Noahs Ark - Schagen, The Netherlands 2009.
Of course, it's only a replica of the biblical Ark, built by Dutch Creationist Johan Huibers as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible.
The ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house. Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold. A contractor by trade, Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine.
Suddenly in the middle of the night a blinding light sears through the curtains. Big scary shadows dance on the bedroom ceiling. There is a roaring sound of an engine. Half asleep, a number of possibilities race through your mind. 1 - A 747 Jumbo Jet has overshot the runway in Reykjavik, Iceland, and is landing in your New Zealand backyard? 2 - An Alien spaceship has arrived to abduct you and invasively poke and prod you with rude sharp instruments, a situation you will only realise on your return from space when you undergo repressed memory therapy with Uncle Looneytunes the local UFO psychologist? 3 - The next door neighbours son is coming home very late in his noisy car with the headlights on high beam ? (a dangerous and irritating thing to do in certain circumstances).
Of course being a nimble and logical thinker you cross your fingers and choose possibility number 3. ---- And in doing so you have proved the principle of 'Occam's Razor' ------ let me explain.
Occam's Razor is a principle that states: Where two or more hypotheses are offered to explain a given phenomenon, it is reasonable to accept the simplest one - the one that makes the fewest unsupported assumptions.
Of course the simplest explanation is not always the correct one in every instance - A saying that expresses the logic and sentiment of Occam's Razor states that: "When you hear hoof beats, don't expect to see a zebra", which of course would be true for most people except those living on the Serengeti Plains in deepest Africa or the local zoo keeper.
I came across this exception to the rule of Occam's Razor myself during my recent sojourn in The Netherlands. While photographing a rather large yacht in the port of Hoorn on the Ijsselmeer a hasty passer by commented, "If you want to see a really large boat, go to Schagen" - A number of possibilities came to mind; A very large traditional 'Botter'? A huge tugboat up an impossibly narrow creek ?(I had already seen this several times); Noah's Ark? Maybe a supertanker moored in a huge inland canal?
When I did get to Schagen, a small pretty little town with a canal that leads to the inland sea (Ijsselmeer) the last thing that I expected to see was Noah's fecking Ark!
It was fecking huge, jaw droppingly fecking huge -
- and if another hasty passer by had commented, "When you hear hoof beats, don't expect to see a zebra", I would have replied, "Of course I would expect to see a zebra, that's the fecking ARK for Gods sake".
Occam's Razor is named after William of Occam, a 14th century English philosopher. The 'razor' comes from the idea of shaving off any unnecessary assumptions from a theory.