I'll give a shot at this, as it is a very interesting question.
The first thing to do would be to have comparable examples of ancient wooden ships, and how their size compared to the Ark. You use modern examples of wooden ships, but I do not think that because we cannot do it, then they could not have.
So what does history tell us about big ships ? Are there any records of descriptions of wooden ships with a comparable size to the ark ? Astonishingly, the answer is that it does. Ussher describes a ship that battled in the Aegan sea in 280BC, and in his description he says that it had eight tiers (or levels) of rowers, with a total of 1600 rowers in all. This means 200/level, and so the boat had the length to accomodate 100 rowers. Assuming a distance of three feet to accomodate a rower (about the space in airline planes) and a bow and a stern on the ship, it could have been between 400 to 500 feet in length. DUring the battle, it would have been at sea for many days during the battle, plus days at sea before and after the battle.
Athenaeus also describes 420 feet long which had 40 levels of rowers and had a crew of 7250 men.
Now I don't know how they did it, but looking in history it seems that they achieved ship sizes comparable to the ark, and so I see no reason that because we cannot do it anymore, they could not have.
Of course, a 40 level boat is totally useless in a battle. Even at 420 feet long, its height makes it very unstable, and so it is of no surprise that it was just a 'show-off'.
I of course, did not do any extensive research on the subject, because of a lack of time and access to the adequate information. But I simply had the impression in reading in that OP that it was just a 'we can't do it, so they surely couldn't do it' sort of argument. And because we could not build a wooden vessel longer than 300 feet, than that such a thing is impossible to do.
I think it should be interesting to view in history if boats of comparable sizes to the ark have been built.
Because ingeneering physics of a ship is surely not a simple thing, and often enough, some counter-intuitive arrangements amount ot incredible results in matter of stiffness and solidity.
I remember a few years ago, my friends father had participated in a bridge-making competition in which the bridge had to support the most weight possible within restriction in material and weight put into the bridge itself. Now he only had a bachelor's degree in ingeneering, and every single other contestants were university teams who were led by PhD scientists in the domain. When they saw his bridge, they laughed out loud, saying that his strings, the way he had put them, were totally useless. These people all had a PhD, with years of experience in bridge-building competition. Yet my friends father's bridge turned out to finish in second place exactly because of his new string-concept.
The point of all this is that ingeneering is never short of new concepts which makes things stronger and better. The simple fact that some people in this discussion thought that the proportion of height-lengtth-depth could not impact the stiffness of the ship is indeed laughable, and shows a lack of understanding of how complex ingeneering can be.
Could it be possible that the ancient civilisation were more advanced in boating ingeneering then we are today ? I think it is a distinct possibility, and one that should not be discarded in this discussion.
The 40 level-boat is useful knowledge because we know it's dimensions, and that it had 420 feets. A reasonable estimations of the Leontifera, which had 8 levels, puts it at over 300feet, probably around 400 feet. Pliny records other boats of up to ten-twelve-fifteen and thirty levels in other ancient naval armies. It is very reasonable that they would have been comparable in length to the Leontifera and the 40level boat.
The laws of physics of course, would have been the same at any epoch, and I have never implied he contrary. It does not stop, however, that new engineering concepts can help make more resistant to weight bridges, and more stiff wooden ships.
The point I was adressing is that some have asserted in this discussion that a wooden ship cannot exceed 300 feet because of the structural capabilities of wood.
I was making a case that there are records of ancient wooden vessels exceeding this length, reaching probably very near the size the Ark would have had in terms of length. How they managed to engineer such ships is a mystery, but the point is that they did it. Either be it a Catamaran configuration or something else who enabled this, the point is that a boat of that size can float.
Furthermore, the Leontifera battled in the Aegan sea, and as per Ussher's description, it had absolutly no problem engaging in battle. It's not as if it was 'fragile'
Finally, a study of the configuration of Noah's Ark was done in 1994 by: S.W. Hong, S. S. Na, B. S. Hyun, S. Y. Hong, D. S. Gong, K. J. Kang, S. H. Suh, K. H. Lee and Y. G. Je.
It's pretty technical, and I haven't finished reading it. They evaluate the three major aspects of the safety of the Ark: structural safety (Which was the original point), overturning stability (which was talked about in this discussion), and seakeeping quality.
