Bible Story Noah & The Ark

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Bob Kirk, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. Bob Kirk

    Bob Kirk Very Well-Known Member
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    Species – A group within a genus that is reproductively isolated and unique from other groups.

    I cut a lot but the URL's are posted for verification, and reading. A person can have either blind faith in the bible story or ask yourself does the story defy logic & common sense.

    Animal Species
    6.5 million species found on land and 2.2 million (about 25 percent of the total) dwelling in the ocean depths.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823180459.htm
    Bird Species
    the American Museum of Natural History suggests that there are about 18,000 bird species
    https://www.amnh.org/about/press-center/new-study-doubles-the-estimate-of-bird-species-in-the-world
    Insect species
    Conservative estimates suggest that this figure is 2 million,
    https://www.si.edu/spotlight/buginfo/bugnos

    Animal,bird,insect species into the millions. Completely exclude the 2.2 dwelling in the ocean depths.

    Now lets look at the bible version of the arc size
    The Bible gives the size of Noah's Ark as 300 cubits (507 feet) long, by 50 cubits (85 feet) wide and 30 cubits (about 50 feet) high.

    Then look at the two versions of the quantity of birds & animals on the arc.
    http://www.hcna.us/columns/noahsark.html

    Naturally I wondered about plant life surviving salinity & lack of oxygen.
    The rains came for forty days and the waters covered even the mountains and all flesh on the earth died. According to J the flooding lasted 150 days.

    The explanation I found.
    https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/how-did-plants-survive-the-flood/

    Right in the middle of the explanation was this.

    Every year, rivers and other sources dump over 450 million tons of sodium into the ocean. Only 27% of this sodium manages to get back out of the sea each year. As far as anyone knows, the remainder simply accumulates in the ocean. If the sea had no sodium to start with, it would have accumulated its present amount in less than 42 million years at today’s input and output rates. This is much less than the evolutionary age of the ocean, three billion years (emphasis original).

    So the article author doesn't refer to the bible version of creation being 6000 years. The last sentence clearly says "the evolutionary age of the ocean, three billion years"

    No doubt in my mind the story of Noah & the arc is nice but when it comes to the millions of species loaded on the arc. I just can't envision that as possible.
     
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  2. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Before analyzing a single global catastrophe via flooding one has to first interpret the word, “world”.
    From geological, archeological and paleontological finds, it’s a given that all parts of the earth including the mountainous regions have been flooded at one time or the other but whether it was indeed a one time thing or multiple floods is still up in the air.

    The bottom line is that when we speak in terms of ancient history, the world generally meant the world as it was known at the time and not in reference to earth in it’s entirety as we know it to be today. That still leaves a lot to boarded on the ark but it does make the estimated number of indigenous species a small percentage of the entire planetary population.
     
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  3. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    Not entirely true Bobby. The mountains were at one time or the other part of the sea floor, but that was before they were lifted up to become mountains. If all the ice on earth melted the water still wouldn't cover the mountains.
     
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  4. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    It isn’t so much that water “covered” the mountains as what is presently being found in the area that those mountains cover.
    I do not even pretend to know what that part of the world’s sea level was some 5000 years ago nor do I pretend to know how high that water rose nor how high an area was that is now occupied by a mountain but just that there was indeed a flood that covered a specific area known as “the earth” or world.

    The stress I was making is in the defining of the word “world”. Even if the part of the Noaic world was flat, the number of species is still greatly reduced compared to the number of species on the entire globe. By “Noaic” world, I’m writing about the world as it was known to him and those who occupied that area of the earth.
     
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  5. Joseph Carl

    Joseph Carl Member
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    Bobby, you're right that geologic evidence does indicate a flooding of the entire world. I would go further in saying that the evidence also supports a major, world-wide, cataclysmic event moreso than a series of regional floods. This is of course what the Bible (and God) clearly state in Genesis. I would not try to reconcile a Biblical flood account with science by proposing an interpretation that counters the Bible itself. Although this is what many believers do, advocating a local flood rather than a world wide flood, it is theologically inconsistent. Fortunately, it's also unnecessary. As with evolution versus creation, we can count on science supporting the world wide flood, and my next post will provide some reasonable support for the related Noah Ark account.

