The Flood of Noah is one of the focal point arguments for young-earth faith. Since of this, I have been asked what I think the Flood of Noah was like.
To answer this concern, let us initially take a look at what the Flood is not … it is not the event that has been explained by the young-earth theorists. There is no possible way the Flood might produce the rock record we see, nor might the flood produce all the coal layers, oil reserves, or chalk layers that we see in the rocks. If you want to check out these subjects first, click on them to analyze them in closer detail.
Was the Flood Global?
This is probably the biggest concern I get asked. This will be a short response to such a huge question, however … no.
You may ask how I can believe in an inerrant Bible if I do not believe the Flood was worldwide. The Bible states the waters covered the whole face of the earth (Gen. 7:19). However, when thinking about any writing, one must consider the author’s perspective.
If you clean out mankind, which all existed in one geographic location, you might easily state the Flood was worldwide, considering that everywhere that male lived, it was flooded. You are in your home, and a flood comes and covers your whole house, leaving you sitting on your roof, with no land in sight. This flood occasion may not be worldwide, or, over the entire surface area of the earth, however to you, it is certainly ‘worldwide’, for your entire world, all the land that you own, all the land that you can see, is flooded.
All the flood stories from around the world originated from Noah, since all mankind is come down from him. If you are Noah, on the Ark, floating around with no land in sight for months on end, you too would definitely call the Flood global.
If the Flood was global, there is no evidence that it covered the whole earth, either geologically or from writings, including the Bible. It was definitely ‘worldwide’ from Noah’s perspective, but we cannot be particular that he entirely circled the world to show that it was certainly worldwide.
In Genesis 8:11, the dove that Noah sent brought back an olive leaf as evidence of dry land. Let’s look a little closer at this from a young-earth viewpoint.
In order to show the Flood, and the required erosion that took place in order to transfer all the rock layers we see today, two young-earth theorists, Baumgardner and Barnette, worked out a simulation of the present patterns and speeds if the entire world was covered in water.( Footnote 1) The crucial thing to note here is that the water currents were at least 131 feet per second, or more than 89 miles per hour! (Actual speeds varied in between 89 MPH and 194 MPH). At that velocity, all formerly existing trees would have been torn from their roots, and there would be no living trees or plants to survive the flood. So, where did the olive leaf come from? It would have to be a leaf from a seedling which the dove restored, since none of the pre-existing trees would have survived.
Considering that none of these trees might have endured, there would have been no plant food for any of the animals (or Noah) to eat. How did the plant-eating animals survive after they were launched from the Ark? The young-earth design can not answer this.
How did the meat-eating animals make it through? They would naturally need to right away eat the plant-eaters, which would have made them extinct within a matter of weeks. The young-earth global flood model again fails to address this.
However, if the Flood were local, not international, then the animals would merely need to migrate a short range to find food. Clearly, the local flood model is the just one which can realistically describe survival of animal types after the Flood of Noah.
Exactly what about the other continents … where they flooded? Was Australia flooded? A young-earth flood model can not explain the wildlife habitat varies that we see today in Australia, nor the other continents.
Young earth theorists fast to use dinosaur graveyards as proof of Noah’s Flood. They claim the dinosaurs herded together, then were quickly buried. This description is not feasible.
The dinosaur graveyards described are mainly in North America, in sediments in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Canada. Looking at the positioning of the rock layers, there are thousands of feet of sediment below these layers that the young-earth theorists declare were deposited by the Flood.
To make this more reasonable, let’s take a look at the Grand Canyon. Steven Austin, in his book Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe, declares the Canyon rocks represent those which were transferred during the increasing waters phase of the Flood (Figure 4.1). The “Late Flood”, or receding water rock deposits, are the Mesozoic sediments.
Clearly, the dinosaurs were alive and well, after the statement in Genesis 7:21 -23 that all living things were killed during the very first forty days of the flood. Clearly, the young earth flood model can not describe the dinosaur fossil distribution in the rock record. If one accepts a local flood event, with the dinosaurs having lived over 65 million years earlier, there are no problems.
The young-earth flood design fails on its face when compared to the rock record. There is no global, geological evidence for a flood, nor can the young-earth model discuss animal survival when there was no food supply, animal circulation ranges, nor dinosaurs which survived the first forty days of the flood.
The old-earth explanation can handle all these problems. You can believe in an old earth, and still believe in Noah’s Flood. It was not “worldwide” over the entire earth, however it definitely was “international” if you remained in Noah’s shoes.
1 Baumgardner and Barnette (icr.org/index.php?module=research&action=index&page=researchp_jb_patternsofcirculation).
There is no possible way the Flood could produce the rock record we see, nor could the flood produce all the coal layers, oil reserves, or chalk layers that we see in the rocks. If you wipe out humanity, which all existed in one geographical area, you might easily state the Flood was worldwide, because all over that guy lived, it was flooded. If you are Noah, on the Ark, drifting around with no land in sight for months on end, you too would certainly call the Flood worldwide. Young earth theorists are fast to use dinosaur graveyards as proof of Noah’s Flood. You can think in an old earth, and still think in Noah’s Flood.