Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood, Did it Really Happen?
Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood, Did it Really Happen?

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” —Genesis 7:11-12

Approximately 9,000 to 5,000 years ago in the northern Turkish province of Sinop, an event of spectacular historic magnitude took place. So spectacular, in fact, that some believe it represents proof that the “Great Flood” recounted in the Bible may have been an actual (though somewhat exaggerated) representation of real events.

In September of 2004, an expedition in the Black Sea by a team of scientists from various institutions (including the National Geographic Society) determined that the sea in question was not always as we know it today.

They concluded that it had originated from an immense lake of black water that at one point in history began to widen in an unusually rapid way. The change was so great, in fact, that inhabitants of the surrounding area were immediately obliged to search for more secure land, hastily leaving behind housing, tools, and other traces of their former lives.

This led the underwater expedition headed by oceanographer Robert Ballad to declare that there once existed human settlements that now reside more than 300 feet underwater. This startling Black Sea discovery not only contributed to a thoroughly enriched historical understanding of the serious alterations in water level suffered in the ancient Middle East, but also raised questions about what caused the alteration in the first place.

Since then, scientists and reporters continue to probe the unresolved issue; it is a key to understanding the historical development of human civilization and the different climatic stages that Earth has experienced. Furthermore, it is an important theme intertwined not only with the Judeo-Christian tradition but with many legends from different cultures around the world—the Great Flood.

The Black Sea: Proof of the Flood?

Contemporary hypotheses suggesting that the rapid growth of the Black Sea was a consequence of an incredible rainfall of planetary proportions has never received great sale. Based on a large framework of scientific laws, predominantly geological, which have been established on the basis of empirical observation over the years, makes this a rather improbable scenario.

In the first place, skeptical geologists propose that for such a flood to have occurred, we would find a similar stratum throughout the world covered with pebbles, sludge, boulders, and other elements. It is curious that this layer cannot be found, even more so when the flood narrated by the Bible had taken place in a time as recent as 3000 B.C.

Neither can be found the strata of fossils, with different animal and vegetable species occupying specific soil layers. According to flood logic, the animal remains of all species before the big flood (including the extinct dinosaurs) should be found today in only one stratum, without any distinction. But paleontology completely contradicts these suppositions.

Yet these examples appear to be only the tip of the iceberg comprising the arguments that refute a global flood. Even so, much of such reasoning is refuted with equal grace by the “pro-flood” scientists. In fact, descriptions like “all the sources of the great abyss were broken” or “the waterfalls of the heavens were opened” recounted in Genesis are backed up by hypotheses that, although incredible, are impossible to rule out as being incompatible with reality.

One of the more dramatic hypotheses proposed that the planet could have been covered with water up to its highest points, contrary to the calculations indicating that all the water suspended in the atmosphere would only be enough to reach a modest 1.2 inches over the total surface of Earth.

These “flood supporters” calculate that if the geography of Earth went through a leveling out in its surface—the mountains being lowered, the sea troughs being elevated—then the entire Earth would be covered by thousands of feet of water.

According to the water-covers-the-earth theory, in the times of Noah the upper layers of the atmosphere contained a substantial amount of water that today makes up the oceans. This atmospheric water was what covered the whole planet, and which later returned to the ocean troughs by violent vertical tectonic movements. Researchers in support of this idea believe it makes suitable reference to the “waterfalls of the heavens” that could condense themselves thanks to dust generated by several simultaneous volcanic eruptions.

With respect to non-Biblical myths about a purifying flood, these can be found in the Hindu, Sumerian, Greek, Acadia, Chinese, Mapuche, Mayan, Aztec, and Pascuanese (Easter Island) cultures, among others. Several of these stories appear to possess surprisingly similar common factors. Among the most repeated themes are those of celestial announcements ignored by the people, the great flood itself, the construction of an ark to preserve life from the flood, and the later restoration of life on the planet.

A clear example of this similarity is provided by pre-Biblical Mesopotamian history of the flood in which the god “Ea” warned Uta-na-pistim, king of Shuruppak, about the punishment that awaits humanity for its serious moral degeneration. Uta-na-pistim received instructions from the god to construct a craft in the form of a cube with eight floors, and said that it should include in it a pair of each species of animal, plant seeds, as well as his own family. Thus, Uta-na-pistim survived the several-day-long deluge, released a bird to verify the proximity of dry land, and made an animal sacrifice to the gods.

In Search of the Lost Ark

One separate point that adds weight to the Bible controversy is the body of photographic and physical evidence of a large object encrusted in Mount Ararat, where, according to the Christian text narrations, finally rested the ark of Noah.

In the beginning of 2006, University of Richmond professor Porcher Taylor declared that according to an extensive study made over years of satellite photography there is a foreign object encrusted in the area northeast of the mountain, the length of which coincides perfectly with that of the ark recounted in the Bible.

Such satellite images from above Ararat have inspired the curiosity of a great number of scientists since this declaration was made in 1974. Several expeditions of investigators also managed to rescue remains of petrified wood, as well as 13 strong anchors of rock in the area surrounding the supposed location of the possible archeological treasure. Ultrasonic tests have also been made, revealing a very odd structure embedded in the rock.

