So I came across this discussion a bit too late, but I think it's time we put an end to this particular argument against the Ark: That a wooden boat of that size would not survive at sea, because of the shear pressure it would have to sustain coming from the waves, etc.
I remember debunking this one over a year ago here, but let's try to make it clear once and for all and hopefully it won't turn into a PRATT.
The origin of this argument seems to come from the idea that wood has this intrinsic property of being unable to make ships that long. This comes from the attempts of shipbuilders at the beginning of the 20th century to make large wooden ships, who leaked etc. (pandion made a good resume of this here Message 1)
Now it is at this point that the illogical comes in: why think that it is impossible to make a seaworthy wooden ship that big, just because Victorian shipbuilders at the time were unable ? Why not think that it is a simple matter of engineering, instead of some intrinsic wood property ?
Isn't it more reasonable to think that those ships failed, because they used the ''plank-to-frame'' method, coupled with masts that provide a lever arm for the wind, creating big pressure on the bottom planks of the boat, amongst other things ?
This all reminds me of the 19th century scientists who said that heavier-than-air flying machines were impossible, just people had tried and failed. I think the problem is here, just as it was then, a problem of engineering and technique rather then being intrinsically impossible.
Other much stronger techniques of building wooden ships are possible: the french monocoque. Or adjoining planks could have been strengthened by mortice and tenon joints.
Finally, some here have asked for the calculations, and they in fact have been made by staff of the Korean Institue of Ships and Engineering. here is the abstract:
In this study, the safety of Noah’s Ark in the severe environments imposed by waves and winds during the Genesis Flood was investigated. Three major safety parameters—structural safety, overturning stability, and seakeeping quality—were evaluated altogether to assess the safety of the whole system.
The concept of ‘relative safety’, which is defined as the relative superiority in safety compared to other hull forms, was introduced and 12 different hull forms with the same displacement were generated for this purpose. Evaluation of these three safety parameters was performed using analytical tools. Model tests using 1/50 scaled models of a prototype were performed for three typical hull forms in order to validate the theoretical analysis.
Total safety index, defined as the weighted average of three relative safety performances, showed that the Ark had a superior level of safety in high winds and waves compared with the other hull forms studied. The voyage limit of the Ark, estimated on the basis of modern passenger ships, criteria, revealed that it could have navigated through waves higher than 30 metres.
The question is: Why would you think Noah had better engineering techniques than the Victorians?
That would be the next question, but that wasn't the one I was adressing. I was simply pointing out that it is wrong to think that a seaworthy wooden boat of that size is impossible. It isn't.
It is impossible, however, to speculate what type of technique Noah would have used. But it isn't as if the other, stronger techniques were overly-complicated. Tenons and joints aren't hard to imagine, they are simply labour-heavy and time consuming (this is why it was largely abandoned by the time of the victorian shipbuilders)
Then why don't creationists build one and prove it? The PRATT here is that saying it "would" float isn't the same as demonstrating that it does float.
Yes, and that it why they are saying that it would float (through calculations) and not saying that it does float ...
It's never impossible to speculate. Sometimes it might be inadvisable to specualte but even that isn't true in this case. We can look at the building techniques available throughout history and come to a fairly sound conclusion about what worked and what didn't. There is no firm evidence pointing to the success of large wooden boats and lots of evidence of failure.
Then I will only speculate this: if it is possible to make such a long seaworthy wooden boat, and that the techniques required does not require some particular insight from modern science, then you and I have absolutely no reason to believe that Noah couldn't have done it.
Again, saying that it "would" float through calculations is worthless.
I'm sorry, but it is not. Calculations have weight, and if you cannot show where the calculations are wrong, or where they missed something, then you have nothing to support your personal skepticism on the feasability of the thing.
Not only that, but the authors of the above paper tested it on 1/50 scale, and it validated their theoretical analysis.
So in theory, it would float, and so the burden is on you to come up with evidence or insight to show why it wouldn't.
It might be possible to make a wooden ship of that size with modern methods such as iron cross-bracing. The Bible does claim that Noah had access to iron:
quote:Gen 4:22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
but as far as I know, there is no evidence of iron work as far back as Noah's time. So we have no good reason to think he could have done it.
But that is just assertion and personnal feeling. The above paper is positive evidence that it is possible.
Another aspect to consider is the following: they evaluated 12 different hulls sizes/forms, and dimensions given of the biblical ark turned out to be the most optimal when considering seakeeping safety , structural safety and overturning safety (the three considered in their analysis). This probably wasn't expected by the authors, but does it not at least hint that their may be more to the story then just fabulation ?
