Local Flood vs Global Flood

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Local Flood vs Global Flood

#1

Post by Gman » Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:16 pm

All,

I thought I would stir up some more insight into the "Local Flood vs Global Flood" debate. There was a time in my life where I use to believe in the global flood theory, but as more evidence came in, I found that the global flood theory could hold no water. One of the deciding factors that changed it all for me was this article below by Ernest Martin that I wanted to share with everyone. I was going to write it all out, but I got a little lazy so I simply scanned it into the post. It is rather long (sorry), but it can be a difficult theory to debate...

I believe if you bridge this article (by Ernest) and Rich Deem's article, you too may understand the truth behind these flood theories.. They both take some interesting and unique spins on the subject.. Enjoy...

Rich Deem's flood article:
http://www.godandscience.org/apologetic ... flood.html

Ernest Martin's flood article:
Did the Flood of Noah produce so much water that all the mountains of the earth were submerged? What is the real meaning of Noah's Flood?

Recognizing that the river system that was known in the time of Adam was still in evidence in Moses' day, goes a long way in showing that the topographical features of the earth in and around Mesopotamia were essentially the same at both periods of time. This gives reasonable proof that nothing in a geographical sense was drastically altered when the flood came on the earth in the time of Noah. This means that the mountains of Cush and Havilah near Mesopotamia on the east and almost 15,000 feet in elevation and Mount Ararat near the sources of the Euphrates and Tigris (over 17,000 feet in elevation) were in existence in Adam's time as they are today.

These indications present major problems to the traditional concepts applied by most biblical literalists who believe that all the mountains over the globe were submerged by water. If they were submerged by the flood waters at the time of Noah, then where did the waters drain in order for the mountains and the dry land to appear? Were deep trenches created in the oceans so that the flood waters could flow into them, thus forming our present oceans? The Bible gives no support to this theory. We are told in the first creation account that there were "seas" before the formation of man and even in the narrative of the flood Moses spoke about "the fountains of the great deep" opening up which helped cause the flood (Genesis 7:11). The "deep," in this case, certainly means the seas or the oceans.

But if in the time of Adam the mountain ranges were at or near the same heights as they are today, and there were already ocean areas on earth, then where did the water go that supposedly submerged the mountains -- even the highest of them? This presents us with an almost impossible scenario that defies rational explanation. Indeed, one would naturally conclude that if Moses is endeavoring to give us literal information about the flood of Noah, then his account becomes unexplainable by any known physical laws with which we are acquainted. But actually, it is this very problem (which seems impossible to explain) that provides us with the clue to show us what really did occur at the flood. By realizing that there was no major mountain building or the creation of deep ocean trenches during the time of Noah's flood, we are led to look in another direction in our inquiry concerning what Moses meant when he said the waters covered the mountains. And "looking in another direction" to obtain the answer is precisely what we ought to do.

What we discover is that Moses is indeed presenting to his readers literal descriptions of what happened during the time of Noah's flood. He truly means that the influence of the flood waters was worldwide and that the mountains (even the very highest) were affected by the waters. But what has not been understood by most interpreters is the fact that when Moses said the mountains were "covered," he did not mean they were "submerged." He simply said that they were totally "covered" by the waters that came down from heaven, and this means every mountain on earth. Now, we need to understand what Moses really meant by "covered." By paying close attention to what Moses said, his account turns out to be a very different story from what most commentators have imagined over the past 1900 years.

Moses is actually revealing scientific knowledge about the origins of the flood that any scientist today would be able to understand. So, let us ask the question: Just what did Moses mean by his descriptions concerning the flood of Noah? What he shows is not only interesting, but it is profoundly important in comprehending the early history of mankind as well as the physical history of the earth itself.

To understand what Moses was saying, we need once more to remind ourselves of the "key" to biblical knowledge that I mentioned at the beginning of this research study. It is this: When the Bible uses words to describe events, prophecies or doctrines one must use the meaning of those words that God places on them, not what we might think they mean. As I said in the Introduction to this book, we need to get biblical meanings in other contexts of the Bible. Try to find out what the biblical writers mean by the usage (or usages) of a word in any particular context. The same thing must be done with the words that are used by Moses to describe the events associated with the Flood of Noah. What he actually said (and meant) in various contexts is very different from what most people have put on the value of his words. If one will pay close attention to his usage of the words (and I mean their common and biblical usages -- not some strange and exotic meanings), one will be amazed at what Moses really said. What one finds in Scripture may be a surprise (even eye-opening) to any student of the Bible.

The Waters of the Flood

The ordinary words that Moses used to describe the dynamics of the flood of Noah must be understood in the sense that there was no submergence of the mountains under a flood of waters. The fact that the Mesopotamian river system and the mountain areas from whence the rivers had their sources were virtually the same in Adam's day as in the time of Moses, is good evidence that the 14,000 and 17,000 feet mountains were not submerged by the waters of Noah's flood. But wait a moment. It seems to say in chapters seven and eight of Genesis that the mountains were indeed submerged. How can one for even a moment suggest something contrary to this?

At first thought one would consign such a concept to the trash heap because the words in the Bible appear to say that the mountains were submerged. But the truth is, Moses did not say what most people have assumed. First of all, let us notice the two sources of the waters that brought on the flood. Moses tells us clearly that "the fountains of the deep" broke up and "the windows of heaven" were opened (Genesis 7:11). Just how springs in the bottom of the ocean can cause the ocean to rise is not known, but Moses said it happened and this phenomenon must be considered as a factor in causing the waters to rise. But this springing up of water from the ocean depths was not emphasized by Moses. The main source of the waters, as he recorded, was the forty days of rain that came down from the heavens (Genesis 7:12). It appears certain that most of the water that caused the flood came down from the heavens, and in the New Testament the apostle Peter said the waters were "down poured" upon the earth (II Peter 3:6 Greek).

It has been suggested that the waters came down from some kind of a watery reservoir that once surrounded the earth as mentioned by Moses regarding events that occurred on the second day of creation recorded in Genesis 1:3-8. This is no doubt true, as we will soon see. This watery reservoir cannot be considered the vaporous water content presently found in our atmosphere or in its visible form such as clouds. All of the water vapor in our atmosphere if condensed would amount to just over 4 inches of water and this could hardly have represented the worldwide rainfall that caused the ark to float.

What was this watery mass in the heavens? Moses seems to be speaking about some form of watery reservoir located above the earth's atmosphere in either a liquid or a frozen state that was visible from the earth. It appears to have been located in outer space (above the earth) but close enough to our globe to be considered a part of the earth's planetary system. We will soon discuss what this may have been, but at this juncture in our study let it be said that Moses referred to great quantities of water located above the earth in the period before the flood and when he said "the windows of heaven" were opened, enough water would have come down to meet the essential conditions of the flood that he recorded in chapters seven and eight of the Book of Genesis.

Let us understand that simple rainfall generated from the dynamics of our present atmosphere (where water evaporates mainly from the oceans, condenses in the form of clouds and then falls to the earth as rain) cannot account for the flood of Noah. Even if Noah had built his ark not a hundred feet from the shore of the ocean and rain fell in great downpours from our present atmospheric phenomena, the oceans would not have risen at all because the water falling as rain over the land areas would flow right back into the oceans. Indeed, the oceans would actually have retreated in size because the vast basin areas of the world would have captured a great deal of the rainwater and that water would not have returned to the sea. The only way the oceans can rise is if water comes from some source other than the ocean itself such as ice caps melting or something similar. Simple rain, no matter how hard it comes down, will not cause the oceans to flood the earth because most of the water will quickly return to the oceans. One has to look elsewhere for the water that Moses said was the cause of the flood of Noah. It was no doubt the water from "the windows of heaven" that primarily caused the flood.

Indeed, this is exactly what Moses tells us. When one translates correctly a particular word that Moses used, he clearly informs us that the main bulk of the water descended "from above." He even tells us the amount of water that fell to the earth over a 40 day period. The theologians who translated the King James Version completely misunderstood what Moses meant in Genesis 7:20 by rendering the Hebrew as: "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." Notice the italicized word "upward." Because most theologians automatically assume that Moses meant that the mountains (even the highest of them) were completely submerged by the flood waters, they were led to translate the Hebrew word malemelah (which actually means "from above") by the word "upward." This is a major mistake. It transfers a meaning to the word that gives the English reader the very opposite impression from what the Hebrew intended.

Whereas our word English "upward" means to proceed from the bottom to a higher position, the Hebrew word used by Moses that the King James' scholars incorrectly translated "upward," actually means to descend "from above." To come "from above" means to fall downward, not to rise upward. Indeed, in Joshua 3:13 and 16 this same word refers to the waters in the Jordan River and it shows that the waters of the Jordan flowed "from above" (that is, downward) toward the Dead Sea. Obviously, water in all rivers flow downward, not to rise upward. And in a variant of the same word (mamael), the prophet Isaiah recorded: "Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness" (Isaiah 45:8 ). So, the King James' translators (and followed by a host of others) have given a diametrically opposite meaning to the Hebrew word malemelah and thereby missed the point entirely of what Moses meant. It is no wonder that people over the centuries have been confused in understanding the flood narrative.

