Belfast Telegraph

Home Opinion Letters

Biblical account of Noah's Ark doesn't measure up to my understanding of how one cares for animals

letter of the day: theology and science

Norman Campbell (Write Back, October 11) asserts that the Bible "accurately records the history of mankind" and that we are all "descended from the eight people that God saved from the worldwide flood some 4,500 years ago".

The eight people to whom he refers are presumably Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. According to the Bible story, Noah built an Ark, some 450ft long, 75ft wide and 45ft high. This provided a total floor area of approximately 100,950 sq ft.

Of course, all of this space could not be available to accommodate the animals. Food and water had to be stored and provision had to be made presumably for the collection and storage of all the animal waste and there had to be access/egress to the three floors and to all other parts of the Ark.

I have referred to this space as "life support space" and allocated a modest 12.5% of available space for this, making the animal accommodation available about 88,300 square feet.

Excluding all fish (which would not have needed to enter the Ark) there are about 1,000 species of amphibian, 9,000 species of bird, 15,000 species of animal, 6,000 species of reptile and more than one million species of insect.

If we assume half of the amphibians did not need to enter the Ark, we are left with having to house two of each species - some 61,000 "animals" in total plus two million insects.

There appears to be some confusion in relation to how long the flood lasted. I have adopted 150 days ("And after the end of one hundred and fifty days, the waters were abated." Gen 8 v3).

Therefore, in a very hot climate, some 61,000 animals had to live for 150 days in the Ark's living area of approximately 88,000 sq ft, with no temperature control, refrigeration, or sewage disposal and an ageing/diminishing water and food supply.

On the basis of the above, I - for one - would like our scientists to continue to establish research-based evidence and knowledge, rather than depend on Biblical accounts.


Claudy, Co Londonderry

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph