Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Universality of Noah’s Flood

While we are on the subject of the Flood from the last two articles, an event thoroughly outlined in immense detail in Chapter 13 of our book: Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths, let us delve a little deeper into the Flood itself. There is no question about the debate within the scientific community as to whether the Flood occurred or not, with evolutionists strongly denying its occurrence, and a few, die-hard scientists clinging to the fact that it did. Despite the fact that there are such Flood legends, myths and historical events associated with nearly every corner of the world and among nearly every early culture and civilization, scientists still debate its happening and many work hard to show it never happened.
A long time ago, whether your time frame is biblical or geological, the Black Sea was a large freshwater Black “Lake.” It was cut off from the Mediterranean Sea by a high piece of land that dammed the entry of salty seawater through the narrow connecting Bosphorus valley. When Earth’s last ice age waned, water frozen into vast ice sheets melted and returned to the ocean, elevating sea levels. About 9,400 years ago, Mediterranean waters rose above the dam, reconnecting the two seas. They surged over the now submerged Bosphorus Sill with the force of 200 Niagara Falls, according to a controversial theory proposed in 1997 by Columbia University marine geologists Bill Ryan and Walter Pitman 
    Recently, a team of scientists showed that a massive flooding of the Black Sea occurred in 5600 B.C., increasing the shoreline by an additional 60,000 square miles. According to researchers William Ryan and Walter Pitman, this flood turned the Caspian and Black Seas into vast freshwater lakes that drained into the Aegean Sea. In fact, samplings of sediments in the Black Sea by a series of expeditions carried out between 1998 and 2005 in the frame of a European Project ASSEMBLAGE (French Institute of Oceanography) and coordinated by a French oceanographer, Gilles Lericolais, brought some new inputs to Ryan and Pitman's hypothesis. These results were also completed by the Noah Project led by Petko Dimitrov from the Bulgarian Institute of Oceanology (IO-BAS).  Furthermore, calculations made by Mark Siddall predicted an underwater canyon that was actually found (Nature Magazine, 2004).
    In addition, there are stories of the Zanclean Flood (Zanclean Deluge) that is a flood theorized to have refilled the Mediterranean Sea millions of years ago (Maria Bianca Cita, Deep Sea Drilling Project, 1972). In addition, as mentioned earlier, there are Flood stories connected to creation stories from Ziusudra, Gilgamesh, and Atrahasis legends in Mesopotamia to Central America, from Hindu religious books in India, to Greek mythology to North American Indian myths to Plato to Irish, African, Chinese, Korean, Malaysia, Tai, Polynesia, South American (Canari, Inca, Mapuche, Muisca, Tupi) and Finnish, and Australian Aboriginal mythology. The point is, just about everywhere in the world has a Flood legend connected with its pre-historical world.
    It is said that God could not have been more clear in Genesis—this was a unique global catastrophic Flood, an act of divine judgment against a sinful world. “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.”
Genesis tells us that all the fountains of the great deep burst open on one day. And it describes these events, about 5000 years ago, which we can now tie together scientifically, according to Walt Brown of MIT
    Noah’s Flood is critically important to the question of the age of the earth, in which, for over eighteen centuries virtually all Christians understood Genesis to recount a universal Flood that completely covered the whole earth, leaving no dry land anywhere at the height of the event. However, during the past 200 years many Christians have been swayed by secular ideas and have abandoned the clear hermeneutic of Scripture for belief that the Flood was local and covered only the Mesopotamian Valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (the area of modern-day Iraq). But such a view cannot stand under the careful scrutiny of Genesis 6–9. Consider these points.
1. One of the most important biblical arguments for a universal (i.e., global) Flood is the statement of Genesis 7:19-20, which says, “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.”
    You do not need to be a professional scientist to realize the tremendous implications of these biblical statements. If the highest mountains were covered with water, the Flood would obviously have been global in geographical extent, for water must seek its own level—and it must do so quickly!
    The phrase “fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail” does not mean that the Flood was only 15 cubits deep, for the phrase is qualified by the one which immediately follows: “and the mountains were covered.”
    Because Genesis 6:15 tells us that the height of the Ark was 30 cubits, nearly all commentators agree that the phrase “fifteen cubits” in 7:20 must refer to how deep the Ark sank into the water when it was fully laden. Such information adds further support for a universal Flood, because it tells us that the Flood “prevailed” over the tops of the highest mountains to a depth of at least 15 cubits. If the Flood had not covered the mountains by at least such a depth, the Ark could not have floated over them during the five months in which the waters “prevailed” upon the earth.
2. A second evidence of the global extent of the Flood is its duration. A careful study of the biblical data reveals the fact that the Flood lasted for 371 days. That the Flood continued for more than a year is entirely in keeping with its universality but cannot properly be reconciled with the local-flood theory.
    Our imagination indeed staggers at the thought of a flood so gigantic as to overwhelm the highest mountains of the earth within a period of six weeks and then to continue prevailing over those mountains for an additional sixteen weeks, during which time the sole survivors of the human race drifted upon the face of a shoreless ocean! But if the biblical concept of a deluge covering the tops of mountains for sixteen consecutive weeks is hard to reconcile with the local-flood theory, what are we to say of the fact that Scripture records that an additional thirty-one weeks were required for the waters to subside sufficiently for Noah to disembark safely, somewhere in the mountains of Ararat?
    Furthermore, it cannot be emphasized too strongly that it was not merely the top of the high mountain on which the Ark rested that was seen on the first day of the tenth month. The Scriptures inform us that on that day “were the tops of the mountains seen.” In other words, the floodwaters must have subsided hundreds of feet in order for various mountain peaks of different altitudes to be seen by then (for the mountains were being pushed up from below).
    The duration of the Flood in its assuaging, as well as in its prevailing, compels us to think of it as a global, not merely local catastrophe.
3. Another indication that the Flood was universal is the necessity of the Ark. God told Noah to build the Ark “to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 7:3). The whole procedure of constructing this enormous Ark involving, no doubt, many years of planning and toil, simply to escape a local flood, can hardly be described as anything but utterly foolish and unnecessary. God could have told Noah to go on a vacation to Europe or Africa. And rather than sending the animals to the Ark, God could have sent the animals and birds out of the flood zone before the waters reached their highest point. The area could then have been repopulated by creatures spared outside the flood zone. But in a global Flood there would be no survivors among land animals and birds. The Ark was essential.
4. Consider also the repetitive use of universal terms. Sixty times we find in the Flood account the use of such universal terms as “all,” “every,” “in whose nostrils is the breath of life,” and “everywhere under the heaven” (see Genesis 7:19, 22). While some of these terms are periodically used in the Old Testament in a limited and less than global or universal sense, it is the context that always indicates this. In Genesis 6–9 the context clearly does not limit the meaning of these universal terms. Their repetitious use is emphatic—this was a global Flood.