Moses actually said the waters came "from above." And indeed, he even gave details about those waters that will show the exact amount of water that came "from above." He said the waters "prevailed" (or they descended in their strength) to the tune of fifteen cubits (just about 23 feet of water came down from the sky). In a word, Moses was reporting that 23 feet of water (that is, 276 inches of rainfall) fell to earth in that 40 day period. This would answer to about 7 inches of rainfall occurring on each of the 40 days and this represents about a third of an inch an hour. That was a lot of rain!

Someone might ask: How did Moses (or Noah) know that about 276 inches (that is, 15 cubits) of rain came down over that 40 day period? There is no problem. God could have revealed it to Noah by a divine revelation (which was highly possible). Barring that, Noah could have measured it with a rain gauge. Noah could also have measured the height of the waters after the flood against the height of some well known mountain ridge or rock formation in the area where the ark landed.

But how can all of this be true? Does not Moses record that even the mountains were covered by the waters which came down from heaven and he meant even the highest mountains. Of course Moses taught this. But even here, most of us have been reading into the word "covered" what we have wanted it to mean, not what Moses actually intended. As explained at the beginning of this research study, we must find out what Moses (or God) means by the word or words that are used, Dill what we read into them. This is where all the trouble comes in trying to comprehend what the Bible is teaching.

The fact is, the mountains were indeed covered, but nowhere does Moses say (or even hint) that the mountains were submerged. This is an important distinction that needs to be seriously weighed and not to be thrust aside as unworthy of consideration. The truth is, Moses is telling his readers that the mountains (as well as all land masses including the oceans) were completely doused with 276 inches of rain that came "from above." The word "covered" does NOT mean "submerged." Even today people in California often look at the mountains in wintertime and say how beautiful they are "covered with snow." In no way do they mean that the snow is so deep that the whole state of California is under 15,000 feet of snow so that Mount Whitney can be barely "submerged."

While it is easily recognized that the word "covered" may not of itself mean "submerged," does not Moses tell us that by the first day of the 10th month (some 223 days after the rains began to come "from above") that the tops of the mountains finally became visible (Genesis 8:5)? Of course he does and it makes perfectly good sense what he means. With about 276 inches of water in the form of rain entering the atmosphere of the earth and coming down to the surface, such a phenomenon would have produced a supersaturated atmosphere making very thick clouds with intensely heavy foggy conditions. This cloudy and rain-filled mantle surrounding the surface of the earth for a period of several months could easily have caused all of the mountains to be obscured from sight. In fact, Noah could probably not see more than 20 yards in any direction from the ark for about five months. This supersaturated condition of the atmosphere would no doubt have made it impossible for any animals requiring air to breathe. And, as Moses indicated, all forms of life depending on the breathing of air either suffocated or drowned during this time.

Noah and those in the ark, however, were in an enclosed area during the time of the flood's greatest intensity (Genesis 8:6 shows the ark was somehow sealed from the outside atmosphere) and those in the ark were protected from this suffocating environment. After five months (150 days) of intense supersaturation of the atmosphere, God caused a wind to pass over the earth (Genesis 8:1). The atmosphere slowly began to clear up from the impenetrable fog and the dense clouds. At this time the waters began to recede. Because of the drying effect of the "wind," it may well be that the lower parts of the mountains could then be observed through that gradual lessening of the foggy and cloudy conditions. And by the 10th month (as Moses said) one could then look into the distance and see that the clouds and fog had cleared up enough to allow the tops of the mountains to be seen (Genesis 8:5).

If one looks at the text carefully, Moses is only stating that the tops of the mountains could be seen, not that they emerged from being under oceans of water that had submerged even the 17,000 feet high Mount Ararat. He simply meant that the "wind" that God produced on earth caused the fog and clouds to disperse and the tops of the mountains were now able to be seen. This is all that Moses means and it can be shown from the meaning of the Hebrew words that he used. Let us notice them carefully.

When Moses said that the flood waters coming "from above" caused the mountains to be covered, the Hebrew word he used was kahsah and that word has a basic meaning of "to hide" or "to conceal." It is translated "to hide" in Genesis 18:17; Job 33:17; Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 10:18, and "to conceal" in Proverbs 11:13 and 12:23. It is often used to mean "hiding one's flesh" by putting on clothing. With this in mind, it should be mentioned that Moses could easily have meant that the supersaturated atmosphere (with its thick clouds, fog and rain) caused the mountains to be "hidden from view" by the waters that were coming "from above." This in fact was the case. Only after a five month period of supersaturation of the atmosphere (and a two month drying out period) was it possible to once again see the tops of the mountains. By Moses using the word kahsah in Genesis 7:19,20, he is simply showing that the mountains had been hidden from view for seven months. In no way did he mean they were submerged.

Let us understand one thing clearly. There is no stretching the meanings of the Hebrew words to reach this conclusion. These meanings fit in quite properly with the context of the narrative that Moses is giving his readers. In actual fact, the "way out" meanings are forced onto the Hebrew words when we accept the traditional belief that Mount Ararat was submerged under water (and all other mountains on earth). It is the traditional meanings that stretch one's imagination beyond belief. But the simple statements of Moses, when properly understood, make a great deal of common sense. Not only that, they give us a correct account of what was occurring during the time of Noah's flood.

But yet, and in spite of how sensible this interpretation may be, there remains one other problem in accepting this view. Does not Moses say that the ark began to float at the start of the flood and finally it rested in the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4)? He certainly does. It is this account that seems to suggest that the waters rose up (carrying the ark with them) to such a height that the mountains of Ararat were submerged. Yes, this is what most people seem to think Moses was endeavoring to state. But this is not the case at all. Moses had something else in mind.

The answer to this so-called dilemma is so easy to understand. The reason that the ark landed in the mountain area of Ararat is because that is where it was built. The simple truth is, Noah constructed the ark in a basin area in the mountains of Ararat (say in the region where Lake Van is at the present). Since that area around Lake Van has no outlet to the sea, the ark would have risen with the rising waters from the 276 inches of rain that fell. In actual fact, the watershed area in the basin could have caused a lake to develop (possibly Lake Van itself) to a height well over 40 or 50 feet deep from the waters that came "from above." Since the ark was not constructed to navigate to some distant area (it was simply built to float), it could have been built in the basin area where Lake Van is presently situated and touched land again just a few miles away from where it was built.

One thing for certain, the ark did not come to rest near the top of Mount Ararat (some suppose at about the 15,000 foot level). Moses said it anchored in "the mountains of Ararat," not on Mount Ararat itself. The region near the shores of modern Lake Van (being in a basin area) could well fit the precise spot where the ark again touched land. The fact that the ark landed in a basin area (where a new lake had formed on account of the prodigious amount of water that came "from above" and onto the earth) may well explain how other basin areas on earth (without outlets to the oceans) became partially filled with water during the time of Noah's flood. The origin of the waters in the Dead Sea, just to the east and south of Jerusalem (and many similar areas in other parts of the world), could be explained with this interpretation. But if, on the other hand, Noah's flood did in fact submerge even the highest of the mountains, then why was not the basin area containing the Dead Sea brim full with water in the time of Abraham and even today from those flood waters? The simple truth is, the Dead Sea basin is not full of water (nor other basins on the earth) because the earth, since the time of Adam, has never been submerged in water.
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#2

Post by Canuckster1127 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:52 am

GMan,

Thanks for the article. I'll digest it along with rereading Rich's on this.

I too was raised with the global flood presented as a foregone conclusion and with that understanding represented as necessary for the integrity of the Bible. It ties very strongly into the overall YEC scenario.

I've moderated to where I believe a local flood is more likely. It's an important area to work through though and I'm not completely comfortable with all the implications of that and how to understand it in a manner that doesn't impugn inspiration and inerrency.

I think it's a good conversation to have and I hope people of differing views will contribute to it.

Bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

//bartsbarometer.com/

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Flood problems

#3

Post by Gman » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:43 pm

Of course if you believe in a global flood, this is what you are up against... Good luck.

1. Building the Ark

Wood is not the best material for shipbuilding. It is not enough that a ship be built to hold together; it must also be sturdy enough that the changing stresses don't open gaps in its hull. Wood is simply not strong enough to prevent separation between the joints, especially in the heavy seas that the Ark would have encountered. The longest wooden ships in modern seas are about 300 feet, and these require reinforcing with iron straps and leak so badly they must be constantly pumped. The ark was 450 feet long [ Gen. 6:15]. Could an ark that size be made seaworthy?

2. Gathering the Animals from all over the world.

Even though God called all the animals to Noah, bringing all kinds of animals together in the vicinity of the ark presents significant problems.

Could animals have traveled from elsewhere? If the animals traveled from other parts of the world, many of them would have faced extreme difficulties.

