Soon after God created the Earth, he realized that man had become corrupted with sin. It seems that his creation didn't turn out exactly the way he had planned. God thought that the best thing to do was to destroy all of life on the planet with a great flood, and then start all over.
Instead of wiping out all of life on Earth, God decided to spare the life of the only righteous man on the planet, as well as his family. God employed this man (Noah) to build a great ark, to protect them from the flood, and to gather 2 and 7 of every kind of animal that existed, to carry on the ark, in order that the world could be re-populated after the flood.
The Bible states that the ark was approximately 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high (Gen. 6:15, a cubit is approximately 1 1/2 feet). A fairly good size vessel to be built by only 4 men; Noah and his three sons. God commanded Noah to build the ark, and nowhere does it say that he offered any assistance. One can only assume that it took many years for Noah and his sons to complete this task, for the Bible doesn't say.
Collecting the animals
Noah was ordered by God to gather two of every species of animal (Gen. 6:19) to bring on the ark. How did he get most of these animals from other parts of the world? It is highly unlikely that all the species of animals that have ever existed all lived near Noah. How were the animals loaded on the ark? Noah had 7 days, from the time the ark was finished, until the flood waters came, to get the animals on board.
For the number of animals Noah had to take on the ark, 2 would have to be had been loaded every second, without stopping, to beat the deadline. How could Noah have gathered male and female of each kind when some species are asexual, others have only females, and others are hermaphrodites?
Although the ark is described as a big boat, it's not even close to being big enough to house two (and in some cases seven) of every known species of animal that has ever existed, excluding ocean life. Modern ocean liners are more than twice as big as the ark, and even they aren't big enough for this momentous task. Genesis states that Noah had to take seven of every clean species on the ark, the male and his female.
Some theologians are unclear as to whether this means seven animals or seven PAIRS of animals. In any case, this just causes more crowding on the ark. The Bible does not suggest that any species became extinct prior to the flood. This means that every land animal that has ever existed, including those that are now extinct, had to have been represented on the ark. Considering the number of species of dinosaur that have been found, and their size, these alone would not have been able to fit on the ark. Creationists like to claim that the dinosaurs did not make it on the ark, and the flood was the cause of their extinction. Again, the Bible does not suggest that ANY animal missed the ark. Besides, Noah was given a direct order by God take every beast, fowl and any other living thing that crept upon the earth, onto the ark.
Since everything that crept was to be included, this means every species of insect would also had to have been represented, everything from aphids to Goliath beetles. There are currently 16,000 different species of ants alone, and that is just what is presently living, not counting any species that has become extinct. If Noah had to take two of every kind of animal on board the ark, he not only had to take two snakes on board, but two kinds of every snake. He not only had to take two cobras, two pythons, two boas, two rattlesnakes, etc., but he had to take two of every kind of cobra, python, boa, rattlesnake, etc.
An ark of the size specified in the Bible would not be large enough to carry a cargo of animals and food sufficient to re-populate the earth, especially if animals that are now extinct were required to be aboard. Do you know how much food an elephant needs per day? Hundreds of pounds.
Providing for the animals
All of these animals on board the ark would need food and water to survive. Where did Noah put all of this surplus? Some animals are carnivores. Did Noah bring extra animals on board to feed to them? What about ventilation? The ark is described as having only one door, which was closed throughout the journey, and one window. Do you know how many people it takes to care for the 500 or so animals in a zoo? The ark only had eight people to care for all the animals that were on there, which had to have numbered in the hundreds of thousands. What about exercise? The ark would have been so cram packed, the animals wouldn't have been able to move; which means they had to stand or lay in the same spot for over 200 days.
The flood waters
Where did all this water come from? The Bible states that the waters prevailed 22 feet above the highest point. It only rained for 40 days according to the Bible. To completely cover the entire surface area of the Earth, 22 feet above the highest point, would require millions of cubic miles of water. I don't believe that much water could be produced if it rained for 400 days. The cloud covering would have been so thick, the Earth would probably have compared to a gas giant planet like Uranus or Neptune.
Did Noah take seeds or seedlings on board the ark to replenish the plant life that would have died in the flood?
After the flood
How did the animals get to their present habitats? How did the indigenous species of Australia get to that region? How did penguins get to Antarctica? What about the animals indigenous to the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin formed his theory of evolution? How did the population of the earth become so large again in just a few years, with only 4 women producing offspring? (Noah's wife and 3 daughter-in-laws).
Why did a supposedly omnipotent god have to go to such great lengths to destroy the Earth? If he felt his creation was corrupted and wanted to start all over, why didn't he just snap his fingers and wipe out everyone he needed to? The story of the flood is among the most ludicrous in the Bible. It's hard to believe that people actually buy this myth as actually happening.
© 1998 Derrick Miller