I can think of no better example straight from the Bible to prove that the Bible is based on myth, not fact, than Noah’s Ark.
Okay, I would like to give the story of Noah’s Ark at least a little bit of broadcast time, just to be fair. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on what your views are) I can’t think of much to support the Ark theory, and neither can Google in my opinion, so I’m going to post the story of the Ark directly from Genesis and we’ll see where we can go from there. I’m posting from the New International Bible version because it’s the most straightforward. I don’t foresee anyone having issues with it because that would pretty much be the same as admitting that the Bible is open to interpretation or can, in fact, be misinterpreted and incorrectly edited, even in modern times, let alone thousands of years ago.Genesis 6The Flood1
When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2
the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3
Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."4
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.5
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6
The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7
So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." 8
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.9
This is the account of Noah.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.10
Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.11
Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12
God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13
So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14
So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15
This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16
Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17
I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18
But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you. 19
You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20
Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21
You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them."22
Noah did everything just as God commanded him.Genesis 71
The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2
Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3
and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4
Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."5
And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.6
Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. 7
And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8
Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, 9
male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10
And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.11
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12
And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.13
On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14
They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15
Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16
The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.17
For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18
The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19
They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20
The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. 21
Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22
Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23
Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.24
The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.Genesis 81
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. 2
Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3
The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, 4
and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5
The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.6
After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 7
and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8
Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9
But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10
He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.11
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12
He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.13
By the first day of the first month of Noah's six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14
By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.15
Then God said to Noah, 16
"Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17
Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it."18
So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives. 19
All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on the earth—came out of the ark, one kind after another.20
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21
The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
I would like to clarify that the Ark is actually mentioned numerous times in the Bible, I’m just not going to quote all of the verses here. It’s mentioned in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judge, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Psalms, and Jeremiah. In the New Testament it’s mentioned in Hebrews and Revelation.
Kay, now I’m going to tell you why Noah’s Ark is a myth and could never have happened. This is not my own research, but compiled research from a variety of different sources, including the blogosphere, forums, anti-creationist websites, science articles, and BBC and the Discovery Channel. I am aware that plagiarism is a crime so I would like anyone reading this to acknowledge that these are not my own words. I can't reference the sources because I didn't put all of this together with the intention of putting it up online and there are a million little snippets and gems from all over the internet. I am simply the compiler and summariser. Enjoy :) It's a great read.The Basics
The laws of physics have not changed.
In order to build a boat large enough to hold two of every species of creature on Earth as well as the food required would have caused the Ark to be so heavy, it would have undoubtedly sunk. Furthermore, such a construction task would have taken one man's family many decades to build working alone, especially since, according to the technical specifications the Bible gives for the ark, it was 450x75x45 feet, which would be 1,518,750 cubic feet, hardly enough to hold 2 of every unclean animal and 7 of every clean animal on Earth (including many species that are now extinct, such as dinosaurs). And then there's the problem of food. How would he feed these creatures for the 150 days in which he resided in the Ark? How would he and his family have managed to single-handedly give all these creatures fresh water (since the new oceans of the Earth would have been quite undrinkable, if not due to salt content then due to the microbes from all the decomposing creatures that had died in the flood), cleaned out the dung (which, again, would have gone into their water source), and kept the animals from fighting or in any other way getting riled up? Assuming it was fresh water as it rained, this would have severely diluted the oceans causing devastation among the marine creatures. Ask anyone with a marine fish-tank just how sensitive reef-fish and corals are to changes in water conditions. Virtually all sea-life that could not stand brackish water would have been destroyed.
Claiming that God put them all into hibernation still doesn't explain how they would all fit on the Ark, and most creatures wouldn't be able to go into hibernation and be sustained for 150 days on nothing but body fat (this includes reptiles, which don't store near enough body fat to survive a 150-day hibernation without any food. In addition to this, after the flood they would then have to wait until other creatures either reproduced or flora returned before they could eat). Noah was then informed of the water having drained from the earth by a dove having brought him back an olive tree leaf. The problem with this is that olive trees need "average" rainfall. Being submerged for 150 days would have been more than enough to drown any olive tree (and probably any other tree as well for that matter) or at least cause it to die due to lack of sunlight. Furthermore, it would have taken much longer than just the few days that the water was drained for a new olive tree to sprout and grow to the point of bearing leaves. Take some of your household plants and leave them submerged in the bath or a pond for a year and see how they do. Of course, God could have recreated all the plant species, but that would be incongruent with the purpose of taking life onboard in the first place.The Flood
Some people might find it a little odd that God, omnipotent being who can create entire galaxies in an instant, takes weeks and weeks to flood the planet. Perhaps water is a bit fiddly to create?
