Sunday, November 27, 2005


Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study

We must get another idea out of our heads also, which is thinking about the ark as a floating "zoo". The more appropriate analogy is that of modern intensive livestock confinement, where animals are raised in the minimum possible space with the maximum amount of labor saving devices employed. The ark was not intended to be an enjoyable experience for the animals (or the people!). It was, rather, a temporary captivity in which the only thing to be achieved was simply survival in reasonable health. There are many things that are doable for one year with survival as the only goal, that could not be sustained for a long period of time. The three main ingredients for survival are 1) a place to stay, 2) sufficient food, and 3) sufficient water. Woodmorappe has calculated how much of the ark was needed to support each of these. A little less than one-half of the floor space was needed at a minimum to house the animals. Food in the form of hay, dried fruit, dried meat, and dried fish occupied up to 12% of the ark volume. Most of the food was hay, compressed or possibly pelletized to take up less space.
Read more:

I am less interested in the interpretation of Noah's ark as an artifact of man and earth than as a metaphor for man and earth. Our resources and elbow room on this planet are only temporary under the best of conditions. While we seem to be stuck in our orbit we are certainly moving through time and increasingly using technology to protect us from the natural world. And like Noah who was susceptible to drink and bad judgement, we are in a race against our own addictions and bad people skills (intentional understatement). The arc account is significant not because Noah and crew made it from here to there, but because they made it from the obsolete, dysfunctional world to the less obsolete less dysfunctinal world - and they took a library of DNA along for the ride. I see that as something worth considering today.
Hmm... if only a metaphore, then why bother recording the ark's dimentions, it's construction materials, it's physical resting place... Read some real mythology (gilgamesh, beowolf, etc) and then compare to the old testament. The old testament is a historical record, not a mythology of metaphores.
That was one of the best things I've read all month; thanks Cliff. What an eye-opener. Of COURSE Noah grew food hydroponically and compressed hay; why didn't I think of that before? Mr. Browning should also consider the possibility that Noah and his family converted the excess heat energy into hydroelectric power so that they could continue to watch "The 700 Club", even as the world came to an end.
Hi Cliff

Woodmorappe's study is bogus as former Young-Earth Creationist Glenn Morton has discussed in depth on his web-pages. Check his stuff out at his web-site - do a Google on "DMD Publishing" and "Glenn Morton". Woodmorappe has criticised Morton's analysis superficially, but answered none of Morton's more trenchant points.
i'm sorry i've been away from this site for so long. I hope you guys have not abandonded the thread. Re: Noah as metaphor: 1) i was expressing how i value interpreting the story. More pointedly, the arc tale does not really connect to my daily life except as a metaphor. If it connects to you in another way let me know and maybe i can pick up some insight. 2) You suggest the arc specifications suggest the Noah story has some measure of real world validity? Without jumping into an "is the bible true" discussion, i just want to point out that if your argument lives by the uniqueness of these details then it must also pay the price if these details are wrong. That is, your argument creates an internal logic (the logic that journalism contains mumeric details and myths do not), so we can examine that internal logic. For ex. the bible says that the animals came on the ark two by two, but it also says they came on in sevens. In the same story Noah is said to have lived to be close to a thousand years. Maybe so, but if our argument of validity rests on statistics that mesh with our reality that doesn't work. If you argue it does work than by that same logic the arck could be said to have been five feet long and that would still be proof of validity. Could go on, but my point is that this age old story (which btw, the Gilgamesh epic actually briefly includes in a shorter form), whether true or no, cannot have its validity argued simply because it includes numbers.
All we can conclude is that details make a story more interesting and memorable.
One more take on the Noah: metaphor or
jounalism discussion. I also don't consider Beowolf or Gilgamesh to be any less valid than the Noah tale simply because these accounts don't include numberical details.
What y'all miss, is that the tale
arose not from our "Bible"
but predates it by 3000 years,
and is a standard tale of
what I call Gilgamesh culture--
pre-existent mideast culture.

Recent diving expeditions in the Black Sea have found human habitations under 450 feet of water.

The Black Sea, at one point,
was dry.

The Noah tale is undoubterdly mostly true,
and obviously 100% in reference to
the breakthrough at the Bosporus,
when the Mediterranean took 40 days
to fill the Black Sea,
in the most glorious Tsunami ever witnessed.

It found its way into the Jewish Bible,
as did a lot of other stuff,
because every written tale was included at first,
and then later deleted, to artificially focus a bogus "history" on Jewish nation building aspirations,
in the figure of Yaweh.
Hi There! Really cool site . Ok so I'm always searching for this kind of stuff.
I have this fascination thing. Keep up the good work!
All Blessings,Fuel Cells
This is another one of those biblical conundrums people like to take apart board by board. I understand the fun in doing so, but an actual answer is as elusive as all the others.

It's a STORY. The only thing resembling an "answer" you will ever get is what it is telling you.

Taking the Ark story apart is like putting a plum through chemical testing & under electron microscopes to find out how it tastes & if you'll like it.
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