Christian America Ministries
The Biblical story of Noah, the Ark and the Flood is perhaps the oldest and best known story that exists today. The great Deluge, commonly called "Noah's Flood," as recorded in Genesis 6, 7 & 8, has been a subject of intense controversy and debate. Much of this debate surrounds the scope and reality of the Biblical account. Some say it was a literal worldwide flood, others say it is merely an allegorical story. Certainly if the truth of this one subject were made evident many of the debates surrounding the Bible would no longer exist.
During the nineteenth century, two doctrines gained strength and popularity among Christians regarding what the Bible says (1) That the earth and all that is on it is very young in age, and (2) that there was a worldwide flood that destroyed all life upon the earth except that which was in Noah's Ark.
In support of these concepts there has developed a religious sect known as creationism, lead by those known as creationists. Creationism is based on Christian "fundamentalism" or "Judeo-Christian" theology, which many are now discovering to be a distorted Christianity (a mixture of the Bible and human precepts).
Without either of these two concepts, the doctrine of creationism cannot stand and will quickly vanish from the minds of any rational person. It is the intent of this material to show that the idea of a worldwide flood is neither biblical, historical nor scientific. In this endeavour, we will need to examine exactly what is and is not being said today on this matter, and compare it to evidence derived from the Bible, science and history.
THE FACE OF THE EARTH
Here we will examine the Bible itself and see if the Bible really says what the literalists, fundamentalists, and creationists claim it says about a worldwide flood.
From the reading of the Genesis account of the Flood in the English translation it would seem that it was worldwide in scope if we take the passages involved strictly literally. Various passages tell us that life was to be destroyed from the face of the "earth" (Gen. 7:12), the waters were on the face of the whole "earth" (Gen. 8:9), etc.
When these passages were written it would be hard to believe they were made with the understanding of a global planet. We have to recall that it was not much more than 500 years ago that people believed the "earth" was flat.
The word "earth" used in these passages of Genesis is the Hebrew word "erets" (Strong's O.T. #776). Erets does not actually carry any connotation of a global, spherical planet in its translation. While it has been translated as "earth" many times, it is also translated "country" 140 times, "land" 1,476 times, and "ground" 96 times in the Old Testament. In the various references to erets it can be shown it is most often used to infer a limited land area rather than the entire planet.
The people living at the time of Moses had no concept of our global planet as we do today. The earth or erets to them would have been the extent of the geographical land area that they knew existed. It thus would not mean the planet, and to apply this literal meaning throughout the Bible causes some real and obvious problems.
For example, when Cain was cursed by God, he was driven "from the face of the earth" (Gen. 4:14). Yet it is clear that he remained "in the earth" as a fugitive. Cain was driven out of a limited land area, not from the planet.
After God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah one of Lot's daughters stated, "there is not a man in the earth (erets) to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth (erets)" (Gen. 19:31). She could not have meant that there were no men anywhere on planet earth for we know that there obviously were. Rather, she was saying that "there is not a man in erets" or in the land area they were in (the area of Sodom) for they were all destroyed there.
When God had told Abraham, "Get thee out of thy country (erets) ... unto a land (erets) that I will show thee" (Gen. 12:1), He did not mean for Abraham to leave the earth and go to another earth or planet. The word 'erets' was referring to a limited land area just as it was in Genesis 7:10—"the waters of the flood were upon the erets" or upon the land.
Creationists have arrogantly quoted Genesis 8:9 ("for the waters were on the face of the whole earth") and stated that it obviously means a global flood. As the creationist Dr. Morris states:
It almost seems frivolous to try to show that the Bible teaches a worldwide Flood. This fact is obvious in the mere reading of Genesis 6:9 and one who does not see it there will hardly be influenced by other reasoning.1
Perhaps the most common error made in understanding the Scriptures is allowing inconsistencies to exist in the underlying principles it teaches. Creationists are no exception to this problem and such statements as that above clearly reveal their lack of Biblical study and understanding. Their aim is to support tradition over Scripture. In doing so, they allow a misinterpretation of a verse to contradict other verses.
In the Bible the word 'erets' rarely means the planet earth. For instance, during the plagues upon Egypt we read that "the rain was not poured upon the earth [erets]" (Exodus 9:33). Everyone understands erets here to mean only a local land area—the land of Egypt. Why, then, in reading in Genesis that "the waters of the flood were upon the earth [erets]" or that "the rain was upon the earth [erets]” (Gen. 7:10, 12) should we assume the whole planet is meant? The rain that fell on the earth at the time of the Flood was also confined to a local land area.
In Exodus 10, verses 5 through 15, we read of a plague of locusts in Egypt:
5 And they shall cover the face of the earth [erets], that one cannot be able to see the earth [erets].
15 For they covered the face of the whole earth [erets] …through all the land [erets] of Egypt.
Again it should be evident that this locust plague covered only the limited land of Egypt, as shown in verse 15, and also in verse 14 which states "the locusts went up over all the land (erets) of Egypt." Why, then, should any insist that when it says the flood waters "were on the face of the whole earth (erets)" in Genesis 8:9, it must mean the waters were of a worldwide scale? It is the same wording used in both cases and interpreting erets to mean a limited land area maintains consistency in such verses.
At the time when Joseph was in Egypt there existed a "famine over all the face of the earth [erets]" (Gen. 41:56). Was there a famine in Greenland, in the tropics of Africa and South America, in Antarctica, in the Hawaiian Islands? There is no evidence of a global famine at this period of time. However, there was a famine in all the lands that had contact with Egypt at that time. Because of the famine the Bible states "all countries [erets] came to Egypt—to buy corn" (Gen. 41:57). Certainly the Eskimos and Polynesians never came to Egypt.
Erets is often used in the plural in many instances (Gen. 10:5, Lev. 26:36, Ezra 9:7, 2 Kings 19:11). If erets meant the planet earth, then all planets suffered from the famine and came to Egypt to buy corn! To have erets mean the planet earth makes the entire context an absurdity! The plurality has a limited rather than universal meaning.
Likewise, when we read about "all the hills" being covered or "all flesh" destroyed, it is referring to "all" that existed in the "whole" land or erets where the Flood was, not all that were on the planet earth. When God spoke of destroying "all flesh," He said he "will destroy them with the earth" (Gen. 6:13). The planet earth was not destroyed nor were all flesh on the planet, only that flesh and land (erets) where Noah lived was destroyed. The words "all," "whole" and "every" are not to be taken in a universal context. If they are then it can be said that all the hills on all the other planets were flooded.
After the Israelites had been delivered from Egypt and settled in Canaan, they were described in Scripture as "a people… which covereth the face of the earth [erets]" (Num. 22:5, 11). Not even creationists could say that Israelites covered every square foot of the earth's surface both land and sea. Yet the Bible says so! Does it not? The Israelites did not cover the planet only the expanse of land, or erets, where they were then dwelling.
When such events were originally written, whether it be of the Flood or the locust plague in Egypt, the land area they transpired in was the centre of attention and encompassed the total scope of intent and field of understanding. In this context a local affair or event can appear to have a universal meaning. Once this is understood, the entire account of the Genesis Flood, as well as these other events mentioned, make sense and become very credible and in line with history and science.
