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Thinking Through the “Noah’s Ark” Myth January 14, 2011

Posted by Mary W. Matthews in Religion & Theology.
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In his most recent special on HBO, the hilarious Ricky Gervais got to talking about the Noah’s Ark story, during the course of which he mentioned that there are about five million species of animals, birds, and insects alive today. (Actually, the true total is probably closer to TEN million species.) Even if we discount a million or two species for aquatic life, that’s a LOT of animals for Noah, a nomad allegedly living around 2350 BCE in what today we would call Palestine, to round up and fit into a large wooden box (the literal meaning of “ark”) measuring 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. To help you envision this wooden chest: the U.S.S. Alabama is 680 feet long, 108 feet wide, and 194 feet tall, and displaces 40,000 tons. Frigates, used in the 18th and 19th centuries CE, were about 212 feet long, 48 feet wide, and 19.5 feet tall, and displaced 1,600 tons. The Mayflower was about 95 feet long and about 25 feet wide and displaced about 180 tons. 450 feet is a football field and a half — two fifty-yard lines dividing thirds. I’d guess that a wooden box the dimensions of the Ark would probably have displaced around 10,000 tons.

(For people who enjoy Bible trivia: In Exodus 2:3, the original Hebrew tells us that Moses’s mother set her baby adrift in an “ark”; it was made of papyrus, or mashed river reeds, and sealed with daubed-on petroleum tar and plant-based tar, or resin.)

The most ancient parts of the Bible were set into writing around 1000 BCE, but contain myths that must have been centuries older — in the case of the Noah’s Ark story, millennia older. Scholars have argued that the myth in the Bible (which is a riff on the Sumerians’ Bronze Age myth about the Great Flood, the Enûma Eliš), is based on rising sea levels caused by the end of the last Ice Age around 10000 BCE; by a massive flood caused by the sudden draining of the gigantic prehistoric Lake Agassis around 8400 BCE, which would have raised sea levels around the world by up to 9 meters; by a catastrophic deluge of the Mediterranean into the Black Sea around 5600 BCE; by a tsunami in the Mediterranean caused by the Thera eruption around 1630 BCE; or the pre-literate race memory of all of the above conflated into one.

Darwin-haters like to proclaim that these ancient myths are the same sort of literal history one sees in encyclopedias today, or school textbooks in states that do NOT practice revisionist history (as do Texas, Kansas, and other “Bible-believing” states). For example, bibliolaters insist that the world was literally created at 9:30 a.m. on October 23, 4004 BCE, and every historical fact suggesting otherwise, like the fossil record, was created by God to make fools of paleon­tologists, paleoarcheologists, paleobotanists, archeologists, historians, astronomers, physicists, biologists, educated laypeople, and other evil non-believers. Why God should go to all this trouble, why God should want to deceive skadillions of intelligent people from around 1870 CE to around 18700000000000 CE — why a truth- and justice-loving God would want to deceive in the first place — no one ever seems to have plausible reasons for.

The FACT is that today’s idea of literal history first came into general acceptance during the Enlightenment, just a few hundred years ago. And the FACT is that just because an ancient text presents myths does NOT make the ancient text fiction. The TV show “Mythbusters” is entitled that because “Urbanlegendbusters” isn’t easy to say or fit into a TV guide. Myths are NOT fiction!   Myths are theology presented in narrative form, simple enough for children and fools to understand — even conservative Christians — and subtle enough for scholars to argue about for millennia. In ancient cultures, myths that taught about the relationship between humanity and the divine were “true history,” while fables were “false history.”

In my opinion, most Christian theologians did not imagine or pretend that the Bible was literal history until Darwin’s theories began gaining acceptance among educated people and frightening the ignorant and simplistic; call it 140 or so years ago. Evolution is not a theory but a fact. It is Darwin’s 1859 theory of natural selection (“survival of the fittest”) that upsets people who are ignorant and theologically unsophisticated. It is instructive for Christians who realize that the Christian Testament is dependent on the Hebrew Scriptures to notice that Jews, for whom the Hebrew Scriptures were written, do not believe their ancient writings are as historically factual as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The myths of the Bible are not literal history, no matter what “Bible believers” proclaim. I would like some dedicated young skeptic to demonstrate this with some work on the Noah myth. If the Noah myth is not theology teaching that God will rescue the righteous and radically faithful through any catastrophe, but rather a factual historical account of real-world events written to 20th-century standards of veracity, how would it have happened in the real world? For example:

