39 Questions about Noah’s Ark

39 Problems

Hemant Mehta (http://www.friendlyatheist.com,) posted this on youtube.
By now, you probably know that Creationist Ken Ham and his Answers in Genesis ministry are about to open Ark Encounter, better known as the Noah’s Ark Theme Park.  Essentially, this $100 million park wants to convince you that the story of Noah building the ark, and inviting two of each living thing on it, and rebuilding society is literally true.  (And there is something wrong with that?)

I just have a couple of questions about that… (I wish they were halfway intelligent questions, but I will try to answer them, because I can’t see such stupidity go unanswered. It’s funny how people could attack this story so dogmatically while being unaware of very simple solutions.)

– Where did Noah find enough wood in the Middle East to build a ship of that size? (The Middle East is post-flood.  Most geologists [secular and Biblical] are finding common interest in the concept of Pangaea as the super-continent that broke up and began plate tectonics.)

– When did Noah learn how to build a ship? Who taught him? (God)

– How did the Ancient Egyptians need an army of slaves to build the pyramids, but Noah just needed his three sons to build the Ark? (Noah and his three sons wanted to accomplish the task and had between 90 and 100 years to build the ark.)

– How did a family of eight care for all those animals? (Well planned out division of chores?)

– Why did a loving, caring God have to kill off all but two of every species? How did God decide which ones lived? What did those other llamas ever do to Him? (That we do not know, but if he could and he certainly did, don’t you think you should get yourself right with God?)

– Assuming God killed off all the other people besides Noah’s family, didn’t he also murder a bunch of unborn babies? And if God can do it, how come the Religious Right says women today can’t?  (God brought the Flood because His people had become sinful.  Only Noah’s family were righteous so he saved them from condemnation.  Conservatives (not the Religious Right) believe that an unborn child is a living human and the 6th Commandment states ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’)

– Where did Noah’s Ark go? We’ve never found the remains. Not on Mt. Ararat. Not anywhere.  (Maybe Noah’s family took it apart to build themselves some shelters)

– Since the story of Noah’s Ark wasn’t written down for thousands of years after the events happened, isn’t is safe to assume the authors got some details wrong? (Jeepers, how wrong can you be? Noah wrote what God directed him to shortly after the Flood?  So no Nah did not forget anything.)  The Gospel writers couldn’t even agree on the details of Jesus’ life, and they wrote that stuff mere decades after his death.  (The Gospel writers wrote about the same events, but from slightly different perspectives.  There is no discrepancy in them.)

– Why does the story of Noah’s Ark so closely resemble the Epic of Gilgamesh? They’re practically identical stories, but they’re obviously not talking about the same event. We shouldn’t think of Noah’s Ark as a story about obeying God and saving the world. We should think of it as the world’s most famous example of plagiarism.

(It makes more sense that Genesis was the original and the pagan myths arose as distortions of that original account. While Moses lived long after the event, he probably acted as the editor of far older sources.9 For example, Genesis 10:19 gives matter-of-fact directions, ‘as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim’. These were the cities of the plain God destroyed for their extreme wickedness 500 years before Moses. Yet Genesis gives directions at a time when they were well-known landmarks, not buried under the Dead Sea.

It is common to make legends out of historical events, but not history from legends. The liberals also commonly assert that monotheism is a late evolutionary religious development. The Bible teaches that mankind was originally monotheistic. Archaeological evidence suggests the same, indicating that only later did mankind degenerate into idolatrous pantheism.10

For instance, in Genesis, God’s judgment is just, he is patient with mankind for 120 years (Genesis 6:3), shows mercy to Noah, and is sovereign. Conversely, the gods in the Gilgamesh Epic are capricious and squabbling, cower at the Flood and are famished without humans to feed them sacrifices. That is, the human writers of the Gilgamesh Epic rewrote the true account, and made their gods in their own image.)
– Where’s the evidence of a global flood that large, only 4,000 or so years ago?

(Just one small example: Geomorphology is a subfield of geology which specializes in studying and explaining the shape of the earth’s surface—its mountain ranges, plateaus, and plains. It includes study of small-scale features such as hills, valleys, slopes, and canyons.

