That Awkward Moment When *Another* Creationist Gets Outwitted by a Sixth Grader

Remember when an 11-year-old boy outwitted Young Earth Creationist Eric Hovind during a debate against atheist (and the boy’s father) Bernie Dehler?

The boy is back.

This time, at a debate that occurred a couple of weeks ago at a church in Oregon between his father and Pastor Nathan Lewis, the boy asked whether the pastor actually believed in Noah’s Ark:

Boy: You believe in Noah’s Ark, right?

Pastor Lewis: Yeah. Yeah, I do.

Boy: … So, God told Noah to get all the animals and put them on the Ark, right?

Pastor Lewis: No, not all of them.

Boy: Ok…

Pastor Lewis: Like all the aquatic animals? They just had to swim their way around.

[Laughter]

Boy: So then it says in the Bible that… the flood went over the highest mountains in the world. And that includes Mount Everest, right?

Pastor Lewis: Well, I… I don’t know about that…

Boy: Ok, but even if it did, then animals could not breathe because there’s no oxygen up there.

Pastor Lewis: Yeah, you know, uh…. you’re Bernie’s boy, right?

[Laughter]

As if the boy were prompted by his father to ask the question instead of by the pastor’s own ignorance…

Pastor Lewis went on to answer that Mount Everest (as we know it) came to its current height after Noah went on his journey. “Everest is relatively young,” he added.

To which the boy responded by saying Mount Everest was formed more than two thousand years ago.

The pastor admitted that, yes, that’s probably true, though you know in his mind, two thousand years isn’t that far off from the right answer.

Actually, Mount Everest is about 60,000,000 years old. If you believe in the story of Noah’s Ark, as written in the Bible, Noah lived several thousand years ago.

The pastor needs to reconsider his theology because he just got humiliated by a sixth grader.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Conspirator

    I’m not sure this is a good argument against Noah. If the entire earth were covered with water, then the atmosphere would be pushed up, thus increasing the density of air at higher altitudes. And of course, this water had to come from somewhere, so god would have created it out of nowhere, as he did with everything else, which also means he could have adjusted the atmosphere on a whim too.

    Of course this story is from a time and people who would not be familiar with atmospheric density. Obviously they aren’t going to account for that in their myths.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      … so god would have created it out of nowhere, as he did with everything
      else, which also means he could have adjusted the atmosphere on a whim
      too

      Which goes to show: people do not consider miracles to be a satisfying explanation. Every question skeptics have about religious stories could be answered with, “it’s a miracle!,” which would be theologically consistent, but no one would consider the stories to be convincing.

    • Golfie98

      You do know that the atmosphere is held in place by gravity and if sea level was raised then more atmosphere would be pushed out of gravitational attraction. The result of that would be to reduce the atmospheric pressure at sea level to that of the pressure on a mountain of similar height. Therefore the atmospheric pressure at sea level (if sea level was 100 feet above mount Everest) would be identical to the atmospheric pressure at 100 feet above Everest today.

      There is nothing unique about sea level and atmospheric pressure – if sea levels were to rise pressure at sea level would change not because of sea level but because of the laws of physics which determine atmospheric pressure in relation to distance from the gravitational core.

      Thats my best understanding of it – but I guess you are free to correct me.

      • Conspirator

        You have to take into account that water has gravity too, and would contribute to the overall gravity of the earth. Also, the atmosphere would be displaced by the water, thus pushed up. I honestly don’t know about how all this works, but keep in mind that part of atmospheric pressure comes from the weight of the gases pushing down to the earth. The mass of the atmosphere will not change with the increase of water on the earth. So now there’s more mass on earth meaning the atmosphere is displaced, does this mean the air pressure increases at the new sea level, or does it mean that circumference of the atmosphere increases further out away from the earth?

        There’s a number of variables to consider here, and I’m not familiar enough with all the physics to take them all into account, nor do I want to work out the math to figure out the percentage increase in the earth’s apparent diameter and mass by such a flood and the affect that would have on the mass and displacement of the atmosphere.

        • trj

          Actually, even though the water would add mass to the Earth, I believe you’d actually experience less gravity at the new sea level, due to being further from the gravitational center. You’d hardly notice it, though.

          • Golfie98

            I agree, water has significantly less density (and so mass) than the earth and would have a negligible effect on the earth’s gravitational effect on the stratospheric boundaries

          • Keith

            Really? IANAP(hysicist), but it seems to me that there are factors influencing the force of gravity other than the inverse square relationship. Overall mass of the body has to factor in somehow.

            Otherwise the gravitational force of the sun would be negligible out here at 1AU. Obviously the sun has a measurable gravitational force out here, otherwise our lovely planet would go careening out into space.

            As I see it, the extra water mass adds gravity at the same time distance from the core decreases it. The higher sea level, due to the greater planetary diameter because of all that water means that the air will be thinner. But it will also be denser than currently because the air simply moves up.

            I don’t have the physics knowledge to calculate all of this, and it is not the strongest argument against The Big Flood, but it was a fun video clip.

            • trj

              @Keith:
              The only two factors influencing gravity are in fact mass and distance.

              As you mention, gravity decreases with the square of the distance. Even though the Earth would gain some mass (though percentually very little) from all the added water, it is not enough to compensate for the decreased gravity you’d experience as a result of being slightly more removed from its gravitational center.

              A very concrete example of this is the Moon. The Moon has only 1/81 the mass of Earth, but never the less it has 1/6 the gravity. This is purely due to the surface being closer to the Moon’s center.

