Yes, I am one of those annoying people who pick movies to pieces. Of course, when the movie is fantasy, I am capable of suspending disbelief to enjoy the movie. In the case of the new movie, Noah, however, that isn’t an option.
The reason being that there are many people who still take the fable as truth – some going as far as to waste their life away on a vain effort to find evidence.
How can I be so sure that the story of Noah arises in the Middle Eastern dreamtime? Because of engineering. Because of biology. Because of earth.
Engineering is not my field, so I’ll leave it up to others. In short, a wooden boat of such a size defies the known properties of the material and cannot be replicated by engineers.
Now into a territory I’m more familiar with, I will need to break this down to many points to show just how idiotic the idea is.
No boat could be big enough.
It would have appeared otherwise to the all-too-human author at the time, with their limited experience of life that existed at the time of writing in other corners of the world and of all the life that had ever previously existed.
Even assuming all the dinosaurs and mega-fauna forgot to buy their tickets and assuming genus, or even families were the “kinds” described, the line would still have been too long (eg. ranging from the many millions with species down to the many thousands of families – which in turn would require evolution along the lines of Pokemon, that is within a generation or two, to account for all the species today).
Worse than that; the floods would have either been saline or fresh, meaning that the SS Noah would have needed aquariums for all species of the opposing environment.
And this point is a catch-22; if we grant that the waters were saline – in turn leaving the massive per-historic marine reptiles and modern marine mammals off of the ark – well, then this boat needed to carry a year’s worth of water for all those on board.
Fresh flood waters demands tanks big enough for the likes of blue whales and their buddies.
The problem of thirst isn’t the end of the problem with resources.
We must also consider what we could forgive the writer for not knowing; trophic levels. That is to say, animals eat each other.
To support just the big carnivorous cats and dogs over this period, we couldn’t have just two of every species – but rather whole herds of prey species. These sacrificial herds were never mentioned.
This in turn magnifies the problem of feed for the herbivores, as the prey herds will need vast amounts of food and water to maintain the meat-eaters.
Assuming that the floods were fresh, thereby saving Noah the issue of carrying the water, he would still need to catch hundreds of tons of krill prior to the flood (because the freshening water would have killed them off) to feed however many baleen whales he needed to carry to “evolve” into the species we see today.
As soon as you factor in food, the already absurdly small boat looks even worse.
Again, we could forgive an author a few millennia ago for being ignorant, in this case, of limits to viable population size.
Sure, a few breeding pairs of a given rodent might take off in a new environment, but that’s not guaranteed. We only need to look at how many times rabbits needed to be introduced to Australia before they exploded.
When you are talking about a species that may only breed once a year or even longer, the chances that a single breeding pair would suffice to save to species is effectively shot.
And I’ve ignored the problem of inbreeding here, which would have played havoc with subsequent generations.
Having a singly breeding pair of every known species (or genus or family), Noah would have been lucky to have any persist and flourish.
And now the real kicker
To sprinkle salt into the wound, the year on the ark in itself means everything.
Not only would he need to carry all the animals and all the food (and potentially water) to survive the year, but also for much longer. Worse than this, he would have needed to carry tons of seed.
No seedbank (ie. seeds in the top soil) would remain viable for such a period under the flood. Apart from the osmotic pressure – or high salinity – caused by the flood itself and apart from the silt collection from a year of turbulent water movement (remembering that this silt, the creation would tell us, led to all the fossils), the seeds would simply expire.
So, Noah would have needed herds of prey to release after the flood and enough food to support these as well as the herbivore breeding pairs while he reseeded the entire global terrestrial landscape with all the plant life we see today.
None of this is mentioned and must fail the laugh test.
This problem is one noted prior to Darwin even learning his alphabet. No-one has found a single example of a fossilised duck mingled with Triceratops.
We could take this further and state that there has never been fossilised evidence of a giant ground sloth being killed by a t-rex, of a human kill of any dinosaur or of pterosaur competing with a large eagle (noting that they share the same niche).
That’s because these species existed in different geological periods.
The flood silt didn’t conveniently cover different groups in sequence. Of everything, the fossil record is both the most damning and easiest to understand to anyone who has any actual interest in reality.
If these ancient stories are true, show me the fossils.
Back to the movie
Sure, it looks dramatic, but with so many plots holes, the story fails before it even begins. Yet, for the true believer, it would, absurdly, be cementing to their faith. This work of fiction will be watched by the faithful as though it were some documentary!
Of course, Russell won’t be shooing off any dinosaurs or else the critics would rip it to shreds.
Which brings me to the crux; there is a way out for the faithful. It is the only way out and one few who want to soundintellectual is likely to mention; magic.
“Oh, the boat would break? God held it together.”
“Oh, the boat wasn’t big enough? God made the animals shrink for the trip.”
“Oh, there wouldn’t possibly be room enough for all the food and water? God ran a meals-on-wheels service.””
“Oh, there’s a problem with salt or fresh water? God made all aquatic life temporarily salt tolerant.
“Oh, two individuals don’t make for a viable population? God again…”
“God… God… God…”
Geeezus! Give up with the mockery of science and admit to placing faith in ancient stories over genuine certainty derived through critical analysis and get on making Adam and Eve Dino parks. If you’re willing to suspend the laws of the known universe to make your story fit reality, you are no longer talking about science – which is all about those laws. There’s nothing wrong with that, just admit it.
I don’t care. Live and let live.
If only they could admit to their warped, magically inclined reality, we could dutifully write it off and stop pretending to take it seriously.
Then, perhaps, I would allow myself to suspend disbelief and watch the epic, yet terribly scripted, movie.