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Sermon No: 42221-The Flood



Gavin-Paynter/The-Flood.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: The Flood

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 8 March 2019

Topic Groups: FLOOD, GENESIS, CREATIONISM

Sermon synopsis: We will look at the following questions briefly:
1) Where did the water come from to flood the earth?
2) Where did all the floodwater go to?
3) Did it rain before the flood?
4) What were the waters above the firmament? Did earth have a water canopy?
5) Why did man live for so long before the flood?

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THE FLOOD

We will look at the following questions briefly:

Where did the water come from to flood the earth?

Where did all the floodwater go to?

Did it rain before the flood?

What were the waters above the firmament? Did earth have a water canopy?

Why did man live for so long before the flood?

THE FLOOD

Where did the water come from to flood the earth?

Gen 7:20 (NIV) The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.

15 cubits is about 6.8m. It would take 4.4 billion cubic kms of water to cover Mt. Everest.

Even if the glaciers and ice caps melted, the oceans would only rise some 70m, yet Mt. Everest rises 8,848m above sea level. 1

1 "https:// creation.com/ where-did-all-the-water-go">https:// creation.com/ where-did-all-the-water-go

SOURCE OF WATER

Some argue that the Flood was just a local event restricted to Mesopotamia.

Why then did God not just tell Noah to move instead of going to all the trouble of building the ark?

Why did Noah have to take birds on the ark when they could simply have flown away to safe unflooded areas?

LOCAL FLOOD?

Why would Noah need to take any animals on board the ark, when other representatives of those same animals would surely have survived in the unflooded areas?

Why did the Ark have to be so large? (41 thousand cubic metres, total deck area of around 9,179 square metres - in the category of large metal ocean-going vessels today.)

LOCAL FLOOD?

Gen 7:20 says that “the mountains were covered.” As water always seeks its own level, how could the mountains only be covered in one local area without also covering the mountains in all adjoining areas?

LOCAL FLOOD?

If the flood was only local, why has God not kept his promise that “never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen 9:11)?

LOCAL FLOOD?

The language of Genesis implies a global flood.

Gen 7:4 (NIV) “I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

Gen 7:19 (NIV) They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.  

Gen 7:23 (NIV) Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

GLOBAL FLOOD

Back to the question “How could there be enough water to cover Everest?” The fact is - we know for certain that there was water covering Everest at some point.

Seashell fossils have been found on top of mountain ranges all over the world. The top of Mt. Everest is covered with sedimentary rock containing petrified, closed clams. Since clams open as soon as they die, they had to have been buried alive to be petrified in the closed position. 1

This line of questioning is flawed in that it assumes that the pre-Flood world was the same as the world today and that Everest was at the same elevation.

1 "https:// creationtoday.org/ where-did-the-water-come-from-to-flood-the-earth/">https:// creationtoday.org/ where-did-the-water-come-from-to-flood-the-earth/

SOURCE OF WATER

Gen 7:1 (ESV) In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.

So the water sources for the Flood were:

the fountains of the great deep

the windows of the heavens.

What are “the windows of the heavens”? The expression “windows of heaven” is a reference to rain. Gen 7:12 says that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

The second water source for the Flood was the “fountains of the great deep”.

SOURCE OF WATER

Based on how similar terms are used else- where in Scripture, the “fountains of the great deep” are probably oceanic or possibly subterranean sources of water. In the context of the flood account, it could mean both. 1

1 “The great deep” is used 3 other times: Isa 51:10, where it clearly refers to the ocean; Amos 7:4, where God’s fire of judgment is said to dry up the great deep, probably the oceans… “The deep” is used more often, and usually refers to the oceans (e.g., Gen 1:2; Job 38:30, 41:32; Ps 42:7, 104:6; Isa 51:10, 63:13; Ezek 26:19; Jonah 2:3), but sometimes to subterranean sources of water (Ezek 31:4, 15)… "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html

SOURCE OF WATER

The only reason water doesn’t totally envelop the globe today is because the earth’s surface is uneven.

