Inquisitor/Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study
| Rescued from the|
|Twelve of the clean kind|
Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study is a book written by John Woodmorappe attempting to defend the global flood myth as depicted in the Bible. Specifically the book was written to address the criticisms raised by skeptics. As such, the book does not present a specific recipe of how Noah could have pulled it off. Instead the reader is treated to a nauseating stream of "rebuttals" that take the form of "Skeptic X says... blah blah blah. Balderdash! Noah could have simply done X, Y, or Z!" It goes on and on like that... for the whole book.
On top of that, Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study is unevenly edited and haphazardly organized, with topics being addressed in an apparently random fashion. The author also has the tendency to address an individual topic in bits and pieces, spanning multiple disjointed chapters, rather than addressing related topics in one place. This has the effect of partially concealing the book's many contradictions, faulty reasoning, and mutually exclusive assertions. Whether this is on accident or by design is unknown.
As you can imagine, it all amounts to some fairly joyless and tedious reading. Thankfully, you'll never have to read it yourself because this article is a chapter-by-chapter summation of the entire 1996 edition of this book.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Part I. A Complete Inventory of the Animals and Supplies on the Ark
- 3 Part II. Alleged Difficulties Regarding the Ark and its Cargo
- 3.1 Some Factors in the Construction of the Ark
- 3.2 The Gathering of Animals Suitable for Year-long Captivity
- 3.3 Manpower Studies: Eight People Care for 16,000 Animals
- 3.4 Basic Living Conditions on the Ark
- 3.5 The Preservation of Feedstuffs on the Ark
- 3.6 The Colossal Bulk of Hay Required for Large Herbivores
- 3.7 Feeding Challenges I: Animals that Eat Fresh or Live Food
- 3.8 Feeding Challenges II: Animals with Specialized Diets
- 3.9 Boarding the Ark: The Fallacy of Climatic Barriers
- 3.10 Dormancy of Animals on the Ark
- 4 Part III. The Recovery of Earth's Biosphere After the Flood
- 4.1 How Organisms Outside the Ark Survived the Flood
- 4.2 Biological Effects of Semi-Saline Floodwater
- 4.3 How Amphibians Survived the Flood
- 4.4 Alleged Problems Facing the Post-Diluvian Plants
- 4.5 End-Flood Events: Why the Ark in the Mountains?
- 4.6 Food Sources in the "Barren" PostFlood World
- 4.7 The First Post-Diluvian Food Chains
- 5 Part IV. The Adequacy of Single Pairs in the Repopulation of the World
- 6 Part V. Conclusion
- 7 See also
- 8 Footnotes
Woodmorappe begins his tome with a keyword and abstract sections, which could lead a reader into believing that they were about to wade into a piece of academic literature. Such readers would be wrong of course. Since the book is lacking in an index, its further utility as a source of academic research is severely limited. To his credit, Woodmorappe makes extensive of use of citations.
The author spends much of the introduction taking the Ark's critics to task; believers and non-believers alike. Woodmorappe scolds "compromising" Christians for not taking the Genesis account literally and engaging in "scripture-twisting gymnastics". The latter sentiment will, of course, prove to be ironic. He also summarily dismisses any notion of a local flood as a "copout". Of course the author saves special ire for "anti-creationist" critics, and liberally sprinkles the body of his work with rhetoric seldomly seen in a purportedly academic study.
Woodmorappe assures the reader that the Flood account (as described in Genesis) is completely free of contradictions, stating: "...the contradictions and supposed duplicate accounts about the Flood do not exist, but are simply imagined difficulties manufactured by the JEPD hypothesis and the rationalistic worldview to which it is beholden...(p. xiii)" The author may believe that the Bible's account of Noah's Ark may be free of contradictions, unfortunately the same can't be said for his own work.
Finally, the author dispenses with any notion that God would have needed to use a continuous string of miracles to pull-off the survival of the ark and it's inhabitants. Instead Woodmorappe explains "...I focus almost exclusively on non-miraculous solutions to alleged problems with the Ark account (p. xiii)." One should note the use of the word "almost" in the previous sentence. Woodmorappe is smart enough not to take the creationist's ultimate trump card completely off the table. Admittedly, he does play it sparingly, though many of his "non-miraculous" solutions strain credibility to the breaking point.
Part I. A Complete Inventory of the Animals and Supplies on the Ark
Which Part of the Animal Kingdom was on the Ark?
