Noah the Water Carrier and Other Stories
Once that was cleared up, the host didn't hesitate to gleefully tear into Trump's years-long war against wind energy. At a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, last week, for example, Trump told the crowd that if the wind didn't blow, they "could forget about television for that night," drawing loud cheers. The president's fixation on windmills being the harbingers of death for unsuspecting birds also did not escape Noah's attention.
The host played a compilation of Trump describing all the bird carcasses supposedly found near turbines. I want to count the dead birds. Though windmills are responsible for a portion of bird deaths, and people have voiced concerns about the problem, Noah said he didn't think it was likely Trump actually cared. Rest in 12 pieces. He continued: "Noise does not cause cancer. Although, I believe listening to Donald Trump might cause brain damage. Meanwhile on NBC, the president's comments left Seth Meyers with "so many questions," specifically, why were Trump's windmill impressions so drastically different?
The host played two clips to illustrate. At the Michigan rally, Trump can be heard saying "wing" in high-pitched and somewhat nasal tone, but on Tuesday, the sound he emitted was much deeper and more similar to an annoyed cat. On Wednesday, social media was rife with reactions, with many noting that other sources of energy, such as coal, have documented adverse health effects on people.
'Course windmills cause cancer:’ Late night TV mocks Trump for his wind energy attack
When Mercedes Schlapp, the White House's director of strategic communications, was asked on Wednesday if windmills cause cancer, she replied, "I don't have an answer to that. Federal Election Jun 26, Where did he learn the framing procedure for such a Brobdingnagian structure? How could he anticipate the effects of roll, pitch, yaw, and slamming in a rough sea?
How did he solve the differential equations for bending moment, torque, and shear stress? Ancient shipbuilding did achieve a considerable level of technological sophistication, so much so that marine archaeologists are divided over its history Basch, p. But this was for vessels that were dinghies compared to the ark, and this skill emerged slowly over many centuries: nearly a millennium passed while Egyptian boat lengths increase from to feet Casson, p.
Despite this, the craft remained a prescientific art, acquired through long years of apprenticeship and experience, and disasters at sea due to faulty design were so persistent that the impetus was strong for a more scientific approach Rawson and Tupper, p. Obviously, the astronomical leap in size, safety, and skill required by Noah is far too vast for any naturalistic explanation. Not only was the ark without pedigree, it was without descendants also. Creationists Kofahl and Segraves tell us that civilization quickly redeveloped after the flood because the survivors carried over the prediluvian culture: Noah lived years afterwards, Shem The Creation Explanation , p.
During this time, people were fanning out and "replenishing the earth," carrying with them reminiscences of the deluge that would someday excite American missionaries from Sumatra to Spitzbergen. Yet Noah's primary contribution to humanity, his incredible knowledge of naval engineering, vanished without a trace, and the seafarers returned to their hollow logs and reed rafts. Like a passing mirage, the ark was here one day and gone the next, leaving not a ripple in the long saga of shipbuilding.
Faced with such criticism, the creationists quickly convert the humble, righteous farmer into a wealthy capitalist who simply hired all the help he needed Segraves, p. It is estimated that the construction of the Great Pyramid required as many as , slaves; Noah could have probably gotten by with less there were, after all, "giants in the earth in those days" according to Genesis , but what he lacked in numbers he sorely needed in experienced and highly skilled craftsmen. How did he learn when to fell a tree and how to dry it properly to prevent rot and splitting, when the larger beams might take several years to cure cf.
Dumas and Gille, p. Did the local reed-raft builder have equipment to steam heat a plank so it could be forced into the proper position? A shipyard in nineteenth-century Maine would have been overwhelmed by the size and complexity of this job, yet Noah still supposedly found enough time to hold revivals and preach doomsday throughout the land Segraves, pp. God told the patriarch to coat the ark, both inside and out, all , square feet of it, with pitch, and, in fact, this was a common practice in ancient times. But when Noah hurried to the corner hardware store, the shelf was bare, for pitch is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon similar to petroleum Rosenfeld, p.
Morris , p. Meyer reveals that all the wood recovered by arkaeologists on Mt. Ararat is "saturated with pitch" p. Thus it seems that God accommodated Noah by creating an antediluvian tar pit just for the occasion, and we have another miracle. Finally, our farmer-turned-architect had to confront the gravest difficulty of all: in the words of A. Robb, there was an "upper limit, in the region of feet, on the length of the wooden ship; beyond such a length the deformation due to the differing distributions of weight and buoyancy became excessive, with consequent difficulty in maintaining the hull watertight" p.
