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Archive for the tag “cognitive dissonance”

Genesis 7 – Through Him all things are implausible

So Yahweh’s being indecisive about how many of each animal he wants Noah to pick up from the grocery store and says this time (as opposed to Gen 6:20) that he should take seven pairs of each clean animal and only two of each of the dirty ones.  He doesn’t really specify which is which, but maybe Noah’s a smart guy.  He’s got good interior design sense, he’s got this frigid-temperate-torrid zone theme in mind that god will just LOVE!

He’s also supposed to get seven pairs of each kind of bird, and at around 10,000 species that would be a task in and of itself that would take more than the seven days he gets.  Add to this the million of species that biologists estimate to exist on the planet (estimate because we haven’t even found or categorized the majority of them), and we have a bit of a logistical problem.

Okay, lets be generous and throw out the plants and the fungi.  Let’s suspend disbelief and not ask the question of how non-aquatic plants and fungi could have survived a flood as extended as this one.  He got a bunch of seeds and spores or whatever.  We’ll count that as free space.  We’ll toss out all the insects, arachnids, and invertebrates too because fuck ’em.  Keep in mind however that they occupy the vast majority of the currently identified species on the planet at over 1.3 million.

This leaves us with 62,305 vertebrates that we’ve classified, but we’ll assume it’s the total number for the sake of argument.  After all, why should we believe that those unidentified species even exist if nobody’s seen them?  Anyway, half of which are fish so we don’t need those.  41% of these are freshwater fish, though, and live in environments at a salinity less than 0.05%.  Considering that the ocean is currently almost 100 times that concentration,  a global flood would have drastically changed the salt balance of the fresh water and killed off most of those species due to osmotic pressure, but that’s some cognitive dissonance that we’ll just have to suffer through for now.

Another 6,433 vertebrates are amphibians, so we’ll give them the old defenestration treatment because they can survive in aquatic environments sometimes, too!  This leaves us with 24,572 vertebrates, but we can toss out the 34 aquatic mammals and 128 marine mammals because they’d be fine too.  Except we’ll take back polar bears, because if you expect them to be doing the doggie paddle during the whole flood, then we might as well just throw all of science out the window!

So that leaves us with 24,411 species, but we’ll throw out the 328 turtles and 23 alligators/crocodiles, too.  Every species for themselves!  Sink or swim, bastards!

Okay!  So 24,060!  Now we’re at a reasonable number!  To present the best possible case, we’ll presume that only birds get seven pairs each since they’re the only ones explicitly mentioned.  So Noah and his three sons had to collect 98,120 animals in the space of seven days.

…I didn’t know Noah’s family was such a phenomenal group of hunters.

But suppose that Yahweh leads all the animals to the ark like the church likes to depict in all the Sunday School books for children.  Granted this has no textual basis whatsoever and was likely imagined as the only possible way Noah could have completed this task.  I would call it ironic that the only way people seem to accomplish any of the tasks that god sets them to is with some sort of divine intervention arguably cooked-up ex post facto by fervent believers desperately trying to figure out how these stories square with reason and science, but it’s really what I should have come to expect by now.

Anyway, we’ll assume that too!

Occam’s razor is shitting a brick right about now.

Let’s look at polar bears for a second since I called attention to them.  You can assume one of two things: that two polar bears migrated about 3,500 km at minimum across climates totally foreign and hostile to their biology, or that all the animals in the world lived in or closer to the Middle East in the antediluvian past, also in environments that would have been totally hostile towards their biology (not to mention the likelihood that many species would have gone extinct from predation due to poorly adapted camouflage and escape mechanisms).

This would also mean that you believe that land animals now considered indigenous to North America and Australia (and the Galapagos Islands, for that matter) either traveled even farther across vast oceans or that they somehow spread out after the flood across those oceans. distributing themselves to make it appear as if they evolved from a common ancestor.  The marsupials, for example, all had several planning meetings before deciding upon Australia as their base of operations for this grand conspiracy.

So, if we divide the total area of the ark by all the animals we have, then that leaves a little over 15 cubic feet per animal.  This actually seems quite spacious for a floating zoo.  This is like having your very own garbage can to live in!

