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Where Did All the Water Go?

09 Oct
Pangea (Image from Google Images)

Pangea
(Image from Google Images)

Naturalists create such a fuss over creationist theories about ancient geological history, often concluding they are contradictory and illogical. Granted every proposed model for creation or for the Genesis Flood by a creationist scientist cannot be true, because some of their models would contradict that of their own Christian colleagues. We are all trying to put meat on the bones of Genesis, and everything that is suggested doesn’t fit properly for all circumstances. Yet, this is to be expected, if we are seeking the truth about a singularity in the past that cannot be repeated today. The very same would be true of models presented by naturalist scientists. Everything they put forth cannot be true concerning the beginning of the universe, because some of their models contradict other naturalist models. Even the Big Bang theory is not universally accepted among scientists who don’t believe in God.

So, what about all the fuss over the waters of the Noahic Flood, where did it come from and where did it go? I already wrote a blog-post about the origin of the waters, so in this posting I intend to place more emphasis upon where the flood water went after it covered all the mountains (high hills)[1] of the earth.

Actually, evolutionists, themselves, provide a very reasonable model for where the flood waters went. Of course the time factor would be different in a creationist/Genesis Flood model, but such differences in worldview would be expected. Both creationists and evolutionists agree that, at one time in our ancient history, all the present continents were connected in one giant continent, the southern part of which some call Gondwana. How large this great continent was, we cannot say. Did it include only the existing continents, or was there even more landmass in existence at that time? One can only imagine, but there is evidence it may have been larger.[2] In any event, geologist, Dr. Terence McCarthy, and paleontologist, Dr. Bruce Rubridge, offer us a hint of how things may have occurred as the African continent emerged from the flood waters in their recent book, which speaks of the birth of the Indian and Atlantic oceans:

The break-up of Gondwana began with the opening of the Indian Ocean along the African east coast, heralded by the eruption of basalts and rhyolites of the Lebombo region… Some 120 million years ago, South America began to detach from Africa, opening rifts along the southern African west coast. This thinned the continental crust: the start of the Atlantic Ocean.[3]

As I claimed above, creationists would dispute the 120 million year timeframe, which corresponds to the naturalist’s theory of uniformitarianism, but there can be little doubt that McCarthy and Rubridge describe a very plausible argument for where the waters of the Genesis flood went.

About 70 % of the earth’s surface is presently covered by water, but this may have been a lot less in the pre-flood world.[4] Much of the present water may have come from under the earth’s crust. Nevertheless, the deep oceans of today hold the waters of the Noahic Flood of thousands of years ago. If the high mountains of today, like Mt. Everest, were shaved off (so people could actually live on and farm the **mountains**) and the deep crevices of the ocean floor were smoothed out, the oceans would again overflow their banks and cover the earth to about the depth described in Genesis 7; and if one smoothed all the dry land to sea level and also smoothed out the ocean floor, the entire globe would be covered by water up to nearly two miles above what was once dry land.

The problem is, the critics like to begin with a post-flood world, using post-flood topography, and ask: where did all the **additional** water come from to flood the entire earth, and where did all this **additional** water go? The answer to these questions lies in the operation of tectonics and hydraulics. If the earth’s crust from beneath the ocean floor pushes upward, the water must go somewhere. It flooded the ancient Pangaea world. Afterward, the ocean floor deepened, driving landmass higher on the large continent and eventually breaking it up over the next few centuries into smaller continents. The flood waters flowed off the huge continent into the deepening valley of the ocean floor. Eventually, the continent broke up over the next few centuries into what we find today. Some landmass was certainly lost to a larger and deeper ocean floor.

 


[1] In the pre-flood world there were no mountains like Mt. Everest or Mt. McKinley. The Lord made the earth to dwell in (Isaiah 45:18) even the mountains, like Mt. Zion, were meant to dwell upon, or at least could be farmed etc.

[3] Terence McCarthy and Bruce Rubidge, The Story of Earth and Life: A Southern African Perspective, Struik Publishers, Cape Town, p. 245-6, 2005.

[4] See Huge ‘Ocean’ Discovered Inside Earth; also Lou Bergeron, “Deep Waters,” New Scientist, vol. 155, pages 22–26, August 30, 1997.

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6 Comments

Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Genesis Flood, naturalism

 

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6 responses to “Where Did All the Water Go?

