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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Now Back To The Flood Of Noah - Refuting Noah's Ark Critics and presenting corroborating evidence!

The following article is an overview of common questions that can easily be answered and supposed problems for the Ark that are not problems.   Jonathan Sarfati takes on pretty much every common question asked or statement made by Darwinists or seekers of truth and gives a good answer.  He refers people to relevant articles to support his statements.   This article is absolutely vital for anyone who wishes to understand how the Ark could have been capable of preserving the lives of all aboard.  A number of corollary questions are also thoroughly discussed that relate to the Ark and the Flood.  

Following Dr. Sarfati's thoughtful answers to critics, there is a second article about dinosaur fossils in the Morrison Formation and why the evidence points to the Noahic Flood.  

At the end is a third article that is rather technical in nature that soundly answers any critic who claims that the Ark was not capable of withstanding the unusual conditions of the worldwide flood.  
The Ark was quite seaworthy and was in fact quite optimal for the job at hand...surviving with a large cargo on a stormy sea for many months. 


Refuting Noah’s ark critics

Published: 3 February 2013 (GMT+10)
The article How did all the animals fit on Noah’s Ark? was only Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s second article for Creation magazine, published in 1997. But only in the last year, it has received a barrage of criticism from biblioskeptics. The article was probably linked on some atheopathic site inhabiting some of the darker corners of the Internet. We thought that Dr Sarfati’s refutations of these critics would be instructive for a weekend feedback article. They show that the biblical account can withstand the strongest attacks even better than the Ark could withstand the Flood waters (which is saying a lot).
Joe M., United States, 8 July 2012
The sheer silliness of this is mind boggling. There hasn’t been enough time for all species to evolve in 4 billion years, BUT … Horses,Zebras and Donkeys, which are estimated to be millions of years apart by science, evolved in 5000 years? Huh?
A guy had 8000 pairs of animals on an Ark? Can’t this be a story? Catholics treat all of these things as stories without anyone running off to become an atheist. I just will never get this.
What is really mind-boggling is how you can comment with so little understanding of the issues. It doesn’t take that long to vary, as shown by the rapidity that the breeds of dogs were formed from a pair of wolves only a few thousand years ago, and other examples of rapid speciation
No, the global Flood and Ark can’t be a (false) story. Jesus didn’t think so—in Luke 17:26–27 He said:
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
The New Testament writers treated it as history, and so did the early church fathers, many of whom the Catholic Church regards as doctors of the church or saints.
Finally, what do you care anyway? And as shown, people do run off and become atheists or at least abandon other key teachings. See our recent article Gay ‘marriage’ and the consistent outcome of Genesis compromise.

[After disembarkation] Meat eaters could catch fish trapped in pools left behind by the retreating flood waters, and also exhume the ample carrion buried.
Warren L., Philippines, 11 July 2012
The flood of Noah couldn’t have happened. There wouldn’t be enough food and time to feed all 16000 animals. and for ten months, 8 people feeding them? How about the food after the flood? It’s funny how people could defend this story when it’s clearly full of impossibilities.
There are plenty of proven low-tech methods available to feed and water lots of animals. Both water and grain could have central stations, and separate pipes leading to troughs that would feed lots of animals.
And after the Flood, they didn’t disembark for some time, and the account records that already there was considerable vegetation growing by then. Meat eaters could catch fish trapped in pools left behind by the retreating flood waters, and also exhume the ample carrion buried.
This is all in the recommended reading. It’s funny how people could attack this story so dogmatically while being unaware of very simple solutions.

David W., United States, 13 July 2012
The animals and people native to Australia and North America that were discovered by European settlers clearly indicate the fictitious nature of this story. Unless you can present evidence that explains how dark skinned people and animals found no where else in the world wound up on these continents after the floods receded.
Chapter 17 of the Creation Answers Book answers:
  • How did animals get to Australia?
  • How did the animals get from remote countries to the Ark?
  • After the Flood, did kangaroos hop all the way to Australia?
  • What did koalas eat on the way?
Hint: the search button is your friend ;)

Joe M., United States, 16 July 2012
The concept of Biblical Literalism, as it is understood today, was foreign to the Church Fathers. Jesus told all sorts of stories to illustrate profound truths. So did Augustine and the other Fathers. That they were fiction didn’t change the message. Noah is about sin and redemption.
In any case, you have no idea how silly all of this sounds to scientists, many of whom are believers like me. Poodles and German Shepherds are still dogs. Zebras and donkeys, while clearly related like chimps and people, diverged millions of years ago.
I don’t know who these “biblical literalists” are, but I am a biblical originalist who follows the historical-grammatical approach. You also need to study the Church Fathers yourself, since they—including Augustine—accepted a global flood. Fathers like Basil the Great had no time for fanciful allegorization:
I know the laws of allegory, though less by myself than from the works of others. There are those truly, who do not admit the common sense of the Scriptures, for whom water is not water, but some other nature, who see in a plant, in a fish, what their fancy wishes, who change the nature of reptiles and of wild beasts to suit their allegories, like the interpreters of dreams who explain visions in sleep to make them serve their own ends. For me grass is grass; plant, fish, wild beast, domestic animal, I take all in the literal sense. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel” [Romans 1:16]. (Hexaëmeron 9:1)
Anyway, you have no idea how silly such ipse dixits sound to real Ph.D. scientists like me who are Christian believers. Zebras and donkeys can still hybridize—see Zenkey, zonkey, zebra donkey! Apes and humans cannot.

Mike M., Nigeria, 29 August 2012
How is it possible that 8 couple = 7,000,000,000 people is less than 5000 years?
Extremely easy to answer—at least if you understand exponential growth. This population of 8 would need to double only 30 times to reach 8.6 billion. Since the Flood was about 4500 years ago, that means it would need to double only every 150 years on average. A simple way to work out the rough growth rate in your head is the ‘rule of 72’. This states that dividing 72 by the years to double the population provides the annual growth rate. This shows that the population would need to grow by <0 .5="" a="" advanced="" calculations="" current="" for="" growth="" less="" more="" nbsp="" of="" per="" rate="" see="" span="" than="" the="" third="" year="">Where are all the people?

Mike M., Nigeria, 29 August 2012
Gen 7:20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
How high was the water? 15 cubits? Certainly that doesn’t cover the mountains.
Not at today’s height, but that’s a red herring. Today’s mountains are post-Flood, and grew rapidly after the Flood while sediments were still soft. Even Mt Everest has marine limestone on its summit, showing that it was once buried under water. See for example Did Noah need oxygen above the mountains?
No more replies to you until you follow our feedback rules and check our site first. I tell you this in the spirit of “teaching a man how to fish” ;)

