Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Creation or Evolution: Do we Have to Choose? Book Review

Creation or Evolution: Do we have to choose?
New Edition: Revised and Expanded. £14.99. (2014).
ISBN: 9780857215789.
Author: Denis Alexander

Reviewed by J. Charles Lee Powell

   During three addresses at the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students’ Conference in 1971, the well known evangelical Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones soberly warned hearers of a number of subtle yet serious shifts in commitment to the biblical gospel which were causing him (and other evangelicals) deep concern. The volume under scrutiny in this review, Creation or Evolution, is simply a number of these terribly dangerous shifts repackaged in a slick presentation – written in a very readable style – yet now representing, even more so than it did back in 1971, a “radical” departure “from the true position of the evangelical” (Lloyd-Jones, 1992)[1].
   The purpose of this review is not to exhaustively critique Dr Alexander’s work in earnestly contending for the historic evangelical faith. Much superb and detailed rebuttal of the first edition has already been provided by a compilation of authors edited by Professor Norman Nevin and also by David Anderson in his valuable little book ‘Creation or Evolution: why we must choose’ (together with a review posted online) (Nevin, (2009) and Anderson, (2009)). Rather, this briefer assessment will focus on just a few select claims which are fairly representative of the quality and/or veracity of the expanded edition as a whole. This is not intended as some trite ‘points scoring’ exercise, but simply as a reflective warning to readers that ‘nothing significant has changed’ in this second edition; it remains utterly unacceptable to the true evangelical believer in God’s Holy Word[2].
   One of the first disturbing claims occurs rather abruptly in chapter 2, on page 48, where we are confidently informed that Scripture is silent about the ‘miraculous aspect’ of God’s creative activity. This same claim crops up again in chapter 8 - on page 221-222 where it is argued that attributing miracles to Genesis 1 is going beyond what the text actually says. Yet is it not written in Scripture (Psalm 33): “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made […] let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him […] For he spake, and it was…; he commanded, and it stood fast”? Who else but God can create mass-energy instantaneously merely by speaking? Therefore to assert that the Scriptures are silent on the fact of miraculous creation is an extraordinary oversight. As the American evangelical R.B. Kuiper once ironically commented to hammer home this point: “The creation of heaven and earth was a miracle. It is flatly denied. The theory of evolution is substituted… So the Bible begins with a lie. But that is a bad beginning. A book that starts with a lie is quite sure to contain lots of them” (Kuiper, 1919 and 2010).
   A second claim occurs in Chapter 4, pages 90-91, where we are told that genetic code ‘redundancy’ (in the triplet codon to amino acid mapping) means that in many instances it makes no difference to a protein if a mutation substitutes certain nucleotides for others (i.e. the code is ‘degenerate’ as we’ve all been taught). However, a paper published soon after Dr Alexander’s expanded edition was released may compel him to think again. Writing in the journal ‘Frontiers in Genetics’ under the title ‘Redundancy of the genetic code enables translational pausing’, authors D'Onofrio and Abel (2014) have found that mutations in codons can alter another rule-based code which governs the rate at which amino acids are folded into proteins within ribosomes (something like how ink-jet printers specify intentional pauses in their paper throughput to allow the wet ink time to dry). This discovery of logic-based pausing code must surely have important implications for the theory of ‘neutral evolution’ and ‘genetic drift’ (covered in this volume on pp. 96-97). Yet my point is that code ‘degeneracy’ and not another layer of ‘ontological prescriptive information’ is what evolutionists would expect to find if genomes are just cobbled together from co-opted strings of acids. In reality and to the contrary, complex, multi-dimensional, multi-layered coding is characteristic of both genotypes and ribotypes. To his credit, Dr Alexander notes that in genomics “…there will almost certainly be many more surprises to come”, however one begins to wonder why they should be considered counter-intuitive ‘surprises’ if an omniscient Intelligence is behind them.
   A conclusion (and witticism) soon arrives in chapter 5 (p.123): “Adam was commanded by God in Genesis 2:19-20 to name all the animals, but we have a long way to go in finally fulfilling that command!” A quick glance at the referenced Scripture passage indicates that the former assertion is simply false. The only animals mentioned are all cattle (behema), flying things (‘ôp) and every beast (hayyat ha’sadeh). Significantly, this excludes all the many swimming swarmers (šereṣ) and creeping things (remes – e.g. flightless insects) from Adam’s task. Therefore this conclusion is quite incorrect, despite the statement seemingly meaning to invoke wonder at the breadth of biodiversity; we have no reason to doubt that Adam had ample time to name those creatures that God brought to him on the sixth day.
   Chapter 7 favourably outlines a ‘Form and Fullness’ or ‘Creation Kingdoms and Creature Kings’ structure for Genesis 1:1-2:3, which was conclusively proven false by Professor E.J. Young back in 1964 and again by Professor Todd Beall in 2008 (Young, 1964; Mortenson and Ury, 2008). ‘Figurative interpretation’ is subsequently given the ‘proverbial nod’ through church fathers of the allegorical ‘Alexandrian School’ (Philo, Origen and Augustine) who were influenced by Greek Hellenistic thought and were actually some of the only fathers to take exception to a literal-day interpretation (c.f. Rose, 2000; Sarfati, 2004). All this leads on to a discussion of how Ancient Near Eastern creation epics contrast with Genesis, ending with the curious observation: “…the gods continue to act like a murderous bunch of thugs in these accounts, sending vicious plagues onto mankind for trivial offences like making too much noise...” What? Has Dr Alexander forgotten that judging by his own distorted theodicy, his “deity” created human beings through multiple mass-extinctions, plagues and a blood-bath of the most heinous animal cruelty spanning over 500 million years? And are we really meant to accept the claim that this “wondrous” process was a “robust expression of God’s omnipotence” since “We are all part of that long food chain without which the biosphere cannot function”? Such wholly diminished conceptions of a holy, sublime Creator, who creates oblivious to all the primal horror screams of lifeblood spilling around him as he joyfully frolics with such said omnipotence, are frankly disgusting. If this is to pass for modern evangelicalism then we really have lost the gospel! The Lord Jesus metaphorically called himself ‘The good shepherd’. Yet in Alexander’s Machiavellian worldview this same Jesus (before his incarnation) was indiscriminately slaughtering countless generations of real sheep before they were justly cursed on account of the serpent’s usurping role in Adam’s sin (i.e. in Genesis 3:14); thus a glorious biblical metaphor is rendered squalid and inappropriate through his misinterpretation of Scripture! The (impossible) challenge for Dr Alexander is to square God’s revealed nature (i.e. gracious, loving and compassionate, even toward animals – cf. Exodus 23:12, Proverbs 12:10, Isaiah 11:8-9 and 65:25) with his unbiblical, non-lapsarian theodicy of physical death, suffering and natural evil.
   So let’s examine his theodicy in more detail. One notable conclusion which Dr Alexander reaches is that physical death is not a consequence of human sin. He reasons that the New Testament does not appear to link Christ’s sacrificial death to the physical death resulting from Adam’s sin – and we need not do so either. Yet on page 337 Dr Alexander writes that: “The use of animals for […] sacrifice is closely linked as the Genesis text progresses. It was God who provided Adam and Eve with garments made from animal skin after the fall.” Are these two sentences meant to be logically connected in Dr Alexander’s Theology? It is clear from the context of the passage alluded to here, coming just after the spiritual death of Adam and Eve (and God’s subsequent ‘proto-evangelium’ of Genesis 3:15), that God physically killed animals in order to make such skin tunics as allegorical atonement coverings for them (c.f. the ‘garments of salvation/robe of righteousness’ allegory in Isaiah 61:10). Now, behind these symbolic coverings, as Dr Alexander appears to acknowledge elsewhere, “the death of the animal powerfully symbolises the forgiveness of sin and salvation from the consequent penalty of death that the sinner really deserved” (p. 352). Yet he discounts his own ‘sacrifice/animal-skin garment’ logic just shortly before this when he writes: “The very first sacrifice that we find in the Old Testament comes in Genesis 8 when Noah sacrifices burnt offerings…” (p.351). Is this really consistent? Not as such, for we may safely make a logical inference (as with the vast majority of evangelical commentators) that because atonement for sin is always associated with the physical death of an animal through the shedding of its life-blood, Genesis 3:21 is actually the first sacrifice. As Theodore Epp wrote in 1972: “[God’s] love and mercy were manifested in that He arranged that this death penalty could be taken by Another and that man could be delivered from condemnation. This is seen in type in Genesis 3 when it is recorded that God made “coats of skins” (v. 21), which involved the shedding of innocent blood. This type was fulfilled in Jesus Christ when He came to earth to shed His innocent blood on the cross for the sins of the world.” Why then does Dr Alexander decide to discount his own logic?
    Quite simply, should Dr Alexander admit that Genesis 3:21 really was a sacrifice, the resulting typological connection would deeply compromise his other claim! For Hebrews 9:12 links the insufficient animal life-blood (inferentially shed from Genesis 3:21 onwards) with the sufficient sacrificial life-blood of Christ (shed on the Cross of Calvary). And Hebrews 10:3-10 teaches the necessity of this physical link - because the shadow had to be offered repeatedly throughout Old Testament history and could not take away sin, whereas the reality (i.e. the life-blood of Jesus) cleanses us from all sin once and forever. Hence the New Testament does by typology and logical inference link these two deaths together - and the reality (fulfilled in Christ’s physical death) is the reason we will see Adam and Eve physically resurrected as part of the new earth community! Furthermore, besides this typological argument, should the Apostle Paul have wanted to distinguish between Adam’s spiritual and physical death in his New Testament letters, he could easily and perspicuously have just added the qualifying Greek word ‘pneumatikon’ (spiritual) before his word for ‘death’, yet he never so much as hints that this artificial demarcation is appropriate for the first man… (Greek: anthropos) …Adam.
   Although there might be many more claims to critique, the last for our purposes occurs on page 381. There we read: “…page after page of the Old Testament remind us of God’s delight in all the creatures of his creation. For nearly all of our planet’s history, only God was around to enjoy their presence on the earth.” Presumably these temporary ‘sandcastles’ were an even greater joy for Alexander’s “deity” to divinely demolish - because as he explains elsewhere: “More than 99% of all the species that have ever lived on this planet are now extinct.” Indeed! So what are we to make of this ‘deep time doctrine’ in light of Holy Scripture and the historic evangelical faith? To begin with, Proverbs 8:24-31 makes it clear that when God created the earth, it was then his delights were with the sons of men – not some 4,566 million years later! Secondly, it wilfully overlooks the Lord Jesus’ own teaching on the age of the earth around A.D. 30 (Mark 10:6, Mark 13:19-20 and Luke 11:50-51); the majority of the church fathers (who also taught a youthful cosmos); Peter Lombard (d. AD 1164), Hugo of St. Victor (AD 1097-1141), Thomas Aquinas (AD 1225-1274) and Giacomo da Bergamo (AD 1434-1520) during the Middle Ages; together with Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, several major ‘Confessions of Faith’ and innumerable modern theologians and scientists around the world. The last word must surely go to Calvin, who noted that: “…if men wish to cling to their knowledge and judgement, it will be incredible to them that the world was created six thousand years ago. For what was God doing from all eternity? In fact, shallow and imaginative people will never understand what the Holy Spirit gives witness to because they will always have their own answers (Calvin, 2009).” Those who call themselves evangelicals, including this author, must pray earnestly that Dr Alexander would miraculously relinquish his own fallacious answers, in favour of those really found in God’s Holy Word, before that great and terrible Day of Judgment arrives.

