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Thread: Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

  1. -151
    rob19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    This fails for two reasons, first of all how do you know anything about evolution? Did you read about this in a book or did you hear about this on television? So you are using something you learned merely through your senses to justify the reliability of your senses? Circularity!
    How did you learn about Christianity? Did you read it in a book? Hear about it on television? Listened to someone talk about it? So you are using something you learned merely through your senses to justify the reliability of your senses? Circularity!

    Everything we learn about is through our senses. Don’t be absurd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Secondly, survivability is not necessarily tied to the reliability of one’s own senses. A person’s senses could perceive dangerous creatures as being far bigger or closer than they actually are in reality and use this information to run away far earlier and thus enhance their chances of survival.
    Yea, I’m gonna contest that having proper depth perception is probably the way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    In fact, many animals senses perceive reality far differently than ours do and they seem to survive just fine. So your answer is a total non-answer.
    Different doesn’t mean they’re not reliable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Now if I am the creation of a rational and morally good God who desires that I learn about Him and His creation I can therefore have confidence that I was designed with senses that were reliable enough for me to do the things He desires me to do.
    God has desires? How could an omnipotent being desire anything? You are projecting Human qualities onto your God; I think you’ve insulted him & should apologize.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Again, this fails for the exact same two reasons, how do you know anything about evolutionary theory? Do you remember reading this in a book somewhere? Circularity again.
    Again, this fails for the exact same two reasons, how do you know anything about God? Do you remember reading this in a book somewhere? Circularity again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Again, memory reliability is not necessarily tied to survivability at all; if I had false memories in my head about eating a particular plant and therefore chose not to eat that plant and it happened to be poisonous I just improved my chances of survivability with a memory that was not reliable at all.
    Or you just cut yourself off from a potential food source. Again I’m gonna have to contest that having a reliable memory is an evolutionary advangtage over having one that isn’t reliable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Additionally, many animals have very short memories and they seem to survive just fine with them.
    We aren’t alligators, or sharks. Prodigious memory is a quality that some animals have adopted as a survival strategy. Dolphins, Chimps, some species of Parrot, & Elephants all have an elevated capacity to remember things. Different strokes for different animals, Statty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    All of this just proves people find ways to justify their immoral behavior; it does nothing to prove that morality is subjective.
    & You’ve done nothing to prove that it isn’t subjective. All you can point at is some writings in a couple thousand year old book. I like to think of them as guide-lines rather than laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    So is it wrong for those priests to do that or did they get to subjectively choose their own morality?
    I believe it’s wrong. They must not have.

    Riddle me this though, if those Priests confessed & asked forgiveness for their sins before they died are they moving on up to Heaven? If so, maybe that's why they felt it was okay to do those things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Not at all, God views harming children as immoral, when the human genome was still young and void of nearly all errors people could have children with relatives and not pass on any birth defects to their children. Once the genome had progressed along for enough generations that you could no longer do this safely God then forbid the act because of what it does to children. So the God isn’t really changing what is morally wrong or right, harming children is always morally wrong for us, He just forbid an activity that would start to harm children.
    For someone who supposedly has a science degree, shouldn’t you know that birth-defects via incest are caused by receiving a double-dose of reccesive alleles from alike reccesive genes? Whether the genome was “new” has nothing to do with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    It doesn’t make sense because you have no reason to assume any of those things are true in a purely natural and material world, and yet you assume they are all true, why? According to the principle of sufficient reason you have to have a reason for everything you believe is true and yet you have no reason for any of these assumptions, I on the other hand do.
    So you need a reason, but not a proven reason; gotcha. I guess rather than actually trying to figure out how things work, saying “God did it”, is certainly an easier route.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    First off, you’d have to provide some sort of syllogism that proves that the universe is in fact “just that way” which you have not done. Secondly, even if you could prove that were the case (which you cannot because it’s just a fallacious appeal to ignorance) then you have no reason to assume any of those things are true and you have no way to prove any of those things to be true and therefore you have no way to know or prove anything at all is true and all knowledge is impossible; which just backs up the first premise of my premise. Contrast that with the Christian worldview which has God’s existence as a necessary component and you have a reason to assume each one of those is true and thus laying the foundation for science and empirical learning.
    You hit the nail on the head, God’s existence is only a necessary component of knowledge in the Christian worldview. I’m not going to say “God is, or isn’t necesarry for knowledge”, because we don’t know that it is. You can say, “well there’s no reason to believe the universe is stable without God”, and I can just as easily claim there’s no reason to believe it wouldn’t be stable without God. Both of these are unknowable, unprovable assertions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    That’s an assertion, where is your demonstration that proves this? Have you directly observed the death of EVERY human who ever lived? Christians, Muslims, and Jews will argue that Elijah didn’t’ ever die. So billions of people don’t even agree with your demonstration, so I will ask again, how can you verify that premise?
    When you stop appealing to mythology and fairy-tales & can provide me one verified case in which a human has lived, & will continue to live infintely, then I’d reconsider. Until then, everything we’ve observed that lives has died.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Uh oh!! Somebody doesn’t like it when their own ridiculous standards are thrown right back in their face do they? You claimed my syllogism was invalid because I didn’t demonstrate my premises to be true and yet you provide syllogisms that you believe are valid even though you didn’t demonstrate their premises are true; this is special pleading at its finest. You need to demonstrate that ALL Greeks are humans, that was your premise now demonstrate it is true.
    I hardly think having to verify a premise is a ridiculous standard, I understand why you might think that way though. Now, you can’t be serious with this; being Greek is defined as being a human who was born in Greece, or gained citizenship in Greece. What OTHER than a human would you call a Greek? Do we call our animals Americans? No. So I don’t even know what you’re getting at here. I do find it hilarious though about how much of a selective skeptic you can be. All Greeks aren’t human, but God being necessary for knowledge is legit to you; fascinating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    So if we found a snake with fur it wouldn’t be a reptile? What would it be then? So if we can just get someone at Webster’s to change the definition so that God must exist in order for knowledge to be possible then my syllogism becomes sound and proves God exists simply because that person changed the definition? I am starting to think you can’t demonstrate any of these premises are indeed true.
    Cold-blooded animals don’t have fur for several reasons, again, as a supposed scientist, I'm surprised you aren't familiar with that.

    I’m glad you realized your syllogism isn’t sound though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    What about before the classification system was developed by humans? Were snakes not reptiles then?
    We would consider them reptiles, yes, but “reptile” is a word. “Snake” is also a word. Words are devices used by humans to label things for the purpose of communicating. So if there were no humans to label anything, then they wouldn’t be known by that word because there’d be no words. People didn’t always call oursleves “people”, or “human”; they used other words to describe us, so before those terms were invented, would we not be people?

    So I really don’t know what you’re driving at here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    What supposed “hole” are you referring to? Please be specific.
    You want me to transcribe it for you? He lists several in the video.

    So what gave birth to the first human? What did the first human mate with? To think you call the accounts in the Bible silly, this sort of stuff is downright absurd.
    Since your such a stickler for sources (& ironically don't provide any of your own for your YEC claims), here’s an extremely condensed explantion for Evolution-101 from Berkely. Again, as a supposed scientist I’m surprised you don’t understand more about this.

    “About six million years ago in Africa1, the chimpanzee lineage and our own split. What happened to us after that split? The hominidlineage did not march in a straight line to **** sapiens. Instead, the early hominid lineage gave rise to many other (now extinct) hominids. Examining the fossils, the artifacts, and even the DNA of these relatives has helped us understand how this complex hominid tree evolved, and how modern humans came to exist.

    Here are some of the important events in human history, with approximate dates, which reflect the evidence currently available:

    1) Before 5 mya: In Africa, our ancestral lineage and the chimpanzee lineage split.
    2) Before 4 mya: The hominid Australopithecus anamensis walked around what is now Kenya on its hind legs.
    3) >3 mya: Australopithecus afarensis (“Lucy”) lived in Africa.
    4) 2.5 mya: Some hominids made tools by chipping stones to form a cutting edge. There were perhaps four or more species of hominid living in Africa.
    5) 2 mya: The first members of the **** clade, with their relatively large brains, lived in Africa.
    6) 1.5 mya: Hand axes were used. Also, hominids had spread out of Africa and into much of Asia and Europe. These hominids included the ancestors of Neanderthals (**** neanderthalensis) in Europe and **** erectus in Asia.
    7) 100,000 years ago: Human brains reached more or less the current range of sizes. Early **** sapiens lived in Africa. At the same time, **** neanderthalensis and **** erectus lived in other parts of the Old World.
    8) 50,000 years ago: Human cultures produced cave paintings and body adornment, and constructed elaborate burials. Also, some groups of modern humans extended their range beyond Africa.

    Furthermore, I’m glad your brought up genomes earlier, because the genomes of Chimps & humans are 96% identical.

    CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, September 2, 2005 (ENS) - The first comprehensive comparison of the genetic blueprints of humans and chimpanzees shows that the DNA sequence of the two species is 96 percent identical, an international research consortium reported Thursday. The comparison is based on the first sequencing and assembly of the chimpanzee genome just completed by researchers from the United States, Israel, Italy, Germany and Spain.
    The scientists say their findings provide "unambiguous confirmation of the common and recent evolutionary origin of human and chimpanzees, as first predicted by Charles Darwin in 1871."

    Led by scientists from the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, Cambridge, and the Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri, the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium reported its findings in the September 1 issue of the journal "Nature."

    "We now have a nearly complete catalog of the genetic changes that occurred during the evolution of the modern human and chimpanzee species from our common ancestor," said the study's lead author, Tarjei Mikkelsen of the Broad Institute.
    "By cross-referencing this catalog against clinical observations and other biological data," Mikkelsen said, "we can begin to identify the specific changes that underlie the unique traits of the human species."

    The 67 researchers who took part in the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium share authorship of the "Nature" paper. The sequencing and assembly of the chimpanzee genome was done at the Broad Institute and at the Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri.

    The work of the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium is funded in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health.

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    What!? You try to “debunk” that point by linking to a message board? I am sorry; some message board member’s post does nothing to refute a point that was based on peer-reviewed research. The guy merely invokes “dark matter” (which is an appeal to ignorance) to explain how the galaxy can be that old even though the actual observable evidence proves it is in fact much younger. It’s downright disappointing how yoru standards for proof and evidence completely fly out the window as long as the source agrees with you, a message board? Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    I notice you also conveniently failed to even address my points that prove that not only can radiometric dating not date accurately rocks of unknown age but it can’t even date lava flows of KNOWN age. Couple this with the fact that there are dozens of dating methods that date the Earth as much younger than 4.5 billion years and you’re really in a bind now aren’t you?
    The radiometric data are consistent with other geological and astronomical data, as well as luminescence dating, tree rings and ancient Egyptian sources. The creationists examples of inconsistencies are scant, compared with the vast number of consistent, published data.[1] Geologists no longer subscribe to the uniformitarism in the derogatory-creationist sense of the word. [2] Creationists use "naturalism" to imply that there is no supernatural being(s); the scientists do not presuppose to know whether one exists or not, but rather cannot produce an experiment to show that the presumed being exists.

