Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 17 October 2003
For years young-earth creationists have pointed to the ark as being sufficient for a global flood. However, as you will see, the ark as described in the Bible was better suited to a local flood. First, let me explain what I mean by “local.”
Noah built the ark, and then lived on it for 370 or so days. When he was afloat on the water, he looked out and could only see water. All mankind was killed in the flood, and only Noah and his family survived.
When considering these points, and the fact that no scientific evidence exists in the geologic record for a global flood, and it all adds up to a local flood event, that was “global” to Noah and his family.
There are many website articles on young-earth websites that advocate a global flood and Noah’s ark. For the purpose of this article, I’ll focus on Kent Hovind’s website, Creation Science Evangelism. The article title is Noah's Ark was no Little Boat (by Bruce Malone).
is full of mistruths and deceptions right from the very beginning. The
author speculates about the finding of the ark on
First, the author claims that it would confirm the “entire surface of the planet had been covered by water within the last 6,000 years.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Just because the ark is found does not prove that the flood was global. It could go a long way toward proving Noah’s flood, but the ark itself makes no claims as to whether the flood was local or global. What would prove a global flood is geologic evidence of a worldwide flood event. However, we know the geologic record very well, and no such evidence exists...there is no geologic evidence to support young earth creation science.
The next two
bullets are ok, but the fourth claims that it would prove that “every land
animal (including humans)” had descended from the inhabitants of the ark. I
agree with the human part, but there is no way to confirm the land animal
part. Just because the ark is found, it does not prove the ancestry of all
animals. In fact, we can easily disprove this…look at the Koala on
On the fifth point, some old-earth proponents do not believe in evolution, so this is not a problem (for a description of old-earth belief, see Old Earth Belief).
Next, the author claims that the finding of the ark would force paleontologists to re-interpret fossils as a result of the flood, and not the result of millions of years accumulation. No, there is no need to rewrite paleontology if the ark is found. Old-earth creationism fits well with the geologic record of millions of years, and the ark.
The last point is that the ark has yet to be discovered, but some reliable sources have claimed to have seen it.
OK, here’s were reality sets in. The ark will probably never be found, and here’s why. It probably no longer exists! When Noah got off the ark, he and his family, and their descendants, probably realized that the ark was an excellent source of wood for rebuilding their society. God said He would never again flood the earth, so Noah knew he would never need the ark again. Therefore, the ark was most likely dismantled for building materials within the first hundred years after the flood.
Finally, the author goes into some numbers, trying to show the capability of the ark to handle all the animals. There is no need to debate these points, for others have done an excellent job. However, I would like to point out the flaw that is in their calculations.
In calculating the volume of the ark, most people do the simple width times height times length to get the volume. However, they neglect to subtract the volume of that space that is taken up by the wood itself…the floors, supports, outer hull, etc. Therefore, young-earth calculations are at least 10 percent too large.
More importantly, the calculations for food for the animals is done based on a 371 day requirement (see this ICR article). However, a much greater requirement existed in a young-earth, global flood model.
By the majority of young earth creation science models, all animals before the flood were plant eaters. After the flood, they were allowed to eat meat. Also, by the young-earth models, all the fossil bearing sedimentary rocks were deposited during the flood. In order to erode rock to deposit these sedimentary layers, much water force was needed. Young-earth creation theorists Baumgardner and Barnette worked out an excellent model of what happens when you have a globe full of water. They were able to show that you would get ocean currents of 194 miles per hour, in a cyclonic pattern centered over the continental masses. Therefore, underwater during a worldwide flood, all existing vegetation would have been stripped from the land and killed. Those that were not would have been buried by the massive amounts of sediment being deposited.
What was the land like that Noah found after the flood? According to the young earth creation science model, it would have been a desert wasteland, with no plants growing anywhere on the planet. Provided the seeds floated, it would take many years for plants to repopulate the globe. You may ask what this has to do with Noah’s ark. Well, if there were no plants, then the animals that were on the ark would need Noah to feed them for a few more years. However, ark studies do not account for this extra volume of food!
Two more points. After the flood, according to young-earth theory animals became carnivorous. Also, they claim that there were dinosaurs on the ark. With no food, and hungry T-rex’s and raptors prowling around, all animal life, including man, would probably be extinct within a few months after the ark landed.
Second, what about the olive leaf that the dove brought back to Noah? If there were no plants, where did it come from? The young-earth model, with its earth stripped of vegetation, has no explanation for this. However, for an old-earth, the dove merely flew far enough to where the flood did not affect the land, and got the leaf there. So, you can easily see that the old-earth model fits the facts of geology, paleontology, and the Scriptures, much better than does the young-earth theory.
Once again, the author presents no evidence concerning a young earth or a global flood. In fact, many actually support an old earth much better than they do a young earth. The miscalculations on food volume alone is enough to destroy the young earth theories on ark capabilities. However, the old earth model fits perfectly with the ark, and with the dove bringing back the olive leaf, which the young earth creation science model cannot explain.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
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