With regards to the flood itself, a world flood is actually impossible unless the planet’s surface sunk or flattened out below sea level. In fact, even if you melted all the ice on the North and South poles the sea level would only rise 250ft. Worse yet, the amount of rain that would be needed to fall in such a short time period would require the entire planet’s source of water to be in the sky all at once, and it would have had to add water to do it. The rain would not be rain, it would literally have to be a waterfall. This storm would make the perfect storm or category 5 hurricane look like a sunny day. The waves this storm would make would far exceed any recorded waves that have taken down ships nearly 3 times the size of the 450ft Ark estimation. A wooden boat would be lucky to survive a 30ft rogue wave, let alone the 70-133ft waves that have been on record (TheJackal – TheHappyAtheistForum).
Let’s do some maths.
• Surface area of the earth 196,940,400 sq/mi
• Surface area in acres (1 sq/mi = 640 acres) =126,041,856,000 acres
• 1 foot of water over 1 acre (1 acre foot) = 325,851 US gallons
• Enough water to cover the earth to a depth of 1 foot. 41,070,864,819,456,000 gallons.• Enough water to cover Mt. Ararat (12,782 feet) = 524,967,794,122,286,592,00
0 gallons• Enough water to cover everything (29,035 Mt. Everest) = 1,192,492,560,032,904,960,
000 gallons in addition to the water that is already here.
Here’s an alternative route to take, using measurements we are more familiar with. Let’s look at how much water would be needed to cover Mt. Everest.
• The radius of the Earth is approximately 6370km
• The height of Everest above sea-level is approximately 8.8 km
• Therefore, the volume of the Earth is approximately 1,082,696,932,000km³, or 1,080 billion cubic kms.
• The volume of the Earth to the height of Everest is 1,087,190,293,000km³
• Subtracting the first volume from the second gives approximately 4,493,361,000, or four thousand, five hundred million cubic kilometers of water.
• Also, this rain is supposed to have fallen within about 40 days. That means that there would have been about 220 metres of rainfall every day over the entire planet (8800/40 = 220). A few centimetres in a month is considered to be extremely heavy rain.
Either way, this is approximately 365% more water than exists today on the planet. To summarise, the amount necessary to produce a flood of global proportions far exceeds the current amount available on, in, and above the earth, though this doesn’t prove the water wasn’t present. Disregarding its obviously dubious source, where would it all have gone? Some argue that it evaporated or drained into the earth itself. (Just an aside, I have yet to understand what the point is of trying to rationalise the supernatural, since that completely defeats the point of calling something supernatural in the first place, and if it’s not supernatural then surely it’s hardly worth being in a religious text which relies entirely on the supernatural).
This idea of drainage is entirely misleading, especially by those who claim there are untapped gallons of water in the earth’s crust. If you look even a tiny iota deeper you’ll find that all of this water is tied up in micro-tiny pores. It’s exactly the way oil is tied up in oil shale or tar sands or in ancient sandstone. Neither exists in large, easily accessed pools. It would be like looking for a gigantic chamber filled with neatly stacked gold bars, naturally formed. It defies logical thinking to presume that the water is just sitting there with a handy on-off valve like in a modern oil refinery.
The goal of covering every mountain with only forty days’ worth of precipitation would require a rainfall of six inches per minutes, which is far too tremendous for the primitive wooden Ark to have remained intact. In contrast, we would typically expect a rainfall of only six inches per hour from a category 5 hurricane. This requirement is hardly feasible to carry out, especially when the heat generated by the impact of the raindrops on the flood surface would have been more than sufficient to boil the water and prevent it from rising. The water originating from underneath the earth’s surface would erupt, due to the immense pressure of the water, with noxious gases, such as sulphuric acid, that would make their way into the atmosphere and cause the earth to become uninhabitable. The lava expected to accompany the subterranean water would also bring the already scalding liquid to its boiling point. Furthermore, if the oceans somehow miraculously avoided vaporisation, nothing would have prevented the water from receding beneath the earth once the outpour ceased unless the pressure exerted by the water above collapsed the previous passageways. Such a scenario would then force the water to remain or evaporate. Since the water is no longer present and the clouds in the supposed “sky ocean” don’t have the capacity to hold this amount of liquid we can only assume that it mysteriously vanished. However, the problems of the water’s source and destination are moot points since the entire ocean should have been almost instantaneously converted to steam. In fact, the steam rising from the ocean beds would have been concentrated enough to boil off the planet’s atmosphere.
