Tag: Flood

Tragedy and God

Pat T – Are tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis being created by God?

Dave – The short answer is these things were not part of the original, pre-Fall creation. There was no death or dying process at the creation beginning. If these storms were part of the original design, then they would have killed some people.

The longer answer is based on a careful read of Genesis. God originally made a tranquil earth. There also was no mention of rain before The Flood. Genesis 2 tells us that there was a mist raising from the earth that watered vegetation.

There was also no mention of the four seasons until after Noah’s Flood. This would logically lead me to believe that the earth was not tilted at its present 23 degrees because this tilt causes the change of seasons rather than the distance from the sun during earth’s orbit around it. I assume the original earth was straight up and down in relation to the sun. Perhaps an ice meteor hit the earth and caused the tilt. The British astronomer George Dodwell (1879-1963) worked for the government of Australia and conducted some remarkable research concerning how the tilt of our earth came about. He notes that the earth was wobbling, and this was gradually decreasing. He knew that if a spinning toy top got hit with something, it too would generate a wobble that ebbs over time. Taking precise measurements, Dodwell concluded, based on the rate of wobble decrease, that our spinning earth must have been hit with a meteor about 4500 years ago. This would be about the time of Noah’s Flood.

Once sin came into being among the human race, many negative results went into action, some having affects many years later in human history.

God’s judgment during The Great Flood caused the crust to burst open around the entire world as the “springs of the great deep burst open” thus causing the plate tectonics that we can observe today. This in turn would cause our first earthquakes and perhaps the first volcanic eruptions, and we can’t have tsunamis without earthquakes. Hurricanes and tornadoes are caused by severe temperature and air pressure differences colliding. Again, the earth was quite tranquil pre-Flood. It most likely had a decent temperature worldwide. So these differences could not have been great enough to cause a storm before the Flood.

Rather than labeling these storms as “acts of God,” I would rather call them “results of a fallen world.”

Pat T – Thanks for the good info Dave, I agree 100% about no cataclysmic events before the Fall. I just
needed someone to help remind me it was man’s sin that messed things all up.


Nels F (7/26/13) – Always learning something new–thanks so much!!

Noah’s Flood – Global or Local?

Some people have come to the conclusion that Noah’s Flood could not have covered the entire earth, but rather just a large portion of it around the Mesopotamian lands. Some of their reasons include: 1) there is not enough water in the earth to cover Mt. Everest by 15 cubits as the Bible states, 2) snails move too slowly to migrate throughout the earth in far lass than 4500 years, 3) kangaroos could not hop all the way to Noah from Australia and then migrate back over oceans, 5) fresh water fish would all die in the salt water from the oceans, and 6) Noah could not fit and care for about 2,500,000 animals on any boat.

If the Flood was just a local one, why didn’t God just tell Noah to move? Since the Bible says that God brought the animals to Noah, Noah could have led the critters to safe ground. If I were Noah and later found out there was plenty of dry, safe land somewhere, I’d be angry at God for making me spent much time (100 years!), energy, and skill making that big boat.

God promised to never flood the earth like this again. If it was just a local flood, then God has broken His “rainbow promise” several times throughout history. If the flood was local, how could it maintain its depth for a year? This is how long the Bible says it lasted before it was safe to go back onto land. If that whole area was a big depression so that water depth could be maintained, I don’t think all the people would live there because high places are generally safer for several reasons. If it was a local flood, then God must have sunk that whole area and then flooded it, then pushed the land back up. I don’t think so. In fact, if God did it this way, wouldn’t He simply tell us He did?