    Johnson, Phillip E. 1990. Evolution as dogma: The establishment of naturalism. First Things no. 6, p. 15-22, http://www.arn.org/docs/johnson/pjdogma1.htm
    Dembski, William A. 1996. What every theologian should know about creation, evolution and design. http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_theologn.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    The Hualalai lava flow in Hawaii, which is historically documented to have formed in 1800 AD was radiometrically dated to be 1.6 MILLION years old (plus or minus 160,000 years), that’s only 800,000% error! If you can’t date rocks of known age with your method, why should I believe you can date rocks of unknown age?
    The idea that a “chunk” was broken from a lava and dated to be millions of years came straight from an actual scientific research, in which a chunk was broken from fresh lava, and was dated to be 22 million years old. However, the scientists who were involved in the research were not trying to date lava; they were instead dating olivine inclusions within the lava.

    Olivine has high melting points therefore are not molten by the lava, hence the term “olivine inclusions” within the lava. This is the “chunk” which was taken from the Hualalai volcano to the lab. Potassium/ argon dating revealed that these chunks were indeed 22 million years old, which comes as no surprise, because these olivine inclusions are old.

    The scientists also reported that the lava was dated at approximately zero, but the creationists don’t seem to care. And, as consequence, many creationist writers have picked on this very case, claiming that it shows that radiometric dating is wrong. Here is the actual scientific report if you would like to check it out:

    Radiogenic Helium and Argon in Ultramafic Inclusions from Hawaii, J.G. Funkhouser and J.J. Naughton, Journal of Geophysical Research 73:14 pp. 4601-4607 (15 July 1968)
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Sedimentary accumulates at a net rate of 24 billion tons a year. We would reach the current amount of sediment we have today in the Oceans after merely 12 MILLION years, and yet your view of the Earth’s history tries to tell us the Oceans are over 3 BILLION years old. So you were wrong again about all dating methods agreeing weren’t you?
    In 1965, Chemical Oceanography published a list of some metals' "residency times" in the ocean. This calculation was performed by dividing the amount of various metals in the oceans by the rate at which rivers bring the metals into the oceans.

    Several creationists have reproduced this table of numbers, claiming that these numbers gave "upper limits" for the age of the oceans (therefore the Earth) because the numbers represented the amount of time that it would take for the oceans to "fill up" to their present level of these various metals from zero.

    First, let us examine the results of this "dating method." Most creationist works do not produce all of the numbers, only the ones whose values are "convenient." The following list is more complete:

    Al - 100 years Ni - 9,000 years Sb - 350,000 years
    Fe - 140 years Co - 18,000 years Mo - 500,000 years
    Ti - 160 years Hg - 42,000 years Au - 560,000 years
    Cr - 350 years Bi - 45,000 years Ag - 2,100,000 years
    Th - 350 years Cu - 50,000 years K - 11,000,000 years
    Mn - 1,400 years Ba - 84,000 years Sr - 19,000,000 years
    W - 1,000 years Sn - 100,000 years Li - 20,000,000 years
    Pb - 2,000 years Zn - 180,000 years Mg - 45,000,000 years
    Si - 8,000 years Rb - 270,000 years Na - 260,000,000 years

    Now, let us critically examine this method as a method of finding an age for the Earth.

    • The method ignores known mechanisms which remove metals from the oceans:
      • Many of the listed metals are in fact known to be at or near equilibrium; that is, the rates for their entering and leaving the ocean are the same to within uncertainty of measurement. (Some of the chemistry of the ocean floor is not well-understood, which unfortunately leaves a fairly large uncertainty.) One cannot derive a date from a process where equilibrium is within the range of uncertainty -- it could go on forever without changing concentration of the ocean.
      • Even the metals which are not known to be at equilibrium are known to be relatively close to it. I have seen a similar calculation on uranium, failing to note that the uncertainty in the efflux estimate is larger than its distance from equilibrium. To calculate a true upper limit, we must calculate the maximum upper limit, using all values at the appropriate extreme of their measurement uncertainty. We must perform the calculations on the highest possible efflux rate, and the lowest possible influx rate. If equilibrium is within reach of those values, no upper limit on age can be derived.
      • In addition, even if we knew exactly the rates at which metals were removed from the oceans, and even ifthese rates did not match the influx rates, these numbers are still wrong. It would probably require solving a differential equation, and any reasonable approximation must "figure in" the efflux rate. Any creationist who presents these values as an "upper limit" has missed this factor entirely. These published values are only "upper limits" when the efflux rate is zero (which is known to be false for all the metals). Any efflux decreases the rate at which the metals build up, invalidating the alleged "limit."

    • The method simply does not work. Ignoring the three problems above, the results are scattered randomly (five are under 1,000 years; five are 1,000-9,999 years; five are 10,000-99,999 years; six are 100,000-999,999 years; and six are 1,000,000 years or above). Also, the only two results that agree are 350 years, and Aluminum gives 100 years. If this is a valid method, then the age of the Earth must be less than the lowest "upper limit" in the table. Nobody in the debate would agree on a 100-year-old Earth.
    • These "dating methods" do not actually date anything, which prevents independent confirmation. (Is a 19 million year "limit" [Sr] a "confirmation" of a 42,000 year "limit" [Hg]?) Independent confirmation is very important for dating methods -- scientists generally do not place much confidence in a date that is only computed from a single measurement.
    • These methods depend on uniformity of a process which is almost certainly not uniform. There is no reason to believe that influx rates have been constant throughout time. There is reason to expect that, due to a relatively large amount of exposed land, today's erosion (and therefore influx) rates are higher than typical past rates.
    • There is no "check" built into these methods. There is no way to tell if the calculated result is good or not. The best methods used by geologists to perform dating have a built-in check which identifies undatable samples. The only way a creationist can "tell" which of these methods produce bad values is to throw out the results that he doesn't like.

    Obviously, these are a pretty popular set of "dating" mechanisms; they appear frequently in creationist literature from the 1960s through the late 1980s (and can be found on many creationist web sites even today). They appear in talk.origins more often than any other young-Earth arguments. They are all built upon a distortion of the data.
    A curious and unbiased observer could quite reasonably refuse to even listen to the creationists until they "clean house" and stop pushing these arguments. If I found "Piltdown Man" in a modern biology text as evidence for human evolution, I'd throw the book away. (If I applied the same standards to the fairly large collection of creationist materials that I own, none would remain.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    Given the current decay rate of the Earth’s magnetic field, the field could not be any older than 10,000 years. Yet, you claim that life has lived on Earth for 3.5 BILLION years, something that would be impossible without the magnetic field. So you were wrong about all dating methods agreeing weren’t you?
    The young-Earth argument: the dipole component of the magnetic field has decreased slightly over the time that it has been measured. Assuming the generally accepted "dynamo theory" for the existence of the Earth's magnetic field is wrong, the mechanism might instead be an initially created field which has been losing strength ever since the creation event. An exponential fit (assuming a half-life of 1400 years on 130 years' worth of measurements) yields an impossibly high magnetic field even 8000 years ago, therefore the Earth must be young. The main proponent of this argument was Thomas Barnes.

    There are several things wrong with this "dating" mechanism. It's hard to just list them all. The primary four are:
    1. While there is no complete model to the geodynamo (certain key properties of the core are unknown), there are reasonable starts and there are no good reasons for rejecting such an entity out of hand. If it is possible for energy to be added to the field, then the extrapolation is useless.
    2. There is overwhelming evidence that the magnetic field has reversed itself, rendering any unidirectional extrapolation on total energy useless. Even some young-Earthers admit to that these days -- e.g., Humphreys (1988).
    3. Much of the energy in the field is almost certainly not even visible external to the core. This means that the extrapolation rests on the assumption that fluctuations in the observable portion of the field accurately represent fluctuations in its total energy.
    4. Barnes' extrapolation completely ignores the nondipole component of the field. Even if we grant that it is permissible to ignore portions of the field that are internal to the core, Barnes' extrapolation also ignores portions of the field which are visible and instead rests on extrapolation of a theoretical entity.

    That last part is more important than it may sound. The Earth's magnetic field is often split in two components when measured. The "dipole" component is the part which approximates a theoretically perfect field around a single magnet, and the "nondipole" components are the ("messy") remainder. A study in the 1960s showed that the decrease in the dipole component since the turn of the century had been nearly completely compensated by an increase in the strength of the nondipole components of the field. (In other words, the measurements show that the field has been diverging from the shape that would be expected of a theoretical ideal magnet, more than the amount of energy has actually been changing.) Barnes' extrapolation therefore does not really rest on the change in energy of the field.
    For information, see Dalrymple (1984, pp. 106-108) or Strahler (1987, pp. 150-155) .
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler
    The amount of Helium found in the Earth’s atmosphere today is .05 percent of what it should be if radioactive elements really have been decaying for billions of years (this takes into account the calculated amount of Helium that is lost into space each year). So either the earth’s atmosphere is not billions of years old or the radioactive elements have not been decaying for 4.5 Billion years. Either way it proves that you are wrong about all dating methods agreeing.
    The young-Earth argument goes something like this: helium-4 is created by radioactive decay (alpha particles are helium nuclei) and is constantly added to the atmosphere. Helium is not light enough to escape the Earth's gravity (unlike hydrogen), and it will therefore accumulate over time. The current level of helium in the atmosphere would accumulate in less than two hundred thousand years, therefore the Earth is young. (I believe this argument was originally put forth by Mormon young-Earther Melvin Cook, in a letter to the editor which was published in Nature.)
    But helium can and does escape from the atmosphere, at rates calculated to be nearly identical to rates of production. In order to obtain a young age from their calculations, young-Earthers handwave away mechanisms by which helium can escape. For example, Henry Morris says:
    "There is no evidence at all that Helium 4 either does, or can, escape from the exosphere in significant amounts." ( Morris 1974, p. 151 )

    But Morris is wrong. Surely one cannot "invent" a good dating mechanism by simply ignoring processes which work in the opposite direction of the process which the date is based upon. Dalrymple says:
    "Banks and Holzer (12) have shown that the polar wind can account for an escape of (2 to 4) x 106ions/cm2 /sec of 4He, which is nearly identical to the estimated production flux of (2.5 +/- 1.5) x 106atoms/cm2/sec. Calculations for 3He lead to similar results, i.e., a rate virtually identical to the estimated production flux. Another possible escape mechanism is direct interaction of the solar wind with the upper atmosphere during the short periods of lower magnetic-field intensity while the field is reversing. Sheldon and Kern (112) estimated that 20 geomagnetic-field reversals over the past 3.5 million years would have assured a balance between helium production and loss." ( Dalrymple 1984, p. 112 )
    Dalrymple's references:

    • (12) Banks, P. M. & T. E. Holzer. 1969. "High-latitude plasma transport: the polar wind" in Journal of Geophysical Research 74, pp. 6317-6332.
    • (112) Sheldon, W. R. & J. W. Kern. 1972. "Atmospheric helium and geomagnetic field reversals" in Journal of Geophysical Research 77, pp. 6194-6201.

