Out of all the violent, genocidal, incestuous stories in the Old Testament, there is one violent, genocidal, and incestuous story that finds itself as one of my favourites. The scale of its disaster and human murdering is far higher than any hyperbolised Hollywood film, and its conclusion is filled with more carnal details than a porn magazine mixed with 'A Game of Thrones'; this story is Noah's Ark. The real reason for my adoration of this story, however, comes from the startling psychological ramifications it possesses. Despite the obvious logical, mathematical, and even moral failings, this story is still held dearly in the hearts of otherwise perfectly sane men and women. Instead of viewing this story as a myth, or as an over exaggerated image of some obscure Biblical metaphor, this story is instead seen as fact; it's taken at face value. The entire concept is laughable, yet people use it as a literal example of a historical, factual world-wide flood.
It's depressing to see the depths that a human can delve in their goal to keep their beliefs intact, and even more so when one notices how furtively they shun a necessary scepticism. When even six year olds are able to point out the logistical flaws in this flood, why can't adults? Obviously, faith blinds people to their own belief, but it's curious to note the oxymoron that believers in the flood hold. While they take the genocide as literal, they refuse to contemplate any of the physical ramifications of taking this as truth causes. Perhaps, in a desperate attempt to enlighten, we can delve into what the physical results of Noah's Ark are.
Perhaps the most glaring issue of the flood is the issue of the flood water itself. For the Bible to be accurate, and for the water to cover the mountains, the water would have to cover the earth at a depth of twenty-nine-thousand-and-twenty-nine feet. Thankfully, the Bible is kind enough to tell us where this water comes from.
GENESIS 7:11 "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened."
So, obviously, the waters came from the "fountains of the great deep", and the "windows of heaven". In actuality, references such as these are littered throughout the Bible, and they come from an ancient belief that was held among ancient cultures, including the Hebrews. According to Biblical historians, many cultures, including the ancient Hebrews, believed that the Earth was a flat disc covered by a spherical shell known as the Firmament. The Hebrews believed that the Earth floated upon a giant sea of water known as the Great Deep. Interestingly, this is the same water that is referred to in Genesis Chapter One, where God creates the Firmament to divide the water from the water. Now, while the Bible gives a perfectly good example of how all this water came, it means we must understand that the sky is a barrier to water, and that the earth is a flat disc that floats upon more water. I note that most Biblical activists fail to mention that the Earth is the equivalent of a snow-globe floating in a bucket of water.
The next problem is also rather jarring.
GENESIS 6:20 "Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive."
The problem is simply how he got two of "every kind of creature that moves along the ground". In fairness, the Bible does say that they will "come to you" out of their own accord. We'll be generous, and say that Noah blew a trumpet, which caused God to use his magical Juju abilities to make every animal on earth move towards the Ark. I'll be even more lenient and allow that God's wizardry also made the animals organise themselves into neat rows of two-by-two, in order to facilitate the fastest embarkation possible.
However, even if we overcome these problems, Noah still has to deal with the problem of Geography. If the Earth is, as many Christians say, around six-thousand to ten-thousand years old, the continents are much the same as they are now. Knowing this, we also know that emperor penguins live in Antarctica, and only there, most marsupials live in Oceania, polar bears only live in the Arctic, and, would you believe it, everything else lives everywhere else, with most species being exclusive to that one geographical area. Now, all these millions of animals have to make a trek across mountains, desserts, and oceans, just to reach Noah's Ark. Worse still, they still have to repeat that very same process a little over a year later. Even worse, we know that a flood would undoubtedly kill off any plants, so we can only assume that Noah took plants on-board. However, we then realise that mushrooms and trees can't walk, so unless God added teleportation to his repertoire of Harry Potter spells, this story requires us to believe that penguins, koala bears, and acorns are all capable of swimming and walking the many, many thousands of miles to and from the Ark.
Next of course is the topic of food! Again, the Bible is gracious enough to tell us everything about this. Firstly:
GENSIS 6:21 "You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them."
This is one of the best parts of the story. God delegates the collection of food to Noah specifically, and thus it gives very little wiggle room for God to whip out his magic wand and use a Jedi mind trick that could make this job easy. Even better, Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:13-17 show how the flood lasted for exactly 375 days! Given this length of time, it's obvious that all animals can't be expected to live off stale bread and water for the entire journey. For example, many species are exclusively carnivorous, that survive only by consuming the flesh of other creatures. To take this story seriously, we are forced to realise that Noah added a year's worth of fresh meat for these animals, and, unless Noah installed a meat refrigerator, none of that food will last more than six months.
This flaw is only emphasises when one takes a look at even more specialised diets. Take for example the diet of adactylidium. This mite can feed only on the eggs of thrips. So, not only does Noah need access to a thoroughly obscure piece of biological information, he also needs to gather year's supply of thrips eggs, and then to ensure they can be preserved, just for one creature! And of the over eight-million animal species alive today, there are hundreds of thousands that live of very unique and exclusive diets! So even if we ignore whether the Ark even has enough room to fit the animals (it doesn't), Noah still has to have the capacity to cater to the specialised dietary needs of every one of his over eight million passengers!