  1. To build the U.S.S. Alabama, a battleship, it took 3,000 men and women working 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 30 consecutive months (February 1, 1940 – August 16, 1942) — completing their work an amazing nine months ahead of schedule. Building the Titanic took about five years.
    • How long did it take Noah to find, chop down (with a small stone or possibly bronze axe), season, transport, cut (with a small stone or possibly bronze saw), shape, nail together (assuming nails were available in prehistoric Canaan), and seal all the trees needed for AT LEAST 216,525 square feet of wood strong enough to support thousands of pounds of weight, plus load-bearing walls, plus interior rooms, stalls, pens, staircases, etc? How much pitch (tar made from plants, or resin) would Noah have needed to seal more than 114,750 square feet of exterior against a year’s immersion, and how would he have obtained so many thousands of gallons?
    • How long would it have taken Noah, working single-handedly or with the help of his three sons, six days a week, ten hours a day, to build and seal a wooden box 450′ by 75′ by 45′ with three decks and an 18-inch overhang on the roof, more than twice the size of the largest ships built in the 19th century CE, roughly three-fourths the size of a 20th-century battleship, roughly 14 times larger than the Mayflower? God told Noah to make three decks, but apparently did not give Noah any more specific design instructions. As we will see below, whether it was 10000 BCE, 8400 BCE, 5600 BCE, or the 2348 BCE alleged by the Bible’s chronology, everyone in the world was illiterate and uneducated in the design and construction of gigantic vessels. How did Noah design the Ark to house hundreds of carnivores and many hundreds of herbivores (see below), AND all the food these animals needed? He would have needed to leave passageways around the perimeter of each deck and do frequent checks for leaks. He would have needed several staircases to get from deck to deck; 450 feet by 75 feet is not exactly cozy. He would have needed lots of support beams and load-bearing walls; a deck of 33,750 square feet, supporting thousands of tons of weight, is not going to hold itself up. He would have needed lots of stalls, pens, and cages, as well as ample storage. The Bible does NOT say that God magicked up the Ark, its contents, and all its passengers for Noah; it unmistakably implies Noah did all the work all himself.
  2. The nomads of ancient Palestine had no way of knowing about the existence of koalas, raccoons, penguins, giraffes, lemurs, walruses, platypuses, or millions of other species. So my dedicated young skeptic has my permission to limit “all flesh” to the 120 species mentioned in the Bible. HOWEVER, many species known to the Bible are carnivores (dogs, lions, eagles, etc.), so Noah would have had to stock lots of “extra” sheep, goats, etc. to feed the carnivores. My young friend should start with “List of the Animals in the Bible,” and then proceed to “Which Animals Does the Bible Designate as ‘Clean’ and ‘Unclean’?”, which tweaks out the 35 clean species of birds, mammals, and insects.
  3. There are also 47 species of clean fish, which leads me to wonder exactly what Yahweh expected Noah to do about the salt-water species once the oceans were diluted with at least three billion cubic kilometers (792,000,000,000 gallons) of rainwater. Some scholars have estimated that to cover Mt. Everest with 250 feet of water (Gen. 7:19) would require ten times as much water as exists on Earth today in every ocean, lake, river, etc. Wouldn’t that mean 11 times as much pressure at ocean bottom? Wouldn’t that much pressure and that much fresh water kill off all saltwater life?
  4. The Bible specifies that Noah was to gather seven breeding pairs of each species of ritually clean animals and birds, but only one breeding pair of each “unclean” species. There are 20 different species of vultures alone. There are 40,000 species of spiders, 160,000 species of moths, 17,500 species of butterflies, and 350,000 species of beetles. Millions of species merely of the animals known to the Bible, each of which was to be represented by one or seven breeding pairs. (Preferably with pregnant females, I presume, for fertility and restocking-the-Earth purposes.) That is insane. I hereby give my skeptic permission to limit himself to one species each of every lifeform mentioned in the Bible. Dromedary camels, yes; bactrian camels must drown.
  5. Several of the life-forms mentioned in the Bible would have been unobtainable, including the basilisk, the camelo­par­dalis, the cockatrice, the dispas, the dragon, the faun — and that’s just the first few letters of the alphabet! How did Noah obtain the unobtainable? Why are none of the mythological and fantastic animals mentioned in the Bible, like the unicorn or the lamia (a female monster whose food is human blood), represented in any fossil record outside of fundamentalist theme parks? . . . Oh, yeah: For some unexplainable reason, an all-loving, all-forgiving, truth-justice-and-the-American-way-only God wants to deceive intelligent people and all non-believers.
  6. Limiting the animal passengers in the Ark to one species of each genus mentioned in the Bible works out to a rock-bottom minimum of 490 clean animals and birds plus 170 unclean ones; but as I mentioned earlier, many of these species are carnivores, so Noah would have had to stock up on lots of “extra” prey animals. Once on dry land, Noah immediately began making sacrifices of thanksgiving to Yahweh, so he would have had to stock up on extra cattle, sheep, and goats as well. We also need to keep in mind that, as we’ll see in a moment, Noah would have had to stock the Ark with at least a year’s worth of food (see below) for at least 1,000 animals, discounting for eaten prey but adding for extra chicks, baby mice, kittens, puppies, calves, kids, lambs, etc., etc.
  7. The Bible tells us that it rained for 40 days and nights, the Ark drifted for 150 days, and then the water receded for 150 days. It also says it took four weeks from the time Noah began sending out birds to the day the recon­nais­sance dove failed to return, and another ten days between the time the Ark came to rest and the day Yahweh told the human sur­vivors to disembark. While the Bible contradicts itself on these details (why did Noah bother sending out recon­naissance birds when he could see he couldn’t “land” and release his cargo?), I think it’s appropriate when dealing with funda­men­talists to take the Bible as literally as they do: 378 days aboard the Ark, which is almost two weeks longer than a year). My dedicated young skeptic needs to figure out how much space would be needed to store the food needed for a rock-bottom minimum of 1,000 animals of all sizes for more than a year.