Anderson, D. (2009). Creation or Evolution: choose wisely! [WWW] http://creation.com/review-creation-or-evolution-david-anderson (Accessed on 24/01/15).
Beall, T. (2008). ‘Contemporary Hermeneutical Approaches to Genesis 1-11’ In: Mortenson, T. and Ury, T. (eds.). (2008). Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth, USA: Master Books. p. 156-158.
Calvin, J. (2009). Sermons on Genesis, Volume 1: Chapters 1-11. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust.
D’Onofrio, D.J. and Abel, D.L. (2014). Redundancy of the genetic code enables translational pausing. Front. Genet., 20 May 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00140
Epp, T. (1972). The God of Creation. Back to the Bible, p.195-197.
Kuiper, R.B. (1919 and 2010). While the Bridegroom Tarries. The Banner of Truth Trust, p. 33.
Lloyd-Jones, M. (1992). What is an Evangelical? Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, p. 79
Nevin, N.C. (2009). Should Christians Embrace Evolution? Biblical and Scientific responses. Inter-Varsity Press, UK
Rose, S. (2000). Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Version. Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood.
Sarfati, J. (2004). Refuting Compromise… USA. Master Books. p. 121
Young, E.J. (1964). Studies in Genesis One. USA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. pp. 68-73.

[1]. Note that Dr Lloyd-Jones rightly located the issue of “Creation not Evolution” and a ‘global’ not ‘local’ flood under truths ‘essential and foundational’ to the evangelical faith. Dr Alexander, on the other hand, states that he does not regard these issues as foundational, and he appears to consider his evolutionary position to be historically orthodox because some I.F.E.S. leaders in the latter decades of the 20th century advocated it!
[2] Although Dr Alexander is no doubt aware of the detailed critiques just cited, he has chosen to dismiss them as significantly "inaccurate" – yet his short, selective responses and studied ignorance of key Scriptural texts actually display a pseudo-intellectual opposition to God's Word. 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Book Review: An insidious assault upon biblical origins

Book Review: 

How I Changed my Mind about Evolution: Evangelicals reflect on faith and science
Editors: Applegate, K. and Stump, J.B.
Publisher: Monarch Books (Lion Hudson plc), Oxford, 2016.
Pages: 196.  Price: £10.99

This book is a collection of twenty five short autobiographies by people who claim to be evangelicals, yet have accepted “evolutionary creation” (aka theistic evolution) as an explanation for origins. This position involves a rejection of Scriptural authority and Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones summed up such claimants:

“…instead of submitting themselves to the Scripture, they turn to science, to philosophy, or to one of a number of other disciplines, and their position is determined by these things. They allow reason to determine what they believe instead of how they believe and how they think.”[i]

Some of the authors apparently accepted the biblical position on creation until in their higher education they encountered compromising Christian theologians. An uncritical attitude towards these theologians and a mistaken notion that they represent the historic Reformed tradition swayed their worldview towards theistic evolution.[ii] John Calvin’s name is used to buttress old earth creation (page 26), although in reality he was strongly opposed to those who questioned the timeframe that Genesis provides, noting that the Spirit Himself testifies against them:

 “…if men wish to cling to their knowledge and judgement, it will be incredible to them that the world was created six thousand years ago. For what was God doing from all eternity? In fact, shallow and imaginative people will never understand what the Holy Spirit gives witness to because they will always have their own answers.”[iii]

The grammatical-historical interpretation of Genesis, which necessarily entails a young cosmos, is dismissed as an “utter novelty” (page 25) based on Ronald Number’s biased and selective history.[iv] Many creationists have ably demonstrated that Genesis 1-11 is a historical narrative[v], and from the second century A.D. Christians were refuting the notion that our cosmos is extremely ancient (or even eternal) when countering Greek philosophers.

Other authors in the book argue that Genesis chapter 1 employs simple, “ancient science”, which they say is now known to be just plain wrong. However, there is a vast difference between simplification and fabrication! Whilst it is important not to neglect Hebrew idiom and culture, this can easily be taken too far. There is no “ancient science” in Genesis one. Rather, the infinite, timeless Author is accommodating his timeless truth to us in every age. Many early cosmogonies, such as those from Egypt, are probably pagan corruptions of the Genesis Flood narrative. One author writes: “it is fair to say that no human knows what the meaning of Genesis 1 and 2 was precisely intended to be.” (page 73) Such statements directly contradict the doctrine of Scriptural perspicuity and ultimately end in scepticism concerning special revelation as a whole. Bear in mind that even the Lord Jesus Christ himself, Scripture's ultimate Author, would fall foul of this glib assertion, because he is fully human as well as fully divine!

Some of the authors felt that by maintaining a young cosmos against the tide of scholarship and peer pressure they were interpreting Scripture subjectively. However, the Holy Spirit is our interpreter, and being God-breathed, the Scriptures are our sole and final authority in all matters which they touch upon. Aberrant and novel interpretations of Scripture, which are motivated more by extra-biblical speculations than by careful exegetical and historical study, should not be accepted. Returning to Dr Lloyd-Jones’ neglected warnings:

[Such people] “…are saying that there are, as it were, two great authorities and two means of revelation: one of them is Scripture and the other is nature…so you go to the Scriptures for matters concerning your soul, but you do not go to them to seek God’s other revelation of Himself in nature. For that, you go to science. You are familiar with this view which, it seems to me, is not only extremely dangerous, but tends to undermine our whole [evangelical] position. We have got to contest it, and contest it very strongly.”[vi]

Origins science, unlike operational science, is not demonstrable in a laboratory and some of the authors appear naïve in accepting what are merely fallible, changing opinions and assumptions. Many unprovable, tacit assumptions and speculations are thoroughly unbiblical. Spiritual discernment is required and those evangelicals critical of biblical creationism should at least inform themselves about what creationists actually believe regarding the limits of biological variation (pp. 37-38), the origins of entropy (p. 126), and the identity of Cain’s wife! (p. 139).

Commendably, throughout the book we are encouraged to give God glory and praise for his wonderful and awe-inspiring world. Yet in the worldview of ‘evolutionary creation’ the Fall had very little effect on animals and although evolution by natural selection is described as “profound”, “beautiful” and “elegant”, its mechanism involves death, disease, bloodshed and untold animal suffering as part of the creative process. How such monstrous cruelty could be attributed to the loving Creator of the Bible, who gave His divine stamp of approval no less than seven times in Genesis one, is left unanswered.

Most of the authors were once biblical creationists and describe their former approach (or that of their mentors) in very critical terms: “selective” (p.23), “quite aberrant” and “narrow” (p.26), “afraid” (p.33), “scared to death” (p.36), “growing” yet “at war with science” (p.65), “unworkable” “wishful thinking” (p.66), “declaring personal infallibility” (p.67), displaying “misinformed religious fervour” (p.74), “bad science, shoddy thinking, false claims and misguided ideas” and “…a wrong interpretation of the Bible” (p.93), “intellectual slackers” (p.95), “uncritical” (p.99), “risk-averse” (p.104), “spoon-fed” (p.105), “flawed” (p.110), “gerrymandering” (p.117), “nervous” (p.120), “increasingly absurd” (p.140), “rigid” (p.156), “a fabrication of religionists” (p.174), “a caricature” which  we will “face judgement for” and “our own subculture of alternative science” (p.175). In short, generally “hung up” (p.192).

Other authors contradict these negative jibes and put-downs. One author writes that “many have lost their faith over evolution. It is quite understandable that many churches are worried about their young people studying biology in secular universities.” Another author states: “…Christians who are uncomfortable with any version of evolution – even evolutionary creationism – are not necessarily unintelligent, naïve or obstinate.” For a book full of unpleasant remarks about those who profess true doctrine, this is an interesting admission!

A battle is raging for the hearts and minds of our young people and sadly many who are being led astray and have abandoned Scriptural authority may welcome this book as it will seemingly confirm them in their errors. If Bible-believing evangelicals read the book, they should do so with great caution.

[i] Lloyd-Jones, D.M. (1992). What is an Evangelical? The Banner of Truth Trust, p.49.
[ii] Chapters 1-3 of Coming to Grips with Genesis by Mortenson and Ury contain a helpful rebuttal of this pseudo-historical idea. Also cf. Sarfati, J. (2004). Refuting Compromise. USA: Master Books.
[iii] Calvin, J. (1559), translated by McGregor, R.R. (2009). Sermons on Genesis: Chapters 1-11. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust.
[iv] Numbers, R. (2006). The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism. Harvard University Press.
[v] See, for instance: Beeke, J.R. (2013). What Did the Reformers Believe about the Age of the Earth? In: Ham, K. (Ed.) The New Answers Book 4, Master Books, pp.101-110; Peet, J.H.J. (2013). Does the Bible require a belief in ‘special creation’? DayOne Publications, pp.43-55; Patrick, J. (2013). The Genre and Goals of Genesis 1-11, Origins #57 [Part 1, pp.14-17] and Origins #58 [Part 2, pp.8-11]. Journal of The Biblical Creation Society.
[vi] Lloyd-Jones, D.M. Op. Cit. p.73

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Friday, 2 January 2015

The Eubacterial Flagellum - Co-option an Option?

Chapter six of the 2006 book 'Why Intelligent Design Fails' (edited by Matt Young and Taner Edis) is written by Ian Musgrave, a molecular pharmacologist at the University of Adelaide. 

Although his critique of the irreducible complexity of the eubacterial flagellum looks scientifically reasonable at first, a little more research uncovers many significant problems with his rather glib dismissal of the details.

Musgrave notes that the bacterial flagellum is an organelle that looks strikingly similar to a machine constructed by humans. Then, within the same paragraph, he contradicts this assertion with the claim that: '..."the" bacterial flagellum does not exist'. One cannot help feeling that this irrational conclusion is partly motivated by a rejection of learning. What could he possibly mean by this blatant contradiction? It seems that in an attempt to think comparatively, Musgrave is also trying to draw our attention away from the object of cognitive conflict (the eubacterial flagellum), and introduce other types of flagella (e.g. Archaeal flagella). Yet significantly, he fails here to note that these other flagella (including their basal bodies) are by no means plausible intermediates, but totally distinct systems - fundamentally different in many respects from the eubacterial propeller.