Monterey Canyon extends from Monterey Bay, California into the Pacific Ocean for some 153 km (95 miles). At its deepest it is 3,600 m (11,800 ft) below sea level although the canyon itself is only about 1.6 km (1 mile) deep)

– Because we have evidence of dinosaur fossils, we know dinosaurs had to be on that Ark, too. How the hell did they fit on there? (This is a little more complex, so I can’t really put you down here: First, of the 668 supposed dinosaur genera, only 106 weighed more than ten tons when fully grown. Second, as said above, the number of dinosaur genera is probably greatly exaggerated. But these numbers are granted by Woodmorappe [A more detailed and updated technical study of this and many other questions is John Woodmorappe’s book Noah’s Ark: a Feasibility Study.] to be generous to skeptics. Third, the Bible does not say that the animals had to be fully grown. The largest animals were probably represented by ‘teenage’ or even younger specimens. The median size of all animals on the ark would actually have been that of a small rat, according to Woodmorappe‘s up-to-date tabulations, while only about 11% would have been much larger than a sheep.)

– Why did the meat-eating animals not eat all the other animals? (Many carnivores, including lions and tigers, can readily manage on a vegetarian diet, and this may have happened on the Ark. There is no problem with Noah possibly doing the same for carnivores on the Ark—a mixture of grains and legumes would provide all the nutrition needed, including the building blocks for animal protein. If it was unavoidably necessary for some of the Ark’s tenants to have meat in their diet, this could have been readily accomplished using salted meat, reconstituted dried meat, or fresh meat from fodder animals carried aboard for this purpose.)

– What did all the animals eat, if not each other? And where was all the food stored? And how did it stay preserved for so long without a refrigerator?  (There is no problem with Noah possibly doing the same for carnivores on the Ark—a mixture of grains and legumes would provide all the nutrition needed, including the building blocks for animal protein. If it was unavoidably necessary for some of the Ark’s tenants to have meat in their diet, this could have been readily accomplished using salted meat, reconstituted dried meat, or fresh meat from fodder animals carried aboard for this purpose. Tortoises are a good example of a fodder animal. Tortoises can survive up to a year and a half in captivity without water or food. In olden days, the famous Galápagos tortoise nearly went extinct due in part to its popularity as a fodder food.)

– Did the animals go to the bathroom at all during the journey? And where did it all go? (Another type of stable is the ‘grupstal’.  Many have stables like this.  In this type of stable the animals are housed on a floor with, for example, straw. A ‘gutter’ (called ‘grup’ in old Dutch) behind them collects the manure and urine. This type of stable is easy to clean—just push the manure into a collection tank.  A relatively small amount of straw is needed.  If Noah had used a system like this, then he could have discharged the waste to sea, using water (not in short supply!) to flush the stable clean.  It is also easy to feed the animals in these kinds of stables, by simply throwing the food into a gutter on the head side of the stable.  And many individuals around the world use dried animal waste for heating.)
– How did Noah’s family not get all sorts of diseases with what had to be giant piles of shit building up on the ark?  (See above)

– How did Noah collect the tens of millions of insect species alone, especially when those species don’t live near each other geographically? (Once again a simple reading of Scripture would point out the foolishness of your question. The Flood wiped out all land animals which breathed through nostrils except those on the Ark (Genesis 7:22). Insects do not breathe through nostrils but through tiny tubes in their exterior skeleton.)

– Who inspected the insects to make sure you had one male and one female of each?  (See above, if you can)

– How did they get the koalas from Australia and the penguins from Antarctica to come to the Middle East?  – And after the Flood, how did they get back there? (A two-for.  We may never know the exact answer to all such questions, but certainly the problems are far less formidable than they may at first  appear. Coupled with all the biblical, geological, and anthropological  evidence for Noah’s Flood, one is justified in regarding the Genesis account of the animals’ dispersing from a central point as perfectly  reasonable. Not only that, but the biblical model provides an excellent  framework for the scientific study of these questions.)
– How did they get all those animals onto the Ark that quickly? With all the species they needed to bring on board in a limited amount of time, and snails moving as slowly as they do, how fast were they boarding?  (The Bible states that the animals came to Noah; he did not have to round them up (Gen. 6:20). God apparently caused the animals to come to Noah. The Bible does not state how this was done. Neither do we know what the geography of the world was like before the Flood. If there was only one continent at that time, then questions of getting animals from remote regions to the Ark are not relevant.)

– How come when people draw pictures of the Ark, they never include the plants? Because there are a *ton* of plant species that also had to be on the Ark to survive. They wouldn’t have survived the flood otherwise.  (You might at least read and try to understand that which you should have read-Only land-dwelling, air-breathing animals and birds were on the Ark (Genesis 7:14,15; 21-23  Survival of land plants? Many terrestrial seeds can survive long periods of soaking in various concentrations of salt water (Howe, 1968, CRSQ:105-112). Others could have survived in floating masses. Many could have survived as accidental and planned food stores on the ark. Ironically, Charles Darwin himself performed experiments floating snails on, and submerging seeds in, salt water, convincing him that they could have survived long sea voyages on driftwood and the like.)