It is necessary to acknowledge an explanation some Christians have offered: There was an oceanic reservoir in the sky. If a mysterious canopy of water existed above the earth at one time the mass of liquid would raise the atmospheric pressure enough to cause a dramatic increase of oxygen and nitrogen to toxic levels. It would also be necessary for such a canopy to extend beyond the ozone layer, which is a problem because of the denaturation of water molecules by high levels of ultraviolet light. If you subtract the requisite of covering the world’s highest mountains, of which we have no reason believe the story’s inventors were even aware, most of these problems would conveniently disappear. As it stands, however, the necessary water requirement is most unlikely for covering the earth’s surface by fifteen cubits.
The most bizarre explanation I have heard for the flood is along the lines of Mars coming close to Earth so that its gravitational pull raised up a dome of water in the region. The problems with this are too many to even think about.
Many Ark-theorists claim that scale models of the Ark have been built according to the Biblical specifications and found to be extremely sea-worthy in test-tanks. Though I admire their ambition, I hope that these tests also attempted to simulate the correct amount of rainfall by aiming several high-pressure fire-hoses directly at the model.
After the waters subsided there are still more problems with the story. What happened to all the corpses of the countless numbers of animals and humans that dies? Surely there would have been terrible plague and disease caused by all that rotting meat. Many sea-creatures would have been deposited in places they could not normally reach, such as inland lakes, yet there is no evidence of marine fish skeletons being found in high, freshwater lake beds.
With regards to Mt Ararat itself, many claims are made for sightings of the remains of the Ark in the mountains of Turkey. These Ark-pieces are supposed to be about nine thousand feet up the side of a precipitous mountain. Now, these mountains are not gently rolling hills, but huge great things covered with snow and full of jagged crevices. The mountain-goats, birds and flying squirrels could have probably got down safely, as long as they didn’t freeze or starve on the way, but elephants, penguins, camels and crocodiles are not noted for their natural mountaineering ability.
No one has ever found the enormous ark even though we know its final resting place is among the mountains of Ararat located around present-day Turkey. All evidence presented as proof of the ark’s discovery has been admitted to be a hoax, proven a hoax, or withheld from testing. Although one could reasonably anticipate that someone would have discovered a tangible piece of evidence from the craft if it hasn’t decomposed, multiple expeditions have turned up absolutely nothing. While many people claim they have evidence for the ark being conveniently underground, no one has ventured to exhume it from the earth.Dinosaurs
Assuming that Noah took every living thing on Earth into the Ark, we can include dinosaurs in our list. Yes, dinosaurs existed. We know this because of fossil findings from the Cretaceous period (125-65 million years ago) which have been radiocarbon14 dated. To cut a long story short, all matter contains naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14, which declines at a fixed exponential rate due to radioactive decay. Comparing the remaining 14C fraction to the expected 14C in the atmosphere, carbon dating allows the age of the matter to be estimated. Also please consider these websites for more information on more accurate and modern measurement systems.
According to the Discovery Channel, there has recently been new factual evidence based on the dissection of still-frozen dinosaurs. In particular, the infamous 6363kg T-Rex, as well as the massive Sauropsidon. Their ecological requirements are astonishing, especially their need for a lot of open real estate just to barely survive in a lushly vegetated tropical jungle environment with unlimited fresh water resources. These Sauropsids had to populate their ecosystem in massive numbers due to their amazingly small brains (about the size of a kitten’s. Cute). They operated on instinct, with tiny hearing systems, bad eyesight, and no particular defences. They survived as adults only because of their huge bulk (60-70ft long, 50tons in weight) and needed 330 000 calories (about 6tons) of food daily. To do this they had to roam. Unlike most of the smaller dinosaurs, they could not and did not tend to their young. We know this because we generally find many fossils of adult dinosaurs nearby their young and their nests in almost all other species, but never with this one. The adults had to move on immediately to find food. Each Sauropsid also produced several tons of sloppy waste product per day. This multiplied by the necessary 800 of them in their natural habitat = a major material handling problem. They survived by producing prodigious egg numbers, of which only 1 in 10 000 would survive. A much lower survival rate number than even today’s sea turtles, which overproduce in order to have even a minor survival rate. Overproduction of eggs is a clear defence against the endless and massive slaughter of their very vulnerable young. It apparently worked, but reproductive success would require a ratio of at least 100 Sauropsidons to each T-Rex, even ignoring all the other predators. Given a herd of say, a minimum of 40 T-Rex’s (a mere 20 pairs to barely ensure their own reproductive success) would mandate an absolute minimum of 8000 Sauropsids. Minimum. We are now disregarding the laughable “the animals went in two-by-two” concept and focusing entirely on survival considerations for after the Ark had landed. 8000 Sauropsids, each weighing 50tons, is a total weight of 400 000 Lbs for them alone. This immense 200 tons was probably heavier than the Ark itself. To add to this the need for 48 000 Lbs of vegetation, and a massive amount of fresh water daily, multiplied by 18 months, they would need 26 million Lbs or food alone. And, conservatively, about 600 000 gallons of fresh uncontaminated water. Each day.