        • JesseS

          I did some of the math because I thought it was interesting but I’m not trained in any way so I bottomed out on what happens with the atmosphere, here’s how far I got though;

          (These are VERY rough calculations)

          Currently the radius of the earth is approx 6,371km, and Everest is 8,848m high.

          This gives the earth an approximate surface area of 510,064,472 square kilometres. That’s 510 MILLION.

          This also gives it a volume of 1,083,206,916,845 cubic kilometres. That’s 1.08 TRIILION.

          Adding
          an even column of water capable of submerging Everest would change the
          Earths radius to 6,379.8481km. I’m being generous and saying that
          Everest only needs to be ten centimetres under to count as submerged.

          New surface area: 511,482,220 (so that’s +1,417,748 square kilometres)

          New volume: 1,087,726,289,036 (+4,519,372,191 cubic kilometres)

          Since
          a cubic metre is 1,000kg, then a cubic kilometre would be
          1,000,000,000,000kg meaning we are adding 4.5×10^21 kilograms or, in
          easier terms 4.5 QUINTILLION metric tons of water to the earth. However
          this is only 0.000,000,7% of the Earth’s mass so its unlikely we are
          adding any appreciable gravity. However you wouldn’t be pushing the
          atmosphere away from the earth since the water is generating its own
          gravity as well. This is why the ice caps actually pull the oceans
          towards them slightly counter-acting the centrifugal forces of the
          Earth’s spin. It’s not much but IIRC if the ice caps melt its supposed
          to be a couple inch increase in equator bulge just from that alone,
          before you add the extra water.

          The surface area does, I think,
          matter though, but I’m not sure how to work it out. The atmosphere is
          going to spread out to cover the new surface area, which would thin it
          out, but I think it’d thin out the height of the air column more than the density since the gravity isn’t changing.

          I suspect you’d have only slightly less density at the new sea level, but
          the height of the atmosphere would drop considerably. Does anyone with more physics knowledge know how to work out what would happen there?

          • C Peterson

            The height of the atmosphere would barely change. The short answer is that increasing the radius of the Earth by 0.1% would have no significant impact on the surface gravitational acceleration, the surface atmospheric pressure, or the height of the atmosphere above the surface. Detecting the difference would require modern instrumentation.

            • JesseS

              Dang, oh well.

              As an aside was I right when I guessed that if the change had been appreciable (like say we added 20% to the radius or something without adding more atmosphere instead) that the atmopshere would lose height (depth? not sure what the correct terminology here is) faster than it loses density?

        • Urbane_Gorilla

          You’re right. Gravity is a function of mass. As water has mass, then as it rises above Everest, it would in effect be adding to the mass. The big question however, is where did all the water come from all of a sudden. It would take 1,096,901,898 cubic miles of extra water, or about 3 times the volume of our oceans. To think that we have three times our ocean’s volume floating precariously above us as clouds waiting to dump on us is just silly.

      • ganner918

        Engineer here. Conspirator is correct. The pressure at sea level vs at mountainous altitudes is not due to a difference in gravity. There is a negligible difference in gravitational attraction (reduction by about 0.3%) from sea level to the tip of Everest. Atmospheric pressure is the result of the weight of the column of air above. If you push the sea level up, the atmosphere would move up and you’d have a similar column of air weighing down. There’d be a SLIGHT reduction because the surface area would increase, and there’d thus be a slightly shorter column of air above, but we’d be talking again a negligible difference.

        tl;dr Young Mr. Dehler was actually off on the idea that animals wouldn’t be able to breathe on an ark floating on a sea reaching above Mt. Everest. But he still greatly outwits these creationist clowns.

        • Golfie98

          Non engineer here – but that explanation makes no sense. As you say atmospheric pressure is the weight of the column of air above, the height of that column is determined by the earth’s ability to hold it, Sea level has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure except as an arbitrary measure defining 1 atmosphere. A mountain, or sea level has no impact on atmospheric pressure only height does,

          What you are suggesting is that if global sea levels rise to the level of Everest than our atmosphere, and stratosphere would shrink and therefore become more dense (which would probably kill everything on the ark anyway) or that our stratosphere would magically increase beyond the laws of physics which hold it in place.

          There is no difference to atmospheric pressure to any object (be it a mountain or sea level) at a specific height from the gravitational core. These thing are determined by height, moments, gravity and centrifugal/petal mathematics.

          • ganner918

            The Earth’s ability to hold it doesn’t change in a significant way from current Sea Level to the top of mount Everest. As I stated above, the reduction in gravitational attraction is 0.3% but the reduction in atmospheric pressure is about 2/3. If Water covered the Earth to the top of Everest, the atmosphere would just move a little farther out. Increasing the surface radius by about 9 km (0.14% increase) would have no noticeable impact on the ability to hold atmosphere.

          • Drew M.

            It makes perfect sense and he suggested nothing of the sort.

            /facepalm

        • Kevin S.

          So how much oxygen would be absorbed between the molecules of all this water? A significant absorption rate would decrease either atmospheric pressure or oxygen content and make it hard for mammals to breathe.

          • redscream5

            Can I make an observation about how awesome it is that, instead of jerking around about this “zinger”, we have a heated scientific debate spanning multiple fields?

            • ganner918

              It is kind of awesome

          • Aurelius

            That’s going to be impossible to feasibly estimate because of two factors. As depth increases oxygen saturation decreases, yet at lower temperature it increases. The reason that certain spots on the globe are oxygenated at lower depths is due to the tropical flow, but for the most part we only consider the first 1 km to have elevated amounts of oxygen. We’d have to map out the new flows in a Noah’s world; however, I can reasonably assume that we’d have little transference to the lower depths because the amount of land mass even at 6 km above sea level is negligible.

