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# Enough Room in the Ark?

## Question

Here's one for you guys to do a little homework on.

Should be easy peasy.

Let us state for the record, by todays standards, that a cubit is 18 inches.

That will prevent a lot of ridiculous and argumentative posting.

Question #1

What was the square footage (floorspace) of Noah's Ark?

Question #2

What was the volume in cubic feet?

hint

Question #3

What is the square footage and volume of a standard American Freight car (rail car, box car)

Question #4

How many freight cars (internal area not external car) would fit in the ark?

I know these are easy ones but I will post spoilers if necessary in 48 hours.

Peace

## 35 answers to this question

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There is a problem with your assumption. If you assume that a "cubit" for Noah was the same as it was in the middle ages (which is the same as today), how do you explain Gen 7:20 - "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." Do you really think that every mountain on earth was less than 22.5 feet above sea level? If fifteen cubits covered every mountain, then Noah's cubits can't possibly be 18" or the length of a forearm.

EDITED: fixed a typo

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Following up my post - Assume that Mt. everest was still the highest point when Noah did his thing. There's only been - what - 6000 years since Noah? So in 6000 years of erosion, let's say it hasn't changed the world's highest point that much. Everest is 8820 Meters above sea level. Now to kill everyone off, it wouldn't need to cover the whole thing, even though it SAYS the whole thing was covered. So let's say it was just to where Everest Base camp is now. That's about 5340 meters and is as high as most people could live. So if 15 cubits covered to 5340 Meters, a "Cubit" must be at least 356 Meters long. So the arc was 300x50x30. That's a volume of over 160 MILLION meters cubed. At widest point, the standing surface would be about 5.3 Million square meters. That's about 2.5 square miles of walking space on one deck.

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There is a problem with your assumption. If you assume that a "cubit" for Noah was the same as it was in the middle ages (which is the same as today), how do you explain Gen 7:20 - "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." Do you really think that every mountain on earth was less than 22.5 feet above sea level? If fifteen cubits covered every mountain, then Noah's cubits can't possibly be 18" or the length of a forearm.

EDITED: fixed a typo

I stated that we were assuming a cubit was 18 inches to prevent this type of post. I you want to know what I personally believe Noah's cubit was, then I would liken it closer to 24-36".

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.

No I do not believe everest was anywhere near its current height. Read on to the division (great upheaval?) that happened 100 years later during the time of Peleg.

Personally I believe when the fountains of the deep broke loose we began to see tectonic plate movement and we now have mountains that were non-existant in Noah's time.

Again I chose an 18" cubit because it is the most conservative (ie.. shortest) cubit that I think Noah would have had.

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Following up my post - Assume that Mt. everest was still the highest point when Noah did his thing. There's only been - what - 6000 years since Noah? So in 6000 years of erosion, let's say it hasn't changed the world's highest point that much. Everest is 8820 Meters above sea level. Now to kill everyone off, it wouldn't need to cover the whole thing, even though it SAYS the whole thing was covered. So let's say it was just to where Everest Base camp is now. That's about 5340 meters and is as high as most people could live. So if 15 cubits covered to 5340 Meters, a "Cubit" must be at least 356 Meters long. So the arc was 300x50x30. That's a volume of over 160 MILLION meters cubed. At widest point, the standing surface would be about 5.3 Million square meters. That's about 2.5 square miles of walking space on one deck.

Well it seems that it has only been 6000 years since creation, more like 4500 years since the deluge (flood). Everest, just like many other great mountains is not getting lower, it is getting higher, due to tectonic plate movement. See previous post. Again 15 cubits was not the height above sea level. 15 cubits was the height above the highest point of land.

I will say 160 million meters cubed is incorrect. Lets go back and do the math with an 18" cubit please.

If I caused you any anger I apologize.

I hope you will revisit the original question with the given parameters because you are apparently VERY capable of doing the math.

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?

Peace.

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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.

I stated that we were assuming a cubit was 18 inches to prevent this type of post.
And I merely stated that I feel there is a problem with that assumption. The point of your original post is to compare Noah's ark with a modern box car. I just think it's fallacious to do so using an 18" cubit when that concept comes from the Egyptian rule of measure and there is no support anywhere to assume it was the same for Noah's time (assuming we take it as a given that this was a real event).