No serious discussion about Noah's Ark can be held without assessing the total portion of the animal kingdom to be saved. Not much of it, as it turns out. Straight away Woodmorappe asserts that the ark was not required to carry every species of animal, and dismisses "anti-creationist" claims of overcrowding as "long-discredited tomfooleries" (p. 3). To bolster his claim, he maintains that the Bible doesn't require the Ark to carry any invertebrates, amphibians, or marine based vertebrates. Effectively eliminating nearly 98% of the animal kingdom in one fell swoop. And yet... "Most if not all dinosaurs were present on the Ark, as they were clearly terrestrial creatures." (p.4) That's right, like any good YEC, Woodmorappe makes room for dinosaurs on the Ark.
After a deep-dive through the creationist literature, and a bit of creativity on his part, Woodmorappe arrives at a final figure of 15,754 animals aboard the Ark. Not 15,754 pairs of animals, mind you. We're talking 15,754 total. He accomplishes this feat by making use of the creationist standby, the"created kind". And also by taking a hacksaw to the taxonomic tree at roughly the genus level.
For those of you thinking that Woodmorappe's reliance on the created kind is a transparent attempt to reduce the number of animals on the ark, he has this for you: "Clearly, the anti-Biblicists will seek to discredit the Ark account at any cost. The anti-creationists... have the audacity to level the false charge that creationists have invented the concept of the created kind as an ad hoc device to reduce the numbers of animals on the Ark."(p.5) Do tell. He goes on to say "Furthermore, the created kind is not some vague ethereal entity as the anti-creationists make it out to be, but is well founded by creationist scholarship." (p.6) He then spends several paragraphs explaining creation scholarship's various vague and ethereal definitions. Eventually stating that his creationist colleagues seem to believe that the created kind is equivalent of the family in taxonomic nomenclature and he has made his task more challenging by using the genus as a template.
Woodmorappe allots a couple of pages pondering the number of "clean" vs. "unclean" animals aboard the Ark. This is of critical import as the bible plainly states in Gen 7:2 "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female". To make matters worse, some scholars interpret the passage to mean seven pairs of clean animals, not just seven individuals. It goes without saying that Noah would have a serious problem on his hands if Argentinosaurus turned out to be a clean animal. As luck would have it, according to Woodmorappe's exhaustive research, only a tiny percentage of animals are clean and would only have a trivial impact on the Ark's manifest. Dodged a bullet on that one.
Woodmorappe rounds out this chapter by calculating the size and body mass of all extinct and extant life aboard the Ark. A daunting task no doubt. On this subject, the author leans heavily upon the work of Jan Peczkis. Who is Jan Peczkis? Jan Peczkis has degrees in biology and geology and has published papers in the Journal of Paleontology and Journal of Theoretical Biology. Peczkis is also a public school substitute teacher who teaches courses in science and math. In his spare time Jan Peczkis also writes creationist literature under the nom de plume John Woodmorappe.
So in summary, we have a final figure of roughly 16,000 animals. Made up of land-based birds, mammals, and reptiles. Amphibian? Too bad. Seagulls, seals, and snails? No, no, and no. Tyrannosaurs Rex? Yes. Beetles, bacteria, and bottle-nosed dolphins? No. Brachiosaurus? Yes indeed.
Floor Space Allotment for the Animals
The amount of floor space Woodmorappe allots to each animal on the ark can be easily summed up in two words: not much. He quickly dispatches with the care and humane treatment afforded to animals in modern zoos in favor of the comforts enjoyed by laboratory animals and livestock in intensive factory farming. With the bulk of the ark's inhabitants given less than .5 square meters of living space in which to luxuriate in. The largest of the animals are treated to 2.51 meters of living space (p. 15), which is comparable to the minimum stall requirements for factory-raised beef cattle.
"Hang on a minute" you may be thinking "what about those dinosaurs he was jabbering on about?". Excellent question. Obviously a fully grown stegosaurus couldn't be crammed into a stall sized for a steer. For this, Woodmorappe employs an ingenious solution: babies. That's right, the author envisions that all "large" animals would be taken aboard as juveniles, thus saving precious cargo space. So what is a "large" animal? In Woodmorappe's book, it's anything much over 20 pounds. Every animal that has an adult weight between 10-10,000kg was represented as a generic 50kg animal. While super large fauna (like dinosaurs) with body weights exceeding 10,000kg, he uses a 376kg animal as a surrogate. So in this version of the tale, we see nothing on the Ark larger than a cow.