5. For this short article, a final evidence of the universal extent of the Flood is the Rainbow Covenant (Genesis 9:8-17). Not only does it confirm the supernatural uniqueness of this global catastrophe, it proves its universality. This divine promise was made not just to Noah and his sons but to their families and all their descendants, to the animals and birds and all their offspring and to the earth itself. If the Flood was limited in geographical extent, the Rainbow Covenant has failed (i.e., God lied), for there have been hundreds of devastating local floods since then, which have killed millions of people and animals.
    God could not have been more clear in Genesis—this was a unique global catastrophic Flood, an act of divine judgment against a sinful world and, as Jesus said (Matthew 24:37-39), a warning of the coming judgment when Christ returns.
(For even more information on the Flood, see the book: Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths)


  1. I have a testimony of the scriptures, so I tend to agree with your analysis. However, I can't help but wonder about the things that do not fit nicely into place. One thing that I find hard to reconcile is the fact that around the world there are many places that have very unique air breathing animals. These places often also have very unique plants, but most plant species should be able to survive a flood. Animals however would not survive the flood the Bible describes. What this seems to mean is that Noah and his family would have had to go to around the world and round up these animals before the flood, and then go back around the world after the flood and bring these unique animals back. I will admit I have not read your book. Maybe there is something I am not seeing.

  2. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me, nor for anyone to see things my way—I only plead with people to see the scriptures the way they are written and to not try to alter them to fit their own ideas.
    As for air breathing animals, like all animals after the flood, had to have been brought to the Land of Promise (Western Hemisphere) by the Jaredites. What animal could they have brought that would result in the alpaca and llama? Since these are classified as camelids (Camelidae family), they are the only currently living family in the suborder Tylopoda, and the extant (existing) members of this group are: dromedary camel, Bactrian camel, wild or feral camels, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos. Initially, the last four were just two, the wild vicuñas, and guanacos, which resulted in the domesticated llama and alpaca.
    Now these last two animals fit the requirements of being in the Land of Promise, i.e., they are cross-bred from the camel, an animal known to and possessed by the people of Mesopotamia—the home of the Jaredites. They are for the benefit of man. They were originally found only in and all over Andean South America. They have been there for thousands of years and domesticated long ago and have been used for just about every purpose to Andean cultures since at least 2000 BC—the time of the Jaredites.
    Recently, in 1995, (there are four today) the world’s first “cama” was cross-bred between a llama and a camel—they are humpless and have a fluffy coat of a llama, ears between a camel and llama, but have the strong, desert-ready legs of a camel. True to the nature of the original cross-breed, however that was achieved anciently, only the camel father can impregnate a llama mother (not the other way around) and, incidentally, the cama is smaller than the llama, which is smaller than the camel—another breeding truism.
    While there are all sorts of unique animals in places around the world, I have yet to uncover one that matches the requirements of the cureloms and cumoms as stated in Ether, nor are there any other placed where the Jaredites might have gone.
    We have written much about the llama and the alpaca in the past, as we have about quinoa and kiwicha, two grains on a par with corn, barely and wheat. In fact, the value of the two grains in the Andes is such that they are considered super-grains and more healthy than just about anything else around. It is hard to find two animals or two grains that match so perfectly the purpose and value as suggested or said in the scriptural record.

