Question: How is it possible for eight Bronze-Age humans in extreme old age to build a boat the size of a football stadium, then load, manage and care for 32,000 animals that require specialized diets and habitats?
There are a few unspoken assumptions in this question. Assumption # 1 is that Bronze-Age humans did not have the technological ability to construct the ark. Assumption #2 is that Noah, at the age of 600 (Gen. 7:6), was in “extreme old age” for the time period, and therefore to decrepit to build the ark. Assumption # 3 is that the various species existing in the pre-Flood world required the same or very similar environmental conditions as we experience in the world today. Each of these assumptions is incorrect.
Old Man Noah
The pre-Flood world was a dramatically different place than the world we know today. Perhaps chief among the differences was longevity of life, especially among humans. At the beginning of creation death did not even enter into the picture. Death and entropy came about as the result of Adam and Eve’s sin (Gen. 2:16-3:23; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 8:21).
Once sin and death impacted the new world, the early humans still lived extremely long lives by our current standards. Adam died just shy of a thousand years; and all of his descendants up until the Flood lived many hundreds of years. Noah himself lived to be 950 (Gen. 9:29). At 600, then, Noah was the equivalent of 55 – 60 years old in comparison to an average life-span today. He would be physically strong and rich in experience, thereby debunking the first two assumptions.
The Bronze-Age in the ancient Near East extended from about 3300 B.C. to 1200 B.C. The Great Flood likely took place somewhere around the mid-1600's B.C. This was a period of great technological advance and industry. Writing had been developed, as well as sophisticated mathematics and precise astronomical charts. Empires with organized, well-armed, mobile armies with horse-drawn chariots came into existence. And—giving the Bronze Age its name—the mining and smelting of tin, which was then added to molten copper to produce bronze, enabled the development of specialized tools, weapons and a variety of metal products for societal needs. The necessary technology to build a big boat was certainly available.
Finally, the question of specialized habitats aboard the ark can be settled on two counts. One: The pre-Flood world knew a vastly different, far more uniform and tropical environment than the radically diverse climate zones familiar to us. Our turbulent weather structure is actually a by-product of the collapsed pre-Flood environment. Two: many animal species go into hibernation when placed in a darkened, enclosed environment. This would ease the burden of care considerably.
God “did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others…” (2Pt. 2:5), and He will also protect those in this age who run to Jesus for salvation from the coming judgment.