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Noah's Ark's Occurence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 579 times Debate No: 77965
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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In a comment on a poll, you said that Noah's Ark could not have happened. I would like to debate with you on that matter. I think this debate should be rather straight-forward.
Four Rounds
6,000 characters
72 hours
Be polite and courteous
All sources must be cited
We both must show proof
Please ask in Round One if anything should be added/removed (Further discussion in comments if necessary)
Round Format:
Round One- Acceptance and inquire about changes, opening statements
Round Two- Rebuttals, first arguments
Round Three- Rebuttals, second arguments
Round Four- Rebuttals, closing statements
That should be everything!

Greetings! It is a pleasure to be debating with you concerning Noah's Ark, and it's literal existence, as noted in the Bible. I would like to point out that I hold the Bible to be completely factual, and will regard it as so. I understand that you may feel otherwise, however, that does not discredit my information, unless you can undoubtedly prove otherwise. I hope you accept this debate, and that we both can enjoy the debate and learn from it.


The story of Noah's Ark in the Bible is a scientific impossibility, but it is still useful mythology. First of all, if all the glacial and continental land ice on the planet were to melt, the oceans would rise only a meager 216 feet: This is simply insufficient to place Noah's Ark at the 13,000 foot level on Mt. Ararat where Christian researchers claim to have found the Ark. Other possible sources of water cited have included water from the atmosphere. Again, if all the moisture from the atmosphere was stripped and deposited into the oceans, the rise would be minuscule. Thermal expansion through global warming is capable of raising sea levels, but only by several feet at most. The last theory I have encountered is that water came roaring up through the Earth's crust from some imaginary place in the bowels of the Earth; this theory is quite frankly comical when the Scientific method is applied. I suggest that any attempt at creating a literal interpretation of the mythology of Noah's Ark actual undermines the strength and usefulness of the story. Allegory and mythology are useful teaching tools for morality, and to reduce their usefulness, credibility, and enjoyment by attempting to pass them as scientific fact does a disservice to the Bible. In this way, scientific knowledge and fact can be respected and valued without undermining the credibility and value of the Bible. The only loser when allegory is placed in a direct confrontation with scientific fact is allegory. Such unnecessary confrontation only serves to undermine the value of the Bible and the Christian faith.
Debate Round No. 1


Pro-lifeConservative forfeited this round.


I will offer the courtesy of treating my opponent's comment as a debate argument in deference to his forfeit of round one (perhaps accidental/unintentional). You provided the biblical argument that "water falling on Earth and geysers sending water" provided the source of water for a global flood. I will refer you to my previous post in Round one where I scientifically refuted both possibilities. To add to my previous statements, there is no geological evidence supporting a global flood. I will cite the book "A review of The Rocks Don"t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah"s Flood, by David R. Montgomery"
Some other fine arguments relating to how it would have been impossible to store enough food on the Ark to feed all the animals (and many others) can be found here:
My opponent suggests that the bible is literal, and that it is in no way allegorical. I suggest that interpreting the Bible through Biblical Hermeneutics is the only approach to extract value and meaning from the Bible in a modern scientific context. The literal approach only serves to turn the Bible into a modern comedy act. For instance, a literal interpretation of the Bible asserts that the Earth is flat and is sitting on pillars that cannot move (Ps 93:1, Ps 96:10, 1 Sam 2:8, Job 9:6). It also maintains that great sea monsters are set to guard the edge of the sea (Job 41, Ps 104:26). If one is of the position that Bible is literal and that the story of Noah's Ark is literal, then clearly great sea monsters must exist guarding the edge of a flat Earth. Why did the Ark not get gobbled up by these sea monsters or fall of the edge of the flat Earth during the flood? I maintain that such a nonsensical stance damages the credibility of the Christian faith. My mother-in-law, who is a church minister is also in agreement with my position that an allegorical approach to the Bible is the only relevant direction to take; especially in the context of our modern world of Science. Furthermore, using Biblical Hermeneutics to interpret the Bible is far more personally rewarding and enriching than the vastly more limiting literal approach.
Debate Round No. 2


I apologize for the forfeit, and thank you for your kindness. My family took a trip on Friday, and in the morning, I checked DDO and it said I had 22 hours to finish my argument. I finished it during the trip and posted it in the comments that night after finding that I had "forfeited."

