With Whatchamean?'s opening, I am pleased to finally start the debate on whether or not the story of Noah's Ark and the global deluge that the God of the Bible caused is even feasible or true as according to the "good book". I would like to thank screwtape for the patience on his part.
Your turn C.
Thank you very much Whatchamean?.
I don't have one problem with the way the Bible portrays this story.
Then hopefully the plethora of troubling and damning problems many people, both Christian and non-Christian, see regarding the entire flood story will be made out to you.
My opponent starts with the following:
And Noah was five hundred years old...(Gen.5:32)
The oldest recorded living human being ever was Jeanne Calment who lived to be around 122 years old. And this was in the "modern era". Humans back then and even today could not have reached such an impossible age, back then even more so due to the scarce knowledge of hygiene, diet and medicine all made more insignificant by unknown illnesses and ailments along with other dangers.
My opponent, Whatchamean?, could argue that God had a hand in extending or shortening the lives of mankind. He would be justified in doing so as God indeed did shorten the lives of humans in Genesis 6:3
Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with Man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."
But again, the oldest confirmed living human being ever was Jeanne Calment who surpassed God's bar of 120 years. So this line of argument can be cast out.
But let us assume for this debate that Noah did indeed get to 500 years of age by the start of the flood story.
What we then have here is a literal interpretation of Genesis where we must employ some basic arithmetic.
If Adam lived to be approximately 900 years old after 'year zero' when the Garden of Eden was created (in the first week
of the creation of Earth which was formless and full of darkness according to the Bible), then we can trace the age of the existence of Earth and life on it from him to Cain to Enoch and from Enoch to Abraham and from Abraham to David and from David to Jesus and from Jesus to present day.
What we then have here is roughly 6,000 to 12,000 years or so (if you wish to include the thinking that a day for God when he was creating stuff in Genesis is ~1,000 years) that accounts for the entire timeline of life on Earth and the Earth itself stretching back to when God supposedly made the stars, the sun, the moon and the oceans/lands for the planet.
However, accurate radiometric dating and other dating methods that have proven to be extremely reliable on part of geologists and other experts show the Earth to be approximately 4.5 billion years old.
Going back to the Genesis account of the global flood, Noah was 500 years old which would make the Earth obviously more than 1,000 years old but a few thousand years old regardless.
Evidence for a global deluge merely a few thousand years ago do not exist at all despite what Creationists or other flood advocates try to dig up.
I shall name just a few verified things that show there was no global flood:
Erosion, particularly glacial erosion, which features in geographical marks takes a long time, a time of millions of years. Furthermore the existence of multiple civilizations at the alleged time of the global floods, the diverse deposits of various minerals, the presence of clonal colonies that are tens of thousands of years old, (if not millions) the vast geological placement of millions of species, the presence of fossils along with the geological layers show no such catastrophic disturbance or injuries as to suggest that there was a worldwide flood a few thousand years ago.
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood....pitch it within and without with pitch.....The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. (Gen6:13-15) And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth....And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him
....In the six hundredth year of Noah's life...were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened....And the flood was forty days upon the earth...Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail and the mountains were covered....And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. (Gen.7:1-3,5,11,17,20,24) And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. (Gen.8:15-17)
At most you had a total of 8 people of working on the ark (a few more wives if you consider the fact that the Bible says Shem, Ham, and Japheth were born in the same year when Noah was 500 years old while not saying whether or not they were triplets, but for the sake of the debate we'll stick with eight). The 8 being: Noah, his wife, his sons and his sons' wives.
We are told that God commanded Noah and presumably seven other people to build an ark around 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high (from cubits) and pitch the entire thing. Pushing aside the problem of making such a large amount of pitch from wood while constructing such a colossal ship of gopher wood, you also have to consider the unspeakable amount of labor the same 8 people had to put in to gather (conservative numbers following) hundreds of thousands of species of every bird, animal and presumably plants, insects and other things that "creepeth".
With all due respect to my opponent, it is impossible
, both mathematically and logically impossible
that 8 people in the general Mesopotamia area could gather two of every species throughout the world we see today (because evolution could not possibly have worked in less than a few thousand years for such biodiversity) and put them into a wooden boat that's 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.