In spite of the multiplicity of texts from diverse cultures which tell the story of a great ancient flood, the magnitude and duration of such an event seems to be a point of argument, even among those who believe that such an event actually occurred. Thus, while a small number of researchers suggests that this flood covered the entire Earth in vast amounts of water, most geologists agree that such a scenario is an impossibility.

While not everyone believes ancient accounts that describe the re-creation of humanity from the salvation of a handful of people, it would seem that a climatic catastrophe actually did take place across the entire planet several millennia ago. We can also safely assume that an indefinite number of human beings in elevated locations had the capacity to continue civilization, and to transmit the story of the occurrence to later generations.

Up until the time when evidence is revealed to definitively tip the scales toward one of these particular theories, the story of a time when a great flood purged the sins of man will be taken as a myth for some and a statement of historical fact for others. Either way, this great ancient flood remains forever a part of the story of humankind.

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  • Felix Tsung-Hsien Lim

    It is not just a story of creation but a fact that some global catrsophy did occur which changed the cotintial landscape of the earth as we know it today . ALL flood accounts of the ancient civilisations of Babylon to South American are evidences of the Lost atlantis lumeria legends that global catasphy was a result of greed and corruption in which nuclear technology and rPID ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY back in those days were mark of an overly ambitious society that casued the gigantic oceanic land mass to be over -heated up and destroyed . We still have not learn our lesson from our pre-evolutionary ancestors and we are still in the name of progress and industrialisation destroying our planet. The post modern day evidences are te climatological debates , Enery saving efficiencies and ETS and nuclear wastage and environmental ecology saving we hear so much about and rampant in our times . Such are the ambitious avarices of a post modern consumption society . Let us all wake up and face the confrontational realities right now ! We are on the verge of another global castrophy and the peril of human extinction if we don’t all watch out biblical great flood or not . Thus the biblical apoclytic visions of doom days -saying of the end-times and the coming of the beast and the anti-Christ is no fable . Just when is it ever going to stop and who says that here are any answers to saving the planet and our doomed fate of our humanity by any religious proselytisers biblical or other-wise ? Surely, the key to its mystery must lie in the bible of the Buddha-Christ that gives personal enlightenment or positive soul generated illumination to those who are predestined to seek and to gain by the merits of its karmic graces and its blessed guiding light .

    • JoBrad

      Mr. Lim, what you’ve just said … is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this site is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul..

      • Felix Tsung-Hsien Lim

        you are right! Iam not at all interested in any ratinal thought . We are all facing some impeding global disastor as our human greed AND EGO consumes us and destroying our environment . There just won’t be any possible redemption to ur frailed and goomed humanity so I won’t brother and won’t be interested in any rational thought and making sense of our accused human existence and life and the universe.

    • lageorgia

      Actually I quite liked what you wrote and agree with most of it.

    • PghBob

      I don’t agree with everything you say but you have the right to say it despite the small minds out there.
      I do believe humanity is going to face problems of great magnitude if we keep doing the short-sighted things we do. There are plenty of government leaders out there who are more than willing to sell our future, resources, even lives for a little graft or campaign dollars. Large corporations can often bribe their way to great advantage at the detriment to the rest of us. Even the Bible reflects the concept echoed by the idea of Karma. You reap what you sow.

  • Jesse Carlson

    So basically, “Contrary to all evidence to the contrary, people still believe in fairy tales”. This is a special kind of stupid that will probably be the low point of my day today.

    • Mario Vargas

      if the bible says it happened I believe it. and if it says there is a hell and you don’t believe it. I hope you are ready when you die.

    • PghBob

      This article is hardly a comprehensive look at the issue but a good one nonetheless. The flood story is not a fairy story but most likely the retelling of an event etched deeply in ancient minds. Stories like this get embedded in religions and philosophy. There is a growing interest in the many ancient ruins lying underwater in coastal regions. Melting icecaps may have been the root cause of the flood story. Interesting stuff to a curious – and open – mind.
      Calling believers in a flood story stupid is rather callous of you and I’m guessing hypocritical.

  • Yukidongo

    You have to understand that what those people thought was the entire world, was flooded. Not all Christians believe the flood was earth wide. The flood happened. they prove more and more of the Bible happened all the time. A flood of Epic proportions took place, and there are ruins and such 300ft below the Black Sea. Explain that away, if you like. But, sounds like a flood to me. And, there were no dinosaurs during Noah’s time.

  • Dan

    Anyone who says it’s a fairy tale is saying this video is a fraud.

    We already know Piltdown Man is a fraud. I believe evolution of man is the deception and the Bible is truth. There’s actual evidence for the Bible, archeology sites confirm it. On the other and, Lucy was said basically said to be a fake by the person who discovered her/him. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and still say I believe in fairy tales, maybe it’s time to do your own research starting with Lucy – the mislabeled poster chimp for the theory of evolution.

    Where are all the transitional fossils? Where’s the fossil proof after 140 years, since Darwin’s theory. Why can’t we find the *in between* stages of all the animals’ fossils, since according to the theory there must be millions of years worth of them. After years of asking these questions, not one person who supports the evolution of man can answer them properly. I’ve been insulted, so many times – like it’s some kind of cult following where people just insult without any knowledge.

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