            If you’re wondering about the increased surface area… that’s a bit easier to calculate. Average o^2 for the first 1 km is .35 mol/m^3, the first 1 km of the entire earth contains 250,000,000 m3 of which 70% is water (I know it’s actually less given underwater land) means we have about 61.3 million moles of oxygen. If we raised the circumference of the planet by 9 km the new top of the ocean contains 10 times that volume, and for the sake of overestimating let’s say that it’s only water, therefore 875 million moles of oxygen. There are roughly 3.7 x 10^19 moles of oxygen in the atmosphere so this would lower the atmospheric composition as a whole by .2%. Now we could throw in the other gasses that are absorbed and that percentage would decrease and the atmosphere would again become marginally thinner. The net effect is that modern life could still easily exist.

          • Jim Jones

            Assuming the water increase came from rain which is fresh water, the dilution of the oceans would kill innumerable species which currently can live only in salt water. The fresh water species would probably be OK.

            It’s always good to look at this image:

            http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/2010/gallery/global-water-volume.html

            which shows how much water (or how little) actually exists.

        • http://elbruces.blogspot.com/ El Bruce

          Wait – “a difference in gravity” and “weight from the column of air above” refer to the same thing. Weight is the product of gravity. So you can’t say it’s not due to the former and is only due to the latter.

          • ganner918

            What I meant was that currently, if you go to the top of mount everest, there is a lot less air above you than if you’re standing at sea level. If sea level rose to the top of mount everest, there’d be as much air above you at that point then as there is at sea level now. The difference in gravity between our sea level and the top of mount everest plays a negligible role.

      • SocioJuggalo

        Talking about atmospheric pressure is a completely pointless argument. No matter what, if the water covered everywhere, not only would it mix the salt and fresh water together, killing all freshwater fish. It would simultaneously destroy nearly every ecosystem on the planet, leaving most animals with no home to return to. Not to mention there are countless bacteria and microscopic organisms that require their current environment to survive. The ark would have to contain the most sophisticated climate control system ever conceived. Also there’s the problem of providing the food, fresh water, and living space and feces removal for literally millions of species of animals. Oh and this was maintained for what? Forty days? If you understand how big one million really is, the idea of a few people achieving something like this for multiple millions is beyond blatantly absurd. That belief falls firmly within the realm of insane. If god really wanted to wipe out all the life, why the hell a flood? It makes no sense when he could just think them dead. And even if you put all that logic aside, there would be an enormous amount of physical evidence left behind from what that amount of water would do to the landscape. Things as obvious as the grand canyon.

    • coyotenose

      The “something out of nowhere” argument is actually a way to shred their claims also. When they start saying that God obviously fixed this or that logical consequence of his prior actions, tell them that if God could fix the details at any time, it was stupid to use a big brainless flood to accomplish spot cleansing in the first place. Unless of course they want to say that God didn’t cause the Flood to get rid of evil people, but rather to cause them terror, agony and despair while they watched their children freeze and drown before them.

      And also that attributing things to God not found in the Bible is sinful. :P

      • Conspirator

        That’s really the trouble with a lot of these myths, they’re just so convoluted it seems like a lot of trouble for an all-knowing, all-powerful god to go to in order to make his point. After all, why did he need to impregnate a teenage girl with himself in order to grow up, preach a while, then suffer and die so he could forgive us of sins against him. Couldn’t he just forgive us? Couldn’t he just change the rules? And if he wanted to come down for a bit couldn’t he just make a fully formed adult rather than the whole virgin birth thing?

        • cipher

          You know the answer to that one – his universe, his rules. God is a projection of their parents.

          • Jim Jones

            Every man’s god is himself.

      • Jim Jones

        If ‘god’ wanted to wipe out life on earth, she could have just reversed the magnetic field for 40 days while the Noah group hid out in a big cave with enough animals and plants to start over. Solar radiation would have cleaned up most life on earth.

        But then why not send a flying saucer for the Noah gang?

    • PsychoDan

      Do most creationists/literalists hold that the water for the flood came from nowhere? I thought they generally claim some sort of big bubble of water surrounded the Earth and was collapsed to cause the flood. That would mean that the air pressure post-flood would be close to the current pressure at sea level, but hugely reduced from what it was before the flood. It still seems unlikely that the entire population of the ark would be able to survive such a sudden drop in pressure.

      • Conspirator

        Can’t say that I’ve ever heard that one, but then I haven’t paid much attention to how these people try to explain away this nonsense.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        I don’t know about ‘most’ but some.

        tl;dw; before the flood dinosaurs lived in a high oxygen environment. After the flood there was less oxygen so dinosaurs had to breath faster, which, wait for it, caused their breath to catch fire. Here be Dragons!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9w26JXXpWU

        • cipher

          Sounds like a Monty Python routine: “Can’t imagine it. I told you, I’m not going to imagine it!”

      • coyotenose

        Hell, the people and animals aboard the Ark, and for that matter the Ark itself, wouldn’t have been able to survive the rain.

        • Jim Jones

          Then there’s all the shit. How many people would it take to shovel it all over the side every day?

    • TheBlackCat13

      For some reason I can’t quite fathom most creationists don’t claim God made the water out of nothing, rather that it was one or more of:

      1. a “vapor canopy” of water vapor in the upper atmosphere that spontaneously turned to water

      2. a layer of ice suspended in the air around the entire world that spontaneously collapsed and turned to rain as it fell

      3. huge eruptions of steam from underground.that fell from rain

      4. one or more giant comets

      Each of these has numerous problems, not the least of which is that all of them would heat the atmosphere past the boiling point of water. The first two would also raise the air pressure and, more importantly, the partial pressure of oxygen way above lethal levels.