  1. Return of Benjamin

    October 9, 2013 at 09:41

    So how do you account for all of the secondary forces squeezing that much plate techtonic activity into such a small period of time would entail? The heat that would be generated from all of that friction would be more than sufficient to boil everyone on the ark alive.

    I suppose you could argue that God simply did an additional miracle to dissipate the heat safely (and the vibrations from the massive earthquakes, and the pollution from the incredible volcanic activity), but at that point you might as well argue that God opened up a stargate to a water world to create the Flood and then opened up a second gate into deep space to get rid of it all. You very quickly have to multiply miracle upon miracle, or else argue for a radically different physics before and during the Flood, neither of which fits the rest of Scripture.

    Shalom

     
    • Eddie

      October 9, 2013 at 10:36

      Greetings, Rabbi Mike! It is good to hear from you again.

      Concerning the generation of heat caused by the friction of the plate tectonic activity, I do not profess to be a scientist, and I don’t believe you do either, so we both rely upon the opinions of scientists we respect. Would that be a good assumption? In any event, scientists are in some disagreement concerning how much heat would be generated v/s how much of that heat would be cooled by all the additional water coming up from beneath the ocean floor and the cool torrential rain throughout the world. Certainly we would agree that some of the water coming up from beneath the earth’s upper mantel was vaporized immediately, causing the 40 days of rain as described in the Bible–we both agree that there was a period of 40 days of rain, do we not? If we do agree to this point, then something occurred then that had not occurred since Noah’s day, because there isn’t enough moisture in the earth’s atmosphere to cause it to rain steadily for 40 days and 40 nights–all over the world.

      What occurred in Noah’s day was a singularity that cannot be repeated. We can only theorize about what did occur. I presume you believe in a local flood. I do not; I don’t believe the context allows for that, but I allow for disagreement on this point among believers.

      Concerning miracle after miracle, I’m not in the habit of requiring miracles for everything that God does. He uses the power of nature and the knowledge of men to accomplish his will most often (in my opinion). However, it would be difficult to presume the text requires no miracle from God, since a great flood is predicted 100-120 years in advance, and proportions for the Ark are offered to accommodate both animal and human life. Where would Noah acquire such information in his day? So, some miracles are required in Genesis 7, and I believe that protection of the Ark was one of them, but I don’t presume protection from boiling or pollution being among them. The torrential rainfall would tend to keep the pollution at a minimum, and all the additional water added to the outer world would have a cooling effect upon the great heat generated by the tectonic activity. Nevertheless, I don’t mean to imply that it wasn’t warm. The warmer air caused a great deal of rainfall for the next few centuries which brought about the Ice Age, but I presume we would disagree as to its length.

      Lord bless you, Rabbi.

       
      • Return of Benjamin

        October 9, 2013 at 11:21

        Shalom again, Eddie. I’ve been continuing to follow your blog with interest, but have been taking a bit of a hiatus myself, so it’s been a while since I commented. Good work as always.

        We agree on 40 days and nights of rain, as well as a significant portion of the water coming from “the fountains of the great deep.” However, where I think we would disagree is on just how global the Flood would have to be to accomplish God’s objective. If the point of the Flood was to wipe out Man and to start over with just a few survivors–are we agreed on that point?–then it is wholly unnecessary for God to drown the penguins in Antartica or the kangaroos in Austrailia, since we hadn’t spread out that far yet.

        In other words, I think a flood can be “worldwide” (in the same sense that the famine in the time of Joseph was “worldwide” and yet people in China didn’t all have to come to Egypt to buy food) and universal in the experience of humankind without needing to account for enough waters to cover the modern Himelayas or plate techtonics that move at a consistant 1.5 mph over 12 months to get the Atlantic Ocean.

        “He uses the power of nature and the knowledge of men to accomplish his will most often (in my opinion). However, it would be difficult to presume the text requires no miracle from God . . .”

        I agree on both points. A Class 5 (or more?) hurricane that stayed in the same spot for 40 days combined with a massive earthquake (the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep) at the same time requires a miracle by any definition of the term. However, God also consistantly uses the minimum disruption of the laws of nature to accomplish His goals in most cases. (There’s a theological term for this, but heck if I can remember it at the moment.) It seems to me that we should look for the same efficiency in our exegesis of the Flood.

        In short, a global flood would be overkill, and unnecessary to explain the data in Genesis 6-9. We only need a Flood so vast and powerful that it hit every place humankind had spread to at that point. In my humble opinion, of course.