Steve M., Canada, 30 August 2012
I laughed, I cried and sat starring mystified at the silliness I’ve been reading.
Your self-confessed emotionalism is clouding your judgment. Maybe a good counsellor would help ;)
The several articles I’ve read denies evolution.
That must have been a shock to find on a site called ;)
That Inbreeding was not detrimental to repopulation.
Who says it wasn’t? After all, this is one of our explanations for the exponential decay of lifespans after the Flood.
A lot of blanks like how were the animals were feed are made up with no facts whatsoever.
A grupstal.
A grupstal.
No facts? Can you disprove the possibility of dried and concentrated foods? The technology has long been known and is not difficult. Other examples of plausible means for animal storage over many months come from the low-tech methods that Dutch farmers have used for centuries to keep animals over the harsh winters: the potstal and the grupstal (see How could Noah care for the animals?).
It’s up to critics of the Ark to prove that this is not possible; all defenders of the Ark account need to do is provide plausible ideas. Hence the title of the definitive book Noah’s Ark: Feasibility Study—it shows that the Ark account is feasible, and didn’t even require miracles.
I wanted to know how the other races of man came from Noah’s family:
The Search Button is your friend (top right of almost every page). If you had used this, you would easily have found this chapter from the Creation Answers Book which covers:
  • How did all the different ‘races’ arise?
  • What is a ‘race’? How did different skin colours come about?
  • What are the consequences of false beliefs about ‘race’?
  • Are black people the result of a curse on Ham?
and how pugs became great danes I got more silly science.
That above really is silly science. The real science is that both pugs and great danes came from a common ancestor, a pair of wolves. A great dane is likely the result of concentration of genes for growth already present in the wolf, or maybe some loss of control of growth. The pug is the result of a downhill mutation in genes controlling the growth of snout bones. See also ‘Parade of Mutants’—Pedigree Dogs and Artificial Selection.
The claim evolution is wrong that means it cannot be right when it suits you.
Nope, you can’t play bait-and-switch (i.e. the fallacy of equivocation) when it suits you. See Variation and natural selection versus evolution.
So Noah cannot have negroid children and they cannot become negroid because that would be evolving or changing.
They would be changing, but not in the direction that would change nematodes into Noah. Please study very carefully articles like The evolution train’s a-comin’ (Sorry, a-goin’—in the wrong direction). It’s good for you to study the opponent’s case properly and in its strongest form. You notice that we do that, for example addressing the best arguments for evolution from the National Academy of Sciences andRichard Dawkins, and the best arguments for old-earth compromise from Hugh Ross.
A cobra doesn’t give birth to a boa.
I don’t recall anywhere where we have claimed it does. A boa is a constrictor, very different from a venomous snake like the cobra.
Underwater World in Queensland, Australia had a freshwater and saltwater fish in the same tank. They achieved this by gradual adjustments to salinity in both fish until they could cope with the same salinity.
Just like all fresh water fish will die in salt water and massive temperature changes.
No they won’t actually, if they have a chance to acclimatize gradually. I saw this for myself many years ago at Underwater World in Queensland, Australia. They had a freshwater and saltwater fish in the same tank. They achieved this by gradual adjustments to salinity in both fish until they could cope with the same salinity.
You also need to be aware of the well-known phenomena of thermoclines and haloclines, persistent temperature and salinity gradients. See also our old friends the search button and Creation Answers Book.Another chapter covers:
  • How did freshwater and saltwater fish survive the Flood?
  • How did saltwater fish survive dilution of the seawater with freshwater, or how did freshwater types survive in saltwater?
  • And how did plants survive?
Filling in the huge amount of blanks like species, races and how things were done without any facts.
The facts are abundant, but unfortunately we have no way under present technology to pipe them directly into your brain. Thus all we can do is point out that you need to search for them (cf. “the one who seeks finds”, Matthew 7:8), and we try to make this easy.
At least the evolutionist say they have a theory it means they are not certain.
I must admit that it makes a change to hear an evolutionist use this argument. Normally the likes of Dawkins whinge when less informed creationists use it, although we advise against it in our Don’t Use page.
You act like your “facts” are actual answers.
They are. Sorry that we won’t just take your word for the contrary.
You pretend to have answers where there are none but are to bull headed to admit you don’t know.
You’re just too bull-headed to admit that we do have answers to your hardest arguments, so you have no excuse to deny your Maker.
You see doubt and blind faith as heresy.
News to me. See for example The Importance of Evidence.
The Bible says all sorceress are to be put to death. Will you still follow this law?
Please see Is eating shellfish still an abomination? for a proper understanding of the place of the Law of Moses today.
It seems you follow the answers that fit your narrow minded views.
In reality, we, like you, interpret the facts in the light of a paradigm or set of underlying assumptions. See for example Presuppositionalism vs evidentialism and The role of axioms, internal consistency and real world application.
Primitive thinking for primates.
Aren’t you a primate too?—
any of various omnivorous mammals of the order Primates, comprising the three suborders Anthropoidea (humans, great apes, gibbons, Old World monkeys, and New World monkeys), Prosimii (lemurs, loris, and their allies), and Tarsioidea (tarsiers), especially distinguished by the use of hands, varied locomotion, and by complex flexible behavior involving a high level of social interaction and cultural adaptability.

T. N., United States, 30 September 2012
I thought you people (by which I mean literalists)
I don’t know any literalists, as explained to Joe M., United States, 16 July 2012 (above).
didn’t believe in evolution,
I can’t speak for ‘literalists’, but I as a representative of the historical-grammatical/originalist/textualist hermeneutic school certainly don’t. Indeed, I’ve written books with titles Refuting Evolution and Refuting Evolution 2 which should provide substantial evidence.
and yet now you’re arguing that evolution is the answer?
I am not sure how you could gain such an impression, except by playing bait-and-switch (aka the fallacy of equivocation). The free online book chapter Variation and natural selection versus evolution should reduce confusion.
FYI, I grew up Christian, still am, all my friends and family were Christian,
Evidently their compromise didn’t impress you either, so I am not sure what this proves.
and yet I never, to my knowledge, encountered a Biblical literalist until college (in biology, go figure).
You probably still haven’t actually.
And I grew up in Texas in the 70s and 80s thank you very much.
You’re most welcome. I grew up in New Zealand at the same time. Not sure what this proves though.

Jack J., United States, 25 October 2012
Nice article, but you live in a world of theoretical materials.
For centuries, Dutch farmers have used ingenious but low-tech methods to keep their animals safe over winter: the potstal and grupstal.
Not at all—the Woodmorappe book is full of applied low-tech methods. More recently, the article How could Noah care for the animals? documents how Dutch farmers for centuries used ingenious but low-tech methods to keep their animals safe over winter: the potstal and grupstal.
What did Noah make the ark out of, for instance?
Gopher wood, as the Bible says. And see also The pitch for Noah’s Ark.
The structural integrity of wood literally would have collapsed upon itself just from weight alone, not to mention human-errors in the construction.
A fact-free assertion. You appear to be unaware of huge wooden vessels of antiquity, as well as many methods of making very strong wood vessels (see Yes, Noah did build an Ark! under Broken apart).
That’s not even taking into consideration tidal forces.
Why would we? They are too weak (see The moon: the light that rules the night under Tides). It’s up to you to tell us why we should take them into account.
And did I forget the ‘excrement slots’ that would ruin the integrity further more?
Maybe you didn’t forget, since one possibility mentioned in the article is vermicomposting. Also, any slot could be reinforced.
And if there is some perfect design that utilizes outside force to make up for internal stresses, where did they get all the wood, and the technical ability to build such a thing?
Wood normally comes from trees to my knowledge.
After the flood, how did all the animals get back to their present-day continent? Flying maybe?
See answer to David W. above.
That’s just the surface though. Let’s look at the idea that the water surged from the Earth. Okay, so say that happened. Have you ever noticed that even the strongest submarines can’t withstand pressures past a certain point?
Indeed they can’t. But it’s up to you to show that this point would be reached with the Ark, especially when the problem for submarines is the constant strong hydrostatic pressure, not an issue for the Ark.
The point is, that cavities would form in the crust, and the sheer weight of the water above would crush them, forming huge tidal forces, tsunamis,
But as naval engineers showed, the Ark could easily stand up to all that. See Noah’s Flood and the Gilgamesh Epic under Ark shape.
things that wouldn’t just destroy the animals, but also the geography and fertility of the land.
Indeed, the Flood was a catastrophe. But this would recover quickly—see After devastation … the recovery.
And what about the oxygen?
Good ventilation. The long window on the roof of the Ark was similar to that on many factories today.
Even if you can solve all of these problems and form some cohesive solution, it doesn’t mean it happened.
The point is to show that was not impossible, so there is no excuse to doubt the eye-witness accounts in Scripture confirmed by Christ Himself.
It’s theoretically nearly-impossible, if there’s a chance at all, and the lack of evidence on the Earth that supports it makes that chance even slimmer.
You must have forgotten the atheistic/evolutionary regimes that were responsible for more deaths than all ‘religious’ wars put together: 77 million in Communist China62 million in the Soviet Gulag State21 million non-battle killings by the Nazis2 million murdered in the Khmer Rouge killing fields.
Another ipse dixit, and I’ve refuted your best shots above.
The only evidence for Noah’s ark is the inbreeding, as you are obviously stupid enough to make any argument at all.
The genetic evidence supports that, as shown by Adam, Eve and Noah vs Modern Genetics by a Ph.D. geneticist.
I will not have fellow humans slander the works of humans.
Do you plan to censor speech you don’t like? Many atheistic regimes did just that. Whether you’d really want to live under them is another matter. See also The tyranny of ‘tolerance’.
Religion corrupts the world.
You must have forgotten the atheistic/evolutionary regimes that were responsible for more deaths than all ‘religious’ wars put together: 77 million in Communist China62 million in the Soviet Gulag State21 million non-battle killings by the Nazis2 million murdered in the Khmer Rouge killing fields. This was thoroughly documented by Rudolph Rummel (b. 1932), Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, who coined the term democide for murder by government (see his book Death By Government).
And it saddens me to see people living these lies, unable to enjoy life for what it is, rather than what it isn’t.
I know the feeling, believe me. Just look at what I have to deal with ;)