    Keep going back to that YEC database of flawed arguments.
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    Credit to The Walrus for pointing out this quote, I think it's quite appropriate

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Marx
    Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

    The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

    Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.
    As infuriating at times as our discourse has been, I actually have on some level enjoyed it. I’ve been forced to learn far more about Christian Mythology, Geology, Astronomy, etc etc, than I knew before, & for that I thank you. You do appear to have some level of intelligence, & therefore I'm disappointed you've chose to use it defending such ludicrous claims. I'm not calling on you, or anyone else to give up your faith, but I wish you'd recognize that it is a matter of faith, & not fact.

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    Carbon Dioxide and the Flood
    By Glenn R. Morton
    Copyright 1998 G.R. Morton

    This may be freely distributed so long as no monetary charges and no alterations to the text are made.

    Not only do volcanoes produce lots of sulfuric acid, they produce more CO2. I found this:
    "Using the Kilauea eruption as a model, Terrence M. Gerlach of Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque estimated that the Deccan Traps injected up to 30 trillion tons of carbon dioxide, six trillion tons of sulfur and 60 billion tons of halogens (reactive elements such as chlorine and fluorine) into the lower atmosphere over a few hundred years." ~ Vincent E. Courtillot, "A Volcanic Eruption," Scientific American, October, 1990, p. 85-92, p. 89

    Now, the Deccan traps contain 8.2 x 106 cubic kilometers so the output from the Deccan traps is:
    30 x 1012 tons/8.2 x 106 cubic kilometers = 3.658 megatons (Mt) / cubic kilometer of basalt.
    There are huge lava flows on earth, called volcanic traps, which must have occurred during the flood year because they lie on top of supposed flood deposited sedimentary rock and beneath flood deposited sedimentary rock. So if the geology requires that they be extruded during the flood, how much sulfuric acid must come with them? Here are some of the volumes of rock extruded to the earth's surface during such episodes:
    Volcanics flood basalt flows (Coffin and Eldholm).
    Ontong Java/Nauru 121-124 my 38-55 x 106 km3
    Kerguelen Plateau/ Broken Ridge 114-109.5 my 15-25 x 106 km3
    North Atlantic 57.5-54.5 my 6.6 x 106 km3
    Deccan Traps 65-69 my 8.2 x 106 km3
    Columbia River 6-17.5 my 1.74 x 105 km3
    Ethiopian Traps 7.5 x 105 km3 before erosion
    Siberian Traps 249-216 my 2.3 x 106 km3

    Central Atlantic Magmatic Prov. (CAMP) 200 my 2 x 106 km3

    (estimated from the data of Mohr and Zanettin, 1988, p. 63; Siberian Traps from Reichow et al, Science 296(2002), p. 1849 CAMP from Marzoli et al, Science 284(1999), p. 618).
    Other Basalt flows Volcanics flood basalt flows (Hess, 1989)
    DATE Area
    Snake River Plain 16 my .5 x 105 km2
    Parana Plateau Brazil 119-149my 12 x 105 km2
    Karoo Basalts 166-206 my >1.4 x 105 km2
    Assuming a 1 kilometer thickness for the second list of traps this adds up to approximately 98 x 106 cubic kilometers.

    So at 3.6 megatons/km3 x 98 x 106 cubic kilometers of basalt = 3.5 x 1014tons of CO2.
    Given that there are 1016 kg/ton this means that during the one year flood, 3.47 x 10^17 kg of CO2 would be released. According to my CRC the mass of the atmosphere is 5.2 x 10^21 g or 5.2 x 10^18 kg. Thus the amount of CO2released ONLY by the volcanic traps during the YEC global flood, is equal to 6.6% of the entire atmosphere.
    How does this relate to the present atmosphere? Currently we are approaching 400 parts per million (ppm) CO2 in the atmosphere, yet the YEC scenario would produce an atmosphere that had AS A MINIMUM a CO2 level of 58615 parts per million. Scientists are worried about a 600 ppm CO2 world next century, the YEC post flood world would create such a hot climate that all life would be destroyed. Yet amazingly, Creationists like Austin, Baumgardner, Wise, Snelling, Vardiman, Humphreys and Oard think that the post flood world would be glacially cold. (See "Austin et al, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics" 3rd ICC 1994, p. 615 and Michael Oard, A rapid Post Flood Ice Age," CRSQ 16(1979):29-37; Oard, An Ice age Caused by the Genesis Flood, 1990 ICR).

    Of course, CO2 is a strong greenhouse gas and young-earth creationists have not given the thought to this issue that they should have. Their global flood would choke Noah on sulfuric acid and then choke him again on the CO2, and with an atmosphere so clogged with CO2, Noah would burn up. Venus has an atmosphere with lots of CO2 and the temperature there is several hundred degrees C.! But somehow, YECs want us to believe that the postflood, CO2 rich atmosphere would be very cold. Is there any scientific fact that will move them to reconsider their views?
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    Problems with a Global Flood

    Second Edition

    by Mark IsaakCopyright © 1998

    Creationist models are often criticized for being too vague to have any predictive value. A literal interpretation of the Flood story in Genesis, however, does imply certain physical consequences which can be tested against what we actually observe, and the implications of such an interpretation are investigated below. Some creationists provided even more detailed models, and these are also addressed (see especially sections 5 and 7).

    References are listed at the end of each section.

    Two kinds of flood model are not addressed here. First is the local flood. Genesis 6-8 can be interpreted as a homiletic story such that the "world" that was flooded was just the area that Noah knew. Creationists argue against the local flood model because it doesn't fit their own literalist preconceptions, but I know of no physical evidence contrary to such a model.

    Second, the whole story can be dismissed as a series of supernatural miracles. There is no way to contradict such an argument. However, one must wonder about a God who reportedly does one thing and then arranges every bit of evidence to make it look like something else happened. It's entirely possible that a global flood occurred 4000 years ago or even last Thursday, and that God subsequently erased all the evidence, including our memories of it. But even if such stories are true, what's the point?
    1. Building the Ark

    Wood is not the best material for shipbuilding. It is not enough that a ship be built to hold together; it must also be sturdy enough that the changing stresses don't open gaps in its hull. Wood is simply not strong enough to prevent separation between the joints, especially in the heavy seas that the Ark would have encountered. The longest wooden ships in modern seas are about 300 feet, and these require reinforcing with iron straps and leak so badly they must be constantly pumped. The ark was 450 feet long [ Gen. 6:15]. Could an ark that size be made seaworthy?
    2. Gathering the Animals

    Bringing all kinds of animals together in the vicinity of the ark presents significant problems.
    Could animals have traveled from elsewhere? If the animals traveled from other parts of the world, many of them would have faced extreme difficulties.

    • Some, like sloths and penguins, can't travel overland very well at all.
    • Some, like koalas and many insects, require a special diet. How did they bring it along?
    • Some cave-dwelling arthropods can't survive in less than 100% relative humidity.
    • Some, like dodos, must have lived on islands. If they didn't, they would have been easy prey for other animals. When mainland species like rats or pigs are introduced to islands, they drive many indigenous species to extinction. Those species would not have been able to survive such competition if they lived where mainland species could get at them before the Flood.

    Could animals have all lived near Noah? Some creationists suggest that the animals need not have traveled far to reach the Ark; a moderate climate could have made it possible for all of them to live nearby all along. However, this proposal makes matters even worse. The last point above would have applied not only to island species, but to almost all species. Competition between species would have driven most of them to extinction.

    There is a reason why Gila monsters, yaks, and quetzals don't all live together in a temperate climate. They can't survive there, at least not for long without special care. Organisms have preferred environments outside of which they are at a deadly disadvantage. Most extinctions are caused by destroying the organisms' preferred environments. The creationists who propose all the species living together in a uniform climate are effectively proposing the destruction of all environments but one. Not many species could have survived that.

    How was the Ark loaded?
    Getting all the animals aboard the Ark presents logistical problems which, while not impossible, are highly impractical. Noah had only seven days to load the Ark ( Gen. 7:4-10). If only 15764 animals were aboard the Ark (see section 3), one animal must have been loaded every 38 seconds, without letup. Since there were likely more animals to load, the time pressures would have been even worse.

    3. Fitting the Animals Aboard

    To determine how much space is required for animals, we must first determine what is a kind, how many kinds were aboard the ark, and how big they were.
    What is a kind? Creationists themselves can't decide on an answer to this question; they propose criteria ranging from species to order, and I have even seen an entire kingdom (bacteria) suggested as a single kind. Woodmorappe (p. 5-7) compromises by using genus as a kind. However, on the ark "kind" must have meant something closer to species for three reasons:

    • For purposes of naming animals, the people who live among them distinguish between them (that is, give them different names) at roughly the species level. [Gould, 1980]
    • The Biblical "kind," according to most interpretations, implies reproductive separateness. On the ark, the purpose of gathering different kinds was to preserve them by later reproduction. Species, by definition, is the level at which animals are reproductively distinct.
    • The Flood, according to models, was fairly recent. There simply wouldn't have been time enough to accumulate the number of mutations necessary for the diversity of species we see within many genera today.

    What kinds were aboard the ark?
    Woodmorappe and Whitcomb & Morris arbitrarily exclude all animals except mammals, birds, and reptiles. However, many other animals, particularly land arthropods, must also have been on the ark for two reasons:

    • The Bible says so. Gen. 7:8 puts on the ark all creatures that move along the ground, with no further qualifications. Lev. 11:42 includes arthropods (creatures that "walk on many feet") in such a category.
    • They couldn't survive outside. Gen. 7:21-23 says every land creature not aboard the ark perished. And indeed, not one insect species in a thousand could survive for half a year on the vegetation mats proposed by some creationists. Most other land arthropods, snails, slugs, earthworms, etc. would also have to be on the ark to survive.

    Were dinosaurs and other extinct animals on the ark?
    According to the Bible, Noah took samples of all animals alive at the time of the Flood. If, as creationists claim, all fossil-bearing strata were deposited by the Flood, then all the animals which became fossils were alive then. Therefore all extinct land animals had representatives aboard the ark.

