Difference between revisions of "Talk:Essay:Noah's Ark Was Real"
(→In answer to Mr. MacKenzie)
(Two points dispose of all of Mr. MacKenzie's objections.)
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::By the way, no hard feelings right? Just a bit of stimulating debate! [[User:Jamesmackenzie|Jamesmackenzie]] 17:15, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
::By the way, no hard feelings right? Just a bit of stimulating debate! [[User:Jamesmackenzie|Jamesmackenzie]] 17:15, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
Revision as of 18:09, 29 October 2009
I'm not sure what to make of this, is it a parody?
If not then how could the climatic conditions required for Arctic animals be maintained alongside those of desert dwelling species?
How can the geographic distribution of species and fossils be explained by all the animals disembarking from the ark at the location?
How could a vessel be large enough to hold the enormous number of animals it would take to preserve a minimum 2 of every species let alone be large enough to hold fodder for a year especially considering the highly specialized feeding requirements of many animals?
What about animals that have lifespans shorter than a year, but also require very specific conditions to be met in order to be able to reproduce? Jamesmackenzie 14:28, 28 October 2009 (EDT)
- Keiko the killer whale (a cold-water species) was maintained for years in a Mexico City (hot environment) aquarium. Polar bears are exhibited in zoos located in temperate and hot locations around the world. Add to that a species of penguin found in the Galapagos Islands at the equator, when it should be near Antarctica.
- In the Bible, God tells Noah that "every sort of animal shall come to him" (Gen 6:20); if God can tell the animals to go to the ark, He can tell the animals where to go when leaving the ark.
- 40,000 animals the size of sheep can fit into 167 railroad boxcars, which is roughly 30% of the capacity of the ark. Furthermore, you have to take into account that not every animal is full-grown when it's aboard; after all, how much space does a 30-foot anaconda take up versus a two-foot baby? Then there are birds and reptiles which could have been cared for while they were eggs; there's hibernation.  Karajou 15:02, 28 October 2009 (EDT)
- Galapagos penguins survive so far from the south pole because of two cold ocean currents that well up at the Galapagos islands making the water temperature much colder than would otherwise be expected for its latitude.
- 40,000 sheep may be able to fit jammed into 167 railway boxes, but they cannot live there for a year and all their fodder for a year cannot fit either.
- How would hummingbirds (of which there are hundreds of species) have been supplied with enough food given the extremely specific nature of their dietary requirements, or koalas for that matter who require a huge amount of eucalyptus and only eucalyptus per day?
- How were parasites, viruses and pathogenic bacteria be prevented from totally overwhelming the animals on the ark given that the conditions would be ideal for their propagation?
- How were carnivorous animals kept fed for a whole year given the great number of prey animals it takes in the wild to support even a few large predators?
- It is strange that you feel the need to justify the story of the ark as if it were even remotely possible, but in the end you resort to explanations via magic anyway. If magic had to be used why didn't god just get rid of all the sinners in the blink of an eye? Jamesmackenzie 07:39, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
In answer to Mr. MacKenzie
Did you take the trouble to read the essay itself, or the Noah's Ark article? Your comments suggest to me that you have not. You overlook many key passages in which I answer every one of the objections you raised. With one possible exception: animals having life spans less than a year. I answer that those life spans were probably a good deal longer, before the altered state of the earth's atmosphere took their toll. Recall that the average life span of the descendants of Adam was about 900 years. After the Great Flood, man's life span dropped ninety percent, and in a hurry. We must assume that the life spans of animals varied in similar proportion.
Where did User:Karajou resort to invoking miracles? For that matter, where did I? Did I not explicitly state that one must employ an economy of miracles, to go along with scientific parsimony as prescribed by William of Occam?
While I'm on the subject, you overlook one other thing. You assume that true randomness exists in a God-centered universe. It does not. Nothing, of whatever character, happens without God's direct authorization. We can guess how likely a thing might be, but if God wants to act out of the ordinary, such is within His capability and, more to the point, His authority. Hence if God wants to ruin a man for repeatedly testing Him, or testing "the fates" or "Lady Luck" or whatever he wants to call it, that's His prerogative, too. (And I've seen Him do it, too. Ask any Las Vegas gambler who doesn't know to quit while he's ahead.)
