Re: Genesis Flood

Glenn Morton (
Sat, 04 May 1996 21:03:20

Hi Dick,

You wrote:

>At 10:24 PM 5/3/96, Glenn wrote:
>>If Jebel Judi is the landing place of the ark then your flood theory is
>>wrong. Dick, this is one of those examples which frustrates me so.
>Glenn, if Jebel Judi in Arabia is the landing site, I'm wrong, you're
>wrong, and the Bible is wrong.

If we Christians keep proposing hypotheses which can not withstand the
detailed scrutiny of science, then I would say that it is fair for someone
to conclude that the Bible is wrong. We simply must cease telling the
flock that this or that solution to an apologetical problem will work when
it violates the DATA of physics, anthropology, biology, and geology.
People believe those solutions and then when they find out that the data
is wrong, the reject Christianity also.

>What I pointed out is that there are
>alternatives. All come pre-packaged with liabilities.

I think that any alternative that involves major physics problems and
flaws can not be the correct view. A viewpoint lacking a successful
alternative can not be considered correct.

> The entire
>region was laced canals which tied into the Euphrates river. Eridu
>and Erech were connected by canal with the Euphrates river lying
>between. Trade between cities was performed by caravans that traveled
>the trade routes and by barges that moved along the canals with
>punting poles.

Jebel Judi and other Saudi Arabian sites were not linked by canals. You
would need a huge lock and dam system to do this and there is no evidence
of such a public works project.

>There are various landing sites mentioned in numerous documents.
>Now think for a minute. If a 5.5 million year-old flood in the
>Mediterranean Sea scenerio was Noah's flood, then what flood are they
>talking about in all of the extra-biblical literature? Are you
>"frustrated" because none of the examples is "perfect."

I would contend that the extra biblical stories are also of the
anthropologically universal flood. If it occurred 5.5 million years ago,
so what as long as transmission was passed down. A flood that occurred
only in mesopotamia would seem insufficient to spark a flood story by the
Greeks who didn't even live there!

>Glenn, the Bible itself isn't perfect. It isn't perfect because
>thousands of years worth of copying has exacted its toll.
>Translators were men prone to make mistakes. Translators still
>make mistakes. They were and still are hampered by variant texts,
>limited knowledge, and subject to presumptive bias. And then the
>interpreters come along, replete in their ignorance, and dropkick the
>Bible through the goal posts of creation-science.

Aren't you really saying that the Bible is wrong? Wrong in the details of
the story; wrong in the translations? So, if that is the case, then why
try to come up with a flood harmonization at all? If there is all this
error you mention, we do not need to pay any attention to the details
reported in the Scripture. Maybe David didn't sleep with Bathsheba or
kill her husband Uriah? Maybe Abraham really didn't offer Isaac as an
offering. Maybe Joseph really wasn't sold into slavery. What details do
we throw out and which do we keep. What is the criteria for deciding? If
we take that view of scripture, then if I don't like this part or that
part, of some part of the scripture presents a problem, all I have to do
is merely say "the Bible itself isn't perfect". Problem solved.

By doing this, we are making the Bible say what WE want it to say rather
than what it says.

>Surely we can rise above that. But it does no good to spit out the
>gnats and swallow an elephant. I have seen calculations similar to
>what you used to show that all the world's human population could have
>started at 2356 BC (the young-earth creationist's flood), that only
>one ice age occurred in earth history, that the speed of light could
>have slowed down, that a global flood sequenced the fossil record,
>and so on. After a ton of hard work - what have you accomplished?
>Change any parameter and it throws your calculations out the window.

Does any physicist here want to comment on the forces of a boat, half
submerged in a raging river moving 5 mph and given a 50 mph wind in the
upstream direction? I stand by my conclusion about which direction your
ark would go.

If we get to the point that physics has no bearing on Scriptural events
which are not clearly miraculous in nature, then any problem at all can be
solved by saying "Change any parameter and it throws your calculations out
the window"

And this is what the YECs are doing. The vapor canopy would create a
surface temperature of over 500 deg F on earth. It would be too hot for
life. (see G.R. Morton, "Can the Canopy Hold Water," Creation Research
Soc. Quarterly" Dec. 1979, p. 164-169) I got lots of flack for that
article. Lots of people said what you are now saying, change the
assumption and the earth can be cool. But finally in 1990 Vardiman and
Rush of ICR admitted in print that I was correct.

"Morton(1979) was apparently the first to conclude that the canopy
would have made the earth's surface too hot for human habitation
(Kofahl did not calculate surface temperatures). Morton made a
number of assumptions that greatly simplified the problem, and his
surface temperatures are much higher than ours, but the general
conclusion is the same: Life as we know it would not have been
possible under a conopy of 1013 mb (1 atm), nor even with a canopy
of only 50 mb. Whenother features such as clouds are added to the
model, this conclusion could be modified greatly, however.
Preliminary explorations with cloud layers at the top of the 50 mb
canopy have shown significant radiation effects which lower the
surface temperature drastically. Unfortunately, while the surface
temperature decreases when clouds are added, so does the
temperature of the canopy, reducing its stability."~David E. Rush
and Larry Vardiman, "Pre-Flood Vapor Canopy Radiative Temperature
Profiles," in Robert E. Walsh, and Christopher L. Brooks,
Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism,
(Pittsburgh: Creation Science Fellowship, 1990), p. 238

And yet today I heard Duane Gish say that there was a vapor canopy. I
guess he doesn't like mathematics either. And in 1993 ICR's Impact argued
for a vapor canopy. They apparently don't know what their own scientists
are writing. Or they don't care! We need to care what the physics says.

