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Friday, April 07, 2006

Noahic Flood - Part Three

Bum-out note: In IE, there is a long blank space between my header and my newest post. This is not so in Mozilla. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Another look at the Noahic Flood. Now, whether you believe the Flood DID happen is a matter of opinion. One chooses to believe the Biblical account, or one does not. The purpose of my many articles is partly to show that the Noahic Flood COULD have happened, that is, that the evidence and scientific knowledge both show that it was a plausible event. Unless, of course, you cannot conceive of the idea of a Creator God. But that is a problem specific to individuals who are limited to a naturalistic view of the world. The rest of us are willing to consider all reasonable possibilities. I happen to believe that the Flood did occur just as the Genesis narrative attests. Here we go...

SALINITY

What about the salinity of the ocean? In the Noahic Flood, how could freshwater fish survive? In fact, how is it we even have freshwater and saltwater fish now? Shouldn't one or the other have been wiped out?

So much water!!!

It should be obvious to the reader that the Bible tells of a world-wide flood. Not some local river flood some 1200 years later, not simply a flooding of the Black Sea.

Genesis 7:17-24 - "For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days."


This was no river flood. There certainly is enough water on earth to accomplish this flood. In an antediluvian world with just one continent, covering the tallest peak by twenty feet could happen with an outpouring of water that had been trapped underground and rising of sea floors, etc. In fact, were the earth flat today the water would cover the entire planet at a depth of 1.7 miles!

Water that had been underground and released to the surface would tend to be much hotter than ocean temperatures and also have little or no salinity. At the outset of the Flood, rain inundated the planet for 40 days and 40 nights. So the salinity of the ocean at that time would have been lessened at first. Yet the freshwater fishes that eventually had to transition to floodwaters would still find that the salinity had increased. Saltwater fishes would have more freshwater to deal with. How could they survive?

TODAY'S OCEAN MUCH MORE SALINE

"The ocean is essential for life on Earth, and also helps make the climate fairly moderate. However, although the ocean contains 1,370 million cubic kilometres (334 million cubic miles) of water, humans can’t survive by drinking from it—it is too salty.

To a chemist, ‘salt’ refers to a wide range of chemicals where a metal is combined with a non-metal. Ordinary common salt is a compound formed when the metal sodium combines with the non-metal chlorine—sodium chloride. This contains electrically charged atoms, called ions, that attract each other, resulting in a fairly hard crystal. When salt dissolves, these ions separate. Sodium and chloride ions are the main ions in seawater, but not the only ones. The salty seas benefit man, because the ocean provides many useful minerals for our industries.

How old is the sea?

Many processes (see below) bring salts into the sea, while they don’t leave the sea easily. So the saltiness is increasing steadily. Since we can work out how much salt there is in the sea, as well as the rates that salts go into and out of the sea, we should be able to calculate a maximum age for the sea.

In fact, this method was first proposed by Sir Isaac Newton’s colleague, Sir Edmond Halley (1656–1742), of comet fame. More recently, the geologist, physicist, and pioneer of radiation therapy, John Joly, (1857–1933) estimated that the oceans were 80–90 million years old at the most. But this was far too young for evolutionists, who believed that life evolved in the ocean billions of years ago.

More recently, the geologist Dr Steve Austin and the physicist Dr Russell Humphreys analyzed figures from secular geoscience sources for the quantity of sodium ion (Na+) in the ocean, and its input and output rates. The slower the input and faster the output, the older the ocean could be.

Every kilogram of seawater contains about 10.8 grams of dissolved Na+ (about 1% by weight). This means that there is a total of 1.47 x 1016 (14,700 million million) tonnes of Na+ in the ocean.

Sodium input

Water on the land can dissolve salt outcrops, and can weather many minerals, especially clays and feldspars, and leach the sodium out of them. This sodium can be carried into the ocean by rivers. Some salt is supplied by water through the ground directly to the sea—called submarine groundwater discharge (SGWD). Such water is often very concentrated in minerals. Ocean floor sediments release much sodium, as do hot springs on the ocean floor (hydrothermal vents). Volcanic dust also contributes some sodium.

