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Numerous myths and legends from all over the world refer to a great flood. Some stories even refer to more than one flood afflicting humanity, but the common theme among virtually all of them is that ‘gods’ used them as a form of punishment for disobedience, immorality, greed, and other forms of human corruption.
Science, on the other hand, has been trying to rationalize these events, searching for verification of natural disasters that could have been interpreted as ‘acts of the gods’. The great flood is one of the topics under investigation.
At the moment, there are two predominant theories about the Biblical story of Noah's Ark and the great flood. The most popular one is the flooding of the Black Sea. This theory was initially proposed in 1990 by two Columbia University scientists, William Ryan and Walter Pitman. Archaeologists have found evidence of shipwrecks and ancient pottery, as well as the remains of people that died in a great flood in the Black Sea about 7,000 years ago. They estimate that more than 150,000 square kilometres of land was submerged under water at the time. This theory suggests that the flooding disaster may have later translated into the story of Noah and the great flood. Robert Ballard, an explorer and archaeologist who found the wrecked remains of the Titanic, strongly supports the Black Sea theory, and is trying to discover more proof to support it.
The second theory, which was proposed by archaeologist Bruce Masse in 2004, is that a comet crashed to Earth about 5,000 years ago, creating huge tsunamis and weather changes that led to the flooding of many areas. His evidence is based on mythological accounts and ancient drawings, but there is no hard evidence to suppor this view.
According to The Bible, and specifically Genesis, the Ark of Noah finally came to reside on the mountains of Ararat (close to Turkey). However, despite numerous attempts, no evidence has been found of its existence.
What all these scientists do not take into account is the time frame the Bible places on the great flood, which is between the second and third millennium BC. The fact is that there is no scientific proof that a great flood occurred specifically in this time period, nor is their evidence to conclude that the flood theories referred to above are accurate. Yet it seems impossible to be a coincidence that so many myths and legends from different cultures around the world refer to the same event. So did an enormous flood really strike the Earth? If so, where and when did this flood occur, and how was humanity able to endure this cataclysm and begin anew?
Evidence found of Noah's ark flood victims
Marine archaeologists have found the first evidence of a people who perished in a great flood of the Black Sea that has been linked with the story of Noah's ark.
Using robot underwater vehicles more than 300ft below the sea's surface, they have begun to map a rolling landscape, fed by meandering streams and marked with wattle and daub houses, that was flooded more than 7,000 years ago.
The discovery was announced yesterday by Robert Ballard, the scientist who discovered the wrecked Titanic.
The Black Sea was once a freshwater lake, well below sea level. About 7,000 years ago, according to geological evidence, the rising Mediterranean sea pushed a channel through what is now the Bosphorus, and then seawater poured in at about 200 times the volume of Niagara Falls. The Black Sea would have widened at the rate of a mile a day, submerging the original shoreline under hundreds of feet of salty water.
Nearly 100,000 square miles were inundated. Sea shells on the beaches of the modern Black Sea are of marine origin, but deep below the surface there are layers of shells of freshwater molluscs, mute witnesses to the shoreline of the ancient lake.
There are many myths concerning a great flood in the region. There was a first mention in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Babylonian work. The Romans and Greeks had the legend of Deucalion and Pyrrha, who saved their children and animals by floating away in a giant box. The Hebrew book of Genesis most famously tells the story of Noah, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord, when all around him were wicked. Noah was warned of a forthcoming flood, and built a huge "ark" to hold his family and all the animals in pairs. Noah survived when all perished. Tradition has it that his ark came to rest on the slopes of Mount Ararat in Turkey.
Dr Ballard began exploring the Black Sea in the Hull registered ship Northern Horizon, and used side-scanning sonar to look for interesting shapes on the seabed over a 200-sq-mile area, 12 miles off the Turkish coast, near Sinop.
The instruments detected "targets" worth a closer look, so video cameras mounted on underwater robot submarines were put to use. "We found two ancient ships last night," said Dr Ballard speaking by phone from his research vessel yesterday. "What we were trying to do in our wildest dreams - which is exactly what happened - was find a structure that was evidence, not a sunken ship, not trash and not geology, but characteristic of human habitation."
They found it. Above an area submerged too deeply for human divers, the sonar instruments revealed details of the landscape. On September 9 they sent robot scouts down to objects which looked like beams and branches, debris that might have been the stiffening for wattle and daub homes.
They found a rectangular area up to 12ft by 25 ft, over which an ancient mud and wooden house had collapsed, and they found tools of highly polished stone, together with fragments of ceramics.
"What we are looking at is a culture that is definitely thousands of years old," said Fred Hiebert, an archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who was also on the ship. "The flood is an event that is geologically known, and for us to find a structure in 150 metres of water means that these people were definitely living there before it flooded, so it is pre-Greek. It is a different world and it deserves a great deal of attention and years of study to help us truly identify who these people were."
Dr Ballard is perhaps oceanography's answer to Indiana Jones. As a marine scientist in the US, two decades ago, he took part in the dramatic discovery of communities of strange creatures living in submarine volcanic vents two miles below the ocean surface. He also found the submerged liner Titanic, and tracked the wreck of the German battleship, Bismarck, and the fleet which the US navy lost off Guadalcanal in the Pacific.
He formed his own exploration institute in Mystic, Connecticut, before going on to lead National Geographic expeditions to probe the mud of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea for lost treasures - and now a lost world.
But he does not claim to have found the landscape of Noah. " We really cannot say in any way, shape or form that this is the biblical flood. All we can say is that there has been a major flood, that people were living here when it happened. We prefer to stick with the facts -and who knows where those facts will lead us."
Scientific Evidence for the Great Flood
Taryn is a mum of four, working through her Masters of Theology. She also has a Diploma of Biblical Studies (Biblical Studies), a Diploma of Arts (English Literature) and Bachelor of Theology and is a freelance writer and editor.
“The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep…
…He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air they were blotted out from the earth.
Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred fifty days.”
A Great Flood
The account of Genesis tell of a monumental flood that describes the earth being plundered by the ‘fountains of the great deep’ when God let loose on his creation. We can only imagine the catastrophic destruction that took place. Modern floods – though devastating to both life and land – pale in comparison to the cosmic demolition that this flood brought about.
Flood Geology is a branch of ‘pseudoscience’ that deals with analysing features of the Earth which have been shaped by the Genesis flood. The scientific community considers flood geology to be ‘myth’ and ‘falsifiable’ because it is seen to contradict mainstream science.
However, mainstream science has provided evidence which reinforces the idea of a global flood, such as is described in the Old Testament.
Evidence For The Flood
The story of Noah’s Ark and the great flood is so famous that even young school aged children are familiar with Noah and his ‘Arky Arky’.
What children and some adults aren’t aware of, is that ancient flood legends exist in every corner of the earth. Many of these stories contain elements that are common to all of them:
- the construction of a boat in advance
- one family that is spared
- some amount of animals that are kept out of danger
- a rainbow
- the release of birdlife to determine if the water has subsided and the destruction of humanity
These are all examples of common themes that appear. When a famous Babylonian text – The Epic of Gilgamesh – is compared to the story in Genesis 6-9, the similarities in the two flood stories are remarkable.
The overwhelming consistency amongst these traditions indicates that they have derived from the same origin. In other words, after one global flood, an oral tradition developed which was passed down through a kind of ‘Chinese whispers’. These stories were eventually written down in different parts of the world, by people living within different cultures. What is left is a mosaic of stories which have different features and nuances, but which ultimately reflect the one event.
Since we know that shortly after the flood was the scattering of languages at Babel, it seems likely that this played a part in the way the story was orally developed and altered as it was passed down through generations.
