I think what keeps coming to light with modern archaeology is just how many so called myths and fables are based on some form of fact. There is very strong evidence of a massive flood around the period and I would be pretty certain that a boat was built and survived the flood. As for 2 of every species being on the boat I would say that is highly unlikely but I wouldn't be surprised if there is some basis in the fact that livestock was gathered on a vessel. Seriously, the number of ancient stories passed down, particularly about cities or individuals, that seem incredibly unlikely or almost impossible are regularly found to have a good degree of truth in them, no matter how implausable.
Based on the single fact that in ancient times the world was believed to be infact flat, it becomes much more likley that a flood could have happened over perhaps just a country or large area (because extensive travel was not possible). The perception of our ancestors that the world was in fact a small place as compared to that of today will justify their description of a flood that engulfed the world.
It 'is' impossible to build a boat of that size, to hold all animals on earth. Also the fact that many animals can not be found in such places is further evidence against it BUT, like many of you have already said, if this man was protecting his herd and many other animals around the area, it will suddenly appear feesable that he has protected the animals in his surrounding area.
I was watching a show on this yesterday; on fox. Their are many people who still are activly involved in the search for Noah's Ark. Many of who (a very large percentage) believe that the ark can be found on the peak of Mount Ararat in Turkey. Now broken in two, the ark is apparently buried beneath the glacier atop the mountain. CIA satelite photographs indicate that a boat like vessel is atop the mountain but the further investigation of the mountain has seen the photos become classified and not available to the public.
Many people who travelled to the top of the peak to find it have not recovered any more evidence other than pieces of timber which have been sculpted by hand. These timbers are found to be oak or a vintage around 3000 years old (not old enough for noahs ark as the story is told) but the timber isn't available or grown anywhere around the area for a couple of hundred killometres. The fact that Oak timber, found at the top of a mountain, hundreds of kilometres from where it should be found, in the form of a boat like vessel gives strong evidence to the Noahs story or a story of a flood and a man using the boat to save himself and his flock or native animals. Then again a flood that reaches 1600 feet in height is also improbable but a wave that travels 3km inland would have had me saying "no" before boxing day.
Around the end of the last ice age (around 10,000 years ago there was extensive flooding, especially in the Middle East as the ice caps melted.
I'm told it also might have precipitated an atmospheric change so major that there was extensive rain too. My biochem brother knows more about that one though, something about a veil of moisture that had built up in the atmosphere during the ice age which burst, giving the impression of "rain".
Given that Genesis is written around that time with a "local" perspective it probably would have seemd that "the whole world had flooded". Of course it probably hadn't, but in those days a trip of a few kilometres would have seemed a major trip, so his whole "known" world would have gone under.
Equally, "all the animals of the world" could just be the animals from the local area. Obviously no elephants and giraffes etc. Given it was an arid region gathering up all that they knew would not be an insurmountable task.
So yeah, it's a possibility. I doubt the wood would have lasted long enough that there's still a trace of the ark though. Hopefully not otherwise we'll have another damned site of "worship" rather than focussing on the real thing.
Actually matabele, should the ark have perished on the site of mount ararat which is under extreem observation now by satelites, expeditions in search of the ark, the freezing temperatures on the top of the moutain will have preserved the materials used to contrust the boat. "IF" it is indeed there.
I doubt it Flipp - it's wishful thinking by fanatics more likely. A few bits of sand to throw in the cogs of speculation:
1. Are we sure this "arrarat" is the one understood as the one known as Arrarat" by the writer of genesis? There is speculation that it's not.
2. An ancient vessel that floated for months on end would have rotted away fairly quickly - especially if it warmed up quickly (a possibility if there was a rainbow in the sky).
Whatever, as a Christian it matter naught to me wether they find anything or not. Though if it could be shown that it irrevocably was the ark it wouldn't be a bad thing. There's better things to pin your faith on though.
Heres a tip from boat building. Water (ice) does not rot timber. The water logged timber which then dries, causes rot. Water logged timber which freezes does not rot. However, you may ask why timber boats constantly being splashed by water above sea level and drying do not rot, its because of the salt content in the water acting as a preservative. It is a practice of many tiber yacht owner to throw buckets of salt water over the decks of their multi million dollar speckless yachts, its to preserve the timber.
The main problem with a yacht the size of noahs would be the water taken on board. Even timber boats at late as those used by the english when exploring the earth leaked like sives and had people on board who job it was to bail the water our of the bottom. That was even with the use of dope which I doubt had been discovered during noahs times.