Largely because of the scientific community’s predominant belief in the theory of evolution and that theory’s need for great ages for the earth, the Genesis Flood is no longer considered an historical event by many in the scientific community and elsewhere. Prior to Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, the historicity of the Genesis account had been questioned by only a few within scientific groups. Indeed, catastrophism was the most widely held theory for understanding the geologic layers observed throughout the world.
The fact that great flood accounts describing how a god destroyed the world can be found in many ancient civilizations is difficult to explain, if there isn’t some truth to the event. Although all the accounts do not agree in every detail, there are some striking similarities that would ordinarily lead one to believe a common event is described rather than several catastrophes. Moreover, there are aquatic fossils found on every continent and on at least many of their high mountains, including the Himalayas in Asia, the Andes and Rockies in the Americas and the Alps in Europe, proving all were once under water.
Some critics of the Noahic Flood account point to the labor it would take for only eight people to care for all the animals for a year. In order to provide an adequate answer for questions like this, we need to know a rough estimate of how many animals there were on the Ark. Many critics presume the Ark wasn’t large enough to accommodate so many species, but we must realize that the critic is hardly trying to be fair. Many create a mountain of arguments when only a molehill is legitimate. For example, “kind” in the Bible does not equal “species” in the modern science. The dog, wolf, fox and coyote etc. are different species, but they can interbreed and are, therefore, the same “kind” of animal, according to Genesis. Environmental pressure (adaptation) etc. would be enough to trigger certain DNA features within each “kind” of animal that would later develop into the different breeds or species scientists have categorized today. So, the list of animals required by the critic is not nearly as large as what Noah would have had to save through the Flood.
Another consideration might be that the animals Noah brought through the Flood didn’t have to be adult creatures. They could have been young but weaned animals, capable of digesting the provisions kept on the Ark. Many of the animals could have been put in the state of hibernation throughout or through much of event, needing very little care by Noah’s family. These are very reasonable explanations concerning the task of caring for these creatures for a year. Of course, the critic’s arguments are designed to maximize the problem for their opponents, while at the same time minimizing his own need to verify the legitimacy of his objection.
Therefore, with the number of species greatly reduced and the probability of young animals as opposed to adult animals saved, and the possibility that some, if not many, placed in a state of hibernation, the accommodations in the Ark don’t look as insurmountable as presented by the critics. But, were Noah and his sons able to build the ark in the time allotted (100-120 years)? Some critics don’t believe it would be possible. Yet, even if they were unable to employ the assistance of others (and the Bible makes no mention of how Noah accomplished the task or how many assisted him in its building), the Ark could have been built by only Noah and his three sons in less than 70 years, assuming the Ark was 450 x 75 x 45 feet, which are the most commonly accepted dimensions converted from the Biblical cubits (cp. Genesis 6:15).