Jeremiah once spoke of a flood overflowing the erets, and though he used "flood" to figuratively describe an invading army, it provides an interesting comparison:
Thus says the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land [erets], and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein; then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land [erets] shall howl (Jer. 47:1-2).
If the word 'erets' in this passage were translated "earth" as it was in Genesis 7, it would sound like a universal flood. It thus could read - "an overflowing flood shall overflow the earth ... and all the inhabitants of the earth.” This sounds worldwide in scope but we know it was a flood covering only the land [erets] of the Philistines!
We find many instances in the Bible where it speaks of "the earth," or "the face of the earth" in which it clearly refers to a limited land area or country. When we thus read the Genesis account of the Flood, the erets should be read as "land" as a more meaningful and correct expression - "And the flood was forty days upon the land" (Gen. 7:17), "And the water prevailed exceedingly upon the land" (Gen. 7:19), etc. The waters of the Flood prevailed upon the "land" in which Noah lived and not the entire planet.
1 Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism, (1974) p. 252.
INFALLIBLE VS. LITERAL
As with all cases involving an error in thinking or erroneous conclusion, there is a basic flaw in the premise of those who believe the Bible tells of a flood that covered the entire planet. That faulty premise was revealed in one of the first in-depth books written in support of the worldwide flood concept. The book was called "The Genesis Flood," written by John C. Whitecomb and Henry M. Morris in 1961.2 In the first sentence of the first chapter the writers state the following:
In harmony with our conviction that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, verbally inspired in the original autographs, we begin our investigation of the geographical extent of the Flood with seven arguments in favour of its universality.
Since the Bible is regarded as "infallible" creationists believe it must be read in a literal context, or "taken at face value,"3 as some say. This is done out of a misguided reverence for the Bible. The fact that the Word of God, is "infallible" does not mean that every line and every word is to be read literally or at "face value." In fact, it is clear from the Bible itself that this manner of interpretation was never intended in all cases. The sayings and parables of Christ should be sufficient evidence that all Divine words are not to be literally construed. The words Christ used in these parables, such as sower, fowls, field, thorns, fruit, seed, tares, wheat, harvest, leaven, woman, treasure, furnace, earth, fig trees, fire, water and other words were never intended to be taken literally. To take these words literally, in their common usage, or at face value, would lead to a very confusing and inaccurate interpretation of what was meant. The same can be said about the many symbolic words found in Genesis, Daniel, Revelations, and in many prophecies. Yet are these not part of the "infallible Word of God?"
Those who lean on the "infallible" aspect of the Word of God as justification for their "literal" or "face value" interpretation, also fail to take into account the human element of the book called the "Bible." The Bible has undergone dozens of copies from one original to another, not to mention several translation changes from one language to another. Was the revelation of God's truth preserved exactly as originally given in today's Bible? Only those whose minds are possessed with a radical and phoney piety would believe so. One error for example is in 2 Sam. 8:13-14, "where aram [Syrian] is doubtless the error of a copyist who misread daleth [d] as resh [r]."4 'Syrian' in verse 13 should be read as 'Edom' as it is in verse 14. There are dozens of other such errors in the Bible, but how can this possibly be if it is the "infallible word of God?"
What we have are copies, versions, and translations of the original words from God. Translations and copies of the Bible by men are not infallible. The Bible does contain poor or even wrong translations, some were by accident while some were intentional. Can these mistranslations be read at "face value" or be taken "literally?" To do so may render an understanding which may be in conflict with science, history, or the Bible itself.
The infallibility of the Bible rests on God assuring His word will be fulfilled rather than on human belief or works. Anything that depends upon man, including translations and interpretations of God's word, are not going to be infallible. The Bible thus is not actually "the word of God," rather it is a translation or version or copy of the word of God given to various messengers throughout many centuries. The super pious, who mindlessly read the Bible literally, act as though God Himself actually wrote and printed the Bible they hold. This is a pitfall that so many have blindly fallen into.
To support their perspective of what the Bible is, the creationist and fundamentalist will fabricate and distort history and science so it will conform with their personal belief or "conviction" of what the Bible says. Every thing must give way to the literal meaning or face value context of the words they read in the Bible. This is the foundation of the false notion that the Flood is universal as well as many other false biblical doctrines of the literalists. Science, history and the Bible have been distorted to support a misinterpretation of certain verses in the Bible.
That the universal flood concept is a misinterpretation and distortion of Scripture, let us further analyse the position of the creationists regarding physical evidence.
2 Published by The Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co.
3 Charles Taylor, The Oldest Science Book in the World, 1984, p. 103.
4 The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, Edited by Henry S. Gehman, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1970, pp. 240-41.
THE CREATIONIST'S STORY
Creationists have established a theory of catastrophism, which attempts to explain the geological features and events by way of a worldwide, cataclysmic flood. Under this concept, earth history is dominated by catastrophism. The Flood, which covered the entire globe with water, had extinguished all life forms that were not saved within the Ark. Consequently, the fossils that exist are the remains of organisms that perished in the Flood. Their arrangement in the geological column has nothing to do with time since they were deposited at essentially the same period. Rather their arrangement is due to the altitude they were living at prior to their death when trapped by the flood waters, and also to mechanical sorting; as one creationist states:
The creation model, on the other hand, can interpret the [geological] column in terms of essentially continuous deposition [of fossils], all accomplished in a relatively short time—not instantaneously, of course, but over a period of months or years, rather than millions of years.5
Creationists accordingly have developed their own scientific version of earth history, basing it on what they call "flood geology." By this premise, most if not all of the geological events and surface features of the earth were a result of the aftermath of Noah's Flood.
All of these phenomena of what we have called residual catastrophism—mountain-building, glaciation, pluviation, volcanism, and possibly continental drift, along with others that might be discussed if necessary—represent the dying phases of the great Flood.6
Thus, all of the curious or previously unexplainable features of the earth can be explained by this flood. These include: mid-oceanic ridge, frozen mammoths, salt domes, coal formations, extinction of dinosaurs, the Grand Canyon, strata, continental shelves, etc.7
Creationists have thus created their own version of the geological column in which to explain geological events from the perspective of a global, cataclysmic flood. In doing so they have compressed the hundreds of millions of years of the earth's history into only a few months or a year.
Creationists are opposed to the concept known as uniformitarianism, or the principle of the uniformity of nature, which is frequently summed up in the familiar statement that the present is the key to the past. Creationists believe that natural and geological processes and events that now occur, such as radioactive decay and sedimentary formation, did not act at the same rate or in the same way in the past but have undergone change. They thus are not uniform processes. Creationists instead believe in catastrophism, whereby all of the events and processes of the earth had either been formed rapidly or had undergone a sudden change in a relatively short period of time. That time period being the duration of the Flood of Genesis.
This concept then is what believers in a universal flood call their "creation model." In comparing this "model" to geological and other physical evidence there are some obvious problems and conflicts. We will thus examine evidence from various areas which will show that only a localized flood existed, and that the worldwide flood idea is as inconsistent with the historical and scientific evidence available as it is with the Biblical evidence.
