Geology and the Flood of Noah
Noah's Ark and the Genesis
Creationist Perspectives on Flood Geology
Genesis 6-8; The Biblical Flood of Noah
Geology on the CreationWiki
"If I, as a
geologist, were called upon to explain briefly our modern ideas of the
origin of the earth and the development of life on it to a simple,
pastoral people, such as the tribes to whom the Book of Genesis was
addressed, I could hardly do better than follow rather closely much of the
language of the first chapter of Genesis."
Wallace Pratt, quoted by W.L. Copithorne, in "The Worlds of Wallace
Pratt," The Lamp, Fall 1971, p. 14.
world is completely covered in monumental flood sediments such
as those visible in the walls of the
Grand Canyon, or in the photograph at right taken in Utah.
According to Genesis
6-8 and the Biblical chronology,
approximately 4500 years ago there was a global flood that destroyed
all terrestrial life on earth, except for those which were stored
on the ark by Noah and his family.
It is therefore the basic assumption of most Biblical
creationists that the stratified sedimentary layers known
as the geological column have
been misinterpreted by modern science, and are instead a rather
obvious testament of this worldwide catastrophe.
'Genesis 7:11-12 on that day all the
springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of
the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days
and forty nights.
The flood is said to have been caused by
a forty day rain that was accompanied by an upsurgence of subterranean
waters lasting for one hundred and fifty days (chronology
of the flood). A debate has been ongoing within the creation
community concerning whether rainfall,
or subterranean sources were the
principal supply of the flood waters. It is now largely presumed
that the latter was largely responsible, however, there are many
factors indicating a significant change in our atmosphere has
taken place as a result of this Biblical catastrophe. Some of
the evidence supporting these two views will be examined below,
and theories presented to offer an explanation on the
cause of the flood and mechanism of settling
Some speculate that Gen 1:6-7 is referring
to a vapor canopy which collapsed during the flood. but beforehand
protected the earth, or provided atmospheric stability that no
longer exists. For example the size of organisms before the flood,
and the productivity of various ecosystems was generally much
greater than after. Also regions that are now perpetual glaciers
such as Antarctica, possess fossil evidence of rich ecosystems
including fossil ferns and amphibians with skulls measuring up
to one meter. Such productivity could only be explained by global
temperature fluctuation or drifting continents.
Genesis 1: 6-7 And God said, Let there
be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide
the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided
the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which
were above the firmament: and it was so.
There are other indicators of an atmospheric
change resulting from the flood such as the sudden appearance
of rainbow following the flood, and the rapid
decline in human lifespan in just the few generations after
Noah. Likewise the first mention of clouds is not until after
the deluge, and many believe there was no rain or clouds beforehand.
However, from the Bible it is clear there were stars also visible
before the flood, therefore any supposed canopy was less dense
than than our standard cloud-cover today.
Genesis 9:14 - When I bring clouds over
the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds,
Genesis 9:16 - When the bow is in the clouds, I will look upon
it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every
living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Genesis 2:5-6 In the day that the LORD
God made the earth and the heavens, 5 when no plant of the field
was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung
up--for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth,
and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up
from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
The existence of the "vapor canopy"
remains theoretic, but it is unquestionable that our world was
tremendously affected by the flood, and the catastrophe resulted
in or was caused by atmospheric changes.
Factors Suggesting Preflood Canopy or Atmospheric
Change Resulting from Flood
- Continuous forty day rain.
- Rainbow - absent before flood; present
after flood. (Clouds also?)
- Fossiliferous plants and animals in polar
regions indicating globally uniform temperatures before.
- The tremendous decline in human life expectancy
following the flood.
Fountains of the Great Deep
Genesis 7:11-12 on that day all the
springs of the great deep burst forth
flood possibly began when the earth's crust was fractured releasing
subterranean caverns of water and magma. The picture at right
shows the locations of the mid oceanic ridge which resides all
over the world, and are possibly where the earth was globally
The "springs of the great deep"
are believed to be
preflood subterranean water-table much like those that still
exist today in remnant form. Unknown to many, much of the land
under our feet resides upon massive ancient bodies of water such
as the Ogallala aquifer
pictured at left. The Ogallala Aquifer resides under several
states in the US, and supplies continuous spring water such as
the famous Artesian Wells (et al. Geysers).
It is thought that all land masses were positioned upon aquifers
at the beginning of creation which supplied free-flowing rivers
before the flood. It was these ancient massive aquifers that
were triggered to "burst-forth" and flooded
the earth. Even though these aquifers were largely depleted,
today 40% of the drinking water in the United States comes from
these ancient ground waters.
What Started the Flood?
to the Bible, God decided to destroy
the earth by flood because man had become wicked, and in particular
due to a race known as the
Nephilim. Although the exact
mechanism used may never be known, the event that triggered the
breech of the "springs of the great deep" may
have been caused or accompanied by other catastrophic processes.
Evidence of meteor and volcanic activity is interspersed throughout
the geological column, and it
is presumed by some that perhaps a series of meteor impacts fractured
the earth's crust causing the preflood aquifers to flow unrestricted.
It can only be presumed what actually caused the flood other
than the might hand-of-God, but there were clear and irreversible
alterations of both our earth's crust and atmosphere as a result
of the great flood.
Mechanism of Flood Water Recession
A portion of the flood water recession
was accomplished by glacial formation. It is almost certain there
was proportionally more land available immediately after the
flood than there is currently. The ocean levels continue to rise
today because of melting of glacial deposits that were formed
when the earth was still completely covered in flood water. It
is believed the majority of the glacial development, known as
the ice ages, formed during the flood,
and was responsible for land and ice bridges allowing the post
flood migration of animals and humans into regions that are now
completely isolated by water (i.e. Bering strait).
Today the earth's crust has sufficiently
uneven elevations so that about 30% remains above the water line,
however, if the present contour of the earth's surface was leveled,
the entire planet would still be covered by water to a depth
of 9000 feet. Much of the deformation of the earth's crust has
occurred since the deposition of the
stratified sediment during the flood. These layers were originally
laid in horizontal rows, and have since been folded and forced
upward. Therefore most of the tectonic activity responsible for
mountain building has been relatively recent, and likely driven
by receding flood waters.
Most of the rise in the earth's land elevation
has been due to plate tectonic activity caused by spreading oceans.
The continental land masses have been essentially crushed, and
slabs of crust have been overthrust or subducted under others
causing mountain building, and volcanism. If is presumed by some
creationists, that the majority of the ocean bodies are settled
flood waters, and it is this accumulation that is driving the
spreading of the mid-oceanic ridge and related geological movement.
It is believed the oceans have essentially stretched to accommodate
the accumulation of the expelled subterranean water, and the
pressure of this expanding volume displaced the newly formed
layers causing deformations such as folding, and mountain formation.
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