Observations of a blown mind

The Flood


Click to enlarge image

Background

The Bible book of Genesis relates a catastrophic flood that covered the entire planet and killed off all living creatures that were not on Noah’s Ark. According to the Bible account this was not merely a local flood; the water covered the entire planet and sea level rose at least 20 feet above the tallest mountains. The account goes on to relate that this was the reason behind Noah (at 600 years of age) had to board pairs of all living creatures, including birds, onto the Ark so they could later reproduce and repopulate the world again.

There is only one small historical problem with this story; Science proves that such a flood never occurred.

Biblical Account

Genesis 6:17 –  “And as for me, here I am bringing the deluge of waters upon the earth to bring to ruin all flesh in which the force of life is active from under the heavens. Everything that is in the earth will expire.”

Genesis 7:19-20 – “And the waters overwhelmed the earth so greatly that all the tall mountains that were under the whole heavens came to be covered. 20 Up to fifteen cubits [20 feet] the waters overwhelmed them and the mountains became covered.”

Genesis 8:1-5 – “After that God remembered Noah and every wild beast and every domestic animal that was with him in the ark, and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters began to subside. 2 And the springs of the watery deep and the floodgates of the heavens became stopped up, and so the downpour from the heavens was restrained. 3 And the waters began receding from off the earth, progressively receding; and at the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters were lacking. 4 And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ar′a·rat. 5 And the waters kept on progressively lessening until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.”

Genesis 7:21 – “So all flesh that was moving upon the earth expired, among the flying creatures and among the domestic animals and among the wild beasts and among all the swarms that were swarming upon the earth, and all mankind.”

Science speaks

Ark

The Bible says the Ark was made entirely of wood and was approximately 450 feet long. However, as history and any boat manufacture will confirm, a wooden vessel of these dimensions simply would not stay afloat. A vessel of that size, made solely of wood, will break apart right away from all the stress, even without the hefty loads described in the biblical flood account (see above image comparing Titanic to the Ark). Wood is not strong enough to prevent separation between the joints. The longest wooden ships are only about 300 feet long, 150 less than Noah’s, and even in ancient times they required reinforcement with iron straps. But even then these still leaked so badly they required constant pumping. The first known vessels date back to the Neolithic Period, about 10,000 years ago, but could not be described as ships. By around 3000 BCAncient Egyptians knew how to assemble wooden planks into a hull. See the History of Ships on Wikipedia.

Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology or tree ring records tell us of climate changes over the past 10,000 years and they don’t show that such a catastrophe occurred during the supposed time of the “Great Flood,” or at all. For example, tree rings prove that our climate was warmer in Roman and Medieval times than it is now, and that the earth has been cooling for 2,000 years. Read more about this at the following Daily Mail article.

Fresh Water Fish

Most fresh water fish simply cannot live in salt water – salt water oceans make up 71% of the Earth’s surface; if therefore the Earth was covered in a deluge of water then all of the fresh water on the planet would have been mixed up in the salt water. Consider too that a flood would cause the water to be extremely diluted; with the thousands of animals, humans, and other living beings that were now dead these then became pollutants, not to mention the movement of rock, earth, sediment, dirt and muck – therefore without any doubt most species of fish, and more than likely many marine mammals would have struggled to survive.

Impossible Water Supply

According to the Bible account the entire world was covered in water during the flood, even the top of the highest mountains. To cover the Earth like that it would take 5 times the amount of water in the oceans. So, where did all that water come from?

Could the water have come from Rain?

Simply put, no. Even if it rained non-stop for 40 days and 40 nights as described in the biblical account, there would still not be enough water. To learn more about rain pop over to Wikipedia, or go to WeatherOnline.

Did it come from Ice Caps?

We know how much water is in the ocean, in the atmosphere, in the rocks and in the polar ice caps. Even combined, all that water would still not be nearly enough to equate to the amount described in the biblical flood. So the answer is again a firm, but respectful, no.

What about Geysers? 

The Bible mentions that the earth opened up and water for the flood spat out of the geysers. If all the underground water was released then the Earth’s crust would have crumbled and formed into quicksand. Geysers also pump out mass amounts of sulphuric acid. If that many geysers were active at once there would have been so much sulphuric acid in the air that Noah, his family, and all the animals would have been unable to breath and died on the spot.

Did the water come from Comets?

I never thought of this one personally, but I thought I would include it as some creationists like Kent Hovind claim the water for the flood came from such a comet. OK so comets do contain water but in order to have enough water to flood all of Earth the comet would have to be absolutely huge. Some have suggested 1,000 miles wide. The impact from such a comet would force the Earth’s temperature to 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit (6649 degrees centigrade), which is hotter than the surface of our sun. Every living creature including Noah would have been instantly wiped out.

