Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How did all the animals fit on the ark?

        A common, controversial topic between Creationists and Evolutionists is the topic of Noah’s ark and how all the animals fit on it.
Let us start with the Bible and examine what God told Noah His design for the ark was in Genesis 6:14. "So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: the ark is to be four hundred and fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide and forty-five feet high. Make a roof for it and finish the ark within eighteen inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks."
All right, starting with the beginning of the verse let us begin to pull it apart and try to figure out what God had in mind. "So make yourself an ark of cypress…" Why did God choose cypress as the wood to make the ark? Well, there are a couple reasons. First, "cypress wood produces an oil called cypressine which acts as a natural preservative within the wood. This inherent characteristic makes it durable and extremely resistant to harsh weather conditions, insects and fungus." (1) I would say, God chose a very good tree. This wood was going to be in the water for forty days and nights in hard weather conditions. This wood has its own natural preservative that will make it last for a very long time even under severe weather conditions. Also, insects always come with animals and food. This tree’s oil would help preserve itself against insects that would want to boor into it, possibly creating small leaks. Lastly, the issue of fungus, inevitably fungus is created when water is in close proximity with anything. Fungus grows very well in wet areas. This tree’s cypressine would have increased the arks protection from many things.
One of the other benefits of cypress is its lightweight. This made the ark easier for the men to build and made the ark lighter than using other kinds of wood.
 The next part in the verse says, "..make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out." "..make rooms in it." Obviously God wanted lots of places for the animals to be. Separating the small animals from large animals, shy, quiet ones from the loud and outgoing ones would make sense. Animals vary greatly in temperament and instincts. They are more content in different environments and if they are content then they are easier to take care of. Now, I am not saying that was why God wanted rooms, I just believe that these could have been some of the reasons. The second part of this section looks at the pitch. "..coat it with pitch inside and out." Pitch is a natural waterproofing agent that was often used in ancient times. To coat it on the inside and out made sure that the boat would stay watertight.

Found on Answers in Genesis

Now that we have gone over the materials needed to make the ark, let us look at the size of it. "This is how you are to build it: the ark is to be four hundred and fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide and forty-five feet high." The size of this ark is incredible. An average American football field is only three hundred and sixty feet long. We are talking another ninety feet to equal the ark! The largest state capital building in the Country is the Louisiana State Capital which stands four hundred and fifty feet high. This building has thirty-four floors. Thirty-four floors! Imagine this building on its side and it would equal the ark. Imagine how many rooms each floor on the ark could have! The height of the ark was forty-five feet. Imagine a house that was forty-five feet high. You would have enough room to make four, ten foot high floors and still have five feet left over. There was plenty of headroom for even the tallest animals; a full grown, male giraffe only stands sixteen to twenty feet high. The largest land animal in today’s world is the African Elephant which stands somewhere around ten feet.
Now the next big question; what about the dinosaurs? Well, first of all the "largest animals were probably represented by ‘teenage’ or even younger specimens." (2) Noah was only taking two of each kind of animal. God new that the animals who would be on the ark would be the original animals and all others in the future would be descendents of them. So it would make sense to take younger ones that would live longer on the new earth and be able to produce more offspring. As far as the dinosaurs go, "the eggs of the largest dinosaurs were no bigger than a football, so all young dinosaurs were quite small." (3)
Again you have to remember that God said to take two of each "kind". A "kind" is another word for species except not as broad as the word species. For example, the horse, zebra and donkey are all in the same species category. Noah however, only required two equine, two of its kind, so that all the different equines to come would be descendents of them.
To put the size of the ark into perspective it was the "equivalent volume of five hundred and twenty-two standard railroad cars, each of which can hold two hundred and forty sheep." (4) This ark was massive!
How did they store all the food and water needed for all the animals though? The most likely conclusion is that they used dried, compressed or concentrated foods or grains. This would take up much less room than fresh food. The water supply would not have had to been gathered and stored on the ark before the flood if Noah and his sons had put pipes that would collect the fresh water from the rain outside the ark day after day. Again more room is made if water did not have to be stored. Another way they could have made more space is the stacking of cages on top of each other. The cages themselves having plenty of room but putting another on top would save space for storing food for the animals in different places all over the ark.
In conclusion, this ark could easily store enough food for the animals and keep all the animals comfortable for the amount of time God kept them in the ark. I had never really studied the ark, but had accepted it as a truth because the Bible said so. However, how all the animals had fit on there sometimes raised questions. God truly did create an ark that was perfect for the animals and the people. The wood chosen was right because of its natural oil and light weight. The pitch made it waterproof. The immense size gave ample room for every living creature and the room needed to store the food. Even if they had to store water on the ark instead of collecting it each day, there still would be enough room.
I have learned a lot and found it very interesting. God’s Word always comes through strong and firm after it has past through a test. No matter how hard it is pressed to squeeze out some inaccuracy or contradiction, it always comes through solid and truthful.
 For those of you don't know, a real, to scale, Noah's Ark is being built in Kentucky, USA!!!!!  If you would like to check out the "Ark Encounter" and see what you can do to help click here.  It will be an amazing park to visit when they are done and an incredible impact on the community, country and the world!

Found on Ark Encounter

1. www.cedarwoodfurniture.com/cedarfacts.html
2. The Revised & Expanded Answers Book
3. Ibid
4. Ibid
Scripture usage is from the King James Version

A few years ago I had to do some research on this topic and then write a  report for one of my apologetics classes.  It was a subject that was fascinating to research and I thought some of you may enjoy it. =)

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