I'm not qualified to assess the accuracy of the calculations and as far as I know, neither are you. You're taking them on authority. Without some hard evidence linking them to reality, skepticism is the correct approach.
This makes me think of another study done at the university of montrea psychological department, which said that people tend to agree with experts only if what the experts says is in agreement with what they previously believe.
This is essentially what you are doing here. You have a paper from 9 naval engineers, saying that a wooden boat of that size can be seaworthy. Included in their research is a experimental analysis on 1/50 scale, that agrees with their theoretical analysis (therefore linking it to reality). Yet you remain overly skeptical, and the only reason for this being, in my opinion, that it goes against your a priori belief that the conclusion should have been the opposite.
1/50 scale is like a rowboat. We already know that rowboats are seaworthy because we build rowboats all the time. There's no reason to assume that it would scale to a full-sized model.
I'll suppose you never did scale-modeling, or else you probably wouldn't have made that comparison.
A 1/50 scale model of the ark would include planks 1/50 thickness, which is obviously not the case with a rowboat, for example.
You should know better than that. The burden is never on "negative evidence". I don't have to demonstrate that whales can't fly either. Show me one that can.
If we had positive eivdence whales could fly, yes you would have to support your opinion that they can't.
Here we have positive evidence that the ark was seaworthy, in the form of a theoretical analysis and testing on scaled models in a towing tank and a wave generator. Both conclusive.
Saying ''I won't believe it's doable until they do it'' won't cut it, sorry. Especially when you brought up a 1/25 scale building of the pyramids as evidence that the egyptians could have built the pyramids ...
One their claim that the Ark could stand waves to 30m. Also, what little they write makes a lot of assumptions. Now if you could show me that this was published on a non-creo site or any peer review I might take a serious look at at. Until then all it is is an uninteresting paper written by people to reinforce their beliefs.
The technical journal is peer-reviewed. But I'm thinking you wanted it published in a peer-reviewed journal.
But the reality is that you people asked for the math, and the math was shown. And I consider it sufficient, until shown otherwise, to consider this argument a PRATT.
Yes, definitely true in my experience of the general public. But not, in my experience, of scientists and the more academically trained. They tend to respect the expertise that can be brought to bear on specific problems. They can also be very good at sniffing out bullshit...
Well isn't that exactly what ringo is doing here then ? He's saying ''Your not a naval engineer, so your takign them on authority'' and I'm sayign ''Well duh, because I haven't found anything wron with their math, and I have no reason to doubt them, so the rational thing to do is act as if it is true until shown otherwise''.
Just how many of those authors are YECs? I'll put down good money that each and everyone has Paul Yonggi Cho as his pastor. I have zero trust for this "paper". Next?
Me thinks a paper should be judged on it's own merits.
But even then, all I'll want to say here is this: if no one can show where the paper is wrong, or provide counter evidence, or anything of like, then they can't honestly use the argument ''a wooden boat that big wouldn't be seaworthy''.
But of course, you are still free to remain overtly skeptical just because they are YEC, although I'll point out that this is obviously an irraitonal position.
If you have evidence of ironwork during Noah's time, present it. If you have evidence of a wooden ship anywhere near the size of the ark that doesn't require ironwork, present it.
I don't have evidence of ironwork, but I don't think it is necessary.
You're jumping to conclusions. I haven't said I disagree with the paper. I've said I'm not qualified to assess it. Neither are you (are you?), yet you've claimed it as "positive evidence" that the boat "would" float. I haven't even said that the ark wouldn't float. I'm just asking for real-world, hands-on evidence that it would. Questioning the claims of a creationist website is hardly being "overly skeptical".
A paper written by naval engineers showing calculations that the ark would be seaworthy is positive evidence.
How thick was the planking on the model? Thicker or thinner than a rowboat?
They took a real thickness of 30 cm.
I couldn't find pictures or info on the scale models, but it would have need to be 0,6cm thick.
Not anywhere near the realm of conclusive. You have one study (apparently unknown to anybody but creationists).
And you have only assertions to the contrary. I'm still open for counter-evidence, but I'm sayign that for now you can only suppose that an ark that size is not impossible.
I explained in Message 108 the differences between scaling a pyramid and scaling a boat.
And I was adressing the claim that the only way to show it was possible is to build a real-scale replica and actually have it float.
Now if you are of the idea that miniature scales are only acceptable in some cases but not others, I would consider this a bit of changing the goalpost.
That depends what they're modeling. A tow tank test typically investigates the properties of the shape, not the structure, and if you look at pictures of them doing it they seem to cast the miniature boats out of plastic, rather than reproducing in miniature each plank or nail or rivet.
I didn't find any pictures of the scale models.
