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Average land animal is the size of a sheep (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Average land animal is the size of a sheep (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 CH512.2:

The average size of the animals aboard the ark was the size of a sheep or less, so Noah's ark was not overly crowded.

Source: Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., p. 69.

CreationWiki response:

Talk Origins is grossly misstating this reference. The reference to the average size of the animals being the size of a sheep is just a mathematical tool for estimating things like total volume and weight. By itself as stated above it is meaningless. This type of averaging is used all the time when estimating totals for a population of objects of varying composition, particularly when a precise list is not available. It is a common engineering tool, used in designing such things as planes, trucks and ships where the exact content can and will vary. Having an idea of what the average objects are like is useful in calculating the totals needed to be handled by a truck, plane or ship.

This is all creationists are doing here. We do not have a sufficiently detailed ship's manifest for the ark to add up the weights and volumes of the actual animals, so it is necessary to base estimates on the average animal. The feasibility of Noah's Ark is an engineering problem and creationists have simply applied common engineering tools to it.

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