William Dembski finds models of the evolution of the eubacterial flagellum unconvincing. Yet Musgrave claims that: '...[Dembski] does not seem to understand that the eubacterial flagellum is only one of a range of motility systems in bacteria...and that motility is just one function of the flagellum.' This is clear equivocation. Many flagellum experts [including Professor Scott Minnich] understand very well that there are other motility systems designed for life at a low Reynolds number. Yet all of these systems (except type-III secretory systems) share no significant homologies with the bacterial flagellum, and therefore cannot contribute to a hypothetical Darwinian pathway. Furthermore, while it is true that the eubacterial flagellum does contain a sub-system that superficially resembles a Type III secretory system, this flagellar subsystem is a vital engineering solution which allows assembly to occur from the bottom of the filament up. Therefore, half-baked attempts to impose a historical interpretation are utterly unjustified.

However, Musgrave continues this critique by suggesting: 'The flagellum is probably not IC at all because the original function of the eubacterial flagellum, which can survive massive pruning of its components, is almost certainly secretion, not motility'. This reasoning is severely flawed. It is somewhat equivalent, upon spying a light aircraft, to claiming that the original function of the aircraft - which can survive massive pruning of its wings, tail flaps etc. - is almost certainly road transport, not flight. Indeed, comparative analysis with both a Reliant Robin and a Sinclair C5 shows that all light aircraft probably arose through co-option and simple modification of a three wheeled precursor which perhaps originally functioned as a lawnmower. Clearly when we see design we can always rationalize it away with a historical just-so story, but such stories become highly implausible.

This chapter next presents evidence for homologies with the Type III secretory system. Here, the extent of homology with this system is quite overblown. The Type III secretory system contains no homologues for a number of vital components including MotA, MotB, FliM, FliE, and possibly FliO and the filament forming chaperone FliD. In addition:

1. The type III homologue of FliN only shares sequence similarity in 80 C-terminal amino acids.

2. The similarity between FliG homologs is very poor indeed.

3. The FliF homologue in the Type III secretory system has both the C- and N-terminal domains missing and is probably incapable of substituting for flagellar FliF.

Most models also assume the existence of the Type III secretory system to begin with. Yet the origin of this system is far from clear. Some scientists have recently suggested that it could have been coopted from an already functioning ATP synthase. Yet this is simply clutching at straws because there are many dissimilarities between these systems and the origin of ATP synthase as a ubiquitous system is itself equally obscure. Primitive ATP synthases are simply non-existent.

Analysing this a little deeper reveals that the Type III secretory system is not the proposed Darwinian intermediate for the eubacterial flagellum anyway. What, according to Musgrave, is then? The final answer - it turns out - is a 'general, ancestral type-III system' which cannot be identified but must simply be imagined! No surprises there then! In fact, what we have here is a molecular 'missing link'. Perhaps we can anticipate the next logical step for evolutionary molecular biology: a theory of punctuated equilibrium for molecular systems!

After arguing that the eubacterial flagella performs many other functions - including secretion - Musgrave suggests: 'Secretion plays a crutial role in this organelle, so you can't make flagella without secretion, so secretion must be the original function.' This is very questionable reasoning indeed. What it totally ignores is the remarkable, systematic, assembly order of this organelle.

It turns out that when the eubacterial flagellum is assembled, the rotor housing (FliF) forms first, followed by the rotor/switch (FliG,M,N), followed by the protein export apparatus (FlhA,B,FliO,P,Q,R), followed by the motor proteins (MotA,B); then the rod, the secretory P and L rings, and finally the hook, junction, cap and filament. The implications of this sequence are very significant. Since the assembly sequence which is most plausible from a historical perspective is quite dissimilar to the actual assembly sequence, something is clearly wrong with Musgrave's model. In all evolutionary models, the export and secretory systems are always assumed very early on. In reality, however, the switch complex must be formed first in order to incorporate the export apparatus. Since the switch and rotor only function as part of the rotary flagellum system, the rotary propeller function of the flagellum is implicit from the beginning - a clear case of "teleological assembly".

Teleological assembly doesn't stop there, however. Evolutionary models (assuming Gram-negative origins) also suggest a secretin is formed in the peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharide wall layers  - before the rod complex. This is in order to provide a hollow tube for surface adhesins to oligomerize (without a chaperone!) to form an adhesive proto-pilus. However, in order to oligomerize and puncture the two wall layers, the rod complex (FliE, FlgB, FlgC/F and FlgG) in the eubacterial flagellum actually seems to drill through the walls using the proton-motive force of the motor proteins. The motor proteins are therefore incorporated before the rod pierces through the two layers, and the P and L secretory rings are only incorporated as the rod penetrates each layer of the wall respectively. Needless to say, this assembly sequence is extremely counter-intuitive from an evolutionary perspective. Yet teleologic assembly makes perfect sense within a paradigm of intelligent design.

In closing, Musgrave concludes: 'Being IC does not eliminate indirect evolutionary explanations, and flagella can evolve from simpler systems through a series of functional intermediates.' Yet nowhere has Musgrave actually demonstrated a scientifically plausible, non-direct Darwinian pathway, and nowhere has he provided any plausible intermediates with significant homology to the eubacterial flagellum.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Noah’s Ark in Ancient History: An International ‘Cultural Koine’


In this article, symbols, icons and cosmogonies of the Egyptian theocratic system will be analysed and compared to those of Syria, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, India and Crete. Many visual riddles will be unlocked by viewing such iconography through a ‘grid’, ‘lens’ or ‘cultural koine’ which Professor Nanno Marinatos[1] defines as a standard set of cultural assumptions which circulated throughout the Ancient Near East (henceforth ANE) and Eastern Mediterranean. This historical grid or international milieu will allow us to infer what could be the Ark’s true location, confirming previous claims that the Ark may have already been discovered, yet never properly excavated. Evidence from numerous seal cylinders, ring impressions, wall reliefs, paintings and papyri across the ancient world is presented and interpreted via the koine, showing that the Ark’s specific location appears to have been both known and revered in ancient antiquity. Remarkably, the Ark’s location as suggested by ANE iconography is still recognizable today - as are the surprising remains of what could be the Ark itself!


Koine, Ark, Location, Ararat, Iconography, Babel


   Judging by the recent film ‘Noah’ directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson et al., you could be forgiven for thinking that the entire story of Noah’s Ark is a solemn yet fanciful myth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth!   In their 1976 book, ‘The Ark on Ararat’, Dr. John D. Morris and Tim F. LaHaye note a non-exhaustive list of over 212 flood accounts from across the globe. Bill Cooper confirms the universal extent of flood accounts worldwide by noting: “Even the remotest peoples, separated from the rest of the world by immense distances and time, have preserved among themselves recognisable memories of the Flood of Noah, sometimes in the most startling detail, lending a remarkable corroboration to what we read in the Book of Genesis.”[2]

   Gleaning precious information from all these accounts regarding the specific location where the Ark finally came to land has previously yielded little conclusive evidence (c.f. Humphreys[3], who examines the biblical clues in particular and Habermehl[4], who examines a number of claimed possible landing sites). To the question ‘where are the Ark’s remains now?’ most scholars have had to reply ‘we simply do not know’ or ‘it must have been dismantled’. Nevertheless, a close examination of some of the more obscure flood accounts serves to elucidate tantalizing clues, which together with recent advances in ancient iconography may have a revolutionary impact upon both the Ark Studies Project and the study of all Ancient History. Let us begin our examination with the testimony of ancient historians:


As Crouse and Franz note: “…if such an Ark vessel once really existed, with the Scriptural dimensions of nearly 500 feet in length and being built of a durable wood and coated with a preservative such as tar, wouldn’t it make sense that it would have taken centuries, even millennia, to decay, and that everyone in the general vicinity would know where such a hulk would lie? We are not talking about a small relic that cannot be readily seen by the general populace. Over the centuries, indeed millennia, people would know about it; it would be a topic of conversation and people would want to see it.”[5]

Indeed we learn this much from various ancient historians, as follows:

  • Berosus extracted from Abydenus
The history of a Chaldean priest named Berosus has been preserved in a number of later sources still extant. The Greek historian Abydenus, who probably lived around 200 B.C., was one of those who recounted Berosus’ history. Abydenus relates regarding the Ark of Noah: “With respect to the vessel, which yet remains in Armenia, it is a custom of the inhabitants to form bracelets and amulets of its wood.”[6]

  • Berosus extracted from Alexander Polyhistor
Another fragment from Berosus was preserved by the historian Alexander Polyhistor, who flourished in the first half of the first century B.C. He noted that:

“…the vessel was driven to the side of a mountain…” and “…the vessel, being thus stranded in Armenia, some part of it yet remains in the Gordyaean mountains in Armenia; and the people scrape off the bitumen, with which it had been outwardly coated, and make use of it by way of an alexipharmic and amulet.”[7]

  • Benjamin of Tudela
A Medieval Jewish traveller, writing in the 12th century, records that he travelled two days to an island in the Tigris on the foot of Mt. Ararat on which the ark rested. As Crouse and Franz record: “Omar Ben al-Khatab removed the Ark from the summit of the two mountains and made a mosque of it…”[8]

  • Targum Jonathan on Genesis 8:4:
This translation suggests that the mountain had two peaks. 

The ark came to rest "...on the mountains of Qurdun [Gordyene]; the name of the one mountain is Qurdunia, and the name of the other mountain is Armenia." 
  • Epiphanus
"...the ark came to rest 'in the mountains of Ararat, in the midst of [or, 'in-between'] the mountains of Armenia and of Kurdistan [Gordyene], on a mountain called Lubar."

  • Various authors extracted from Josephus
Finally, for the purposes of this argument, the Jewish historian Josephus refers to numerous historical sources which attest that the Ark was freely accessible and indeed venerated in their times:

"However, the Armenians call this place, The Place of Descent; for the ark being saved in that place, its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day…”

“Now all the writers of barbarian histories make mention of this flood, and of this ark; among whom is Berosus the Chaldean. For when he is describing the circumstances of the flood, he goes on thus: "It is said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia, at the mountain of the Cordyaeans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, and use chiefly as amulets for the averting of mischiefs." Hieronymus the Egyptian also, who wrote the Phoenician Antiquities, and Mnaseas, and a great many more, make mention of the same. Nay, Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a particular relation about them; where he speaks thus: "There is a great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris [i.e. a ship], upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the Deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved."[9]

Notice here in Josephus the very intriguing observation that the mountain itself was called “Baris” from the Greek word baris - which is a term for an "Egyptian boat", (probably deriving from the Egyptian ba-y-r for "basket-shaped boat")[10]. This name corresponds to 'Lubar' which signifies a crescent moon. Such etymologies might be a significant clue about the shape of the mountain, as we shall more fully appreciate later on. Meanwhile, carefully note that the Armenians themselves called the landing site “The Place of Descent”.

