The Great Flood
One of the biggest factors in creation science, other than creation and the Fall, is the Great Flood. Such an incredible catastrophe would have an incredible affect on much of science, even such subjects as pathology and paleoclimatology (the study of earth’s past climates). Weather, genetics and geology would never be the same. Neither would man or his salvation. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,” said Jesus Christ in John 10:9. Jesus is the Ark by which we may be saved today.
Of course, there are plenty who say that the world was never flooded with water –even some Christians. Old earth creationists are often forced to reinterpret the Flood passage in Genesis chapters 6-8 as such a watery cataclysm would rip up and destroy any old-earth records (like the fossil record). As such, they resort to the tranquil flood or local flood theories.
The tranquil flood idea is less popular, and for obvious reasons. Just a little water can go a long way, and whether it is rain, a river, a dam break, or a hurricane, its effects can be disastrous to those affected. Modern floods, even small ones, cause billions of dollars worth of damage where they strike, not to mention countless human lives and resources. Anyone watching videos of Japan’s tsunami is struck by the nature of the wave. There was hardly any whitewater; the ocean only rose, quickly, steadily, and powerfully. A flood of any kind is going to leave a big impact, and there is no way that a Global Flood is going to be so tranquil as to leave no trace behind.
The local flood theory is the idea that the Flood only struck a single place on the earth, since mankind was centered in just the one spot for it to wipe out. This has obvious theological difficulties. Why would God tell Noah to build an Ark, send two of every kind of animal two him (including dinosaurs), and basically go through all that trouble when all He could have done was send them out of town? Furthermore, the first and second judgments are often compared in Scripture – the first of water and the next of fire. If the first judgment was local, why wouldn’t the second one be? Of course, such a conclusion is Biblically ridiculous.
It is obvious, then, that God meant a Global Flood when He said, “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” (Gen. 7:19-20) But there are a lot of other objections to the Great Flood, and towards Noah’s Ark in particular, which seems to be a favorite laughing stock of skeptics.
Most people seem to have what is often referred to as the “bathtub ark” in mind. We’ve all seen the kind that’s colored pink or purple and has elephants stuffed inside with giraffe necks sticking out from the top. Such a boat would never stay afloat in the turbulence of the Flood, and Noah and his family could hardly fit (not to mention have room for food to care for the animals – and themselves).
But God was very clear in His commands to building the Ark. Giving out precise measurements for Noah to follow, it was around 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and had three stories. It dimensions, set out in a 6-to-1 ratio, are used by ship designers today when they want the sturdiest, most seaworthy vessel available. Not only was the Ark huge, it was ready for what was to come.
Consider other Flood legends; they are a favorite theme throughout the world. Aborigines, Native Americans, Africans and the Mao people of Asia all tell of the Flood account (and creation, fall and Babel accounts). However, it is the Bible that offers the most believable and precisely unambiguous details. For example, Aborigine Flood legends use a double-tiered raft, carrying only a couple animals (including a kangaroo). The Epic of Gilgamesh for Babylonia offers a dubious cubic “ark” (such a contraption would roll all over the place in the sea). The Mao peoples tell of a man who built an Ark, named ‘Nuah,’ and recall their ancestor’s genealogies back to his son, Japheth. Missionaries, upon reading the creation and Food accounts to many tribes in the Pacific islands, are often met with wonder. How did they get such stories? And why are they so much clearer than ours? they ask, and such discussion are often followed by mass conversions.
Such commonality in such various peoples on different continents points to a common source. The Bible’s accounts of the Flood and of humanity’s dispersal at Babel were historical accounts passed down by many people as they spread all over the earth.
Then there is the ubiquitous claim that Noah could never have fit all those animals on the Ark. There are millions of species in the world. The dinosaurs were huge! And there are even more plants and insects and…
Wait a second. Who exactly was brought to the Ark? God called two of every air-breathing, land-dwelling animal, after its kind, and seven of some (mostly livestock). This would have included land animals. Noah’s Ark was not an aquarium that had to save fish and dolphins. Insects, microbes, and plants could survive on their own (or their eggs and larvae could). The phrase ‘after their kind’ means that individual species weren’t brought along. Noah didn’t have two tigers, lions, bobcats, jaguars, Ocicats and Persians on his hands. He had two cats. Likewise, elephants, mammoths and mastodons were all likely of the same kind; llamas, alpacas and camels are of the same kind; horses, donkeys and zebras are of the same kind. The study of the original kinds is today called baraminology (in Hebrew, ‘bara’ means ‘created’ and ‘min’ means ‘kind’) and is mostly based on whether or not two different species can interbreed. Other factors, such as genetics, play a role. After all, it is very difficult today to get an Asian and African elephant cross. Since the curse, their genes have degenerated too much to allow for hybridization. The original kinds Noah took on his Ark had the genetic capacity to differentiate into the subsequent species we see today. This helps to narrow down the number of animals involved by a great deal. For example, there were hundreds of dinosaur species, but probably only around 50 different ‘kinds.’
