This week, we are continuing our discussion on Noah’s Flood–and the many reasons to believe it wasn’t a worldwide flood.
According to the National Center for Science Education, the flood story is not unique to the Bible. The Qu’ran tells of a nearly identical story, and older stories exist in Babylonian epics. Scientific evidence gives us some other ideas.
The Bible says it rained for 40 days, and that the water stayed on the earth for 150 days. Then, the waters gradually receded until the seventh month and 17th day, when the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. One year, two months and 27 days later, the earth dried enough so that Noah, his family and the load of animals could leave the Ark.
All over the world there are fossils some believe to be of the life lost during the flood. However, interlayered with these fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks on all of the continents are layers of evaporite rock salt, gypsum, anhydrite, and various potash magnesium salts, which are associated with red beds containing fossilized mud cracks.
This can get pretty detailed, and you can read the details if you like on the National Center for Science Education’s website. The point is that there is scientific evidence that says the flood was not worldwide.
In addition, a bird is said in the story to have brought a leaf to the Ark—indicating dry land. If plant life spent over a year submerged in water, it would no longer be the same. It probably would take plant life quite a while to be restored.
According to a forum on Quora, the plants die when submerged in water because they can’t get any air. Plants require carbon dioxide, which is produced by humans when they breathe in the oxygen the plants produce.
This brings another point: Without plants, there is no oxygen for people. Scienceline UCSB outlines many details that a world filled with water would have to deal with, including changes to the ecosystem, natural resources, rising temperatures, and many other things.
This is assuming there was plenty of resources of food and water for all of the life aboard the ark. Granted, the freshwater rain probably kept everyone from being dehydrated–but they didn’t exactly have canned goods in Noah’s day.
In Genesis 7: 21-23, it reads: And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth and all mankind, Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.
The only explanation for it all is that the flood simply was not worldwide. It was regional, and applied to the people involved. Shem, Noah’s son, told the story in Genesis, which depicted his first-hand account.