Hambo’s Ark — The Numbers Keep Changing

How many animals were on Noah’s Ark? Whatever the number was, they had to be fed and their waste had to be removed — every day for a year-long voyage. Back in 2013 we wrote Waste Disposal on Noah’s Ark. Using information from one of Hambo’s experts, we estimated that — not counting a few bird kinds — there were about 16,000 land animals on the ark.

In 2018 we wrote Ken Ham: How Many Animals on the Ark?, in which we discussed the changing numbers, and then we quoted ol’ Hambo himself saying:

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.

He finished that article saying:

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.

Somehow, the numbers have changed again. The latest numbers are found in this new article: How Did All the Land Animal Kinds Fit Inside the Ark?, which has no author’s by-line. It’s at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry:of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

There were two of some animal kinds; certain clean and winged creatures had seven or fourteen. Recent researchers, using broad parameters, estimated the Ark may have about 1,400 animal kinds, which results in close to 7,000 total animals. This number is almost certainly too high.

Too high? How do they know? The article says this:

Studies of non-mechanized animal care indicate that eight people could have fed and watered 16,000 creatures. [Wowie!] One key is to avoid unnecessary distance between the animals and their stored food and water. [Easy job!] 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.

But the Ark wasn’t built in China. Where did Noah get bamboo? Anyway, skipping a bit, the article ends like this:

These are just some of the questions that can be answered [answered!] at the Ark Encounter. Plan your trip [link omitted] to see for yourself!

Okay, dear reader, that’s the latest creation research. The next time someone asks you how many animals were on the Ark, what will your answer be?

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24 responses to “Hambo’s Ark — The Numbers Keep Changing

  1. Number of animals: zero animals and no boat.

  2. Formerly Holding The Line In Florida

    Wonder how the 8 people, assuming everyone pitched in, ejected the vast quantities of poop from the vessel? Wasn’t it raining like crazy for the time it was floating around? Wouldn’t it been rolling with the huge mega waves? Can’t you see old Noah running out the door to heave the Dino poop overboard! Inquiring minds want to know

  3. Robert van Bakel

    Bit off topic.
    I have heard no good answer(cause there isn’t one) to the problem of how fresh water fish, frogs and other fauna survived a global salt water flood!

  4. chris schilling

    SC points out, astutely enough:

    “But the Ark wasn’t built in China. Where did Noah get bamboo?”

    Allow me to present my theory, which is mine.

    The panda bears brought bamboo plants with them, when they ambled and frolicked their way from Sichuan province in China to the Ark. There was plenty of bamboo to go around, enough, in fact, to lay out an ingenious network of pipes to distribute water to the other 16,000 thirsty animals.

    Who laid the pipes? The pandas, it turns out. You may be surprised to learn they’re not animals at all, but rather clever men dressed up in bear suits — wonderful comedians and acrobats, highly skilled at pratfalls and tumbling, yes, but often these amazing performers also have degrees in engineering, or business, etc.

    Either that, or those pandas are equally adept at impersonating people pretending to be pandas…

  5. Well, Genesis says that the flood waters came from “the windows of Heaven” and “the springs of the great deep”. Nowhere does it say that these waters were fresh or salt, although it does say that it rained, and rainwater is fresh. The springs of the great deep could have been either or both. They could have been in the exact same proportions of fresh and salt as the water that is on Earth now. Why not? So freshwater and saltwater species could both have survived in the water of the Flood.

    But you don’t even need that. All you need is the sovereign power of God. Freshwater and saltwater species both survived because God said so. End of story. Nothing more required.

    And it is only fancypants lah-de-dah so-called “scholars” who ask what is this “great deep”, and why, if there are “windows” in Heaven, would water pour down if you opened them. And get from that to saying that these ideas describe a Universe where the Earth is a bubble in a limitless sea, with the sky a physical barrier above, and the land sort of floats on an infinite depth, all held up and apart by divine power. And where the people got told by their priests that they better hope that God (or the gods) kept on doing it, so keep them offerings coming in.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    I’m sure Hambo would say that water based animals had the created ability to live in salt or fresh water, but after the flood the de-volved (or whatever process) to be just fresh or salt water living. Information lost, you see, its perfectly logical … and totally unproven.