Pollard and Robertson concur, emphasizing that "a wooden ship had great stresses as a structure. This is the major reason why the naval industry turned to iron and steel in the s. The largest wooden ships ever built were the six-masted schooners, nine of which were launched between and These ships were so long that they required diagonal iron strapping for support; they "snaked," or visibly undulated, as they passed through the waves, they leaked so badly that they had to be pumped constantly, and they were only used on short coastal hauls because they were unsafe in deep water.
John J. Rockwell, the designer of the first of this class, confessed that "six masters were not practical. They were too long for wood construction" Laing, pp. Yet the ark was over feet longer than the longest six-master, the foot U. Wyoming, and it had to endure the most severe conditions ever encountered while transporting the most critically important cargo ever hauled.
Clearly, God had to imbue this amateurishly assembled gopherwood with some very special properties to fit it for the voyage. So it should be clear by now why "intelligent people" somehow see a "problem" in the building of the ark. Genesis declares that two of each kind of animal were to be collected and brought on board.
This is repeated in Genesis , and it is explicitly stated that this applied to clean and unclean beasts as well as to birds. But Genesis specifies that clean beasts and birds were to be taken by sevens. Whatever the numbers, it is clear that no animals could be left out. Genesis states that "every living substance" that God made was to be destroyed "from off the face of the earth" by the impending flood. Genesis repeats the point and adds that only those things with Noah in the ark could survive. A kind or "baramin" in creationist jargon is the unit of life originally made by God.
Within each kind is an enormous potential for variation, resulting, during the past six thousand years or so, in a large number of similar animals that scientists classify into species. By juggling the number of kinds, LaHaye and Morris reduce the total population aboard the ark to 50, p. Arthur Jones squeezes it down to a bare bones total of 1, quoted in Balsiger and Sellier, p.
There is good evidence for concluding that every message coded in the DNA exists in any sizeable population in numerous versions, forming a spectrum grading from grossly defective alleles—such as the one for albinism—at one end, through the slightly deviant, to the normal at the other end. And the normal is probably not a single version of the message but a collection of slightly different alleles. Hence, for a trait such as human pigmentation, "we can visualize not merely a few dozen interacting loci but an array of perhaps a dozen or so alleles at each locus" p.
From this we can see that the original canine baramin in Eden would have needed a fantastic set of giant chromosomes with alleles for every trait that would someday be manifest in coyotes, wolves, foxes, jackals, dingos, fennecs, and the myriad of minute variations in hair color twenty-four genes at nine loci , height, face shape, and so forth that are seen in the domestic dog cf. So, too, for the feline kind, within which creationists Byron Nelson p. Similar giant chromosomes would be required for the bovine kind, equine kind, and so on.
In the centuries before the deluge, these strange progenitors must have rapidly diversified into their potential species, as the fossil record shows. The equine kind developed not only zebras, horses, onagers, asses, and quaggas but Eohippus, Mesohippus, Merychippus, and other now-extinct species that paleontologists have misinterpreted as evidence for evolution. Remember that creationists hold that the flood is responsible for the burial of most, if not all, fossil species.
Therefore they had to already exist prior to the deluge. Then one day, many centuries later, the Lord told Noah to take two canines, two felines, two equines, two pinnipedians—one male and one female each—and put them aboard the ark. The trick is, which does our ancient zoologist choose?
A male kit fox and a female Great Dane? A female lion and a male alley cat? An Eohippus and a Clydesdale? Which two individuals would possess the tremendous genetic complement that their ancestors in Eden had, to enable the many species to reappear after the flood? How could Noah tell? Creationist Dennis Wagner tells us that the original kinds degenerated through inbreeding so that their offspring would "never again reach the hereditary variability of the parent" quoted in Awbrey; my emphasis.
Yet the unique couple aboard the ark needed the full genetic potential of the original kind, if not more, for a vast new array of climatic and geographic niches was opened up by the flood. Speaking of a hypothetical group of six or eight animals stranded on an island, King says, "Such a small number could not possibly reflect the actual allelic frequencies found in the large mainland population" p. What, then, of the single pair on the ark? These criticisms apply to the eight humans aboard the boat as well Genesis and Creationists still cling to obsolete stereotypes concerning the "three distinct families of man" descended from Noah's three sons Custance, p.