    It is also worth pointing out that the number of extinct species is undoubtedly greater than the number of known extinct species. New genera of dinosaurs have been discovered at a nearly constant rate for more than a century, and there's no indication that the rate of discovery will fall off in the near future.

    Were the animals aboard the ark mature?
    Woodmorappe gets his animals to fit only by taking juvenile pairs of everything weighing more than 22 lbs. as an adult. However, it is more likely that Noah would have brought adults aboard:

    • The Bible (Gen. 7:2) speaks of "the male and his mate," indicating that the animals were at sexual maturity.
    • Many animals require the care of adults to teach them behaviors they need for survival. If brought aboard as juveniles, these animals wouldn't have survived.

    The last point does not apply to all animals. However, the animals don't need parental care tend to be animals that mature quickly, and thus would be close to adult size after a year of growth anyway.

    How many clean animals were on the ark?
    The Bible says either seven or fourteen (it's ambiguous) of each kind of clean animal was aboard. It defines clean animals essentially as ruminants, a suborder which includes about 69 recent genera, 192 recent species [Wilson & Reeder, 1993], and probably a comparable number of extinct genera and species. That is a small percentage of the total number of species, but ruminants are among the largest mammals, so their bulk is significant.

    Woodmorappe (p. 8-9) gets around the problem by citing Jewish tradition which gives only 13 domestic genera as clean. He then calculates that this would increase the total animal mass by 2-3% and decides that this amount is small enough that he can ignore it completely. However, even Jewish sources admit that this contradicts the unambiguous word of the Bible. [Steinsaltz, 1976, p. 187]
    The number and size of clean birds is small enough to disregard entirely, but the Bible at one point (Gen. 7:3) says seven of all kinds of birds were aboard.

    So, could they all fit?
    It is important to take the size of animals into account when considering how much space they would occupy because the greatest number of species occurs in the smallest animals. Woodmorappe performed such an analysis and came to the conclusion that the animals would take up 47% of the ark. In addition, he determines that about 10% of the ark was needed for food (compacted to take as little space as possible) and 9.4% for water (assuming no evaporation or wastage). At least 25% of the space would have been needed for corridors and bracing. Thus, increasing the quantity of animals by more than about 5% would overload the ark.

    However, Woodmorappe makes several questionable and invalid assumptions. Here's how the points discussed above affect his analysis. Table 1 shows Woodmorappe's analysis and some additional calculations.
    Log mass range (g) 0-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8
    Ave. mass (kg) (p. 13) .005 .05 .5 5 50 316 3160 31600
    # of mammals (p. 10) 466 1570 1378 1410 1462 892 246 7424
    # of birds (p. 10) 630 2272 1172 450 70 4 4598
    # of reptiles (p. 10) 642 844 688 492 396 286 270 106 3724
    total # of animals 1738 4686 3238 2352 1928 1182 516 106 15746
    Ave. yearling mass (kg) (p. 66) .005 .05 .5 5 10 100 300 1000
    Total mass after one year 8.7 234.3 1619 11760 19280 118200 154800 106000 411902
    Total mass assuming adults 8.7 234.3 1619 11760 96400 373512 1630560 3349600 5463694
    Additional clean birds 1575 5680 2930 1125 175 10 11495
    Additional ruminants (138 genera) 260 420 10 690
    Additional clean animal mass (yearling weight, kg) 8 284 1465 5625 4350 43000 3000 47600

    • Collecting each species instead of each genus would increase the number of individuals three- to fourfold. The most speciose groups tend to be the smaller animals, though, so the total mass would be approximately doubled or tripled.
    • Collecting all land animals instead of just mammals, birds, and reptiles would have insignificant impact on the space required, since those animals, though plentiful, are so small. (The problems come when you try to care for them all.)
    • Leaving off the long-extinct animals would free considerable space. Woodmorappe doesn't say how many of the animals in his calculations are known only from fossils, but it is apparently 50-70% of them, including most of the large ones. However, since he took only juveniles of the large animals, leaving off all the dinosaurs etc. would probably not free more than 80% of the space. On the other hand, collecting all extinct animals in addition to just the known ones would increase the load by an unknown but probably substantial amount.
    • Loading adults instead of juveniles as small as Woodmorappe uses would increase the load 13- to 50-fold.
    • Including extra clean animals would increase the load by 1.5-3% if only the 13 traditional domestic ruminants are considered, but by 14-28% if all ruminants are considered clean.

    In conclusion, an ark of the size specified in the Bible would not be large enough to carry a cargo of animals and food sufficient to repopulate the earth, especially if animals that are now extinct were required to be aboard.

    Gould, Stephen Jay, 1980. A quahog is a quahog. In The panda's thumb, Norton, New York.
    Steinsaltz, Adin, 1976. The essential Talmud. Basic books.
    Whitcomb, J.C. Jr. & H.M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Philadelphia PA.
    Wilson, D.E. & D.M. Reeder (eds.), 1993. Mammal species of the world. Smithsonian Institution Press. (http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/)
    Woodmorappe, John, 1996. Noah's Ark: a feasibility study. Institute for Creation Research, Santee, California.

    4. Caring for the Animals

    Special diets. Many animals, especially insects, require special diets. Koalas, for example, require eucalyptus leaves, and silkworms eat nothing but mulberry leaves. For thousands of plant species (perhaps even most plants), there is at least one animal that eats only that one kind of plant. How did Noah gather all those plants aboard, and where did he put them?
    Other animals are strict carnivores, and some of those specialize on certain kinds of foods, such as small mammals, insects, fish, or aquatic invertebrates. How did Noah determine and provide for all those special diets?

    Fresh foods.
    Many animals require their food to be fresh. Many snakes, for example, will eat only live foods (or at least warm and moving). Parasitoid wasps only attack living prey. Most spiders locate their prey by the vibrations it produces. [Foelix, 1996] Most herbivorous insects require fresh food. Aphids, in fact, are physically incapable of sucking from wilted leaves. How did Noah keep all these food supplies fresh?

    Food preservation/Pest control.
    Food spoilage is a major concern on long voyages; it was especially thus before the inventions of canning and refrigeration. The large quantities of food aboard would have invited infestations of any of hundreds of stored product pests (especially since all of those pests would have been aboard), and the humidity one would expect aboard the Ark would have provided an ideal environment for molds. How did Noah keep pests from consuming most of the food?

    The ark would need to be well ventilated to disperse the heat, humidity, and waste products (including methane, carbon dioxide, and ammonia) from the many thousands of animals which were crowded aboard.Woodmorappe (pp. 37-42) interprets Genesis 6:16 to mean there was an 18-inch opening all around the top, and says that this, with slight breezes, would have been enough to provide adequate ventilation. However, the ark was divided into separate rooms and decks (Gen. 6:14,16). How was fresh air circulated throughout the structure?

    The ungulates alone would have produced tons of manure a day. The waste on the lowest deck at least (and possibly the middle deck) could not simply be pushed overboard, since the deck was below the water line; the waste would have to be carried up a deck or two. Vermicomposting could reduce the rate of waste accumulation, but it requires maintenance of its own. How did such a small crew dispose of so much waste?

    Exercise/Animal handling.
    The animals aboard the ark would have been in very poor shape unless they got regular exercise. (Imagine if you had to stay in an area the size of a closet for a year.) How were several thousand diverse kinds of animals exercised regularly?

    Manpower for feeding, watering, etc.
    How did a crew of eight manage a menagerie larger and more diverse than that found in zoos requiring many times that many employees? Woodmorappe claims that eight people could care for 16000 animals, but he makes many unrealistic and invalid assumptions. Here are a few things he didn't take into account:

    • Feeding the animals would take much longer if the food was in containers to protect it from pests.
    • Many animals would have to be hand-fed.
    • Watering several animals at once via troughs would not work aboard a ship. The water would be sloshed out by the ship's roll.
    • Many animals, in such an artificial environment, would have required additional special care. For example, all of the hoofed animals would need to have their hooves trimmed several times during the year. [Batten, 1976, pp. 39-42]
    • Not all manure could be simply pushed overboard; a third of it at least would have to be carried up at least one deck.
    • Corpses of the dead animals would have to be removed regularly.
    • Animals can't be expected to run laps and return to their cages without a lot of human supervision.


    Batten, R. Peter, 1976. Living trophies. Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York.
    Foelix, Rainer F., 1996. The biology of spiders, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, New York. Chpt. 6.
    Woodmorappe, John, 1996. Noah's Ark: a feasibility study. Institute for Creation Research, Santee, California.

    5. The Flood Itself

    Where did the Flood water come from, and where did it go? Several people have proposed answers to these questions, but none which consider all the implications of their models. A few of the commonly cited models are addressed below.

    Vapor canopy.
    This model, proposed by Whitcomb & Morris and others, proposes that much of the Flood water was suspended overhead until the 40 days of rain which caused the Flood. The following objections are covered in more detail by Brown.

    • How was the water suspended, and what caused it to fall all at once when it did?
    • If a canopy holding the equivalent to more than 40 feet of water were part of the atmosphere, it would raise the atmospheric pressure accordingly, raising oxygen and nitrogen levels to toxic levels.
    • If the canopy began as vapor, any water from it would be superheated. This scenario essentially starts with most of the Flood waters boiled off. Noah and company would be poached. If the water began as ice in orbit, the gravitational potential energy would likewise raise the temperature past boiling.
    • A canopy of any significant thickness would have blocked a great deal of light, lowering the temperature of the earth greatly before the Flood.
    • Any water above the ozone layer would not be shielded from ultraviolet light, and the light would break apart the water molecules.

    Walt Brown's model proposes that the Flood waters came from a layer of water about ten miles underground, which was released by a catastrophic rupture of the earth's crust, shot above the atmosphere, and fell as rain.

    • How was the water contained? Rock, at least the rock which makes up the earth's crust, doesn't float. The water would have been forced to the surface long before Noah's time, or Adam's time for that matter.
    • Even a mile deep, the earth is boiling hot, and thus the reservoir of water would be superheated. Further heat would be added by the energy of the water falling from above the atmosphere. As with the vapor canopy model, Noah would have been poached.
    • Where is the evidence? The escaping waters would have eroded the sides of the fissures, producing poorly sorted basaltic erosional deposits. These would be concentrated mainly near the fissures, but some would be shot thousands of miles along with the water. (Noah would have had to worry about falling rocks along with the rain.) Such deposits would be quite noticeable but have never been seen.

    Comet. Kent Hovind proposed that the Flood water came from a comet which broke up and fell on the earth. Again, this has the problem of the heat from the gravitational potential energy. The water would be steam by the time it reached the surface of the earth.