    Sheldon, you're right that the mountains were originally on the sea floor. I would go further to say that they were also much lower at one time, allowing the entire world to be flooded. Creation apologists believe that the massive uplifting of the mountains and continental shift occured by cataclysmic tectonic plate activity during the world wide flood. I understand this is debatable, but there's certainly adequate geological evidence to support such a theory. In any case, I think this post cries for a response to the ark's feasibility for holding a large number of animals. I'll be adding a perspective soon with that.
     
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  6. Bob Kirk

    Bob Kirk Very Well-Known Member
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    Bobby the logic that species would be limited would make sense if the bible didn't have direct reference to covering the entire earth.

    Does the Bible really claim that the Flood covered the ENTIRE Earth?

    All the Mountains Were Covered. The tops of all the high mountains under the entire heavens were at least 20 feet beneath the waters surface (Genesis 7:19-20). It would be absurd to think that a flood covering the highest mountains of the Middle East would not affect the rest of the world. In addition, the waters remained at this awesome, mountain-covering height for five months! (Genesis 7:18-24, 8:1-5).

    https://christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c005.html
     
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  7. Joseph Carl

    Joseph Carl Member
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    Bob raises several Bible criticisms as usual, but I will limit my response to the biggest issue at hand - the one that often troubles believers as well as non-believers.

    The practicality of hoarding such a large number and variety of insects on the ark is a reasonable objection, but not one without reasonable explanation. There is scriptural evidence suggesting that insects did not meet the definition of the kinds to be collected by Noah. That means that most, if not all, of the insect population could have been left to survive the deluge outside of the ark, as with other certain biological life forms. With large mats of floating vegetation masses likely resulting from the flood, it's not unreasonable to postulate that insects could have survived in this manner. Following, is a good article that addresses this insect/ark issue more thoroughly.

    https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/were-insects-on-the-ark/

    Even with the possible exclusion of insects, I understand that most Bible skeptics challenge the feasibility of fitting all of the world's animal species on the ark. First, people need to understand that Noah collected pairs of each kind, not species, and the difference in number is huge.

    Taxonomy is an imperfect, changing science with a lot of disagreement and uncertainty about classifications and numbers. References to hundreds of millions of species is grossly misleading for ark discussions because they include categories of plant and animal life not contained on the ark. Further, they falsely assume Noah collected pairs of all animal species rather than kinds as the Bible actually states.

    In the case of Noah's ark, the number of species at the time of the flood is not necessarily a relevant figure. The Genesis account of Noah's flood and the ark probably requires substantial post flood speciation, and our knowledge of genetics suggests that such could be accomplished from taxonomic "families." The current number of relative animal families seems to be well under 10,000 - a much more realistic and manageable number for a Noachian flood and ark account.

    For those interested, I've provided 3 references below that address this issue with different assumptions but converging conclusions. The first two are book excerpts, and the third is a video that may repel some with its early scripture readings, but it progresses well into specifics that are very intriguing.

    As a personal comment on this subject, I concede that numbers and theories of ark feasibility can be proposed, manipulated, and debated endlessly with no certain determination. However, the precise details of the ark encounter needn't be proved in order to support the Bible's authenticity. It only needs to be demonstrated that the Genesis account of Noah's ark is a reasonable possibility. I think the information presented here meets that goal - enough to give critics reason for pause and enough to give Christians faith that the Bible and science are compatible.

    Excerpt from The Global Flood of Noah, 2005 (pg 34-35), by Bert Thompson, PhD

    THE CONSTRUCTION AND SIZE OF THE ARK ...

    Using the most conservative estimate available for the length of the cubit (17.5 inches), Whitcomb and Morris have shown that the ark would have been 437.5 feet long, 72.92 feet wide, and 43.75 feet high. In its three decks (Genesis 6: 16) it had a total area of approximately 95,700 square feet— the equivalent of slightly more than twenty standard basketball courts. Its total volume would have been about 1,396,000 cubic feet. The gross tonnage (a measurement of cubic space rather than weight, one ton being equivalent to 100 cubic feet of usable storage space) was about 13,960 tons (1961, p. 10).

    Critics of the Flood account have stated that the ark was not large enough to handle its assigned cargo. Such critics, however, generally have not taken the time to consider just how large the ark really was, or the cargo it had to carry. As Whitcomb has pointed out:

    For the sake of realism, imagine waiting at a railroad crossing while ten freight trains, each pulling 52 boxcars, move slowly by, one after another. That is how much space was available in the Ark, for its capacity was equivalent to 520 modern railroad stock cars. A barge of such gigantic size, with its thousands of built-in compartments (Gen. 6:14) would have been sufficiently large to carry two of every species of air-breathing animal in the world today (and doubtless the tendency toward taxonomic splitting has produced more “species” than can be justified in terms of Genesis “kinds”) on only half of its available deck space. The remaining space would have been occupied by Noah’s family, five additional representatives of each of the comparatively few kinds of animals acceptable for sacrifice, two each of the kinds that have become extinct since the Flood, and food for them all (Gen. 6:21) [1973, p. 23, emp. in orig.].

