The Fantasy Flood

Recently another group of “ecclesiastical scientists” claimed to have discovered the remains of Noah’s Ark, the wooden boat claimed by the Bible to have held two of each animal or species (depending on who is reading which version of the Bible) during a great flood that supposedly destroyed the earth. Yeah, you know the story, since it is a Sunday school favorite. Teaching it to kids is really the only way to get anyone to believe in it, since the story is so silly and childish that it’s impossible to convince a thinking adult that a man and a woman built a boat by hand and packed it full of, well, everyone who mattered. Come on, it’s a kid’s story! It reminds me of all that popular young adult fiction about dragons and heroic teenagers who save their special little dragon-infested world single-handedly.

Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota in 2005; even using modern machinery and explosives for 60 years, this thing isn't even close to being done.
Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota in 2005; even using modern machinery and explosives for 60 years, this thing isn't even close to being done.

Adults believe this story as adults by resting on the time-honored “When I was young, I was taught that…” axiom, which conveniently relieves them from the burden of thinking for themselves.

I digress. The idea that the ark was real ignores a couple of simple ideas. First, there are now about 30,000,000 species of creatures inhabiting the earth, meaning that assuming we don’t allow for evolution of any of them (since the church doesn’t care for the idea), Noah and the Mrs would have needed to collect 60,000,000 organisms to populate the ark. Second, why would Noah collect ticks, but not unicorns? I can almost imagine saving the leech and the mosquito, but Noah, please. Ticks?

If each organism weighed just one pound, that’s 60,000,000 pounds, or 30,000 tons, roughly the displacement of a World War II aircraft carrier. An individual and his wife, even if he was assisted by family members and cheap Mexican laborers, couldn’t have built such a structure in the allotted time, and probably not in his entire lifetime. (I site as example the ongoing labor involved in the construction of the Crazy Horse memorial in South Dakota, which has been going on since 1948 and isn’t even close to finished.) None of that takes into account the needs of the creatures on board, since you can’t just cram 60,000,000 creatures into a boat and stack them like cord wood; they require food and clean water (though maybe flood water was clean back then), and space to move about.

Never mind that there isn’t any physical evidence of a catastrophic flood 6000 years ago. Bible believers disregard a lot of physical evidence and the lack thereof when it suits them. I also acknowledge that much of faith is belief in the impossible, since if it were possible, it wouldn’t be a “miracle.”

I also love the fact that the Bible made sure to have the ark made of imaginary wood (gopherwood), so no one could really prove or disprove the “miracle” of the Great Flood. That’s brilliant. It reminds me of the logic used by JFK conspiracy theorists.

Next week, the second shooter on the grassy knoll? It was me!

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2 Comments

  1. Richard,
    Keep in mind that each specific (and logical) point you make is answered by the same statement: “God.” For the Christian person, you only have to believe *one* thing to make all the other stuff possible, and that one thing is God. So detailed counterpoint-type arguments cannot help if you actually meant this post for those people. ;-)

    (However, I’ll assume you actually meant this for *thinking* people, so I say “good job” to you, sir.)

    On another note, I can easily see how the writers of the Bible could have used “whole world” to mean something different than we mean today. They didn’t own globes or Mercator projection maps of the entire planet, nor did they use Google Earth or have photos of the Earth taken from orbit. With very little to convince them otherwise, the “whole world” seems to indicate “just the part I know about.”

    And I have *always* questioned why God would have ordered Noah to bring two of *every* species. Surely he could have shaved all the tick-bearing animals and flea-bearing animals before loading the boat?

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