Whether or not they approve of it, almost everyone in America knows of the search for the remains of Noah's Ark. Many books have been printed on the subject, several movies have been produced, and uncounted lectures have been given. It would be hard not to know that hundreds of people have claimed to have seen the remains over the years and dozens of expeditions have gone in search of it.
Some think the Ark will never be found, that God would not allow it because people might worship it or that such obvious evidence would eliminate the need for faith. Others think the Ark has already been found, although in my opinion, they are mistaken. Still others, including myself, think the search should continue, following every lead.
Regardless of the chances of finding the Ark, we can speculate on the results of a successful search—the discovery and documentation of the Ark of Noah in such a way that anyone with an open mind would have to deal with it. In my opinion, the potential good far outweighs the potential bad, in several areas:
Archaeological: Noah's Flood, as described in Scripture, would have totally destroyed the surface of the planet. No civilization could survive except perhaps in the form of rare artifacts. Noah's Ark thus constitutes the one remaining link to the pre-Flood world.
Biblical: No event in Scripture is doubted as much as the Flood. To find it so clearly demonstrated by a discovery would silence the detractors and increase the faith of many.
Scientific: Evolution inevitably, although to varying degrees, rests on the assumption of uniformity, that "the present is the key to the past." Its basic tenet is that there has never been any episode of earth history dramatically different from episodes possible today, and that by studying the present, we can come to important conclusions about the past. There is no room in this view for a mountain-covering, global flood. To find the Ark at a high elevation would destroy the very concept of uniformity, the basic assumption upon which evolution rests. It would probably ring the death knell of evolutionism.
Theological: Noah's Flood was itself a judgment on sin—that of the pre-Flood civilization. God could not (and cannot) allow sin to go unpunished. Noah's Ark was the means by which the few believers were "saved," i.e., Noah and his family. By calling attention to the past judgment on sin and the past Ark of safety, many minds would be focused on the coming judgment on sin and on our present-day Ark of Safety, Jesus Christ.
God has always used evidence to remove roadblocks to faith. Christ didn't ask His disciples to believe in the resurrection just because He had told them it would happen. He appeared unto them to remove their doubts.
The faith that God requires is not faith in the Ark story or even blind faith in creation, the crucifixion, or the resurrection. He has provided ample evidence for these great historic events, so that our faith is a reasonable one. The faith necessary for salvation is faith that His death paid the penalty for our sins.
*Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.