Bob's blog – A skeptical lawyer

Noah’s flood – What creationists believe

Posted on June 18, 2019

          Noah and His Ark by Charles Wilson

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In a previous post, Creationism Chronology – Vegan Rattlesnakes And Dinosaur Dragons?, I prepared a chronology summarizing what creationists believe. I will now attempt the same thing for Noah’s flood.

As with my previous post, I will not try to debunk creationist claims. Instead, I merely wish to briefly describe some interesting creationist beliefs.

 

  • The Ark  would have been  about  500 feet long. Modern shipbuilders use steel to make ships that big. The longest wooden ship  built in  modern times – the six-masted schooner Wyoming – was 351 feet long. The ship flexed  in heavy seas due to its extreme length,  causing its planks to  twist and buckle.  This naturally caused leaks,  and the crew used steam pumps  to keep the ship  afloat. Nonetheless,  creationists  claim  people built bigger wooden ships  in ancient times, and that the Ark  was one of the largest wooden ships of all time.
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  • In Genesis  6:20,  God told Noah that “two of every kind  shall come into you,  to keep them alive.”   Therefore,  the animals  made their own way to the Ark  and  marched up the ramp, all by themselves.
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  • In Leviticus 11:1-4, God commands that the Jews may eat land animals that both (1) have cloven hooves and (2) chew the cud. By that definition, antelope, bison, caribou, cattle, deer, elk, gazelle, giraffe, goat, hart, ibex, moose, ox, reindeer, and sheep are clean.  Therefore, Noah needed seven pair of giraffes – the family Giraffidae.
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  • God told Noah to take seven pair of bird and clean animal kinds. Some apologists recognize the plain language of Genesis 7:3 required Noah to take seven pair of each bird kind on the Ark.  Others claim that the adjective “clean” carries over to “birds of the air” so that Noah needed only one pair of each unclean bird kind.
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  • Based on different analyses regarding the number of “kinds” of animals, creationists estimate that the Ark contained between 2,000 and 16,000 animals.
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  • Noah probably hired workmen to build the Ark.
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  • All sorts of disease-causing microorganisms infested the Ark, but did not cause any problems. Some modern diseases evolved from microorganisms that were harmless in Noah’s day.
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  • The Ark contained mammals, birds, reptiles and probably some amphibians.  Others amphibians survived outside the Ark – either in the water or on floating vegetation.[1]
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  • Creationists have not figured out whether insects were on the Ark.
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  • Noah and his family  (a total of eight people)  cared for all the animals.  That includes feeding and watering the animals, as well as disposing of around 12 tons of animal waste every day.
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  • One small window provided sufficient ventilation for all the people, animals and decomposing animal waste inside the Ark.
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  • The Ark’s voyage lasted over a year, and Noah needed to take sufficient food and water for the trip.  Animals with specialized diets – such as pandas – were not so picky about their food while confined to the Ark. Likewise, animals that normally require huge amounts of hay or other plant material survived on grain or other concentrated foodstuff.[2]
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  • Both freshwater and saltwater fish survived in the ocean.  However, trilobites, aquatic dinosaurs and many other creatures from the fossil record died out.
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  • Plants survived outside the ark. “Many plants and seeds could have survived on vegetation-mats of floating debris.”
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  • Predators did not immediately start hunting their normal prey after leaving the Ark. Otherwise, lions would have killed the two zebras as they disembarked. Instead, carnivores initially survived on year-old carrion – animals drowned in the flood.[3]
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  • Animals from the Ark spread over the earth.  Creationists have not figured out exactly how tree frogs made their way to South America and kangaroos ended up in Australia (and nowhere else), but it happened somehow. Perhaps a combination of land bridges and floating on logs.
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  • The flood deposited the multiple layers of sedimentary rock now found throughout the globe.[4]
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  • The Grand Canyon was formed shortly after the flood. “Some floodwater was trapped to form a huge lake system. During the post-Flood years, water levels eventually grew and breached the natural dams to carve the canyon, a monument to catastrophe.”
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  • Creationists believe Noah’s flood occurred in 2248 BCE. Egyptian civilization existed before that date, and Egyptologists see no evidence of a worldwide flood. Therefore, creationists believe Egyptologists have their dates mixed up. Historians, archaeologists and anthropologists have similar evidence for pre-2248 civilizations in China, India, Mesoamerica and other places. For example, the Newgrange passage tomb in Ireland predates Egyptian pyramids. Presumably, creationists believe all these historians and archaeologists are also wrong.

[1] John Woodmorappe, Noah’s Ark: a Feasibility Study 151-52 (Institute for Creation Research 2009).

[2] Id, at 95.

[3] Id, at 168.

[4] ‘Could the Flood Cataclysm Deposit Uniform Sedimentary Rock Layers?” by Andrew R. Snelling in The New Answers Book 4 (Ken Ham, Ed.).


-rgmiller