Science Links

- Philosophy of Science

- Logical Fallacies

- Evolution

- Relativity

- The Big Bang

Religion Links

- Compliation of the OT

- The Jewish Messiah

- The Gospels

- Compliation of the NT

- Noah's Ark and The Flood

- Early Christian Writings (offsite)

- My Religion Blog

Did The Biblical Flood Happen?

Written by mfaber at

The Biblical flood did not happen. This is a falsifiable date.The Bible gives the date of the flood as beginning 2345 BCE and ending in 2344 BCE If this were really the world-wide gig claimed by creationists then the civilizations of the world would all show a disruption in their history or at least take note of such an event, but does the rest of archeology/history corroborate the Biblical account===> NO!

  1. The city of Ur of the Chaldees (ancient Sumer, location of the "plains of Shinar", hangout of Noah) was the leading city from about 2400 BCE until about 2,285 BCE and its history is not broken by any flood in this period.
  2. Babylon was rising to power from about 2,400 BCE on and reached a great height of civilization under the famous King Hammurabi, who would have been a contempory of Hebrew patriarch Abraham (about 2,250 BCE), and again there is no break in this history due to a flood.
  3. In Egypt, the 5th Dynasty, which began to reign about 2,465 BCE, was followed by the 6th Dynasty (2,323 BCE), which ruled to about 2000 BCE. This time-period is very well-documented and there was no disruption during the 5th Dynasty at the time of Noah's flood, 2,345 BCE, with the nation remaining strong and powerful throughout these dynasties.
  4. The Harappan Civilization(2300 - 1900 BCE) in India shows no disruptions at the time of the Flood and, ironically, appears to have ended because of a region-wide drought! (some used to think that an invasion was the cause, but the evidence points away from this earlier scenario).
  5. Chinese history begins nearly 3,000 BCE. The Shu-King historic record of China, shows that King Yao came to the throne in 2356 BCE and ruled China for many years after the alleged flood. Incidentally, durring the reign of Yao, the Shu King reports that the Hwang Ho River flooded on a number of times, for three generations, again with NO break in history. Please consult the History of China or THIS timeline. The only place you find these early rulers listed are at Chinese sites (spelled Tangyao, Westerners shorten this to Yao).
  6. Ancient civilizations in India which predate the Bible entirely and shows no evidence that such an event ever happened ( appearance of the oldest book of the Hindu religion, the Rig Veda pre-dates the Bible considerably, according to astronomical dating provided by astronomical events listed in the Rig Veda)

[It has already been mentioned here that] The Biblical Flood story looks a lot like the Epic of Gilgamesh "The Chaldean Flood Tablets from the city of Ur in what is now Southern Iraq, describe how the Bablylonian God Ea had decided to eliminate humans and other land animals with a great flood which was to become 'the end of all flesh'".

Some Biblical literalists claim that the Babylonians borrowed their ideas fro the Epic of Gilgamesh from the Genesis, but here are some reasons why that is extremely unlikely:

  1. For the simple reason that the first copies of this legend are in were written down about 2000 BCE in the Sumerian language on clay tablets which still survive. The earliest possible date for the writing of the Hebrew version is given as around 1000 BCE (according to THIS).
  2. The Jews would have been well aware of this legend (as captives of the Babylonians, descendents of the Akkadian / Sumerians). It is quite probable that they (the Jews) simply incorporated elements of this legend into their theology. Who do one think copied whom? It is far more likely that the Jews copied from their conquerors as opposed to a conquering race coping from a slave population.

As for the real source of many flood stories, the most likely one is that detailed HERE in the article from the National Geographic, The Black Sea and the Search for Noah's Flood. A catastrophic Black See flood is the most probable source of the story and it is no where near a world-wide flood as alleged in the Bible.

Also see More Possible Sources of the Flood Story.

Also note that fewer than 50% of the world's cultures have flood legends. In his book Die Flutsagen: Ehnthographisch Btrachtet(1891), Richard Andre collected a compendium of flood myths (~90 traditions) from around the world . Of these:

  • 26 were "descendants" of the Babylonian story
  • 43 are totally independent in time and place from the Babylonian story
  • Most telling was the absence of flood stories from much of Europe, northern and central Asia, Africa, Arabia, and Japan (very strange IF there a world-wide deluge...that all these places should have NOT ONE story).

Andre reached the conclusion that IF everyone were the descendants of a small number of survivors from a single flood, THEN there would be a flood story in every culture and these stories would be consistent with each other.

The physics of Noah's Ark are impossible. The flexibility of the wood being used opens gaps wide enough to dump hundreds of gallons of water a minute into the "ship."

