Noah's Arc...let's pretend....

Coherent. Like, sticking together. The bible stories fall apart once you start asking the most basic of questions. It’s great if you can learn personal lessons from those stories (although I’m skeptical of even that little bit of value in a lot of them), but as a factual account of historical events? There’s no way, brother.

So where did the water come from and/or go? How did Noah collect, find space for and maintain 2 (or is it 7?) each of between 3 and 30 million species? Deus ex machina?

Give or take 14 and a half billion…

It would simply be a different problem. If that volume of water came up (from where?), it would still cause massive atmospheric pressures (not to mention what it would do to all of the land…I seriously doubt there would have been any mountains for Noah to land on, even pretending he survived the experience).


It is just a fable!!

The Bible story says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, it really had to rain hard to cover the entire earth; Mt Everest is 29,000 feet high, Ararat is 15,000, that is a lot of water…it seems the story teller’s god liked to really play big games, he liked to do things the hard way…makes a better story!!

Like you say"all the animals" that would include the animals that both live on land and water but need land to survive. Yes, there was flooding but it seems the early writers liked to exaggerate.

I used to wonder how the fish drowned.

I seem to remember that the reason the number 40 comes up quite a bit is because it has its origins of a Babylonian numeracy system, there wer seperate symbols for 39 numbers, after that, you got to 40 which was taken to mean ‘many’ like a sort of sawn of version of our infinity - infinately sawn off of course.

So when the figure of 40 days and 40 nights, or 40 years wandering in the desert come sup, it should be taken to mean ‘a long time’ rather than the literal number.

This is something I was told many years ago, maybe as many as 40.

Well, sure… if you want to get all scientific about it. :slight_smile:

I was assuming that we were going with the “let’s pretend” of your OP, and I’d expect most flood literalists are also YEC – if one is going to be all literal about Genesis 6-8, then metaphorical interpretations of chapters 1-5 aren’t all that likely. :slight_smile:

And in that vein, I was just having a little joke about the 4004 BC of the Ussher chronology. (Not that 4004 is accepted by all YEC, but it is a well known YEC date).

Sure. The “from where” isn’t that important – this is let’s pretend isn’t it? – but for the record: “the fountains of the great deep” (and no I don’t know what they means either). As for the general destruction of the land, the really cunning literalists claim that the current mountains were created at the end of the flood, and that the water is still all here, it’s just that the oceans are a lot deeper now than in the time of Noah’s father.

I was going to post something here, but it would have only been a tangent.

Feel free…everyone else is. :wink:

Yes, I got that. I was joking as well, though it came across as lame as my Ar(c) thingy in the OP.

Yes, I’ve heard that from YEC’s before…I think there have actually been a few threads on the whole making of the land after the flood thingy. As to the oceans being deeper and the water all still being there, leaving aside the fact that none of that is supported scientifically, I thought the texts said something along the lines of the waters receding. Assuming my memory isn’t flawed there, it seems that even a literal view point of the texts would say that the waters aren’t all still here today.

What I was getting at in the OP was that I didn’t think much, if any, of a fictional ship would be left after several thousand years on top of a mountain…even if the mountain in question is covered today by a glacier. Oh, in some very specific instances wood has been preserved for thousands of years (I saw a show on Black Sea ship wrecks where a Byzantine ship was still almost perfectly intact after over 2000 years), but I seriously doubt those special conditions exist on top of Mt Ararat.


Thanks, but it was only one line that would touch on your OP on a single point.

A wooden boat of the Ark’s size and likely construction method, would suffer rapid structural disintegration both in water and in coming to rest on the terrain of Mt. Ararat. The only wooden boat of equal scale, built using far more advanced 20th century techniques, wasn’t sufficiently strong to resist the enormous stresses involved in sailing (see Wyoming). Such forces would be multiplied hugely without the counteracting buoyancy of being afloat. This failure would also be accelerated by the strong-to-gale force winds, frequently experienced at the summit (see Mt. Ararat forecast).

Despite the initial absence of snow following the flood, a permanent snow cap would be rapidly re-established at such an elevation, due to the sub-zero conditions. Ice crystallisation would be involved in the further mechanical disintegration of the mega-structure, and simultaneous damage at the cellular level to the fibres used in construction. Over time, parts would become increasingly disparate, following a size dependent relationship. Smaller components would eventually be shed along the snow line, and the breakup of these would be accelerated by freeze-thaw cycling. Fragments would inevitably be entrained by the wind and saltated further down-slope.

Whilst there is no consensus, the most likely translation of the gopher wood used in the construction, is either cedar or reed. Cedar has an advantage in terms of survivability due to the cypressine oil it contains, which acts as a natural preservative. In either case, both cellulose and, to a greater extent, lignin are relatively refractory materials. Given the massive volume of the Ark itself, it would be almost inevitable that moderately sizable fragments of some original parts would remain to this day (assuming YEC). Even if the Ark was purely constructed from reeds (suspending the laws of physics), it’s likely that traces of the bundled material could be found today. Indeed woody fragments are often relatively well preserved in more benign environments and glacial tills, for tens of millions of years (e.g. Logan et al. 1993). Even very unstable human tissue can survive for near comparable periods of time on frozen mountaintops (see Ötzi the Iceman).

In summary, it would seem quite possible for evidence of boat-related artifacts to survive sufficiently intact at the top of Mt. Ararat to identify their genesis, given a timescale of less than 6000 years (and a complete suspension of critical thinking).


Thank you TUS…perfect answer and exactly what I was looking for!


Silly spaceman, those 20th century shipwrights didn’t have god as their union boss. :wink:
(Though they DID have quite a few more builders than Noah and his 2 sons… :dubious:)


It sure would be convenient if all we has to do was follow the directions that were announced from the sky wouldn’t it? Your scenario completely misses the point of our free will. God wants us to learn to do the right thing on our own, not because we have to. It’s the same thing most parents want for their children. Do you really want to follow your kids around for the rest of forever and tell them each and every thing that they have to do? And then tell them… “Nope, you messed up. I’m just gonna kill you and start over.” More likely you’d say - “These are the negative consequences of you continuing your course. If you don’t change, this will happen.”

Then if we had Godlike power and authority, perhaps we’d set an example for the rest of our children to follow. Like - give all the errant children an opportunity to get on the nearest bus out of town because we need to put them in an untainted environment so they can apply their experiences in a very mighty “second chance”. Whoever got on that bus could benefit from this chance. In the biblical story - Noah’s the only one who got on. 2 Peter 2:5 says he was a “preacher of righteousness”. No doubt he told everyone around him of his divine message and the impending doom.

God does not take delight in the destruction of anyone wicked…we already know that. So is your comment just an exasperated attempt to rationalize God away?

I wonder why God saw it necessary to kill all those innocent babies and children. The Bible says he regretted creating man, now if he knew ahead of time they would turn out bad why did He create them to begin with? Perhaps he is not all knowing?