Austin and Humphreys calculated that about 457 million tonnes of sodium now comes into the sea every year. The minimum possible rate in the past, even if the most generous assumptions are granted to evolutionists, is 356 million tonnes/year.

Actually, a more recent study shows that salt is entering the oceans even faster than Austin and Humphreys thought. Previously, the amount of SGWD was thought to be a small fraction (0.01–10%) of the water from surface runoff, mainly rivers. But this new study, measuring the radioactivity of radium in coastal water, shows that the amount of SGWD is as much as 40% of the river flow. This means that the maximum possible age of the ocean is even smaller."
From Salty Seas - evidence for a young earth by Johnathan Sarfati.

Normal runoff from the land increases the salinity of the oceans. Imagine the kind of runoff that would likely have occurred in the midst of a year-long world-wide flood event that included the complete overhaul of the surface of the planet? Could fish have been expected to survive?

A Biologist speaks:

"Much attention has been given to how the animals would be brought to, fit in, and survive on Noah's Ark. But little or no concern has been voiced as to how aquatic animals could have lived outside in the Flood. Obviously, terrestrial air-breathing animals could not live through the land-covering deluge, but one would think aquatic animals would be right at home in all that water. Not so!

Water life has specific physiological and ecological requirements just like terrestrial life. A catastrophe the size of the Flood would certainly bring with it gigantic problems affecting the very survival of many species. Indeed, the fossil record indicates that many taxonomic groups became extinct during the deposition of the geologic sedimentary layers. Some organisms would have simply succumbed to the trauma of the turbulence. Others would have found suitable living space destroyed, and hence died for lack of appropriate habitat. For example, too much fresh water for obligate (bound to) marine species or vice versa would have led to death of those unable to adapt. Not only are there salt-concentration problems, but also temperature, light, oxygen, contaminants, and nutritional considerations. These must all be evaluated in discussing survival of water-dwelling creatures.

To simplify the exercise, five examples have been selected of fishes that are bound to fresh or salt water and those that can go between these major habitats. The chosen fishes (sunfish, catfish, trout, eel, and codfish) will be used to represent clear fresh water, muddy fresh water, anadromous (running up to fresh water from sea water to spawn), catadromous (the reverse) and obligate marine habitats or behavior, respectively. These categories will be discussed with reference to three main factors affecting their survival: salinity, temperature, and turbidity.

PHYSIOLOGICAL RANGES - Salinity

Fish have a problem in balancing the fluids outside their bodies with those inside. In general, freshwater fishes are constantly getting too much fresh water in their bodies from food, drinking water, and tissue transfer. On the opposite side, marine fishes get too little fresh water to maintain fluid balance due to the large input of salt in the drinking water and constant osmotic pressure to draw fresh water out of these tissues into the surrounding sea.

The kidneys and gills are the two organs used to manage this balance. If a freshwater fish gets too much water, then the kidney is called upon to dump as much water as possible while retaining the circulating salts. Marine bony fish have to get rid of the excess salts largely through the gills and conserve the internal water through resorption.

Sea-run trout move from sea water to fresh water to spawn, while eels do just the opposite. Both have to be able to reverse their removal of water and salt according to the amount of salt in their environment. Sun fishes and cod remain in fresh water and sea water, respectively, for their whole life cycle. Salt content might range from nearly zero in freshwater to 35 parts per thousand (x103 ppm or 35,000 mg/l) in sea water. Obligate freshwater fish typically have an upper lethal level of seven parts per thousand (7,000 mg/l). Obligate marine species have a very narrow limit of salt tolerance. Dromous (running/migrating) species are able to adapt to the new environments by osmotic regulation.

Temperature

The range of temperatures tolerated by fishes varies from species to species and the assorted habitats. Some fish have a very narrow range of tolerance at the cold, warm, or hot temperature parts of the heat scale. Others show a wide range of heat tolerance from freezing to hot waters (0-32° C). Developmental stages are frequently limited by narrow temperature requirements within the overall range of the adult.

