Life Aboard Noah’s Ark

ONCE MORE, dear reader, your Curmudgeon brings you the view from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of creationist wisdom. They’ve posted an article dealing with one of the greatest problems of all time: Caring for the Animals on the Ark.

At last, thanks to the tireless work of the creation scientists at AIG, all your questions will be answered. The author of this informative article is John Woodmorappe. We were actually impressed with an earlier article of his at the AIG website, about which we wrote here: Creationism and Tree Ring Chronology. Let’s see how he handles this one. We can only give you a few excerpts, but we’ll try to choose some of the best. The bold font was added by us:

According to Scripture, Noah’s Ark was a safe haven for representatives of all the kinds of air-breathing land animals that God created. While it is possible that God made miraculous provisions for the daily care of these animals, it is not necessary — or required by Scripture — to appeal to miracles. …. It turns out that a study of existing, low-tech animal care methods answers trivial objections to the Ark. In fact, many solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems are rather straightforward.

Interested? Of course you are. Let’s read on:

According to the Bible, the Ark had three decks (floors). It is not difficult to show that there was plenty of room for 16,000 animals (the maximum number of animals on the Ark, if the most liberal approach to counting animals is applied), assuming they required approximately the same floor space as animals in typical farm enclosures and laboratories. The vast majority of the creatures (birds, reptiles, and mammals) were small (the largest only a few hundred pounds of body weight). What’s more, many could have been housed in groups, which would have further reduced the required space.

Plenty of room for 16,000 animals! If they were in pairs, that’s only 8,000 species (or “kinds”). Also, the author doesn’t mention plants. But let’s not interrupt with trivial objections. We continue:

It is still necessary to take account of the floor spaces required by large animals, such as elephants and rhinos. But even these, collectively, do not require a large area because it is most likely that these animals were young, but not newborns. Even the largest dinosaurs were relatively small when only a few years old.

Those baby dinosaurs must have been cute! Here’s more:

Dinosaurs could have eaten basically the same foods as the other animals. The large sauropods could have eaten compressed hay, other dried plant material, seeds and grains, and the like. Carnivorous dinosaurs—if any were meat-eaters before the Flood—could have eaten dried meat, reconstituted dried meat, or slaughtered animals. Giant tortoises would have been ideal to use as food in this regard. They were large and needed little food to be maintained themselves.

He’s got it all figured out. No problems! Moving along:

Studies of nonmechanized animal care indicate that eight people could have fed and watered 16,000 creatures. The key is to avoid unnecessary walking around. As the old adage says, “Don’t work harder, work smarter.”

Therefore, Noah probably stored the food and water near each animal. Even better, drinking water could have been piped into troughs, just as the Chinese have used bamboo pipes for this purpose for thousands of years. The use of some sort of self-feeders, as is commonly done for birds, would have been relatively easy and probably essential.

Noah’s family were so well organized they probably had lots of leisure time. Another excerpt:

As much as 12 U.S. tons (11 m. tons) of animal waste may have been produced daily. The key to keeping the enclosures clean was to avoid the need for Noah and his family to do the work. The right systems could also prevent the need to change animal bedding. Noah could have accomplished this in several ways. One possibility would be to allow the waste to accumulate below the animals, much as we see in modern pet shops. In this regard, there could have been slatted floors, and animals could have trampled their waste into the pits below. Small animals, such as birds, could have multiple levels in their enclosures, and waste could have simply accumulated at the bottom of each.


Alternatively, sloped floors would have allowed the waste to flow into large central gutters. Noah’s family could have then dumped this overboard without an excessive expenditure of manpower.

Yes, but we wonder if Mrs. Noah complained when it was her turn to sweep the gutters. We’ll never know. On with the article:

The problem of manure odor may, at first thought, seem insurmountable. But we must remember that, throughout most of human history, humans lived together with their farm animals. Barns, separate from human living quarters, are a relatively recent development.

That’s enough to get you to click over to AIG to read it all. The author also has some interesting diagrams showing the layout of the Ark. He’s put a lot of work into this.

Darwin’s in big trouble now!

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9 responses to “Life Aboard Noah’s Ark

  1. 8000 kinds to the approximately 10 million species today in around 4500 years. Tell me again for whom evolution is religious belief?

  2. John Woodmoron wrote:

    Dinosaurs could have eaten basically the same foods as the other animals.

    I think a word or two is missing in this sentence: should it not be, “Dinosaurs could have eaten basically the same foods as [before]: the other animals.”

    But hang on — I thought the extinction of the dinosaurs by the Deluge was one of the key pieces of ‘evidence’ advanced by the Creationists?

  3. John Woodmoron also wrote:

    The problem of manure odor may, at first thought, seem insurmountable

    He has a valid point here — if he is referring (as he must be) to the difficulty one encounters in reading AiG, or Casey Luskin blogs, &c. &c.

  4. Great Claw says:

    I thought the extinction of the dinosaurs by the Deluge was one of the key pieces of ‘evidence’ advanced by the Creationists?

    Ah, my son … it’s a mystery!

  5. Pliny-the-in-Between

    Every time I have read something from answers in Genesis I come to one inescapable conclusion – this has to be satire.

  6. They only had air breathing land animals on board ?
    You don’t reckon the sea criters were upset by the influx of salt-water in the fresh water, or vice-versa?
    Did the birds just fly around for forty days and nights?

    BUT, I suppose, if he had chickens, the problem of dung disposal would not be an issue. They could’ve just eaten it, thereby solving the issue of their sustenance as well??

  7. Oh, I forgot.
    That ark had ONE window !

    And that one window was rather small. I wonder how all the land air breathers breathed.

  8. How did land species from the Americas and Australia and sundry islands here and there get to the ark?
    One “answer” is, of course, that it was all Pangea until the flood broke the land apart . . .