After some intense number crunching (which the reader is not shown but is assured really did happen), Woodmorappe concludes that the Ark's animal passengers would take up 46.8% of available deck space. What's interesting is at this point in the book, the author has not given the audience any estimate for the amount of total floor space actually available on the Ark. Worry not, because regardless of how much space is available on the Ark, the animals will take up no more than 46.8% of it. Even the growing baby animals.
Quantities of Water and Provender Required
Here Woodmorappe attempts to calculate the food and water required for animals to survive their 371 day stay aboard the Ark. After treating the reader to a few truncated and confusing tables, Woodmorappe (applying unspecified assumptions) determines that the cargo and crew will consume 2,500 and 4,070 metric tons of food and water respectively.
Woodmorappe keeps this chapter short and sweet, taking only a slight detour to take a swipe at anti-creationists' "bogus" claims that open water troughs would have splashed all over the place on rollings seas. He counters this by explaining that ancient Romans successfully prevented splashing in pigeon troughs by covering them with boards that had holes in them just large enough for the birds to insert their heads. How exactly this solution could be successfully extended to warthog or hippopotamus troughs is left solely to the reader's own speculation.
This chapter is a mess. Woodmorappe saved much time and space in the book dealing with the amount of food and water the animals consumed. Apparently he was saving that space for what comes out the other end of those animals. But if there's any subject that Woodmorappe excels at, it'd be bullshit.
The author dedicates a lot of time to the handling and disposal of animal waste. By his calculations the animal cargo mass (411 metric tons) would produce 12 tons of excreta per diem. That's a lot of shit. To deal with all that shit, Woodmorappe employs numerous labor saving strategies. A number of these strategies are mutually exclusive, and it is left to the reader to decide what to make of all this shit.
As an example, Woodmorappe claims that feces from smaller animals like pigeons and bats can simply be allowed to accumulate in situ. He states this is the case because such droppings become odorless and harmless once allowed to dry completely (p. 25). He contradicts this a few pages later when addressing the problem of airborne pathogens by stating: "But since any animal excreta on the Ark never dried completely (due to high humidity of the air), it probably never had the opportunity to become a significant potential hazard in terms of airborne particles." (p. 30). Emphasis added.
He goes on to highlight examples of horse stables that make use of deep layers of straw and sawdust bedding over brick-covered flooring to absorb urine. Mainly because they can go years without having the bedding replaced. A labor and resource savings boon. It's a shame for Woodmorappe that such an arrangement requires large communal living spaces and regular removal of solid waste. Neither of which Woodmorappe is interested in providing. Therefore he seems to gravitate towards using individual stalls that are too narrow for the animal to turn around in, with a trough at the appropriate end to collect urine and feces. Which is all well-and-good except for the fact half of all said animals are male, and don't posses conveniently trough-oriented penises for tidy urine collection. That and the majority of these penned animals are growing juveniles. A stall that is too small to turn around in on Day 1 for a baby T-Rex, would most likely be much too small to even breathe in by Day 371. Unless Noah was attempting to grow bonsai animals.
Woodmorappe makes use of an extensive catalog of manure handling techniques. Sloped floors, straw-lined floors, slatted floors, manure pits, manure troughs... etc. One interesting strategy he suggests is vermicomposting. This is interesting because none of the vermin associated with composting (worms, insects, and bacteria) are on the passenger list. Not to mention he never addresses the large amount of heat that would be generated by hundreds of tons of manure composting away.
Woodmorappe also seems to ignore the fact that solutions like sloped flooring and collection troughs would be a tad difficult to utilize in situations where the levelness of the ground can not be guaranteed. Say on the deck of a boat caught in the midst of catastrophic flooding, for example. In any event, after dedicating an entire chapter to manure, you'd figure that Woodmorappe would get tired of this shit. You'd be wrong. He's got more to say on the subject, and will touch on it again in a later chapter dealing with manpower issues.
Heating, Ventilation, and Illumination of the Ark
This chapter is dedicated to how Noah kept the ark and the animals comfortable, dry, and well lit. If Noah took Woodmorappe's advice, he failed on all three fronts.