* Some, like sloths and penguins, can't travel overland very well at all.
* Some, like koalas and many insects, require a special diet. How did they bring it along?
* Some cave-dwelling arthropods can't survive in less than 100% relative humidity.
* Some, like dodos, must have lived on islands. If they didn't, they would have been easy prey for other animals. When mainland species like rats or pigs are introduced to islands, they drive many indigenous species to extinction. Those species would not have been able to survive such competition if they lived where mainland species could get at them before the Flood.

Could animals have all lived near Noah? Some creationists suggest that the animals need not have traveled far to reach the Ark; a moderate climate could have made it possible for all of them to live nearby all along. However, this proposal makes matters even worse. The last point above would have applied not only to island species, but to almost all species. Competition between species would have driven most of them to extinction.

There is a reason why Gila monsters, yaks, and quetzals don't all live together in a temperate climate. They can't survive there, at least not for long without special care. Organisms have preferred environments outside of which they are at a deadly disadvantage. Most extinctions are caused by destroying the organisms' preferred environments. The creationists who propose all the species living together in a uniform climate are effectively proposing the destruction of all environments but one. Not many species could have survived that.

How was the Ark loaded? Getting all the animals aboard the Ark presents logistical problems which, while not impossible, are highly impractical. Noah had only seven days to load the Ark ( Gen. 7:4-10). If only 15764 animals were aboard the Ark (see section 3), one animal must have been loaded every 38 seconds, without letup. Since there were likely more animals to load, the time pressures would have been even worse.

3. Fitting the Animals Aboard

To determine how much space is required for animals, we must first determine what is a kind, how many kinds were aboard the ark, and how big they were.

What is a kind? YEC creationists themselves can't decide on an answer to this question; they propose criteria ranging from species to order, and I have even seen an entire kingdom (bacteria) suggested as a single kind. Woodmorappe (p. 5-7) compromises by using genus as a kind. However, on the ark "kind" must have meant something closer to species for three reasons:

* For purposes of naming animals, the people who live among them distinguish between them (that is, give them different names) at roughly the species level. [Gould, 1980]
* The Biblical "kind," according to most interpretations, implies reproductive separateness. On the ark, the purpose of gathering different kinds was to preserve them by later reproduction. Species, by definition, is the level at which animals are reproductively distinct.
* The Flood, according to models, was fairly recent. There simply wouldn't have been time enough to accumulate the number of mutations necessary for the diversity of species we see within many genera today.

What kinds were aboard the ark? Woodmorappe and Whitcomb & Morris arbitrarily exclude all animals except mammals, birds, and reptiles. However, many other animals, particularly land arthropods, must also have been on the ark for two reasons:

* The Bible says so. Gen. 7:8 puts on the ark all creatures that move along the ground, with no further qualifications. Lev. 11:42 includes arthropods (creatures that "walk on many feet") in such a category.
* They couldn't survive outside. Gen. 7:21-23 says every land creature not aboard the ark perished. And indeed, not one insect species in a thousand could survive for half a year on the vegetation mats proposed by some creationists. Most other land arthropods, snails, slugs, earthworms, etc. would also have to be on the ark to survive.

Were dinosaurs and other extinct animals on the ark? According to YEC, Noah took samples of all animals alive at the time of the Flood. If, as creationists claim, all fossil-bearing strata were deposited by the Flood, then all the animals which became fossils were alive then. Therefore all extinct land animals had representatives aboard the ark.

It is also worth pointing out that the number of extinct species is undoubtedly greater than the number of known extinct species. New genera of dinosaurs have been discovered at a nearly constant rate for more than a century, and there's no indication that the rate of discovery will fall off in the near future.

Were the animals aboard the ark mature? Woodmorappe gets his animals to fit only by taking juvenile pairs of everything weighing more than 22 lbs. as an adult. However, it is more likely that Noah would have brought adults aboard:

* The Bible (Gen. 7:2) speaks of "the male and his mate," indicating that the animals were at sexual maturity.
* Many animals require the care of adults to teach them behaviors they need for survival. If brought aboard as juveniles, these animals wouldn't have survived.

The last point does not apply to all animals. However, the animals don't need parental care tend to be animals that mature quickly, and thus would be close to adult size after a year of growth anyway.

How many clean animals were on the ark? The Bible says either seven or fourteen (it's ambiguous) of each kind of clean animal was aboard. It defines clean animals essentially as ruminants, a suborder which includes about 69 recent genera, 192 recent species [Wilson & Reeder, 1993], and probably a comparable number of extinct genera and species. That is a small percentage of the total number of species, but ruminants are among the largest mammals, so their bulk is significant.

Woodmorappe (p. 8-9) gets around the problem by citing Jewish tradition which gives only 13 domestic genera as clean. He then calculates that this would increase the total animal mass by 2-3% and decides that this amount is small enough that he can ignore it completely. However, even Jewish sources admit that this contradicts the unambiguous word of the Bible. [Steinsaltz, 1976, p. 187]

The number and size of clean birds is small enough to disregard entirely, but the Bible at one point (Gen. 7:3) says seven of all kinds of birds were aboard.

So, could they all fit? It is important to take the size of animals into account when considering how much space they would occupy because the greatest number of species occurs in the smallest animals. Woodmorappe performed such an analysis and came to the conclusion that the animals would take up 47% of the ark. In addition, he determines that about 10% of the ark was needed for food (compacted to take as little space as possible) and 9.4% for water (assuming no evaporation or wastage). At least 25% of the space would have been needed for corridors and bracing. Thus, increasing the quantity of animals by more than about 5% would overload the ark.

However, Woodmorappe makes several questionable and invalid assumptions. Here's how the points discussed above affect his analysis. Table 1 shows Woodmorappe's analysis and some additional calculations.
Table 1: Size analysis of animals aboard the Ark. Page numbers refer to Woodmorappe, 1996, from which the figures in the row are taken. (Minor arithmetic errors in totals are corrected.) Woodmorappe treats many animals as juveniles; "yearling" masses are masses of those animals after one year of growth. "Total mass after one year" is the maximum load which Woodmorappe allows for. Additional clean animal figures assume they are taken aboard by sevens, not seven pairs, and also assume juvenile animals.
* Collecting each species instead of each genus would increase the number of individuals three- to fourfold. The most speciose groups tend to be the smaller animals, though, so the total mass would be approximately doubled or tripled.
* Collecting all land animals instead of just mammals, birds, and reptiles would have insignificant impact on the space required, since those animals, though plentiful, are so small. (The problems come when you try to care for them all.)
* Leaving off the long-extinct animals would free considerable space. Woodmorappe doesn't say how many of the animals in his calculations are known only from fossils, but it is apparently 50-70% of them, including most of the large ones. However, since he took only juveniles of the large animals, leaving off all the dinosaurs etc. would probably not free more than 80% of the space. On the other hand, collecting all extinct animals in addition to just the known ones would increase the load by an unknown but probably substantial amount.
* Loading adults instead of juveniles as small as Woodmorappe uses would increase the load 13- to 50-fold.
* Including extra clean animals would increase the load by 1.5-3% if only the 13 traditional domestic ruminants are considered, but by 14-28% if all ruminants are considered clean.

In conclusion, an ark of the size specified in the Bible would not be large enough to carry a cargo of animals and food sufficient to repopulate the earth, especially if animals that are now extinct were required to be aboard.
References

4. Caring for the Animals

Special diets. Many animals, especially insects, require special diets. Koalas, for example, require eucalyptus leaves, and silkworms eat nothing but mulberry leaves. For thousands of plant species (perhaps even most plants), there is at least one animal that eats only that one kind of plant. How did Noah gather all those plants aboard, and where did he put them?

Other animals are strict carnivores, and some of those specialize on certain kinds of foods, such as small mammals, insects, fish, or aquatic invertebrates. How did Noah determine and provide for all those special diets?

Fresh foods. Many animals require their food to be fresh. Many snakes, for example, will eat only live foods (or at least warm and moving). Parasitoid wasps only attack living prey. Most spiders locate their prey by the vibrations it produces. [Foelix, 1996] Most herbivorous insects require fresh food. Aphids, in fact, are physically incapable of sucking from wilted leaves. How did Noah keep all these food supplies fresh?

Food preservation/Pest control. Food spoilage is a major concern on long voyages; it was especially thus before the inventions of canning and refrigeration. The large quantities of food aboard would have invited infestations of any of hundreds of stored product pests (especially since all of those pests would have been aboard), and the humidity one would expect aboard the Ark would have provided an ideal environment for molds. How did Noah keep pests from consuming most of the food?

Ventilation. The ark would need to be well ventilated to disperse the heat, humidity, and waste products (including methane, carbon dioxide, and ammonia) from the many thousands of animals which were crowded aboard. Woodmorappe (pp. 37-42) interprets Genesis 6:16 to mean there was an 18-inch opening all around the top, and says that this, with slight breezes, would have been enough to provide adequate ventilation. However, the ark was divided into separate rooms and decks (Gen. 6:14,16). How was fresh air circulated throughout the structure?