Dinosaurs require a special side note here. According to popular belief, they were gigantic creatures who ruled the earth millions of years ago. There is simply no way to squeeze T-rex and Brachiosaurus (the biggest land animal ever) on the same ship, 450 feet long or not.
Of course, according to the Bible, dinosaurs were created on Day 6, along with all the other land animals, and followed by Man. (Sea dragons, like pleisiosaur, and flying ones, like Pterasaur, were created the day before, with the rest of the flying and swimming creatures.) Dinosaurs are actually mentioned in Scripture. The book of Job describes an enormous creature, “chief of the ways of God,” (suggesting its great size) and with a “tail like a cedar.” Your footnotes will likely call this animal an elephant or hippopotamus, but both of these creatures have too small a tail to be compared to a cedar. The other mysterious animal mentioned in Job, the Leviathan, was probably some sort of ‘sea monster,’ mentioned also on Day Five (the Hebrew word translated as ‘great whales’ or ‘great creatures’ made on Day Five is elsewhere translated in the Bible as ‘serpent’ or ‘dragon’).
This, of course, also explains dragon legends around the world, as well as pictographs in Utah of a Brachiosaur-like dinosaur, temple engravings in Cambodia of a Stegasaur and the even mysterious Apatosaur-like creatures engraved on the tomb of a Bishop of Canterbury…who lived as recently as several HUNDRED years ago.
Dinosaur bones have also been found with real red blood cells inside them. How’s that supposed to last millions of years? And no, they didn’t evolve into birds – their scales, cold-bloodedness, and general un-aerodynamic shape, bones, lungs and circulatory systems would not allow for this.
So, dinosaurs were created on Day Six, and coexisted with Man. That still doesn’t explain, however, how they fit onto the Ark. The answer lays in the dino egg fossils we have found.
All dinosaurs came from eggs. An egg is an interesting structure; past a certain size, it will collapse upon itself. Eggs cannot grow beyond the size of a football. That means that dinosaurs – no matter how huge they became – started out football sized. There was no reason to take the big old adults; God wanted the animals to repopulate the earth, so He would have chosen the young, vibrant dinosaurs. Besides, most dinosaurs were the size of a sheep anyway; only a few grew to enormous sizes.
Many extensive calculations and estimations have been done on the Ark and its inhabitants, and even the most liberal estimates leave plenty of room for Noah, his family, food and storage, and just a lot of empty space. The critic who complains no room on the Ark is simply uninformed on the logistics of the scenario (most people pay no attention to the actual size of the Ark or the amount of animals involved).
The Ark, once it landed, would have released its inhabitants into a very different world. Vegetation needed time to re-grow. Man was now permitted to eat meat. Competition for food was likely fierce. The animals had to travel from the Ark’s landing place – probably somewhere in the Middle East – to all over the world. How did they manage?
First of all, an Ice Age followed the Flood (more on this later) that would have lowered sea level and exposed land bridges to distant continents. This gave people as well as animals passages to North America, for example. There may have been huge log mats from forests ripped up during the Flood that could have carried animals to distant islands and places. (The log mats would later rot into the coal mines we see today). And of course, they could have been brought to new places by humans. There is abundant Scriptural and archaeological evidence that some of Noah’s descendents were excellent seafarers, and sailed far throughout the earth’s oceans.
Biogeography is the study of life amongst different continents. There is an obvious connection between animals in opposite corners of the globe. Big cats and big dogs live on many continents – differentiated into different species, of course, but the similarities are still there. Genetically similar plants and microbes are found in jungles in Africa and South America. These are problems for evolution since the continents are supposed to have drifted apart millions of years ago, and their species isolated from others for millions of years. Why are they still so genetically alike? Furthermore, there are strange pictographs in the southwestern United States of animals like ostriches that were never supposed to be there. Apparently the when people arrived here they remembered a few of the unique creatures that stepped off the Ark, even those that didn’t come with them.