R. C., Canada, 1 November 2012
It would take another Ark somehow filled with non-perishable food (impossible!) to keep the animals alive for a few seasons until the food supply began to replenish itself (centuries is more likely).
I didn’t notice any documented refutation for the paragraph:
The Ark would probably have carried compressed and dried foodstuffs, and probably a lot of concentrated food. Perhaps Noah fed the cattle mainly on grain, plus some hay for fibre. Woodmorappe calculated that the volume of foodstuffs would have been only about 15 % of the Ark’s total volume. Drinking water would only have taken up 9.4% of the volume. This volume would be reduced further if rainwater was collected and piped into troughs.
But for the carnivores needing 16 pounds of fresh-killed flesh per day to survive there would have to be vast stores of surplus animals somehow released but prevented from escaping the range of carnivores.
Which carnivores did you have in mind? And as Woodmorappe’s book shows, meat can be dried, and fodder animals such tortoises are known from history. See Feeding carnivores on the Ark, and refuting an accusation of ‘closet scientism’. After disembarkation, animals could feed on exhumed carrion and fish trapped in pools left by the retreating Flood water.
While I commend the effort, the Ark story is just another Biblical parable. Searching/justifying (for) the Ark is like searching for the bones of ‘the’ Good Samaritan.
As should be clear from our site, we have no interest in looking for the Ark today. I’ve long said that it’s likely that Noah and his family recycled the material for building, since forests would have needed time to grow for lumber.

Mark S., United Kingdom, 21 November 2012
I very much hope you will answer my 5 questions.
I didn’t see any questions, but lots of unsupported assertions. Most are already answered on our site, which you should have searched as per our feedback rules.
1. You say in your answers that the insects could be kept in boxes 4″ square.
Indeed, and also that insects were likely not obligate passengers.
It is estimated that there are over 800,000 species of Beetles alone,
Huge exaggeration. The evolutionists’ favorite source, Wikipediasays, “There are about 450,000 species of beetles.” And as explained in the article, the kind is much broader than the species.
(many well-over 4″ in length!)
A very tiny fraction. “300,000 described species, or approximately 90% of the beetle species so far discovered” are of the suborder Polyphaga, which contains much smaller beetles such as scarabs, weevils, and fireflies.
That equals a line of boxes of around 53 miles long! Then there are all the other millions of insect species.
Where do you get this number from? About 850,000–1,000,000 of all described species are insects.
You can work out how much room is required to house all of the known insects in their boxes and I don’t think it leaves much room for the higher animals.
Certainly if you use faulty premises such as insects were obligate passengers, Noah had to take pairs of species rather than pairs of kinds, there are millions of species not known to science that were on board, and that most were under 4″ long, you should not be surprised that the conclusion may not be true.
2. You also say there was no need to take fish onto the ark. The salinity level of water is absolutely crucial to all fish. Marine fish would all have perished as the salinity dropped, equally fresh-water fish would have perished as the salinity rose, (try dropping some salt into your fresh-water aquarium, or filling your marine tank with fresh or brackish water and see what happens).
Try reading the response to Steve M. above ;)
3. How did Noah know when he had collected two of each of the world’s insects? Even the most eminent entomologists couldn’t name but 10% of the world’s insect species.
He didn’t have to know. As the article pointed out, God brought the animals to him.
4. Have you ever tried working with animals in an almost fully enclosed environment? Methane and CO2 levels rise very quickly as oxygen levels fall and the atmosphere soon becomes stifling. Many creatures would very quickly suffer in such a place.
I haven’t, but Dutch farmers have done so for centuries. Again, see response to Steve M. above. Also, the recommended book Noah’s Ark: Feasibility Study has a section on Odors and Hazardous Gases, p. 31.
5. Salt is one of the best known weedkillers. After the flood the soil would have remained infertile for up to a year or more until the salt had leached away.
But since we are now 4½ millennia after the Flood, it should not be too much of a problem. And the article says, “Woodmorappe points out that salt can be readily leached out by rainwater.”
Virtually all plants would die almost immediately after germination. (Try growing common seeds, and water with a weak saline solution to see what happens.)
Ph.D. plant biologist Don Batten answered this long ago, pointing out that none other than Charles Darwin did what you suggested trying:
Charles Darwin contributed to the answer to this also. As well as doing experiments on seeds germinating after soaking in water, Darwin pointed out that seeds survive in the dead carcasses of birds and animals floating in the sea. That’s another way that seeds could have survived. Many families of plants have at least some species with seeds that have resistant seed coats (‘hard seeded’) that are impervious to the penetration of water and it is not until they are abraded or pass through fire, for example, that water will penetrate and germination follows. Many legume seeds are like this and will withstand prolonged submersion without losing viability. … My doctorate research was done on the physiology of plant propagation from cuttings. Olives are propagated commercially from cuttings, and have been for thousands of years.

