Re: Something I liked (Parshas Noach)

Sam Steingold (shteingd@math.ucla.edu)
Mon, 23 Dec 96 15:48:29 PST

Moshe Farsi <farsimos@boun.edu.tr> wrote:
>> Is it true that wind causes water to vaporize faster?

Did you ever blow over your soup to make it cooler?
This is the same effect.

The speed of evaporation when the temperature and air pressure are fixed
is a function of the humidity (the partial pressure of the water
pressure in the air pressure): the dryer the air is, the faster the
evaporation process is. You blow over your soup to remove the water
vapors, thus making the air near the soup dryer and thus acceleration
the evaporation (which is why the soup get colder, NOT because the air
you are blowing is cold, NO!).

So: the wind over the ocean can make little difference in accelerating
the evaporation processes (of course, it will mix up the layer right
next to the water with the upper layers thus slightly facilitating the
evaporation, but it is no big deal, I believe).

>> "And G-d remembered Noah, and all the living and animals that were
>> with him in the ark, AND G-D MADE A WIND PASS UPON THE EARTH, AND
>> THE WATERS RECEDED"

I always thought that those who need a scientific explanation of these
words should assume that the wind blew the water away from the place
where the ark was located.

The problem here is that the literal, word to word, interpretation of the
story of the flood is completely impossible to reconcile with the modern
science. Period. This doesn't though make the Torah false (G-d forbid!),
nor does it make the science worthless. It was a miraculous occurrance as
done by G-d, as the Torah itself says.

Sam