In his book, “A Biblical Case for an Old Earth,” David Snoke claims that the story of Noah in the Bible refers to a localized flood, and not a global one. I enjoyed his book, but I disagree with Snoke on this. So just for fun, I thought I’d answer some of his objections to a world-wide flood.
In part one I dealt with gathering the animals, fitting them into the ark, and feeding the carnivorous ones! Here, I will deal with whether or not 8 people can feed that many creatures every day, the ventilation of the ark, and animals with special needs. Let’s start with whether or not it’s even possible for 8 people to practice their animal husbandry skills with that many critters…
WHOSE TURN IS IT TO FEED THE MAMMALS?
In keeping with the disagreement over exactly how many animals were in the ark, Snoke says it would have taken a miracle for 8 people to feed the millions of animals every day, as well as shovel all the dung out of the ark. Woodmorappe’s calculation of just 16,000 animals (a lot less than millions in case you didn’t bring a calculator) radically changes the amount of work it would have taken. It is very possible to feed the 16,000, much harder to feed millions.
And that’s before you ask the question of just how old these animals were. Full-size adults take more feed, and smaller-sized baby versions take less, and they poop less too. If God was going to bring me a bunch of animals to put on an ark, I would hope for the smaller-sized young ones. And there’s no logical reason to believe He wouldn’t have done it that way. In fact, since it seems a lot smarter to bring the small ones, you almost have to believe that’s what God did since He’s pretty smart by definition.
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE OPEN A WINDOW?
Next Snoke says the ark needed a miracle to allow everyone to survive being couped up in a “closed space” or a “windowless box.” He claims the heat generated by so many animals would result in hundreds of degrees.
Here’s where I’ll scold Snoke. If he reads this, I hope he understands I still like him. Anyway, for a guy that believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible, this one is silly. The ark had an opening that ran around the entire top of the structure. Compare these two versions of the English translation of the Bible:
A light shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt thou finish it upward; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. -Genesis 6:16 (ASV)
Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. -Genesis 6:16 (NIV)
There is no version of the Bible anywhere that says the “window” of the ark was only such and such WIDE. The Hebrew says to finish the ark up to a cubit from the top, in other words, leaving 18 inches or so of opening at the roof, which goes all the way around.
Not only is this enough to ventilate the ark, but it’s the best way to ventilate a large structure housing animals. Those confinement farms that keep thousands of pigs or turkeys or whatever in houses will often ventilate in the same manner.
CAN YOU TURN UP THE HEAT? TURN DOWN THE HEAT? CAN I HAVE MY FIBER SNACK?
I’m combining two needed miracles according to Snoke. The first is that some animals would require special climate, and the second is that others would require a special diet. Certainly, a logical consideration.
Sounds logical anyway. In real life there doesn’t seem to be much problem with polar climate animals spending time in a warmer climate. Not only do you often see these guys at the zoo, but penguins have been found in the waters off New Zealand, fur seals have been seen off the waters in Australia within 27 degrees of the equator, and seals have also been off the coast of California.
Or as one expert put it:
“Polar animals do not, as was once thought, pine for refrigerated conditions -at least not in temperate climates. Surprisingly temperature tolerant, they do need a cool retreat and plenty of clean water in summer -but so do most animals. They take readily to standard feeds; reindeer fortunately do not demand an exclusive diet of reindeer moss, nor do polar bears require seals, or penguins’ exotic southern species of krill, squid, and fish.” (Stonehouse, B. 1978 page 2; “Management of Polar Birds and Mammals in Captivity” [Association of British Wild Animal Keepers]
As far as the dietary concerns go, again if the carnivorous animals are miraculously being taken care of in this way, then logically, so would certain dietary restricted animals. There is some argument that these dietary restrictions have arisen SINCE the flood in many creatures, but for me, this just isn’t a big worry on the miracle side of things. It’s something God has done before, so however He did it, either through natural means or supernatural means, it’s fine with me.
Next… where’d the water come from, or go, plus how salt-water and fresh-water fish survived in the same giant pool, etc…