YEC, messinian salinity crisis and promise to Abraham

From: Duff, Robert (
Date: Wed May 01 2002 - 17:22:31 EDT

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    [Moderator Note: Let's try that one again!]

    Glenn knows far more of the details of the history of the
    Mediterranean basin but I've been doing some extra reading on the
    topic especially with respect to the origin of the Nile river. What
    I have found is what appears to me an interesting conundrum from the
    YEC perspective. Here is the context:

    I've found remarkably little comment about the messinian salinity
    crisis in the YEC literature (any pointers to relevant literature
    would be greatly appreciated) but when referred to the context is
    typically wrt to the Black Sea flood (thus the tie into the current

    Interestingly Morris states that the Black Sea Flood was caused when
    the Mediterranean refilled with water after having dried down during
    the period following the flood. This dry down was caused by the ice
    age that resulted in dryer conditions and a lowering of the oceans
    leaving the Black Sea and Mediterranean without access to the
    Atlantic Ocean.

    Pulling other standard YEC literature together on the ice age I found
    that commonly the extent of the Ice Age is put at 500 years to reach
    glacial maximum with 100-300 years to melt the glaciers to near the
    present positions (Oard primary source)

    So here is self-inflicted wound/problem with the YEC admission of
    this salinity crisis and a dried down Mediterranean. The Nile river
    gorge, which is COMPLETELY ignored by YEC literature as far as I can
    tell, is burried up to 2500 meters in depth below the current level
    of the Nile river. This gorge discovered by oil exploration is as
    wide as the Grand Canyon, slightly deeper and 1300 km in length
    versus 300 km for the Grand Canyon. 1000 kms from the delta at the
    Aswan Dam there gorge still lies more than 400 meters deep! This
    gorge if unburried would like very similar to the Grand Canyon in
    that is eroded through many layers of sedimentary deposits.

    So how did it form, when the Mediterranean dried down the former Nile
    river (eonile or protonile can't remember now) carved out this gorge
    along with many side canyons. Upon the refilling of the
    Mediterranean the gorge eventually filled with sediments to the
    present region of deposition in the Mediterranean delta.

    Obviously this created a problem in which the YEC by their own
    admission will place the entire origin of the Nile valley after the
    flood and thus the filling of the gorge long after the flood. Aside
    from an age problem, what I find the most interesting is the problem
    this causes for the YEC in connecting this with the Biblical text.
    Why? several reasons:

    1) Abraham was given a promise from God of the extent of the
    promised land in Genesis 12. At this point this would be
    approximately 420 years after the Flood following a strict
    chronology. One of the boundaries of this Promised land is the great
    sea which appears to refer to the Meditteranean, BUT by YEC omission
    at 400-500 years after the flood the Mediterranean is near its
    minimum size. It would be nothing more than a few scattered lakes.
    So in the particular literal camp of the YEC the Mediterranean sea
    does not exist at the time God makes his promise hence one might be
    tempted to interpret this passage literally as referring to the
    Atlantic ocean itself. Hence a global flood model it could be
    proposed shows scientifically that the historical interpretation of
    the extent of the Promised land may be in error.

    2) In my mind and even more interesting consequence of the YEC
    acceptance of a dry mediterranean basic is that when Abraham
    journeyed to Egypt sometime between 438 and 442 years after the Flood
    he would not have observed an Egyptian civilization built along the
    banks of a wide flood valley of the River Nile but would have
    encountered a precipitous canyon at least 1000 meters (probably over
    2000 meters) deep. So even if the YEC tries to fit the infilling of
    the Nile gorge into the years after the filling of the Mediterranean
    the Bible puts very specific boundaries one when the land of Egypt
    can be found in a form very similar to the present.

    3) Many YECs acknowledge the antiquit of the Egyptian civilization
    arguing that people settled the banks of the Nile immediately after
    the flood but also argue that the 5000+ years BC age of Egypt needs
    to be compressed. But given an ice age lasting 500-700 years and
    THEN an infilling of the Nile valley they need to compress all of
    Egyptian civilizations much more than they propose. Furthermore, the
    filling of the Nile gorge has to be done WITHOUT the help of a global
    flood and be explained with in the context of normal sedimentary
    processes! A very tough task indeed considering the Nile delta alone
    consists of 250,000 cubic kms of sediments!!! One only need to look
    at historical rates of sediment deposition to know that that volume
    of sediment woudl require a long time to accumulate.

    In my mind this issue of the origin of the Nile river gorge is a
    completely overlooked topic that can be used to spur discussion with
    YECs, though my one attempt resulted in complete silence from my YEC
    friends. To me, it stands out as a better vehicle for demonstrating
    issues surrounding the age of the earth and flood geology because it
    addresses a region of the world for which we have actual descriptions
    in the Bible. Hence boundaries are put on the speculative theorizing
    of conditions that YEC might attempt. By getting the YEC to admit
    the evidence of the salinity crisis (which they seem willing to do
    because it helps them explain a Black Sea flood) one can take them
    through the process above to show how the acceptance of that historic
    condition as a post-Flood event creates many more problems than it
    solves and creates a conflict with a literal reading of the text
    about what Egypt looked like only 438 years after the flood.

    Just some meanering thoughts for the day,
    Joel Duff

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