The Ark is, scientifically and practically, a feasible scenario. But what do we know about the Flood itself? How did it start, what did it do, and how did it change the world? It accomplished this in more ways than we can imagine, as can be expected from such a global catastrophe.
The Bible says that at the start of the Flood “the fountains of the great deep” (Gen. 6:11) were opened. Many scientists think that this refers to an increase of volcanic activity. There is a mountain range that hits every single ocean and spans the globe and may be a scar of this volcanic activity, especially the Mid-Atlantic ridge right between the Americas and Europe and Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. Many creation models have shown how the continents split apart catastrophically, not gradually over millions of years, during the Flood.
But the Bible says that Peleg, a contemporary of the Tower of Babel incident, was so named because in his days “the earth was divided.” (Gen. 10:25) Does this mean that the continents split apart here? Actually, no; it simply refers to the division of mankind at the Babel dispersion.
Massive rain and flooding would have followed, and many animals – that had not boarded the Ark – would be capture by its mudflows. We find mud strata with tracks of animals that are found in higher mud layers. Polystrate tree fossils reach through many different layers of rock strata. Massive fossil graveyards include animals from cold and warm, dry and wet climates. What are they doing, swirled together in the same place? Marine fossils are found in deserts and the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. All this points to a sudden and rapid burial that spanned the globe.
Evolutionists claim that there is an order in the fossil record that progresses from simple to complex organisms. This ignores two facts: ‘out of place’ organisms (fossils are not always found in the strata they are supposed to be in) and the fact that simple organisms are nothing but complicated (worms do the equivalent of taking a derivate in calculus when navigating underground…jellyfish have extraordinarily complex stinging systems in what are called nematocysts…crystal eyes of trilobites are shaped in the same lenses designed thousands of years later by scientists searching for maximum visual acuity). Perhaps the supposed ‘order’ in the fossil record can be explained another way.
What are the fossils at the bottom of the fossil record? They are bottom-dwelling marine organisms, and they are followed by nektonic (swimming sea) creatures and plants. These are the organisms that would find it the most difficult to get away. Dinosaurs, mammoths, and other large land-dwelling vertebrates would have the greatest advantage in trying to get away, and they make up less than 1% of the fossil record, and mostly at the top.
But wait! How did the fish survive the turbulence? Well, many of them did not. There are a great many species recorded that are extinct today (although some of them may have gone extinct sooner ago than we first thought). How did freshwater fish survive the salty, swirling oceans? Remember, genetic capacity was greater in earlier organisms. They likely were androgynous (meaning they could handle both salt and fresh water, like bull sharks and some salmon) and later lost that ability when they moved into just one type of environment.
The Flood would have also dumped a lot of salt into the oceans (salt today comes from sediments carried by rivers, and there would have been a lot of that during the Flood!), accelerated the nuclear decay of radioactive elements (radiometric dating, then, gives grossly inflated dates) and deposited and formed a lot of geologic formations.
Some of the new geology other than the fossil record would be the White Cliffs of Dover (made of limestone formed by killed marine invertebrates), diatomite deposits all over the world (a type of limestone made by marine plankton cytoskeletons), Petrified Forests (petrification occurs when a living organism is flooded by mineral-rich water), and formations like those in Arches National Park. The Grand Canyon would have been formed afterwards, when huge lakes deposited by the Flood carved it out catastrophically. Evidence for this lies in ancient lake beds seen on either side of the Canyon and huge deposits of mud hardened into convoluted rock at the end of it. Besides, the Grand Canyon sits on a mesa that peaks in the middle. How could the Colorado River (which, according to creation models, would actually come later) possibly flow uphill in order to carve it out over millions of years, as evolutionists claim?
After the Flood, which lasted a year, there would have been profound meteorological changes on the environment. The volcanic activity would have raised the temperature of the ocean’s surface temperature, and scientists – secularists and creationists – have models that show how a higher ocean temperature is directly connected with strong, violent hurricanes. These hurricanes would have been much stronger than today’s Class 5. They would have been directed over the Sahara and Middle East. Remember the Biblical well-watered lands of Jordan? Lot chose these lands when Abraham decided they had better split, and he chose them because they were lush and wet. Today, however, they are in a desert. Archaeological evidence also shows that at one point, this area was, indeed, very lush. And what creation climatologist Dr. Larry Vardiman has dubbed ‘hypercanes’ would be the perfect cause.
