Message 1 of 2 (34053)
03-10-2003 1:08 PM
There Must Be Fifty Ways To Leave Your Flooder:
Was the food sent, Kent?
Is the meteor dead, Fred?
Are the varves amiss, Chris?
The allele's your defeat, Pete!
Face up to the facts, Jack
Read some Darwin, Quinn
See the transposon, Ron
Say, "Myths be gone!"
Recently, a Genesis flood thread started here. I was never asked nor consulted prior to the thread being opened, just expected to intuit its existence, show up and perform!
Pointing out that there is no evidence for a global flood was a waste of time. Offering URLs to a host of articles (including some by an ex-creationist) detailing how ridiculous a global flood is, was a waste of time. Instead, it was demanded that I give three disproofs of a non-existent entity! What the point of that was supposed to be given that the evidence I had already presented was totally disregarded is a mystery to me.
I got bogged down in more muddied waters than a real global flood could precipitate. The present thread is intended to redress that, but we need to set a few ground rules in addition to the usual rules required for posting to these boards.
I am going to assume a very literal interpretation of Genesis and a 6,000 year old Earth (similar in character to the one we now inhabit). If your position differs, you need to start by stating and supporting your position, and answering a few basic questions:
a. When did your flood occur? What is your evidence? (I will assume 4,350 years ago.
b. How high did your flood rise above present-day sea level? What is your evidence? (I will assume it had to cover today's highest mountains). If you disagree, how high were your highest mountains back then? What is your evidence, and how did the heights change?
c. How deep were your ocean basins back then? If it differs from today, what is your evidence, and how did the depths change?
d. Which parts of the geologic record, precisely, did the flood form, and what was the mechanism which formed the remaining beds, if any? What is your evidence?
e. If your ark did not depart from the Middle East and come aground in the mountains of Armenia, what did it do and what is your evidence?
f. What's your definition of "kind" as used in Genesis? Without a scientific answer, the only intelligent response is to equate "kind" with species. Creationists have a sliding definition of "kind" and equate it to genus in order to keep the ark population small, but even unsophisticated peoples tend to categorise animals at species level (if only for the organisms they normally interact with). If you believe Noah differed, what is your evidence?
Second, I will address only topics ennumerated below (or that arise from the above iterated points). If you are going blather about your obsessive-compulsive relationship with whacky genetic scenarios, you're in the wrong thread. Please address only topics listed or material directly relevant.
There are myriad problems for a global flood, so breathe a sigh of relief that I *only* list fifty. Unlike the earlier thread, I am not demanding that a particular creationist answer all or lose. Nor am I taking the cowardly way out and asking creationists to offer their best three "proofs" so I can pretend the universe hinges on it. If you come in here, it is your choice. If you want to tackle all fifty, it is your choice. If you want to tackle only one, it is your choice. If you don't want to tackle any, stay out of this thread. If all you want to do is whine, stay out of this thread.
This is a laymen's thread, not an original work in _Science_ or _Nature_. Keep your arguments succinct and direct, so anyone can join in, but support them with references, preferably online so we can all check them out. Unsupported, unreasonable, illogical and nonsensical arguments will be ignored.
Attempts to support your case solely by appeal to Biblical authority will be ignored. Unless you can cite support from extra-Biblical sources, you have no argument.
Since Genesis is the foundation of creationism, I have tackled that in the first section. I have had creationists squeal like stuck pigs when I do this, yet those same creationists feel free to attack Darwin and Dawkins without mercy. This is nothing short of hypocrisy. Be warned: the view that the Bible is a reliable or scientific source will be under fire in this thread.
Last I heard, the Bible was not written by biologists, chemists, geologists, or physicists. Last I heard, the Bible was not even hand-written by any god. The Bible was written by humans - primitive, superstitious, fallible human scribes who *claimed* they had the authority of a god. I don't buy this, and clearly the writers had essentially not an iota of real scientific knowledge.
