INVESTIGATING GENESIS SERIES
©2002 by Gerard Wakefield http://www.creationism.org/wakefield/
(This article may be copied for educational purposes only.)
"Two Tough Questions Regarding The Biblical Flood"
Two questions skeptics frequently ask regarding the Flood narrative found in the Book of Genesis are the following: 1) How did Noah and his seven companions aboard the ark take care of all those animals? 2) Where did all the waters go when the surface of the Earth dried up after the Flood? These are reasonable questions that deserve reasonable answers.
As to how Noah and his small family fed and cleaned up after the animals aboard the ark, a plausible explanation may be found in the two natural phenomena known as hibernation and estivation. Hibernation, as is common knowledge, is that special state of unconsciousness into which animals slip during extended periods of harsh climatic conditions, such as extreme cold. The counterpart to this is estivation (also spelled aestivation), which occurs in regions of the world where the weather becomes unbearably hot. As with hibernation, estivating animals slip into a state of unconscious torpor, during which they neither eat nor produce bodily wastes.
The enormous difficulty Noah and his family members would have had in feeding all the animals on the ark would have led to many animals’ not receiving adequate amounts of food. As it turns out, lack of food is one of the chief causes of hibernation or estivation among animals. Richard G. Van Gelder, Chairman of the Department of Mammology at the American Museum of Natural History, writes:
As for the question regarding the disappearance of the floodwaters after the catastrophe (Gen. 8:1), a group of Japanese geologists may have inadvertently come up with an explanation. Led by Shigenori Maruyama, a team of scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology has recently discovered that the Earth’s mantle (the layer of molten rock just under the Earth’s crust) is soaking up the world’s oceans. The December, 1999 issue of Discover magazine reported:
These scientific facts demonstrate that the Flood story as found in Genesis cannot be dismissed out of hand as ancient mythology. What they do show is that, even when skeptics think they have found a flaw in the Deluge narrative, science will eventually discover a reasonably plausible explanation for the alleged error.
1. Van Gelder, Richard G., Biology of Mammals (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons: 1969), 99.
2. Ibid., 102.
3. "As Dry as Mars," Discover 20, no. 12 (1999): 25.
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