Noah's Ark: The Impossible Voyage (Part II)
If you don’t need another good reason why loads of sea creatures would need to come on the Ark, I’ll give you one anyway: water clarity. I don’t know how many of you know what flood-waters look like, but they don’t look like this:
…they look like this:
Fun Interactive Activity: examine the following 2 pictures closely for 30 minutes, then imaginarily draw a circle around the “not a flood” image. I'll wait:
And once more…for our hearing impaired…
Not a flood:
If you wanted to recreate this experience, next time dear hunting season rolls around, throw a brown paper bag over your head as soon as you get into the woods, and then let us know how many antlers you manage to bag. Likewise, all those fish and aquatic mammals that stay alive by chasing stuff down and eating it when they catch it are pretty much given the Divine Shaft since they’re all now blind as bats. What’s that, you say? Animals didn’t eat other animals yet? Great white sharks were still operating under the “fish are friends…” mantra until God gave the eventual okay?
Well, here’s the problem: even if this outlandish thought were true, all the available sea plant life is now deeper than 99.9% of fish and sea mammals are functionally equipped to dive. Oh, and they’re all dead from lack of sunlight. And invisible. If Elton John taught us anything, it’s that Saturday night is a good time to have fights, and that the Circle of Life moves us all. When your plants die, the animals that eat your plants die. Then the animals that eat your animals that eat your plants die.
Moreover, a large number of the arthropods numbering 838,000 species, such as lobsters, shrimp, crabs and water fleas and barnacles are marine creatures.
And the insect species among arthropoda are usually very small.
Small, AND….multiply exponentially at a horrifying rate. Two common houseflies must have made the boat trip because we still have flies today. Flies, however, don't live 13 months. Their average lifespan is 15-30 days, and they reproduce exponentially. A female will lay an average of about 500 eggs, which will hatch within 8 to 20 hours as larvae, or more commonly, maggots. After about 4 to 10 days, a maggot will move into the pupa stage of its life, encasing itself in a thick shell like a caterpillar anticipating its butterfly form. This metamorphosis takes 4 to 6 days. Two days after the female fly emerges from her cocoon, she's ready to start laying eggs of her own. Get out your calculators and let's start doing the math. Within 9 to 17 days of boarding the Ark, the fly population will have increased from 2 to about 500. Since the Ark was stacked to the roof with both food and feces, none of the flies would have to compete for survival. They would all thrive. 250 brand new female flies would each be capable of laying 500 new eggs apiece, or 125,000 eggs in total. After only 4 reproductive cycles, extending possibly a month or month and a half, the fly (read: maggot) population aboard the Ark would be 7,812,500,000. Beyond that, the numbers get too big for my calculator to handle. So, we've got a fly problem. We've also got a maggot problem. Which means we also have a food problem. We probably also have a disease problem. Since thousands of diseases and harmful viruses are still around today, God must have either brought them on the Ark, or thoughtfully created them afterward...you know, because He "loves" us.
How many animals needed to be brought aboard?
Doctors Morris and Whitcomb in their classic book The Genesis Flood state that no more than 35,000 individual animals needed to go on the ark.
And my semi-retarded half-brother who wears SCUBA flippers and lives in a tree house stated that 2 bazillion animals needed to go on the Ark. This highlights why I do not traditionally accept theories that any random homo sapien with a mouth puts forth as any kind of authoritative commentary on the subject at hand.
This here is a perfect example of using ambiguous wording to craftily imply credentials that aren’t actually relevant to anything in our vicinity. “Doctor” Morris’ doctorate was in hydraulic engineering, not bird-watching; while Whitcomb’s was in…um…hold on a sec…okay, Whitcomb, it turns out, was not a “Doctor.” He had a Theological degree in Old Testament Studies. It seems we might ought to have consulted, say, a zoologist or taxonomist instead of a clergy and a car-lift operator for this one. (And once you read the rest of this review, you’ll be thanking your suspension bridges that we won’t be using their figure.) Anyways, their book – written a half century ago – has since been refuted so often and so soundly that to attack it now would kinda be like beaning the fat kid in the head in dodgeball with your first toss.
In his well documented book, Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study, John Woodmorappe suggests that far fewer animals would have been transported upon the ark. By pointing out that the word “specie” is not equivalent to the “created kinds” of the Genesis account, Woodmorappe credibly demonstrates…
(We’ll soon see that Woodmorappe is no more qualified to comment on what is “credible” than…um…whoever the hell wrote this essay is qualified to comment on whether or not an evaluative statement on its credibility is credible. Everyone involved in this process rode a short bus to school.)
…that as few as 2,000 animals may have been required on the ark. To pad this number for error, he continues his study by showing that the ark could easily accommodate 16,000 animals.)