The reader is assured that the antediluvian climate was much more temperate than today, save for the torrential downpour of course. And since (according to Woodmorappe)lizards and dinosaurs don't generate body heat, maintaining comfortable temperatures aboard the Ark could easily be accomplished with natural passive ventilation. The heat of lamps, cooking stoves, solar heating or tons of composting manure, didn't seem to find there way into any of the author's secret calculations.
The reader is also comforted in the fact that the 6-12 tons of water, that Woodmorappe estimates the animals respired and perspired on a daily basis, are easily dealt with by the 5 air changes per hour the Ark's ventilation system provided. In conditions of 100% humidity.
It's usually about this time critics of the Ark account point out the fact that a single one square cubit window (as stipulated in the KJV version of Genesis 6:16) is woefully inadequate to provide sufficient ventilation. John Woodmorappe, is having none of this. He states "[critics] fantasize that the entire Ark had to be ventilated by one tiny cubit-square window! Against such nonsense, the Jewish scholar Ben-Uri, after several years studying the Hebrew, has affirmed the fact that the Ark window was actually a series of ventilation slots."(p. 37) To be fair, the passage does contain a Hebrew clause of unknown meaning. Various English translations interpret it as either a single one-by-one cubit window, or as one continuous one cubit tall window running the perimeter of the ship. Yet it's a bit more challenging to read it as a "series of ventilation slots".
Through another series of calculations the reader is not made privy to, Woodmorappe maintains that any claims that the animals would have lacked sufficient oxygen is also false. He finishes off that particular section by dismissing critics' assertions that the Ark would have required modern and efficient ventilation. He wonders aloud "Does this reflect sloppy thinking, or is it an intentional effort to deceive the unsuspecting reader?"(p. 39) And so, we arrive at that awkward moment when the author thinks he's talking about the other guy, but is actually describing himself.
Having slayed the twin beasts of heating and ventilation, Woodmorappe tackles the lighting situation. After a bit of hand-waiving, and allusions to unseen calculations, Woodmorappe is forced to admit that sunlight would not reach the deepest bowels of the Ark for the majority of the voyage. Always looking to turn a few lemons into lemonade, Woodmorappe sees this as a good thing. For one thing, some animals kept in darkness are more docile he claims. After all, there has to be some level of comfort to be found wallowing in your own feces, in the hold of a rolling ship, surrounded by the terrified shrieks and cries of thousands of animals... in the dark. Why not? Moving along, Woodmorappe also sees an opportunity to use the dark lower recesses of the ship to grow "hydroponic greens" (p. 43). Yes, you read that correctly.
Having conceded that sunlight may not have gotten the job done (especially at night), Woodmorappe is forced to turn to other means of natural illumination. Since waiving torches and lanterns around the inside of a tar-coated wooden vessel full of dried grains, hay, and other flammables, is not the brightest of ideas (get it?) the author proposes a few novel solutions. Keeping fireflies in jars is one such solution. Cultivating bio-luminescent bacteria is another. We'll just have to ignore the fact that Woodmorappe had already excluded invertebrates from the ship's manifest.
Having exhausted the possibilities of natural illumination, Woodmorappe concludes the chapter with a bit of light speculation about supernatural illumination. Briefly batting around the ideas of the "luminous gems" of ancient legend, and apocryphal accounts of Noah making use of "luminous pearls."
Part II. Alleged Difficulties Regarding the Ark and its Cargo
Some Factors in the Construction of the Ark
In this section Woodmorappe attempts to refute critics' claims that wooden vessels of the Ark's size would have been fairly difficult to construct, and would not have been particularly seaworthy had it been successfully built. He systematically knocks down concerns about the Ark's size and length, the true nature of "gopher" wood, and Noah's supply of pitch in which to cover the whole affair with. The latter element is a point of interest. Rationalist point out the fact that pitch is a form of petroleum (ie tar). Since petroleum is a byproduct of the mass extinction of prehistoric lifeforms, and since none of those lifeforms had become extinct prior to the Flood, Noah shouldn't have been able to find any of it. To address this problem, Woodmorappe floats the hypothesis of abiotic oil before the reader. Finally he concludes with "...some petroleum did exist before the Flood, and was available for the sealing of the Ark, if it was necessary." In other words, Goddidit.