This is corroborated by the Indian flood account of Manu and the Seven Sages. Julius Eggeling translates this flood account from the first ‘kânda’ of the Ṡatapatha Brāhmaṇa thus: “As the water subsides, thou mayest gradually descend!’ Accordingly, he gradually descended, and hence that (slope) of the northern mountain is called ‘Manu’s descent’!”[11]

Here in the Indian Sanskrit account of the great flood we learn a further interesting morsel of information, namely that the Ark landed on a north facing slope and gradually sank down.

Moreover, in the Atharva Veda, Book 19, Hymn 39, Verse 8, Ralph Griffith’s translation reads:

“In the third heaven above us stands the Asvattha tree, the seat of Gods: There is embodiment of life that dies not: thence was Kushtha born. There moved through heaven a golden ship, a ship with cordage wrought of gold: There is embodiment of life that dies not; thence was Kushtha born. Where is the Sinking of the Ship, the summit of the Hill of Snow, There is embodiment of life that dies not: thence was Kustha born.”[12]

Why all these seemingly obscure observations from Hindu Sanskrit records should be considered significant to the Ark’s current location will be gradually revealed as we consider the testimony of other nations to this strange ‘Place of Descent’.


The Mesopotamian flood accounts (including the Epic of Gilgamesh, Fragment CBM 13532 from the Temple Library of Nippur and the Epic of Atram-Hasis) are some of the most detailed of all extra-biblical sources. Here I want to make five important observations regarding them.

First, a recently discovered tablet of the Epic of Atram-Hasis[13] has revealed that the Amorites who wrote the Epic believed the Ark to be circular in shape. As Maev Kennedy, writing in the British Newspaper ‘The Guardian’ reports, cuneiform expert Irving Finkel’s translation makes this plain:

 "Wall, wall! Reed wall, reed wall! Atram-Hasis, pay heed to my advice, that you may live forever! Destroy your house, build a boat; despise possessions And save life! Draw out the boat that you will build with a circular design; Let its length and breadth be the same."

A circular Ark might sound like an obvious pagan corruption unworthy of further consideration, yet although the Ark clearly wasn’t a circular coracle, Finkel’s ‘Ark Tablet’ does actually bear wider significance for our interpretation of ANE iconography.

Second, Kennedy also notes that “…the tablet goes on to command the use of plaited palm fibre, waterproofed with bitumen, before the construction of cabins for the people and wild animals.”

Note carefully the use of plaited palm fibre in the Ark’s construction. (White palm fibre is one of the few strong natural fibres which is resistant to saltwater – a fact which explains its use in the manufacture of fishing nets). The palm tree itself will also become significant as we examine relevant ANE icons and symbols depicting the so-called ‘tree of life’ in our next subsection.

Third, consider Fragment CBM 13532 from the Temple Library of Nippur (discovered by Professor Hermann Hilprecht from the University of Pennsylvania) which recounts:

“Build a great ship and … total height shall be its structure. …it shall be a houseboat carrying what has been saved of life. … with a strong deck cover (it). [The ship] which thou shalt make [into it br]ing the beasts of the field, the birds of heaven…”[14]

As Bill Cooper[15] points out, the term ‘houseboat’ translates as ‘ma-gurgurrum’ (or a boat which can be closed by a door), which is related to an old Semitic word, ‘ma-kurru’, meaning ark.

Forth, consider if you will a few enigmatic sections from the Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh. As Fasold notes: “The landing site of the ship of Utnapishtim appears in tablet 11 in successive lines 140 through 144 five times. It is translated ‘Mount Nisir’. … The interesting thing about working with three root consonants is that nṣr can be related to nšr, msr, mṣr and mzr. The most obvious would then be nạsāru, ‘to keep something under guard.’[16]

Importantly, cuneiform expert Irving Finkel corroborates this interpretation of the etymology of Niṣir in noting that: “…I still prefer Mount Niṣir because this is the Mesopotamian name for the mountain and the Babylonian root behind it, naṣāru, ‘to guard, protect’, makes very good sense given the emphasis in this very Gilgamesh passage on how the mountain holds the Ark fast and will not let it move.”[17]

Intriguingly, in line 37 of the Epic, the ‘hero’ Gilgamesh finds himself by Mount Mashu (or possibly Manu) as he journeys to meet Utnapishtim [who is the Babylonian equivalent of Noah in the Holy Bible[18]]. Henri Nissen relates from the Epic that:

“The mountain is called Mashu. Then he reached Mount Mashu, which daily guards the rising and setting of the Sun, above which only the dome of the heavens reaches, and whose flank reaches as far as the Netherworld below, there were Scorpion-beings watching over its gate. Trembling terror they inspire, the sight of them is death, their frightening aura sweeps over the mountains, At the rising and setting they watch over the Sun.”[19]

Nissen further notes that “…to the Sumerians, Mashu was a sacred mountain. Its name means ‘twin’ in Akkadian, and thus was it portrayed on Babylonian cylinder seals – a twin-peaked mountain, described by poets as both the seat of the gods, and the underworld.”[20] Compare fully Figure 2 from Professor Marinatos.

 Figure 2: Shamash the ‘Sun-god’ arising from between the twin peaks (note the two-faced ‘Janus’ bottom right, who may represent Noah) (from Marinatos, 2010)

Professor Nanno Marinatos also makes a very important connection here: “On Akkadian seals, [she writes] the sun god Shamash habitually rises between the twin peaks of a mountain ... the morphology of the sign is almost universal and designates the twin peaks of a cosmic mountain." [21]

She, independently from Nissen, also finds correlation with the Epic of Gilgamesh:

"Gilgamesh...travels in search of...Utnapishtim. ... He comes to the cosmic mount Mashu 'which daily guards the ascent and descent of the sun'. ... This passage is a goldmine of information about Mesopotamian cosmology. First, we learn that Mashu is a cosmic mountain, the root of which is located in the underworld, where its peak reaches heaven. We also learn that the sun uses the mountain as a gate. This is important because it corresponds exactly to the images of the sun god rising between the mountain peaks engraved on the Akkadian seals."

Fifth, according to Marinatos this twin-peaked ‘cosmic mountain’, detailed as two peaks separated by a curved escarpment, is one of the central elements within an international ‘cultural koine’ which extended from the very earliest periods of recorded history to the very end of the ancient world. This distinctive and uniquely formed mountain is inseparably connected with the winged sun disc or circle – over which it was considered a ‘guardian’. The mountain therefore guards the embodiment of life. Recall that the Amorites in the Epic of Atra-Hasis spoke of the Ark’s plan as if it were ‘drawn out on a circle design’.
   Could the Egyptian winged sun disc and the Ark be morphologically cognate icons? Could the ‘Place of Descent’ recorded in Josephus as the Ark landing site also imply sinking into the ‘Underworld’ as the Atharva Veda seems to imply? Indeed, could this twin-peaked mount actually be the very ‘mountains of Ararat’ mentioned in Genesis 8:4? Consider for a moment the many relevant seal cylinders which Elliot G. Smith[22] has collated together from W. Hayes Ward’s book ‘The Seal Cylinders of Western Asia’ (1910) – Figure 3 (a)-(m). See Footnote [1] below.

Figure 3: Collated cylinder seals from across Western Asia (courtesy of Smith, 2007)

Here in this compilation of ancient seals we can observe a number of relevant correlations which are highly suggestive of this thesis. In (a) we note that the sun disc resides between twin peaks, with cobras [scorpion beings?] on either side and wings extending to the horizon. Again, comparing icons (b) through to (d) we may note that the winged sun disc is positioned atop stylized icons of a solar palm or tree of life. In (e) this tree is more clearly a palm standard between the twin-peaked mountain, together with a sacred bird; whilst in (f) a morphologically cognate bird is found perched atop the Minoan Double Axe. Marinatos notes regarding this type of imagery: “We may easily understand why birds are associated with the sun. They are the first to wake up in the morning and greet the emerging disc; their presence on the same scene as the rising axe is thus quite meaningful.”[23] Icons (i) and (k), on the other hand, are noteworthy because the former shows a winged gate from Chaldea - and the latter shows a ‘god’ figure riding the Persian winged disc-boat above a fire-altar - suggestive of the twin-peaked mountain of dawn. Compare all these with (m) where the ‘god’ now arises from a crescent-shaped icon above the ‘tree of life’. All these correlations are suggestive of what Professor Marinatos herself describes as a shared international religious milieu or ‘cultural koine’ which acts as a lens through which the culture of the ANE can be better understood.


Nanno Marinatos is, in fact, a world expert in Minoan cultural art from the isle of Crete. Her remarkable thesis, recorded in ‘Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess’ (2010) deserves further summary at this point because of its significance for the Ark Studies Project.

In Chapter 4 of her extended thesis, Marinatos notes that the thrones or throne rooms of Minoan solar god-royalties are usually associated with griffins and palm trees.

“The first observation is that both griffin and palm are associated with the sun in Syrian glyptic. The palm is often linked with a winged rosette disc, a Levantine idiom of the Egyptian winged sun disc. We may draw further inference, which is of some consequence, that there existed stylized, human-made, wooden cult standards imitating the palm. This would explain why the solar disc (also part of the object) was attached on top…. Beatrice Teissier says: ‘The association of the sun with the palm was both an Egyptian and Mesopotamian concept but Syrian imagery was derived from the latter. In Egypt the palm was considered to be one of the seats of Re at his rising.”[24]

Figures 4 and 5: Royal griffin and palm were closely
associated with the winged sun disc (from Marinatos, 2010)

In Chapter 5, it is noted that Cretan ‘houses of god’ were not necessarily independent structures but were integrated within larger buildings or they constituted an open-air sanctuary. Furthermore, these ‘divine dwellings’ contained symbolic architecture – in particular they incorporated ‘mountain-gate’ architecture (c.f. Figures 6 and 7).

Figures 6 and 7: Minoan ‘House of god’ – stone rhyton from Zakros (left) and clay votive model of a sanctuary from East Crete (right) (from Marinatos, 2010)

This gate architecture is intimately associated with the ‘underworld’. As the Professor carefully relates to those of us who are uninitiated to ANE lore: “Mountains are gates. Strange as this may seem to us, it was a common concept in Near Eastern mythology… The gate to the beyond is conceived as a double-peak mountain, sometimes guarded by lions … The idea that the mountain is a gate to the netherworld is supported by linguistic evidence. The Sumerian word kur means both ‘mountain’ and ‘underworld’.”[25]

Chapter 8 of Marinatos’ thesis is particularly significant for the Ark Studies Project. Marinatos begins by redefining the meaning of a Minoan hieroglyph:

"Generations of scholars have relied on these two giants of Minoan religion [Evans and Nilsson - ed.] for the interpretation of the sign [Minoan hieroglyph 37 of the old palace period] as bull's horns...[yet other theories came from] Dutch scholar W.B. Kristensen and the German scholar W. Gaerte, who both regarded the so-called horns as mountains, pointing to the similarity with the equivalent Egyptian ideogram...”