Sanitation. The ungulates alone would have produced tons of manure a day. The waste on the lowest deck at least (and possibly the middle deck) could not simply be pushed overboard, since the deck was below the water line; the waste would have to be carried up a deck or two. Vermicomposting could reduce the rate of waste accumulation, but it requires maintenance of its own. How did such a small crew dispose of so much waste?

Exercise/Animal handling. The animals aboard the ark would have been in very poor shape unless they got regular exercise. (Imagine if you had to stay in an area the size of a closet for a year.) How were several thousand diverse kinds of animals exercised regularly?

Manpower for feeding, watering, etc. How did a crew of eight manage a menagerie larger and more diverse than that found in zoos requiring many times that many employees? Woodmorappe claims that eight people could care for 16000 animals, but he makes many unrealistic and invalid assumptions. Here are a few things he didn't take into account:

* Feeding the animals would take much longer if the food was in containers to protect it from pests.
* Many animals would have to be hand-fed.
* Watering several animals at once via troughs would not work aboard a ship. The water would be sloshed out by the ship's roll.
* Many animals, in such an artificial environment, would have required additional special care. For example, all of the hoofed animals would need to have their hooves trimmed several times during the year. [Batten, 1976, pp. 39-42]
* Not all manure could be simply pushed overboard; a third of it at least would have to be carried up at least one deck.
* Corpses of the dead animals would have to be removed regularly.
* Animals can't be expected to run laps and return to their cages without a lot of human supervision.

5. The Flood Itself

Where did the Flood water come from, and where did it go? Several people have proposed answers to these questions, but none which consider all the implications of their models. A few of the commonly cited models are addressed below.

Vapor canopy. This model, proposed by Whitcomb & Morris and others, proposes that much of the Flood water was suspended overhead until the 40 days of rain which caused the Flood. The following objections are covered in more detail by Brown.

* How was the water suspended, and what caused it to fall all at once when it did?
* If a canopy holding the equivalent to more than 40 feet of water were part of the atmosphere, it would raise the atmospheric pressure accordingly, raising oxygen and nitrogen levels to toxic levels.
* If the canopy began as vapor, any water from it would be superheated. This scenario essentially starts with most of the Flood waters boiled off. Noah and company would be poached. If the water began as ice in orbit, the gravitational potential energy would likewise raise the temperature past boiling.
* A canopy of any significant thickness would have blocked a great deal of light, lowering the temperature of the earth greatly before the Flood.
* Any water above the ozone layer would not be shielded from ultraviolet light, and the light would break apart the water molecules.

Hydroplate. Walt Brown's model proposes that the Flood waters came from a layer of water about ten miles underground, which was released by a catastrophic rupture of the earth's crust, shot above the atmosphere, and fell as rain.

* How was the water contained? Rock, at least the rock which makes up the earth's crust, doesn't float. The water would have been forced to the surface long before Noah's time, or Adam's time for that matter.
* Even a mile deep, the earth is boiling hot, and thus the reservoir of water would be superheated. Further heat would be added by the energy of the water falling from above the atmosphere. As with the vapor canopy model, Noah would have been poached.
* Where is the evidence? The escaping waters would have eroded the sides of the fissures, producing poorly sorted basaltic erosional deposits. These would be concentrated mainly near the fissures, but some would be shot thousands of miles along with the water. (Noah would have had to worry about falling rocks along with the rain.) Such deposits would be quite noticeable but have never been seen.

Comet. Kent Hovind proposed that the Flood water came from a comet which broke up and fell on the earth. Again, this has the problem of the heat from the gravitational potential energy. The water would be steam by the time it reached the surface of the earth.

Runaway subduction. John Baumgardner created the runaway subduction model, which proposes that the pre-Flood lithosphere (ocean floor), being denser than the underlying mantle, began sinking. The heat released in the process decreased the viscosity of the mantle, so the process accelerated catastrophically. All the original lithosphere became subducted; the rising magma which replaced it raised the ocean floor, causing sea levels to rise and boiling off enough of the ocean to cause 150 days of rain. When it cooled, the ocean floor lowered again, and the Flood waters receded. Sedimentary mountains such as the Sierras and Andes rose after the Flood by isostatic rebound. [Baumgardner, 1990a; Austin et al., 1994]

* The main difficulty of this theory is that it admittedly doesn't work without miracles. [Baumgardner, 1990a, 1990b] The thermal diffusivity of the earth, for example, would have to increase 10,000 fold to get the subduction rates proposed [Matsumura, 1997], and miracles are also necessary to cool the new ocean floor and to raise sedimentary mountains in months rather than in the millions of years it would ordinarily take.
* Baumgardner estimates a release of 1028 joules from the subduction process. This is more than enough to boil off all the oceans. In addition, Baumgardner postulates that the mantle was much hotter before the Flood (giving it greater viscosity); that heat would have to go somewhere, too.
* Cenozoic sediments are post-Flood according to this model. Yet fossils from Cenozoic sediments alone show a 65-million-year record of evolution, including a great deal of the diversification of mammals and angiosperms. [Carroll, 1997, chpts. 5, 6, & 13]
* Subduction on the scale Baumgardner proposes would have produced very much more vulcanism around plate boundaries than we see. [Matsumura, 1997]

New ocean basins. Most flood models (including those above, possibly excepting Hovind's) deal with the water after the flood by proposing that it became our present oceans. The earth's terrain, according to this model, was much, much flatter during the Flood, and through cataclysms, the mountains were pushed up and the ocean basins lowered. (Brown proposes that the cataclysms were caused by the crust sliding around on a cushion of water; Whitcomb & Morris don't give a cause.)

* How could such a change be effected? To change the density and/or temperature of at least a quarter of the earth's crust fast enough to raise and lower the ocean floor in a matter of months would require mechanisms beyond any proposed in any of the flood models.
* Why are most sediments on high ground? Most sediments are carried until the water slows down or stops. If the water stopped in the oceans, we should expect more sediments there. Baumgardner's own modeling shows that, during the Flood, currents would be faster over continents than over ocean basins [Baumgardner, 1994], so sediments should, on the whole, be removed from continents and deposited in ocean basins. Yet sediments on the ocean basin average 0.6 km thick, while on continents (including continental shelves), they average 2.6 km thick. [Poldervaart, 1955]
* Where's the evidence? The water draining from the continents would have produced tremendous torrents. There is evidence of similar flooding in the Scablands of Washington state (from the draining of a lake after the breaking of an ice dam) and on the far western floor of the Mediterranean Sea (from the ocean breaking through the Straits of Gibralter). Why is such evidence not found worldwide?
* How did the ark survive the process? Such a wholesale restructuring of the earth's topography, compressed into just a few months, would have produced tsunamis large enough to circle the earth. The aftershocks alone would have been devastating for years afterwards.

6. Implications of a Flood

A global flood would have produce evidence contrary to the evidence we see.

How do you explain the relative ages of mountains? For example, why weren't the Sierra Nevadas eroded as much as the Appalachians during the Flood?

Why is there no evidence of a flood in ice core series? Ice cores from Greenland have been dated back more than 40,000 years by counting annual layers. [Johnsen et al, 1992,; Alley et al, 1993] A worldwide flood would be expected to 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 probably other evidence. Why doesn't such evidence show up?

How are the polar ice caps even possible? Such a mass of water as the Flood would have provided sufficient buoyancy to float the polar caps off their beds and break them up. They wouldn't regrow quickly. In fact, the Greenland ice cap would not regrow under modern (last 10 ky) climatic conditions.

Why did the Flood not leave traces on the sea floors? A year long flood should be recognizable in sea bottom cores by (1) an uncharacteristic amount of terrestrial detritus, (2) different grain size distributions in the sediment, (3) a shift in oxygen isotope ratios (rain has a different isotopic composition from seawater), (4) a massive extinction, and (n) other characters. Why do none of these show up?

Why is there no evidence of a flood in tree ring dating? Tree ring records go back more than 10,000 years, with no evidence of a catastrophe during that time. [Becker & Kromer, 1993; Becker et al, 1991; Stuiver et al, 1986]
References

7. Producing the Geological Record

Most people who believe in a global flood also believe that the flood was responsible for creating all fossil-bearing strata. (The alternative, that the strata were laid down slowly and thus represent a time sequence of several generations at least, would prove that some kind of evolutionary process occurred.) However, there is a great deal of contrary evidence.

Before you argue that fossil evidence was dated and interpreted to meet evolutionary assumptions, remember that the geological column and the relative dates therein were laid out by people who believed divine creation, before Darwin even formulated his theory. (See, for example, Moore [1973], or the closing pages of Dawson [1868].)

