"All the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened . . . And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased; . . . and the ark went upon the face of the waters."(Holy Bible, Genesis 7:11b, 17a, 18b). The flood was a catastrophic event that changed the earth in traumatic ways, but many people deny that this event ever took place. The main documentation of this occurrence is found in the Bible, but since many people refuse to believe that it is a valid source of history and has no weight in science, it cannot be used to say whether or not the earth was ever completely submerged in water. Therefore, science and fact must be the deciding elements in the discussion of the flood.
In science, the word "prove" is definitely overused because some situations, such as the flood, are not able to be repeated. Many theories in society have been presented as fact, when indeed they are still just theories. Therefore, this paper's purpose is not to give an absolute right or wrong, but to inform the reader of the possibility of the occurrence of the flood.
Take the tectonic plate theory. It supports the idea that many of the earth's natural formations occurred over a period of millions of years and also states that the world's land masses were once connected by rigid plates, which drifted apart very slowly over the same length of time (Ham, p. 43). Again, this is just a theory, and it has many gaps that can be explained by one theory, the flood.
The first to speculate that the continents were once linked was Sir Edward Bullard (Brown, [online]). His diagram shows the continents fitting together like a puzzle. However, it has many flaws. In his illustration, Central America
, southern Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands have been removed, and Africa has been shrunk by forty percent of its actual size to make it fit into place with South America. In addition to these inaccuracies, the Mediterranean has been cut in half and rotated, along with the rotation of Europe, Africa (Brown, [online]), and Australia (Ham, p. 45). Yes, according to the diagram, the continents do indeed make a "jigsaw puzzle fit", but only after they have been altered to fit the theory's purpose.
The legitimacy of a theory is based on how many new variables are added to the original over time to keep the theory from contradicting itself. The more variables that are added to the primary makes the theory, as a whole, less convincing. Point in hand, the original tectonic plate theory started out suspecting that there were six to eight plates covering the earth. Today scientists claim that there are over a hundred (Brown, [online]). In The Answers Book, Ken Ham quotes one evolutionist's view on plate tectonics: "We do not have a scientific hypothesis, but rather a pragmatic model, reshaped to include each new observation . . . obviously, this kind of model is not testable in any rigorous scientific sense" (p. 59-60).
Theories should indeed be taken as scientific fact, but only until another theory comes along with answers to the questions that the old theory cannot explain. A theory that should now be taken into consideration as the tectonic plate's opposition is known as the hydroplate theory, which supports the creationist view of the flood.
As stated before, the flood cannot be repeated. Therefore, some assumptions will have to be made to support this new hypothesis, as is done with any scientific theory, including the tectonic plate theory. The first is the idea that the continents were connected, but not as Sir Edward Bullard proposed. Instead, it is thought that they were joined along what is now the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This proposition makes more sense than Bullard's theory considering that the continents continue below the surface of the ocean to the continental shelf. The second assumption is that there was a large shelf of subterranean water in chambers ten miles below the earth's surface before the occurrence of the flood. The third and final hypothesis is that the pressure within these shelves was increasing(Brown, [online]).
The hydroplate theory is broken into four phases. The first is known as the "rupture phase". The subterranean water increased in pressure until it reached its failure point. That means a large amount of stress was put on a weak point in the earth's crust, which caused a microscopic crack to form and spread. The crevice expanded at the rate of 2 miles per second along the path of least resistance, which is where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is today. The pressure in the subterranean chambers dropped to atmospheric pressure, causing the water beneath the earth's crust to explode with extreme amounts of force. The water shot up into and above the atmosphere where it then fell back to the earth either as rain or hail (Brown, [online]).
This explains several things. First, it gives a logical explanation of how and where the waters of the flood came from. Secondly, it explains the ice age. If water did violently erupt from the earth at supersonic speeds, then it could have exceeded the atmosphere, frozen, and fallen back to the earth as hail causing an instant ice age (Hollaway, [online]). How else can the fact that mammoths have been found frozen with identifiable food still in their mouths and stomachs be explained (Brown, [online])? If the ice age occurred slowly, as some claim, the animal's body heat and stomach acids would have been expected to destroy the contents of the stomach before death, and food certainly would not have been found in the mouth. Only a drastic drop in temperature over an extremely short period of time would allow such preservation of the mammoth(Ham, p. 82-83)).
