Case-Making 101: Noah’s Ark – was it seaworthy to carry all those animals, and what about the dinosaurs?

Noah's Ark 2

 To conclude the topic of the Flood from last week’s post we’ll look at two questions:

  1. Was Noah’s Ark seaworthy?
  2. Did it have the capacity to carry the amount of animals that the Bible says it did, and what about the dinosaurs?

Noah’s Ark, boat or ship:

“Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its width 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark on the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second and third decks.” Genesis 6:14-16

Why did God give such detailed directions to Noah, and why was it recorded? In my view, this is one more piece of evidence among thousands for “intelligent design.” Some 4000 years later we can now look back and see the accuracy of His design, not only in a sea vessel but in all His creation!

Let’s look at the design:

Cubit: An ancient unit of measurement, the length of the forearm from the elbow to the longest finger. Everybody’s arms are different lengths but scholars generally agree that it represents somewhere between 17 and 22 inches. We’ll use 22 inches in our calculations:

300 cubits X 22 inches = 6,600;  6,600 / 12 = 550 feet, about the length of 1 1/2 football fields.

50 cubits X 22 inches = 1,100; 1,100 / 12 = 91.7 feet wide

30 cubits X 22 inches = 660; 660 / 12 = 55 feet or the height of a 4 story building

Most people see images of Noah’s Ark as a boat like this:

Noah's Ark for kids

Noah’s Ark was 6 times longer than it was wide and that is the same ratio used today by modern shipbuilders. The Creation Museum has a sister attraction called the Ark Encounter located in Williamstown, Kentucky where they are building a replica timber-frame Ark (estimated completion: July 2016). Let’s look at the comparison of the Ark to a modern day ship:

Noah's Ark KentuckyNYK shipping vessel

Noah’s Ark, boat or ship? I think a very seaworthy Ship designed by God!

What was the capacity of such a vessel?

According to the Biblical account the Ark had 3 decks and an approximate volume of 1.5 million cubic feet. This would be equivalent to 500 railroad stock cars each of which could hold 240 sheep. Scholars have calculated that the average size of an animal that went onto the Ark was the size of a sheep.

Today, through the knowledge of modern genetics, we know that Noah would not have taken every “species” of animal but only the “kind” of animal that could carry all of the genetic information to get the number of species we know of today. The estimated capacity of the Ark could have carried up to 50,000 sheep size animals, but a more reasonable estimate is 16,000 to repopulate the earth after the flood. Noah would have only taken land animals and birds since this was what God required (Genesis 6:7, 19-20), and any living thing that was a water dweller would not need to be taken on the Ark.

Many people ask: What about the dinosaurs?

The Bible says that all land animals were created along with humans on the sixth day (Genesis 1:24-25) and dinosaurs are land animals of the reptile kind. Noah would only have taken the young ones (not grandma or grandpa) with reproductive capabilities and the genetic code for all possible species in their kind. This would have also been true for other large animals like elephants, giraffes, hippos etc.

But secular science tells us that dinosaurs lived millions of years before humans, or did they?

Watch this 2 minute video clip from the Institute of Creation Research:

What happened to the dinosaurs after the flood?

  • Simple answer, they died out due to lack of food, change of climate post flood, and human hunters over the centuries.
  • Some secular scientists claim asteroids, ice ages or disease could have wiped out the dinosaurs millions of years before humans. However, if there was a worldwide flood as the Bible teaches, and the geological and fossil record is proof of that catastrophe, then this could not be true (see previous post).
  • Many dinosaur fossils have been found with carbon and soft tissue that would date them as hundreds or thousands of years old, not millions.

Watch this insightful presentation (22 minutes) on some of the most significant finds today concerning the dating of Dinosaurs and the refusal by secular scientists to carbon date them:

  • There are many accounts from all over the world of dinosaur encounters:
    • Historical accounts use words like dragon or monster and since the word dinosaur was only coined in the 19th century their descriptions accurately portray what we find in the fossil record.
    • Paintings, pottery and ancient hieroglyphics show modern day animals and humans alongside dinosaurs.
    • Biblically, post flood, we find three terms: Behemoth (Job 40), Leviathan (Job 41) and the word Tanninim is used 27 times in the Old Testament referring to dragon-like animals.

Listen to Brian Thomas, dinosaur expert from the Institute of Creation Research (, speak on the topic of Dinosaurs and the Bible:

For more information on Noah’s Ark, the Flood and Dinosaurs go to these websites:;;

Join us next week as we continue our study into Genesis: What happened at the tower of Babel?


You will not find this material in the public school curriculum even though it is based on solid evidence and grounded in research.  It is ironic that following the evidence to where it leads stops at the door of our public schools as they will not let a “Divine footprint” in!  Join us this year as we examine evidence for Christianity and learn how to become a thoughtful defender and ambassador of your faith.

Click into the resource page of this website to view many of the top Christian thinkers and apologists along with some of their work; connecting to these types of resources is essential in your Christian growth.

Please let me know what you think: Give feedback, ask questions or send concerns in the comment section of the blog.

Teri Dugan


Sorry, comments are closed for this post.