I don't care if the majority believes whole-heartedly in a God and creation. Science is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship, ruled by the iron fist of fact and rational interpretation thereof. Blind appeals to authority or majority will be ignored.
Finally, if you must show off your prowess in regurgitating technical terms, then define what you mean or reference a definition. Too many creationists misuse terms and have a poor grasp of grammar and spelling. It is not my job to try and figure out exactly what you mean, whether you used the right word, or what the point is that you are supposedly making. It is your job to make your arguments unambivalent, intelligible and succinct.
I will not respond to argument that is irrelevant or makes no sense.
So we begin. The points are divided into several sections, but numbered sequentially from 1 to 50.
A. The Poor Reliability of the Bible Itself
1. I find it very curious that the Bible does not seem to have found any form until after the Israelites conquered Canaan and absorbed its gods Yaweh and El. With few exceptions, authorship and dates are educated guesses at best and the dividing line between mythical and historical is thin. If the Bible had never existed and someone wrote it word for word today, trying to make the same divine claims for it, who would believe it? Such a claimant would be laughed out of town. Yet take that exact text and transport it back into 3,000 years of anonymity, and lo! it becomes sacred. Why? See http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbible1.html
2. The oldest Old Testament is the "J" source, dating c.1000 BC, over a millennium after the flood and three millennia after the creation! 1,300 years is too long a time for humans to maintain a pure oral tradition. This alone heavily favors inaccuracy and exaggeration. The most that creationists can claim is some integrity once the stories were recorded, but the Bible itself testifies that that records have been lost and distorted. This is hardly the hallmark of divine supervision. See http://www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/6/976which.html
Creationists must admit that the only way early Genesis stories can have come to us is through Noah! He was not chosen, according to the Bible, because of his detailed and precise knowledge of history, but because of his piety. So much for accuracy.
3. The Bible demonstrably has errors. For example, the last verse of 2 Chronicles (26:23) ends in mid sentence. The same story starts over in the next book and actually runs to completion in Ezra 1:3. Clearly this is a gross copying error. If an error of this obvious magnitude has escaped correction, what does this say about important, but less easily discernible errors? See also:
4. The Bible writers rarely, if ever, personally experienced the events they wrote about. The stories are nothing more than myth, legend, hearsay, and some history, parts of which were stolen from earlier cultures. For example, Sumerian myth says that the first man was made from clay and a god's blood (the red earth that gave Adam his name) and the story of Atrahasis and the god Enki are clearly the source of the Genesis creation and flood stories. See http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/a/c/acj2/sumer.htm
B. The Poor Logic of the Genesis Flood Story
5. In Gen. 1:7, God put waters above the firmament. Not only is this scientifically impossible, but it indicates that God was already planning the flood! If he knew the flood was inevitable, why not start with Noah instead of Adam? Why start a flood to create suffering and necessitate Noah's ark? Why start all that wondrous creation, knowing you're going to viciously destroy it 1,650 years later - a blink of the eye to an eternal god? Did God delight in drowning innocent children? If he wanted to start over, why not reverse time rather than creation?
(The vapor canopy doesn't work: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/canopy.html)
6. How could a perfect creation deteriorate in only 1,650 years? And why did god have to flood the planet to fix it? Could he not have simply made the evil humans dematerialise and leave everything else as it was? And why did Noah need to build the ark and rescue the animals? Any god worthy of the title could have readily made a protective enclave for Noah, where the animals would be safe, and food and clean water would not be a problem. Why did the flood have to last for almost a year? Where did the dove find an olive leaf in Genesis 8? Were olive trees really still growing strong after almost a year under saltwater?! And what was the point of God's covenant in Genesis 9, if he knew perfectly well that very shortly he would be sending Armageddon upon us? Some promise!
7. How could Noah have grown grapes immediately after the flood in what had to have been at best a salt marsh and at worst, bare rock? Does it really illustrate God's wisdom that the best human he could find to save was a drunkard who cursed his son for having the decency to cover up his father's nakedness?