In reality the ethnic complexity found throughout the world cannot be derived from the flood survivors in the few centuries since that time. The human genetic pool was reduced to five individuals—Mr. Noah and their daughters-in-law the three sons don't count because they only carry combinations of the genes present in Mr. Noah, unless creationists are willing to admit to beneficial gene mutations. And even if, by some freak coincidence, the five people never had a variant in common, there would still be far too few alleles to account for humankind's diversity.
Nearly a third of human genes are polymorphic Bodner and Cavalli-Sforzi, p. If creationists allowed beneficial mutations to produce the thirty different antigens of the A and B series in the HLA region, it would still not solve their problem. Individuals are only heterozygous at a fairly low percentage of loci 5 to 20 percent , while the population could be polymorphic at nearly half the loci. It's questionable how viable an individual would be with a high percentage of heterozygosity Dobzhansky, Ayala, et al.
Creationist Lane Lester recognizes the force of these facts, but he believes that supergenes, several genes acting in concert, would solve the problem p. This, however, only confuses the concept of supergenes, which control several characters in an organism, not one, and thus cannot produce the observed variety in a population from two parents cf.
Parkin, p. How this horizontal evolution would be realized is even more mystifying. Since each generation would receive a huge set of variants, including maladaptive recessives, a wholly random mix of oddball creatures should result, and the rapid, efficient adaptations necessary in the hostile post-flood climate would prove impossible.
How could the arctic fox branch of the canine baramin be assured that only those alleles permitting tolerance to extreme cold would dominate? Why shouldn't freshwater fish hatch offspring manifesting the genes of their saltwater relatives? Furthermore, strangely shaped chromosomes and odd-numbered sets of them necessary to contain the excess genes usually disrupt meiotic cell division and produce sterile offspring White, pp.
On the other hand, it seems puzzling that such diversification should occur at all, for the originally created kinds were "good" and their "devolution" would "reduce the ability of the animal to survive in nature" Whitcomb, , p. The impetus for speciation is lacking in this model, and there is no reason why, say, a snow leopard should evolve when the superior, better-fit "feline-min" migrated into an alpine environment. We can only conclude with creationist Walter Lammerts that "intelligent design" was activating and controlling this entire process p. Aside from this, the creationist baramin can vary anywhere from the level of genus to order Siegler, -or even to phylum Ward, p.
The most often-cited instance of a kind, for example, is the family Canidae, which has fourteen genera and thirty-five species Siegler, But Sciuridae squirrels has species, and the genus Rattus old world rats has several hundred. Would creationists recognize the eighteen families of bats, with their eight-hundred-plus species, as eighteen distinct kinds, or would they make the order Chiroptera into a single bat kind?
Would they distinguish the nearly thirty families two thousand species of catfish? At the other extreme are many families with but a single species, and even higher categories, such as the orders Tubulidentata aardvarks and Struthioniformes ostriches or even the phylum Placozoa, with but one representative. Why did the creator endow rats, bats, catfish, and mosquitos twenty-five hundred species in family Culicidae with such adaptive potential but withhold this potential from aardvarks, ostriches, and placozoans, especially when we learn that "each baramin was intended to move toward maximum variation" Ancil, p.
What becomes of the science of taxonomy under this basis or when the "major categories" phyla? The theory of kinds is incoherent and confusing. Since it runs counter to all the known facts of genetics and taxonomy, the burden of proof is upon the creationists to verify it. Where are the fossil baramins? What findings show that such ideal creatures ever existed? If complete sets of kind alleles could survive twenty-four hundred or more years of radiation before the flood, it should be possible to find specimens today with inexplicably large chromosomal complements, perhaps in undiversified families.
Unfortunately for "baramin geneticists," studies have been done on such families cf. Loughman, Frye, and Herald , and nothing extraordinary has been discovered. Still no experiments are forthcoming from the ICR to test its hypothesis. It is, in fact, "armchair science" without a shred of evidence, and we are justified in rejecting it entirely and assuming that "two of every sort" means two of every species.
We can dismiss the waterlogged Stegosaurus splashing about for days as an idea as absurd as Og of Bashan's big swim; amphibians and other animals that need some terra firma can be passed by as well. Let's go directly to those creatures that spend all of their lives in the water. Although creationists seem to think that once you're wet it's all the same, there are actually many aquatic regimes and many specialized inhabitants in each. Some fish live only in cold, clear mountain lakes; others in brackish swamps.
