Re: Genesis Flood

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 05 May 1996 20:51:56

Hi Dick

You wrote:

>Okay, let's look for some weaknesses in your Mediterranean flood
>scenario. Let's place an ancient Noah at the bottom of the dry
>Mediterranean basin 5.5 million years ago when rain (maybe) and a shift
>in the plates caused a break at Gibraltar and the basin fills with sea
>water, forming the Mediterranean Sea. Now an alleged Noah is afloat in
>the Med at sea level. His boat, according to Scripture, lands in
> Armenia.Whether it's hills or mountains, how does his boat climb above
>sea level?

Noah, on the bottom would be surrounded by the continents which to him
would appear to be 15,000 ft tall mountains. Armenia to a person in this
position would be just slighlt taller mountains on top of an already tall
mountain. When the Gibraltar Dam broke, the water would flow in from the
west. This would push any floating object to the west. From a physics
point of view one could land anywhere from Turkey to Egypt on the current
shoreline but on what to Noah had known as huge mountains. His boat does
not need to climb above sealevel because it says he landed on the
"mountains of Ararat." There is no requirement as you have pointed out to
land on the highest mountain or on the peak of what ever he landed on.

>The flood waters abated off the land. The Mediterranean Sea can't
> abate.
>It's at sea level. I used to live on the Chesapeake Bay. A hurricane
>came through and dumped heaps of water on the town I lived in. Condos
>on the waters edge were flooded from torrents of water running off the
>land into the bay. The bay itself never rose. The same would be true
>of a proposed flood in the Mediterranean basin. The Med just filled up
>with water. Noah's boat might have washed ashore, but it would be
>unlikely to get into any mountainous areas unless you're calling for
>all kinds of simultaneous land upheaval to propel his ark into the
>Armenian mountains.

As the Atlantic waters replaced the air in the basin, the air would rise,
form rain and spread out over the surrounding continents like fronts. (The
air leaving the basin can't continue going up and will go horizontal) This
would spread the rainfall far away from the basin itself, flooding a much
larger area than merely the basin. All of the coastlines wqould also be
flooded and the waters must abate from them.

>Gilgamesh was the fifth ruler of Uruk (the biblical Erech) in the post-
>flood period. His rule has been dated at approximately 2800 BC. He
>contemplates his mortality, and seeks out one who reputedly has survived
>a massive flood, been called into the council of the gods, and has
>attained eternal life. We, of course, know Noah passed on. Still 950
>years is extra innings in my book.

I agree that 950 years is extra innings but that did not happen in 3000
B.C. But pre-industrial agricultural societies like Sumer had life
expectancies of 27-35 years. In 1800 in western Europe the life expectancy
was 35 years (see Carl P. Swanson, The Natural History of Man, p. 349) and
in India this century the life expectancy was 27 years. Barnouw writes:

During Paleolithic Mesolithic times the average life-span was around 30
years. As late as 1931 India had an average length of life of less than
27 years, but by 1900-1902 the United States already had an average life
span of 61.5 years, and it is now more than 70 years. Thus environmental
conditions clearly influence longevity."~Victor Barnouw, An Introduction
to Anthropology: Physical Antrhopology and Archaeology, Vol. 1, (Homewood,
Illinois: The Dorsey Press, 1982),p. 351-352

>5.5 million years worth of story telling is mind boggling. The Japanese
>speak a language totally different from Chinese. It should not surprise
>you to learn that they are related. The islands of Japan show not a
>hint of population prior to even 50,000 years ago. One could reasonably
>deduce that the advent of language occurred after the separation of the
>Japanese from the Chinese people and at least 50,000 years ago. You
> wish to stretch that by a factor of over 100! Incredible!
Two things are wrong with the above paragraph. First, the orientals were
not the first inhabitants of Japan. Caucasians were. These are the Ainu.
In fact Fuji, of Mt. Fuji fame, is not a Japanese word originally.
Lissner writes:

"It seems fantastic that amidst all the Mongoloid peoples of
eastern Asia there should still survive one isolated racial group
of Caucasian stock, a little band of primeval Siberians related
to West Europeans in physique, skull formation and color of skin.
The last descendants of a dying race, some 15,000 of these Ainu
are still living on the large island of Sakhalin at the northern
extremity of Japan. The Ainu have presented ethnologists with a
number of problems; the most difficult of which namely is their
origin, remains more or less unanswered. This question becomes
even more mysterious when we consider that this ancient Caucasian
(Indo-European) race once inhabited all the Japanese islands long
before Polynesian and Mongoloid peoples ever set foot there. The
Ainu had long been established by the time Japan's first
emporer, Jimnu Tenno, crossed the waters from the southern island
of Kyushu to the main island of Yamato in 660 B. C."~Ivar
Lissner, The Living Past, translated by J. Maxwell Brownjohn,
(New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1957), p. 202

Secondly, There is evidence from the Ainu that at least one religion was
passed down for 80,000 years. Lissner writes:

"We now come to the most mysterious feature of the bear cult.
After his death, the bear is known as chinukara-gur, which means
'prophet' or 'guardian.' The Ainu use the same word to describe
the North Star in the constellation of the Little Bear. So it
seems that from primeval times the civilizations of both the
Mediterranean and the Ainu have associated this constellation
with the bear. And up there the soul of the creature, which the
Ainu believe to be their redeemer and mediator, has its final
destination."~Ivar Lissner, The Living Past, translated by J.
Maxwell Brownjohn, (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1957), p. 207

This connection goes back into the paleolithic times of the Neandertaal,
80 to 100 thousand years ago.

