A Noah’s Ark Theme Park has opened in Kentucky, and according to those who have seen it, it’s a wonder to behold. Its sheer size and workmanship are obviously the work of modern day craftsmen, which raises the question of how unskilled artisans using the tools available at the time of Noah could have created such a massive structure.
Even its shape resembles that of a vessel of today, which also begs the question as to how Noah was able to create a craft four thousand years before its time. Of course, since it was designed merely to float, the problem of a propulsion system never came up; this greatly simplified the task.
As a theme park the ark indeed appears to be an interesting attraction, but the term appears to be designed to cover up the real intention of the founder, Ken Ham, and the organization for which he fronts: Answers in Genesis. This is an effort at mass indoctrination into the belief in Biblical inerrancy by the proponents of Creation Science.
I do not intend to drag out all the scientific rationale for disbelieving the ark story as historical fact – such things as there is no geological record of an epic flood, it would be impossible to gather specimens of all the animals in the world, etc.
But even in the Bible questions arise as to the historicity of certain events. For example, Noah was instructed to bring seven of the clean species of animals into the ark, but only two of the unclean species. According to the estimates of Bible scholars, the flood occurred c. 2300 BCE. However, the distinction between clean vs. unclean animals was given to the Israelites by Moses, who was born c. 1400 BCE, roughly 900 years later.
But there is one other seldom mentioned mathematical problem concerning the great flood: It is generally conceded that the Mount Ararat mentioned in the flood story does not refer to any actual mountain, but for the sake of simplicity, let us assume it to be a mountain 10,000 feet high. There are 960 hours in 40 days and 40 nights. Dividing 10,000 by 960 means that it would have to rain at a rate of over 10 feet per hour! The world’s mightiest modern battleship would be swamped at that rate!
In addition, there is not that much water in all the oceans of the world, so where did all the water come from? This was not a problem in the ancient world since it was assumed that all God had to do was to open up the firmament above the earth, thus allowing the celestial ocean to pour through. Since we now know that neither the firmament nor the celestial ocean exist, the question is legitimate.
Of course, all these things can be explained as being results of the mysterious ways in which God works.
I think the answer to these questions is simple: The early writers were creating a parable (to use the New Testament term) in order to illustrate a lesson to their followers. The lesson of the flood story is this: Although God could destroy his creation, humanity, at any time as retribution for our sins, he loves us too much to do so. It illustrates God’s love for mankind.
I get very discouraged when I think of all the good that could have been done with the $100 million that was poured into that monument to man’s stupidity in Kentucky.