Like their last post about the Ark, about which we wrote ICR: Noah’s Ark Was Easy To Build, this one is by John D. Morris, Ph.D., noted Ark hunter. He and ICR are described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. We’ll give you some excerpts from his latest article, with bold font added by us and ICR’s scripture links omitted:
Skeptics raise a serious objection to the Flood account given in Scripture: How could Noah’s Ark and its precious cargo survive the turmoil of the Flood? Wouldn’t it have sunk beneath the waves, sending its cargo to a watery grave?
That seems like a fair question. What’s ICR’s answer? Hang on, it’s coming:
Without a doubt, the Flood involved unimaginable forces and processes. Simultaneously, “the fountains of the great deep” broke open, and the resulting volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, asteroid impacts, colliding tsunamis, and underwater gravity slides all contributed a great tectonic convulsion that permanently altered the planet.
Some of the waves would have been hundreds of feet high and moved at near jet speed. Yet the Ark rode through this cataclysm safe and sound. How could it do so? Wouldn’t it have capsized? If it had, it would have spelled doom for all land-dwelling animals and the image of God in man. Satan would have won the war.
Remember those waves that “would have been hundreds of feet high” moving at near jet speed. We’ll come back to them later. Let’s read on:
So how could the Ark have survived? One important thing to remember is that the Ark was not designed to go anywhere. In fact, once the whole earth was flooded, there was nowhere to go. It only had to float and keep the occupants alive.
Nevertheless, it had to survive those huge, super-fast waves. ICR continues:
Obviously, the whole Flood account involves supernatural oversight. God was in full control. When we investigate how He exercised that control, we stand amazed.
That would certainly make a difference. But then, why bother to think about the Ark’s seaworthiness at all? With divine assistance, Noah, his family, and their raucous cargo could have survived on a big Persian rug. Here’s more:
Note the ratio of length to width of the Ark’s design: 300 cubits to 50 cubits, or approximately 450 feet long to 75 feet wide. This ratio of 6 to 1 is well known in naval design for optimum stability. Many modern naval engineers, when designing cargo ships to battleships, utilize this same basic design ratio.
We don’t know about such things, but let’s assume that the ratio was okay. Nevertheless, how about that length of 450 feet? Wouldja believe it — Wikipedia has this article: List of world’s largest wooden ships. According to that, the biggest wooden ships ever built were the Pretoria, 338 feet long, the Rochambeau, 337 feet long, and Caligula’s Giant Ship, 341 feet long. There’s also a poorly documented and highly disputed Chinese treasure ship said to be 416 feet long. The Ark, however, was bigger than all of them. Let’s continue with AIG’s article:
Several engineering studies of Ark models have compared the design, as given in Scripture, to several other potential design ratios and plans. The most elaborate and extensive comparison was carried out by the Korea Institute of Ship and Ocean Engineering. As in each of the studies, the Ark’s design was shown to be optimum for its task and circumstances.
ICR doesn’t provide a footnote or a link, so we looked around for that Korean study. There’s no organization by that name, at least not now, but ICR may be clumsily referring to the Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute. Their website is here, and by Googling around with their name and “Noah’s Ark” we found a reference to such a study, but no link to it. However, all is not lost. At Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis, they have what purports to be the text of that article: Safety Investigation of Noah’s Ark in a Seaway.
The Korean author makes a lot of assumptions, as he must because the scriptural details are so scanty. Here’s his conclusion:
In conclusion, the Ark as a drifting ship, is thus believed to have had a reasonable-beam-draft ratio for the safety of the hull, crew and cargo in the high winds and waves imposed on it by the Genesis Flood. The voyage limit of the Ark, estimated from modern passenger ships” criteria reveals that it could have navigated sea conditions with waves higher than 30 metres.
Note that reference to “waves higher than 30 metres.” That’s almost 100 feet high. Yet ICR, at the start of their article, says: “Some of the waves would have been hundreds of feet high and moved at near jet speed.” Somehow, we don’t think the Korean study is very helpful to ICR’s claim that the Ark could have survived. Well, there’s always the possibility of divine intervention.
We noted something else in the Korean study. The author says:
At that time, trees might have grown taller than 10 metres, and their diameters may have been larger than 1 metre as a result of the presumed more favourable natural environment. A tree could have weighed about 5 tonnes. About 800 trees might thus have been required to build the Ark, if the wood weight of the Ark were about 4,000 tonnes.
But in our earlier article to which we linked above (ICR: Noah’s Ark Was Easy To Build), using ICR’s own calculations about the volume of wood comprising the Ark, we computed:
Noah would have needed at least 3,000 big trees, or maybe 6,000 or 7,000 average trees.
So we have a few discrepancies. No matter. Here’s how ICR ends their little essay:
Scientific research confirms what the Bible says. The whole Flood account in Scripture has “the ring of truth” to it. Its Author evidently intended us to believe it.
Perhaps so. Who are we to argue with the prestigious Institute for Creation Research?
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