Barnouw writes:
"There are other implications of religious beliefs held by
Neanderthals in the collections of bear skulls found in their caves. The
mere preservation of skulls need not suggest anything religious, but in
some cases special attention was given to their placement. In one cave,
five bear skulls were found in niches in the cave wall. The skulls of
several cave bears in a group have been found surrrounded by built-up
stone walls, with some skulls having little stones planced around them,
while others were set out on slabs.
"All this suggests some kind of bear cult, like that practiced until
quite recently by the Chippewa and other North American Indians. After a
Chippewa hunter had killed a bear, he would cut off the head, which was
then decorated with beads and ribbons (in the period after contact with
Europeans). Some tobacco was placed before its nose. The hunter would
then make a little speech, apologizing to the bear for having had to kill
it. Bear skulls were preserved and hung up on trees so that dogs and
wolves could not get at them. Bear ceremonialism of this and related kinds
had a wide circumpolar distribution--from the Great Lakes to the Ainu of
northern Japan through various Siberian tribes, such as the Ostyaks and
the Orochi, to the Finns and Lapps of Scandinavia. So wide a distribution
of this trait, associated as it was with other apparently very early
circumpolar traits, suggests great age. It is possible, therefore, that
some aspects of this bear ceremonialsim go back to Middle Paleolithic
tims."~Victor Barnouw, An Introduction to Anthropology: Physical
Antrhopology and Archaeology, Vol. 1, (Homewood, Illinois: The Dorsey
Press, 1982) p. 156-157

And to me, the grandaddy of all is the transmission of how to make an
Acheulean hand ax for over 1 million years! Johanson and Shreeve write:

"Tools very much like the one I now held had been found in European sites
as young as 500,000 years, as well as in Olduvai deposits dated at a
million and a half.
"Whatever they were used for, clearly the hand axes and other
Acheulean tools were doing it efficiently. Compared to the longevity of
the hand ax, the invention of the automobile-or for that matter the wheel
itself-strikes me as a sort of cultural whimsy, a fleeting bit of
gadgetry. Thousands of generations separated me from the individual who
had knocked this flake of rock off a boulder and fashioned its shape. But
I, a user of garage-door openers, power saws, and electric blenders, could
instantly recognize it as a tool, potent with human purpose. Gently,
idly, I tapped the blunted point against my palm. For a moment a few
thousand generations didn't seem like much time at all. I could count
them off in less than an hour with gentle taps of the tool in the
palm of my hand--parent to child, parent to child. There was something
very reassuring, almost liberating about that thought. I smiled to myself
and put the hand ax back on the ledge where I had found it."~Donald
Johanson and James Shreeve, Lucy's Child, (New York: William Morrow and
Co., Inc., 1989), p. 148-149.

Some have criticised using this for information being transmitted over
vast times because it was transmitted by example rather than orally. It
just struck me that much of the religious information of primitive and
modern peoples is transmitted by example also. The rituals we engage in
are repeated over and over, year after year, for our children who then
repeat it year after year for their children. If technological info could
be transmitted in this fashion, then so could other concepts!

I wrote:

>>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
>>you cover the Mesopotamian valley to this depth in water, you will
>>cover large parts of the world.

Dick replied:

>The flood of '93 covered parts of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois, and the
>water stayed for about 3 months as I remember. Yet the entire state of
>Florida is under 130 feet in elevation, much lower than the elevation
>of any of the midwest states. Why wasn't Florida underwater? For the
>same reason a flood in Southern Mesopotamia won't impact Dallas, TX
>(one of your examples).

There is a major difference. Nothing floating on the Mississippi River
floated north during that time. This is what you say the ark did. There is
not enough of an energy source to move the ark north against a 5 mph
current! (See my post Physics of a Mesopotamian Flood) If you wanted to
float an object north, especially an object that large, you can't push it
up hill. If the water lifts it to the required elevation, then it can
easily go there. But that would require Florida to be covered. Floating
objects do not float against the current! Please cite one reference to an
object in the 1993 Mississippi flooding which floated north or upstream!

My car recently died and I had to push it by hand off the road. I ran
into a very slight incline and could no longer push it. It was too heavy
for me. I know I could not push the ark uphill several hundreds of feet
with poles or anything!

I wrote:
>>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?
>Again, your haphazard quoting of Scripture is akin to the way you
>jump to conclusions. You have "landing on the mountain" in quotes.
>Cite the quotation. In the Genesis account the ark "rested upon the
>mountains of Ararat" (Gen. 8:4). Note the plural, "mountains." An
>ark cannot rest on more than one mountain, it can rest on more than
>one hill. The Hebrew word *har* means either mountain or hill. Just
>because the Bible translators applied no logic doesn't mean that we
>have to make the same mistakes.

Wait a minute, you are the one who suggested the landing site Qardu. You
>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.)

That is one single mountain. I was critiquing your suggestion not quoting
the Bible.

With respect,

Foundation,Fall and Flood