Mark S., United Kingdom, 24 November 2012
[Ed. note: this further exchange is printed, in spite of defiance of the feedback rules, to show how many biblioskeptical arguments have long ago been thoroughly answered. Since the questions were quick throw-away lines, Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s response accordingly presents only brief links and references. Compare also his 1998 article Problems with a Global Flood?, a more extensive response to an atheist]
What is the present Latin name for ‘gopher wood’ and where can it be found growing today? If it no longer exists, what happened to it?
Woodmorappe ch. 6 suggests the extremely durable wood teak, or that ‘gopher’ may not refer to a type of wood but a method of hardening it.
I have worked on farms, and to feed, water and clean-out just 2–300 animals is as much as one person can do in a day. How did Noah and his small family look after so many animals for so long in a boat!
Did you not read about potstals and grupstals in the comments above (reply to S.M.), where Dutch farmers have left animals to themselves for the entire winter? See also Woodmorappe ch. 8.
Why did God get Noah to go to all this trouble?
Clearly Noah was willing, so how is this any of your concern? Here was I thinking that you had scientific objections, whereas here is a pseudo-theological one!
Couldn’t He have just re-created everything after the flood?
Of course He could have, but He is sovereign and can do what He likes. It’s presumptuous of a mere creature to tell the Creator what He should have done. See Woodmorappe p. iii.
Most animals require very precise habitats that can take very many years to create. How could these have been created so soon after the flood, and who put these millions of animals back into their correct habitats, (if they existed)?
No, most animals are very adaptable, as shown by zoos that keep animals from a wide variety of habitats. See also Woodmorappe ch. 13 (specialized diets) and ch. 14 (fallacy of climatic barriers).
Do you believe that the flood created the ‘fossil layers’?
How many deaths and casualties were there among these millions of creatures couped-up for so long?
As pointed out in my previous response to you, only about 16,000 obligate passengers on the Ark, and no recorded deaths.
How did Noah’s family remain disease-free in such putrid conditions, amid so many lethal viruses and bacteria?
Evidently you didn’t bother to read the article at all. There is a prominent pullout quote:
Another problem often raised by atheists and theistic evolutionists is ‘how did disease germs survive the flood?’ … In fact, even now many germs can survive in insect vectors or corpses, or in the dried or frozen state, or be carried by a host without causing disease. Finally, loss of resistance to disease is consistent with the general degeneration of life since the Fall.
See Woodmorappe ch. 28 and Diseases on the Ark.
Why did God not foresee how wicked and violent the earth was to become that required him to kill 99.9999% of all living things, especially especially those evil and violent children of God?
Who says he didn’t foresee it? See for example Does God’s foreknowledge entail fatalism?
Where were all the animals stored that were to become food for the thousands of carnivorous mammals, birds and reptiles?
Dried meats that could be reconstituted with the abundant supply of rainwater. And as we point out in Tortoises of the Galápagos:
The Galápagos tortoises were subject to overhunting by humans who kept them for food on ships. This decimated the population. The giant tortoises were seen to be an excellent source of fresh meat, as the tortoises could be kept for long periods of time with little food or water. The sailors on the Beagle took 30 on board for this purpose, discarding the shells and bones as they consumed them. (Woodmorappe [ch. 12] suggests this as one more possible food source for carnivores on the Ark; fodder tortoises.)
See also response to R.C. above.
And what would the carnivores have eaten once back on dry land?
After Henry Morris, The Biblical basis for modern science.
Diagram showing how resistant the Ark was to capsizing. Click on picture for high resolution (126 kb).
Diagram showing how resistant the Ark was to capsizing. Click on picture for high resolution (126 kb).
Fish trapped in pools left behind by retreating floodwaters, exhumed carrion that would be in abundant supply. See also Woodmorappe ch. 21.
What did the fish-eating species live on while in the Ark after God had closed the door?
See also Woodmorappe ch. 12. Very few land animals are mainly piscivorous, and they can eat fish substitutes. Some fish aestivate: remain dormant in a cocoon in the mud if their pool dries up.
How many creatures became sea-sick and died during this violent storm?
None that we know of, perhaps because the Ark was an extremely stable boat. See Yes, Noah did build an Ark! Tsunamis are barely noticeable in deep water. See also Woodmorappe ch. 6.
How rife was disease in the Ark with animals so tightly packed into such a confined space for so long?
Again, see Woodmorappe ch. 28 and Diseases on the Ark.
Was all this carnage the work of a caring and loving God?
Yes, since this caring and loving God is also holy and just, so punishes sin. The New Testament treated this as a real event and warning of judgment to come. But it also shows the solution to this dilemma (see Good News! andThe Incarnation: Why did God become Man?). This is the most important thing!

Mark S., United Kingdom, 27 November 2012
Thank you for taking the trouble to answer my many questions.
You’re welcome, although it wasn’t difficult, since these objections have been answered long ago. The main article was one of my first articles in Creation magazine.
I notice in your answers to me and others the much use of words and phrases such as “could”, “could-have”, “possibly”, “probably”, “may-have”. These are not words of conviction, but purely of supposition and blind-faith.
JS: Nope, they recognize that I wasn’t there, so of course I can’t be dogmatic that Noah did things the way I suggested. But these are biblically and scientifically reasonable solutions, based on known low-tech animal husbandry methods and known features of animals. Note also, Woodmorappe’s book had the word feasibility in the title. The onus is on the biblioskeptics (or their compromising churchian allies) to demonstrate that no solution is possible. Neither you nor anyone else has come even close to that, and you fired your best shots over two emails.
I’m sorry to say that you have shown no more idea as to how Noah could have built, sailed and cared-for an Ark full of wild animals than I have,
Actually, a lot more; just that I am not dogmatic that Noah must have used what I’ve suggested, only that it was possible.
your replies have been purely guesswork and referal to the work of others which also contain many words of doubt.
Very educated guesswork, as amply shown. If you want to see real “guesswork”, then look at chemical evolutionary ideas on origin of first life from non-living chemicalsor:
You have to understand that first there is speculation, then there is wild speculation, and then there is cosmology.
As you are always able to refer to your God as being able to do anything He wishes,
Note that this was only in reply to your pseudo-theological arguments. I did not resort to miracles to explain anything else about the Ark’s preservation. Similarly, Woodmorappe’s book showed the non-necessity of miracles for preserving the Ark’s cargo and their subsequent dispersion, which is not the same as ruling them out.
you leave yourself the perfect ‘get-out’ when facts,knowledge based answers and even guesswork desert you.
When an atheist attacks biblical theism, it is perfectly in order to cite propositions from the Bible to defend the integrity of this belief system.
As above, not in my arguments, but only when you brought up God yourself. When you do so, then you open yourself to theological arguments based on God’s self-revelation in the Bible. As I pointed out to a university philosophy/religion professor:
If someone tries to show that a certain philosophical system is incoherent, it is perfectly in order for a defender of this system to invoke certain aspects of this system to defend its coherence. So when an atheist attacks biblical theism, it is perfectly in order to cite propositions from the Bible to defend the integrity of this belief system.
The only exception was where God revealed that He would bring the animals to Noah. But where Scripture is silent, I have proposed no miraculous means (see also discussion in Flood models and biblical realism).
I have no counter to that, so as they say, ‘I’m-out’. Thank you.
Eventually biblioskeptics run out of excuses, as we know from experience. This suggests that the whole exercise was a pseudo-intellectual smokescreen for unbelief that has different underlying causes.

Martin D., Australia, 7 December 2012
The Bible also describes in great detail how the Earth is a flat, geocentric platform. I can’t wait to read the book or article that will attempt to square that circle, Or rather circle that disc!
That boring old canard? Long ago refuted, e.g. in Is the ‘erets (earth) flat?
It’s also ironic that the leading proponent of the flat earth today is one of your fellow evolutionists!

Related Articles

Further Reading


Dry humor? 

The second article is an overview of dinosaur fossils found in the Morrison Formation and why these finds support the Noahic Flood.

Dinosaur disarray

Evidence for the Flood at Dinosaur National Monument, USA

Image composite:, ©, ©, © & T Newcombe
At Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, a confused tangle of bones juts from a ridge of sandstone, chock-full of dinosaur fossils. The sandstone is part of the Morrison Formation, a body of sedimentary rock extending from New Mexico to Saskatchewan in the north and covering more than 1 million square kilometres (400,000 square miles) of the western US and Canada. Eleven different species of dinosaur have been dug from the quarry at Dinosaur National Monument, including one of the largest and most complete skeletons of a giant Apatosaurus ever found.
The dinosaur bones are concentrated in an extensive lens-shaped bed of rock and are an outstanding example of a ‘mass burial’ deposit.1,2 Dinosaur National Monument has been called “the greatest dinosaur quarry ever discovered”, and is the most fertile source of dinosaur fossils in North America.3 For decades, visitors to this spectacular site were told that the fossils represent generations of dinosaurs that lived and died within a peaceful swamp environment some 150 million years ago.4 But geologists now realise that the remains did not accumulate that way. So how did the bones get there, and what do they tell us?
Dinosaur National Monument has been called “the greatest dinosaur quarry ever discovered”