As a ship that large floats, there are tremendous strains and stresses over its length, and wood is flexible enough to make it impossible to keep the hull together. Wood is fairly flexible when subjected to large strains - trees caught in torrential floods bend and don't break. It's why wooden ships only reached certain sizes during real-life world history, bigger ships had to be made out of steel.

Even many of the largest wood ships (still mucho smaller than the ark! According to the Biblical description, it was a barge roughtly the size that would fit inside of one of our football stadiums!) built by master shipwrights at the peak of the shipbuilding art required numerous pumps and countermeasures to avoid sinking.

by RAFH at

Actually it is not the strength, as in pounds per square inch of tension or compression that makes steel better than wood. Fact is they built large ships out of concrete during WW1. A dozen of them. The remains of one is attached to a pier at Seabright Beach State Park on Monterey Bay of California. Concrete is an excellent shipbuilding material and its compressive strength is only about 2000 to 5000 psi (they do make concretes up to 10,000 psi plus). That's roughly the same as wood. Steel, by the way, is about 36,000 psi to 50,000 psi (although again, higher strengths are made).

The big difference is stiffness. The modulus of elasticity of wood ranges from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 psi. Concrete and steel moduli are 29,000,000 psi. Big difference.

Modulus of elasticity is what controls stiffness and that's what limits spans as in the length of a ship.

Another aspect is steel can be made in large sheets and those welded together. Concrete is by nature homogeneous. Wood, by nature, comes in smaller pieces which means a lot more seams and joints. The connections of these is another issue, screws and such hold better in steel than in wood, especially in working joints. More joints in more flexible materials means more working of the joints and the faster they will fail.

Shear strength is another issue to consider, wood is 100 to 300 psi, steel is 36,000 to 50,000 psi. It is the steel in concrete that overcomes concrete's low unreinforced shear strength.

The situation with boats is much the same as with tall buildings and long bridges.

And, no, it is not possible to build a wooden ship of the dimensions noted for the ark. OK, you could build it but it would fall apart almost immediately even in calm water. In any kind of storm, it wouldn't last an hour.

Funniest thing about all the ark designs, they never show any means of propulsion and without propulsion there is no way to direct a ship to go anywhere. Ships in storms face huge forces and its absolutely necessary to keep the ship as perpendicular to the waves as possible unless you have the ship set up to 'lay to'. If a ship is traveling downwind, with the waves, if it doesn't keep up a given speed it will not have steerage and it will broach. Even aircraft carriers and supertankers can not survive major broaching. One of the Iowa class battleship, arguably the strongest ships ever built, would be hard pressed to survive a major broach.

Anyway, there is never any form of propulsion shown or discussed. Certainly 8 humans, even if they weren't worked to death caring for thousands of wild animals, would never be able to propel even a small ship in calm waters. In a storm, even trying would likely be fatal.

Here's one reason large wooden ships have a limit: Hogging.

From that site:

"Until the 1920's a large percentage of the world's shipping consisted of large wooden ships and their plague, after plain old rot, was "hog". A ship floating quietly in still water is subjected to external forces. These are the weight of the vessel on its cargo (downwards) and the buoyancy force (upwards). Archimedes showed us that for a floating vessel, these two forces must be equal in magnitude. For a floating rectangular piece of wood, they are also equal in distribution. For most normally shaped ships, the distribution is not equal. For example, when an empty ship has more weight (relatively heavy structure, engines and equipment) in the ends, and more buoyancy in the middle. This "excess" of buoyancy in the middle cause the middle to rise up and the ends to bend down -- a hog in profile. The opposite condition is sagging. For old wooden ships, this resulted in a long term, plastic deformation. The total curvature could be a meter or more in larger vessels. Some vessels like the Wapama hogged so much that they nearly broke in two. Hogging is no longer the problem it was in the 1920's when it threatened the nation's merchant fleet -- because those ships have sunk!

"Wooden ships, even wooden warships like USS Constitution, are actually quite weak even when new. Although solid shot may have ricocheted from their sides, they are generally unable, over time, to resist the fairly small forces they are subjected to moored in still water. There is a false idea that amazingly still has some following, that wooden ships were strong because they would flex. In fact, relative movement between structural members allows fresh water to enter the hull structure, carrying rot fungus spores deep inside.

"Engineers have often attempted to analyze the structures of wooden ships as if they were homogeneous box girders. This is a common misapplication of beam theory. Actually, a wooden ship, especially as it ages, more closely resembles a rather weakly bound bundle of reeds. These reeds are free to slide past each other. If traditionally built wooden ships were box girders, then one would expect to see many tensile failures amidships in the upper deck of a severely hogged vessel; however, this is not the case. Failures in longitudinal structure are infrequent and tend to be scattered almost uniformly throughout the vessel. The idea of "strength decks" or "extreme fiber" is largely irrelevant to the meaningful analysis of old wooden ships. Microscopic investigation reveal a generally low level of stress in "hogged" structural members. There often is evidence of plastic behavior, creep, around fastenings. Large overall deflections in the hull can be achieved with a very small amount of creep around the fastenings.

