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Semester 2 Project--Noah's Ark & The Flood
Transcript of Semester 2 Project--Noah's Ark & The Flood
Q: Where do we find the tale of Noah's Ark and The Flood?
A: Right here!
HOW WAS THE ARK MADE?
The Ark’s design is described in Genesis 6:14-16.
Noah was told to...
According to nautical engineers the longest wooden boat ever built was 360 feet in length and was not seaworthy. Additionally, modern shipbuilders say the ark would have been almost impossible to turn over.
-make it 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high (about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high).
-make a roof for it, leaving an opening below the roof one cubit (46 cm) high all around.
When God told Noah to build the ark, he was a 500 year old "man of the soil" (Genesis 9:20) who presumably knew diddly squat about building gargantuan boats. Luckily, God did!
-build rooms and coat them with pitch inside and out.
-build door in the side of the ark and three decks; upper, middle, and lower.
-make windows (mentioned in chapter 8:6)
-use cypress wood to create it.
The Hebrew word used in the passage means “gopher wood” but the NIV translates it as cypress wood. Cypress wood is highly resistant to rot and that is most likely why it was translated that way.
Q: How long did the building take?
A: When Noah is first mentioned in Genesis 5:32, he is 500 years old and he boards the ark when he is 600 years old. Therefore, the maximum amount of time it could have taken him to build it was 100 years, but because we don't know how much of a time gap was in between Genesis 5:32 and when that God commanded Noah to get building, several years could have been cut off.
Genesis 7:2-3: Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female... Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
So the ark was housing seven of some animals and only two of others. That's more pairs than most people think were aboard the ark! The Bible lists thirty-plus animals as clean and fit to eat, including the sheep, goat, deer, gazelle, antelope, chicken, quail, turkey, and many others. The additional clean animals were probably to ensure that animals could be used for food and sacrifices while still reproducing and not going extinct.
Foodwise, God said in Genesis 6:21 , "And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them," them being the animals. A large amount of time must have been dedicated to stockpiling and loading food and seeds onto the Ark.
After leading all the animals to the ark and allowing Noah and his kin to board, God shut the door on the ark and the water began to pour. This was on the 17th day of the second month of Noah's 600th year. It didn't let up for forty days and forty nights. The Bible says water rose fifteen cubits (22.5 feet) above the mountains
And so the world was full of water. Everything and everyone that wasn't on the ark died. but God didn't forget about the ark and after the rain had stopped, He sent a wind over the Earth that caused the water to steadily recede. After 150 days the water had gone down and on the 17th day of the seventh month, the ark stopped the mountains of Ararat. On the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountain were visible.
After 54 days, Noah sent out a dove to see if the ground was dry and the dove didn't return, meaning it was! Great success! In the first day of the first month of his 601st year, Noah opened the door of the ark, and the ground was dry. On the 27th day of the second month, the earth dried and everyone got off the Ark. The ark was floating about for a grand total of 370 days! Noah offered a sacrifice to God, and He put a rainbow in the sky to promise that He would never flood the Earth again.
Q: Why did it happen?
A: All of humankind turned from God and followed the evil in their hearts.
Genesis 6:20: Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.
Now we know inside and out what the Bible has to say about the Flood. However, this isn't good enough evidence for some people. Many have extreme skepticism towards the idea of a worldwide flood and rightfully so; it is a bizarre event that shows the wrath of God. To address just a handful of some common concerns, we will now move onward to...
We all know about Noah's Ark and the Great Flood: two of each animal go onto a giant boat with Noah and it rains for forty days. We've been told that story since preschool, but it sounds too simple. What really went down? Is there any good evidence to back it up? That's what I wanted to find out.
Q: Where did all the water come from?
A: Of course some came from the rain but forty days worth of water would not be able to be stored in the clouds. One detail often overlooked in the Biblical text is that the "fountains of the great deep" referenced to in Genesis 7:11 were broken up. The terms "the great deep" and "the deep" are used multiple times throughout the Bible in reference to the ocean. The term "broken up" is used in Numbers 16:30-33 when talking about the opening up of a great pit. So what we can conclude that 7:11 is saying is that the ocean floor burst open and water came rushing out to add to the amount of floodwater.
Q: How were all the animals cared for?
A: As mentioned earlier, God commanded Noah to load the ark with as much food as necessary to feed his family and the animals aboard. With as much time as he had, he could have stockpiled enormous amounts of food, as well as seeds and plants that could sustain them for their year-long journey. During the construction of the ark, a one-cubit high opening was to be left open. Although it wasn't specified in the building plans, the Bible also talks about Noah making windows. With these two sources combined, it would have been more than enough to ventilate the ark. Water easily could have been piped to the animals into troughs. Self-feeders of some sort also could have been used and somewhat simple. In terms of waste, some have theorized that sloped or slatted floors could have been built to release the products into a pit below, the constant movement of the ark alleviating any dangerous pollution.
