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Does Evidence Support the Biblical Explanation of The Great Flood?

By Edited May 23, 2016 0 0

A Close Examination of the Scientific and Social Facts of the Time May Offer Support to the Bible

For centuries religious beliefs about the occurrence of the great flood have been
regarded as legends by scientists, agnostics and others.  Although members of certain
religions may be content with relying on "faith" to be the only support necessary for
believing what they’re taught, the non-believers who make up the majority of the human
population are demanding scientific support before giving any theory credit.  Scientific
proof becomes the only reliable reason for scientists and agnostics to accept certain
religious claims; such as the concept of the Great Flood.  Taking into account the biblical
text and its writers’ perspectives and fossil evidence, it is possible to prove scientifically
that the Great Flood did indeed take place.
First it is important to recap the exact biblical claim:
"In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights" (Genesis 7:11).

Noah was from Mesopotamia and supposedly lived around 5600 B.C..
The geographical perspective of people of that time was that the world consisted of
Europe and the Middle East.  For example in Romans 1:8 Paul says "...because your faith
is being reported all over the world" and author Steven Sarigianis states "but most readers
understand Paul to mean Rome’s world—"throughout the Roman Empire"—not every
region of the planet."  Sarigianis points out that in I Kings it is said that "the whole world sought audience with Solomon" when actually the furthest recorded visitor was the queen of Sheba (near modern Ethiopia).  Although people inhabited the New World prior to its discovery by the Europeans in the 1400s A.D., the eastern world had no knowledge of that area.  Thus it is clear that the definition of the world for those in Genesis meant the Roman Empire and surrounding areas.
The topography of the Mesopotamian region can be evaluated and shown to
support the Great Flood concept if the narrow perspective of the people in biblical times
is kept in mind.  The region extends 600 miles outward from the Black Sea in a U-shape
which has an elevation of 400 meters on all sides, with the exception of the side
bordering the sea at sea-level (crystalinks.com/meso.com).  This provides perfect
geographical means for a regional flood deep enough to ruin all settlements within the
plain.  Referring back to the ‘narrow perspective’ concept, it can be said that the flooding
of the Mesopotamian plain could be enough to be considered the ‘whole world’, thus the
text can actually be interpreted as accurate.    
The biblical text also mentions that Noah’s ark came to rest atop the Ararat
Mountains as the flood waters receded (Genesis 8:4). Consider the facts that the
mountains are located within this plain and never reach an elevation above 400 meters; if
one can accept that the Bible can be interpreted to mean that the flood was regional then
it is scientifically possible for the Great Flood and the landing of the ark to have
happened in the region where Noah lived and in a way consistent with to biblical claims.
Assume that the Bible was meant to be taken literally.  In Genesis 7:11 it is
written that the "fountains of the great deep" and the "floodgates of heaven" opened to
flood the earth with water.  Today scientists have located many underground water
reservoirs and that the natural shifting of the earth’s crust has been known to release this
water.  Geologist Bill Jahns points out that today there are numerous underground
reservoirs "and in the pre-flood world these were likely even more common" (Jahns. The
Good News). Releasing of water from these reservoirs would result in a drastic increase
in the water levels of bodies all over the world; adding to a world-wide flood and
explaining the claim of deep water ‘fountains’.  In addition, geologists say that 75% of
the earth’s rocks are sedimentary (Jahns. The Good News).  This means that they were
created underwater which suggests that at one point, at least 75% of the land was
submerged in water.
Bone beds have been discovered in the United States, England, and all over
Western Europe at which a high number and odd collection of animals have been buried
together "in a confused mass" (Jahns).  Upwards of 9000 animals at a time were
discovered and found to have been killed and buried instantly.  Many times, these
collections have been found in caves, as if the animals had tried to seek shelter. In
England and Western Europe these caves have been measured at elevations up to 1000
feet above sea level.  None of these animal remains show signs of having died from
normal predator-prey interactions but instead remain completely intact.  The most
peculiar findings are those of fossils of crustaceans and other marine animals at elevations
similar to the caves in Europe.  Because the variety of species of animal remains found in
these specific areas, because there is evidence that the animals were seeking refuge, and
because marine fossils were found at altitudes above sea level, it can be said that the only
logical explanation is a mass flooding of the entire world, as the Bible literally states.
In addition to terrestrial evidence preserved by mud and rocks, there exists
underwater artifacts from human civilization preserved in the deepest portions of the
Black Sea.  These artifacts are preserved because parts of the Black Sea lack oxygen (a
necessary component of the decomposition process).  The Washington Post claims that
the majority of archaeologists suggest a civilization existed there and was destroyed by a
flood thousands of years ago.  The combination of terrestrial and marine evidence and
artifacts of civilization, support the idea of a world-wide catastrophe, and the nature of
these findings support most strongly a giant flood; the Great Flood theory is once again
supported by science.
So why is all of this evidence overlooked and the biblical claim still primarily
denied?  Many people once turned to the questionable dates of the artifacts that are
gathered from sites believed to be affected by a mass flood.  Now scientists are admitting
that dating methods are inaccurate.  A method called Carbon Dating has been used for
many of years to date artifacts and fossils back to their origin by measuring the remaining
levels of carbon 14 and calculating the object’s age using the half-life of this Carbon 14
atom. This method could be accurate if carbon 14 existed in a uniform quantity over time,
but it hasn’t. Also, thousands of years of exposure to the environment leads to guaranteed
contamination.  Today, a new dating instrument called an accelerator mass spectrometer
can measure carbon levels of much smaller quantities.  Thus, levels of carbon encased
within skeletal remains, less touched by the hands of time and contamination, can be
tested for age.  With this new method, ancient artifacts have been reevaluated and
determined to be millions of years younger than what the original method of carbon
dating had estimated.  With the inaccuracy in dating methods it has become difficult to
prove the date of ancient physical evidence which once disproved biblical claims such as
the flood.
Thus scientific evidence supports two perspectives regarding the textual claim:
one of a flood which consumed the world killing all life, and one that a flood consumed
Noah’s world killing all life known to the people of the Mesopotamian plain.  It is
impossible to interpret how the Bible was meant to be perceived due to the differences in
culture between past and present, however either way, scientific evidence is available to
support either idea.  Considering the relatively ambiguous context in which the Bible was
 written and how geologists have been able to apply its claims to scientific possibilities
such as plate tectonics, it is clear that in the least, the Great Flood exists as a plausible
explanation for many currently unexplained phonemes in science. What prevents the
biblical claims from being proved is the inability to date the evidence accurately; so the
question is not whether or not the Great Flood happened, it is when did it take place and
to what extent did it occur.



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