  8. Noah had 33,750 square feet per deck (the Ark was shaped like a box, not a ship; it had no steering mechanism or intended destination) available to handle load-bearing walls, staircases, companionways, human living space, stalls, cages, hives, nests, food storage, bilges, etc.; excrement disposal, leak repair, and similar maintenance chores; and feeding, grooming, exercising, animal doctoring, eaten-carcass disposal, etc., for 378 days in the Ark. My young skeptic needs to figure out how many square feet per deck would be needed for food storage, given that unrefrigerated food tends to rot; you wouldn’t want one bad apple spoiling not just the barrel but the entire year’s food supply. My young skeptic also needs to figure out how to keep all this food fresh for 13-plus months using nothing but Bronze Age technology. I’m not sure that leaf-eating beetles, for example, would much appreciate the sort of dead-leaf piles that kids used to love to jump into in northern autumns.
  9. Next, my young skeptic needs to design a system that will allow the storage of a year’s worth of food for both herb­i­vores and carnivores of various sizes. Mice, cockroaches, and other vermin can subsist on scraps, but what about the oryxes, the bisons, the elephants (100 pounds of food per day, each), the aurochs? The eagles, the ptarmigans, the owls, the chickens? The sheep, the cattle, the pigs, the dogs? How and with what did Noah feed the dragons, the levi­a­­thans, the camelo­­par­­­dolises, the satyrs, the pygargs, the cockatrices?
  10. Did I mention that only Noah and his three sons were available to do all the manual work? The women would have been busy the whole preparation time obtaining drinking water, obtaining firewood, obtaining food, grinding flour, baking bread, preparing lentils, plucking olives and pressing them for oil, cleaning, weaving, sewing, infant and child care, being “doctor mom” (there were no physicians, of course), and all the other drudgeries of female life in 2350 BCE. The first alphabet was invented around 2200 BCE. How long would it have taken four illiterate, uneducated, inexperienced nomads first to design, build, and outfit the Ark (not merely enormous for its era but colossal) and make it watertight; then to obtain first the food to feed 1,000 animals for more than a year, then to store the food aboard the Ark; and then to obtain the 1,000-plus animals themselves? . . . Could they have done it all in the six working days that the Bible says Yahweh gave them (Gen. 7:4)? Remember, if the Bible is in fact literal history, we can’t just say “God magicked it all”; we have to provide a rational, real-world explanation for “Noah did as God commanded.”
  11. Bill Cosby’s comedy routine portrayed Noah as saying to God, “Have you looked at the mess [of excrement] in the bottom of the Ark? Who’s going to clean up down there? Not me, I’ll tell you that!” (To which God’s response is an ominous clap of thunder and the sound of more rain beginning.) How much excrement would eight humans, their presumptive infants and children, and a minimum of 1,000 animals generate every day? In MY opinion, Noah and his sons would have had to spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week (the heck with the Sabbath) shovelling poop, taking it up onto the top deck, and dumping it over the side. And forget all other require­ments of animal care, like feeding, grooming, exercising, or veterinary care; forget patrolling for leaks, plugging leaks, eating, sleeping, frakking the spouse, complaining about the weather, or any other reality of the waterborne lifestyle.
  12. Coin money is relatively recent: the Lydians invented coins in 700 BCE. Whenever Noah lived, “money” consisted of cattle, lambs, and goats (and for NON-Hebrews, pigs). How much would building and stocking the Ark cost in today’s money? Billions? How did an illiterate nomad in 2350 BCE come up with that kind of economic power? The Bible does NOT say that God magicked this economic power; it says that “Noah . . . did as God commanded.”
  13. According to the Bible’s chronology, in 2348 BCE there were exactly eight human beings alive on Earth, plus about 1,000 animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, plus whatever terrestrial plants survived a year without sunlight, oxygen, or fertilization. According to Wikipedia, the human population of the Earth was about five million continuously between about 8000 BCE and about 1000 BCE. Assuming that both the Bible and paleontology are strictly factual, how did we get from three women of childbearing age in 2348 BCE to 5,000,000 people in 2347 BCE? How did we get from eight Canaanites living near a mountain in today’s Turkey to a world full of Semites (“descendants of Noah’s son Shem”), Mediterraneans, Celts, Chinese, Africans (descendants of Noah’s son Ham, according to slavery apologists), Europeans, Indians, Eskimoes, Caucasians, Native Americans, Samoans, Aztecs, Maoris, aborigines, Vikings, Eskimos, etc., in both 2348 BCE and 2347 BCE?
  14. And what about the water pressure? Calculations have shown that to cover the entire Earth with water, “250 feet” above the top of Mt. Everest, would require ten times as much water as exists in all oceans, lakes, rivers, etc. today. I don’t know what the PSI is at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, but it strikes me that eleven times that pressure comes out as a lot. My young skeptic needs to show which species would have died from all that fresh water, and which species would have died from being smooshed by the weight of all that water.
  15. I want my young skeptic to compile a sophisticated list of every life form that literalists insist God mass-murdered. Five million human beings. X million rabbits. X billion mice. X billion ruminants. X trillion insects. You get the idea. This time the skeptic should not be limited to the species known to the Bible; everything should be included, from manatees to marsupials, from forests to coral reefs, from penguins to polar bears. How many quadrillions of lives were lost so that eight human beings and approximately 1,000 animals and birds could live?
  16. And speaking of paleontology, why is there nothing in today’s fossils’ DNA record to indicate that every species of life on earth is descended from one, seven, or in the humans’ case three breeding pairs? According to the Bible’s chronology, the Flood took place in 2348 BCE. The Great Pyramid in Egypt was built between 2600 and 2500 BCE, and Stonehenge, in England, was also completed around 2500 BCE.