Modern Plants

Many plants that exist today, including their seeds, would be killed if they were submerged in water (especially salt water) for 150 days (see Genesis 8:3). Most plants require established soils to grow, but these would have been stripped away a flood.

Polar Ice Caps

Ice cores from Greenland have been dated back more than 40,000 years by counting annual layers. A worldwide flood would leave a layer of sediments, noticeable changes in salinity and oxygen isotope ratios, fractures from buoyancy and thermal stresses, a hiatus in trapped air bubbles, and other evidence yet no such evidence exists. See also Polar ice cap on Wikipedia.

Atmospheric Pressure

Since all natural means fail, let’s say that God ‘miraculously’ made enough water appear. That solves the problem of where all the water came from but unfortunately just having that much water causes another huge problem. Unfortunately for God, the amount of water needed to cover the planet would have dramatically changed the Earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere would have a significantly increased  amount of water vapours dissolved in it, so much that Noah would have literally drowned just by breathing. Alongside this there would be so much atmospheric pressure that his bones would have been crushed.

The fact then that humans exist today proves that there was never that much water on Earth in human history.

Population

One of the biggest problems with the Bible’s story of a world wide flood is it’s claim that the entire human race and all other living creatures were wiped out with the exception of the lucky few who were aboard the ark. There is no such evidence for a global catastrophe in the archaeological record, only extensive evidence for the contrary. Had there been a disaster that reduced the world’s human population to a mere handful while destroying most cultural artifacts, it must inevitably have taken at least centuries to get civilization back up and running again. The newer civilizations would have also been considerably different from the old as no one ever rebuilds something exactly the same as it was before. Finally there would have only been a single civilization after the flood since Noah’s family would have been the only ones around to get things going again for the human race. Alas, the archaeological record shows us that various civilizations around the world and the human race carried on in a steady fashion before, during, and after the flood supposedly took place with no evidence of such a disaster. Nowhere in the history of modern man has life ever been bottle-nosed down to just 8 people.

Click to enlarge chart borrowed from Truth Saves 

Zoogeography

The same applies to animals, modern species have also never been bottle-nosed down to just one pair. If the story was true Zoogeography would show us a common point of origin for all species in the Middle East since that is the disembarking point for Noah’s ark. Obviously though, this is not the case. Zoogeography and the fossil record shows us the opposite, that species were not limited to just two of a kind (or 7 of a kind) in the past 10,000 years.

Summary

So, I cannot believe in the story of a flood. Even if it is a story found in many lands, and related in many cultures. This information is as straightforward as it gets, but you could also ask;

  • How did all of the species of animals get from other continents across the oceans, rain forests, and deserts to get onto the Ark?
  • Conversely, how did they get from the Ark back to where they live now? The penguins to the South Pole (but not the north), the kangaroos to Australia, etc. And yet there is no fossil record of that journey.
  • Why aren’t craters that pre-date the flood, like meteor craters, full of water? At the very least why aren’t these filled with debris and mud from being under water – or remains of animals, fauna, flora, humans?
  • How could the Ark really carry the thousands of kinds of animals on the Earth on it, not to mention the food for them all, especially since many animals eat other animals.
  • How did the occupants of the Ark keep their food from spoiling?
  • How did they dispose of the tons of daily animal and human waste? and in a manner acceptable to god? – remember God’s law on cleanliness are very specific.

Jehovah’s Witnesses may be interested to reading the following documented conversation between a Witness and the Bethel in New York, where a ‘Brother’ genuinely wanted to know  the truth. I was shocked by the response.

Origins?

So where did the story of the flood come from? Why is it mentioned in so many cultures? Click here to find out more.

4 responses

  1. Good post!

    5 November 2012 at 1:10 am

    • Thank you

      14 December 2012 at 7:40 pm

  2. StormDaughter

    I kind of assume that the whole ‘every culture has a flood myth thing’ was the poorest argument ever. 1) Yes, there are floods all over the world. All the time, actually. Just not all at once. 2) they myths vary greatly culture to culture except for those cultures who could have been strongly influenced by the Babylonian flood myth (which predates… all of them…), including Judaism and its children, Egyptian myth, Greek myth… anything remotely close to the Mediterranean, actually. And its conceivable that something caused massive flooding on the cost of the Mediterranean that people might write a myth about. You know. Like an earth quake.

    Actually, I’ve always thought the most relevant evidence that the Bible is no different from other religious mythologies is the sheer number of similarities to the Sumerian myths

    14 December 2012 at 6:56 pm

    • The more you investigate the less realistic most aspects of bible stories and teachings become. I guess that’s why most believers have ‘faith’?

      20 December 2012 at 11:41 am

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