Q: Does the fossil record agree with the Biblical claims?
A: On all seven continents, geologists have found billions of fossilized animals and plants inside sedimentary rock made up of sand, mud, and lime that were deposited rapidly by water. In comparison to rapidly decomposing after a natural death, the creatures in the fossil record are preserved, many of them completely intact with very little evidence of decay. This has led many experts to conclude that these creatures were killed during a flood. Their bodies were caught in the mudflow, rapidly buried in the sediment while it was still wet and soft, and then preserved.
Q: Does the Bible agree with other sources?
A: Flood narratives are common to nearly every world culture, from the Greeks to the Hindus, the Chinese to the Mexicans, the Algonquins to the Hawaiians. The most famous parallel is the Epic of Gilgamesh, a polytheistic Mesopotamian writing. There are many similarities between the Biblical and Gilgameshian retellings which causes some skeptics to believe one stole the story from the other, but with worldwide flood narratives abounding in all corners of the globe, maybe this is history telling us there is truth to the claims.
Scientists are studying an area near the mid-oceanic ridges in the Atlantic Ocean where part of the Earth's oceanic crust is missing. The question is whether the crust never developed or if it was ripped away by some catastrophic event.
Q: Is this possible? Is there any evidence for underground reservoirs of water?
A: Against many people's thoughts, yes, there is. Scientists are finding evidence of amounts of water deep within the Earth large enough to fill Earth's ocean basins ten times. Only a fraction of such an amount would be required to raise sea levels to meet the requirements of Noah's flood. ong before scientists learned there were vast amounts of water under the Earth, the Bible already hinted at this fact (see Exodus 20:4.)
Q: How many animals were on the ark?
A: There is no definite answer to that question, but there are some educated guesses we can make. Scientists believe there are upwards of two million animals alive today. However, most of these are capable of surviving in water and would not have needed to be brought aboard the ark. Additionally, John Woodmorappe, an author who has done extensive studies on the Flood, explains that the word "specie" is not equivalent to the "created kinds" as it is described in Genesis. Taking into account there needed to be two of each animal (and in some cases, seven), investigators hypothesize that there may have been anywhere between 2,000 to 16,000 individual animals aboard.
It would have been impossible for Noah to finish the job on his own! He probably employed the help of his sons and possibly some of his neighbors or hired hands. This would have made the process much easier and much faster!
Q: Could they all have fit?
Alright, let's do some math. Using the dimensions given to us in the Bible, it is revealed that the available floorspace on the ark would have been over 100,000 square feet. The volume would have been 1,518,000 cubic feet (equal to the capacity of 569 modern railroad stock cars.) To pad for extinct species and just for kicks, let's bump the number of animals necessary on the ark up to 50,000. Now, there are few animals that are exceptionally large, such as the dinosaur and elephant. Younger animals could have been used, so that's not a terrible issue. If we use a sheep as a standard size for each animal and a double-deck railroad stock car for comparison, the average car can accommodate 240 sheep. Thus, three trains consisting of 69 cars each would be able to carry 50,000 animals, filling only 37% of the ark. The rest of the space would be used for storing food, belongings, and for living space.
Q: What up with all these alleged findings of the ark?
A: There definitely have been a lot of them! Generally these discoveries are debunked. From the wrong location, to contradictory carbon dating of wood, to no evidence of a flood in the area, it's quite a mystery where the ark lies. Perhaps it was disassembled to use the lumber for building. Perhaps it is stuck inside a mountain somewhere. Perhaps we'll find it. Perhaps we won't. It sure is a mysterious field. Archaeologist Paul Zimansky threw his two cents in, saying, "I don't know of any expedition that ever went looking for the ark and didn't find it."
The study of Noah's Ark and The Flood was interesting one; the research got a lot more scientific than I had originally anticipated. Looking back, the fact that I didn't go into this project expecting a geology lesson is silly. I know see that there is a large amount of scientific knowledge necessary to completely understand and go through all the evidence. I haven't even scraped the surface.
Q: How could a loving God commit a worldwide genocide?
A: The Bible says specifically that all people except Noah and his family had become corrupted and continually plotted evil. The world must have been completely overrun by wickedness that God would do something like that, because we can see in other Bible passages that God has spared groups of the truly despicable for a few Godly people. For example, in Genesis 18 when Abraham pleaded for Sodom, God said that He would spare the entire city for the sake of ten righteous people. The Bible indicates that no innocent people were killed in the Flood.
Exodus 20:4 alluded to the presence of water beneath the Earth's surface: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the
water under the earth