Difference between revisions of "Noah's Ark"
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Revision as of 10:19, 21 June 2008
Noah's Ark (or the Ark) was a large seafaring vessel referred to in the book of Genesis. It was built by Noah at the command and instruction of God, in response to the evil of man at the time. God told Noah that he would destroy the earth with a flood, and only Noah, his family, and some animals would be saved in the ship.
|“|| Genesis 6:13-22 (God's blueprints)
Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.
The vessel was constructed with gopher wood, which was covered with a layer of pitch (a kind of tar). Scholars, although not sure, posit a number of possibilities for what gopher wood represents, including mahogany, zebra wood, cambriatic wood, cypress, and ebony.
Interior design and dimensions
There were three stories which were divided into multiple rooms. There is only a single window and door recorded for the whole ark, but possibly because these were the most important ones. The dimensions were three hundred cubits long by fifty cubits wide by thirty cubits high (Genesis 6:15). which equates to approximately 450 feet long, by 75 feet wide, by 45 feet high.
The Bible does not really tell us an exact number of years for the amount of time it took to construct this monstrous vessel. However, the first mention of Noah in Genesis 5:32 says, "Noah was five hundred years old," and then in 7:6 it says, "Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth."
So it can really only be said that it took a maximum of 100 years to construct the ark, from the time God had given him the command to when he actually finished and was in the ship.
|“||To endure several months in the open sea, the wooden hull of Noah's ark must have a certain minimum strength. Factors such as uneven cargo distribution, increased length or a more "block shaped" hull (block coefficient) accentuate the need for a strong hull. Another factor is the severity of the sea state.||”|
Noah was instructed, by God, to take aboard the Ark his wife, his three sons and their wives, male and female pairs of all the "unclean" kinds of creatures, seven (or seven pairs) each of the "clean" kinds, and enough food and supplies for everyone (Genesis 6:18-7:3; 7:6, 11)
The ark was afloat for about a year, and finally came to rest somewhere in the mountains of Ararat. This is believed by many to be the mountains in modern Turkey which bear that name (Gen. 8:4).
Searching for the Ark
Creationist zeal muddying the waters
In 1977, Ron Wyatt promoted a site on Mount Ararat which he claimed was the remnants of Noah's Ark. However, his findings have since come under criticism from a variety of sources including mainstream archaeologists and other Young Earth Creationists prompting Creation Ministries International and Answers in Genesis, two of the world's largest creationist ministries, to make a general statement that Young Earth Creationists should not use Wyatt's claims since they are at best highly dubious.
Supporters of Noah's ark contend that such a craft was entirely possible for ancients to build and would have been very seaworthy whereas the Epic of Gilgamesh's ark was not seaworthy.  The nautical engineering firm Shearer and Associates wrote regarding the ark that it would have been structurally sound and would have had sufficient stability and buoyancy for the cargo carried. 
Objections to Noah's Ark include the following:
- a lack of room for all the animals, usually on the basis of the biblical reference to kinds being the same as species. Supporters of the account reject that kinds is to be equated with species, so use a much lower number.
- The difficulty of the eight humans on board to care for all the creatures on board.
- The difficulty some animals would have getting unaided to or from the ark, especially those adapted to a specific habitat, such as the sloth, which can only travel hanging on the branches of trees, and animals that live on islands and could not swim to those islands after the flood.
Young Earth Creationists have written a number of responses to such criticisms, such as John Woodmorappe's Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study which argues that kinds is not to be equated with species, and that there would therefore be a much smaller number of creatures on the ark, and that there are ways that the humans on board could have cared for all the creatures on board. Creationary geologists have also pointed out that much of the Earth's geology is sedimentary (water-laid) rocks, as one would expect from a global flood.
- Scale model replica of Noah's ark - Biblestudy.org
- What is “Gopher Wood”? ChristianAnswers.net
- WWF: Wave Bending Moment
- Arguments we think creationists should NOT use (Creation Ministries International)