Was Noah's Ark a Sperm Bank?
A cubit is the distance between an adult's elbow and tip of the finger, approximately 45 cm. The ark was thus 135 meters long, 22.5 meters wide, and 13.5 meters high. These are presumably outer measures, and hence the habitable volume of the ark could not have been much more than 35000 cubic meters.
Even the most conservative estimates state that there are at least two million species of animals alive today, and surely a comparable number of plants, fungi, etc. A large fraction of species live in water, but could not survive if their ecosystem would suddenly submerge a mile deep - according to the bible even high mountains were submerged. There are approximations that the number of species of a given body length L is proportional to L raised to some power between -1.5 and -3. For example, if we use the frequent choice of -2 and we knew there is one 10-meter long species, then there are 100 one-meter species, ten thousand 10-centimeter species, etc. If we limit the species size to a tenth of a millimeter (for example, assuming evolution (!) will sufficiently rapidly reproduce the smaller species), approximate that species are half as wide and high as they are long, and integrate the product of volume and number of species over the species length, we obtain a total volume of approximately 125000 cubic meters.
We have already exceeded the available volume in the ark by a factor of 3.5, and we are yet to cram in the other sex and enough food for animals and soil for plants for the 150 days the bible says Noah sailed. Remember also that God required Noah to provide accomodation for his extended family, and in order to avoid extinction by inbreeding, he would have had to take tens if not closer to a hundred individuals of all other species as well. All this is a little too impressive for a six hundred year old man.
Unless Noah was in fact history's first documented case of sperm banking. If a small forest of Giant Sequoias were a challenge to fit in the ark, a sachel of fist-sized cones or a teaspoon of seeds would not. A rough calculation shows that all necessary genetic material could easily be fitted in a negligible part of the ark leaving the rest free for all the technology needed for recolonization, deep-freezing sperm, artificial wombs and all the other technology necessary to recreate mammals without living parents. That's truly impressive technology, but far more plausible than the alternative. And hey, the guy was six hundred years old - that's plenty of time to write any number of dissertations on all required fields, and a good reason to become a drunkard afterwards, like Noah did.
In fact I predict that this will be the method that humans will use should we some day colonize other stars systems. We will send unmanned ships ahead, and once they reach their destination we submit by radio (or laser) the genetic information, culture, and without a doubt a large number of software updates to the distant ships.
But there's still something fishy about Noah and the ark. Noah had sent out pigeons to search for land. When the waters abated and the ark hit mount Ararat one pigeon came back with an olive leaf. However, here lies a contradiction: olive doesn't grow high on Ararat and all ground-level olives must have rotten by then.