July 30th, 2012
10:53 PM ET

Dutchman builds replica Noah's Ark after flood dream

By Tim Hume, for CNN

London (CNN) - A Dutchman has built a replica of Noah's Ark to biblical proportions, following a dream his homeland would be flooded.

Johan Huibers, a wealthy businessman, used the ancient measurement of the cubit - the length of a man's arm from elbow to fingertips - to build the vessel to the dimensions specified in the book of Genesis.

The finished craft - which has just been opened to the public on the Merwede River in the Dutch town of Dordrecht - is 300 cubits long (about 450 feet or 137 meters), 50 cubits wide (about 70 feet or 21 meters), and 30 cubits high (about 45 feet or 14 meters).

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Bible • Christianity

soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Colin

    To get a gauge of just how inane the belief in intelligent design is in the 21st Century, here are some areas they must ignore, any one of which proves beyond rational argument that, not surprisingly, the World did not start about 6,000 years ago at the behest of the Judeo-Christian god, with one man, one woman and a talking snake.

    First and most obviously is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor wiped them out.

    The fossil record includes the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles; fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.

    The fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?

    Lions, tigers, bears, and wolves eat a lot of food – meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark. A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships bigger than the D Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the Ark.

    Secondly, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another, independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large forests (in the case of coal) or tiny marine creatures (in the case of oil). That’s why they are called fossil fuels. Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this (nor for why most of it was “given to the Muslims”).

    Thirdly, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see galaxies whose light left home 13.7 billion years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny silent witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.

    Fourthly, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims.

    Fifthly, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed. It acts as yet another fatal blow to the “talking snake” theory.

    Sixthly, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babel, the creationists’ explanation for different languages. Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.

    Seventhly, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.

    I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics, even large parts of medical research (medical research on monkeys and mice only works because they share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs).

    In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders were wrong.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • cavediver

      always a good read man ...thank you:)

      July 31, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • cavediver

      that was a poorly worded 'I enjoy your posts' – what i would give for an edit button

      July 31, 2012 at 2:41 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      Colin, have you and your favorites scientists (the ones who agree with you) ever wondered how intelligence itself came into the universe in the first place?
      I don't think you mentioned it: never mind carbon dating and Biblical interpretation. Ever heard of Georges Lemaitre? He first proposed the Big Bang theory. He convinced Albert Einstein that the universe was not static but expanding. Lemaitre was also a Roman Catholic priest.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • cavediver

      Prime... Yes you are correct – he was, and he was quite correct about the big bang.... that does NOT mean there is a god....at all.... it just means a very smart mathematician happen to be a beleiver. As Sam Harris said: you can be educated enough to design and build a nuclear weapon... and still think theres a big payoff in the afterlife. Georges math is solid, his contributions in that regard, are unquestioned.... but he still thought there was a big payoff after we kick off. Intelligent Design is a last ditch attempt by the Christians to stay relevant in a world that increaingly demands proof–physical poof.

      July 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • cavediver

      he also was *believer* sorry

      July 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  2. BillyJ

    And guys build who.rehouses after wet dreams too, so what?

    July 31, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  3. neil

    Help us save the jobs of 5 people
    Please help

    July 31, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  4. Clark1355

    This article has officially ruined my day. What a waste.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  5. Clark1355

    I can't get over this! Will an intelligent atheist please explain to me how educated people can believe in such nonsense! Ridiculous!!!!

    July 31, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Cq

      Being educated isn't a complete cure against being gullible. Even well-educated people can be conned. It all depends on what you're greedy enough to stop listening to your better judgment for, and heaven is something that a lot of people want badly.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  6. Clark1355

    This is so sad, what a waste of time and money. How can these religious people look in the mirror and not be embarrassed or ashamed. Enough is enough! This nonsense is holding us back we need to evolve past it!!

    July 31, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  7. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    I sure hope he puts a copy of the 11th tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh in the museum, so everyone can see where the Judean priests stole this myth from, practically word for word, including the measurements, the olive branch, etc etc.
    http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/ . Then maybe he can also put in the myth of Marduk Slays the Dragon of Chaos, so they can see where they stole Genesis from.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Colin

      Best post on this article, Bucky.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Colin

      PS Bucky, I actually found a copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh in an English bookstore in Paris and read it. It is a great read, arguabl;y the first book written of which we still have a reasonably accurate copy.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Hi Colin,
      The other myths from Mesopotamia, from around the same period are also available (Oxford World Classics). Christians love to promote Martin Buber's "I and Thou", while forgetting to mention his "Good and Evil". It was my first clue that the entire enterprise was a misinterpretation. Genesis is not about "good and evil". It's about Chaos and Order, and they appropriated it from The Marduk myth, which is actually quite poetic. When the Judean priests were in Babylon during the Exilic period, they had access to these myths, and when they began to write the Bible, (Job first..to attempt to explain the suffering of the exile, then Genesis, and Exodus.) Yahweh was, (from the Northern Assyrian traditons), one of the 70 sons of El Elyon, (the od of the armies), to whom the Isra-El-ites was assigned. This Yahweh, (from the North), was a completely different god than Javeh, from the Southern traditions, (the Mosaic gods), who was actually a combo of the Egyptian volcano god, and the Edomite mountain god. The two, (three) myth systems were fused when the priests assembled Genesis. There are many many artifacts remaining in some of the bible texts from these older sources, and psalms. Fascinating.
      Then the Christian appropriation of the myth systems really begins about 300 BCE when Alexander the Great brought Greek culture, (although the Hebrews had always been aware of it to some extent), to the wider world. Long story short, Yeshua ben Josef, (Jesus), was one of many, (at least 20 that we know of), apocalyptic preachers from around that time, who preached apocacalypticism, and when the Temple was destroyed around 70 AD, and the restored kingdom was NOT ushered in, they had to reinterpret the Jesus events, to keep the cult of the Way, (a sub-sect of Judaism) going. Paul of Tarsus, was conversant with Mithraism, (as Tarsus was a hotbed of that Greek mystery cult), and he grafted the salvation paradigm onto the cult, to compete for followers. Not until Augustine finally developed the concept of "original sin", many years later, was the salvation thing really fully formed. Yeshua NEVER himself said one word about "salvation". (It is absent in the first gospel, (Mark). It is present in the others, which were written after Paul did his thing, but one can clearly see a real development process in the Pauline literature ... you can see him as he cooks up his new religion. The religion Christians think they practice really isn't Christianity. It's Paulianity. And it's traceable back to the Sumerian Chaos myths.

