The Big Flood

Originally published in Sunstar Davao.

Angry raindrops vent their rage on our rooftop as I write this piece. Strong rain has been falling non-stop for the past 30 minutes and by now, I could imagine the floodwaters rising in different parts of the city. A quick check on my facebook feed showed several friends posting about rising water levels in their homes, or of being stranded somewhere. Some even took and uploaded photos.

This got me thinking about a different flood that supposedly happened a long time ago. I say “supposedly” because it is a story I no longer believe to be true, or even if it were true, it had to be wildly exaggerated.

I am, of course, referring to the story of Noah’s ark — a story most people raised in a Christian culture would know about.

Did Dinosaurs Fit In Noah's Ark?
Yes, sir! There were dinosaurs in the ark! (Photo by John Scalzi)

You can read about it in Genesis chapter 7 to 9, but in a nutshell, here’s how the story goes. God looks at the world and sees how wicked it is except for Noah and his family so he commands Noah to build a big boat which is then filled with two of every kind of “unclean” animal and seven of every kind of “clean” animal. On the day the rains began, Noah and his wife, along with his three sons and their wives, went inside the ark. The rains went on for forty days until the whole earth was drowned and every living thing was wiped out. All in all, Noah and company stayed in the ark for around 200 days while waiting for the flood to recede. When they finally came out, God made a rainbow to signify his promise that he would never flood the earth in this way again. And from those 8 people and pairs of animals, the whole earth was repopulated.

It embarrasses me to say that for the most part of my life, I had believed in this story as true, that I had never thought to question or study it thoroughly. But when I did a little thinking and a little research, it wasn’t difficult to disbelieve:

  • By the experts best estimates, the ark is around 8 to 9 times smaller than the Titanic in terms of total volume. Yet the Titanic had a maximum capacity of around 3,500 people with food and supplies good for 14 days (2 weeks). In contrast, the ark would have contained thousands of animals with food and supplies good for 200 days (conservative estimate by a creationist website puts the number of animals at 16,000 — which is still highly debatable as they had to do a lot of logical acrobatics to come up with that figure). Let that sink in your head for a while.

  • Imagine these 8 people caring for all those animals every day – feeding them and cleaning up their body wastes. That’s a whole lot of poop.

  • Many animals have specialized diets. How Noah would have gotten the food to feed them is a wonder in itself.

  • How did the marsupials of Australia, the penguins in Antarctica, or the polar bears in the arctic get to the ark? Did they just stroll over?

  • Many insects depend on plant life for sustenance. Did Noah have a mini-garden in the ark as well?

  • Many animals are climate-sensitive. Unless Noah had isolated, temperature-controlled rooms, I fail to see how these animals would survive.

  • Salt-water creatures do not survive in fresh water and vice versa. A worldwide flood of rain water (fresh water) would have mixed with ocean water disrupting the salt and water balance and would have probably killed off most, if not all of the sea creatures. So why do we still have fish of both kinds today? Did Noah have separate freshwater and saltwater aquariums in the ark as well?

  • Can you imagine the sheer amount of corpses and animal carcasses there would be on land when all the water dried up? Noah and sons would have walked out to a scene akin to that in a horror movie.

  • Regarding the rainbow, which we now know is caused by the refraction of water droplets in the earth’s atmosphere, it is quite difficult to believe that there were no rainbows before the great flood. This natural phenomenon can even be observed near waterfalls and fountains and does not need rain to occur. The story that it was specially created as a sign from God is clearly the stuff of myth and legend.

Of course, you could go to the internet and do your own research. By all means, please go ahead and do your research where you will see the arguments from both sides of the fence — both the profound and the ridiculous. Just remember to do an extensive and careful study, not just a couple of sites. Just because it’s published in a website does not mean it’s true. You have to see who is making the claim, and what possible motive could there be for doing so. Then use your head and common sense to judge which is the most sensible explanation.

Andy Uyboco is a businessman, trainer and speaker. You may flood his inbox at andy@freethinking.me or visit his blog at www.freethinking.me.

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