Most species, including cold-water types, can tolerate at least brief exposures to 24°C and low temperatures approaching 2°C, as long as there are prolonged acclimation periods (several days to weeks). Preferred temperatures for the representative adult fish are as follows: Trout, 16-21°C; sunfish, 16-28°C; catfish, 21-29°C; eel, probably 16-28°C; codfish 12-16° C.

Turbidity

Particulate matter that is in suspension in natural waters is measured photoelectrically as turbidity. It consists of erosional silt, organic particles, bacteria, and plankton. Such materials adversely affect fish by covering the substrate with a smothering layer that kills food organisms and spawning sites. In addition, the molar action of the silt damages gills and invertebrate respiratory structures. Fish combat such materials by secreting mucus that carries the particles away. Indirectly, turbidity screens out light and decreases the photic zone for photosynthesis. The range of turbidity might be described as: clear < 10 ppm (mg/l), turbid 10 to 250 ppm, and very turbid > 250 ppm. Wallen found that many fish species survive turbidities of 100,000 ppm for one week or more.

SURVIVAL STRATEGY - Runoff to the Ocean

Heavy rainfall over the land would quickly fill the river basins with torrential flows. These in turn would empty out onto the encroaching coastline as a freshwater blanket. Odum refers to situations similar to this as a "highly stratified or `salt-wedge' estuary." Such a massive freshwater outflow from the continents would join with the oceanic rainfall to form a halocline or strong density gradient, in which fish flushed out from the land aquatic systems could continue to survive in a freshwater environment. Stratification like this might even survive strong winds, if the freshwater depth was great enough to prevent internal current mixing. Thus, a situation might be envisioned where freshwater and marine fishes could survive the deluge in spite of being temporarily displaced.

Turbidity Flows

On the other hand, large turbid particles and enormous bedloads could move into the ocean as settleable particulate rain and ground-hugging slurries. Heavier particles would fall out in the slower-moving coastal waters, and the mudflows would sediment out over the ocean floor. Although there would be turbulence at the freshwater/saltwater interface, the particle insertion would probably occur without appreciable mixing. With the range of tolerance given above, many fishes might be able to survive extended exposure to high turbidity."

Serendipity at Mount St. Helens

The biotic recovery at Mount St. Helens after the May 18, 1980 eruption demonstrates rapid and widely ranging restoration. Obviously, the Flood would have been one or more orders of magnitude greater a catastrophe than that eruption. But such an event does help us to see ways of recovery.
With regard to the three factors of interest (salinity—approximately alkalinity, in the sense of dissolved solutes—, temperature, and turbidity), significant changes were seen in the affected areas (data transformed to units used previously).

Still, a little more than a month after the eruption, the lake most exposed to the catastrophic event, Spirit Lake, had tolerable alkalinity , ambient temperature, and low turbidity. This is not to deny that all the endemic fish were killed in the event and probably could not have survived if replanted in these waters on June 30, 1980 due to large organic oxygen demands from decaying tree debris and seeps of methane and sulfur dioxide. But within ten years, the lake appears to be able to support fish, as many other aquatic species are back and well established. If the lake were connected directly to the Toutle River, then salmonids probably would have made their reentry by this time.

Perhaps the most significant observation, though, in examining the post-eruption history, is that a variety of habitats within and adjacent to the blast zone survived the event with minimal impact on the continuity of the ecosystem. Meta Lake, within the blast zone for example, had an ice cover at the time of the searing blast, which protected the dormant ecosystem from experiencing much disruption from the heat, anoxia, and air-fall tephra. Fish and support systems picked up where they left off before the onset of the winter season.

Similar experiences were observed in Swift Reservoir, in spite of massive mud and debris flows into the lake by way of Muddy Creek (personal conversation with aquatic biologist on duty at that time). Fish were displaced into the adjacent unaffected watersheds or downstream into lower reservoirs. However, within two years, massive plankton blooms had occurred and ecosystem recovery was well underway with migrant recruits.