  • trj

    Sorry, no. If the sea were to rise to cover the highest mountain the air pressure would still be the same at sea level.

    Anyway, what would it matter if the air was too thin for the land animals if they had all drowned?

    • Conspirator

      It wouldn’t be exactly sea level, well it would be the new sea level, but not exactly the same as existing sea level, because the diameter of the surface would be greater, and gravity would be greater as the magically appearing water would increase the overall density of the earth. So that would change the distribution and density of the atmosphere. But I bet it would still be habitable.

      As for the importance of this, the issue is what would the air density be for the animals on the ark. How would they breathe? So it is an important point to consider. Unless of course the ark was pressurized and had an adequate oxygen supply or recirculation and filtration equipment. Which god could have taught Noah how to make.

    • Golfie98

      Wrong. Air pressure is dependant on how much atmosphere is above not what level the sea is at and and the animals on the Ark floating above Mount Everest would still have to breath.

      • Golfie98

        Sorry I introduced science there – my bad.

      • trj

        My bad, I forgot about the animals on the ark.

        As for air pressure, what you say is true, but the difference is negligible, which is why I just said it’d be the same.

        Of course, if you want to be specific, you can calculate the difference in surface area as a good estimate of the change in pressure. Using the formula for surface area (A = 4*pi*r^2), a rise in sea level of 9 km (enough to cover Mt. Everest) gives a difference of 0.3%. Pretty much the same.

        • Parth

          I don’t get how surface area has anything to do with it.
          Nevertheless, a simple equation for calculating pressure is
          pressure = air density*9.81*height

          Though the equation is tricky to use as air density will change (depends on temperature). A quick wiki search shows pressure drops by a third as you go up Everest. So no, the difference is not negligible

          • C Peterson

            If you increase the radius of the Earth by adding a few thousand meters of water, the surface gravitational acceleration will only be reduced by a tiny amount (because you are farther from the center of the Earth, and the density of water is less than both the density of rock and of nickel-iron). You’ll still have the same amount of atmosphere, and will still have virtually the same height of atmosphere. So the atmospheric pressure during the flood won’t change significantly as the sea level rises.

          • trj

            Parth, you’re forgetting that the rising sea would displace the air. So the height in your formula would remain the same before and after.

            As for my calculation: A larger surface area means the atmosphere is distributed over a larger area. It’d be more correct to look at the difference in volume, rather than area, but in practice there’s hardly any difference at this scale.

            But let’s try it anyway. Assume the atmosphere has a height of 10 km. With the Earth having a mean radius of 6371 km, the volume of the atmosphere in km^3 is (4/3)*pi*6381^3 – (4/3)*pi*6371^3. Add 9 km of sea, and the new volume is (4/3)*pi*6390^3 – (4/3)*pi*6380^3. Divide the two volumes and we get a relative difference of 0.3%.

            So the same amount of air now occupies a 0.3% larger volume, meaning (roughly) that the air is 0.3% thinner.

            Feel free to correct me, but I believe this is the proper way to calculate the pressure difference (not accounting for differences in temperature, gravity, etc).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1662432506 Jonas Green

    Another point – If the earth is covered completely with water, the fresh water lakes & ponds get mixed with the salt water oceans. — Fresh water fish / marine life — can’t live in Salt Water and vice versa.

    But then there’s that Miracle thing.

    • LifeinTraffic

      The answer to this, I’ve been told by the “scientific” crowd at Liberty University (I hate even having to type “university” there, because it lends the institution credibility it doesn’t deserve), is that there was no difference in the salinity in which fish existed until after the flood.

      • Marco Conti

        How convenient.

        • LifeinTraffic

          Everything is with them. People lived for hundreds of years before the flood because of some “crystalline canopy” and there being more “Free oxygen” in the atmosphere before the flood (which gawd, again conveniently, changed after the flood). Fossils? Got put them there to test us. Etc, etc. etc….they can come up with some weird, pseudo-scientific explanation for anything with their (conveniently) every-moving goal-posts of plausibility.

      • bernardaB

        Now that is one I hadn’t heard. The people of the time would have been fishermen and would have known some fish were fresh water and others salt water. If fish and other sea creatures did survive, why did god order that some seafood was not to be eaten? He could have just killed them off, and why did he save pigs that are also “unclean” food? He could have solved the problem by getting rid of them too.

        • LifeinTraffic

          If I am getting this right, and it’s been a while since I’ve had this particular bit of crazy recited to me so I could be mis-remembering somewhat, but there was no diversity of species. Species were not created until after the flood, in the last 6,000 years. So, one salinity fits all.

  • Jon Peterson

    “After the flood, I think the mountain just… … did that real quick.”

    • Drew2u

      Without mention of massive earthquakes that would have been caused by the creation of said mountains ‘real quick’?

  • Drew2u

    Wait, so he talks about techtonic activity and says that disproves mountain-making? WTF?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Tiffany/100001926356049 David Tiffany

    God doesn’t need anyone to prove his existence. He has already done it. Atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      Or, you know, not.

    • Carmelita Spats

      Which god? The trinitarian, incarnational, atoning, resurrecting,
      ascending, returning-to-Earth-real-soon god or the one who came to
      planet Earth in a spaceship piloted by talking, lava-eating, sea clams? The denizen of Planet Kolob or the god that is swallowed by Catholics every Sunday as they open wide for a mouthful of Savior since they eat the REAL body and drink the REAL blood of Yahweh’s kid?

    • Glasofruix

      Oh wow, it’s been ages since we saw that bullshit link here…

      • Conspirator

        That is some twisted logic there, just unbelievable. But I’m sure it works for the gullible folk who believe in god anyways.