Woodmorappe also bristles at the mere idea that Noah's Bronze Age technical know-how would not have been sufficient to build something as large and complex as the Ark. To counter such claims, Woodmorappe points to ancient Greek and Chinese ships approaching the size and cargo capacity of the Ark. He also mentions the wood joinery skills of the Chinese that dates back to 3000 BCE. Fascinating. That means the Chinese were already practicing advanced wood joinery while Adam and Eve's children were still alive.
For those still not convinced that Noah could have built something as sophisticated as the Ark, Woodmorappe reminds the reader "At the same time we need to remember that the Ark need not have been a particularly complex structure."(p.49). This is at odds with other claims Woodmorappe makes elsewhere in the book. A large wooden structure containing animal housing, sewage management system, indoor plumbing, temperature and ventilation management systems, semi-automated animal feeding mechanisms, a dizzying array of labor saving devices, onboard hydroponic and conventional horticulture infrastructure, and capable of surviving whatever forces the churning seas could muster would be considered a complex structure by many readers.
The Gathering of Animals Suitable for Year-long Captivity
This chapter is mostly a series of alternating Goddidit and Flooddidit solutions. Almost every hurdle involving problems pertaining to animal migration or selection is ultimately solved by either of the two previously mentioned strategies.
The main purpose of this chapter doesn't appear to seriously address the skeptic's concerns about animals, of varying degrees of mobility, being able to navigate long geographic distances to the Ark. What the chapter focuses on is God and Noah's ability to select animals that would tolerate the hellish conditions they were about to enjoy aboard the Ark. Woodmorappe reminds the reader that the Flood was a survival situation, and as such, pleasantries like proper diet, housing, basic healthcare, exercise and rudimentary comfort all could be dispensed with.
Woodmorappe also has Noah maintaining a menagerie before the Flood to breed and raise animals that would be more tolerant to the conditions they would be forced to endure on their journey. Through the remainder of the book, this will often be the author's "go to" solution for any perceived problems dealing with animal care.
Woodmorappe maintains that "nervousness" (and thus ultimate suitability for captivity) is largely hereditary. So far so good. To support his claim he uses the example of wild foxes that had have been successfully bred for tameness. Even better, he cites the actual scientific literature to do so. Then the wheels come completely off when he offers this jewel for the reader's consideration "Since these are clearly only microevolutionary differences, they must be largely post-Flood in origin. In all probability, all the animals Noah dealt with were relatively easy to handle and keep in captivity.(p.61)"
Manpower Studies: Eight People Care for 16,000 Animals
Critics of the Ark often point out that it would be impossible for 8 people to care for 16,000 animals. To say that Woodmorappe is not a fan of this line of reasoning would be an understatement. Throughout this chapter the author maintains that each individual animal would require only mere seconds (in some cases fractions of a second) of care each day. He basis this largely on the automation and labor-saving techniques used in modern single-species factory farming. In fact, the author surmises that all chores associated with animal care could be comfortably worked into a 10 hour workday.
To begin with, the author lets us know that feeding and watering all the animals would have been a snap, thanks to automation and efficient use of floor space. Woodmorappe maintains that much time in animal care is wasted by needless walking around. To avoid this, he suggests that the interior of the Ark would have been configured so that all of the animals' food would have been stored within close proximity. Also water would be piped in to either each individual animal or communal troughs. After spending a couple of pages extolling the virtues automation and self-watering schemes, Woodmorappe oddly comments "Of course, I am not suggesting that such extreme levels of automation existed on the Ark, but then again they were unnecessary"(p76). Then proceeds to go straight back into singing the praises of automation.
Returning to his favorite subject, Woodmorappe envisions that the bulk of the work performed during the voyage would orbit around the task of hauling manure. In fact, he dedicates more pages to the joys of shoveling shit than any other task aboard the Ark. He describes for the reader all of the exciting ways to calculate the man-hours involved. You can calculate it by area, per ton, per animal, and so on. Regardless of which way he crunches the numbers, Woodmorappe always gets an answer he likes.
