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Author Topic:   Commonalities Of Accounts Of A Universal Flood?
Faith
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Posts: 30939
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 46 of 92 (353908)
10-03-2006 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Dr Adequate
10-03-2006 11:42 AM


Apparently you addressed this post wrongly, intending it for me.

I think my previous post answers it fine.

I'd just add that there are MANY places on earth that DO experience periodic floods. I live in one of them, where we get a pretty major flood from snow melt about every ten years, but by no stretch would anyone have thought any such flood was anything more than local.

I also really really really do not think that even the most primitive human being couldn't tell the difference between a serious one-time local flood and a flood that covered everything in sight, NOTHING visible but water, and required being on a boat to survive.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 47 of 92 (353921)
10-03-2006 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Faith
10-03-2006 12:32 PM


Warning - Off Topic
Posters:

Message 1 had some very specific questions.

How widespread are stories of a universal flood?

What do they have in common besides a big flood?

Do they occur only in areas where local flooding is known to have taken place, or are they present elsewhere?

This is a science forum, not a Bible Study. It is not about whether the Christian Flood story is right, wrong, or where it came from. It is looking at the commonalities of universal flood stories. Not earthquakes, not forest fires, and not power outages.

Stick to analyzing the stories.

Please direct any comments concerning this Admin msg to the Moderation Thread.
Any responses in this thread will receive a 24 hour Timout.

Thank You --AdminPD


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Faith, posted 10-03-2006 12:32 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4021 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 48 of 92 (353922)
10-03-2006 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Faith
10-03-2006 12:57 PM


Flood Stories and Agrarian Existence
quote:
but by no stretch would anyone have thought any such flood was anything more than local.

But do you have your house built down on the flood plain? Do you have your entire existence including your family/friends living on the flood plain? Is your only source of living invested on the banks of the river such as your food stores and your planted crops?

The existence of flood stories abound because as early man transitioned from hunter gathers to agricultural he settled in floodplains where the rich arable soil existed. As someone else pointed out a 100 or 1000 or 10000 year record flood could have a devastating effect and even the potential of wiping out an entire civilization. Early man did not understand statistics, only that god must have been really mad.

This is also why there are Egyptian and Sumerian flood stories. BTW the sources of these flood stories predate the Genesis flood story, as I pointed out in an earlier post Message 40

Please note Admin warning before responding to this message and answer accordingly.
--AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
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Posts: 14809
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 49 of 92 (353924)
10-03-2006 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Faith
10-03-2006 12:57 PM


Of course it doesn't matter what people would have thought of a real localised flood. These stories are more likely fictions - experience of real floods contributed to them, but I would say that few if any of them are close enough to real events to be considered to be even a greatly distorted memory of actual events. They are myths, not legends.

Please note Admin warning before responding to this message and answer accordingly.
--AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16093
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 9.1


Message 50 of 92 (353927)
10-03-2006 2:42 PM


Stealing Fire From Heaven
I googled to find out about legends concerning fire, and I didn't find any of destruction by fire, but I found a lot about the aquisition of fire.

And it's all ... strangely similar ...

(1) Fire is stolen.

(2) It is almost always stolen by a being neither a human nor a god.

(3) It is almost always stolen on behalf of someone else, most usually the whole world or the entire human race, or animals and humans collectively.

(4) The thief is almost always male.

(5) The theft is almost always from supernatural beings. If the thief is in some way supernatural, then the theft is very often from beings which are in some way "more supernatural" than the thief. The theft is often "from the gods" or "from heaven".

(6) The thief is often what anthropologists apparently call a "trickster-hero"; he is famous for other feats of guile besides this one.

(7) The thief is fairly often burnt and permanently marked (and his offspring, if any) by his experience.

(8) Almost always, the thief goes unpunished; with one very famous exception.

Let me give you some links. Brief synopses are provided for the benefit of Faith, but please get your computer fixed.