-The Black Sea-
The Black Sea, located in South-eastern Europe is famous for its concentrated salt level, but scientists are now claiming that it was once a freshwater lake before an enormous flood deluged it.
The most recent proponent of this theory is Robert Ballard – an underwater archaeologist who rose to fame after discovering the underwater wreckage of the Titanic in 1985. Ballard acted from a hunch that The Black Sea must have preserved items from antiquity because of its concentrated salt intensities and lower oxygen levels. When Ballard and his team unearthed an ancient shore line, this was an indication that a catastrophic event took place in the Black Sea.
The volume of water that caused the flood into The Black Sea is said to have been 200 times more than that of Niagara Falls. This caused the original shoreline to plunge underneath hundreds of feet of salt water. This theory is reinforced by the fact that there are layers of freshwater molluscs below the surface of the Black Sea. By carbon dating these shells, Ballard believes the timeline for the flood to have taken place around 5,000 BCE. Further to his findings, is the discovery of a vessel, and one of its crew members in The Black Sea. The ancient shipwreck is said to be perfectly preserved, along with the bones and teeth of the seaman.
Rock layers all over the world are filled with fossilised marine animals, insects, spiders, amphibians and plants that are buried in places miles above sea level – including the walls of the Grand Canyon and high in the world’s tallest mountain range – the Himalayas.
The presence of these fossils are silent testimonies to the waters that flooded over every continent before being buried in massive flows of sediment as a result of powerful flooding.
Rock layers across every continent also show features that indicate they were deposited very quickly. Some strata within the Grand Canyon show clear signs that sand was deposited by huge water currents in a matter of days. In order for these layers to be deposited so extensively implies a global flooding of the continents.
Of these layers, there are large amounts which show evidence indicating that the rock layers were still wet when deposited. Rocks do not bend they shatter and break because they are hard. Yet, in whole sequences of rock strata, we find bends without any fractures indicating that the rocks folded and rippled as if they were wet and pliable before setting as hard rock. This is best demonstrated by the Tapeats Sandstone in Grand Canyon which is folded at a right angle without any evidence of breaking.
The only explanation for this is that the layers were laid in rapid succession and buckled while still soft.
What Does This All Mean?
The Bible speaks of the events of Genesis 6-9 as real, authentic events that took place under the divine providence of God, describing a global flood that destroyed all human and animal life, except for that aboard the ark.
If the Bible is the infallible word of God, then it’s not surprising that geological evidence all over the world confirms exactly what we are told happened in the days of Noah. The physical features of the earth and its geological structure clearly indicate an event that was catastrophic, and global in nature. The evidence is undeniable.
If you want to find out more about Creation Day, or help establish Creation Day as a recognized holiday, then head here to sign the petition!
Last week we looked at how dinosaurs fit in with the biblical account, and offered one possible reason for their extinction: the global flood described in Genesis 6-9.
What Role Has All This Played in the Creation-Evolution Debate?
Most recent-creationists simply ignore the entire matter. Presumably, the reason is the one set forth by John C. Whitcomb, Jr., and Henry M. Morris in The Genesis Flood : the Mesopotamian flood remains fail to agree with the literalist view of a universal flood survived only by Noah and family (1961, pp. 109-111). The Mesopotamian strata, whether at Ur or at Kish and Suruppak, testify only to a local flood which clearly left behind survivors and significant cultural continuity. The Ur flood apparently did not even cover the entire mound of Ur. Moreover, fundamentalists have generally demonstrated little interest in the investigation of possible nonliteral explanations of biblical material.
At the other end of the spectrum, the scientific critics of the recent-creationists also have ignored the Mesopotamian materials. They are concerned primarily with answering the arguments of the recent-creationists, who themselves have not emphasized these nonbiblical materials. Generally, the approach of the scientific critics has been to demonstrate the scientific impossibility of recent-creationist claims rather than to attempt to supply alternative explanations of biblical materials.
A middle ground is held by a wide range of writers—from eccentric catastrophists, through the less-literal day-age, gap, and local-flood creationists, to nonliteralist theologians and secular historians. These groups often accept the equation of the Mesopotamian archaeological finds with the origin of the biblical Flood story. At first glance, this position may appear rational, but, in fact, it is usually based upon religious or other a priori assumptions and, thus, in essentials, is similar to the recent-creationist position. Many in these groups exhibit only superficial acquaintance with the Mesopotamian material—often just that from Ur and usually just through one of Woolley's popularized accounts. They frequently show no awareness of the problems surrounding Woolley's thesis or of alternative interpretations (Thomas, 1966, p. 15 Neil, 1962, p. 32 Hyers, 1983, p. 21, citing Daniel, 1968, pp. 39-47 Hyers, 1984, p. 102).
A few cite the full range of Mesopotamian flood discoveries as confirmation of the biblical Flood story. It is not apparent whether they simply fail to understand that these diverse archaeological discoveries do not pertain to a single event or if they are callously suppressing information that does not conform to their preconceptions (for example, Halley, 1978, pp. 77-80). Others who are primarily concerned with the Mesopotamian sources are well aware of the problems, but nonetheless presuppositions frequently seem to sap their critical abilities. The distinguished scholar Andre Parrot, for example, wrote: "It seems probable, a priori, that a disaster whose magnitude cannot be in doubt must have left traces in the soil of Mesopotamia" (1955, p. 45). The great Sumerologist Samuel Noah Kramer echoes a somewhat similar conviction: "And even among skeptics, there are some who feel that there must be at least a kernel of truth in the Flood-motif it seems to have played too large a role in Mesopotamian myth and legend for it to have been nothing more than a total fabrication of fancy and fantasy" (Kramer, 1967, p. 13). Actually, there are no compelling reasons to identify any of the floods-at Ur, Kish, or Shuruppak-with the Flood of Mesopotamian literature and the Bible.
Woolley's popularization of his discoveries seems to account for much of the continuing visibility of the Ur flood thesis, but it has little actual claim to be the Flood of Mesopotamian and biblical literature. Despite the thickness of the deposit, it appears like the other Mesopotamian floods to have been a purely local event. Eridu, just seven miles distant, exhibited no sign of the Ur flood, although it was sought diligently there. On about the same or a slightly lower elevation than Ur, Eridu is separated from Ur by only a very low ridge. Equivalent strata at Eridu occupy a higher position on the mound that at Ur, yet no trace of the flood was found at all (Mallowan, 1964, pp. 75-77).
There is, moreover, question of whether memory of an event as early as 3500 BCE could have survived to historic times. The date is too early for a written account to have been made, and the Sumerians do not appear to have had a methodical oral technique that would have long preserved a record of the event. The experiences of other cultures indicate that even the most traumatic events tend to fade from memory after a few generations in the absence of either writing or a highly developed oral procedure, such as formulaic oral poetry.
The hypothesis that the flood levels at Kish and Shuruppak represent the same event is no more than an assumption. Flood events occurred with frequency throughout southern Mesopotamia, as the two separate early flood levels at Kish indicate. Even more so than the Ur flood, the flood levels at Kish and Shuruppak fail to fulfill the biblical or even the Mesopotamian literary descriptions. In the degree to which those descriptions are "rationalized," any criteria for distinguishing between the biblical Flood and virtually any other flood disappear. The flood remains at Kish and Shuruppak are hardly imposing. The silt at Kish averages less than ten inches thick, and the deposit at Shuruppak is about fifteen inches-in comparison to up to eleven feet of material at Ur (Raikes, 1967, pp. 52-63). The severity of a flood cannot necessarily be deduced from the thickness of an isolated sample of the flood deposit. It is nonetheless suggestive that thicker, more impressive deposits from another flood have been discovered at Kish, dating too late to be identified with the innundation of the Bible and Mesopotamian literature, and yet that later flood left no record in history (Watelin, 1934, pp. 41-43 Mallowan, 1964, pp. 78-79 and plate XX). All that remains is the possibility that the Kish and Shuruppak materials do represent the same event and coincide chronologically with the date of about 2900 BCE for the Flood of Mesopotamian literary tradition.
