Re: [asa] Noah's Ark- the debate over floods... and biblical interpretation

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Date: Wed Apr 08 2009 - 17:41:59 EDT

 Arguments against an historical, local flood, and my responses:

1.? "The water would run out too fast."? This is a dead argument.? The Hills showed using standard hydrology equations (in PSCF) that continual rainfall in the mountains around the basin can overcome this problem.? Also, a wind blowing off the Persian Gulf could keep the water in place indefinitely.

2.? "Inadequate sediment layer."? But that's only a problem if
you are looking for a basin-wide flood.? There were many riverine
floods, and the account could be talking about one of those, and they did leave sediment layers commensurate with their scale.? Plus,if a basin-wide flood was maintained by mountain rainfall (as the Hill's conjectured), then there would be continual downhill flow and there would not be such a big sediment layer due to the continual erosion as there would have been had the water been stagnant for that many months.? Wind would have a similar effect, since on the surface water would be flowing uphill due to the wind's shear stress and the waves, and deeper down the water would be continually flowing downhill under gravity, preventing accumulation of sediments.

3.? "The account is a combination of multiple sources, and so may have incorporated the memory of more than one flood."? But it also may have incorporated multiple sources that had been inspired by the same riverine flood, and so it still may be describing a single, historical event.? Multiple sources is no reason to reject an historical event.

4.? "The account describes a global flood, not a local one, and that can't be historical."? But the account we have now was not originally written in the same Hebrew we find it in today, and its language may have been inflated as a result of the long transmission.? Indeed, cultural pressure would tend to inflate it.? Famous stories like the Flood have the propensity to make the language and not just v.v..? If the text came originally from Mesopotamia from a real flood dating some 2900 BC, then it was handed down and redacted for thousands of years.? Even if Moses was one such redactor and inspired, yet he was not the last redactor, and the text was translated into more modern Hebrew over a period of some 1200 years since his time before we get to the first extant manuscript.?

I don't think any of these are the real reason to question if it was an historical event.? I think the real reason is that we may feel it just isn't feasible to have occurred; that it's more likely to have been a fabrication than real.? That is a personal judgement or a literary one, and IMO not subject to verification or falsification.




-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Wallace <>
To: Dick Fischer <>
Cc: ASA <>
Sent: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 8:59 am
Subject: Re: [asa] Noah's Ark- the debate over floods... and biblical interpretation


As best I recall Glenn raised two issues against a Mesopotamian flood,
when we discussed this a few years ago:?

1. The land slopes into the Persian Gulf, so that water would drain off
the land fairly quickly?

2. The lack of a sedimentation layer that should result from a flood a
year long, especially with all the debris from a civilization, animals,
plants etc.?

Now I would like there to be a historical basis underlying the story in
Genesis and would be willing to grant that God might have performed a
miracle to dam up the waters. Such an act would be part of a sign to
the people. However, the lack of a sedimentation layer seems fatal as
having a miracle to prevent sedimentation would be somewhat like an
appearance of age scenario in creation, in that God would not appear to
be trustworthy and that is something I would be unwilling to posit.
Also having a sedimentation layer would appear desirable from the point
of view of providing an indication of the truth of the story down
through the ages.?

Dave W?


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Received on Wed Apr 8 17:42:51 2009

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