Some depend on splashing, rocky, oxygen-rich creeks, while others, such as a freshwater dolphin, a manatee, and a thirteen-foot catfish, live only in the sluggish Amazon. In all these instances plus many more, the environment provided by the deluge waters would have no more suited these creatures than it would have the desert tortoise or the polar bear.
The salinity of the oceans would have been substantially affected by the flood; Whitcomb and Morris lamely address this concern by noting that some saltwater fish can survive in freshwater and vice versa and that "some individuals of each kind would be able to survive the gradual mixing of the waters and gradual change in salinities during and after the flood" p. We are asked to believe that a storm so vast that the tops of the mountains were covered in forty days was so "gradual" that fish could adapt to these minor fluctuations!
In reality, although some species can inhabit both fresh and saline waters, most freshwater fish dropped in saltwater shrivel and die, while saltwater fish dropped in freshwater bloat and die. Creationist E. Norbert Smith theorizes that the denser saltwater would not have mixed with the flood's freshwater and thus both varieties of fish could have made it through. But his own experiment, in which a goldfish thoroughly mingled the two types of water in a fishbowl in fifteen days, shows how long the separation would last during the violent shiftings of the earth called for in the creationist flood model.
Then, too, most of the world's volcanic activity, sea-floor spreading, mountain-building, and continent-splitting was supposed to have occurred at this time as well, filling the seas with additional huge volumes of rock, ash, and noxious gases. Undersea volcanoes usually decimate all life in the surrounding area Buljan , and their extent had to be global during this terrible year. The earth's prediluvian surface would thus have been scoured clean, and forests, multi-ton boulders, and the debris of civilization hurtled about like missiles.
Finally, this tremendous explosion of energy would have transformed the seas into a boiling cauldron in which no life could possibly survive. Accurate calculations are nearly impossible, given the creationist penchant for vagueness; but by multiplying the amount of heat generated during a typical volcanic eruption cf. Macdonald, p. Obviously, nearly any concessions, any margins of error, can be granted to the creationists within their geological framework and the flood water would remain a churning, boiling inferno, easily accomplishing God's intention of destroying the world.
Yet amidst all of this, creationist icthyologists aver that life went on as usual, with a few minor adjustments to the "gradual" changes. The salmon swam to their long-vanished riparian breeding grounds that fall as they always had; sea anemones clung to their rocky perches, which were on the beach one month and the abyssal plain the next; blue whales continued to strain for krill even though their baleen plates were choked with mud; corals, which grow in clear, shallow water, somehow grew anyway; hapless bottom dwellers, their lives carefully adjusted to certain conditions of pressure and temperature, suddenly saw the former increase by more than 5, pounds per square inch and the latter fluctuate in who knows what directions.
Backhaus tells us that "aquatic species would pay for any attempts at acclimatization with their lives or, at any rate, would not survive for very long" p. Most are highly sensitive to changes in salinity, temperature, light, oxygen, and even trace elements cf. Bond; Hill. The conclusion is unavoidable: barring a special miracle from God, nothing but the hardiest microorganism could have survived the flood outside the ark.
Of course, the omnipotent deity could have performed several million individual miracles and preserved representatives of the invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, and even dinosaurs outside the ark; but, if so, why not extend the coverage to the few remaining terrestrial vertebrates and dispense with the boat altogether? Again, by some freak combination of luck, we may imagine one male and one female octopus surviving the disaster and somehow encountering each other between Japan and California to renew their species, but the only way Noah, as designated curator of the world zoo, could have guaranteed their persistence was by bringing them aboard.
We must conclude, therefore, that every species of the animal kingdom had at least two members within the ark. The luckless animals aboard the ark were confronting the gravest challenge to their endurance ever known, and they needed to be the strongest, healthiest, and most virile representatives their species had ever produced; juveniles would not do. As for the dinosaur eggs, how did Noah know whether one would yield a female, the other a male—or even that both were fertile? And since no eggs require a year's gestation, he soon would have had a hoard of fragile hatchlings on his hands.
In reality, seed dormancy is a complex affair and involves metabolic and environmental prerequisites for entrance into and recovery from the state as well as several forms of quiescence. The vast majority of seeds which become dormant do so in order to endure cold temperatures or prolonged drought, and in the warm flood waters most would germinate immediately and then drown for lack of oxygen cf. The waters weren't the only thing that would bury them, however, for huge deposits of silt and lava would have been laid down as well, entombing entire forests and paving the way for coal and oil formation.