– Which animals on the ark had lice? Because, you know, those are living creatures, too. (Head, pubic, body, crab, sucking, or Haematopinus.  There are more than 5,000 species, do you think they were all on are just one tyoe that then evolved into the other types. Who knows, don’t keep yourself awake at night anymore pondering this problem)

What about Gonorrhea?  Which family member brought that along for the ride? (I do not know about your sexual preferences, but what makes you believe that anybody in Noah’s family had sexual infidelities.   In fact there has been some suggestion that Gonorrhea was named after the town of Gomarrah –of Sodom fame- as one of the first sexually transmitted disease.)

How did ants survive? They need a whole group of them to survive together because they all have specialized tasks.  It’s not like two of them can just hang out on the boat waiting for a year to procreate.  It doesn’t work like that. (So you failed high school biology, huh!   Asexual reproduction is a type of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single organism, and inherit the genes of that parent only; it does not involve the fusion of gametes and almost never changes the number of chromosomes.  Parthenogenesis involves the development of an egg that has not been fertilized into an individual. Animals like most kinds of wasps, bees, and ants that have no sex chromosomes reproduce by this process. Some reptiles, insects and fish are also capable of reproducing in this manner.)

Geneticly speaking, how it is possible that we have all this human diversity that we see today, if we just started out with Noah’s family a few thousand years ago?  Natural selection doesn’t work that quickly. (Extremely easy to answer—at least if you understand exponential growth. This population of 8 would need to double only 30 times to reach 8.6 billion. Since the Flood was about 4500 years ago, that means it would need to double only every 150 years on average. A simple way to work out the rough growth rate in your head is the ‘rule of 72’. This states that dividing 72 by the years to double the population provides the annual growth rate. This shows that the population would need to grow by <0.5% per year—less than a third of the current growth rate)

Assuming creatures who live in the water stayed there and didn’t get on board the ark, wouldn’t a global flood of that magnitude, lasting for a year have damaged their ecosystem sin some way? (Can’t fault you too much on this one- this involves cognitive thinking. Many marine creatures would have been killed in the Flood because of the turbidity of the water, changes in temperature, etc. The fossil record testifies to the massive destruction of marine life with 95% of the fossil record accounted for by marine creatures. This is consistent with the Bible’s account of the Flood beginning with the breaking up of the ‘fountains of the great deep’ (i.e. beginning in the sea?  Freshwater can sit on top of saltwater for extended periods of time. Turbulence may have been sufficiently low at high latitudes for such layering to persist and allow the survival of both freshwater and saltwater species in those areas. The technical term for a sharp vertical change in salinity is halocline; haloclines are well known in many bodies of water. Many estuarine and tidepool species are able to tolerate wide changes in salinity. Starfish will tolerate 16-18% of the normal concentration of sea salt indefinitely. Barnacles can withstand exposure to less than one-tenth the usual salt concentration of seawater.)

After the flood ended, how did these animals survive long enough to reproduce? I mean there are so many things that had to happen. They had to survive this year long trip, then they had to reproduce, Then they had to reproduce again to guarantee the propagation of the species.  I mean that’s not easy for elephants and other creatures with these long gestational periods.  And if anything went wrong,  the whole plan would have been screwed. (Another tough question.  It should be obvious, but in your case, I guess not, that the animals survived the trip, left the ark and went merrily on  their way to find  a spot to make out and begin raising a family that they them went to various areas of the earth to populate.  Now how did they do that- beyond your ability to comprehend, I’m sorry)

The Bible says that rainbows didn’t exist before the flood.  But that would mean that there was no rain or no sun. So which is it. (This is not a direct teaching of Scripture, so again there should be no dogmatism. Genesis 2:5–6 at face value teaches only that there was no rain at the time Adam was created. But it doesn’t rule out rain at any later time before the Flood, as great pre-uniformitarian commentators such as John Calvin pointed out. A related fallacy is that the rainbow covenant of Genesis 9:12–17 proves that there were no rainbows before the Flood. As Calvin pointed out, God frequently invested existing things with new meanings, e.g. the bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper, the rainbow with his new Covenant.)

Who had time to plant all the plants after the flood?  (Johnny Appleseed?)

Where did all the water go after the flood.  (The oceans?)

Other civilizations lived in the same time period as when creationists believe the flood actually happened.  So how come all of their recorded history, all of their documentation that we have, doesn’t have any mention of this global flood?  (It was destroyed in the global flood, should be a fairly easy conclusion to make.)

It’ almost like the whole story was just made up. (No, just your idiotic questions.)

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