Question: Could a Global Flood Have Happened?
The short answer to this is absolutely not for a host or logistical and scientific reasons. The National Center for Science Education has a detailed guide (The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark by Robert Moore) outlining numerous problems with the Genesis flood including responses to positions held by some young-earth defenders. TalkOrigins has an excellent article, Problems with Global Flood, by Mark Isaak as well, The many scientific and logistical problems with a global flood are well known and this section is going to be short as there is no reason to reinvent the wheel or dwell on this topic since there is no evidence possible that could convince some defenders of a global flood that their belief is incorrect. As Henry Morris wrote
But the main reason for insisting on the universal flood as a fact of history and as the primary vehicle for geological interpretation is that God's word plainly teaches it! No geologic difficulties, real or imagined, can be allowed to take precedence over the clear statements and necessary inference of Scripture."
If these same believers thought the Bible told us the sun was made from cheese and yogurt, or that details got reversed and Jonah actually swallowed a whale for three days, I expect a response of, "God said it and that settles it."
Ten Problems with a Global Flood
- There isn't enough water on the earth to cover the earth's tallest mountains. God could make more water but the account seems to presuppose he used preexisting reservoirs (e.g. springs of the deep).
- Are we to imagine all dinosaurs and pre-historic creates were on the ark? How did penguins, polar bears and kangaroos make it to Noah and return home afterwards? What about sloths from South America? Some animals would have needed to swim tens of thousands of miles across vast oceans or trek thousands of miles through perilous landscapes they might not be adapted to in order to board the ark. Countless animals are found in specific geographic regions and adapted to very specialized climates.
- Noah and God appear to be failures in a global flood. David Montgomery (Rocks Don't Lie) writes, "Today, Geologists know that more than 99 percent of all animal species that have ever lived are extinct. You don't have to know any geology to know that trilobites, dinosaurs, and saber-toothed tigers no longer live among us (unless you count birds as modern dinosaurs). Given this, it makes no sense to argue that Noah's Flood explains the world's fossils. If that were the case, it would mean the Flood not only caused extinctions but killed off almost all the world's then living species-the very thing that Noah supposedly built his ark to prevent in the first place."
- Genetics rules out the possibility of all humans stemming from only eight people during the time of Noah.
- Archaeologically speaking, we know people lived spread throughout the world at the time of the flood and these civilizations were not wiped out.
- If there was a global flood as Genesis describes then we should expect to see geological evidence of it the world over. Yet there is none. What we have is evidence of slow layering over millions of years.
- How does a family of 8 take care of so many animals? Feeding, caring for, feces removal and so on? Genesis 6:15 tells us Noah brought food in for the animals. This is a logistical nightmare. There are only 1440 minutes in a day. How many different types of animals are there? How are they all fed and with what? Too much food and time is needed.
- What did the lions and other carnivore's eat during and after the flood? Grain? Imagine the animals leave the ark and survey the barren wasteland caused by the global deluge and then what, most simply just die off? Did some then travel thousands of miles back home only to find no food?
- There are millions of animal species on the planet and many more that have died off. How do they all fit on the ark? How long would it even take them to board? Genesis 7:13-16 seems to imply all living things boarded the ark in one day. How many insects don't even have a life span that would last a year?
- How did Noah, a 600 year old man, was able to build such a humongous vessel when shipbuilding was very primitive at the time and remained so long after? Not to mention the physics of how a wooden ship of that size not only stands up under its own weight but is able to weather the raging flood waters defies possibility.
In order to address these issues one has to multiply miracles exceedingly. God brings the animals, puts them to sleep, provides food, keeps the ship from buckling, returns the animals home, feeds them until animal populations increase significantly, etc. Robert Moore (link above) writes "In fact, these sixty-eight verses of Scripture, when interpreted literally, are crammed with more miracles than any comparable piece of literature anywhere on earth-miracles that are often pointlessly complicated and unedifying." Not to mention, God does nothing to send innocent children to Noah to board the ark. Surely they are not guilty of any crimes. One would think making such arrangeements to save as many children as possible would be the highest priority.