Why are geological eras consistent worldwide? How do you explain worldwide agreement between "apparent" geological eras and several different (independent) radiometric and nonradiometric dating methods? [e.g., Short et al, 1991]

How was the fossil record sorted in an order convenient for evolution? Ecological zonation, hydrodynamic sorting, and differential escape fail to explain:

* the extremely good sorting observed. Why didn't at least one dinosaur make it to the high ground with the elephants?
* the relative positions of plants and other non-motile life. (Yun, 1989, describes beautifully preserved algae from Late Precambrian sediments. Why don't any modern-looking plants appear that low in the geological column?)
* why some groups of organisms, such as mollusks, are found in many geologic strata.
* why organisms (such as brachiopods) which are very similar hydrodynamically (all nearly the same size, shape, and weight) are still perfectly sorted.
* why extinct animals which lived in the same niches as present animals didn't survive as well. Why did no pterodons make it to high ground?
* how coral reefs hundreds of feet thick and miles long were preserved intact with other fossils below them.
* why small organisms dominate the lower strata, whereas fluid mechanics says they would sink slower and thus end up in upper strata.
* why artifacts such as footprints and burrows are also sorted. [Crimes & Droser, 1992]
* why no human artifacts are found except in the very uppermost strata. If, at the time of the Flood, the earth was overpopulated by people with technology for shipbuilding, why were none of their tools or buildings mixed with trilobite or dinosaur fossils?
* why different parts of the same organisms are sorted together. Pollen and spores are found in association with the trunks, leaves, branches, and roots produced by the same plants [Stewart, 1983].
* why ecological information is consistent within but not between layers. Fossil pollen is one of the more important indicators of different levels of strata. Each plant has different and distinct pollen, and, by telling which plants produced the fossil pollen, it is easy to see what the climate was like in different strata. Was the pollen hydraulically sorted by the flood water so that the climatic evidence is different for each layer?

How do surface features appear far from the surface? Deep in the geologic column there are formations which could have originated only on the surface, such as:

* Rain drops. [Robb, 1992]
* River channels. [Miall, 1996, especially chpt. 6]
* Wind-blown dunes. [Kocurek & Dott, 1981; Clemmenson & Abrahamsen, 1983; Hubert & Mertz, 1984]
* Beaches.
* Glacial deposits. [Eyles & Miall, 1984]
* Burrows. [Crimes & Droser, 1992; Thackray, 1994]
* In-place trees. [Cristie & McMillan, 1991]
* Soil. [Reinhardt & Sigleo, 1989; Wright, 1986, 1994]
* Desiccation cracks. [Andrews, 1988; Robb, 1992]
* Footprints. [Gore, 1993, has a photograph (p. 16-17) showing dinosaur footprints in one layer with water ripples in layers above and below it. Gilette & Lockley, 1989, have several more examples, including dinosaur footprints on top of a coal seam (p. 361-366).]
* Meteorites and meteor craters. [Grieve, 1997; Schmitz et al, 1997]
* Coral reefs. [Wilson, 1975]
* Cave systems. [James & Choquette, 1988]

How could these have appeared in the midst of a catastrophic flood?

How does a global flood explain angular unconformities? These are where one set of layers of sediments have been extensively modified (e.g., tilted) and eroded before a second set of layers were deposited on top. They thus seem to require at least two periods of deposition (more, where there is more than one unconformity) with long periods of time in between to account for the deformation, erosion, and weathering observed.

How were mountains and valleys formed? Many very tall mountains are composed of sedimentary rocks. (The summit of Everest is composed of deep-marine limestone, with fossils of ocean-bottom dwelling crinoids [Gansser, 1964].) If these were formed during the Flood, how did they reach their present height, and when were the valleys between them eroded away? Keep in mind that many valleys were clearly carved by glacial erosion, which is a slow process.

When did granite batholiths form? Some of these are intruded into older sediments and have younger sediments on their eroded top surfaces. It takes a long time for magma to cool into granite, nor does granite erode very quickly. [For example, see Donohoe & Grantham, 1989, for locations of contact between the South Mountain Batholith and the Meugma Group of sediments, as well as some angular unconformities.]

How can a single flood be responsible for such extensively detailed layering? One formation in New Jersey is six kilometers thick. If we grant 400 days for this to settle, and ignore possible compaction since the Flood, we still have 15 meters of sediment settling per day. And yet despite this, the chemical properties of the rock are neatly layered, with great changes (e.g.) in percent carbonate occurring within a few centimeters in the vertical direction. How does such a neat sorting process occur in the violent context of a universal flood dropping 15 meters of sediment per day? How can you explain a thin layer of high carbonate sediment being deposited over an area of ten thousand square kilometers for some thirty minutes, followed by thirty minutes of low carbonate deposition, etc.? [Zimmer, 1992]

How do you explain the formation of varves? The Green River formation in Wyoming contains 20,000,000 annual layers, or varves, identical to those being laid down today in certain lakes. The sediments are so fine that each layer would have required over a month to settle.

How could a flood deposit layered fossil forests? Stratigraphic sections showing a dozen or more mature forests layered atop each other--all with upright trunks, in-place roots, and well-developed soil--appear in many locations. One example, the Joggins section along the Bay of Fundy, shows a continuous section 2750 meters thick (along a 48-km sea cliff) with multiple in-place forests, some separated by hundreds of feet of strata, some even showing evidence of forest fires. [Ferguson, 1988. For other examples, see Dawson, 1868; Cristie & McMillan, 1991; Gastaldo, 1990; Yuretich, 1994.] Creationists point to logs sinking in a lake below Mt. St. Helens as an example of how a flood can deposit vertical trunks, but deposition by flood fails to explain the roots, the soil, the layering, and other features found in such places.

Where did all the heat go? If the geologic record was deposited in a year, then the events it records must also have occurred within a year. Some of these events release significant amounts of heat.

* Magma. The geologic record includes roughly 8 x 1024 grams of lava flows and igneous intrusions. Assuming (conservatively) a specific heat of 0.15, this magma would release 5.4 x 1027 joules while cooling 1100 degrees C. In addition, the heat of crystallization as the magma solidifies would release a great deal more heat.
* Limestone formation. There are roughly 5 x 1023 grams of limestone in the earth's sediments [Poldervaart, 1955], and the formation of calcite releases about 11,290 joules/gram [Weast, 1974, p. D63]. If only 10% of the limestone were formed during the Flood, the 5.6 x 1026 joules of heat released would be enough to boil the flood waters.
* Meteorite impacts. Erosion and crustal movements have erased an unknown number of impact craters on earth, but Creationists Whitcomb and DeYoung suggest that cratering to the extent seen on the Moon and Mercury occurred on earth during the year of Noah's Flood. The heat from just one of the largest lunar impacts released an estimated 3 x 1026 joules; the same sized object falling to earth would release even more energy. [Fezer, pp. 45-46]
* Other. Other possibly significant heat sources are radioactive decay (some Creationists claim that radioactive decay rates were much higher during the Flood to account for consistently old radiometric dates); biological decay (think of the heat released in compost piles); and compression of sediments.

5.6 x 1026 joules is enough to heat the oceans to boiling. 3.7 x 1027 joules will vaporize them completely. Since steam and air have a lower heat capacity than water, the steam released will quickly raise the temperature of the atmosphere over 1000 C. At these temperatures, much of the atmosphere would boil off the Earth.

Aside from losing its atmosphere, Earth can only get rid of heat by radiating it to space, and it can't radiate significantly more heat than it gets from the sun unless it is a great deal hotter than it is now. (It is very nearly at thermal equilibrium now.) If there weren't many millions of years to radiate the heat from the above processes, the earth would still be unlivably hot.

As shown in section 5, all the mechanisms proposed for causing the Flood already provide more than enough energy to vaporize it as well. These additional factors only make the heat problem worse.

How were limestone deposits formed? Much limestone is made of the skeletons of zillions of microscopic sea animals. Some deposits are thousands of meters thick. Were all those animals alive when the Flood started? If not, how do you explain the well-ordered sequence of fossils in the deposits? Roughly 1.5 x 1015 grams of calcium carbonate are deposited on the ocean floor each year. [Poldervaart, 1955] A deposition rate ten times as high for 5000 years before the Flood would still only account for less than 0.02% of limestone deposits.

How could a flood have deposited chalk? Chalk is largely made up of the bodies of plankton 700 to 1000 angstroms in diameter [Bignot, 1985]. Objects this small settle at a rate of .0000154 mm/sec. [Twenhofel, 1961] In a year of the Flood, they could have settled about half a meter.

How could the Flood deposit layers of solid salt? Such layers are sometimes meters in width, interbedded with sediments containing marine fossils. This apparently occurs when a body of salt water has its fresh-water intake cut off, and then evaporates. These layers can occur more or less at random times in the geological history, and have characteristic fossils on either side. Therefore, if the fossils were themselves laid down during a catastrophic flood, there are, it seems, only two choices:
(1) the salt layers were themselves laid down at the same time, during the heavy rains that began the flooding, or
(2) the salt is a later intrusion. I suspect that both will prove insuperable difficulties for a theory of flood deposition of the geologic column and its fossils. [Jackson et al, 1990]

How were sedimentary deposits recrystallized and plastically deformed in the short time since the Flood? The stretched pebble conglomerate in Death Valley National Monument (Wildrose Canyon Rd., 15 mi. south of Hwy. 190), for example, contains streambed pebbles metamorphosed to quartzite and stretched to 3 or more times their original length. Plastically deformed stone is also common around salt diapirs [Jackson et al, 1990].

