The Instigator
Praetor
Con (against)
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The Contender
Finalfan
Pro (for)
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Noahs Ark - Impossible Fiction or Biblical Truth

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,298 times Debate No: 34657
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Praetor

Con

Finflan, you recently started a debate questioning the veracity of the biblical account Noah's Ark.

I would like to challenge you to a similar debate. You recently raised a number of interesting objections. I would submit that your objections are unfounded and challenge you to raise them again and let me respond to them in a structured manner.

I believe that there is both plenty of evidence to support the biblical account of Noah's ark. As such I challenge you to the above debate.

Your position would be that of Pro - Arguing that the account of Noah's Ark is an impossible fiction.

I will argue that not only is the account possible, but that there is also much evidence to support the account.
Finalfan

Pro

1.Was Noah a 600 year old drunk when he built the ark and does that make him too feeble to take on such a project
a. This was before any tools had been invented to help Noah build a giant boat in short notice.
b. Noah lived in the dessert. Where did he get the wood and how did he take the time to craft each piece without the
help from massive saws, cranes and conveyor belts.

2. I was told the size of the boat. Although it is massive, it is hardly big enough to hold one of every animal let alone two.
a. I saw a documentary where a physics professor, engineer, and ship builder describes the concept of the Ark as
"impossible". He says that physics would topple the giant boat before the first wave hit it. Let alone tidal waves.

3. 2 of every animal fits on a boat after traveling 3959 miles across oceans jungles and desserts. Protected from nature while on the treacherous journey.
a. Were their 2 bears, or 2 brown bear, grizzly bear, black bears, poler bears, Kodiak bears. etc
b. what did the animals eat on the boat (Animals eat other animals) I don't want to even think of all the feces!
c. How did the animals migrate from the mountain to their current habitat?

4. If Noah repopulated the earth where do different races come from?
a. Did Noah have to commit incest?
b. where does this fit into evolution?

5 Do you believe the explanation for the existence of rainbows provided in the bible?
a. Did rainbows not exist before the flood?
b. how do you respond to sciences explanation for the existence of a rainbow?

6. Do you believe that God suspends natural laws in order to fuel his plan?
a. Wouldn't this divine intervention be more useful in the guidance of the "Gods Children" Instead of sending divine
Wrath!
Debate Round No. 1
Praetor

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and wish him luck
During this debate I will work off the assumption the account of the flood and Noah"s Ark is the one described in the Biblical narrative of Genesis.
I intend to approach this debate in this manner:
My opponent, in his opening argument, has raised a number of reasons why the Noah"s Ark couldn"t have existed or would be impossible. It is therefore my understanding that my opponent"s argument rests on his belief that the biblical account of Noah"s Ark and a worldwide flood is impossible. As such, I will first attempt to rebut his objections, thereby forcing my opponent to accept that the account was at least possible. I have left some objections to respond to in my second post, as I am limited by the number of words.
Secondly, If I am successful, I will then move on to providing positive evidence to support the biblical account of Noah"s Ark and the Flood.
My opponent challenged Noah"s ability to build the ark, as he was 600 years old at the time, and was a drunk. He further alleges that no tools were available, nor was any wood readily available in a desert.
"Was Noah a 600 year old drunk when he built the ark and does that make him too feeble to take on such a project
a. This was before any tools had been invented to help Noah build a giant boat in short notice.
b. Noah lived in the dessert. Where did he get the wood and how did he take the time to craft each piece without the help from massive saws, cranes and conveyor belts."
I agree with my opponent, that Noah was 600 years old when he built the ark, but not that he was too feeble, nor that he was a drunk. I will examine these charges in reverse order, as Noah"s age is the most complicated and lengthy discussion.
1. ""Noah was a drunk"" My opponent has not provided any evidence to suggest that Noah was a drunk, nor is there any biblical account of him being a drunk. After leaving the Ark, Noah planted the first vineyards made wine and became drunk. OI know many people who have been drunk in their lives, this does not make them drunks. A person who is "a drunk", is someone who is regularly drunk, so I think my opponents objection is misleading and unfounded. Even "if" Noah was "a drunk", he planted the "first" vineyard after leaving the ark, so his sobriety wouldn"t have affected his ability to build.
2. There was no wood, as it was a desert, and there were no tools available. My opponent has made two charges here, which he has neither provided any factual basis for, nor are they supported by the evidence. An assessment of the likely level of technology in the pre-Flood world is possible from looking at the civilizations that sprang up quickly after the Flood"Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc. Noah would have had a lot of time and incentive to ensure that pre-Flood "knowhow" made it into the new world. Genesis indicates that metalworking was known well before Noah"s day, so it seems overwhelmingly likely that Noah had metal tools available to him. It should also be taken into account that the Ark was built over a period of around a 100 years, and Noah did not build is single handed. As for cranes and conveyor belts, the Egyptians built their pyramids *relatively* soon after this. With regards to wood being available, my opponent assumes that there were no trees available in the area, but again has provided no evidence, biblical or otherwise to support this claim. Even if there are no trees in that region now, this is most probably a result of the catastrophic worldwide flood, which would have drastically changed environments as well as vegetation.
3. Noah"s age: I will respond to this in my next post.
"I was told the size of the boat. Although it is massive, it is hardly big enough to hold one of every animal let alone two."
This appears to be your opinion rather than the result of any type of empirical evidence. You provided no evidence to support this charge. Also, when you say "one of every animal", I think you are under the mistaken assumption that Noah had to take every sinlge species on board. I address this later on.
"I saw a documentary where a physics professor, engineer, and ship builder describes the concept of the Ark as "impossible". He says that physics would topple the giant boat before the first wave hit it. Let alone tidal waves."