Another mistake skeptics make when judging the Scriptures is that they assume much. High mountains, including Everest, were not formed before the Flood, so water did not have to rise as high as many people suppose. Psalm 104:5-9 reveals that mountains and valleys (oceanic trenches would be included) formed after the Flood. So where did all that water go? It’s still here! If we were to level all the mountains on earth and raise up the oceanic trenches and land valleys, all land would be covered by water. The reason God pushed up and sank down land after the Flood was to ensure that a global flood would never again be possible (Ps.104:9). Boundaries were set. It is reasonable to assume the high mountains were not yet formed before the Flood. The Bible tells us the one source of the water was from under the crust of the earth – “all the foundations of the great deep burst open on the same day.” The word “burst” means that the water was under lots of pressure and that the crust of the earth split open in many areas. Hence, our current plate tectonics began and their movements would cause mountain ranges to arise and valleys to sink much like an accordion effect.

Another erroneous assumption is that the oceans were salt water. Over time, oceans slowly gain salinity. Scientists have measured the rate at which salt enters the seas per year. Currently, ocean water is about 3.6% salt (if we are billions of years old as a planet, this should be much higher). If we go back far enough in time, it is logical to assume there was no salt yet formed in the oceans. In fact, I think God made all of earth’s water fresh in the beginning. By the time of the Flood, erosion would have caused some salt content in the oceans but certainly not our current 3.6% yet. In addition, the water that burst through from the “fountains of the great deep” was also most likely fresh, and this would further dilute the low volume of salt in the seas so that the sea life would not die. There simply was not enough of a sudden, drastic change in salinity. As the years passed following the Flood, the oceans increased their salinity extremely slowly – slowly enough to allow the sea life to adapt without harm. This survival adaptation has been demonstrated by experimentation today.

Snails do indeed move slowly, and they could never spread over the earth quickly. Snails, however, along with most other life forms, did not have to get onto the Ark. Genesis identified only air and nostril-breathing animals that crawl on the land needed to be on the Ark (Gen. 6:17; 7:22). That eliminates 95% of the bio world. All life in the sea could stay there. Insects (except those that swarm), worms, snails, etc. were not on the Ark.

I have no idea where skeptics get that 2,500,000 figure for the animal total on the Ark. Creation scientists estimate it was only about 16,000. These would represent the major kinds God created. From these, all variations within each kind occurred. In other words, Noah did not need to get all 250 variations of dogs on the Ark – just two canines would suffice. John Woodmorappe has authored quite an in-depth book entitled, “Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study.” Among other things, he calculates all the necessary logistics of space and caring for all the animals by 8 people. He concludes that it could be done. He also looks into the Ark’s construction in great detail and how a ship of that size could withstand all the pressures of violent wave action. In 1993, a scientific study headed by Dr. Seon Hong at the world-class ship research center KRISO, based in Daejeon, South Korea confirmed the ark’s seaworthiness.

Though the Scriptures never say this, it is also possible that the animals went to full or partial hibernation. When animals are confined for lengths of time, they tend to fall into this mode. If so, the amount of food consumption and waste clean-up would decrease significantly. Baby, rather than adult, animals would also expedite space problems and care. Younger animals live longer to reproduce, so I would be surprised if God brought large adult ones to Noah.

Regarding animal migration to and from the Ark, we cannot assume, as skeptics do, that kangaroos and koala bears were located in Australia before the Flood. It is more logical to assume that all the basic species lived near the “cradle of civilization” where Noah was located since that’s where God made all the animals. Maybe God made all species for Adam to name, and then made more throughout the earth, but the Scriptures give no hint of this.

There still remains a problem, however. How could the ‘roos and those koalas make it all the way to Australia after getting off the Ark in the country of Turkey? (The mountains of Ararat are in this country today). First, immediately after the Flood, all the continents would most likely have been connected by land bridges as the continental shelves were the coastlines. Over the next 300 or so years, the giant ice masses at the poles, which were probably formed during the Flood, were melting. This raised the sea levels and covered the shelves which separated the continents. It is interesting that Genesis says that in the days of Peleg the earth was divided (Gen.10:25). Peleg lived about 300 years after the Flood. The Bible does not say exactly how the earth was divided, but this is a plausible theory. Second, of all animals that could make it that far the quickest would be marsupials because they can carry their young in sacs and keep traveling. Others stay put until their babies are grown. Once Australia was separated by the rising oceans, those animals that made the migration there were isolated and flourished. Another idea is that people later brought those animals to Australia and they flourished.