Apache: Fox steals fire "for the world" *

Australian: The robin steals fire from the cockatoo, but it gets out of hand and becomes common property. *

Brittany (France): The fire-crested wren steals fire (details rather scanty) *

Caroline Islands (Pacific): Olofat, trickster hero, forces his way into heaven and sends a bird to carry fire to humans from heaven. *

Cherokee: Rabbit steals fire from the weasels out of compassion for humans *

Choctaw: Grandmother Spider steals fire out of compassion for humans and animals, but only humans learn how to use it. *

Greece: Prometheus steals fire out of compassion for humans *

India: Matarisvan steals fire from the sky, entrusts it to humans *

Khoi-San ("Bushman", S. Africa) : Mantis steals fire from the ostrich and gives it to the Bushmen. *

Klamath : Coyote steals fire from the Fire Beings out of compassion for humans * *

Lappland: A stag steals fire on behalf of the whole world (details scanty) *

Mayan: The first men steal fire from the gods *

Polynesia: Maui steals fire (sometimes from the gods, large number of variants) *

Zimbabwe: Rukuba (a dog) steals fire from the god Nyamurairi on behalf of the hero Nkhango *

This is just a sample; I gave up compiling the Native American ones 'cos there are so many of them. If you're wondering how many more there are in Europe, consider that since the myth is found both in India and Greece, it's most likely ur-Indo-European.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 30939
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 51 of 92 (353930)
10-03-2006 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Dr Adequate
10-03-2006 2:42 PM


Re: Stealing Fire From Heaven
I don't get your point. What does this have to do with the widespread stories of a one-time flood that killed all living things? The fire myths and the earthquake myths are EXPLANATION stories, something else altogether. The flood stories are not explaining floods, they are accounts of a one-time world-destroying event. If there is anything we should note about similarities between myths with respect to the flood stories it's that they ALL agree that there was once a world-wide world-destroying flood.

Besides we're off topic as AdminPD has pointed out. We are to be addressing the questions in the OP instead of forever arguing the validity of the flood stories.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4021 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 52 of 92 (353931)
10-03-2006 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Faith
10-03-2006 12:57 PM


Agriculture, written language and flood myths
OK due to friendly admin warnings lets keep this in the scientific realm - a good idea.

  • How widespread are stories of a universal flood?

    Fairly widespread as I understand, however I have not been able to find any statistics.

    Societies that have flood myths that are oral based are suspect. Oral based myths are very susceptible to recent modifications due to untraceable outside contacts. For example, the myths of new world natives could have been from earlier european contacts. A fine example of this is that the oral traditions of some of the native populations in my area record that they were created with the horse and the horse was always with them.

    The most reliable sources of this myth are written sources such as the Egyptian and Sumerian flood stories. The only societies that are stable and organized enough to have developed a written language are agricultural based societies. Agricultural based societies build in river valley's and river delta's. River valley's flooded somewhat predictably. But occasionally a record 100 or 1000 year flood happens and severely wipes out the population. The survivors get to write the myths.

  • What do they have in common besides a big flood?

    That god did it. Earlier man did not understand standard deviations and the normal distribution curve. Natural events had supernatural explanations.

  • Do they occur only in areas where local flooding is known to have taken place, or are they present elsewhere?

    Some have commented that desert dwelling Navaho or Hopi's had flood myths. But they were agrarian based societies and farmed the land. Not to mention their myths are oral based.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 46 by Faith, posted 10-03-2006 12:57 PM Faith has not yet responded

      
  • jar
    Member
    Posts: 30935
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004


    Message 53 of 92 (353933)
    10-03-2006 3:02 PM
    Reply to: Message 51 by Faith
    10-03-2006 2:55 PM


    Re: Stealing Fire From Heaven
    What does this have to do with the universal stories of a one-time flood that killed all living things?

    So far you have made the assertion that there are such universal stories, but have not supported it.

    Can you provide us links to all of those "universal stories of a one-time flood that killed all living things?"

