Monday, May 14, 2007

Argument Against the Story of Noah's Ark

Take your average fundamentalist christian, you know, the kind that doesn't 'believe' in evolution. They usually say something like, 'god could've done things that way if he'd wanted to, but he didn't, and the reason we know is because we have the bible.' The bible, to them, disproves evolution. Any pseudoscience or flim flam they use to refute the facts are merely vehicals for them to 'prove' that the bible is incontrovertable fact. That every word in it was meant to be there, and that every word was divinely inspired. Meaning, there were no 'reception problems' with the authors, they took no liberties with the information god gave them to inscribe, that this was god using them as pencils.

I intend to show that the story of Noah's ark all but disproves that the bible could be divinely inspired, incontrovertable written truth directly from the mouth of god.

The first given in the argument is described above, it's the 'the bible is true and not false in any circumstance, and the things that happened in it really happened exactly the way they are described' hypothesis.

The second given in the argument is that god created the world as it appears today, with no evolution working on a 'seed' population by mutation making all the different life forms possible. No, say the creationists. The world, as we know it, with all the animals about which we now know, was created by god just like it says in Chapter 1, and everything that you see around you and that we know about was present and accounted for at the time of Noah.

If the first assumption is true, that means that the measurements handed down to the author of Genesis were correct, that they didn't accidentally put a decimal in the wrong place or anything. But if the second assumption is also true, then every animal that exists around us now existed back then. And all the animals we know about now (for instance, all the species of beetles) would not fit on an ark whose measurements are defined in Genesis. I'm sorry.

There are two rebuttals possible: the one is that man DID get it wrong, and misunderstood what god was saying. That will throw the whole rest of the book into question, because it could never be so convenient that the author is mistaken only when he is contradicting modern day knowledge.

The second rebuttal is that god, in essence, used magic. That god, the all-knowing spiritual entity that saw fit to make everything by hand and then put all these fossils in the record that contradict his own word, described an ark that would not accomodate two of every kind of animal that exists in the world, and resorted to 'mysterious' means to get all those animals onto the boat. Abracadabra!

Neither of these responses is very appealing. Far be it from me to insist that I know everything (I don't, for instance, know what happens to us after we die, but I suspect it has something to do with decomposition) but the fact that no one knows how god would have fit all those animals onto that boat really bothers me. Shrinking ray? Atomizer? I am harking back to an earlier age in the western world, when men discovered physical laws, such as the laws of motion, and attributed these laws to a god that had set up a beautifully mathematically simple order to the world he created. I am invoking the spirits of the scientists that many now claim only studied science in order to bring to light the underlying order that they felt god had put there. If you shoot a cannonball in the air, you can calculate where the cannonball will land. And you will be right over and over again. And this, say the believers, is because of god.

God has the complex in his corner when it comes to evolution. Nothing as complex as a light sensing organ could have evolved due to enviromental pressures and genetic mutation. God has to be there. God has the simple in his corner when it comes to math. Nothing as elegant and simple as F=ma could be found to be true if it weren't for god making the order. They attribute every kind of pattern and order that their minds percieve to god, regardless of whether that order even actually exists! So for human knowledge to have discovered the lives and deaths of stars and single celled organisms to be constantly hounded by a group of people so spiritually stupid as to cling to a notion handed down to them from the stone age--that there are 'some things we can NEVER know because GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS'-- confounds scientific thought and confounds the society which thrives because of it

The things we SHOULDN'T know are vast. The things we CAN'T know should compel us to ask questions of our own faculties. The things we DON'T know should give rise to scientific inquiry. The things these theists SAY they know are convieniently things that can never BE known, and therefore, can never be proved nor disproved. The kernel of truth at the heart of any and all monotheistic religions is that they are a virus that can only sustain itself by acquiring new hosts, and that love and kindness practiced by christians is only a delivery method for their parasite.

In conclusion: either we live in a world where the physical laws are subject at any moment to the whims of a deity that has not spoken in 2000 years, or the laws stick, and the god that created them--who may or may not be bound by them--would abide by them because he CAN. All Genesis Chapter 6 had to contain to prove the existance of the christian god was measurements for an ark that could contain two each of every animal in existance: presto, you've got your proof. But it doesn't.

The measurements for the ark in Genesis no doubt comfortably contain two of every animal that the authors knew about. And that's what disproves this book being the word of an all knowing god.


Ishie said...


I think one of the prevaling schools of thought is that *micro*evolution happens, and since the Bible specifies "KINDS", not "Species" each kind could microevolve.

The interesting thing about this notion is that it requires a faster rate of evolution to make everything work (like horses and giraffes being of the same 'kind') than any evolutionist would ever predict if we talk about earth's creation at 6-10K years ago, thus these types of creationists are more evolutionary than the evolutionists are.

There's also that sea creature problem... not to mention the people that believe Noah had dinos on the ark that went extinct later. If you think a lion makes a lamb nervous; just IMAGINE how it would feel next to a t-rex.

Great as always!!!!

Millicent said...

Wow, good point. I remember reading an editorial in my local (southern USA) newspaper about the blunt question in the GOP debate: "Do you believe in evolution, yes or no?" Which is just stupid. First, a national news channel used the word "believe" when they were talking about science, and second, some of the candidates that said 'no' would still support it being taught in schools. Which is sort of strange.

So the 'microevolution' people believe in what i referred to as a 'seed' amount of living things, that then branched out? Hm. I didn't know that. It seems to me like it would require even more 'magic' on the part of god to speed that sort of thing up than to get all the species onto the boat in the first place!

There are several other problems with the Noah story like the ones you mentioned that I will hopefully address after the next chapter.

Glad to hear you're feeling better!