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Noah's flood: global or local?


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#81 Father David Moser

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 04:24 AM

I have moved the posts dealing with the similarities of man and animals and how that is seen in relation to the fall to a new thread called "Similarities between man and animals after the fall". Let us continue to focus on the flood issues in this thread and relegate the questions of the similarities between man and animals to the new one.

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#82 RichardWorthington

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 12:48 PM

Does this help?

Noah’s Ark: Temple or Boat?

Although I will need to add something to reconcile the Genesis timescale and evolutionary timescale later - please be patient with me!!

Richard

#83 RichardWorthington

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:44 AM

Just a little note:

According to http://www.gnosis.or...k_of_giants.htm

destruction [is coming, a great flood, and it will destroy all living things] 13and whatever is in the deserts and the seas


If everything in the sea is destroyed, then some people at Qumran must have been interpreting the Flood story a little differently from normal!

Richard

Edited by RichardWorthington, 21 February 2009 - 10:47 AM.
Er .. I must have pressed some key to submit it prematurely


#84 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 06:44 AM

The Flood

Local or Global

Most ancient cultures - those we have been lucky enough to have some record of - make reference to this flood.

Obviously some people survived and they were able to pass on this information mainly through myths and story telling, because that is how races who had no written language passed on their history to their descendents.

Effie

#85 RichardWorthington

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:37 AM

Most ancient cultures - those we have been lucky enough to have some record of - make reference to this flood.


"this flood": which flood?

As temperatures rose some 8000 years ago and the sea level rose dramatically, then it has been proposed that there would have been many local flooding events quite separate from each other. As such different cultures may well have a flood mythology, but without this thereby implying a global flood, such as Noah's is described to be.

(I read this in a science magazine I subscribe to, but cannot find the reference.)

Richard

#86 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:51 AM

"this flood": which flood?

As temperatures rose some 8000 years ago and the sea level rose dramatically, then it has been proposed that there would have been many local flooding events quite separate from each other. As such different cultures may well have a flood mythology, but without this thereby implying a global flood, such as Noah's is described to be.

(I read this in a science magazine I subscribe to, but cannot find the reference.)

Richard


Hey guys, last year a team of explorers found what they believe is Noah's ark, in the mountains of Mount Ararat. They have evidence, they say, of sea shells at the peak - which can not be explained without a great flood that covered the entire mountain.

Just another angle to this great mystery - which my personal belief is TRUE! No matter how much scientific evidence they bring forward to support a local flood only ...

#87 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 06:19 PM

"this flood": which flood?

As temperatures rose some 8000 years ago and the sea level rose dramatically, then it has been proposed that there would have been many local flooding events quite separate from each other. As such different cultures may well have a flood mythology, but without this thereby implying a global flood, such as Noah's is described to be.

(I read this in a science magazine I subscribe to, but cannot find the reference.)

Richard


I should have said "a flood" - a devastating flood that was so destructive that it was remembered by those who survived and passed on in the myths and oral stories told by each generation.


I found this

http://www.talkorigi...lood-myths.html

#88 Ryan

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 07:31 PM

An archaeologist I knew liked to joke that someone discovers Noah's ark every 5 years- actually, it's not too far from the truth! I tend to disregard such findings. On the other hand, I think Christians should be more critical about the methodology and first principles of modern materialist science (which includes the science used by "creationists"), and not assume that the scientific consensus reflects the reality of the creation.

#89 Ryan Close

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:50 PM

2) Scientific evidence. Well, not being a scientist myself, I sort of opened myself up to some criticism. I do understand that there is some interesting circumstantial evidence, e.g. flash-frozen tropical animals in Siberia, or dramatic changes in sea level due to melting glaciers in the eleventh millennium BC.


