by Helen Fryman
Question: I was reading a different website, and the evolutionists said that the ark would be impossible because it is such a big boat that Noah would have had to have pumps and metal strips down the side or it would have sunk. I am a Christian and go to a Christian school, but I don't understand now how the ark could be possible. Could you please explain? Your sight is great, and I thank you guys a lot.
Response: I was unable to access your URL at www.library, but this argument about the Ark has been around for a long time. The argument usually centers around the idea that the Ark would break up if it was that large and made of wood. The following two quotes are from private emails sent to me some time ago discussing this sort of thing. The first is from a research physicist and the second from a structural engineer. Their comments should help. As far as pumps are concerned, perhaps they did have them. Metal strips would also have been possible but according to the two men I am quoting here quite unnecessary.
1. As far as gopher wood is concerned: One Hebrew scholar in Israel commented to a friend of mine that gophering was a process, not a specific wood. The process was lamination. Indeed, in the Concise Oxford Dictionary 1954 edition under the word "gofer, gaufre, goffer, gopher, and gauffer see also wafer" it speaks of a number of similar things ranging from wafers as in biscuit making (layers of biscuit) or in a honeycomb pattern to layers of lace in dressmaking and, hence, goffering irons to iron the layers of lace.
The pitch or glue used to cement the layers of wood in the lamination was well-known even as late as the Roman Era in Britain. New Scientist (I can't find it quickly) reported that they used (I think) elm bark and its sap to form a glue that was so tenacious that wood, pottery etc., would break on either side of the joint where the glue was rather than at the glued portion itself. They stewed the bark and sap in a cauldron to make the glue. My friend in Israel made the same comment but did not specify the tree.
2. The very task for which the Ark was to be used for is one of the main strong points (so to speak) for how the Ark could be constructed. Let's take say 3 stories worth of what would essentially be pens or for my purposes "Boxes." I have helped to design factories in this manner, so I know what I'm talking about. The Ark, if I was going to build it, would just be a bunch of boxes "pegged" together until it formed one huge box with incredible strength. All that would be needed would be some "cross members" to take care of the twist (deflection) and this thing would be more than capable of doing the job.
Two or three men at a time could easily handle the small individual "boxes," so there would be no need for special equipment that we think they may have needed. I've always wondered how they could have made the Pyramids, but I must admit, the Ark never seemed like that big of a deal to make.