For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
It seems to me that the simple answer to question about food and manure could be more easily understood if some form of hibernation were involved for most of the year they were on the Ark. We currently see this with bears and many other forms of life and certainly God could have, if He chose, to provided for their life being protected by some thing similar to hibernation.
The Answers in Genesis organization built a full scale replica of the Ark (in northern Kentucky). The three levels of exhibits demonstrate the "How" of the Genesis account including addressing flood science. It's a scientifically compelling and a spiritually faith building experience!
It is unfortunate that some try to justify, scientifically and physically, the "how's" of Noah and the ark. Trying to justify a miracle from God is futile and accomplishes nothing. God performs miracles that cannot be explained with our finite minds and our understanding of existing laws of nature and physical possibilities.
As mentioned in a few answers, we cannot explain the parting of seas, the stopping of the earth, flaming pillars or even pillars of salt. When one tries to understand these miracles with some kind of natural law, then doubt creeps in. Most or even all of these God created miracles defy a plausible explanation. We should not have to justify God's miracles to anyone. Accept the miracles of God and move on. It doesn't matter if one believes that these miraculous events literally happened or if they are allegorical in nature. They are included in our holy Book to show the glory, the majesty, the wrath and the mercy of God. There is something we can all learn from these miracles. We don't have to justify them to anyone.
John Matthews, I agree. Some miracles simply can't be explained by science. God is our all-powerful, sovereign God; He created the universe that many scientists are trying to explain via earthly wisdom, and He owes no explanation to any earthly scientist or entity. Sometimes we just need to take Him at His word--well, we should ALWAYS take Him at His word!
Amen, John Matthews!
The ark is a headscratcher! But it is nowhere near the most mysterious thing about this creation by which we are stumped! We ask, 'did it really happen, is it allegory or a literal historical event?'
I don't have to wonder about whether God pulled off an event like that! It's easy for me to believe it (accept) because it's part of the Word that God has given us.
There are some things that we KNOW about this planet that he doesn't explain, that I can't possibly understand. I'll name only one, which is what amazes me most:
We travel through space around the sun revolving at about 1,037 mph, logging 1.6 million miles a day, or 66,627 mph. SAY WHAT??
HOW? What's the source of the energy needed for such an amazing thing such as this? And none of this is theory! Every day testifies to this truth. And this has been happening since creation! There's nothing allegorical about any of this! This is factual!
A flood! A large ship built to carry an unbelievable host of animals! The body refuse for the animals eliminated! Enough food to sustain everybody and everything! For about 11 months or 1 year! Then the animals and humans are released back into the wild after the water receeds.
PIECE OF CAKE!!!
What a mighty God!!!
'O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? (Deut 3:24)