Saturday, February 21, 2009

Was there a real flood?

This story has always bothered me. I can't imagine how anyone with half a brain could believe the story of Noah's Ark as literal fact.

From the bible, the size of the darned thing does not begin to approach necessary dimensions:
Genesis 6:14-16

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

ONE window? The smell must have been atrocious !
Of course, ya can't forget Noah was 600 years old at the time. Perhaps he possessed a wisdom unknown to today's younger crowd. Maybe he could have pulled it all off.

Or, perhaps Penn and Teller are on to something here....

16 comments:

car54 said...

I love Penn & Teller - I don't agree with them all of the time but I love their 'In your face' antics.

Asylum Seeker said...

You just don't understand that they put 2 of every KIND of animal (where "kind" means a nonspecific grouping of animals, of which there is grand total of 14) and not 2 of every species. Also: the water came from a massive sheet of ice that encompassed the atmosphere, increasing air pressure in order to make people 15 feet tall and live for centuries on end. In addition, dinosaurs sucked at life too much so they were denied access to the boat, and drowned as 40 days of world-wide torrential rain shook up the sedimentary layers in order to screw around with the geologic column. And that's how the grand canyon was formed!

I really really wish that this post wasn't based on actual arguments...

pboyfloyd said...

There's a good series called 'Why Creationists make people laugh' by thunderf00t on Youtube.

Some of his other stuff delves into how the devious and underhanded the YouTuber Creationists are willing to be and such.

Good stuff.

mac said...

From a christian site attempting to convince us of the Ark's validity:(http://www.allaboutpopularissues.org/size-of-noahs-ark-faq.htm)

"Based on measurements given in the Genesis account, most experts agree that the ark had approximately 1,500,000 cubic feet of free space. So we can gasp the size, the ark would be equivalent in volume to 522 standard American railroad stock cars, each of which can hold 240 sheep.
The number of animals which could have been comfortably carried aboard the Ark for the duration of the voyage is in dispute for various reasons with the number fluctuating between 16,000 and 25,000. Keep in mind that not all the creatures of the earth had to be on board the ark, only air breathing, land-dwelling animals. I am reliably informed that 1,500,000 cubic feet would equal the capacity of 570 modern railroad cattle cars. Most animals are not very large, so if we surmise that the average size of all animals is the size of a sheep and one railroad stock car can carry about 240 sheep, then we could fit 40,000 animals in as few as 167 railway cars. As the Ark's total capacity was 570 cars, then 40,000 animals would require less than 30% of the Ark's space. In other words all the animals could fit on just one of the Ark's three decks which would leave the other 70% of the ark's space free for animal supplies, Noah's family, food, and any personal belongings which may have needed to be carried. "

Follow the numbers from the first paragraph to the second, the size, in comparision to railcars, grows just a bit.
I still can't ssee the logic in their numbers. Of course, I didn't consider all the fishes can just swim along side the boat. Providing, of course, they don't mind mixing salt/fresh waters, as I know most species of fish can(not).

Asylum Seeker said...

Slight problem with that guy's logic: there are only three levels in Noah's Ark, and there are 5,400 species of mammals alone (that's over 10,000, even not factoring in that you need 7 of the "clean" ones). Noah's Ark has three levels (for argument's sake, I'll say that the deck wasn't counted), and is 300 cubits, by 50 cubits, by 30 cubits (450 ft.x 75ft x 45ft). Now, by his calculations, I can find that a stock car is about 3,000 cubic feet a piece. Let's just assume that it has the minimalistic height of 5ft in order to maximize floor space for those 240 sheep. They've got 6,000 square ft. of floor space, with each sheep only allowed to take up 2.5 square feet even with such a low ceiling. Noah's Ark, by contrast, needs to have a ceiling every 15 feet up (with there being no ceiling for the deck level, obviously). Each level is 450 X 75, which is 33,750 square ft, or roughly 5 and half as much floor space as a single stock car (roughly 1,320 sheep). On each of the three levels, plus the deck, and you've got a a mere 5,260 sheep, which wouldn't even be ONE of every mammalian species, due to a suboptimal usage of volume considering the constraints that gravity has on these creatures. Only if you turned the animals into inanimate sacks and tossed them on top of one another would they take up the volume that this person is proposing, largely due to the fact that, because Noah's Ark is not in actuality 520 stock cars piled on top of each, it does not have as much internal surface areas as 520 stock cars would.

Also, in addition to the fact that the world fusing its oceans together would kill most fish, water of that depth would most likely kill all plants as well. Fungi probably too. And who knows how all the bacteria managed to stick around...

Asylum Seeker said...

