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Friday, October 04, 2013

Noah's ark - attempts to build replicas

National Public radio has posted a report on several attempts, some completed, some ongoing, to construct full-scale, or scale models, of Noah's ark. These are in at least three continents, and there is, or has been, more than one attempt in the U. S. I find the report fascinating. There are photos, and links to related matters.

One thing especially caught my eye. It is this, quoting one of the persons leading a replica attempt: "Not only are we thinking through the different kinds of animals represented onboard and how you deal with 12 million tons of waste every day . . ." Twelve million tons? A day? I have trouble imagining how and where that figure came from, if, indeed, the quotation is accurate.

The persons building the ark say that, according to the Bible, the ark was 300 by 50 by 30 cubits. (See Genesis 6) Let's say that a cubit is two feet, which is almost certainly an overestimate, and assume that the shape of the ark was a rectangular prism, that is, that it wasn't pointed on one end, and that the bottom was the same size as the top. Using those assumptions, the volume of the ark would be 300 x 2 x 50 x 2 x 30 x 2 = 3,600,000 cubic feet. If one-quarter of that volume was animals (which would mean that they were very closely packed -- don't forget that there would have had to have been food enough to be turned into waste, and that amount of food would have taken up a lot of room, plus air to breathe, cages, etc.), then there would have been 900,000 cubic feet of animals on the ark. I take that to be generous, for sure. But anyway. A cubic foot contains about 7.5 gallons, so I'll say 8. A gallon of water, and animals are about as dense as water -- most float, or at least don't sink easily -- weighs about 8 pounds. 900,000 x 8 x 8 = somewhat less than 58,000,000 pounds of animals. That's 29,000 tons. There's no way that 29,000 tons of animals could generate twelve million tons of waste per day. Either NPR has misquoted the individual, or the individual hasn't been thinking very carefully.

Here's information on claims that Noah's ark has been found. Here's a post on some questions about the flood.

Thanks for reading.


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