    Until you can provide us with evidence all we have is yet another unsupported assertion. We cannot compare the alleged stories until we have copies of them to compare.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 51 by Faith, posted 10-03-2006 2:55 PM Faith has responded

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    Faith
    Member
    Posts: 30939
    From: Nevada, USA
    Joined: 10-06-2001
    Member Rating: 1.1


    Message 54 of 92 (353988)
    10-03-2006 6:30 PM
    Reply to: Message 53 by jar
    10-03-2006 3:02 PM


    I've already given the support for this point
    What does this have to do with the universal stories of a one-time flood that killed all living things?

    So far you have made the assertion that there are such universal stories, but have not supported it.

    Can you provide us links to all of those "universal stories of a one-time flood that killed all living things?"

    I did supply that information already, in Message 6 and that site contains many many links.

    The destruction of all but a few people and animals is implied in most of the myths, and directly stated in a few:

    http://www.nwcreation.net/noahlegends.html

    Asia

    China
    The Chinese classic called the Hihking tells about "the family of Fuhi," that was saved from a great flood. This ancient story tells that the entire land was flooded; the mountains and everything, however one family survived in a boat. The Chinese consider this man the father of their civilization. This record indicates that Fuhi, his wife, three sons, and three daughters were the only people that escaped the great flood. It is claimed, that he and his family were the only people alive on earth, and repopulated the world.

    Greece
    A long time ago, perhaps before the golden age was over, humans became proud. This bothered Zeus as they kept getting worse. Finally Zeus decided that he would destroy all humans. Before he did this Prometheus, the creator of humans, warned his human son Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha. Prometheus then placed this couple in a large wooden chest. The rains started and lasted nine days and nights until the whole world was flooded. The only thing that was not flooded was the peaks of Mount Parnassus and Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus is the home of the gods. The wooden chest came to rest on Mount Parnassus. Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha got out and saw that everything was flooded. The lived on provisions from the chest until the waters subsided. At Zeus' instruction they re-populated the earth.

    United States
    The Ojibwe natives who have lived in Minnesota USA since approximately 1400AD also have a creation and flood story that closely paralleles the Biblical account. "There came a time when the harmonious way of life did not continue. Men and women disrespected each other, families quarreled and soon villages began arguing back and forth. This saddened Gitchie Manido [the Creator] greatly, but he waited. Finally, when it seemed there was no hope left, Creator decided to purify Mother Earth through the use of water. The water came, flooding the Earth, catching all of creation off guard. All but a few of each living thing survived." Then it tells how Waynaboozhoo survived by floating on a log in the water with various animals.

    Mexico
    The Toltec natives have a legend telling that the original creation lasted for 1716 years, and was destroyed by a flood and only one family survived.

    Inca
    During the period of time called the Pachachama people became very evil. They got so busy coming up with and performing evil deeds they neglected the gods. Only those in the high Andes remained uncorrupted. Two brothers who lived in the highlands noticed their llamas acting strangely. They asked the llamas why and were told that the stars had told the llamas that a great flood was coming. This flood would destroy all the life on earth. The brothers took their families and flocks into a cave on the high mountains. It started to rain and continued for four months. As the water rose the mountain grew keeping its top above the water. Eventually the rain stopped and the waters receded. The mountain returned to its original height. The shepherds repopulated the earth. The llamas remembered the flood and that is why they prefer to live in the highland areas.

    Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

    Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 30935
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004


    Message 55 of 92 (353993)
    10-03-2006 6:45 PM
    Reply to: Message 54 by Faith
    10-03-2006 6:30 PM


    Re: I've already given the support for this point
    I'm sorry Faith but there is absolutely no support there. All you have is unsupported claims that there are such stories. They do not even referenjce original sources for the stories or show some peer reviewed source. All I see is the typical unsupported assertions.

    Further, there are many areas where such myths do not exist. Egypt is a great example. There floods are seen only as beneficial and it is the failure of a flood that is noted.

    We still need some peer reviewed source and not some nutsite like nwcreation.net.

    They also get the story screwed up. The flood in the Zeus myth only lasts 9 days and is mostly the coastal plains and foothills where the folk lived. There are folk left, for example they consult and oracle right after they get off the boat. No animals are saved.

    The point is Faith that none of the flood myths resemble the Biblical Flood Myth just as the Biblical Flood Myth differs from the far earlier Gilgamesh saga. There is far more variety between the stories than similarities.