It is also interesting that you mention Graham Hancock who proposes some similar dates for a catastrophe of global proportions recorded in every culture. He says there was some sort of "earth-crust-slip" perhaps triggered by a meteorite impact. The idea is that if the whole earth's crust moved in relationship to the underlying magma, then it would cause massive flooding worldwide from tidal waves and also move originally temperate climates into colder latitudes over night. As evidence, there are apparently collections of animal and human bones at the top of hills near the sea all over the world, as if animals and humans both ran for the hills after sensing tidal waves or raising waters. It would also explain the "flash-frozen tropical animals in Siberia." They could have been swept up in a tidal wave and then frozen when the earth's crust slipped moving Siberia closer to the North Pole. Scientists dismiss the earth-crust-slip theory, but what if there were some other way to explain it?

Either way, I think we need a third option. The Local Flood theory postulates a rather small flood in the area of Mesopotamian. The Global Flood theory usually says that a literal interpretation of the Scriptures necessitates that Mt Everest be covered with water. It is also meant to convey that unless the animal was on the ark, it does not have a contemporary descendant. There is a third option. A global catastrophe of some kind, imaginable by science, that could have caused massive flooding world wide, along with earth quakes, crumbling mountains, volcanism, ice disasters, darkened sky, and general chaos and formlessness. A flood great enough to cause Noah's ark to land on the "shores" of the "mountains of Armenia," in other words the foothills. Consider this quote from Josephus:

Now all the writers of barbarian histories make mention of this flood, and of this ark; among whom is Berosus the Chaldean. For when he is describing the circumstances of the flood, he goes on thus: "It is said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia, at the mountain of the Cordyaeans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, and use chiefly as amulets for the averting of mischief." Hieronymus the Egyptian also, who wrote the Phoenician Antiquities, and Mnaseas, and a great many more, make mention of the same. Nay, Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a particular relation about them; where he speaks thus: "There is a great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris, upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the Deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved. This might be the man about whom Moses the legislator of the Jews wrote." (The Antiquities of the Jews, 1:3:6)

He says, "many who fled at the time of the Deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it." Consider that most people with wealth at this time may have lived in relatively low river valleys. Noah may have been the only man in the world to escape with most of his livestock. Consider another quote:

Now the sons of Noah were three, - Shem, Japheth, and Ham, born one hundred years before the Deluge. These first of all descended from the mountains into the plains, and fixed their habitation there; and persuaded others who were greatly afraid of the lower grounds on account of the flood, and so were very loath to come down from the higher places, to venture to follow their examples. Now the plain in which they first dwelt was called Shinar. (The Antiquities of the Jews, 1:4:1)

Who were the "others"? Probably the same as the "many who fled at the time of the Deluge [who] were saved" in the vicinity of a "great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris." These people would have been very afraid of the lowlands. They had just witnessed the waters make the earth formless below them and the mountains skip like rams above them. Shem, Japheth, and Ham were mighty men, princes, sons of a priest-king, like Melchizedek and Jethro, who built an ark and saved his whole household and latter planted a vineyard/temple (See Jesus parable about the vineyard with the tower in the middle). Noah's sons led the people there down into the plane of Shinar to begin the task of rebuilding civilization. From there, civilization spread out to the ends of the earth, to China in the east, to Egypt in the West.

Note that the Scriptures say the Nephilim survive the Deluge in Numbers 13:32-33:

The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.



#90 Ryan Close

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:55 PM

The problem with sites like www.globalflood.org and Answers in Genesis is that their science is not trustworthy nor submitted for peer review. None of their experiments can be reproduced by other researchers. The way they describe the flood, it churned up all the matter on the earth for a year and then deposited it in layers. The Global Flood is their key to explaining away geological evidence for the age of the earth such as the "geologic column. But it makes no sense.

For instance, they say oil and coal were created by all the plant and animal matter being swept into different vanes under the earth and buried when the mud settled to the bottom in layers that can be seen in the Grand Canon. They are saying that the sedimentary formations were created when mud settled out of the flood waters into layers. This is nonsense. First of all, imagine how deep the Grand Canon is. Almost a mile. Now consider that they have found oil in a well 8 miles deep in Russia.

Are we to accept that the flood waters teared up the whole face of the earth, over turning hills and mountains to a depth of 8 miles across the face of the planet, trapping plant and animal life 8 miles deep, and then settling into neat layers all over the earth? Take a huge fish bowl filled a third of the way full of dirt. Then fill it up with water. Then stir it up real good and let it sit. It doesn't settle into layers.

