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Evidence for the Biblical Flood

Updated on September 21, 2012

Dr. Michael Shermer, a well known skeptic, doesn’t believe there was a biblical worldwide flood. He tries to explain it away by citing a similar Sumerian account written much earlier. And then throws in a myriad of legendary mythological flood stories found in other cultures. Shermer is the founding Publisher of Skeptic Magazine, Executive Director of the Skeptics Society and columnist for Scientific American.

As Shermer states, it’s true virtually every major culture has a flood story. However, that doesn’t necessarily discredit the Bible’s account. If it did, why aren’t there any tales being told about other global catastrophes such as a worldwide fire? There seems to be silence in those areas, whereas everybody talks about the flood. Perhaps, there was a flood and due to countless retelling throughout the centuries some details got slightly changed, but basic facts stayed intact.

Since the question of whether God caused the flood is an entirely different subject, this article will deal only with secular scientific facts.

Many skeptics point to Noah’s Ark to support their claim. Have you heard statements like this before? “Noah couldn’t fit millions of species into the Ark, so the Bible is obviously wrong!” Not necessarily. Noah was not ordered to rescue two of every species, but two of every kind. That’s a huge difference. Let’s look at what the Bible actually says.

“Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.”(Genesis 6:20)

Noah didn’t need to rescue two lions and two tigers. He would only have needed a pair of one of them. Both were a kind of cat. Other species of cat would have developed from this pair by rapid speciation later. Note that speciation is not evolution. It involves variation of the existing gene pool, not generation of new genetic information. According to the dimensions given in the Bible it is estimated this would have taken less than the total space on just one of the three decks. Virtually every culture has stories about a flood. They are similar in they all usually have a family being saved by a boat or raft.

Layers of fine mud or silt strata containing the same elements can be found across the planet including under the polar ice caps. Scientists are aware of this but disagree on what caused it. Could forty days and nights of settling following a deluge of water have caused it?

Is there any real concrete proof the flood actually occurred? Yes. In sedimentary strata found almost everywhere throughout the world there is flat or "pancake" layered strata. Many so extensive they cover thousands of square miles. Evolutionists tell us such layers were deposited slowly over millions of years or are simply river deposits or river deltas. However a growing number of geologists are beginning to see problems with these explanations.

First there is virtually no evidence of erosion between the layers. Secondly the sheer size and extent of the strata suggests the layers were formed by neither, because many of the layers are quite thick.

This, along with marine fossils buried in many of the layers, show they were deposited by ocean currents such as a major worldwide flood of such gigantic proportion never before seen. In Mountains all over the world one can find Sea shells and other marine fossils in mountain ranges across the globe including the Sierras, Swiss Alps and Himalayas.

The mountain of evidence supporting the flood could fill volumes. For instance, in bogs covering glacial deposits in Michigan, skeletons of two whales were discovered. How did whale skeletons from a post-glacial period end up in a bog? Glaciers don’t carry whales and an ice sheet would not have deposited them in the middle of a continent. The only explanation is there was an ocean or sea in Michigan after the glacial epoch a few thousand years ago…not millions.

Bones of other whales have also been found 440 feet above sea level, north of Lake Ontario and another in Vermont, over 500 feet above sea level. And yet another was discovered in the Montreal-Quebec area about 600 feet above sea level.

In the past, scientists largely dismissed the flood as a myth or local flood because the consensus was there could not have been enough rainwater to cover the world as high as Mount Everest. However, recent discoveries in plate tectonics and crustal physics reveal a much flatter Earth could have easily been flooded.

Further evidence is shown in the following facts:

  • Currently it’s virtually impossible for rain to fall for forty uninterrupted days on one localized area.
  • The flood waters remained for over a year. That couldn’t have occurred in a local flood.
  • To be higher than the highest mountains, the flood could not have been local.
  • To cover mountains continually for that length of time the flood could not have been local.
  • If it was a local flood, people living elsewhere would have escaped, yet according to current archaeological evidence, civilization appears to have originated in the Ararat/Babylon region. Additionally, genealogical records of many European kings can be traced back to Japheth, son of Noah.
  • The enormous size of the ark could hold much more than just the species of animals found in a local area.
  • An in depth study of population growth statistics confirm there was zero population at the estimated time of the end of the flood. This indicates a global demise of humans.
  • The oldest human artifacts ever discovered date to the post-flood era.
  • Studies show most of the world's folded beds of sediment have no compression fractures, indicating that they were formed while still wet and soft. For this to occur on a global scale, and on sediment thousands of meters thick, it would have required a catastrophic global flood.
  • There is an absence of physical evidence indicating a time change between rocks of successive ages. Sedimentary rock layers worldwide seem to have been formed very rapidly, as by a global flood.
  • Globally, there is an almost no evidence of animal and plant root activity within the layers of sediment. Slowly deposited layers would show this activity, whereas flood deposits wouldn't.
  • Fossil are found worldwide, in rocks from all time periods often in the wrong order. Only a cataclysmic global flood could achieve this.
  • There is worldwide distribution of most fossil types, suggesting they were transported on a global scale.
  • Meteorites are largely absent from the geologic column. With the number of meteorites hitting the earth each year, they should be plentiful…unless much of the world's sedimentary rocks were laid down in one year.
  • Water level marks found at mountain heights worldwide are consistent with the recession of a global flood.
  • Only modern sediments show any evidence of surface drainage systems. If the world's sedimentary rocks were laid down by a global flood there would be no sign of drainage erosion, except for the top layers eroded during the receding flood waters.
  • Hydrologic evidence points to the rapid deposition of sedimentary rock layers occurring in one continuous episode.


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    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      According to Biblical chronology the global flood occurred approximately 4500 years ago. When first discovered the Venus of Willendorf was thought to date to approximately 15,000 to 10,000 BCE, or more or less to the same period as the cave paintings at Lascaux in France. In the 1970s the date was revised back to 25,000-20,000 BCE, and then in the 1980s it was revised again to c. 30,000-25,000 BCE. A study published in 1990 now indicates a date of around 24,000-22,000 BCE. The methods used in dating these artifacts are not known for there accuracy.


      This seems to be a moot question. If the biblical flood was earth-wide, then clearly Noah had marsupials on the ark, and the species has since died out in other areas. Indeed, if I am not mistaken, marsupials exist on 6 continents.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      The Venus of Willendorf is one human artifact that is dated between 22,000 and 24,000 years BC. That's one you forgot, or did you just conveniently forget to mention it.

      How were the marsupials saved? Or did they have kangaroos in the middle east around the time of Noah?

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      I never heard of the black eyed kids before. I'll have to look that up. Thanks.

    • efeyas profile image

      efeyas 5 years ago from Some Sunny Beach, USA

      Well done. It was funny I came across this hub as I was comparing the Nephilm to Black Eyed Kids. (I know, I know, crazy but plausible if your not a straight up skeptic). I actually mentioned Noa and the flood. It was interesting to get these facts.