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Enough Room in the Ark?


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35 replies to this topic

#11 Martini

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:16 PM

The "New Riddles" forum you posted in is for posting brainteasers that aren't already part of the site. Most math questions such as yours which involve figuring out square footage and volume area aren't brainteasers in the classic sense. "Others" is for any topic that isn't suited for the other user submitted forums.
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#12 Writersblock

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:18 PM

He means that this is less a puzzle and more a theological/philosophical discussion at this point. It doesn't belong in "new puzzles" so he put it in "Miscellaneous - Others" for proper organization. It is still linkable through "new puzzles" though.
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#13 hipowertech

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:58 AM

Thank you both for the clarification, again pardon my ignorance.

Let me start this post with a disclaimer.
I am not a genius.
In fact, if you are one who gives any credit at all to IQ, I am somewhere below 140.
I have never been to college, and my education, although thorough, was vocational/military.
I say this only to plead that you remain patient if at any time you feel you are talking to a simpleton. Thank you, end of disclaimer.

You asked how I could assume (I wish I had cut pasted the statement) that Noah's cubit was the same as an egyptian cubit.

1st as you said in an earlier post, if the cubit had been on the scale you mentioned, the size of the ark would have been so large that it would have collapsed under its own weight, somewhere in the square miles range I believe you calculated. That in itself will help us to logically deduce that the cubit referenced had to be somewhat limited in length.

2nd and I think much more importantly. We need to consider who wrote the book of Genesis.
Though inspired by GOD, it was penned by Moses. Moses was raised in the house of Pharoah.
Moses received a dual education, 1st from his natural Hebrew Mother. 2nd as a youth/man in the house of Pharoah as an adopted Grandson of the Ruler of Egypt. I make this point in order to pose the logical deduction that when GOD told Moses to write that the ark was measured by the cubit, if the cubit had been anything other than the same measurement the egyptians use, then a different description would have been penned.

Since God is not the author of confusion it stands to reason that we can reasonably contend that the measurements for the ark given to Moses, were given to him in his own language and understanding. I really doubt that Noah and Moses even spoke the same language actually.
But we all realize that unlike language, Math is really universal, we only really run into trouble when we try to translate concepts (intelligence) from one language to another.

This is why in a nutshell that I chose to use an 18" cubit aside from the fact that it was the most conservative unit of measure I could reasonably use without making wild assumptions about how tall Noah was.

I'm going to go back now and read those other posts and I will write more soon.

Peace
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#14 hipowertech

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 05:46 AM


Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail simply means that the highest point on earth was covered by a height of 15 cubits of water.

I disagree with this and don't think that your construction is supportable from the context. But then that is my opinion.

The reason I construct that from the context is thus. If we read in context including vv17-20
we can logically deduce that a point is being made that the waters prevailed above the highest point of land. I am nowhere near as eloquent as some, so here are a couple of commentaries from learned men to support my point.

Matthew henry commentary from 1706-1714
II. To what degree they increased: they rose so high that not only the low flat countries were deluged, but to make sure work, and that none might escape, the tops of the highest mountains were overflowed—fifteen cubits, that is, seven yards and a half; so that in vain was salvation hoped for from hills or mountains, Jer. 3:23. None of God’s creatures are so high but his power can overtop them; and he will make them know that wherein they deal proudly he is above them. Perhaps the tops of the mountains were washed down by the strength of the waters, which helped much towards the prevailing of the waters above them; for it is said (Job 12:15), He sends out the waters, and they not only overflow, but overturn, the earth. Thus the refuge of lies was swept away, and the waters overflowed the hiding-place of those sinners (Isa. 28:17), and in vain they fly to them for safety, Rev. 6:16. Now the mountains departed, and the hills were removed, and nothing stood a man in stead but the covenant of peace, Isa. 54:10. There is no place on earth so high as to set men out of the reach of God’s judgments, Jer. 49:16; Obad. 1:4. God’s hand will find out all his enemies, Ps. 21:8. Observe how exactly they are fathomed (fifteen cubits), not by Noah’s plummet, but by his knowledge who weighs the waters by measure, Job 28:25.



Chuck Smith Genesis 6-7 (C2000 Series)
"The flood was forty days upon the earth; the waters increased, bare the ark, it was lifted up above the earth. The waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." That is, fifteen feet above the highest mountain.




Also I noted that you referenced Widest point. Are you assuming from the text that the Ark was to be built as anything other than a box shape? If so what is your reason for believing such?