The slow-and-gradual explanation

The prevalent belief among secular geologists is that the geological processes we observe in nature today are responsible for many of the geologic formations we see in the ancient rock record. It’s called uniformitarianism, or “the present is the key to the past”. This belief results in the view that, on the current slow-and-gradual rates of sedimentation, you would expect millions of years to elapse while the observed depth of sediments accumulated in a low-energy environment. Uniformitarians started with the assumption of slow-and-gradual geologic processes, born of their philosophy which, from its beginnings, sought to “free the science from Moses”.5
Having abandoned a peaceful interpretation for Dinosaur National Monument, yet committed to rejecting the historical Flood recorded in the Bible, uniformitarian geologists stayed true to their worldview and retained an interpretation that needed millions of years of slow deposition. They now say that the dinosaurs were overwhelmed and buried by a series of floods. Not by the global Flood of Noah, but by much smaller local floods separated by long time periods. They believe that every time an area flooded, the dinosaur remains were deposited in the same location, slowly building up the sizable collection.3 Alternatively, some scientists speculate that the fossils represent the cumulative result of many droughts as the dinosaurs congregated and died around ever-diminishing waterholes.6But this scenario also requires flooding to try to explain the subsequent burial.
Photo by Michael Rissi(CC-BY-SA)
Green River Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument

The plot thickens: volcanic activity associated with rapid watery burial

The idea of many local floods might at first seem a possibility. However, a notable feature of the water-worked sandstone in which the dinosaur bones are entombed complicates the picture for uniformitarians—these rocks contain abundant grains of a rock called ‘tuff’. Tuff forms from the solidification of hot ash ejected from volcanoes. This, and layers of volcanic ash elsewhere in the formation,7 indicate that an explosive volcanic eruption occurred at much the same time as all the dinosaur remains were buried by flooding. No volcano is known in the vicinity of the deposit, and geologists have placed the nearest source for the tuff to vents in southern California or Nevada.4 Ash clouds depositing over such considerable distances point to an extremely catastrophic volcanic event.
The coincidence of floods and eruptions happening together on multiple occasions, over vast spans of time, stretches the credibility of the uniformitarian ‘just so’ story. Also, if millions of years had indeed gone by as the uniformitarians assert, the geomorphology or ‘shape’ of the land surface would have changed in all that time. We know that rivers can alter their position and shape over the centuries, as their banks are eroded and sediment is deposited. For the multiple-flood/multiple-drought scenarios to be true it would mean that the drainage pattern over a very wide area would remain unchanged over eons of time, such that animal remains were accumulated in exactly the same location over and over again. This is unlikely.
Photo by US National Park Service
Allosaurus jimmadseni fossil, Dinosaur National Monument
Added to this, the fact that fossilization occurred at all indicates that the animals were quickly and deeply buried in sediment infused with mineral-rich fluids, either during death or not long afterwards.8 The bodies of dinosaurs that had drowned in localized floods would be scavenged and rot, bones and all, long before a sufficient thickness of sediment had covered them. After all, we do not today find the accumulated bones of herd animals such as cattle slowly fossilizing under the mud of river banks and floodplains emplaced by local floods. We do not even find small animals fossilizing. Fossilization today is a rare event, requiring special conditions.

Complete skeletons mixed in with bits and pieces

The evidence gets even more problematic for uniformitarians. Some of the fossils at Dinosaur National Monument are found as nearly-complete skeletons, fully articulated, and still in the opisthotonic or ‘dead dinosaur’ posture.9 Others are found in a disarticulated (dismembered) state.4 The presence of near-perfect whole remains further detracts from the long-ages multiple-flood theory, as the chance of unfossilized dinosaur skeletons surviving in articulated condition over eons of time, while awaiting deep burial, is vanishingly small. Soft connective tissue joining bone to bone rapidly breaks down once rotting of the carcass begins.
The alternative long-age drought scenario also involves, by definition, long periods of time between events. The enduring image of drought—broken-down animal skeletons baking in the sun—is common knowledge. It is well-known that degradation of the carcass begins just days after death, as scavengers, microbes, and full exposure to the heat and the elements take their toll. The accumulation of the degraded skeletal remains by later flood waters would further ‘mix’ things. And, as in the multiple flood interpretation, we do not observe drought remains fossilizing today.
The evidence indicates that the dinosaur remains were quickly and deeply entombed in sediments deposited by water. It is highly unlikely that either the multiple-flood or the multiple-drought interpretation would result in dinosaurs being fossilized in rock as we find them at Dinosaur National Monument. On the other hand, a global-scale flood, such as the Flood of Noah recorded in the book of Genesis, with its associated volcanic activity, is a likely candidate. But under this scenario, how can the dismembered remains mixed up with whole, articulated skeletons be explained?

Likely effects of a single, enormous flood

Noah’s Flood probably began in many places as a series of powerful, chaotic surges or tsunamis across land areas, bigger than modern-day tsunamis.10 While many animals would have perished immediately, the higher hills would have allowed a few animals to survive the very beginnings of the Flood. Dinosaurs in lower areas that somehow managed to survive the first surges would have swum around until they found refuge on temporary sandbar type deposits and piled-up debris. Tectonic uplift and folding and faulting may also have provided temporary higher areas. In such cases, patches of shallow water and even dry land would have formed briefly from newly-deposited sediments.11
The sandstone is part of the Morrison Formation, a body of sedimentary rock extending from New Mexico to Saskatchewan in the north and covering more than 1 million square kilometres (700 thousand square miles) of the western US and Canada.
The time between increasingly deeper surges may have been prolonged in some areas, extending into many days or weeks depending on local tectonic factors. This was enough time for animals that died in the initial onslaught to rot. The remains may then have been ‘reworked’ (buried, eroded, and re-buried), possibly several times if multiple surges occurred, being abraded and jumbled-up in the process. Impact with uprooted trees would also break up the bodies. The surviving dinosaurs would eventually succumb as still-higher flood surges arrived. With the water level totally overwhelming even the highest areas, dismembered, rotted carcasses and whole dinosaurs would be swept along together in strong currents and buried under sediment. Vast volumes of moving water would have a powerful sorting effect on the different types and sizes of debris. Still deeper amounts of sediment would then be deposited over the top as the continental mass continued to subside.12
In fact, the Genesis record correlates well with what is seen at Dinosaur National Monument. The dinosaur bones are found with other fossils, including wooden logs, which have the appearance of having been sorted by water. A few of the dinosaurs appear to have “drowned and been buried on the spot”,3 while many of the dismembered remains look as if they have been “churned up”.13 The texture of the sandstone ‘matrix’ (the surrounding rock) in which the dinosaur bones are found suggests the sorts of catastrophic floods and mudflows that were observed on a much smaller scale during the Mount St. Helens eruption of May 1980. There is also a distinct rarity of fossil plants and soil preserved within the deposits. All of this evidence suggests that the remains were part of a mass-assemblage transported and sorted by water.4

Moses was right, all along

The new uniformitarian views entail belief in many local floods emplacing animals in the same location each time, with identical volcanic eruptions of exceptionally violent extent ‘just so happening’ to occur each time the fossil remains were being deposited. They also require belief in animals fossilizing in situations where they are not observed to fossilize today. Further complicating such interpretations is the presence of whole, articulated skeletons. A more sensible and elegant interpretation, one that makes sense of all the evidence, is that the animals at Dinosaur National Monument were killed and buried by massive water action operating as a single, yet multi-stage, event.
A straightforward reading of the book of Genesis makes plain that dinosaurs were created alongside man (Genesis 1:24–31), and that those not on board the Ark were destroyed in a calamity that engulfed the world (Genesis 7:21–23). The year-long deluge began when the “fountains of the great deep” were opened, and was thus likely associated with volcanic activity. The Morrison Formation, covering several states of North America, and of which Dinosaur National Monument is a part, reveals an enormous magnitude of watery deposition. It represents just another piece in the geological puzzle that, together with many others all around the world, comes together to spell: global Flood.