Such a confined catastrophe (500 square miles) enables one to project expectations from a major catastrophe, such as the Flood. First, in spite of the enormous magnitude of such events, there appear to be refuges for survival even in close proximity to the most damaging action. Second, recovery can be incredibly fast—from one month to ten years. Third, recruitment from minimally affected zones can occur with normal migratory behavior of organisms. Although some animal and plant populations or even species might be annihilated in such events, remnant individuals can reestablish new populations."
How Could Fish Survive the Genesis Flood? by Kenneth B. Cumming, Ph.D.

See also: How did freshwater and saltwater fish survive the Flood?

The Noahic Flood was intended to entirely wipe out the human race, other than Noah's family, and in doing this God knew he would be destroying most living things. Genesis declares that the air-breathing vertebrates on land and all birds would be killed.

Most sea-life would also die and a large part of the insect world would be destroyed. But God had no requirement to save every kind of creature. He preserved the kinds he chose to keep in the Ark and He knew enough of other kinds of creatures could survive the ordeal so that the earth would be replenished. The diversity coded into the genes of the surviving wildlife would allow for the ecosystems of every niche of the planet to eventually support life and allow man to spread across the globe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tiktaalik

Great name, Tiktaalik. The newly-discovered fossil fish is being celebrated as a transitional form by Darwinists world-wide. Why? Who knows, because they have nothing else to do I guess...Because as Dr. David Menton and Mark Looy, CCO point out:

"There is the coelacanth fish, found in the same geological system (Devonian it is called) as this Tiktaalik discovery, that also has lobed fins. These lobed fins were once thought to enable the coelacanth to walk on the ocean floor (in fact it was, like “Tiklaalik,” once considered by evolutionists to be a type of transitional form). Later, it was determined that the coelacanth fins were used for better maneuvering through the water, and not for walking. The new creature uncovered in the Arctic might be something similar.

Also, there are other creatures (e.g., the Panderichthys) that are thought to be fish and yet appear to be similar in lobe and fin structure to Tiktaalik. In addition, the bones for Panderichthys, Tiktaalik and the coelacanth are imbedded in the muscle, and are not attached to the axial skeleton, which you would find in a reptile or amphibian (and which would be necessary for weight-bearing appendages).

As we often state on this website, keep in mind that evolutionists and creationists have the same facts (e.g., fossils), but interpret the facts uncovered today differently in regard to the past. Because evolutionists want to discover transitional forms, when they find a very old fish with leg-bone-like bones in its fins, they want to interpret this as evidence that it is some sort of transitional creature. However, other fish seem to have the same sort of structure as stated above, and these bones are not constructed as one would expect for weight-bearing legs. It may be just another example of the wonderful design of our Creator God.

All they have actually found is a fish that is another example of a lobe-finned fish (one of which still lives today—the coelacanth) that has bones similar in position to those seen in the arm and wrist of land-walking creatures—except these structures support fins with rays in them, not digits like fingers and toes (and as has been stated, they are NOT connected to the axial skeleton)."


Alas, the "arms" of the Tiktaalik fish are incapable of giving it support. The cute little cartoon fish trying to walk up on shore make for a bit of fun, but Colecanths cannot and do not do it and in fact look just as they did in fossil form. So why would anyone think that Tiktaaliks could and did? Wishful thinking. The big difference between Tiktaalik and Colecanth appears to be that one made it through the flood and one did not.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

AIG tries to respond to Tiktaalik, from the Lacelet.

But the funniest bit from the AIG post has to be this:

"Because evolutionists want to discover transitional forms, when they find a very old fish with leg-bone-like bones in its fins, they want to interpret this as evidence that it is some sort of transitional creature."