The second phase is called the "flood phase", which explains many aspects that the tectonic plate theory questions and fails to answer. As the water jetted up through the crack, it eroded the earth around it, causing sediments to form. The sediments settled, which trapped and buried plants and animals, causing them to fossilize (Brown, [online]), and start the formation of today's oil supply(Hollaway, [online]).
Even after enough water was produced from within the earth to blanket its surface, the temperature of the water increased and proceeded to explode from the subterranean chambers. Since the hotter water was less dense than the water that already occupied the earth, it rose to the surface causing large amounts of evaporation to occur. This increased the ocean's salt content until supersaturation took place (Brown, [online]).
This process explains the formation of salt domes that can be found today in places such as the Great Salt Lake and the Mediterranean Sea. Salt domes are large, thick layers of salt found miles beneath the surface of the earth. Some can be quite massive, measuring 100,000 square miles by one mile thick. Many speculate that the immense Mediterranean Sea salt domes could only have been formed by the sea evaporating eight to ten times (Brown, [online]). The draw back with this idea is that each refilling of the basin would have dissolved the salt residue; the salt domes could have never concentrated to such an extent. Another issue that cannot be explained by those opposed to the flood is why deposits are not being laid down today. The one time catastrophic occurrence of the flood explains both uncertainties.
The second phase and the third phase, called the "continental drift phase" somewhat overlap. As the flood phase continued, the rupture path widened due to erosion. This caused the compressed rock in the subterranean chambers to jolt upwards, causing the Mid-Oceanic Ridge to form. As the continents rose, they were able to slide across each other, due to lubrication caused by the subterranean water that continued to escape. At the end of this phase, the large slabs of rock compressed, causing mountains to buckled up, and there was enough pressure, current and movement to situate the continents in the positions that they are in today (Brown, [online]).
Once again this explains many uncertainties that the tectonic plate theory ignores. The mountains formed after the majority of fossils started to develop, explaining why there are fish fossils on nearly every mountain range in the world (Hollaway, [online]). This also explains why major mountain ranges are usually crumpled like accordions. What kind of force could have possibly caused immense masses of rock to buckle and fold back on themselves? Also, what could have caused overthrusts to form? Overthrusts are large blocks of rock that seem to have slid across and over each other. This occurrence would have produced large amounts of friction, which, in turn, would have created rubble or would have completely crushed the bottom slab. However, many overthrust show no sign of debris (Brown, [online]). These amazing formations came about because of the thrust and lubrication provided by the tremendous amounts of water.
The final phase, the "recovery phase", explains where all the water went. Compression continued, and the continents became thicker and rose out of the water, causing more mountains to form from the weak, buckled parts of the continents. As this happened, the waters receded and parts of the continents settled to the bottom of the subterranean chambers, causing ocean basins to form. The flood waters then drained down continental slopes and filled in these newly formed basins (Brown, [online]).
Skeptics of the hydroplate theory claim that the Colorado River slowly carved out the amazing and vast canyon over the time span of millions of years. If this is indeed the case, then why didn't this phenomenon occur with the dozens of rivers that are faster and larger than the Colorado River? The recovery phase explains how these formations would have come about as the vast waters abated and carved the canyon rapidly (Ham p. 126).
The tectonic plate theory suggests that the ice age, mountains, canyons , salt domes, overthrust and many other natural occurrences formed slowly over millions of years. However, many questions surface in relation to this theory, but they can be explained if the hydroplate theory is correct in saying that they were all rapid formations. Nevertheless, this is a theory, therefore more evidence is needed to make a valid point.
Bob Ballard, a scientist for National Geographic and founder of the Titanic, has found such evidence. While exploring the Black Sea, Ballard came across an ancient shoreline about 550 feet below the current bank. In addition to finding the shoreline, he also found both extinct salt-water and fresh-water mollusks. Results from radiocarbon-dating show the fresh-water shells to be about 7,500 years old, a time period which matches the Old Testament's account of Noah. "That was right on the money," says Ballard. "Exactly what we would be looking for in a flood scenario." (Newcott, [online])
Additional evidence strongly suggesting the occurrence of a flood is currently resting in the mountains of Turkey. In the Bible, God commanded Noah to build an ark, or large boat, in which he and his family could find safety. "And after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated . And the ark rested . . . upon the mountains of Ararat." (Holy Bible
, Genesis 8:3b, 4)
Many argue that if the ark truly did exist and is now in the mountains of Ararat it would have been found and thoroughly researched. However, the Ararat mountains are located in the north-eastern part of Turkey, which shares its border with Iran and Armenia. This is a delicate environment to conduct research in, considering it often serves as a hideout to outlaws and is a major area for arms trading ( Kneisler, [online]).