    A typical Lascaux painting, dating from ca. 16000 BCE.

    Why does neither the Great Pyramid nor Stonehenge bear any trace of having been submerged for most of a year? Why wasn’t the Stone Age cave art in Lascaux, France, washed away, or the ancient pottery of China, Japan, and India melted into mud pies?
    Oh, yeah, I forgot: God magicked away all the evidence because “he” wants to deceive rational skeptics for some unexplainable reason.

If the Bible is a collection of ancient myths, sacred narratives meant to illustrate the relationship between God and humanity in a form simple enough to entertain children, fools, and fundamentalists as they were being educated, we can answer all these questions with “miracle.” God miraculously answered all the questions I’ve come up with here, and all the ones I haven’t thought of yet. The point of the Noah’s Ark myth is not to provide a real-world historical record of the extermination of 99.9999 percent of all life on Earth because a violent, unthinking divine mass murderer was too stupid to create human beings who were not genetically, irreversibly “corrupt and full of violence,” even the toddlers and babes in arms. The point is to to teach what the ancients thought was theological truth: that if you pursue justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God (are “righteous”) AND live in radical trust of God’s goodness, like Noah, God will save you from even the worst catastrophes.

If instead the Bible is literal history written by God “him”self, as fundamentalists and evangelicals insist, then all the above questions must be answered with either literal, verifiable history or with rational arguments and proofs: Here is the fossil record showing that all dogs on Earth are descended from one breeding pair. Here is the scientific evidence indicating that Great Pyramid and Stonehenge were buried under miles of water for more than a year. Here are the ancient writings and DNA studies indicating that everyone on Earth, black and white, yellow and red, is descended from four pre-semitic women living near Mt. Ararat in 2350 BCE. Here are the reasons to believe that even newborn babies, kittens, puppies, and bunnies can be corrupt, full of violence, and worthy of extermination.

And more to the point, the “Bible believers” need to explain why God would destroy five million human beings, including every baby and every child, as well as countless quadrillions of animals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, trees, flowers, bushes, and dolphins, whales coral reefs, and other saltwater life, bacteria, and viruses because “the world was corrupt and full of violence.” Did 9-year-old Christina Green need to be murdered because people like Jack Abramoff and Tom Delay are corrupt and Sarah Palin likes to shoot wild animals (especially from the comfort of small aircraft), urges her followers to “reload,” places crosshairs on her opponents, and agrees that the Tree of Liberty needs to be nourished with the blood of Democrats in violent armed rebellion against the “tyranny” of quasi-democratically elected leaders?

Hitler killed roughly one-third of the Jews in Germany, and history calls him a monster. According to Bible believers, God killed 99.9999999 percent of everything alive on Earth, and this ultimate mass-murder demonstrates the loving compassion Jesus spoke of so eloquently.

If an all-knowing and all-powerful God wrote the Bible and wrote it to be as historically factual as an encyclopedia, as “Bible believers” insist, then why must believers come up with so many incredibly convoluted explanations to cover the many, many problems similar to the ones discussed above? (Three more quick examples: Leviticus 11:6 tells us that rabbits and hares chew their cud like cows. 1 Kings 7:23 tells us that pi equals 45 divided by 15, or 3.0. Exodus 17:8-13 tells us that Moses had body odor so powerful it could kill non-Hebrew enemies from hundreds of yards away but leave the Hebrew warriors alive.)

Why must literalists come up with so many excuses for God? (“All the babies in the world were corrupt and full of violence, and deserved to die!”) Why should an all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-loving God need to be either excused or defended by weak, poorly educated, locally present, unloving mortals?

A “literal history” reading of the book of Exodus shows that the bibliolaters’ God is quite capable of mass-murdering Egyptian babies selectively; one-month-old big brother gets Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but not his minutes-younger fraternal twin. But even if in 2348 BCE every adult on Earth was “corrupt and full of violence,” why couldn’t God have hunted down and mass-murdered the corrupt and violent selectively, and allowed millions of innocent babies, children, lambs, kittens, puppies, kids, calves, foals, chicks, bunnies, buds, saplings, coral reefs, etc. to live in peace, to love and serve their God?

Please, young skeptic, get to work!

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Comments»

1. Drew - January 15, 2011

I always think of serious refutations of this myth are like the breakdown of the physics of Santa Claus.

It’s like pointing out that in order to fly between every home of small children to deliver toys, the sleigh would have to be traveling at impossibly high speeds, producing such heat from friction with the air that Rudolph and all the other reindeer would be burned to a crisp like a meteor entering the earth’s atmosphere…

Sure, it’s sound reasoning, but you must be a child or have the intellect and credulity of one to believe either story is actually true in the first place.

Still, there are many “grown up children” who just never question this stuff, so thank you for posting.

