Noah's Ark

"I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them." - Galileo Galilei

Perhaps one of my favorite stories from the Bible is that of Noah and his life-saving Ark. I've always marveled at the speed with which many Christians will readily accept this story as literal and factual. It seems as if a new expedition is undertaken each year to find the long lost Ark. Pseudoscientists like Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis (AiG), make their living off of a population that readily accepts a literal interpretation of the Bible. Ken Ham and his company have published their own account of how the story of Noah's Ark would be possible and present it as historical and scientific proof for the literal interpretation of the story. The Creation Museum in Kentucky which purports to "bring the pages of the Bible to life" is the work of Ham's company. It is here that children and dinosaurs play and roam freely together. If it seems like I am picking on Ken Ham, that's because I am. I liken people like him to snake oil salesmen, but Ham has taken it to a whole new level generating millions of dollars in the process. It is interesting to note that at the time of this writing, Ham and AiG have had to postpone the ground breaking of their newest attraction, Ark Encounter, complete with a life-size replica of Noah's Ark due to insufficient funds. The group is still $20 million short of the necessary funds. Somehow I just can't picture Noah asking God to postpone the flood until he had enough money and resources.

Before we take a look at the plausibility of Noah's story through the lens of Ken Ham and AiG, have you ever thought to ask what the moral of this story is supposed to be? God saw how widespread wickedness had become and his only solution was to destroy all of mankind? Have you ever wondered how "wicked" our world must have been and compared that to our world today? If the moral of the story is to convey upon us the seriousness with which God takes sin or to teach us obedience, I have to ask why He didn't just strike everyone dead in a flash. It would have been just as impressive, not to mention faster and more efficient, to kill everyone in a flash of light. It certainly would have been more moral to send Jesus down to Earth sooner to save mankind than to drown everyone. Why go through the trouble of a global flood? What did all of the non-Ark riding animals do to warrant a death sentence? Were they as wicked as man? Surely there had to be at least one good, moral person or animal on the planet somewhere. Does God consider a tremendously perverted amount of collateral damage to be acceptable? What moral basis existed for killing everyone? No theologian has ever been able to convince me of the positive moral undertone to mass genocide. If we were to place the atrocities of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong on our Moral Ladder, they would absolutely be found near the Ground Zero of Morality. With that in mind, where do you think the genocide of an entire planet belongs? The men I just mentioned are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people, but none ever came close to the extinction of human beings as a species. If the story of Noah holds even a kernel of truth, it is by far the single closest example that we have to the Ground Zero of Morality. Literally every other act, including those of Hitler, Stalin, and Zedong, warrants a higher placement on our Moral Ladder. Nothing before or since has ever come close to dethroning the story of Noah as the most despicable act of immorality in the history of our world. If this story belongs at the Ground Zero of Morality, the God that our neighbors pray to is the single most immoral being ever conceived. The most ambitious, psychopathic serial killer would blush with embarrassment and envy at the totality of God's killing spree. As we explore the plausibility of the Noah story, please don't forget the immorality of this story. We're going to have a little bit of fun with the plausibility but there's nothing fun about the undertone of genocide.

Let's deconstruct this famously immoral tale by starting with the size of the Ark from the Bible: 300 cubits long x 50 cubits wide x 30 cubits tall. A cubit is essentially the length of a man's arm starting from his elbow and ending at the tip of his fingers. The generally agreed upon dimensions are 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. For comparison purposes, this would put it at more than half the size of the Titanic with a displacement tonnage of roughly 22,000 tons. This was a rather large ship built at a moment in time where something of that size was certainly not the norm. In fact, the next time a ship of that size would be built would be thousands of years later. For the purpose of our discussion, let's go with Ken Ham on this and assume that the people in Noah's time had both the skills and the means to build something of this magnitude that was both seaworthy in the face of a flood of biblical proportions as well as capable of sufficiently holding and maintaining the animals for an extended period of time.