    Whitcomb and Morris investigated the numbers of animals that would have been on the ark (using the highest possible estimates, and taxonomic figures provided by evolutionists), and showed that the biblical account can fit known scientific facts regarding these matters (1961, pp. 65-69). Their book, The Genesis Flood, was published in 1961. Thirty-five years later, John Woodmorappe expanded on their original work and produced what is likely the most exhaustive, well-researched feasibility study ever put into print dealing specifically with the ark’s construction and contents (1996). His databased conclusions established beyond any doubt that the ark could do what it was designed to do.

    Excerpt from The Global Flood, 2012 (pg 81-8), by Dr. John D. Morris

    HOW COULD ALL THE ANIMALS BE HOUSED ON BOARD THE ARK?

    The next big problem for our theological forefathers concerned the animals on the Ark. Continuing worldwide exploration discovered numerous large animals that were previously unknown in Europe, and multitudes of previously unknown small animals as well. Fossil discoveries compiled a similar list of extinct animals. The number and volume of these animals are staggering. It seemed to skeptical Bible students that there was simply not enough room on the Ark to transport and care for all of these species. Their reaction was that Scripture must be wrong, and that the writer(s) of Genesis simply didn’t know the implications of what science had recently discovered.

    We are told in Scripture that Noah was to take two of each land-dwelling, air-breathing “kind,” male and female, onto the Ark for the purpose of survival (Genesis 6:17-19). This provision didn’t apply to fish and other marine organisms, for they could survive, at least in representative numbers, outside the Ark. He was told to take seven (or seven pairs) of the clean animals. Perhaps this was because clean animals would soon be permissible as food for humans, or, more likely, because clean animals were fit to serve as sacrificial animals in worship while on the Ark and afterward. But how many kinds needed to be on board?

    A kind differs from a modern species, which usually represents a separate breeding population. However, many species can hybridize (when similar but somewhat different species mate) and produce fertile offspring, and thus should be classed in the same species. A kind may be better approximated by our modern designation genus or family. All taxonomic categories are somewhat arbitrary and do not necessarily reflect separate creations. Depending on many factors, each one may contain many species. Obviously, the number of species far exceeds the number of kinds. For instance, several species of dog, including domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, etc. (which are labeled as separate species in the modern classification scheme), can and readily do interbreed. Thus, all are obviously one kind. The same could be said of bear, cat, deer, cattle, or rodent species, and many other groups. There are hundreds of species of hummingbird, for example, many of which are known to be interfertile, but there is probably just one hummingbird kind.

    Research may one day determine just how many kinds there really are and thus how many needed to be on the Ark, but in lieu of that knowledge it might be helpful to construct a “worst case scenario” and ask if the Ark was large enough to house today’s known number of species. To do so, we need to know much about the various animal types, their number, their average size, their transport on ships, their food needs, etc. This is inexact speculation, but working with what we know, we wonder: Could the Ark hold two of each species? If so, it certainly could handle two of each kind, a far lower, and more likely, number.

    There are well over one million species of animals on earth today (some speculate up to six million), but only some of the animals must be accounted for on the Ark. “All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land” (Genesis 7:22) needed to be protected from the floodwaters. Representatives of various fish types would survive outside, and so would corals, whales, clams, and marine arthropods, like lobsters. They died by the trillions, and we have their fossils, but some survived and perpetuated their kind after the Flood. Those kinds had no need to be on the Ark, and were not required biblically to be protected.

    Insects, which make up the majority of arthropod species, would not have to be on board either. Even land-based insects can survive extended periods in water, some on floating debris, and others in egg or larval stages. Possessing neither “the breath of life” (insects absorb oxygen through their abdomen, not by using lungs) nor blood (their bodily fluids are quite different from blood), their presence on the Ark was not mandated, and we can surmise they were omitted. The turbulent, sediment-filled floodwaters were devastating to life in the sea, as evidenced by the abundant marine fossil record, but pockets of all kinds would have survived to continue the kind.