I know you went on the related article on answersingenesis.org (I go on creation.com though, but it is the same article. I'm putthing the quote from Ussher here for those who didn't:
quote:When Antigonus, surnamed Gonatas, the son of Demetrius Poliorcetes, heard how Seleucus was murdered, he made an expedition into Macedonia. He planned to get there before Ceraunus could, with his army and naval forces. However, Ceraunus had all Lysimachus’ fleet in readiness, and set out and met him in a good battle formation at sea. In his navy, ships were sent from Heraclea in Pontus, some of six, some of five tiers of oars. These kinds of ships were called “Aphracta”. The largest ship of all had eight tiers of oars and was called the Leontifera. She was admired by all for her large size and exquisite construction. In her were a hundred oars per tier, so that on each side there were eight hundred rowers which made 1600 in all. On the upper deck or hatches there were 1200 fighting men who were under two special commanders. When the battle began, Ceraunus won and Antigonus was forced to flee with all his navy. In this fight, the ships from Heraclea performed the best and among them the Leontifera did the best of all. …
Do you have any contrary evidence that the Leontifera did not participate in this battle ?
As I remember Newtons most famous work was testable and scientifically accepted. There are other sources that confirmed what Newton wrote.
Now do you want to talk about Newtons true love, alchemy? So yes, I would throw out all of Newton's work on alchemy.
Therfore, yes I would do what you suggest. Anything that can not be corroborated, Newton's alchemy, Usshers big boat, should be put aside until there is corroborating evidence for either off them. Now the parts of both their works where the is evidence form other sources, yes I think we should seriously consider them.
Nothing is sacred. Now days quantum mechanics has shown Newton to not be correct to some extent.
Of course, and I agree. But note that the Pliny lists ancient ships with up to thirty levels of rowers existed. Is it then unreasonable to think that the Leontifera, with its 8 levels of rowers, did exist ? and that it did partake in a battle in the Aegian sea, as Ussher describes ? Remember that, we can never be 100% certain of the accuracy of any ancient document. But as with standard historical research, whenever a document purports to be giving sober history, one trusts the document in the absence of reasons to believe it is a fabrication.
Also, a point you fail to consider or acknowledge is we are not talking about 200 BCE. The Ark would have been a much earlier time. It would be bronze age and built by a man and his sons. The galleys you are talking about were built with all of the resources of kingdoms, with the latest in ALL technology available to them. Technology that did not exist when Noah would have built his big boat. Your argument is that Noah had the resources and technology pf the Ptolemy's. Even if these galleys were as big as you claim, the argument gives absolutely no support for anything about Noah and his big boat. None at all. You are building a a false argument.
Using this argument, the US Navy during the War of 1812 could have had an aircraft carrier. I can show aircraft carriers existed in WWII and now, so there is no reason there could have not been one during the war of 1812.
Do you get a sense of how ridiculous your argument is? Because yours is even more ridiculous. It would be like saying a family on the coast of Maine, could have built an aircraft carrier in 1812.
Hey there, Mr. Strawman, care to look back at what I really said ?
The original post was never about if Noah and his family could have done the ark all alone, or if they would have had all the ressources necessary, or the technological knowledge necessary.
The original post was about the physical constraints of building a ship of that length totally out of wood which, by its physical properties, puts an upper limit to the length a wooden ship can have, and that this limit is under the length of the Ark. My response was only about this: that the physical length-limit imposed by the material (wood) is at least as long as the Ark, given that the ship in question is well-engineered. And that better wooden ships that what the Victorian shipbuilders managed to do had been done in ancient times.
First of all, welcome to EvC! I hope we will have some pleasant discussions
Answersingenesis...or any creationist website is NOT a valid source for any evidence as they have been proven to bolster evidence and distort facts/history time and time again. A simple perusal of this site alone will show you that.
It's akin to me proving the FSM exists by going to venganza.org, then telling you to prove He doesn't.
Of course, this is elephant hurling. They always provide the references in their articles. If you would like to start a new thread and attack their credibility, feel free to do it.
Note also that any statement can be determined true or false on its own merits. Claiming it to be false because of where it comes from is to commit the genetic fallacy.