It could, in fact, do no such thing, as you’ll soon see; and John Woodmorappe does not “pad this number (2,000) for error.” Equating Genesis’ “kind” with the Linnaeus classification system’s “genus,”
...he explicitly states that the Ark would require 7,428 mammals, 4,602 birds, and 3,724 reptiles for a grand total of 15,754 creatures. (somewhat less than the 1 million from above) At this point he appears to be utterly oblivious to the fact that he actually needs 14 - not 2 - of a bunch of these critters. No explanation is given for why he includes no insects or amphibians. At one point he states that snails and worms did not come on the Ark. Later, he forgets he said this, and claims snails were on the Ark as food (apparently also forgetting he’s claimed animals didn’t eat other animals), and worms were aboard to help decompose animal waste, so, you know, he’s a wealth of consistency.
Oh, one more notable fun fact about Woodmorappe: it seem he has a bit of a propensity for occasionally submitting articles arguing for Young Earth Creationism to various scientific publications, and quoting scientist Jan Peczkis as his go-to source. And who is this Peczkis fellow? Well, first off he’s not a scientist, per se; he’s a high school science teacher (which I suppose could be a “scientist,” at least in the same sense that a third grade history teacher is an “historian”). He doesn’t have a Ph.D in anything, and if he even has a Masters degree, it’s in showing 14-year olds how to make a volcano out of baking soda, and hook a light bulb up to a 9-volt battery. On top of that he’s also John Woodmorappe.
You heard me. John Woodmorappe is the pen name of Jan Peckzis, meaning he writes “scientific” articles under an alter-ego, quoting himself as his primary source! (along with a job description that turns out to be somewhat less than entirely truthful) Yep, this should definitely be our go-to guy. Seriously, ChristianAnswers.Net, these were the three best sources you could come up with? And why would you cite both of their works since one more than doubles the figure of the other? Geez! This is like trying to figure out how much lumber you’d need to build a deck, and then deciding your best bet is to consult a philosopher, a pastry chef, and a female impersonator.
So there you have it, folks. Three dudes show up on your front porch, offering to paint your house. One guy says it’ll take 2 gallons of paint. The next says it’ll take 16 gallons. The third guy claims it’ll need 35. You think all of this sounds about right, and decide to forgo actually consulting anyone who actually knows something about paint.
I already argued above why neither our Hebrew scholar, hydraulic engineer, nor self-referential “scientist’s” figures are near high enough, but for our immediate purposes we’ll humor their lowball numbers for a bit.
But, let's be generous and add on a reasonable number to include extinct animals.
Do you even know how many extinct animals there are? Most paleontologists estimate that the roughly 1 million+ species we have alive today represents all of .01% of all the species that have ever lived! Trust me, it’s decidedly in your favor that we not try to account for anyof the 99.9% extinct animals on the Ark; so allow me this opportunity to put on a gallant display of sportsmanship, and politely suggest we forget about them for now.
Then add on some more to satisfy even the most skeptical. Let's assume 50,000 animals, far more animals than required, were on board the ark…
That’s so very kind of you, but again, no thanks…16,000 will do just fine for our little exercise (and I am the “most skeptical”). It’s so cute how our little buddy here actually seems to be pleased with himself for finding room to squeeze 50,000 animals onto a boat with about 65,000 sq ft of floor space, giving each of them just over 1 sq ft to live in for a year. Someone needs to tell this guy that shoving 2 panda bears into a utility closet for 13 months does not constitute “taking care of the pandas.”
…and these need not have been the largest or even adult specimen. Remember there are really only a few very large animals, such as the dinosaur or the elephant, and these could be represented by young ones.
Did you just catch that? He just totally tried to casually pass it off like “dinosaur” is a singular species like “elephant”…like we only have to contend with 4 large animals on our boat: 2 elephants and 2 dinosaurs.
He tried to make it sound like th-…hold up…dinosaurs on the Ark?!!! When did this happen?! I thought it was Christians’ contention that Noah’s Flood is what caused the dinosaurs to become extinct! Now we’re trying to cram a freaking brontosaurus on the Ar-…wait…I mean two freaking brontosauruses on the Ark? Didn’t you see Jurassic Park? Don’t you know what happens when you stick a few mammals and 8 humans in an enclosed environment with a team of crafty velociraptors? You get Aliens 5: Revenge on the High Seas. Let’s just do all ourselves a great big huge favor and leave El Lizardos Terrible off the manifest.
More by this Author
For reasons I cannot even begin to guess at, I often find myself tuning into Conservative talk radio in the mornings. And one of the quotes I hear repeated most often is this notion...
A Rational Response to the ChristianAnswer.net Article: "Could Noah's Ark really hold all the animals that were supposed to be preserved from Flood?" PART I of 5 I recently had the pleasure of stubbing my...
"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry “Let us never tolerate...