And what of parasites? No, not unborn foetuses (oh ho ho, I'm rather witty), but organisms which need to live off another organism to survive (which is the definition of a parasite, so no, a baby isn't a parasite and can't ever be one). Many of these parasites also carry dangerous diseases, and can act as vectors for the transmission of many diseases, such as malaria, lime disease, and even the bubonic plague! Many parasites, such as the tapeworm, are even the direct cause of many diseases! Yet the story requires that Noah careful enough to lovingly ensure that each of these monsters got the care they needed to survive and infect millions in the future.
And honestly, this doesn't even begin to be the tip of the iceberg. In fact, this is a molecule of water at the very top of a very large iceberg that's probably blind and deaf. If we assume that Noah did in fact get every animal onto the Ark, and even had enough food, we also need to realise that animals, like all life, excrete waste. Knowing that a large dog can expel a package that weighs around a pound or even two, we'll times that by just thirty-one-thousand species of vertebrates. Notice I'm actually using a dog's faeces to represent a lions, and a rhinos, just to make this easier for Noah. Assuming that each animal has one defecation each day, that makes around thirty-one-thousand to sixty-two-thousand pounds of excrement each day. Even better is that that's 0.39% of all the animals in the Ark. So, less than one per cent of all the animals in the Ark make around thirty-one-thousand to sixty-two-thousand pounds of waste every day. Using more maths, we'll assume Noah and his family (which, classically, amounts to eight people) had to remove this waste. We'll be generous and say a shovel can remove six pounds of this waste. This means that with each shovel, we're removing forty-eight pounds. This means each person would have to shovel six-hundred-and-forty-fix times to get rid of the minimum number of waste that less than one per cent of their cargo had on board. I did a little test, and it took me six seconds to do an action which was roughly shovelling a pile of waste, carrying to the deck of an imaginary ship, then tossing it away. So, for less than one per cent of the animals, it would take over an hour of eight people constantly shovelling to remove the least amount of waste possible by the animals. All of these numbers are made with drastic litotes, so we can see just how unmanageable this amount of waste actually is.
But even without that we'll assume God used his sorcery to make animals not have to use the bathroom the story can never work. Assuming the animals actually survive the trip, they also need to survive on land. Unfortunately, ever ecosystem on the planet would have been completely devastated because some egocentric entity decided to kill off all live on land, leaving a barren, inhabitable wasteland. So, the Bible teaches us that a viable ecosystem is not actually necessary for life on Earth, go figure.
And here we come to the saucy part of our discussion. God, in his eternal desire to see himself sexually sated, once more tells the world that the animals and people need to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 8:17). However, God was also incredibly specific on the number of survivors of the flood. So, only two or seven of each species survived. And here God raises the head of his most beloved of fetishes: incest! Indeed, the only way to repopulate the Earth is through lots and lots of inbreeding. So much inbreeding, in fact, that it makes the entire central USA look like a well-adjusted area of the world. Unfortunately for this (and Genesis), it is a biological fact that inbreeding is a horrendously quick, and massively effective way of to create severe genetic disorders within offspring, as well as increasing the susceptibility of a disease; wasn't it lucky Noah saved all those disease carrying species? If we're to take this story as true, we accept that every animal alive today, every single one, is the result of recent incestuous reproduction.
But again, none of this can even begin to touch the surface of the amount of idiocy involved in the story of Noah's Ark. In truth, there isn't a single point of the story which cannot easily be debunked. I could spend hours and pages writing up a list of even more failings of the story, but I fear that would bore everyone. However, when Christians tell us that the Ark is true, they seem to forget that this is the truth they assign themselves to. Unfortunately for them, there isn't one iota of physical evidence regarding the flood. There is nothing in Earth's geology; nothing in archaeology; nothing in cosmology; nothing in genetics; nothing in nautical engineering; and nothing in basic logistics can lend any amount of credibility to this story.
It's also important to realise that cultures have created flood myths since the dawn of civilisation. The Indians have a flood myth. The Greeks have a flood myth. The Chinese have a flood myth. The Babylonians have a flood myth. Everyone had a flood myth! Yet to the Christian, every other flood myth is a laughable concept, except for theirs, which is the one true flood myth. It's only natural to assume that the Hebrews would have a flood myth, seeing as how everyone else had one! Therefore, we are perfectly justified in saying the floods are just made up fairy tales!
Which is why it's so embarrassing when fundamentalists actually try and argue for this story seriously. Why would they blindly disregard any logic? It's simple really. Genesis, as many evangelistic Christians will tell us, is the foundation of the Bible. It's the part that everything is built upon. If we take one part of it and prove that it's false, then the entire Bible crumbles. If Noah's Ark is fake, what about the rest? If it's the word of God, why put something unreal inside? Soon, analysis of every part of the Bible would ensure that there is nothing left that hasn't been researched and found to be either impossible or wholly improbably. Imagine if Exodus hadn't happened (which it didn't, I'll put in the proof of this in the description). Or, even worse, if the Gospels were found to be made up; did Jesus really rise from the dead? The only way around uncertainties is the try and substantiate the problems with rigorous empirical evidence, based on discipline, archaeological, and historical methods. Yet most know that corroborating physical evidence is virtually non-existent. Thus, the only intellectually honest path is to reject the entire thing until real evidence is found.