The flood materials from Ur, Kish, and Shuruppak were excavated over half a century ago. Woolley's description of the flood level at Ur is far from scientific. It is not even possible to be sure of the exact number of sondages in which he found flood remains. While attempts to dismiss the remains of the Ur flood as merely windblown sand are unsubstantiated and probably unsubstantiatable, the two "scientific" examinations of materials from the Ur flood stratum are, by modern standards, vague and inconclusive. The same situation prevails at Kish and Shuruppak (Raikes, 1967, pp. 52-63). In all probability, the finds do represent floods, but the exact character of those events—fluvial or marine, rapid or slow deposition, unitary or episodic—remains unknown. The hydrology of southern Mesopotamia is very complex. Renewed excavation and modern scientific techniques could probably solve many of these questions, but current political and military conditions would seem to preclude any such activity in the near future. Until the situation changes, there are no compelling grounds on which to conclude that the Flood story found its ultimate beginning in an actual event that has been identified at Kish and Shuruppak or anywhere else in Mesopotamia.
The endemic character of flooding in southern Mesopotamia may well have been sufficient to generate the story about a supreme Flood, and the attachment of that story to a specific, long-passed, ill-known historical context may, in fact, be late and unreliable. The earliest edition of the Sumerian King List certainly includes no list of antediluvian kings, and the presence of reference to the Flood is in doubt. It may first have been added much later, during a period in which the Flood story was popular (Civil, 1969, p. 139). Ultimately, the search for a local Mesopotamian flood upon which a rationalization of the Bible story can be based may prove as illusionary as the search for Noah's ark.
Biblical Teaching on the Flood
First, we need to realize that many verses in both the Old and New Testaments point to a global Flood. So any Christian who tries to argue from Scripture that the Flood was merely a local event faces an uphill battle.
The Flood account in Genesis 6–9 refers to “all flesh” 13 times in reference to the destruction of all the land-dwelling animals. A local flood could never destroy “all flesh.”
If Noah needed to house only local animals and plants, such an enormous Ark would be unnecessary. Noah wasted his time building something so big.
God brought flying creatures to Noah for safekeeping on the Ark, but that would be pointless if birds and bats could just fly to a safe area.
Genesis 7:19 states that the waters rose above the highest mountains. Once the water cleared the highest peak, nothing would restrain it from covering the rest of the land in a global event. Further, Noah’s family spent about a year inside the Ark, but even the most devastating local floods do not last that long. And why would God tell Noah to spend years building an Ark if the deluge were going to destroy only one region? Why not simply move?
Besides these logical concerns, rejecting the worldwide Flood has important theological implications. In Matthew 24:36–39 , Jesus used the Flood as a picture of the coming judgment. Likewise, 2 Peter 3 also associates the Flood with the coming judgment by fire. If the Genesis Flood were merely a local event, then we could assume the coming judgment would be just a local event. Furthermore, in Genesis 9:12–17 the Lord gave Noah the rainbow as a sign of his promise never to send another flood like the one Noah had just endured. But if the Genesis Flood was local, God has broken that promise many times over.
The Institute for Creation Research
In the early days of geology, especially during the 17 th and 18 th centuries, the dominant explanation for the sedimentary rocks and their fossilized contents was that they had been laid down in the great Flood of the days of Noah. This was the view of Steno, the "father of stratigraphy", whose principles of stratigraphic interpretation are still followed today, and of John Woodward, Sir Isaac Newton&rsquos hand-picked successor at Cambridge, whose studies on sedimentary processes laid the foundation for modern sedimentology and geomorphology. These men and the other flood geologists of their day were careful scientists, thoroughly acquainted with the sedimentary rocks and the geophysical processes which formed them. In common with most other scientists of their day, they believed in God and the divine authority of the Bible. Evolution and related naturalistic speculations had been confined largely to the writings of social philosophers and rationalistic theologians.
Toward the end of the 18 th century, and especially in the first half of the 19 th century, the ancient pagan evolutionary philosophies began to be revived and promoted by the various socialistic revolutionary movements of the times. These could make little headway, however, as long as the scientists were predominantly creationists. Evolution obviously required aeons of geologic time and the scientific community, including the great Isaac Newton himself, was committed to the Usher chronology, with its recent special creation and worldwide Flood.
Therefore, it was necessary, first of all, that the Flood be displaced as the framework of geologic interpretation, so that earth history could once again, as in the days of the ancient Greek and Oriental philosophers, be expanded into great reaches and cycles of time over endless ages. Geologic catastrophism must be, at all costs replaced by uniformitarianism, which would emphasize the slow, uniform processes or the present as a sufficient explanation for all earth structures and past history. This was accomplished in two stages: first. the single cataclysm of the Flood was replaced by the multiple catastrophes and new creations of Cuvier and Buckland, each separated from the next by a long period of uniform processes second, these periodic catastrophes were gradually de-emphasized and the uniformitarian intervals enlarged until the latter finally incorporated the entire history.
It is significant that this uniformitarian revolution was led, not by professional scientific geologists, but by amateurs, men such as Buckland (a theologian), Cuvier (an anatomist), Buffon (a lawyer), Hutton (an agriculturalist), Smith (a surveyor), Chambers (a journalist), Lyell (a lawyer), and others of similar variegated backgrounds. The acceptance of Lyell&rsquos uniformitarianism laid the foundation for the sudden success of Darwinism in the decade following the publication of Darwin&rsquos Origin of Species in 1859. Darwin frequently acknowledged his debt to Lyell, who he said gave him the necessary time required for natural selection to produce meaningful evolutionary results.
Nevertheless, the actual facts or geology still favored catastrophism, and flood geology never died completely. Although the uniformitarian philosophers could point to certain difficulties in the Biblical geology of their predecessors, there were still greater difficulties in uniformitarianism. Once uniformitarianism had served its purpose&mdashnamely, that of selling the scientific community and the general public on the great age of the earth&mdashthen geologists could again use local catastrophic processes whenever required for specific geologic interpretations. Stephen Gould has expressed it this way:
Heylmun goes even further:
With adequate time apparently available, assisted by man&rsquos natural inclination to escape from God if possible, Darwin&rsquos theory of evolution by chance variation and natural selection was eagerly accepted by the learned world. Pockets of scientific resistance in the religious community were quickly neutralized by key clerical endorsements of the "day-age theory", which seemingly permitted Christians to hang on to Genesis while at the same time riding the popular wave of long ages and evolutionary progress. For those fundamentalists who insisted that the creation week required a literal interpretation, the "gap theory" ostensibly permitted them to do so merely by inserting the geologic ages in an imaginary gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, thus ignoring their evolutionary implications.
The Biblical Deluge was similarly shorn of scientific significance by reinterpreting it in terms of a "local flood" or, for those few people who insisted that the Genesis narrative required a universal inundation, a "tranquil flood". Lyell himself proposed a worldwide tranquil flood that left no geological traces. In any case, the field of earth history, was taken over almost completely by evolutionists.
In turn, this capitulation of the scientists to evolution was an enormous boon to the social revolutionaries, who could now proclaim widely that their theories of social change were grounded in natural science. For example, Karl Marx and the Communists quickly aligned themselves with evolutionary geology and biology, Marx even asking to dedicate his Das Kapital to Charles Darwin.
The "science" referred to in the above is, in context, nothing but naturalistic evolution based on uniformitarian geology. Similarly, Nietzschean racism, Freudian amoralism, and military imperialism all had their roots in the same soil and grew in the same climate.