Granted many of the animals didn’t need this much space as they were much smaller, but the reverse is also true.  One would need to gather 6 elephants for the existent 3 species, as well as 16 bears, 10 rhinos, 10 big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, and snow leopards), 8 gorillas, and 2 giraffes (who for that matter at an average of 18 feet tall would be too tall for any of the decks of the ark unless one was specifically designed for them, a potentially huge waste of space, or they spent the whole time kneeling which would surely have caused their muscles to atrophy and made them the perfect targets for hungry predators upon exiting the ark) .  Keep in mind that’s just scratching the surface of the larger mammals.

And let’s go to the other end of the spectrum and look at hummingbirds.  They’d need approximately 4,500 hummingbirds to account for seven pairs of each of the 325 species, and each bird eats between 1/2 and 12 times it’s body weight in nectar every day.  The smallest hummingbirds weigh 2 grams, the largest weigh 20 grams.  Assuming that all hummingbirds weigh 2 grams and need 1/2 their body weight in nectar a day, Noah would need 1,700 kg of nectar to feed the smallest family of animals he had.

Using similar math, we can estimate that since elephants eat on average 200 kg of plant matter a day, Noah would need 450,000 kg of food for the elephants alone.  How could eight people move around this kind of weight every day?  It boggles the mind to think about how they’d be able to carry the weight of all the food for the 100,000 animals (not to mention the colossal amount of excrement), let alone how the ark itself could bear it.

And speaking of caring for the animals, how the hell would they have time to do it?  With the eight people on the ark and 98,120 animals, they’d have about seven seconds a day to feed and care for each animal, which doesn’t even factor in the time they themselves would need to eat and sleep.

…….I think I’ve beaten that horse long enough, but I feel that it is a nut worth taking a sledgehammer to.

I’ve even heard some arguments that Noah didn’t need to bring that many species of animals on the ark because the bible only specifies that he find two of each “kind.”  What is that?  A genus?  A family?  How far back up the genetic tree are we going?  You expect me to believe that zebras and horses diverged and evolved from a common ancestor via natural selection as recently as 6,000 years ago, but you yourself say that evolution is a lie!?

Don’t we think that biologists would have noticed such an extreme population bottleneck among almost all species on earth converging at the same time period!?  Does the fact that they’ve found exactly the opposite mean nothing?  Apparently!   If we’re going to abandon all pretenses of conforming with the physical laws of reality, why don’t we just say that god used quantum mechanics to store all the animals in interdimensional space!?  What the fuck!?

*Ahem*

In Gen 7:11 we get not only a start date for the flood, but also another great reference to that body of water god suspended in the sky.  Yahweh opened up the floodgates above and below to give the people of the earth the most excessive and overblown baptism in history.

It’s unclear if the 17th day of the 2nd month is referring to some calendar date or Noah’s age, but since it’s consistent with Gen 8:13 which says that Noah didn’t open up the ark and leave until the 27th day of the 2nd month of the following year, we can still deduce that they were trapped in that stinking boat for 375 days.  This is quite a bit longer than the 40 days and forty nights crap that the church tries to sell kids on.   Gen 7:12 only says that it rained for that long, and the church has deliberately misconstrued this passage to make it easier for this story to slip past the rational defenses of the mind, which are far less developed in the young who don’t yet understand all the physical laws of the world.

Genesis 7:19-20 notes that all the mountains under heaven were covered at a depth of (at least) 15 cubits.  The tallest mountain on earth is Mt. Everest at 8,848 meters, and so the water would need to be 7.5 meters higher than that.  Some quick and dirty math will tell us that the volume of water needed to cover the earth to this depth would be 510,072,000 km2(8.8555 km)=4,516,900,000 km3 of water.

To give some sort of comparison, that is more than three times the amount of water present in all of the oceans on earth.

Total groundwater stores only make up 23,400,000 km3, and there is even less water suspended in the atmosphere at just 12,900 km3?  Where would such a volume of water come from?  To where would it have receded?  Are we back to the flat earth model so that excess water could be drained off the edge?

Even if we assume that the world is as small as this tribe of ancient Hebrews thought and take Mt. Ararat (the alleged landing place of the ark) as the highest peak on earth, we’d still need 510,072,000 km2(5.1445 km)=2,624,100,000 km3 of water,  which still exceeds the total hydrosphere of the planet.

My analysis of this particular myth leaned heavily on the numerical and physical side of things, but to get a good look at the cultural and historical records surrounding it, take a look at this article.  It’s a Christian website, but the author actually argues against the literal interpretation of the bible given the cultural context, which is quite frankly (and sadly) refreshing.

And I didn’t even talk about the idiotic idea that dinosaurs were still around.  Some people…

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