Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Noah's Ark story is all wet!

Arguing with a Young Earth Creationist, or someone who absolutely believes that the Bible is the inerrant “word of God” can be like pounding your head against a brick wall. You can try to educate them about evolution and the usual response is “It’s just a theory, you can’t prove species to species transition”

OK, skip evolution. I have found that perhaps the best way to use the Feeble Lance of Reason is to address what is, perhaps the most feeble-minded story in the Bible – Noah’s Ark.

The Bible provides a descriptive and vivid account of the who, what, when, where, and why (see Genesis 6). Given this narrative, with its enormous world-wide implications, either it never happened, as there is no physical evidence whatsoever of such a flood, or God completely covered up all the evidence of the flood, putting him on a par with a carnival huckster.

Problems with a “global flood”

1. If the water rose to cover all land, where did the water come from? Even if all of the polar ice melted, there wouldn't be enough.

2. Even if enough water could be found, where did it recede to if already covered all of the land?

3. How can you fit a minimum of 2 of every animal on the planet into a craft that could fit within the confines of a high school football stadium?

4. Even if you could pack the animals in, what about the plants? The existing flora would not survive being inundated for months. How did tropical and temperate plants get to the ark and how did they return to their respective environments?

5. What about space for food for the animals, both during the flood and later when they disembarked?

6. What prevented the carnivores from eating their prey? What about waste products?

7. How did far-flung species get to the ark and how did they get back to their original lands?

8. Assuming you could get all of the animals and plants/seeds on the ark, how long would it take for those plants to mature and spread sufficiently to provide food, and what do the animals do in the meantime?

9. OK, so ignoring the lack of water, the drainage problems, the transport of animals and plants to the ark, the space constraints, the food problems during and after the flood, dispersal of ark contents back to original environments, and so forth; forgetting all of it for a moment, how do simple pairs of animals manage to repopulate the entire planet when we know that there is insufficient genetic diversity to do so?

The true believer may wave all of this away by saying that with God, anything is possible, but they may possibly start to think that it just doesn’t make any sense.


Mandrellian said...

Plants! Nice. I've never heard either a godbot or an atheist raise the topic of plants when discussing the flood.

Welcome to blogland!

Benjamin Franklin said...

Hi mandrellian!

Thanks for visiting and commenting.

I have seen the issue of plants come up occasionally. Jonathan Sarfati and Henry Morris both have come up with some of the most outlandish speculations about it, but I think it could be proved with a simple experiment that virtually no plant life could possibly survive for a year under salinated water without available light for photosynthesis.

I will endeavor to undertake such an experiment.

Thanks again,


Ty said...

There is a significant energy problem as well. A number of good papers have shown that any process which moved enough water to cover the highest mountains in the space of forty days would generate enough waste heat to boil the planet.

Conservation of energy is a bitch.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if I sound like an idiot, but don't you think that the creator of the universe could do all of that? I know, science tells us that it's completely impossible to do what Noah did, but if you think about it; isn't science based on human understanding? Do you think that maybe God just might be a little more complicated than what we could possibly imagine? I think that's what is so hard for people when they hear about God. People WANT to know every little detail before they sign up for anything. Believing in God is all about faith. Faith means we won't be able to prove God is real, it means we're going to just have to trust what the Bible says. I know that God is real, but I'll never be able to prove it. For me, I'm kind of glad I don't have to know every little detail. I think that's why we are alive, so we can spend time trying to find out what God is really like. Sure, the Bible tells us about his characteristics, but it can't cover everything. The only reason I found this blog is because I noticed you have posted a comment on the blog of King James. Anyway, I know this isn't going to make you change your mind about what you think, but I thought I might as well share my thoughts. I'm not trying to slam you with religion or anything, but I do disagree with you that Noah's Ark could never happen. On that note, this will be the only comment I'll be placing on this post. So with that, I pray that you're journey to find the truth will soon end.

God Bless.

Ty said...

Nice drive by, moron.

Here, I can do it too:

"Isn't it possible that Poseidon, whose domain is the seas, could bring about a global flood and protect one man's family in an ark?"