Yet all the while the foundation was nothing but sand. Uniformitarian geology was contrary to both the Bible and to observable science. Now, a hundred years later, the humanistic and naturalistic culture erected upon that foundation is beginning to crumble, and men are beginning again to look critically at the foundation.
The two Biblical compromise positions are now widely recognized as unacceptable, either theologically or scientifically. A brief discussion of the fallacies of the "day-age" and "gap" theories, as well as "theistic evolution" and "progressive creation" appeared in Impact Article No. 5, of the ICR ACTS & FACTS, "Evolution and the Bible."
The local-flood theory is even less defensible. The entire Biblical account of the Flood is absurd if read in a local-flood context. For example, there was obviously no need for any kind of an ark if the flood were only a local flood. Yet the Bible describes it as a huge vessel with a volumetric capacity which can be shown to be equal to that of over 500 standard railroad stock cars! According to the account, the ark floated freely over all the high mountains and finally came to rest, five months later, on the mountains of Ararat. The highest of these mountains today is 17,000 feet in elevation, and a flood which could cover such a mountain six months or more was no local flood!
Furthermore, God&rsquos promise never to send such a flood again, sealed with the continuing testimony of the rainbow, has been broken again and again if the Flood was only a local flood.
A list of 96 reasons why the Flood must be understood as worldwide is given in one of the writer&rsquos books. 4
The tranquil-flood theory is even more ridiculous. It is difficult to believe anyone could take it seriously and yet a number of modern evangelical geologists do believe in this idea. Even local floods are violent phenomena and uniformitarian geologists today believe they are responsible for most of the geologic deposits of the earth&rsquos crust. A universal Flood that could come and go softly, leaving no geologic evidence of its passage, would require an extensive complex of miracles for its accomplishment. Anyone with the slightest understanding of the hydraulics of moving water and the hydrodynamic forces associated with it would know that a world-wide "tranquil" flood is about as reasonable a concept as a tranquil explosion!
As far as science is concerned, it should be remembered that events of the past are not reproducible, and are, therefore, inaccessible to the scientific method. Neither uniformitarianism nor catastrophism can actually be proved scientifically. Nevertheless, the Flood model fits all the geologic facts more directly and simply, with a smaller number of qualifications and secondary assumptions, than does the uniformitarian model.
An obvious indication of global water activity is the very existence of sedimentary rocks all over the world which, by definition, were formed by the erosion, transportation, and deposition of sediments by moving water with the sediments gradually converted into stone after they had been deposited.
Similarly, an obvious indicator of catastrophism is the existence of fossils in the sedimentary rocks. The depositional processes must have been rapid, or fossils could not have been preserved in them.
The importance of this fact is obvious when one realizes that the identification of the geologic "age" of any given sedimentary rock depends solely upon the assemblage of fossils which it contains. The age does not depend on radiometric dating, as is obvious from the fact that the geologic age system had been completely worked out and most major formations dated before radioactivity was even discovered. Neither does the age depend upon the mineralogic or petrologic character of a rock, as is obvious from the fact that rocks of all types of composition, structure, and degree of hardness can be found in any "age". It does not depend upon vertical position in the local geologic strata, since rocks of any "age" may and do rest horizontally and conformably on rocks of any other age. No, a rock is dated solely by its fossils.
Thus, the existence and identification of distinctive geologic ages is based on fossils in the sedimentary rocks. On the other hand, the very existence of fossils in sedimentary rocks is prima facie evidence that each such fossiliferous rock was formed by aqueous catastrophism. The one question, therefore, is whether the rocks were formed by a great multiplicity of local catastrophes scattered through many ages, or by a great complex of local catastrophes all conjoined contemporaneously in one single age, terminated by the cataclysm.
The latter is the most likely. Each distinctive stratum was laid down quickly, since it obviously represents a uniform set of water flow conditions, and such uniformity never persists very long. Each set of strata in a given formation must also have been deposited in rapid succession, or there would be evidence of unconformity&mdashthat is, periods of uplift and erosion&mdashat the various interfaces.
Where unconformity does exist, say at the top of a formation, there may well have been an interval of uplift or tilting, at that location. followed by either sub-aerial or sub-marine erosion for a time. However, since such formations invariably grade laterally into other formations (no unconformity, is worldwide), sooner or later one will come to a location where there is a conformable relationship between this formation and the one above it. Thus, each formation is succeeded somewhere by another one which was deposited rapidly after the first one . and so on throughout the entire geologic column.
Thus, there is no room anywhere for long ages. Each formation must have been produced rapidly, as evidenced by both its fossils and its depositional characteristics, and each formation must have been followed rapidly by another one, which was also formed rapidly! The whole sequence, therefore, must have been formed rapidly, exactly as the Flood model postulates.
But, then. what about the geologic ages? Remember that the only means of identifying these ages is by fossils and fossils speak of rapid formation. Even assuming a very slow formation of these beds, however, how can fossils tell the age of a rock?
Obviously, fossils could be distinctive time markers only if the various kinds each had lived in different ages. But how can we know which fossils lived in which ages? No scientists were there to observe them, and true science requires observation. Furthermore, by analogy with the present (and uniformitarianism is supposed to be able to decipher the past in terms of the present), many different kinds of plants and animals are living in the present world, including even the "primitive" one-celled organisms with which evolution is supposed to have begun. Why, therefore, isn&rsquot it better to assume that all major kinds also lived together in past ages as well? Some kinds, such as the dinosaurs, have become extinct, but practically all present-day kinds of organisms are also found in the fossil world.
The only reason for thinking that different fossils should represent different ages is the assumption of evolution. If evolution is really true, then of course fossils should provide an excellent means for identifying the various ages, an "unambiguous time-scale," as Schindewolf put it. Hedberg says:
The use of fossils as time-markers thus depends completely on "their record of evolution." But, then, how do we know that evolution is true? Why, because of the fossil record!
So the only proof of evolution is based on the assumption of evolution! The system of evolution arranges the fossils, the fossils date the rocks, and the resulting system of fossil-dated rocks proves evolution. Around and around we go.
How much more simple and direct it would be to explain the fossil-bearing rocks as the record in stone of the destruction of the antediluvian world by the great Flood. The various fossil assemblages represent, not evolutionary stages developing over many ages, but rather ecological habitats in various parts of the world in one age. Fossils of simple marine invertebrate animals are normally found at the lowest elevations in the geologic strata for the simple reason that they live at the lowest elevations. Fossils or birds and mammals are found only at the higher elevations because they live at higher elevations and also because they are more mobile and could escape burial longer. Human fossils are extremely rare because men would only very rarely be trapped and buried in flood sediments at all, because of their high mobility. The sediments of the "ice-age" at the highest levels are explained in terms of the drastically changed climates caused by the Flood.
The flood theory of geology, 9 which was so obvious and persuasive to the founders of geology, is thus once again beginning to be recognized as the only theory which is fully consistent with the actual facts of geology, as well as with the testimony of Scripture.
The Genesis Flood by Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb (1961, 518 pp.)
The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris (1976, 716 pp.)
The Beginning of the World by Henry M. Morris (2nd ed. 1991, 184 pp.)
Evidence of the great flood
During the Younger Dryas sea level rise, North America was ground zero as the ice sheets melted. It took the full force of the breaking flood waters. Across the continent are the scarred landscapes that fossilize the memories of the enormous floods.
When the floodwaters tore across the continent, they carved out giant river valleys ground down basalt bedrock, and carried some of the world’s largest boulders, leaving them erratically scattered in it’s wake.
Below are some examples of the destruction the floodwater caused as it poured off the ice sheet.
Thousands of square miles of vegetation were completely washed away as well as intense amounts of soil and sediment. As a result, the area known as the ‘Channeled Scablands’ in Eastern Washington was created, pictured below.
