The Biblical account of the Flood runs something like this (Gen 6:9 – 7:24):
These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw that the earth was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher [NRSV says 'cyprus', but that is an interpretation, the real wood is unidentified] wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and put the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks. For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind shall come in to you, to keep them alive. Also take with you every kind of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.’ Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.’ And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.
Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth. And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah. And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth.
In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. The rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons, entered the ark, they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind — every bird, every winged creature. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.
The flood continued for forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred and fifty days.
Notice any discrepancy in that account? It is, as usual, the result of a pretty bad job at redaction. The P and J source are pretty much intertwined in this final redaction, but it still has left some oddities. The P source states that Noah must bring in two of every animals, whereas J says 7 of clean animals and 2 of unclean ones.
The Absurdities with the Ark and the Animals
According to the Bible, the Ark was 137 m long, 29 m wide and 14 m high. Its volume would have been 42,985 cubic metres. To compare, the Wyoming was the largest wooden schooner ever built. It was 100 m long, 15 m wide and had a volume of 10,563 cubic metres. It had major problems because of its size. It tended to flex in heavy seas, which would cause the long planks to twist and buckle, thereby letting sea water to flood the hold. The Wyoming had to use pumps all the time to keep its hold relatively free of water. In March 1924, it foundered in rough seas and sank with the loss of all hands. The Ark would have had all these problems, only multiplied as it would have been larger. And we’re supposed to believe that such vessel would have survived 40 days and nights of storm?
There are between 3-30 billion species of animals living today, depending on how you count them (what happened with all the extinct species, no room in the Ark for dinosaurs etc.?). I seriously have a difficult time in trying to figure out how they fit into such a small space and how Noah and his 8-member family managed to store enough food for between 2-7 members of all these species. These would include quite a bit of fish, since most fish have a very low tolerance for salinity changes, as can be evidenced by anyone who’s ever tried to keep a salt-water aquarium. So add the large fish tanks into what poor Noah had to squeeze into the Ark. How did they keep the carnivores from eating the herbivores, and above all, how did they deal with all the dung? Also, he and his family must have been seriously ill all the time, since quite a few of the viruses and bacteria that cause human illnesses do not have an animal pool, such as smallpox, polio, meningitis and measles. Some of the animal species are also human-only parasites. Imagine it, poor Noah, barely conscious with all the diseases, riddled with parasites and trying to cope with the vast task of caring for 6-60 billion animals and having to pump all the time as the Ark would have leaked like a sieve.
A Little Bit on the Physics of the Flood
The narrative says that “the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits (about 8m) deep.” Let’s do a bit of maths, then. Mount Everest is 8,848 meters tall (Yes, I’m aware of the creationists’ lame attempts at trying to explain that away by claiming the mountains like the Everest rose only after the Flood, but that creates more problems with plate tectonics and geological features than it can ever explain). The diameter of the earth at the equator is 12,756.8 km. Now let’s calculate the volume of water to fill a sphere with a radius of the Earth and Mount Everest; and then subtract the volume of a sphere with a radius of the Earth. This won’t give a perfect result, as the Earth isn’t a perfect sphere, but it will give a general idea of the amounts involved:
V= 4/3 * pi * r cubed
= 4/3 * pi * 6387.248 km cubed
= 1.09151 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.09151×102 km3)
Earth at sea level
V = 4/3 * pi * r cubed
= 4/3 * pi * 6378.4 km cubed
= 1.08698 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.08698×1012 km3)
The difference between the two figures is the volume of water needed to barely cover the Earth: 4.525 x 10 to the ninth cubic kilometres (4.525 x 109 km3) Or 4,525,000,000,000 cubic kilometres. Where did all that water come from and where did it go after the flood? As only 1.7% of the earth’s water is stored underground, I’m going to dismiss the “fountains of the great deep” of the Biblical narrative. Some creationists have presented the so-called “Water Canopy” theory, which claims that the pre-Flood Earth had a thick water canopy just outside the atmosphere. For the earth’s atmosphere, the pressure is almost exactly hydrostatic, since it is held to the Earth by gravity and velocities are too low to significantly change the pressure. This means that the air pressure at any point is equal to the weight of the air in a unit area column above that point. At sea level, air pressure is about 1.03 kg/cm3 because a column of air one 1 cm square extending to the top of the atmosphere weighs 1.03 kg.
The “water canopy” would form a part of the atmosphere, as it would be gas (water vapour) gravitationally held to the earth. It would, in fact, be most of the pre-Flood atmosphere. There would need to be enough vapour to form 9 km of liquid, when condensed, and so the vapour would weigh as much as 9 km of water. The pressure at the earth’s surface, where Noah lived, would be one atmosphere plus the weight of a 9 km column of water of unit area. This is equivalent to the pressure 9 km deep in the ocean. Each 10 m of water is equivalent to about one atmosphere, so the pressure would be 900 atmospheres. The atmosphere would also have a composition of about 900 parts water vapour to one part of what we call air today. How could an atmosphere almost 100% water vapour not condense? The temperature would have to be raised to the point where the partial pressure of water equals 900 atmospheres, in other words, the boiling point at that pressure. So we find Noah and everyone else before the Flood living in a 13,000 psi boiler. Poached Noah, anyone?
So what would happen if all that water – assuming the pressure it would have created had not cooked everything out of existence already – would do when it came down during the 40 days and 40 nights? The amount of mass falling to Earth each day would be 4.525 x 1021 kg/40 24 hr periods. This equals 1.10675 x 1020 kilograms daily. Using H as 16,000 meters, the energy released each day is 1.73584 x 1025 joules. The amount of energy the Earth would have to radiate per m2/sec is energy divided by surface area of the Earth times number of seconds in one day. That is: e = 1.735384 x 1025/(4*3.14159* ((6386)2*86,400)) = 391,935.0958 j/m2/s.
Currently, the Earth radiates energy at the rate of approximately 215 joules/m2/sec and the average temperature is 6.85 C. Using the Stefan-Boltzman 4th power law to calculate the increase in temperature:
E (increase)/E (normal) = T (increase)/T4 (normal)
E (normal) = 215 E (increase) = 391,935.0958 T (normal) = 6.85 C.
Add all this extra, and T (increase) equals 1527 C.
It would be highly unlikely that anything short of fermium would survive such temperatures without being seared or melted. The water level would also have to rise at an average rate of 14 cm/minute; and in 13 minutes would be in excess of 2 m deep. And at 1527 C water would not exist as liquid, it would be superheated steam. Figure it out yourself how poor Noah and all the animals in the ark would survive that.
So where did all that water go? There is about 1,386,000,000 cubic kilometres of water on Earth today, which is far short from the 4,525,000,000,000 cubic kilometres needed for the Flood, and that includes atmospheric water in vapour. Where’s the rest of it?
Let’s face it, the Flood as described in the Bible never happened, unless you claim miracles, and that is in reality conceding defeat.
- People of Cyprus: rise up against Noah’s Ark in your biology textbooks! (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- Relocate in N. Ky. and Help Us Return to the Dark Ages (freethoughtblogs.com)