Difference between revisions of "Global flood"

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(Integrity of Noah's Ark)
(The rain itself: Changed section header to make sound a bit more professional, and removed bizarre, nonsensical exploration of the mathematics of rainfall which had no hope of redemption.)
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During the great flood Noah's Ark would have faced the most brutal weather in the history of the world. A study by [[Answers in Genesis]] asserts that the Ark could have withstood waves of up to 30 meters without overturning.<ref>[http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v8/i1/noah.asp Safety investigation of Noah’s Ark in a seaway]</ref> Waves in ocean storms can reach heights of up to 31 meters.<ref>[http://www.extremescience.com/BiggestWave.htm Extreme science]</ref> With the entire world flooded we would be likely to see waves of a much greater magnitude. With an unlimited fetch, waves could possibly reach ''miles'' in height.<ref name="impossiblevoyage">[http://www.natcenscied.org/resources/articles/8619_issue_11_volume_4_number_1__3_12_2003.asp#Leaving%20Some%20Things%20Behind  The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark]</ref>
 
During the great flood Noah's Ark would have faced the most brutal weather in the history of the world. A study by [[Answers in Genesis]] asserts that the Ark could have withstood waves of up to 30 meters without overturning.<ref>[http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v8/i1/noah.asp Safety investigation of Noah’s Ark in a seaway]</ref> Waves in ocean storms can reach heights of up to 31 meters.<ref>[http://www.extremescience.com/BiggestWave.htm Extreme science]</ref> With the entire world flooded we would be likely to see waves of a much greater magnitude. With an unlimited fetch, waves could possibly reach ''miles'' in height.<ref name="impossiblevoyage">[http://www.natcenscied.org/resources/articles/8619_issue_11_volume_4_number_1__3_12_2003.asp#Leaving%20Some%20Things%20Behind  The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark]</ref>
  
== The rain itself ==
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== Precipitation ==
The amount of water vapor suspended in air needed for a global flood would have been unbreathable.  Humans, and virtually every other animal, would have drowned by the simple act of breathing.  Since the Earth is 200 million square miles in area, and the elevation of Mount Everest is 5.5 miles, the total water needed to cover the summits of "the highest mountains" with 15 cubits of water is 1.1 billion cubic miles.  At 30 degrees C, at sea level, air saturation can reach as highs as 3%, or 3 grams of H<sub>2</sub>O per kilogram of standard atmospheric "air"<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_humidity Wiki's guide to relative humidity]</ref>.  When more than one inch of rain falls in an limited area, it involves the transport of masses of air over that area, but this is irrelevant in a global flood scenario.
+
The amount of water vapor suspended in air needed for a global flood would have been unbreathable.  Humans, and virtually every other animal, would have drowned by the simple act of breathing.
  
 
== Fragile geological formations ==
 
== Fragile geological formations ==

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An artist's interpretation of animals boarding the ark.

Disclaimer: this article uses intelligent reasoning and available evidence to reach logical conclusions and encourages free thinking. As such, it is EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS to faith and represents a clear attack on religion. All good, right-thinking fundamentalist YEC Bible-thumpers should leave now.

The global flood is an interpretation of narrative found in the Bible and the Torah, in the book of Genesis. The narrative tells the story of a great flooding of the world where every last animal except for the ones on a boat called Noah's Ark died. The flood, according to the narrative, was brought on because every person in the whole world except eight people were wicked and needed to be killed. The narrative does not specify if the babies and very young children were killed because they were Evil Heathen Scum wicked or if they were just collateral damage. Further it does not specify if the animals were evil or if they were just collateral damage too.[1]

Gathering the animals

Main article:Bringing the animals to the ark

There are two versions of this story. In Genesis 6:19-21, God tells Noah to bring in two of every animal on the earth. But then in Genesis 7:2-3 God tells Noah that he is to bring seven of every clean animal, and two of every unclean animal onto the Ark. The flood story most often taught in Sunday School is the first version... that two of every "kind" of animal were present on Noah's Ark (and omitting the second version).[2] This poses an incredible, most likely insurmountable, logistical problem. Noah would have never been able to travel all over the world and gather up every animal he needed on his Ark. Even if he didn't have to, and God just made the animals set out randomly for Mesopotamia, it still wouldn't have worked. Some animals would have had to make incredible journeys all the way from places like South America and Australia.[3] This is incredibly implausible; most creatures would have faced insurmountable difficulties getting to the ark. Some animals can't swim which would make a journey from lands not connected to Mesopotamia impossible;[4] other animals move so slowly they would have died before they got to the Ark. Creatures like Dodo birds that came from sheltered habitats and had never had to deal with predation before would have been preyed upon mercilessly by superior predators such as wolves and the great cats. Some animals like koalas require special diets only found in certain places in the world, and if they had left the habitat where their food grew they would have starved to death.[4]

Caring for the animals

Main article:Caring for the animals in Noah's ark

Caring for the animals on Noah's ark would have been impossible. Simply feeding them would have been more than Noah and his family could have managed. However, the lions and tigers and bears would have had their pick of any number of (now extinct) species (and even each other!) when the Noah clan was tardy bringing the grub belowdecks.

