The Biblical Flood

Chapters 6-8 in the Bible’s book of Genesis tell the story of God wiping out life on the Earth except for eight people and some animals to repopulate the planet.  This was done because “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the Earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually “(6:5).  Only “Noah [and his family] found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (6:8).  Nearly every nation and tribe has its own flood story, many of which are very similar to the Genesis account.  This has been used to “prove” that it was compiled from other stories.  In actuality, these various accounts were passed down by different Semitic civilizations that arose after the division of languages (see Gen. 11:1-9).  These stories circulated for quite some time before the accurate account of the event was written down by Moses through the inspiration of God.

Before the Earth was flooded God told Noah to build an ark (Gen. 6:14), which is another name for a box (its only purpose was to float on water).  This gigantic box held in it Noah and his family (6:18), as well as a male and female of every kind of animal (6:19).  All other people and land creatures died (7:21-23).  Seven each of every clean animal entered the Ark, and just two each of unclean animals (7:2, 3).  Although the text can be confusing, it’s most likely that verses 8 and 9 in this chapter are speaking of seven PAIRS of clean animals by stating that they “went in two and two” unto the Ark.  Only one pair was needed to repopulate the Earth, so some or all of the others were offered as sacrifices (8:20).  The mention of pairs is said to be unrealistic because you can’t have a male and female of all animals when some species are asexual, parthenogenic, or hermaphrodite.  The problem with this argument is that not every detail is needed to give an account of what happened.  Some details about the Flood were omitted, much like many things Jesus did were omitted from the Gospels (John 21:24).

With every kind of animal coming to Noah (Gen. 6:20), how was he able to fit them all into the Ark?  Skeptics have gone on and on about the multitude of species.  “Kind” obviously had a much broader meaning than what is today thought of as species.  It’s reasonable to assume that scorpions, frogs, rabbits, etc. were each a kind of animal.  This is NOT in agreement with Darwinian evolution.  According to Darwin’s myth, life originated with single-celled organisms that branched out into different organisms, with each of these organisms branching out, and so on.  Scientific classification is used as a basis for how this allegedly happened.  This system puts us humans in the species of sapiens, in the genus of homo, in the family of hominids, in the order of primates, in the class of mammals, in the phylum of chordata in the animal kingdom.  Some Christians have suggested that the Biblical kind for animals was in reference to genus, family, or even order.  Let me remind you that scientific classification is based on opinion, which is apparent by the fact that biologists don’t all agree on what animals belong in each group.  This system may be very helpful in trying to determine what the biblical kind was, but it should by no means be used as doctrine.

It can be argued that even if the Biblical kind is narrowed down, the Ark still would have been very crowded.  This argument is usually made with the assumption that the animals were fully grown.  As for the food taken onto the Ark (Gen. 6:21), a lot of room would have been saved if Noah and his family miraculously fed themselves and all of the animals with only a small amount.  If Jesus could feed five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matt. 14: 15-21), why couldn’t God have allowed Noah to perform a similar miracle?  It can be further argued that animals of different climates couldn’t have all survived together, as if a God who protected three men from burning in a furnace of fire (Dan. 3: 21-25) couldn’t have protected animals from a difference in weather.  Even though I know God could have provided such protection for the animals, I believe the entire planet had the same climate back then and a miracle wasn’t needed.  Science has shown that there was once a worldwide climate of warm weather.  One of the many evidences of this is large amounts of coal, which is carbonized vegetation, being found in the now ice-covered Antarctica.

Earth’s atmosphere was obviously much different before the Flood if there was no rain and vegetation was watered by a mist that came up from the ground (Gen. 2: 5, 6).  Evaporation and condensation happened locally and not up in the sky, so all water in the atmosphere must have been in the form of vapor.  This would have acted like a greenhouse by absorbing the sun’s heat and preventing it from escaping back into space.  The previous atmosphere would also explain why the rainbow first appeared after the Flood (9:13) because it can only form in the presence of liquid water droplets (not vapor).  On the second day of creation God “divided the waters which were under the firmament [heavens] from the waters which were above the firmament” (1:7).  There’s no good reason for arguing that this is speaking of something other than liquid water being divided from water vapor in the atmosphere.  When most of the vapor in the atmosphere converted to rain drops and added to the water that was coming up from under the Earth’s surface (7:11), it caused the Flood.