        “The torrential rainfall would tend to keep the pollution at a minimum, and all the additional water added to the outer world would have a cooling effect upon the great heat generated by the tectonic activity.”

        There are still several problems that you have to address for your plate techtonics theory to work: First, the rainfall only lasted 40 days, so you either have the plate techtonics (all 6000 miles of them) working only during that timeframe (6.25 mph), or you still have a problem with the massive amount of ash. Second, it’s not just ash, its poisonous gas (including an insane amount of CO2) which is going to bubble to the surface and kill everyone even if it all takes place underwater. Third, you’re ultimately talking about the earth having the same amount of water before and after the Flood–and there simply isn’t enough water on the earth so serve as a sufficient heat sink for that much plate techtonic activity in that short a period of time. And fourth, you would have such incredible waves that a wooden boat would be turned into splinters even without the heat factor.

        Can God do that and head off the secondary effects? Sure, but there’s no indication that He actually did so in the Biblical text, and it’s wholly unnecessary to suppose that all of the plate techtonics forming the continents and mountains happened during Noah’s flood instead of on the third creation day.

        Shalom

         
        • Eddie

          October 9, 2013 at 14:02

          Shalom again, Eddie. I’ve been continuing to follow your blog with interest, but have been taking a bit of a hiatus myself, so it’s been a while since I commented. Good work as always.

          Thank you for your kind words, Rabbi Mike, and as always, your input is welcome here whether or not you agree with my point of view. I always like to see an alternative viewpoint expressed, so those believers who read my blog could judge between two perspectives and decide for themselves, which seems best and is closest to what one would read in the Bible.

          We agree on 40 days and nights of rain, as well as a significant portion of the water coming from “the fountains of the great deep.” However, where I think we would disagree is on just how global the Flood would have to be to accomplish God’s objective. If the point of the Flood was to wipe out Man and to start over with just a few survivors–are we agreed on that point?–then it is wholly unnecessary for God to drown the penguins in Antartica or the kangaroos in Austrailia, since we hadn’t spread out that far yet.

          Genesis 6:7 says God intended to destroy all men; verse 13 says he would destroy the earth with mankind, and verse 17 says he intended to destroy everything that breathed—only Noah and his family and the animals aboard the Ark would escape the universal (sounding) judgment.

          If we try to logically limit the scope of God’s judgment by saying mankind had not yet migrated throughout all the earth, then where do we **logically** stop limiting God’s scope of activity? Why would Noah have needed to build the Ark in the first place, since all he would need to do was move? Why care about any of the animals since, obviously, they had already migrated to places as distant as Australia and Antarctica (although I believe the pre-flood world had one huge continent, and not as much water as today), and, therefore, would not be wiped out in a local flood? There is no logical need for an Ark in a local flood.

          In other words, I think a flood can be “worldwide” (in the same sense that the famine in the time of Joseph was “worldwide” and yet people in China didn’t all have to come to Egypt to buy food) and universal in the experience of humankind without needing to account for enough waters to cover the modern Himelayas or plate techtonics that move at a consistant 1.5 mph over 12 months to get the Atlantic Ocean.

          In such a case, one could raise an argument against the universality of mankind being destroyed, in that only those of a particular locale needed to be destroyed, while those elsewhere were not so evil. Yet, the language in the first 11 chapters of Genesis seems to be universal in nature, not merely universal in locale. It isn’t until God begins to call the Jews (Hebrews) as a separate nation that the literary “all” is used in localized terms. God created **all** the heavens and the earth and **all** living therein. Eve is the mother of **all** mankind. Moreover, if animals were able to migrate to the most distant parts of the globe, how is it that mankind did not? If all men were to be destroyed, then it had to be a global affair, in my opinion.

          A Class 5 (or more?) hurricane that stayed in the same spot for 40 days combined with a massive earthquake (the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep) at the same time requires a miracle by any definition of the term. However, God also consistantly uses the minimum disruption of the laws of nature to accomplish His goals in most cases. (There’s a theological term for this, but heck if I can remember it at the moment.) It seems to me that we should look for the same efficiency in our exegesis of the Flood.
          In short, a global flood would be overkill, and unnecessary to explain the data in Genesis 6-9. We only need a Flood so vast and powerful that it hit every place humankind had spread to at that point. In my humble opinion, of course.