5 Morris, Scientific Creationism, (1974) p. 111 112.
6 Morris, op. cit., p. 128.
7 Brown, In The Beginning, (Center for Scientific Creation) p. 15.
A flood is certainly a geological event resulting in changes in the surface of the earth. But a universal flood of the magnitude claimed by the literalists compels even the uninformed to question its validity.
Floods or flooding has occurred in just about every portion of the earth at one time or another, and they continue to do so. Thus evidence of flooding in various localities around the earth is no evidence of a worldwide flood. If one were to search the rock formations or dig deep enough in any given part of the earth, chances are we would find evidence of flooding that had occurred at some time.
Much of the geological evidence, such as the dating of rocks and strata of the earth,8 is opposed by creationists for the reason that it annihilates their interpretation of Scripture. Geological evidence exists that glaciation has occurred for millions of years on the earth. The last Great Ice Age started one million years ago and ended about 25,000 years ago.
The formation of mountains began about 1200 to 2000 million years ago primarily from great volcanic activity such as in southern Canada. The Appalachians were formed 275 million years ago and the Sierras, Rockies, and Himalayas about 28 million years ago. The last significant uplift of high mountains occurred 11 million years ago. The major earth-shaping forces responsible for the current topography of the earth have been going on for hundreds of millions of years. If this is to be denied, evidence to the contrary must be offered. The creationists offer a worldwide flood as an explanation, saying "the mountains were formed as the flood waters receded." 2 According to the Bible, the mountains clearly existed before the Flood, since the waters of the Flood are said to have covered them (Gen. 7:20).
The nature of the formation of sedimentary deposits should be sufficient evidence to show that the concept of catastrophism as devised by creationists is false. If we look at a core sample where sediments form, we see that the thickness of the layers are thinner at the bottom than they are at the top surface. This is because the muddy particles became more closely packed under the pressure of the layers accumulating above them. Each new deposit of mud, sediments, etc., will compress differently depending on the composition of the layer, the amount of water it contains, the quantity of material deposited, and the duration of time before another layer is deposited upon it. This is atypical of deposits from a single flood.
Usually we see various types of rock and fossiliferous strata where each geological division has its own minerals, rock, or species not found below or above. This also is quite contrary to the hypothesis of the creationists, who argue that all fossils are remains of organisms that all lived at the same time. We also find other sedimentary layers that are not characteristic of flood-type deposits, such as volcanic lava and ash. Other strata were formed due to different kinds of environments and climates, such as deposits formed in desert, glacial, tropical, reef, lake, evaporate and other environments.3 Several different kinds of environments could not exist at a time when the whole world was covered by flood waters. The sedimentary deposits formed in such environments would have required considerable amounts of time for each to develop. Tens of thousands of years often separate such environments.
If all sediments were deposited by a single worldwide flood, there would be but one thick sedimentary layer, not dozens or hundreds as we find throughout the earth. Any flood examined today may lay down a sedimentary deposit, even one containing different debris, but never multiple layers unless another flood occurs afterwards.
By evidence of depositing rates and dating of fossils at different depths, a sedimentary core sample two feet deep can represent 2000 to 3000 years of accumulation. How many years then are represented by the 6000 feet of sedimentary rocks forming the Grand Canyon? Quite obviously millions of years.4 But creationists assert this massive sedimentary formation was created nearly instantaneously, pointing to the Flood as the cause.
The numerous sedimentary deposits are not characteristic of one general flood. All scientific studies and researches on this matter verify this:
Flood theory then, as now, held that all sedimentary rocks had been violently deposited as sea mud and gravel… Present topography plainly contradicts these quaint ideas, for most of the vast plains and plateaus of the world are built not of sea muds but of river deposits, and they are totally incompatible with the concept of the existence of a universal ocean a few thousand years ago. The creationists would have the entire sedimentary blanket of the earth's crust deposited in the forty days and forty nights of rain of Noah's Flood. It takes long periods of time for the weathering of rocks to produce enough soil to form thick layers of sediment, or for millions of generations of marine animals and plants to live and die to produce accumulations of limestone tens or hundreds of meters thick.5
To avoid the restraints of science creationists disallow current observable evidence, measurements and data to be used in a decision regarding geological features. They reject it by saying all that we see today is the result of the Flood's cataclysmic effect rather than regular and natural processes. It is not only a cop out but a very unscientific theory—yet they call it "scientific creationism!"
2 Walter T. Brown, In The Beginning, 4th ed., 1986, p. 59. Floods do not form mountains, but rather erode them away.
3 Davis A. Young, Christianity and the Age of the Earth, 1982, p. 91.
4 The sedimentary strata of the Grand Canyon represents just a fraction of the total thickness of sedimentary rock.
5 Norman D. Newell, Creation and Evolution: Myth or Reality? Columbia Univ. Press, N.Y.-1982, pp. 39, 45.
8 For more information on the antiquity of the earth see: Christianity & The Age Of The Earth, by Davis A. Young.
RAIN AND WATER
Another question involving physical science that is raised in light of a universal flood theory is - where did all the water come from to cover the entire earth and where did it go? We read in Chapter 7 of Genesis:
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
From these verses many say the Flood was worldwide, and that the tops of the highest mountains (about 29,000 feet) were covered with 15 cubits (about 22 feet) of water. This means the water level would have been five miles above the present sea level. The water pressure would have been about 800 tons per square inch. Ten months of this pressure, along with a lack of light and mixture of salt water, would have destroyed all plant life and seeds on the planet. The entire life cycle, which depends on plants, would have ended, yet the animals released obviously found vegetation to eat.
Further thought requires us to ask where did all of this water come from to cover all the mountains on the planet? About 97.2% of all the water on earth, according to the United States Geological Survey, currently resides in the oceans. The remainder of the earth's water is in the lakes, rivers, glaciers, polar ice caps, underground water, and atmospheric moisture. All of this water could not cover the face of the earth.
If all the atmospheric moisture fell abruptly in a continuous worldwide rainfall, the level of the oceans would rise less than five centimetres; and if, at the same time, all the glaciers (and polar caps) in the world melted (as they did many times in the past), sea level would rise only about sixty meters, barely enough to drown low coastal plains.
There thus does not exist the water for a universal flood to occur. The total volume of water that exists on earth (and has for millions of years) is 1,359,843,000 cubic kilometres. If all of this water were to abruptly fall in a continuous worldwide rainfall, the level of the oceans would rise only about 75 meters (206 feet). It would take about 3½ times this amount of water (4,441,800,000 cubic kilometres) to completely cover the earth's surface.
It can be easily seen that it is impossible for a worldwide flood to exist since the water does not exist to accomplish the job. But creationists like to envision a mysterious water canopy in space and great reservoirs of water underground which contributed to the Flood. Yet they also say that these two water sources now make up "the present oceanic systems.”7 For this to mean anything the earth would have to be flooded today. So the question still remains, where did all the water come from to completely flood the earth?
This leads us to the other side of the equation, that being where did all the flood waters go to? The Genesis account states that after the flooding stopped (Gen. 8:1-2), the Ark rested in the 17th day of the 7th month. Then the "waters decreased continually until the tenth month," at which time some land could be seen (Gen. 8:5). This covers about 74 days. After another 54 days "the waters were abated from off the earth" (Gen. 8:11), and in another 36 days "the face of the ground was dry" (Gen. 8:13). It thus took only 164 days from the time the flooding ended for the water to recede and the ground to become dry. Clearly the waters of Noah's Flood could only recede or "abate from off the earth" if it were a localized flood on the earth.