2. Quora - February 3, 2011

Is there any evidence the biblical flood ever happened?…

Something like 95 percent of all primitive cultures have some sort of “great flood” myth, and there is evidence of large-scale (but never world-wide) flooding in several eras of history, including 10500 BCE, 8400 BCE, 5600 BCE, and 1650 BCE. HOWEVER,…

3. Heather - February 25, 2011

First, id like to say, im a firm believer in God. Second, i can answer a majority of your questions with a single theory. What if the ark was actually a storage bank for DNA? That single question ELIMINATES a good majority of the questions asked by the author of this article. (think outside of the box you have been programmed to stay within…which limits or stunts the growth of our intellectual evolution). Third, and last of all, id like to introduce my own basic theory, which is so new in the making, that i have little if any proof to back it up, YET. Before i submit it though, id like to encourage ANYONE who may have historical facts, to please take out the time to offer your input, to either debunk or back up and refine this theory. Im open to anything your willing to offer. My Theory (in a nutshell, so to speak): Maybe the ark has never been discovered(per say)because the search has always focused on finding a BOAT. What if the ark was actually The Great Pyramid?

Drew - February 26, 2011

Well, if the bible story is true, the ark cannot be a pyramid made of stone (the bible recounts not only its dimensions, but that it was made of gopher wood). Also, while the pyramids are absolutely huge, they are STILL not large enough to hold representatives of all animal species.

I think it’s interesting you’re trying to go the DNA route, since it’s something one would expect to be referenced in the bible since god would know about it, but humans at that time had no friggin clue.

Something like that might make a good case for the divinity of the bible. Sadly for that theory is that nothing in the bible couldn’t have been written by any human alive during the iron age.

Also, think through this. If DNA samples were in fact preserved (forgetting for a moment how these would be reconstituted… something we cannot even do now), how and who took certain species and put them on islands? Lemurs, for example exist ONLY on Madagascar. How did that happen? Kangaroos ONLY on Australia. And many other such examples. Your god is not only peculiar, he has one VERY warped sense of humor.

DarwinsMyth - September 14, 2013

Before and shortly after the Genesis Flood, there was continent, so there was no Australia or Madagascar. Psalm 104 says, the valleys sank and the mountain rose… showing us how the continents were formed and where the excess Flood water went… into deeper oceans.

It’s not God who is peculiar… it’s those people that don’t try to study the Bible objectively so that it makes sense. If a person tries hard enough, he can make a cloud appear peculiar… that doesn’t mean it’s not real.

John Doe - October 5, 2015

your stupidity and refusal to disbelieve such horrendous biblical garbage precedes you

4. Heather - February 25, 2011

this is the email address to contact me personally- wisdomseekstruth@hotmail.com – I look forward to your input. Thanks to the creator of this site for providing me with an outlet to voice my personal opinions.

5. In the the Old Testament, how did Noah fit all the animals on the Ark? - Quora - March 3, 2011

[…] summa cum la… Check out "Thinking Through the 'Noah's Ark' Myth," https://witwisdom.wordpress.com/2…. The Bible is NOT a history book; it's THEOLOGY!12:43pmView All 0 CommentsCannot add comment […]

6. Benjamin Evans - March 4, 2011

Okay… If I had time I would make arguments against everything in this article, but I have homework. There were a few things you said that REALLY bothered me though, because the answers were so simple.
1. You seem to think Noah was a stupid guy.
You really are not thinking about how much time these guys had. Before the flood, men were living to incredible ages. Noah was over 900 years old when he finally died. Do you REALLY think that mankind wouldn’t figure stuff out? I think that mankind was smarter than you’re giving them credit for.
2. We need to prove that the Great Pyramid was immersed at the time of the flood? WHY would I want to prove that? The Egyptians built the pyramids, and the Egyptians are descended from Mitzraim, who was a son of Ham, who was the son of Noah… The Great Pyramid was obviously built AFTER the flood. You have your chronology off if you place the pyramids before the flood.
3. How did Noah feed everything?
You would have to be stupid to completely disregard Darwin’s theory. There is no denying micro-evolution, it’s the crazy people who say that everything came from a blob of goop that we dislike, so yes, there were less species at the time of Noah then there are today. I am of the opinion that Noah took YOUNG animals on to the flood, and young animals would not require as much food, and young carnivorous animals are still able to live off of milk which they could have gotten from the cows and such. Also, they didn’t have to feed any dragons or dinosaurs, cause those were destroyed in the flood, which is why they don’t exist today.

And I think that’s enough for now. I could answer more, or answer any questions about my comment if you have them, just not right now cause I have homework to do.

John Doe - October 5, 2015

and you really believe this s__t about humans living this long, you are brain dead

7. Mary W. Matthews - March 4, 2011

What evidence is there in my article that I consider Noah to have been “stupid”?

What proof do you have, outside of bibliolatry, that it is physically possible for a human being to live longer than 150 years TOPS?

What proof do you have that anything in the world was built before or after the Great Flood?

How could you possibly read thousands of words debunking bibliolatry and conclude that bibliolatry can debunk ANYTHING?

DarwinsMyth - September 14, 2013

Nothing debunks the literal reading and interpretation of the Holy Bible.

The thing with atheists… they just don’t know the difference between a dream, vision, or parable, and what is given as a true historical event in the Bible.