The ocean basins sit low and the continents sit high. Some mountains are especially high and some ocean trenches are very deep, but these extremes do not account for a large percentage of the earth’s surface. 1

The oceans cover over two-thirds of the earth’s surface to a great depth. The average depth of the major oceans, beyond the continental shelves, is about 12,000 feet [3658m], while some trenches are significantly deeper than Mt. Everest is high. That’s a great deal of water. 2

1 "https:// creation.com/ where-did-all-the-water-go">https:// creation.com/ where-did-all-the-water-go 2 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ the-flood/feedback-where-did-all-floodwater-go/">https:// answersingenesis.org/ the-flood/feedback-where-did-all-floodwater-go/

OCEANIC WATER

The breaking up of the fountains implies the release of the subterranean water, possibly through large fissures in the ground or in the sea floor.

There are many volcanic rocks interspersed between the fossil layers in the rock record—layers that were obviously deposited during Noah’s flood. So it is quite plausible that these fountains of the great deep involved a series of volcanic eruptions with prodigious amounts of water bursting up through the ground. It is interesting that up to 70 percent or more of what comes out of volcanoes today is water, often in the form of steam. 1

1 "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html

SUBTERRANEAN WATER

An evolutionary science website states that “There’s as much water in Earth’s mantle as in all the oceans”.

The deep Earth holds about the same amount of water as our oceans. That’s the conclusion from experiments on rocks typical of those in the mantle transition zone, a global buffer layer 410 to 660 kilometres beneath us that separates the upper from the lower mantle. “If our estimation is correct, it means there’s a large amount of water in the deep Earth,” says Hongzhan Fei at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.”… At least one team has previously discovered water-rich rock fragments in volcanic debris originating from the mantle. 1

1 "https:// www.newscientist.com/ article/2133963-theres-as-much-water-in-earths-mantle-as-in-all-the-oceans/">https:// www.newscientist.com/ article/2133963-theres-as-much-water-in-earths-mantle-as-in-all-the-oceans/

SUBTERRANEAN WATER

Most creation researchers believe the world before the Flood was radically different from today’s world. This pre-Flood world had shallower seas (no deep ocean trenches) and lower mountains, scattered across a single continent. 1

In their catastrophic plate tectonics model for the flood, Austin et al. have proposed that at the onset of the flood, the ocean floor rapidly lifted up to 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) due to an increase in temperature as horizontal movement of the tectonic plates accelerated. This would spill the seawater onto the land and cause massive flooding—perhaps what is aptly described as the breaking up of the “fountains of the great deep.” 2

1 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ the-flood/feedback-where-did-all-floodwater-go">https:// answersingenesis.org/ the-flood/feedback-where-did-all-floodwater-go 2 "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html

PLATE TECTONICS

Most of today’s mountain ranges were probably built by tectonic forces initiated during the Flood. We know this because mountain ranges are full of fossils (mostly marine), and fossils are largely a Flood phenomenon. 1

So the water did not need to rise to cover today’s Mt. Everest because it didn’t exist before the Flood but, rather, was formed during, or shortly after, the Flood by tectonic forces. (These mountains are still growing very slowly in elevation). 1

Evolutionists also believe the mountains were formed by tectonic forces, but they believe it happened over millions of years rather than catastrophically during the yearlong Flood. 1

1 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ the-flood/feedback-where-did-all-floodwater-go/">https:// answersingenesis.org/ the-flood/feedback-where-did-all-floodwater-go/

PLATE TECTONICS

Where did all the water in the flood go to?

Some believe that after the Flood, the mountains lifted up and the valleys sank down and the water ran off.

Ps 104:6-9 (NIV) You covered it [the earth] with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.

If the earth’s surface were even, then there is enough water to cover the globe to a depth of about 3 km.

WHERE IS IT NOW?

So the water from the Flood receded into the oceans!

