Noah’s Ark was no Little Boat

When “Noah’s Ark” is found it will be the greatest archeological and anthropological discovery of all time. Finding an ancient wooden sea vessel, large enough to hold two of every basic type of land dwelling animal, buried high on Mt. Ararat would have the following implications:

– It would confirm that the entire surface of the planet had been covered by water within the last 6000 years.

– It would confirm the factual basis for the flood legend which is present in every human culture on the planet.

– It would again confirm the reliability of the early Biblical record of the human race.

– It would mean that every land animal (including humans) has descended from the inhabitants of the ark.

– It would take more faith than ever to cling to the theory that man descended from ape-like creatures.

– The fossils would have to be interpreted as mainly a result of this flood, not the result of slow accumulation over time.

The alleged ark is yet to be discovered by a qualified team of scientists, but many seemingly reliable sources have claimed to have seen it. For more information on Noah’s ark an excellent technical resource is: Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study by John Woodmorappe.

According to the Biblical text, Noah had over 100 years to build the ark which would have been an unmistakable witness to the impending judgment of God. Jesus not only referred to this event as a fact of history, but tied his imminent return to a time when the state of affairs on earth would be similar to those at the time of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39). If and when the ark is found, there will once again be an enormous monument pointing toward impending judgment. My hope when this happens is that those who have not placed their faith in Christ will wake up and do so because their opportunity may end soon.

The most common question asked about the validity of Noah’s ark is, “How could millions of different animals fit on one small boat?”

• First, there were not millions of animals. Not every “kind” of animal needed to be on board. According to the Biblical text, neither insects nor amphibians would have been taken on board. Only those animals which could not have survived a year long flood needed to be on board. Furthermore, every minor variation of animal (species) was not present. Wolves, foxes, coyotes, and dogs could have come from an original dog kind.

• Making the generous assumption that the average animal size is as large as a sheep, and between 2 and 7 of each kind of animal were taken, 16,000 sheep-size animals, at the most, would have been on board. This number could have been as low as 2000 if the Biblical “kind” is equivalent to the family level of modern animal classification. These numbers include every known living and extinct type of mammal, bird, amphibian, and reptile.

• This was no small boat. Noah and his family had over 100 years to construct a vessel longer than a football field and three stories high. The total space available was equivalent to 522 railroad stock cars. A stock car holds 240 sheep so the ark could have held 125,000 animals.

• At most, only 40% of the total space was needed for all of the animals!1 The remainder would be used for food storage.

The account of Noah’s flood is similar to many other Biblical stories. They make perfect sense if you assume they mean exactly what they say and take time to study them carefully.

1. Woodmorappe, John,”The Biota and Logistics of Noah’s Ark”, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference On Creation, 1994.