C-SPAN reran the #HamOnNey debate on 22 February 2014.

I watched. Caught it all this time. The family watched most of it with me.

Ken Ham and young-earth-creationists (YEC) love to assert that the ark was big enough to hold all the kinds of animals if “kind” is defined as family, two classifications up from species.

Ken Ham et al. claim to be defining kind and other words according to the bible, but can anyone tell me where he gets this definition of “kind”? Please? I understood him to indicate his current definition is based on science rather than the bible—on research his scientists are doing. What’s up with that?

Check it for yourself, the bible uses “kind” and synonyms with some variability, from what we call breeds to a basic generic category such as “bird”. However, specifically, Leviticus 11:22 gives us a very good definition of “kind” as used by the bible itself. New American Standard Bible: “These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds.” This appears to be at least as restrictive as species.

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/4327.htm 

Ken Ham went so far as to assert that there were probably only 2,000 “kinds” on the ark. That reasoning would seem to indicate that some kind of a grasshopper type critter and its mate would have been on the ark and without anyone noticing lots of speciation occurred between Noah and Moses. BTW, grasshoppers and crickets aren’t in the same family. http://bugguide.net/node/view/73/tree/all

Life: Domain; Kingdom; Phylum; Class; Order; Family; Genus; Species. (And more, as may help organizing.)

Work the maths. A few creationists claim to have done some of the math, but they start with assumptions that I will not allow. I find their assumptions bogus and objectionable on multiple grounds. The facts show clearly several aspects of the flood and the ark are impossible. We can presume miracle, but then science doesn’t matter to the study of it.

I’m getting long, but my point is that the bible implies there were millions of critters, including insects of all sorts (the bible says so, whether Ham agrees or rationalizes, Gen. 7:14), on the ark, if taken literally in a certain way. While the implications are incredible, lets look at how many animals of certain kinds were stipulated as on the ark.

First, I’ll ignore questions about how Noah knew about Moses’ laws regarding clean versus unclean, but the bible clearly states in Gen. 7:2 there were seven of all the clean things. Actually, it says by sevens, the mating pairs, thus 14. Same stipulations for birds, and note the “kinds” stipulation is not there. It is 14 of each of the birds of the heavens. I read that to mean 14 of each of the varieties of Darwin’s Galapagos finches, etc. That’s a lot of birds.

Can you imagine having seven mating pairs of Harpy Eagles in there?

But back to the clean animals. Most cattle are clean. Most cattle are big. Deer are clean. A few of the 40+ species of deer are small, but more are large, moose, white tail deer, elk, caribou. I’ve never found a definitive, but elephants meet the criteria of clean as well as I can tell, giraffes, and North American Bison. (Are hippos clean?) Seven pairs of each of these. And don’t forget the clean insects, as mentioned above.

Everyone realizes there are problems with space availability on the ark. Some have assumed efficient packing, that everything, including each pair of critters, was crated and stacked, as though on a container ship, which of course is impossible. Living creatures cannot be so confined for so long. It is simple, observable fact.

Figure the specifics as you may, but three floors of a 50 cubit by 150 cubit dimension gives a maximum area before walls and supports of the area enclosed by about double a high school track-football field. Think of your high school football field. Assume you can use all the ground inside the track oval, and start putting in bison, elephants, moose, elk, other deer, cows, water-buffalo, goats, sheep, etc. by 14s. Remember, you have to pile up food too. Go look up how much a bison eats. Moose eat more than you can imagine. You do get two of these fields, but we haven’t even gotten to the regular critters by two yet.

Do you honestly think you, by yourself, could tend 14 bison, 14 moose, 14 elk, and 14 black angus on one high school football field filled with enough food to feed them for an entire year? The mental image is staggering.

You remember what the clean critters were for, right? We can assume Noah and his family eat some of them, but apparently not often, but the bible records the actual end use. Gen. 8:20 says, “Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” That was one huge alter fire, and what a horrific mess it would have been.

In case you are wondering, yes, “every” really is there. http://biblehub.com/hebrew/3605.htm

It means “the whole, or all”.

As for me, I will admit that the story of Noah as presented in the bible is not only impossible, but self-contradictory. Still, I hold its validity in support of truth, spiritual and moral truth, and I will teach my children that Noah obeyed God. God warned Noah, and gave him commands. Noah obeyed God, Noah worked hard, and God saved Noah. If you want to argue about the details, not only are you wrong, you are missing the point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfAhpX_wIBk&feature=kp (Video, Jars of Clay, Flood)

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