    Runaway subduction.
    John Baumgardner created the runaway subduction model, which proposes that the pre-Flood lithosphere (ocean floor), being denser than the underlying mantle, began sinking. The heat released in the process decreased the viscosity of the mantle, so the process accelerated catastrophically. All the original lithosphere became subducted; the rising magma which replaced it raised the ocean floor, causing sea levels to rise and boiling off enough of the ocean to cause 150 days of rain. When it cooled, the ocean floor lowered again, and the Flood waters receded. Sedimentary mountains such as the Sierras and Andes rose after the Flood by isostatic rebound. [Baumgardner, 1990a;Austin et al., 1994]

    • The main difficulty of this theory is that it admittedly doesn't work without miracles. [Baumgardner, 1990a,1990b] The thermal diffusivity of the earth, for example, would have to increase 10,000 fold to get the subduction rates proposed [Matsumura, 1997], and miracles are also necessary to cool the new ocean floor and to raise sedimentary mountains in months rather than in the millions of years it would ordinarily take.
    • Baumgardner estimates a release of 1028 joules from the subduction process. This is more than enough to boil off all the oceans. In addition, Baumgardner postulates that the mantle was much hotter before the Flood (giving it greater viscosity); that heat would have to go somewhere, too.
    • Cenozoic sediments are post-Flood according to this model. Yet fossils from Cenozoic sediments alone show a 65-million-year record of evolution, including a great deal of the diversification of mammals and angiosperms. [Carroll, 1997, chpts. 5, 6, & 13]
    • Subduction on the scale Baumgardner proposes would have produced very much more vulcanism around plate boundaries than we see. [Matsumura, 1997]

    New ocean basins.
    Most flood models (including those above, possibly excepting Hovind's) deal with the water after the flood by proposing that it became our present oceans. The earth's terrain, according to this model, was much, much flatter during the Flood, and through cataclysms, the mountains were pushed up and the ocean basins lowered. (Brown proposes that the cataclysms were caused by the crust sliding around on a cushion of water; Whitcomb & Morris don't give a cause.)

    • How could such a change be effected? To change the density and/or temperature of at least a quarter of the earth's crust fast enough to raise and lower the ocean floor in a matter of months would require mechanisms beyond any proposed in any of the flood models.
    • Why are most sediments on high ground? Most sediments are carried until the water slows down or stops. If the water stopped in the oceans, we should expect more sediments there. Baumgardner's own modeling shows that, during the Flood, currents would be faster over continents than over ocean basins [Baumgardner, 1994], so sediments should, on the whole, be removed from continents and deposited in ocean basins. Yet sediments on the ocean basin average 0.6 km thick, while on continents (including continental shelves), they average 2.6 km thick. [Poldervaart, 1955]
    • Where's the evidence? The water draining from the continents would have produced tremendous torrents. There is evidence of similar flooding in the Scablands of Washington state (from the draining of a lake after the breaking of an ice dam) and on the far western floor of the Mediterranean Sea (from the ocean breaking through the Straits of Gibralter). Why is such evidence not found worldwide?
    • How did the ark survive the process? Such a wholesale restructuring of the earth's topography, compressed into just a few months, would have produced tsunamis large enough to circle the earth. The aftershocks alone would have been devastating for years afterwards.


    Austin, Steven A., John R. Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew A. Snelling, Larry Vardiman, & Kurt P. Wise, 1994. Catastrophic plate tectonics: a global flood model of earth history. Proceedings of the third international conference on creationism, technical symposium sessions, pp. 609-621.
    Brown, Walt, 1997. In the beginning: compelling evidence for creation and the Flood. ( www.creationscience.com/onlinebook)
    Baumgardner, John R., 1990a. Changes accompanying Noah's Flood. Proceedings of the second international conference on creationism, vol. II, pp. 35-45.
    Baumgardner, John R., 1990b. The imparative of non-stationary natural law in relation to Noah's Flood. Creation Research Society Quarterly 27(3): 98-100.
    Baumgardner, John R., 1994. Patterns of ocean circulation over the continents during Noah's Flood. Proceedings of the third international conference on creationism, technical symposium sessions, pp. 77-86.
    Carroll, Robert L., 1997. Patterns and processes of vertebrate evolution, Cambridge University Press.
    Matsumura, Molleen, 1997. Miracles in, creationism out: "The geophysics of God". Reports of the National Center for Science Education 17(3): 29-32.
    Poldervaart, Arie, 1955. Chemistry of the earth's crust. pp. 119-144 In: Poldervaart, A., ed., Crust of the Earth, Geological Society of America Special Paper 62, Waverly Press, MD.
    Whitcomb, J.C. Jr. & H.M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Philadelphia PA.

    6. Implications of a Flood

    A global flood would have produce evidence contrary to the evidence we see.
    How do you explain the relative ages of mountains? For example, why weren't the Sierra Nevadas eroded as much as the Appalachians during the Flood?

    Why is there no evidence of a flood in ice core series?
    Ice cores from Greenland have been dated back more than 40,000 years by counting annual layers. [Johnsen et al, 1992,; Alley et al, 1993] A worldwide flood would be expected to leave a layer of sediments, noticeable changes in salinity and oxygen isotope ratios, fractures from buoyancy and thermal stresses, a hiatus in trapped air bubbles, and probably other evidence. Why doesn't such evidence show up?

    How are the polar ice caps even possible?
    Such a mass of water as the Flood would have provided sufficient buoyancy to float the polar caps off their beds and break them up. They wouldn't regrow quickly. In fact, the Greenland ice cap would not regrow under modern (last 10 ky) climatic conditions.

    Why did the Flood not leave traces on the sea floors?
    A year long flood should be recognizable in sea bottom cores by (1) an uncharacteristic amount of terrestrial detritus, (2) different grain size distributions in the sediment, (3) a shift in oxygen isotope ratios (rain has a different isotopic composition from seawater), (4) a massive extinction, and (n) other characters. Why do none of these show up?

    Why is there no evidence of a flood in tree ring dating?
    Tree ring records go back more than 10,000 years, with no evidence of a catastrophe during that time. [Becker & Kromer, 1993; Becker et al, 1991; Stuiver et al, 1986]


    Alley, R. B., D. A. Meese, C. A. Shuman, A. J. Gow, K.C. Taylor, P. M. Grootes, J. W. C. White, M. Ram, E. W. Waddington, P. A. Mayewski, & G. A. Zielinski, 1993. Abrupt increase in Greenland snow accumulation at the end of the Younger Dryas event. Nature362: 527-529.
    Becker, B. & Kromer, B., 1993. The continental tree-ring record - absolute chronology, C-14 calibration and climatic-change at 11 KA.Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 103 (1-2): 67-71.
    Becker, B., Kromer, B. & Trimborn, P., 1991. A stable-isotope tree-ring timescale of the late glacial Holocene boundary. Nature 353 (6345): 647-649.
    Johnsen, S. J., H. B. Clausen, W. Dansgaard, K. Fuhrer, N. Gundestrap, C. U. Hammer, P. Iversen, J. Jouzel, B. Stauffer, & J. P. Steffensen, 1992. Irregular glacial interstadials recorded in a new Greenland ice core. Nature 359: 311-313.
    Stuiver, Minze, et al, 1986. Radiocarbon age calibration back to 13,300 years BP and the 14 C age matching of the German Oak and US bristlecone pine chronologies. IN: Calibration issue / Stuiver, Minze, et al., Radiocarbon 28(2B): 969-979.

    7. Producing the Geological Record

    Most people who believe in a global flood also believe that the flood was responsible for creating all fossil-bearing strata. (The alternative, that the strata were laid down slowly and thus represent a time sequence of several generations at least, would prove that some kind of evolutionary process occurred.) However, there is a great deal of contrary evidence.

    Before you argue that fossil evidence was dated and interpreted to meet evolutionary assumptions, remember that the geological column and the relative dates therein were laid out by people who believed divine creation, before Darwin even formulated his theory. (See, for example, Moore [1973], or the closing pages of Dawson [1868].)

    Why are geological eras consistent worldwide?
    How do you explain worldwide agreement between "apparent" geological eras and several different (independent) radiometric and nonradiometric dating methods? [e.g., Short et al, 1991]

    How was the fossil record sorted in an order convenient for evolution? Ecological zonation, hydrodynamic
    sorting, and differential escape fail to explain:

    • the extremely good sorting observed. Why didn't at least one dinosaur make it to the high ground with the elephants?
    • the relative positions of plants and other non-motile life. (Yun, 1989, describes beautifully preserved algae from Late Precambrian sediments. Why don't any modern-looking plants appear that low in the geological column?)
    • why some groups of organisms, such as mollusks, are found in many geologic strata.
    • why organisms (such as brachiopods) which are very similar hydrodynamically (all nearly the same size, shape, and weight) are still perfectly sorted.
    • why extinct animals which lived in the same niches as present animals didn't survive as well. Why did no pterodons make it to high ground?
    • how coral reefs hundreds of feet thick and miles long were preserved intact with other fossils below them.
    • why small organisms dominate the lower strata, whereas fluid mechanics says they would sink slower and thus end up in upper strata.
    • why artifacts such as footprints and burrows are also sorted. [Crimes & Droser, 1992]
    • why no human artifacts are found except in the very uppermost strata. If, at the time of the Flood, the earth was overpopulated by people with technology for shipbuilding, why were none of their tools or buildings mixed with trilobite or dinosaur fossils?
    • why different parts of the same organisms are sorted together. Pollen and spores are found in association with the trunks, leaves, branches, and roots produced by the same plants [Stewart, 1983].
    • why ecological information is consistent within but not between layers. Fossil pollen is one of the more important indicators of different levels of strata. Each plant has different and distinct pollen, and, by telling which plants produced the fossil pollen, it is easy to see what the climate was like in different strata. Was the pollen hydraulically sorted by the flood water so that the climatic evidence is different for each layer?

    How do surface features appear far from the surface?
    Deep in the geologic column there are formations which could have originated only on the surface, such as:

    How could these have appeared in the midst of a catastrophic flood?

    How does a global flood explain angular unconformities?
    These are where one set of layers of sediments have been extensively modified (e.g., tilted) and eroded before a second set of layers were deposited on top. They thus seem to require at least two periods of deposition (more, where there is more than one unconformity) with long periods of time in between to account for the deformation, erosion, and weathering observed.

    How were mountains and valleys formed?
    Many very tall mountains are composed of sedimentary rocks. (The summit of Everest is composed of deep-marine limestone, with fossils of ocean-bottom dwelling crinoids [Gansser, 1964].) If these were formed during the Flood, how did they reach their present height, and when were the valleys between them eroded away? Keep in mind that many valleys were clearly carved by glacial erosion, which is a slow process.

    When did granite batholiths form?
    Some of these are intruded into older sediments and have younger sediments on their eroded top surfaces. It takes a long time for magma to cool into granite, nor does granite erode very quickly. [For example, see Donohoe & Grantham, 1989, for locations of contact between the South Mountain Batholith and the Meugma Group of sediments, as well as some angular unconformities.]

