GOP hopeful Ben Carson recently tweeted an idiotic statement about Noah’s ark. Dr. Carson tweeted that if Noah could build an ark, then he is qualified to be president. He used the statement that the ark was built by amateurs while the Titanic was built by professionals to support his theory. Yes, according to the bible story, the ark was built by amateurs and managed to stay afloat for forty days. Sadly the Titanic, built by professionals, sunk after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage.
For centuries, theologians, scholars and believers alike have viewed the story of Noah’s ark in one of three ways: as a factual account of biblical events, as a story written to show the might and power of God, or as merely a folk tale handed down through generations. I don’t know which, if any, is correct. Each could have some credence and could be studied, interpreted and debated endlessly with no definitive answer. What is interesting, and can be proven to some extent, is to see what Noah and other amateurs managed to put in the ark.
While Noah was building the ark, he must have sent one of his sons to Africa to collect two of each living creature on the continent, another son to South America to do likewise, and a third to the arctic to gather up the polar bears, seals and walruses. Someone had to go to Australia to get the kangaroos and someone else must have make their way to the Antarctic to pick up male and female penguins. Remember, this was before air travel and even engine-powered ships. There was no jet fuel, no protective clothing, no cold-weather gear and no means of tranquilizing animals. At least one brave soul had to have been a crocodile hunter and another a snake handler.
These hardy amateurs managed to get 8.7 million species of animals on the ark. Since a pair of each was needed, the ark held over seventeen million critters of one kind or another, from the smallest nematodes to the largest elephants and great white whales. Assuming that all these animals were aboard, they would have needed food and water to live. If each animal drank one pound of water (approximately one pint) and ate one pound of food each day, the ark would have been provisioned with 680 million pounds of water and 680 pounds of food. This does not account for marine life that needs to be submerged in water to survive and does not take into account the wildly diverse diets of the animals.
Anyone who has ever emptied a litter box, mucked out a stable or used a pooper scooper knows how much waste is generated by animals. Since the animals ranged in size from microscopic to mega-ton, assume that an average of one pound of waste was generated by each animal per day. There’s 680 million pounds of raw sewage to dispose of. Someone did a lot of shoveling.
Following Dr. Carson’s logic, Noah and a few amateurs built an ark capable of holding 2040 million pounds of water, food and sewage plus the combined weight of all 17 million animals. A modern cargo ship has a capacity of approximately 50,000 tons. The ill-fated Titanic’s weight was 46,328 gross registered tons (GRT). If you doubt this information, check the links, watch the videos, do your own research and reread the story of Noah’s ark before you laugh.