When I saw the headline I figured this article was another of the wackodoodle Ark stories of yet another charlatan claiming to have found the relic. But instead it’s a bit more subtle: a) this is a reasonably credible researcher claiming evidence, and, b) the only claim he’s making is very tentative evidence of a localized flood which he believes he can prove with more research.
Now the idea that there was a localized flood in the timeframe of the Noah myth has lots of support. This idea is not just repeated just one book of folktales, the bible, but also in other sources. It’s reasonable to believe that something pretty spectacular and unusual did occur in some portions of the middle east to live behind all these legends.
So if Ballard finds decisive proof, which would be even more interesting if he can also explain the source of the water that would be interesting. The ancient flood that created the scablands in eastern Washington state is certainly interesting and based on reasonably strong evidence of Lake Missoula.
But, of course, what Ballard might find is NOT the Noah Flood. Since we’re stuck with a literalist and creationist reading of the bible fables (and, of course, ignoring any other antique source, like Epic of Gilgamesh, as the ONLY interpretation, evidence of a localizing flood isn’t going to cut it. After all we know, from sound biblical sources, that the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s Flood and that with total certainty the flood had to cover the entire earth and all land, thus adding at least six miles of water everywhere (all of which had to fall in 40 days, do the math on the thermodynamics of that and figure out what the temperature had to be).
In short, the evidence Ballard might find would fit nicely into a “moderate” xtian POV but must be denied by the only POV that isn’t considered heresy for which moderates will rot in eternal hell for holding and that is hardcore literalism.
So I’m going to make a prediction. Assuming Ballard finds definitive evidence the notion there was a flood (as long is it was less than 6000 years ago, not the 7500 that now appears to be the likely date) will be conveniently accepted, as proof, but also distorted (it wasn’t just local).