Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Book Review: Noah's Ark

book cover

Noah's Ark:
Thinking Outside the Box
by Tim Lovett

Hardback: 80 pages
Publisher: Master Books
First Released: 2008

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover:
Could a ship be constructed that would be able to survive the global flood described in biblical book of Genesis? Could it be built without the modern techniques of today being available to Noah?

This groundbreaking book answers both of these questions with a resounding “yes”!

Join naval expert and mechanical engineer Tim Lovett in “thinking outside the box” as you consider groundbreaking research in this innovative new study on Noah’s ark. Lovett builds on traditional research into this historic event using the latest techniques in computer modeling and testing.

* Includes insight and context by Dr. John Whitcomb.
* Unveils a new ark design based on biblical information and shipbuilding principles
* Beautiful illustrations and photos reveal facets of design and construction techniques

Remaining faithful to the biblical dimensions, Lovett’s updated design, similar to that of ancient sailing vessels, is based on established principles in ship design and cutting-edge research. He reveals a feasible ark design, explores the impact of flood waters on the vessel, and provides remarkable insight and analysis into the skills and techniques needed to construct it.

Noah's Ark is an interesting, quick read about the feasibility of Noah's ark and the design details that the author thought might have been included based on his research. It's an overview of many aspects of Noah's ark, from how it was built to how the animals were fed and watered. Pretty much every other page was a full-page, full-color illustration (usually of what the ark might have looked liked, inside and out). Each page of text came with detailed illustrations showing what the things being discussed might have been like. This book would make a great "coffee table" book to have out for visitors to browse through.

This book didn't go in-depth on every aspect of Noah's Ark like Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study by John Woodmorappe does, but it probably contains all of the detail most people care about. Personally, I would have been interested in some of the specific steps, findings, and details of Tim Lovett's research rather than just the end result, but that wasn't the purpose of this book.

The topics covered: The Bible is true; how doubt about Noah's Ark really being able to hold all of those animals, etc., makes people doubt the truth of the Bible; how Noah's Ark has been illustrated in the past; how there are Flood legends from all over the world with similarities to the Bible account; God's Ark-building instructions and what certain unique Hebrew words fully mean ("ark," "gopherwood," "rooms," "pitch," "door," "cubits," "decks," "window," and "finish it to a cubit from above"); figuring out the ark's design based first on the Bible account and then by using testable engineering principles; the ark's proportions are an ideal balance of strength, comfort, and stability; did ancients have the technology to successfully build such a large wooden ship?; what tools they probably used; design elements the author added to the traditional "box-like" Ark design; items needed for human survival (lamps, jars, and ovens that might have been used); how they could have fed and watered the animals; ventilation and lighting; was the Flood global?; timeline for the Flood; modern searches for the Ark; is there evidence for a world-wide Flood?; and how is Christ like the Ark? There was also a nice fold-out poster in the back.

Overall, this is an interesting read with lovely pictures for anyone who wants a quick overview of what the Ark might have looked like, how the animals could have been cared for, and similar considerations.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: page 50

Were the animals in a year-long coma? No, God told Noah to bring all sorts of food for them. Yet he also directed Noah to build nests (qen), so they may have been at least partially subdued. If Noah had ample time to prepare, and had more specific directions than are given in Genesis 6, he might have built cages something like this low-maintenance design. [illustration]

GRAINS: Grains would simply require a chute with an opening at the bottom. The illustration on the left shows a grain chute that is loaded by pouring grain through a floor opening in the mezzanine above. Wood is a suitable material for this.

HAY: Even the big hay eaters like cattle could be supplemented with more concentrated foods. The key to feeding hay is to allow the animals enough access to eat without treading all over it. This is usually done using bars that allow the head to go through but not the body (and legs). To avoid the manual effort of lifting hay, it could be dropped from the mezzanine level into a feeder on the deck beneath.

For the larger kinds, the hay could be stacked solid, with the beasts eating their way into the wall of hay until they were stopped by bars. These bars then could have been shifted and the process repeated until they ate their way through the entire room. [illustration]

Look Inside the book.

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