Comment by James Cox on September 5, 2012 at 2:13pm

What I would really want to know is Noah and family dealt with woodpecker birds? I mean, the ark was built using timber or did he have them birds in cages?

Well it was like this, Noah and crew also needed to have a few very nice bug infested tree logs for the little peckers to feed on.

With all the details involved to make any type of sense out of the flood story, why did not 'God' just build a whole new planet, transport/recreate all the life of earth there, than transport/recreate the few humans he thought worth keeping. 'God' created the universe in seven days, surely a new earth would hardly be more than a simple wink and nod, then done.

Since the old testiment writers knew nothing about the rest of the universe, but 'God' should have.

Another possibility, the universe might already contain a near infinite number of very earth like planets. 'God' could just pick one at random, set transporter coordinates. then beam the chosen to that 'new earth'. The chosen might not even be the wiser, which seems about right.

With an infinite, omnipotent, ominicient 'God', why did the old testiment writers settle for for such a lame one? I think this really shows how the flood story was really a human produced, fiction. It shows the very strong indication of a challenged 'human' imagination.

Of course, we have the privilage of several thousand years of cultural evolution and imagination to consider. If the old testiment writers knew of ~100 years of Science Fiction writing and 'what if' technology, the old testiment might read more like a Greg Bear space opera! Sadly, I might be willing to finally read the Bible to the end without snikering.

Consider this as a hint to the Tim Lahay Rapture series folks. Sorry, I have not read that series either.....;p)   

Comment by Matt Maxwell on September 5, 2012 at 2:14pm

As an atheist I would never accept the Bible to be literal, that would be called Bible literalism, or Fundamentalism. And I'm sure as HELL not a fundamentalist. So, instead of going straight to criticism and biased interpretation, why not read/interpret the Bible via comparable analysis/inquiry? Don't get caught up on the little details in the Bible, sure it's completely irrational  to believe that Noah built a boat much too small to hold so many animals and assume that it's truth, go deeper, like archaeopteryx and recognize that there are other stories/parables in history (especially in the mediterranean/mesopotamia region) that are nearly identical and try to research what it meant in the historical and cultural context. Depending on the version one is reading you might find that not only is the ark suppose to reflect a three layer temple (deeper meaning), but also that the ark "carried" more than one male/female pair of every animal, the extras were used for sacrifice - or food for the ark dwellers. They ate the clean and pure animals and kept the unclean for reproduction, an idea or tradition we might find later on in the Bible.

Consider this, when looking at an optical illusion try to see more than what the eyes see at first because more than likely there is more to it. Sociologists call it perspective, such as religious perspective, scientific perspective, common sense perspective, and the bizarre perspective. Every individual has one, just decide which one you have. Don't just look at reality (because the Bible is real but that does not mean we must accept the content to be so) with a boring common sense perspective, unless you would prefer it that way...

Love and respect.

Comment by James Cox on September 5, 2012 at 2:28pm

I leave it to others to do the deeper study. I just don't seem to have the time. I did some of this when I was much younger, but now my real interests have matured. I am much more interested in the natural sciences, and I find this as very rewarding, atleast for the growth of a 'perspective'. For me a bible study would be more like playing slot machines, waiting for the occasional payout, but being disapointed most of the time. I'm just sick of it. Knock yourself out.

Comment by Dale Headley on September 5, 2012 at 3:45pm

My favorite Noah's Ark factoid: there was only one window and one door on the boat (Genesis 6:16).  Granted, the size and extent of either of them is not specified, but still... Think about THAT for a minute!  

My favorite question: where did Noah plug in his Skilsaw?

My second favorite question: did Noah leave a hole in the roof for the Apatosaurus (formerly brontosaurus) to stick its head out?

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 5, 2012 at 4:38pm

@Mattt - RE: "you might find that not only is the ark suppose to reflect a three layer temple" - no, that would be the Tower of Babel Fable, modeled on the Mesopotamian (actually, Sumerian) ziggurat.