References and notes

  1. A ‘lens’ in geology refers to a body of rock that is thick in the middle and thin at the edges. The fossil-rich lens of sandstone at the dinosaur quarry is in steeply dipping strata. It outcrops for 1 km (3000 ft) and is 15 m (50 ft) thick in places. Return to text.
  2. A new visitor centre and hall have been built at the site, allowing tourists to view exhibits and the quarry where thousands of large fossil bones have been excavated. The recently-refurbished buildings were reopened in October 2011. Return to text.
  3. Graham, J., Dinosaur National Monument Geologic Resource Evaluation Report, Natural Resource Report NPS/NRPC/GRD/NRR—2006/008 NPS D-217, March 2006. Return to text.
  4. Hoesch, W.A. and Austin, S.A., Dinosaur National Monument: Jurassic Park or Jurassic Jumble? Impact 370, April 2004. Return to text.
  5. Catchpoole, D. and Walker, T., Charles Lyell’s hidden agenda to free science from Moses ,, 19 August 2009. Return to text.
  6. Turner, C.E. and Peterson, F., Reconstruction of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation extinct ecosystem—a synthesis, Sedimentary Geology 167: 309–355, 2004. Return to text.
  7. Flesch, G.A., Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the Morrison Formation (Jurassic), Ojito Spring Quadrangle, Sandoval County, New Mexico: A Preliminary Discussion, New Mexico Geol. Soc. Guidebook, 25th Field Conf., 1974. Return to text.
  8. Oard, M.J., Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries, Creation Book Publishers, USA, p. 61, 2011. Return to text.
  9. Catchpoole, D., Death throesCreation 31(3):42–44, 2009, Return to text.
  10. The Ark’s safe passage was partially dependent on a more gradual or at least manageable arrival of the Flood waters at the embarkation point. Not all locations would therefore have experienced a violent tsunami-like effect—at least at the beginning. Once afloat and over deep water, the Ark would be relatively safe from the effects of tsunamis, because they rise to great height only in shallow water. Return to text.
  11. There appears to be corroborating evidence for this in dinosaur tracks made in damp or partially-submerged, fresh sediment, and also dinosaur eggs laid on wet sediments during the early stages of the Flood. See for example the BEDS hypothesis in Oard, M.J., Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries, Creation Book Publishers, USA, 2011. Return to text.
  12. This interpretation of early Flood events is based on Tas Walker’s Flood model. See Walker, T., A Biblical Geologic Model, in: Walsh, R.E., Ed., Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, Creation Science Fellowship, pp 581–592, 1994. Return to text.
  13. Paleontologist Earl Douglass, discoverer of the dinosaur quarry at Dinosaur National Monument, made this comment in his diary in 1909 after beginning excavations at the site. See Return to text.

There are also marine fossils found in the Morrison Formation FYI. 

                        This is not a sails call...

So what did Noah use to repair leaks?  An Ark welder!    Lots of people have enjoyed making cartoons and jokes associated with the Noahic Flood.  Just so you know that the actual event was no joke?  There was a global flood and Noah's Ark preserved birds, land-dwelling vertebrates and especially people.  

This third article is quite technical and you can ignore the math if that is not your "thing" but, hopefully, you will appreciate the point that is made - the Ark was indeed optimal for the job at hand and would be considered a great design today for a vessel designed to stay afloat in heavy storms with a cargo. The Ark was not intended to cross an ocean and arrive at a port, it was designed to keep the inhabitants alive and well until it had run aground upon the new, emerging surface of the land "...on the mountains of Ararat."

                                             Or even next week?!

                                 But is negative infinity the opposite of zero squared?

Safety investigation of Noah’s Ark in a seaway

by S.W. Hong, S.S. Na, B.S. Hyun, S.Y. Hong, D.S. Gong, K.J. Kang, S.H. Suh, K.H. Lee, and Y.G. Je


In this study, the safety of Noah’s Ark in the severe environments imposed by waves and winds during the Genesis Flood was investigated. Three major safety parameters—structural safety, overturning stability, and seakeeping quality—were evaluated altogether to assess the safety of the whole system.
The concept of ‘relative safety’, which is defined as the relative superiority in safety compared to other hull forms, was introduced and 12 different hull forms with the same displacement were generated for this purpose. Evaluation of these three safety parameters was performed using analytical tools. Model tests using 1/50 scaled models of a prototype were performed for three typical hull forms in order to validate the theoretical analysis.
Total safety index, defined as the weighted average of three relative safety performances, showed that the Ark had a superior level of safety in high winds and waves compared with the other hull forms studied. The voyage limit of the Ark, estimated on the basis of modern passenger ships, criteria, revealed that it could have navigated through waves higher than 30 metres.


There has been continuing debate over the occurrence of the Genesis Flood and the existence of Noah’s Ark in human history. Even though many scientific researches on the occurrence of the Flood itself have been made by geologists and anthropologists, limited information is known about Noah’s Ark, and conclusive physical evidence about the remains of the Ark has not been discovered, despite many searches this century of sites such as the Ice Cave and Anderson sites. While little is known about the hull form and the structure of the Ark, the size and the material of the Ark given in the Bible1 themselves are enough to warrant the attention of naval architects and so enable investigations of the practicality of the Ark as a drifting ship in high winds and waves.
In this study, the safety of the Ark in the severe environments imposed by the waves and winds during the Genesis Flood was investigated.
In general, the safety of a ship in a seaway is related to three major safety parameters—structural safety, overturning stability, and seakeeping quality. Good structural safety ensures the hull against damage caused mainly by wave loads. Enough overturning stability is required to prevent the ship from capsizing due to the heeling moment caused by winds and waves. Good seakeeping quality is essential for the effectiveness and safety of the personnel and cargo on board.
Information about the hull is of course available from the existing references to Noah’s Ark, and from the reasonable (common sense) assumptions of naval engineers. In order to avoid any error due to the lack of complete hull information, we introduced the concept of ‘relative safety’, which was defined as the relative superiority in safety compared to other hull forms. For this purpose, 12 different hull forms with the same displacement were generated systemically by varying principal dimensions of the Ark. The concept of relative safety of a ship has been introduced by several researchers, such as Comstock and Keane,2 Hosoka et al.,3Bales4 and Hong et al.,5 to analyze the seakeeping quality. In this paper, we extend the relative safety concept for the seakeeping quality to the concept of total safety, including structural and overturning safety.
An index for structural safety was obtained by assessing the required thickness of the midship for each hull form to endure the vertical bending moment imposed by waves. An index for overturning stability was obtained by assessing the restoring moment of the ship up to the flooding angle. An index for seakeeping quality was obtained by assessing six degrees of freedom of ship motions and related accelerations due to wave motion. Finally the total safety index was defined as a weighted average of the three indices.
Ship motions and wave loads for the analysis were predicted by using a strip method developed by Salvesen, Tuck and Faltinsen.6 Model tests using 1/50 scaled models of a prototype were performed for three typical hull forms in the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Engineering’s (KRISO’s) large towing tank, with a wave generating system in order to validate the theoretical analysis.