The Channeled Scablands
The Channeled Scablands in Eastern Washington.
Dry Falls North Eastern Washington
North Eastern Washington is home to extreme geological landscapes that tell of a cataclysmic past. Dry falls is one of the countless examples etched into the land. The amount of water once flowing through the extinct cataract is mind-boggling.
The cliffs in the above image are 600 feet high in places. (Niagara Falls is only 165 feet high). Not only that, Dry Falls is 3.5 miles wide which is (two miles wider than Niagara).
Calculations of water mass to create Dry Falls paint the picture of a giant flood. The channels observed at Dry Falls are immensely steep yet the ancient river pathways leading to and from the falls are relatively straight. The required water indicate immense flows responsible for the leaving the landscape.
Camas Prairie Current Ripples
Camas Prairie Current Ripples
Littering the scabland region are areas of landscape known as ‘current ripples.’ They are created by a natural process seen on a much smaller scale on beaches and riverbeds. The ripples form from water flowing across the land, however, the sizes of the ripples that are found in North America are the largest found on the planet.
There are now over 100 documented areas that contain these huge ripples that formed as the floodwaters flowed across North America. Camas Prairie is home to some of the largest with some up to 50 feet high and spaced almost 500 feet apart.
The water flow to create such large ripples is almost unimaginable. To form a ripple this big, a massive flow of water needs to happen in a brief amount of time. It is estimated that the erosion rate would be around one billion cubic feet of bedrock per day.
Potholes Cataract, Dry Falls Washington.
Potholes Cataract is another jaw-dropping geological feature carved out by the floodwaters. The extinct cataract has a similar horseshoe-shaped appearance to Niagara Falls, however, was carved out in a matter of days.
The water is thought to have been over 400 feet deep. As it flowed it scraped out the 850 foot deep chunks of bedrock to leave behind the scarred landscape in the above image. This particular cataract spans 5 miles across and is one of the hundreds of examples of catastrophic flooding in North America.
While the evidence for the great flood is mainly located in North America, there are similar patterns all over the world at the end of the last ice age.
North Africa, Australia, Siberia, Mongolia, parts of the Middle East, Much of South America as well as Northern Europe are among the places that show evidence of mega-scale flooding that occurred around the time the ice sheets over North America melted.
Scientific evidence for numerous myths about the Great Flood
Have you ever heard the story of Noah’s Ark? This story of the great flood is one of the most popular stories in the Bible. But it is far from the only story about the great flood that can be found in history.
Christians are very familiar with the story of Noah, when God destroyed all of creation with a great flood because of the wickedness of men. Although many people see all of this as a myth about the great flood, scientists have found evidence of the great flood. Before we get to the scientific evidence, let’s take a look at the famous world legends associated with the flood myth.
The Great Flood: Myths in the Bible, Hindu texts and more
The story of Noah in the Hebrew Bible is probably the most famous myth associated with the great flood. However, there are a number of other myths associated with the event.
According to the Gilgamesh Flood myth, Enlil, the supreme god, decided to completely destroy the entire world with a great flood as humans multiplied more and more. Ea, the god who created humans from divine blood and clay, secretly warned Utnapishtim of the flood and instructed him to build a boat and save himself.
The biblical Book of Genesis tells us that Yahweh (the name of the monotheistic god of the Israelites), who created man from dust, decided to have a great flood on earth because of the growing depravity of mankind.
But Yahweh was pleased with Noah and commissioned him to build an ark to save people and animals. When the ark was completed, Noah, his entire family, and two representatives each of every species of animal on earth entered the ark. As soon as the door of the ark was closed, a devastating flood began that wiped out all living things from the face of the earth. After the flood was over, everyone who had been in the ark came out, and Yahweh promised never again to subject people to such a flood. The rainbow is known as a symbol of Yahweh’s promise.
According to Hindu mythology, there is a story of the “manvantara-sandhya,” the great flood. According to this story, the avatar Vishnu Matsya warned Manu, the first man, of the impending flood and told him to build a huge boat.
According to Zoroastrian Mazdaism, Ahriman tried to destroy the whole world with a drought. It is believed that Mitra, in order to save people from drought, shot an arrow into a rock, and a flood broke out. Only one man and his cattle escaped the flood in the ark.
According to Plato, the Timaeus describes the myth of the flood, which is very similar to other versions of the great flood. According to the Timaeus version, the people angered Zeus by constant warfare. Zeus decided to have a flood to punish mankind. The Titan Prometheus, who created humans from clay, shared the plan with Deucalion and advised him to build an ark. It took nine days and nights for the waters to recede and the ark to dock on the mountain.
Although there are many stories or myths related to the great flood, scientists have recently found evidence of its existence. Scientists believe that the great flood actually occurred about 7,000 years ago near the Black Sea.
In a book called “Noah’s Flood: New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History,” two marine biologists Walter Pitman and William Ryan describe a flood that occurred several thousand years ago, before biblical history was recorded by the ancient Hebrews.
According to the two marine biologists, nearly 12,000 years ago, after the last ice age, the Black Sea was a partially dried-up freshwater lake. It was separated from the Mediterranean Sea by the Bosphorus Strait, which is a strip of land.
The Black Sea coast was fertile, and people founded large agricultural societies on it. When the ice sheets that covered the Northern Hemisphere began to melt, sea levels began to rise. The Mediterranean Sea is thought to have burst through the Bosphorus Strait about 7,600 years ago.
With a force about 200 times greater than that of Niagara Falls, sea water began rushing in. The level of the Black Sea rose by 15 cm every day. Within one year, some 15,539,929 hectares were swallowed up and disappeared under the rising waters. The settlers who had lived on this land moved to other uplands and never returned.
Pitman and Ryan suggest that this story of cataclysm has been passed down for about 3,000 years and has been recorded as myths and songs. One version is believed to be the story of Noah’s Ark contained in the Bible.
The hypothesis of the two marine biologists is mainly based on sediment cores from the Black Sea, as well as seismic profiles. The cores did tell a strange and unique story. Pitman and Ryan discovered one mud layer that is commonly thought to have been left over from the great Flood.
It lay on top of layers of sedimentary rock that had once been the surface of the land. The surface contained mud cracks, fossils of plant roots and freshwater mollusks that looked like a dried up lake shore. The ancient shoreline was submerged about 140 meters below the level of the Black Sea.
Marine biologists also noted that, according to studies of ancient civilizations conducted by archaeologists, several peoples with new customs appeared in different places during the Flood. They were even found in Egypt, as well as in the foothills of the Himalayas, around Paris and Prague. Most of these “new” people were speakers of Indo-European languages. According to Ryan and Pitman, these peoples may have been Black Sea farmers who were displaced by the Great Flood.
Archaeological Evidence of the Great Flood
In addition to the evidence offered by Pitman and Ryan, there is other evidence to support the fact of the Great Flood. One such important piece of evidence was provided by the world-renowned underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard. He is especially famous for discovering and investigating the sinking of the Titanic.
Ballard found evidence of people who died in the great flood that occurred in the Black Sea and linked it to the story of Noah’s Ark.
Ballard and his team used advanced robotic technology to search for evidence that could corroborate Noah’s story. They were able to excavate an ancient shoreline that was about 168 meters below the surface of the water. This was considered important evidence of the catastrophic event. Ballard took several samples, including saltwater and freshwater clams, from the ancient beach for analysis.
When radiocarbon dating of the samples was done, it turned out that the freshwater clams were relatively older than the saltwater ones. All of the freshwater clams that were taken for analysis were the same age.
We can assume that all of the clams died as a result of a flash flood. Because if they had died due to slowly rising water, their ages would have been different. It has been determined that the clams died sometime around 5,600 B.C. This is about the same time that the great flood in Noah’s time is believed to have occurred.