    • LifeinTraffic

      Oh, that’s awesome! I needed a good laugh today!

      Since you are so willing to believe any argument “backed by scripture”, try this:

      http://www.islam101.com/tauheed/provingGodExists.htm

      Just as valid as yours, so why aren’t you Muslim?

    • Sylvain Lersch

      “Prove” – I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

      So throw some bible verses at it and see if one sticks right?

    • trj

      Oh, you found a bunch of Bible verses which say God exists.

      This changes everything!

    • anniewhoo

      Cool story, bro.

    • coyotenose

      Well aren’t you DARLING!

      Hmm, no, wait… it’s only darling when a small child demands that things he imagines be real despite a lack of evidence and can’t grasp basic logic. You aren’t five years old by chance, are you?

    • RobMcCune

      All this guy does is post links to his blog, it’s the only way he can get more hits.

    • cipher

      Right, because if you say something over and over, that makes it true.

    • The Other Weirdo

      God, should he actually exist, is supposed to be omniscient, which means he knows everything. He should know that much about humans: we have extremely short memories and attention spans. Anything after someone’s lifetime, let alone thousands of years after the fact, is not real to us. He should make more of an effort to connect with successive generations.

      • coyotenose

        Like Madonna!

        The singer, not the virgin. I mean, her attempts are very sad, but at least she TRIES.

  • Glasofruix

    The funny part is not about the atmospheric pressure, it’s about letting carnivore and herbivore animals on a small spot without plant life…

    • LifeinTraffic

      Wait, I also have the “answer” to this from the good folks at LU!!! God made all the animal vegetarian on the ark, and they didn’t need as much food because they took “teenage” animals (yes, the word “Teenage” is in one of their biology textbooks).

      See? Silly atheists, we’re so “close minded” to the “real science!”

      • Conspirator

        Isn’t there some silly belief that all the animals were vegetarian until the fall of Adam or something like that?

        • LifeinTraffic

          That is one I haven’t heard, but since it’s ridiculous, I’m going to assume that they believe it. So far, that rule of thumb has proved pretty accurate.

          • Conspirator

            I believe they teach this at The Creation Museum. It’s part of the reason that people were able to ride around on dinosaurs and such, because none of them were carnivorous. Likewise all the predators, lions, tigers, and bears, oh my, were all vegetarians, and everyone got along like in a Disney cartoon. Then Eve, that harlot, had to go and trick Adam into eating an apple, and bam, it was all ruined.

        • J-Rex

          Yep! That’s what I was taught. They started eating each other as a result of the “curse.”

        • trj

          Yep. They were totally vegetarian. That’s why T-Rex needed those big teeth – to crack coconuts.

    • bernardaB

      If the earth had been covered by water, maybe all, plant life would have been killed off. So what did the survivors on the Arc eat and live on after the “flood” receded? Not only that, but there would have been a great reduction in oxygen and an increase in carbon dioxide that might have made the earth uninhabitable.

      Also, did Noah manage to put all the insects, spiders, and other bugs on the Arc? Many of these live in communities, so were there giant ant nests as well?

  • http://athmorality.blogspot.com/ Katie Graham

    “Everest is young, we know this because it’s jagged.” 0.o

    • Sven2547

      Half-true. The more jagged a mountain range is, the (generally) younger it is. The Himalayas are “young” in that they formed within the last 80 million years or so. Of course, this doesn’t resemble the Young-Earth Creationist timeline whatsoever.

    • coyotenose

      of course, since it takes more a couple of thousand years for a mountain range to stop being “jagged”, his argument is self-defeating.

  • Marco Conti

    Adding my $0.02 here. Without a doubt, if the sea level was raised to Mt. Everest heights, the atmospheric pressure, for all intent and purposes would be the same because of the column of air, yadda, yadda.

    All that said I wanted to give some perspective of the relationship between planet earth, the height of Mt. Everest and the Atmosphere.

    If the earth was the size of a baskeball and we painted it, the paint layer would be ticker than currently our atmosphere is.

    If the earth was the size of a billiard ball, it would be far smoother than a billiard ball. The peak of the mountains and the valleys of the sea are that insignificant in respect to the size of the planet.

    • Conspirator

      That’s some interesting comparisons and really opened my eyes to the scale of things. But one thing about that is I wonder what number are you using for the thickness of the atmosphere. According to wikipedia, satellites encounter atmospheric drag as high as 800km. As the earth’s diameter is roughly 12,742km, the atmosphere adds about 12% to the diameter.

      100km is considered high enough to be “space”. That might be what your basketball analogy is using.

      Either way, the thickness of the atmosphere in comparison to the size of the earth is far smaller than I ever thought, likewise the height of the mountains is far less significant than I imagined.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Oh, yeah. If you take Earth and shrink it down to the size of a schoolroom globe and you shrink everything else down to that scale, and then you ask: how far away is Mars? Mars would be about a mile away. How about the moon? Thirty feet away. How about the [NASA] space station’s space shuttle? Three eighths of an inch above the surface of the globe!

        We’ve convinced ourselves that that’s space travel, but it’s not. It’s just above the surface. The atmosphere of the Earth is not much thicker than the shellac on that globe. The people they say go into space—they go 100 kilometers up, these space enthusiasts; they’re coming just above the shellac. You could drive from Earth’s surface to the height of the space shuttle’s orbit in four hours.

        –Neil deGrasse Tyson

        http://rookiemag.com/2012/07/an-interview-with-neil-degrasse-tyson/

        • http://twitter.com/TychaBrahe TychaBrahe

          Here’s an easier way to do it.