Here we have all the evidence needed to prove that a universal flood did not occur, for if water covered the globe so that all of its mountains were covered, then where did the waters recede to? Did all of this water just evaporate into outer space? Water covering the entire planet could never drain off anywhere and give us dry ground in only 164 days. Not even in 100 years or a 1000 years could this have happened. If such a worldwide flood did exist the water could never have drained off or evaporated—the earth would forever be water-covered, or a frozen ball of ice. The only reason the waters were able to recede from the land is because the Flood was confined to a limited area. Thus, the Flood was not of the worldwide magnitude creationists claim it was.
6 N. D. Newell, Creation and Evolution: Myth or Reality, 1982 p. 38
7 Morris, Scientific Creationism, Creation-Life Publishers, p. 211.
The Flood of Genesis was a true historical event which occurred at a specific period of time. The date at which the Flood occurred according to Usher's Bible Chronology, was in the year 2348 B.C. Haberman states that this date was correct within four years - "the correct date for the Deluge is from November 1, 2345 (Genesis 7:11), to November 11, 2344 B.C. (Genesis 8:14)."8
This date of the Flood falls within a period of history known as the "Bronze Age," which dates from about 3000 B.C. to 1200 B.C. The significant discovery of bronze, along with other advances such as increased trade routes, ox carts, domestication of draft horses, the bellows, potters wheel, and the plough resulted in a cultural revolution second in importance only to the modern Industrial Revolution. If there was a worldwide cataclysmic flood it would have upset world progress so drastically it would have taken centuries for the world to recover. However, there is no evidence of this at all as the Bronze Age did not stop and then restart all over again, or revert to the Stone Age.
The Flood of Genesis occurred at a period of time in which there exists definite traces of recorded history. While written records of this time are sparse, there also exist other archaeological records such as city ruins, tools, pottery, weapons, skeletal remains, and other artefacts which support the chronicles and written records that do exist. These records all show that there were many great civilizations existing in various parts of the world at the time the Flood occurred, with a worldwide population of 50 to 100 million. If a worldwide flood occurred at this time the earth's population would not yet have recovered the loss.
The Flood of Genesis thus occurred in a period of time in which we have a verifiable history of numerous civilizations existing with no evidence of a catastrophic disruption from a worldwide flood. If there was a worldwide flood then all civilizations and cultures would have been destroyed along with their advancements, governments, inventions, cultural habits, languages, and arts which were peculiar to each civilization.
What history does reveal to us however, is that none of the known civilizations and cultures throughout the world have large gaps or voids in their chronology as a result of being destroyed by a universal flood. It certainly would not be plausible to believe that they were destroyed and then suddenly, within a few years, miraculously reappeared in their original size and strength.
The six oldest civilizations that had an ongoing and well-established culture according to recorded history are: Sumer (Mesopotamia), Egypt, China, Minoan, Indus Valley, and the Holy Land or Phoenicia.
Some of the earliest written records of an advanced civilization are those of the Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia. Its first dynasty, according to Sumerian King-Lists, dates to about 3350 B.C. Prof. Waddell has done exhaustive research on Sumerian chronicles, seals, King-Lists, and other records which show a continuous, ongoing civilization from 3350 B.C. well through the period of the Flood.9 In fact, Mesopotamia was undergoing great prosperity and expansion during the period of the Flood under the well-known ruler, Sargon The Great (2300 B.C.). Further growth and expansion continued under his grandson, Naram-Sin (2250 B.C.). By the time of Abraham (1930 B.C.), Mesopotamia was heavily populated and a thriving centre of civilization and culture. These historical facts could never have occurred if its entire civilization had been obliterated by a flood.
Of all ancient civilizations, that of Egypt is the most familiar. Egypt's dynastic history started with the uniting of upper and lower Egypt by King Menes about 3100 B.C. The period of Egyptian history known as the "Old Kingdom," extended from 2800 to 2175 B.C., which covered the third through the tenth dynasties. There was no record of a sudden and complete interruption within this great epoch of Egyptian history by a great deluge. Further, the Step Pyramid, the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and other Egyptian monuments that were built prior to the Flood would surely have been destroyed by the magnitude of the flood described by creationists.
A reasonably accurate history of China begins around 3000 B.C. Valuable information on this culture has been obtained from the Chinese sacred book known as Shu King. According to the chronology of this text, and verified by archaeological finds, China was undergoing a prosperous period during the Yao Dynasty (between 2400 - 2200 B.C.) with no record of a cataclysmic interruption of its civilization.
Minoan history is perhaps as old as that of Egypt. Based on the island of Crete, the Minoan civilization entered a high state of cultural advancement about 2500 B.C., with the founding of Cnossos the capital city. The Minoan civilisation is often viewed as the first great civilisation of Europe and the focal point of world history around the middle of the second millennium B.C. It had already produced many artistic works, established cities, had an alphabet, and made use of bronze prior to the date of the Flood. It continued to grow and develop and by 2000 B.C. became established as a centre of trade and culture until 1470 B.C. when it was destroyed by a volcano. The archaeological remains of the Minoan civilization, including hundreds of written records on clay tablets, all show a continuous ongoing culture from 2800 to 1470 B.C. No devastating flood occurred on Crete during this period of time.
The civilization of the Indus Valley also has some very early beginnings. Prof. Waddell, who has done diggings and research in this location, shows by ancient Indian Official King-Lists and Chronicles, that this civilization's recorded history extends back to 3100 B.C.10 A thriving cultural state started around 2500 B.C., notably within its two major cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, that rivalled that of Egypt and Mesopotamia. This ancient civilization, which also contained some 100 smaller cities, towns and villages, continued uninterrupted until 1500 B.C. when it fell for unknown reasons.
We also see the same situation with Phoenicia - a thriving cultural and trade centre existing before, during and after the Flood. These six great civilizations, along with a host of other cultural groups such as the Japanese, the American Indians, and the Negro tribes of Africa, all survived the period of the Flood.
Thus, the evidence provided by history shows that no devastating universal flood could have occurred since the time of recorded history - about 3500 B.C. How could all of these civilizations, cultures, and tribes, along with the tens of millions of people that embodied them, suddenly disappear from history and then suddenly reappear all over the world, carrying on with the same cultural habits, the same style of art, the same writing and language, the same architectural designs, etc., that were often unique to each civilization. History paints a very grim picture for those "fundamental" Christians and creationists who proclaim the Bible tells of a worldwide flood. In fact it proves that no universal flood had ever occurred in the past 6,000 years.