At a depth of 94 meters in the Black Sea, Ballard and his team also managed to find an ancient house that had collapsed. In addition to the house, they also unearthed several stone tools, storage vessels for pottery and ancient pottery. Archaeologists believe that the culture found at the bottom of the sea is thousands of years old.
Evidence gathered by Robert Ballard and his team suggests that the tragic story of the great flood was passed down from generation to generation. This eventually inspired the story of Noah’s Ark, which is mentioned in the Bible.
Scientific controversy surrounding the Great Flood
Although there is scientific evidence to support the fact of the Great Flood, there are also those that speak against it. Some believe that the great flood may have occurred at the time of Noah, but that it occurred all over the earth and not in specific regions.
According to the Bible, the rain at the time of the great flood lasted 30 days, and the earth was flooded for 150 days. Only after one year, two months and twenty-seven days did the earth dry up, and Noah, his whole family, and all the animals were able to get out of the ark.
The great flood was to completely destroy all life on earth. Since the sedimentary rocks on all continents contain fossils, the great flood could represent the destruction of all living things. Thus, the story of the Flood mentioned in the Bible may have been true.
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Noah's Ark myth has evidence of great flood
Under the Microscope: Christians are familiar with the Bible story of Noah when God cleaned wickedness from the world by destroying all of creation in a great flood. The righteous Noah and his family and two of every kind of animal survived by floating in a great ark, writes Professor William Reville
Many other cultures also have stories of an ancient flood that left only a few survivors - the Babylonians, ancient Greeks and Romans, and Native Americans. These stories are generally taken as myths or morality tales, but scientists have now found evidence that a great flood did occur in the region of the Black Sea about 7,000 years ago.
The Bible is not a reliable record of the physical history of the earth. Nevertheless, creationists use the literal Noah story to explain every sedimentary rock on earth and the fossil record in the rocks.
However, geology has won the argument on these matters and we know the flood could not have covered the whole earth and that Noah could not have rescued all living species. But, recent scientific work has shown that the biblical story of the Flood may recall a real event even if many of the details are fictitious.
Marine biologists William Ryan and Walter Pitman have written a book - Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries about the Event that Changed History (Simon and Schuster, New York, 2000) - describing a flood that occurred several thousand years before the ancient Hebrews wrote the Biblical story.
According to Ryan and Pitman, about 12,000 years ago, as the last Ice Age waned, the Black Sea was a partly dried-out freshwater lake separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a land strip called the Bosporus Strait. The Black Sea shore was a fertile area in which people began the earliest large farming societies. When the ice sheets covering the Northern Hemisphere melted, sea levels rose and some 7,600 years ago the Mediterranean breached the Bosporus Strait.
Seawater rushed through with a force 200 times that of Niagara Falls and the Black Sea level rose by 15 cm per day. In less than one year, 60,000 square miles of land were engulfed, and the settlers moved to high ground, never to return. Ryan and Pitman speculate that the story of this trauma was passed down for 3,000 years and recorded in song and myth. One version was preserved as the biblical story of Noah when writing was developed.
Ryan's and Pitman's hypothesis is based on Black Sea sediment cores and seismic profiles. They found a single mud layer, typically left after a flood, lying over sediments that appeared to have been a land surface. This surface contained freshwater molluscs, mud cracks and plant root fossils, just like a dried-out lake-shore. The ancient shoreline is submerged at least 460 feet under the Black Sea.
In 1999 Robert Ballard, famous for locating and exploring the Titanic, located an ancient coastline 550 feet under water and 20 miles out from the current Black Sea shore. Ballard took samples from this ancient beach, including freshwater and saltwater mollusc species.
Radiocarbon dating showed the freshwater molluscs were older than the saltwater ones. The freshwater molluscs were all of the same age which would be expected if they all died in a sudden flood. If they died in slowly-rising water they would be of different ages. The molluscs died around 5,600 BC, approximately when Noah's flood is reputed to have occurred. Ballard also found stone tools and ceramic storage vessels and the remains of what appears to be an ancient house 310 feet deep in the Black Sea.
This is not an open and shut case. For some time, geologists have agreed that the Black Sea was gradually flooded when rising sea levels caused the Mediterranean to overflow about 9,000 years ago. The new evidence is of a sudden flood about 7,000 years ago.
Many geologists are wary of the revised theory and feel conflict about trying to prove an event from an ancient text. It is also noted that the Bible records Noah as living in a Mesopotamian desert, whereas the Black Sea coastline was then lush and forested.
Nevertheless, continuing geological expeditions to the Black Sea attract widespread public interest because of the Noah connection. And widespread interest is an essential lubricant to facilitate the flow of money to support expensive geological expeditions.
Let me finish with a truncated quotation of the Noah story from the Book of Genesis.
Noah was 600 years old when the flood came on the earth on the 17th day of the second month. He and his wife and his sons and their wives went into the boat to escape the flood. A male and a female of every kind of animal and bird went into the boat as God had commanded. All the outlets of the vast body of water beneath the earth burst open, all the floodgates of the sky were opened and rain fell on the earth for 40 days and nights.
The water became so deep it covered the highest mountains. Every living being on the earth died except Noah and the others on the boat. The rain stopped and the water gradually went down for 150 days and the boat came to rest on a mountain on the Ararat range. When Noah was 601 years old, on the 1st day of the 1st month the water was gone.
William Reville, is associate professor of biochemistry and director of microscopy at University College, Cork
The Great Flood – Scientific evidence - History
Theory Supporting the Biblical Account of the Great Flood
(As published in the Cambridge-Conference Network (CCNet) , Issue 47/2003 of 29 May 2003))
A large comet or asteroid impact in a glacier ice sheet produced the Biblical Great Flood which brought the last Ice Age to an abrupt and sudden end.
Accounts of the Great Flood
A scientific approach might be to discount the Biblical account of the Great Flood as folklore or as a fairy tale. A religious interpretation might be to cloak oneself in dogma and discount science. Somewhere in between lies the true tale of one of the greatest cataclysms to ever befall mankind.
The Great Flood was a very unusual and singular event. Because of the magnitude of the destruction, it would have left an indelible and permanent mark on the minds of any survivors. This story would have been told and retold, passing down from generation to generation. And so it was. The story of the Great Flood is embedded in many cultures and beliefs. Over 600 of these stories throughout the entire world have been carried down to the present age.
I will rely upon 2 accounts, that given in the Bible (Book of Genesis) and the account given in Platos dialogues (Timaeus and Critias). These accounts record different frames of reference. They are complementary accounts and dovetail together fairly well. Both accounts describe:
- A pre-flood civilization.
- Gods decision to destroy mankind because of his wickedness.
- The destruction of civilization by a Great Flood.
- The suddenness of the cataclysm.
- The extent of the destruction affecting the entire globe.
According to the Bible, a Pre-Flood civilization existed. The civilization had cities. They had divisions of labor (farmers, shepherds and livestock keepers, tentmakers, metalworkers, and musicians).
According to Plato, a Pre-Flood civilization existed. The civilizations had massive fleets and armies and large cities. They knew the art of writing. They had divisions of labor (artisans, husbandmen, warriors, carpenters, rulers, shipbuilders, stone quarry workers, metal workers, merchants, and sailors).
According to Plato, the Pre-Flood civilization existed in a great island nation in the Atlantic Ocean called Atlantis, and in distant nations around the Mediterranean (including a pre-Greek and a pre-Egyptian civilizations) and in Asia.
According to the Bible, the Earth was destroyed by a Great Flood when "All the fountains of the great deep burst open and the floodgates of the sky were opened and the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights." (Gen 7 11, 12) This passage describes the sea level rising up at the same time torrents of rain fell from the sky.