If I caused you any anger I apologize.
No anger here. I just like rational discussion and dialogue. It's ok if two people disagree.

Lets go back and do the math with an 18" cubit please.
I don't see the point. Again, I don't see this as a rational comparison. With that lacking, this just becomes a 7th grade math problem.

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.

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One item of support though for the 18" cubit: The heaviest rainfall recorded is about 15cm in 24 hours. If you don't assume major atmospheric changes, and the flood lasted 40 days then that's about 600 cm of rainfall or 236.22 inches of rainfall. Then figure all of the ice on earth would raise the seas by about 40-60 feet, that's another 480 inches or so. That would be 39 18" cubits. That's about double the amount of cubits quoted for the "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail" but with lower rainfall, the fifteen 18" cubits in 40 days is possible, where 5300 meters is not. Again, I just don't see that quote meaning anything but fifteen cubits from where the water started is where it ended up. Feel free to support your position otherwise. Maybe the earth was just a smooth ball of clay regardless of what science tells us.

Edit: My personal beliefs don't matter here as far as this discussion goes, but I don't believe that science and religion must be mutually exclusive even when they appear to be on the surface. If God is the sum of all knowledge, then the knowledge of God is the goal of science.

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Your last paragraph was very close to my opinion.

Edit: My personal beliefs don't matter here as far as this discussion goes, but I don't believe that science and religion must be mutually exclusive even when they appear to be on the surface. If God is the sum of all knowledge, then the knowledge of God is the goal of science.

I am convinced that religion and science can not be treated as mutually exclusive or the scientist will have some terrible hypothetical errors in his work.

I am not convinced that your personal beliefs do not matter, your beliefs are the sum of your own personal quest for understanding and wisdom, therefore we could not have this discussion without your beliefs. Regarding GOD being the sum of all knowledge, I don't think I am intelligent enough to debate/support/defend that statement. I do know that he is all knowing therefore all truth is from Him.

I have to go earn a little daily bread, so I will try to address points from your last two posts this evening if possible. I sincerely look forward to continuing this discussion, it is clear to me from all of your posts that God has gifted you with a staggeringly more profound intellect than my own. That in itself is reason enough for me to discuss the reality and relevance of the flood to its conclusion.

Peace

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Off to "Others".

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off to others? pardon my ignorance in the world of forums. can you explain that to the uninitiated?

thank you

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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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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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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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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 overflowedâ€”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 Godâ€™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 Godâ€™s judgments, Jer. 49:16; Obad. 1:4. Godâ€™s hand will find out all his enemies, Ps. 21:8. Observe how exactly they are fathomed (fifteen cubits), not by Noahâ€™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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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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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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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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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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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.

Peace

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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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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 not feel that more or less water is required than we have today. This is not a point of contention.

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?

I again do not feel you are wrong with the amount of water on earth. I do not think that current sea level is relevant until we use it as a part of our formula but not the sum. Let us observe where current water is stored and how various the quantities. There are five major places that I can think of. 1. The oceans 2. Lakes and streams (surface water above sea level) 3. Atmospheric (clouds, higher altitude vapor) 4. Subterrainian (aquifers, wells etc) 5. Subcontinental (is that the correct word?) beneath the earth's plates.

If we assume that appx 4500 years ago all of these water tanks held the same relative volumes that they do today then I would have a very hard time standing firmly with this position. I personally believe that two of these five "tanks" held the majority of the water pre-flood. Upper atmospheric vapor and sub-continental resivoir. These are the two I believe were referred to when "The windows of heaven were opened" and "The fountains of the great deep were broken up" taken from Gen 7:11.

I do believe that there is overwhelming evidence for these two resevoirs being released into our visible environment and will give examples in a future post. I also believe that these were the cause of tectonic catastrophy and we are now witnessing the entropic results of that initial extreem movement.

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.

It is not necessary to assume anything, but we must logically address points one at a time and be reasonable in our view of both sides, lest we become too proud and "thinking ourselves wise become fools". I have been guilty of this before and hope to remain reasonable and humble in my study and dissection of things greater than I.

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?