And even if the flood waters had done this, it would have obliterated traces of impact craters made prior to the flood. We have now found so many impact craters on the Earth that if they had all been made after the flood mankind would have been made extinct hundreds of times since then.

Now I know this is not a refutation of the global flood. It is a refutation of the so-called science of "flood geology." It might have been that there was a global flood that covered most or all the high mountains. But that flood covered mountains that were hundreds of millions of years old. Sedimentary formations are made over a huge period of time. Plate tectonics pushes mountains up. Wind and rain erode the mountains into soil in the valleys. The marine fossils at the top of mountains were once at the bottom of the sea and were pushed up to the top when two continental plates collided in slow motion. When Scriptures describe the "ancient hills" it means "ancient". All young-earth creation science can do is make up it's own facts and this causes all Christians to look like fools and liars.

#91 Ryan Close

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:59 PM

The Omphalos Hypothesis is the idea that God created the universe "as if" it had a long history and things as if they came about through a rich, complex, and inter-dependent processes. Omphalos is Greek for "navel." According to this hypothesis, Adam was created with hair, fingernails, and a navel, things normaly understood to be "artifacts" of biological processes through time. Hair comes about through a process called "hair growth," which takes place at a predictable rate. Suppose that hair grows one inch per month and Adam was created with four inches of hair on the first day. You could reasonably conclude that the hair started growing four month before God created him. In other words, Adam was created "in a moment" with an "apparent age," which, despite all evidence, is not true.

According to the Omphalos Hypothesis, the same can be said of the Earth. Trees have rings and soil appears to be made of decaying leaves. Adam and Eve may have concluded from this that created things are in a inter-dependent process of maturity. Small things grow up to be big. Soil is composed of layers laid down over time. Things look as if they matured through a chain of historical processes implying a history of at least a month even though God told them the whole universe was made in the last week. They conclude that they must trust God's word and not their own human reasoning.

This story, and the Omphalos Hypothesis, is a work around. It attempts to "work around" the problem of "apparent age." Apparently, the vast antiquity of the Earth is so clearly evident, and attempts at proving otherwise in the manner of the Young-Earth-Creation-Scientists so clearly fraudulent, that the only way of reconciling a young-earth presupposition with observable facts is to ignore the facts. Rather than making up your own manifestly un-true psudo-science facts the answer is to admit that we cannot trust our senses.

Once that is accomplished the hypothesis attempts to "work around" the ethical and logical problems of "apparent age." The idea that an infinite and all-powerful God would create out of nothing a universe that looks old is not logically contradictory because God is not limited to waiting for processes. God is not dishonest for providing two contradictory origin narratives, one in nature and another in Holy Scripture, because he told us which one is true. But in the end, the reason God choose to create the world with an "apparent age" is that he wants to test us. Will we believe what our senses tell us, what reason implies, and what logic demands, or will we believe what God has told us with a simplicity of faith?

This begs the question, has God actually told us that he created the universe in the recent past? The Omphalos Hypothesis assumes that which it attempts to prove, a universe created in 144 hours about 6000 years ago. The hypothesis solves an apparent contradiction, it gives an alternate explanation, but it does not offer proof of it's central claim. Why? Because young-earth cosmogony (cosmic origin) is assumed in advance. I know that many well meaning Christians hold young-earth cosmogony for essential exegetical reasons, but I believe it is a presupposition brought to the text. Furthermore, I believe the Omphalos Hypothesis contains a fatal flaw.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

SIMULATION AND REALITY ARE INDISTINGUISHABLE

Stay with me here.

In theoretical physics, digital physics holds the basic premise that the entire history of our universe is computable (or simulate-able) in some sense. The hypothesis was pioneered in Konrad Zuse's book Rechnender Raum (translated by MIT into English as Calculating Space, 1970), which focuses on cellular automata. Juergen Schmidhuber suggested that the universe could be a Turing machine, because there is a very short program that outputs all possible programmes in an asymptotically optimal way.

