Re: Genesis Flood and fossil man

Glenn Morton (
Wed, 01 May 1996 19:38:21

Hi Gene,

You wrote:

>I wonder if Glenn Morton and Dick Fischer might numerically "rate" the
>points that they use to defend their respective positions. This would be
>somewhat subjective, but it would give a feeling for what they feel gives
>their argument the most support and for what they feel are the gravest
>objections to the other's model.

This would be very difficult to do. I think the rating should be
something different. How many facts of science are evaded by each theory
and how many statements of Scripture are evaded. The best view MUST be
the one that accounts for the most data.

I obviously feel that a harmonization of the account of the flood is quite
important. This means that the flood must be able to last 1 year as is
stated. Since a river flood would wash an ark to sea in a week or less,
that makes me suspicious that any river flood can account for what the
Bible says. The account says he landed on a mountain AND the dove could
find no place to land. This seems to be a surprising event if the flood
was in the Mesopotamian river vally. Birds can fly for miles and since
part of Ur itself was not flooded by Woolley's "flood" strata, the only
conclusion I can draw is that either the dove story is false or Noah had
near-sighted birds. Even if the mountain is really a mole-hill, it does
not avoid the dove problem.

I also think that the harmonization MUST be able avoid any logic or
physics problems. The global flood scenario has all sorts of logic and
physics problems. As I have pointed out floating south along the river
does not get one to any mountains at all.

One issue Dick and I didn't get to was the statement in Genesis 8:21 God
said, "And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have

This would imply that something quite unique had been done. Floods along
rivers occur all the time destroying lots of humans and animals. I once
stood on the banks of the Huang He (Yellow River) in China. The water was
flowing rapidly almost ferociously, but the river was under control. In
1887 it broke out of its banks and killed a million people. Another
million were killed in 1931. Did God break His promise?

If God so easily breaks His promise about a river flood, can I trust His
promise of eternal life?

> For instance, Glenn Morton seems to feel
>that the *parochiality* of the recent Mesopotamian flood is a serious
>objection to it while Mr. Fischer believes that the antiquity of the
>Mediterranean flood is equally damaging to that idea. Now, numerically
>rating the importance of data might be artificial and stilted, but I
>wonder if it wouldn't in some cases help, especially when someone
>presents a relatively long list of points. To take one of Mr. Morton's
>more recent postings as an example: How important does he feel is the
fossil evidence for language?

I feel like the fossil evidence for language is quite important. Animals
don't speak, they don't have the impressions of Broca's area on the
interiors of their skulls and theologically we do not believe that they
are spiritual beings. Humans on the other hand are spiritual beings and
they all have this anatomical feature which is correlated with language.
How can I tell a being who has a verbal language, who looks somewhat but
not identically like me that he can't be human? This is what we would be
doing with Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Neandertaal.

>I will frankly admit that this sort of recreation of soft tissue from
>bones strikes me as common is this practice and has it
> been shown to give good results (examples from forensics perhaps)? If
>Mr. Morton has similar doubts or the utility of this reasoning is unknown
> (if not suspect) then he might give it a rating of 2 or 3. The tool
>use and "naked lady" statuette may seem like stronger indications of
> spirituality or some such. He might give that a 5 or 6. The
>geological suitability of the Mediterranean for such a flood as he
>proposes might rate a 9 or 10 on the scale.

Apparently the impressions of Wernicke's and Broca's areas on the skull
are made early in life when the bones are soft and the brain is growing.
To my knowledge, every nonpathalogical modern human skull displays these
features. To find them in the fossil record is something that MUST be
accounted for. Christians often want to throw fossil man out of the
spiritual family (Hugh Ross does this). But is it possible to be
nonspiritual and still talk?

Foundation,Fall and Flood