Nevertheless, you overlook still another thing: God gives explicit warnings, and equally explcit instructions, to certain people when and as He pleases. He did this in Noah's case, again in Abraham's case, and then in Moses's case, in which He gave far more detailed instructions for an amazingly intricate building project: the Tabernacle and all its furnishings. And then there is Jesus Christ Himself, Whose very ministry was a miracle.--TerryHTalk 08:22, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
- Thanks for the reply.
- Can you substantiate the claim that humans and other animals lived longer life spans in the past? The bible obviously doesn’t count because its verisimilitude is highly questionable. I ask because the current scientific understanding at least as far as humans are concerned is that life expectancy has steadily increased with time rather than decreased.
- Anything that could not be repeated by humans using the same technology as was available at the time in question is a miracle/magic. All the animals moving to the ark and not killing each other as they assembled are certainly magical or miraculous.
- If true randomness cannot exist then how can free will exist? Also can you substantiate that this universe contains properties that might be associated with a god?
- As for my questions being answered I cannot find that in the essay or the article, particularly the parasite question and the point about specialised food supplies (koala bears). Also I’d like to add another question – If Noah and his family of 8 were the only human survivors then how come such a population bottleneck is not shown in human DNA evidence? Jamesmackenzie 14:55, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
If you're going to dismiss the Bible a priori, then we have nothing to discuss. You question the "verisimilitude" (I think you mean "veracity") of the Bible, but I do not. We address Biblical inerrancy in another article on this site, and I can also direct you to this article that discusses the subject in somewhat greater detail.
Let me take just one aspect of the issue: prerdictions of future events. For centuries, skeptics believed that the Book of Daniel, for example, must have been written long after Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East. Then in 1947, in the middle of the high drama surrounding the establishment of the Republic of Israel, a small boy threw a rock into a cave near Qumran, and the rock's impact produced the sound of breaking pottery. The little boy checked it out, and then showed up in Jerusalem hawking what he found. These were the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Those scrolls include manuscripts of Daniel that clearly predate Alexander, and predict his conquest of the Holy Land exactly as it occurred. And Daniel isn't the only one.
There, by the way, is a modern miracle for you. The finding of those scrolls persuaded the United States to grant diplomatic recognition to the Republic of Israel, and made the difference between Jewish statehood and a Second Holocaust.
As I said, Daniel isn't the only one. Isaiah is another. And Isaiah predicted the most striking event of all: the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Any text that can get all these things absolutely right, four hundred years or more ahead of time (and against odds of ten thousand quinquagintillion to one, by the way), can certainly be trusted on other events that it recorded. Like the genealogy of Adam, and the tremendous average lifespans, and the genealogy of Shem and the tremendous decline in lifespan. And like the Great Flood and the plans of Noah's Ark.
I have no trouble accepting the assembly of the animals. The same God Who gave Noah his instructions for building the Ark was certainly capable of assembling the menagerie that Noah would carry. Nor is that necessarily as difficult as you are attempting to portray. Are you assuming that the continents in Noah's day were distributed as they are today? They weren't. Initially they all fit together, like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. The Flood got started with a hairline crack that appeared in this landmass and then went all the way through it. That crack persists as the Mid-Oceanic Ridge System. See Hydroplate Theory for some further details, and a link to an outside source that explains it in far greater detail than I have space to use here.
How can free will exist without randomness? Well, it can't. But that does not mean, by the way, that we need to accept the authority of any one human being who is trying to pretend that he's God. It does mean that God not only knows what is going to happen well before it happens (and can give memoranda of instructions to whomever He chooses, whenever He chooses), but that He has decided ahead of time what is going to happen. Perhaps He has decided ahead of time to bring you to me, figuratively speaking, so that I may testify to you concerning His Existence, His Pre-eminence, and His Role in human affairs, ancient and modern.--TerryHTalk 17:23, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
- Thanks for the reply, I'll have a proper read of it tomorrow morning and answer you then, as for now, before I sleep I just wanted to say that I did indeed mean to write verisimilitude - a word which means "the appearance of truth or likelihood", so for something to have its verisimilitude lacking or questionable is not to have a lack of truth but to have a lack of a semblance of truth. Jamesmackenzie 18:52, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
My answers to your questions
Galapagos penguins survive so far from the south pole because of two cold ocean currents that well up at the Galapagos islands making the water temperature much colder than would otherwise be expected for its latitude.
- Still the water there is a lot warmer than it would be around Antarctica, and these penguins have no problem with the hot conditions once they're out of the water.