          Take a school room globe. Wrap a piece of string 10 times around the equator. Then hold it out. That’s the distance to the Moon (25000 mi vs 250000 mi).

          Piece of string once around is about the altitude of a geosynchronous satellite (23,200 mi).

          Distance between two cities about 150-250 miles apart (Santa Barbara, California, and Tijuana, Mexico; London, England, and Paris, France; Cairo, Egypt, and Jerusalem, Israel) is the orbit of the space shuttle.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Cool! Thanks!

  • Rain

    When Pastor Lewis started going into his creationist plate tectonics theory, the boy should have said that he doesn’t care about his stupid made up theory, he would prefer to get scientific theories from scientists instead of con artist creationist preachers, thank you very much.

    • Vic

      That’s a great comment!! Funny. I was thinking the same thing. Who is this guy to be rambling on about geology? Besides which, his explanation of the formation of the Himalayas and time frame would have geologists laughing their igneous rocks off.

  • DougI

    It sure does take a lot of BS to try to make sense of such BS like Noah’s Ark. I suppose, instead of BS, the religious would call it ‘faith’.

  • cag

    The distribution of animals after “the flood” gave rise to an interesting point. The deluded pastor glossed over it, but the more believable reason is that the lie was intended for a local, Middle East, audience who knew nothing about Madagascar, much less Australia. The myth authors and their audience were unaware of all but their local fauna, so they had no need to expand the lie to account for other than the local animals. By limiting the animals aboard the “ark” to those that the liars were aware of, the size of the “ark” did not have to be large. The locals would be unaware of Elephants, buffalo, polar bears, kangaroos etc. When this con was thought up, the rubes were not expected to ask questions.

    • Roger

      The rubes still aren’t expected to ask questions even today.

      • Jim Jones

        The rubes get mad if you ask questions. They’re no more used to exercising their brains than they are their flabby bodies.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The church I was attending as I stopped believing had an interesting take on Noah’s Ark. The Ark didn’t have to be too horribly big because god only took one pair for each entire species. The preacher’s example was that god saved two German Sheppards for dogs.

    I immediately asked how German Sheppards became poodles. His answer was basically that they evolved into different breeds, but he worded it as god making genetic mutations.

    • baal

      I’ve seen (in person) xtians use the argument that the Ark held ‘kinds’ of animals and then, immediately post flood, a period of rapid ‘micro-evolution’ occurred world wide. tada. no problems. none. nope.

    • TheBlackCat13

      It was 7 of most animals. The 2 was only for unclean animals, of which there are only a handful.

      Of course there are 8.7 million species on Earth. In my experience, most creationists start with species, then quickly back off and move to genus or family, but some go as high as phylum.

    • Kspark

      Mr. Raptor, you think the earth is limited to only 3 dimensions, and nothing else. The current version of the Bible is a distorted version of the actual incident. In the past people had access to higher dimensions, and many, many animals which one can see on the earth as well as others which one has no eyes to see could fit into an ark (the ark certainly was not limited to 3 dimensions). Even quantum mechanics accepts Hilbert space (an infinite dimensional universe). Now higher dimensions need not be limited to only spatial dimensions, but also to consciousness dimensions. There is at least one extra “vertical” dimension (which can’t be sensed by unqualified humans) to the earth as we know it. This is mentioned i the Vedic literatures, and atheists just don’t have any idea about higher thoughts presented in the Vedas.

      Many Christians get stuck when faced with such questions. There is a story similar to Noah’s ark in the Puranas, a part of Vedic literaures. And did the atheists know that the moon has a higher dimensional aspect to it, and is “farther” from the earth than the Sun. Atheists can roll on the floor laughing but they may not understand what I am trying to say. The highly learned sages who compiled (not the originators) of Vedic literatures have never cared for nonsense immature atheist opinions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/luke.delalio Luke DeLalio

    It’s funny how these guys believe in Plate Tectonics, but the science behind plate tectonics, which includes carbon dating and other aspects of geology, they pick through for what works for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

    Someone should suggest the ‘could the animals breathe up there?’ question to the writer of XKCD for his what-if weekly feature.

  • Thegoodman

    I love the story of Noah’s Ark. I was the seminal idea of my initial doubt at a young age. I enjoyed an illustrated animal encyclopedia much more than the bible and instantly questioned how all of those animals could fit into such a large boat, never mind what they ate and where they pooped.

  • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

    The ocean is not a homogenous environment. The traits you need to live on a coastal shelf are not the traits you need to live in an abyssal zone. Gills are NOT immunity to death from floods, especially a global flood that adds 30,000 feet of depth to the ocean. You can kill a fish just by replacing too much of your aquarium water in one go fer chrissakes.

    On top of that, adding that much depth to the ocean would muck up all the ocean streams, and those streams just happen to have a huge effect on the earth’s climate. You can’t have a global flood without changing the weather patterns of pretty much every place on earth.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Novali Mandi Save Lennox Merlenbach

      You have the best damn comment on this thread. I think I love you and your amazing logic.

  • Jeffrey Lebowski

    If a young boy can easily poke holes in your revered holy texts, which are allegedly THE word of god and are supposedly 100% true, that should be a pretty big wake-up call that what you believe is total dung.

  • Blah blahblah

    Funny – I didn’t know the 6th grader was alive back then to give us readings on what the atmosphere was like back then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pat.wells.946 Pat Wells

    umm, sorry in return but i went to one of the highest spots on Hawaii and its not really hard to breathe atop Mauna Kea. I think many actually go to the highest spots atop K2 and Everest and ARE able to breathe also. Maybe we can stop encourageing wrong assumptions about having trumped somebody with a kids response as well.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      That people can breath atop Everest doesn’t mean they can do much physical activity or think properly. There’s a reason Everest is littered with empty O2 containers.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1114067/

  • Random_acct

    Ooh. That was devastating from the sixth grader. Some of you are way too easily impressed.