If the universe is computable, capable of being simulated, then there is no difference between reality and a simulation of reality, if the simulation has enough detail. Therefore if God made the universe appear old, and if he did so by simulating a "fictional history" down to the most minute details, then there is no difference between so-called "fictional history" and "actual history."

For example,

It is impossible to conceive of a fully grown tree not composed of growth-rings, exactly because that is what a fully grown tree is, a collection over time of growth-rings. Growth-rings imply a complex and interdependent historical process. They are also the record of that historical process. If there were growth-rings in the fully grown trees in the Garden of Eden, then those trees must have grown up from seeds and saplings. In other words they must have had a history, a birth and growth toward maturity. If God simply created the trees fully grown in a moment "as if" they had a history, then that "fictional history" would be indistinguishable from "real history." Therefore, we have no reason to doubt what the apparent "history" of a tree's growth-rings tell us about the world including the age of the Earth.


Or this,

Light travels at a certain measurable speed. Simple observations of stars and rudimentary trigonometric calculations tell us how far away certain stars are from the Earth. Most of these stars are distant enough from the Earth that it would take many millions of years for the light, traveling at a certain finite speed, to reach the Earth. In other words the light from very distant stars strongly implies an equally old age for the universe. If the universe were created only very recently, say 6000 years ago, then how did the light from very distant stars have enough time to travel to the Earth for us to observe it? If God simply created the the light from stars in a moment "as if" it had been traveling to the Earth for millions of years, then the "fictional history" of that star-light would be indistinguishable from its "real history." Therefore, we have no reason to doubt what the apparent "history" of star-light from very distant star's tells us about the universe.


God may have made the whole universe last Thursday "in a moment" with a "fictional history" composed of tree rings recording season that never occurred and soil made from decomposed leaves from trees that never existed. There may be eroded mountains worn away by rain that never fell, glaciers composed of yearly layers of compacted snow, and very distant star-light taking millions of years to reach the Earth. There may be history books about wars that were never fought, written by authors who were never born, and childhood memories of scraped knees never scraped, all to give the effect that the universe created last Thursday had a history. But it didn't. This "simulated" history might be so complete no one could tell the difference. If so, we could not determine through observation or even through memory how old the universe was. In fact, since there is no way to disprove that the universe was not created last Thursday "as if" it were old, we have no choice but to assume that what careful observation of the world tells us about the universe is true and live accordingly.

#92 Ryan

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 03:58 AM

I can't say I follow the Omphalos hypothesis, but I must say, the "last Thursday" argument against it rather misses the point. The Omphalos hypothesis begins with what we know, from Revelation, about how and when the creation began, and then proceeds to reconcile this with modern science. It is not an attempt to "prove" creation, only to harmonize the two narratives. Therefore, we know that creation did not begin last Thursday, because divine revelation tells us it was thousands of years ago, and that the history recorded in the Old and New Testaments is real. For the same reason, simulation is not reality- the creations that take millions of years according to the laws of the universe were accomplished instantly by God. We may not know this from simple natural observation but we do know it from Revelation.

What I really take issue with here is the equation of modern materialist science with objective truth. It is very naive to accept modern science and its philosophical underpinnings, and then simply plug in Christian revelation in a way that fits.

#93 Ryan Close

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 01:16 PM

Thanks Ryan,

I found that I actually do believe the Omphalos Hypothesis. God created Adam with a full head of hair and a belly button. The garden in Eden had trees with growth rings growing in soil with decayed leaves in it together with tiny bits of mountains eroded away by millions of years of rain drops indicating a history that never existed. The garden may have been on a mountain with marine fossils in the rocks because God gave it the appearance that the mountain used to be at the bottom of the ocean millions of years before. He made it all in an instant as if it had a history. Yet the "fictional history" that God imagined to give minute detail to the universe in order to give it the "appearance of age" is in all ways indistinguishable from real history.

The difference between the Omphalos Hypothesis and Last Thursdayism is, exactly as you put it, that God told us when he created the universe. The point is to illustrate that if the universe were created only second ago with all the detailed evidence of history or the "appearance of age," we wouldn't be able to tell the difference. So if God created the universe a relatively short time ago with the "appearance of age" then we couldn't tell the difference unless he told us. Which he did.

