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Jason D. BrowningCopyright 19971 Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study Jason D. Browning B.S., M.S., Computer Science An Overview of Noah’s flood, and the ark.

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Presentation on theme: "Jason D. BrowningCopyright 19971 Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study Jason D. Browning B.S., M.S., Computer Science An Overview of Noah’s flood, and the ark."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study Jason D. Browning B.S., M.S., Computer Science An Overview of Noah’s flood, and the ark as described in the book by John Woodmorappe

2 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Introduction l The Book of Genesis describes how God destroyed the face of the earth through a year-long global flood, because of the “great wickedness” of the people l Noah and his family survived, along with representative animals, on a large boat (the ark) l Many regard this account as a myth, or as an exaggeration of an actual local flood event l Could Noah’s ark have occurred as described? »John Woodmorappe has performed a scientific study of the animal handling requirements of the ark and other issues and concludes that all potential problems have reasonable possible non-miraculous solutions

3 Jason D. BrowningCopyright The Genesis Flood Described in Genesis chapters 6-9 l 6:5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become l 6:6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth l 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. l 6:14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood l 6:17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. l 6:19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. l 6:21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.

4 Jason D. BrowningCopyright The Flood Events l Feb 10: Noah, his family, animals enter the ark l Feb 17: “All the springs of the great deep burst forth” and rain falls for 40 days and nights l Water floods the earth for 150 days l Jul 17: Ark comes to rest on the mountains of Ararat l Waters recede steadily l Oct 1: Tops of mountains become visible l Nov 9: Noah sends raven - returns; 7 more days dove brings olive leaf; 7 more days dove doesn’t return (Nov 23) l Jan 1: Water had dried up from the earth l Feb 27: The earth was completely dry and ark unloads

5 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Why Not a Local Flood? l Genesis 7:22 says “Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.” l Flood waters covered the tops of the mountains l Noah could have simply moved somewhere else l No need to save animals l God’s promise (Genesis 9:11b) “Never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth” »If this was a local flood, the promise has been broken many times!

6 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Physical Evidences for Noah’s Flood l Earth’s geologic features require a catastrophic explanation l Sedimentary rock formations (water deposited, e.g. sandstone) cover continent-sized regions l Large coal, oil, ore deposits are not forming today l Great fossil beds exist requiring rapid burial at massive scale l Mountains made of “ocean-bottom” rocks, ocean fossils on continent interior mountains, fossils of warm habitat plants/animals near the poles l Many exceptions to standard geologic column (e.g. out of order strata, different “age” fossils found together)

7 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Other Flood Evidences l “Origin of civilization” is near ark landing l Written history appears 5-6,000 years ago l Pottery, agriculture, domestication, metallurgy, cities date <11,000 years ago l Tree ring studies of oldest living trees (Bristlecone pines) date to 5,000 years ago l Population statistics suggest a thousands of years (vs. a million) population build up l Radiocarbon dating age distribution analysis shows large spike of death about 5,000 years ago

8 Jason D. BrowningCopyright C-14 Dating Study Results

9 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Ark Specifications Genesis 6:14-16: l 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high l Three decks l A door in the side l Ark “window” was continuous slot under the roof eaves, 18 inches high l Made out of “gopher” wood (teak or other hardened wood) l Sealed with “pitch” inside and out

10 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Who Was on the Ark? l Land mammals l Land reptiles l Terrestrial birds l Dinosaurs l Amphibians l Some animals now extinct l Eight people l Representative animals from each genus, not species l The genus is the smallest division of plants and animals that can be recognized without scientific study l Up to 16,000 animals (maybe as few as 2,000) l Large-sized were juveniles l Median size = a small rat l Only 11% larger than a sheep

11 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Animal Space, Food, Water Needs l Ark situation equivalent to intensive livestock confinement (not a zoo) »Temporary captivity, need only to survive in reasonable health l Animal housing: 46.8% of ark floor space »2.5 sq. meters for juvenile of largest animals l Food: 6-12% of interior ark volume »Compressed hay, dried fruit, meat, fish l Water: 9.4% of ark volume »Or could have collected rainwater

12 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Waste Management l 12 tons of wet excreta produced daily (12 cubic meters) - comparable to intensive poultry house l Animal enclosures designed to minimize cleaning »Sloped, non-bedded floors »Slatted floors with manure pits »Thick sanitary bedding with no excreta removal »Manure gutters (animals can’t turn around) l Use of biological pest control (ducks, cats, mongooses) l Vermicomposting (use of earthworms to biodegrade manure)

13 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Ark Inventory by Mass

14 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Gathering of Animals Wild Animals Tolerance to Captivity Filter Behavioral Filter Genetics Filter Noah’s Menagerie Divine Filter Ark Both Noah (Gen 6:19, 7:2) and God (Gen 6:20, 7:9, 7:15) were involved (reproduction of Figure 6 from book)

15 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Factors Lessening Difficulties of Gathering Animals l Antediluvian world was much different »(Possibly) Just one continent (Pangea) »Warm climate throughout due to “vapor canopy” (animals were more evenly distributed) l Animals did not fear humans (Gen 9:2) l Animals were originally vegetarians (Gen 1:30) l Migration instinct may have been introduced at this time (Gen 6:20) l Hibernation instinct may have been introduced at this time

16 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Other Alleged Ark Difficulties l Building a large wooden vessel l Care of the animals by eight people l Animals that eat fresh or live food, or have special diets l Animals that have differing climate needs l Heat buildup in the ark l Illumination in the ark l Violent flood waters, large waves (tsunamis)

17 Jason D. BrowningCopyright After the Flood l (Possible) Breakup of the unified landmass during the flood (catastrophic plate tectonics) (Gen 7:11) l Mountain ranges formed as plates collide l Removal of vapor canopy leads to introduction of varying climates and seasons (Gen 8:22) l People and animals given permission to eat meat (Gen 9:3) l Possibly no rain prior to the flood (as there we no rainbows, Gen 9:12-14) l An ice age caused by excess heat in the oceans and barren landmasses l Drastic climate changes lead to extinction of the dinosaurs and many other animals

18 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Recovery After the Flood l Survival of organisms outside the ark »Water salinity stratification allowed some fresh, brackish, and salt-water fish to survive »Large floating mats of vegetation »Seeds buried and re-exhumed by erosion, or floated l Food sources after the flood »Plants, seaweed, fungi, carrion, fish, insects, earthworms, rodents »Three months between first dry land and emergence of animals gives time for some plants to grow

19 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Recovery After the Flood l Repopulation of the world »Animals migrated from Ararat »Mountain landing: encouraged fragmentation of populations; offered varying ecological zones l Genetic diversity and speciation »Rapid post-flood speciation »Modern examples of single-pair founders »A single pair possesses most of the genetic diversity of the parent population

20 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Conclusions l There is physical and other evidence that a global flood has occurred about 5,000 years ago l It is feasible that a boat to carry about 16,000 animals of all genera could have been built, having adequate room for food and water, with the animals cared for by eight people l There are reasonable explanations for how the repopulation of the earth to produce what we see today might have taken place l God was involved, but continuous miracles were not necessary!

21 Jason D. BrowningCopyright Background l “Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study” by John Woodmorappe, published 1996 by Institute for Creation Research l Woodmorappe has a B.A. and M.A. in Geology, and a B.A. in Biology l Also wrote book “Studies in Flood Geology” See Woodmorappe web site ik/cyber/faqark.htm for additional information and ordering Also see the “Noah’s Ark Project” at oahs_ark


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