Let's keep in mind that while we don't know for sure whether Noah was an active participant in the physical process of building the ship or merely took on a supervisory role, we know from Genesis 9:28-29 that Noah was extremely old by today's standards.

"And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died."

That's right. Noah, in whatever capacity he chose to participate in, was 600 years old during the building of the Ark. In the documented world, nobody has come close to Noah. Madame Jeanne Louise Calment passed away in Arles, France at the age of 122 years 164 days old, and she is widely regarded as the oldest recorded human that ever lived. In 1900, the human life expectancy in the United States was 47.3 years. Life expectancy rose to 77.7 years by 2006. According to the Human Mortality Database, administered by the University of California, Berkeley and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany, human life expectancy has begun leveling off. By 2055, the average U.S. life expectancy will be 78.49 years.

Given all of our scientific advances in medicine since Noah's time, we are unable to come anywhere close to reaching an age of 950 years. In fact, we would be hard pressed to find a credible medical doctor willing to commit to the possibility of a human being not only reaching that age today but also during any point in verified, recorded human history. Somehow people like Ken Ham readily accept these ages as legitimate and attribute the decline in our life expectancy post-Flood to a less scientific and more vague "environmental change" and "other changes". While Ham presents absolutely no proof that would hold up to scientific scrutiny to support that claim, let's make another assumption here. Let's assume that the majority of medical doctors the world over are wrong and that the Bible and Ken Ham are correct in that a man could live to be 950 years old.

So now we have a 600 year old man involved in building a seaworthy wooden ship more than half the size of the Titanic. The next step for Noah and his family is to prepare for the arrival of the animals. There has never been any documented activity throughout history where every type of animal migrated in unison to one location against their natural instincts either before or after this story. Even with his scientific background, Ken Ham is unable to explain how this could have happened, instead choosing to attribute it to a "supernatural event". This, my friends, is a classic example of the Divine Default. He and other creationists have to use the Divine Default to explain this, because without it, the entire story falls apart. What becomes plainly obvious to me is that folks like Ham make regular use of scientific principles (even if he has to stretch them) but when he can't stretch the principles far enough, he invokes the Divine Default. Let's make another assumption here and say that while no evidence has ever existed for the migration of every type of animal to a single spot on Earth at the exact same time, these animals disobeyed their natural instincts and all did just that.

In keeping with the assertions of Ken Ham and the AiG scientists, dinosaurs were also on the Ark. According to the Book of Genesis, all the land-dwelling creatures were made on Day 6. Taking into account the creationist assertion that the Earth is between 6,000 and 9,000 years old, dinosaurs simply had to be on the Ark for the numbers to work out. I'm reminded of the comedian Lewis Black when he said that Bible literalists watch the Flintstones as if it were a documentary. Ham and other creationists attribute the extinction of the dinosaurs post-Flood to a "much more difficult world in which to survive" and that to survive, the "once easily obtained plant nutrition would now have to be supplemented by animal sources". This would assume that of all the animals on the Ark, dinosaurs were one of the least able to survive and would likely be preyed upon or unable to find food once they got off the Ark (more on this later). Based on the number, sheer size, and varied types of dinosaur fossils that we have today, one has to question Mr. Ham on the merits of that hypothesis. By what evidence is there to suggest that the adaptability and superior place on the food chain in which dinosaurs existed would render them less likely to survive than the common cow or pig?

Please note that paleontologists overwhelmingly disagree with Ken Ham and AiG. Legitimate scientists use techniques like radiometric dating to determine the age of the fossils and rocks. All of those ages are significantly older than the few thousand years that creationists advocate. While creationists try to discredit radiometric dating without a valid alternative, scientists scoff at any such repudiation. Scientists use tools like mass spectrometers while creationists use tools like the Bible. Considering this "arsenal of tools", is it any surprise that these two groups arrive at very different conclusions? It's worth noting here that most creationists object to the use of carbon dating as inaccurate beyond a certain amount of half-lives. They always seem to go there without recognizing that other methods of radiometric dating like uranium-lead radiometric dating which has an error margin as low as less than 2 million years in two and a half billion years with an error margin of 2-5% on Mesozoic rocks. Scientists can use uranium-lead radiometric dating, the popular potassium-argon dating, rubidium-strontium dating, and uranium-thorium dating to arrive at the age of the planet as well as stone tools and fossils.