Indeed, this identification of the horns of consecration with this twin-peaked mountain was made by Professor Newberry[26] of Liverpool as early as 1908.

Marinatos continues: “Barry Powell demonstrated it in 1977... in more recent years, Alexander MacGillivray and Vance Watrous have also returned to this view. I endorse it here as well and will add additional visual evidence that makes it unlikely that the symbol is anything but the twin peak mountain depicting the east and west points of the horizon. ... the Minoan symbol is almost identical to the Egyptian cosmic mountain. The Egyptian symbol consists of two peaks that define the horizon between which the sun disc rises…On Akkadian seals of the third millennium we find a very similar rendition of the mountain represented as two scaly cones that signify ‘land’…In Syria and Anatolia, the twin peaks also symbolize a mountain, sometimes a double one… The twin peak mountain defines the edges of the cosmos. … A symbol so common to Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and Egypt and designating ‘mountain’ must have had a similar meaning in Crete… It has previously been mentioned that we do not see offerings (bread, meat, incense, etc.) between the peaks of the object that has been redefined as a mountain; therefore, its function cannot have been to sanctify offerings. Instead, the two peaks frame a tree…a double axe…or a god… All of these are symbols of cosmic significance and not votives that can be consecrated.”

 Figure 8: a) Minoan b) Egyptian c) Akkadian and d) Syrian representations (from Marinatos, 2010)

The full evidence Marinatos gathers is highly persuasive. Some icons clearly depict a curved escarpment between two rounded peaks whilst others simplify the image as two separate hillocks or two more pointed ‘knife like’ objects [Figure 9].

Figure 9: Bronze votive tablet from the cave of Psychro showing the twin-peaked mountain as two ‘knife-like’ peaks (from Marinatos, 2010, pg. 108)

 Yet the central motif always remains the same:

“On a seal from Vapheio [she continues] a tree rises between the two peaks of the mountain...” [Figure 10] … “In summary: the tree rising between the Minoan twin-peak mountain is not consecrated as an offering but constitutes the tree of life. This is the solar palm...”

Figures 10 and 11: A seal from Vapheio (left) and a Minoan seal from Kydonia (right) (from Marinatos, 2010)

And again: “On a seal from Cretan Kydonia we meet something even more striking: instead of a tree there is a god standing between the mountain peaks and receiving homage from a Minoan demon and a goat.” [Figure 11].

Later, in chapters 9 through 14 of her book, Professor Marinatos focuses upon a number of long-standing riddles in Minoan iconography. These riddles concern some perplexing questions such as ‘why does the [Minoan] double axe rise from the cosmic mountain?’; ‘why does the double axe appear between the horns of a bovine head?’; ‘why does the double axe turn into a lily?’ and ‘why is the double axe both in the underworld and the sky?’

Her conclusions are equally remarkable! “The double axe is a regenerative symbol suggesting growth or development. It is the visual manifestation of the Egyptian concept of ‘coming forth by day’ and the equivalent of the lotus giving birth to the primeval sun/child…”[27]

“The sacred mountain with its twin peaks, the incurved altar, the rosette, and the double axe are either landmarks in the sun’s journey or allomorphs of the sun disc itself. … The key to their meaning is the symmetry of their form, which reflects the dual world traversed by the sun in its journey in the sky and underworld respectively. ...the Minoans intended a deliberate ambiguity between ‘horns’ and ‘mountain peaks’ because both the ox or cow and the mountain embrace the sun in mythical thinking; in some ways they give birth to it. The Minoans deliberately played with the form: horns look like mountain peaks… The Egyptians did the same, as we see on a ceiling from the palace of Malkata”.[28] [Figures 12 and 13]    

Figures 12 and 13: The Minoan Calf with Double Axe (left) and a ceiling painting from the palace of Malkata (from Marinatos, 2010)

What are we to make of all this? Is there any further evidence that the sun disc and the Ark are morphologically cognate icons? Could the sacred twin-peaked mountain really be equivalent to the ‘mountains of Ararat’? As we shall now see, the forgotten solar cult teachings of the Old Kingdom of Egypt hold a highly probable answer to these questions.


Bill Cooper sums up previous interpretations of Egyptian origins when he writes:

“Concerning any distinct memories of the Great Flood amongst the Egyptians, we have to say that almost all trace of them is lost – or dimmed almost to the point of obliteration. Records discovered so far make no mention of it – assuming there are no more surprises in store…”[29]

Well it seems that a huge surprise is, in fact, in store! For it appears that not only did the early Egyptians record the story of the Great Flood in great detail on their temple walls and papyri, they also venerated the Ark and the cosmic twin-peaked mountain to the extent that the whole Giza plateau with its central twin-pyramids and sphinx could be one vast enigmatic representation of it - garbed in complex geometry!

To explain this bold supposition, we must begin with some of the most ancient cosmogonies of Egypt – from the four cult centres of Heliopolis, Memphis, Hermopolis and Thebes.

In general, all four cosmogonies relate the same story in different ways. The oldest and purist of the four cosmogonies belongs to Thoth’s cult centre of Hermopolis.

Robert Armour[30] notes an early papyrus which records of the ‘Ogdoad [or Eight] of Hermopolis’ account: “Salutations to you, you Five Great Gods, Who come out of the City of Eight, You who are not yet in heaven, You who are not yet upon the earth, You who are not yet illuminated by the sun”.

Figures 14 and 15: The Ogdoad of Hermopolis depicted in Ancient Egyptian Icons (left) from Ancient Egypt, edited by David P. Silverman, p. 121; photograph from the Book of the Dead of Khensumose (right) Detail from the Astronomical Ceiling at the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, first strip west (© Olaf Tausch)

He continues:

“The poem tells how, on the Island of Flame, the primeval hill similar to the one on which Ra arose, the four gods came into being at the same time; they were seen as some sort of force that existed between heaven and earth…Each element brought with him his female component, giving the total of eight elements. The group included Nun, the god of the primeval ocean already seen in the mythology of Heliopolis, and his consort Naunet; Heh, the god of the immeasurable, who with his consort Heket was responsible for raising the sun; Kek, the god of darkness, and his consort Keket gave the world the darkness of night so that the sun would have a place to shine; and Amun, the god of mystery, the hidden, and nothingness, who with his consort Amaunet brought the air which breathed life into everything. The four males were depicted as frogs and the females as serpents swimming around in the mud and slime of chaos…Eventually the eight elements came together and out of their union came the primeval egg which could not be seen because it existed before there was light. Out of the egg came the light of the sun which the eight raised up into the sky”.

Veronica Ions adds more important detail to the Ogdoad ‘cosmogony’ which we quote in extenso:

“The four male deities of the Ogdoad were depicted in Egyptian art with frogs’ heads, and the four female deities had serpents’ heads. This would seem to derive from another tradition in Hermopolis which likened the eight primordial gods to the amphibious life which swarmed…in the mud left behind by the annually receding Nile floodwaters. Thus instead of creating the primeval mound, the Eight would be conceived as hatching out on to it. As in the other cult centres, the city was declared to be on the site of the primeval hill. In a park attached to the temple was a sacred lake called the ‘Sea of the Two Knives’ from which emerged the ‘Isle of Flames’. This island was said to be the primeval hill and was a great place of pilgrimage and the setting for much ritual. Four variants of the creation myth as told at Hermopolis were connected with this lake and this island. In the first, the world was said to have originated in a cosmic egg…this was laid by the celestial goose which first broke the silence of the world and was known as the ‘Great Cackler’. The egg, laid on the primeval mound, contained the bird of light, Ra, who was to be creator of the world. Other sources said that the egg contained air – a tradition more in keeping with the Ogdoad legend. The remains of the egg were shown to pilgrims at Hermopolis. The second version was similar to the first, except that in this case the egg was laid by an ibis – the bird representing Thoth, god of the moon and of wisdom… The third variant of the Hermopolitan doctrine reverted to the imagery of creation out of the waters, and was exceptionally poetic. According to this version, a lotus flower rose out of the waters of the ‘Sea of the Two Knives’. When its petals opened the calyx of the flower was seen to bear a divine child, who was Ra. The forth version of this legend was that the lotus opened to reveal a scarab beetle (symbol of the sun); the scarab then transformed itself into the boy… Indeed in Hermopolis the lotus was sometimes specifically identified with the Eye of Ra. The lotus is a flower which opens and closes every day: it could therefore easily be associated with the cult of the sun god, which it bore within its petals. By opening his Eye, Ra was said to separate day from night… The Ogdoad were said…to have created the lotus bearing the sun-god, and this lotus rose out of the waters…”[31]

These accounts contain some highly significant information derived from diverse Egyptian hieroglyphic texts (principally the Papyrus Leiden 1350 (New Kingdom circa 1567-1085 BC). First, note from Armour that the myth concerns the ‘Eight elements’ – four males and four females – the ‘ancestors of the gods’. This bears a striking parallel to the biblical account of Noah and his family of seven. Second, note the symbolism associated with each of the eight – Nun the ‘primeval ocean’. Of this same Nun ‘god’, Egyptologist Sung Hwan Yoo notes:

“In ancient Egypt the sky was often thought of as a watery region, and Nut was closely associated with Mehet-Weret (mhjjt wrt) “Great Flood,” a female counterpart of Nun. Sometimes envisioned as a cow astride the earth, Nut was paired or even identified with Mehet-Weret who was shown as a cow-headed woman or a cow carrying a child (J. Allen 1989: 16; B. Lesko 1999: 23-24; Pinch 2002: 163). In this connection, Mehet-Weret stands as a primeval cow goddess who gave birth to the sun-god. It is interesting to note that Mehet-Weret gave birth to the sun in the form of a calf, as mentioned in the Pyramid Texts Spell 485A (Pyr. § 1029a-b) … “This Pepi has come to you, Re, a calf of gold to whom Nut gave birth, a fatted calf of gold whom Hezat created” (Barta 1984: 167). The statement calls to mind the fact that Ihy, regarded as one of the sun-children, is born as a calf (Hoenes 1980: 125).”[32]

This is the same sacred animal found in ‘The Book of the Heavenly Cow[33], inscribed in the tombs of Seti I, Ramesses II and Ramesses III, which book contains numerous parallels to the biblical flood.[34]

Figure 16: Mehet-Weret (mhjjt wrt [35] meaning “Great Flood,” along with the solar barque (boat) of Ra underneath her leg and Shu holding up the heavens[36]

Also note the ‘coming forth by day’ or the rising of the sun, the darkness of night and the reference to life – signified in many other accounts by the solar palm or tree of life.