You"ve used an unknown, unreferenced source as evidence. I could quite easily argue that I had seen a documentary where a ship builder and physicist described the Ark as possible, and probable, and able to be extremely sea worthy. If you are arguing that the Ark would be unseaworthy, you need to then provide some sort of real evidence to
" of every animal fits on a boat after traveling 3959 miles across oceans jungles and desserts. Protected from nature while on the treacherous journey.
a. Were their 2 bears, or 2 brown bear, grizzly bear, black bears, poler bears, Kodiak bears. Etc b. what did the animals eat on the boat (Animals eat other animals) I don't want to even think of all the feces"
This is an interesting point, although based on a somewhat misunderstood view.
The bible claims, that Noah took two (except certain animals which I believe he took seven pairs) of every kind of animal, not every species or type. So for example Noah would only need to take two dogs or perhaps wolves, rather than two poodles, two greyhounds, two terriers and so on. Zebras, Donkeys and Horses were probably one biblical kind. Genetic variety and selective breeding are responsible for the multitude and variety of different species we see today.
The large herbivoress could have eaten compressed hay, other dried plant material, seeds and grains, and the like. Carnivorous animals could have eaten dried meat, reconstituted dried meat, or slaughtered animals. Giant tortoises would have been ideal to use as food in this regard. They were large and needed little food to be maintained themselves, (merely as an example.) Bearing in mind Noah had about a hundred years to prepare for this trip, and to gather food and supplies.
With regards to the faeces, I don"t know exactly how it was dealt with but there are at least two possible solutions. In some parts of the world farmers today need to house their animals inside for many months during the winter, which is similar to Noah"s task. People in those countries have solved the problem in various ways. The farmer continuously adds straw (or peat or sawdust) on top of the existing layer when it is soiled by animal waste. By the end of the winter the layer "bedding" has grown as much as half a metre. Even though the waste builds up the environment remains clean, hygienic and sweet smelling. Similar stables also house cows and horses.
Potstals were used a lot in the past and are still popular today with environmentally friendly farms.
Another type of stable is the "grupstal" Many farmers where I grew up used to have stables like this, and they are still used in our country. In this stable the animals are housed on a floor with, for example, straw. A "gutter" (called "grup" in old Dutch) behind them collects the manure and urine. This type of stable is easy to clean"just push the manure into a collection tank. A relatively small amount of straw is needed. If Noah had used a system like this, then he could have discharged the waste to sea, using water (not in short supply!) to flush the stable clean.
It is also easy to feed the animals in these kinds of stables, by simply throwing the food into a gutter on the head side of the stable.
"4. If Noah repopulated the earth where do different races come from?
a. Did Noah have to commit incest? b. where does this fit into evolution?"
Noah wasn"t the only person on the Ark, so why would he have to commit incest? Noah"s Wife accompanied Noah, as well as Noah"s three sons and their wives.
I can only speculate about where the different races came from, although you are assuming they came about after the flood, which I would probably tend to agree with. It"s possible that Noah"s sons had wives of different races. It"s more likely though, that when God mixed up their languages after the tower of Babel, he also mixed up the races, or, different races are a product of genetic diversity, much more abundant in earlier man.
As to where this fits in with evolution, I don"t see that it does, although evolution faces the same problem. If as evolutionary theory states, ewe all came from a common ancestor, where did the different races come from?

"5 Do you believe the explanation for the existence of rainbows provided in the bible?
a. Did rainbows not exist before the flood?
b. how do you respond to sciences explanation for the existence of a rainbow?"