"The bundle of reeds metaphor implies that the ship is comparatively poor at resisting longitudinal loads due to a weakness in shear. Wooden ships are generally stiffer in lateral loading since the transverse frames are like individual beams. As a vessel ages and softens, even these relatively stiff beams can suffer large creep deflections. USS Constellation is an extreme example of an old, soft wooden ship and probably has large lateral deflections as well as hog -- behaving more like a wet wicker basket than a bundle of reeds. Pushing up on the bottom of the basket causes the sides to bulge out and the bilges to drop. This is evidently the case since the keel has deflected over two feet and there is much less curvature in the upper decks. The vessel is also soft transversely. That is apparent from the curvature of the gun deck which is hogged in several distinct undulations. The upward force on the bottom comes from an unequal distribution of the weight and buoyancy forces on the vessel. In a newer, stiffer vessel it is possible to minimize this net force by the judicious placement of ballast both longitudinally and transversely in the bottom of the vessel. Here's a link to a TCM paper on hogging"

As for the affect the downpour would have on the Earth:

written by Gawen at

First- the global flood supposedly (Scripturally) covered the planet, [...]and Mount Everest is 8,848 meters tall. The diameter of the earth at the equator, on the other hand, is 12,756.8 km. All we have to do is calculate the volume of water to fill a sphere with a radius of the Earth + Mount Everest; then we subtract the volume of a sphere with a radius of the Earth. Now, I know this won't yield a perfect result, because the Earth isn't a perfect sphere, but it will serve to give a general idea about the amounts involved.

So, here are the calculations:

First, Everest

V= 4/3 * pi * r cubed
= 4/3 * pi * 6387.248 km cubed
= 1.09151 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.09151x102 km3)

Now, the Earth at sea level

V = 4/3 * pi * r cubed
= 4/3 * pi * 6378.4 km cubed
= 1.08698 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.08698x1012 km3)

The difference between these two figures is the amount of water needed to just cover the Earth:

4.525 x 10 to the ninth cubic kilometres (4.525x1009 km3) Or, to put into a more sensible number, 4,525,000,000,000 cubic kilometres

This is one helluva lot of water.

For those who think it might come from the polar ice caps, please don't forget that water is more dense than ice, and thus that the volume of ice present in those ice caps would have to be more than the volume of water necessary.

Some interesting physical effects of all that water, too. How much weight do you think that is? Well, water at STP weighs in at 1 gram/cubic centimetre (by definition),

4.252x1009 km3 of water,
X 106 (= cubic meters),
X 106 (= cubic centimetres),
X 1 g/cm3 (= grams),
X 10-3 (= kilograms),
(turn the crank)
equals 4.525E+21 kg.

Ever wonder what the effects of that much weight would be? Well, many times in the near past (i.e., the Pleistocene), continental ice sheets covered many of the northern states and most all of Canada. For the sake of argument, let's call the area covered by the Wisconsinian advance (the latest and greatest) was 10,000,000,000 (ten million) km2, by an average thickness of 1 km of ice (a good was thicker in some areas [the zones of accumulation] and much thinner elsewhere [at the ablating edges]). Now, 1.00x1007 km2 X 1 km thickness equals 1.00E+07 km3 of ice.

Now, remember earlier that we noted that it would take 4.525x1009 km3 of water for the flood? Well, looking at the Wisconsinian glaciation, all that ice (which is frozen water, remember?) would be precisely 0.222% [ the math](that's zero decimal two hundred twenty two thousandths) percent of the water needed for the flood.

Well, the Wisconsinian glacial stade ended about 25,000 YBP (years before present), as compared for the approximately supposedly 4,000 YBP flood event.

Due to these late Pleistocene glaciations (some 21,000 years preceding the supposed flood), the mass of the ice has actually depressed the crust of the Earth. That crust, now that the ice is gone, is slowly rising (called glacial rebound); and this rebound can be measured, in places (like northern Wisconsin), in centimetres/year. Sea level was also lowered some 10's of meters due to the very finite amount of water in the Earth's hydrosphere being locked up in glacial ice sheets (geologists call this glacioeustacy).

Now, glacial rebound can only be measured, obviously, in glaciated terranes, i.e., the Sahara is not rebounding as it was not glaciated during the Pleistocene. This lack of rebound is noted by laser ranged interferometery and satellite geodesy [so there], as well as by geomorphology. Glacial striae on bedrock, eskers, tills, moraines, rouche moutenees, drumlins, kame and kettle topography, fjords, deranged fluvial drainage and erratic blocks all betray a glacier's passage. Needless to say, these geomorphological expressions are not found everywhere on Earth (for instance, like the Sahara). Therefore, although extensive, the glaciers were a local (not global) is scale. Yet, at only 0.222% the size of the supposed flood, they have had a PROFOUND and EASILY recognisable and measurable effects on the lands.

