Every day is April Fool’s Day for fools

I guess Ken Ham is feeling the sting of all those comments about the absurdity of his efforts to build a “life size” ark — he’s got cranes and steel reinforcements and concrete and a swarm of construction crews laboring to assemble his boondoggle, yet somehow, this giant imaginary boat was supposed to have been built by one guy and his sons 4000 years ago, out of wood. How to reconcile the contemporary tech of his construct with the basic woodworking skills of a Mesopotamian carpenter? Easy! Imagine they had super-scientific engineering technology that has been lost to us! You want proof? He’s not joking: archaeologists found non-stick frying pans in Roman sites, therefore, Noah might have had diesel trucks.

The truth is that we don’t know what kind of technologies Noah had—details are not given in the Bible. But we do know that all people are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), and man was intelligent, resourceful, creative, and innovative from the beginning. We also know people were already working with metals such as bronze and iron and were playing musical instruments (Genesis 4:21–22) long before Noah was born. People 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! By the time of Noah, they may have had technology we would envy today.

And we find evidence that this might be the case. In the generations after the Flood, Noah’s descendants built pyramids in Egypt and ziggurats in South America that engineers have been trying to explain for years. Since much of their technology disappeared with these civilizations, we still don’t know how they accomplished these architectural feats. But we’re continually getting glimpses of the genius of ancient man.

A recent discovery made in Italy sheds more light on the intelligence of our ancestors. If you cook, you probably know the frustration of everything sticking to your frying pan. Well, people 2,000 years ago did too! So they invented non-stick frying pans. Found in a garbage dump near Naples, the high-quality pottery pans featured a “red-slip coating” to keep food from sticking.

That is, they had pans made with really fine-grained clay, to give a particularly smooth surface. Yeah, I’m convinced. Maybe Noah did have CAD and giant cranes, because Roman pottery.


And for all that, his damned boat still won’t float.


  1. illdoittomorrow says

    Dear Hammy,

    If Noah had all that sweet tech, why didn’t just build a modern steel ship? Or a fleet of them, for that matter?

  2. wzrd1 says

    The laugh now is, during the past century and spare change, we’ve gone from ceramic coated cookware to enamel coated cookware to teflon and silverstone coated cookware, learned that those broke down into harmful chemicals with excessive heat, moved back to ceramic coated cookware.
    The only real difference between that roman cookware, our prior generation ceramic cookware and now, we know precisely what can and can’t react when we make those coatings.
    I’ll stick with the modern, knowing what we’re doing version, lest I get uranium glaze again. ;)

    As for his boat, he’d have saved a lot of money by buying an old aircraft carrier, strip out the engines and flight equipment and put a wood veneer over it. It’d be equally valid.
    Of course, he’d go on about how the Romans invented concrete and be right, forgetting that his alleged flood time was long before that concrete making culture existed and hence, before concrete existed.
    Maybe it was that great concrete kiln in the sky or something.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    If the pans were such high-quality, why were they in the dump?
    and I bet the ancients knew about grease.

  4. says

    If you cook, you probably know the frustration of everything sticking to your frying pan.

    No. If you know how to cook, you know how to avoid problems like that. Well seasoned cast iron is a marvel.

  5. ajbjasus says

    When I came across AIG a few years ago I thought it was a joke. I still cannot beleive anyone believes this .

    Ark construction aside, did Noah have seeds for all the plants that were destroyed in the Flood on the Ark, and then food for all the animals till the land recovered and crops started growing again ?

  6. Larry says

    What I wanna know is where Noah sourced all his drywall.

    The parking lots of very early Home Depots.

  7. johnson catman says


    People were also living over 900 years

    Citations required, and the bible does not count.

  8. opus says

    All this is just minor detail work. Nobody ever answered my question:

    Who got to carry the syphilis germs??

  9. busterggi says

    Noah didn’t need advance tech – he had Yahweh’s magic or so I’ve been told.

  10. devnll says

    It’s a bit hard to tell from that photo, but that ark appears to be wrapped in tyvek house-wrap, to make it waterproof?

    Mesopotamians totally had Tyvek.

  11. says

    Yup busterggi you are on to something…
    And Noah said “Let there be boat.”
    And there was boat
    And Noah saw the boat, that it was good:
    And Noah divided the boat from the ….um…not-boat.