Did rainbows exist? The theory is that before the flood, it did not rain, so rainbows wouldn"t have appeared. The great flood drastically altered the climatic conditions and weather cycles on the earth. The bible never claims that a rainbow is some sort of magic, merely that God used it as a sign or a reminder of his promise to Noah and his ancestors.

"6. Do you believe that God suspends natural laws in order to fuel his plan?
a. Wouldn't this divine intervention be more useful in the guidance of the "Gods Children" Instead of sending divine Wrath!"
No, because then God would be interfering with peoples free will. God did not need to suspend the natural laws, any more than you do when you pick up a rock. When you pick up a rock you are defying gravity, not breaking the laws that describe gravity. You are injecting your energy into the environment and causing the rock to defy gravity. God, who has infinite power and energy is obviously able to do the same thing. That does not mean he is suspending the laws of physics.
Finalfan

Pro

First off, your opening arguments have caused me to re-think my approach. Obviously I can't use a comedy routine to map out a debate. However the fact that you require evidence and a list of sources proves two things:

1. You believe the old and new testament to be factual accounts of archaeological history.

2 You are my 9th grade debate teacher. (meant to be funny not rude)

I bring this up because I want to make it clear that if I'm going to entertain the idea of the Bible being your source, I should be allowed to take inspiration from people like Richard Dawkins who put refuting Noah's Ark in such a way as "Smashing a tiny nut with a large hammer"!

Again despite what you think of Dawkins as a source I would ask you to honor it in the same way I will give you the bible! Anyways here is a rough outline of his Book "The greatest show on earth" He gives a potent speech about Darwins Natural Selection in 2010 where he simplifies the geographical distribution of animals and the independent evolution of life forms based on survival of their surroundings! I want to point out that this type of evolution has very few examples of an accelerated change, especially in every animal on the planet in such a short time! I'm only mentioning this because if you studied it yourself. You would not see room for a global flood or geographical distribution from the epicenter of Mount Ararat.

Richard Dawkins asks:

1. Think what the geographical distribution would look like if they had all dispersed form Noah's Ark.
a.Shouldn't there be some type of law of decreasing species diversity as we move away from the epicenter?
("I don't have to tell you that's not what we see")-Dawkins quote
b.Why would all of the marsupials migrate to Australia, but no placental did at all?
c.Which route did they take?
d.Why did not a single member of their straggling caravan pause on the way settling in another haven along the way?
e. Why did the penguins migrate south to the Antarctic, but not one to the equally hospitable Arctic?

I will continue my arguments about the Ark itself and the massive undertaking it would be compared to the pyramids with a fraction of the "slaves"!

Your information about stables was illuminating but is dwarfed by the number of animals vs. the labor force! How many animals were on that boat? How many in Noahs Family?

"Genetic variety and selective breeding are responsible for the multitude and variety of different species we see today."

I'm sorry, I cannot accept that this all happened in just a few thousand years. The diversity and geographical placement is due to Natural Selection in a very subtle process that is extremely rare. But in millions of years has created the diversity that we experience today. There is no evidence for an accelerated change of that magnitude. In fact It is possible that since the time of Noah only one species would likely have made the leap in the evolutionary process!
Debate Round No. 2
Praetor