How were hematite layers laid down? Standard theory is that they were laid down before Earth's atmosphere contained much oxygen. In an oxygen-rich regime, they would almost certainly be impossible.

How do you explain fossil mineralization? Mineralization is the replacement of the original material with a different mineral.

* Buried skeletal remains of modern fauna are negligibly mineralized, including some that biblical archaeology says are quite old - a substantial fraction of the age of the earth in this diluvian geology. For example, remains of Egyptian commoners buried near the time of Moses aren't extensively mineralized.
* Buried skeletal remains of extinct mammalian fauna show quite variable mineralization.
* Dinosaur remains are often extensively mineralized.
* Trilobite remains are usually mineralized - and in different sites, fossils of the same species are composed of different materials.

How are these observations explained by a sorted deposition of remains in a single episode of global flooding?

How does a flood explain the accuracy of "coral clocks"? The moon is slowly sapping the earth's rotational energy. The earth should have rotated more quickly in the distant past, meaning that a day would have been less than 24 hours, and there would have been more days per year. Corals can be dated by the number of "daily" growth layers per "annual" growth layer. Devonian corals, for example, show nearly 400 days per year. There is an exceedingly strong correlation between the "supposed age" of a wide range of fossils (corals, stromatolites, and a few others -- collected from geologic formations throughout the column and from locations all over the world) and the number of days per year that their growth pattern shows. The agreement between these clocks, and radiometric dating, and the theory of superposition is a little hard to explain away as the result of a number of unlucky coincidences in a 300-day-long flood. [Rosenberg & Runcorn, 1975; Scrutton, 1965; Wells, 1963]

Where were all the fossilized animals when they were alive? Schadewald [1982] writes:

"Scientific creationists interpret the fossils found in the earth's rocks as the remains of animals that perished in the Noachian Deluge. Ironically, they often cite the sheer number of fossils in 'fossil graveyards' as evidence for the Flood. In particular, creationists seem enamored by the Karroo Formation in Africa, which is estimated to contain the remains of 800 billion vertebrate animals (see Whitcomb and Morris, p. 160; Gish, p. 61). As pseudoscientists, creationists dare not test this major hypothesis that all of the fossilized animals died in the Flood.

"Robert E. Sloan, a paleontologist at the University of Minnesota, has studied the Karroo Formation. He asserts that the animals fossilized there range from the size of a small lizard to the size of a cow, with the average animal perhaps the size of a fox. A minute's work with a calculator shows that, if the 800 billion animals in the Karoo formation could be resurrected, there would be twenty-one of them for every acre of land on earth. Suppose we assume (conservatively, I think) that the Karroo Formation contains 1 percent of the vertebrate [land] fossils on earth. Then when the Flood began, there must have been at least 2100 living animals per acre, ranging from tiny shrews to immense dinosaurs. To a noncreationist mind, that seems a bit crowded."

A thousand kilometers' length of arctic coastal plain, according to experts in Leningrad, contains about 500,000 tons of tusks. Even assuming that the entire population was preserved, you seem to be saying that Russia had wall-to-wall mammoths before this "event."

Even if there was room physically for all the large animals which now exist only as fossils, how could they have all coexisted in a stable ecology before the Flood? Montana alone would have had to support a diversity of herbivores orders of magnitude larger than anything now observed.

Where did all the organic material in the fossil record come from? There are 1.16 x 1013 metric tons of coal reserves, and at least 100 times that much unrecoverable organic matter in sediments. A typical forest, even if it covered the entire earth, would supply only 1.9 x 1013 metric tons. [Ricklefs, 1993, p. 149]

How do you explain the relative commonness of aquatic fossils? A flood would have washed over everything equally, so terrestrial organisms should be roughly as abundant as aquatic ones (or more abundant, since Creationists hypothesize greater land area before the Flood) in the fossil record. Yet shallow marine environments account for by far the most fossils.

8. Species Survival and Post-Flood Ecology

How did all the modern plant species survive?

* Many plants (seeds and all) would be killed by being submerged for a few months. This is especially true if they were soaked in salt water. Some mangroves, coconuts, and other coastal species have seed which could be expected to survive the Flood itself, but what of the rest?
* Most seeds would have been buried under many feet (even miles) of sediment. This is deep enough to prevent spouting.
* Most plants require established soils to grow--soils which would have been stripped by the Flood.
* Some plants germinate only after being exposed to fire or after being ingested by animals; these conditions would be rare (to put it mildly) after the Flood.
* Noah could not have gathered seeds for all plants because not all plants produce seeds, and a variety of plant seeds can't survive a year before germinating. [Garwood, 1989; Benzing, 1990; Densmore & Zasada, 1983] Also, how did he distribute them all over the world?

How did all the fish survive? Some require cool clear water, some need brackish water, some need ocean water, some need water even saltier. A flood would have destroyed at least some of these habitats.

How did sensitive marine life such as coral survive? Since most coral are found in shallow water, the turbidity created by the runoff from the land would effectively cut them off from the sun. The silt covering the reef after the rains were over would kill all the coral. By the way, the rates at which coral deposits calcium are well known, and some highly mature reefs (such a the great barrier) have been around for millions of years to be deposited to their observed thickness.

How did diseases survive? Many diseases can't survive in hosts other than humans. Many others can only survive in humans and in short-lived arthropod vectors. The list includes typhus, measles, smallpox, polio, gonorrhea, syphilis. For these diseases to have survived the Flood, they must all have infected one or more of the eight people aboard the Ark.

Other animals aboard the ark must have suffered from multiple diseases, too, since there are other diseases specific to other animals, and the nonspecific diseases must have been somewhere.

Host-specific diseases which don't kill their host generally can't survive long, since the host's immune system eliminates them. (This doesn't apply to diseases such as HIV and malaria which can hide from the immune system.) For example, measles can't last for more than a few weeks in a community of less than 250,000 [Keeling & Grenfell, 1997] because it needs nonresistant hosts to infect. Since the human population aboard the ark was somewhat less than 250,000, measles and many other infectious diseases would have gone extinct during the Flood.

Some diseases that can affect a wide range of species would have found conditions on the Ark ideal for a plague. Avian viruses, for example, would have spread through the many birds on the ark. Other plagues would have affected the mammals and reptiles. Even these plague pathogens, though, would have died out after all their prospective hosts were either dead or resistant.

How did short-lived species survive? Adult mayflies on the ark would have died in a few days, and the larvae of many mayflies require shallow fresh running water. Many other insects would face similar problems.

How could more than a handful of species survive in a devastated habitat? The Flood would have destroyed the food and shelter which most species need to survive.

How did predators survive? How could more than a handful of the predator species on the ark have survived, with only two individuals of their prey to eat? All of the predators at the top of the food pyramid require larger numbers of food animals beneath them on the pyramid, which in turn require large numbers of the animals they prey on, and so on, down to the primary producers (plants etc.) at the bottom. And if the predators survived, how did the other animals survive being preyed on?

How could more than a handful of species survive random influences that affect populations? Isolated populations with fewer than 20 members are usually doomed even when extraordinary measures are taken to protect them. [Simberloff, 1988]

9. Species Distribution and Diversity

How did animals get to their present ranges? How did koalas get from Ararat to Australia, polar bears to the Arctic, etc., when the kinds of environment they require to live doesn't exist between the two points. How did so many unique species get to remote islands?

How were ecological interdependencies preserved as animals migrated from Ararat? Did the yucca an the yucca moth migrate together across the Atlantic? Were there, a few thousand years ago, unbroken giant sequoia forests between Ararat and California to allow indigenous bark and cone beetles to migrate?

Why are so many animals found only in limited ranges? Why are so many marsupials limited to Australia; why are there no wallabies in western Indonesia? Why are lemurs limited to Madagascar? The same argument applies to any number of groups of plants and animals.

Why is inbreeding depression not a problem in most species? Harmful recessive alleles occur in significant numbers in most species. (Humans have, on average, 3 to 4 lethal recessive alleles each.) When close relatives breed, the offspring are more likely to be homozygous for these harmful alleles, to the detriment of the offspring. Such inbreeding depression still shows up in cheetahs; they have about 1/6th the number of motile spermatozoa as domestic cats, and of those, almost 80% show morphological abnormalities. [O'Brien et al, 1987] How could more than a handful of species survive the inbreeding depression that comes with establishing a population from a single mating pair?

