9/21/2010 | Share this article:By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~
The bible is chock-full of difficulties for those who see it as the literal “Word of God,” where every word must be absolutely true. One of those difficulties just occurred to me recently (and I don’t pretend it is the most interesting or most important difficulty – it’s just one that’s easy to understand, and kinda fun to deal with).
Image via WikipediaOf course, the Noah’s Ark story presents a whole bunch of problems for literal belief. For one, did all the animals live within walking distance of Noah’s house? For another, how did Noah get the kangaroos back to Australia, the penguins back to Antarctica, and the polar bears back to the arctic (or, for that matter, why didn’t god just create the animals again after the flood instead of putting Noah to all the effort of building an ark and collecting them)? I suppose one could argue that maybe the flood wasn’t worldwide, so only the local animals were collected. This would still leave a very big problem, however, and one I have never seen discussed. What about the carnivores (meat eaters)?
If Noah collected all the carnivores, two-by-two, and then released them after the waters subsided, what did they eat then? If we are talking worldwide, then we are talking about lions, tigers, wolves, panthers, cheetahs, foxes, bears, alligators, crocodiles, sharks, barracuda, dolphins, porpoises, cobras, pythons, anacondas, mongoose, hyenas, hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, and hundreds of other carnivorous species too numerous to list (and many of these, and others, would have been local species).
If Noah collected all the carnivores, two-by-two, and then released them after the waters subsided, what did they eat then? Obviously, in order to survive after they were released, the carnivores would have had to begin immediately eating each other as well as horses, cows, camels, rabbits, and all other species of herbivores (plant eaters). They couldn’t have waited until all these species had propagated, or they would have starved (are you going to argue that Noah provided them with enough meat to last until the species propagated - without freezers?). And if a lion ate just one antelope, there would never be another antelope born in the world again, ever, because it takes two to propagate (actually, most biologists believe that even two is usually too few to save a species). So how then did all these carnivorous and herbivorous species survive their release? Isn’t this a rather big flaw in the Noah story? How does the apologist patch this one up? Any ideas?
Oh, and if we have to scratch this story as untrue, because it just doesn’t work, then what about all the other stories that science questions, such as that one about a corpse standing up and walking away after being dead for several days? If we can’t take those guys’ word for everything (those guys who made up the bible), then why should we take their word for anything? Should we demand solid evidence…or take a pastor’s word on taking the writer’s word, who took the original storyteller’s word…or maybe just flip a coin?