8 Frederick Haberman, Tracing Our Ancestors, (1934) p. 16.
9 See: L.A. Waddell, The Makers of Civilization, (1929).
10 Waddell, The Makers of Civilization, p. 27.
A central issue surrounding Noah's Flood is the variety and number of animals Noah had to bring on the Ark. Creationists have claimed that all species of life existed contemporaneously before the Flood:
Apart from this premise [evolution], there is no reason to doubt that man lived at the same time as the dinosaurs and trilobites. The creation model postulates that all the organisms of the fossil record lived together in the same world.11
Here again we see the tactic of creationists to refer to those things they don't like as being "evolution." Yet the question is, if dinosaurs and other extinct life forms lived contemporaneously with man, where is the evidence of this? It was claimed that there was evidence of human footprints alongside dinosaurs prints in Texas, and books were devoted to this subject.12 The so-called human footprints were latter proven to be prints of dinosaurs.
If all species lived contemporaneously prior to the Flood, then to maintain consistency in their interpretation of Scripture creationists have to say that all species of animal life were brought on the Ark. This includes dinosaurs, sabre-toothed tigers, mammoths, trilobites, and millions of other now extinct species; for Noah was commanded to bring all living things on the Ark:
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.13
Of all species of life that have ever existed upon the earth 99 percent are now extinct. With about 1.5 million species living today we can conclude that 150 million species have existed with about 148 million that have become extinct.14 We now have an exceedingly larger number of animals to fit on the Ark than just the animals we have today. To help remedy this problem some have said that "larger animals such as dinosaurs could be represented on this boat by young dinosaurs."15 This does not help much in making room for all these animals nor does it explain how or why these animals became extinct. It would absolutely make no sense to bring all these life forms on the Ark if 99% of them were to die anyway! After all, the purpose of doing so was preserve these animals, or "to keep them alive" (Gen. 6:19).
These obvious problems have led most creationists to now say that the Flood was responsible for the extinction of all species, such as dinosaurs, which are represented in the fossil record. Since they became extinct by the Flood then that tells us that they were not on the Ark. This again raises the question of why did Noah fail to bring all of the animals on the ark as commanded? If the Flood was the cause of their extinction we have to conclude that Noah was in gross disobedience to God's command by leaving 99 percent of the living things out of the Ark allowing them to become extinct.
But the Bible says that "Noah did according to all that God commanded him" (Genesis 6:22). So Noah was not in gross disobedience to God's command. The only other conclusion is that the creationists are dead wrong about the age of the earth, the extinction of species by the Flood, and their universal flood concept. Palaeontology tells us that the vast majority of living things became extinct millions of years before Noah's time.16 The testimony of Scripture and science allows us to conclude that the creationists are dead wrong. There was no mass extinction of living things only a few thousand years ago by a worldwide flood.
If creationists still want to believe Genesis speaks of a worldwide flood, then Noah would still have been required to bring a sample of each species now living into the Ark. Could such a feat be accomplished given the number of species and the size of the Ark? In Genesis 6, God specified to Noah the size of the Ark:
The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.17
With a cubit being about 18 inches long, the ark would be about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Further, the Ark was to have three "stories" or decks. The total volume of the Ark would have been about 1.5 million cubic feet.
However, the space available assumes every cubic inch of space is utilized which is far from practical. There would need to be space to get at the animals to feed them and for head room, breathing room or ventilation, naturally wasted or unused space would exist, exercise space would be needed, etc. Also the decks and beams would consume space. We thus could conservatively reduce the available space on the ark by one fifth giving about 1.2 million cubic feet of usable storage space.
Noah was commanded to bring "two" of every animal and "creeping thing" into the ark, but of "every clean beast," and of the "fowls of the air" he was to bring in by "sevens" (Gen. 7:2-3).18 There currently exists 200,000 species of animals, over 900,000 species of insects, and about 450,000 species of plants.19 We could estimate the number of "clean" animals along with all the birds to be about one sixth of the animals or 33,000 in number. Thus Noah would have needed room for 231,000 "clean" animals (7 x 33,000), 334,000 unclean animals (2 x 167,000), and 1,800,000 insects (2 x 900,000).
A squirrel or rabbit would need about 3 cubic feet of space. As for an elephant, it would need about 1400 cubic feet of space. A turkey would need about 9 cubic feet, a 15 foot crocodile and a 600 lb. gorilla each require over 140 cubic feet of space. A fox would take up about 10 cubic feet, a lion 120, and a 20 foot tall giraffe would require 900 cubic feet of space. We could justly figure 10 cubic feet of space per animal on the average, and about .05 cubic foot of space for insects (this would also include the space needed for their stalls, cages, containers, etc.).
We have to also consider food for the animals which God told Noah to bring on the Ark (Gen. 6:21). Since Noah and the animals were in the Ark just over a year, there would have to be storage space for one year’s supply of food. On the average, a person can eat about 1300 pounds of food a year which is about 7 times his weight in food. An elephant can eat about 60,000 lbs. of food a year which is 7 to 8 times its weight. The average ox or cow can consume about 24,000 lbs. of food a year which is about 14 times its weight. One wolf can eat a sheep a week or 52 sheep a year which is about 20 times its weight while a lion can eat about 35 times its weight. A shrew can eat several hundred times its weight in a year. Since the weight of many types of food, such as hay, is less dense than body weight they would occupy much more space. It would be more than fair then to consider 8 times the space needed on the average for food storage for each animal and insect. Based on this, the following table represents the space needed for a one year voyage:
With only 1.2 million cubic feet available on the Ark, we can see from these figures that Noah would have needed at least 43 arks to accomplish the job of storing all the animals and their required food. This, of course, does not take into consideration the food needed to keep the animals alive (such as sheep) for the meat eaters (such as wolves). It does not consider plants, most of which could never survive a worldwide flood. It does not consider reproduction of animals. It does not consider water for drinking and bathing. Nor does it consider all the species that have become extinct since Noah's time. The need for 100 Arks would be a more likely figure.
We also must consider the impossible task of Noah gathering every species of animal, marine life, insect, bird, plant, and microbe from every corner of the planet, and then somehow redistributing them back to their original habitat. It is a task which all the modern zoos with all their trained keepers and explorers could not accomplish. Further, many animals require a specific climate and habitat in which to live. The polar bear and penguin of the arctic cannot live in the same environment as a hippopotamus and chimpanzee of the tropics. How could all of these animals survive together on an ark or on the mountain side where the Ark landed? The environment of the Ark could not have been suitable for all species of animals and plants.
Such problems were never encountered since Noah never collected specimens from all over the globe. He collected only those animals which were in the area he lived and where the Flood occurred. This obviously was done so as not to create an ecological void in that part of the earth. We have to either consider this to be the case or face the insurmountable problems associated with a universal flood. All zoological evidence shown here and much more all prove there was no universal flood.
11 Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism, p. 112, 117.
12 John D. Morris Tracking Those Incredible Dinosaurs, (1980).
13 Genesis 6:19
14 These are rather conservative figures as one biology text states that the species now living represent “Probably less than one tenth of one percent" of all species that have ever existed.
William Keeton, Biological Sciences 3rd ed., W.W Norton & Co., 1980, p. 802.
15 Walter T. Brown, In The Beginning, 1986, p. 16.
16 90 percent of all living things became extinct during the Jurastic period about 60 to 100 million years ago.
17 Genesis 6:15
18 The wording of some translations is "seven pairs."
19 Many species become extinct each year (currently about 200 a year), so there were many more species existing in Noah's time.