Talking to my wife last night I discovered there are actually two ways to approach the Omphalos Hypothesis. My wife believes that God squeezed all the processes necessary for the creation of everything into 144 hours. He made the processes happen very very fast. I believe that the processes never occurred outside the mind of God who needed to imagine the leaves falling years before the earth was created in order to make them in an instant, three feet under the grass, already decayed, as if they had been there for years already. Adam looked up into the sky and saw light from stars that took millions of years to reach his eyes. He looked down and saw a fossil of a tiny sea creature that died millions of years earlier at the bottom of the sea before the sea bed was pushed up into the sky. And God knows the whole geneology of the even tinier sea creature that this first sea creature ate even though it never existed outside of his mind. He created the universe in an instant with the appearance of this historical process.

For instance, the Hawaiian islands are made because there is a volcanic hot-spot in the middle of a continental plate. The plate is moving north very slowly. The first island in the chain used to be as big as the last, but as it moved north it eroded away into the sea. As it moved north, the hot spot burst through the crust making a new island. There are almost 1000 islands in the chain. This must have been going on for millions of years. There is a lot of evidence for this but it is all the "appearance of age." The existence of the islands themselves are proof of this "appearance of age." God either made the earth with the "appearance of age" in an instant, or else he squeezed all the tectonic, volcanic, and erosion processes into a small period of time. Either way, who are we to argue?

I am not as skeptical of real science. I know its limits so I don't assign to it any kind of naive romantic notions. Scientific method is simply careful observation. You use science every time you build a house or bake some bread or go on a hike.

The distance of stars from the earth is quite easy to prove using simple observations and high school algebra and trigonometry. We know that light travels at a set finite speed. It has been measurable for well over a hundred years and been duplicated innumerable times. A supernovae is an exploding star. One night an astronomer sees one. Curious about how supernovas behave, he watches the area for a few more months. About six weeks latter he sees a flash a little to the right like a second supernova. Careful observation indicates that this is a reflection of the exploding star on a neighboring dust cloud. Because we know the speed of light and how long it took for the light to go from the nova to the dust cloud we know how far apart they are, namely six light-weeks. We also know the angle between the two objects as seen from earth. Using simple high school trig we can determine the distance from the nova to the Earth.

I am skeptical of young-earth-creation-scientists because they lie and make up facts to suit their theories. Many of them have degrees from diploma mills or operate science schools without accreditation. Some claim to be doctors of science but have never written a dissertation. Some are in jail for fraud. Their results cannot be reproduced and their findings are never published for peer review. They make Christians look like fools and liars. Why not just accept the apparent age of the earth instead of making up your own science. The Omphalos Hypothesis is handy when you are convinced the Earth looks very old but you know God tells us he made it a few thousand years ago. In other words, God created an old earth a realatively short period of time ago. If he made it with the "appearance of age" then we wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. Who are we to argue with him?

Sincerely,

Ryan

#94 Vincent Ragay

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 01:03 AM

Well, Rick, no. There is ~not~ "some science behind this that is as credible as any." Creationism is simply not credible as science, period, because it dispenses with the necessity of falsifiability. Their arguments work this way: "If I had some cheese, I could make a cheese sandwich -- if I had some bread." Once I asked a creationist where all the flood water went to -- that would have been a simply stupendous amount of water -- and he told me that it had drained off into underground caverns. Then I asked him for evidence of the existence of underground caverns of that size -- and pretty soon he was talking about something else entirely. The plain fact is, the creationists have no new evidence, none, that would overturn the scientific consensus on the age of the earth, the origin of species, etc.


I may have found the most plausible answer -- a hypothesis, in fact -- to such a very important question. The science exists and has been with us for more than five decades. No, the water did not go down into "undergournd caverns" but remained where it was. It was the Earth that morphed in order to make possible the rebuilding our planet into what it is now. This fact really excites me! To tell the whole principle will take a whole book. Please check out my blog: www.manariwa.com for more.




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