Today the surface of the ground consists of 80 percent Phanerozoic rock and only 20 percent Precambrian "pre-diluvian" , the latter found mostly in large shields and entirely absent in many areas Kummel, p. These shields themselves would have been eroded to the bedrock by the flooding "the vegetation would have been uprooted. Floating is also unsatisfactory as a means of riding out the storm.
Less than 1 percent of sermatophytes produce disseminules which drift for as long as one month, much less a year Gunn and Dennis, p. And although many debris rafts could have been torn loose during the early days of the storm, such vessels tend to break up in rough water Zimmerman, p. If somehow a few of them did, how would they know where to unload their precious cargo afterward? Suppose, for example, that a hefty chunk was torn loose from a densely grown forest and managed to swing through a sparse desert area, where such rafts presumably wouldn't form, to pick up seeds from a few rare cacti.
After a year at sea, what is the likelihood that these seeds would be dropped in an area where the temperature, rainfall, soil, and light would be suitable for their growth? As the retreating waters evaporated, the topsoil would become saturated with salts much like the beds of dry lakes in arid regions, and all but the hardiest halophilic plants would find the ground too toxic for any growth. Seawater contains thirty-five grams of salts per liter, and most plants cannot tolerate one-tenth this concentration Levitt, p. Finally, assuming that some seeds did reach a survivable spot, how long would their flowers have to wait before the birds and insects arrived from Ararat to cross-pollinate them?
Could the many species indigenous to the New World hold on while the transatlantic trip was made? Isaac Asimov observes that the ancient Hebrews did not regard plants as alive in the same sense animals are p. Today's fundamentalists should have learned some botany since then, but they still carry on about the "hardiness" of olives Whitcomb and Morris, p.
If we are to take the deluge seriously, we must be much more skeptical about such stories. The creationists need to soak seeds in very deep, muddy water for a year and then plant them in unconsolidated, briny silt in an unfavorable climate without insect or avian pollinators to see what happens. Have their mathematicians, so skilled at calculating improbabilities for protein formation, ever determined the odds of a seed enduring the flood and then landing in the right soil and climate rather than being swept out to sea by the retreating waters or coming down in Antarctica? It seems that Noah needed to have not merely "many" seeds but many samples of all the seeds and spores of the ,plus species of plants in order to guarantee their survival—or else we must tally up a few million more miracles of divine preservation.
In addition, there are many animals that are as yet unknown. Wendt estimates that only 2 percent of all the parasitic worms are known, which would easily add another million species p. This includes as many as , nematodes, although only 15, have been described Levine, p. Ten thousand new species of insects are discovered every year, yet still only a small fraction of those in existence have been found Atkins, p. All of those creatures were known at one time, for Adam gave them all names Genesis , and, since they exist today, they must have been on the ark.
But we shall be extremely generous to the creationists and add only , undiscovered species to our figure of 1,,—thus giving a mere 1,, species with which Noah had to contend. To this number, we must add the myriad of extinct prehistoric animals, which creationists assure us were alive at the time of the flood, making tracks in the Paluxy River, and which were known to Job afterward John Morris, , p.
This would vastly increase the numbers, since "only a tiny percentage of the animal and plant species that have ever existed are alive today" Kear, p. However, since creationists do not believe in transitional forms, we can again give them the benefit of the doubt and add to our total only the , different fossils that have been described. This brings the number to 1,, species or animal pairs that were to be boarded onto the ark. Of course, we can't forget that Genesis particularly in the Revised Standard Version makes it clear that only unclean animals come in single pairs, male and female; the clean animals and birds come in seven pairs, male and female.
That means fourteen of each clean animal and each bird. But since figures for the number of clean animals are hard to find, we will have to let creationists off the hook and ignore them. Birds are another story. There are 8, species of birds. Since they have already been calculated into our figure of 1,, species or 3,, individual animals on the ark, we need only six more pairs of each species of bird to make it come out to seven pairs.
That brings our count up to a grand total of 3,, animals aboard the ark—two of each species, except birds which number fourteen each. The whole process of mating, egg-laying, gestation, and the survival of the fragile young is a risky business that can easily be aborted by many factors, including predators, disease, exposure to the elements, and so on.
In many species of spiders, given the chance the female will kill and devour the male before they mate; on the ark, the hapless husband would have to be particularly fleetfooted or his wife would unwittingly exterminate her species! Infanticide is another significant concern and occurs frequently even among primates.