Although one would really have to rewrite it like this: because paleontologists want to discover transitional forms, when they find a very old fish dating from the early Late Devonian, after somewhat tetrapody-looking fish but before fishy-looking tetrapods* (where they expected to find it, and indeed went looking with that intention) with leg-bone-like bones in its fins, and other features of its skull, neck, ear and shoulder looking rather tetrapod-like . . .

well, you have to work pretty hard not to see it as a transitional fossil. I suppose it helps if you 'know' there aren't any such things . . .

"Alas, the "arms" of the Tiktaalik fish are incapable of giving it support."
On land? Correct, as far as people can tell. In, say, shallow water?
" Tiktaalik was definitely not a terrestrial animal," Myers points out, but had developed muscular, bony limbs and a strong pectoral girdle that had helped it prop itself up on the substrate, perhaps even holding itself partly out of the water."

"So why would anyone think that Tiktaaliks could and did? "
Well, as you can see, they don't. Tiktaalik, from what we can tell, wasn't there yet. It could see the land (and maybe drag things off it?), but it wasn't going to get there - that was up to its descendants. Think of it as a kind of fishy Moses. : )

* I'm oversimplifying.

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

"from the Lacelet."
By which I mean, of course, from the Lancelet. Wow, from a delicate piece of needlework to a fishlike primative chordate with a notochord instead of a backbone, in the space of a single comment . . . and you say abiogenesis is a problem! : )

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

Tiktaalik might have been able to haul itself up onto shore for a bit, either to escape predators or perhaps? snatch at arthopod prey . . .

And how did the researchers know where (and when) to look?

"Treasured find
Daeschler and Shubin set off to find this missing link in the evolutionary chain back in 1999. The pair targeted Ellesmere Island after noticing that it was listed in an undergraduate textbook as exposed Devonian rock that had not previously been explored for vertebrate fossils.

The desolate area was reachable only by plane, and the weather was so bad that field work could only be done for about two months each summer. The team first walked around the rocky outcrops looking for fossils of plant life that indicated stream or delta sediments, in order to target areas that had once hosted shallow waters. "That is where the action is on the fish-to-tetrapod transition," says Daeschler."

Blogbot word is oatmunp. I guess that would be the technical term for the lump of cooked oatmeal that always sticks to the side of the bowl when you leave it sitting too long before washing it out?

-Dan S.

IAMB said...

I didn't think of this earlier, but you've unwittingly missed another problem by using the hydroplate model to explain where most of the water came from: water trapped underground since the beginning of time won't have enough oxygen dissolved in it for the fish to breathe. Besides just a salinity and heat problem killing the more important oceangoing microbes, you've got unbreathable water for the fish to live in. What do you suggest for this?

As for your AiG "more coming in than going out" article about salinity, I suggest you read this.

creeper said...

"Unless, of course, you cannot conceive of the idea of a Creator God. But that is a problem specific to individuals who are limited to a naturalistic view of the world."

Looks like there are quite a few people out there who believe in a Creator God who still think YEC is not compatible with what we can observe in the world around us today.

"The rest of us are willing to consider all reasonable possibilities."

And a slew of unreasonable ones, it appears.

"The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet."

Could you tell us which version of the Bible you're using, Radar? Most translations have this somewhat different, namely that the water rose twenty feet and that the mountains/hills were covered, not that the mountains/hills themselves were covered to a depth of more than twenty feet. That's a pretty significant difference.

Water rising twenty feet seems much more compatible with a river flood than a global flood.

"It should be obvious to the reader that the Bible tells of a world-wide flood."

Granted, the myth as it stands in the Bible tells of a world-wide flood, but consider the source: it is told from the perspective of a very small group of people who were all in the same place and were unable to gain a wider perspective of what was going on in the world. How we view their story needs to take this into account.

"Not some local river flood some 1200 years later, not simply a flooding of the Black Sea."

If you're referring to the flood myth examination I linked to in a previous comment, that referred to a local river flood in 2900 BC, not 1200 years after the alleged timing of Noah's flood, which would put it around 1148 BC.

The local river flood in ancient Sumer in 2900 BC has the benefit of being supported by archaeological evidence; Noah's global flood does not, and in fact contradicts so much of what we can observe today that YECs have to add an embarrassing roster of corollaries and assumptions to make it all fit somehow.