Yet, the supposed flood of Noah, supposedly global in extent, supposedly much more recent, and supposedly orders of magnitude larger in scale; has exactly zero measurable effects and zero evidence for it's occurrence.

Golly, Wally. I wonder why that may be...?

Further, Mount Everest extends through 2/3 of the Earth's atmosphere. Since two forms of matter can't occupy the same space, we have an additional problem with the atmosphere. Its current boundary marks the point at which gasses of the atmosphere can escape the Earth's gravitational field. Even allowing for partial dissolving of the atmosphere into our huge ocean, we'd lose the vast majority of our atmosphere as it is raised some 5.155 km higher by the rising flood waters; and it boils off into space.

Yet, we still have a quite thick and nicely breathable atmosphere. In fact, ice cores from Antarctica (as well as deep-sea sediment cores) which can be geochemically tested for paleoatmospheric constituents and relative gas ratios; and these records extend well back into the Pleistocene, far more than the supposed 4,000 YBP flood event. Strange that this major loss of atmosphere, atmospheric fractionation (lighter gasses (oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, neon, etc.) would have boiled off first in the flood-water rising scenario, enriching what remained with heavier gasses (argon, krypton, xenon, radon, etc.)), and massive extinctions from such global upheavals are totally unevidenced in these cores.

Even further, let us take a realistic and dispassionate look at the other claims relating to global flooding and other such biblical nonsense.

Particularly, in order to flood the Earth to the Genesis requisite depth of 10 cubits (~15' or 5 m.) above the summit of Mt. Ararat (16,900' or 5,151 m AMSL), it would obviously require a water depth of 16,915' (5,155.7 m), or over three miles above mean sea level. In order to accomplish this little task, it would require the previously noted additional 4.525 x 109 km3 of water to flood the Earth to this depth. The Earth's present hydrosphere (the sum total of all waters in, on and above the Earth) totals only 1.37 x 109 km3. Where would this additional 4.525 x 109 km3 of water come from? It cannot come from water vapour (i.e., clouds) because the atmospheric pressure would be 840 times greater than standard pressure of the atmosphere today. Further, the latent heat released when the vapour condenses into liquid water would be enough to raise the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere to approximately 3,570 C (6,460 F).

Someone, who shall properly remain anonymous, suggested that all the water needed to flood the Earth existed as liquid water surrounding the globe (i.e., a "vapour canopy"). This, of course, it staggeringly stupid. What is keeping that much water from falling to the Earth? There is a little property called gravity that would cause it to fall.

Let's look into that from a physical standpoint. To flood the Earth, we have already seen that it would require 4.252 x 109 km3 of water with a mass of 4.525 x 1021 kg. When this amount of water is floating about the Earth's surface, it stored an enormous amount of potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy when it falls, which, in turn, is converted to heat upon impact with the Earth. The amount of heat released is immense:

Potential energy: E=M*g*H, where
M = mass of water,
g = gravitational constant and,
H = height of water above surface.

Now, going with the Genesis version of the Noachian Deluge as lasting 40 days and nights, the amount of mass falling to Earth each day is 4.525 x 1021 kg/40 24 hr. periods. This equals 1.10675 x 1020 kilograms daily. Using H as 10 miles (16,000 meters), the energy released each day is 1.73584 x 1025 joules. The amount of energy the Earth would have to radiate per m2/sec is energy divided by surface area of the Earth times number of seconds in one day. That is: e = 1.735384 x 1025/(4*3.14159* ((6386)2*86,400)) = 391,935.0958 j/m2/s.

Currently, the Earth radiates energy at the rate of approximately 215 joules/m2/sec and the average temperature is 280 K. Using the Stefan- Boltzman 4'th power law to calculate the increase in temperature:

E (increase)/E (normal) = T (increase)/T4 (normal)
E (normal) = 215 E (increase) = 391,935.0958 T (normal) = 280.

Turn the crank, and T (increase) equals 1800 K.

The temperature would thusly rise 1800 K, or 1,526.84 C (that's 2,780.33 F...lead melts at 880 F...ed note). It would be highly unlikely that anything short of fused quartz would survive such an onslaught. Also, the water level would have to rise at an average rate of 5.5 inches/min; and in 13 minutes would be in excess of 6' deep.

Finally, at 1800 K water would not exist as liquid.

Noah's flood simply did not happen - unless you appeal to miracles. But appealing to miracles is epistemically worthless since they are unfalsifiable.