“Holy Sauropsid, Batman!”
If you think I’m being unreasonable (for some reason) for looking at dinosaur requirements, let’s bring it down a little bit and look at what the Dallas Zoo needs every day.
• A ton of hay
• 35 pounds of fish
• 50 pounds of meat
• 100 stalks of celery
• five pounds of red onions
• 100 pounds of carrots
• 25 pounds of spinach
• 15 pounds of kale
• 10 pounds of mixed vegetables
• 150 pounds of sweet potatoes
• 10 heads of cabbage
• 48 heads of romaine
• 30 ears of corn
• four loaves of wheat bread
• 24 eggs
• a pound of yogurt
• 40 pounds of bananas
• eight pounds of blueberries
• 170 oranges
• 500 apples
• 36 cantaloupes
• four papayas
• 250 rodents (the variety pack)
• 6000 mealworms
• 600 wax worms
• 7500 crickets
Multiply each of those number by the number of days on the ark and you start to get the picture, or lack thereof.
Another dino-delight: Dinonycus. This little fellow was small, big-brained and predatory, not to mention aggressively carnivorous and not at all capable of digesting, or even chewing, vegetation of any kind. Their often cracked and scarred teeth harboured all sorts of nasty bacteria which pretty much ensured that any blood-letting bite inflicted on any other animal would ensure a nasty and fatal bacterial infection, which was one of the means they successfully killed others. Their presence alone on the Ark would have spelled instant doom to any and all animals, typically prey or not.
And then we come to the flashy T-Rex. 40ft long and 18ft high, and weighing in at 7 tons. They ate hundreds of pounds of meat daily and drank gallons of water to aid digestion while actively seeking animals to bite up and swallow.
Spinosaurus is another truly amazing dinosaur. A highly specialised reptile 60ft long and approximately 25 000 Lbs/ 125 tons. A minimal herd would have consisted of about 40. That’s a combined 5000 tons for a single species, even giving it a nearly impossible survival chance. In reality there would have had to have been a herd of about 150 of them.
All of these latest findings, confirmed by analysis of the skeletal anatomy coupled with frozen findings proves that it would have been technically impossible to have even one species on board, much less a herd of 50 T-Rexs, 40 Triceratops, 8000 Sauropsids, 50 Spinosaurs and, of course, all the other 3000 dinosaur species times the numbers of each required to ensure their unlikely reproductive success after being dropped off on a violently windy, frozen mountain top that supported then, and even now, not one iota of vegetation for the soon-to-be-dead vegetarians to feed on voraciously. For years even the Bible claims the waters did not recede for months. That would be salt water to boot by the way, great for drinking.
The largest warship ever built, the all-steel Japanese Yamato, was only 270 meters long. It was at the limits of 1930s engineering expertise, with a welded high-strength steel frame and masses of marine engineering experience behind its design. It only housed 2800 people, not half a million species producing thousands of tons of liquid and solid waste ever day.
To rebut the proposition of them all being kept as hibernating eggs fails on even a first pass look-see. After all, these eggs required tending, defence against other predators, and protection by adults once they were hatched, not to mention secure storage. The failure rate of hatchlings based on improper incubation, natural disease or predation would mandate that there be literally 20 000 eggs for Sauropsids alone. And they would have had to have been in a safe place, not simply rolling free on the lower decks, after which they would have been casually off-loaded and set loose after a violent landing and placed under a rock in snow and ice. This would have been functionally akin to tossing them off a cliff </insert end-of-the-unicorns joke here> (Yes, unicorns. Isaiah 34:7 “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.”)
