Discuss science topics such as creation and evolution and how they relate to Christianity.

Was the Ark Big Enough for Its Passengers?

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  • Was the Ark Big Enough for Its Passengers?



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    Genesis chapters 6-9 tell us about a time in history 4,000-5,000 years ago when the people of the world had become so disobedient to God that He decided to destroy them with a Flood. Only righteous Noah and his family were saved, since they obeyed God and built a massive wooden boat so they could survive the rising waters. Some people today refuse to believe that such an event ever happened, because they believe there are parts of the story that cannot be true. For example, it is believed that there are some 11 million living species on the planet. Some argue that if Noah was told to bring two of each species on the Ark, as well as even more of the clean animals (Genesis 7:2-3), how could the Ark be big enough to hold so many creatures—millions upon millions?

    First, it is important to understand that not every “species” of animal was on the Ark. Today’s idea of a “species” did not exist when Moses wrote the book of Genesis. Instead, he used the word “kinds” when telling Noah what to bring on the Ark (Genesis 6:20)—the same word that was used to describe what God made during the Creation week (1:11,21,24). The word “kind” would be closer to our word “family” or “genus” when classifying animal groups. So Noah would have probably had representatives of the single dogkind, for example—not representatives of each dog species (the coyotes, wolves, domestic dogs, jackals, etc.).

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    Also, we must keep in mind that not even all of the kinds of life we find on Earth were on the Ark. For example, only those plants that were needed to feed the passengers on the Ark were brought—not representatives of all of the plant kinds. The swimming creatures were not onboard, of course, nor many insects, invertebrates, fungi, bacteria, or protozoa—all of which are included in the 11 million species that are said to be alive on the Earth.

    When it’s all said and done, there were probably only a few thousand animals on the Ark, not millions nor even hundreds of thousands. The Ark was a football field and a half long, at least, and at least 75 feet wide and 45 feet tall—an enormous ship. John Woodmorappe did a study to determine whether the Ark would have been large enough to house 16,000 animals—representatives of each “kind” of creatures that would have probably been on the Ark. He took into account the space needed for food, water, waste disposal, heating, air, and lighting. He found that the size of the Ark was more than what was needed to house that many animals on such a large vessel. And what’s more, if the “cubit” (which was the unit of length that Moses used to describe the size of the Ark) was longer than 18 inches (what is often assumed to be the length of a cubit), the Ark quickly becomes even larger and more spacious.

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    But wait a minute…what about the dinosaurs? How could the Ark have been large enough to hold all the dinosaurs, and especially, the sauropods, like Apatosaurus? Or the large theropod dinosaurs, like T-Rex? Keep in mind two things: first, the average size of an adult dinosaur was about the size of a rhinoceros; and second, the Bible does not say how old the animals were that were on the Ark. Were you as big as you are now when you were born? It is very likely that the animals on the Ark were young, maybe even little babies. Why? Besides the fact that they would take up less space, need less food, and make less waste, it is also important to remember that the animals on the Ark would have to leave the Ark and have enough time to spread out over the Earth and reproduce after the Flood. If they were already adult animals, they would not have nearly as much time to disperse and repopulate the Earth before they died.

    The bottom line is that there is no reason to disbelieve what the Bible says when it tells us the story of Noah and the Ark. The Ark was large enough to hold the passengers that God sent to Noah to put on the Ark. Obviously, since God knew what He wanted on the Ark, He knew exactly how large it needed to be to house that many animals. The dimensions He gave to Noah made sure there was enough space for everything with a ticket to board.

    Apologetics Press - Was the Ark Big Enough for Its Passengers?

  • #2
    It is good to also remember the example of the loaves and fish. If God wanted to fit everything into a thimble He would have. God is not limited by anything.

    Very good points, by the way.
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    • #3
      The only dinosaurs on the ark were birds. It's completely logical that God would let T-Rex drown so the Noah's grandkids wouldn't have to deal with hungry dinosaurs. They all drowned and were buried under silt, sand, and dirt during the huge floods.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by LeapOfFaith89 View Post
        The only dinosaurs on the ark were birds. It's completely logical that God would let T-Rex drown so the Noah's grandkids wouldn't have to deal with hungry dinosaurs. They all drowned and were buried under silt, sand, and dirt during the huge floods.
        God told Noah to take two of every kind of animal. If Noah left out dinosaurs he disobeyed God.
        Clyde Herrin's Blog
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        • #5
          Originally posted by theophilus View Post

          God told Noah to take two of every kind of animal. If Noah left out dinosaurs he disobeyed God.
          If God didn't send Noah dinosaurs, he wouldn't have been disobeying. Besides, in Genesis 7:2-3, Noah was told to bring seven pairs of animals for sacrifice. So it wasn't just two animals. Noah wasn't commanded to go gather the animals, only build an ark big enough for all the animals and receive them when they arrive. So, it's completely possible that God left the dinosaurs behind when He gathered them.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by William View Post
            The bottom line is that there is no reason to disbelieve what the Bible says when it tells us the story of Noah and the Ark.The Ark was large enough to hold the passengers that God sent to Noah to put on the Ark. Obviously, since God knew what He wanted on the Ark, He knew exactly how large it needed to be to house that many animals. The dimensions He gave to Noah made sure there was enough space for everything with a ticket to board.

