Noah and the Ark

Today I saw the trailer of the new movie about Noah with Russell Crowe. It looked pretty cool and I’ll probably want to watch it just to find out why both the Christians and the Muslims are having a problem with this movie – a fictional story based on another fictional story.

This reminded me of the article I recently read about Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter in Kentucky. Ken Ham is an Australian creationist of notoriety who recently got a great endorsement by Bill Nye, the Science Guy, when he debated him on national television. While the debate was so-so, Ken Ham was the big winner because obviously, the scientific community took him seriously enough to debate him.

Ken Ham just raised $73 million to build a full-sized replica of  Noah’s Ark in Kentucky as part of a creationist theme park. He got a lot of attention and criticism for this because people argue he could use $73 million for more worthy purposes. I don’t necessarily agree. It’s his money, or rather – it’s money he extracted out of hapless investors to build this thing, and since they are all consenting adults, I say: power to them. They have a right to do with their money as they please, just as the Koch brothers do.

Construction is supposed to start in May of 2014, and take three years. This is using modern tools and construction methods and supplies.

The Bible doesn’t tell us how long it took Noah. We only know that Noah was 500 years old when he fathered his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth [Genesis 5:32]. God started the flood about when Noah was 600 years old [Genesis 7:6]. Since Noah and his sons built the ark, and his sons must have been at least grown up, say 20 or so when they started working, it could have taken Noah 80 years to build the ark.

Here are the instructions:

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.  Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks [Genesis 6: 14-16].

Not too much to go by here. A cubit is about 18 inches or 44 centimeters. So the ark was to be 500 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

Then Noah should take with him his family and two animals of each “kind.” Of course, there are no instructions about how Noah got penguins, polar bears, armadillos, Galapagos turtles, kangaroos, pandas, koalas, caribou, skunk… You get the idea. Ken Ham thinks that Noah didn’t just take these animals with him, but also all the major dinosaurs, no matter that we have determined that Stegosaurs lived 150 million years ago and Tyrannosaurs 65 million years ago.


I find it astonishing that many American Christians believe that the story of Noah is literally true as stated here. It is apparently for that reason they don’t agree with the movie.

Russell Crowe just does not look 500 years old in the movie.

I can’t wait for it to come out – unless the Tomatometer gives it punishing ratings.

Leave a Reply