Freethought NOW!

The absurdities of the Ark

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A vintage drawing of noah's arc with the title "the absurdities of the ark" over it in cursive
The Earth has numerous species of land animals. Christian fundamentalists ask us to believe that because God was irritated by the behavior of a few humans, he decided to wipe out all the animals except a pair of each, to be put in a boat built by one man, Noah, assisted only by his family.

Such a boat would require more wood than can be found in the whole Middle East. To accommodate the animals, plus their widely diverse foodstuffs for a five months’ voyage, with extra meat animals to feed the carnivores, would require a (totally unfloatable) boat approximately the size of the state of California. Furthermore, polar bears, kangaroos, Chinese pandas, American grizzlies, African gorillas and other animals from far continents would have to make virtually impossible journeys of many years to get to the Ark in the first place. The creationists would also have us believe that in addition to that group, Noah’s Ark would accommodate several thousand species of dinosaurs, which for some unknown reason God decided to eliminate once the flood was over.

This ridiculous legend is still taken literally by large numbers of people, who are quite unaware that it didn’t even originate with the bible, but was copied from Babylonian sources (where the flood hero was named Uta-Napishtim), which were copied from Sumerian sources (where the flood hero was named Ziusudra), which also appeared in Greek tradition (where the flood hero was named Deucalion) left over from the earliest Indo-European traditions of world creation out of oceanic waters.

Since the Tigris-Euphrates valley was always subject to disastrous floods at times, this was a legend that ancient people could readily understand. However, it is long past time for enlightened modern folks to know better and stop believing in “godly” absurdities.

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7 Responses

  1. A couple years ago I set out to write a similar essay, but then realized I had way too much material for just one essay – I needed to write enough to fill a book, albeit not a thick one. So now I am polishing my manuscript, and am seeking a publisher. So far, though, all I have gotten is either “no” or silence. The only publishers that showed any enthusiasm turned out to be vanity presses. One publisher liked my idea but chickened out due to fear of attacks from right-wing bugnuts.

    Do you have any leads on publishers of freethought books?

  2. Where did all that water come from? Didn’t the arc land on Mt. Ararat, elevation 17,000 ft? That means the whole Earth was subjected
    to more than 17,000 ft. of water. All that water pressure would do major damage. And, where did the water go after the flood? I’m also wondering the path penguins, kangaroos and the such took to get to the arc. Seems like everything is based on magic.
    Also, what kind of monster is that ‘all loving god’? Didn’t he make the human race? Did he mass murder them all because they were ‘not doing the right thing’? Would not more gentle means be tried first? If god had to destroy his own product, wouldn’t this mean the devil was more powerful? Of note, during that same time line, the civilizations of China and other places seemed to have missed that flood. People, if you want to follow that petulant, immature bully, have a ball. In no way, shape or form, never force a dic% like that on me.

  3. I break it down to the basics of Human concerns.
    1. The Ark was a building, not a boat.
    2. The animals were divided up into clean and unclean, based on human perceptions. (The “clean” animals were used for sacrifices, and food? Presumably the unclean animals were also food?) In the Illiad animal sacrifices were made and “the female parts were tasted.” I don’t think they literally meant the female genitalia or teats, some parts were designated male and female.
    3. Noah locked the doors to prevent his “ungodly” neighbours from getting in, and the walls were made of thick woods.
    4. Joel Osteen mimicked Noah when he shut the doors of his megachurch/mansion to prevent the “unclean” non-financial contributors from gaining access.

  4. One curious fact is human members of the ark would have to have been infected/afflicted with every known infectious disease, genetic disorder, and prion disease (many fatal, especially to Bronze-age nomads without modern medicine) known to man. Diseases gotta survive too. And diseases need vectors.

  5. Good thing they loaded all those bacteria onto the ark–one male and one female of each, I assume. Same with mosquitos, the most dangerous animal in the world.
    Kinda feel bad for all those pregnant moms slaughtered in the flood by the God of Love. They must have deserved it somehow.

  6. I definitely agree. And, at least for me, maddening to listen to evangelical Christians who say the flood of Noah is an historical event.

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