Con

Noah"s age: In the book of Genesis, the Bible routinely records human life spans which seem outrageously different from our experience today. Adam lived to 930 years; Noah even longer, to 950 years (see graph below). These long life spans are not haphazardly distributed; they are systematically greater before the Flood of Noah, and decline sharply afterwards. These great ages are not presented in the Bible as if they are in any way extraordinary for their times, let alone miraculous.
Many people are quick to scoff at such ages, claiming they are "biologically impossible". Today, even if they avoid all fatal diseases, humans will generally die of old age before they reach much past 100. Even the very exceptional cases don"t make it much past 120 years.
However, a look at the evidence related to aging suggests that the apparent upper limit on today"s average life spans is not something that is "biologically inevitable" as such for humans or other multi-celled creatures.
Disease, diet, "wear and tear" and other environmental factors undoubtedly play a part in how long we live. However, it now appears that underlying all these are factors somehow written into our genetic code, which determine what our "upper limit" is.
And although an average "upper limit" seems to be "programmed" into each species, breeding experiments have shown that this limit can be altered, even dramatically. Experiments with fruitflies and worms have shown that extra longevity can be bred into and out of these populations.
Why is it that multi-celled creatures (like people) all eventually wear out and die? It is not enough to simply say that there are physical laws which dictate that all fixed structures will eventually wear out. This is true, but biological machinery has built-in "intelligence" (programmed into the DNA) which gives it the ability to repair itself.
Our individual organs do wear out. The cells within them can multiply for a while, but not forever. After a certain number of times, they simply stop dividing. It is known that ordinary human cells will only divide some 80"90 times, then no more.
It appears that there is, on the tips of each of our chromosomes, a structure called a telomere.
The machinery by which cells divide is controlled by the instructions written on the DNA, the genetic code. So it looks as if some pre-programmed genetic limit, while not all there is to aging, could well be a big part of the story. In short, there is no known biological reason why lifespans of 900 years or more would be impossible if that genetic limit were set at a different point. And there is reason to think that there could indeed be great variation in this genetic "upper limit". We have already seen that simply reshuffling gene frequencies through breeding selection in fruitflies can drastically increase their lifespan.
The real question then becomes not, "How could they possibly live for so long?", but rather, "Why don"t we live that long any more?
The "capping" at the end of each chromosome (called a telomere, from Greek `4;^1;_5;_9;`2; telos = "end" and _6;^1;`1;_9;`2; mer_9;s "part") is, like the capped tips of shoelaces, necessary to prevent the ends fraying. The telomere shortens with each cell division"once the limit is reached, the cells can no longer divide. This is probably only one way in which our limited lifespans are "programmed" into us. There is no biological reason at all why people could not live much longer than they do at present, if they had the appropriate genetic makeup.
It has long been known that there are human cells that can keep on dividing forever"cancer cells. These appear not to have the built-in "switch" which tells cells to stop dividing, so they keep on making copies of themselves. This is why medical labs, which need to use human cell lines in their work, can be continually supplied with cells which are all the "offspring" of one unfortunate person"s cancer. (Called HeLa cells, after Henrietta Lacks, the lady whose cancer it was). The HeLa cell line is effectively "immortal" (unless existing HeLa cells were to all be physically destroyed).
Recently, laboratory results based on an enzyme3 that is involved with the replication of the telomere, have caused much excitement. Modified human cell lines have divided many times past their limit. Some speculate that such manipulations could cause people to live to much longer ages, providing they do not succumb to disease or accident in the meantime. Aging is certain to be much more complex than these simplified discussions, based on preliminary findings, might lead us to think. However, the evidence so far strongly suggests that genetics plays a major part.
Looking at the drop in life spans after the Flood, it is natural to think that it must be related to the world having changed so drastically. Evidence from the fossil record does suggest that carbon dioxide (also possibly oxygen) levels were higher in the pre-Flood world. Many have suggested that an atmospheric canopy of water vapour sheltered the pre-Flood world from cosmic radiation. However, whether this is so or not, there is little evidence that aging is substantially influenced by any of these factors

If such genetic loss were the reason for the decline in life spans, it may not be the only one. Harmful mutations accumulating at higher rates may have played a part. Some of these mutations may have caused a loss of the length of the telomere, for instance. Of course, the ultimate reason for all aging and death is the Curse on all creation recorded in Genesis chapter 3. Adam was told that if he disobeyed God, "dying, you shall die" [lit. Hebrew]. Adam immediately died spiritually, and began to die physically on the very same day, just as we are all dying today.
Modern genetic research shows that we all inherit the inevitability of aging and death. When we look at our encroaching wrinkles in the mirror, it should remind us of the awfulness of sin in the sight of a holy God. And it should cause us immense thankfulness that God has provided a way of escape from His own righteous judgement on sin, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a well-known and simple phenomenon called "genetic drift", through which varying forms (alleles) of genes (stretches of DNA coding for various characteristics) can become lost in small populations.

Genes come in pairs; you inherit one from your mother and one from your father. Therefore the possibility that none of the offspring will inherit a particlaur gene is not at all a remote one. (If they only have three children, the chance is 1 in 8). In a situation in which the entire human race was reduced down to Noah, his three sons and their wives, it is entirely feasible that some forms of the genes present in Noah were not passed on. Since it now appears that much of aging is under genetic control, loss of some of the genes for longevity may be the reason for the drop post-Flood. Perhaps subsequent population bottlenecks (at Babel) contributed further to this genetic elimination.
The "capping" at the end of each chromosome (called a telomere, from Greek `4;^1;_5;_9;`2; telos = "end" and _6;^1;`1;_9;`2; mer_9;s "part") is, like the capped tips of shoelaces, necessary to prevent the ends fraying. The telomere shortens with each cell division"once the limit is reached, the cells can no longer divide. This is probably only one way in which our limited life spans are "programmed" into us. There is no biological reason at all why people could not live much longer than they do at present, if they had the appropriate genetic makeup.