Dayflies, so named because their mature stage lasts only a few hours, form a tiny cloud of dancing males trying to attract females, with a successful mating rate of at most 1 percent Wendt, p. Even the prodigious rabbits fare poorly outside many-chambered warrens, the work of numerous individuals Andrewartha, p. Locating one's mate can also be tricky. The Sumatran rhino depends on communication points in its range, and, if it can't visit these, it loses contact with others and reproduction doesn't occur Lang.
The tick, Ixodes ricinus, mates only on a sheep which must browse through a field and by chance pick up both a male and a female tick—and even then these poor crawlers can't find one another if they are too far apart on the sheep's body Andrewartha, p. Imagine the microscopic parasites of a bull elephant, limited to two per species by Sacred Writ, searching for each other on the vast cosmos of their host's body! Competitive social behavior between males is often necessary to achieve successful androgen levels Kleiman, p. Individual incompatibility between a pair of animals is another commonplace, often thwarting the most determined zoo keepers' efforts at breeding.
All told, with but a single male and female apiece, or even seven pairs of birds and clean animals, every species on earth would be well below the margin of endangerment, and the chances of successful survival, especially in the devastation of the post-diluvian world, would be so small that they can be considered nil. Conservation biologists estimate a minimum size of fifty for a species's survival, with or more being a more realistic figure Franklin. Hence our grand total could be multiplied many times and still represent only the most tenuous hold of life on earth.
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Was there room enough on the ark? Part of this was occupied by the quarters for Noah and his family. Room had to be provided for the orderly compartmentalization of plants and seeds. An immense storage area for food, fresh water, and waste was needed. Also, the ark had to have corridors throughout, large enough for the passage of the bulkiest animals to their stalls when boarding and unboarding and at least large enough for the crew to pass into the most remote corners of the vessel.
There would finally be a considerable volume lost in wood alone; the decks, larger cages, supporting beams, and so on would occupy a considerable space. The six-masted schooners had keelsons 7 feet high and 8 feet wide running the full length of the hull and often used 20 x 20 inch beams Snow ; the switch to iron construction increased cargo capacity by upwards of 20 percent cf. Hutchins, p.
If we conservatively allow all of these requirements to consume 30 percent of the space, this leaves 1,, cubic feet to be divided among the nearly 4 million animals, resulting in a mere 0. No arrangement of cages, however ingenious, no high-density packing of minute invertebrates, could squeeze everyone into this amount of room.
For comparison, a sable antelope or red hartebeest needs a crate of 57 cubic feet for the brief journey from capture to quarantine; a zebra, 77 cubic feet; medium-sized giraffe, 99; eland, ; hippopotamus or small elephant, adapted from Hirst, p. These seven species alone, male and female, require more than 5, times the allotment per specimen for a trip that rarely exceeds three days.
For the days of the flood, the area would need to be greatly enlarged—for crowding and lack of exercise would be extremely detrimental, if not fatal, to most cf.
Young, p. Many birds must have high roofs with room to fly, and even a pond snail needs a gallon of water for adequate living Orlans, p. Probably the greatest space requirements are involved in keeping aquatic organisms. Many fish swim continually, even when sleeping, and the general rule is gallons of water per pound of animal weight Atz, p. Gruber and Keyes state that "the primary cause of mortality in captive pelagic sharks is that their living space is not large enough" p.
Marineland of the Pacific has an 80 x 22 foot circular whale stadium of , gallons, containing four small whales and some dolphins; the many large whales would occupy aquaria "the size of a football stadium" Hill, p. All of this would have constituted a tremendous weight. Filby would put a mere hundred tons of animals aboard, with a few thousand tons of supplies cited by Montgomery, p. However, a mature sheep the creationists' average-sized animal weighs pounds, and at this rate the vertebrates alone would exceed 4, tons.
When the huge volume of food and drinking water, the hundreds of thousands of gallons in the aquaria, and the giant dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals are included, it is clear that the ark would have sunk like a brick the moment it was launched. At this stage, further discussion of the overcrowding becomes rather pointless. We leave the conundrum in the laps of the creationists, recalling the words of theologian Johannes Weiss, "The apologists. Perhaps God performed a miraculous miniaturization on the animals; as the flood legend takes on more and more of an Alice-in-Wonderland air, anything becomes possible.