    How can a single flood be responsible for such extensively detailed layering?
    One formation in New Jersey is six kilometers thick. If we grant 400 days for this to settle, and ignore possible compaction since the Flood, we still have 15 meters of sediment settling per day. And yet despite this, the chemical properties of the rock are neatly layered, with great changes (e.g.) in percent carbonate occurring within a few centimeters in the vertical direction. How does such a neat sorting process occur in the violent context of a universal flood dropping 15 meters of sediment per day? How can you explain a thin layer of high carbonate sediment being deposited over an area of ten thousand square kilometers for some thirty minutes, followed by thirty minutes of low carbonate deposition, etc.? [Zimmer, 1992]

    How do you explain the formation of varves?
    The Green River formation in Wyoming contains 20,000,000 annual layers, or varves, identical to those being laid down today in certain lakes. The sediments are so fine that each layer would have required over a month to settle.

    How could a flood deposit layered fossil forests?
    Stratigraphic sections showing a dozen or more mature forests layered atop each other--all with upright trunks, in-place roots, and well-developed soil--appear in many locations. One example, the Joggins section along the Bay of Fundy, shows a continuous section 2750 meters thick (along a 48-km sea cliff) with multiple in-place forests, some separated by hundreds of feet of strata, some even showing evidence of forest fires. [Ferguson, 1988. For other examples, see Dawson, 1868; Cristie & McMillan, 1991; Gastaldo, 1990; Yuretich, 1994.] Creationists point to logs sinking in a lake below Mt. St. Helens as an example of how a flood can deposit vertical trunks, but deposition by flood fails to explain the roots, the soil, the layering, and other features found in such places.

    Where did all the heat go?
    If the geologic record was deposited in a year, then the events it records must also have occurred within a year. Some of these events release significant amounts of heat.

    • Magma. The geologic record includes roughly 8 x 1024 grams of lava flows and igneous intrusions. Assuming (conservatively) a specific heat of 0.15, this magma would release 5.4 x 1027 joules while cooling 1100 degrees C. In addition, the heat of crystallization as the magma solidifies would release a great deal more heat.
    • Limestone formation. There are roughly 5 x 1023 grams of limestone in the earth's sediments [Poldervaart, 1955], and the formation of calcite releases about 11,290 joules/gram [Weast, 1974, p. D63]. If only 10% of the limestone were formed during the Flood, the 5.6 x 1026 joules of heat released would be enough to boil the flood waters.
    • Meteorite impacts. Erosion and crustal movements have erased an unknown number of impact craters on earth, but Creationists Whitcomb and DeYoung suggest that cratering to the extent seen on the Moon and Mercury occurred on earth during the year of Noah's Flood. The heat from just one of the largest lunar impacts released an estimated 3 x 1026 joules; the same sized object falling to earth would release even more energy. [Fezer, pp. 45-46]
    • Other. Other possibly significant heat sources are radioactive decay (some Creationists claim that radioactive decay rates were much higher during the Flood to account for consistently old radiometric dates); biological decay (think of the heat released in compost piles); and compression of sediments.

    5.6 x 1026 joules is enough to heat the oceans to boiling. 3.7 x 1027 joules will vaporize them completely. Since steam and air have a lower heat capacity than water, the steam released will quickly raise the temperature of the atmosphere over 1000 C. At these temperatures, much of the atmosphere would boil off the Earth.
    Aside from losing its atmosphere, Earth can only get rid of heat by radiating it to space, and it can't radiate significantly more heat than it gets from the sun unless it is a great deal hotter than it is now. (It is very nearly at thermal equilibrium now.) If there weren't many millions of years to radiate the heat from the above processes, the earth would still be unlivably hot.
    As shown in section 5, all the mechanisms proposed for causing the Flood already provide more than enough energy to vaporize it as well. These additional factors only make the heat problem worse.

    How were limestone deposits formed?
    Much limestone is made of the skeletons of zillions of microscopic sea animals. Some deposits are thousands of meters thick. Were all those animals alive when the Flood started? If not, how do you explain the well-ordered sequence of fossils in the deposits? Roughly 1.5 x 1015 grams of calcium carbonate are deposited on the ocean floor each year. [Poldervaart, 1955] A deposition rate ten times as high for 5000 years before the Flood would still only account for less than 0.02% of limestone deposits.

    How could a flood have deposited chalk?
    Chalk is largely made up of the bodies of plankton 700 to 1000 angstroms in diameter [Bignot, 1985]. Objects this small settle at a rate of .0000154 mm/sec. [Twenhofel, 1961] In a year of the Flood, they could have settled about half a meter.

    How could the Flood deposit layers of solid salt?
    Such layers are sometimes meters in width, interbedded with sediments containing marine fossils. This apparently occurs when a body of salt water has its fresh-water intake cut off, and then evaporates. These layers can occur more or less at random times in the geological history, and have characteristic fossils on either side. Therefore, if the fossils were themselves laid down during a catastrophic flood, there are, it seems, only two choices:
    (1) the salt layers were themselves laid down at the same time, during the heavy rains that began the flooding, or
    (2) the salt is a later intrusion. I suspect that both will prove insuperable difficulties for a theory of flood deposition of the geologic column and its fossils. [Jackson et al, 1990]

    How were sedimentary deposits recrystallized and plastically deformed in the short time since the Flood?
    The stretched pebble conglomerate in Death Valley National Monument (Wildrose Canyon Rd., 15 mi. south of Hwy. 190), for example, contains streambed pebbles metamorphosed to quartzite and stretched to 3 or more times their original length. Plastically deformed stone is also common around salt diapirs [Jackson et al, 1990].

    How were hematite layers laid down?
    Standard theory is that they were laid down before Earth's atmosphere contained much oxygen. In an oxygen-rich regime, they would almost certainly be impossible.

    How do you explain fossil mineralization?
    Mineralization is the replacement of the original material with a different mineral.

    • Buried skeletal remains of modern fauna are negligibly mineralized, including some that biblical archaeology says are quite old - a substantial fraction of the age of the earth in this diluvian geology. For example, remains of Egyptian commoners buried near the time of Moses aren't extensively mineralized.
    • Buried skeletal remains of extinct mammalian fauna show quite variable mineralization.
    • Dinosaur remains are often extensively mineralized.
    • Trilobite remains are usually mineralized - and in different sites, fossils of the same species are composed of different materials.

    How are these observations explained by a sorted deposition of remains in a single episode of global flooding?

    How does a flood explain the accuracy of "coral clocks"?
    The moon is slowly sapping the earth's rotational energy. The earth should have rotated more quickly in the distant past, meaning that a day would have been less than 24 hours, and there would have been more days per year. Corals can be dated by the number of "daily" growth layers per "annual" growth layer. Devonian corals, for example, show nearly 400 days per year. There is an exceedingly strong correlation between the "supposed age" of a wide range of fossils (corals, stromatolites, and a few others -- collected from geologic formations throughout the column and from locations all over the world) and the number of days per year that their growth pattern shows. The agreement between these clocks, and radiometric dating, and the theory of superposition is a little hard to explain away as the result of a number of unlucky coincidences in a 300-day-long flood. [Rosenberg & Runcorn, 1975; Scrutton, 1965; Wells, 1963]

    Where were all the fossilized animals when they were alive?
    Schadewald [1982] writes:

    "Scientific creationists interpret the fossils found in the earth's rocks as the remains of animals that perished in the Noachian Deluge. Ironically, they often cite the sheer number of fossils in 'fossil graveyards' as evidence for the Flood. In particular, creationists seem enamored by the Karroo Formation in Africa, which is estimated to contain the remains of 800 billion vertebrate animals (see Whitcomb and Morris, p. 160; Gish, p. 61). As pseudoscientists, creationists dare not test this major hypothesis that all of the fossilized animals died in the Flood.
    "Robert E. Sloan, a paleontologist at the University of Minnesota, has studied the Karroo Formation. He asserts that the animals fossilized there range from the size of a small lizard to the size of a cow, with the average animal perhaps the size of a fox. A minute's work with a calculator shows that, if the 800 billion animals in the Karoo formation could be resurrected, there would be twenty-one of them for every acre of land on earth. Suppose we assume (conservatively, I think) that the Karroo Formation contains 1 percent of the vertebrate [land] fossils on earth. Then when the Flood began, there must have been at least 2100 living animals per acre, ranging from tiny shrews to immense dinosaurs. To a noncreationist mind, that seems a bit crowded."
    A thousand kilometers' length of arctic coastal plain, according to experts in Leningrad, contains about 500,000 tons of tusks. Even assuming that the entire population was preserved, you seem to be saying that Russia had wall-to-wall mammoths before this "event."
    Even if there was room physically for all the large animals which now exist only as fossils, how could they have all coexisted in a stable ecology before the Flood? Montana alone would have had to support a diversity of herbivores orders of magnitude larger than anything now observed.

    Where did all the organic material in the fossil record come from?
    There are 1.16 x 1013 metric tons of coal reserves, and at least 100 times that much unrecoverable organic matter in sediments. A typical forest, even if it covered the entire earth, would supply only 1.9 x 1013 metric tons. [Ricklefs, 1993, p. 149]

    How do you explain the relative commonness of aquatic fossils?
    A flood would have washed over everything equally, so terrestrial organisms should be roughly as abundant as aquatic ones (or more abundant, since Creationists hypothesize greater land area before the Flood) in the fossil record. Yet shallow marine environments account for by far the most fossils.