  12. komarov says

    Re: illdoittomorrow, #1 (I can relate…):

    If Noah had all that sweet tech, why didn’t just build a modern steel ship? Or a fleet of them, for that matter?

    He did! Unfortunately the fleet was sunk by Satan’s submarines. The ark was a rush-project Noah came up with while the naval battle still raged. He figured with all the burning and sinking ships around, noone would notice a wooden one drifting around. As our being here proves, he was right! Sadly, the servers he used to back up all the scientific and technical know-how got wet during the cruise, so we had to start over in the bronze age or thereabouts. Hard to blame him, he was under a lot of pressure when designing the ark’s server room.

    All this, by the way, can be sourced from a single verse in Genesis. I’ll let Ken Ham tell you which one it was.

  13. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says


    That could resolve the problem of how he fit all of those animals onto one boat: he didn’t. Rather, he had most of them packed onto the various boats and they all found different ways to survive. Some sank into the sea and became the fishy that swimmeth in the water. Some swam to shore and became the amphibian that layeth in the water. Some shipwrecked on an island and became the marsupial that provoketh oohs and aahs. Some sprouted wings and became the bird that shitteth on our lapel. And some were smashed up into individual cells and became the germ that fucketh up our vacation.

  14. thebookofdave says

    @ajbjasus #6

    Ark construction aside, did Noah have seeds for all the plants that were destroyed in the Flood on the Ark, and then food for all the animals till the land recovered and crops started growing again ?

    Seeds, yes. Food, no. What part of “ingenious ancient technology” isn’t sinking in? Equipped with the kind of advanced cryogenic hibernation banks that we could only dream of in SF stories, Noah’s ark only required enough storage capacity for embryos. Noah and his sons had the convenience of waiting for vegetation to return before thawing out the animals, but gestation still had to be completed the old fashioned way. That’s where their wives come in.

  15. Menyambal says

    Those “non-stick” pans weren’t all that non-stick. The original article says they were for cooking stews, it doesn’t say they were for frying omelets. And they were still made of clay.

    But fine, let’s assume that Noah had a CNC boatyard from the future, all laser-aligned and modular assemblies. Why, then, did God tell Noah to build the boat out of gopherwood and cover it with pitch?

    That’s basic BC boat-building, there, it is. Except for the fun fact that nobody knows exactly what “gopher wood” is. Every biblical scholar up to now has argued for translations appropriate to the times. Squared timbers, woven reeds, cypress lumber, everything but marine plywood.

    So ol’ Ken might have a small possibility of a case, except for the pitch part, which is pretty straight forward. So Ham would have to be arguing for bad translations and wild misinterpretations of his holy book.

    The stone fact is that the Ark, Noah, and the Flood are just not important in the Bible. There are only a few mentions of it further on, and nothing says you have to believe in it. Except Ken Ham and his friends.

    When you read the account of the Flood, it doesn’t work as a a story. How many of each animal did Noah take?

    It also doesn’t fit in with the rest of the Bible. God drowns everybody because he hates them that he made, but a few thousand years later, he sends his son to save people. And in the Flood, everything has to get in a boat, when God is clearly capable of parting the waters for Charlton Heston.

    And in the modern world, the story explains nothing, and contradicts everything. As we see, even a fervent believer can’t even build the boat.

    We also see that Ken Ham and his friends will do anything to hold on to their beliefs. And to keep from having to listen to Jesus.

  16. Sastra says

    Ham has apparently forgotten the cardinal rule of faith: all explanations must be extremely vague. Don’t get into any details at all, let alone technical details. Hell, don’t even speculate. Reality will always trip you up and you will look stupid.

    If you’re going to say things like “The truth is that we don’t know what kind of technologies Noah had—details are not given in the Bible” then the next sentence cannot, cannot start with the word “But.” Instead, you need to say something humble and childlike about how we just need to trust that it all happened the way God said it did and you really don’t care how it happened. Nobody can attack the credibility of your not caring. It’s too obvious.

  17. blf says

    Weird there is no trace of this advanced technologymagic. Did it also all drown(? dissolve?)?

