05 Noah’s Flood

5 The Flood

5  The Flood at the time of Noah

 

This was the most devastating physical event in Earth’s history.

What can science derive from this catastrophic deluge?

 

The biblical account in Genesis 7 tells of a breaking up of the ground, and that the springs of the great deep were released. This appears to have been a worldwide break-up of the Earth’s crust producing thousands of volcanic eruptions, including supervolcanoes such as one seen at Yellowstone park inAmerica.

The floodgates of the heavens were opened & the skies then rained for 40 days & nights.

 

The most common idea for the initiation of events is an asteroid impact. The crust of the Earth was pierced by the impact & this lead to enormous earthquakes & massive volcanic activity.

This would have sent vast amounts of ash and dust & into the vapour canopy*1. Water vapour would condensate on this, leading to the torrents of rain.

 

Today there is not enough water in the clouds for it to globally rain for 40 days, but a vast store of water could have been held in this upper layer and fallen at this time.

 

At present the greatest content of volcanic outflow is water. The thousands of eruptions at that time would add to the water present on the Earth’s surface in addition to that released from the skies. Even today it is thought that there is far more water within the Earth’s mantle*2 than in all the oceans.

 

Many people (both secular & Christian) have dismissed the global flood, claiming that any such event occurred locally in the presentMesopotamiaregion.

 

The arguments against what is clearly taught in the bible:

 

1 Some claim that there is no present evidence for a global flood.

This fallacy is based on what they expect from such an event. Such a tremendous catastrophe would result in massive, continental scale erosion & deposition of sediments throughout the world, basically producing all of the major geological features of the world. What are often found are sedimentary sequences crossing complete countries & even continents. These would be impossible if assuming current slow & gradual models of geology.

 

2 Mankind only lived in theMiddle Eastregion so God only needed to flood that area.

God commanded mankind to ‘Fill the Earth’. There would have been over a thousand years to allow dispersal fromEdenup to the time of the flood.

 

Gen 9:11 I will not flood the world again. If it was merely a local flood then other floods that have been seen since then would invalidate this word of God.

 

How much water was there? The bible tells that the mountains were covered to a depth of 20′. We cannot tell how high the land & mountains rose above the oceans, but if the surface of the Earth today were flattened, then the seas would cover the ground to a depth of over 2 miles.

 

Where did the water go? Tectonic activity (earth movements) would have raised continents & lowered ocean basins. Water & mud flowing off the land would inundate creatures killed in the flood, rapidly burying them & creating conditions suitable to forming fossils. This is why fossils of marine fossils are found on top ofMt.Everest.

 

 

 

 

 

Following the flood, conditions would be drastically different.

 

A. Ramifications of losing the vapour canopy would be:

1 The Earth would receive more UV radiation from the sun. Life expectancies in the early world were far longer than today. These tailed off after the Flood.

2 A lower atmospheric pressure. Living in high pressure hyperbolic chambers greatly improves the healing of wounds, etc. This benefit would be lost.

3 A far greater variation in climates around the world. The pre-flood world probably had calmer & more even conditions, with temperatures far more similar from the equator to the poles.

 

B. There may well have been no rain before he time of the flood. Gen 2:6 states that all the land was watered by springs or mists so this could remove the need for rain. Without rain there could not have been rainbows. God said that He put the rainbow on he sky as a covenant, Gen 9:13, and possibly this occurred with the event of, ‘rain falling from the sky’.

 

C. There would be tremendous heat produced by earth movements & volcanic eruptions, so water in the oceans would be greatly heated. This would be coupled with a ‘nuclear winter’ where ash would remain in the sky for decades, reducing the sunlight & so cooling the atmosphere. High rates of evaporation from water & land, coupled with a cooled atmosphere would produce great volumes of snow fall leading to an ice age. It is thought that the Earth is still recovering from this event.

 

Some speculation on my part. We hear a lot about global warming. Mankind seems to be contributing to this but the Earth has been slowly warming for centuries. There are worries about this melting the Arctic ice caps & sea levels rising, enveloping coastal regions. Ps 104 Says, ‘The boundary of the waters will not be crossed’. We do not know where these boundaries are, but we can confidently say that God is in control.

 

 

Steve Martin

 

 

*1 The water vapour canopy. In a ring around the world there is a region called the thermosphere. This is heated by the sun to >100oC & is capable of holding large amounts of water as superheated water vapour.

This idea is supported by Genesis 1 which states that the, ‘waters were separated from the waters’ during creation week.

*2 The Earth’s interior consists of a core, a lower and upper mantle, then the outer crust.