The surface of Earth is about 71% covered with water, which has given it nicknames such as the “Blue Planet”. The picture here shows the Pacific Ocean viewed from space. From this vantage point of the globe, we can see almost ocean alone.

WHERE IS IT NOW?

After the rain, the water receded for a 150-day period:

Gen 8:3-5 (NIV) The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

WHERE IS IT NOW?

The catastrophic plate tectonics model gives a mechanism for the deepening of the oceans and the rising of mountains at the end of the Flood. As the new ocean floors cooled, they would have become denser and sunk, allowing water to flow off the continents. 1

Movement of the water off the continents and into the oceans would have weighed down the ocean floor and lightened the continents, resulting in the further sinking of the ocean floor, as well as upward movement of the continents. The deepening of the ocean basins and the rising of the continents would have resulted in more water running off the land. 1

1 "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-floodwater.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-floodwater.html

PLATE TECTONICS

The collapse of natural dams holding back the flood waters on the land would also have caused catastrophic flooding. Such rapid movement of large volumes of water would have caused extensive erosion and shaped the basic features of today’s Earth surface. 1

All of the water ran off rapidly through the soft sediments into the ocean basins during the last few months of the Flood. This would explain the rapid carving of features such as the Grand Canyon and the Bad lands. 2

1 "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-floodwater.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-floodwater.html 2 "https:// creationtoday.org/ where-did-the-water-come-from-to-flood-the-earth">https:// creationtoday.org/ where-did-the-water-come-from-to-flood-the-earth

RAPID WATER EROSION

The water flow that carved the river valleys must have been far greater than the volume of water we see flowing in the rivers today. This is consistent with voluminous flood waters draining off the emerging land surfaces at the close of Noah’s Flood, and flowing into the rapidly sinking, newly prepared, deep ocean basins. 1

1 "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-floodwater.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-floodwater.html

RAPID WATER EROSION

Did it rain before the flood?

Often canopy theories are accompanied by the belief that there was no rain before the Flood. Donald Patten wrote:

… the Earth was watered abundantly, though not by rain. It was watered in a different manner than today, when the Earth is watered primarily by rain and somewhat by dew. It is believed that in this earlier age a dew regime was the only mechanism by which the Earth’s surface was watered. 1

1 "http:// www.creationism.org/ patten/PattenBiblFlood/PattenBiblFlood09.htm">http:// www.creationism.org/ patten/PattenBiblFlood/PattenBiblFlood09.htm

RAIN

Initially Eden was watered by a mist.

Gen 2:5-6 (NASB) Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.

But the context seems to indicate that was only the case until the appearance of man and cultivated plants.

RAIN

Could this condition of no rain have lasted until the Flood? If so this might explain why Noah appears to have had difficulty convincing people about a judgement involving rain.

Actually the Bible is silent on this issue. It mentions Noah preaching (2 Pet 2:6), but not being mocked.

RAIN

The rainbow is a covenant sign with Noah. It seems to be something new after the Flood. Yet it is a natural spectrum appearing in the sky after rain. So if there was rain before the Flood surely Noah would have already been familiar with the rainbow.

However if rainbows did exist before the flood, this would not be the only time God used an existing thing as a sign of a covenant e.g. bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper.

RAIN

Furthermore, the Bible gives no indication that the ‘laws of nature’ (really God’s regular ways of upholding His creation) were any different before the Flood from what they are now. Yet they would have to be if there were no evaporation, precipitation and differential refraction before the Flood. 1

So we cannot say with certainty that there was no rain before the Flood.

1 "https:// creation.com/ flood-models-biblical-realism">https:// creation.com/ flood-models-biblical-realism

RAIN

What were the waters above the firmament?

Gen 1:6 (KJV) And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

The Hebrew “raqiya” translated “firmament” (KJV) is rendered as “vault” in the NIV, while the ESV and NASB favour the term “expanse”.

