Some snarky online haters doubt that the flood story is true due to the fact that there wouldn’t be enough room on that boat for a pair of every animal species alive at that time. How do I rebut their assertions that the story is a fairy tale?
That would be hard to do because theirs is a correct (and at the same time very ignorant) statement. As we know and understand things, there simply isn’t enough space to fit all the then known species on the ark of the cubits (no matter which society’s cubits we use) outlined in the Bible. But it really doesn’t matter.
When such “haters” (as you call them) deride scriptures for “inaccuracies” and relegate them to “fairy tale” status, they don’t really understand the power of fairy tales or the deep meanings behind them. We tend to think of them as simple children’s stories to help tuck them in at night. Stories that tend to endure the test of time — stories of any stripe — have a great deal of meaning and power. Or else they would not survive for so long.
We can accept the story as such. Whether we believe it is literally true or figurative, there is a lesson to be learned by reading the story and considering its lessons. And I can guarantee you that the lessons have nothing to do with the quantity and sizes of each species vs the dimensions of the ark whether or not we include early quantum state phenomenon.
If you read the story of Noah and the Ark, and all you get out of it is the counting of the animals and measurements of the ark, then you completely missed the point of the story. We need to understand that truly ancient stories are all re-written many times over the course of centuries and millennia for further meaning from a figurative sense. When this goes on, people take liberties with the literal details as they emphasize message over trivium.
We don’t have the original, literal story as Noah would have recorded it. It was over 1000 years by the time Moses got a hold of it. So, yes, the story has been altered. But the generalized story remained intact. And many details (including dimensions and the types of animals) could easily have been altered over the course of time. When making such changes, they were not meant to be literal because such minutiae are not important to the MESSAGE of the story.
Picking apart the story by literal pieces completely destroys the figurative or archetypal meaning from the story. And that meaning is important regardless of the minor details of the story being literal or figurative. People pick apart the story of Snow White believing the Prince was a stalker. So, the “happily ever after” must have been an abusive relationship. Such myopic assessments lead us to completely miss the meaning behind the story.
Such mentality is called “Looking beyond the mark.” The prime example of this is when people point out that Jesus was likely “crucified” on a tree rather than a cross. Some wonder if the nails really were 9 inches long. Why does that even matter? How does that change the significance of His life and death? Such trivium has nothing to do with the meaning.
I believe there was a great prophet who we know as Noah. There was some kind of disaster. And the Lord provided a manner of preserving what needed to be preserved. And in that background, we learn some things about life and about the overall cycle of the Earth.
Since we don’t have the original record from Noah, and we don’t have any revealed word on it, I can’t tell you how much of it was altered or literal or figurative. What I can tell you is that the studying of the story for meaning is more important than counting animals and cubits.