An Open Letter to Ken Ham:
I heard that you are having a little trouble with the state of Kentucky. I have no idea how those guys got the idea that your museums and attractions are really some kind of churchy thing. And I don’t know why they think the Constitution says that you can’t give state tax money to churches. Whatever. Fortunately, you can fix that in an eye blink and you don’t have to sue anyone! See, I knew that would get your attention!
I have a modest proposal on how you can turn your churchy thing into a science experiment, which in turn proves the bible is actual history, which in turn accomplishes exactly what your churchy thing wants to do, but through science! Perfect! And the idea is so simple, too. As far as I can see, you half way there!
As I understand it you are building this great big ark thing to show what it would have been like and therefore that the bible is real history. Now, I hate to say, Ken, if that is your purpose, there is a flaw in your logic. I mean the bible says eight people built this thing. You got engineers in hard hats and thousands of yards of concrete. I could build an airplane out of stone and say the Egyptians invented the 747, but that won’t prove nothing. I mean your big ole boat ain’t even going to float! So, how does it prove anything?
Since you are landlocked in Kentucky, getting the ark to float is a ship that has already sailed, if you’ll pardon the pun. And really, just being able to walk around inside a fake wooden boat all fastened down with concrete is not going to convince people from Missouri that a real one must have existed 4000 years ago. You’ll have to show them. But don’t worry, there is an easy way with what you already got. You just have to do a little science experiment.
All you and seven of your friends gotta do is round up pairs of all the animals, put them on the ark and then live there, more or less self contained for one year, two months and twenty-one days, just like it says in Genesis — I know you know that! Simple!
You’d be killing two birds (a raven and a dove, get it?) with one stone here. Suddenly your ark would be science, just like the that Biosphere thing out in Arizona. Wow, grant funding from science foundations like Templeton, your problems would be solved, praise the lord! Just think, not only could you get tax rebate money, but real government grant money. And if you were successful, you would have the greatest ministry the world has ever known. Even the most hardened skeptic would know that if you could actually do this, then Genesis, and by extension, the whole bible must be literally true.
Now, of course, you are going to want to have some rules, otherwise those Show Me State yayhoos will be saying it was bogus and didn’t prove nothing. First thing you’ll probably want to do is get the boys from the Creation Institute to get you a list of all the animals in the world. I mean you can’t just put some pigs and cows on board, you have to save all the animals! I suppose you won’t need any fish or other water creatures, they can’t drown like all the other animals did. You will also need a list of all the kinds of food there are, because you and the animals will need something to eat while you are on the ark.
I suppose we could let you off the hook for water since the flood was presumably fresh water, you can have as much as you want. But I would say it would be unfair just to pipe it in. How about we have a giant pool of water next to the ark, which can be kept full, and you can use all you want by lowering buckets down and hauling the water up. That seems fair and realistic. Food is another issue. Bringing food for a year for a person is not too bad as this site shows. Now that supposes about 2000 calories a day, which probably is not enough for eight people tending thousands of animals, so you will need some supplements.
You could compost the animal waste and try to grow food, but I am not sure you have enough room on deck. And the Biosphere people found that their first year production was not so good, and they were living in, like, a giant green house. Now, with all those drowned animals that god killed, maybe you could pull carcasses out of the water to supplement the food you bring. I suppose they could have caught fish too. Maybe you could have another big tank of water with live fish in it, so you could go fishing. And maybe every few days throw in a downer cow that you can haul up from the water.
Noah was 600 when he did all this, should be a snap for you Ken! And think of the ultimate benefit!
You would have the greatest ministry of all time. You would end the science vs religion debate. Absolute proof the bible is true! How can you not do this?
This would be the most stupendous proof of the truth of the bible ever conducted! There could be absolutely no doubts that every word of the bible was true when you and your seven friends — and all the animals — unload from the ark a just over a year later. How could there be any room for skepticism after this? I wouldn’t even blame you if you went out and got shitfaced drunk afterwards!
Now, when it comes the animals, your own organization seems to be cheating a bit already, so I am not sure we can convince the Missourians, if you are going to go down this road. Your own people are saying that only 950 animal families were needed on the ark to represent all the animals we have today. Damn, Ken, that sounds like evolution! They also say that animals like salamanders weren’t needed on the ark. Really? Please look again, Ken! Salamanders and most amphibians breed in shallow water, but live on land. They can’t survive a year where there is no land at all. And your people also seem to think that insects don’t breath air. Weird. If you want to get science money you have to get the basics right, Ken. I know the bible says insects have 4 legs, but we both know that ain’t true. Must have been a typo or something. So, let’s get a more realistic number of animals, Ken. NIne hundred and fifty ain’t gonna convince anyone from Missouri.
Let’s look at this rationally, Ken, which I know is something you have a problem with, but if you want science money, you need to do this. You folks say that Noah brought one of every “kind” of animal on the ark and they say that “kind” is approximately equal the “family” in modern biological terms. Now, for example, “cats” are a family (there is a fancy Latin word for it, but we don’t need that much science at the moment). So Noah brought two “cats” on the boat, but now we have 39 species (give or take) of cats? How?? If he brought, say, two lions, according to your theory, no matter how many times we breed lions together, we only get lions. Where did the other 38 species come from? And please don’t be saying that really all those cats are really exactly the same, just with different stripes and such, cause that just leads to another problem.
You see, genetically speaking, humans are more closely related to chimps than African Elephants are to Indian Elephants. If you want to say that elephants are elephants, they just have different size ears, then humans are just chimps without hair. And I know you don’t want to say that! So, you can’t have 950 “kinds” of animals and keep your no evolution theory. Damn, science is hard sometimes!
Oh, and speaking of elephants, your people also say that Noah could have saved space by bringing baby or young animals. You might want to dial back on that theory too. Think about it, if you were going to save a whole species by taking just two animals, would you really take baby ones? Kinda risky. Might not make it to sexual maturity and then, boom, no more elephants. Or is that what happened to the dinosaurs? Noah only took baby ones on the ark and then they didn’t make it?
Which then begs a further question that has always bothered me. If you ever think, you might have thought about this too. If god so hated the world he created, why even bother with the whole ark thing? If I am reading Genesis correctly, it was people he was pissed at, so why drown all the animals? Why not just send a plague down and kill all the people but Noah and his family? Easy peasy, did it in Egypt.
Or if he really wants to start over, why bother with the ark? Just saving type specimens when he could have drowned all the animals and then recreated them seems silly. It would have just taken a day to make all the animals again. That would have really simplified the ark plans and he could have fixed his mistakes like the onchocerca worm. Also if Noah didn’t bother with insects how come those nasty buggers didn’t drown? And it turned out that maybe Noah and his family weren’t exactly the moral paragons god thought they was before the flood. We all are related to Noah? (Genesis 9:18-28)
And since I am asking questions, Ken, what about the plants? Bible says the water was higher than the highest mountains, plus 15 cubits. Twenty-nine thousand feet of water! Everything was underwater. Completely. Plants breathe air. It’s true, you can look it up! Maybe some algae could have survived, maybe some seeds, but a year underwater is a long time! Kinda hard to believe that all the plants we have today, well, evolved, from those few survivors. It seems that, for someone who is opposed to evolution, you are assuming a lot of evolution, Ken!
I hope that you will consider my modest proposal, Ken and make your ark exhibit into a real experiment. You really could convince even the Missourians and maybe even a lot of atheists. You would be the greatest evangelist ever!