Before moving on, we must briefly take note of an argument so popular that nearly every ark theorist uses it: that the interior of the ark could have held literally hundreds of standard-sized railroad stock cars and thus was quite roomy. But while the figures for rail car size and capacity are cited with fair accuracy, ignored is the federal law which requires a train on a long haul to stop every twenty-eight hours, to unload the stock, to feed and water them, and to give them a five-hour rest period Ensminger, p.
This may be just a minor inconvenience to American ranchers, but it would have been quite impossible for Noah. Thus the analogy collapses. The fact that every creationist has triumphantly trotted out his train statistics, yet overlooked this decisive flaw, demonstrates once again the sloppiness of creationists' research.
A closer look reveals that a miracle is indeed called for in the gathering of the animals, but it is a much larger and more complex one than merely imparting "premonition" and migration. In the first place, a glance at Jarman's Atlas of Animal Migration shows that of all the birds, fish, and terrestrial animals whose paths are shown, only one, the common crane of southern Russia, currently migrates to the Mesopotamian Valley.
Therefore, God not only programmed the animals to go to Noah's place before the flood, but afterward he deprogrammed most of them and rerouted all the rest except the common crane—a reverse miracle. Incidentally, it is noteworthy that many aquatic creatures migrate, a faculty whose origins the creationists find incomprehensible unless these creatures were also sent to the ark. Flood theorists are unperturbed by such obstacles, however, for they simply gerrymander the map to give us an antediluvian world of undivided continents and a uniform, semitropical, spring-like climate, and —presto!
But this resolves one question only to raise another: in such a world, where did the animals which are found today in the arctic, desert, alpine, and other specialized postdiluvian niches live? The polar bear, caribou, walrus, yak, snow leopard, and many more would suffocate in the warm tropics; many desert dwellers could not have endured the excessive humidities they would have encountered.
Creationists would no doubt respond that these creatures evolved within their "kinds" after the flood, but we have already found that concept so vague as to be meaningless. Besides, since in their chronology the ice age immediately followed the deluge and started freezing woolly mammoths, the rapidity of intrakind evolution would be far greater than any Darwinist ever dreamed possible and there could be no logical justification for continuing to rage against interkind transformation. On the other hand, there may have been a small desert here, a tiny tundra there, to house these specimens for the few centuries from the creation to the time their regular habitats appeared, but that puts us back on square one wondering how they struggled through the heat and humidity to the ark.
Other creatures had it even rougher. Hundreds of species live only in caves and are so sensitive that many cannot survive in caverns just slightly different from their own and many may be killed by exposure to light Vandel, pp. For these cavernicoles, even a very short journey from their homes would prove impossible. Could Noah have fetched them himself to save them from a fatal march? Could he have distinguished the species of pseudoscorpions and picked out a male and female of each? Aquatic animals would also find the trip challenging. Did all the representatives of the oceans, lakes, and streams overcome their sensitivities to normally lethal changes in environmental conditions and swim up the ancient Euphrates or the "mighty Hiddekel" to the docks nearest the ark?
How did the many sessile species, from sponges and corals to anemones and barnacles, detach themselves and waddle through however brief a trip it may have been? A problem analogous to that of terrestrial arctic and desert dwellers would be the exotic inhabitants of the abyssal and hadal zones of the ocean depths. In this instance, too, creationists have postulated only shallow seas before the deluge, precluding the very existence of deep-sea dwellers.
In reply, we again insist either that such accelerated evolution occurred that creationists have argued themselves out of a job or else that there was a trench somewhere in the "shallow seas" specifically for these organisms. The example of Homo sapiens will show the seriousness of the problem. Humans are sanctuary to over one hundred parasites, and many are host specific.
Although the four species of human malarial parasites undergo sexual development in mosquitos, they must undergo further development in humans. Hence, a member of Noah's family must have had malaria at some point in his life and must have remained infected after the flood until the earth became sufficiently repopulated that the parasite passed to others. In similar manners, the vectors of many other parasitic infections are also specific to humans, such as the tapeworms Taenia saginata and T.
Also, of course, the five types of venereal disease bacteria cannot survive outside their human abode. These eight unfortunate souls were afflicted with enough diseases and discomforts to support a hospital—all as their part in "preserving life" through the great flood. And nearly every other animal on board—from Shem's lice to the right whales—had parasites of their own to cope with.
What remarkable creatures they must have been; in order to ensure their survival they ha, d to be the strongest, healthiest, most fertile pair possible, while at the same time they had to carry a full set of debilitating parasites so as to guarante, , e their survival.