Perhaps one of the more difficult problems proponents of a universal flood have to answer, and one they most often avoid, is how could the eight survivors of the Flood produce the numerous racial types of man that exist upon the earth.
A belief of the "Christian" sect known as creationism is that all the world was populated from the descendants of Noah's three sons. In other words, "all tribes and races came from a common ancestral population.20 Creationists are forced to place this common population, consisting of eight persons, some time after the Flood since they believe in the extinction of all people by a universal Flood.
Noah and his family were obviously of one race. The Bible states that Noah was "perfect in his generations" (Gen. 6:9). The word "generations" here is the Hebrew word "T0LEDAH," and means "descent." Noah was perfect in his descent from Adam meaning his lineage had not mixed with any other races. Creationist try to tell us that this racially pure family developed (or evolved) into the present day races, but never specifically explain how, when or why this transformation occurred.
The concept that all nations and races descended from Noah's sons did not originate with the early Christian writers. When the famous naturalist and zoologist Georges Cuvier devised his classification of races in 1790, he listed three types: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid. Soon afterwards many started comparing this classification with Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. As racial distinctions became more evident and debated, the churches and literalists picked up on Cuvier's classification and molded it into a new religious doctrine. They taught that the Negroid race descended from Ham, the Mongoloid race from Japheth, and the Caucasian race from Shem. This doctrine insults and contradicts both the word of God and science.
Cuvier's classification of races was just prior to the advent of Egyptology the studying and discovering of the ruins of ancient Egypt by such men as Jean Francois Champollion in the 1820's. The ancient Egyptian monuments, tombs, and temples reveal a vast storehouse of ethnographical records in the form of paintings, mummies and sculptures displaying different racial types of man. Certain racial types can be distinguished in paintings and sculptures dating as far back as the 4th millennium B.C., as Prof. Coon explains:
"…racial differentiation can be traced back to at least 3,000 B.C., as evidenced in Egyptian records, particularly the artistic representations."21
In the era just after the Flood (2300 to 2000 B.C.) there appear many clear and well marked racial types in the paintings and sculptures from Egypt as well as Mesopotamia. By 1600 B.C., an even greater diversity of distinct racial types can be found. Each of these types are represented as they appear today showing that they were permanent throughout all history and had never undergone any type of transformation.
Creationists would have us believe that eight white people that existed after the Flood, somehow changed into different racial types almost instantaneously. Why is it that this type of drastic evolutionary change has never occurred since? If we can believe that such a racial transformation occurred, then there should be no reason not to believe any manner of evolution occurring over tens of millions of years, for the latter is more believable than the former.
It is important to understand the hypocrisy and inconsistency that "creationism" rests upon. Creationists are allowed to do the impossible because they are on God's side, but evolutionists are not allowed to use the same principles in presenting their ideas.
Evolution is evolution whether used by "creationists" or "evolutionists." Thus if an amphibian could not gradually evolve into a reptile, then a group of white people could not have evolved into Negroes, Indians, Chinese, Polynesians, Pygmies, etc., especially in just a few hundred years time or less.
The racial evidence supplied to us by the ancient paintings and sculptures from Egypt and elsewhere clearly dispels a any foolish notion of a worldwide flood. This evidence of the antiquity and permanence of the races, which is verified by the laws of genetics, proves that all people were not destroyed in a universal Flood.
To overcome this problem, some have suggested Noah brought a representative pair of each race on the Ark.22 Peter, in speaking of the Flood, says that only "eight souls were saved" on the Ark (1 Pet. 3:20 & 2 Pet. 2:5). The only way then to get the other races on the Ark is to say that these other races are not regarded as people, but are inferior "beasts" or “living creatures." The claim that other races were on the Ark is sheer speculation.
The science of ethnology and anthropology have shown that every single racial type that existed prior to the Flood existed after it. This proves that the Flood was confined to a specific geographical area. ALL people on earth were not destroyed by the Flood as creationists claim. In Luke 17:26-29, Christ likens the "days of Noah" with the "days of Lot." In each case the people experienced a catastrophe which "destroyed them all." Yet everyone acknowledges that "in the days of Lot" allthe people on earth were not destroyed, only all the people in Sodom were. Likewise, only all the people in the Flood were destroyed, not all the people on earth.
It cannot be supported by any rational or biblical means that all races were destroyed by a flood and then instantaneously reappeared or were formed thereafter. It is infinitely more logical that all races were separately created by God on the planet, and they each survived the Flood, as did numerous other life forms, by being outside its realm and geographical influence.
20 Henry M. Morris. Scientific Creationism, p. 183.
21 Carleton Coon, The Origin of the Races, 1962, p. 3
22 The book, The Genesis Flood, pp. 17-20, stressed the point that all mankind was destroyed by the Flood," and that "Noah and his family were the only ones who escaped the judgment waters."
LOCATION OF THE FLOOD
According to Scripture, when Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden they departed out of it to its east side, since God had "placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims" to keep them from "the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24). Thus Adam, Eve and their descendants were now to live at the east side of Eden. This was to be the new Adamic homeland and would later become the site of the Flood. Thus if we can locate Eden we then can easily find the location of the Flood. Scripture gives the following reference as to the location of Eden:
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man [ADAM] whom he had formed.1
This tells us that the garden, which was within Eden, was eastward or "in the east"2 or "to the far east."3 For this information to have any value in locating Eden, we need to have a geographical point of reference. In other words, from what point or area did Eden lie east of. It is most likely that Moses was in the "wilderness," or the area Israel wandered for forty years, when he wrote down the historical account of Genesis. This would be somewhere from Mt. Sinai to the edge of Canaan. Thus Eden was eastward of this area.
One popular belief of the location of Eden has been in the Tigris-Euphrates region known as Mesopotamia. However, if this was Eden it would not have been referred to as a land in the east. This region was very well known since it was a major centre of population, just like Egypt, and was called by the name of Shinar. Thus Mesopotamia would never have been referred to as a land to the east anymore than Egypt would be referred to as a land to the south. If Eden had been located here then its location in Genesis 2:8 would have read, "in the land of Shinar," or "in Mesopotamia." This is exactly how this land area was referred to by Moses in Genesis 10:10, 11:2, 14:1, 14:9, and 24:10. This area was therefore well known to Moses by a common name.
The inhabitants of Mesopotamia, even before Moses' time, understood that the Garden of Eden had been located to the east of their land, as Prof. Waddell had pointed out:
In Sargon's Chronicle, as extracted in the Omen literature of the later Babylonians, he calls this distant land far to the east of Mesopotamia "The Good Edin [Eden] Land" … And it is called by Sargon's son King Manis-Tusu "Garden of Edin, the Fruitful." … And this "Garden of Edin" is definitely placed by Manis-Tusu's own inscriptions to the east of Anshan of Persia.4
It was clear to the inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia that their land was not the "Garden of Eden." Rather it was to the east of them. We must therefore look further east for the location of Eden to a land area that would not have been commonly known by name at that time. Scripture gives us further evidence regarding the location of Eden by describing its geographical boundaries:
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which encompasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that encompasses the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goes toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.5
Because the word "Euphrates" is mentioned here most have naturally assumed that Eden must have been located in Mesopotamia. However, these passages describe an area that has four rivers which flowed from one source. This is not at all descriptive of Mesopotamia with only the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Further, in ancient times these two rivers did not merge into one river as they do today.