Strangely, the book dedicates little to no time discussing other routine tasks outside of basic animal care. No bother. Should you be able to think of something that the author missed, there's plenty of time left over in the day to deal with it. He concludes "...the most critical tasks in caring for the animals could have been accomplished with still half a workday to spare."(p81)
Basic Living Conditions on the Ark
This chapter is largely a rehash of topics discussed earlier in the book. Again Woodmorappe restates that an animal's need for adequate living space and regular exercise have been greatly exaggerated. Any injuries or diseases that may be brought about by such poor living standards is of little concern to the author. He rebuffs any claim that the Ark would have been overcrowded with such statements as "Finally, it is noted that the figures I quote come nowhere near the upper biologically tenable limit of crowding. For instance, the German concentration camp at Auschwitz, human inmates were crowded into former horse stables[...] with variable degrees of survival." When your argument boils down to "it wouldn't be as bad as a Nazi death camp"... you should probably stop talking.
The Preservation of Feedstuffs on the Ark
This is a relatively unexciting chapter in which Woodmorappe describes the various methods Noah could have employed to preserve the food supply during his year long voyage. The author runs down a fairly straightforward list of ancient food preservation strategies. In fact, Woodmorappe almost makes it through an entire chapter without making any dubious claims. Almost. He couldn't resist tossing in the prospect of Noah growing "hydroponic greens", in the deep bowels of the Ark, in complete darkness. (p93)
The Colossal Bulk of Hay Required for Large Herbivores
Shortly after the first telling of Noah's Ark, skeptics pointed out a few simple facts. Large herbivores eat hay. Large herbivores eat a lot of hay. Hay takes up a lot of space. From there, it wasn't too hard to imagine that the Ark didn't have enough room to carry around all of the aforementioned hay. John Woodmorappe isn't moved by such musings.
In this chapter, the author maintains that most animals can be switched to an all-grain diet. In the cases where the animal requires a sizable amount of dietary fiber for survival, Woodmorappe recommends feeding them fiber substitutes such as bread. We are assured that with God's help and Noah's animal husbandry skills, there would be no problem selecting grain eating, bread-loving, ungulates.
Feeding Challenges I: Animals that Eat Fresh or Live Food
Feeding Challenges II: Animals with Specialized Diets
Boarding the Ark: The Fallacy of Climatic Barriers
Dormancy of Animals on the Ark
Part III. The Recovery of Earth's Biosphere After the Flood
How Organisms Outside the Ark Survived the Flood
Up to this point, Woodmorappe has spent his time examining how the animals aboard the Ark could have survived. Now he turns his attention to how animals outside of the Ark survived. Theologically speaking, this topic is a curiosity of the modern creationist movement, as prior generations had assumed the Flood brought about the extinction of all life not aboard the Ark. You know, like it says in the Bible.
Woodmorappe comes out swinging with an example of the phenomenon of "aerial plankton", in which various microscopic lifeforms are held aloft in the atmosphere for long durations of time(p.139). He goes on to speculate that under the right atmospheric conditions, even larger life forms could ride the jet stream. Organisms like nematodes, plant seeds, and insect eggs, could have all safely ridden out the flood by flying the friendly skies.
Next the author addresses some issues that impacted the survival of animals that were trapped in the flood waters themselves. Straight out of the gate, Woodmorappe wants to put to rest any notion that the oceans would have boiled as a result of several proposed flood mechanisms. He chastises the Ark's critics for making "absurd" assumptions like: that the Flood waters came from the collapse of a vapor canopy, passing comet (which he calls a "self-originated fantasy"), or from hydrothermal springs. He claims that "All these critics have done is build a ludicrous straw-man of the Flood."(p.140) Woodmorappe seems blissfully unaware that the critics were simply responding to "theories" put forward by his own colleagues. So while swinging wildly at skeptics, the author hits fellow creationists with a chair.
After prancing past the issue of the turbidity of the flood waters, in a section cleverly entitled Muddy Water or Muddy Thinking?, Woodmorappe considers the possibility that some fish may have survived by simply being buried under tons of sediment and debris. Though he fully concedes "However, I have been unable to locate further sources of information on this phenomenon..."(p.142)
Until now, Woodmorappe has spent an entire chapter explaining that animals could have survived in the upper reaches of the atmosphere (or at the bottom of the see under tons of mud) all while accidentally slapping other creationists in the process. Yet, he finally concludes the chapter on this note: "It is probable that most kinds of marine organisms did not survive the Flood, precisely because most of the floodwaters were intolerable to them."(p.142).
Biological Effects of Semi-Saline Floodwater
You would figure that after conceding (in the previous chapter) that most ocean-fairing creatures would have died in the Flood, there'd be no reason to dedicate an entire chapter to how said animals could have coped with changing salinity. Woodmorappe thinks you're wrong.