The excerpt on how habitats and fish survived the eruption of Mt. St. Helens strikes me as somewhat irrelevant, since it does not feature the most important element of the global flood, namely the mixing of all water, and there not being any way for a marine organism to escape this fact.

What has been said about changes in salinity so far, both in Radar's comments and more significantly in iamb's link, indicates that the oceans were not significantly less salty less than 3,500 years ago. A global flood at that time, with not just all waters mixing, but all soil being upset, would have wiped out any fresh-water fish. By what mechanisms and at what rate would these fish have to evolve to result in the variety of fresh-water fish we see today? Do we see evidence of such mechanisms and rates today?

Incidentally, if God wanted to wipe out the human race with the exception of Noah's family, why didn't he just strike them dead on the spot? Why subject millions upon millions of innocent animals to a needlessly agonizing death? Sounds pretty sloppy and/or unnecessarily cruel.

radar said...

Dan S, so far the Tik seems to have lobed fins very much like Colecanth. So, was Colecanth Joshua to Tik's Moses???

I dunno but I had a separated shoulder once. You got a limb that has bones but they don't connect to the skeleton? Don't try supporting weight on it, take it from me!

IAMB, I will read through your link, thanks!

As to unoxygenated water, well, water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen, so where there is water Oxygen is present. Plus, the process of spewing water out into the air (think 'Old Faithful') would tend to mix a bit of air in with the water. These events were not little springs oozing out of the ground, not to flood the earth thoroughly and quickly.

Creeper - "The local river flood in ancient Sumer in 2900 BC has the benefit of being supported by archaeological evidence; Noah's global flood does not, and in fact contradicts so much of what we can observe today that YECs have to add an embarrassing roster of corollaries and assumptions to make it all fit somehow."

Noah's flood is illustrated in the geological rock record and a local flood in Sumer could not have accomplished all that, nor would it explain why there is a flood story in virtually every civilization on every continent. Think Sumer was big news in South America?

That the "flood myth" is found universally is a sign that it is based on a true event, not that people everywhere decided to make up the same or similar story.

Also, what assumptions and corollaries? The earth was flooded, some animals and man were preserved in the Ark, bugs and aquatic life that could survive did and what could not, didn't. This is tricky?

Oh, and those translations mentioned that the mountains were covered. I was using the NIV which is now probably the most-used version amongst Christians now. In any event, if even the mountains are covered (and all the tranlations you mention say this) then that ain't no river flood, bro!

Anyway, a river flood in Sumer just doesn't cut it for explaining the rock formations, flood stories around the globe or the Bible narrative. Just sounds like an unbeliever who was grasping at straws. You probably don't want to seriously consider such an idea.

Debbie said...

To Creepers comment about what the Bible says.

19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.

Genisis 7:19-20 New International Version

No matter what Bible version you have they all agree that the water covered all the mountians.

19The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.

20The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. (New American Standard)

It is obvious that the 15 cubits were not from the ground up but from the mountians up. Noah might have been able to figuer out how high he was above the mountians after the rain stopped and the water started going down.

No evidence for a world wide flood? Why can you find marine fossils in the desserts or on the top of mountians every where all over the world? If they could dig for fossils in Antiarctica they would find them there! Every place you can look for fossils the easyist to find and the most plentiful are marine fossils.

What kind of evidence would you expect from a world wide flood?

radar said...

"Incidentally, if God wanted to wipe out the human race with the exception of Noah's family, why didn't he just strike them dead on the spot? Why subject millions upon millions of innocent animals to a needlessly agonizing death? Sounds pretty sloppy and/or unnecessarily cruel."

Not as cruel, I would think, as using millions upon millions of years of evolution with all that death for so long just to get to where we are now?

God didn't just want to kill of some people, he wanted to destroy the civilization, all they had built, all traces of their accomplishments. He wanted to start over to some extent. Giving men exceedingly long lives and a common language had enabled them to learn new and better ways to do evil, it would seem. This goes a long way towards explaining why he separated out peoples using language just four generations after the flood.