If Noah’s Flood was merely a local one, I’d bet that some humans, who lived far enough away, would have survived. I find this difficult to believe in light of God’s stated judgment against mankind.

There are over 290 legends of Noah’s Flood in other cultures and civilizations. Some details don’t match the Scriptural account, but that makes sense since I contend that Genesis is the original source. Amazingly, however, all these legends get the gist correct – a big deluge hit but 8 humans and many animals survived in a big boat. Furthermore, the Chinese language uses many symbols and a combination of those symbols form other words. For example, the combination of symbols for “eight, vessel, and people” actually means “boat.” Why would a mere myth concocted in ancient Israel have any effect upon a foreign language?

Finally, if the Flood was global, the geological evidence would show it. If the Genesis account is accurate and literal, a scientist would predict that we would later find millions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth as Answers in Genesis Director Ken Ham aptly points out. This is exactly what we find below earth’s surface – sedimentary rock layers containing millions of fossils. Some strata lines have been traced around the planet. The so-called “Geologic Column” pictured so nicely in textbooks today is actually a result of vast and sudden hydrologic sorting during the Flood rather than billions of years of evolutionary history. One problem, among others, with that column in textbooks is that fossils are not always found in that order.

In summation, there are well-meaning Christians on both sides of this issue. Few, however, have considered all the possibilities surrounding Noah’s situation. We should never feel pressure from scoffers, skeptics, or man’s scientific theories to bend from what the Word of God plainly says. There is always room for symbolism and the use of metaphors throughout Scripture, but there is a limit to this. While it may be difficult to answer all the questions about the Global Flood of Noah’s day, I tend to trust in what the Genesis account describes rather than seeing meaning in Scripture that was never intended, such as Gap and Day-Age Theorists do. I am ever mindful of Psalms 119:130: “The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” In other words, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what God wants us to know from His Word.

Feedback so far:

GR: Continued brilliant work and a BIG AMEN.

LW: A great study are the words “the deep” (KJV—can’t speak for other versions). Much is said in Job about “the deep.” Many scholars I have heard and studied believe that “the deep” is in outer space where God lives and that it’s frozen, that this is what was “broken up” and brought all the water for the flood. For us as humans living on the earth, we think of the deep as oceans, but we have to remember that God doesn’t dwell in our small, finite planet alone, but in all the universe and beyond. There is so much we can gain understanding and gain insight into if we would just dig in and study….as the Bible says, as a “workman”….it takes some work to gain understanding & wisdom, but it’s so worth it!! :-)) Great job of “digging in” here! Thanks for sending!

Dave Scheer: I’ve kind of pictured God living in a different dimension rather than “out there” somewhere. This dimension could also make Him omnipresent. It’s a dimension that we cannot grasp now, but will pass into at death. The idea of God living in “deep space” is an interesting one, however, I prefer to think that “the deep” in the Genesis account of the Flood refers to the oceans because it could explain the beginning of plate tectonics and the formation of mountains and trenches. It all just makes more scientific sense from what we observe today.

NF: Always learning something new–thanks for sharing!

PT: I think this is perhaps one of the best articles I’ve read about the flood in a long time and learned some things. Thanks Dave. I often cringe when I hear so many question the idea of a worldwide flood by both Christians and non-Christians alike. Do not Christians believe that “nothing is impossible with God” which is repeated throughout Scripture? If something seems impossible by human reasoning does that mean God can do it? Recently I heard about a replica of the “ark” being built today, do you know anything about it?

Dave Scheer: Thanks. Regarding the Ark – you can go on line and find some guy in Finland or Sweden I think that has built an ark replica. There was also a man near me that made on scaled down, but he recently died and I’m not sure what became of it. I think there have been a couple of people that have done this. The Internet should help you. Answers in Genesis in Kentucky is building one, too. Here’s a web site about a Dutch man: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/01/noahs-ark-replica-2012-olympics_n_869699.html

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