C. The Flood-Wall of Evidence
Part I - The Ark
8. The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla. May 14, '98) reported 31 animals dying at Disney's Orlando Florida theme park (out of 1,000 or so). These animals had the best care money could buy, spacious and stable accomodations, and an army of caretakers. How could Noah have kept animals alive on a dark, dirty boat with poor food, no light, and only eight people who had never even seen such animals before? See:
for problems of confining animals.
The Bible itself forbids attempts to minimise the menagerie: "And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark", says Gen. 6. Or was it seven: " Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee seven and seven, the male and his female; and of the beasts that are not clean two, the male and his female...", says Gen. 7. Or was it two? "Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creepeth upon the ground, there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark" says Gen. 7.
The male and *his* female. These were not juveniles, but breeding pairs. Otherwise what was the point?!
"Of every clean beast"? Who knew what was clean? The law settling that wasn't written until long after the flood! Did someone forget which part of the Bible they were inventing when they wrote that?
Creationists pretend that no aquatic life would need to be aboard: that it would survive a global mud-soup; that saltwater life could survive in fresh water; that freshwater organisms wouldn't die in brine. They try to pretend that no insects would have been on board because "creeping things" means reptiles; that insects could survive for almost a year with no food; that seeds buried in tons of mud under hundreds of feet of brine would magically sprout and grow!
No creationist has ever dared put this story to the test by actually building an ark, loading it, and setting afloat for 11 months, or by burying seeds under similar conditions to see if they grow. I guess they have no faith.
The Bible demands that everything not on the ark perish: Gen. 7:4-17: "everything that is in the earth shall die." The Bible brooks no creationist excuses. Every living thing. Everything that draws breath. Even whales draw breath. Even insects do. They, too, would have had to be on the ark.
There are some 4,600 mammal species, 9,000 reptiles and amphibians, over 10,000 birds. This doesn't even touch fish and insects, nor does it address millions of extinct species. All had to be represented if there is no evolution. But then creationists admit to evolution. See: http://makeashorterlink.com/?F23C12CB3 which convincingly demonstrates that if foxes are the dog "kind", then humans must be the chimpanzee "kind"!
9. The Bible says God made animals gather at the ark - but Noah had to get the food. How did Noah and the seven dwarfs gather enough food not only for the ark, but for the barren months after they dismbarked? How did they keep the food fresh?
10. How did they physically get over 20,000 pairs of wild, strange, scary animals and birds, most of which they had never seen before, aboard and secured in their cages in only 7 days (Gen. 7)? This means two pairs, boarded and caged, every minute! If God miraculously sent animals and food, why not miraculously send an ark already loaded?! How did the ark occupants breathe with only one window? Who cleaned the massive amounts of manure? Who fed and watered all those animals?
11. How did the ark survive the flood? It was of questionable design to begin with. Noah had no boat building experience. No other wooden boat that size was ever built. Where did he get the design? Where did he get the materials? How was it sturdy enough to survive the thrashing oceans?
Where did Noah get the pitch to waterproof it with? Tar was supposedly created by the flood, not before it! Creationists try to wriggle out of this with the pretence that pine tar was used to "pitch" the ark, but where did the pine trees come from and how did Noah get his hands on so much of it at such short notice?! How did he pursuade wild animals to climb aboard this stinking ark?
How did he manage to keep the ark so close to his original departure point?
Part II - The Flood Water
12. Where did the flood water come from? What caused it? The surface area of Earth is nearly 200 million square miles. Average sediment on continents is one mile thick. A flood only 1 mile deep (it would need to be 6 times deeper to cover Everest), requires some 200 million cubic miles of water. The flood had to have been at least this deep. One mile of sediment deposited over some 330 days is about 15 feet/day.
Note that this addresses the average existing sediment. The flood had to be deeper than this - it had to be deep enough to cover the maximum sediment before any post-flood erosion. It also had to be deep enough that modern deep sea fish would not explode because of the lack of pressure in a shallow sea. Whining appeals to a shallow pre-flood ocean don't work.