I see you took this round to attempt to undermine the Bible, which is fine. Remember that the Psalms are prayers and songs to God, not narratives or "facts" per se. This means that the Psalms were written to praise God and to ask for guidance. Today, we can use the Psalms for the same purpose.
Psalms 93:1-the earth not moving is in response to it being in God's control. God, being all powerful, has control over earth's motion.
Psalm 96:10-Same as above
Psalm 104:26-No mention of the world being flat or immobile.
1 Samuel 2:8-"The pillars of the earth are the LORD's. and on them he has set the world." The LORD's pillars hold up the earth, meaning the LORD's power. This is also a prayer of praise to God.
Job 9:6-This is again a prayer of God's mightiness, and Job is just saying the power of the LORD. Since the earth's pillars are the LORD's, the LORD could easily shake them and cause the earth to do so.
Job 41-Leviathan and Behemoth, two incredibly powerful creatures in several respects. I found an article making Behemoth to be a dinosaur, which would make sense, considering its great size. ( Behemoth was also a land creature, how could it guard the edge of the earth IN THE SEA if it is a land creature? Leviathan is most likely a pliosaur (, another dinosaur. The ark was the length of 1.5 football fields, and would appear to large of prey for animals to eat. It's wooden, anyway; who would eat that?

Another note, Biblical Hermeneutics is simply the interpretation of the Bible. This would mean the translating, as well. Of course, interpreting it is the only way to understand it, considering certain words have multiple or unclear meanings.

Concerning your first statements: "Unfortunately, he does not provide enough detail (or illustrations of key outcrops) to really debunk the interpretations of "flood geologists"." That is from the review of the book, "Rocks don't lie." I feel that that pretty much throws that one out of the water, concerning how the rest of the article seemed small talk and an explanation of what he wrote to me.

Concerning Round One: Here is an article you should read, and I will overview ( Despite its title, this article essentially proves the flood. In the second paragraph, Snelling writes, "After we read in Genesis 7 that all the high hills and the mountains were covered by water, and all air-breathing life on the land was swept away and perished, the answer to the question above should be obvious. Wouldn"t we expect to find rock layers all over the earth that are filled with billions of dead animals and plants that were rapidly buried and fossilized in sand, mud, and lime? Of course, and that"s exactly what we find." He also mentions the fossils of sea-life in all of the Grand Canyon's layers, as well as marine fossils in the Himalayas. Snelling also gives another method for the water rising, the crust breaking. " In other words, the earth"s crust was split open all around the globe and water apparently burst forth as fountains from inside the earth. We then read in Genesis 7:24-8:2 that these fountains were open for 150 days. No wonder the ocean volume increased so much that the ocean waters flooded over the continents. Second, if the ocean floor itself rose, it would then have effectively "pushed" up the sea level." When the crust breaks or when there is a fracture in the crust, magma comes forth. We see this today in volcanoes. However, if the whole crust were to break into sections (also splitting the earth into continents, a.k.a. continental drift) magma would rise up on the ocean floor and raise the water level. Now, Snelling gives a more precise and scientific explanation in his article than I did, but whatever. The magma, when it cooled, would contract from it's expanded state.

I have been using the English Standard Version of the Bible for Bible verses.


I will begin this round by stating that it has not been my intention to undermine the Bible, but rather, it has been my intention to state that a Literal interpretation of the Bible is impossible with our current understanding of Science. My opponent asserted at the beginning of the debate that "I hold the Bible to be completely factual, and will regard it as so", yet in his last argument, he acknowledges that portions of the Bible (such as Psalms) are indeed not fact. Furthermore, his interpretation of Samuel and Job is also an Allegorical one, not a literal one as I illustrated in Round 2. In essence, my opponent is choosing to interpret the Bible Allegorically or Literally in a variable manner that is convenient to his argument. This is inconsistent with his first assertion that the Bible is fact and undermines the credibility of his claim that the story of Noah's Ark can be treated as literal fact.
As someone who has taken University courses in Geography and Glaciology, I will state that the articles you referenced in "answers in genesis" are quite frankly appalling junk science. The only way the author is able to account for the volume of water I discussed in my earlier round is by stating that "The Bible suggests a source of the extra water. In Genesis 7:11 we read that at the initiation of the Flood all the fountains of the great deep were broken up.". Again he is using the fantasy tale of water coming form some magical un-explained source deep within the Earth. This author also makes the claim that because the early continents only had mountains developed only to 3,500 feet a global flood was possible (a comical statement in itself) Again, I debunked this in Round one. Anyone with a basic knowledge of plate tectonics, erosion and the functioning of continental ice sheets knows that a flood is not required for fossils to end up on the world's highest mountains.
The following credible scientific organizations have issued statements speaking out against the junk science propagated by "answers in Genesis" specifically: National Academy of Sciences, Paleontological Society, Geological Society of America, Australian Academy of Science, and the Royal Society of Canada. They consider creation science to be pseudoscience which "shares none of the essential characteristics of scientific theorizing". I will reference the following books:

Dawkins, Richard. Climbing Mount Improbable (1996 Viking Press).
Ferris, Timothy. The Whole Shebang : A State-Of-The-Universe's Report (Touchstone, 1998).
Gardner, Martin, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1957), ch. 11.
Haught, John F. Science and Religion : From Conflict to Conversation (Paulist Press, 1996).
Kitcher, Phillip. Abusing Science: the Case Against Creationism (MIT Press, 1983).
Pennock, Robert T. Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism (M.I.T. Press, 1999).
Plimer, Ian. Telling Lies for God: Reason vs. Creationism (Random House, New South Wales, Australia: 1994).
Prothero, Donald R. Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters. (Columbia University Press, 2007).
Scott, Eugenie C. 2004. Evolution vs. Creationism : An Introduction. Greenwood Press.
Schadewald, Robert. "Creationist Pseudoscience," in Science Confronts the Paranormal, edited by Kendrick Frazier. (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books,1986).
Shermer, Michael. Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, chs. 9-11, (W H Freeman & Co.: 1997).

In summary, the scientific community considers the drivel concocted by pseudoscience Christian Websites such as "Answers and Genesis" and "Conservapedia" to be a comedy of errors and an abhorrence. The reason these Christian websites are such an abomination is because unlike legitimate science that starts with a hypothesis and works towards a conclusion (the Scientific method), the Fundamentalist Christian approach is to start with a conclusion, then work backwards to try to make the hypothesis fit. Such a faulty approach cannot and will not ever be real or credible science.
Debate Round No. 3


"I will begin this round by stating that it has not been my intention to undermine the Bible, but rather, it has been my intention to state that a Literal interpretation of the Bible is impossible with our current understanding of Science. My opponent asserted at the beginning of the debate that "I hold the Bible to be completely factual, and will regard it as so", yet in his last argument, he acknowledges that portions of the Bible (such as Psalms) are indeed not fact." The first statement (undermining), is pointless, because I agree with you. True science is unable to prove or disprove the Bible or religion because true science must be able to prove and disprove itself repeatedly. ( Religion is by faith, not by sight, so science is technically void regarding religion. Second, my statement regarding Psalms not being fact is my error, I should have been clearer. I said, "not narratives or "facts" per se." I should have specified that Psalms is a collection of praises and prayers to God. My facts was in response to the fact the Psalms includes no stories, as Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, Esther, the Gospels, and other books include. I should have specified what I meant by fact rather than assume the meaning through context clues. Another note on science: I do not totally agree with calling Christian science a science, because it encompasses principles that cannot be directly testex (religion). And also, please explain how the AnswersinGenesis studies are "appalling junk". The authors are highly qualified doctors in those areas.
You mentioned a fantasy source of water under the earth. I mentioned earlier geyser-like structures. Do we not today find bodies of water under the earth? Could these not explode and shoot their eater upwards, like geysers? Again, please explain how the statement regarding mountain height is comical.
You continue to say how anyone with basic knowledge of tectonics, erosion, and ice sheets should know that a flood is not required for marine fossils to end up on mountains. This cannot be true because the world is not old enough for those processes to occur. Can you please explain the latter two, as I do not myself know how they could affect marine fossil locations.
You then put AnswersinGenesis as under fire by credible sources. However, those sources are just as credible as AnswersinGenesis, and are under the same fire by AnswersinGenesis.
Again, I please explain why AnswersinGenesis and Conservapedia are humorous, because they are fact and truth to so many, and your sources are laughable to many like myself for, I assume, similar reasons. Finally, as mentioned earlier, I do agree that any science+religion is not true science, however, that does not damage its credibility, because it obeys the definition of science. "Science," however, often disobeys its own definition by attempting to disprove religion. Religion us by faith, not by science as science should require of itself.

To close, this has been a great debate, and I have learned a lot about both views. I also have had lots of fun, and hope you had the same. I think my point was clear, the global flood detailed in the Bible happened, and science is able to provide many mechanisms for its occurrence. Religion, the Bible, give the supernatural causes that the Bible outlines. Good luck and good day!


