By the way, how do you propose to get all of the continents to where they are now in less than 4500 years without melting the whole planet?
We've been down this road with ICANT before. There is no discussion of physics or geology regarding the FLUD that will sway him.
I'd focus more on your initial observation: that a boat of teh size described in Genesis would exceed the structural limitations of wood.
From your description, I take it such a vessel would leak even in relatively calm seas, correct? So even if ICANT is correct and the ocean didn't behave as if it were in a storm (certainly a preposterous assertion since it was raining worldwide for 40 days and nights, which would of necessity create bizarre and violent weather patterns), the Ark would still have sunk simply because the conditions experienced in normal, calm seas with waves that we see in perfectly normal weather exceed the structural limitations of wood for a vessel of that size. Is that about right?
If so, ICANT's view of the FLUD is irrelevant - unless the waters were still as glass for the entire voyage (in which case, how did the Ark move and wind up on a mountain, since that would preclude any current or even any wind), the Ark would have sunk.
the only problem here is that you are assuming the Ark was built in the same way as a conventional ship.
The measurments of the ark do not show a vessel that is anything like the ships we know.
Irrelevant. Modern shuipbuilding is designed with the express purpose of making the vessel stay afloat...and we don't use a "box" for a reason.
But it doesn't have anything to do with Pandion's point: a boat of that length exceeds the structural capabilities of wood.
Wood is flexible. After a certain length, the natural bending and twisting of the vessel as it rides out even the minor waves of a calm sea cause the planks that make up the hull separate and let water in, ruining any attempts at pitching. TO compensate, you'd need constant pumping to remove the incoming water.
Basically, any boat of that length made of wood is leaky from the day it's launched, period, and you cannot ever seal the leaks because they continually reform. Noah would have absolutely no way to compensate for such leaks. Put bluntly, it is impossible for a boat of that size made of wood to be seaworthy without modern pumping techniques, and even then it cannot be a deep-sea vessel - the risk of being caught in a storm is too great, because the already-stressed hull cannot take stormy waves. It can barely stay afloat with pumps in calm weather.
The measurments are 300 long, 50 wide, and 30 high. Rule up those measurements and you've got a rectangular box with a lenght to depth ratio of 10 to 1 and a length to width ratio of 6 to 1.
The ratio is irrelevant. The issue is the strength of the building materials. For similar reasons that you cannot make a skyscraper out of wood, you cannot make a seaworthy ship of that length out of wood. It's simply not strong enough to deal with the forces involved. It will flex and warp even in calm weather causing continuous leaks. A minor storm will break it apart. The boat will not float.
It was flat and square. It didnt need a rounded bottom or sharp bow to cut through the water; it required no steering; its only functions were to be watertight and to stay afloat.
The shape of a boat, as well as the ability to steer, is of paramount importance to a boat to remain afloat. As has been mentioned earlier, a ship needs to be able to orient itself perpendicular to any approaching waves to present the smallest cross section. A wave that will have no effect on a boat head-on will capsize the same vessel if it washes over from the side. A floating box would quickly be sunk in even a minor storm.
There's a reason we don't make our ships giant floating rectangles with engines. he design isn't seaworthy.
What helped it to stay afloat was that it was made out of a resinous tree. This resinous wood is thought by some to be cypress or a similar tree and in that part of the world there was an abundant supply of resinous trees. The Phoenicians and Alexander the Great used the same type of wood in their ships because it is especially resistant to water and decay. Moses also was told to “cover [the ark] inside and outside with tar.” So it would have been completely waterproof, no 'pumping' would have been required.
Ypu're missing the point, Peg, as usual. The wood flexes as the boat rides the waves of even a calm sea. This creates shearing forces, as one part of the boat is raised above the rest and teh wave passes beneath the ship.
Let's try a visual aid. Take a peice of paper, and fold it. Now support it from teh bottom with your finger in the middle of the "V" shape you've made.
See how the paper droops on the end? The strnegth of the paper is insufficient to fully support its own weight.
Now try the same thing with a post-it. Notice that there is no drooping, and the "V" shape remains straight.
So too with a wooden boat the size of teh Ark. Wood is simply not strong enough to support the forces involved. Smaller boats don't experience nearly the shearing forces that larger ones do - it's just a simple matter of leverage (the boat is the lever, and the wave is the fulcrum; the lever needs to be strong enough to support its own weight without flexing much regardless of where you place the fulcrum, because waves move the enture length of the ship). The forces the Ark would experience would cause the planks of the hull to warp, bend, and twist back and forth even in calm weather. This movement lets water into the boat. That's why the pumps are necessary - to pump out the leaky water.