Heck, this might be one hell of a new theory to account for the extinction of the dinosaurs, but not a very good one to demonstrate God’s efficiency. The Ark Itself
Let’s now turn to the ark and its odds for survival throughout the violent apocalypse. Even before the first raindrop descends from the clouds or rises from beneath the surface, Noah would have had no way to prevent the wood from rotting in the hot desert sun. Even so, this factor is probably the least of Noah’s wood-related problems because he would need to select a grain and species strong enough to prevent separation between the ark’s joints during its hazardous journey. For reasons that should be painfully obvious by now, I doubt this mysterious “gopher wood” was selected using such advanced analytical thinking. The endurance of the ark faces several more formidable obstacles than its primitively wooden composition. Wave undulation caused by the presumably violent winds accompanying the storm would have undoubtedly capsized the makeshift craft. Incredible hydroforces would have propelled loosened rocks from the sides of subterranean fissures into the air, only to return to the surface with a great chance of doing appreciable damage to the boat. Finally, there weren’t enough people available to operate essential pumps for repelling the water that the primitively designed ark would have assuredly taken on. If Noah and his animal guests didn’t kick the bucket from methane poisoning, incineration, starvation, disease, asphyxiation, dehydration, mutilation, or exhaustion, they would have certainly drowned.
The ark was stated to be 450ft long, 75ft wide and 45ft high. Wood, however, is not structurally strong enough to build a vessel of that size. Even iron and bronze are too weak. You have to have modern steel to build a ship that size that won’t break in half at the first wave. Even the navy’s of the world tried building larger wooden ships in the early 19th Century and proved by experiment that they wouldn’t be secure enough to perform all the functions that the ark is said to have performed. Besides which, how many forests (not bushes) would Noah and his 3 sons have had to have destroyed in order to build it?
Boat building is a very difficult and skilled discipline. The Bible does not say whether Noah had any previous experience in boat building, but let us assume for the sake of the sake of the argument that he was fully proficient, despite the fact that he wouldn’t have had any access to any advanced tools, probably not even a saw.
Let’s see now... The boat was 450ft long, so assuming the average tree is 30ft tall and 3ft thick that would require over 200 tree trunks just to build the outside of the boat. That’s assuming they just use the tree trunks without splitting them since the wood will have to be pretty strong. We can probably say that it would take Noah the better part of day to chop down a tree, chop off all the side branches, neaten it up and carry it back to the ark, bearing in mind that between him and his sons they don’t even have so much as a screwdriver to their name. That’s ignoring the fact that moving all of that wood a significant distance is going to become prohibitively difficult.
Building a modern ship takes years. The QE2, for example, took over two years to build in a large commercial dockyard employing thousands of people with modern equipment. Here we’re considering one man and his three sons. During that time the Ark would have needed to be waterproofed, protected from the many different kinds of problems to which wood is susceptible, such as woodworm and mildew, and also protected from vandals and troublemakers intent on destroying Noah's project.
The largest wooden ship ever built was the US.S. Wyoming, built in the first decade of the twentieth Century with modern shipbuilding methods. IT was more than 100ft shorter than Noah’s ark. This ship represented a tremendous feat of engineering, and posed several substantial construction problems. Most notably, it required large iron strapping for support, just to hold the boat together.
In order for Noah to have built a wooden boat of the size specified he would have needed:
• 3,000 tons of cement
• Five bulldozers
• 76 cement pillars
• 34 sway-brace pillars
• 4-foot high, 9-inch wide foundation wall
• Steel reinforcement rod
• Anchor bolts
• Substantial steel superstructure
This would have taken at least 29 years to construct.
Furthermore, how did Noah build the boat? How could four men and four women find, harvest, season, transport, cut, shape, assemble and seal all of the trees needed for a ship 450ft long and 75ft wide? That is a huge ship. For comparison, the Mayflower (which brought the Pilgrims from England to America) was only about 95ft long, 25ft wide and displaced 180 tons. The Mayflower was a big boat able to hold over 100 people, but it was a tiny dot compared to the ark.
Using the simplest multiplication, the ark would encompass about 14 Mayflowers and would therefore weigh at least 2 ½ million kilograms. However, because the ark is so much larger, it would have to be far stronger than the Mayflower, making it far heavier. The very largest ships built at the height of the wooden shipbuilding era (the late 1800s) had a maximum keel length of about 250ft, and the ark is nearly twice that big.Philosophy behind it
Within the story we have a god who has to modify virtually all of his creations for the solely expressed reason of the people having become wicked and evil, yet wicked and evil people continue to exist throughout the Bible. Right off the bat, the foundation of the story fails to make sense. Why would an omniscient god have to destroy all of his work for a specific quality that he knew would continue to exist? The flood was for naught, yet god carried out his horrific genocide anyway. This is both a disturbing and a ridiculous premise. The author clearly tells the story from the perspective that God had just recently realised the way the world had become. This also fails to make sense because Biblical authors repeatedly claim that god is omniscient. By definition, his omniscience requires him to have known at the time of Adam and Eve that he would later desire to start from scratch at Noah. This unnecessary and foreseeable correction is hardly the logical course of action for an omnipotent god to take. God behaves in an acutely illogical manner. Either that or the flood simply never took place. Both conclusions contradict the truth of the Biblical writings.
