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Bronze-level article

Post flood animal survival

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Rescued from the
Global Flood
Icon flood.svg
Twelve of the clean kind
Merge-arrows.svg An editor believes this article contains duplicate material.
This article may have a content or subject overlap with The Great Flood and the food web. The pages could be merged. You can discuss this at RationalWiki:Duplicate articles.

A major problem with the global flood myth, as told in the Bible, being a real event is that the flood would have destroyed all available food. Hence, discounting the intellectually lazy cop-out of Goddidit, the entire menagerie Noah assembled would have died of starvation shortly after they disembarked the ark. There are a few "solutions" to this problem posed by creation "scientists", but few of these solutions are even remotely realistic.


The herbivores among the animals would have no plants to eat,[1] except the olive leaf brought back by the dove and the olive tree itself. Every plant would have died during the 376 day flood.[2] There is no way the animals could have remained alive long enough for the plants to grow back.

The standard creationist answer to this situation is that the herbivores ate seaweed. This claim, while looking good on the surface, carries no weight. Seaweed grows only in depths of up to 70 meters (even then, in crystal clear water) because water absorbs a massive amount of sunlight, reducing the energy that it can impart to photosynthetic organisms - in fact, this is why some seaweeds are colours other than green, to maximise absorption of light that does get through that much water.[3] Since the water covered all the mountains in the entire earth[4] only the top 70 meters of the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest (K2 is 237 metres lower than Everest) would have had the sunlight required to support seaweed. Even on the top of the mountain you wouldn't find much seaweed because there is no good growing soil, another key factor for plant growth of any kind. This would leave us with only a tiny amount of seaweed nowhere near enough to support the thousands of herbivores on the Ark. Furthermore, no large crops of seaweed (i.e. kelp forests, etc.) would have grown in just over a year. Finally, all the seaweed would have rapidly rotted away when exposed to the air, long before more plants had an opportunity to grow, assuming Noah had the forethought to collect and store seeds from the Earth's vast variety of plant life, and ignoring the fact that saltwater-saturated soil is very bad for growing most land plants.


The carnivores would have been in an even worse position. There would be nothing left for them to prey on except the animals Noah had saved. This would have caused a mass extinction. Remember, of the majority of creatures ("unclean animals"), only two animals of each "kind" were taken on the ark, so if the carnivores had eaten even a single one a species would go extinct. The excess clean animals could have provided at best one or two meals for thousands of predators, since Answers in Genesis asserts that: "the vast majority of animals are not clean."[5] The carnivores would in actuality have eaten all the herbivores then gone extinct themselves. (Unless the herbivores could reproduce very quickly indeed, like one individual producing hundreds of young every second)

A rather old hen corpse. It looks.... very nutritious....Puke.gif

John Woodmorappe, in Noah's Ark:A Feasibility Study, claims that the carnivores could have eaten the corpses of pre-flood animals.[6] This is completely impossible, since medium size corpses can fully decay under optimal conditions in 50 days,[7] while corpses underwater will decay about twice as slowly,[8] so the vast majority of the corpses would have been completely decomposed by the termination of the Ark's voyage. The picture on the right shows what happens to a chicken's corpse after just a few weeks. In any event, the carnivores would have been unable to get at any corpses because they would have been buried under sediment.

If you accept the absurd creationist concept of baraminology, that means that there was one pair of "great cat kind" and seven pairs of the animals they feed on, "horse kind."[9] Great cats eat at least one "horse kind" every two weeks[10] so that would mean that horse kind would have been made completely extinct after 3 and a half months. Even if the "horse kind" had immediately reproduced that would still be at most 28 "horse kind" which would have only provided six months of sustenance for "cat kind."


And then there's the problem of getting the animals to their home territories. Making sure that the koalas and kangaroos migrate to Australia, and only to Australia. That the horses don't get to the Americas (they were extinct in the Americas until the Europeans brought them).[11] There is no need to spell out the problems of land animals swimming vast oceans or traveling across deserts and mountain ranges, finding appropriate food (and avoiding being eaten) and establishing viable populations.

Genetics and inbreeding[edit]

Two founders for every extant species on earth would mean that after a very short time no species on earth would have members more genetically distinct from each other than siblings. The probable results of this are left as an exercise for the reader. An interesting thing to note is that creationists will often use the genetics of humanity to prove Adam and Eve (since we have used genetics to show it is possible humanity may have come from one individual), but what they fail to notice is that this disproves Noah's Ark. This is because we think humans came from an individual because we see there is a lot more genetic diversity in other animals. If each unclean animal was reduced to 2 separate kinds, and the vast majority of animals are unclean, we should expect to find that the vast majority of animals have a gene pool as constricted as humanity. However, we don't.


A lot of animals have very specific habitat needs. Pandas for instance only eat bamboo, which is part of a very delicate ecosystem. This flood would destroy the ecosystem and starve the Pandas. Many insects have even more specialized habitat needs, so very nearly all animals would either die because their food supply would be damaged, their trees and rocks that they need to survive in would have been mashed, or simply of the stress of coming into a place they are not used to. This can happen to wild animals brought into captivity, so if even that can stress animals to that degree, imagine what would happen if their habitats had been so drastically altered, or, as is much more likely, completely obliterated. All in all, the flood is Bullshit.

See also[edit]