Also with atheists, they can say the Genesis Flood was impossible, yet, they’ll still believe life came from non-living matter that came from the almighty Nothing… which completely goes against real science (i.e. The Cell Theory, The Law of Biogenesis). The BILLIONS of fossils found worldwide, even on top of mountains, which were buried by mudslides from the Genesis Flood, is strong evidence that favors the Biblical history. BTW, slow burial of creatures over MILLIONS of yrs. will NEVER create fossils. Oxygen, parasites and predators would destroy the creature before it ever fossilized.

Real science and the Bible agree with each other. Real history and the Bible agree with other. There’s nothing for a Christian or young earth creationist to apologize for.

8. Benjamin Evans - March 5, 2011

In your article you mention that he was using either a small stone or a bronze ax. You seem to think that technology was not advanced in any way whatsoever. I’m sure they had ways to construct things outside of using bronze axes. While Adam was still alive, Tubal-Cain began working with iron and bronze, and Noah came along much later.

I’m a Bible believing Christian, and I’ve been taught how to defend against most people who try to disprove things in there. The thing that sets the Bible apart from other holy writings is that it “IS” a history book. Sure, this story of the flood is far enough back that it’s hard to prove, but other events that are recorded in the Bible and by other historians match up with each other.

A friend of mine is a respected scientist, and he still believes that the story of the flood is true. Science is a tool to understand things that are present and able to be observed. Science is useless for disproving things that happened in the past because you can’t observe it.

We’re analyzing things from different standards. You are trying to prove things couldn’t happen, and you’re looking at what science tells us is possible in the modern day world that it observes. You cannot disprove the long lifespan by looking at modern day science. I’m looking at what the Bible says, and figuring out how it is possible from those standards. Before the flood, I believe the world was one unified landmass, and the flood is what broke the world up into different continents. Here is a nice little article that explains in easy enough language what I believe about where the water came from and how it shaped the Earth, and it also talks a little bit about how that could explain the longevity of human life. http://www.godspointofview.com/public/qanda/flood_waters.htm

I’m looking at genealogy to show that the Pyramids were built after the flood, since like I said in my last post, the Egyptians came from Mitzraim, who came from Ham, who came from Noah. Also the fact that the pyramids are still there and show no signs of being flooded shows that they came afterwards too… If the floods upset the entire landmass, as I believe they did, nothing would have lasted through it. Everything was destroyed or buried in the flood.

I know I’m not going to convince you of anything, it’s pretty obvious that you’ve proved this to yourself over and over again. These comments are more for the other people who read your article and want another point of view. The reason I still believe the Bible, is because it has time and time again proved itself to science. The only time science disagrees with the Bible is when there are miraculous events that are untestable. Why shouldn’t there be miraculous events in the Bible? Trying to prove that the miraculous events didn’t happen is just saying that God has no power over his creation or he doesn’t exist.

You can either choose to believe God’s word, or you can find something else to believe in such as science. I’m gonna go with the Bible since science continues to disprove itself over and over again.

Please, continue to send arguments, this is great fun for me

A quick question for you to answer as simply as possible to let me know where you stand. How was the world created if God was not the creator?

9. Mary W. Matthews - March 7, 2011

So, as a “Bible believer” who can’t tell the difference between the 21st-century definition of history and the Bronze Age’s, you are “sure” that the two definitions are identical; that no one has learned anything in the last 3,000+ years. You are “sure” that an illiterate, innumerate nomad from the Bronze Age had access to 30th- or 40th-century technology and knew how to use it. (To build, stock, and load an Ark like the one described in the Bible is WAY beyond our 21st-century technology, especially in the ONE WEEK that God gave Noah!) The answer to every one of the questions I raised is “miracle.” As the Church Lady used to say many years ago, “Isn’t that conveeeeeeeeenient.”

Here’s one problem with your “miracle” approach: The Bible says very clearly that God did NOT help Noah. Gen. 7:5: “Noah did everything that YHWH commanded.” NOT “God magicked up everything so Noah could do a 700-year job in seven days.”

The Noah’s Ark myth, if it HAD happened in the real world, took place around 8400 BCE. The STONE AGE. Even if it took place as recently as 2350 BCE, it was the BRONZE AGE. It is a simple fact: “Technology was not advanced in any way whatsoever.” Let me repeat that in different words: The HIGHEST level of technology was the ax. Or maybe the hand loom, depending on whether you prefer destruction or creation. In point of FACT, technology as you and I understand the term was not advanced IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.

Both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid were built around 2600 BCE. The date for the Great Flood as described in the Bible is most likely to be 2350 BCE — 250 years later. Explain why 2600 BCE comes after 2350 BCE.

The alphabet was invented around 2200 BCE. In the first century, Jesus’s time, the MALE literacy rate was 3 percent. A first-century rabbi wrote, “To teach a girl to read is to teach pornography,” so there’s a good chance the FEMALE literacy rate was about 0.03 percent.

You, as a high school or college student who needs to attend to your homework (good for you!), know more about the Bible than I do (you’ve “been taught”). I’ve only been studying the Bible as part of my PROFESSION for longer than you’ve been alive. I only have a summa cum laude from an internationally respected seminary. Obviously I can’t possibly know as much about my chosen profession as a Bible-believing teenager like yourself.

Who said I do not believe that God created the Universe? I say that God DID create the Universe; God just didn’t do it over the course of seven days beginning at 9:30 a.m. on October 23, 4004 BCE.