    Furthermore, certain mammals could have survived outside, such as whales and dolphins. Floodwaters were deadly and many individuals died, but at least two of each kind survived somewhere, somehow. Among the birds, perhaps penguins could have made it outside the Ark, but most birds would have required the safety provided on the Ark. Survival outside could also be possible for some reptiles such as sea turtles and sea snakes, and certain of the amphibians, as well. Some could perhaps survive outside, but most needed the Ark.

    An approximate listing of Ark travelers could be pared down to:

    CLASSIFICATION.....NO. OF KNOWN SPECIES.....PROBABLE NO. ON ARK
    Mammals................................3,700..................................<3,700
    Birds.........................................8,600.................................<8,600
    Reptiles....................................6,300.................................<6,300
    Amphibians.............................2,500..................................<2,500
    Fishes....................................20,600...........................................0
    Tunicates.................................1,400...........................................0
    Echinoderms...........................6,000...........................................0
    Arthropods..........................838,500...........................................0
    Mollusks..............................107,250...........................................0
    Worms...................................34,700...........................................0
    Coelenterates et al..................9,600...........................................0
    Sponges...................................4,800...........................................0
    Protozoans.............................28,350..........................................0
    Total # of Species.............1,072,300.................................21,100

    For fairness, in this hypothetical worst-case scenario of species on the Ark, we should add extinct species, bringing the (generous) rough approximation to 25,000 or so. Double this number to account for both genders and you arrive at only about 50,000 animals for the Ark’s passenger list. (Allowing for seven of the few “clean” kinds doesn’t add much.) This number represents the outside maximum number of individual animals that needed to be on board. Working with the number of “kinds” as we should be (i.e., groupings of related species) instead of species themselves, the number decreases dramatically. Creationist researcher John Woodmorappe concludes the outside maximum number of animals aboard the Ark was on the order of 16,000 (but more likely just a few thousand, equating kind with the modern family), not 50,000.

    New species are regularly discovered, but these are mostly bacteria or insects or marine invertebrates, thus not required to have been on the Ark. All of these are quite small and usually similar to known species, thus probably fall within one of the biblical kinds already considered. Rarely does a new land mammal or bird or reptile turn up. Adding a small number to the total doesn’t alter the implications of the study.

    IS HOUSING 50,000+/- ANIMALS ON A HUGE SHIP WITHIN THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY?

    To answer this question, we must first answer several other questions. To begin with, we must calculate the volume of the Ark. The Bible’s description of the Ark’s size is given in cubits—approximately the distance between a man’s elbow and fingertip, about eighteen inches—and was specified as 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Thus, the Ark calculates as about 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high, and yields a volume for the Ark of 1,518,750 cubic feet. For comparison, this volume is equivalent to about 569 double-deck railroad stock cars used for transporting animals. How many animals that many stock cars or that size ship could hold can be answered by knowing the average size of the animals and how much space each needed.

    Most animals are rather tiny. Only a familiar few are large: cows, horses, giraffes, and elephants. The dinosaurs that were alive when the Flood occurred could have been represented by young adults, not necessarily the largest specimen of each type. Most of them were rather small and don’t change the average size. An exhaustive study demonstrated that the average size of the animals on the Ark approximates that of a rat.

    For ease of comparison, John Whitcomb and Henry Mor￾ris earlier assumed an average size estimate as that of a sheep, for it is known how much space it takes to transport sheep. A railroad stock car can comfortably transport 240 sheep on a long trip. Thus:

    50,000 “sheep” / 240 “sheep”per car = 208 stock cars needed
    208 stock cars needed / 569 stock car equivalency = 36% of the Ark’s capacity

    Thus, the Ark was at least two times bigger than it needed to be, given these reasonable assumptions. Remember, this is the worst-case scenario. We have assumed a number of animals on board much greater than it probably was. And we have generously estimated the average size of the animals and found the Ark was still big enough. The Ark was certainly large enough to do the job!

    I recommend this half hour video presentation to everyone:

     
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  8. Bob Kirk

    Bob Kirk Very Well-Known Member
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    All I have time for today.


    Insects for and against.

    No agreement on what translated words mean. Confuses the issue but is interesting to read.

    The last sentence
    The most likely scenario is that they survived outside the Ark but that the most delicate insects were brought on board, along with others that could have been used as food sources for other animals or as composters and pollinators.
    https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/were-insects-on-the-ark/

    Speculation at it's finest.