    I got it! It’s the gopher wood — A self-assembling nanoaerogel, probably quantum with lots of vibrations, which completely degrades in an environmentally friendly way when no longer needed, conveniently consuming a bazillion megalitres of boiling water. All Mr Noah had to do was open the package, and it WOOWOOSHED! and, hey, presto, a superdoopersized B-ark with a highly-sophisticated waste recycling system to rapidly consume vast tonnes of shite and turn it into vast tonnes of feed.

  18. DonDueed says

    It’s a mistranslation. It should be “go-fer wood”. The ark was built by interns, who (as we all know) can get anything done.

    @blf: I think I saw that movie. The Marsian, that was it, right?

  19. Lofty says

    “Gopher wood and pitch” is clearly a mistranslation of carbon fibre composites. It certainly doesn’t mean condoms for furry creatures’ peckers, or even an elderly gent riding a battery powered scooter in a rain coat. See how hard translation is? Sooo much room for error.

  20. Gregory Greenwood says

    And now we learn how the Third Punic War really ended. Sack of Carthage? Yeah, right – try the Romans nuking Carthage. Just look at the ruins; the damage pattern is clearly the result of a ground zero nuclear blast and subsequent destruction by heat and over pressure, because reasons.

    You heard it first here, folks…

  21. Nemo says

    This is a common belief among fundies, because it fits with the idea that we’re all “fallen”, and the world is always getting worse — our ancestors (who lived 900 years!) had more advanced technology than we do. Of course they did, because they had yet to fall as far as we have.

  22. gardengnome says

    “Mr Hambone sir, a Mr. Von Daniken called – wants to talk to you about royalties.”

  23. wzrd1 says

    That’s OK, some time ago, I build an arc, covered it inside and out with golden mylar, then set two ramps upon it. It collapsed.
    I guess I shouldn’t have set two linebackers on top of a box made of shitty wood.

    On a more serious side, Gilgamesh was a much better story, much more action, better engineering skills, bigger feats.
    Much better than an old fart building a boat, animals get on and shit it up, then he gets drunk and passes out, disowning the sons that rightfully were disgusted with him and his antics.

  24. Intaglio says

    Dear Ken, Terra Sigilata (e.g.Samian ware) was not used for cooking because it was too valuable. The pottery it was coated in a very fine “slip” for glazing, like modern pottery, and had about the same qualities in terms of ease of cleaning.

    now stop making stuff up as you go along.

    (Signed) Intaglio

  25. yubal says

    “his damned boat still won’t float.”

    Curious if we could convince him to test that. Would be fun.

  26. wzrd1 says

    I don’t know, the thing might be able to float.
    Concrete and steel ships aren’t a new thing at all, although the earliest example was made in 1848.

    That said, I’m sure that his “ark” is about as seaworthy as a bottle cap.
    I am a bit curious as to what size of a ship is the maximum possible size with our current metallurgical capabilities. The largest supertanker was 458 meters long, now broken up and the Barzan is a container ship at meters long and still in service.

  27. says

    I’m sure that his “ark” is about as seaworthy as a bottle cap.

    Well, it’d go somewhere with that much surface area: downwind. If it didn’t just flip over.

  28. blf says

    It would be amusing if a surveyor from Lloyd’s Register of Shipping showed up and declared teh ark completely unseaworthy.

  29. wzrd1 says

    thebookofdave, naw, let’s let it sink over an abyssal trench and be forever out of sight and mind.
    On land, it’d be an eyesore, as it is now and a hazard to navigation.
    Besides, if the damned thing actually did manage to float, a MK-48 could cure that problem over said abyssal trench. As a hazard to navigation and a clear and present danger to the safety, security and national interest of the minds of the United States of America.
    And no, I’m joking. Using weapons of war should never be a topic of serious conversation. While the capabilities of our technology is really cool, the effects of those weapons isn’t wonderful, cool or welcome at all.
    But then, I’m a veteran and would rather harm myself before i’d harm another human ever again.

  30. blf says

    let’s let it sink over an abyssal trench and be forever out of sight and mind.

    What have the bug-eyed fish and other inhabitants of the deep-sea done to deserve having an ark dropped on them?

    I suggest feeding it to Godzilla, that’d take care of two menaces. Of course, if Godzilla survived, a Godzilla-sized ark indigestion might get a bit messy