At this point, a large number of animals are all in the process of migrating toward the Ark. The next question becomes "How many animals were on the Ark?" The Bible never definitively gives a total number, so we're left to do some educated guessing. Creationists and scientists alike will agree that estimating the number of animal species on our planet is a challenge. Things like habitat and differences in scientific classifications impact the estimates. Even though there are tens of millions of different species on our planet today, the creationist argument is that not every species needed to be represented on the Ark for it to be visible in our world today. For example, aquatic animals need not be on the Ark for they would have been capable of surviving a global flood (more on this in a moment). Of the air-breathing, land-dwelling animals, only a male and female of each species had to be on the Ark. To highlight this in layman's terms, this means that a male and female dog had to be on the Ark. Once they got off the Ark, that pair of animals would be the incestuous parent to every kind of subsequent dog that we see today. From the Chihuahua to the Great Dane, it is asserted by creationists that all are direct descendants from that one pair of dogs on the Ark. While creationists will argue at the top of their lungs that evolution is invalid, they will gladly use evolutionary theory to help explain how their 2-dog theory is possible. They will happily use the theory of natural selection to explain why we don't find Chihuahuas in Siberia and St Bernards in the tropics. For the purposes of our discussion, let's make another assumption that the subsequent inbreeding of these animal pairs would not adversely affect future generations.

So now we have a 600 year old man involved in building a seaworthy wooden ship more than half the size of the Titanic that will hold a large number of animals, including dinosaurs, that are all migrating together in a manner never seen before or after so that they may inbreed a year later to help repopulate a planet with a future offspring consisting of tens of millions of different species. This is all happening against the collective intelligence of paleontologists from around the world.

It's important to not only recognize the hypocrisy with regards to the creationists' use of evolution to explain how a core group of parent animals could repopulate our planet with such amazing diversity, but it's even more important to recognize that their use of evolution is being done on an accelerated scale never before seen on Earth. According to creationists, this was done over the course of a few thousand years as opposed to either tens of thousands or even millions of years supported by modern-day scientists. If all of these animals have evolved over such a short period of time to create literally millions of subspecies, does it not beg the question "why don't we continue to see that same rate of rapid evolution"? Why did this amazingly rapid rate of evolution proposed by creationists suddenly drop off essentially when modern organized religion began?

Once we factor in the combination of inbreeding and natural selection, we can arrive at a more manageable number of animal species for the Ark. Estimates on this number range from as little as 2,000 animals to more than 100,000. Some creationists like AiG have estimated 16,000 while other places like suggest a number closer to 50,000 animals. The numbers are subject to interpretation and remain wholly dependent upon how far down a creationist can creatively pare down the various species. 35,000 different species of land-dwelling animals tends to be a number that gets repeated often enough and it isn't too far off from most suggestions so let's use it for the purposes of our discussion.

The 600-year old Noah and his seven family members had seven 24-hour days to load all of these animals that have amazingly migrated together to the Ark. Let's break out our calculators for a simple math problem. We have 70,000 individual creatures (35,000 species x 2 (1 male and 1 female)) completely loaded over the course of 168 hours (7 days x 24 hours per day). If we have 604,800 seconds in a week and Noah and his family worked every second of every day for that entire week, they would have had to load and stow 1 animal every 8.64 seconds. I'm sure creatures like the snail, spider, and worm took their time so the larger creatures would have had to move faster in order for us to keep that ratio. Can you picture an elephant, hippo, or dinosaur sprinting into the Ark and getting safely stowed in a matter of seconds?

