Letter from Harold G. Coffin to David Merling
David Merling, Associate Director
Institute of Archaeology
Berrien Springs, MI 49104
January 13, 1993
Enclosed is a comprehensive article [ref. "Has Noah's Ark Been Found?"] on the claims for the discovery of Noah's ark. It appeared in CREATION EX NIHILO, an Australian journal. I am personally acquainted with the author, Andrew Snelling, and have spent time in the field with him. He is a responsible person and I am reasonably confident with what he has written. He answers your questions plus a great deal more information that may be of interest to you.
I recently read Ron Wyatt's book, DISCOVERED; NOAH'S ARK, and was appalled. It is one of the most disgusting books I have read. Naturally I have no problem with the discovery of Noah's ark, but the multitude of inaccuracies and errors certainly turns one off who has some information. Even the uninformed person should be suspicious when one individual claims to have found so many important artifacts that others have never found after years of diligent search.
Concerning growth rings: Wyatt refers to extinct giant club mosses that do not have growth rings as evidence that preflood trees do not have growth rings. The giant club moss, Sigillaria, could be compared with papaya, or banana or other fast-growing trees with pulpy wood. Yes, it does not have growth rings but that is not evidence for preflood conifers or deciduous trees. They do have good growth rings. I have spent years studying petrified trees in various areas of North America, in Patigonia, and in Australia. They have growth rings if they are trees that normally are expected to have rings.
He is mistaken concerning frozen mammoths - p. 73. He accepts dinosaur tracks and human footprints together in Texas (p. 74) and is not aware that creation groups have had to recant on that case when the so-called human footprints eroded into dinosaur tracks. Apparently he does not accept dinosaurs as real (p. 77). According to his book, glaciers were produced by the Flood waters. However, glaciers are not frozen water but compacted snow. The seasonal layering of the snow clearly can be seen when the glacier is drilled. His notion that there were post-flood giants because they ate preflood mammoths is so strange that it is hardly worth comment. If that were true, humans who eat mostly fish or fowl should be smaller than those who eat beef!
I could go on in greater length but that is probably unnecessary because the article by Snelling thoroughly debunks Wyatt's book and his research. If you have any more questions please write but I do not pose as an expert on the exploration and research on Noah's ark. I do hope that eventually Noah's ark is discovered but up to this point there has been much to do about almost nothing.
May God bless you in you work at Andrews University.
Harold G. Coffin