According to Plato, the island of Atlantis and the distant Mediterranean civilizations were completely destroyed in a single day and night of violent earthquakes and floods. They disappeared into the depths of the sea. And according to Plato, the Great Flood occurred around 11,400 years ago . (The account records the event occurring 9000 years before Platos time. Platos dialogues were written around 360 BC) This would make the Pre-Flood civilization an Ice Age civilization.
According to the Bible, mankind was destroyed by a Great Flood. Noah and his family built a huge ship, an ark, out of wood sealed with pitch. They were saved when "the flood came upon the earth for forty days and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth and the water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered." (Gen 7 17-19). Noah floated in the ark for approximately 370 days.
According to Plato, few people survive the cataclysm. The only survivors dwelt in the mountains. They were herdsmen and shepherds. They were ignorant of the art of writing and had very little education.
The present Ice Age has lasted for millions of years. At the height of the Ice Age, glaciers covered most of Greenland, Canada, Scandinavia, and northwestern Siberia. Within the Ice Age are short warm spells called Interglacials that last for a few thousand years. The opposite of an Interglacial is a short extremely cold spell called a Stadial. The Earth was in the middle of a cold Stadial (Younger Dryas) when the Earth very suddenly (approximately 11,600 years ago) transitioned into the present Interglacial.
The dynamics of glacier ice sheet movement have been studied. The pressure exerted by a massive glacier, which is miles thick at its base, creates a liquid boundary layer that acts as a lubricant for ice flows. Basal sliding occurs by the slippage of meltwater causing a decrease in friction between the bed and the glacier base. Subglacial bed deformation occurs when a glacier flows over unfrozen unlithified sediment and the sediment deforms. A short-lived phase of rapid glacier sheet movement is called a surge. During a surge, large volumes of meltwater are released.
Within this website, I have defined the effects of a comet/asteroid impact on land and in the ocean in great detail. Refer to: http://www.BreadAndButterScience.com/TA.pdf . An atmospheric impact, commonly referred to as a bolide or airburst, is another type of impact event. The Tunguska impact is an example of a strong bolide event. Another type of impact is an Ice Age glacial impact. Such an impact could produce the effects contained in the Biblical description of the Great Flood.
A comet/asteroid impact on a large glacier mass could cause the following effects:
- Release vast quantities of heat.
- Produce massive earthquakes.
- Produce trapped superheated steam that would exert force to uplift and move a large glacier mass.
- Fracture glacial sheets.
- Eject water, steam and ice high into the atmosphere.
- Release stored potential energy.
- Produce a partial glacial ice melt.
- Produce an almost immediate rise in sea level.
- Produce great rainfall.
- Slowly driving the ocean crust deeper.
- Slowly raising the continental crust higher.
- Produce volcanoes and lava flows.
The impact of a large comet/asteroid (
2 mile diameter) with an Ice Age glacial sheet could produce the following chain of events:
The impactor penetrates through miles of thick ice, like a bullet. Below the surface, the impact releases the energy of a million nuclear bombs. A gas bubble of trapped superheated steam forms. The steam causes a general uplifting of the glacier ice sheet. The ice sheet rises like a steam boiler about to burst. The gas bubble exerts tremendous force on the ice flow. The impact triggers the release of potential energy locked in ice flow allowing million of tons to break loose and begins to move on the frictionless fluid bed toward the oceans. Some of the steam escapes like an erupting geyser or volcano. The glacier sheet fractures, opening up fissions for the steam to escape. Boiling water and steam further lubricate the surface boundary layer of the ice flow. The explosion hurls large masses of ice fragments into the air with great force. Ice and water flowing off the continents cause an immediate rise in sea level in conformance with the Displacement Theory. The released superhea ted steam falls back to Earth, generating very violent storms. Heavy rain falls for several days and weeks. The atmosphere heats up. Large earthquakes combined with the Earths crustal rebound from the movement of large ice sheets exert significant strain on the tectonic plates. The strain is relieved by the eruption of volcanoes, and lava flows throughout the world. Underwater earthquakes expose frozen methane hydrate beds. The heat generated at the impact point and the heat from underwater volcanoes and lava flows elevate the temperature of the ocean bottoms and melt the exposed methane hydrate. The released methane bubbles to the surface, where in time it is ignited by lightning strikes, which further raises atmospheric temperatures. The methane burn releases large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In the end, the global temperature rises significantly, breaking the back of the Ice Age.
Release of Potential Energy
During an Ice Age, the sea level drops. Snow accumulates forming mile-thick ice sheets in the polar regions and high latitudes. The loss of this ocean mass places the Earth slightly out of equilibrium. The massive ice sheets have potential energy (for a visual example, think of an avalanche). An impact can trigger the release of this potential energy. When these large ice sheets are shattered, billions of tons of ice can break loose and move the Earth back into equilibrium.
Large lakes form near the end of an Ice Age. These lakes can suddenly break forth with violent rage. For example, a giant lake exploded through an ice age dam releasing 500 cubic miles of water that carved its way across the Pacific Northwest. This event was called the Missoula Floods. Large impacts can provide the trigger mechanism for a global release of this potential energy.
A temperature rise of approximately 7 o C (13 o F) occurred at the end of the last Ice Age. This was the result of heat released by:
- A natural temperature rise as the Earth stepped out of the glacial period
- The asteroid/comet impact
- Volcanoes and lava flows
- Increased solar absorption
A large impactor (2 miles in diameter) will release energy equivalent to approximately 1,000,000 megatons of TNT. This impact energy is equivalent to 12.6 times the total annual energy usage throughout the entire world today all released in a split second. (World energy consumption=316 quadrillion BTUs, 1995 figure, World Bank) This energy would be released under the skin of a large glacier sheet. If an estimated ½ of the impact energy were released in the form of heat the impact would produce approximately 2,000,000,000,000,000,000 Btus. A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit (F).
Some of the energy released by an impact would be through momentum transfer. An impact would set off a large number of earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity, lava flows, tectonic plate movement, glacier ice sheet movement, and surface readjustments. The flexing of the Earths crust would release large quantities of molten lava, adding heat to the oceans and atmosphere. Most of this molten lava would be released at the bottom of the ocean near the tectonic plates. Magma is very hot, with temperatures ranging from 1,650 to 2,200°F. Currently the annual eruption of lava is estimated at 4 to 5 cubic kilometers for all Earths volcanoes and 3 cubic kilometers for mid-ocean ridges. After a large impact, these amounts would go up dramatically.
Increased Solar Absorption
The Earth absorbs approximately 70% of incoming solar radiation. Approximately 50% of the incoming solar radiation is ultimately absorbed at the Earths surface. Refer to: http://www.cwr.uwa.edu.au/cwr/teaching/ole107/globalenergy.pdf The Earth releases the absorbed radiation back into space as Infrared radiation, thus achieving a global heat balance.
Ice and snow are highly reflective. Freshly fallen snow will reflect 90% of the solar radiation. During an Ice Age, less solar radiation will be absorbed in the glacial regions. As a result the Earth is generally colder.
After a large comet/meteor impact on glacial ice sheets, the amount of solar radiation absorbed will increase because:
- Point of impact will be exposed from blast/melt.
- Ice sheets that surge off continental masses will expose ground below.
- Ocean ice sheets that fracture into icebergs will result in increased absorption because only a small fraction of an iceberg is above water (the rest is submerged).
- One of the products of an impact is black rain. Black rain could efficiently coat the glacier surfaces, changing them from being highly reflective to highly absorbent for solar radiation.
- The fallen dark ash ejected by volcanoes can cover the surface of ice sheets, which would produce greater solar absorption.