          While I agree that God tends to use the laws of nature he put into force rather than play the magician, I don’t believe one can logically assume a local flood from the data in Genesis 6-9. Nevertheless, I allow a lot of room for disagreement on this point, since I don’t believe this is an issue one needs to die over. Having said that, what logical reason is there for an Ark, since all Noah and his family needed to do was move away from the general location of mankind in order to escape the judgment of God? Why would animals need to be saved in an Ark, if the flood was local?

          There are still several problems that you have to address for your plate techtonics theory to work: First, the rainfall only lasted 40 days, so you either have the plate techtonics (all 6000 miles of them) working only during that timeframe (6.25 mph), or you still have a problem with the massive amount of ash. Second, it’s not just ash, its poisonous gas (including an insane amount of CO2) which is going to bubble to the surface and kill everyone even if it all takes place underwater.

          I cannot help but think you are throwing out controversial issues at me that are debated among many believing scientists. If they are debating these issues, then it really isn’t as set in cement as you are making it out to be. Was Noah anywhere near the breakup of one of the plates? There seems to be some evidence that in the pre-flood era there was a greater amount of oxygen in the atmosphere (I believe this comes from the content of air pockets in ancient lava, not sure anymore). If true, then we know atmospheric conditions have changed a great degree since that time. Would the CO2 spread throughout the globe? Would the ash spread throughout the globe? I really don’t believe this is as clear cut as you are making it sound. Why would legitimate and very intelligent scientists disagree with your point? I don’t mean to set this in cement as though you **must** be wrong and I **must** be correct, but I do mean to challenge your point of view, saying you are a lot more confident in this issue than is logically tenable.

          Third, you’re ultimately talking about the earth having the same amount of water before and after the Flood–and there simply isn’t enough water on the earth so serve as a sufficient heat sink for that much plate techtonic activity in that short a period of time. And fourth, you would have such incredible waves that a wooden boat would be turned into splinters even without the heat factor.

          Actually, I have reasoned in my blog-posts that there was more land and less water on the surface of the globe in the pre-flood era. As far as a ‘heat sink’ or ‘incredible waves’ are concerned, we are speaking about a singularity that never occurred before or since Noah’s day. How can you or I firmly establish how nature would react? Certainly we could have theories, and perhaps one or both of us could come close to the truth, but at the end of the day what matters is what Genesis 6-9 say about what occurred. The kind of language used to convey what occurred and whether or not we believe what we read are important in coming to a conclusion. However, if we believe we are speaking of God’s word, then once we establish what God says occurred, then we have to figure out how that was done according to nature’s forces. I’m sure it can be found out, because I believe God wants us to know. It is part of recognizing his power, his righteousness (in judgment) and his mercy for those who obey him, and even his love for those whom he killed.

          Can God do that and head off the secondary effects? Sure, but there’s no indication that He actually did so in the Biblical text, and it’s wholly unnecessary to suppose that all of the plate techtonics forming the continents and mountains happened during Noah’s flood instead of on the third creation day.

          I don’t think there is a way of getting around the fact that God did head off some secondary effects in much the same manner as he puts a hedge about each one of us who loves him. Things happen to us or not (as the case may be) that don’t happen (or do happen) to the world. Only the believer is aware of God presence and aid even in those times when we are brought through the same events the world experiences. Though we may not always be aware of the particulars, we are aware of the fact of God’s provision and protection. So, too, God ‘remembered’ those in the Ark (Genesis 8:1).

          Lord bless.

           
        • Return of Benjamin

          October 9, 2013 at 16:25

          Shalom again!

          “Why would Noah have needed to build the Ark in the first place, since all he would need to do was move?”

          Because, as Peter and Hebrews both make a point of stating, building the ark provided Noah a pulpit to be a “preacher of righteousness.” It would be far from the last time that God told His prophets to do something wierd instead of something expedient.

          As far as the animals go, aside from the fact that human beings needed animals to (re-)launch civilization, there are species unique to the Middle-east that God could wish to be preserved. Moreover, collecting the animals would serve to further Noah’s message of impending judgment.

          If, on the other hand, the Flood was truly global, then you have one of two problems that also have to be resolved: Either the ark would not be big enough to preserve every animal species, or you have to suppose some kind of hyper-evolution after the Flood to explain the degree of speciation we have today.

          “In such a case, one could raise an argument against the universality of mankind being destroyed, in that only those of a particular locale needed to be destroyed, while those elsewhere were not so evil.”