The word "Euphrates" is from the Hebrew word "PERATH" and implies "a river of the east."6 The Euphrates in Mesopotamia seems to have derived its name after the original river Euphrates of the "east" in the land of Eden, which was "eastward" of Mesopotamia.
Some Bible scholars have thought that the "Gihon" was the Nile because it "encompasses the whole land of Ethiopia." The word "Ethiopia" comes from the Chaldean word "KUWSH" or "CUSH."7 The oldest origin of this word comes from northern India where the Hindu Cush Mountains still bear that name.
The "Pison" has for centuries been attributed to the Indus or Ganges River in India. This was derived from ancient records that go back to Josephus and beyond which describes Havilah (Gen. 2:11) as equivalent to India with the Pison as one of its rivers.
The river Hiddekel has popularly been identified as the Tigris. But the Chaldean word from which Hiddekel is derived, "CHIDDEQEL," is also of 'foreign origin,'8 and is most likely a borrowed name from the ancient cast. This is probably why it was described as the river that flows "toward the east of Assyria" (Gen. 2:14), so as not to confuse it with the more familiar river that flows within Assyria (or Mesopotamia) bearing the same name.
This information also invites us to look for the ancient site of Eden somewhere further east than Mesopotamia, to the area of central Asia and northern India. Frederick Haberman, in analysing this and other evidence from some of his colleagues, identifies the location of Eden as follows:
Such a location of four rivers starting from one source we find on the Pamir plateau in Central Asia, between the Tian Shan mountains on the north and the Hindu Cush on the south. Cush is the original word for Ethiopia and a word older than the division of languages. From the lakes of that plateau issue four great rivers: the Indus, the Jaxartes, the Oxus, and the Tarim. The Oxus is still called by the natives the Dgihun or Gihon; the Chitral branch of the Indus answers the description of the Pison; the Jaxartes is the original Euphrates; and the Tarim going toward the east is in all probability the Hiddekel.9
Haberman, in quoting other researchers and archaeologists, reveals that the people of Asia consider the plateau of Pamir to be the original Eden and the central part of the world. It was thus on the east side of the Pamir Plateau (Eden) which became the homeland of the Adamic race up to the time of the Flood. Today this land is known as the Tarim Basin or Eastern Turkestan.
This region of the Tarim Basin, being surrounded by some of the highest mountain ranges on all sides, forms a gigantic basin in the earth's surface. Its area measures a thousand miles long and about 350 mile wide. Thus, though it can be called a "localized" flood it was by no means a small flood. It was by this flood that God brought judgment upon all that were in the land, not all that were on the earth.
1 Genesis 2:8 Same wording is used in the Septuagint Translation.
2 Ferrar Fenton Translation.
3 James Moffatt Translation.
4 L. A. Waddell, The Makers of Civilization, (1929) p. 117.
5 Genesis 2:10-14
6 Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, O.T. #6578.
7 Ibid., O.T. #3568 Strong also states this word is probably of foreign origin, meaning that the name "Ethiopia" in Africa was derived from another land.
8 Ibid., O.T. #2313
9 Frederick Haberman, Tracing Our Ancestors (1932) p. 11-12.
THE NEED FOR AN ARK
In attempting to support the belief in a worldwide flood, creationists claim that no Ark would be necessary or even needed at all if the Flood was only a local one. This line of thinking stems from their misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of the Flood, as they state:
"…we agree that the sheer massiveness of the Ark staggers the imagination. In fact, this is the very point of our argument: for Noah to have built a vessel of such magnitude simply for the purpose of escaping a local flood is inconceivable. The very size of the Ark should effectively eliminate the local-flood view from serious consideration among those who take the Book of Genesis at face value."10
This clearly reveals some errors in the reasoning of the creationist doctrine, one being the idea that a "local flood" means a "little flood." The usual conception of a local flood is one that wipes out some community or village. In other words, a flood of a rather small size covering perhaps a few square miles or so. However, this conception of a flood is but a puddle in comparison the actual Flood of Genesis which covered an area of about 350,000 square miles—larger than the states of Texas and Oklahoma combined! This was no puddle.
As previously shown, and as many others have demonstrated, the size of the ark was far too tiny for the purposes that a universal flood would have required. And, indeed, its size would be too large if it was for a small "local flood." But as shown the Flood of Genesis was of a great magnitude, perhaps the greatest flooding of dry land which has ever occurred. For this size of a flood, and this size only, would the size of the Ark given in Genesis be appropriate.
Creationists further question the need for an Ark if the Flood was not universal because during the time it took Noah to build the Ark, he could have easily walked to a safe location. Their reasoning goes like this:
How much more sensible it would have been for God merely to have warned Noah of the coming destruction, so that he could move to an area that would not have been affected by the Floods."11
Anytime man tries to second guess what is and what is not "sensible" for God to do according to his understanding of things errors are inevitable. God had long ago informed man that: "my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.”12 Man's way would have Noah and his family simply walk out of harm's way, but this is not the way of God.
Why then did God have Noah build an Ark if the Flood was not universal? It was a test of faith. But more than that, it was to serve as an example and message of faith and salvation to future generations:
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.13
Such things, says Paul, as happened to Noah and others in Scripture are "for examples, and are written for our admonition" (1 Cor. 10:11), and "for our learning" (Rom. 15:4). Noah's task of building the Ark and the destruction of all others in the land was to serve as a lesson of judgment and punishment, and how the righteous will be saved by faith. Without the difficult task of building the Ark, there would have been no test of Noah's faith.
The Scriptures show that God's way is not going to be as easy or as "sensible" as man's way. God had established things in this manner to provide us with a test of faith, for it would not require any faith in God to do as our carnal nature directs us, or to act by what seems right or "sensible" in our own eyes and heart.
So once again the creationists and fundamentalists have undermined one of the messages of the Bible, a message of faith, in order to support their fairy tale.
10 Whitcomb & Morris, The Genesis Flood, 1961, p.11.
12 Isaiah 55:8
13 Hebrew 11:7
CONCLUSION & COMMENTS
FACTS vs SPECULATION Those who take the position of a literal worldwide flood are forced to engage in considerable speculation in order to support their position. Some of these speculative arguments, which are unfounded and unsupported by facts from Scripture, history or science, include the following:
That God had created more water than originally existed and then after the Flood made most of it disappear.
That other races of man were brought on the Ark, or that all races evolved out of one family.
That all of the species of life had been gathered from every corner of the globe and then somehow redistributed to their original location and habitat.
That all species of life, in groups of two or seven, and all their required food for a year, easily fit within the limited space of the Ark.
That all types of marine life could have survived the fresh waters of the flood rains.
That all strata and sedimentary formations were formed rapidly within less than a year instead of millions of years.
That the great mountain ranges did not exist 5000 years ago but had undergone uplifting or creation by the Flood.
That the "antediluvian geography" which existed prior to the Flood was radically different from the geographical layout that exists today.
That natural and geological processes did not always occur at a uniform and predictable rate.