THE CANOPY

Rather than just seeing this as an allusion to clouds, some creationists see this as referring to a water canopy above the atmosphere that existed before the flood.

Isaac Newton Vail was a Quaker learned in mathematics and astronomy. He first proposed the canopy theory in 1874.

Vail supported his case primarily by ancient mythology. In his opinion, this included Genesis 1:6–8. 1

1 "http:// www.creationscience.com/ onlinebook/FAQ3.html">http:// www.creationscience.com/ onlinebook/FAQ3.html

THE CANOPY

Isaac Newton Vail (1840–1912)

THE WATERS ABOVE

THE WATERS BELOW

FIRMAMENT, VAULT, EXPANSE

THE CANOPY

This idea of a canopy may explain certain things we read in Genesis regarding the Creation and the Flood.

Why there may have been no rain initially (due to different atmospheric conditions)

Where all the water came from - to rain for 40 days.

Why the lifespan of man declined rapidly after the Flood.

Why there (possibly) was no rainbow. It may be that there was no rainbow because these will only form if there are direct rays of sunlight (which would have been blocked by a water canopy).

THE CANOPY

Geographer Donald Patten believed that this canopy collapsed during the Deluge and contributed to the flood waters.

In his 1966 book, “The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch”, Patten postulated that the earth interacted with another heavenly body and that icy particles from outer space entered earth’s atmosphere, condensing the canopy and forming the ice masses we have at the poles.

WATER CANOPY

Donald Patten wrote:

If the Earth had a water vapour canopy prior to the Deluge, it is a very easy matter to understand why the canopy condensed and was eliminated at the time of the Flood cataclysm. Ice was captured in avalanches of charged particles, forming the Ice Epoch. Ice particles form the perfect nuclei of condensation. Had there been a primordial canopy of water vapour, and had the Earth captured a substantial amount of ice in particles at the time of the Deluge, the water vapour canopy would have been completely condensed out of the upper atmosphere. 1

1 "http:// www.creationism.org/ patten/PattenBiblFlood/PattenBiblFlood09.htm">http:// www.creationism.org/ patten/PattenBiblFlood/PattenBiblFlood09.htm

WATER CANOPY

In his 1981 book “The Waters Above”, Dr. Joseph Dillow did much research into the idea of a water vapour canopy.

The Genesis 7:11 reference to the windows of heaven being opened has been interpreted as the collapse of such a water vapour canopy, which somehow became unstable and fell as rain. Volcanic eruptions associated with the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep could have thrown dust into the water vapour canopy, causing the water vapour to nucleate on the dust particles and make rain. 1

1 "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html

WATER CANOPY

Canopy-proponents believe that a pre-Flood canopy caused a greenhouse effect resulting in a pleasant sub tropical-to-temperate climate all around the earth, even at the poles.

This would have caused the growth of lush vegetation on the land all around the globe. 1

The discovery of coal seams in Antarctica containing vegetation that is not now found growing at the poles, but which obviously grew under warmer conditions, was taken as support for these ideas. 1

It is proposed that this idyllic climate and the blocking of harmful radiation contributed to longevity and giantism.

1 "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html

WATER CANOPY

Dr. Henry M. Morris was a young Earth creationist and engineer. He was one of the founders of the Institute for Creation Research, and is considered by many to be “the father of modern creation science.”

Dr. Larry Vardiman has a Ph.D. in

CANOPY PROBLEMS

Henry M. Morris (1918-2006)

Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University. In the late 1990’s Morris commissioned Vardiman to explore the water canopy idea by creating computer model simulations.

Larry Vardiman (1942-)

Scientific models were developed and modified to help deal with problems that arose. These models included ideas about the earth’s temperature, atmospheric colour, as well as oxygen concentration (to attempt to explain ancient man’s longevity). 1

Vardiman found multiple issues with the canopy theory.