Moreover, the millions of species of fish we see today are both salt-water and fresh-water fish which means that such a worldwide flood would have undoubtedly killed a large number of them. Not only would have thousands of species of fish died but coral reefs (which are millions of years old) would have as well considering such a large flood that would cover "the mountains" (I'll take this to mean Mount Everest is included as well) would wreak havoc on the coral reefs and other ecological habitats.
Then even if you did somehow gather two of everything that creepeth (which are somehow either "clean" or "unclean") and shoved them Tetris-style into the ark, there is the problem of logistics. Noah would need to take care of all of these species with food (special foods for each distinct species) and take care of their needs such as cleaning them and shoveling out their feces while at the same time effectively separating species hostile to each other. All this and more for "150 days" (or "40 days") of pounding rain that covered Mount Everest.
Besides the logistics and the gathering two/seven of every species, you also need to take into consideration that the worldwide flood would have immediately killed all those on the ark due to the the significant decrease/increase in the levels of oxygen and other gases, never mind the fact that the inner decks and sections of the ark couldn't have circulated ventilation for the living beings inside it.
Moreover, even after they do survive and land on a mountain, how long will it take for the soil or land to become habitable or fertile? Implications of this would include Noah and his family having to continue taking care of all the species of Earth while waiting for the nutrients in soil to replenish so they can start farming and fend for themselves.
Also, HOW did the water recede? It just says it decreased after God "closed the windows of heaven". Is there a giant bath plug in Earth somewhere that we haven't found? Flood waters CANNOT recede if the ground beneath them are too wet. If the ground is too wet, then it CANNOT absorb water until it is dry again. And we are not talking about some local floods, we are talking about a GLOBAL flood that covers EVERY inch of the world while rainfall continues. At that rate, all that ground becomes too wet and the water stays on top for a VERY long time.As for the ark:
Caligula's Giant Ship was approximately 341 feet long and would have been incredibly unstable for waters. The USS Dunderbeg was 377 feet long
and is considered to be the longest wooden boat ever built. The USS Dunderberg was hardly stable and very barely could travel even WITH metal supports and no pitch. In naval architecture, such an unstable ship is considered a hazard for the crew and "miraculous", in the case of the Dunderberg, if it did not have an incident on its maiden voyage. Now take Noah's ark into account, which was allegedly 450 feet long, 73 feet longer than the unstable USS Dunderberg but was NOT supported by metal or any other state-of-the-art components.
Looking at Noah's Ark, what exactly IS gopher wood? No one knows. Regardless of what type of wood it was, Noah's ark could NOT have endured the heavy rain and the subsequently disturbing movements of the water even if it was pitched and made of "gopher wood". If such ships were stable in such scenarios, we would still be building destroyers and frigates out of wood. But they have proven not to be stable and so we rely on other materials for sturdier and bigger ships that can endure harsh weathers out at sea.
Again, if my opponent wishes to argue the involvement of God in the story of Noah's ark. That God provided EVERYTHING for Noah or that Noah had other unnamed helpers, or that the world was one continent, however it does not say any of this in the Bible, nor would there be any evidence even if such things were mentioned such as a one continent world that existed a few thousand years ago.
If my opponent wishes to argue that simply because the Bible does not mention God did not teleport animals (Gen. 6:20 does say that the creeping things did come unto Noah, but seemingly only by their abilities alone which would lead to the question of how penguins and others traveled) from all over the world to Noah or kept repleting food supplies aboard the ark but 'He' did, then there are a few reasons why this argument would fail:
A) It is not mentioned in the edited Bible that God helped Noah, if this is to be argued then I can argue that God actually ordered the serpent to test Adam and Eve simply because it is not in the Bible.
B) The Bible just says God commanded Noah to build the ark of gopher wood and to pitch it and gather animals and so on and so on. Nothing else. It does not say God provided for Noah or God helped Noah much like he did for others in the later stories of Moses, Aaron, Joshua and quite a few other people.
C) In fact, the Genesis account of the flood seems to have a God who only commands, leaves, acts and then comes back to check things out as 'He' remembers "Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark." (8:1) and THEN stops flooding the planet.
This is all I will offer for now.
I wait for your response.