The Grand Canyon reveals a formation called the Vishnu Schist. Schists are usually morphed from fine-grained sedimentary rock. So if the Vishnu is sedimentary, it had to have been laid down by the flood. Its depth is some 40,000 feet - this is after compression. This indicates that the flood had to have been at least this deep! Make that 1.5 billion cubic miles of water to be accounted for.
There are some 150 million cubic miles of sedimentary rock on earth. Mix that in with the 200 million cubic miles of water and you get this ratio of water to dirt: 1:0.75. That's not dirty water, that's a swamp. The only way creationists can avoid this is either to admit that the flood was considerably deeper, in which case they sink further into their inability to explain where the water came from and where it went, or for them to explain how it was that fish and marine mammals survived in what was realistically quicksand.
13. Where did the flood water go? What caused its departure?"
14. Why are scientists unable to find any trace of this global flood in the geologic record?
15. How could the countless billions of organisms in the fossil record have all lived on this planet at the same time?
Part 3 - The Flood Survivors
16. How could the Earth recuperate so well after being utterly devastated, in only 4,350 years? How could the handful of survivors repopulate a trashed and barren Earth? How did the organisms adapt to a radically different world? Bob Riggins web site mentions Notothenioid fish:
These fish die in water above 5 degrees Celsius. Where did they live before the flood, before the oceans became bitterly cold in polar regions? This is only one example of problems of specialised organisms.
17. How is it that we trace human origins back to Africa both by DNA and by fossil evidence, rather than to the upper Middle East where the ark grounded? If the survivors disembarked in Armenia, why don't all organisms show rapid radiation and variation from an original Middle East stock?
18. What did herbivores live on given that all the herbs had been scoured from the Earth by the flood?
19. What did carnivores live on after they had killed all the herbivores in the first few months after the flood?
20. Given that all living things were created perfectly and Noah and his crew were all of the same local breeding stock, what scientific foundation and impetus was there for the racial/ethnic/species diversity that apparently flourished on Earth in only 4,350 years, especially if there are no good mutations? Just how did the population grow? Bob Riggins web site (http://www.rice.edu/armadillo/Sciacademy/riggins/newindex.htm - and take a look at http://riceinfo.rice.edu/armadillo/Sciacademy/riggins/flood.htm for a flood of problems for creationists) details a serious problem for a world expected to grow to 6 billion from eight flood survivors:
i. When Christ died there was only a half million people.
ii. When the Israelites entered Canaan, the world population was barely over 2,000!
iii. The Exodus was only 340 people - the entire planet's population!
iv. In 2300 BC there were only 10 people to build the pyramids!
21. Civilisations persisted through the flood era! Ur was inhabited continuously from around 4000 B.C until around 400 B.C. If the pyramids were built before the flood (they date approximately 300 years before), where is the flood damage? If they were built after, who built them and why?
22. Niagara Falls began after the last ice age and have been retreating for 10,000 years. How does this fit in with a 6,000 year old Earth? How does this fit in with a 4,350 year old flood?
23. The oldest known tree is a Bristlecone Pine found on the northeast face of Wheeler Ridge on the Sierra Nevada in California, and dated to 4,950 years old (http://www.great.basin.national-park.com/sights.htm). How does this fit in with a 4,350 flood?
24. There are 59 alleles of a gene called HLA-DRB1. We carry only two - one from mom, one from dad. 8 people would have a maximum of 16. It would be less than this on the ark since five of them were related. Without favorable mutations, whence came the other alleles? See http://vuletic.com/hume/cefec/4.html referring to: F. J. Ayala et al. 1993. MHC polymorphism and human origins. Scientific American 269(6):78-83.
25. The Tower of Babel was built no more than 150 years after the flood. Where did the builders come from and since there were so few, how could they have been scattered abroad with differing languages when they were all the same family?!