Aquatic species survival

Main article:Survival of aquatic species during the global flood

There was no marine life on the ark[5] so each observable aquatic species we see today, according to the flood myth, had to have survived the 376[6] days of the flood. This is extremely unlikely, as a complete flooding of the earth would produce such drastic ecological changes that most aquatic species would die off.[7]

Most freshwater fish are unable to survive in water with any salt at all so when the rising oceans mixed with the lakes and rivers they would have quickly gone extinct.[8] The extreme turbulence would have also killed fish that stayed near the ocean floor, small fish of the reef would be repeatedly pounded against rocks and mud.[9] Many fish would choke to death on sediment stirred up by the flood as well.[7]

Integrity of Noah's Ark

During the great flood Noah's Ark would have faced the most brutal weather in the history of the world. A study by Answers in Genesis asserts that the Ark could have withstood waves of up to 30 meters without overturning.[10] Waves in ocean storms can reach heights of up to 31 meters.[11] With the entire world flooded we would be likely to see waves of a much greater magnitude. With an unlimited fetch, waves could possibly reach miles in height.[12]

Precipitation

The amount of water vapor suspended in air needed for a global flood would have been unbreathable. Humans, and virtually every other animal, would have drowned by the simple act of breathing.

Fragile geological formations

This would have been knocked off had there been a global flood

The global flood, had it occurred, would have destroyed many geological formations. If you look at pictures of the ocean floor you will notice there are very few rocks piled up in columns. A study done by several creation scientists put the ocean speed varying between 40 and 80 meters a second. Rock pillars would be unable to survive this.[13] Even oceanic currents of normal speeds would have destroyed some of the more fragile specimens that are in existence today.

Fossil layers

How was the fossil record sorted in an order convenient for evolution if they were laid down in the turmoil of a single flood? That is usually dismissed with a hand wave by saying the animals quickly sorted each other out based on their ability to compete for the shrinking high ground. It overlooks an important issue: Since fossil layers were really constructed over millions of years, there was sufficient time to accumulate a consistent layer of corpses from many many generations of animals over wide areas. You could dig up a layer of trilobite fossils in Boise, for example, and it would have the same density of trilobite fossils as the same layer in Kansas City. So if you read the Noah story back into this observation, the antediluvian world must have been wall-to-wall trilobites, not to mention all the other animals in the other layers. In fact, there must have been far more animals than the biosphere could reasonably be expected to support, all because YECs compress a billion years of fossil building into a few weeks.

Post-flood animal survival

Main article:Post flood animal survival

After the flood the animals on the ark would have faced extreme difficulties. Populations of less than 20 members are almost certainly doomed to extinction.[14] After the ark there would have been 2 of most animals and 14 of a few select mammals plus 14 of all birds.[15] These animals would be facing some of the harshest conditions the world has ever known. A flood of 376 days[16] would have killed all plant life while ocean currents between 40 to 80 meters per second would have swept everything away and buried the earth under a layer of sediment.[13]

The post flood herbivores would have absolutely nothing to eat, most of them would have starved to death. Creationists claim that the great flood deposited meters of sediment all over the earth.[17] Seeds which are heavier than silt particles would be the first to settle which would bury them far deeper then the few inches seeds need to sprout.[12] The few seeds that did get buried close enough to the surface to sprout would not provide nearly enough to sustain every herbivore on the ark. Many animals feed on large trees or their fruit, so these would have to fast a long time after the flood ended.[18]

The carnivores and omnivores on Noah's Ark would have a viable source of food for a while at least: the other animals on the ark. The carnivores and the omnivores would have quickly eaten all the herbivores and then in a couple of months would have starved themselves. The creationists explanations for this make no sense; they claim that carnivores ate corpses, fungi, and even vegetables! Animals will rarely eat corpses more than a month old, claiming that they would have gladly eaten corpses that were over a year old and most likely buried under meters of sediment is beyond reason. Most carnivores are unable to eat vegetables, and fungi do not grow too prolifically in the Middle East.