The computer models showed that if enough water to produce a flood existed in a vapour canopy, it would create a heat problem because of the greenhouse effect. Even the best workable canopy model gives intolerably high temperatures at Earth’s surface (104° Celsius).

1 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ environmental-science/the-collapse-of-the-canopy-model/">https:// answersingenesis.org/ environmental-science/the-collapse-of-the-canopy-model/

CANOPY PROBLEMS

A canopy holding only 40 feet [12m] of liquid water, or its equivalent weight of vapour (steam) or ice, would double the Earth’s atmospheric pressure—making oxygen and nitrogen toxic to many animals, including humans. 1

If a canopy existed and collapsed at the time of the Flood to supply the rainfall, the latent heat of condensation would have boiled the atmosphere! 2

1 "http:// www.creationscience.com/ onlinebook/FAQ33.html">http:// www.creationscience.com/ onlinebook/FAQ33.html 2 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ environmental-science/the-collapse-of-the-canopy-model/">https:// answersingenesis.org/ environmental-science/the-collapse-of-the-canopy-model/

CANOPY PROBLEMS

Rush and Vardiman have attempted a solution, but found that they had to drastically reduce the amount of water vapour in the canopy from a rain equivalent of 12m to only 0.5m. Further modelling suggested that a maximum of 2m of water could be held in such a canopy, even if all relevant factors were adjusted to the best possible values to maximize the amount of water stored. Such a reduced canopy would not significantly contribute to the 40 days and nights of rain at the beginning of the flood. 1

Currently, the pitfalls of the canopy model have grown to such an extent that most researchers have abandoned the model. 2

1 "https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html">https:// christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c010.html 2 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ environmental-science/the-collapse-of-the-canopy-model/">https:// answersingenesis.org/ environmental-science/the-collapse-of-the-canopy-model/

CANOPY PROBLEMS

In a modification of the canopy theory, Vardiman suggested that much of the “waters above” could have been stored in small ice particles distributed in equatorial rings around the Earth similar to the icy rings around Saturn.

CANOPY PROBLEMS

But Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT) is probably the most popular model for the Flood among creationists today, being held by (amongst others) Steven A. Austin, John R. Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew A. Snelling, Larry Vardiman and Kurt P. Wise.

In this model “volcanic activity associated with the breaking up of the pre-flood ocean floor would have created a linear geyser (like a wall) of superheated steam from the ocean, causing intense global rain.” 1

This accepts much of the evidence adduced to support uniformitarian plate tectonics, but with rapid timescales.. The model begins with a pre-Flood super-continent – as suggested by Genesis 1:9.

1 Ibid.

PLATE TECTONICS

Andrew Snelling holds a PhD in geology from the University of Sydney. On reading Genesis 1:9–10 he realized that the landmass God formed on Day 3 of the Creation Week was probably a supercontinent.

PLATE TECTONICS

Gen 1:9-10 (NIV) And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.”

Now director of research at Answers in Genesis–USA, Snelling writes: “In 1859 creationist geologist Antonio Snider-Pellegrini noticed the jigsaw puzzle fit of North and South America with Europe and Africa if the Atlantic Ocean basin were closed up.” 1

Snelling theorised that the supercontinent of Gen 1:9-10 “broke apart during the Flood and continental sprint opened up today’s Atlantic Ocean.” 1

1 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ geology/plate-tectonics/noahs-lost-world">https:// answersingenesis.org/ geology/plate-tectonics/noahs-lost-world

Thus was born the catastrophic plate tectonics model, which provides a physical mechanism for the Flood. At the initiation of the Flood the fountains of the great deep were broken up (Genesis 7:11), ripping apart the pre-Flood supercontinent. 1

1 Ibid. Note though that Snelling does not believe that Pangea was the supercontinent of Noah’s day, but rather a temporary one during the Flood. He postulates that the original supercontinent was Rodinia.