    For insects
    Conservative estimates suggest that this figure is 2 million.
    https://www.si.edu/spotlight/buginfo/bugnos

    The articles author would help a lot if identifying which were which.
     
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  9. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Very Well-Known Member
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    Not sure if this was covered in the tome above, but simply "storage" of the animals would not account for storing their food and water as well. And how did they keep the lions from eating the zebras? So many questions. :D
     
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  10. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    All this above my pay grade, unless the animals were microscopic DNA
    of those animals and fit neatly into a small corner of the ships hold, much
    like micro plastic in our food and oceans and in ever creature on earth and
    in the earth itself, even my tea bags. It's just a story and I would leave its
    intetrpitation to the scholars on this site and elsewhere.
     
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  11. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Veteran Member
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    @Beth Gallagher , God turned the lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, cheetahs, mountain lions, cougars, bear, alligators, crocodiles, wolves, fox and every other carnivore into hay- eaters for the voyage.

    Or, these few humans were able to catch enough fish. Which also makes creatures thirsty.

    As for water for drinking, washing, laundry and cleaning an unimaginable amount of filth, maybe they set out pails on the roof to catch the rain.

    Sound good?

    :D
     
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  12. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    If you want to hear a great dramatic song about Noah and the Ark, find it in YouTube.

    It's sung (shouted) by Harry Belafonte.

    Upload it to the Forum if you think others will enjoy it!

    "Called in the animals two by two,
    There was the Ox, the Camel, and the Kangaroo,
    Elephant, the Monkey, and the Crocodile,
    And little-bitty animals that couldn't smile.
    Packed them in the Ark so tight,
    The Owl couldn't get no sleep at night,
    Called in Japeth, and Shem, and Ham,
    God began to flood the land,
    Raised his hand to Heaven on high,
    And KNOCKED THAT SUN AND THE MOON FROM THE SKY!"

    Hal
     
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  13. Bob Kirk

    Bob Kirk Very Well-Known Member
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    Sheep, cows, Clydesdale horses & other large animals like elephants & hippos, rhinos, giraffes, lions,tigers, kangaroos to the size of rats for me is another example of speculation to fit the story. To be fair maybe miniature horses evolved into Clydesdale.

    A twist though is the bible is clear in the quantity. The list starting with below explains that. So doing the math using the chart provided/
    21,100 X 14 = 295,400 The size of the arc is one thing not discussed was the interior. Deduct living quarters for Noah & his family. Deduct cage space for the animals, deduct storage space for the food. Probably just me but after reducing interior space even with reducing 295,400 animals to the size of rats, that is one huge quantity to support for many recent creationists are of the opinion that the Flood’s duration was 371 days.
    https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/how-long-did-the-flood-last/

    Total # of Species.............1,072,300.................................21,100

    Genesis 7:2 King James Version (KJV)
    2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

    Genesis 7:3
    and also seven of every kind of bird of the air, male and female, in order to preserve their offspring on the face of all the earth.


    A really nice story until doing the math. I'm going to speculate here. Male & female animals produced young during those 371 days. Rabbits come to mind, even more interesting are mice.
    How many offspring do mice have?
    Mice are capable of having 5 to 10 litters in a year, with each litter having about 6-8 offspring. Theoretically, this means that a single female can have up to 80 offspring in one year.
    pestkill.org/mice/how-many-babies/

    Then comes insects with short lifespans that produce multiple numbers adding to the quantity.

    Forgot fly fishing. What do fly fishers use to catch fish? Hint insects. Trying to imagine the fate of insects floating on water until debris formed. Then what ocean life scavengers would do to insects on the debris?

    A puzzle though wood-boring insects.
    With more than 700 species in the Bostrichidae family, which includes a number of common wood and also food pests in both temperate and tropical regions.
    Wood boring insects
    www.rentokil-pestcontrolindia.com/wood-borers/wood-boring-insects/

    Would those be on the arc or eating the floating debris?
     
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  14. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    If a person doesn't even believe in God, then why would it matter to them if a Bible story is true or not? Why spend any energy trying to disprove something you don't believe. It isn't going to change anyone's mind who does believe, so it's kind of a waste of time.
     
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  15. Bob Kirk

    Bob Kirk Very Well-Known Member
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    Well for some like me spending time looking up references, thinking about the why of things it's useful for keeping the old grey matter working.

    Did it occur to you that those that have faith just might enjoy countering a post?
     
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