Third, note the sacred lake called ‘The Sea of Two Knives’ and the ‘Isle of Flames’. This may be paralleled with the twin-peaked mountain, as depicted in the form previously seen in Figure 9. It may also bear significance for the waters of the flood and the first land peaks seen after the waters receded:

“And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.” Genesis 8:5

Here we learn that the ‘Isle of Flames’ was more like a ‘primeval hill’ or twin-peaked ‘mud mound’ rather than a large volcanic mountain like Mount Ararat itself. At the same time, we learn that it may have been called ‘The Great Cackler’ because it appears to have acted as a natural harbour-nest or ‘guardian’ for the cosmic egg (or Ark) – hence the bird imagery we have encountered previously.

Finally we learn two other important facts which may bear deeper meaning:

In the first instance, we discover from Ion’s text that the biconvex shape of the Eye of Ra was “specifically identified” with the lotus flower in Hermopolis - and hence the sun disc also because of the koine established by Marinatos. Therefore, of large consequence is the fact that the Eye of Ra is another allomorph of the Ark itself. This is corroborated by Professor Finkel, who adds regarding the shape of the Ark in various cuneiform tablets:

“We can identify the characteristic shape of the makurru [i.e. ark] with the help of a geometrical diagram from the world of cuneiform educational mathematics…. This shows two circles, drawn with one overlapping the other. Here a Babylonian teacher is expounding the mathematical properties of the pointed almond or biconvex shape generated by such intimate circles. We learn from him at the same time that this shape is called makurru, which will therefore evoke or correspond to the outline of a contemporary makurru boat, seen from above.[37]

In the second instance, we discover that this entire Ogdoad ‘cosmogony’ was the subject of much ritual and pilgrimage in the Old Kingdom. This could be, remarkably, the interpretive key to the whole of the Giza plateau and the ancient pyramids.

Some explanatory background in the euhemeristic interpretation of mythology is necessary here. In 1807, Jacob Bryant published ‘A New System; Or, An Analysis of Ancient Mythology’. In this work, Bryant made some logical inferences of considerable importance for the Ark Studies Project. He noted that:

“Such was the Gentile history of the Deluge: varied indeed, and in some measure adapted to the prejudices of those who wrote; yet containing all the grand circumstances with which that catastrophe was attended. The story had been so inculcated, and the impressions left upon the minds of men were so strong, that they seem to have referred to it continually; and to have made it the principal subject of their religious institutions. I have taken notice of a custom among the priests of Amon, who at particular seasons used to carry in procession a boat, in which was an oracular shrine, held in great veneration. They were said to have been eighty in number; and to have carried the sacred vessel about, just as they were directed by the impulse of the Deity. … I mentioned at the same time, that this custom of carrying the Deity in an ark or boat was in use among the Egyptians, as well as the people of Ammonia. … The ship of Isis is well known; and the celebrity among the Egyptians, whenever it was carried in public. The name of this, and of all the navicular shrines was Baris: which is very remarkable; for it was the very name of the mountain, according to Nicolaus Damascenus, on which the ark of Noah rested; the same as Ararat in Armenia. … We may be assured then that the ship of Isis was a sacred emblem; in honour of which there was among the Egyptians an annual festival. It was in aftertimes admitted among the Romans, and set down in their Calendar for the month of March. The former in their descriptions of the primary deities have continually some reference to a ship or float. … They oftentimes, says Porphyry, describe the sun in the character of a man sailing on a float. And Plutarch observes to the same purpose, that they did not represent the sun and the moon in chariots; … but wafted about upon floating machines. In doing which they did not refer to the luminaries; but to a personage represented under those titles. The Sun, or Orus, is likewise described by Iamblichus as sitting upon the lotus, and sailing in a vessel. … The same memorial is to be observed in other countries, where an ark, or ship, was introduced in their mysteries, and often carried about upon their festivals. Pausanias gives a remarkable account of a temple of Hercules at Eruthra in Ionia; which he mentions as of the highest of antiquity, and very like those in Egypt. The Deity was represented upon a float; and was supposed to have come thither in this manner from Phenicia. … Aristides mentions, that at Smyrna, upon the feast called Dionusia, a ship used to be carried in procession. The same custom prevailed among the Athenians at the Panathenæa; when what was termed the sacred ship was borne with great reverence through the city to the temple of Damater of Elusis. … I think it is pretty plain, that all these emblematical representations, of which I have given so many instances, related to the history of the Deluge, and the conservation of one family in the ark. I have before taken notice, that this history was pretty recent when these works were executed in Egypt, and when these rites were first established: and there is reason to think, that in early times most shrines among the Mizraim were formed under the resemblance of a ship, in memory of this great event. … in the ancient mythology of Egypt, there were precisely eight Gods: of these the Sun was the chief, and was said first to have reigned. … And as in the histories of their kings, the Egyptians were able to trace the line of their descent upwards to these ancient personages; the names of the latter were by these means prefixed to those lists: and they were in aftertimes thought to have reigned in that country. This was the celebrated Ogdoas of Egypt, which their posterity held in such veneration, that they exalted them to the heavens, and made their history the chief subject of the sphere. This will appear very manifest in their symbolical representation of the solar system. … Thus we find that they esteemed the ark an emblem of the system of the heavens. … The vessel in the celestial sphere, which the Grecians call the Argo, is a representation of the ship of Osiris, which out of reverence has been placed in the heavens. The original therefore must be looked for in Egypt. The very name of the Argo shews, what it alluded to; for Argus, as it should truly be expressed, signified precisely an ark, and was synonymous to Theba. … The principal terms, by which the ancients distinguished the Ark, were Theba, Baris, Arguz, Argus, Aren, Arene, Arne, Laris, Boutus, Bœotus, Cibotus.”[38]

 Following Bryant’s pioneering euhemeristic analysis of mythology, in Figure 16 we may recall that the cow Mehet-Weret, representing the ‘Great Flood’ is ridden out by the solar barque of Ra (or Sokar). Depictions of the Egyptian solar funerary barque vary in detail yet contain fascinating information. Marinatos also makes the connection between Egyptian barques and the solar deity in a different context altogether. “Consider one example on an Egyptian Nineteenth Dynasty sarcophagus [of Seti I – ed.] that shows the journey of the elongated polelike sun bark. It ends in two ox heads and is pulled by deities. … Here, the ox heads define the east and west axis of the pole. Thus, in Egyptian imagery the ox heads envelop the sun’s course between east and west.”[39] In Figures 17-20 are shown some different renditions of this solar barque in association with what might be the cosmic twin-peaked mountain:

Figures 17: The Solar Barque of the Ogdoad – from the papyrus of Anhai (or Ani)

Figure 18: The Funerary Barque of Sokar – from the temple complex of Dendera, Egypt
Note the falcon atop the palm standard.

Figure 19: Sokar Barque in the Bull Hall of the Temple of Ramesses II at Abydos
Note the Eight are here depicted in the form of birds – two larger, six smaller.

Figure 20: The Sokar/Seker/Sokaris or Henu Barque of the Underworld – or divine boat of Nu from the Papyrus of Anhai (Ani). Note (right) the falcon or sparrow-hawk atop the hieroglyph for ‘west’ 
positioned between the peaks of the cosmic mountain

We may note from these reliefs and glyphs a number of significant observations. First, the solar barque shown in Figure 17 (from the papyrus of Ani) has Eight people standing within the barque and one of them (the sun-god Heh or Kheper-Ra) is represented as a scarab beetle lifting up the Sun. Another large ‘god-figure’ (Shu or Nun) stands in a pose with their two arms either end of the barque supporting it. This pose may be considered morphologically cognate to the twin peaks of the cosmic mountain arising from the waters.

Second, note in Figure 18 from the Temple of Dendera that a falcon is standing atop the binary symbol of a solar palm standard (which also doubles as a fish stood on its mouth). Compare this with Figure 20 from the papyrus of Ani, where the falcon (Sokar/Seker) is portrayed in the solar barque in a recumbent position covered in white mummy bindings – possibly a recollection of the plaited palm fibre which the Epic of Atram-Hasis mentioned was used in the ark’s construction? What is the significance of the bird imagery? This seems to elucidate Ion’s comment on the Ogdoad story that: “…the egg, laid on the primeval mound, contained the bird of light, Ra, who was to be creator of the world.” It also sheds light on why the sun disc is often associated with a winged bird, a tradition carried into Greece via the Sun Bird or Phoenix.

Also notice that from the back of the barque in Figure 20 arise what appear to be lines of rope holding what could be interpreted to be approximately 20 drogue stones. This is significant, as we shall discover in our final section on potential Ark field data. Finally, observe that the entire cult teaching of ancient Egypt was centred around these ritual barques – meaning that the Ark and its allomorphs probably have significance for the geometry of the Giza plateau itself.

Egyptologist Robert Temple has clearly identified two geometric squares on the Giza plateau, which he terms the ‘Shadow Square’ and the ‘Perfect Square’.  The Shadow Square was used to make the Perfect Square. Both are associated with the sun, solar deities - and with the enigmatic hiding of cultic dogma.

Figure 21: The ‘Eye of Ra’ (or Arkmakurru’ shape) geometrical hieroglyph superimposed on Giza plateau satellite image (courtesy of Temple, 2011, pg. 34. Also see footnote [2] below)

He observes that: “The first thing one can do with the Perfect Square of Giza is to construct a giant Eye of Ra gazing upwards at the sky. It is a purely geometrical design, which is not physically represented on the ground. However, it is not just an arbitrary Eye of Ra, but is one which is constructed of two arcs and a circle, each of which intersects key points of the Giza monuments…This inscribed hieroglyph intersects (1) the apex of the Great Pyramid, (2) the southeast corner of the Great Pyramid, (3) the midpoint of the waist of the Sphinx, (4) the midpoint of the base of the western face of the Pyramid of Chephren. If you take a compass point and put it on the centre of the Perfect Square, point O, and draw a circle of radius OP, it intersects both point P (the midpoint of the base of the southern face of the Great Pyramid) and the midpoint of the base of the northern face of the Pyramid of Chephren. The ‘Eye of Ra’ thus intersects six key points of the monuments within the Perfect Square of Giza.”[40]

What immediately strikes one about the ‘Eye of Ra’ secretly inscribed upon the Giza plateau underneath layers of geometry is that the centre of the eye is precisely located in between the two larger pyramids – in the same manner as other cosmic allomorphs of the Ark have been too in our study of the koine. This location matches precisely a real life location which David Deal[41] has proposed for the initial landing site of the Ark near Mount Yigiturtagi in South-Eastern Turkey, based upon a mud imprint which looks like the Durupinar boat-shaped object yet is narrower. This imprint, seen via aerial photograph, is not central to the twin-peak, but slightly off-set towards the peak on the left.