Miscalculation: It should be 600 ft of floor space per stock car, meaning that each level of Noah's Ark has 55 times as much floor space and can hold 13,200 sheep, for a grand total of 52,600 sheep, which is enough to have 2 of the 9,000 species of reptiles (18,000 total), 5,400 species of mammals (10,800 total without differentiating "clean animals"), and 6,000 species of amphibians (whose adults might not be able to survive in water, and who might die out if you rely on the survival of eggs in the flood water to carry out the species), leaves you with 40,800 "sheep" taking up 52,600 sheep's worth of floor space. Then factor in that there are 10,000 species of birds, of which you must have 7 (pairs, or individual, I frankly don't know), and over 1,000,000 (!) species of insect (which, presumably, few could survive in the flood waters), and your attempt to have room for supplies have been thoroughly screwed. It's a really big ship (to such an extent that it is doubtful to have existed for that reason alone), but it just doesn't have enough room to contain all of those animals (many of whom may prey on one another, need room to roam, may accidentally crush other animals, or just defecate everywhere) for 40 days. In addition, with the potential for births occurring on the boat, and no potential for deaths occurring (lest it be a species that never came to see the present day)....it's just too crazy...

Asylum Seeker said...

Hmmm, turns out that that post you found isn't all too rare (I found posted verbatim across the intertoobs). In addition, I found an awesome revelation here .

Apparently, they've made these calculations using the number of sheep that fit into a double decker car (which has a cubic volume of 12000) but used the volume of the single decker car (volume of 3000), which incidentally has an actual height of 8 ft, meaning that it would have had a floor surface area of 375 ft, and the people who originally phrased this would have to explain why they sincerely believe that quadrupedal sheep take up 1.5 square feet of space.

Saint Brian the Godless said...

Also, all million-plus species of INSECT would die in the brackish waters.

Nobody remembers the poor insects.

All insects, all fish, and all plants would die in the flood. Noah's ark would have to be the size of Rhode island, with specific environments and very specific feeds, many of them live feeds that themselves would need to be kept alive... So Noah must have raised fruit flies for the tiny poison frogs, and specific plants for each of the many species of aphids and other insects that require a specific species of plant and will eat no other. How he ever kept the grylloblattid ice insects cold enough is just another one of God's mysteries, I guess.

Saint Brian the Godless said...

But do the rabbits chew their cud, is the question...

It's amazing to me that ANYBODY can actually buy into this silliness. It's like half the world is completely insane... and on the mental level of a kindergartener.

mac said...

Yes, Brian !

I'm sure when the little bunnies were placed in a cage next to the Lions, they promptly shit themselves and ate it up- without chewing ;-)

oneblood said...

That's a great question Brian. For me and for other christian/jew/muslims -I don't know the Hindu creation story- who are settled into a choice of belief and not compulsion it was a bait and switch.

Of those who truly believe, there are the people who grow up believing in x belief, and then there are those who convert, or feel compelled to choose x.

The bait and switch is legitimate authority, critiques, and speculation. But no evidence. None.

What's the authority? Other people who believe. You've seen the lists. Just because somebody has a high IQ doesn't make them right.

The critique? The imperfection of science. That's a great one, "It works wonderfully, but not perfectly, let's chuck it!"

Speculation? Why, you've already covered that.

It's the 'you have to accept the whole thing...thing.'

My only recommendation to any atheist is to use logic and love. "We" Christians do not have a monopoly on love, agape or otherwise. But this philosophy seems correct as an ideal (note room for pragmatism and justice).

-----------------------------------------------

Mac,

I don't know where you're coming from as per what you believe specifically (meaning within the spectrum of atheism); but if you like science and religion keep going to the sources.

The further I've dug, the more I've realized how full of crap I am. With that comes the distinct ability to read somebody else's crapmeter. Which is really helpful for understanding what science is and what it is not. And of course what religion is and what it is not. It takes man out of the picture when he thinks he should be mooning the camera.

Stacy S. said...

Have you seen this video of Joe Rogan talking to a believer in the ark? - It's a head shaker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH5zfTVt9X4

mac said...

Thank-you Stacy :-)

Joe says it much better(funnier too) than I ever could.

Stacy S. said...

:-)

mac said...

Funny Ark song

morsdei said...

Sorry, but I must point this out; there have been MANY floods, to call something "the flood" is to ascribe to it some form of narrative superiority which, honestly, it's not even a decent story. Perhaps one could say "did the flood of the Christian canon actually take place." In which case, I would argue that it, like all other stories in said text, may have a basis in truth, yet the truth has been stretch to such extremes that the truth of the story is lost among the noise. This can be said about all biblical characters, events, and narratives. The truth and fiction muddle together into an orgy of deceit making it impossible to determine truth from fiction within the text.