Hull Form and its Characteristics

Principle dimension
According to the Bible (Genesis 6:15), the length of the Ark was 300 cubits, the breadth of it was 50 cubits, and the height of it was 30 cubits. A cubit is known to be the distance between a man’s elbow and finger-tip. To decide the actual size of the Ark, a cubit had to be defined in terms of a modern unit. Scott7 collected the existing data about cubits around the Middle East area, and we adopted the common cubit (1 cubit = 17.5 inches) to approximate the size of the Ark. In modern units, the Ark was approximately 135m long, 22.5m wide and 13.5m high.
Hull form
Figure 1.
Figure 1. View of the proposed hull form of the Ark.
Little is known about the shape and form of the Ark’s hull. However, several explorers have each claimed that they have discovered the remains of the Ark at some sites on Mt. Ararat.8 Based on their arguments and references,9 we estimated the form of the Ark’s hull as that of a barge-type ship. In Figure 1, the shape of the Ark provided by KACR (Korea Association of Creation Research) is depicted, but it is slightly modified in the bilge radius, the dead rise, and the camber of the upper deck for the present investigation.
Draft and center of gravity
The draft of a ship, that is, the height of submergence, determines the displaced volume of the ship and the cargo capacity; No special mention about the draft is found in the Bible, but Genesis 7:20 reads, ‘The water prevailed 15 cubits higher; and the mountains were covered’, which implies that the draft could be assumed to have been half the depth of the Ark (30 cubits). With this assumed draft, the displaced tonnage of the Ark would have been
where the density of the water displaced is taken to be that of sea water, namely, 1.025 (tonnes per cubic metre).
The centre of gravity was the most important parameter that determined the safety of the ship. The longitudinal centre of gravity was taken quite naturally to be located at the midship. The vertical centre of gravity KG was determined by the way we distributed the cargo weight. Two possible loading distributions were considered. The first case assumed the cargo was loaded equally over three decks, and the second case assumed the cargo was loaded according to the ratio of 2:2:1 from the lowest deck upwards. The cargo weight was determined by subtracting the lightweight from the displaced tonnage. The lightweight, the weight of the bare hull, was estimated under the assumption that the longitudinal strength members took 70% of the deadweight, and the thickness of them all was 30 cm. Assuming the specific gravity of the wood was 0.6 (tonnes per cubic metre) gave a lightweight (bare hull weight) estimate of about 4,000 tonnes, and the cargo weight then became 17,016 tonnes.
For each loading case, the vertical centre of gravity KG was estimated by calculating the mass centre. Thus we found that KG1 = 4.93 m for the first case, and KG2 = 4.21 m for the second case. By assuming the actual loading condition was in between these two cases, KG was decided to have been
The mass moments of inertia played an important role in determining rotational motions. They were determined according to the weight distribution. Since there was no specific information about them, we adopted the widely used approximation for conventional ships.
Comparative hull forms
In order to apply the relative safety concept, 12 different hull forms of barge-type were generated by varying principal dimensions while keeping the displaced volume constant. Table 1 lists the principal dimensions of the comparative hull forms.
Ship No.Length (L)Beam (B)Depth (D)
0 (Ark)Lo = 135mBo = 22.5mDo = 13.5m
Table 1. Principal dimensions of comparative hull forms.

Seakeeping Performance

Evaluation items and conditions
Behavior of a ship in a seaway depends mainly on the wave height, wave direction and ship speed. The Ark was supposed to have drifted at a very low speed, implying the effect of speed was negligible.
To evaluate the seakeeping performance, the related items should be selected based on the type of ship. Since the Ark had a barge-type hull form and the speed was nearly zero, the following seakeeping items were investigated:
(4)vertical acceleration at FP (Forward Perpendicular, defined as the foremost location of the loading waterline near the bow), aVFP,
(5)deckwetting frequency at FP, Nw,
(6)slamming frequency at ST 3/20 (Station Number, defined as the normalized distance FP by ship length; here the location is 3/20 of the ship length away from FP), MVBM,
(7)vertical acceleration at the bridge, aVBR, and
(8)lateral acceleration at the bridge, aHBR.
Here the bridge was assumed to be located at midship and D/4 above the waterline.
Method of evaluation
A widely used strip method10 for ship motion analysis in regular waves was applied to evaluate the seakeeping items. The response in an irregular seaway was estimated by linearly superposing the regular wave response under the assumption that the wave and ship response follow Rayleigh’s distribution.
When a ship advances with constant speed and constant heading angle in regular waves, the ship motion can be estimated in the form of the response amplitude operator Rx(w) by a strip method which assumes small amplitude motion. Ship response in irregular waves for a given sea state is predicted by linearly superposing the regular wave response. The ship response energy spectrum in irregular waves Sxx(w) is estimated by
where S(w) is the wave energy spectrum.
By integrating Sxx(w) for all frequency components, we obtain the rms (root mean square) ship response in irregular waves.
In order to estimate the frequency of deckwetting and slamming, relative vertical motions at FP and at ST 3/20 need to be calculated from heave, pitch and roll responses
Here x, y are the longitudinal and transverse coordinates and X3, X4, X5 are the heave, roll and pitch displacements respectively. Following Ochi’s11 formula the number of deckwettings per hour Nw and that of the slammings per hour Ns. are given as
where Trz. is the zero-upcrossing period of relative vertical motion, F is the effective free-board at the deck, d is the effective draft, mor is the area of spectrum of relative vertical motion, morv is the area of spectrum of relative vertical velocity, and Vcr is the threshold velocity for slamming.
Responses for vertical and lateral accelerations (aV, aH) are calculated from the heave, roll, pitch and yaw responses, such that
On the other hand, model tests were performed to confirm the reliability of the analytical calculation of the behaviour of ships in waves for three typical hull forms (#0, #10 and #12). Good agreement was obtained for all motions except roll motion, which usually showed strong nonlinear behaviour due to viscous damping. This discrepancy in roll motion would not have created serious problems, since in this research we put stress on the relative safety concept.
Seakeeping safety index
The calculated ship responses in irregular seaways were arranged for each sea state (that is, wave height). For each evaluated item, a safety index was defined, such that it was 0 for the safest case and 1 for the most dangerous case, that is
where  was the safety index for jth item of ship i. This safety index depended on the wave directions, as well as on the wave heights. Since the waves came from all directions with the same probability, we defined another safety index , which was given by taking the average of the safety indices for each wave direction.
The total seakeeping safety index was defined then as the weighted average of eight safety indices as where Wj were the weighting factors for each item. In this case, we took Wj as 1/8, meaning that no weighting was considered.
In Table 2, the total seakeeping safety indices, together with each item’s index, are listed for the sea state with a wave height of 11 metres.
Ship No.Si(wave)HeaveRollPitchaVFPaVBRaHBRNwMVBM
Table 2. Seakeeping safety indices for a wave height H1/3 = 11 metres (safest = 0, least safe = 1). See text for definitions of indices. Si(wave) is the total seekeeping safety index.

Structural Safety

Since little information on the internal structures of the Ark are known, we made the following estimation from the viewpoint of modern shipbuilding technology, although we assume that the Ark was in fact built using relatively ancient technology.
At that time, trees might have grown taller than 10 metres, and their diameters may have been larger than 1 metre as a result of the presumed more favourable natural environment. A tree could have weighed about 5 tonnes. About 800 trees might thus have been required to build the Ark, if the wood weight of the Ark were about 4,000 tonnes.
The Ark may well have been constructed by joint structures of frames and plates. The frame structure of thick beams (50cm x 50cm) could have been installed in longitudinal, transverse and diagonal directions, and connected to each other at each end. The plate structure may have been attached to the frame structure to make the shell, deck and compartments using thick boards (30cm).
Taking into account these suggested details, structural designs only for the longitudinal members were carried out using the method of wave load analysis. Also, the suggested construction method was visualized with the aid of the pre-processor portion of the ANSYS programme. Finally, the structural safety index of the Ark was obtained by comparing the required wood volume for the 13 hull forms.
The structural design of longitudinal members
The longitudinal members are usually designed in accordance with the classification rules (of the IACS) or by the wave load analysis method, which we have adopted in this paper. The thickness of the longitudinal members was thus calculated in accordance with the hull section modulus, which can be obtained as follows:
where Za is the hull sectional modulus, Mw is the wave bending moment, and sa is the allowable stress.
The structural analysis of the Ark
The suggested construction method was visualized by using the ANSYS pre-processor (PREP7). The basic construction of the Ark was by use of frame and plate structures (see Figure 2). The frame structure was made longitudinal, the transverse and diagonal directions being fixed to each other. The plate structure was then attached to the frame structure.
Figure 2.
Figure 2. The frame and plate structure of the Ark.
The structural analysis of the Ark was carried out by using the ANSYS solver for the suggested structure. The frame structure was modelled to the truss elements and the plate structure was modelled to the membrane elements. The static load, the dynamic wave load and the cargo load were considered as the loading conditions.
The distribution of the equivalent stress obtained by the stress analysis is shown in Figure 3. Because the maximum stress was smaller than the allowable stress, the Ark could be said to have had safe structural performance.
Figure 3.
Figure 3. The distribution of the equivalent stress of the Ark.
Structural safety index
The structural safety indices of the Ark were obtained by comparing the required wood volumes for the various hull forms. The structural safety index (SSI) was defined by normalizing the required wood volume, using the maximum and minimum required wood volume, using the maximum and minimum required wood volumes as follows:
where V is the required wood volume for each hull form.
The structural indices for the severe condition (11 metre wave height and 180 entrance angle) are shown in Figure 4, which indicates that the structural safety indices were most sensitive to the variation of ship length and ship depth. The Ark’s index (OR) was small, so that it had high structural safety.
Figure 4.
Figure 4. Comparison of the structural safety indices for a wave height H1/3 = 11 metres (safest = 0, least safe = 1)