Here, therefore, at Giza - we appear to have a codified cult rendition of the cosmic ‘landscape of the gods’ found in the koine – complete with the twin-peaked mountain (the Great Pyramid of Cheops and the Pyramid of Chephren), the Underworld or ‘mud sunken ark’ (represented by the shaft of Osiris which is slanted at the golden angle of 26° 33̍ 54̎ - the angle David Fasold also found to be a central design feature of his boat-shaped object) and subsequently the passage of the Ark through the Underworld (represented by the Causeway of Chephren leading towards the Sphinx).

What we have represented by the Giza monuments is clearly a ‘gate of the gods’ or in Akkadian itself ‘Bāb-ilu’, literally: gate of god. This is true because the two larger pyramids strongly seem to represent the cosmic twin-peaked mountain of Mashu or Nisir and the Summer Solstice repeats annually the descent of the sun disc from the waters of the Great Flood into the Underworld. Such a hypothesis would also suggest that the original city of Babel in Genesis 11 has been misidentified as that famous city of Sumerian Mesopotamia. Remarkably, Coptic Cairo (next to the Giza plateau) was in Persian times (6th century B.C.) known as Babylon[42]. Further, the text of Genesis 11:3-4 reads:

“And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [is] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

It is tempting to postulate that the city and tower with its “top unto heaven” mentioned in Genesis 11:4 could well refer to the Eye of Ra or Ark hieroglyph geometrically inscribed upon the plateau. The Hebrew word for ‘tower’ is migdal (MG-DL) – figuratively defined in Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon as a ‘pyramidal bed of flowers’.[43] If this supposition is correct, we might expect the Holy Bible to suggest this location – and it does appear to. Genesis 11: 2 states:

“And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar…”.

This verse has been the subject of much debate because the most obvious reading of the Hebrew word miqqedem, ‘from the east’, is highly precise. Theologian John Gill comments that: “…it seems a little difficult how to interpret this phrase, "from the east", since if they came from Ararat in Armenia, where the ark rested, as that lay north of Shinar or Babylon, they might rather be said to come from the north than from the east, and rather came to it than from it: so some think the phrase should be rendered, "to the east" (b), or eastward, as in Genesis 13:11. Jarchi thinks this refers to Genesis 10:30 "and their dwelling was", &c. at "the mountain of the east"…”[44]. Yet as Humphreys notes: “The noun qedem, in a geographic sense, means ‘east’, or sometimes ‘front’ (the front of the tabernacle was its east side). According to lexicons, the Hebrew prefix mi (short for min) most often means ‘from’ (including when used as a prefix to another Hebrew word). Hence we have ‘from [the] east’. Occasionally the phrase may mean ‘to the east’, as is faintly possible in Genesis 13:11. But I think use of a different preposition, l e, meaning ‘to’, would have been more likely had that been the case. Very often, however, ‘eastward’ is a different word, qēdemah, as in Genesis 13:14, 25:6, Leviticus 1:16, Numbers 3:38, etc. So our first hypothesis should be to take the phrase in Genesis 11:2 as meaning the Flood survivors traveled from some point in the east, i.e. they travelled westward.[45]

This clear and straightforward interpretation creates a riddle, however, because assuming the mountains of Ararat have been identified correctly, to reach Babylon of Mesopotamian ‘Shinar’ they would need to have travelled directly south for approximately 447 miles. So unless the growing family travelled south and then entered the Sumerian plain from the eastern Zagros Mountains this verse really cannot be understood straightforwardly. Yet if it refers to crossing the Sinai Peninsula and arriving at the Giza plateau it can be understood far more naturally.
   Is there further evidence for this interpretation? Indeed, for John Gill continues: “…they found a plain in the land of Shinar; which the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases the land of Babylon; and Hestiaeus (c), a Phoenician historian, calls it Sennaar of Babylon; there are plain traces of this name in the Singara of Ptolemy (d) and Pliny (e), the Hebrew letter being sometimes pronounced as "G", as in Gaza…”[46]. It is really not a far stretch from this to our modern name of ‘Giza’! “Sin-gara” may even have reference to the moon god ‘Sin’, who also occurs as the high deity in Finkel’s Ark Tablet[47].

Indeed, a mud-brick lost city area (known locally as Gebel Qibli) associated with the Giza plateau, where those who actually constructed the pyramid monuments lived and ate, had a population of approximately 20,000. These 20,000 appear to have built the complex entirely voluntarily[48]. This would fit naturally with the population increase after the Flood from the Eight aboard the Ark as they freely conspired to unify themselves under one banner. There even seems good archaeological evidence that the settlement was abandoned in a rapid salvage operation:

“Beneath the sandy layer lies a compact surface of gray soil, which resulted from a rapid, seemingly intentional, toppling of mud brick settlement walls. Inhabitants abandoned the settlement and stripped nearly everything of value: wooden columns, stone doorsteps, even many mud bricks.” [49]

This is just as Genesis 11:8 notes: “So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.”

Observe, moreover, that the Sphinx guardian (possibly representing Sothis) is facing Eastwards toward the sunrise and for interest compare Figure 21 – a photograph of the sphinx – with what Smith describes of Figure 23: “An Egyptian picture of Hathor between the mountains of the horizon (on which trees are growing) (after Budge, "Gods of the Egyptians," Vol. II, p. 101). [This is a part only of a scene in which the goddess Nut is giving birth to the sun, whose rays illuminate Hathor on the horizon, as Sothis, the "Opener of the Way" for the sun.]”[50] The correspondence is of considerable consequence – especially when one understands that Hathor was often depicted with the sun disc between her bovine horns (morphologically similar to the Minoan double axe of Crete).

Figure 21: The Sphinx between the twin peaks (from The image of the East : nineteenth-century Near Eastern photographs by Bonfils, Carney E.S. Gavin; edited by Ingeborg Endter O'Reilly, 
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1982)

Figure 22: The Summer Solstice sunset behind the Sphinx (© Juan Antonio Belmonte) taken from ‘Area A’ – the lost workers’ city of Gebel Qibli. Note the Sphinx is slightly off-set from central - towards the pyramid on the left.

Figure 23: The cow goddess Hathor between the twin peaks and framed by a gate to the underworld 
(from Smith, 2007, Figure 26, pg. 189)

Viewing Giza as an artificial ‘mountain-gate’, as the ANE koine dictates, also has consequence for our interpretation of Egyptian mythology. According to Ions: “From the time when Ra returned to the heavens, an immutable order was established for him. The world was bounded by mountains which supported the sky and at whose foot was Naunet, the consort of Nun in Hermopolitan doctrine. The sun was therefore reborn daily either from the watery abyss or alternatively as son of the sky-goddess. He emerged in the east from behind Manu, the mountain of sunrise, and passing between two sycamores, began his journey across the sky in what was called the Manjet-boat, or ‘Barque of Millions of Years’.”[51]

It seems that early post-flood peoples of Babel wanted to make a name for themselves as ‘children of the ark’. They wanted to represent the journey of the ‘life-saver’ Ark and the depth of the global flood, which they did via comparison with the ‘life-giving’ Sun disc, sailing across the deep blue sky, beginning from the natural twin-peaked mountain in the east and descending to the underworld via the artificial twin-peaked mountain in the west (i.e. the Giza monuments).

Consider moreover that at the foot of the Sphinx, behind which the Summer Solstice sun sets, we have two temples – called the Sphinx and Valley Temples today. In ancient times these probably belonged to Osiris (the god of ‘resurrection’) and Isis - and were located near water (as evidenced by erosion). Inside these temples were sacred artificial lakes and cultic boat relics. As Robert Temple notes, a golden solar boat procession would proceed all around the Giza area during the Festival of Sokar, which we may understand as a pagan remembrance of the Great Flood[52]. Many boat pits have in fact since been discovered beneath the Giza plateau, indicating that Robert Temple cannot be far wrong in his reasoning.[53]


From our study of Noah’s Ark in ancient history, we have discovered much new information regarding what the ancients believed about the location of the Ark, its construction - and possibly how it actually looked to them. There are, to date, four main contenders for where the Ark landed.

  1. Mount Ararat itself
  2. Durupinar
  3. North-West Iran, (Sahand or Sabalan)
  4. Cudi Dagh (Eastern or Central)
Mount Ararat is an enormous volcanic mountain that contains many perils – therefore it is unlikely to be the landing place. Sites three and four are unlikely due to other reasons we shall not go into here. This study of the ANE koine, however, strongly suggests that the northern slope of the twin-peaked Mount Yigiturtagi (background of Figure 24), near the Durupinar Egyptian boat-shaped object analysed by David Fasold, is the most probable location for the rebirth of humankind.

Figure 24: In the distance - distinctive mount Yigiturtagi (possibly called Baris or Nisir) – the cosmic twin-peaked mountain with apparent Egyptian basket-boat object in the foreground mud-flow (from Nissen, 2004)

Figure 25: Life Magazine first published the Airborne Photograph of the biconvex makurru boat-shape in 1960 (Image courtesy of Nissen, 2004, pg. 194)

Figure 26: The Ark as reconstructed by Fasold had many ‘Egyptian’ features including a 1 acre or 'iku' deck area - see Footnote [3] below, and the natural golden angle in its curved bow and stern (Image courtesy of Fasold, 1988). This boat-shaped object now deserves the benefit of the doubt since despite some believing it a doubly plunging syncline formation this does not explain the geometry of the object described here by S.R. Windsor: [WWW] http://www.creationism.org/patten/WindsorNoahsArkGeometry.html (Accessed on 08/02/14)

Important in corroborating this particular twin-peaked mountain even further is the Babylonian map of the World known as mappa mundi. Surrounding the outer portion of this map were originally eight mountain icons in the shape of triangles. These are known as nagûs. Professor Irving Finkel notes that the cuneiform on mountain or Nagû V (which points towards the Urartu area of the Mount Yigiturtagi region) reads:

“[To the fift]h, to which you must travel seven Leagues, […]. [The Great Wall,] its height is 840 cubits; […].[54]

This map is reconstructed by Finkel on page 296, where the cuneiform is translated:

“Great Wall, 6 leagues in between, where the sun is not seen”

Interestingly, this name corresponds directly to the description “wall of heaven” in the Epic of Gilgamesh, where this same ‘wall’ is identified with Mount Mashu’s twin peaks which guard the rising and setting of the sun.

Additionally, eleven apparent drogue stones (used to create drag in the water) found nearby to the boat-shaped formation correspond with images of the solar barque made in ancient Egypt. Although there is some dispute about whether these stones are ancient drogue stones, their apparent correspondence with the Egyptian bark of Sokar is suggestive.