I need hardly explain to someone who studies physics why an exact 1/50 scale replica would not in any case answer questions about the structural integrity of the boat.
I agree it does not answer all the questions, if it would then we could prove anything using scale models.
But it does answer some questions, and it confirms their theoretical analysis in the areas that it could confirm it.
As for its shape, that simply isn't given in the book of Genesis, only its length, width, and depth, so the shape is just something they had to make up.
Their hull-form isn't very far fetched, I'd say.
Remember that I am only saying that I'm only addressign the assertion that a seaworthy wooden boat that size can't be built. Their calculations and tests show that it can, end of PRATT.
No reason to doubt them??? They're a bunch of YECs trying to demonstrate the validity of a YEC concept. Substitute YEC for geocentrist. Do you still have no reson to doubt?
I still have the right to doubt, but if I'm evaluating a given geocentrist claim, and I cannot point out where they are wrong, then I would have no legitimate reason to doubt.
Substitute YEC for geocentrist. Do you still think that this is obviously an irrational position?
If my sole, only reason to doubt their conclusionwould be that they are geocentrists, on something that does not depend on that fact, then yes I would think it is irrational.
Seriously, how hard can it be to say ''it is possible for a wooden ship of that size to be seaworthy'', when you have naval engineers telling you that it is possible and you have no other reason to believe them other then the fact they are 'evil creationists' ?
Once again, I have NOT said that it's impossible. I'm looking for positive evidence that it is possible.
And I showed you the math showing that it is possible. If you do not consider that as positive evidence, nor testing on scaled down models, then I have to conclud that the only positive evidence you would accept would be the actual real-size thing being actually built and put to sea. And if that is the case, then my work is pretty much done here as it just becoems plain stupid.
You really asking me to find the reviews of a 17 year old paper ?
In any case, the reality is that you should all be either attacking the math head-on, or acknowledge that the paper is positive evidence that a seaworthy wooden boat that size is possible. The authors gave all their references to where they took the formula's, and there is nothing in there overly complicated.
Hiding behind the concept of peer-review seems dishonest from where I stand. It shouldn't be an issue, because if we are to be honest, even if all their math was right, and all their tests were accurate, does anyone here think it would actually pass peer-review ? Would any engineering journal really publish a paper titled ''Safety investigation of Noah’s Ark in a seaway'' ?
If someone here answers yes to that question, I will seriously consider you either delusional or naïve. If however you agree that the answer to that question is no, then we can move on and actually talk about the paper instead of mudslinging.
In particular, even if they did build it out of tiny planks, which they probably didn't, it wouldn't answer questions about structural integrity, which is my concern. What worries me is, wouldn't a ship that size work itself apart, as wooden ships of that size tend to do? This has not been answered.
I would suggest reading the section about ''structural safety'' then.
I'm not so convinced as you that they've answered all the concerns. Wouldn't it work apart? If it didn't do that, wouldn't ordinary working at the seams cause it to ship an awful lot of water? --- more than a crew of eight could pump out? If it's stationary, wouldn't it be in danger of broaching to? (A sailing ship needed to run before a storm, if its sails or masts gave way in the process and it turned side-on to the waves it wouldn't last very long.)
It didn't have a mast, and I would then suggest reading the section about overturning ability (I'm unsure what broaching means in this context)
You are the one that brought it up. So unless you can present evidence showing us that some other engineers agree with the calculations and conclusions, then this "paper" ain't worth the photons that are wasted displaying it on my monitor.
First off, you brought in peer-review. And secondly, I'm not forcing you to hold on to some seconr-rated argument against the plausibility of the ark.
The waste is my time answering to mudslinging rather then people who actually want to discuss the math and the paper.
''if it isn't in a secular peer-reviewed journal I won't believe it''. Well good for you, but I won't waste any more time with this childish attitude.
A claim should stand or fall on it's merits, not because of who said it, or where it was written. And if you don't have the knowledge to evaluate it, then jsut say so and move on.
And you claim to want to be a scientist? Peer review is a hallmark of the modern scientific process.
I'm not dissing on peer-review, but I'm pointing out that expecting everything to be peer-reviewed in journals before taking a look at it is stupid.
Do you understand the engineering behind this paper? Or are you accepting it totally just because it supports your view.
Of what I understand of it, I haven't found any reasons to doubt their conclusion. Honestly it isn't that hard to the point of being incomprehensible, I just had to research a lot of technical words.
I'd say the only thing I couldn't evaluate was their claim of the scaled down models validating their theoretical analysis, and having the softwares they used to look if the results they gave were accurate. Although I know I'm far from qualify to assess if everything is right in the paper, I have no reasons to think it is not.