It is an assumption that the arc was built in anyshape. We just don't know. Here's my assumption: God told him how to build it. God would know the best way to build a ship. Two theories: 1)A ship without a keel and stem is very weak, or in other words, the strongest way to build a sea going vessel is with a keel and a stem. A keel and stem cannot be put on a boat that is a perfectly rectangular vessel.
2) If Noah built it sitting on the ground, then it started to rain, a box-like vessel would not be buoyant when filled with weight. The surface area to weight ratio is wrong. If you make it curved like modern boats though, the surface area to weight distribution would allow it to float freely. There is no evidence to support him building it on stilts.



I understand why you would want a stem or keel on an ocean-going vessel. Especially if you were GOING somewhere. But I spent plenty of my life in Mississippi and those barges only had to FLOAT. You see according to the scriptures GOD didn't tell Noah to sail the ark anywhere. He just had a WHOLE LOTTA cargo that needed to be kept dry for about a year. BUT I MUST AGREE. GOD would know how to build it and how to tell Noah to build it. Now as far as it being bouyant, weight distribution or whatnot, I will not profess to be an expert on how well a box floats but it seems to me without a keel your draft would be less than 15 cubits, keeping the ark from busting itself up when it floated over those higher land masses.

Peace
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#15 Writersblock

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 09:43 PM

Good job with the commentaries on the 15 cubit upward part. I still think that you and the commentators both are reading into the story to make it "fit." The language as translated doesn't say that the waters prevailed upward from the mountains 15 cubits. It says "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." Standing on its own it's very clear that the mountains were covered after the waters prevailed 15 cubits. Otherwise it would be reversed. It would say the mountains were covered and the waters prevailed fifteen cubits.

Also, I agree that Moses would have had an Egyptian education. I also agree that God gives man knoweldge according to their own understanding. Good point. This leaves us with the Egyptian cubit and rainfall and water covering EVERY piece of land to which mankind could flee for refuge. If that is what you believe then you must believe one of two things: 1) That there is an unaccounted for major atmospheric disruption that occurred post-flood and that left no trace scientifically discoverable, or 2) that the amount of water currently on the earth was enough to cover every square foot of land in Noah's day.

It's very unlikely point 1 is true. Even if there was some major atmospheric change, I think that we would have evidence of it. We know, for example, how much CO2 was in the atmosphere 10,000 years ago, so I think it's safe to assume that the closed system of the earth has about the same amount of water now as it did when Noah was kicking.

That being said, even if you wrung out the entire atmosphere, you would cover the earth by only about 25 mm of liquid water. The ice caps and all the glacial ice would add about another 20 meters at most. The ground water bubbling up would add another 1/2 meter. (There are figures I have read in the past. If you find anything different please share and cite.) That means that the current sealevel would reach about 20.5 meters higher than it currently does. In turn, that would mean Noah's world had a highest point of about 62 feet. That seems contrary to the discussion of mountains and hills both being covered. I would think there would be no need for the distiction if they differed by less than 60 feet. In fact, I would question whether either would exist on a pangea continent with a high point of 62 feet. That would assume that the rest of the contenent was at sea level, which would be ruinous every time the tides came in where the average tidal shift in the world is about 10 to 12 feet. (Assuming the moon was there for Noah.)
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#16 hipowertech

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 10:16 PM

Let me start by saying thank you. The discussion has been very stimulating and I can feel synapses firing that have been dozing for a good decade or two.

I wish to patiently and methodically address each point from your last post and that will require more than my lunch hour provides. Again, please be patient and I will try to put together a reasonable post that touches on the basics of what reliable scientific evidence we have. It will take me some time because I want to be certain I am not errantly grappling for evidence that would be easily refutable.

On a side note, the whole Moses education in Pharoah's house thing, I can't take credit for that one and I'll explain. You see, when we started this discussion it was blatantly evident that in a battle of intellect I was seriously outgunned by you. Yes I have read some of your other posts and your education level is clearly far above mine. That being said I did the only reasonable thing a Christian could do. I prayed. I found great peace, and I can only say that I have never heard the whole Moses/cubit/education thing before. GOD gets all the glory for that one. I hope that doesn't sound too "WHOAAAA ITS A MIRACLE AND THE ANGELS SANG!!!!" to you. I just thought as long as we are being mature and attempting to carry on a discussion that others were reading, then I should give full disclosure of source material and, well, there you have it.

