Moan, moan, moan! Biblical balderdash

I had a bit of a go at those people who believe in the literal truth of scripture this week. I needn’t expand on it: the moan below says it all. Here is it . . .


I read a couple of days ago that a Dutchman had built Noah’s Ark. Well, a half-size replica of it. 

His name’s Johan Hubers, and according to one news report he’s put life-size replicas of animals in there: zebras, giraffes, crocodiles, bison. This ark is fifty metres long, and, according to the news story I read on the BBC news website no less, it’s half the length of Noah’s. My first question is, how on earth do they know? Even the BBC? Noah’s Ark didn’t exist. If anything can be said to have existed historically, it can’t have had two of each of the entire species of Planet Earth on it – even at a hundred metres long. This Hubers chap has built this thing – and good luck to him – out of his belief in the literal existence of Noah’s Ark. This bizarre tale has given rise to a lot of academic speculation over the centuries, even while people have doubted its literal truth. In the fifteenth century, for instance, a chap called Alfonso Tostada gave a detailed account of the vessel’s logistics, right down to arrangements for the disposal of all the poo and the circulation of fresh air, and asixteenth-century geometrician, Johannes Buteo, calculated the ark’s internal dimensions, allowing room for Noah’s grinding mills and smokeless ovens – a model widely adopted by other commentators. There’ve since been searches undertaken on Mount Ararat in Turkey and Mount Sabalan in Iran. Interesting, but all rather silly. Just how anyone can believe that one man and his wife and sons and their wives put a big boat together and literally gathered and crammed every creature on Earth – two of each – onto it defies physics. And, since these fundies believe dinosaurs and people existed side by side, why weren’t the dinosaurs saved, too? What of the smallest creatures? How about the amoeba? Did he find a couple of them, too? Considering it’s a single-cell creature that doesn’t need a mate in order to multiply, why would he? Yet we all know the jingle: the animals went in two by two. What of the mayfly? It dies within 24 hours. That’s its lifespan. In less than a day, it shuffles off this mortal coil. It becomes an ex-mayfly. So by the time he’d found a pair and set sail, his pair would be well and truly deceased. Yet we see mayflies by the kilo where I live. 

I thought it was only in America that people believed in all this stuff in a literal sense. I mean, don’t get me wrong, everyone’s entitled to his religion, but in America the real frothies, the real right-wing fundies, will accept every contradiction in the Bible and take it as literal truth, even though there are, well, contradictions. Logical impossibility, but there you go. A huge percentage of Americans believe in the literal truth of the Bible: Genesis, Adam and Eve and the snake, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection. The lot. You know, I’ve often wondered about all that poo. The stuff the animals must have dumped, day in, day out, for forty days and forty nights – not to mention that of Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives. My theory is that it just piled up and piled up until they decided one day that they really ought to get to grips with it, so they trained some of the brighter animals to heave it over the side: the elephants and mammoths with their trunks and tusks, the primates with their opposable thumbs. And they stopped the Ark one day while the operation took place. Out it went, every last ounce of it. And it stayed there until 1492 – when Columbus discovered it.  

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About Andrew John

Andrew John is a writer, editor and broadcaster with Celtica, providing, among other things, a weekly moan on a topic in the news. He spends much of his life moaning and criticising, and is crap company at parties. But just humour him. He's not a bad bloke, really.

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