    So far you have shown NO support for any universal flood.

    If that's all you got, I don't see where there is much to talk about.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
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    Faith
    Member
    Posts: 30939
    From: Nevada, USA
    Joined: 10-06-2001
    Member Rating: 1.1


    Message 56 of 92 (353999)
    10-03-2006 6:52 PM
    Reply to: Message 55 by jar
    10-03-2006 6:45 PM


    Re: I've already given the support for this point
    Of course, they vary a great deal. They are local myths, not like the Biblical story except in some of the main points, and not expected to be. It is the main points that tie them together. That's the whole point. We ASSUME that human memory is fallible, and that only the Biblical account came down intact. The Babylonian account is the one most similar to it, suggesting that it was among the peoples of that region that it was most accurately preserved, while details got lost and became tied to tribal identity the farther people moved out from the area where Noah and family debarked.

    I cannot research the subject further for a few days yet, but yes, that site is just a collection of stories and does need to be verified. There are many many links to other sources given there, however, only I won't risk going to them. I followed a link earlier and the computer froze as it does 90% of the time when I do that. Why hasn't anyone else supplied information? Why not you?


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    tudwell
    Member (Idle past 4085 days)
    Posts: 172
    From: KCMO
    Joined: 08-20-2006


    Message 57 of 92 (354004)
    10-03-2006 7:16 PM


    Say there was a worldwide flood. Only a few people survived by jumping into a large boat. When the flood receded they told the story to their children, and they told the story to their children, and so on, until the story is spread across nearly the entire world.

    Now say someone made up a story about a giant flood, told it to their children, and they told it to their children. and so on, until the story is spread across nearly the entire world.

    How would we tell the difference?


        
    jar
    Member
    Posts: 30935
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004


    Message 58 of 92 (354006)
    10-03-2006 7:31 PM
    Reply to: Message 56 by Faith
    10-03-2006 6:52 PM


    Re: I've already given the support for this point
    I have. I provided links to the Epic of Gilgamesh many times here at EvC, and that was written down long before the myth in the Bible.

    Here is a link to the twelve tablets of the Epic. We know that the tablets date to 2700-2500 BCE and we actually have evidence that there was a flood in the area sometime between 2900 and 2700 BCE.

    The Biblical Flood myths didn't come to their present form until around 500 BCE, over 2000 years after the Gilgamesh Epic was written down. In addition, unlike the actual supporting evidence of a flood for the Epic of Gilgamesh, there is NO evidence that supports a Biblical World-wide flood and lots of evidence that refutes it.

    There are many flood myths, but until you provide us with the originals we cannot compare them to see if there is any correspondence.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
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    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 3392
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 8.1


    Message 59 of 92 (354022)
    10-03-2006 8:40 PM
    Reply to: Message 58 by jar
    10-03-2006 7:31 PM


    Re: I've already given the support for this point
    Here's a scenario:
    Just as native American oral traditions got corrupted by European traditions, during the Babylonian Captivity, the Jewish oral tradition gets corrupted by Babylonian traditions, including the Gilgamesh Epic. Gilgamesh is the original form of the Flood Story and what we have in the Bible is a derivation.

    The only part I'm not clear on is the history of the writing down of the Torah.


    This message is a reply to:
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    kuresu
    Member (Idle past 619 days)
    Posts: 2544
    From: boulder, colorado
    Joined: 03-24-2006


    Message 60 of 92 (354025)
    10-03-2006 8:47 PM
    Reply to: Message 59 by dwise1
    10-03-2006 8:40 PM


    Re: I've already given the support for this point
    now that's an interesting thought. I can defintely attest to the "corruption" of oral traditions.

    THere's a native american story dealing with the cock and mouse (I think that's the name of it). Anywho, it was told to them by a european, and when he came back a year later, it had been metaphorized to a highly different version, one that held true to the tribes beliefs plus quite a bit of extra embellishment. It almost became a sort of origin tale, if I remember correctly.

    and that was in one year of retellings.


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