Appallingly, God drowned unborn children in the flood. This indisputably necessary consequence should ironically put a huge kink in the pro-life arguments from the church. God aborts countless unborn children for the questionable sins of their parents, yet the church expects society not to do the same. Infants and young children who do not possess the intellectual capacity to tell right from wrong were also casualties in the flood. How could they be among the wicked and evil? These are hardly the actions of the loving God depicted in the New Testament. Helpless animals also suffered the horrible fate of the children.
Records of flourishing civilizations in China, Egypt, Babylon, and Mesopotamia exist straight through the flood era of 2500-2000 BCE. This contingency creates a stack of obvious problems without planned solutions because the flood supposedly vanquished the inhabitants of these regions. If this was the case, why do we now possess their journals made before, during, and after this global deluge? The flood would have certainly destroyed these societal accounts if God were truly guilty of genocide. If people from each region somehow managed to survive and continue these records, why isn’t the cataclysmic flood mentioned in their accounts? In fact, no sort of catastrophe on this level exists anywhere in the written histories of any society during any era. On the other hand, records of ancient civilizations frequently mention several local floods. This is quite possibly the most compelling reason why many Christians have abandoned a global flood hypothesis in favour of a local one, a proposal rapidly gaining in popularity that I will debunk toward the end of this chapter. Had the authors known their descendants would one day be able to date these civilizations, the story most certainly would have been different from what we have today.Geologically unsound
One should realistically expect at least a scant amount of geological or natural evidence for a global flood if the supernatural catastrophe took place, but the signs overwhelmingly point to the contrary. The flood should have created a massive extinction along the floors of the oceans. Likewise, millions of land organisms that would have certainly been victimized by the flood would also have deposited a large layer of terrestrial fossils. Of course, neither one of these evidential necessities is apparent.
Miles of coral reef, hundreds of feet thick, still survive intact at the Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The violent flood would have certainly destroyed these formations, yet the rate of deposit tells us that the reefs have survived for over 100,000 undisturbed years. Similarly, the floodwaters, not to mention the other factors leading to a boiling sea, would have obviously melted the polar ice caps. However, ice layers in Greenland and Antarctica date back at least 40,000 years.
Impact craters from pre-historical asteroid strikes still exist even though the tumultuous floodwaters would have completely eroded them. If these craters were formed concurrently with the flood, as it has been irresponsibly suggested, the magnificent heat from the massive impacts would have immediately boiled large quantities of the ocean, as if it wasn’t hot enough already. Like the asteroid craters, global mountain ranges would exhibit uniform erosion as a result of a global flood. Unsurprisingly, we witness just the opposite in neighbouring pairs of greatly contrasting examples, such as the Rockies and Appalachians.