I have run out of space to complete this response, so I hope you wlll bear with me, and I will conclude it in my next response where I will also respond to the issue of 'How the animals migrated'
Finalfan

Pro

I was hoping you could let me know if you were going to respond to my last argument and not My opening statement. When I started the Debate on Noah's ark it was suppose to be an easy fun debate. When I saw how serious you were taking it, I did my research and found a new approach. I will however respond to your evidence of Noah's age!

Your evidence for the possibility for Noah living to 950 years old is impressive and very interesting, but I would like to point out a few flaws in your logic.

1. Noah lived during the Neolithic Era where the average life expectancy was 21 years old. With a max age of around
40 years old.
a. This low life expectancy was due to the high mortality rate from viruses, infection and many other illnesses that
are easily treatable today.
b. A lot of people back then simply died from their teeth.
c. Assuming Noah escaped all of these natural deaths he would hardly be in tip top shape. The concept that Noah did
not break any bones or have a "work related accident" is Highly improbable!
d. The only way that Abraham, Moses and Noah could have lived as long as they did they would have to be under
some kind of divine protection from God. Which greatly affects "Free will" considering it is only measured by the
time you have to use it. (Like killing everyone in the flood. Intervening and ending the lives greatly affects their
fee will since they don't have a life to use it!)

Next I would like to address the issue of the "Great Flood"

1. First of all I would like to mention that the flood myth predates Noah's time by thousands of years.
http://www.talkorigins.org...

2. I did some research to find out where all of the water came from and found a very interesting explanation!
a. The Earth is a flat disk surrounded by a spherical atmosphere shielding the earth from "the deep" or outer space.
This shield is called "The Firmament"
b. God opened up a window in the firmament and down poured the flood waters (Which hardly sounds like "rain")
c. Basically the Earth is a stone globe floating in water?

I will now argue the Ark being used to house 2 or 7 of every animal including food and water and Noah's family!

1.The Ark was not even the size of the Titanic. The Titanic is still not large enough to hold every animal let alone their
food and water!
a. The Queen Marry II is more than twice the size of Noah's Ark, and still wouldn't even be big enough!
b. "The Ark as described is a huge boat made of wood, which is not exactly prime shipbuilding material. Considering that the largest known wooden boats are 300 feet long, have to be reinforced with iron straps, and require constant pumping, and that neither pumps nor iron were available to Noah, the Ark wouldn't be very seaworthy"

2 The feeding duties left to Noah were insurmountable due to the special diets of millions of different animal and insect
species. Including the preservation and storage of the many varieties of dietary foods.
a Carnivores like lions and hyenas require a fresh meat diet to sustain their digestive systems. Studies have shown
that feeding them dried meat would cause their highly acidic digestive systems to shut down. They would be better
off eating spoiled meat!
b. The Adactylidium mite survives specifically by eating the eggs of the Marthal bug. Noah would have to have that
specific obscure biological knowledge, an optical microscope, and a years supply of preserved eggs!

I will now address your theory that it never rained before the flood!

1. I'm having a hard time finding evidence to the contrary so I am going to have to use common sense for my argument
a. Rain is EXTREMELY important for the survival of all living things!
b. The proof that it has always rained is the fact that Earth is a live able planet.
c. Without rain this planet would be as inhabitable as Mars!

2. Scientists have a very full understanding of where rainbows come from without conceding to the possibility of
a supernatural hypothesis!

I have a few random questions:

1. Were there dinosaurs on this ark? Did the flood cause their extinction?

2.Did Noah ensure the proper care and diet of parasites?

3. Didn't the flood completely trash the ecosystems of each animal? How did they eat after the flood?

4. Were there 2 of every Flora on this ark?

I am willing to extend this debate for another 5 rounds if necessary. We have barely scratched the surface and you haven't addressed my summary of Richard Dawkins view of Noah's Ark!
Debate Round No. 3
Praetor

Con

Praetor forfeited this round.
Finalfan

Pro

I have been known to be aggressive in my debate style which has been off-putting to some of my opponents. I Hope my argument or my debate style is not the reason for your absence. Anyways I will await your argument to continue this debate! Otherwise *Cheers mate*
Debate Round No. 4
Praetor

Con

Praetor forfeited this round.
Finalfan

Pro

Ha I knew that no one really believes that the Noahs Ark story happened in Reality! But apparently 40 percent of America claims that they do! So If Noahs Arks isn't real.. Does that mean none of the supernatural events in the bible did not happen including Jesus's resurrection! Kinda topples the entire house of cards@
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Finalfan 4 years ago
Finalfan
http://books.google.com...

This is my source for The Lions digestive system!
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