Why is there no mention of the Flood in the records of Egyptian or Mesopotamian civilizations which existed at the time? Biblical dates (I Kings 6:1, Gal 3:17, various generation lengths given in Genesis) place the Flood 1300 years before Solomon began the first temple. We can construct reliable chronologies for near Eastern history, particularly for Egypt, from many kinds of records from the literate cultures in the near East. These records are independent of, but supported by, dating methods such as dendrochronology and carbon-14. The building of the first temple can be dated to 950 B.C. +/- some small delta, placing the Flood around 2250 B.C. Unfortunately, the Egyptians (among others) have written records dating well back before 2250 B.C. (the Great Pyramid, for example dates to the 26th century B.C., 300 years before the Biblical date for the Flood). No sign in Egyptian inscriptions of this global flood around 2250 B.C.

How did the human population rebound so fast? Genealogies in Genesis put the Tower of Babel about 110 to 150 years after the Flood [Gen 10:25, 11:10-19]. How did the world population regrow so fast to make its construction (and the city around it) possible? Similarly, there would have been very few people around to build Stonehenge and the Pyramids, rebuild the Sumerian and Indus Valley civilizations, populate the Americas, etc.

Why do other flood myths vary so greatly from the Genesis account? Flood myths are fairly common worldwide, and if they came from a common source, we should expect similarities in most of them. Instead, the myths show great diversity. [Bailey, 1989, pp. 5-10; Isaak, 1997] For example, people survive on high land or trees in the myths about as often as on boats or rafts, and no other flood myth includes a covenant not to destroy all life again.

Why should we expect Genesis to be accurate? We know that other people's sacred stories change over time [Baaren, 1972] and that changes to the Genesis Flood story have occurred in later traditions [Ginzberg, 1909; Utley, 1961]. Is it not reasonable to assume that changes occurred between the story's origin and its being written down in its present form?

Are flood models consistent with the Bible? YEC creationists who write about the Flood often contradict the very story they're trying to support. For example, Whitcomb & Morris [1961, p. 69n] suggest that large numbers of kinds of land animals became extinct because of the Flood, while Genesis repeatedly says that Noah was ordered to take a representative sample of all kinds of land animals on the Ark to save them from extinction, and that Noah did as ordered. Woodmorappe [1996, p. 3] wants to leave invertebrates (i.e., just about "every creeping thing on the ground") off the ark. Why should we give credence to a story whose most ardent supporters abandon when it's inconvenient?

Genesis 6-8 speaks only of rain, fountains, and a flood; it makes no mention of other catastrophies which many Creationists associate with the Flood. Their proposed Flood models not only contradict geology, they have no Biblical support, either.

How can a literal interpretation be appropriate if the text is self-contradictory? Genesis 6:20 and 7:14-15 say there were two of each kind of fowl and clean beasts, yet Genesis 7:2-3,5 says they came in sevens.

How can a literal interpretation be consistent with reality? How could Noah have gathered male and female of each kind [Gen. 7:15-16] when some species are asexual, others are parthenogenic and have only females, and others (such as earthworms) are hermaphrodites? And what about social animals like ants and termites which need the whole nest to survive?

Why stop with the Flood story? If your style of Biblical interpretation makes you take the Flood literally, then shouldn't you also believe in a flat and stationary earth? [Dan. 4:10-11, Matt. 4:8, 1 Chron. 16:30, Psalms 93:1, ...]

In fact, is there any reason at all why the Flood story should be taken literally? Jesus used parables; why wouldn't God do so, too?

Does a global flood make the whole Bible less credible? Davis Young, an Evangelical and geologist, wrote [p. 163]:

"The maintenance of modern creationism and Flood geology not only is useless apologetically with unbelieving scientists, it is harmful. Although many who have no scientific training have been swayed by creationist arguments, the unbelieving scientist will reason that a Christianity that believes in such nonsense must be a religion not worthy of his interest. . . . Modern creationism in this sense is apologetically and evangelistically ineffective. It could even be a hindrance to the gospel.

"Another possible danger is that in presenting the gospel to the lost and in defending God's truth we ourselves will seem to be false. It is time for Christian people to recognize that the defense of this modern, young-Earth, Flood-geology creationism is simply not truthful. It is simply not in accord with the facts that God has given. Creationism must be abandoned by Christians before harm is done. . . ."

Another Christian scientist said, "Creationism is an incredible pain in the neck, neither honest nor useful, and the people who advocate it have no idea how much damage they are doing to the credibility of belief." [quoted in Easterbrook, 1997, p. 891]

Finally, even if the flood model weren't riddled by all these problems, why should we accept it? What it does attempt to explain is already explained far more accurately, consistently, and thoroughly by conventional geology and biology, and the flood model leaves many other things unexplained, even unexplainable. How is flood geology useful?

This article is from some evolutionists (without God) btw.. But I think they make a good argument here..

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html
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#4

Post by macguy » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:08 pm

Okay, i'll leave some comments on this.
Wood is not the best material for shipbuilding. How about environment? There could've been stronger trees back then. It is not enough that a ship be built to hold together; it must also be sturdy enough that the changing stresses don't open gaps in its hull. Wood is simply not strong enough to prevent separation between the joints, especially in the heavy seas that the Ark would have encountered. The longest wooden ships in modern seas are about 300 feet, and these require reinforcing with iron straps and leak so badly they must be constantly pumped. The ark was 450 feet long [ Gen. 6:15]. Could an ark that size be made seaworthy?
First of all, have they made an ark that size to see if it could be seaworthy? Scripture doesn't specify on what type of wood was used for the building anyways. Perhaps there was better material back in the time of Noah. My speculation doesn't refute anything but it's a rather "possible" theory. The ark was built for stability by the way. Some of the stuff talk origin presents is ridiculous. Take a look at this thorough investigation: http://answersingenesis.org/tj/v8/i1/noah.asp
Could animals have traveled from elsewhere? If the animals traveled from other parts of the world, many of them would have faced extreme difficulties.
Pangea anyone? I don't know exactly how the environment was but it must've been better right? I am not sure about the others but there are some answers here: http://www.trueorigin.org/arkdefen.asp. I am aware of Henke's response by the way.
That's a very convincing read but there's some problems. I will skip the hebrew part since it takes some research to even see if those claims are correct. Besides, it appears anyone could try to change the meaning of a word to mean something else.

When you read an English translation of the biblical account of the flood, you will undoubtedly notice many words and verses that seem to suggest that the waters covered the all of planet earth.2 However, one should note that today we look at everything from a global perspective, whereas the Bible usually refers to local geography
That's true because people back in the King James time probably weren't really scholars in Hebrew and weren't born Jewish. My question would be if the Jews actually believed that the the flood was local. People believe in an ice age so why not a global flood?!

Another problem for the global flood interpretation is what happened to the "earth" after the flood. Read the following verses and see if you can see why the word "earth" does not refer to the entire planet:
Yes because it's quite obvious but why aren't the other passages obvious as well? Is the word "earth" the same here as the other sections? I am not sure why Mr Rich didn't provide any hebrew words.
If one were to interpret these verses from a global perspective, one would have to conclude that the entire earth became a desert after the flood. Obviously this interpretation is false, so the translations must be bad. In these verses, the dryness of the earth is obviously referring to the local land area and not the entire planet earth.
It's talking about a land area but not local... That wouldn't make sense even if it was global because Noah would die by lack of water. Who knows what would've happened then.

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#5

Post by bizzt » Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:27 am

macguy wrote:Okay, i'll leave some comments on this.



First of all, have they made an ark that size to see if it could be seaworthy? Scripture doesn't specify on what type of wood was used for the building anyways. Perhaps there was better material back in the time of Noah. My speculation doesn't refute anything but it's a rather "possible" theory. The ark was built for stability by the way. Some of the stuff talk origin presents is ridiculous. Take a look at this thorough investigation: http://answersingenesis.org/tj/v8/i1/noah.asp
Actually it does specify that Gopher Wood was used for the Building of the Ark but correct it was built for Stability

That's a very convincing read but there's some problems. I will skip the hebrew part since it takes some research to even see if those claims are correct. Besides, it appears anyone could try to change the meaning of a word to mean something else.
Not entirely... Can you explain with greater detail the problem with Rich's Explaination?

That's true because people back in the King James time probably weren't really scholars in Hebrew and weren't born Jewish. My question would be if the Jews actually believed that the the flood was local. People believe in an ice age so why not a global flood?!
Can you show some references for Jews believing the Flood was Global? There is no evidence for a Global Flood but for a local there is much more...

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Post by macguy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:23 pm

bizzt wrote: Not entirely... Can you explain with greater detail the problem with Rich's Explaination?
I said it was very convincing so there isn't many problems with it. I'm going to check the hebrew words for that though.
Can you show some references for Jews believing the Flood was Global? There is no evidence for a Global Flood but for a local there is much more...

No, i was just asking if there is any evidence/research that shows what jews believed in the past. If it was obvious as to what it was portraying then it should've been local.

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#7

Post by macguy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:25 pm

Gman wrote:Of course if you believe in a global flood, this is what you are up against... Good luck.

Meh, i don't believe in luck...

