June 3, 2011 | David F. Coppedge

National Geographic Rates Noah’s Flood

Pictures of the record floods in the eastern United States this year have been shocking and alarming (examples on Fox News).  They raise questions about the potential for flooding on this planet: how big can they get?  National Geographic News decided to look at some of the biggest floods in history and included the granddaddy of them all, Noah's Flood–but only to cast doubt on it.

NG used the public worry about floods to recall a study in 2004 by James O'Connor [USGS] of the largest freshwater floods in history.  The biggest in the list was the ice-age flood that carved the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington (see June 21, 2010). Others in Russia, Alaska and on the Amazon River were notable.  But Noah's flood rated "Not Listed" for several reasons: one, that it was not a freshwater flood, according to O'Connor.  Ker Than’s report briefly entertained the Black Sea Flood hypothesis, but recalled that later revisions drastically reduced its height.

Second, the article tried to make the Flood sound fictional.  “Even though a real flood may have inspired the story, O'Connor thinks there's a simple reason it couldn't have been a days-long meteorological event like the one suggested by the Bible,” the article ended, quoting O'Connor: “There's just not that much water in the atmosphere.”

If Than and O'Connor would just read their Bibles instead of speaking off the cuff, they would realize that the major source of the water was not the atmosphere, but the “fountains of the great deep” described in Genesis 7:11-12.  If they would further read any creationist studies of the Flood (e.g., CreationScience.com or ChristianAnswers.net) they would have known that creation scientists agree the major source of the water was subterranean.

To avoid embarrassment in debate, it is essential to understand your opponent's position.  Creation scientists do a much better job of this than uniformitarian geologists and evolutionists.  If it weren’t for the fact that the secularists have the media and textbook writers in their lap, they would be too red-faced to make such blunders.

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  • merlin says:

    I am not a geologist, but I see evidence of rapid movements of huge volumns of water everywhere:

    1.  Washington’s channeled scabland and Columbia River benches.
    2.  Similar braided waterways in Kergezstan (sp?) for miles southwest of Biskek.
    3.  Increditable plutons around Lake Tana in Ethiopia, that appear to have been formed in the earth and exposed by erosion. 
    4.  The dramatic geology of the US Southwest and similar features in Ethiopia that are best explained by lots of fast moving water over a short period of time. 
    5. etc.

    And there are other types of evidence consistent with a huge flood. 

    Do conventional geologist respond to the evidence presented by creationist or do they just ignore it?

  • Christianmandoad says:

    Precious little point to ask them to do their jobs, isn’t it?

  • Barry Desborough says:

    Conventional geologists work with the evidence available to them. To do anything else would be to indulge in unprofessional speculation.

  • Barry Desborough says:

    @Merlin, if you are evidence-driven, what about lake varves?

  • Timeless says:

    The scripture at Genesis 2:56 & 10-14 are definately key. They relate to the mechanisms used with regards the flood of Noah’s day. Your referencing the “springs of the vast watery deep” are spot on. Evidence is actually abounding that such an ancient hydrological system did indeed exist, yet most researchers are unaware that they have uncovered evidence for it. In fact, what I have found thus far is that they are unable to without making up a story to satisfy a flawed and failed worldview.

  • JS in FL says:

    Arthur Strahler, the well-respected geomorphologist and author of the anti-creationist book, “Science and Earth History,” has this to say about glacial lake varves:  “Small wonder that creation scientists are highly critical of the varve studies of De Geer and Anteves.  They need only to borrow and repeat the criticisms expressed by mainstream scientists.  On the other hand, numbers of varves in these chronologies are larger than can be accommodated in post-Flood time.  In fairness to both parties, it would be wise to simply judge the debate a draw on the basis of glacial varve evidence presented by both sides.” (p. 231)

    In regard to the well-known varves of the Green River formation, he rejects Whitcomb & Morris’ hypotheses of formation but does admit the difficulty of assuming that such uniform accumulation could continue uninterrupted for 5-8 million years.  (p. 233)

    There’s one more aspect of the Green River shales that is problematic for uniformitarian presumptions:  most of the extremely well-preserved fossils are found in two layers, the 18 inch layer (self-explanatory) and the 6-foot thick split fish layer.  Yet the Green River formation is up to 2000’ thick.  If it really represents gradual accumulation of sediments over 5-8 million years, than the uniformitarian expectation would be for the fossils to be evenly distributed throughout the formation.

  • merlin says:

    Barry Desborough, in addition to what JS in FL writes, have you ever seen toy that is sand of two colors in a fluid with a few air bubbles in it?  The falling sand segregates itself (gee, self-organization, just what is needed to begin life) into layers.  Is that the varves you mention?

  • JS in FL says:

    Interesting that you should mention that, merlin, because I’ve been thinking recently about what might be the geologic signature of gigantic whirlpools such as the one that occurred in Japan after the tsunami earlier this year (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_56po8VHn0).  Apparently, whirlpools are not uncommon in tsunamis, yet geologists don’t know what their mark in the geologic record might look like.  (http://pages.citebite.com/g8b0s1k4xljq ) It would be very interesting to see what might result from the experimental modeling of whirlpools using different colored sediments.

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