Our title got your attention, didn’t it? We will not disappoint you. Look what we found today at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). This is their new article: How Could Noah Fit the Animals on the Ark and Care for Them?
The author is John Woodmorappe, M.A. Geology, B.A. Biology. Here’s his biography page at AIG. We aren’t told where those degrees were awarded, or when. Wikipedia has an entry for John Woodmorappe — can there be more than one? — which says:
John Woodmorappe (born October 1954) is the pen name of of Jan Peczkis, an author who has published several articles and books with the creation science groups Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research. His main works are Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study and The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods. … Peczkis is a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools and taught science to grades four to seven at Budlong Elementary School in Chicago unti April 2006.
Quite a guy! We’ve written about his work before, for example: Life Aboard Noah’s Ark. Much of the information in Woodmorappe’s new article is mentioned in that earlier post, so we’ll skip most of it. But the Ark enthusiasts among you will want to study his article carefully. He begins by saying:
According to Scripture, Noah’s ark was a safe haven for representatives of all the kinds of air-breathing land animals and birds 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.
How wonderful! The whole year-long task could have been handled naturally. Woodmorappe’s article answers such questions as:
• How Did Noah Fit All the Animals on the Ark?
• What About the Dinosaurs? What did they eat?
• How Were the Animals Cared For?
• How Did the Animals Breathe?
• Didn’t the Ark-released Animals Eat Each Other?
• How Could Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Coexist in the Flood?
We’re going to let you read that information for yourselves. Your Curmudgeon will be true to the promise of our title and focus on the one question that we know is of greatest interest to all of you: What Did Noah and His Family Do with the Animal Waste? Here’s what Woodmorappe says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
As much as 12 U.S. tons (11 m. tons) of animal waste may have been produced daily.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Among the legendary twelve labours of Hercules was cleaning out the Augean stables. Wikipedia says: “These stables had not been cleaned in over 30 years, and over 1,000 cattle lived there.” Can your Curmudgeon compare Noah’s task to the one given to Hercules? Yes, because of our specialized talents, we are equal to the challenge.
Elsewhere in his article, Woodmorappe estimates that: “there were no more than 16,000 land animals and birds on the ark.” Assuming those were mostly land animals (how many “bird kinds” could there be?) then in the one year the Ark was afloat, the quantity of waste was almost 16 times what would have accumulated in the Augean stables in a year. The poop-production in two Ark-years would be roughly equal to the 30 years of accumulation that confronted Hercules in the Augean stables. But the Ark was afloat for only one year, which means that mucking out the Ark was only half as burdensome as the job assigned to Hercules. No problem! But Hercules had to divert two rivers to clean out the stables. How did Noah handle the job? Woodmorappe says:
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 rustic henhouses. 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.
See? Nothing to it. Let’s read on:
Alternatively, sloped floors in animal enclosures would have allowed the waste to flow into large central gutters and then into collection pits, allowing gravity to do most of the work. Noah’s family could have then dumped this overboard without an excessive expenditure of manpower.
Yes — hoisting a mere 12 tons of manure out of the collection pits in the bowels of the Ark every day was a simple task. Mrs. Noah could have handled it herself. But there were other problems associated with the animal waste. To present this coherently, we’re excerpting Woodmorappe’s paragraphs out of sequence:
The danger of toxic or explosive manure gases, such as methane, would be alleviated by the constant movement of the ark, which would have allowed manure gases to be constantly released. Second, methane, which is half the density of air, would quickly find its way out of the window of the ark. There is no reason to believe that the levels of these gases within the ark would have remotely approached hazardous levels.
Right — no problem. The Ark’s single window would have been more than sufficient for ventilation. The ambiance was probably quite pleasant. He continues:
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.
Noah and his family probably thought the Ark’s conditions were entirely agreeable — it may have seemed cozy! The section on Ark sanitation ends with this:
While the voyage of the ark may not have been comfortable or easy, it was certainly doable, even under such unprecedented circumstances.
It seems reasonable to us! We’re grateful to Woodmorappe. He has explained away what had been our biggest objection to the tale of Noah’s Ark.
See also: Waste Disposal on Noah’s Ark — Solved!
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