About a week or two ago I watched a documentary about the flood in Noah's day entitled "In Search Of Noah's Ark". Two things I found very interesting in this program is a theory that one person had about how they believed the flood was caused due to a meteor hitting the ocean creating a tsunami that flooded the entire earth. Scientist were unanimous in their view that this is a very plausible scenario and that there is no way to rule this possibility out. If that is how the flood happened, that would answer the question of where did the water come from and where did it go. Another thing I found interesting is that despite the fact that the producers of the program didn't believe in the Bible's account of a global flood, even they had to acknowledge that there was at least a localized flood that wiped out a lot of people in the Middle Eastern area due to the overwhelming evidences, and also due to the fact that a story of a global flood by ancient civilizations has been pasted down for generations in every part of the world. Some people view the fact that other ancients recorded a global flood before the Bible as proof the account is a fable, but as the program pointed out, the fact that it's been recorded by so many different civilizations is evident that a major flood took place in earth's history. For example if two people say they saw a blue car crash a tree, your natural reaction wouldn't be to think one is copying other, but that a car (most likely blue) hit something (most likely a tree). It wouldn't be logical to think so many people thousands of years ago who didn't know each other decided to simultaneously make up the same fairy tale.
Documentary About The Flood and Noah's Ark
About a week or two ago I watched a documentary about the flood in Noah's day entitled "In Search Of Noah's Ark".
It can be viewed here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7808630060796690151#.
The program is howlingly bad. It is filled to the gills with pseudoscience, sensationalist claims, and omissions so big you can run an ark through them. It was written by David Balsinger who has went on to write and produce other religious-themed documentaries with dubious, if not blatantly dishonest, content (see this and this for instance). When some skeptic guests on one of his programs objected to being offered pre-written scripts, he is quoted as replying: "We don't try to provide balance. We have been contracted by CBS to produce an entertainment show, so the purpose is not to provide balance but entertainment ... you have to understand that the average TV viewer in America is not that intelligent, so what they want is entertainment and not intellectual debate". I find this fits the Noah's Ark program very well. It is a piece of entertainment, not an even-handed exploration of scientific and historical evidence.
Two things I found very interesting in this program is a theory that one person had about how they believed the flood was caused due to a meteor hitting the ocean creating a tsunami that flooded the entire earth. Scientist were unanimous in their view that this is a very plausible scenario and that there is no way to rule this possibility out.
The person in question is Roger Rusk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Rusk). He is a Christian writer, not an unbiased geologist or expert in the earth sciences. What he says is not only utter nonsense, but it contains absolutely no evidence or facts to substantiate his views:
Q. We've been investigating the possibility of a universal deluge. And as a part of our investigations, a question has come up about a possible shift on the axis of the entire earth. Is that really a scientific possibility?
A. Yes! George Dodwell in Australia has come up with a theory that there used to be a 90-degree angle to its path around the sun and had a dislocation of some sort and cantilevered to about 26 degrees and come back to the present 23 1/2 in a stable position.
Q. And now wouldn't a shift of that kind be a terribly violent kind of thing, what could cause it?
A. Well, there are various things that could cause it, various agents. A big comet hitting the earth would be one, an asteroid hitting the earth could be one.
Q. Well now, if indeed there were such a change, such a shift, what would be the immediate result on the surface of the earth? Would it bring about the conditions, let's say, of the universal deluge? Would it move the oceans and generally just disrupt the entire land mass?
A. This idea was expressed in an international meeting by some petroleum geologists some years ago. The idea was expressed that a crustal adjustment like that -- if the mantle moved, the core would have to move in opposite direction because the total spin cannot change. But that would be quite slow. Whereas the response of the oceans would be instantaneous, and the oceans would be sloshed out of the basins and just wash over the continents go back down to the ocean basin on the other side.
Q. You mean an entire ocean would simply get up and wash across a land mass, just wiping out everything in its path, and then gradually seep back into the basin?
A. Yes, that's perfectly plausible.
Q. Professor, wouldn't the shift of the mantle in this manner bring about a violent volcanic action?
A. Oh yes, tremendous volcanic action, and this could trigger of course tremendous precipitation. You see, the earth at that time so long ago probably had a canopy around it just as Venus and Jupiter and Saturn now have, perfectly completely normal state of affairs.
Q. A canopy, in the clouds?
A. A complete covering of clouds made up of water vapor and water droplets and ice crystals in the top, you see, cirrus clouds today are ice crystals. And if we have the volcanic activity to stir up a lot of this dust, then you'd get the condensation, you see, which works around these dust particles that would be nuclei and this whole canopy could be precipitated out very quickly.
Q. Well then, if we did have indeed this dislocation, the volcanic action, the movement of the ocean, the breaking up of the canopy over the earth, the change in effect in everything that took place, this would certainly match more or less account of the universal deluge which destroyed virtually all life.