Hopefully tonight or sometime tomorrow I will be able to put together a decent post regarding scientific evidence, and again thank you for your time and patience with this discussion.

As always,
Peace
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#17 Writersblock

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 11:47 PM

Some things we just have to take on faith. If this is an exercise trying to prove something that you take on faith, I'd ask that we just leave it to faith. I am very secure in my faith, having developed it after years of study, thought, and prayer. Even that being said, I sometimes find things that will not jive with my veiw of existence and have to take them on faith, realizing that my puny intellect doesn't come close to knowing a small fraction of what there is to know. I have had the unfortunate experience of being an agent in destroying others' faith in the past through discussions like this. I don't want to go there. If you are engaging in this discussion to truly expand your circle of knowledge, then I am game and hope we both benefit. If you are trying to solidify your faith, I respectfully decline.

That said, I have some questions for you before we continue. Simple answers will suffice for these.

a) Do you take the bible literally?
B) Where do you think the garden of eden was, physically?
c) Do you believe in the trinity? (God, Jesus, and Spirit of God being one actual entity)
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#18 hipowertech

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 02:17 AM

Some things we just have to take on faith. If this is an exercise trying to prove something that you take on faith, I'd ask that we just leave it to faith. I am very secure in my faith, having developed it after years of study, thought, and prayer. Even that being said, I sometimes find things that will not jive with my veiw of existence and have to take them on faith, realizing that my puny intellect doesn't come close to knowing a small fraction of what there is to know. I have had the unfortunate experience of being an agent in destroying others' faith in the past through discussions like this. I don't want to go there. If you are engaging in this discussion to truly expand your circle of knowledge, then I am game and hope we both benefit. If you are trying to solidify your faith, I respectfully decline.

That said, I have some questions for you before we continue. Simple answers will suffice for these.

a) Do you take the bible literally?
B) Where do you think the garden of eden was, physically?
c) Do you believe in the trinity? (God, Jesus, and Spirit of God being one actual entity)



a. yes and to poorly plagarize a smart fella (Twain? I think) It's not the parts of the Bible I don't understand that bother me, it's the parts I do. I am solidly grounded in my faith and Thank GOD daily that I am not who I once was.

b. I have not tried to place my finger exactly on the spot, though I have studied Eden and the rivers that flow from it in the past. I think that it was pretty well buried in the flood.

c. YES. Whole heartedly, and if it weren't for the Holy Spirit convicting my heart, and the atonement provided by Christ, I could not have the relationship I now cherish with GOD the Father.

Steel Sharpens Steel. I know that nothing any person could say or do could change my basic beliefs. Your willingness to actually read the Word while carrying on an intellectual debate, to open mindedly consider both sides of the coin, and remain kind and respectful while doing so is a breath of fresh air. I hope these answers will suffice to continue the discussion.

Peace
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#19 hipowertech

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 08:48 AM

Also, I agree that Moses would have had an Egyptian education. I also agree that God gives man knoweldge according to their own understanding. Good point. This leaves us with the Egyptian cubit and rainfall and water covering EVERY piece of land to which mankind could flee for refuge. If that is what you believe then you must believe one of two things: 1) That there is an unaccounted for major atmospheric disruption that occurred post-flood and that left no trace scientifically discoverable, or 2) that the amount of water currently on the earth was enough to cover every square foot of land in Noah's day.

It's very unlikely point 1 is true. Even if there was some major atmospheric change, I think that we would have evidence of it. We know, for example, how much CO2 was in the atmosphere 10,000 years ago, so I think it's safe to assume that the closed system of the earth has about the same amount of water now as it did when Noah was kicking.

That being said, even if you wrung out the entire atmosphere, you would cover the earth by only about 25 mm of liquid water. The ice caps and all the glacial ice would add about another 20 meters at most. The ground water bubbling up would add another 1/2 meter. (There are figures I have read in the past. If you find anything different please share and cite.) That means that the current sealevel would reach about 20.5 meters higher than it currently does. In turn, that would mean Noah's world had a highest point of about 62 feet. That seems contrary to the discussion of mountains and hills both being covered. I would think there would be no need for the distiction if they differed by less than 60 feet. In fact, I would question whether either would exist on a pangea continent with a high point of 62 feet. That would assume that the rest of the contenent was at sea level, which would be ruinous every time the tides came in where the average tidal shift in the world is about 10 to 12 feet. (Assuming the moon was there for Noah.)



