Essay about The Gods are Angry: Possible Origins of Global Flood Myth

Essay about The Gods are Angry: Possible Origins of Global Flood Myth

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Most of us have probably heard the famous bible story about Noah’s Ark and The Flood. What most may not know, is that this story is just one of a great many. A variety of ancient cultures, from the Greeks and the Middle East, to Asia and the Americas, have in their mythologies a story of a Great Flood that drowns the earth. These stories mostly contain the same themes: a god or group of gods becomes angry; they flood the earth but save a small group of people. These people build a boat to survive. After the flood they repopulate the earth.
Author James Perloff studied two hundred or so flood legends and provides examples of the percentage of these similarities. Ninety five percent of them depicted the flood as being worldwide. Eighty eight percent gave an account of a special family that was singled out for saving. Seventy percent had building a boat as the method of their survival, and fifty seven percent had them finally coming to rest on a mountain. (Perloff 1999:168)
Another amazing commonality is the fairly consistent number of people who are said to have survived. A majority of myths agree on eight. A quick examination of three very different cultures, from three very different places in the world provides a glimpse at this consistency. In India, the Mahabharata tells the fish story of Manu. It claims Manu and seven Rsis (enlightened beings) as the survivors. In the Middle East, the Torah has Noah, his wife, three sons and their wives equaling eight. The Karina peoples of Venezuela have the crew at four couples, also eight people. (Martin 2009:58) This may be more than just a coincidence.
There are several theories to explain why so many diverse cultures share a similar story. I believe that this was the result of an actual ...


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... and catastrophic reality: using myth to identify cosmic impacts and massive Plinian eruptions in Holocene South America.” In Myth and Geology, ed. L. Pacardi and W.B. Masse, pp. 177-202. London: The Geographical Society of London, 2007.
Masse, Bruce W. “The Archeology and Anthropology of Quaternary Period Cosmic Impact.” In Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society, ed. Peter Bobrowsky and Hans Rickman, pp. 25-71. New York: Springer Media, 2007.
Perloff, James. Tornado in a Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism. Arlington: Refuge Books, 1999.
Ryan, William B.F. and Walter C. Pitman. Noah’s Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries about the Event That Changed History. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1998.
www.whoi.edu (2009)
Website for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution a non-profit organization dedicated to oceanic research and education.













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