Q. How long ago then according to the theory would this have been?
A. Something on the order of five or six thousand years ago.
Q. Then it does approximately match the story of Genesis?
A. It fits very well, fits very well with the time period between Abraham going backwards to the time of Noah. Fits very well with that.
NARRATOR: Now that's impressive evidence! Both geologically and archaeologically, all indications seem to point to a universal deluge.
This is pure sophistry; absolutely no geological evidence is presented — everything Rusk says is unsubstantiated speculation. He knows nothing about plate tectonics, or the physical effects of impact collisions, or the geological history of the earth. He even blithely claims that there used to be a "water canopy" around the earth — a pseudoscientific notion dating back to the 19th century that is based not on science but an interpretation of Genesis — and then he goes on to note how well this accords with the account in Genesis. Rusk does not mention any physical evidence of an actual impact event dating to 5,000 or 6,000 years ago; there is no basis he gives for the date he comes up with out of thin air. The conclusion that "all indications seem to point to a universal deluge" is either a blatant lie or an attempt at humor aimed at the scientifically illiterate. What Rusk states bears no relation whatsoever to modern geology and paleoclimatology. There is zero evidence of a global catastrophe, much less a planet-killing disaster, in the past 6,000 years and instead there is overwhelming evidence against such an unfounded idea.
Rusk bases his views on the ideas of George Dodwell of Australia and indeed his entire speculation about an asteroid impact and oceans migrating over continents and the precipitation of an atmospheric water canopy comes straight out of Dodwell's unpublished paper that is the source of Rusk's "axis shift" claim. This was based not on any physical evidence but nothing more than a perceived pattern he found in inaccuracies in shadow measurements in ancient times (which works only if Stonehenge is dated as recent as 500 BC, contrary to archaeological evidence). A tongue-and-cheek discussion of Dodwell's unscientific views can be found here: http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/SkepticsObliquityEcliptic33.htm. Dodwell's paper was ignored by the scientific community of course. His ideas only have currency among young earth creationists.
Scientist were unanimous in their view that this is a very plausible scenario and that there is no way to rule this possibility out.
There is almost nothing in common between Rusk and Dodwell's scenario and real science.
Some people view the fact that other ancients recorded a global flood before the Bible as proof the account is a fable the fact that it's been recorded by so many different civilizations is evident that a major flood took place in earth's history.
This is an incorrect assumption. Floods are a nearly universal part of the human experience, as most population centers reside along rivers (particularly those centered on agriculture) and/or near the ocean. It is only natural that flood stories are common and since each respective society has its own creation or origin myth (which views its ancestors as the first humans), it is also natural for such stories to be universalized as pertaining to disasters affecting all of humanity. Moreover, migration of ancient peoples throughout Europe and Asia has spread folkloric motifs and mythologies far and wide, whether through contact or through the dispersal of peoples. Compared to actual physical evidence pertaining to recent geological history, the "evidence" provided by folklore is incredibly weak.
For example if two people say they saw a blue car crash a tree, your natural reaction wouldn't be to think one is copying other, but that a car (most likely blue) hit something (most likely a tree). It wouldn't be logical to think so many people thousands of years ago who didn't know each other decided to simultaneously make up the same fairy tale.
If blue cars hitting trees were actually a common occurrence among people living near roads anywhere on earth, or if there was a really great story of a blue car hitting a tree that people liked to tell, then it wouldn't be all that surprising. And any similarities between flood legends must be checked by their enormous differences; in no sense are they all the "same fairy tale".
I saw a more plausible documentary. It said that the Black Sea was a shallow lake, until a land barrier that kept the Med at bay collapsed, causing a huge flood.
Cant remember the exact figures, but the Black Sea is about 600 feet deeper now. There is evidence of streams flowing in and ploughs abandoned in the fields.
In Turkey they still make what is known as "Noahs Pudding."
People still believe Noah existed?
It wouldn't be logical to think so many people thousands of years ago who didn't know each other decided to simultaneously make up the same fairy tale.
Do you have any idea how many variations there are to the Santa Claus myth? Just because different cultures tell a similar story, doesn't mean it is true. Those people thousands of years ago DID know each other. They traveled and communicated more than you realize.
Scientists debunked the global deluge over 170 years ago.
Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About The Event That Changed History (Paperback)
And just to state it, it is NOT about Noah, but about geology and hard facts.
It is a cute story.
So I guess that nobody here is going to contribute to my new 2010 expedition to finally go find Noah's Ark for ever and ever?
You will be sorry when I make the big documentary and sell it to the Christian Network News...
I hear that his next documentary proves that ancient snakes could really talk to naked ladies. It's entitled, "In Search of Naked Ladies and Talking Snakes"