Let's put this in perspective. The San Diego Zoo has over 4,000 animals comprised of more than 800 species. They have 2,000 employees (albeit not all of them directly involved with the care and feeding of the animals). If we estimate half of the San Diego Zoo staff to be involved in some fashion with caring for the animals, they would have 1 worker (curators, keepers and vet staff) for every 4 animals. For comparison purposes, 24% of the San Antonio Zoo's staff is involved in the care and feeding of the animals. In Atlanta, it's 42%. Nashville utilizes 45% of their staff to help with the animals. Assuming that Noah was not just serving in a supervisory capacity, but rather his 600 year old body allowed him to actively participate in the care and feeding of the animals for months at a time, this means that 8 people on the Ark took care of 70,000 individual animals each with varied dietary requirements. Noah's ratio is 1 worker for every 8,750 animals - a nontrivial difference. There is no Biblical evidence to support that Noah and his family had any of the modern conveniences that the San Diego Zoo has, so imagine the amount of work that Noah and his family had on a daily basis! If this was ever brought to the attention of the San Diego Zoo's Board of Trustees, surely they would have ample evidence for cutting back on their labor costs.

Let's assume that Noah and his family could load and care for all of those animals in the time allotted. Even though the Bible never makes any kind of reference to this, let's further assume that AiG is correct that Noah didn't take fully grown animals on the Ark as they would have certainly taken up more room and required more food and care than juveniles. So now we have 35,000 pairs of juvenile animals completely loaded every few seconds over the course of a week.

Genesis 6:21 tells us that God commanded Noah to take food for every animal along with his family. I hope you didn't put your calculator away yet, because we're going to need it. If a pair of elephants consumes 800 pounds of food per day (400 lbs x 2 elephants) and roughly 3/4 of it is converted to waste per day, Noah and his family would have had to acquire approximately 120 TONS of food for JUST our elephants. Try extrapolating the amount of food necessary to care for 35,000 pairs of animals, some as big and diverse as the hippo, giraffe, or the dinosaur. According to Ken Ham and the Biblical scientists at AiG, the dinosaurs most likely "could have eaten dried meat, reconstituted dried meat, or slaughtered animals". While the Bible spells out in great detail the exact dimensions of the ark, it never once spells out the types and sheer quantities of food that a 600 year old man and his family would have had to acquire, store, and feed such a wide variety of animals. In fact, the amount of space required to store the food necessary for all of these animals for an entire year is colossal! For example, think about just the storage requirement of a years' worth of food for our elephants in relation to the space necessary to hold the elephants. Extrapolate that for 35,000 pairs of animals. It's not unreasonable to think that the space required to store food would well surpass the space required for the animals. This means that there would be even less room on the Ark to store the animals and makes the plausibility of the whole story even more questionable.

In keeping with the theme of our argument, let's assume that Noah and his family knew all of this and did in fact acquire the necessary staples as commanded by God for every type of animal and in the necessary quantities. Let's further assume that all these hundreds or thousands of tons of food had enough storage space and didn't dry out or spoil in the weeks or months leading up to the big boarding or for the year that they would have been stored onboard.

Ham and AiG also make an assertion that the key to all of this was to have the animals avoid any unnecessary walking. Animals were most likely stored in pens which would prevent the predators from preying on the weaker animals while it's generally understood that the animals did not spend their time hibernating. If they hibernated, why would God command Noah to bring food? Again, did anyone pause to ask how this would affect the animals? Surely standing still or lying in a pen for so many months would have caused their muscles to atrophy. Ask anyone who has had to wear a cast for a period of time what their limb looks like after the cast is removed. Ask anyone who has had to be bed-ridden for months to see what changes their body would have to go through. Did the animals magically not get sick or develop sores from months of lying down or remaining in an inactive state? A fully trained and educated staff with expert knowledge in biology, zoology, botany, and ecology would have a tough time caring for these animals in this type of environment for that length of time, but we don't read about any difficulties experienced by Noah and his family. Again, let's make a few more assumptions and say that the Ark and Noah's family could easily handle ventilation, waste, food, and medical needs of all of these animals for an extended period of time and that every animal would emerge from the Ark in a healthy condition free of atrophy, sickness, and sores. They would have to be healthy during the time afloat or else face possible death while onboard the Ark eliminating them from the future food chain.

