By Lauren Green - Fox News
Earlier this week a group of Chinese Christians held a news conference to announce they were 99.9 percent sure they had found Noah's Ark — the boat the Bible says was built by God's most righteous man before a "sinful" human race drowned in the Great Flood.
Maybe the find on Mount Ararat in Turkey really is Noah's Ark. More likely, it isn't. But if it isn't, that won't stop Ark enthusiasts from believing it is out there somewhere.
Immediately in the wake of the news flash, experts weighed in to shoot it down. "The wood in the photos is not old enough" ... "There are no location pictures to verify the site" ... "No independent experts have looked at the data" ... "There's never been evidence of a great flood."
And the people voicing the loudest caution are biblical archeologists who believe the ark is real and that it can be found. Dr. Randall Price, head of Judaic Studies at Liberty University, had been a cohort of the Noah's Ark International team until two years ago.
He pulled out of the project, sensing they were being taken advantage of by Kurdish guides, who've turned Ark searching into a cottage industry.
"I think we can't rule out the possibility that this is a hoax, because a lot of the things that happen in that region of the world, and especially with the Kurdish guides that are involved, are designed to try to extract money from gullible people," Price said.
But he added: "I'm reserving my opinion at this point until I see how things are developing."
Dr. John Morris, lead archeologist at the Institute for Creation Research, says "I'm leaning towards that the Chinese people have been deceived."
Morris has led 13 expeditions to Mount Ararat looking for the ark. He knows the area well and says of the recent find, "At best, it is an elaborate deception."
Morris and Price were contacted by the Chinese team to take part in the press event, but they declined based on how little evidence they saw. Professor Porcher Taylor at the University of Richmond says he, too, believes it is not Noah's Ark, because "they're digging in the wrong place on Mt. Ararat."
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