Riddles and Secrets - Noah - Global Flood Theories

Global Flood Theories

I did not realize Noah was a riddle until National Geographic TV told me so. Their program Riddles of the Bible: The Search for Noah does a credible job of portraying itself as a balanced exploration of the subject of Noah, his ark and his flood. But being portrayed as balanced and being balanced are not the same thing.

The program interviews a number of advocates for different theories. Those advocating the Young Earth Creationist theories are not scientists or academics, those advocating the other theories are. There is no shortage of Ph.D. scientists and academics who believe in a Young Earth Creationism to interview, but somehow they rarely make it onto programs that question the historicity of the Bible.

I’ve already dealt with Noah’s Ark in other hubs and this program had no nothing new to add to the debate so I’ll skip to the flood. Three Global Flood theories are presented.

The first is a theory that was put forward by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb in their book The Genesis Flood. This is the Canopy theory, basically it states that in the beginning there was a water vapour canopy over the earth and when this collapsed it caused the flood of Noah. This theory is dealt with by the shows narrator. This theory was tested and falsified by creationists and has been abandoned. The shows producers may have decided to use it because of the popularity of the book and the fact that is still available, although superseded in creationist circles by Earth’s Catastrophic Past by Andrew Snelling.

The theory gaining credibility in creationist circles these days is Catastrophic Plate Tectonics. This theory uses Plate Tectonics to explain Noah’s flood, only it does so at much faster rates than those observed today. This theory was tested as a simulation on the super computers of Los Alamos National Labs and was found to explain not only the flood but many of the features that are seen in geology today. The reason it was tested at Los Alamos was that the theory was devised by a geophysicist working at the lab, Dr. John Baumgardner. For many years he was responsible for super computer modeling of Plate Tectonics at the lab, and he is a young earth creationist.

The second theory is presented as the eruption of geysers. A vast oversimplification and debunkers method of presenting evidence. This theory is dealt with by a scientist from the National Center for Science Education, an antagonistically anti-creationist organization. The actual theory is the Hydroplate Theory of Walter Brown as presented in his book In the Beginning. Walter Brown and his colleagues are never interviewed. Rather than a bunch of Old Faithful type geysers gently erupting and spraying a bit of water in the air Walter Brown hypothesizes a 46,000 mile long globe encircling fountain spewing water at supersonic speeds to the top of the atmosphere, a far different picture than the one given on the show.

The final theory is the Comet Impact Theory put forward by archaeologist Bruce Masse of Los Alamos National Labs. The Comet Impact Theory postulates that comets striking the earth caused massive tsunamis and floods which found their way into myths. He is the only theorist allowed to present and defend his own theory. Bruce Masse is not a creationist but he has co-edited a book on Geomythology. This is of course the study of catastrophic events in the past and how they have influenced myths and folklore.

I find it unfortunate that National Geographic chose not to interview creationist theorists about their own work, then they would have had a balanced examination of Noah’s flood. Of course, then, instead of having a riddle they would have had answers, and not everyone wants answers. What the show does is question the historicity of the Bible and then suggests that there may be another explanation. That explanation is the Local Flood Theory.

 

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