    Andrews, J. E., 1988. Soil-zone microfabrics in calcrete and in desiccation cracks from the Upper Jurassic Purbeck Formation of Dorset.Geological Journal 23(3): 261-270.
    Bignot, G., 1985. Micropaleontology Boston: IHRDC, p. 75.
    Clemmenson, L.B. and Abrahamsen, K., 1983. Aeolian stratification in desert sediments, Arran basin (Permian), Scotland.Sedimentology 30: 311-339.
    Crimes, Peter, and Mary L Droser, 1992. Trace fossils and bioturbation: the other fossil record. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 23: 339-360.
    Cristie, R.L., and McMillan, N.J. (eds.), 1991. Tertiary fossil forests of the Geodetic Hills, Axel Heiberg Island, Arctic Archipelago, Geological Survey of Canada, Bulletin 403., 227pp.
    Dawson, J.W., 1868. Acadian Geology. The Geological Structure, Organic Remains, and Mineral Resources of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, 2nd edition. MacMillan and Co.: London, 694pp.
    Donohoe, H.V. Jr. and Grantham, R.G. (eds.), 1989. Geological Highway Map of Nova Scotia, 2nd edition. Atlantic Geoscience Society, Halifax, Nova Scotia. AGS Special Publication no. 1, 1:640 000.
    Eyles, N. and Miall, A.D., 1984, Glacial Facies. IN: Walker, R.G., Facies Models, 2nd edition. Geoscience Canada, Reprint Series 1: 15-38.
    Ferguson, Laing, 1988. The fossil cliffs of Joggins. Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
    Fezer, Karl D., 1993. "Creationism: Please Don't Call It Science" Creation/Evolution, 13:1 (Summer 1993), 45-49.
    Gansser, A., 1964. Geology of the Himalayas, John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., New York.
    Gastaldo, R. A., 1990, Early Pennsylvanian swamp forests in the Mary Lee coal zone, Warrior Basin, Alabama. in R. A. Gastaldo et. al.,Carboniferous Coastal Environments and Paleocommunities of the Mary Lee Coal Zone, Marion and Walker Counties, Alabama. Guidebook for the Field Trip VI, Alabama Geological Survey, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. pp. 41-54.
    Gilette, D.D. and Lockley, M.G. (eds.), 1989. Dinosaur Tracks and Traces, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 454pp.
    Gore, Rick, 1993. Dinosaurs. National Geographic, 183(1) (Jan. 1993): 2-54.
    Grieve, R. A. F., 1997. Extraterrestrial impact events: the record in the rocks and the stratigraphic record. Palaeogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology 132: 5-23.
    Hubert, J.F., and Mertz, K.A., Jr., 1984. Eolian sandstones in Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic red beds of the Fundy Basin, Nova Scotia.Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 54: 798-810.
    Jackson, M.P.A., et al., 1990. Salt diapirs of the Great Kavir, Central Iran. Geological Society of America, Memoir 177, 139pp.
    James, N. P. & P. W. Choquette (eds.), 1988. Paleokarst, Springer-Verlag, New York.
    Kocurek, G., and Dott, R.H., 1981. Distinctions and uses of stratification types in the interpretation of eolian sand. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 51(2): 579-595.
    Miall, A. D., 1996. The Geology of Fluvial Deposits, Springer-Verlag, New York.
    Moore, James R., 1973. "Charles Lyell and the Noachian Deluge", in Dundes, 1988, The Flood Myth, University of California Press, Berkeley.
    Newell, N., 1982. Creation and Evolution, Columbia U. Press, p. 62.
    Poldervaart, Arie, 1955. Chemistry of the earth's crust. pp. 119-144 In: Poldervaart, A., ed., Crust of the Earth, Geological Society of America Special Paper 62, Waverly Press, MD.
    Reinhardt, J., and Sigleo, W.R. (eds.), 1989. Paleosols and weathering through geologic time: principles and applications. Geological Society of America Special Paper 216, 181pp.
    Ricklefs, Robert, 1993. The Economy of Nature, W. H. Freeman, New York.
    Robb, A. J. III, 1992. Rain-impact microtopography (RIM); an experimental analogue for fossil examples from the Maroon Formation, Colorado. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 62(3): 530-535.
    Rosenberg, G. D. & Runcorn, S. K. (Eds), 1975. Growth rhythms and the history of the earth's rotation. Willey Interscience, New York.
    Schadewald, Robert, 1982. Six 'Flood' arguments Creationists can't answer. Creation/Evolution 9: 12-17.
    Schmitz, B., B. Peucker-Ehrenbrink, M. Lindstrom, & M. Tassinari, 1997. Accretion rates of meteorites and cosmic dust in the Early Ordovician. Science 278: 88-90.
    Scrutton, C. T., ( 1964 ) 1965. Periodicity in Devonian coral growth. Palaeontology, 7(4): 552-558, Plates 86-87.
    Short, D. A., J. G. Mengel, T. J. Crowley, W. T. Hyde and G. R. North, 1991. Filtering of Milankovitch Cycles by Earth's Geography.Quaternary Research. 35, 157-173. (Re an independent method of dating the Green River formation)
    Stewart, W.N., 1983. Paleontology and the Evolution of Plants. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 405pp.
    Thackray, G. D., 1994. Fossil nest of sweat bees (Halictinae) from a Miocene paleosol, Rusinga Island, western Kenya. Journal of Paleontology 68(4): 795-800.
    Twenhofel, William H., 1961. Treatise on Sedimentation, Dover, p. 50-52.
    Weast, Robert C., 1974. Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 55th edition, CRC Press, Cleveland, OH.
    Wells, J. W., 1963. Coral growth and geochronometry. Nature 197: 948-950.
    Whitcomb, J.C. Jr. & H.M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Philadelphia PA.
    Wilson, J. L., 1975. Carbonate Facies in Geologic History. Springer-Verlag, New York.
    Wright, V. P. (ed.), 1986. Paleosols: Their Recognition and Interpretation, Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
    Wright, V. P., 1994. Paleosols in shallow marine sequences. Earth-Science Reviews, 37: 367-395. See also pp. 135-137.
    Yun, Zhang, 1989. Multicellular thallophytes with differentiated tissues from Late Proterozoic phosphate rocks of South China. Lethaia22: 113-132.
    Yuretich, Richard F., 1984. Yellowstone fossil forests: New evidence for burial in place, Geology 12, 159-162. See also Fritz, W.J. & Yuretich, R.F., Comment and reply, Geology 20, 638-639.
    Zimmer, Carl, 1992. Peeling the big blue banana. Discover 13(1): 46-47.

    8. Species Survival and Post-Flood Ecology

    "He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground," the Bible says (Gen 7:23). If the Flood was as described, that must have been an understatement.
    How did all the modern plant species survive?

    • Many plants (seeds and all) would be killed by being submerged for a few months. This is especially true if they were soaked in salt water. Some mangroves, coconuts, and other coastal species have seed which could be expected to survive the Flood itself, but what of the rest?
    • Most seeds would have been buried under many feet (even miles) of sediment. This is deep enough to prevent spouting.
    • Most plants require established soils to grow--soils which would have been stripped by the Flood.
    • Some plants germinate only after being exposed to fire or after being ingested by animals; these conditions would be rare (to put it mildly) after the Flood.
    • Noah could not have gathered seeds for all plants because not all plants produce seeds, and a variety of plant seeds can't survive a year before germinating. [Garwood, 1989; Benzing, 1990; Densmore & Zasada, 1983] Also, how did he distribute them all over the world?

    How did all the fish survive? Some require cool clear water, some need brackish water, some need ocean water, some need water even saltier. A flood would have destroyed at least some of these habitats.

    How did sensitive marine life such as coral survive?
    Since most coral are found in shallow water, the turbidity created by the runoff from the land would effectively cut them off from the sun. The silt covering the reef after the rains were over would kill all the coral. By the way, the rates at which coral deposits calcium are well known, and some highly mature reefs (such a the great barrier) have been around for millions of years to be deposited to their observed thickness.

    How did diseases survive?
    Many diseases can't survive in hosts other than humans. Many others can only survive in humans and in short-lived arthropod vectors. The list includes typhus, measles, smallpox, polio, gonorrhea, syphilis. For these diseases to have survived the Flood, they must all have infected one or more of the eight people aboard the Ark.

    Other animals aboard the ark must have suffered from multiple diseases, too, since there are other diseases specific to other animals, and the nonspecific diseases must have been somewhere.
    Host-specific diseases which don't kill their host generally can't survive long, since the host's immune system eliminates them. (This doesn't apply to diseases such as HIV and malaria which can hide from the immune system.) For example, measles can't last for more than a few weeks in a community of less than 250,000 [Keeling & Grenfell, 1997] because it needs nonresistant hosts to infect. Since the human population aboard the ark was somewhat less than 250,000, measles and many other infectious diseases would have gone extinct during the Flood.
    Some diseases that can affect a wide range of species would have found conditions on the Ark ideal for a plague. Avian viruses, for example, would have spread through the many birds on the ark. Other plagues would have affected the mammals and reptiles. Even these plague pathogens, though, would have died out after all their prospective hosts were either dead or resistant.

    How did short-lived species survive?
    Adult mayflies on the ark would have died in a few days, and the larvae of many mayflies require shallow fresh running water. Many other insects would face similar problems.

    How could more than a handful of species survive in a devastated habitat?
    The Flood would have destroyed the food and shelter which most species need to survive.

    How did predators survive?
    How could more than a handful of the predator species on the ark have survived, with only two individuals of their prey to eat? All of the predators at the top of the food pyramid require larger numbers of food animals beneath them on the pyramid, which in turn require large numbers of the animals they prey on, and so on, down to the primary producers (plants etc.) at the bottom. And if the predators survived, how did the other animals survive being preyed on?

    How could more than a handful of species survive random influences that affect populations?
    Isolated populations with fewer than 20 members are usually doomed even when extraordinary measures are taken to protect them. [Simberloff, 1988]


    Benzing, D. H., 1990. Vascular Epiphytes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    Densmore, R. and J. Zasada, 1983. Seed dispersal and dormancy patterns in northern willows: ecological and evolutionary significance.Canadian Journal of Botany 61: 3207-3216.
    Garwood, N. C., 1989. Tropical soil seed banks: a review. pp. 149-209 In: Leck, M. A., V. T. Parker, and R. L. Simpson (eds.), Ecology of Soil Seed Banks, Academic Press, San Diego
    Keeling, M.J. & B.T. Grenfell, 1997. Disease extinction and community size: modeling the persistence of measles. Science 275: 65-67.
    Simberloff, Daniel, 1988. The contribution of population and community biology to conservation science. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 19: 473-511.

    9. Species Distribution and Diversity

    How did animals get to their present ranges? How did koalas get from Ararat to Australia, polar bears to the Arctic, etc., when the kinds of environment they require to live doesn't exist between the two points. How did so many unique species get to remote islands?

    How were ecological interdependencies preserved as animals migrated from Ararat?
    Did the yucca an the yucca moth migrate together across the Atlantic? Were there, a few thousand years ago, unbroken giant sequoia forests between Ararat and California to allow indigenous bark and cone beetles to migrate?

    Why are so many animals found only in limited ranges?
    Why are so many marsupials limited to Australia; why are there no wallabies in western Indonesia? Why are lemurs limited to Madagascar? The same argument applies to any number of groups of plants and animals.

    Why is inbreeding depression not a problem in most species?
    Harmful recessive alleles occur in significant
    numbers in most species. (Humans have, on average, 3 to 4 lethal recessive alleles each.) When close relatives breed, the offspring are more likely to be homozygous for these harmful alleles, to the detriment of the offspring. Such inbreeding depression still shows up in cheetahs; they have about 1/6th the number of motile spermatozoa as domestic cats, and of those, almost 80% show morphological abnormalities. [O'Brien et al, 1987] How could more than a handful of species survive the inbreeding depression that comes with establishing a population from a single mating pair?