Speaking of my calculations which assumed a given size of the ark, Dick
>Okay, if assuming is the name of the game, here is the best I can
>offer based on the biblical narrative, lay of the land, parallel
>accounts, Davis's book, my book, accumulated knowledge, and old
>fashioned horse sense. Please remember these qualifiers when you
>all rip my knickers.
>Raging hurricanes have been known to destroy or build sand barriers
>that have lasted many months or even years. There is plenty of sand
>in the Near East. The eleventh tablet of Gilgamesh speaks of a raging
>wind that lasted "six days and six nights." Let's assume (remember
>that word) that such a barrier temporarily impeded the flow of water
>from the Meopotamian basin into the Persian Gulf so that a lake was
>formed by rain which fell during forty days (Gen.7:17), plus snow
>melt off the nearby mountains, and the damming effect. The waters
>prevailed for 150 days (Gen. 17:24). After which the rain was
>restrained (Gen. 8:2). Note that the rain was restrained after 150
>days so that, literally interpreted, it rained for forty out of
>150 days, not necessarily forty straight days.

Hurricanes are unknown in the Persian Gulf. Where was the dam? Was it
3000 feet tall? Give me some numbers so I can test your idea. Are you
aware that sand is very porous and the water will not be retained behind
such a dam for very long at all? And wet sand flows away easily. This is
the basis upon which the parable of the house built on sand was based.

>During that period of floating, the ark was given direction by wind,
>or punting poles, or both. If Utnapishtim (Oh, I mean Noah) was aware
>of the danger of possibly being swept out to sea, he would try to
>head north if he had any means to direct his vessel, or east to the
>mountains. The sand barrier is slowly eaten away by the water and
>the "lake" drains into the gulf taking about 150 days (Gen. 8:3).
>The ark comes to rest in the foothills (Hebrew har) of Armenia, also
>called Ararat, north of Shurruppak the launching site (from the legend
>of Ziusudra).

How deep was the water? The foothills of Armenia are about 1000 feet

>If you would like a candidate landing site I would pick either Mount
>Qardu in the Gordyean Hills (later called Jabel Judi) or Mount Nissir
>named in the Gilgamesh epic. (Bailey says this is likely the modern
>Omar Gudrun/Pira Magrun.) Not on the top mind you, but more along
>the foot or a little up the side. Both are located in the same
>general area and meet biblical specifications. Jabel Judi is about
>due east of the headwaters of the Tigris. There is a Nestorian
>tradition that places the ark "at the edge of the Gordyene/Quardu
>range beyond the Upper Zab River" reported by Davis Young.

I am aware that Montgomery (The Quest for Noah's Ark, p.44) gives the
information you are relating here. I think he is wrong for several

Young (The Biblical Flood, p. 32) points out that Jabal Judi has
historically been given two sites. One in the Arabian Peninsula. One in
Turkey, your Qardu. I would argue that the one in the Koran is the
Arabian one. Having married into a Lebanese family I know a smattering of
Arabic (mostly the cuss words). Jabal (Jebel, Djebel) means mountain in
Arabic. Since the Arabs did not conquor Iraq until the 7th century they
would have had little knowledge of the region. Prior to Mohammed the
Arabians were also pagans and were not heavily influenced by Christianity
or Judaism. The northern Mesopotamian region was populated by Kurds from
earlist times. (Encycl. Britannica, 1982, V, p. 948). Thus the Kurds were
unlikely to have given a mountain of theirs the ARABIC name Joudi (Judi)
and the Arabs were unlikely to have been aware of it until their conquest.

Secondly, in order to get within 200 miles of Qardu by floating on water
the water must cover up to the 1000 foot elevation contour. Once again if
you cover the Mesopotamian valley to this depth in water, you will cover
large parts of the world. It is not reasonable to call the 1000 foot
contour "foothills". This is like saying Oklahoma City is the foothills
of the Rocky mountains. And landing 200 miles away hardly qualifies as
"landing on the mountain". Doesn't this explanation stretch the meaning
of "landing on the mountain? How wrong are the flood accounts?

>Either landing site is north of Shuruppak and quite a distance to
>travel in seven days from the Gilgamesh epic, but with five months
>afloat from the Bible's account - a relative piece of cake.

Have you ever poled a large boat? Especially a boat going against a strong
current? In water that had to have been at least a thousand feet deep?
(if it wasn't that deep you don't even get within 200 miles of the
mountain) Surely 8 people could not have done this. Can't we come up
with a better explanation?



Foundation,Fall and Flood