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Noah’s Ark

The story of Noah’s Ark is as easy to believe as the story of Santa Claus traveling around the world on Christmas Eve visiting every house with his flying reindeer.  Let’s get started on the crazy.

The official story

  • God decided in about 2304 BC that humanity is too wicked and needs to be wiped out
  • 600-year old Noah was commanded and guided to build a single large boat
  • He was instructed to make it 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall
  • He was instructed to bring between 2 and 14 of each species of animals (14 of clean beasts and birds, 2 of unclean beasts)
  • God sent a flood to wipe out everything on earth except those on the ark
  • After more than 8 months, the flood ended

The Mormon position

From the Ensign, 1998:

“In spite of the world’s arguments against the historicity of the Flood, and despite the supposed lack of geologic evidence, we Latter-day Saints believe that Noah was an actual man, a prophet of God, who preached repentance and raised a voice of warning, built an ark, gathered his family and a host of animals onto the ark, and floated safely away as waters covered the entire earth. We are assured that these events actually occurred by the multiple testimonies of God’s prophets.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference Priesthood Session, 2005:

“There was the great Flood, when waters covered the earth and when, as Peter says, only ‘eight souls were saved’.”

LDS.org, Guide to the Scriptures:

“During Noah’s time the earth was completely covered with water. This was the baptism of the earth and symbolized a cleansing”

Animals, animals, animals

There are a number of issues with the animal portion of the story. Noah was on foot and 600 years old.

  • How did he gather up all the species in the world?
  • How did he trap and convince predatory animals to go with him?
  • How exactly does one go about getting a pair of each of the 200,000 species of beetles or the 50,000 species of frogs?
  • How did those animals travel that length, to converge on the ark location from all over the world, without dying from changes in climate or the journey itself?
  • What about animals like some arthropods that require 100% humidity to survive?
  • There are currently 1,740,330 species on earth.  It’s ridiculous to think that there could have been much evolution in the last 4400 years since the flood. How did Noah collect and fit at least one pair of each of those species on his boat?
  • How were the animals housed on the boat (predators, prey, etc.)?
  • What happened when a single animal died?  An entire species was permanently wiped out?
  • How could they possibly clean up after those animals?
  • How could they have fed those animals with such diverse and strict dietary restrictions?
  • What would the herbivores eat on a small boat for more than 8 months?
  • What did the carnivores eat?
  • A worldwide flood, especially with so much freshwater rain, would have wiped out many fish and coral species seen today
  • What about pestilence and disease with all those animals in tight quarters?  Ventilation? Sanitation? Exercise for animals?
  • After the flood subsided, what did the herbivores eat?
  • After the flood subsided, what did the carnivores eat before there were enough generations of prey to feast on?

Science

  • Why is there absolutely no geological evidence of the flood?  We have geological evidence of past floods, dating from the ice ages, but none for the much more recent one?
  • Why is there no record of the flood in the ice core?
  • What happened to all the water?  If water really covered the earth, where did it disappear to afterwards?
  • Even in modern times, the longest wooden ships are 300 feet long, reinforced with iron bindings, and still leak tremendously. What kind of magical wood did Noah have?
  • Why is there no evidence of the flood in tree ring dating?
  • How did modern plant species survive?

Reason and logic

Would a benevolent God really wipe out the entire earth because of wickedness?  Does a father kill his children when they are disobedient?  Who actually believes a loving Heavenly Father would slaughter all but 8 people?

Stack on some more crazy

Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, June 1967:

“Holy scripture records that “after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof.”  Such a special place needed now to be kept apart from other regions, free from the indiscriminate traveler as well as the soldier of fortune. To guarantee such sanctity the very surface of the earth was rent. In response to God’s decree, the great continents separated and the ocean rushed in to surround them.”

That’s right, Elder Holland claimed that the continents split from one after the great flood.  Scientists everywhere are standing with their jaws dropped to the floor wondering how anyone intelligent could believe that drivel.

My conclusion

The flood didn’t happen.  It wasn’t global as the Mormon church and many others claim.  The story makes a particularly gruesome fairy tale, so it doesn’t even get that nod from me.

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