            Apologetics Press - Was the Ark Big Enough for Its Passengers?

            And now you can go check it out for yourself at the "Ark Encounter", in Williamstown, KY, USA :)
            Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

            "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

            "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

            "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

            "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
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            • #7
              Originally posted by LeapOfFaith89 View Post
              So, it's completely possible that God left the dinosaurs behind when He gathered them.
              If that were true, how do you explain the fact that nearly every culture in the world has legends of dragons? Dinosaurs are the only animals we know of that fit the descriptions of dragons. If dragons existed after the flood, their ancestors must have been on the ark.
              Clyde Herrin's Blog
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              • #8
                Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                If that were true, how do you explain the fact that nearly every culture in the world has legends of dragons? Dinosaurs are the only animals we know of that fit the descriptions of dragons. If dragons existed after the flood, their ancestors must have been on the ark.
                Not necessarily. One method would be oral tradition pass on by Noah, his wife, his son and their wives.

                You argument that dragons are dinosaurs does not work for a number or reasons. Primarily, ancient people came up with all kinds of weird and strange creators that do not and have never existed. Your point reminds me of the ancient astronaut theories. Since one thing seem to resemble the other in appearance (according to modern images and thought), then ancient astronaut must have visited the Earth. That is nothing more than begging the question, a fallacy. They, like you, have assumed they must be the same thing.

                I have a question. Is it not possible that the dinosaurs were already extinct by the time of the flood?
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Origen View Post
                  I have a question. Is it not possible that the dinosaurs were already extinct by the time of the flood?
                  Yes. That is what I think. Sometime between the fall of man and the flood.

                  Just to clarify on oral tradition, because there's a ton of people out there that think the Genesis story was orally handed down from one generation to another. Moses actually wrote the book, and he received it by direct revelation. Moses was literate and educated. I hate when I run into debates and someone claims variance in oral translations, and dismiss Genesis for a presumptive lack of consistency in oral transmission/conveyance.

                  God bless,
                  William
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                  • #10
                    If I remember correctly, there is stories dealing with a great flood in all kinds of religions and cultures, ancient and present. I also believe that what was written by the bible is truth regarding those events, but the other flood stories could be distorted through ages of oral traditions passed down one generation to another. I just don't think its some wild coincidence that a similar story of the great flood reappears often throughout history.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Origen View Post
                      Is it not possible that the dinosaurs were already extinct by the time of the flood?
                      The dinosaur fossils we find were of dinosaurs that were killed by the flood. That shows they were alive when the flood began.

                      Originally posted by William View Post
                      Moses actually wrote the book, and he received it by direct revelation.
                      It is possible that Genesis was based on written records that had been handed down from the time the events recorded there took place.
                      Clyde Herrin's Blog
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                        The dinosaur fossils we find were of dinosaurs that were killed by the flood. That shows they were alive when the flood began.
                        That only shows, if it can be determined conclusively how they died, they were killed by a flood. It does not prove they must have died in the same flood as the time of Noah.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                          If that were true, how do you explain the fact that nearly every culture in the world has legends of dragons? Dinosaurs are the only animals we know of that fit the descriptions of dragons. If dragons existed after the flood, their ancestors must have been on the ark.
                          People have been misrepresenting the animals they see because they are weird. Try looking up old images of sharks and whales, they don't look anything like the real animal. Part of that is because they couldn't see the whole animal and part to an over active imaginations while trying to describe an animal using other familiar animals. The dolphins have a duck bill, the sea horse has an actual horse upper body. Have you ever watched MonsterQuest, people see many things that they misunderstand? People believe in the Chupacabra though it's probably just a starved dog with mange or rabies. Then there is the show RiverMonsters, though I think most of the people know that the fish are dangerous, they usually blame the wrong fish. So what people think are dragons could be something else.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Origen View Post
                            That only shows, if it can be determined conclusively how they died, they were killed by a flood. It does not prove they must have died in the same flood as the time of Noah.
                            Dinosaur fossils are found all over the world. There has only been one worldwide flood.
                            Clyde Herrin's Blog
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                              Dinosaur fossils are found all over the world. There has only been one worldwide flood.
                              You assume what you must prove. There have been many floods all over the world. I see no evidence they all died at the same time in the same flood.
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