      July 31, 2012 at 4:57 am |
    • Colin

      Thanks Bucky, that is great information to have.

      July 31, 2012 at 7:30 am |
  8. Reality

    Noah et al in proper 21st century perspective as per 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis.

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.


    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

    "When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything," said Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" and a co-editor of the new book. "Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible."

    "Etz Hayim," compiled by David Lieber of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, seeks to change that. It offers the standard Hebrew text, a parallel English translation (edited by Chaim Potok, best known as the author of "The Chosen"), a page-by-page exegesis, periodic commentaries on Jewish practice and, at the end, 41 essays by prominent rabbis and scholars on topics ranging from the Torah scroll and dietary laws to ecology and eschatology.

    These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh. "

    July 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  9. Ransom

    Atheists won't like this...they have such a desire to control everyone but claims religion does that.Hmmm,I sense no logic at all for these fools.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Making assumptions is foolish. It's not that we don't like it, it is an interesting piece of craftsmanship. There is nothing historic about the story though. The story as told in the buybull is impossible to have happened as science has well shown us. A flood that massive would not have happened and a boat that size would not have carried the amount of people and creatures the buybull claims it to have carried. The fact that you still believe in this silly fairy tale only proves that religion if for the weak minded and children.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Cq

      If stuff like this angered me I'd be boycotting Cinderella's Castle in all the Disney theme parks. 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      You don't know anything about atheists.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  10. Satan


    July 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • biff

      Satan! – Lake o Fire! ...oh wait......

      July 31, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  11. mandarax

    What a great opportunity for hypothesis testing! Simply test whether or not two individuals of each of the 3 million animal species (a conservative estimate) will fit into it.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Cq

      Better still, and not so cruel to animals, fill it with the equivalent ballast and send it adrift out in the ocean. Then see if it's still in one piece after the time allotted in Genesis, about 150 days. I'm not a betting man, but I would be tempted to put serious money on it not lasting the full period afloat.

      July 31, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Those who believe such stories will not care about the results.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  12. Lol

    How did Noah know all the bacteria were still on board, since he had no microscope? Did he just trust them not to run away?

    July 30, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Dummy. He intelligently designed the bug cage, and sealed it shut with all the viruses he rounded up. Oh ye of little faith.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Cq

      Yeah, he managed to save all those diseases, parasites, and other dangerous micro-organisms. Now, where would we be without them now?

      July 31, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      He left a bunch behind, no doubt. ...it's coming back with Jesus, but only for a quick vacation, then back to the pool.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  13. Mr Dingo

    Crikey, thanx for picking me up!
    I dont know how you found me since you people had no fucking idea Australia even existed, but much obliged, mate!
    Ok, I have to go take a baby now!

    July 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    This asinine moron r_etard should take the 'ark' for a spin and drown with his f uckin ark. All religious twerps are r_etards by definition.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a waste of perfectly good wood, and other materials. This twerp's mom shoulda a borted him.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      My son is also named Bort.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Troll, thank you! I'm glad you're a fan.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • ..

      Tom iz a potty mouth

      Tom iz a violent

      Tom iz a intolerant tyrant

      July 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Ransom

      Atheists are nice loving and accepting people?

      Troll tom tom proves that wrong!

      July 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • biff

      Tom .... Lake o Fire buddy! Lake o fire! - im passing these things out right and left now... I FEEL the SPIRIT!!!!! - come to think of it that Dutchman is a Moron!!! how can that boat last in a Lake o Fire???!! see, see there !! Gods gonna give him a Darwin Award fer sure!

      July 30, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Ransom: Afraid that your little fairy tale will fall apart? Isn't it past your bed time little one?

      July 31, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  15. Mimsy the Mosquito

    So glad you thought to bring me and my hubby along, Noah!

    Now we can spread West Nile Virus all over the world!!

    July 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  16. Mr Dysentery Amoeba

    Thanks for bringing my ancestor aboard, Noah, so I can live in somebody's colon and debilitate them with rampant diarrhea!
    Yahweh, you sooooooooo rock!

    July 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  17. Ting

    So when did Noah find the time to go round up two siberian tigers? How long did it take to haul two kangaroos back to the middle east, etc...? Just curious.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Mirosal

      Don't forget the panda bears.. and the flamingos!! I wonder if UPS or FedEx delivered them?

      July 31, 2012 at 1:28 am |
  18. Kebos

    Perpetuating a myth. More money than brains, obviously.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  19. Bootyfunk

    thanks for showing there's no way 2 of every animal could fit in noah's ark. lol.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Agreed, this f.ucking idiot couldn't fit the contents of a big zoo in his retard mobile.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  20. *frank*

    What an idiot.
    and first!

    July 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • biff

      Hah! you just earned yourself - a Lake o fire!!! how you like me now eh?????? (think im really startin to see the the appeal of The Inquisition! ohh yeahhh!1)

      July 31, 2012 at 12:04 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.