Part 4 - Flood Recovery
26. If all the soil was flushed into the ocean basins by the rapidly retreating floods, where did the six to ten feet of soil we see today come from in only 4,350 years? What did plants grow in before the post-flood soil arrived? Where did the plants come from?
27. If the post-flood soil was furnished by volcanic eruptions showering the planet with ash, how did the fragile life that survived the flood manage to survive first the requisite inferno, and then a subsequent volcanic winter? How did plants grow in the fresh, nutrient-depleted volcanic ash, especially with ash in the atmosphere blocking sunlight?
28. How did corals survive muddy floodwater given that they are perishing in this modern world because of pollution and rising temperatures?
29. There are almost 150,000 species of butterfly and moth. How did we get such a massive number, given that at most, two of each of these traveled on the ark?
30. "Answers in Genesis" estimates Earth's population around 30AD at a quarter billion. How did that arise only 2,350 years after the flood, from an inbreeding stock of eight who stepped off the ark into an utterly devastated world full of hungry pairs of predators? Don't forget to factor in the phenomenal slaughter rate recorded in the Biblical tales of post-flood Israelite wars.
31. Did the inhabitants of the ark carry every disease we know today? If so, how did they survive the ark? If the diseases arose afterwards through mutation, this not only defeats creation argument against evolution but begs the question: "Why did God allow this to happen after he had deliberately cleansed the world of evil?"
32. How did all the animals manage to get from the ark to their present locales in only 4,350 years? A direct circuit of half the globe is 12,000 miles. Topography would increase this considerably. Those two slugs on the ark would had to crawl almost 200,000 inches per year, every single year, determinedly headed for the farthest corners of the globe!
Part 5 - The Fossil Record
33. Creationists have claimed that South African Karoo rock formation contains the remains of some 800 billion vertebrate animals. Let's assume they estimated this ten times too big. As Robert Schadewald has pointed out, if we accept that the Karoo Formation contains 1% of the vertebrate fossils, then before the flood, Earth would have held 210 vertebrates of all sizes per acre. How did the land support this?
34. Why are ancient, extinct organisms that shared the same niches as modern organisms not found with modern organisms in the fossil record?
35. How did the following form in the geologic record under a flood: fossil rain drops, fossil burrows, fossil desiccation cracks, fossil meteor craters, and fossil footprints? See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html
36. If everything died at the same (geologic) instant in the flood, how come all the fossils date differently, and date older the deeper you dig? How come the ones which date older tend to be more mineralised than the recent ones?
37. If random mutation cannot precipitate evolution, how can a completely random flood separate out whole eco-systems stratigraphically and temporally? For example, how were all modern mammals kept separate from all the dinosaurs which occupied similar niches? How could it separate shellfish of similar hydrodynamic properties by shell markings alone? How could it sort fossils into species by teeth alone? Creationists spout astronomical odds against DNA arising naturally, but what are the odds against a random, catastrophic flood neatly compartmentalising the fossil record?
http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/gflood.htm (section 3)
38. How did a random flood manage to so finely interleave sediments of widely differing granularity rather than settle them out over the period of the flood with a fairly uniform gradation from coarsest to finest as we rise up the geologic column? In a thrashing ocean, how could any of the finer particles deposit before coarser ones? How could chalk deposit at all in so short a time?
39. How can you explain peculiarities in rock strata, where sediment is deposited, hardened, tilted, eroded, and then covered with more sediment? How did this happen under flood water? See http://www.geocities.com/reformedscience/floodgeol.html
40. Why is marine sediment only about 25% the thickness of terrestrial sediment if everything got washed into the ocean? Central Texas sits atop some 15,000 feet of sediment. To deposit this in a year or so requires precipitating 2 feet of mud/hour. See http://www.geocities.com/reformedscience/floodgeol.html
41. Metamorphic rock requires great temperature and huge pressure acting on deposited sediment. How did this happen in the short time since the flood?
