About 4,500 years ago the world was entirely covered with water. We know this is true because humans witnessed the event, recorded what they saw, and the document they wrote is available to us today. About that water and its depth that account reads: For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. (Genesis 7:17–20)
This was a period of great sedimentation on the earth, especially on the parts of the crust that now form the continents.
Once the waters of the Flood had completely inundated every piece of land on the earth, they began to recede, and they continued to recede for a period of about seven months, until the continents were dry. Where did the waters go?
Even if the glaciers and ice caps melted, the oceans would only rise some 70 m (230 ft), yet Mt Everest rises 8,848m (29,029 ft) above sea level.
It may surprise you to learn that we don’t need any more water to cover the earth. There is already enough.
The reason water doesn’t envelop the globe now is that the earth’s surface is uneven. The ocean basins sit low and the continents sit high. Some mountains are especially high and some ocean trenches are very deep, but these extremes do not account for a large percentage of the earth’s surface (see graph).
If the earth’s surface were even, then there is enough water in the oceans to cover the globe to a depth of about 3 km.
This suggests that, during the Flood, the ocean floor moved vertically relative to the continents, something mentioned in the Bible. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. (Psalm 104:8 NASB).
In the first half, the pre-Flood ocean basins rose and the pre-Flood continents eroded down until water covered everything.
That does not mean the earth’s surface would have to be completely even. The ocean basins would have only had to rise enough for the water to cover everything.
Then, in the second half of the Flood, other parts of the earth’s crust sank. The water flowed off our continents into new ocean basins. Movement of the earth’s crust at this time also pushed up new mountain ranges, including the one that is home to Mt Everest.
Geologists actually hint at this in their interpretive framework, but the dates they prefer to assign MYA, prevents them from making the connection. For example, they speak of a time when the Indian and Atlantic Oceans were ‘born’—of the break-up of Gondwana. The ‘birth’ of these oceans provided the place for the waters to go:
The break-up of Gondwana began with the opening of the Indian Ocean along the African east coast, heralded by the eruption of basalts and rhyolites of the Lebombo region.[i]
This is the first hint of secular geological changes to the ocean basins, that were needed to receive the floodwaters. According to their evolutionary thinking it was some 180 million years ago, but in reality that translates to about ‘half way’ through the Flood. Here is another quote: Some 120 million years ago, South America began to detach from Africa, opening rifts along the southern African west coast. This thinned the continental crust: the start of the Atlantic Ocean.i
This is the second hint that secular geologists use. The dates, as we mentioned, are completely subjective and are made to agree with their long-age framework of thinking. If the relative timing is correct, and that would need to be checked, then it means that, during the Flood, the Indian Ocean opened up slightly before the Atlantic.
When we disregard the actual numbers quoted for the ‘dates’, this description and the events that follow fit nicely with what the Bible says. Of course, the two descriptions of the event are from two different point of views: Noah was on the Ark watching the water rise and fall, while the geologists are on the ground looking at what they believe to be its effects and trying to understand them according to their preconceived notions. This is what Noah recorded: Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. (Genesis 8:2–5)
There is no doubt about the dates in the biblical account (e.g. “the seventeenth day of the seventh month” and “the first day of the tenth month”.) They are based on careful observation and recording of the event itself, which is the only reliable way of measuring elapsed time. No assumptions were involved—just observation. I have already covered the accuracy of the Bible in several prior articles: http://intelligentdesign.blog.com/2014/03/03/who-wrote-genesis/; http://intelligentdesign.blog.com/2014/03/13/should-genesis-be-taken-literally/.
The question we might ask is this: Which view is best supported by the scientific evidence, the data? The secular evolutionary ancient Earth view, or the biblical creationist young Earth view?
“Many creationists believe that there was, originally, one great continent—when God first created the world. In Genesis 1:9, God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” The Bible also tells us that around 1600 years after creation, God judged the world with a global flood—and this would have been much more than just a deluge. There would have been much geological activity, volcanism and ground movements as well. Probably a majority of creationist scientists—not all, but probably a majority—would agree that the continents we see today did split apart from the one original land mass. In addition, they would say that this happened at the time of the Genesis Flood, when all this geological activity was going on. Of course, they wouldn’t say this happened slowly, over millions of years, but rapidly—not by ‘continental drift’, but ‘continental sprint’. Moreover, it’s important to note that, according to this view, the movements of the continents would have occurred beneath the flood waters. So we wouldn’t have had living populations of plants and animals being split by this continental separation.
During the Flood, the whole of the pre-flood world was destroyed! In Genesis 6:17, God said, “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on Earth will perish.” Therefore, the world we see today grew up after this global catastrophe, and over the last 4,500 years or so. Plants left floating on the surface of the waters would have re-colonised the areas where they finally settled, after the flood waters receded, and the animals that disembarked the Ark would have migrated to the places they now inhabit.”[ii]
The Bible doesn’t directly teach anything about the pre-Flood and post-Flood boundaries. It doesn’t even directly teach that fossils and rocks are the result of the Flood. Yet 2 Peter 3:3–6 is an important passage: “Scoffers will … deliberately ignore this fact, … the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.”
This strongly implies that the Flood must have left some dramatic evidence, otherwise why would scoffers be held culpable for “deliberately ignoring” the fact of the Flood if there is no evidence? By similar reasoning, Romans 1:18–22 is a good argument against theistic evolution. Verse 20 says: “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
This passage clearly teaches that unbelievers won’t have the slightest excuse for unbelief, because God’s power and deity can be “clearly seen” from nature. This seems to be a strong support for the argument from design.
In the Bible, the first cause for the Flood was “all the fountains of the great deep burst forth” and the second was “the windows of the heavens were opened” (Genesis 7:11). Keil and Delitzsch comment: “The same day were all the fountains of the great deep (תהוםte hôm the unfathomable ocean) broken up, and the sluices (windows, lattices) of heaven opened, and there was (happened, came) pouring rain (גשם geshem in distinction from מטר mātār) upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights.’ Thus the flood was produced by the bursting forth of fountains hidden within the earth, which drove seas and rivers above their banks, and by rain which continued incessantly for 40 days and 40 nights.”[iii]
The earth is only seen as ‘looking old’ because we all take unconscious belief systems to the evidence. In other words, it could be said that the earth looks neither old nor young—it all depends on the ‘belief glasses’ through which one is viewing (interpreting) the evidence. Or to put it another way, it is just as valid for me to say, looking at the world through the ‘lens’ of the Bible (rather than the humanistic, evolutionized lens of our culture), that it ‘looks young’ (i.e. thousands, not billions of years old).
For some advanced reading and study try some of these articles and their references:
So that is an introduction to Flood theory. In the following segments we will discuss both the secular and Biblical viewpoints on such things as the geologic column, fossil fuels, the Grand Canyon, post-Flood flora and fauna dispersion, a variety of fossil evidence, the Big-Bang and other banged-up theories, etc. Stay tuned.