Tornadoes, earthquakes, and flashfloods are all types of phenomena’s that could occur. Most of these mysterious events are small and go unnoticed; however, on a rare occasion these sorts of event can be horrendous. One such occasion occurred back around 4,000 BC (Werner Keller, 48). As the story goes, God’s population was growing rapidly on earth. At this point, he had been growing bored with the same people on earth so he made sure no man would live past the age of 120.
Given this time, the people of earth started to take advantage of the human race; these acts of selfishness disgusted God. He decided to destroy everything on earth. A man by the name of Noah had lived his life by God’s nature, which eventually led to a close relationship between the two. God had told Noah to build a boat with exact measurements. God had instructed Noah to put two of every kind of animal into the boat; one had to be male and the other female. Then God told Noah to get into the boat with his family, their families, and the animals.
Then for forty days and forty nights the clouds seemed to have poured endless amounts of water onto the earth (Genesis 6:1-9). Floods rushed through the landscape, destroying everything in its path. The waters were higher than the tallest mountains, standing above the highest peaks. All living things on earth had died. The water covered the earth at this level for five months (Paul S. Taylor, 1). In time the water began to dry up. Eventually Noah was able to leave the ship and release all he had brought with him. From this point, evolution occurs.
The story of the great flood has been debated many times as far as its historical accuracy. Many experts seem to think that such an event would be unnatural while others believe that this great worldwide flood actually did occur. In today’s society, more people are beginning to question catastrophic events that occur in nature. This great flood seems to be a very common example of this. This research paper will investigate the Holy Bible’s reliability as scientific and historical literature by focusing on its recording of the great flood.
Many people are interested in these world phenomena’s; this paper will aim to end some of the controversy about this particular phenomenon. The first thing to be looked at is how the Bible describes the actual event itself. According to the Bible, the origin of the flood was the eruption of underground waters and heavy rainfall. “When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, the underground waters burst forth on the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky” (Genesis 7:11-12).
The Bible also affirmed that the flood lasted for a constant forty days and forty nights with no break. Eventually the waters covered the entire earth, suffocating everything below it. The actual height of the waters was approximately twenty-two feet above any mountain peak (Henry M. Morris, 2-3). All living creatures on earth died. The water covered the earth for 150 days. After 150 days, a wind was sent across the waters, and the flood began to recede. About ten and a half months after the flood began, the water had almost dried up.
Two more months went by and the earth was dry (Genesis 8: 2-20). According to the Bible, the reason for the flood was simply God’s anger toward the earth he had created. The people of earth began to live life through pleasure rather than by the word of the Lord. They began to fall into the traps of evil, and this angered God. His solution to this problem was to destroy earth and everything on it. To accomplish this, he started a great worldwide flood. This type of flood is not supported by scientific evidence.
The scientific evidence does back up the idea of a worldwide flood; however, the causes of the flood as well as the effects of the flood differ from that of the Bible. Founder of the Titanic, Robert Ballard, and a crew of archaeologist, have been searching for physical evidence that proves of the great flood described in the Genesis. On September 18, 2000, a massive wooden compartment was found 12 miles offshore. This wooden object is believed to be from the ship built by Noah. The object was at a depth of more than 300 feet. This finding has backed up their theory of an ancient coastline 550 feet below sea level.
Ballard believes that about 7,500 years ago, melting glaciers elevated the depth of the oceans, causing the Mediterranean Sea to rush inland through the Bosporus Strait. This created a natural dam, forming a freshwater lake and thus creating the Black Sea (Michael Satchell, 1). Like the Bible, science has its own story as to how such a catastrophic event occurred. According to science, this story takes place more than 20,000 years ago. At this point in history, the earth looked completely different. “Thick ice sheets extended down from the North Pole as far as Chicago and New York City” (James Trefil, 1).
The sea level was approximately 400 feet shallower than today. Rain was nonexistent. Instead, evaporated water fell as snow that was then packed into glacial ice. “The East Coast of the United States was 75-150 miles farther out than it is today, and places like Manhattan and Baltimore would have been inland cities” (Trefil, 1). Melting glaciers in Europe flowed towards the Black Sea basin, then on to a river channel that led to the Mediterranean Sea. Like the oceans, the Mediterranean Sea water level was also 400 feet shallower due to it being connected to the oceans.
The flow of water that started at the Black Sea was downwards. Science proves that what happens next is utterly amazing. As time went on, a shift in the flow of water occurred. Melting European glaciers sent flowing water north towards the North Sea. Eventually the level of the Black Sea began to drop due to the loss of its main source of replenishment. At this point, the Mediterranean was about a couple hundred feet deeper than the Black Sea. All that separated these masses was the Bosporus Strait, a barrier of dry land.
With the world’s oceans rising and the Black Sea falling, “Eventually, like a bathtub overflowing, the Mediterranean had to pour through into the Black Sea basin” (Trefil, 1). This story is proved to be true through sediments, or layers of mud. William Ryan and Walter Pitman, two geologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, have taken samples of sediments from the present-day Black Sea. “At the very bottom of the cores, dozens of feet below the present seafloor, they found layered mud typical of river deltas” (Trefil, 2). Shells found in the mud date back to around 18,000 and 8,600 years ago.
This data showed that an area of the Black Sea about the size of Florida might have been much like the lower Mississippi Delta today” (Trefil, 2). The shells found are typical of those found in the Black Sea when it was freshwater. Evidence was also found that these same shells could be found in the base sediments at the bottom of the Bosporus Strait. Putting these two pieces of evidence together only leads to one story; “rising sea levels in the Mediterranean reached the base of the sediments at the bottom of the Bosporus, and all hell broke loose” (Trefil, 2).
As the Mediterranean flowed over the Bosporus Strait, it carried along with it the sediment, which included the shells discovered, into the Black Sea. Under the layer of shell sediment, mud layers contain sediments from rivers that ran into the freshwater lake. Above this layer of shell sediment are layers of sediments from saltwater. This evidence proves that at some time freshwater had flowed through the Bosporus Strait with enough force to carry shell sediments into the Black Sea.
Eventually a channel of about 300 feet deep was created that flowed into the Black Sea due to the flowing waters. As the water poured through this channel, a waterfall 200 times the volume of Niagara Falls was created (Trefil, 2). The amount of water that came through the channel was astounding. “In a single day enough water came through the channel to cover Manhattan to a depth at least two times the height of the World Trade Center, and the roar of the cascading water would have been audible at least 100 miles away.
With all this occurring, the oceans moved inland at about a mile a day (Trefil, 2). The path of this enormous water-flow is unthinkable. The saltwater of the Mediterranean flowed over beaches and pummeled up rivers, chasing and destroying all life before it (Trefil, 2). After gathering research about this great worldwide flood, it is clear that such an event must have taken place. The Bible is correct in the sense that a flood did occur. However, scientific evidence proves that the Biblical description of the flood was not scientifically correct.
The reason the Bible gives for which the flood occurred is definitely unreliable. Evidence proves that man, nor God, could not have controlled such a catastrophic event. The Bible seems to have just the general ideas of the flood correct. After comparing the data collected with the data from the Bible, it is clear that the information in the Bible can not be used as scientific evidence to prove that a great flood occurred. Therefore, as far as reliability is concerned, the Bible is unreliable for factual information about the great flood.