RE: "the ark "carried" more than one male/female pair of every animal" - actually, one chapter of the ark story says 2, while another says 7 - the reason for the discrepancy, is that one group, the Yahwist Source, wrote the "2" story in 950 BCE, while another, the Priestly Source, wrote their own version around 650 BCE; then a redactor pieced both stories together, leaving the discrepancies, because he didn't know which was the truth, and didn't want to be responsible for choosing the wrong story.

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 5, 2012 at 4:53pm

@Dale - RE: "the size and extent of either of them (door & window) is not specified" - Gen 6:16 - "A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above;"

RE: "where did Noah plug in his Skilsaw?" - Black & Decker cordless.

RE: "did Noah leave a hole in the roof for the Apatosaurus (formerly brontosaurus) to stick its head out?" - he asked him to scrunch WAY down --

Comment by archaeopteryx on September 5, 2012 at 4:57pm

As might be expected, Mark Twain, a devout atheist, had something to say on the subject:

    Mark Twain, in his book, Letters from the Earth, offered a description of what Noah’s animal collection effort must have been like:

“However the thing that really and finally and definitely determined Noah to stop with enough species for purely business purposes and let the rest become extinct, was an incident of the last days: an excited stranger arrived with some most alarming news. He said he had been camping among some mountains and valleys about six hundred miles away, and he had seen a wondrous thing there: he stood upon a precipice overlooking a wide valley, and up the valley he saw a billowy black sea of strange animal life coming. Presently the creatures passed by struggling, fighting, scrambling, screeching, snorting - horrible vast masses of tumultuous flesh! Sloths as big as an elephant; frogs as big as a cow; a megatherium and his harem huge beyond belief; saurians and saurians and saurians, group after group, family after family, species after species - a hundred feet long, thirty feet high, and twice as quarrelsome; one of them hit a perfectly blameless Durham bull a thump with its tail and sent it whizzing three hundred feet into the air and it fell with a sigh at the man’s feet and was no more. The man said that these prodigous animals had heard about the Ark and were coming. Coming to get saved from the flood. And not coming in pairs, they were all coming: they didn’t know the passengers were restricted to pairs, the man said, and wouldn’t care a rap for the regulations, anyway - they would sail in that Ark or know the reason why. The man said the Ark would not hold the half of them; and moreover they were coming hungry, and would eat up everything there was, including the menagerie and the family.
    “All these facts were suppressed in the Biblical account. You find not a hint of them there. The whole thing is hushed up. Not even the names of those vast creatures are mentioned. It shows you that when people have left a reproachful vacancy in a contract they can be as shady about it in Bibles as elsewhere. Those powerful animals would be of inestimable value to man now, when transportation is so hard pressed and expensive, but they are all lost to him. They all got drowned. Some of them as much as eight million years ago.”
Comment by archaeopteryx on September 5, 2012 at 5:06pm

British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic, also an atheist, had something to say as well:

"Why should I allow that same god to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown his own?"

Comment by Ed on September 5, 2012 at 6:20pm

All of the examples provided that debunk ole Noah and his ark are simply dismissed by the cud chewing Bible believers on the basis that the "devil is in the details."

Comment by Ward Cressin on September 5, 2012 at 7:16pm

What amazes me is that the world's largest zoo for all time was located right near where Noah lived. And the first mega-stores of Menards and Home Depot on the other two corners. After all, where else could he have gotten the wood?

A couple of things stump me (not really - they only matter if you believe the myth):

I've heard the phrase "salting the earth" and I thought it meant to distribute salt on the ground to make it difficult for your enemies to grow plants. So, after the Flood, wouldn't that have left much of the ground around the world salted as the ocean water evaporated?

After the Flood, all the plants are dead and it's going to take months (at least - years for some) for the seeds to grow into new plants. So what are the herbivores going to eat? Some are rather picky. Hmm, actually most don't care for dead plants soaking in sea water for months.

After the Flood, all the herbivores are dead except for those from the Ark and it's going to take years for the small Ark herbivores to repopulate - decades for the large. So what are the carnivores going to eat?

Hmm, sounding like the Ark was rather pointless.    :)

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