          That is true. However, the ubiquity of the Flood legend around the world would attest that the event was truly primordial and universal to all humankind. I remember taking a class on early American literature in college which included the Native American traditions. It struck me even then (and I was not a serious disciple at the time) that even here there was an echo of the Biblical Flood that hit nearly all of the key points.

          I’d also point out that the Flood’s universality would explain why it was unique and never again to be repeated. Even if we suppose that it was non-global, it would still be greater than any flood before or since, as well as uniquely universal to the human experience.

          “It isn’t until God begins to call the Jews (Hebrews) as a separate nation that the literary “all” is used in localized terms.”

          It wasn’t until the division of the nations that humankind was spread out enough to limit the reach of the term. Having humankind mostly localized before them would fit a shift in the scope of the term, would it not?

          “Moreover, if animals were able to migrate to the most distant parts of the globe, how is it that mankind did not?”

          I don’t think that all animals started in one spot in the Middle-east, while Man did. Moreover, if you take it that there are no gaps in the genealogical record, ten generations isn’t really all that much, so the population pressures that promote migration wouldn’t be there before the Flood, and God did not forcibly disperse us until Babel.

          “Nevertheless, I allow a lot of room for disagreement on this point, since I don’t believe this is an issue one needs to die over.”

          Same here. I was ambivalent about the issue until very recently, and only settled into an Old Earth Creationist model after I took the time to really dig into the Hebrew and listen to several debates between YEC and OEC proponents. There are challenges and issues on all sides, and as Dr. Michael Heiser points out, Genesis was originally written to people who had no knowledge of–and wouldn’t have been interested in–our current faith/science debates. That’s not to say that God didn’t put the information there that would just happen to correspond to what would be discovered in His Creation later. But all of us are doing a bit of isogesis when we come at the text.

          In this case, I’m not trying to “convert” you, per se. I’m mostly curious to see how you come at the issues of the necessary secondary effects to your plate techtonics model. Since I hold your work in high regard–even if I think you don’t give the rabbis a fair break :)–I figured you would be a good candidate for kicking this around.

          Thank you for not disappointing.

          “If they are debating these issues, then it really isn’t as set in cement as you are making it out to be.”

          Actually, my own experience has been that Young-Earth Creationists tend not to give hard calculations–even those with scientific degrees. If you disagree on that, please find me a YEC who gives hard numbers on the heat-exchange (and energy requirements) for your model. I’d love to see them.

          In the meantime, let me offer you a simple calculation: Right now, even with several 7+ magnitude quakes and volcanic eruptions a year–many of which do incredible damage–the earth’s plates move apart anywhere from 0 to 4 inches each year. Let’s call it an average of 2 inches per year for simplicitiy’s sake. To spread the continents out some 6000 miles (380,160,000 inches) in the five months that water covered the earth, you’d have plate tectonics moving at 456,192,000 times their present rate.

          We’re no longer talking about plate techtonics. We’re talking about God completely melting down the entire crust of the earth (while somehow not boiling away the water).

          Now, is God capable of doing all that? Of course. But did He? Is it necessary to the Biblical account?

          “Would the CO2 spread throughout the globe? Would the ash spread throughout the globe?”

          Yes. We see it happen all the time when a volcano erupts. Do some reading on the Yellowstone Caldera and what would happen (and has happened) when it erupts. Now imagine every supervolcano in the world erupting at once. Repeatedly. Both under the water and above the water when the continents rise from it.

          “Why would legitimate and very intelligent scientists disagree with your point?”

          Because they are, to their credit, dedicated to the Word of God–but they’re also dedicated to a particular model of interpretation. A person’s science degree does not guarantee that they will do good science. Just look at the evolutionists torturing the data to make their own beliefs work. But don’t look at their degrees and opinions, look at their equations and numbers. Can you show me where OEC scientists have shown concrete answers to these questions?

          If you can, great, let’s compare them to the OEC response and talk about them.

          “I don’t mean to set this in cement as though you **must** be wrong and I **must** be correct, but I do mean to challenge your point of view, saying you are a lot more confident in this issue than is logically tenable.”

          No no, you’re fine! You’ve been gracious, intelligent, humble, and a true brother throughout this conversation. I wish that more conversations on this subject went so well and without charges of heresy being bandied back and forth.