A loss of water vapor in the atmosphere would have brought about various climates, and animals would need to go through some physical changes to survive in the colder climates.  Bears, for example, are all the same kind of animal, but there are varieties of them.  Polar bears have more fat on their bodies than bears in warmer climates.  Their coats are made of long, oily hairs that repel water.  The soles of their feet are mostly covered in hair to protect them from the frigid ice and to give them good grip for walking.  Darwinists call this natural selection, but I call it divine adjustment.  Animals having a gene pool that carries the traits needed for them to adapt to different environments only indicates the work of a creator.  Humans were also created with genes that became dominant in the peoples of various climates.  Those who live in sunny areas have dark skin to better protect them from the sun’s rays, while Eskimos have short and stocky bodies that retain heat.  Their faces may be exposed to the extreme cold when they’re fully dressed, but they conveniently have extra fat on their cheeks and eyelids for insulation.

You may be wondering how animals made it to continents separated by water after the Flood.  One possibility is they made it there the same way animals made their way to many islands.  Volcanic islands are formed when the magma from underwater volcanoes cools and solidifies to gradually build up land.  Coral islands are made up of the skeletons of tiny sea creatures.  And barrier islands are formed when waves and wind pile up sediment that was worn away from banks by streams and rivers.  These three kinds of islands originally had no life on them.  Plant seeds arrived by way of bird droppings, the wind and waves.  Small animals might have been carried there on logs or other debris.  One theory is that tsunamis formed rafts from twigs and branches.  As for large animals, they can be taken anywhere by boat.  It’s not at all impossible for animals to make their way to places separated by the ocean.

A big question that remains is what happened to all of the water when it subsided.  A reference to the Flood in Psalm 104: 6-9 implies it stayed here and relocated when our planet’s terrain was transformed.  The ninth verse says, “Thou [God] hast set a bound that they [the waters] may not pass over, that they turn not again to cover the Earth.”  With more than two-thirds of our planet covered in water, there’s more than enough of it to cover all the Earth if its surface were smoother.  Before the Flood the mountains weren’t nearly as high and the oceans weren’t nearly as deep.  Fossil imprints of sea creatures have been found in mountain rocks miles from the shore, proving the same land was once covered with water.  Geologists say the land or the ocean has moved since then.  I agree.

“Can we, as seekers after truth, shut our eyes any longer to the obvious fact that large areas of sea floor have sunk vertical distances measured in miles?”  (Kenneth K. Lands, ” Illogical Geology,” in Geotimes, March 1959, p. 19).  Just one confirmation of this statement is the remains of previously living coral, which can only grow in shallow water, being found deep in the ocean.  Even those who don’t believe in the Biblical flood are aware that land everywhere in the past was much flatter.  It’s generally believed among secular scientists that most of the water on our planet came here from comets, and that this water covered the Earth’s entire surface because it didn’t have the high mountains and deep oceans it does today.  If Christians and atheists can’t agree on how water got here, they can at least agree that it once covered all the land on our planet.  Atheists believe it took a very long time for the earth’s terrain to change so that dry land could appear, but I believe it happened when God provided somewhere for the Flood water to go.  When the floor of the ocean sank, it provided “a bound that [the waters] may not pass over.”

Until investigated, many arguments against the Flood story seem plausible.  One of the most interesting of them is that all contagious diseases had to have been on the Ark for them to survive.  God’s creation in the beginning was “very good” (Gen. 1:31), so there probably were no diseases at the time of the Flood.  I believe God brought about diseases afterwards to punish sinners, and numerous places in the Old Testament support this.  Nonbelievers make several other arguments for the “impossibilities” of not just the Flood, but miracles all throughout the Bible.  Evidently, they need to be reminded that God is all-powerful (Job 42:2; Rev. 19:6), and with Him all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).  This is when nonbelievers usually accuse me of trying to use the Bible to prove the Bible, when what I’m really trying to do is get through to them that they can’t use the natural to disprove the supernatural.