The Effect of the Impact on Civilization
Analysis of staghorn coral (a coral that always grows in shallow water) provides evidence that the ocean level rose 400 feet since the end of the last Ice Age and the Ice Age came to an abrupt end approximately 11,650 years ago . This occurred when global temperatures rose approximately 7 o C. 4
In order to study the effects of the impact on civilization, lets step back in time. This is not the civilization that you read about in history books but the thriving civilization that existed throughout the world during the last Ice Age. Large areas of the continents were covered in glacier ice sheets. Strong jet streams moving north/south made it difficult to grow crops and scratch out a living in many locales and environments. But some moderate and tropical areas were blessed by mountain ranges that traverse east/west that protected the region from these fierce winds (Himalayas, Caucasus, and European Alps). It was in these regions (such as Cuba, the Mediterranean, and India) that mankind found a niche and thrived. These shallow coastal lands were among the richest and most fertile on Earth. These protected coastlines were the sites of the largest cities and population centers. (This is not much different than today, where 85 percent of the Earths population and the majority of cities are within 200 miles of the coastline. Its just a different coastline, the edge of the continental shelf.)
The end came suddenly. A large comet or asteroid cut its way down to the Earth in a flash and bore through the glacier sheet. For most people, this initial event was so sudden and distant that it might go unnoticed. They would first feel the effects of the impact when a series of massive earthquakes would rumble through a few minutes later. The cities of brick and stone would crumble about them and on top of them. If they looked at the sky, they might notice that it was beginning to take on strange colors before it finally went completely dark. Survivors would stumble around, trying to free family and friends trapped in the rubble. The sea level would begin to rise at the same time that torrents of rain would begin to fall from the sky. As the hours turned into days and months, the unending deluge would lift the level of the sea by as much as 400 feet, submerging approximately 15 million square miles of coastal land around the world and drowning its inhabitants. This brought to an end the Ice Age and destroyed most traces of the Ice Age civilization that came before us.
Remnants of the Ice Age civilizations exist but they are buried under many feet of silt and sand, four hundred feet below sea level, far too deep for most divers. I predict that some of the greatest archeological discoveries in the 21 st century will be uncovered off the coastlines, buried hundreds of feet underwater.
1. Dr. William Dillion, U.S. Geological Survey, "Gas (Methane) Hydrates A New Frontier", n.p. on-line, Internet, available from http://marine.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/gas-hydrates/title.html
2. Michael Paine, "Did Asteroid-Induced Firestorm Destroy the Dinosaur?", SPACE.COM, 18 November 1999, n.p. on-line, Internet, from http://www.space.com/scie. omy/astronomy/dinosaurs_fry_991118.htm .
3. "All about Hydrates, Chemistry of Natural Methane Hydrates", n.p. on-line, Internet, available from http://www.netl.doe.gov/scng/hydrate/about-hydrates/chemistry.htm
Is the Great Flood Story limited to just the Genesis account in the Bible and Platos history of the destruction of Atlantis?
No. Stories of the Great Flood are almost universal among the civilizations on Earth. Anthropologists who study legends and folktales from different geographical locations (China, Babylon, Mexico, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Persia, India, Norway, Wales, Ireland, Indonesia, Romania, Mexico, Peru, Australia, Greece, Tanzania etc.) and cultures consistently have reported one particular group of legends that is common to practically every civilization, the story of the Great Flood. Historians estimate that these legends number into the hundreds. In 95% of the stories, the flood was worldwide in 88%, a certain family was favored in 70%, survival was by means of a boat in 67% animals were also saved in 66% the flood was due to the wickedness of man in 66% the survivors had been forewarned in 57% they ended up on a mountain in 35% birds were sent out from the boat and in 9% exactly eight people were spared. The reality of a global Great Flood event is supported by the universal nature of these accounts.
Is there any physical evidence of a Great Flood?
Yes. William Scott Anderson, arrived at this theory independently and even before me. His research was published in 2001 in a book titled "Solving the Mystery of the Biblical Flood". One of the more interesting elements in his book is that he found a proxy in diatoms that support the theory of a Great Flood. Diatoms are a microorganism, a type of plankton that has a silicon shell, which are preserved as fossils. Mr. Anderson realized a global flood should have left a physical record in the geological strata of these tiny sea creatures. He analyzed the strata at the boundary of the end of the last ice age in the middle of the North American continent in Wisconsin and discovered the presence of ocean diatoms in the boundary layer. His book details his methodology and techniques. These details should allow others to scientifically test and validate his findings and spread this research across the entire globe.
Is there any evidence of a large impact event at the end of the last glacial period?
Yes, but is a little different than my original hypothesis.
The evidence can be found in the Carolina Bays. Refer to http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/cbayint.html
Scattered along the eastern coast of the United States from southern New Jersey to northern Florida are approximately 500,000 elliptical depressions collectively called the Carolina Bays. The size of these depressions range from 200 feet to 7 miles along the major axis. One of the interesting aspects of the Carolina Bays is that they occurred during recent geological time. Otherwise the depressions would have been eroded and filled in. Any event that is capable of producing a half million craters is a significant global event. And this might just be the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended). Because if these impacts were not limited to the Carolina Bays but also peppered the North American Glacial Mass, they could produce a massive release of water and ice. It is worth noting that the trajectory of the Carolina Bay impactors appear to originate from a cometary breakup directly over the North American Glacial Sheets.
Is there any evidence of a massive flood at the end of the last glacial period?
Yes, this can be found in the Lake Missoula, Altai and Agassiz megafloods, to name a few.
Glacial Lake Missoula, a North American inland sea, was as big as Lakes Erie and Ontario combined. The glacial lake covered over 3,000 square miles, and was over 2,000 feet deep at the edge of the glacial dam. The Missoula megaflood release over 520 cubic miles of water and ice across Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Flood waters roared across the landscape at speeds approaching 90 miles per hour, the lake drained in as little as 48 hours. Some argue that it was caused by a massive ice dam that broke releasing a massive flows of water and ice and the event repeated several times. Refer to: http://www.opb.org/programs/ofg/episodes/1001/missoula/index.php Others argue for a single flood event. Refer to: http://nwcreation.net/articles/missoulaflood.htm
Deep in Altai mountains in Southern Siberia a huge ice age lake 300 feet deep containing 200 cubic miles of water ruptured sending a wall of water 1,500 feet high down the Chuja River valley at 90 miles per hour. Refer to: http://www.sentex.net/
The Lake Agassiz megaflood in Canada was even larger than the other two. The flood released over 5,000 cubic miles of water approximately 11,335 years ago . Refer to: http://cgrg.geog.uvic.ca/abstracts/FisherPreborealThe.html
If these massive megafloods, along with others, were triggered simultaneously by a large comet impact, they could hypothetically generate a global flood event.
How could the waters cover the entire earth during the Great Flood?
The crust of the Earth is flexible and deforms over geological time under redistributed weightloads. Mr. Anderson describes this process in some detail in his book. During the Ice Age, the weight of ice sheets miles thick effected the shape of the world the ocean became shallower and the continental landmasses flattened out.
Is there any other evidence supporting a Great Flood?
Yes. Massive extinctions occurred at the end of the Pleistocene. Most of these are associated with the larger megafauna. The following disappeared from America, Europe and Australia:
75% of herbivores 100-1000 kg
This extinction of megafauna included: wooly mammoths & mastodons, the saber-toothed tigers, native American horses & camels, giant Australian kangaroos, wombats, the marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex), the largest ever marsupial (the 2 1/2-ton Diprotodon), giant Irish deer or Irish elk, wooly rhino, peccaries, short-faced bears, as well as the armadillo-like glyptodonts, and the giant ground sloths (Megatheriadae).
Assuming the Earth was struck by a large impactor, where is the iridium evidence?
At the bottom of the ocean. A global flood would wash away this thin dust layer.