          “As far as a ‘heat sink’ or ‘incredible waves’ are concerned, we are speaking about a singularity that never occurred before or since Noah’s day. How can you or I firmly establish how nature would react?”

          Well, if we agree that God is presently resting from creating ex-nihilo and that the laws of nature are fixed (I can provide Scriptural references if we disagree on this), then this means that as with any scientific endeavor, we have to account for where every erg of energy came from and went. That’s just basic physics.

          The amount of land formation that you are suggesting requires an immense amount of energy injected into the earth’s system in a way that doesn’t fry everyone, which in turn requires an immense output of entropic heat. Again, God can do as He wishes, so I’m not saying your position is impossible. What I am saying is that you have to multiply miracles–to my mind, unnecessarily–and you should be able to show evidence for this in nature. God doesn’t hide His miracles–they’re called “signs” for a reason!

          “I don’t think there is a way of getting around the fact that God did head off some secondary effects in much the same manner as he puts a hedge about each one of us who loves him.”

          Whereas I think a scenario in which the secondary effects that we’re talking about even occur is unnecessary to the Biblical narrative.

          I’m greatly enjoying this conversation. I will probably have to postphone any more responses until tomorrow. Shalom and God bless!

           
        • Eddie

          October 9, 2013 at 22:58

          Because, as Peter and Hebrews both make a point of stating, building the ark provided Noah a pulpit to be a “preacher of righteousness.” It would be far from the last time that God told His prophets to do something wierd instead of something expedient.

          While it is true that God does from time to time tell his prophets to do something weird rather than what is expedient (but not always), why would the Ark be a testimony of God’s judgment, unless it were a global event? People could wonder about Noah’s activity, but, instead of repenting, simply move out of the area as a ‘just in case’ maneuver.

          As far as the animals go, aside from the fact that human beings needed animals to (re-)launch civilization, there are species unique to the Middle-east that God could wish to be preserved. Moreover, collecting the animals would serve to further Noah’s message of impending judgment.

          Why do you believe the (local) flood occurred in the Middle-east? No cities are mentioned in Genesis 6-9, and the topography before the flood was much different from that after the flood, as implied by Peter (2Peter 3:5-11). He speaks of the world that then was being overflowed with water, and in contrast mentions heavens and earth which now are—and the whole of which is reserved for future judgment. Now, if the flood was local, why would Peter refer to it as a sign for a global judgment at the return of Christ (2Peter 3:10)? Now, you may try to use Sodom (2Peter 2:6) as an example of a single city where everyone was destroyed but Lot and his two daughters, but Peter isn’t using the same analogy in chapter 3. He is comparing a world that was destroyed with a world that would be destroyed, saying we (God’s people) should not become too attached. There seems to be a one to one comparison. One world is seen as a type of another. If the ancient world was merely a locality, then why wouldn’t we believe that Jesus, at his 2nd coming would merely judge a specific locality rather than the whole human race?

          If, on the other hand, the Flood was truly global, then you have one of two problems that also have to be resolved: Either the ark would not be big enough to preserve every animal species, or you have to suppose some kind of hyper-evolution after the Flood to explain the degree of speciation we have today.

          What would you call **hyper-evolution**? Do I believe that a dog, wolf and coyote are of the same biblical **kind**? Yes, I do. Do I believe a dog and banana have a common ancestor? No, I do not. The Ark was large enough for the job.

          That is true. However, the ubiquity of the Flood legend around the world would attest that the event was truly primordial and universal to all humankind. I remember taking a class on early American literature in college which included the Native American traditions. It struck me even then (and I was not a serious disciple at the time) that even here there was an echo of the Biblical Flood that hit nearly all of the key points.

          But, why would that be so, if the flood were local? I lived through a flood (i.e. the waters crested on a hill before it got to where I lived), but I hardly speak of it. Why would a local flood be so traumatic that so many civilizations retell it in some fashion?

          I’d also point out that the Flood’s universality would explain why it was unique and never again to be repeated. Even if we suppose that it was non-global, it would still be greater than any flood before or since, as well as uniquely universal to the human experience.

          Yet, you can’t show why it would be universal. Certainly if it were local, and if you could show that all mankind resided together in the same local, some of those listening to Noah may not really believe him, but be superstitious enough to move out of the area. All of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, yet we don’t hear of the descendants of Lot warning the world or, even their own civilization that man should live righteously. There are no Lot stories, except in the Bible.