  • Rixar13

    “The pastor needs to reconsider his theology because he just got humiliated by a sixth grader.”
    Priceless….

  • SaneMan

    The problem is the so-called Christians (there are true Christians) and atheists just don’t know what they’re talking about: no one is interested in true philosophy. The universe is NOT limited to three dimensions, you atheists. There is much more to a gross, 3 dimensional material (made of only matter and nothing else) physical universe. For example some scriptures say the earthly region (our so-called visible universe) is like a disc (Is it so?). No. But we have to understand that as we have a concept of curved-space (Einstein) in science, it may be that the curve is along a 4th space dimensions and the 3D “disc” is actually a 3-D volume, in a 4-D hypervolume, which is within a 5-D hyperhyper volume and so on. So a “disc” does not mean a 2-D disk. Language is very limited, and atheists take things literally. And when thay challenge some Christians, they cannot answers. But true followers of Vedas have all the answers–but its a pity, the atheists have no clue about true knowledge about the material universe, not to speak of Absolute knowledge about God. Bring the 11 year old boy to India, and take him to Udupi, South India to Madhva Vaishnava scholars, who are solidly convinced theists unlike many Christians, he will be defeated in no time. IT IS A CHALLENGE. I think they have a challenge and they will pay the boy if he defeats them. Don’t worry they will only attempt to kill the boy’s ignorance. Please take up the challenge and then talk.

  • Vic

    What’s wrong with the story of Noah’s Ark? Where do you begin. First and foremost is logistics. Two of every species on one fricken boat? Even if there were two of every insect species there would be no boat big enough. It’s a preposterous and absurd idea, but even more amazing that any mentally sound person would believe it. Then again, the same thing could be said about religion in general. It’s just absurd and not credible.

  • Vic

    What’s wrong with the story of Noah’s Ark? Where do you begin. First and foremost is logistics. Two of every species on one fricken boat? Even if there were two of every insect species there would be no boat big enough. It’s a preposterous and absurd idea, but even more amazing that any mentally sound person would believe it. Then again, the same thing could be said about religion in general. It’s just absurd and not credible.

    • TheBlackCat13

      It was 7 of most species. Only “unclean” animals, of which there are only a handful, had 2. Not that this helps, quite the opposite.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        I remembered that differently, so I looked it up.

        Take with you seven pairs of every kind of cleananimal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.

        http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+5%3A32-10%3A1&version=NIV

        So it’s actually seven pairs of each unclean animal, and all birds. And no specific mention of insects. But trying to decide exactly what is clean and unclean doesn’t seem easy except for the specific examples of each. I read http://www.ucg.org/booklet/what-does-bible-teach-about-clean-and-unclean-meats/does-new-testament-abolish-meat-distinc-1/ and left with no idea as to the numbers of each, primarily because whoever wrote the bible had no idea that, e.g. marsupials exist. Are kangaroos clean? What about sloths, do sloths creep? I know what AiG probably says, “We don’t really know”.

  • Lynn Smith

    Hemant, I appreciate your intellectual approach. I know you probably know about the contextual approach to thought and conversation. Have you read any of Nathan Lewis’s sermons?

  • zuma

    Plate Tectonics Theory has been found to be illogical to the formation of mountains. The only possible reason for the existence of sea creature fossils on top of mountains should be none other than Great Flood during Noah’s ark.

    The following is the extract from the website, http://www.visionlearning.com/en/library/Earth-Science/6/The-Origin…, pertaining to the origins of plate tectonic theory under the subheading, Ongoing Evidence for Plate Tectonics:

    ‘Today, much of the evidence concerning plate tectonics is acquired with satellite technology. Through use of the global positioning system (GPS) and other satellite-based data collection techniques, scientists can directly measure THE VELOCITY (or speed and direction of movement) OF PLATES on Earth’s surface. SPEEDS RANGE FROM 10 TO 100 MM PER YEAR, confirming the long-held belief that plates move at a slow but constant rate (see our module on Linear Equations for more detail on how to calculate rates of plate movement).
    The Himalayas, as it turns out, started forming about 40 million years ago when the Indian Plate collided head-on with the Eurasian Plate, shoving and folding rocks that had formed below sea level into lofty peaks. Because the Indian Plate is still moving northward, the Himalayas are still rising at a rate of about 1 cm per year. We no longer need to invoke a shrinking, wrinkled Earth to explain the marine fossils at the top of these tall mountains; it is the process of plate tectonics that continues to lift seafloor rocks to the sky.’

    My comment: As mentioned above, the velocity of plate tectonic is at a very slow speed with 10 to 100mm per year. Besides, the phrase, the Himalayas are still rising at a rate of about 1 cm per year, as mentioned above implies scientists support the continuous rising of mountain Himalaya with the speed of 1 cm per year.

    Let’s assume that the mountain Himalayas would be rising from 1 cm per year is true. As the mountain Himalaya would rise from 1 cm per year, the plain land in which living creatures reside would rise 1 cm as well. There is no reason why the plain land would remain the same high despite its nearby mountain could be risen by 1 cm. As the plain land would increase the same high as the same as the nearby mountain, the person that would stand at the mountain to measure its high would find no discrepancy even million years later. Thus, there is no reason why scientists would presume the continuous increase in high of mountain except the rising of sea level due to the simultaneous increase in high for both the mountain Himalaya as well as the plain land nearby. Indeed, the sea level all the while remains about the same high has proven the assumption of the continuous increase of mountain to be erroneous.

