The story of Noah and the ark was adopted from the Babylonians by the Judeans approximately two and a half thousand years ago, the Babylonians themselves adopted the story from an earlier culture. Of course it must be remembered that as the story traveled from one culture to the next it was altered to suit the narrative of that culture adopting it. The best evidence suggests that the flood was a much smaller affair, which took place in that portion of Iraq where the marsh Arabs live today, and far from carrying two of each kind of animal, it was merely two of each kind of farm animal. That the Legend has grown exponentially demonstrates one of the fundamental problems with religion, it is not ultimate truth from God but rather it is a series of tall tales loosely based upon human experience.
What is significant about all of this?
The religions which accept the story of Noah and the Ark are predicated on the notion that the Bible is the unerring word of god. If however, as in the case of the tale of Noah, it is found that a chapter of the Bible is a work of fiction, then that brings into question the whole concept the Bible being the unerring word of God, because if even one chapter is fictional, than other chapters may be as well. It is for this reason that the deeply religious are willing to misrepresent the evidence of both archaeology and geology in a cynical attempt to hide the fact the Bible is a work of fiction, and this simple fact proves that their religion is essentially false.
The bible is an amalgamation of cultural mythology, some accurate history (but not most), superstition, and pieces designed to support and advance the religion. It was written by men, not God, each man had his own intents and beliefs which colored his writings, just as today's televangelists are pursuing their own questionable ends. The New Testament was written centuries after the death of Christ. A number of books were also deleted. Makes one wonder who determined what was included in the New Testament and why.
Nobody wants to remember the Council of Nicaea do they? Oh no, bible is the word of god, there was never any committee meetings about it, god himself published it, in english, yup yup, facts, facts are real, they're the best.
edit- so i guess it is now being said that the council of Nicaea was not held to establish the biblical canon and apparently Voltaire made that idea famous? Nevertheless, it is a well known historic fact that the bible is a collection of records, prophecies and tall tales from many different areas and time periods and anyone who believes in the christianity and calls themselves a bible scholar is a gloriously deluded person.