So now we have a 600 year old man involved in building a seaworthy wooden ship more than half the size of the Titanic that fully accommodates the tremendous requirements from a large number of animals, including dinosaurs, that have all migrated together in a manner never seen before or after so that they may depart the Ark in a healthy state ready to inbreed and help repopulate a planet with a future offspring consisting of 3-30 million different species. Again, it's worth noting that this is all happening against the collective intelligence of paleontologists, veterinarians, doctors, and other scientists from around the world.

After a grueling week, Noah and his family have the Ark fully loaded and ready to go. Genesis 7:12 tells us that the rain that God promised began to fall for forty days and forty nights. So much rain fell that it covered "all the high hills under the whole heaven. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered." (Genesis 7:19-20) This would have been quite a sight for every single person in the world because Genesis 2:4-6 tells us that God had never sent rain before the flood. According to Scripture, Noah wouldn't have even seen rain before the flood. Perhaps God irrigated the Earth from the ground up. Geologists from around the world generally agree that there is little to no evidence that the Earth's atmosphere held all of the flood's water in the air (in the form of mist) or that a global flood even occurred during the time period that Noah's flood was supposed to have happened. There is ample evidence to support localized flooding, but if we are to believe modern day geologists, the Biblical account has to be rejected. I hate to point this out, but creationists discount radiometric dating for determining the age of our planet, but they readily accept it when dating rocks from a flood or documents supporting the Bible. Oh, the hypocrisy...

The conditions described in Genesis for the flood are extreme and like nothing seen before or since so let's try and put some context around this. In order to cover just Mount Ararat, where Noah's Ark finally came to a rest, the amount of water required to accomplish that would be in excess of 400 feet each day for 40 consecutive days. That's enough water to rise up 3 stories every hour! 400 feet of water every day is something that has never been replicated in nature and there isn't enough water in our atmosphere to even come close to it today. There is no scientific basis of explanation to support the actual 40 days of rain and the resulting water levels, so once again we have to go to the Divine Default as our explanation. If it really happened, our "loving" God is the only thing capable of producing such a destructive event, right? Let's further assume that the overwhelming majority of modern day geologists are completely wrong and that enough credible evidence really does exist to support a global flood that covered all of the mountaintops. We've had to make quite a few assumptions and take a number of liberties to get to this point, so why stop now?

If you'll recall, only the land-dwelling animals needed refuge aboard the Ark. Aquatic animals didn't need to be accommodated. While a handy piece of information, the Bible never says what kind of water filled the Earth. If the rain were fresh water as it is today, the salinity of the oceans would change drastically in a very rapid manner. This would destabilize the environment and kill off billions of saltwater fish and creatures, but it would allow Noah to give fresh water to our 35,000 pairs of animals currently floating on the Ark. With fresh water raining down, it's reasonable to assume that God would have required Noah to make accommodations for those aquatic animals living in salt water, or else they would have perished and we wouldn't have them in our oceans today. Of course, if the rain was salt water (a scientifically implausible scenario), the freshwater fish and creatures would have died. A third scenario is that the change in salinity didn't impact any of those fish and creatures, but of course, this is only possible if you subscribe to the Divine Default for a temporary suspension of the laws of chemistry. For the purposes of our discussion, let's ignore the fact that a drastic and dangerous change in salinity would kill off billions of unfortunate aquatic creatures and instead assume that the creatures of Noah's era were supernaturally able to rapidly adapt. If men could live for 900 years, surely the animals had to be heartier as well!