With regards to the carbon dating discussed in the dinosaur section, results unambiguously indicate that many of the less complex fossils are billions of years old. This realization drives a painful thorn in the Creationist hypothesis that attempts to explain how the flood deposited the fossils only a few thousand years ago. Furthermore, time has also neatly separated the earth’s fossils into distinct layers according to their radiometrically determined age. In fact, there has never been a verifiable instance in which two fossils discovered in the same layer were dated appreciably different. Even if we entertain the possibility of the fossils being deposited by the biblical flood, the field of fluid mechanics tells us that the smaller fossils of less complex, more primitive life forms would not sink as fast as the larger fossils, yet the remains of these tiny creatures are the sole occupants of the basement layer because they obviously settled millions of years prior to the deposition of fossils belonging to more complex, more recent life forms. We can also observe algae deposits within the fossil layers, a phenomenon that could not have formed during the flood because they require sunlight to thrive. It’s quite reasonable to assume that the clouds would have thoroughly obstructed the sunlight during such a tremendous rain indicative of the flood. Setting aside this and all other known fossil inconsistencies with the Bible, archaeologists have found human footprints within the upper layers. Moving water simply could not have deposited these markings. Tight Fit
An appropriate sequential analysis should begin with the problems Noah would have faced years before the ark ever left the ground. This recently appointed shipbuilder would have had extreme difficulty in gathering some of the more dangerous and sizable animals, such as tigers and elephants; and without falling back on divine intervention once again, the apologist can’t justify a reason why these animals would readily decide to return with Noah to the construction zone. Thus, there’s no good way to determine exactly how long it would have taken to trap and transport all the necessary animals in order to comply with God’s orders. Noah would have also been required to know, collect, and preserve the food for special diets required by certain animals. While many finicky species, such as the koala, can survive for short periods away from their primary sources of nutrition, the choice to forego these considerations compounds the great risk of killing such animals already traumatized by the drastic relocation. As we all know, many animal species are indigenous only to certain regions of the globe. There would have been no rational means by which Noah could have travelled to Australia to catch two koalas, North America to trap two grizzly bears, Antarctica to kidnap two penguins, etc. Even if we allow a miraculous way for Noah to journey to these remote regions, we’re still looking at that enormous amount of time to venture across the earth for the sole purpose of preserving an insignificant percentage of animals that God could have easily recreated after the flood. As Noah and his family are already pressed for time with the ark’s assembly, successful completion of such a futile journey seems exceedingly unattainable. As a consequence of their forced relocation, the overwhelming majority of the animals wouldn’t have survived in the near-desert region of Mesopotamia due to the extreme climate. For example, many cave dwelling animals require 100% humidity to survive. Such animals couldn’t have lived through months of turmoil on the boat, much less a week’s stay in the desert. Additionally, many animals require residency on an island due to their nature of being easy prey. Mainland creatures would have quickly driven them to extinction due to competition among the different species during the time prior to the flood. These considerable animal anomalies were, once again, unknown to the ancient authors. In the last area you’d anticipate having problems, the thoughtless God only provided Noah with a seven day warning to load the ark (Genesis 7:4). This designated period wouldn’t have been sufficient to secure even a few thousand animals onboard even when working around the clock. However, this task would have been relatively easy to accomplish if Noah was only boarding the handful of animals known to the flood story’s original audience. We also understand that God advised Noah to take a male and a female of each kind onto the ship. An unconditional problem with this divine order is the presence of asexual and hermaphroditic species. Because variant asexual species reproduce without a sexual partner, there’s no male or female distinction of which to speak. As for the hermaphrodites, they simultaneously exhibit qualities of being both male and female. These two anomalous creature classifications have no distinct male and female members, thus Noah couldn’t have gathered a male and female member of the kind as instructed by God unless we alter the clear meaning of the text. Unbelievably, the hypothetical sojourn aboard the ark would have likely created problems even more numerous than those encountered before the journey. The answer to the question on everyone’s mind is that the animals, babies or not, clearly could not have fitted onto the ark if we follow the building guidelines provided by God. Remember that according to some Christian apologists the flood was responsible for depositing the fossil layers. The consequence of this hypothesis is the requirement for every species, including those believed to have become extinct millions of years ago, to be present at the time of the flood in order to deposit their share of fossils in the geological column. Moreover, Noah would have been required to load the ark with dinosaurs, and, as I showed earlier, these enormous creatures wouldn’t fit onboard even if they had the crude vessel entirely to themselves. Apologists are really grasping at straws by this point if they’re still asserting that the global flood deposited the fossil layers. Regardless of the dinosaur difficulty though, the ark still would not have been large enough to house the remaining animals. Once again, the size of Noah’s boat would have been sufficient if you only count the variety of animals known to the authors. While the attempt at this feat doesn’t even come close to approaching success when considering two of each species, apologists will often regress to the “kinds of animals” hypothesis set forth in the Bible (meaning one kind of cat, one kind of beetle, etc.) However, this foolish proposition doesn’t allow enough time for the deviation of species into their present forms. Once this issue is settled, perhaps they can begin work on a method by which the dinosaurs can come aboard. Considering that there was only an eighteen-inch opening near the roof, the boat’s ventilation system would have been inadequate for the animals’ oxygen requirements. To make matters worse, some of the rooms were separated entirely from this makeshift ventilation system. Any organism attempting to thrive in this isolated environment would have fortunately died much sooner than those slowly suffering with a more proximate location to the roof. In short, almost every living thing would have eventually expired from asphyxiation. Furthermore, the build-up of toxic methane gas from animal faeces would have only compounded the respiration predicaments. While I imagine the smell would have been simply intolerable, one spark would have created a far more critical problem because methane is highly flammable, though we might be able to assume that Noah lived off tinned food and hot chocolate during the rainy days.
