All those animals on the ark? I don’t think so


No, I didn’t watch Bill Nye dissect Ken Ham in the science vs. creationism debate.  I share with many other science-loving people a conviction that “debating” creationists is wholly irrelevant, and tends only to build the glory of the creationists who cannot manage to set up a single scientific observation or experiment to provide evidence for creationism, but can stand on a stage and crack bad jokes and lie, against a mumbling scientist.

But I have looked at some of the commentary, and some of Nye’s remarks and rebuttals.  Nye did very well.

Nye tended to develop clear, non-scientific explanations for the issues.  Ham and creationists aren’t ready for that.

In that vein, J. Rehling tweeted this astonishingly clear explanation for why it’s just impossible to “believe” that the fabled ark of Noah could carry even most of the species alive, in one boat (and, mind you, the San Diego Zoo is neither the world’s largest collection of species on display in a zoo, nor displaying a significant percentage of all species):

Two pictures that tell the story.

How big was Noah’s Ark? Not big enough, especially compared to the San Diego Zoo and the USS Nimitz.

San Diego Zoo and USS Nimitz, the largest ship in the U.S. Navy; clearly, no ark built by Noah could have been big enough to carry all land animals.  Image mashup by JRehling

San Diego Zoo and USS Nimitz, the largest ship in the U.S. Navy; clearly, no ark built by Noah could have been big enough to carry all land animals. Image mashup by JRehling

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329 Responses to All those animals on the ark? I don’t think so

  1. lowerleavell says:

    Going to be a long couple of days for me so I won’t have sufficient time to give a response. Will have to wait. Let me just reply to this for now:

    Flag said, “Either your argument applies or it does not apply. You interjecting an exception (God) is either irrational OR one can interject any exception (Universe).”

    The one tipping over the first domino is not a domino. The same principles that apply to an effect do not necessarily apply to the cause. To put it another way, you can never determine the origins of a box by looking inside the contents of the box.

    God is an uncaused cause, not an effect. Saying that God is the exception is accurate because there must be a first cause. There cannot be an infinite regression of effects. Something must have toppled the first domino.

    Need it be a sentient being? It must be something uncaused that is capable of un-caused motion. A rock…even after billions of years…would still just sit there and do nothing unless something bumped into it.

    Like

  2. Black Flag® says:

    Men who reduce their reason and raise their irrational faith in its place are the one’s who are doomed, Michael.

    Like

  3. JamesK says:

    To quote: The same is true with the uncaused cause. Whatever that cause may be can appropriately be called “God.” I believe the God of the Bible matches that identity. But that is a matter of faith.

    Joe…that you think the universe has to have a sentient cause is as much a matter of faith as you thinking God is that cause.

    Like

  4. JamesK says:

    As for you, Joe.

    You really want to claim that Noah, a guy who supposedly lived 800+ years..a guy who had sons at age 500..really somehow managed to get over 3 million animals on an ark, somehow big enough to hold all those animals, in one day and that all those 3 million animals were somehow near the ark despite the fact that a very large portion of those animals are not indingenous to the area or native to any area that can get there over land?

    What? The south american jaguar swam the atlantic ocean? The Kangaroo hopped across the Indian ocean? The koala floated on eucalyptus trees?

    Which is more likely? that the story of the flood is about a world wide flood..or about a flood localized to that area of the middle east?

    Like

  5. JamesK says:

    First off, Michael, what you said is a bunch of inane platitudes. What you said no more helps the cause of creationism then it hurts the theory of evolution.

    Secondly, this “Remember, you WILL one day bow to the Savior you have suppressed and rejected. ” is nothing but a threat in God’s name and such threats are the last bastion of the damned.

    Thirdly, Ed and me are Christians. We have no pent up anger when we hear about God.

    Though I do get annoyed when I see right wing Christians such as yourselves misusing and abusing Christianity in God’s name.

    Lastly, the theory of evolution isn’t something that’s taken on faith. It’s been proven. And nothing about the theory of evolution is anti-Christian or anti-God in any manner.

    Evolution is one of the tools that God used. That you think different means you are denying God because you are denying how God actually did things.

    Like

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    The only thing more profound than your extreme faith in a dead end street is found in scripture, “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.”

    Paul’s warning to creationists. Paul says the evidence is plainly set before us by God.

    Creationists deny God’s evidence, and thereby become fools.

    Like

  7. Know God, Know Peace. No God. No peace. The only thing more profound than your extreme faith in a dead end street is found in scripture, “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.” There is not enough faith in the world to believe that you can deny all of creation to believe a lie with such zeal. Remember, you WILL one day bow to the Savior you have suppressed and rejected. Your pent up anger that rises when you hear about our loving God who gives us such sweet peace shows you that you are wrong. When you discover that you will never have peace about the lie, turn to Jesus he loves you and will give you the peace that escapes you and will until you die. You know we are right from within you, so ask Jesus into your heart and He will change you from the inside out. The fool hath said in his heart there is no God. Proverbs. May the wrath of God abide on you to help you with your decision.