You are NOT required to turn off your brain to believe in God; otherwise, God wouldn’t have given you one to begin with.

Here’s a quick little quiz for you:

If Adam (“Humanity”) and Eve (“Life”) were the progenitors of all men and all women, why didn’t they have any daughters? If they did, why was it NOT incest for Cain and Seth to marry them? Why did Seth have the same name as the Egyptian god of deserts, storms, and foreigners? Who were the “divine beings” of Gen. 6:2 (the literal Hebrew word is “godlings”), and why is there zero fossil evidence of them? They intermarried with human women; why were not their offspring semi-divine? Why are there no fossils of semi-divine half-humans, half-godlings?

In Exodus 4:24-26, why did YHWH try to kill Moses? What was the name of Moses’s OTHER wife, and where was she during this scene? Why did Zipporah use a “flint knife”? What was the significance of the religious ritual performed by this Midianite priestess, and why did it work on YHWH, who was not a Midianite god? Whose feet did Zipporah touch with her baby’s foreskin, in the LITERAL HEBREW? What is a “bridegroom of blood”?

Read Exodus 17:8-13. Write a skit starring Moe Howard as Moses, Curly Howard as Aaron, and Larry Fine as Hur. Why was Moses’s B.O. both so powerful it could kill at a distance, AND so specific it killed only Amalekites? Why does God approve of the slaughter of the Hebrews’ enemies by Judaism’s most important prophet?

If God is EVERYWHERE (as I believe; otherwise God wouldn’t be God), how could Moses and 70 elders see God’s feet and hands in Exodus 24:9-11, and how could Moses see God’s gluteus maximus in Exodus 33:23? If Moses could look upon God’s feet, hands, and behind but Jesus could NOT, doesn’t that mean Moses was holier than Jesus?

Leviticus 11:6 tells us that both hares and rock badgers chew their cuds as if they were ruminants. Explain (a) how this could possibly be, (b) why biology has changed so dramatically in the equivalent of the blink of an eye, and (c) where all the fossils are of cud-chewing lagomorphs and carnivores.

Read Lev. 11:20-23. Provide a list of all winged insects that walk on four legs IN THE REAL WORLD.

Read Numbers 16. Explain why more than 16 THOUSAND innocent children, women, slaves, and domestic animals had to die because three men who were frustrated at Moses’s arrogance said to Moses, “The whole community is holy, so why do you act so stuck-up?” Explain why both God and Jesus approved of this massacre of innocents.

Exodus 20:13 forbids murder. Explain why both God and Jesus approved of the massacre of thousands of innocent children, women, oldsters, non-warriors, etc. in, e.g., Joshua 10:28-32.

Read Luke 16:1-12. Why does Jesus portray God (as the “wealthy landowner”) as approving of dishonesty, cheating, and theft?

Read Jude 1:14. Why are all comets evil?

Explain to your math teacher HOW pi can equal exactly three (1 Kings 7:23). Hand in your homework done with pi=3.0, and defend it to your math teacher as Bible-based, and therefore more accurate than, say, the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Explain how Zechariah (11:12-13) is “really” Jeremiah (Matt. 27:9-10). Bonus points if you can date the lives of the two prophets without having to look them up.

Explain how the period from 3 p.m. on Good Friday to approximately 6 a.m. on Easter Sunday, approximately 39-40 hours, equals “three days and three nights” (Matt. 12:40).

Explain why the Universe did NOT end during the first century CE, as Matt. 24:34 and other places insist it was going to.

Explain how Malachi (3:1) and Isaiah were the same person (Mark 1:2-3).

Explain how Abiathar could be his own son: 1 Samuel 21:1-6 and 2 Samuel 8:16, versus Mark 2:26.

Explain how the flat Earth, shaped like a dinner plate (Isa. 40:22, Job 26:10, Prov. 8:26-27, ETC.) and held up on four gigantic pillars (Job 9:6, 26:11, Ps. 75:3) and covered by a hammered metal dome (Gen. 1:6, Job 22:14, 2 Esdras 6:41), where it is possible to see the ENTIRE WORLD from the top of one low mountain in Galilee (Matt. 4:8), has “time and time again proved itself to science.”

These are just a few of the many, many, many, MANY passages in the Bible that make no sense at all if judged by 21st-century standards of historicity, but make perfect sense judged by Bronze Age standards of what German theologians named “heilsgeschichte,” or “holiness-history.” If you insist that the Bible was written to 21st-century standards of historicity, you MUST explain them all SATISFACTORILY. “My friend the respected scientist” is not satisfactory. Your friend Mary the respected theologian and Bible scholar says otherwise.

To believe that the Bible is literal history, written by God Godself and handed to humanity on a silver platter, is called bibliolatry. The Bible was written by human beings over the course of 1,000 years. Most of the Bible was written in the Bronze Age; the most recent bits during the Iron Age; a few verses and myths during the Stone Age. The world was so very very very VERY different from our modern world that if a time machine plonked you down in it, you’d be dead by the end of the week.

The Bible’s intended audience was illiterate, innumerate peasants who sincerely believed that the Earth is flat, shaped like a dinner plate, held above the chaos waters below on four gigantic pillars, protected from the chaos waters above by a hammered metal dome, the “firmament,” upon which God walks.

