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Animals hibernated on the Ark (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Animals hibernated on the Ark (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CH513:

The care and feeding of animals aboard the ark could be significantly lessened by animals hibernating or otherwise staying dormant for much of the voyage.

Source: Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publish Co., p. 71.


CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Most animals do not hibernate, and most of the ones that do are small animals. The large animals are the ones that require the most food and care. Among them, hibernation would probably have been an insignificant factor.(Woodmorappe, p. 127-135) considered the issue of dormancy uncertain enough that he did not include it in his calculations. 2. The opposite problem of overstimulation or lack of privacy may have been a problem for some animals. In zoos, great care is necessary to provide not only food, but also the proper stimuli to keep animals healthy (Hsun and Menon 2003). In particular, large spaces are necessary for territorial animals to behave normally, and the sight or sound of predators will increase the stress of their prey.

First of all John Woodmorappe refutes all of these objections to animal dormancy and more in his book, Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study. He excluded it from his calculations as part of his effort to err on the side of making it harder for the Ark to be feasible and because of the difficulty in estimating its effects.

Furthermore as is typical, Talk Origins is ignoring God. Whitcomb and Morris indicate that God could have caused the animal dormancy during the Flood, suggesting that this could be its origin. It is quite possible that God could have induced dormancy during the Flood, if it were needed for the animals to survive, even among non hibernating animals. In such a case Talk Origins arguments would be irrelevant.

References

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