There is also evidence that at one point in earth’s history, at least a third of the globe was covered in ice. However, this phenomenon, known as the Ice Age, is a problem for secularists, not creationists. In order to get an Ice Age, you need a strange mixture of circumstances: cool weather and a lot of precipitation. But how is precipitation going to be formed in a cold environment, when water doesn’t evaporate into the atmosphere? This is a problem that, so far, secularists have not been able to solve satisfactorily with any of their models. And they have to believe that there were several ice ages, each spread out over million year intervals.
But in the 6,000 year creation model, there was only one Ice Age, and it was caused by the remarkable conditions brought on by the Flood. Volcanic activity played a major role. In modern times, volcanic ash in the atmosphere can keep the sun blocked out for up to a year; once in New York a Scandinavian volcano eruption resulted in summer snow. The massive amount of volcanic action during the Flood would have dumped lots of ash into the atmosphere, but also lots of lava into the oceans. The atmosphere would be cool, while the oceans would be hot. This would allow for extensive evaporation supplying the snow that would eventually cover a third of the earth.
Interestingly, the Bible may allude to the Ice Age. The earliest book written was Job, and it contains more references to snow, ice, frost, etc. than any other book in Scripture. The Ice Age probably peaked at one or two hundred years after the Flood and then waned over the process of four hundred years. We’re still seeing those effects with the melting of ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic.
The Flood also affected pathology and human lifespan. The magnetosphere of the earth wiggled back and forth and up and down during the Flood, as can be seen in magnetic striping in sea-floor rocks. The magnetosphere helps to protect us from the sun’s most harmful rays, so its current weaker state means more of that stuff for us. Also, the complete overturning of ecosystems would have placed bacteria and other microbes in places they’d never been before, meaning they’d have to find other ways to survive. As a result, many previously symbiotic bacteria became parasites or disease-causing. Consider the microbe that causes cholera. In marine invertebrates, it is mutually symbiotic. When it was placed in a new environment, those symbiotic structures turned to dark, sin-cursed purposes. In fact, most structures that cause disease in bacteria are actually very similar to symbiotic structures in other bacteria.
Whatever the cause, after the Flood, human lifespan decreased dramatically. There is actually an equation that directly relates how long a person lives with how long they lived after the Flood made by the ages given of Noah and his descendents:
y = (5,029.2)X^(-1.4322)
This equation, developed by Dr. John C. Sanford, has a correlation coefficient of 0.9025 (in other words, the data match the equation very well). This also adds to the integrity of Scripture; either Moses decided on a devious scheme of matching the ages of his fictional characters to this equation, or he just got lucky writing them down, or he was recording fact. Which seems most likely to you?
The Great Flood was sent to destroy the earth because of mankind’s rampant sin. But it wasn’t long before we slipped up again. Refusing to obey God’s order to fill the earth, Man stayed together and planned to build a great tower to the heavens to glorify themselves. God destroyed the Tower of Babel and scattered the peoples by giving them different languages. Man spread out from here to all corners of the globe. The evolution of language is a big problem for secularists, as the great complexity of language is not going to come from the simplicity of animal grunts. Linguists today, however, can place the amount of language ‘families’ into around the same number of different tribes given in the Babel account. Language is a gift directly from and made by God, and could never have evolved.
Babel is also where all the different races come from. People originally had a very diverse gene pool, but this isolation by language, and then by geography, would eventually cause new ‘races’ of people to be made. This is confirmed by the human genome project. Any two people are genetically different by 0.012%. The amount of DNA that makes you a particular ‘race,’ however, is 0.001%. Biologically, there are no different races, and this is just now being confirmed by science.
Apropos, this means that Adam and Eve, and probably Noah and his family, were moderate brown in skin tone and hair color (not Caucasian, as depicted in all those Michelangelo paintings). This would have given them the genetic capacity to have children of many different colors and traits.
It is obvious that the Flood affected our world in many ways. Not only is most ‘old earth evidence’ washed easily away by it, but it has left its stamp on our world that is still visible today. Each dinosaur graveyard, each similar plant and animal on different continents, each Creation and Flood and dragon legend, is a clue to the watery judgment that once covered the entire earth. There is another judgment coming, but another Ark is waiting for us. All you have to do is believe. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) Don’t let God close the door without you.