    O'Brien, S. J., D. E. Wildt, M. Bush, T. M. Caro, C. FitzGibbon, I. Aggundey & R. E. Leakey, 1987. East African cheetahs: Evidence for two population bottlenecks? Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 84: 508-511.

    10. Historical Aspects

    Why is there no mention of the Flood in the records of Egyptian or Mesopotamian civilizations which existed at the time? Biblical dates (I Kings 6:1, Gal 3:17, various generation lengths given in Genesis) place the Flood 1300 years before Solomon began the first temple. We can construct reliable chronologies for near Eastern history, particularly for Egypt, from many kinds of records from the literate cultures in the near East. These records are independent of, but supported by, dating methods such as dendrochronology and carbon-14. The building of the first temple can be dated to 950 B.C. +/- some small delta, placing the Flood around 2250 B.C. Unfortunately, the Egyptians (among others) have written records dating well back before 2250 B.C. (the Great Pyramid, for example dates to the 26th century B.C., 300 years before the Biblical date for the Flood). No sign in Egyptian inscriptions of this global flood around 2250 B.C.

    How did the human population rebound so fast?
    Genealogies in Genesis put the Tower of Babel about 110 to 150 years after the Flood [Gen 10:25, 11:10-19]. How did the world population regrow so fast to make its construction (and the city around it) possible? Similarly, there would have been very few people around to build Stonehenge and the Pyramids, rebuild the Sumerian and Indus Valley civilizations, populate the Americas, etc.

    Why do other flood myths vary so greatly from the Genesis account?
    Flood myths are fairly common worldwide, and if they came from a common source, we should expect similarities in most of them. Instead, the myths show great diversity. [Bailey, 1989, pp. 5-10; Isaak, 1997] For example, people survive on high land or trees in the myths about as often as on boats or rafts, and no other flood myth includes a covenant not to destroy all life again.

    Why should we expect Genesis to be accurate?
    We know that other people's sacred stories change over time [Baaren, 1972] and that changes to the Genesis Flood story have occurred in later traditions [Ginzberg, 1909; Utley, 1961]. Is it not reasonable to assume that changes occurred between the story's origin and its being written down in its present form?


    Baaren, Th. P., 1972. The flexibility of myth. Studies in the History of Religions, 22: 199-206. Reprinted in Dundes, A. (ed), 1984, Sacred Narrative, University of California Press, Berkeley.
    Bailey, Lloyd R., 1989. Noah: the person and the story in history and tradition. University of South Carolina Press, SC.
    Ginzberg, Louis, 1909. The Legends of the Jews, vol. 1, pp. 145-169, Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia. Reprinted as "Noah and the Flood in Jewish legend" in: Dundes, Alan (ed.), 1988. The Flood Myth, University of California Press, Berkeley and London, pp. 319-336.
    Isaak, Mark, 1997. Flood stories from around the world. http://www.talkorigins.org/faq/flood-myths.html.
    Utley, Francis Lee, 1961. Internationaler Kongress der Volkserzš in Kiel und Kopenhagen, pp. 446-463, Walter De Gruyter, Berlin. Reprinted as "The Devil in the Ark (AaTh 825)" in: Dundes, Alan (ed.), 1988. The Flood Myth, University of California Press, Berkeley and London, pp. 337-356.

    11. Logical, Philosophical, and Theological Points

    Are flood models consistent with the Bible? Creationists who write about the Flood often contradict the very story they're trying to support. For example, Whitcomb & Morris [1961, p. 69n] suggest that large numbers of kinds of land animals became extinct because of the Flood, while Genesis repeatedly says that Noah was ordered to take a representative sample of all kinds of land animals on the Ark to save them from extinction, and that Noah did as ordered. Woodmorappe [1996, p. 3] wants to leave invertebrates (i.e., just about "every creeping thing on the ground") off the ark. Why should we give credence to a story whose most ardent supporters abandon when it's inconvenient?
    Genesis 6-8 speaks only of rain, fountains, and a flood; it makes no mention of other catastrophies which many Creationists associate with the Flood. Their proposed Flood models not only contradict geology, they have no Biblical support, either.

    How can a literal interpretation be appropriate if the text is self-contradictory?
    Genesis 6:20 and 7:14-15 say there were two of each kind of fowl and clean beasts, yet Genesis 7:2-3,5 says they came in sevens.

    How can a literal interpretation be consistent with reality?
    How could Noah have gathered male and female of each kind [Gen. 7:15-16] when some species are asexual, others are parthenogenic and have only females, and others (such as earthworms) are hermaphrodites? And what about social animals like ants and termites which need the whole nest to survive?

    Why stop with the Flood story?
    If your style of Biblical interpretation makes you take the Flood literally, then shouldn't you also believe in a flat and stationary earth? [Dan. 4:10-11, Matt. 4:8, 1 Chron. 16:30, Psalms 93:1, ...]

    In fact, is there any reason at all why the Flood story should be taken literally?
    Jesus used parables; why wouldn't God do so, too?

    Does a global flood make the whole Bible less credible?
    Davis Young, an Evangelical and geologist, wrote [p. 163]:

    "The maintenance of modern creationism and Flood geology not only is useless apologetically with unbelieving scientists, it is harmful. Although many who have no scientific training have been swayed by creationist arguments, the unbelieving scientist will reason that a Christianity that believes in such nonsense must be a religion not worthy of his interest. . . . Modern creationism in this sense is apologetically and evangelistically ineffective. It could even be a hindrance to the gospel.
    "Another possible danger is that in presenting the gospel to the lost and in defending God's truth we ourselves will seem to be false. It is time for Christian people to recognize that the defense of this modern, young-Earth, Flood-geology creationism is simply not truthful. It is simply not in accord with the facts that God has given. Creationism must be abandoned by Christians before harm is done. . . ."
    Another Christian scientist said, "Creationism is an incredible pain in the neck, neither honest nor useful, and the people who advocate it have no idea how much damage they are doing to the credibility of belief." [quoted in Easterbrook, 1997, p. 891]

    Does the Flood story indicate an omnipotent God?

    • If God is omnipotent, why not kill what He wanted killed directly? Why resort to a roundabout method that requires innumerable additional miracles?
    • The whole idea was to rid the wicked people from the world. Did it work?

    Finally, even if the flood model weren't riddled by all these problems, why should we accept it?
    What it does attempt to explain is already explained far more accurately, consistently, and thoroughly by conventional geology and biology, and the flood model leaves many other things unexplained, even unexplainable. How is flood geology useful?


    Easterbrook, Gregg, 1997. Science and God: a warming trend? Science 277: 890-893.
    Whitcomb, J.C. Jr. & H.M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Philadelphia PA.
    Woodmorappe, John, 1996. Noah's ark: A feasibility study. Institute for Creation Research, Santee, California.
    Young, Davis, 1988. Christianity and the Age of the Earth. Artisan Sales, Thousand Oaks, CA.


    I thank the following people for their contributions and helpful comments, and I thank and apologize to any other contributers whom I have inadvertently forgotten.
    Ken Fair, Bob Grumbine, Joel J. Hanes, Paul V. Heinrich, Bill Hyde, William H. Jefferys, Andrew MacRae, Thomas Marlowe, Glenn R. Morton, Chris Nedin, Kevin L. O'Brien, Chris Stassen, Frank Steiger.
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  5. -155
    volk's Avatar
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    Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

    Quote Originally Posted by rob19 View Post
    That's not good enough. Know why that's not good enough?

    Just because something is written down doesn't make it true. You have no way of proving & demonstrating how God does those things other than it was written on a piece of paper.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    You are correct, truth is not the result of documentation. However, the advantage of documentation is the opportunity to examine something tangible for validity. Is the Bible true? I believe it is. As you earlier pointed out this is clearly a faith statement, however, a statement being based on faith is not enough to rule out its ability to be true. Humans exercise faith in countless ways on a daily basis. We have faith that our loved ones actually love us and we work, plan, and act accordingly. We believe they do based on what they say and how they act....creating evidence that proves that love to us in ways that enrich our lives. When your child says they love you, you believe it as fact. It is faith, and for all but the most hardened cynic, it is completely rational and healthy. There are millions of other acts of faith lived out daily in just as rational a way.

    In terms of Biblical validity, the Bible speaks of science, nature, law, logic, and the human condition in ways that match reality on an unparalleled scale. The majority of attacks on it originate from ignorance, fear or pre-suppositions. Few who have attacked it have ever actually read it. Fewer still have investigated it honestly, and even fewer have ever done any type of scholarly exposition before dismissing it. It is a polarizing text, and there seems to be little intellectual honesty when attacking it. It's ironic to me that people are afraid their posts on a forum will be taken out of context if they are broken down line by line, but have no issue grabbing a line out of context from the Bible to make their argument against it. The Bible actually encourages skepticism and begs the skeptic to test it honestly and decide for themselves.

    The Bible and Christianity have withstood the tests of time, attacks by regimes, attacks by skeptics, harsh persecutions and cruelties unmatched by any other religion save Judaism. It makes unique claims and is backed by the greatest evidence of all, the changing of lives. Yes, it requires faith, but that faith is backed by a sea of evidence from all realms of existence and it's power to change and inspire lives cannot be denied. Trying to discredit the Bible based on a few out of context quotes and some scientific theory fails to address the myriad other aspects of existence the book addresses, let alone the experiences and nature of man as he relates to God, which is what the text actually exists for.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    "Therefore, understand the matter, and consider the vision." Dan 9:23

    Why must this team always underachieve???
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  6. -156
    irish fin fan's Avatar
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    Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

    Hook, line and sinker. As I suspected, Statler has the humor of a tin can. Let me guess what his response to that will be. It's nice to be able to get a profile of a true Christian fundamentalist. You can carry on using your "proof" of sightings by some poor rural folk in Africa or your so called " scientists".

    The one useful Item about this thread Is when i read some redneck on this forum talking about crazy Muslim fanatics etc. One glance of your your posts in this thread should be enough to silence them.
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  7. -157
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    Holly spaghetti () Rob.

    I don't even have enough thumbs up to credit your posts.

    Now watch Statler come back with a line-by-line quotation response.

    I think this thread will turn into a size of biblical proportions.
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  8. -158
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    Quote Originally Posted by phins_4_ever View Post
    Holly spaghetti () Rob.

    I don't even have enough thumbs up to credit your posts.

    Now watch Statler come back with a line-by-line quotation response.

    I think this thread will turn into a size of biblical proportions.
    Waldorfs response might crash finheaven. Rob practically just posted a thesis.lol
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  9. -159
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    Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

    Quote Originally Posted by JackFinfan View Post
    Waldorfs response might crash finheaven. Rob practically just posted a thesis.lol
    I think we have until Monday for the severs to be upgraded. I think Waldorf spends his weekend attending indoctration class.
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  10. -160
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    Where is Statler!!!!??????
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