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#8

Post by sandy_mcd » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:22 pm

macguy wrote: First of all, have they made an ark that size to see if it could be seaworthy? Scripture doesn't specify on what type of wood was used for the building anyways. Perhaps there was better material back in the time of Noah. My speculation doesn't refute anything but it's a rather "possible" theory. The ark was built for stability by the way. Some of the stuff talk origin presents is ridiculous. Take a look at this thorough investigation: http://answersingenesis.org/tj/v8/i1/noah.asp
An earlier post http://discussions.godandscience.org/post-27196.html included information on some of the largest wooden ships built. In the light of that evidence, it seems to me that it is up to Ark proponents to demonstrate that such a ship could be built or specify the material properties necessary for gopher wood to hold up. Almost anything is (was?) possible if a vague "things were different back then" claim is made.

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#9

Post by macguy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:09 pm

sandy_mcd wrote:in the light of that evidence, it seems to me that it is up to Ark proponents to demonstrate that such a ship could be built or specify the material properties necessary for gopher wood to hold up. Almost anything is (was?) possible if a vague "things were different back then" claim is made.
True, anything could be possible but Scripture gives clues as to what effects was made as a result of the flood. Nothing was the same. I'll read the link.

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#10

Post by Gman » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:32 pm

Hi Mac,

There are a couple of things I wanted to clarify with you...

1. God's objective to wipe out man from the face of the earth does not require a global flood. People on the earth at that time all lived in one geographic location, therefore God had to concentrate on only a certain area of the earth. It wasn't until later that God scattered the people over the face of the earth (Genesis 11:8 ).

2. The global flood theory actually causes more problems than it answers. Some of these problems are only solved by special acts by God. Scripture does not specifically address these actions and are therefore assumed by a believer. Case in point, finding all this water for the flood, and protecting the ship from gigantic waves..
macguy wrote:Wood is not the best material for shipbuilding. How about environment? There could've been stronger trees back then. It is not enough that a ship be built to hold together; it must also be sturdy enough that the changing stresses don't open gaps in its hull. Wood is simply not strong enough to prevent separation between the joints, especially in the heavy seas that the Ark would have encountered. The longest wooden ships in modern seas are about 300 feet, and these require reinforcing with iron straps and leak so badly they must be constantly pumped. The ark was 450 feet long [ Gen. 6:15]. Could an ark that size be made seaworthy?
The ark could have been made out of titanium and it still could have sunk.. Even our modern ships can easily be sunk by 25 meter rogue waves. In fact severe weather has sunk more than 200 supertankers and container ships exceeding 200 meters in length during the last two decades. These rogue waves are believed to be the major cause in many such cases.

Also when the fountians of the deep opened up, the earth cracked causing the plates to shift. This all happened very quickly according to some (not all) YEC'ers. Having these catastrophic plate tectonics move this fast would have caused huge tsunamis that would have smashed any boat (even modern ones) into peices. Therefore it would be assumed by the believer that God had to protect it somehow.
First of all, have they made an ark that size to see if it could be seaworthy? Scripture doesn't specify on what type of wood was used for the building anyways. Perhaps there was better material back in the time of Noah. My speculation doesn't refute anything but it's a rather "possible" theory. The ark was built for stability by the way. Some of the stuff talk origin presents is ridiculous. Take a look at this thorough investigation: http://answersingenesis.org/tj/v8/i1/noah.asp[/b]
Don't let AIG baffle you with their science talk... Again, the ark could have been encased in NASA's million dollar glue and it still wouldn't have held together..
Pangea anyone? I don't know exactly how the environment was but it must've been better right? I am not sure about the others but there are some answers here: http://www.trueorigin.org/arkdefen.asp. I am aware of Henke's response by the way.
Yes if pangea exsisted before the flood, the people again would be in one area. Therefore a global flood is not needed..
That's a very convincing read but there's some problems. I will skip the hebrew part since it takes some research to even see if those claims are correct. Besides, it appears anyone could try to change the meaning of a word to mean something else.
It depends, things need to be read in their context as well...
That's true because people back in the King James time probably weren't really scholars in Hebrew and weren't born Jewish. My question would be if the Jews actually believed that the the flood was local. People believe in an ice age so why not a global flood?!
From my understanding more Jews accept the local flood than the global one...

Hope that helps Mac..

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#11

Post by Byblos » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:46 pm

macguy wrote:
sandy_mcd wrote:in the light of that evidence, it seems to me that it is up to Ark proponents to demonstrate that such a ship could be built or specify the material properties necessary for gopher wood to hold up. Almost anything is (was?) possible if a vague "things were different back then" claim is made.
True, anything could be possible but Scripture gives clues as to what effects was made as a result of the flood. Nothing was the same. I'll read the link.
The following link explains in a rather simple way some of the misconceptions regarding the building of the ark, its cargo, and its floating capability.
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#12

Post by Gman » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:49 pm

macguy wrote:
Gman wrote:Of course if you believe in a global flood, this is what you are up against... Good luck.

Meh, i don't believe in luck...
Sorry if I was a little forward there Mac.. I just wanted to let you know, don't let a few misinterpreted words (from the past) lead you into explaining away this global flood.. It's not worth it..
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Post by macguy » Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:40 am

Gman wrote:Sorry if I was a little forward there Mac.. I just wanted to let you know, don't let a few misinterpreted words (from the past) lead you into explaining away this global flood.. It's not worth it..
Yes, the a local flood is pretty convincing and probably is about to win me over. There's just this need for questions and i am looking at this book called "Refuting Comprise" to get a good glimpse on both arguments.

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#14

Post by Kurieuo » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:34 am

macguy wrote:
Gman wrote:Sorry if I was a little forward there Mac.. I just wanted to let you know, don't let a few misinterpreted words (from the past) lead you into explaining away this global flood.. It's not worth it..
Yes, the a local flood is pretty convincing and probably is about to win me over. There's just this need for questions and i am looking at this book called "Refuting Comprise" to get a good glimpse on both arguments.
Be careful to see past their authoritarian, if not cult-like, attitude. I find it significant that they paint their interpretation to be "God's word" and any one who differs as "man's word." For example, "As a result, the culture as a whole has lost biblical authority—it has made man's word the authority." (http://www.answersingenesis.org/us/news ... 04lead.asp)

The reality is we have multiple interpretations, so it is a matter of weighing which one best fits firstly with Scripture, and secondly with what we know about the world. They will likely attempt to paint a picture as they have in the past that OEC, specifically Day-Agers such as Hugh Ross, are succumbing to culture and Science. No doubt we pay attention to such but it is wrong to think that is the sole reason.

The length of yom (day) in Genesis 1 has been spoken of as long periods of time or other than 24-hours long before Darwin or modern science or culture. For example, Irenaeus says:
Thus, then, in the day they eat, in the same did they die... For it is said, "There was made in the evening, and there was made in the morning one day." Now in this same day that they did eat, in that also did they die. ... On one and the same day on which they ate they also died (for it is one day of creation)... He (Adam) did no overstep the thousand years, but died within their limit... for since "a day of the Lord is as a thousand years," he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them."
Origen wrote of the first six days as representing the time of work for men, and the seventh (Sabbath) day, lasting the full duration of the world:
He [Celsus] knows nothing of the day of the Sabbath and rest of God, which follows the completion of the world's creation, and which lasts during the duration of the world, and in which all those will keep festival with God who have done all their works in their six days, and who, because they have omitted none of their duties will ascend to the contemplation (of Celestial things) and to the assembly of righteous and blessed beings."


In "The City of God," Augustine wrote, "As for these 'days,' [Genesis creation days] it is difficult, perhaps impossible to think—let alone explain in words—what they mean." In "The Literal Meaning of Genesis," he added, "But at least we know that it [the Genesis creation day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar." Elsewhere in the same book he wrote:
Seven days by our reckoning after the model of the day of creation, make up a week. By the passage of such weeks time rolls on, and in these weeks one day is constituted by the course of the sun from its rising to its settings; but we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation, but without in any way being really similar to them."
I found these quotes within a book on creation which offers up three different views (24-hour view, Day-age view, and The Framework view)—The Genesis Debate. There are other quotes I could provide, but I'm sure these are enough to quell the false accusation by YECs that people only began accepting differing point of views to the 24-hour interpretation because of modern science.

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#15

Post by Gman » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:09 am

Kurieuo wrote:Be careful to see past their authoritarian, if not cult-like, attitude. I find it significant that they paint their interpretation to be "God's word" and any one who differs as "man's word." For example, "As a result, the culture as a whole has lost biblical authority—it has made man's word the authority." (http://www.answersingenesis.org/us/news ... 04lead.asp)
Interesting observation there Kurieuo... Yes, I too noticed a cult like attitude with AIG. I found this very pronounced during a debate between Hugh Ross and Ken Ham of AIG. I don't think Ken smiled even once during the whole 3 hour debate and was completely stone faced. It was rather weird... Then Ken went on the attack and said that Hugh was preaching a different God and Gospel. Talk about a low blow.. I was shocked.

I also believe we should never compromise on the word of God. I think, however, that most people forget that a global flood is NOT required to reach God's objective. So how is a local flood a contrary teaching to the word of God?
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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