One of the greatest questions of all time is: How many animals were on Noah’s Ark? We’ve seen a few articles on this by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.
Back in 2012, ol’ Hambo wrote How Many Kinds?, in which he said:
The scholars doing the research for this project are predicting from their research on living and fossil mammal, amphibian, reptile, and bird kinds that there may have been as few as 1,000 land animal kind represented on the Ark. As there were two of each kind (and seven of some — the clean animals), that would mean somewhere from 2,000–3,000 actual land animals were needed on the Ark.
That figure has been revised from time to time. Two years ago when we wrote Ken Ham: The Biology of Noah’s Ark, ol’ Hambo’s estimate was 2,000 animal “kinds” on the Ark, which means at least 4,000 animals. Don’t forget that Noah was commanded to bring seven pairs of “clean” animals.
The numbers are changing again. A few days ago, Hambo posted this at Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Get Answers to Animals on the Ark. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
How many animals did Noah need to take with him on the Ark? Many people (like Bill Nye “The Science Guy” during his debate with me in 2014) believe that since there are millions of species on earth today, Noah needed to take two of each of the millions of species on the Ark with him. Because they think there’s no way Noah could have fit that many animals on the Ark, they conclude that the “story” of Noah and the Ark is just a fairytale.
Yeah, well, what does Bill Nye know? He knows nothing compared to Hambo, who says:
But Noah didn’t need to take millions of animals on the Ark with him. Estimates of how many animals Noah needed on the Ark have “evolved” over the years as more research is done from a best-case scenario of about 2,000 animals to a worst-case scenario of about 16,000. But if there are millions of species, where do these seemingly low numbers come from? Well, consider a few clues Scripture gives us about what animals were on the Ark.
Hambo gives us three clues from scripture. Here’s the first:
1. Land animals were only required to go on the Ark, not sea creatures, dramatically reducing the number of animals on the Ark.
Yeah — no problem for fresh-water fish. They survived — somehow. This is the next clue:
2. Kinds — not species — were told to go on the Ark. The biblical term kind is different from our modern species with the defining factor being the ability to breed. If two organisms can breed (such as tigers, lions, and cougars), they must be in the same kind (though some animals in the same kind have lost the ability to breed due to mutations and other factors). According to research, kind is about on the level of family in our classification system used today, in the majority of cases.
That’s an important clue! And this is the third:
3. Insects don’t breathe through their nostrils, so Noah probably didn’t take them on the Ark (intentionally at least — though if he did, because they are so small, the insect kinds would have easily fit on the Ark).
Yeah, all insects can survive a year in the water. What does Hambo conclude from those clues? He tells us:
Taking all of this into consideration, research estimates show that about 1,400 kinds were taken on the Ark.
First it was 1,000 kinds. Then it was 2,000. Now it’s 1,400. This is a real test of our faith in creation science. Hambo concludes with this:
That’s only about 6,700 individual animals (remember, the clean animals came in pairs of sevens) — and that’s a generous number that will likely go down further as more research is conducted on which organisms belong to which kinds. In fact, it’s possible it could be as low as around 1,000 kinds.
According to Hambo, there was no problem getting 6,700 animals on the Ark. Although back when the estimate was “somewhere from 2,000–3,000 actual land animals” we posted How Horrible Was Life Aboard Noah’s Ark?, comparing the Ark to a transatlantic slave ship. The Ark was ten times worse.
And then there’s the problem of incredibly rapid speciation after the Ark landed — plus the problem of how those animals dispersed all over the world. Our favorite mystery is how the three-toed sloth migrated to South America. More problems are mentioned in this blog’s all-time most popular post — with over 38,000 hits: Top Ten Reasons Noah’s Flood is Mythology.
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