  7. “One key is to avoid unnecessary distance between the animals and their stored food and water.”
    Gotta love it how Ol’Hambo uses naturalism to fight evilutionism, which he despises ‘cuz naturalism.

  8. Eddie Janssen

    Why didnt God simply kill off everything and start a new creation week if he was so unhappy with his first attempt?
    (Without wasting too much time trying to eradicate tardigrades). It would be a lot more convincing than this rather far fetched story.

  9. Why did it take 3000 years or so for people to understand baraminology?

  10. Charley Horse X

    Noah’s god was just plain stupid. The Flood didn’t solve the problem. That god should of spent more time researching and developing a better plan. Encouraging humans to consume fossil fuels may be its plan now. Slow but sure to destroy all life. Obviously, Trump and ilk are the god’s agents.

  11. “they had to be fed and their waste had to be removed — every day for a year-long voyage”. No problem here at all. Although the Bible doesn’t explain how this was done, the experts at AIG know. “where did Noah get bamboo” This is obvious. The panda kinds brought them with them when they travelled cross country from china. Jeez. Do I have to explain everything to you guys.

  12. Is there any hint in the Bible, or tradition, for where Noah built or launched his Ark?

  13. If less than 20 000 animals landed from the ark around 2000 BC, how could there have been so many millions of different beasts, birds, insects, plants, etc., by the time of Jesus? Magical Evolution? (Perhaps animal species grow on trees, since the creationists’ model is an orchard.)

    [Dave Luckett:] “So freshwater and saltwater species could both have survived in the water of the Flood.”

    Even if fresh- and saltwater species could survive in brackish waters, they may have had some difficulties to do so in the Swirling Muds of the Flood.

  14. I don’t understand

    @TomS: “Why did it take 3000 years or so for people to understand baraminology?”
    Are there people right now who understand it? Is there something to understand?

  15. Michael Fugate

    The whole thing runs on the assertion that only the supernatural can produce novelty – which only works if one never defines novelty.

  16. So this is what is encompassed by “Creation research” that Hambo was bragging about in his recent rebuttal of “We believe in Dinosaurs”. If you look at three of Hambo’s hired PhD hired guns, none of them have been published in anything non-creationist (in other words legitimate) in more than a decade.

  17. As you imply Robert, they don’t really have to explain anything other than ‘it’s right there in Genesis’. However, they might try to argue that the vast salt waters and the vast freshwater flood waters made an interface that kept the two waters separate with the salt water creatures in one layer and the fresh in the other. And then magically, as the flood receded,each of the two waters ended up exactly where they were supposed to be along with their creatures. But again, why bother explaining anything when you can proclaim it.

  18. Robert van Bakel

    Thank you to Mr Luckett and Mr Swartzendruber, for giving me no answer at all. It’s what I expected;)

  19. One little difficulty with “it’s in the Book.”
    So much of Youg Earth Creationism is not in the Bible.
    Like “baraminology”. Nobody from the first readers of Genesis to well into the twentieth century thought of that. Explain that.

  20. There is nothing to explain. It’s a fine example of creacrap “science” making “progress”.

  21. Maybe my math’s off, but for eight people to work twelve hours a day doing nothing but feeding and watering 16,000 animals, you get about one-third of a second per animal. And Ken Ham thinks that’s plausible? I wonder if he has conducted any experiments or asked any zookeepers how much time it takes to feed and water one animal.

  22. @PaulD is dishonest:

    “I wonder if he has conducted any experiments or …..”
    No, you don’t wonder, just like you don’t wonder whether Mad Mike on his last flight has demonstrated that our Earth doesn’t have a curvature.

  23. However you do bring up an interesting talking point when “debating” creationists. I don’t know how large Ol’Hambo’s staff is, but I bet it’s a lot more than eight – just for the maintenance of a couple of plastic displays.

  24. @FrankB
    One more way that their construction of the thingie in Kentucky shows that there is no way that their reading of the Bible account (including their additions) would work.
    A ten-year old should be disappointed: that isn’t Noah’s Ark.
    I guess that this part of the training in the proper way of thinking. By the time one is an adult, one is accustomed to contrary evidence and reasons as being proof. Whatever the Bible actually says is irrelevant to what they believe: it’s in the book.