    Like

  8. Black Flag® says:

    Re; Sagan.

    Again you confuse “faith” with Postulates.

    Sagan did not make any claim to “believing” with “faith” that the Universe reformed infinitely whilst organizing coherent natural laws.

    It is a POSTULATE – a guess – an explanation. He did not appeal to some faith to make it true.

    What he did say, in absolute truth, is:
    “We cannot know”

    To you, such means faith, but that is because you are not a scientist nor hold a reasoned mind.

    Like

  9. Black Flag® says:

    The “God” particle ain’t god, nor is it any more remarkable then any other particle.

    It’s existence is POSTULATED by science, it is not demanded at all!!!

    Men do not demand upon the universe to provide the necessary particles!

    We DISCOVER the particles that nature provides – we may postulate things based on observations, but that does not make such things exist. We are merely applying our very limited understanding of what we do know in a way to guess about what what we do not know.

    If we do find such a particle we postulated, it merely means our understanding – to that point – is correct. If we do not find such a particle it means that one of our ASSUMPTIONS is not correct.

    Because you do not understand science you make up stories about what it produces.

    Like

  10. Black Flag® says:

    Things exist.
    It is possible for those things to not exist.
    Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    Something cannot bring itself into existence, since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
    There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
    Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
    Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.

    Yet, you refuse to apply this to your “God” theory.

    Either your argument applies or it does not apply. You interjecting an exception (God) is either irrational OR one can interject any exception (Universe).

    Which is it?

    Like

  11. lowerleavell says:

    Flag said, “There is no cosmological requirement for the Universe to have a beginning.”

    Apparently you’ve never heard of the cosmological argument. Or if you have, you obviously don’t think it is a requirement for an effect to have a cause. In case you’re unfamiliar, this is the argument:

    Things exist.
    It is possible for those things to not exist.
    Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    Something cannot bring itself into existence, since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
    There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
    Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
    Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.

    Now granted the argument does not dictate that the God of the Bible is the uncaused cause. But the description of God in the Bible possesses all of the necessary qualities of an uncaused cause, i.e. all knowing, all powerful, all present, etc. Zeus, Odin, Thor, etc. do not fit the descriptors and are easily ruled out. But one cannot argue against the God of the Bible’s existence based on the cosmological argument like you can with ancient mythological gods. This argument goes in favor of the God of the Bible, narrowing the field down to at least a monotheistic worldview.

    To use the “God particle” as an illustration – it still hasn’t been completely seen or understood – but scientists know it has to be there. How? Because its existence is demanded by nature. The same is true with the uncaused cause. Whatever that cause may be can appropriately be called “God.” I believe the God of the Bible matches that identity. But that is a matter of faith.

    Flag said, “As Carl Sagan simplified for you, the Universe may have tested an infinite combinations of natural laws, collapsing on contradiction and reforming again until a consent set of natural laws appeared.”

    Speaking of matters of faith…your quote is a perfect descriptor of the term.

    Like

  12. lowerleavell says:

    “Does anyone disagree with this history of the development of the canon for the New Testament?”

    Looks pretty fair to me.

    Like

  13. Black Flag® says:

    No, I didn’t care back then.
    A response to a red herring doesn’t suddenly make that red herring germane.

    Like

  14. Ed Darrell says:

    Black Flag cared, a few posts ago.

    Like

  15. Black Flag® says:

    Irrelevant – like debating the origins of Harry Potter .. who the bloody cares?

    Like

  16. JamesK says:

    I have none with that off the top of my head, Ed.

    Like

  17. Ed Darrell says:

    Does anyone disagree with this history of the development of the canon for the New Testament?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_Christian_biblical_canon#Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon

    Like

  18. JamesK says:

    And Zeus, Hera, Hercules, Athena, Ares, Apollo and the rest of the ancient greek pantheon exist because they were written about?

    Do Odin, Thor, Loki really exist because of the Aesir writings?

    How about Shiva? Do beings named Anansi and Coyote really exist?

    The point I’m making, Joe, there is what one can actually prove as fact..and then there is what is nothing but faith.

    You seem to have trouble with that concept.

    Like

  19. JamesK says:

    Joe, just because the Simarillion mentions beings named Feanor, Beren, Luthien and Morgoth, among others, is that proof that those beings really exist?

    Like

  20. Black Flag® says:

    As Carl Sagan simplified for you, the Universe may have tested an infinite combinations of natural laws, collapsing on contradiction and reforming again until a consent set of natural laws appeared.