Overturning Stability

Restoring arm
Overturning stability of a ship is determined by the ability of restoring it to its upright position against inclining moment induced by winds, waves and currents. Restoring moment occurs by the action of buoyancy. When a ship heels, the center of buoyancy B moves away from the centre-plane, and hence it creates restoring moment around the centre of gravity G.
The magnitude of this restoring moment is dependent on GZ, which is called the restoring arm. GZ is a function of the heel angle f, as well as ship geometry. This curve is called the restoring arm, which determines the overall overturning stability.
Since all hull forms in this study had a rectangular cross section, the GZ curve could be determined analytically by examining the movement of B as a function of the heel angle f as follows:
Here KB is the height of B, d0, is the draft, and B0 is the beam.
Overturning stability index
The relative safety in overturning moment can be determined by comparing the ability of absorbing overturning energy, which is defined as the area under the restoring arm curve, from zero heel angle to its limiting angle over which flooding occurs into the vessel. In this research, we defined the limiting heel angle flim as the heeling angle when the corner of the roof was flooded.
In Table 3, the limiting heel angle, the area up to the limiting heel angle AR, and the overturning stability index from AR are given for 13 hull forms.
In the ship classification rules, a ship should satisfy two kinds of stability criteria: GM for small heel angle, and dynamic stability. We applied the ABS (American Bureau of Shipping)’s rule to all 13 hull forms. The results showed that all hull forms except hull #1 sufficiently satisfied all the requirements. It should be especially noted that the Ark was 13 times more stable than the standard for safety required by the ABS rule.
Ship No.flim (degree)AR (m.rad)Safety Index
Table 3. Results of overturning stability calculations (safest = 0, least safe = 1). See text for definitions of indices.

Voyage Limit of the Ark

Although the information about the Ark is not enough to precisely predict the maximum wave height it could have navigated, we could roughly infer it from comparing the estimated ship responses to a modern passenger ship’s safety criteria.
Figure 5 shows the calculated vertical accelerations at FP for several hull forms including the Ark (ARK-0). If we apply the vertical acceleration criteria at FP for a passenger ship as 0.34g significant value, then the voyage limit of the Ark becomes 43 metres, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5.
Figure 5. Comparison of the structural safety indices for a wave height H1/3 = 11 metres (safest = 0, least safe = 1)
Similarly, from the results of roll response as shown in Figure 6, we can conclude that flooding of the Ark would not have occurred until the waves became 47.5m high, when the limiting heeling angle was 31o.
Figure 6.
Figure 6. Voyage limit based on roll limit angle.
To calculate the voyage limit from the structure viewpoint, the required thickness of the wood was plotted for varying wave heights (see Figure 7). This showed that the Ark’s voyage limit was more than 30 metres if the thickness of the wood was 30 cm, which was quite a reasonable assumption.
Figure 7.
Figure 7. Voyage limit based on structural safety.

Discussion and Conclusion

Since all the hull forms except hull #1 had sufficient overturning stability compared to ABS’s criteria, we derived the first total safety index as the average of the indices of seakeeping safety and structure safety (see Figure 8). This revealed that the Ark had the second best hull design, with the best hull design in this case being hull #1, which had the worst overturning stability.
Figure 8.
Figure 8. Total safety index Case 1.
When we took the weighted average including overturning stability, such as seakeeping safety 4, structural safety 4 and overturning safety 2, we derived the total safety index as shown in Figure 9. These results also showed that the Ark had superior safety compared to the other hull forms.
Figure 9.
Figure 9. Total safety index Case 2.
In conclusion, the Ark as a drifting ship, is thus believed to have had a reasonable-beam-draft ratio for the safety of the hull, crew and cargo in the high winds and waves imposed on it by the Genesis Flood.
The voyage limit of the Ark, estimated from modern passenger ships’ criteria reveals that it could have navigated sea conditions with waves higher than 30 metres.


This work was fully supported by the Korea Association of Creation Research.
S.W. Hong, S. S. Na, B. S. Hyun, S. Y. Hong, D. S. Gong, K. J. Kang, S. H. Suh, K. H. Lee and Y. G. Je are all on the staff of the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Engineering, Taejon. This paper was originally published in Korean and English in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Creation Research, Korea Association of Creation Research, Taejon, 1993, pp. 105–137. This English translation is published with the permission of the Korea Association of Creation Research and the authors.

Related Articles


  1. New American Standard Bible, The Lockman Foundation, 1960.
  2. Comstock, E.N. and Keane, R.G., 1980. Seakeeping by design. Naval Engineer’s Journal 92(2).
  3. Hosoda, R., Kunitake, Y., H. and Nakamura, H., 1983. A method of evaluation of seakeeping performance in ship design based on mission effectiveness concept. PRADS 83, Second International Symposium, Tokyo and Seoul.
  4. Bales, N.K., 1980. Optimizing the seakeeping performance of destroyer type hulls, 13th ONR.
  5. Hong, S.W. et al., 1990. Safety evaluation of ships for the improvement of port control regulation. Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering Report, BS1783-1364D.
  6. Salvesan, N., Tuck, E.O. and Faltisen, O. 1970. On the motion of ships in confused seas. Transactions of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers,78.
  7. Scott, R. B. Y., 1959. Weights and measures of the Bible. The Archaeologist, XXII(2).
  8. Cummings, V. M., 1982. Has Anybody Really Seen Noah’s Ark?, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  9. Morris, J. D., 1988. Noah’s Ark and the Lost World, Creation-Life Publishers, San Diego, California.
  10. Salvesan, Tuck and Faltinsen, Ref. 6.
  11. Ochi, M. K., 1964. Prediction of occurence and severity of ship slamming at sea. Fifth Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, Bergen.

If you made it this far, congratulations!!! There is MUCH more evidence supporting the reliability dimensions of the Ark, both for seaworthiness and also being capable of carrying all the needed birds and land-dwelling vertebrates that God brought to Noah. But then, since the Ark was designed by God, of course it would be perfect for the job! 

The Bible does compare the Ark as the salvation of Noah's family and the animals with them and Jesus Christ, the Messiah Who offers you safe passage from this world to the next.   To trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior makes you a child of God, with a relationship with the Creator now and an eternal future of peace and joy that is everlasting.  Jesus Christ is the way, He is the door to knowing truth and being changed from the inside out.   I need God to forgive me every day but I also know that He knows every thought and deed.   He cleanses me and forgives me and I keep looking ahead seeking to take each step in the right direction.  I am not even close to perfect, but I am forgiven and loved.

  Thank you, Lord, for being patient with me!!!

                           Fishing with Moses