After the flood the animals would have severe trouble finding fresh water, and would have died of dehydration. The flood would have salinated the soils so all water runoff would have had high concentrations of salt. Most animals, unless they are specially adapted, cannot, and will not, drink salt water.[19]

The survivors of the ark would also face extreme difficulties breeding. The flood would have destroyed the structures necessary for reproduction. Avian species like the eagle require high trees to make their nests in,[20] these would not exist for many years after the flood, by which time the reproductive fitness of the birds would have deteriorated leading to the extinction of that "kind".


The very survival of the animals Noah brought on the Ark with him after the flood is scientifically impossible. A flood of one year and eleven days[21] would have drowned every animal and plant while ocean currents of around 200 miles an hour[22] would have swept away everything. When the animals disembarked the ark, there would have been nothing for the herbivores to eat. They could not have eaten seaweed because it would have grown only on the tops of the highest mountains and any floating vegetation would have withered and died. The carnivores would have had something to eat - the herbivores on the ark. They would have quickly devoured the herbivores and then died themselves. They would not have been able to eat corpses, as some creationists have claimed,[23] because the corpses would have decayed. This problem would persist long after the flood, the animals on the lower end of the food chain would not be able to reproduce fast enough to sustain the predators. If you accept the absurd Young Earth Creation Science concept of baraminology that means there was one pair of "great cat kind" and seven pairs of the animals they feed on "horse kind".[24] Great cats eat at least one "horse kind" every two weeks[25] so that would mean that horse kind would have been completely extinct after three and a half months. Even if the "horse kind" had immediately reproduced that would still be at most 28 "horse kinds" which would have only provided six months of sustenance for "cat kinds".


Re-population

The global flood story requires that only eight people were left alive in 2349 BCE.[26] This does not allow enough time for humans to repopulate the earth.[27] In 2000 BCE only 350 years after the flood the population of the world was 27 million.[28] To go from a population of eight to a population of 27 million in 350 years would require a population growth rate of 136.07%. That is 133% more than the fastest growing portions of the world today. [29] However if you compare the populations of 1650 and 2000, 350 years apart we see that it is possible for population to increase rapidly with improving living standards (food provision, health and welfare etc.) such improvement is incompatible with a bronze/iron age civilisation.

The Bible also places the date of construction on the Tower of Babel roughly 100 years after the great flood.[26] Saying a population could go from 6 people (Noah and his wife don't count, they didn't have any more children) to enough people to build the Tower of Babel as it is described in the Bible is absurd. This tower was so great that it threatened God, so it must have been greater that the pyramid of Khufu which took 30,000 people to build.[30] Even a growth rate of 500%, which is absurd beyond all imagination, would only produce about half the required people to even begin to think about such a construction project.

The Americas

Even if the flood only covered the tallest Near-East mountains, like Mt. Ararat, that still amounted to a flood that was 17,000 feet above mean sea-level, which would cover all the Americas except for certain peaks in the Andes and Alaska, and there would have been little time for all those people to prepare a year's worth of food and migrate to the high ground under conditions that would dump 17,000 feet of water in 40 days. So the Americas would have been depopulated, and since this was after the ice age, there would have been no land bridge between Russia and Sarah Palin's house to bring in fresh ancestors of the Indian people we have today.

Rainbow

File:Joseph Anton Koch NoahsArkRainbow.jpg
An interpretation of the "first" rainbow.

In Genesis 8, shortly after the flood, God created a covenant with man saying that he will never again send a flood to kill all life. To seal this covenant, the Bible claims God created the rainbow, implying that there never was a rainbow before the flood.[31] To the ancient Hebrew authors of this narrative, who were completely ignorant of science and believed the rainbow to be a physical object, this would have seemed perfectly plausible, but under the scrutiny of modern science this idea is absurd. There are only three possible scenarios that create an environment where rainbows would not form.

  • There was no sunlight.

Terrestrial life is dependent on sunlight, in this scenario all life would have died.[32]

  • There was no rain.

The Bible tells us of rain before the supposed creation of the rainbow.[33]

  • Light did not refract.

If light did not refract, sight would be impossible. It is light refracting in the lens of the eye that allows sight by focusing the light onto the retina.[34]

Other oddities in the narrative

Number of animals

The Bible is contradictory about the number of animals Noah had to take.[35] Genesis 6 states quite clearly that Noah had to take two of every sort including two of the fowls.

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.[36]

Genesis 7 seven agrees partly with Genesis 6 but it says that instead of two of the fowls Noah was to take 7 of the fowls.

Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.[37]

Sons of God

The first two verses in Genesis 6 contradict 2000 years of church teaching as well as the Bible itself.

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.[38]

The "Contemporary English Version" of the Bible describes the sons of god as "supernatural beings"[39] so it could not be that the bible is referring to ordinary men as the sons of god.

Human lifespan

After God has seen how wicked humanity is, he decrees an upper limit on the age of humans.

"In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years."[40]

This statement is false though, since after the flood Noah lived 350 more years.[41] Modern humans have also been documented as living more than 120 years.[42]

Giants

The Bible claims that before and after the flood there were "giants".

Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days;[43]

Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak[44]

The giants described in the Bible were intelligent and could talk so they would not have been classified as animals. This means that Noah would not have taken them on the Ark[45]. There is also the problem of their size — the giants described in the Bible make other people look like "grasshoppers"[46] — creatures of this size would not have fit on the ark.

Continuity of ancient civilizations

In the 24th century BCE, several ancient civilizations - notably Ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley - had existed, and continued to exist, without any sign of total extinction from a global flood. Egypt has a continuous written history going back to about 3100 BC, (plus archaeological evidence of continuous habitation going back to 9000 BC) and the only floods they talked about were the annual flood of the Nile River which irrigated their crops.

Absence of bacteria

Notably absent from the description of Noah's Ark are bacteria. How did he take the millions of types of bacteria along? It seems that lots of types of bacteria have been found, and there is no mention of the creation of bacteria that don't already live in animals harmlessly after the tale of Noah. Generally, a book of wisdom should at least tell you that disease is caused by bacteria, and not bad smells or blood. If a benevolent God knew all of this, keeping it away from humans is practically indirect murder. The paradoxes surrounding the supposed benevolence of many monotheistic Gods is not related to this subject; however, an ark capable of holding so many animals, and bacteria (Because if let loose they could just infect the animals and humans) would take up a huge space.

Real "great floods"

Several real "great floods" are thought to have occurred in prehistory, including the flooding of the Mediterranean basin, forming the Mediterranean sea, and the breaching of the Bosporus strait, which resulted in the Black Sea increasing to three times its original size, flooding several shoreline communities whose foundations can still be seen today. These may have been the root of the stories of great floods which pervade Middle Eastern culture, and have had an effect as far north as Scandinavia (whose myths may also include a folk memory of the ice ages).

Isaac Asimov's theory was that a large meteorite struck the Persian Gulf and created a tsunami that washed over the lowlands and killed a lot of people. This is feasible, and it is the sort of thing that could be verified by geologists.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 6-8
  2. All about popular issues
  3. Claim 4 - Noah's Ark
  4. 4.0 4.1 faq-Noahs ark
  5. BibleStudy.org
  6. Answers in Genesis
  7. 7.0 7.1 A critical look at Noah's voyage
  8. Talk origins:Problems with Noah's Ark
  9. Fish Cause Problems for the Global Flood
  10. Safety investigation of Noah’s Ark in a seaway
  11. Extreme science
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark
  13. 13.0 13.1 PATTERNS OF OCEAN CIRCULATION OVER THE CONTINENTS DURING NOAH'S FLOOD
  14. Simberloff, Daniel, 1988. The contribution of population and community biology to conservation science. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 19: 473-511
  15. Bible study
  16. Aig:Flood chronology
  17. Three Sisters: evidence for Noah's Flood
  18. Like, several decades while those trees sprouted, grew, and matured.
  19. Ocean Water: Salinity
  20. See the Wikipedia article on eagles
  21. Aig:Flood chronology
  22. AiC:Noah’s Ark Would Not Prove Young Earth Creation Science
  23. Talk Origins
  24. How did the animals fit on Noah’s Ark? - AiG
  25. Wild cats
  26. 26.0 26.1 Time line of the Bible
  27. The Whole Silly Flood Story
  28. World Population Growth History Chart
  29. CIA world fact book
  30. Ancient Pyramids at Giza
  31. Taking Back the Rainbow
  32. Sunlight for your life
  33. Genesis 7:12
  34. The first Rainbow? - Noah's ark is mythology and nothing more.
  35. Internal Contradictions in the Bible
  36. Genesis 6:19-20 (KJV)
  37. Genesis 7:2-3 (KJV)
  38. Genesis 6 (KJV)
  39. Genesis 6:4
  40. Genesis 6:3 (NLT)
  41. Genesis 9:28 (KJV)
  42. Oldest human beings
  43. Genesis 6:4 (KJV)
  44. Numbers 13:33 (KJV)
  45. Noah's flood:Global or local?
  46. Giants in the Bible