In short, this chapter is a time-waster. First the author argues over what the salinity of the floodwaters would have been. It doesn't matter, because Woodmorappe's view is the animals could have acclimated to whatever those conditions may have been. After all, salinity-preference is a lifestyle choice, right?. In the rare cases where the author is forced to admit that certain organisms were born that way, he proposes two possible "outs" . One is that the ocean's water could have been stratified by varying degrees of salinity, allowing the animals to choose the correct depth to suit their needs. How the oceans maintained this configuration while churning with continent-moving, Grand Canyon-carving force, isn't extrapolated on. Secondly the author speculates that extreme salinity preferences probably arose as some sort of post-flood mutation. It's not evolution.
How Amphibians Survived the Flood
Nothing to see here. This chapter is simply a restatement of the same arguments presented in the previous chapter.
Alleged Problems Facing the Post-Diluvian Plants
End-Flood Events: Why the Ark in the Mountains?
Food Sources in the "Barren" PostFlood World
The First Post-Diluvian Food Chains
Part IV. The Adequacy of Single Pairs in the Repopulation of the World
Demographic Ramifications of Single-Pair Founders
Avoiding the Hazards of Inbreeding
The Ark Animals: Carriers of Adequate Genetic Diversity
The Post-Flood Generation of Rare Alleles
The Restorations of Variation in Mitochondrial DNA
Was Noah Afflicted with Diseases?
It depends, is alcoholism a disease? Because other than that, Noah was A-OK. Skeptics have often pointed out that Noah, crew, and cargo would have had to been either inflicted with (or carriers of) every extant pathogen and parasite. Woodmorappe sees no humor in the idea of Noah being infected with a whole suite of sexually transmitted diseases. He's so nonplussed by this line of reasoning that he rejects it on face value. His solution? Animals carried the diseases and they mutated into human pathogens after everybody got off the boat. End of discussion. Mutated... but wouldn't that imply evolution? END. OF. DISCUSSION.
Part V. Conclusion
It's finally over. Really no additional commentary is required on our part, as John Woodmorappe succinctly wraps up his case. The author's conclusion in its entirety:
It is obvious from this work that the oft-repeated pseudo-intellectual arguments against the Ark are without foundation. Nor is a constant stream of ad hoc Divine miracles necessary, as critics charge, to "prop up" the Ark account. I personally cannot help but visualize Noah in heaven getting a hearty laugh out of the foolish arguments of the Ark critics. Of course, it is not surprising that the Ark account is the butt of ridicule today (note, for instance, the insulting cartoon of a the hole-filled Ark, reproduced in Moore (1983) from a newspaper editorial). Fallen humans do not want to be reminded of God's judgement in the past any more than they want to be informed about God's judgment in the Future. No doubt humanists will continue repeating the same old false claims about the Ark and the Flood, or perhaps even dream up some new ones. The compromising evangelicals will continue promoting the local-flood copout because of their uncritical acceptance of such anti-Biblical claims ("after all, so many scientists can't be wrong"), and go on twisting the Bible -no matter how grotesque the contortions. But no matter: the evidence clearly shows that the Ark account and global Flood could have happened exactly as the Bible teaches. Far from actually being the modernistic travesty of "believing what you know isn't true," faith in God and His Word are eminently reasonable.
The reference section totals nearly 1/4 of the books entire 298 page printed length. The approximately 1,400 listed references span the works of critics, peer-reviewed literature, and more than a few dubious sources. Many of the most outlandish claims in the book are supported by references to material dating back to the mid 1800's. This is typical of creationist literature, because more recent papers would most likely refute the case the author is so feverishly trying to make.
Another oddity is that Woodmorappe frequently cites scientific papers covering the topics of evolution and speciation whenever it suits his argument. Even though evolution is a theory that the author soundly rejects. Even more strangely, Woodmorappe travels well off the beaten path when it comes to finding sources to bolster his argument. As an example, for his repeated claim that "hydroponic greens" can be grown in total darkness he points us to Frye, F. L. 1991 Biomedical and Surgical Aspects of Captive Reptile Husbandry Vol. 2 pg 76. Now it would seem that such a widely known horticultural "fact", could have been more readily sourced from more relevant literature.
In summary, the bloated reference section is included merely to provide the thinnest veneer of credibility to the book's credulous audience.