In this final round I will focus on my opponent's closing arguments. I agree with his position that Science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God and faith. This is because faith, religion and belief do not require fact, proof and scientific inquiry; it is individually determined, centered and reasoned. If however, religious beliefs are to be presented as a scientific fact in the public arena, then those facts must be held up to the rigors of scientific investigation and theory. The story of Noah's Ark may hold well as a belief, but it does not hold up under Scientific inquiry and the Scientific method. I would argue that it really isn't necessary or desirable to put Genesis into the Scientific arena in the first place.
I have already provided ample evidence in the previous round demonstrating that websites such as "AnswersinGenesis" are propagating junk science by citing numerous books and a list of credible Scientific bodies that have public spoken out critically against "Creation Science". I consider AnswersinGenesis to be appalling because of my previous assertion that Creation Science begins with a conclusion and then works backwards to make the hypothesis fit a particular doctrine or agenda (a biased approach). In actuality, the posters on creationist websites are not "highly qualified doctors in that area" as my opponent claims, and in fact perform little to any Scientific research of their own:
As my opponent's geyser concept: I have yet to find a plausible theory that could explain how enough water came out of the Earth's crust to cover the entire planet in 13,000 feet of water (or even 3,500 feet of water as mentioned in AnswersinGenesis) as you claim. The following illustration of the bare Earth along side its water portrayed as a separate sphere shows visually how the numbers simply don't add up:
According the The USGS Water Science School, 96.54% of the worlds water dwell in the oceans of today and 1.74% lay in icecaps/glaciers. That leaves less than 2% remaining to make up for the 13,000 foot global flood (or 3,500 feet of water as AnswersinGenesis claims). As I mentioned in round 1, this 2% plus the 1.74% of icecaps would lead to approximately 216 feet in global rise. These numbers demonstrate that a literal global Biblical flood is simply not possible.
I am uncertain as to how to respond to your claim that the Earth isn't old enough to place fossils on the world's highest summits as you didn't specify how old the Earth was in your opinion. I will cite the following abstract where Professor Augusto Gansser wrote an academic paper for the Cambridge Geological paper discussing the fossils that were retrieved by climbers in the 60's from the summit of Mount Everest:
I don't have the room in this debate to explain plate tectonics, the formation of mountains and fossils in this argument, but clearly a global flood did not deposit those fossils on the summit of Everest at 29,000 feet.
In closing, I agree that there is no such things as "Religious Science", but only Science. While religion and Science can coexist quite peacefully in the manner I suggested in previous rounds, humanity is usually a major loser when religion stands in the way of Scientific Knowledge. The early Catholic Church was able to interfere with scientific discovery and progress for centuries in the name of protecting faith and God. This was clearly undesirable. I would argue that any damage or interference to credible Science caused by "Creationist Science" is also unfortunate and undesirable. Hyperbole such as the story of Noah's Ark may be both enjoyable and meaningful, but hyperbole is always a terrible method of conserving historical facts for posterity.

Thank you to my opponent for this debate and for the civil tone. This was my first on DDO and I enjoyed it.
Good luck.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Pro-lifeConservative 2 years ago
,Genesis 1: 6 and 7 says " And God said, 'Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.' And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so." This passage explains that during creation, God made two layers of water: one above the air, one below, aligned with the land. In Genesis 7:11, we read, "...on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened." This means that all the water above the air fell down on earth, and water shot up from the ground, like geysers. All this water fell on the earth, covering it. More than likely, the geysers split the earth apart, creating continents. There was only one continent at some point, so this is the only place where a splitting of land make sense. Genesis 1:9 says the waters were gathered in one place , and dry land appeared. This shows the land would only be in one place, as the water is in the other. So, we have half of earth's current water falling on earth and geysers sending water, ricks, and dirt hurtling through the air, and falling onto earth,, so clearly a global flood could have happened. For some reason, it says I forfeited, even when I had 22 hours left this morning.
Posted by Pro-lifeConservative 2 years ago
Tyrone, I do not see the double standard. Could you please explain, because I believe the Bible is true, so to me it is true, to you it may not be, but you have no proof.
Posted by TyroneShelton 2 years ago
So unless he can undoubtedly prove otherwise, the Bible is true. Wow, can anybody else see the double standard? Idiot fundies
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