At this point, torrential non-stop rains are literally filling up the entire Earth covering all of the land up to and beyond the tallest mountaintops drowning all the non-Ark people and animals. Obviously, if this is happening, everyone is being impacted including those people located as close as 800 miles southeast in Egypt as well as those living 3,700 miles to the east in China. If we look at the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, we should expect to find evidence of this global killer. The Great Pyramid was completed approximately 200 years after the flood. If the Bible is to be believed, people repopulated extremely quickly in Egypt and in great numbers. This would have had to occur all over Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world as well. I'm happy to continue conceding items to Ken Ham and AiG, however the numbers simply do not add up when trying to calculate population amounts and diversity in that kind of time frame.

Why is it that there is no archeological evidence whatsoever for a great flood completely covering Egypt at this point in time? Why doesn't this area show any sort of evidence of the waters that supposedly killed everyone including every Egyptian? Considering conventional Egyptian chronology, why don't the texts from this point in Egyptian history make any reference to this massive, global-killing flood? Frankly, how could there even be any texts created in Egypt from this time period if everyone died (along with their language)? We can look as hard as we like, but we will not find any credible evidence of a global flood during that time in this part of the world, nor will we find any credible evidence that this massive global killer even registered among the people of Egypt. Apparently they didn't find the flood terribly inconvenient. Nobody in Asia, with a more literate populace, was inconvenienced by this global killer either. In addition to the Chinese and the Egyptians, there were other well-established civilizations during Noah's Flood. Evidence supporting the worldwide extinction of the human race by a global flood cannot be found among the Sumerians of Mesopotamia, the Minoan, or the Indus Valley even though the Bible tells us that these people should have been drowning. No evidence exists for the elimination of either culture or infrastructure in Mesopotamia. The same applies to the prosperous Chinese period during the early Yaou Dynasty. It would appear that the global killer known as Noah's Flood barely got their feet wet.

There are some language and cultural issues that we're going to have to deal with as well. If everyone in the world died and the global population was then rapidly replenished starting with Noah and his family, why do we have such a multitude of languages? If all of humanity were suddenly repopulated quickly from this single spot, it would stand to reason that we wouldn't have seen such a varied number of languages. Surely the language of Noah would have been passed down to each subsequent generation and yet there is no evidence to support the theory that anyone in China, Australia, or the Americas spoke Hebrew...ever. We can be reasonably certain that Noah would have passed down such concepts as the Ten Commandments and the prohibition of working on the Sabbath, yet many of the Old Testament concepts didn't make their way to the rest of the world which, if the story is accurate, would have been entirely populated by Noah's descendants in an astonishingly rapid manner.

Let's make another assumption yet again to keep the story moving. Let's assume that evidence of this global killer wiped out all of the people of Egypt, Asia, and the rest of the planet. Let's further assume that Noah's family was able to repopulate an entire planet with a multitude of languages and that historians are completely wrong about Egyptian and Asian texts/technology created during both the time of Noah as well as immediately after. Let's assume that evidence for all of the global language and cultural issues simply hasn't been discovered yet.

So now we have a 600 year old man involved in building a seaworthy wooden ship more than half the size of the Titanic that fully accommodates the tremendous requirements from a large number of animals, including dinosaurs, that have all migrated together in a manner never seen before or after so that they may be saved from a mountain-covering global flood that apparently killed the people of Egypt and Asia without evidence while also sparing all of the freshwater and saltwater animals who weren't impacted by the dramatic change in salinity so that the rest of the animals could depart the Ark in a healthy state ready to inbreed and help repopulate a planet with a future offspring consisting of 3-30 million different species. Try saying all of that in a single breath!

"And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased" (Genesis 8:3).

So now the waters have receded and comprise the oceans we see today. While scientists make "wild" claims that such processes as plate tectonics are responsible for the formation of our continents, creationists chalk that up to the receding flood waters. Let's assume that the scientists are wrong and that the flood's receding waters filled our oceans and lakes (apparently the Ice Age was a hoax as well). The Ark has finally come to a rest "on the seventeenth day of the seventh month...on the mountains of Ararat" (Genesis 8:4). Many believe that the mountain referred to in Genesis is the same Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. The Qur'an, Islam's holy book, places the Ark on Al-Judi. Regardless of where the Ark apparently finally came to rest, we're left with a few sticky issues that we have to deal with.