          It wasn’t until the division of the nations that humankind was spread out enough to limit the reach of the term. Having humankind mostly localized before them would fit a shift in the scope of the term, would it not?

          You haven’t shown that the world before the flood was localized. How do you know it was localized and not spread out? You allow for animals being spread throughout the world, but not mankind. Why?

          I don’t think that all animals started in one spot in the Middle-east, while Man did. Moreover, if you take it that there are no gaps in the genealogical record, ten generations isn’t really all that much, so the population pressures that promote migration wouldn’t be there before the Flood, and God did not forcibly disperse us until Babel.

          If there are gaps, it wouldn’t surprise me, but I believe it is close. Nevertheless, Abraham represents only the 8th generation after the Flood and already mankind is dispersed. Why wouldn’t mankind be dispersed after 10 generations of longer lived people? Why would population pressures exist in roughly 300 years after the flood, but they weren’t there in over 5 times that amount or roughly 1500 to 1600 years after creation?

          I was ambivalent about the issue until very recently, and only settled into an Old Earth Creationist model after I took the time to really dig into the Hebrew and listen to several debates between YEC and OEC proponents. There are challenges and issues on all sides, and as Dr. Michael Heiser points out, Genesis was originally written to people who had no knowledge of–and wouldn’t have been interested in–our current faith/science debates. That’s not to say that God didn’t put the information there that would just happen to correspond to what would be discovered in His Creation later. But all of us are doing a bit of isogesis when we come at the text.
          In this case, I’m not trying to “convert” you, per se. I’m mostly curious to see how you come at the issues of the necessary secondary effects to your plate techtonics model. Since I hold your work in high regard–even if I think you don’t give the rabbis a fair break :)–I figured you would be a good candidate for kicking this around.
          Thank you for not disappointing.

          I’m happy to kick it around with you. As for me, I was totally debunked a few years ago on a discussion board. I simply didn’t know how to respond. I toyed with an old earth but a young mankind, but I couldn’t put my heart into that. The text just didn’t seem to allow for it. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered why I was debunked. I gave the opposition too much respect. I thought they knew what they were talking about in certain scientific issues. They don’t (I’m speaking of naturalists here).

          Actually, my own experience has been that Young-Earth Creationists tend not to give hard calculations–even those with scientific degrees. If you disagree on that, please find me a YEC who gives hard numbers on the heat-exchange (and energy requirements) for your model. I’d love to see them.
          In the meantime, let me offer you a simple calculation: Right now, even with several 7+ magnitude quakes and volcanic eruptions a year–many of which do incredible damage–the earth’s plates move apart anywhere from 0 to 4 inches each year. Let’s call it an average of 2 inches per year for simplicitiy’s sake. To spread the continents out some 6000 miles (380,160,000 inches) in the five months that water covered the earth, you’d have plate tectonics moving at 456,192,000 times their present rate.
          We’re no longer talking about plate techtonics. We’re talking about God completely melting down the entire crust of the earth (while somehow not boiling away the water).
          Now, is God capable of doing all that? Of course. But did He? Is it necessary to the Biblical account?

          I believe Dr. John Baumgardner offers some specifics, but I know that from someone trying to debunk his model. He claimed Dr. Baumgardner mentioned 21 joules (if memory serves) concerning his model, but the critic claimed that would be enough to evaporate the oceans. I’m not certain how the remark fits in, however. It was a YouTube program I watched. Nevertheless, since the Flood (if global) is a singularity, what good are anyone’s specifics? Certainly we can and should toy with what could have been, just to see what would come about in our measurements, but how much should we put in cement? Just because we **say** the oceans would evaporate if such and such occurred, does that mean we **know** they would? Scientists **knew** Armstrong would sink into the moon dust when he stepped off the space craft, but the dust was only about 2 inches deep. Scientists **knew** a lot about Saturn until Voyager proved them wrong. What we **think** we know doesn’t always hold true. Some scientists may feel confident making strong statements about what would have had to have occurred IF there were a global flood, but how do we know they are correct? It is not as though they haven’t been wrong—very wrong—before, when predicting what should be or should have been. So, specifics may sound great, but the proof is in the pudding, but we cannot repeat a singularity.

          Yes. We see it happen all the time when a volcano erupts. Do some reading on the Yellowstone Caldera and what would happen (and has happened) when it erupts. Now imagine every supervolcano in the world erupting at once. Repeatedly. Both under the water and above the water when the continents rise from it.