PLATE TECTONICS

The upwelling molten rock from the underlying mantle then helped to propel the continental fragments across the globe, opening up new ocean basins and colliding to produce today’s mountains. Much geologic data is consistent with this scenario, although the rapid movement of plates is a separate topic. 1

1 Ibid.

PLATE TECTONICS

Earlier Donald Patten proposed that a passing cosmic body generated great tidal activity in the Flood and also caused the genesis of the great mountain ranges. He writes:

The Earth contains about 200 times as much water as atmosphere, mass to mass. The Earth contains about 1,000 times as much magma as ocean, volume to volume. And the magma is heavier. Thus there is about 5,000 times as much magma as ocean, ton by ton, or kilogram by kilogram. This gives an idea of comparisons. If we conclude that tidal activity of the oceans resulted in some 2 tons of pressure per square inch on the external side of the Earth’s surface, what would be the force or the up-thrust of the vastly greater magma upon the inside of the Earth’s crust or skin?

OROGENESIS

1 "http:// www.creationism.org/ patten/PattenBiblFlood/PattenBiblFlood05.htm">http:// www.creationism.org/ patten/PattenBiblFlood/PattenBiblFlood05.htm

Patten believed that the great mountain ranges of the Americas (Rockies and Andes) and those in Eurasia (Himalayas) were lifted suddenly during the Flood.

He writes that “mountains are not dispersed in a random pattern over the surface of the Earth. They are strung out, something like the way a string of lights is hung around a Christmas tree, hanging from branch to branch, in arcuate curves. 

Orogenetic uplift in the Americas with the component arcs.

 The entire pattern is suggestive of counter-dominating gravities, viscous, fluid magmas, and a rotating sphere. If tidal mechanisms uplifted the mountain systems of the Earth as well as the oceans at the time of the Flood, then the geography of both hemispheres has been drastically reorganized by this celestial event.”

Orogenetic uplift in South Eurasia with the component arcs.

1 Ibid.

Why did man live for so long before the flood and what happened at the Flood to reduce the lifespan?

Adam lived to be 930 years old (Gen 5:5) and Methuselah, the oldest human recorded, lived 969 years (v. 27). Some claim that the years then were actually months. Thus one must divide their lifespans by 12.

But this does not work when one considers the age at which the patriarchs had their children. E.g. Enoch had Methuselah at age 65. If we divide by 12, we end up having him become a father just after he turned 5 years old!

LONGEVITY

Furthermore Noah was clearly using a calendar which had years, months and days.

Gen 8:4-5 (NIV) and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

Gen 8:13 (NIV) By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth.

LONGEVITY

Some have thought that the decline in longevity is linked to the change in diet.

People were first permitted to eat meat after the Flood (Gen 9:3), so some scholars thought the original vegetarian diet (Gen 1:29) would have helped people live to such great ages. Some have further pointed toward Daniel and his request of a vegetarian diet (Dan 1:8–16).

However, vegetarian diets never allowed people to live to such ages as 900 years even today. In fact, there’s little evidence that vegetarians attain a life span much different than those who retain meat in the diet. 1

1 Ibid.

DIET?

Was there an ancient vapour canopy around the Earth that shielded pre-Flood inhabitants from harmful radiation that causes everything from skin cancer, mutations and more?

Could this explain why the antediluvians lived so long?

RADIATION?

In 1984 Henry Morris wrote that the canopy “would certainly have had the further effect of efficiently filtering harmful radiation from space, markedly reducing the rate of somatic mutations in living cells, and, as a consequence, drastically decreasing the rate of aging and death.” 1

In this view, when the shielding canopy collapsed in the form of rain during the Flood, this resulted in the dramatic drop-off in longevity.

1 Scientific Creationism, 1984, p. 211.

RADIATION?

But water vapour is not a great shield for UV—you can be sunburned on a cloudy day and while swimming. 1 There is no evidence that cosmic radiation has any influence on aging.