    There is no fundamental reason to believe this requires a “god”.

    Such questions are not answerable but because we cannot answer a question does not -again- require a God to fill in the blank.

    Like

  21. Black Flag® says:

    A math model based on limited understanding has no fact.

    There is no cosmological requirement for the Universe to have a beginning.

    Like

  22. lowerleavell says:

    Flag said, “Stuck on something 1500 years ago? Typical Red herring.

    I gave the reference, you didn’t read it. ‘nuf said.”

    I read the reference. It didn’t even begin to prove your point. You’d have just as soon as quoted Dr. Seuss as proof…and it was 1700 years ago now. Roughly 1500 years since Paine and Wells. Sigh…

    You’re the one that brought it up. If it’s a red herring, it belongs to you.

    BF said, “There is no fundamental argument against that states the universe did not always exist. You believe God has always existed, yet, you cannot conceive the Universe equally has always existed.”

    No physics except the laws of cause and effect and basic math. The universe had a beginning, even in you believe (insert the word ‘by faith’) in multiple big bangs, multi-verses, etc. The Steady State theory has already been disproven. The universe is not eternal. Physics and math demand that it had a beginning. The first domino, if you will.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/427722/mathematics-of-eternity-prove-the-universe-must-have-had-a-beginning/

    Like

  23. Black Flag® says:

    It does not “defy” natural creation since it is natural.

    There is no fundamental argument against that states the universe did not always exist. You believe God has always existed, yet, you cannot conceive the Universe equally has always existed.

    But as you abhor science since it undermines your faith, you will not understand that at all.

    Like

  24. Black Flag® says:

    Can’t deal with science, Joe?

    Stuck on something 1500 years ago? Typical Red herring.

    I gave the reference, you didn’t read it. ‘nuf said.

    Now deal with the science of physics – which you in a most desperate way, avoid.

    Like

  25. lowerleavell says:

    Black Flag, it is strange that you initiate a discussion on the Council of Nicaea by claiming that it is where the Canon of Scripture was decided, fail to give proof that you claim is based in reality, and then claim that the discussion is a red herring when it was you who brought it up in the first place.

    But of course it is only religious ideologues who stubbornly refuse to admit to their error.

    As for the age of the earth (what you believe to be the crux of the argument), I may be wrong about the age of the earth. I won’t know 100% this side of eternity. Maybe I fail to see something that my brothers in Christ who believe day-age theories, etc. understand. I don’t think I’m wrong because it is the most basic reading of text of Genesis that creation was a supernatural event where God made a mature landscape. But, if at the end of it all, I find out that God created the earth over eons rather than 6 literal days, I would have a lot of questions to ask God, but it wouldn’t make me more or less of a follower of Christ. I have lots of arguments for the age of the earth being young and I think I’ll be proven right someday as our understanding of the universe grows, but at the end of it all, it wouldn’t be the end of the world (no pun intended) if I were wrong.

    Regardless of whether or not old earth creationism or young earth creationism is correct, creation is still a supernatural act of God that defies any naturalistic explanation.

    Ed, you said you believe that Jesus rose from the dead. You believe it apart from reason and apart from science. Why can you believe God about the cross but not about creation? If God did something supernatural once, could He not do it twice? I’m not saying that you have to become a YEC whack job like me, but why not choose to take God at His Word that creation was a supernatural event where God created the universe rather than it happening completely naturally? After all, neither view can be correctly labeled as scientific as creation cannot be repeated or tested.

    Like

  26. Black Flag® says:

    All ready did, and it is a red herring. Get over it.

    Like

  27. Ed Darrell says:

    Please provide some indication of what is the source you wish us to read, can you Black Flag?

    Like

  28. lowerleavell says:

    “No, that is not the source – read the SOURCE in the post, not who posted it….. geez, guys.”

    The post that I found was an article from a guy named Robert L. Johnson who is citing a professor of DePaul University, without including any quotations of what the professor actually said. No quotes from anyone who was actually at the Council. No quotes from anyone beyond H.G. Wells and Paine.

    I’m not trying to be difficult. I’m asking for a straight forward quote from anywhere that is authoritative that demonstrates that the Council of Nicaea determined the Canon of Scripture.

    It matters because you made the claim that the Bible is false because it was determined by a yes or no vote. I said it was not and that you have no proof. Cite your proof.

    After all, as Aristotle famously said and I have learned, “Cite your sources. Not all sources are right. Some are made up and are urban legends.”

    Like

  29. Black Flag® says:

    …and again.

    The Bible is no more authoritative then Harry Potter’s Tome, and its discussion is nothing but Joe’s Red Herring Fallacy mixed with Circular Reasoning.

    The ignorance and avoidance of fact (laws of physics) more then demonstrates the zealotry and dogma associated with ALL religions.

    Like

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