Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rocking the boat

New from the "News That Is Way Weirder Than Anything I Could Make Up" department:  Baywatch star Donna D'Errico is planning on climbing Mount Ararat to search for Noah's Ark.

D'Errico, who played the character Donna Marco in order to obviate the need of her having to remember that her character had a different first name than she did, brought several acting talents to the series, the most notable of which was a set of bazongas that left you wondering how she managed to walk upright.  She reports that she has had a dream of finding Noah's Ark ever since she was in Catholic school at age ten.

"I read different stories about how people thought they'd found the cages," she said.  This evidently being all the evidence she needed, she has organized an expedition to Turkey this summer in order to scale the mountain and look for the boat.

I don't know about all this.  The Great Flood story has always sounded mighty fishy to me (rimshot!).  I know that when I was ten years old and in Catholic school, I wasn't buying it, and peppered Sister Ursula with a good many uncomfortable questions.  I wondered, for example, if the whole world was flooded, so that no land was exposed anywhere, where did all the water go afterwards?

And, of course, there's the whole problem of how some dude in ancient Palestine went to the Canadian tundra to bring back two caribou, to Australia to get a couple of kangaroos, and to South Africa for some rhinoceroses, and got them all safely back after the whole incident was over.  Did Noah seriously go to California and bring back some pumas?

When I was eleven, my parents transferred me to public school.  Funny thing, that.

In any case, the question of "how could this story possibly be true?" doesn't seem to bother D'Errico terribly.

"I've been studying this for years and know where the sightings have been," she said in an interview. "According to my research, the ark lays broken into at least two, but most likely three, pieces. I believe that one of those pieces is in the uppermost Ahora Gorge area, an extremely dangerous area to climb and explore."

Asked about the dangers, she said, "Many inexperienced climbers have done it, but you do need stamina and, obviously, a crew."

Obviously.  With videocameras.  Because this is not in any sense a publicity stunt.  Sure.

"I am not doing a reality show," she claimed.  "I will document this for myself and my family."

In other words, look for it to appear on television.  It'll probably have a really creative name like "My Search For Noah's Ark, Starring Donna D'Errico."  Or maybe just "Baywatch: Turkey."

If it doesn't end up on the so-called "History Channel" by December, I will be astonished.  In terms of serious historical merit, it will  be right up there with their other offerings, such as "Monster Quest," "The Nostradamus Effect," and "The Bible Code: Predicting Armageddon."

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