Problem: The animals couldn't all fit on Noah's ark
Verses: Genesis 6-8; Status: Minor

I'm an atheist, so of course I don't believe in the story of Noah's ark. But if I was a believer, and if I thought the story was meant to be taken literally, I would view it as a kind of miraculous event.

I'm surprised, therefore, that even believers are concerned with mundane questions like whether all the animals could fit, or board in time, and so on. This is supposed to be a miracle! It's a bit weird to ask whether the miracle is plausible. It's like asking whether five loaves of bread and two fish can really feed five thousand.

However, I suppose I should mention what seems to be the standard interpretation for inerrantists: a bizarre account of how there were only a few "kinds" on the ark, and afterwards they "diversified" into the millions of species we see today - though this diversification was not done through evolution, of course. (Which is fair enough: there wouldn't be time.)

The thing is, though, there's no mention of anything like this in the Bible. And of course, it totally contradicts actual science. Honestly, I think inerrantists would do better to just embrace the miracle as a miracle.

Updated: 2008-11-30

Back to main index


See also