But no matter how long life has been around, since Adam (and Eve) sinned death has been around as well.

Romans 8:18-25 NIV - "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

I believe the Bible says that until sin is dealt with, all of creation suffers death and sorrow as part of the experience of having been given life. If the point of all that is material and natural was to bring forth mankind, then the rest of life and in fact all matter and space was part of the point but not the subject. In the case of animals, however, once dead there is a cessation. No suffering continues for them. Animal life wiped out in the flood did not suffer beyond the event.

creeper said...

"Noah's flood is illustrated in the geological rock record"

On the contrary, there is a shocking absence of anything like that. The creationist claim is that the entire geological rock record is a result of Noah's flood, which doesn't hold up when you consider dating as well as the order in which fossils were deposited.

"and a local flood in Sumer could not have accomplished all that,"

Nice little strawman - nobody said that a local flood in Sumer explains the entire geological record. It does, however, explain the specific evidence for the local flood in that region at that time.

"Also, what assumptions and corollaries? The earth was flooded, some animals and man were preserved in the Ark, bugs and aquatic life that could survive did and what could not, didn't. This is tricky?"

It gets tricky, and the assumptions and corollaries fly hard and fast, when you try to address the "how" of those statements - or try to make them match up with what we can observe around us today.

"Oh, and those translations mentioned that the mountains were covered. I was using the NIV which is now probably the most-used version amongst Christians now."

A good number of translations seem to interpret this differently (consistently so), so what does the original text say?

"In any event, if even the mountains are covered (and all the tranlations you mention say this) then that ain't no river flood, bro!"

Here's how one Christian finds a coherent solution to reconciling the observable with the Bible: Now I think it is reasonably clear from our English translation of the bible that the destruction by the flood of the whole earth is implied. It certainly seems that all mankind is wiped out, but that does not necessarily imply a world wide flood because man might not have spread throughout the world by then. After the flood men stayed in the same area (see Gen 11:4), until their languages were confused and they were scattered over the earth (11:9). While the main purpose of the flood was to wipe out mankind and start again, the animals were affected otherwise why have the ark, see Gen 6:13, 17 in which all animal life is wiped out. In Gen 7:2- the word 'mountain' (har) can be translated 'hill' as in the KJV. Gen 8:4 says that "the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat" again the word mountains, pleural, (har) can be translated hills so the ark could have landed on the foothills of the Ararat range which cover 100,000 sq miles. We should note that the dove (Gen 8:11) brought back an olive leaf and olive trees do not grow above 5,000 ft.

The words usually translated 'earth' adamah and erets do not necessarily mean this round globe called Earth, but can mean country, earth, ground, land and nation. While our English translation clearly states the destruction of the human race we should not rule out the likelihood that mankind lived in a small portion of the Earth and therefore the flood was local. The ark was required to replenish the local animal species, which could be used as food after the flood, see Gen 9:3. From the perspective of the writer it would be the whole known then earth. It should also be pointed out that Genesis was written to show the history of the line that would produce Abraham and his offspring through whom the whole earth would be blessed, Gen 12:3.


"Anyway, a river flood in Sumer just doesn't cut it for explaining the rock formations,"

A river flood in Sumer does cut it to explain the specific evidence for the flood at that time in that region. This local flood isn't intended to explain all the rock formations in the world, and neither is any local flood.

A global flood is also not able to account for all the rock formations in the world (can it even plausibly explain the Hutton unconformity?). The sorting of organisms into layers that correspond directly to the phylogenetic tree is something that a recent and global flood can not explain.

"Not as cruel, I would think, as using millions upon millions of years of evolution with all that death for so long just to get to where we are now?"

Umm... "evolution with all that death"? Also with all that life, no? Some dying of old age, some of disease, some violently at the hands of predators or natural disasters? Not terribly different from life on Earth today.

