snow-strewn rocks, and what appears to be the interior of a wooden structure. One shot reveals a bench with some sort of wooden vessel on it – like you would use to feed an animal from – and (nice touch) some straw. They say they have some rope, as used to tether beasts.

"It's advertised as 750 square cubits, but that includes your share of the corridor, stairwell and the foyer"

The discovery of ancient man-made wooden chambers of any sort around 12,000 feet above sea level on an old, uninhabitable volcano in Asia Minor would be remarkable. It doesn’t have to be a boat; just finding an old hut, barn, granary, prehistoric skiing lodge, or whatever would be a big deal for antiquaries the world over. Amazingly, however, the most exhaustive search on Google and Google News fails to uncover any coverage of this exciting breakthrough. The SCMP have a huge scoop here, and they put it in their City section with all the celebrity drug busts and school kids’ suicides!

Unless… Unless Hong Kong Media Evangelism took the photos in an old Anatolian farm shed or something. In other words, are lying. That doesn’t sound like something devout Christians would do, does it? But then we consider how God has smiled on Thomas Kwok, the Noah’s Ark fan and Sun Hung Kai Property tycoon, who has made billions of dollars by telling people that 500-square-foot-flats are in fact 640 square feet. Reject science and embrace creationism, and the Almighty will dump cash on you. It remains to be seen how HK Media Evangelism will capitalize on their latest relic of the ark. I look forward to the next one.

Meanwhile, I am delighted to announce that I have the following items for sale to the highest bidders:

  • pieces of the true cross, each complete with rusty nail and nasty discoloration;
  • thorns from the famous crown (slightly dulled over time);
  • the newly discovered Discarded Shroud, which Christ’s followers tried briefly to wrap his body in before finding it was too small – complete with even more stubborn, hard-to-remove stains than the famous Turin version;
  • and some glass phials of Mary Magdalene’s blood (available in 25 and 50ml sizes).

Reserve prices are modest enough to be within reach of SCMP reporters.

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10 Responses to What does the Ninth Commandment say again?

  1. chanboy says:

    If the more fanantical wings of all the world’s religions actually practice what they preach, they would be alot less holy wars, intolerance, bigotry and forcing us to live in tiny flats. Someone should ask Kwok brothers whether they are committing a sin by lying about the actual sq ft of an aprtment?

  2. Maugrim says:

    Chanboy, in building rabbit hutches, they are simply doing ‘god’s work’ ie, concrete versions of Noah’s Ark in Tsing Yi.
    Just one question, I wonder, by taking such ‘artifacts’ out of Turkey, are they respecting Turkish laws? I hope they have the correct export certification and such an important relic wasn’t brought into HK wrapped in some evangelists’ stinky undies.

  3. Dawkins says:

    So we can add Christians to Hemlock’s hate list together with dogs and children and property magnates. I reckon there are about 1360 articles on these four subjects in the Hemlock archives. Hell then for Hemlock will be a children’s zoo run by born-again property tycoons?

  4. Kelvin says:

    Well then clearly Hemlock is already in Hell.

  5. Doctor Deified says:

    Touché, Kelvin. Not often that the comments here are more accurate and/or humorous than Hemmers himself, but you nailed that one to the cross.

  6. oddsox says:

    I don’t think we need any snide expat ridiculing of locals, some of the authentic “sporting” categories are interesting enough – I don’t even know what some are: aeromodel [?], billiards, body building, bowling, bridge, Chinese chess, dancesport, go, golf, health qigong, life saving, lion dance, marine modelling [?], orienteering, rock climbing, roller sports [?], shuttlecock, squash and water skiing. Explanations (including speculative ones) would be welcome. It generally doesn’t sound as though a lot of athletic vigour is required for a sizeable number of the events.

  7. realbodyguard says:

    I never had the Fok family as clients. But from my colleagues in the know, that Fok playboy was indeed quite a character, that classic spolit rich boy syndrome. Rumour has it that he has matured somewhat, but how do I know? I’m just a bodyguard.

    But what exactly had the Foks done for Hong Kong’s sports precisely?

  8. Tim says:

    Finally, a Canadian newspaper found the story interesting enough to publish it. Not enough news in Canada, perhaps?


  9. the meister says:

    You know it’s bad when even the fundies don’t believe it:


    “But Dr. Randall Price, an evangelical Christian and former member of the Chinese-led team that announced this week’s finding, says the latest purported finding may not withstand closer scrutiny.”

    “Price was not the only member to withdraw from the Chinese-led team over questions about their purported finding.

    Dr. John D. Morris, who is president for Dallas’ Institute for Creation Research and has been a consultant to the team since 2005, says he declined an invitation to be a part of this week’s press conference in Hong Kong.”

    “Morris, who is also a fundamentalist Christian… says their finding is inconclusive and calls for more research.”

  10. Peter B says:

    I don’t know if it has ever occurred to the Noah’s ark team, that there is not enough water in the world ( not probably even in our solar system !) to flood the earth to a depth of 12,000 feet above sea level . If the whole earth was absolutely flat ( i.e no deep sea beds , and no mountains) there’s just enough water to flood the earth to about a depth of 3,000 feet. So either the deep sea beds and the high mountains all grew in the past 4,000 -5,000 years – which would be an amazing rate of growth … or there is someting seriously wrong with the Noah’s ark story … and the recent finds on Mt Aararat at 12,000 feet

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