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24th January, 2011

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The Flood: easily disproven?

No biblical account lends itself more readily to mockery than the Noachian deluge. Every proposition can be torn apart with ease. Where did the water come from?

To cover the highest mountains would require eight times more water than we now have. 1

Then how was it disposed of?

If the entire world were under six miles of water, there would be no place for the water to drain off. 2

As for taking pairs of every air-breathing animal known to man onto an ark of the dimensions given, the logistics show how ridiculous the idea is:

As Europeans explored Australia and the New World, they discovered enormous numbers of unknown species, from kangaroos and tapirs to hummingbirds. Noah and his sons clearly couldn't house, feed, and tend this menagerie. Sadly, creation scientists watched the overloaded ark sink under its own weight. 3

The total number of animal species found in all the zoos of the world today represents only a small proportion of extant stock. To find and capture some species would require a major commitment of men and resources. To propose that Noah and his sons travelled the world and dug up pairs of every blind snake, caecilian and mole - not to mention the mountain beaver of western USA - is laughable. Trapping lions and giraffes would be hard enough, but who back then would have had the skill to trap a snow leopard or a California condor or a Wilson's bird-of-paradise - assuming they knew how to get where they lived and to find them? Who showed Noah where to find the blind cave salamander of Hays County, Texas? As for feeding every species in the floating zoo (Gen. 6:21) . well. don't make a bloke laugh. How was enough flower nectar collected and stored to supply the voracious appetites of hummingbirds, and how was it administered? Did Mrs. Noah have to make and set up artificial flowers with tubes running into nectar dispensers? How were the ants and termites needed to feed the aardvarks and anteaters kept fresh for a year? (How were they confined?!) Bananas go off very fast, so it must have been quite a struggle keeping the monkeys satisfied. Likewise, how was carrion kept fresh for vultures, hyenas and Tasmanian devils? And the gum leaves for koalas?

How were polar bears kept cool and orangutans kept warm?

After the Flood, how did capybara find their way back to South America, and what did they eat on the way? Where did giant pandas find bamboo to chew? For that matter, what did any of the animals eat on their way home? How did tree-dwelling animals, such as sloths, overcome the irresistible instinct to stay in the tree tops when they had to cross treeless fields? (At a maximum ground speed of 6.5 feet per minute it would have taken sloths a long time to get almost nowhere.) How did lemurs negotiate the hundreds of miles of sea that separates Madagascar from the African mainland? Ditto for flightless kiwi birds that had to somehow make their way to their island home of New Zealand, even further removed from the nearest land.

And then you have the fatal problem of how freshwater and saltwater fish could survive in water that was either too salty

or not salty enough. Not to mention plankton- the food source for so many marine creatures.

How did any vegetation survive months of immersion in salty water? How did the fragile ecosystems we are familiar with today survive such a brutal battering?

Like the floodwater itself, the problems for "the biblical version" of a universal flood rise above the highest mountain. You don't have to be mad to believe the Noah story, but it would help.

But wait a minute. Read the Bible for yourself and you cannot help but be impressed by its powerful, factual presentation - the story is obviously meant to be taken seriously. And those who believe that Jesus Christ knew what He was talking about must take into account His acceptance of the story (Matt. 24:38-39).

The solution to the mountain of problems is not to be found in interpreting the Genesis account as talking about a local flood. Any floating vessel would be washed down into the Persian Gulf in a localized inundation, not stranded on some mountain in the vicinity.

The mistake made by most Flood defenders (such as Whitcomb and Morris in "The Genesis Flood") is trying to make the Flood seem plausible from a scientific perspective. Hence, the question of where the waters came from is supposedly answered by theorizing that prior to the Flood a huge canopy of water vapour surrounded the earth, and God triggered its liquefaction to bring on the rain. To solve the problem of housing all the animals on the ark, the ark's dimensions tend to get exaggerated. But the truth is, the Flood cannot be made to comport with the facts of nature and of earth science. The Flood was a work of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them. Apart from the building of the ark by Noah and his family, and stocking it with some food for some of its passengers, every aspect of Project Universal Flood was executed by God. The waters miraculously came and miraculously went. Creatures from distant lands were either miraculously kept alive or were recreated afterwards. (Or possibly miraculously brought to Noah, miraculously squeezed into the ark, miraculously fed, and miraculously returned to their homelands afterward.) It cannot be any other way.

The Flood was sent for the purpose of destroying sinful man, not for the purpose of recrafting the entire face of the planet. Ecosystems were kept intact by divine fiat. Geological features crafted over millions of years were protected from damage. Fish and submerged vegetation were sustained by God.4

Can't swallow the idea that God could do such things? Read Mark 12:24.

Can't accept the idea that animals from distant lands "missed the boat"?5 Remember this. Just as the account of the creation of all things found in Genesis one is a bare-bones version of what actually occurred, so too the chapters devoted to the Flood provide but the most general account. Much, much more is left out than is written in. Look at the pictures at the top of the page. They are different versions of the same thing, the line drawing being derived from the full-color version in a paint program. The line drawing is perfectly "true", but it lacks a lot of detail.

1Bernard Ramm 1954, The Christian View of Science and Scripture, p. 166


3Jared Diamond, Voyage of the Over-Loaded Ark, Discover, June 1985, p. 86

4 A study of ancient bristlecone pine ring sequences shows that these trees didn't skip a beat around the time the Flood occurred.

5The next F&R blog (posted about 14th Feb) will deal with a couple of Scriptures (Gen. 7:3, 14) that appear to contradict this statement.

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