What part of "You are making a claim and YOU need to verify it" don't you get?
It lies not on the shoulders of the defendant to prove why he did not do it.
Of course, the claim I made was not unfounded. It was based on a statement from Ussher, which himself claimed reference to Memnon.
Now if the 'defendant' wants to say that what Ussher claimed is false, he does need to provide evidence for his position. As of yet, all I have found as any 'proof' to descredit Ussher's claim was that he recorded the Genesis account as real history, and so any claim he made is 'suspect'. Of course, not only is this reasoning fallacious (As I said, any claim can be determined true or false on it's own merits), but it disregards the fact many historians up to the 18th century viewed the creation account as real history.
On a final note, I would suggest you to let go of the arrogance, it will lead you nowhere around here ...
According to what standard of historical research?
How many historical documents do we believe accurate that do not have 2nd and 3rd independant confirmations ? I would suggest more than one
There are some Egyptians Pharaohs that we only know that they existed by Maneto's record of egyptians Dynasties. Why do we not doubt their existence ? After all, we have only one document that talks about them. The answer is simple: because we have no reason to doubt it.
The post is that we have no historical reference for a boat that size that could survive forty days of stormy seas. The building of the boats is a necessary premise of the OP. It is ridiculous to make the argument that the Ark was possible if you cannot account for how any possible comparisons were built.
The OP is about the physics of building a wooden ship that long, and how the physical capabilities of wood do not allow it. It is not about if Noah could have had the ressources, or the time, or the knowledge to do it. If you want to start a new topic about this, you can.
You gotta love that this discussion is still going at it, when in fact the answer is all in my message no74. The link I had posted (http://creation.com/safety-investigation-of-noahs-ark-in-a-seaway) was a complete analysis of the feasability of the ark done by 9 persons who are all on the staff of the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Engineering. The analysis they did for the ark with shipbuilding computer programs used around the world showed that the ark's dimensions even made it optimal in all three aspects studied: structural safety, overturning stability, and seakeeping quality.
This fact alone puts doubt on the theory that the flood account is made-up for the most part. If this is so, why would the numbers assigned to the dimensions of the Ark make it optimal in all those essential aspects of a boat ?
Furthermore, I could argue that the initial case of the OP is flawed, in that he uses examples from the Victorian shipbuilders of the early 20th century who were unable to make wooden ships beyond 300-350 feet in length without them leaking, and that this involved that wooden ships cannot physically exceed this length. This reasoning implies that these shipbuilders, with centuries of knowledge in shipbuilding, had developped a close-to-optimal technique in shipbuilding, and that even with all there competence in the domain they could not exceed the length of 300 feet without leaking badly.
However, a quick look at the boats they made reveals some less-then-optimal features, even for the layman's eye. You just have to look at the masts, which provide an incredible lever arm for the wind, which makes the boat vulnerable.
Other techniques are also available in shipbuidling, the french 'monocoque' technique being one of them. Also, a wooden boat could be greatly reinforced using mortice and tenon joints, a technique which is vary labour-intensive and so was largely abandonned by shipbuilders.
Also interesting is the fact computer modeling of such scaled-up ships on the Victorian line would have collapsed. Why then ignore computer modelling that showed that the Ark would have been seaworthy ?
For my part, I find the issue that 'wooden ships cannot exceed 300 feet because of the physical properties of wood' to be pretty much settled, and I am anxious to see the many responses that my post will generate. All in all, I would encourage my fellow christians to do some actual reading before posting some none-sense such as 'Noah could have built a raft'. I may seem harsh, but believe me when I say that I say this with love to my brothers in Christ.
I would equally encourage my fellow Flood-skeptics to read the 1994 paper with an open-mind, and I sincerely hope that you will be able to admit that this line of reasoning against the feasability of biblical account of the flood is flawed.
Do you believe their estimation of the length of a cubit to be innacurate ?
Even in the case that they were wrong about this, their data still clearly contradicts the OP that 'no wooden boat can exceed 300 feet' since they used a length of 135 meters long and that boat could float.
If it was smaller, all the better, if it was longer, you would have to say how much longer and how this added length would compromise an optimally seaworthy boat into a totally unseaworthy boat.