Re: Genesis Flood

Glenn Morton (
Thu, 25 Apr 1996 20:57:11

Hi Dick,

You wrote
>Comments, corrections, and criticisms on
>all postings are always welcome.

Here goes.

You wrote:
>The necessity of semi-modern tools to accomplish such a feat of
>construction places a limit as to how far back into history the flood
>could have taken place. The deluge had to have happened in relatively
>recent times when copper or bronze was in use.

This assumes that there could not have been an earlier time long ago, when
boat building technology was known and then lost. Besides this there is
lots of evidence for boats prior to the advent of copper use. The
Encylopedia Britannica says

"Reddish copper is found in the free metallic state in nature; this native
copper was first used (c.8000 BC) as a substitute for stone by Neolithic
man. Metalurgy dawned in Egypt as copper was annealed (c.4000 BC), was
reduced to metal from ores with fire and charcoal, and was intentionally
alloyed with tin as bronze (c.3500 BC)."~"Copper", Encyclopedia
Britannica, III, (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica,1982) p. 134

But boats were a necessity long before this time. Speaking of the
colonization of New Guinea and Australia

"And even at the height of a glacial cycle, the colonization of Wallacea
or Sahul would have required some form of watercraft, and the technology
to build them. This raises one of the most fascinating questions
surrounding the origins of anatomically modern people -- who were the
first Southeast Asians to build rafts or boats and cross open water to new
lands over the horizon? Was it Homo erectus before perhaps as late as
75,000 years ago? Or did early Homo sapiens make the first crossing to a
virgin Sahul? Or were anatomically modern people the primeval settlers of
New Guinea and Australia? THe only clues can come from archaeological
sites from the mainland and from the islands close offshore, and from the
surviving portions of Sahul itself."~Brian M. Fagan, The Journey From
Eden, (London: Thames and Hudson, 1990), p.127.


"The Huon Peninsula faces the Bismarck Sea, with the island of New
Britain only a 30-mile (51 km) passage or so offshore. From there, it is
but a short voyage to New Ireland. Although both islands are visible
targets navigationally speaking, they are 'oceanic' islands, separated
from New Guinea by deep-water straits, not by submerged continental shelf.
So open-water voyages were necessary to colonize them, even in times of
lowered sea levels. Excavations in four limestone caves on New Ireland
have yielded traces of human occupation at least 32,000 years ago. These
were expert fishermen, who took crustacea, fish, and shellfish from nearby
reefs, and they hunted bats, reptiles, birds, and rats as well. By 20,000
years ago, their successors were regularly trading obsidian across 19
miles (30 km) of open water from west New Britain, from a source 217
straight-line miles (350 km) from their home.
"The Kilu rockshelter on Buka Island in the northern Solomons to the
south contains human occupation dating to betweeen 28,000 and 20,000 years
ago, as revealed by radiocarbon dates from shells brought into the site.
Kilu was first occupied when the sea level was about 150 ft (46 m) below
modern levels, and before the last glacial maximum. Open water crossings
of at least 81-112 miles (130-180 km) would have been required to settle
on Buka, depending on the route selected. (One's destination is invisible
from either end, although both New Ireland and Buka can be seen when far
from land.) Voyaging over this distance would certainly have required some
form of open-water craft, also foods that could be preserved for use
aboard during relatively extended voayages. The crews would need some
form of bark, wild gourd, or skin containers, too, to carry water -- not
that these wer a revolutionary innovation, for they wouldhave long been
used on land. From Buka it would have been an easy matter to colonize the
reset of the Solomon chain, for the islands are separated by but short
distances."~Brian M. Fagan, The Journey From Eden, (London: Thames and
Hudson, 1990), p. 132-133

I would like to add that you are probably missing some information on how
useful a stone ax could be. The Bushmen of the Kalihari use stone adzes
for woodworking. Clive Gamble states

This is a very different approach to the Kalahari bushmen where the
bow and arrow is used as a delivery system for injecting poison into large
animals which are then tracked until they fall. The flat section of the
spear thrower very often doubles as a board or tray while at the handle
end a stone adze flake is mounted in a ball of spinifex resin. This forms
an efficient woodworking tool. "~Clive Gamble, Timewalkers, (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1994), p. 216-217

There is a "primitive" New Guinea tribe still making stone adzes which
they use to fell trees, clearing fields, and woodworking. (Kathy Schick
and Nicolas Toth, _Making Silent Stones Speak_, Simon and Schuster, 1993,
pp 246-251). Some of the techniques used by these fully modern men are
Acheulian. Acheulian techniques are the techniques used by Homo erectus.
Copper may not have been necessary at all but the Bible does indicate that
there was metal working in the pre flood world. But, that does not mean
that there was not a cultural crash after the flood in which that
technology was lost and had to be re-developed as I mentioned in a post to
Terry Gray a few weeks ago. With our modern bias, we have forgotten how
incredibly ingenious our "primitive" ancestors were.

You wrote:
>It matters little whether the flood was of short duration, or whether it
>was a protracted year long odyssey. The task for which the boat was
>constructed requires an ability to produce it, which puts the flood event
>somewhere into fairly recent history, if we can call around 5,000 years
>ago "recent." Since modern man was already racially divided and had
>covered the globe sparsely by this late date, the flood must have been
>narrowly confined.

I disagree about it not mattering whether the Flood was of short or long
duration. The Scripture supposedly inspired by God, leading to our
Salvation, says a year. If it can't get the duration of an event correct,
how can I be sure it can get the path to salvation correct? If the human
authors are so sloppy is small things, how can we trust them in large

We do agree on a lot. Mankind was spread around the world in the year
3000 BC and there could not be a global flood. Many legends of the flood
have nothing to do with the Biblical flood. We agree on the translation of
"eretz" as "land" or "country" rather than "earth" as in planet earth.

You wrote:

>In other words, the Bible is silent on any possible relationship between
>the descendants of Noah and the Black Africans,

I always thought Cush referred to the Kingdom of Napata in Sudan where the
skin tone is predominately African. (See Frank M. Snowden Jr, _Blacks in
Antiquity_ Harvard Univ press 1970, p. vii, 113) Cush is mentioned in
Genesis 10 and in Chronicles.

with respect,

Foundation,Fall and Flood