"God didn't just want to kill of some people, he wanted to destroy the civilization, all they had built, all traces of their accomplishments. He wanted to start over to some extent."

That actually makes sense, Radar. Thank you for the answer.

"In the case of animals, however, once dead there is a cessation. No suffering continues for them. Animal life wiped out in the flood did not suffer beyond the event."

Once the animals had died violently and were actually dead, they didn't suffer any more. That's a good one, Radar!

creeper said...

By the by... where did that olive leaf come from?

IAMB said...

As to unoxygenated water, well, water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen, so where there is water Oxygen is present.

But fish don't get their oxygen by splitting water molecules... the only thing that can do that is photosystem II in noncyclic photophosphorylation (sorry, there's no short way to say it) but that particular process won't happen in the absence of light, since the only reason the photosystem splits water in the first place is to replace the electron ejected into photosystem I. That first electron will never be ejected without light because it's the light energy that excites it enough to be ejected in the first place.

Even if the underground water already had a decent concentration of photosynthetic microbes and such, they would have died anyway. A photosynthetic cell has to get energy from cellular respiration (same thing all animals do... break glucose down to get energy) in the absence of light, and that process cannot keep the cell alive for long without a constant input of glucose and oxygen.

Either way, the oxygen problem remains.

creeper said...

"No evidence for a world wide flood? Why can you find marine fossils in the desserts or on the top of mountians every where all over the world?"

I don't recall ever finding a marine fossil in my dessert - unless the chocolate ones count... :-)

Even creationists agree on the reason for mountains being there in the first place: they used to be lower but were then pushed up because of the movement/separation of continents. We simply disagree about the timeframe on that one.

Same for deserts - used to be water there. The timeframe is what we disagree on.

That reminds me of that lovely George Carlin skit about how the stewardesses/air hostesses tell you how to put on your life jacket, and how you should put it on even if you're traveling over land, because even if your plane goes into the ground like a [...]ing dart, in 2000 years, when archaeologists dig up your remains, they'll think there was a [...]ing river here!

"If they could dig for fossils in Antiarctica they would find them there!"

Antiarctica sounds cool. I could see how they went for Antarctica in the end - it rolls off the tongue just a little bit easier - but Antiarctica could be the name of a computer game or something. Anyway -

Antarctica has a certain history according to the scientific consensus, and that leads to a certain number of predictions as to what you will and won't find there.

It's a weird thing, this ability of the naturalistic process of science being able to make predictions with increasing accuracy (as a result of being testable) as it goes along...

For example, according to the theory of evolution we can make predictions according to the phylogenetic tree and a timeline of millions of years, and can predict with pleasing accuracy where, for example, we could find Tiktaalik. "Creation science" tells us we should find the fossils of a kangaraoo within less than 5000 years of evolution (that's microevolution, mind) from the modern kangaroo somewhere radiating out from Mount Ararat.

Surely all those kangaroos didn't go marching straight to Australia, making sure to carry their dead with them over generations and generations.

Imagine someone finding a kangaroo fossil in, say, northeast Africa. Or the Caucasus.

"Every place you can look for fossils the easyist to find and the most plentiful are marine fossils."

Since most of our planet is covered in water (and even more of it was covered in water at one time or another), it comes as no surprise that most fossils are marine ones. (If that is indeed true - one has reason to be suspicious of your sources.)

"What kind of evidence would you expect from a world wide flood?"

I would expect the fossils found in those strata to be a heck of a lot more jumbled up than we find them to be - not so neatly and consistently aligned according to the phylogenetic tree all the time. Can you imagine the slam dunk for "creation science" if they came up with a clear example of the odd human that didn't run up to the top of the highest mountain and actually died at the very end of the flood? You know, some village somewhere at the bottom of a valley (along the river, where villages often are) that just happened to be overcome by a mudslide, perfectly perserving some antediluvian "wicked" people who then wound up underneath the strata of, say, dinosaurs and such?

What are the odds of that? According to the YEC scenario, they should be pretty good.

But there's no sign of 'em.