You can either choose to believe that God’s word is being spoken ALWAYS, even today; or you can worship a 19th-century eisegesis of Bronze Age writings as being as divine and “inerrant” as God is. That is called bibliolatry.

Myself, I prefer to worship God over a few tanned animal skins (“parchment,” the Hebrew Scriptures) and hundreds of thousands of fragments of mashed river reeds (“papyrus,” the Christian Testament), some of which directly contradict each other (e.g., fragment A: “Jesus said X”; fragment B: “Jesus said not-X”). You just keep worshiping those tanned animal skins, fragments of mashed river reed, their 1611 translation into medieval English, and the 19th-century insistence that God was too stupid to create evolution.

10. Benjamin Evans - March 8, 2011

Any chance I could get you on IM to chat instant time? BTW, I am 18, have lived in a Christian home my whole life, and am now attending a Christian private school. I’ve attended the same Church my whole life now, and within that congregation of about 350 people there are many people older than myself who have studied the Bible much more than I have, and I frequently have opportunities to ask them questions and compare with other things I already know. I know I’ve had less time to study then you, but still, even in my 18 years I see flaws in your thinking. For example, why did you say Noah worked on the ark and finished it in a week? Nowhere in the Bible does it specify how long it took him, as far as I know. It would have taken him years and years to finish, as far as I know it could have taken him hundreds of years. Also, where are you getting all your dates? I know with the dates you’re throwing at me it’s not possible, so I’ll have to ask someone about that or look it up when I have free time and find proof of why your dates are wrong.

Again, I’m gonna say, I would like to chat on IM or something so that we can debate the accuracy and truth of the Bible in instant time and make corrections against the other when we make them. You keep making claims at things that I find fault with, and then you’re using those claims to prove the rest of your arguments, and in IM or something it’ll be easier for you to argue those points. You don’t have to instant chat with me if you don’t want to, but seeing how much you wrote above, I think you want to convince me of something, and I want to point out the flaws in your arguments, so I personally think it would be fun. Just send me a quick comment back with however you would like to talk, and we can try to get connected. Please keep in mind, that I am still 18 and so I may not have an immediate answer to all your question like the wiser and more knowledgeable adults in my church, but I am good at research.

Oh, and I have studied the Hebrew language for three years, and I know full well that the books of the Bible were written to people in a completely different time period, and I am not worshiping the Bible, I worship the one triune God, and believing him to be Omnipotent and Omniscient, I think we’d be depriving him of a little bit of glory by saying that his word has flaws in it, so I would appreciate it if you stopped calling it Bibliolatry. I don’t believe every English translation is perfect,but I do believe the original texts were perfect.

Hoping to talk to you later.

Benjamin

11. deepak - March 22, 2011

you are not even going to believe if god will say this,but you will say you can’t be god.

12. Sir Knight Daryl Breese - November 1, 2011

Pretty good press release on “Evidence of Noah’s Ark found in French Cave”

13. Olabode olanipekun - December 23, 2011

Religion is the most distorted and perverted view of the external world.

DarwinsMyth - September 14, 2013

Especially the religion of Atheism…

14. Noah's Ark: How large would Noah's Ark have to be to fit two of every species today? - Quora - July 26, 2012

[…] and David AbrahamCheck out "Thinking Through the 'Noah's Ark' Myth," https://witwisdom.wordpress.com/2…. The Bible is NOT a history book; it's THEOLOGY!1+ Comments Loading… • Post • Mar […]

15. David Richards - August 30, 2012

Why would God have involved Noah to build an ark in the first place? Surely he could have destroyed everything on earth and started again to repopulate the world as he supposedly did in the first few ‘days’ of the earth’s existence.

Mary, I very much enjoyed reading your discourse. Hopefully, it will encourage others to think, and to question long held dogma.

16. Juan Lopez - October 3, 2012

“Evolution is not a theory, it’s a fact” – I stopped listening right there, when it became obvious that you stopped listening a long time ago. If you talk more than you listen- from your article I can surmise that you do- how is it you have learned so much?

17. Guy - October 4, 2012

They are still trying to figure out how the pyramids and Stonehenge were built; if these only existed in writing today you would be calling them myths also. Why do ancient civilizations the world over record such similar myths regarding global catastrophes, ancient technologies, and interactions with higher forms of life? Also, it has been shown that for each member of a species, they have in their DNA all possible variations for within that species. A Labrador retriever still has all the DNA of other dogs, just coded differently. This suggests that there very well could have been far less animal types thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of years ago. It has already been proven that all humans alive today descended from 1 male and female couple. Does Noah’s ark have to have happened? Nah…but the thing about faith in a personal, involved creator, is that I believe it very well could have, and that something very similar likely did.

18. DarwinsMyth - September 14, 2013

Until an atheist or an evolutionist/Darwinist can show us the transitional fossils that link any reptile to an Archaeopteryx, where we can OBSERVE the morphing, transition or evolution take place, the REAL myth will be evolution, and the billions of fossils found worldwide, even on top of mountains, will be the proof that the Genesis Flood is fact, not a myth.

Don’t tell me to look in a museum, a library, a science book, or the internet. Those transitional fossils aren’t there. If those transitional fossils actually did exist, they’d be plastered ALL OVER the internet for the world to see. A single, lone fossil only proves something died… not that it’s a transitional fossil. It takes many more than just 1 fossil to prove evolution ever took place.


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