In addition, the mountains of Ararat are covered in ice for the majority of the year. Even though this is a prime environment for the preservation of the ark, the only time excavation can take place is in the warm summer months when the snow slightly melts and the ark is revealed ("Has Anyone. . .,[online]).
Despite these circumstances, there has been some evidence showing that the ark did come to land in the Ararat mountains. Citings of the ark include that of the Turkish military in 1883 after the occurrence of an earthquake. Troops went to investigate damage and returned with wood from the ark (Hollaway, [online]). After studying the wood sample, researchers found it was not a type of wood that grew around the area, but rather was found near the Euphrates River, which is almost 1,000 miles away. Natives of that area claim the wood to be "izim", or the gopher wood that the Bible mentions (La Haye, p. 57). Tim La Haye quotes an article on this finding that was released in the summer of 1883 in the British Prophetic Messenger : "The expedition was fortunate in making a discovery that cannot fail to be of interest to the whole civilized world, for among the vastnesses of one of the glens of Mount Ararat, they came upon a gigantic structure of very dark wood, embedded at the foot of one of the glaciers, with one end protruding, and which they believe to be none other than the old Ark in which Noah and his family navigated the waters of the Deluge." This discovery was, however, ignored because of the time in which it took place. Darwin's theory of evolution was the newest craze, so the Western world has never acknowledged this information (Hollaway, [online]).
Along with this finding, there are other reports of the ark being seen. It was also found in 1917 during the Russian Revolution (Hollaway, [online]). While the Russian air fleet was testing a plane, they spotted the ark from the air. After reporting the cite and taking the captain up to see the discovery, the Czar was informed, and an in-depth investigation took place. Sketches and photographs were taken, but soon after the discovery, the Russian government was overthrown by the Bolsheviks. Since Bolshevism was a godless religion, these findings were frowned upon and all evidence has been destroyed (La Haye, p. 76-79).
There have been other numerous citings of the ark, but no expeditions have taken place recently. Until a thorough investigation can occur without the attacks of Turkish terrorists or ethnic fighting, this will continue to be the case. More research into a find like this could present serious doubt in the minds of those who don't believe that the Bible is factual. Therefore, it is understandable why there are those who want to keep the revelation of the ark a mystery.
The hydroplate theory, presented here, answers questions that plate tectonics cannot explain, an ark has been discovered and documented, and National Geographic scientists have found evidence that a flood did, in fact, occur. Still, many refuse to except these facts because of the weight they place on their personal beliefs with respect to creation versus evolution. However, the evidence has been presented and there should be enough facts to bring those, who might have had their doubts about the flood, one step closer to the reality that the world was once completely submerged and transformed by the phenomenon of the flood.
Brown, Dr. Walter. "Hydroplate Overview". In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for
Creation and the Flood (6th Ed.). [online], Available: www.indirect.com/www/wbrown/onlinebook/hydroplate/hydroplate1.html, December 20, 2000.
Ham, Ken. The Answers Book. El Cajon, California: Creation Science Foundation Ltd., 1990.
"Has Anyone Discovered Noah's Ark?" Christian Answers Network. [online], Available: www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a001.html, December 22, 2000.
Hollaway. "The Great Flood". The Final Countdown. [online], Available: www.ghgcorp.com/hollaway/flood.html#Return3, December 20, 2000.
Holy Bible. King James Version. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1967. Genesis 7:1-8:14.
Kneisler, Matthew. [online], Avalilable: http://arksearch.com/, December 20, 2000.
La Haye, Tim. The Ark on Ararat. Nashville / New York: Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers, 1976.
Newcott, Bill. "Bob Ballard Finds Proof
of Noah's Flood @ nationalgeographic.com". Today's News. [online], Available: www.ngnews.com/news/1999/11/111899/ballard
flood_7432.asp, December 20, 2000.