At the ripe old age of 601, Noah removed the covering from the Ark and "by the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry" (Genesis 8:14). Ken Ham and other creationists never seem to follow the story of Noah through to its logical conclusion. If the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, how did the animals safely get down the mountain, which is a difficult task for even experienced climbers? Let's continue conceding assumptions and assume that all the animals (including the dinosaurs) made it safely down the mountain. What kind of environment would they find themselves in once they reached the bottom?

The plants that would have been prevalent before the flood would not have survived the flood. Plants adapted to water-logged conditions will survive, however there's no reason to believe that plants and other vegetation would have found themselves as equally adapted to that environment back then any more than they would today. Basic biology tells us that roots need oxygen to carry out aerobic respiration to produce ATP for root functions. Water does not hold as much oxygen as air and when the soil becomes saturated it also becomes anaerobic leaving the roots of non-aquatic plants to die. With water levels reaching the types of proportions mentioned in the Bible, how much sunlight could possibly pierce these depths? Remember earlier when we discussed the change in salinity that would most certainly impact aquatic life? Plants would be just as affected. Seeds would have also been exposed and soaked in salt water for many months. The post-flood world would be a very harsh environment for plants to try and not only survive but thrive in a very short amount of time.

OK - I think we've given creationists like Ken Ham enough liberties with their theories to support the story of Noah. If you're keeping tally, we likely passed the "ridiculous" level several assumptions ago.

The animals that have made the difficult descent down from Mount Ararat have now found themselves in a silty, barren wasteland. The environment that they now find themselves in is completely devoid of a food chain. Remember - all of the animals not on the Ark were destroyed by the flood. With a maximum of seven of any species (another Biblical contradiction), and most often only two members, left alive, entire species (and the millions of future sub-species) would have been wiped out very quickly if even 1 of them were killed by a predator or died without adequate vegetation to feed on. All of these animals would be in a small, concentrated place fighting for extremely limited resources. Any animal that didn't get its share of resources would have died which makes me wonder why they would be put on the Ark to begin with. Why bother "saving" them if they ultimately can't be saved by an all-knowing, loving God after the flood?

We do not need to be scientists to realize the troubling implications that this post-flood world provides. Common sense should tell us that animals that don't eat can't live long enough to procreate (inbreed) and repopulate our world. Why didn't the dinosaurs eat any of the sheep, cows, or pigs? Livestock should have been the first to be eaten. Fossils of the dinosaurs reveal that many had the type of teeth that were certainly not for feeding on plants. Many dinosaurs and other animals were carnivores. What did they eat? Their only food source trekked down the mountain with them. Herbivores wouldn't have fared any better. When they weren't trying to run for their lives, they would have had to search for plants in an environment where the amount and varied nature of their natural vegetative diet would be gone. How did these herbivores survive until the plants were able to come back?

If the Bible is to be believed, all of these animals dispersed from this one central location to spots around the globe. Why is it that marsupials can only be found in abundance in Australia and the abundance of the fossils of their ancestors are only found on that continent? Additionally, how did these marsupials get to Australia in the first place? If you recall, the creationist argument for our continents is that the receding flood waters, not plate tectonics, created them. Did the kangaroos and koalas swim alongside the Tasmanian devils across the ocean, and if so, for what purpose? Why leave dry land? What about penguins? Are we to believe that a pair of penguins walked from Antarctica to the Middle East only to walk back again? There are literally hundreds of these types of examples and they all become increasingly difficult to explain when limited pairs of animals are all placed and dispersed from one geographic spot.

There's little use for a creationist to argue most of the scenarios in this chapter as I have conceded most of their assertions to an annoyingly ridiculous degree. I would however challenge any creationist to explain how an entire food chain not only survived but thrived, expanded, and dispersed across the globe in rapid order in that post-flood world. The problem is that, just like the initial migration of every animal species to the Ark, they can't unless they invoke the Divine Default.