1. Major atmospheric disruption- The flood itself was a major atmospheric disruption. If you read the biblical account it did not rain before the flood. The fact that we go from NO rain to Deluge as if a switch had been flipped demands some serious explaining. (If that sounds like I'm debating myself I am not) I believe there is very good evidence for this occuring and I will give just a couple of examples.
a. Giantism in the fossil record. Arthropods of such size that current oxygen levels and
atmospheric pressure could not allow their survival. Flying reptiles that should not
have been able to remain airborne at current barometric pressures. Giant insects that
I would expect to have a hard time absorbing enough oxygen considering body mass
verses surface area of their (gills?).
b. The fossil record itself. The fact that we have the fossils we do on this planet is
amazing. Massive layers of fish fossils, both fresh and saltwater varieties seems to
only be possible if they had been buried alive in sediments. Fish generally float, get
scavenged, or rot when they die. They don't bury themselves while still alive
to be fossilized. We have ocean dwelling fossils in sedimentary layers at or near the top
of almost every mountain range on the planet. A very nice example of limestone
sedimentary layer can be found near the summit of everest with marine fossils.

These are only two basic points, I'm sure that we have both read many debates on this with points and counterpoints, I will try to keep it basic in order for anyone else reading to return to the original questions with good faith that the earth was flooded about 4500 years ago and Noah and his family weathered the storm in the ark.

I do believe there is plenty of water on the planet to have completely covered every piece of land. The real issue is that current topography is nowhere near what it was in the time of Noah. If you started pushing land into the ocean and started levelling things out a bit we would definitely be underwater. I dont believe the earth was flat, I agree there is little point in describing high hills and mountains if they weren't there. But there is one more thing I came across recently and maybe you can figure this one for us. It was stated that currently our atmosphere can not contain 40 days and nights worth of rain at least not globally and incessantly. I mean it sounds logical and is likely pointing back to higher pressure and greater concentrations of water vapor in the upper atmosphere. I still believe it did rain for 40/40 but lets explore what kind of atmosphere is required for that to be possible and see if it fits with the fossil record.

I wanted to write a book here tonight (LOL) but instead I am returning to a few that have been collecting dust and need a good re-read. If you don't already own it I am going back through ("The Genesis Flood" The biblical record and its scientific implications) By John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris copyright 1961. It's not an easy read for me but it is definitely enjoyable.

Lastly, I don't care if you are Young Earth, Old Earth, or whatever. I hope I haven't come off as one of those hostile "take it MY way or beat it" types. I am just trying to get the people who don't believe the Bible is inspired by GOD to look at the science and demand some answers.

Looking forward to your reply.

Peace
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#20 Writersblock

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 01:37 AM

The flood itself was a major atmospheric disruption

This I agree with, but I was talking about a post-deluvian atmospheric disruption that would account for more or less water on earth (also in the atmosphere) than there is today. I don't see any support for this anywhere.

I do believe there is plenty of water on the planet to have completely covered every piece of land

Why? As I showed there is only enough water on the planet to raise current sea level by about 60 feet or so. Do you believe that the earth was such that the highest point was 60 feet above current sea level? Or, do you think I am wrong with the amout of water on earth? If the later, why?


currently our atmosphere can not contain 40 days and nights worth of rain at least not globally and incessantly


I am not sure this bears on the discussion. We would be concerned with pre-deluvian atmospheric conditions, not today's. I think the discussion logically revolves around total water content and elevation today, as these are very unlikely to change very much in the past 4500 years or so. Even with the "upheaval" and the concept that plate tectonics didn't operate pre-flood (which I really feel is unlikely as there is zero evidence for this concept and plenty against it), the earth's water content can't have changed that much, as it's a closed system. We'd have to assume massive amounts of water loss into space and again, there is zero evidence for this and plenty against.

I am just trying to get the people who don't believe the Bible is inspired by GOD to look at the science and demand some answers.

Do you believe the Bible is complete and infallable? I only ask because I would dispute this and I think it bears on the discussion. the Bible is incomplete even within its own reference and contradicts itself in several places. That doesn't mean it's not the word of God to Man, but I think some things in the Bible as we know it are untrue. This leaves open the possibility for some of the stories to be incomplete through ancient misunderstanding or later mistranslation. It also allows for later interpretations to be inserted into the text by translators to make stories "fit" into their though paradigm. Do you agree those possibilities exist?
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