There was a hilarious attempt (below) by a supporter of the Noah’s Ark myth to explain how Life on Earth arose from the “survivors of a great global flood” who were apparently cajoled into a wooden ark that had a storage capacity equivalent to 522 railway stock cars. The letter writer’s use (or abuse?) of biblical maths gives a whole new meaning to the term Imaginary Numbers. I think it is far easier to understand Complex Numbers, rather trying to wrap my head around the rubbish churned out by Christians trying to explain their fairy tales.
The replies (also below) easily trump the “Biblical Maths” letter by being even funnier and much more sincere.
Raiders of the Lost Ark’s Intelligent Design
Reference (SCMP; subscription required)
Biblical maths explains how it was possible
Jun 07, 2009
I would be happy to help Ian Stones (“Ark attack”, May 31) with his mathematical and philosophical (not scientific) problem of accepting the biblical account of the Flood.
On the 10 million species: most present-day species stem from interbreeding within a genus (that is, the animal “kinds” spoken of in the Bible). Instead of 10 million, Mr Stones should take a more scientific figure of around 8,000 genera. This equals 16,000- plus animals, considering two of each kind were taken onto the ark. Biblical dimensions of the ark give a volume of 43,200 cubic metres (the equivalent of 522 railway stock cars). It was not necessary for the animals to be fully grown when they entered the ark, and their median size would have been that of a rat. Indeed, research suggests only 11 per cent of the animals would have been larger than a sheep.
Obviously the ark was of a sufficient size to contain 16,000 animals and enough food for them. How long does it take for introduced species to spread throughout a new territory? Much less time than you’d be willing to allow, Mr Stones.
I hope the above offers Mr Stones an explanation of some simple biblical maths.
Gordon Arthur, Sai Kung
Ark points to part of wider, important debate
Jun 07, 2009
Ian Stones’ letter (“Ark attack”, May 31) serves to bring into focus a matter that is being debated in Hong Kong’s theological and academic circles – whether Darwinism or creationism (the belief that God created the universe) should be included in Hong Kong’s public school science curriculum.
This debate has raged for years, especially in the United States, and one thing is certain: these two concepts cannot coexist in one system as they are totally incompatible.
Creationists are almost certainly theists in their orientation and hold that intelligent design, a euphemism for God, is responsible for the whole of creation, or at least the important parts. However, Darwinists hold that it is solely Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution that creates the living world as we see it today.
This matter is so important to me because I would want my child to be educated on the basis, at least so far as science is concerned, of scientific fact and evidence, and not in any way influenced by biblical mythologies.
What I do not want to see is any furtherance of any of these misinformed ideas of seemingly benign religious zealots, moving stealthily along a path that will lead to a situation where we are all expected to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of our gardens. Intelligent design is a misnomer for prejudicial ignorance and archaic superstition.
Paul Gifford, New Territories
Jun 14, 2009
Gordon Arthur’s letter (“Biblical maths explains how it happened”, June 7) in reply to my letter (“Art attack”, May 31) deserves applause for its creativity.
All cultures have wonderful creation stories such as the Hindu Brahma trinity. Mr Arthur takes literally, the Hebrew story that God disliked the humans he had created, so except for the family of one 600-year-old man, he drowned the lot. Despite all the genetic evidence, Aztecs, Eskimos, Africans, Indians and Chinese are all supposed to be descended from that old Hebrew.
To try to explain the rich diversity of life we see in every habitat around the world, Mr Arthur redefines the concept of biological genus and claims baby ancestors of all plants, animals and fungi were crammed on a supertanker-sized boat for nine months. It should be obvious why this kind of myth needs to be kept out of science classes.
Ian Stones, Mid-Levels
A very long hop
Jun 14, 2009
Concerning the “Great Flood”, could Gordon Arthur (“Biblical maths explains how it was possible”, June 7) please explain how kangaroos got to Australia from Mount Ararat?
Since they can neither fly nor swim, they must have gone overland through modern-day Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, a distance of some 14,000km. Given that the last 5,000km are made up of thousands of islands, is he suggesting that they “hopped” across? And where are the kangaroo colonies that one would expect to find along the way?
Perhaps he could also explain how kiwis (New Zealand), rheas (South America), bison (North America), and giant tortoises (Galapagos Islands) came to their indigenous locations?
Patrick Bateman, Mid-Levels