Re: Physics of a Mesopotamian Flood

Glenn Morton (
Sat, 11 May 1996 10:07:44

Hi Bill

You wrote:

>Remember the text says the ark landed _in_ the mountains of Ararat, not
>_on_ a mountain. It could have landed in a hilly regioun, but still at
> the level of the river it was following. Dick has postulated a (or
>perhaps some) landing sites. I haven't (and I'm not generally in the
> "business" of trying to reconcile the flood account).

The only way this will work is if the ark started out north of the landing
place. This means that the ark must have started out somewhere in Turkey
not in Mesopotamia. Keeping the ark grounded most of the time will answer
the question of why the ark doesn't land in the Persian Gulf in a week,
but it raises questions of how the account in the Bible fits reality. Can
a guy who spends a year in a river bed convince everyone who spent that
year outside of the river bed, that there is a story worth telling, that
the whole region was destroyed? I don't think so.

I have also thought more about your suggestion last night that Noah was in
a wadi for a year.

You suggested

>The claim that the water prevailed 15 cubits higher [than the mountains]
>could be Noah's estimate of the height of a flash flood descending down
> a broad wadi near the ark.

Since the water, in order to flow down the wadi, must be constrained by
the walls of the wadi, a 15 cubit wall of water you suggested requires
that somewhere the walls of the wadi be TALLER than 15 cubits (22 feet or
so). Thus, the "ark grounded in a wadi" view would seem to me to lead to
a view of Noah that was not very flattering.

Since such a local flood view would allow other humans to survive the
flood, the possibility exists that some of them were on the walls of the
wadi above the 15 cubit elevation contour. I can see them now watching
Noah in his ark, built in a creek bed, being hit time and time again by
flash floods. They are all laughing about the idiot down there in the
wadi who built his house in a creek bed and who won't come out to safety.
Noah, the idiot in the wadi, thinks the whole world is coming to an end
when in fact it is only HIS world which is in danger of being destroyed.
The observers think Noah is trying to commit suicide.

The problem I have with Dick's view is that it seems to violate physics as
surely as does the YEC view. Can some one tell me the elevation of
Shuruppak, the place Dick wants the Ark to start from? As near as I can
tell it must be around 250 feet (certainly 500 feet or less, since Sumer
was largely in the lower valley). Dick wants the ark to land on a hill.
Whatever hill the ark lands on MUST, ABSOLUTLEY MUST, be at a lower
elevation than Shuruppak. All lower elevations are SOUTH of Shuruppak.

Dick has suggested the ark landed near Qardu this is a 6800 foot peak.
According to Davis Young, Mt. Qardu is a 6800 foot peak. (p. 32, The
Biblical Flood) It is NORTH of Shuruppak (remember lower elevations are
to the south). According to my elevation maps, the land surrounding that
peak is over 3000 feet in elevation. So, I don't care whether the ark
lands on the peak or not. If the ark lands near the peak; in the
neighborhood of the peak; in the locality of the peak, in the hilly region
around the peak, but NEVER ON THE PEAK, the ark must STILL land at an
elevation of around 3000 feet. THIS IS AN INCREASE OF AROUND 2500
look at a topological map of the Mesopotamian valley and ask the simple
question can a river flood lift the ark 2500 feet in elevation when
water flows down hill toward lower elevations. All lower elevations are
TO THE SOUTH, not to the north. So, the ark MUST have gone SOUTH. Are
you suggesting that Ararat is in the southern part of the Mesopotamian
valley? If you are, then I have less trouble with the suggestion.

Dick has suggested that the water lifted the ark this vertical distance.
If one beleives this, then cut a cereal bowl in half and try to fill the
bowl with water. You will never fill the bowl no matter how much water
you pour into it. Topologically, the Mesopotamian valley is a half bowl.
The water simply can not lift the ark the requisite 2500 feet to the
REGION, not the peak of Qardu.

Foundation,Fall and Flood