          At some point you will have to explain where all the oxygen went if CO2 spread over the entire globe during the Flood. While I don’t doubt there were dangerous gases accumulating in the atmosphere, while the earth was undergoing such change, I have trouble believing that the whole earth had no oxygen to breath. We have been polluting our atmosphere for over two hundred years now, and we are still able to breathe fairly well. We may have an increasing amount of respiratory problems that could be traced to industrial pollution, but we are still alive. Something occurred back in Noah’s day that caused humans to live shorter life-spans, so I don’t doubt there was adverse atmospheric conditions that weakened the human condition, but we are still alive. God has made us wonderfully and capable of enduring many adverse conditions. We have been weakened, but we are not dead.

          Because they are, to their credit, dedicated to the Word of God–but they’re also dedicated to a particular model of interpretation. A person’s science degree does not guarantee that they will do good science. Just look at the evolutionists torturing the data to make their own beliefs work. But don’t look at their degrees and opinions, look at their equations and numbers. Can you show me where OEC scientists have shown concrete answers to these questions?
          If you can, great, let’s compare them to the OEC response and talk about them.

          Can we trust anyone’s **concrete** answers to these questions? Do we know what actually occurred? If we don’t, what good are our calculations even if the math is correct?

          No no, you’re fine! You’ve been gracious, intelligent, humble, and a true brother throughout this conversation. I wish that more conversations on this subject went so well and without charges of heresy being bandied back and forth.

          Thank you, I am improving in my manner. You couldn’t always have said that about me, sorry to say. :-)

          And, I thank you for your manner in our discussion as well. I hardly ever received such grace on the discussion boards, even in their most ‘friendly’ attempts.

          Well, if we agree that God is presently resting from creating ex-nihilo and that the laws of nature are fixed (I can provide Scriptural references if we disagree on this), then this means that as with any scientific endeavor, we have to account for where every erg of energy came from and went. That’s just basic physics.
          The amount of land formation that you are suggesting requires an immense amount of energy injected into the earth’s system in a way that doesn’t fry everyone, which in turn requires an immense output of entropic heat. Again, God can do as He wishes, so I’m not saying your position is impossible. What I am saying is that you have to multiply miracles–to my mind, unnecessarily–and you should be able to show evidence for this in nature. God doesn’t hide His miracles–they’re called “signs” for a reason!

          Well, “ex-nihilo” is a term I presently hold suspect, so where would that leave us? If you’re referring to Hebrews 11:3 the text concludes the universe was not made of physical stuff (as Plato thought). That said, how many ‘ergs’ of energy did it take for Jesus to walk on the Sea of Galilee or to multiply the loaves and fishes? If a miracle occurred, what does that mean? Does it mean God simply used laws that man hasn’t discovered yet, or does it mean only God can do such a thing? If only God could do such a thing, is he creating? Well, you may say he isn’t creating anything physical. Nevertheless, he is bringing into existence an event that cannot be accounted for by mere physics—or can it, if indeed he is merely operating on a higher law which supersedes known laws of physics, much like the law of aerodynamics is higher and supersedes the law of gravity?

          I’m not suggesting more land was formed after the flood, I am suggesting we lost land—a lot of it. We gained more ocean water. No doubt there was still an unimaginable (at least for me) amount of energy to account for, but how was it all done? Do we know? We think we know how it must have occurred, if such a thing were to happen at all, and therefore conclude, mathematically, it couldn’t have happened. I have a deep distrust for models that presume mathematically how God **must** have acted, if he acted at all. I really don’t think we are able to figure out God this way. He wants us to know him, but, I believe we need to first humble ourselves before his word, and then use the laws of nature to support what we believe occurred. It seems to me, many folks like to set up the laws of physics as the model and try to fit God’s word into that sphere. I don’t believe it works that way—just my opinion.

          I said:
          “I don’t think there is a way of getting around the fact that God did head off some secondary effects in much the same manner as he puts a hedge about each one of us who loves him.”

          You replied:

          Whereas I think a scenario in which the secondary effects that we’re talking about even occur is unnecessary to the Biblical narrative.
          I’m greatly enjoying this conversation. I will probably have to postphone any more responses until tomorrow. Shalom and God bless!

          Hence, the single reference “God remembered Noah” (Genesis 8:1), hardly necessary to say, but it is there.

          I’m enjoying our discussion, as well, my friend. :-)

          Lord bless you.

           

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