Now, if you show any evidence that your god exists that doesn't also work for Poseidon, perhaps you will have mad a valid point.

Until then, not so much.

Thanks for the blessing though. It's not the first completely useless thing I've been given, but at least it won't clutter up my house.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I don't believe I deserve the insult. Like I said, I knew you wouldn't agree with me and I really don't care. Also, if you actually read my comment, you would have noticed that I said you can't prove God is real using science. I guess you could say it's God's way of knowing who will trust him no matter what, and who won't. By the way, you're welcome for the blessing.

Ty said...

"I guess you could say it's God's way of knowing who will trust him no matter what, and who won't."

I used to be you. I know exactly what you are saying here, and how it makes sense when you are living inside that world.

From the outside though, it is dumb as a sack of hammers. And what you guys never seem to realize is that once we accept the premise that supernatural events can do an end run around on natural law, we open the door to every single crackpot idea.

Pyramids built by UFOs? Poseidon ruling the seas? Fairies tipping over milk jugs? All of them are exactly as plausible as your god.

What you guys always want to do is give your particular unprovable mythology a get out of jail free card, while still poopooing all the other silly mythologies.

My point stands. Unless you have evidence for your god that doesn't also exist for Poseidon or Zeus or Mithra, then you have nothing of value to say.

BTW, at least all my aggression is out in the open. The passive-aggressive "god bless you" christian thing is just lame.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Do you really think I hate you? If I really did, I would tell you (trust me). That's actually a very good point! How can I believe in something in which there is no proof? Let me ask you a question; if God isn't real, why would people for thousands of years still believe in Him? There are scientists who have studied science all their lives and still belive in God. So, that must mean there is something beyond our understanding; something that we can't observe under a microscope and take notes on. God is SO beyond anything we could ever imagine. I'm not a scientist, but I do enjoy learning about the subject. I'm also a journalist and make sure that what I'm writing down I have a full understand of. So, why would I believe in God when you can't show physical proof? I believe it's something about us that knows that there is a power beyond us. For me, when I read the Bible or pray, something inside me stirs. I've been in a setting where we were in deep worship and I was so over-come with emotion that I screamed and cried and praised God.

Also, since we're talking about proof, I have yet to see any real proof that macro evolution is real. If someone had hard evidence that macro evolution is real, I doubt that many people would still believe in God.

Also, were you once Christian? If so, what happened to you to make you stop believing? If a Christian has hurt you emotionaly or physically, I feel very sorry for you. I admit that there are many Christians who think that they know everything about God and slam people with religion. I'm strongly against anyone who would do that. Ty, I just want you to know that no matter what you say or do to me, I'm still going to love you (not sexual love lol). I know I sound cheezy saying all this, but I really just want you to know that I'm not here to make enemies or to say that you're going to hell like many Christians do. I'm still praying for you; not because you're a "nasty sinner", but because I want you to see God the way I see him.

Froggie said...

"....you would have noticed that I said you can't prove God is real using science."

Thank you. That's a good start.

Now, what evidence do you have for this God? You, personally, I am referring to.


Anonymous said...

Frog, yes I guess you could say that's a good start!

For me, I would say, look around you. I find it hard to believe that this universe could be made with just a big bang. Now, the problem with my argument is that most people will ask, "If God is real, how do you know your God is the one who made it?" The simple answer is that I really can't show you any proof. Now, in our time, that agument is one that would be ignored. To be honest, though, I really am not going to be able to find some link online, hyperlink it and then show you. God is not someone who has to show up to us everytime we doubt his exsistance. That's why we have this thing called faith. Faith means that we don't have to see to believe.

So, as you can tell, we are completely different. You really only care about visable facts while I care about faith. Let me be honest with you though, even if I did have the hard facts and presented them to you and they prooved God is real, you still probably wouldn't believe in Him. So, please go ahead and present your comment which will probably be a post about how most Christians are dumb and cannot support their belief. As for me, I'd rather spend time with my God and try to grow even closer to him than I am right now.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to call you frog, froggie lol.