The Ark and Flood are a key area of challenge by atheists and secular science. It is another area that many Christians have “given up the fight” and accepted it as myth. There is absolutely no reason to “give up” on this as not only is the Ark feasible, but the flood is supported by evidence.
The Ark is often portrayed as being “too small”. However the dimensions were: 450 x 75 x 45 feet. This is 1.52 million cubic feet of space within the Ark.
This size of Ark could comfortably have fit 125,000 sheep sized animals inside. This is easily enough for all Kinds of animals. Remember the bible talked of saving each Kind, not species. We will look at species and kinds in a future article – but it is important to note that species develop from kinds through Natural Selection (or “Speciation”) and this is consistent with the Bible.
There would have been plenty of room for extra food and sanitation within an Ark of this size.
In terms of building the Ark, the worst case scenario is that 4 people could have built it in 65 years. Noah had over 100 years to build it and had sons to help. This even means that he could have started alone and enlisted their help as they got older.
The design of the Ark was also an excellent shape for not capsizing in winds and rain, and would have been able to withstand the flood and associated weather.
A question that is often asked is; how did Noah get the animals to go in the ark? The truth is that Noah didn’t have to. They would have gone in at God’s command. Even so, we are only talking of two of each Kind not Species (plus food, as described) which is not an insurmountable task for Noah and his family.
The Biblical flood is also an event that has been questioned as fanciful by many atheists. Whilst the Bible may be sufficient for many Christians to believe, it is worth exploring the evidence to support biblical claims.
Importantly, recent scientific discoveries describe that the “earth’s crust holds a vast repository of ancient water” up to 2 (possibly 3) times of that on the surface. Again, we see science catching up to be consistent with biblical accounts. We read in Genesis 7:11 “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” The Bible describes water coming up from the deep, which would be from the “vast repository of ancient water”.
Even without the underground repository, 70% of the surface is water – which on its own is enough to cover the earth to 2.7 km (1.7 miles) depth (if the earths trenches were filled and the mountains levelled). Given that it is reasonable to assume that mountains and trenches would have been formed during and after the flood, covering the earth’s surface was still entirely plausible. Add to this, the underground water as described in Genesis and there is no reason to dispute the biblical account.
Further evidence to support the flood is that a rapid flood would have left millions of fossilised animals and plants in layers of sedimentary rock. We see this in the fossil record (and not the contrary). Finding many fossils from the same time period together, rather than a spread of fossils everywhere, and from across all time periods supports the biblical flood, and not the evolutionary perspective.
There are Flood Stories across Cultures
It is not only the Hebrews (Gen. 6–8), but Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks who all report a flood in primordial times. A list of Sumerian Kings around 2100 BC is divided into two groups: those kings who ruled before a great flood and those who ruled after it. The Gilgamesh Epic in the Sumero-Akkadian-Babylonian literature, describe a great flood sent as punishment by the gods – humanity was saved when Utnapishtim (AKA, “the Mesopotamian Noah”) builds a ship and saves the animal world thereon. The Greek story of Deucalion and Phyrra, tells of a couple who survived a great flood sent by an angry Zeus. Taking refuge atop Mount Parnassus (AKA, “the Greek Ararat”), they supposedly repopulated the earth by heaving stones behind them that sprang into human beings.
Despite claims that the flood is improbable or impossible, we can see that it is entirely plausible from the description in the Bible. There was ample time to make the Ark, the Ark would have been large enough to accommodate the animals, there was ample water with which to flood the earth (even without God creating more), recent discoveries provide further validation of the account in the Bible, and there are many corroborating stories from other cultures than the Bible. None of this is needed to believe the Bible, but it does help when questioned by none Christian friends and associates.