The Ark of Noah, then, appears to have come to rest between Yigiturtagi’s twin peaks (the geographically western peak being known as Ziyaret Dag or Pilgrim’s Mount and the eastern peak being known as Al Cudi – similar to Noah’s landing place ‘Al Judi’ in the Koran) and been sheltered by the curved escarpment in between as the waters gradually descended (this curved escarpment is a unique feature of the mount only truly appreciated when viewed from the northern mud-flow). Only this explanation can fully account for all the relevant twin-peak cosmic mountain iconography across the whole ANE, Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.

At some point soon after landfall, the Ark appears to have been enveloped in the large mud flow (visible in Figure 24) which buried the reed, palm and wood structure underground so as to transform the Lily/Lotus/Eye/Double Axe/Rosette or Cosmic Egg into the Underworld ‘Place of Descent’ of ANE mythology. The Egyptians, at Giza, probably captured the passage of the Ark through the mudflow geometrically by building the Chephren Causeway between the pyramids to represent where the Ark first landed and where it later flowed to under gravity. Recall that the Causeway ends in the Temple of Osiris (the god of resurrection) which was built in front of the sphinx.
   At this point, the Egyptian model of the Mount Yigiturtagi area corresponds in striking fashion, since right next to where the boat-shaped object became more pronounced in AD 1948 is an area known by the name of ‘Mashur’[55] meaning ‘Resurrection’. Additionally, 13 miles away from Mount Ararat is the area known as Doğubayazit, which during the Middle Ages was known as ‘Terra Thamanin’, or the ‘Region (or Valley) of the Eighty’[56]. Is it sheer coincidence that this number precisely corresponds with the eighty Egyptian priests of Amon, who Jacob Bryant has previously informed us used to carry a sacred boat object in procession? It seems in all likelihood that this figure precisely corresponds in Egyptian history and the etymology of ancient Doğubayazit because the eighty priests were once associated with that specific locality in South-Eastern Turkey.


   This thesis, based upon the ANE koine inferred through the complex comparison of ancient icons from diverse locations, accounts for the bizarre nature of the Egyptian cult system, which was concerned with the symmetry of the heavens being replicated as in a mirror on the ground – and the passage of the pharaoh’s soul after death. The cosmic mountain (pyramids) at Babel acted as a ‘gate’ and ‘guardian’ for the Sun (Ark), and when the Sun sank from the ‘Great Flood’ (cow) it passed into the Underworld (mudflow) before being ‘reborn’ when Ra opened his Eye again (earthquake or such like). Peer reviewed archaeological and scientific evidence for the Durupinar site has so far been less than adequate to make a firm objective decision either way about the boat-shaped object. Archaeologically the site has yielded little firm evidence which can be independently confirmed. Nevertheless, judging by the koine of ancient iconography we may safely say the Ark of Noah has already been found – and verification of the boat shaped object through excavation is now essential to settle the matter conclusively.

Footnotes 1-3:

[1] Key to Smith’s images in Figure 3: “(a) Winged Disk from the Temple of Thothmes I.
(b) Persian design of Winged Disk above the Tree of Life (Ward, … Fig. 1109).
(c) Assyrian or Syro-Hittite design of the Winged Disk and Tree of Life in an extremely conventionalized form (Ward, Fig. 1310). i.e. W. Hayes Ward ‘The Seal Cylinders of Western Asia’. 1910
(d) Assyrian conventionalized Winged Disk and Tree of Life, from the design upon the dress of Assurnazipal (Ward, Fig. 670).
(e) Part of the design from a tablet of the time of Dungi (Ward, Fig. 663). The Tree of Life (or the Great Mother) between the two mountains: alongside the tree is the heraldic eagle.
(f) Design on a Cretan sarcophagus from Hagia Triada (Blinckenberg, Fig. 9). The Tree of Life has now become the handle of the Double Axe, into which the Winged Disk has been transformed. But the bird which was the prototype of the Winged Disk has been added.
(g) Double axe from a gold signet from Acropolis Treasure, Mycenæ (after Sir Arthur Evans, "Mycenæan Tree and Pillar Cult," p. 10).
(h) Assyrian Winged Disk (Ward, Fig. 608) showing reduplication of the wing-pattern, possibly suggesting the doubling of each axe-blade in g.
(i) "Primitive Chaldean Winged Gate" (Ward, Fig. 349). The Gate as the Goddess of the Portal.
(k) Persian Winged Disk (Ward, Fig. 1144) above a fire-altar in the form suggestive of the mountains of dawn…
(l) An Assyrian Tree of Life and Winged Disk crudely conventionalized (Ward, Fig. 691).
(m) Assyrian Tree of Life and "Winged Disk" in which the god is riding in a crescent replacing the Disk (Ward, Fig. 695)”
[2] Also see: [WWW] http://www.egyptiandawn.info/chapter1.html (Accessed on 10/2/14).
[3] Fasold, ibid, 1988, pg. 130 and Finkel, I. ibid, 2014, pg. 359.

References and Endnotes:

[1] Marinatos, N. Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess: A Near Eastern Koine. USA: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
[2] Cooper, B. The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis, Creation Science Movement,  p.162, 2011.
[3] Humphreys, R. Where is Noah’s Ark? – a closer look at the biblical clues, J. Creation 25(3):6-8, 2011.
[4] Habermehl, A. A Review of the Search for Noah’s Ark, in Snelling, A. (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference of Creationism (Pittsburg, PA; Dallas, TX: Creation Science Fellowship; Institute for Creation Research, 2008), p.485-502. Also see: [WWW] http://www.creationsixdays.net/ICC6-41.pdf (Accessed on 15/02/14).
[5] Crouse, B. and Franz, G. Mount Cudi – True Mountain of Noah’s Ark. Bible and Spade 19.4, pp. 99-111, 2006.
[6] Cory, P. and Hodges, E.R. Cory’s Ancient Fragments of the Phoenician, Carthaginian, Babylonian, Egyptian and Other Writers, p 54. 2003.
[7] Ibid. pp. 62-63
[8] Crouse, B. and Franz, G. ibid, 2006, p. 105
[9] Josephus, F. Antiquities' Book 1, chapter 3.
[10] Budge, E.A.W. An Egyptian hieroglyphic dictionary: with an index of English words, Dover Publications, 1978.
[11] Eggeling, J. in Müller, F.M. The Sacred Books of the East, Volume XII, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1882, p. 218.
[12] Griffith, R. T. H. The Hymns of the Atharva Veda, Volume 1, Book 19, Hymn 39, (1916), Kessinger Publishing Reprint, 2010.
[13] [WWW] http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/jan/01/noahs-ark-was-circular (Accessed 09/01/14)
[14] Cooper, B. The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis, pp. 390-396, 2011.
[15] Cooper, Ibid, p. 396, 2011.
[16] Fasold, D. The Ark of Noah, New York: Knightsbridge Publishing Company, p. 284, 1988.
[17] Finkel, I. . The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood, Hodder and Stoughton, London, p. 280, 2014.
[18] Heidel, A. The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1949, p. 227. [Also via: [WWW] http://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/misc_gilgamesh.pdf] (Accessed on 03/02/2014).
[19] Nissen, H. Noah’s Ark Uncovered, Copenhagen: Scandinavia Publishing House, p. 108, 2004.
[20] Nissen, H. ibid. p. 252, footnote 5, 2004.
[21] Marinatos, N. ibid, p. 112, 2010.
[22] Smith, G. E. The Evolution of the Dragon. 2007.
[23] Marinatos, ibid, 2010, pp. 115-116.
[24] Marinatos, ibid, 2010, pp. 60-62.
[25] Marinatos, N. ibid, pp. 110-111.
[26] Newberry, Two Cults of the Old Kingdom," Annals of Archæology and Anthropology, Liverpool, Vol. I, 1908, p. 28.
[27] Marinatos, ibid, p. 122, 2010.
[28] Marinatos, ibid, p. 194, 2010.
[29] Cooper, B. ibid, p.214, 2011.
[30] Armour, R.A. Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt, Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, pp. 153-154, 1986.
[31] Ions, V. Egyptian Mythology: The Library of the World’s Myths and Legends, Chancellor Press, pp. 29-30, 1997.
[32] Yoo, Sung Hwan. Patterns of Ancient Egyptian Child Deities. Ph.D. Thesis, p. 126, 2012.
[33] Mastaff, R. Egypt: The Book of the Heavenly Celestial Cow. [WWW] http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/celestrialcow.htm (Accessed on 10/2/14).
[34] Hornung, E. (translated by Lorton, D.) The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife, Cornell University Press, 1999.
[35] Erman, A. & Grapow, H. Wörterbuch der Sprache Aegyptischen. , Im Auftrag der Deutschen Akademie (Egyptian and German), Berlin: Akademie Verlag , Volume II, p.122, 1971.
[36] Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 174, 2003.
[37] Finkel, I. ibid, 2014. p. 121.
[38] Bryant, J. A New System; Or, An Analysis of Ancient Mythology: Wherein an Attempt Is Made to Divest Tradition of Fable; And to Reduce the Truth, Vol. III, London: J. Walker et al., pp. 30-73, 1807. Also see: [WWW] http://www.annomundi.com/history/bryant.pdf (Accessed on 8/02/14).
[39] Marinatos, ibid, 2010, pp. 116-117.
[40] Temple, R. Egyptian Dawn: Exposing the Real Truth Behind Ancient Egypt, pps. 33-34, 2011.
[41] Deal, D. in Nissen, H. Noah’s Ark Uncovered, Scandinavia Publishing House, Copenhagen, p. 285, 2004.
[42] Beattie, A. Cairo: A Cultural History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 2-3, 64, 66, 95.
[43] Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, The Online Bible, Larry Pierce, 2013. [WWW] http://onlinebible.net/dictionaries (Accessed on 03/02/14).
[44] Gill, J. An Exposition of the Old Testament, Volume 1, Genesis, Chapter 11, 1748.
[45] Humphreys, R. ibid, 2011, p. 7.
[46] Gill, J. ibid, 1748.
[47] Finkel, I. ibid, 2014, p. 364-365.
[48] Egyptian Pyramids – Lost City of the Pyramid Builders – AERA found at:
[WWW] http://www.aeraweb.org/projects/lost-city (Accessed on 03/02/14).
[49] Lehner, M. The Pyramid Age Settlement of the Southern Mount at Giza, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 39, pp.27-74, 2002.
[50] Smith, ibid, 2007, p. 189.
[51] Ions, V. ibid, 1997, p. 40.
[52] Temple, R. ibid, 2011, p. 321.
[53] Ancient Egyptian Solar Ships. [WWW] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_solar_ships (Accessed on 03/02/14).
[54] Finkel, I. ibid. 2014, p. 272.
[55] Nissen, ibid, 2004, p. 252.
[56] Fasold, D. ibid, 1988, p. 229.