Noah’s dilemma

THE WORLD’S MOST CELEBRATED SHIPBUILDER certainly had his work cut out. Not only did he have to build a 50-cubit long boat, he also had to fill it with two of everything. Two lions, two antelopes, two zebra finches, and so on. Two mosquitoes. Really? Couldn’t he have missed out the mosquitoes?

Two iguanas, two lemurs, two rhinos. Two penguins. Where did he get the penguins from? Come to that, how did a 500-year-old Mesopotamian naval architect lay his hands on two kangaroos, or two polar bears?

The Old Testament God is certainly a vengeful chap. “I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made,” he tells Noah, which seems a bit rough on the animals, given that they had presumably little part in mankind’s mischief.

Lucky he didn’t want to punish the fish.

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