Righting America

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Noah, Cranes, and the Death of History | Righting America

by William Trollinger

On March 8, 2016, Ken Ham published a to the AiG blog entitled “How Did Noah Build the Ark?” The exasperated Ham started his entry by noting that

“Sometimes I just shake my head when I read some of the comments people make concerning the life-size Ark that Answers in Genesis is constructing in Northern Kentucky, to open July 7 this year.”

Ham was especially frustrated by criticisms that the Ark project was making use of concrete, cranes, metal, and sophisticated tools, when none of this would have actually been available to Noah.

In response, Ham observed that the Bible does not specify “what materials Noah did or didn’t have” — there is no verse stipulating that Noah did not use concrete — and “does not tell us whether Noah did or did not use cranes.” In fact, “Noah may have used more metal than we do,” “Noah may have had tools and other impressive technology that we would be jealous of,” and “Noah may have had ingeniously designed cranes that would make us stand in awe today!”


The key term in each of the statements above, of course, is “may.” Noah may have had tools, he may have designed, he may have had access to technologies superior to our contemporary ones. Ham points out that the question of Noah’s tools is itself a question based on insufficient evidence. But so is his answer. Instead of acknowledging that in the 21st-century AiG is building a replica of a boat described in the Bible, and thus is using technology unavailable in ancient history, Ham’s go-to answer is to say that Noah may have had technology that matches or surpasses what we have today.

Following this line of thinking, why stop with cranes, concrete, and sophisticated metals? Why not suggest that Noah and his crew quite possibly used semitrailers, computers, or robots? Why not float (sorry) the possibility that Noah designed and installed a security system with sirens that would go off if some poor drowning soul tried to make their way onto the Ark?

Why not, indeed? There is absolutely nothing in Ham’s logic that would preclude him from making such claims. Following this argument, there really is very little sense that our ideas, our science, our technology, or even our consciousness build upon the past.

Weeks later, AiG published a follow-up post entitled, “Ancient Non-Stick Frying Pans,” in which Ham again addresses critics of the technologies used to build the Ark replica. He reminds readers that such notions reflect “an evolutionary view of mankind.” Such a view, Ham would remind us, is the most fallacious of all. Given that pre-Flood human beings were as “intelligent, resourceful, creative, and innovative” as we are today, and that they “were also living over 900 years– imagine what geniuses like Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, or Thomas Edison could’ve accomplished if they’d lived that long!,” there is every reason to believe that “they may have had technology we would envy today.”

As we discovered again and again while working on Righting America, science is not the only casualty at the Creation Museum, Ark Encounter, and AiG. History itself is also a victim.