Covering the boat inside and out with pitch doesn't make any difference at all - the cracks the pitch seals are constantly bending and twisting, growing and shrinking. You cannot seal that.
In a boat, the planks need to remain close together. If they move too much, no amount of pitch will be sufficient.
Actually, you'd be more familiar with pitching then me, the ark would have needed to be strong enough to resist the tendency to sag under the stress of being lifted by the waves.
This is exactly the force we're talking about. And for a ship above a certain length, wood is not strong enough to handle that stress. The Ark, according to the measurements given, was significantly larger than this hard limit.
The accounts show that the length-to-depth ratio was 10 to 1. Isnt this similar to the ratio modern ship builders use to accommodate such stresses?
It's not about ratios, Peg, it;s about length, leverage, weight, and strength. The width and height of a ship are irrelevant to this concern. If any one dimension is too long, wood will not be strong enough to hold together as the ship rides the waves; the boards will flex and take on water. The sap content of the wood doesn't matter - the wood doesn't pass the water through like a sponge. The pitch doesn't matter - the cracks it seals continually expand and contract beyond the ability of pitch to compensate. The length:width ratio doesn't matter - one dimension exceeds the maximum tolerance for a wooden ship.
That IS interesting, CS. In fact, I think it;'s an excellent example of why incredulity is a poor argument. Simply saying "that can't work" is as much an intellectual dead-end as "Goddidit" - you need an actual experiment to see whether things like reed-construction watercraft can be large enough to support rooms, rather than simply saying they can't because of personal incredulity.
Honestly I think that's the best reason not to debate the Flood along the lines of "that kind of boat couldn't float."
There are simply so many easier and more effective ways to test the Flood hypothesis that the amount of uncertainty typified by these sorts of arguments are just unnecessary.
The absolute strongest evidence with regards to the Flood myth are threefold:
1) If every species on Earth was suddenly reduces in population tpo the number of breeding couples described in teh Bible, we should see very obvious evidence of the genetic bottleneck that would be created by such a massive die-off. The botteleneck should be datable to around teh same time period for every non-water-dwelling species we ever find - we know that we can detect genetic bottlenecks in various species for various time periods older and younger than any suggested Flood dates, so this should be easy. Even a single species without evidence of such a bottleneck would falsify the Flood hypothesis, as a continuous large population of any land-dwelling species would be impossible under the conditions of a global year-long flood. The presence of such a universal bottleneck could only be explained by a massive global die-off, which a Flood would produce. It wouldn't be proof of the Flood (a mass die-off can be caused by other factors, of course), but it would at least be evidence that a cataclysmic event on the scale of the Flood described in Genesis did happen.
2) If the express purpose of the Flood was to wipe extant human civilization from the face of the Earth and leave only Noah and his family to rebuild, we should never ever find examples of cultures that existed before, during, and after the Flood event occurred, as all members of that culture should have died. For every suggested date for the Flood, if any archeological find demonstrates a culture that continued to exist through the supposed Flood, that date must be falsified. Again, if every cultural record we find suddenly stops around the date of the Flood, this would at least support a cataclysmic event on the same scale as what Genesis describes, even if it's not necessarily evidence specifically of a Flood.
3) If a global Flood were to have actually occurred, we should see geological evidence of it at every point on Earth dated to the same age. Since we can easily detect evidence of localized floods from much older time periods than any proposed Flood date, we should easily be able to detect such evidence in the form of a continuous sediment layer. Since we have found evidence of mass extinction events in teh past, we should also find evidence of such a mass die-off around the same time in the fossil record, and that evidence should be easily found at every location on Earth due to the global scope of the event. The lack of such evidence should serve as significant evidence that the Flood never occurred. The presence of such evidence, of course, would be extremely strong evidence for the Flood - especially if combined with the sudden death of all non-Abrahamic cultures coupled with a universal genetic bottleneck all dated to around the same time as the sediment layer. The presence of all three would make an extremely strong case for the Flood hypothesis.
These are all subjects for which there are a wealth of resources for debate. The actual, real-world evidence should very strongly support either the hypothesis that no Flood event occurred, or that the entire globe was Flooded at a point in its (relatively) recent history. The first two examples are scenarios that cannot be explained at all by a Flood hypothesis, but which are fully explained by the hypothesis that the Flood never happened. The third is less firm, but obviously the lack of any signs of flooding dated around the globe to around the same time is significantly better explained by the hypothesis that the Flood never happened than the reverse.
The simple question is, what does the evidence in the real world support more strongly?
The answer, according to biologists, archeologists, geologists and others, seems to be clear.