Some species, such as ants, bees and, of course, Sauropsids, needed a colony or herd to survive. Thus, two members alone would not have been sufficient for guaranteeing the continuation of their survival because each individual has a limited capacity to perform only certain tasks for the community. Host specific parasites could not have survived with only one pair of hosts. Either the parasites would have expired from a lack of nutrition, or they would have doomed their hosts’ species, as well as their own, by killing their only acceptable source of nourishment. Since moderate activity is quite necessary for most organisms to remain healthy, the relatively lucky prisoners would have further suffered due to a lack of exercise from the necessary space confinement. The lifespan of many species is shorter than a few months, but the ark would not have provided a suitable reproductive environment for most of these short-lived animals. There could not have been sufficient separation in the ark to keep the violent animals from attacking the weaker ones. There were no replacement animals for many species in the certain instance that one of them met an early death. The eight-person crew would not have been large enough to feed and take care of the countless number of animals taken aboard.The Human Gene Pool
Noah’s family lacked a sufficient gene pool to guarantee continuation of our species once the ark landed. Even if we assume that they were successful in surviving against many unprecedented odds, could we have all descended from only eight original members? Genetic markers, such as DNA, are excellent timekeepers to determine the interval back to a common ancestor. It’s possible to observe the deviation of DNA strands by retroactively measuring them to a common strand. This period back to a common ancestor has been determined to be tens of thousands of years, an age remarkably consistent with the ones established for human civilization remains through previously mentioned dating methods. We do not see the five thousand years that our DNA would reveal if all humans descended from the sole survivors of God’s flood.The Rainbow
According to Christian apologists, the rainbow seen by Noah after the flood was the first rainbow ever. Were the laws of physical optics different back then? They must have been, since rainbows are an extremely simple phenomena. How did light refract through water before that? Did the eyes of all creatures also have to change? How did we see colour before that? Rainbows only form during rain, but in the Bible the rainbow appears several months after the rains have stopped and the waters have drained away. So was this a real rainbow or a magical rainbow that needs neither sun nor rain? Some have argued that there was no rain before the flood, just very heavy dew each day.
The pervasive nature of obviously false beliefs is one thing that always perplexes me. How can anyone continue to believe in something that's so obviously absurd? How can adults spend literally their whole lives trying to find ways to explain Noah's Ark, or Creationism, or other such things in scientific terms? Twisting around natural laws, ignoring things that don't work in their theories, etc? There's a difference between an average person who believes something without giving it any real thought, and a scientifically-trained person who knows better, but chooses to use their intellect to try to confuse others into believing something absurd. I'd call that evil. Not even to mention the fact that Noah sacrificed some of the animals he had so painstakingly rescued as soon as the flood was over.
This seems like an incredibly complex way to go about ridding the world of sinners. Not only that, but it doesn’t seem to have actually worked. If God intended to re-breed the human race from the pure and virtuous Noah, why do we see so much “sin” in the world today? Surely God would have foreseen the outcome? Not to mention that this oversight resulted in his own son being martyred later in order to forgive us our sins. Why would a benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent god create a world populated by a flawed version of himself, then send an aspect of himself down to that world to redeem it of its built-in flaws by having himself be killed? Surely God would have foreseen the outcome? I cannot imagine how anyone could give any credibility whatsoever to the story of Noah’s Ark. It really does defy belief.
In order to accept Noah’s Ark as fact (and indeed pretty much everything else in the Bible) you must first believe in God. Without belief in God, the Bible is just laughable. You’re not going to convince many people to follow your religion by sitting them down and saying, “Well, let me tell you this fascinating and factual story about a 500 year old man, some animals, and a big boat a few thousand years ago.” With total, unquestioning belief in God, it works, no matter how strange it seems, since you can always just tell yourself that “God sorted it out.”
There is a local flood model that I haven’t discussed here. Genesis 6-8 can be interpreted as a homiletic story such that the “world” that was flooded was just the area that Noah knew. Creationists argue against the local flood model because it doesn’t fit into their own literalist preconceptions, but I know of no physical evidence contrary to such a model.
Unfortunately, the whole story can simply be dismissed as a series of supernatural miracles and there is no way to contradict such an argument since it is not founded on rationality. However, one must wonder about a God who reportedly does one thing and then arranges every bit of evidence to make it look like something else happened. It’s entirely possible that a global flood occurred 4000 years ago, or even last Thursday, and that God subsequently erased all the evidence, including our memories of it. But even if such stories are true, what, exactly, is the point?