These and other claims are derived from predictions and speculations based on the belief that a universal flood occurred. They are not scientific or provable facts. True scientific application requires one to objectively gather and examine all data and facts and use them to arrive at a conclusion. Scientific creationism starts with a predetermined conclusion, such as a belief in a universal flood, and seeks facts which it can conform to that conclusion. Other facts are distorted or rejected while predictions and speculations are used to fill in the gaps.
Whenever creationists are at a loss to explain their conclusion they are always able to pull a miracle out of their hat not found in the Bible, or engage in speculation which they sanction as "the word of God."
CREDIBILITY OF THE BIBLE The creationist movement began as a reaction to the teaching of evolution in public schools. The movement was thus set in motion to counter the spread of anti-Bible thinking and humanist philosophy. The creationists saw the credibility of the Bible being drastically threatened. Thus by their concept of creationism they attempted to explain all events and conditions by the Bible—something the Bible was never intended to do.
If the fundamentalists and creationists are so concerned about the rise in skepticism, disrepute and disbelief surrounding the Bible, they need not point to the atheists, anti-Christs, evolutionists or a mystical devil; for through their fictitious doctrines they have been the greatest contributors to such skeptic trends. They have continually accepted that which is inconsistent, illogical and non-biblical while denying or rejecting the obvious, the provable and the biblical. In so doing their credibility has been brought down into the mud, and by claiming their authority from the Bible, they have dragged the Bible and Christianity down along with them.
As a result fewer people today regard the Bible as a credible source of truth. But can we really blame any scientist or lay person for rejecting the Bible when those who are recognized as the so-called experts in the Bible, relate myth and fantasy as being "the word of God?" The fundamentalists and creationists have done more to discredit the validity of the Bible than the atheists and evolutionists they speak against. Unfortunately, all too many people have blindly rallied behind these "experts" without analysing what they are saying.
We should be more like the brethren at Berea, who, after hearing Paul and Silas preach the word of God on certain matters, "searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). In other words, when we hear something spoken about the Bible, we should learn to check and research it for accuracy. The Bible does not teach blind obedience in men, even if they are respected leaders, ministers or have a "Ph.D." after their name.
The creationists and fundamentalists do not want people searching the Scriptures to see if their literal interpretation is true. Like the Baal priests of old, they want everyone to think as they do and read and interpret the Bible the way they do.
Now these same people are preaching about a universal flood, and they will continue to support their theory with arguments and denials no matter how absurd they might be. All of this is actually counterproductive to their very aim of promoting and supporting the Bible.
RELIGION AND SCIENCE The debate over "creationism" and "evolutionism" has been part of a dialectical plan to inject confusion and distortion into the thinking process. Thus, many erroneously perceive this supposed conflict as a conflict between the Bible and science. The Bible and science should be regarded as sources of knowledge, and not synonymous with the theories or men that use these sources. The connection is a false one and generates much confusion. Creationism is not truly biblical just as evolutionism is not truly scientific.
In the conflict over creationism and evolutionism, it is perceived by most that one must be right and the other wrong, and people thus pick the one that most appeals to them. It never seems to occur to anyone that both arguments are wrong or false. But since this isn't the case, people are left with the situation of either believing one or the other, or concluding that either the Bible is wrong or science is wrong.
It is amazing how so many have been caught up in this meaningless debate, believing that true religion (the Bible) and science are in conflict. The God whose word is found in the Bible is the same God who created all the laws and processes of the natural sciences. There can be no conflict between them, but there can be error on the part of man in interpreting them. As Dr. Nott stated:
Man can invent nothing in science or religion but falsehood; and all the truths which he discovers are but fact or laws which have emanated from the Creator. All science, therefore, may be regarded as a revelation from Him; and although newly-discovered laws, or facts, in nature, may conflict with religiouserrors, which have been written and preached for centuries, they never can conflict with religious truth. There must be harmony between the works and the words of the Almighty, and wherever they seem to conflict, the discord has been produced by the ignorance or wickedness of man.1
Creationists have committed a grave mistake in confounding science with evolution. In doing so they have deprived themselves of a source of God's truth the laws of nature and science which has been a cause of much of their Biblical error.
There appears to be one particular obstacle that has caused the creationists to deviate from standard scientific study and to formulate their own "science." That obstacle has been the concept of long periods of time that have transpired on the earth. In fact it seems that one can claim to be a creationist merely by rejecting the possibility that God's activities include time-consuming natural processes. Creationists tend to class all such processes under the category of "evolution" and thus dismiss some true scientific facts. However, nothing in the Bible precludes God from using long periods of time.
The concept of catastrophism was developed by the creationists for the goal of rendering invalid all traditional scientific data and natural processes. The reason this concept was devised is obvious. If this evidence is regarded as being valid, then their universal flood theory would collapse a hundred times over.
An accurate understanding of either science or the Bible can stand on its own without a multitude of conjecture and speculative theory to hold them up. They do not conflict with one another for there is harmony between the works and the words of the Creator. The confusion and conflict is solely in the minds of men.
PIETY AND EMOTIONALISM It is not at all difficult to identify the cause and motivation behind the line of thinking of the creationists and fundamentalists. It is a type of piety or respect for the Bible which comes from the heart rather than from understanding. The Bible places a great deal of emphasis on wisdom and understanding, as the Proverb says:
Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (Prov. 4:7).
When Solomon asked God to give him "an understanding heart" his request "pleased the LORD" (1 Kings 3:9-10). God knows how misguided the human heart is without understanding, for He told us through Jeremiah that:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it (Jer. 17:9).
Christ was often confronted with super pious persons who spoke and acted out of their heart but had no wisdom or understanding in their heart. Many such pious individuals talk steadfastly about God and the Bible, but as Christ said, "Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 7:21). The Pharisees were also very religious and often used a strict literal meaning and application of Scripture. Yet Christ always denounced their ways. Evidently religiosity and piety were not very highly regarded by Jesus Christ.
The heart is indeed deceptive and leads us to judge and interpret things by the way they appear or seem on the surface. It is true that on the surface the account of Noah's Flood appears to be universal. Yet Scripture teaches us to "Judge not according to the outward appearance" of things (John 7:24; 2 Cor. 10:7). The creationists have difficulty applying this principle. If any one suggests anything but the apparent meaning or literal interpretation of Scripture it is practically viewed as heresy. It is this type of blind piety that has generated so many misconceptions and erroneous doctrines regarding the Bible.
Creationism is built upon emotionalism and misguided piety. Logic and reason seem to be totally absent in the formulation of their universal flood theory. Why has this concept been accepted by so many? For the same reason it started—misguided emotionalism and piety. Christians unfortunately have put their support on the side that purports to uphold the Bible, assuming it to be correct for that reason. Instead of employing independent study and thought they blindly follow the party line, and thus a fiction, such as the universal flood concept, becomes accepted and defended as a fact.
Cover illustration: A woodcut of Noah and his Ark dating from 1493.
PUBLISHED BY WEISMAN PUBLICATIONS
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APPLE VALLEY, MN 55124
Copyright © 1992 by Charles A. Weisman
2nd Edition, 1996
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Facts & Fictions Regarding Noah's Flood
By: Charles A. Weisman