I do believe the Bible is the Word of God and that HE has done a wonderful job of keeping his word through the ages. As far as the Bible being incomplete within it's own reference I agree that there are references that are not in the Bible but they are references given to OUTSIDE material that was not Divinely inspired scripture and certainly appropriate to the reader of the time to verify factual data in order to preserve the actual Word that was given. When an Encyclopedia references material it does not include it, neither does a scientist or writer.

The many contradictions that you refer to need to be addressed one by one because I disagree wholeheartedly and I think for the purposes of this discussion that would be a rabbit trail to take us away from the discussion of the flood. I would cherish the opportunity to take that debate as a new topic after we complete this one.

as always

Peace

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I'm not sure where you are going with that last post other than to take my previous post point by point. I think we can agree that 1) the earth is a closed system, 2) the sum of water on earth today must be the same as in Noah's time, 3) the distribution of water today is probably different than in Noah's time with relation to how much is in the atmosphere, oceans, sub-terrainian, ice, and sub-lihosphere, 4) the earth probably had mountains at the time of Noah near the size of some mountains today.

Right? I believe we have covered these points and agree on these issues.

That being said, the total amount of water available on the surface, atmosphere and in sub-terrainian locations today would raise current sea level by no more than 65 feet. Even if the water were in different distributions, the sum is the same and this is an assumption that ALL water on the earth was pulled to the surface and taken out of the atmosphere to the surface. Today, 98% of water is in the oceans. 1.6 % is in the ice. The atmosphere accounts for a very small percentage (less than .1%). The lithospheric water tables hold less than .4% of the earth's water. This includes subterranian water and the small amount of water that is contained between the lithosphere and pyrosphere. Even if the water from the atmosphere and ice caps were underground at the time of Noah, we are still only talking about a sum of 65 feet or so in ocean level rise without the water being in the atmosphere. We know that some of the water entered the atmosphere because it was raining.

The only way to assume that the change in sea level at Noah's time was greater than this is to assume that a significant part of the oceans were contained in subterranian aquifers and under the 4 miles of lithosphere. This would merely be an assumption based on nothing other than making the story "work" because there is no evidence for so much water being contained in the ground. IF you do assume this, then how much was there? IF the highest mountain at Noah's time was even a paltry 5000 feet, you would have to assume that 1/3 of the current ocean water was stuck underground at the time of Noah and was all released to the surface in a period of 40 days. Where is the evidence for such an event?

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In thinking about this I realized that I could be wrong in the depth of the seas compared to the elevation of the mountains. Assuming a pangea formation of the contenents at the time of Noah, and using the currently accepted model for how the plates form up in that formation, the Pacific Ocean would have been the only ocean. I'll look up what the formation was compared to where Noah likely was and maybe that will illuminate this discussion.

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From the Epic of Gilgamesh

I [utnapishtim] released a dove from the boat,

It flew off, but circled around and returned,

For it could find no perch.

I then released a swallow from the boat,

It flew off, but circled around and returned,

For it could find no perch.

I then released a raven from the boat,

It flew off, and the waters had receded:

It eats, it scratches the ground, but it does not circle around and return.

I then sent out all the living things in every direction and sacrificed a sheep on that very spot.

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Hello again, sorry it's been a couple of days since my last post.

Let me start with a few verses from Psalms and a quote from second Peter before I go into the sea level thing.

Psalm 104 vv5-9

Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the water stood above the mountains.

At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over: that they turn not again to cover the earth.

II Peter 3 vv 3-7

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men.

I quote these passages before continuing because I think they say much about what we see today, both scientifically and socially. I promised in an earlier post that I would give scientific examples of why I believe what I do so here goes. You wanted to know what evidence there is for a different sea level than we have today considering that the amounts of water are likely no different.

From the book I cited earlier The Genesis Flood 42nd printing 1998

p124

More water in present Oceans

There is, also, much evidence that sea level was once much lower relative to the land surfaces than it is at present, implying that the amount of water in the ocean was much smaller, or that some parts of the sea bottom have dropped, or both. In the past decade have been discovered great numbers of "seamounts," which are nothing but drowned islands out in the middle of the ocean. These are flat-topped, and therefore non-volcanic in formation, and are now in many cases more than 1,000 fathoms below the surface. Yet they give abundant evidence of having once been above the surface. Dr. Edwin L. Hamilton, the marine geologist, says concerning them:

"They are fossil landforms preserved in the depths of the sea, where they are disturbed only by light currents and the slow rain of pelagic material from the waters above."