  3. Let me give an example of my concern.

    Below is a link to a webpage with exotic animals, many of which live in only one place on earth.

    This collection of unique animals is just a small fraction of all such animals. Another examples I could have used are the animals unique to various Islands such as the Galapogos, Socotra, New Zealand, Tazmania, and many many more Islands.

    So the question is, did all of these unique animals show up and have a place on the Ark, and then somehow get back to the unique places on earth where they survive?

    I am not trying to undermine what the scriptures say, just trying to understand more clearly what they are saying.

  4. erichard, I'm a geologist by profession, and I believe in Noah's flood. In fact, the flood model is the only model that fits the landforms that we see today. The mountains are a result of Noah's flood. As for the animals - this is quite simple -they were all on the ark or after the flood through natural selection there was some minor evolution (not between species however).

    To me the flood was a physical reality and is easy to see the flood in the rocks of the earth.

    For over 30 years I've taken a magazine by the institute for Creation Research (ICR). I recommend it to you as well as Del's work. ICR ( is a evang Christian organization that has conducted groundbreaking research by PhD's in all the sciences. They would be able to answer your specific question about the flood because they've study these specific questions for many years and have answered them.

    Oh how I wish BYU had creationists in it's faculty. The Church would be much more informed about the true events that happened anciently than the unformatarian and evolutionary garbage that is taught there now. PS Before you comment about I talked to BYU about this. They told me the reason they have to teach this nonsense is because the world doesn't accept creationism and their grads would not be able to get a job. Point well taken because I've seen the ostracisim in the profession. Ira

    1. OK. I went to and sent them an email asking the same question. But I trust those that accept Joseph Smith far more than I trust those that reject him. One of the examples from the webpage I linked to was a three toed sloth that exists only on one Island near Peru. So I wonder how it got on the Ark and how did it get to that Island after the flood? Maybe Jonathan Gray is right: there was a great civilization just after the flood that we no longer know about that went all over the earth until it destroyed itself. (

    2. Erichard, We as LDS believe the bible just as the Christians do. Even the BOM refers to the flood Ether 13:2. How did Noah get all the animals on the ark? God brought them. How did they disperse throughout the earth? Again from the Bible the earth was divided, when? In the days of Peleg which was 400 years as I recall after the flood. That means the earth broke apart long after the flood. Before the days of the Peleg the earth was all one land mass. Do you suppose God could have disperse the animals He wanted to the places He wanted them to live? Sure - no problem - He is God after-all.

      ICR does not discuss other religions. It is a site dedicated to creationism. They have a boat-load of PhD's working on Noah's flood and other things. Somethings I don't agree with. But Noah's flood is one of many things I do agree with them. For the flood was a reality and explains so much of what I see in the earth. The current model by the uniformatarists has fatal problems. Anyway, I hope you gain some good information from ICR. Ira

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  5. eRichard: Think of it this way. If we did not have the Book of Mormon, or more specifically the Book of Ether, we would not know how animals got to the American continent after the Flood. But with the Book of Ether, we know that domesticated and wild animals reached here in the Barges that brought the Jaredites. We also know that once Panama rose up out of the water to form a land bridge to North America, animals made their way in that direction (called the Great Exchange). We also know the Spaniards and Europeans brought some animals to the Americas with them to round out the issue.
    Also, we have to keep in mind that not every animal, insect, bird, etc., we see today were on the Ark. Natural selection and natural growth, change, and alteration take place among the same species. All of this is not a mystery, simply God resupplying the continents where needed after the Earth was divided in Peleg’s time. Between the Flood and Peleg animals do what they have always done—they seek new lands and habitats when the need arises…and, no doubt, when they are driven to do so by the Lord.
    Of course, the jury is still out in the animals found “down under.”

  6. eRichard: Regarding the site you indicated, except for the Wombat, all the other animals are simply natural selection variations of normal animals, such as tortoise, monkeys, sharks, bee, butterfly, Rhino, etc. The Durrelli is closely related to the mongoose. Over time, many animal species develop unique offshoots which is neither unusuaul nor unexpected.

  7. One item from Walt Brown's Hydroplate theory: Immediately after the flood sea levels were much (1 to 3 miles) lower than they are today. There were land routes available for animals to disperse around the world. As the world shifted back into a more spherical shape, sea levels slowly rose until they "divided the land".