40,000 sheep may be able to fit jammed into 167 railway boxes, but they cannot live there for a year and all their fodder for a year cannot fit either.
- I didn't say there were 40,000 sheep jammed in 167 boxcars, did I? What I stated was a matter of capacity, and you seemed to also overlook the fact that I said this number of animals occupied 30% of the Ark's total capacity, leaving enough room for other animals, and fodder for a year.
How would hummingbirds (of which there are hundreds of species) have been supplied with enough food given the extremely specific nature of their dietary requirements, or koalas for that matter who require a huge amount of eucalyptus and only eucalyptus per day?
- Again, you missed what I said above, so I'll say it again. Baby birds come packaged in eggs. Baby reptiles come packaged in eggs. Baby mammals feed upon their mother's milk, and if they don't have a mom, someone is going to get milk from elsewhere and do the job. Any zookeeper or farmer knows that, and I find it strange that a self-professed scientist doesn't. Do baby koalas slurp on eucalyptus juice before they get their teeth in, or is it mother's milk?
How were parasites, viruses and pathogenic bacteria be prevented from totally overwhelming the animals on the ark given that the conditions would be ideal for their propagation?
- The conditions on earth during that period of time from the creation were just about perfect; viruses were virtually non-existent. As to parasites, even a monkey can pluck them from another monkey, or a tick bird can remove them from a cow; that kind of behavior has been observed and proven, IAW step one of the Scientific method.
How were carnivorous animals kept fed for a whole year given the great number of prey animals it takes in the wild to support even a few large predators?
- Again, mother's milk. Didn't you see that displayed in the Noah's Ark segment of the John Houston film The Bible?
It is strange that you feel the need to justify the story of the ark as if it were even remotely possible, but in the end you resort to explanations via magic anyway. If magic had to be used why didn't god just get rid of all the sinners in the blink of an eye?
- I never resorted to a magic explanation; that one is your's. And God doesn't just "get rid of all sinners" when He knows it's much better to give them an opportunity to come to repentance through Jesus Christ. You came here with the standpoint that God doesn't exist, so now I request that you prove beyond doubt on this page that God doesn't exist...and use the Scientific method when doing so. Karajou 16:00, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
- Where does all this mother’s milk come from, either there are adults on the ark providing it, thereby mitigating your argument by infancy, or there is a huge stockpile of milk taking up yet more space on an already impossibly full ark leaving alone questions of spoilage! Also owt but milk for a whole year, really?
- The parasites I was specifically thinking of are the internal type that cannot be groomed off, but also must have been on the ark from the start.
- According to Christian doctrine god is omnipotent. He knows who will repent and who won’t depending on what warnings he gives therefore he can simply erase those who he knows will not fit into his criteria for survival.
- You know that I cannot prove beyond doubt that god doesn’t exist. However you should also know that I cannot prove that the Dagda and the Morrigan don’t exist and therefore the impossibility of proving the existence of anything does not prove its existence. You have however inspired me to write an essay on why I think my atheism is scientifically justified, I’ll send you a link when i get around to it.
- By the way, no hard feelings right? Just a bit of stimulating debate! Jamesmackenzie 17:15, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
General Reply to Jamesmackenzie
Two points dispose of all of Mr. MacKenzie's objections. First, there is no logical objection to the biblical account. It cannot be disproved. Let's be clear about that. It may not comport easily with someone's everyday experience 5000 years later, but the same could be said about many other facts in history also. There is simply no logical flaw in the account.
Second, the theory of evolution has even greater difficulties explaining how species survived massive flooding. No one credibly denies that worldwide flooding occurred; even today the world is over 70% covered with water, most remaining inhabitable land is within 100 feet of sea level, and limestone deposits from water are found at all heights. Local, but massive, flooding occurs frequently and widely, with devastating affects. The theory of evolution does not have a more plausible explanation for how species survive this in the long run.
Finally, Mr. MacKenzie need not speculate about animal behavior 5000 years ago. Animals fled to high ground in the tsunami that devastated Indonesia merely 5 years ago. Mr. MacKenzie would likely claim (based on materialism) that such behavior is impossible or implausible, yet it undeniably occurred. No need to go back 5000 years; why not simply address behavior of 5 years ago that confound materialists?--Andy Schlafly 19:09, 29 October 2009 (EDT)