42. Why it is that the tiniest primitive lizards are found with the largest primitive dinosaurs. Why are no small dinosaurs found in relatively modern layers? Could not a single dinosaur run faster than any modern mammal?
Why is archaeopteryx, a modern bird according to creationists, sitting so far back down the pile, yet modern birds sit near the top? Why are there no pterosaurs mixed in with modern birds? Why are elephants not found with dinosaurs of the same size? Why are there no modern whales at the bottom of the heap? Why are all the lightest creatures found in the lowest layer - the Cambrian and earlier - and none of the heaviest creatures?
Part 6 - Geology
43. When was the ice age and how long did it last? What caused it? How do you explain valleys carved by glaciers, which take considerable time to form? Why is it that ice ages, which are an inescapable fact, get not a single mention in the Bible?
44. Creationist Whitcomb says cratering occurred during flood! How are such fossil craters preserved under flood water? How come the Bible is utterly silent about the massive meteoritic impacts the Earth and moon have suffered since the flood?
45. How did the Grand Canyon get carved out? If it was carved by retreating flood water, how come it is so serpentine? How did the mile-high walls of mud hold up before they petrified? The Coconino Sandstone is petrified sand dunes. How did these form underwater? The fine-grained Hermit Shale sits under the coarser Coconino. How is this possible?
The Tapeats Sandstone (medium to coarse-grained) sits under a finer-grained shale and has marine ripple marks in its upper layer. How did these form in a swamp? How did the strata beneath the Great Unconformity manage to tilt some 30 degrees from the strata above if all of this was sopping wet mud deposited in the same short period of time? The unconformity indicates significant erosion before the uppermost strata were deposited. How did this take place under water?
46. Just how did a retreating flood create mountains? Why didn't the Earth's crust bend into domes between bodies of water? How did the differentiation between ocean and terrestrial crust arise? How come the Bible is silent about this cataclysmic post-diluvian terraforming? How come there is no evidence of this along coast lines?
44. Carlsbad Cavern is located in S.E. New Mexico, USA. A 400-mile horseshoe-shaped reef and an inland sea developed first. Understand that a healthy, vigorous growth-rate for a solid coral is no more than an inch or so a year, and must stop when it reaches sea level! Then the sea dried up and the land rose. Then the cavern was dissolved away by carbonic and sulphuric acid.
The carbonic acid is created from carbon deposited in the soil by plants. This would take considerable time after a flood destroyed the world.
Before any carbonic acid could work on the caverns, the flood sediment would have to solidify (otherwise the cavern would collapse as soon as it was hollowed out). Only after that, and after the cavern had been carved out could the stalagmites and stalactites grow. The world's tallest stalagmites are some 90 feet tall. The fastest rate I have ever read for stalagmite formation is of the order of 0.1 mm/yr. That means getting on for 200,000 years to form the Giant Dome at Carlsbad, which is over 60 feet tall. This alone defeats any suggestion of a flood just 4,350 years ago.
48. The Wyoming Green River formation contains several million varves! These form in pairs, usually annually. Creationists pretend they were formed in the flood, but this is impossible. They record the 11-year solar cycle, the 20,000 years precessional cycle, and the 100,000 year cycle of Earth's orbital eccentricity. These alone refute the flood. Similar examples are found in the Catskills, in New Jersey, and in Hungary. As Robert Schadewald highlights at http://makeashorterlink.com/?R2BC52CB3, turbidity currents cannot explain these: "A sequence of forty million turbidity currents covering tens of thousands of square miles every two-thirds of a second seems a bit unlikely."
49. Salt can only be deposited as a marine environment dries up. How did the flood manage to deposit salt between fossil strata?
50. Banded iron formations could not have occurred in a rich oxygen atmosphere, nor could limestone crystallization have completed in the short time since the flood. See:
"...neither to give heed to fables and endless genealogies..." (1 Timothy 1:4)
Perhaps the creationists should listen to whomever it was wrote this letter....
Creation Science and Earth history:
Flaws with Flood Geology:
Greene's Creationism Truth filter:
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