This is your lucky day, dear reader. As our title promises, we are bringing you two — yes, two! — news items about Noah’s Ark.
First, at PhysOrg, we read Sloth truly deserves its name, biologists say. They say, embellished with our bold font:
Imagine a creature so slothful that it snacks off its own fur and budges only once a week for a bowel movement. Well, there is one, say scientists, and it is a type of sloth.
Got your attention, didn’t we? But wait — there’s more:
Having carefully studied the full extent of the animal’s idleness, a team of biologists revealed Wednesday that the sloth truly deserves its adjectival name. The three-toed variety in particular has perfected the art of inertia through a carefully choreographed slowdance with a particular species of moth. The sloths dwell in the forest canopy, where they live mainly on tree leaves.
According to Wikipedia, the three-toed sloth lives in South and Central America. They also say: “Famously slow-moving, the sloth travels at an average speed of 0.24 kilometres per hour (0.15 mph).” Those are important details, and we’ll return to them later. Meanwhile, back to PhysOrg:
Once a week, however, the animal will descend from its tree to defecate on the ground — a risky endeavour that makes it vulnerable to predators, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Egad! The sloth actually risks its life in order to defecate. After a week, who wouldn’t? Here’s a link to that paper: A syndrome of mutualism reinforces the lifestyle of a sloth, but you’ll need a subscription to read more than the abstract. One more excerpt from PhysOrg:
When the sloth descends, the scientists found, the moths that live in its fur lay their eggs in its dung, where the larvae develop before emerging as adults and flying up into the tree to join the rest of the colony in the languid animal’s coat. The moths act as a type of fertiliser and boost nitrogen levels in sloth fur, which in turn boosts algae growth. The source could be tiny amounts of dung that are brought up from by the ground by the insects.
The sloth’s individual hairs have cracks that fill with rainwater in which algae grow hydroponically. This creates algae-gardens that sloths consume to augment their limited, leaf-based diet, said the researchers.
Admirably efficient — a wondrous animal indeed! What does this have to do with Noah’s Ark? When we consider the sloth’s sluggish ways, and where it lives, we’re reminded of a question we asked some time ago — how did the three-toed sloth migrate to South America from the Ark’s landing site in the Mountains of Ararat?
While you’re pondering that, we turn to our second Ark story. This one comes from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG). Their new post is Putting the Ark into Perspective. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The Bible tells us Noah’s Ark was 300 cubits long (Genesis 6:15). Several months ago in this column, we discussed the various cubits of ancient times and their lengths. Here at AiG and the Ark Encounter, we’ve chosen to use the Nippur Cubit for the Ark we are building. At 20.4 inches, this works out to be just over 1.70 feet per cubit, making the Ark about 510 feet long.
Wowie — 510 feet long! But AIG isn’t content merely to give you that information. No, they want to make sure that you fully understand it. They say:
Let’s visualize how long this actually is by comparing it to items we are familiar seeing.
To help their regular readers visualize the size of the Ark, AIG then gives no less than eight examples, such as:
• It would take nearly one and a half football fields to equal the Ark’s length.
• To float the Ark in an Olympic size swimming pool, you’d need to line up three of these large pools.
• Noah’s Ark was a bit longer than twelve, forty-foot telephone poles laid end to end.
After reviewing all eight of the examples they’re given, AIG’s dim-witted readers may have some grasp of the Ark’s size. Inspired, perhaps, by what we just learned about the sloth, we thought of another helpful example: A typical toilet seat is 14 inches wide. You would need 437 toilet seats, side-by-side, to equal the length of Noah’s Ark. Imagine that!
No doubt you, dear reader, can think of even better examples. Then AIG tells us:
You won’t believe your eyes when you see the finished Ark south of Cincinnati and take in how large this ship was!
We’ll believe it when we see it — if they ever build it. Then they make a pitch for money:
Help us build a full-scale Noah’s Ark! AiG’s part in the Ark Encounter project is raising $24.5 million in donations for an all-wood Ark, the centerpiece and first phase of the whole multi-attraction complex! A finished Ark will be a great testimony to the historicity of the Bible and will proclaim the gospel.
A worthy goal indeed! They close with a link to where you can make a contribution. Go ahead, help them out.
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