    The following are the extracts from website, http://library.thinkquest.org/10131/geology.html:

    ‘Soon afterwards, about 65 million years ago (Upper Eocene Period), came the second phase of mountain building. The bed of the Tethys started rising again. The sea retreated, and the sea bed was elevated into high mountain ranges.
    Later, about 25 million years ago (Middle Miocene Period) came another mountain building period which led to the formation of the low Shivalik ranges. After this, periodic mountain building phases occurred as the Indian plate pushed against the Eurasian plates which led to the Himalayan ranges rising further. The last major phase occurred 600,000 years ago.’

    My comment: As the speed of plate tectonic is at 10 to 200 mm per year as mentioned earlier, how could this slow speed have great impact upon lands to cause sea bed to be elevated into high mountain ranges? Unless the speed would be fast, the impact upon the land would be weak to cause seabed to be elevated. With such a slow speed to act upon seabed, it would be impossible for plate tectonic theory to be workable upon it to cause it to form mountains.

    Even if one would assume that the speed of plate tectonic upon the seabed would be fast so as to cause the rise of mountain, it might cause the concrete that is underneath the seabed to crack and turns up to have two layers of seabed and one is the upper seabed and another is the one that is underneath. The continuous exerting of pressure to cause the upper seabed to rise would result the hollow that is underneath to be formed after the crack to become broader to the ultimate collapse of the upper seabed. Thus, it seems to be that the formation of mountain through plate tectonic might seem to be unrealistic.

    As the plate tectonic theory seems to be illogical to be used to support the existence of seashells that were found on top of mountains, the only reason that we would rely upon is the existence of Noah’s ark that would have caused sea creature fossils to be deposited on mountains.

    The logic is simple that there is no reason to assume that sea creature fossils could climb up themselves to the top of mountains. The only possible reason is the strong waves as a result of Great Flood during Noah’s time that caused the seashells to be pushed up to the top of the mountains.

    The photographs about the seashells that were discovered on top of mountains:
    https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=seashell+on+top+of+mountains&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Eh43UrrfM4T5rQf4xIGwBQ&ved=0CEUQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=564&dpr=1

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Let’s assume that the mountain Himalayas would be rising from 1 cm per year is true. As the mountain Himalaya would rise from 1 cm per year, the plain land in which living creatures reside would rise 1 cm as well. There is no reason why the plain land would remain the same high despite its nearby mountain could be risen by 1 cm.

      Take two large foam mats. Put them on the floor and have a friend push one, while you push the other. Push them together.

      Once they make contact along a common edge, the pressure from you and your friend will cause the mats to ‘buckle’ up. Probably this will happen where they meet, but it could happen elsewhere if there is a weakness in one of the mats.

      Now, do both of the mats start to levitate off the floor? No. As they are pushed together, the total surface area of floor is decreased. The surface area lost on the floor is made up by increase in the vertical ‘mountain’.

      The total volume of land remains constant. Two plates pushing together is a translation of horizontal to vertical. That’s all.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      My comment: As the speed of plate tectonic is at 10 to 200 mm per year as mentioned earlier, how could this slow speed have great impact upon lands to cause sea bed to be elevated into high mountain ranges?

      You know what a hose clamp is? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/82/Hoseclamps.screw.agr.jpg

      Put one on your finger, and tighten it until it’s comfortable, but not hurting. Now every day tighten it just a tiny bit more. Let us know when your finger turns blue.

  • zuma

    Strong evidence of the presence of Noah’s ark in the past.

    Refer to the website, https://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist257s02/students/Anna…. Many theories were established in the past pertaining to the formation of mountains and they were The conflagration Theory, Halley’s Theory and The Geologic Theory.

    However, all these theories fail to explain the discovery of many seashells on the top of mountains since how they could reach up to the top of mountains unless the presence of sea waves that would have caused the seashells to be pushed up from the seabed to the top of mountains. The mountains are a few thousands meters above the ground. In order for seawater to be increased and to be raised up to the top of the mountain, the sea level has to be increased. As the sea level increased, the whole wide world would be in the water since all the plain lands of this earth in which inhabitants dwell are very much lower than the top of the mountains. Even if the sea level would reach 1/5 of the high of the mountains, the entire earth would be in the flood since none of the plain lands of this earth would have such a high. Even though there might be floods in the past, it was mainly caused by rains instead of from the rise of sea level. There is no way for rains to bring forth sea creatures but from seas. The mountains are most of the time located more than a few hundreds or thousands miles far away from the sea. As mountains are very far away from the sea, it is impossible for any crisis of Tsunami that would bring forth from the sea to reach out to the high of mountains. There is no way for sea creatures to be deposited in the mountains unless the sea water would rise. If the sea water would rise above the plain lands in which inhabitants dwell, many of them could not survive and not even the survivals of edible plants, such as, carrots, tomatoes and etc., or even living animals. Even if they would survive, they would have to live on boats and could not grow edible plants, such as, tomatoes, carrots and etc., for their consumption.

    There is no reason to assume that seashells could climb their way up to the top mountains so as to have their rest there.

    The existence of seashells on top of mountains is a strong evidence to prove the presence of Great Flood in Genesis 6-7. It was with this Great Flood that covered the entire earth that was accompanied with great sea waves as a result of continuous rain that would have caused the seashells to be pushed up on top of mountains.

    The following are the websites to prove the discovery of sea creature fossils in the mountains especially the undeniable truth, the presence of seashells on top of mountains:
    https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=edible%20vegetables&bav=on.2
    https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=edible%20vegetables&bav=on.2


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