Noah the Water Carrier and Other Stories
How was Noah assured that the proper complement of viable tapeworms was present in each rodent and each lizard waiting to come aboard? How could he confirm the presence of microscopic fauna in their tiny stalls? If a prospective passenger was lacking an essential flea, what could be done? Was there opportunity to correct any errors? Creationists insist on a strictly literal interpretation of Genesis; so when those animals which reproduce by asexual budding, or the over one thousand thelytokous all-female species from insects to lizards, converged toward the ark, another special miracle would have been called for to fulfill the explicit command to take both male and female aboard.
By the time Noah encountered the sea star, Asterina gibbosa, which begins life as a male and eventually becomes female, he must have been ready to throw in the towel in frustration. In addition, God told Noah to gather food for the various animals Genesis , many of whom, as we shall see, have highly specialized diets. Hence, even if the animals could reach the ark unaided, an overwhelming burden would be placed upon our heroes with regard to the plant kingdom. The peaceful scene was about to come to an abrupt end, however. Related Articles Who wrote Genesis?
Debunking the Documentary Hypothesis Archaeologist confirms creation and the Bible Model message spreads all over the world. References and notes Finkel, I. Return to text. Agius, D. Hong, S. Creation 8 1 —36, April ; creation. Woodmorappe, J.
Batten, D. Wieland, C. Holding, J. Phelan , J. Creation 19 3 —40 December ; creation. Cooper, W. Statham, D. Adamthwaite, M. Creation 28 3 —85, Hilprecht, H. Rogers, R. Lambert, W. In fact Finkel himself provides an illustration of a tablet showing a circle inscribed within a square. See ref. The Ark Tablet specifies a rope volume of 14, sutu. Calculations for a square based vessel using similar assumptions indicate a rope volume of 8, x 0. Helpful Resources. Soft cover. Authenticity of the Book of Genesis. Alexander L.
Noah the Water Carrier and Other Stories
GB January 19th, I looked at the photo of Irving Finkel's Welsh coracle type Ark and wondered how this vessel could ever have stayed afloat in rough seas. I worked with ships of all shapes and sizes for 22 years and the thing that was noticeable to me when looking at the photo was that the were no run-off vents on the deck to allow sea water to run off the decks back into sea.
Also there was no foot door plate at the bottom of the door that prevents water getting in to the living quarters; neither was there a solid door. Without these feature this vessel would have become water logged and would have sank in seconds. Christopher M. US January 13th, From a Christian, biblical perspective, searching for the Ark of Noah, or the lost Ark of the Covenant, is a foolish endeavor.
Remember the true story not a parable of the rich man and Lazarus, in Luke 16? Abraham declared that even if Lararus was raised from the dead, to preach to the rich man's brothers, " Proving God's word, beyond a reasonable doubt, will only serve to further harden unbelieving hearts. We're all asked to believe Moses and the Prophets, for "the just shall live by faith. Dominic Statham January 13th, According to Christ, the greatest commandment is this: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind " Matthew , my emphasis.
The Bible certainly does require faith but does not call people to a blind faith. The view that considering evidence has no place in Christian thought would seem inconsistent with Scripture. For example, the apostle Paul taught that evidence for the existence of God is seen in nature Romans , It is surely, then, appropriate for Christian apologists to point to this. The apostle Peter exhorted us always to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask us for the reason for our hope 1 Peter Christian apologists are called to "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God" 2 Corinthians —5.
Martyn M. AU January 12th, Thanks for the article. Dr Finkel's Babylonian tablet confirms the authenticity of the Genesis account. It is merely another garbled account of a true world wide flood and Noah's Ark, that can be added to the many other recorded accounts around the world. The fact that the craft is not sea worthy confirms it is not the original but merely a faint memory of Noah's Ark. Rather than discrediting the Genesis account, it confirms it. Jack S. Ho hum.
Can't we just get a well funded, well trained team of qualified and respected archaeologists to the 14, foot level on the northern face of Mt. Ararat near the Ahora Gorge , document the thing and show it to the world? Dominic Statham January 12th, Not everyone believes that Mount Ararat is the place to look. According to Genesis , the Ark settled on the "mountains of Ararat", i.
See here. Gennaro C. AU January 11th, If all those who try to debunk the Bible's stories would analyse the whole of the Bible's revelation in order to have enough meat in their buckets, in other words if these clever people would have an all inclusive view of it - as the real scientific method would suggest - they would realize the congruence of all Bible's records as the results of true facts.