"The last Geographic Frontier: The Sea Floor," Scientific monthly, Vol 85, December 1957, p. 303

The section of the book continues to describe "Submarine canyons" that indicate that the ocean level was once much lower relative to current seacoasts. These are common geologic forms found on continental shelves where rivers current or ancient poured into the sea. The thing that is amazing is that the erosion of the canyon banks is very similar if not identical to above surface erosion of stream and river beds. The following quote is from Wm. D Thornbury: "Principles of Geomorphology", (New York, Wiley, 1954), p472

The difficulties encountered in explaining the lowering of sea level necessary for the canyons to have been cut by streams seems insurmountable....If Tolstoy's conclusion that Hudson Canyon extends down to a depth of 15,000 feet is correct, the magnitude of lowering of sea level to permit subaerial canyon cutting seems beyond any possibility of realization.

Because of these and other evidences Dr. K.K. Landes, Head of the Geology Department at Michigan University in 1959 was quoted as saying, "Can we as seekers after truth, shut our eyes any longer to the obvious fact that large areas of sea floor have sunk vertical distances measured in miles?"

These are a couple of things to investigate regarding oceanic topography and the evidence that exists for a drastic change in sea level and what we now have both above and below the waters.

If we look earnestly at coal formations (deposits) oil reserves and mass fossil graveyards it is apparent that all of these evidences were organic material laid down though hydrologic transportation and buried by sediments in order to become what they are today. The time required to form coal (laboratory tests have proven it to be less than one year under pressure and heat that is reasonable not extreme) and oil wich we have examples of it currently being formed and releasing to the surface from vegetative mats beneath the ocean. Alongside this we read Peter's warning about the current Uniformitarian position taken by most scientists. It has to be sobering if we are men of reason.

I will continue to take a literal translation of the Bible and see the evidence in the light of truth. The data that Scientists gather in all fields is very useful. I do not agree with the timelines laid down because they are never necessary to logically assemble the data and see that the Word is valid today as in the day it was written.

Lastly, the Gilgamesh Epic.

Time does not permit me to go too deeply into this but I will take a few moments because I think it needs to be discussed.

There are many points of agreement and many points of contention in these two records of the flood. I believe that the gilgamesh epic either came from the sumerians who had many versions and the Babylonians took the most accurate one to copy. Or the Babylonians got their version from their Amorite ancestors who were more likely to have closer ties to Abrahams ancestors than the Sumerians did. Either way we have the gilgamesh epic which is the oral traditions of men compared to The biblical account that holds up under close scrutiny on all scientific points. By the way the Gilgamesh ark was a 120X120X120 cube, not very likely to remain upright in heavy seas, talk about seasick.

Regardless, it is a wonderful proof considering almost every culture around the globe has a flood tradition. I think this in itself supports the infallibility of the Bible's account when compared to any of these stories.

Peace

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I think your science from the 50's concerning sea floor canyons is bad. They know now that those are formed by under water rivers of cold heavy water. That given, and throwing out the modern evidence on dating and contenental shift, I agree that the ocean to land ratio was probably different when there was a pangea contenent and there is probably enough water to account for a complete submersion of the earth. So take that along with an ark that was roughly the size of 1 1/2 football fields and 3 stories tall, I'd say that the story could be true as written, if you allow for micro evolution accouting for changes in species later on. (For example, just bring 2 dogs and later on we get wolves, coyotes, all the dog breeds, etc.)

Also, you have to distrust modern archeological evidence as to the migratory patterns of early man, and you have to assume that all of the races came from Noah. I can see the black skinned races descended from Ham (who married a Canaanite) and the asians are the inhabitants of the "isles of the Gentiles" through Japheth. That would mean the white races through Shem. I suppose you could make an argument (outside of DNA testing) that all races come from those three races. (Personally I think race is irrelevant anyway, but people have always divided themselves into peoples and they had to have come from somewhere.)

So there we have it. Noah as a literal truth.

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