One test, which might have shown that cosmic or solar radiation reduces longevity, failed. Mice were raised in deep caves, shielded from both types of radiation. Neither those mice nor their offspring lived longer than other mice. 2

Also, if radiation from outer space accelerated aging, then living at a lower elevation, where one is protected by a thicker blanket of atmosphere, should increase longevity. No such effect is known. 2

1 "https:// creation.com/ flood-models-biblical-realism">https:// creation.com/ flood-models-biblical-realism 2 "http:// www.creationscience.com/ onlinebook/FAQ32.html">http:// www.creationscience.com/ onlinebook/FAQ32.html

RADIATION?

All positions which attempt to explain the ‘lifespan drop’ in environmental terms have another bit of data to explain, and that is the temporary persistence of longevity after the Flood. Noah was 600 at the time of the Flood, but lived another 350 years afterwards, in the post-flood atmosphere! Even in pre-Flood terms, Noah was already of moderately advanced age. One would presume that, if the post-Flood atmosphere/environment has such devastating effects on us now, then because Noah would have been instantly exposed to these same effects, it should have cut his life short much more rapidly. Actually, only Methuselah and Jared lived longer than Noah. 1

1 "https:// creation.com/ decreased-lifespans-have-we-been-looking-in-the-right-place">https:// creation.com/ decreased-lifespans-have-we-been-looking-in-the-right-place

RADIATION?

Some have proposed that increased oxygen levels prior to the Flood (which changed significantly after the Flood) would allow the body to better heal and eliminate disease. 1

They argue that the water canopy would also condense the air beneath it, increasing the air pressure at ground level.

This meant lots more oxygen per square inch for an organism to take in at one time. This is called a hyperbaric condition. It promotes rapid growth and large size as well as rapid healing and cell regeneration. 2

1 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood/">https:// answersingenesis.org/ bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood 2 "https:// christianity.stackexchange.com/ questions/2972/why-did-people-live-so-long-before-the-flood">https:// christianity.stackexchange.com/ questions/2972/why-did-people-live-so-long-before-the-flood

OXYGEN?

Hyperbaric medicine is medical treatment in which an ambient pressure greater than sea level atmospheric pressure is a necessary component. The treatment comprises hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the medical use of oxygen at an ambient pressure higher than atmospheric pressure, and therapeutic recompression for decompression illness, intended to reduce the injurious effects of systemic gas bubbles by physically reducing their size and providing improved conditions for elimination of bubbles and excess dissolved gas. 1

1 "https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Hyperbaric_medicine">https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Hyperbaric_medicine

OXYGEN?

Hyperbaric chamber

To further support the argument that originally the earth’s atmosphere was denser they note that the “giant flying reptiles such as the pterosaurs (pterodactyls and pteranodons) would be unable to fly in our present atmosphere. They needed a heavier atmosphere to get enough air to lift them with their 40 to 50-foot wingspans. 1

But Jonathan Sarfati writes “Earlier calculations had overlooked a tiny bone called the pteroid. This is unique to pterosaurs, and was previously thought to bend inwards. 

1 "https:// present-truth.org/ 11-Devilution/Evolution%20of%20Creationist/">https:// present-truth.org/ 11-Devilution/Evolution%20of%20Creationist/

PRESSURE

 But Matthew Wilkinson and his team in the animal flight group at Cambridge University, UK, studied pterosaur fossils and showed that the pteroid pointed forward. This evidently supported a front flap of skin that acted as a movable leading edge on the wing. … The pteroid and flap enabled the pterosaur to use ‘aerodynamic tricks like those found in modern aircraft’. Angling this flap would increase lift by a huge 30%, so even the largest pterosaurs could take off by simply spreading their wings into a moderate breeze. And this extra lift would mean their minimum flying speed (i.e. below which they would stall) was reduced by 15%, allowing a smooth landing. Also, by flexing the pteroid on one wing and extending it on the other, they would have different lifts on both wings, enabling them to bank during turns. 1

1 "https:// creation.com/ pterosaurs-flew-like-modern-aeroplanes">https:// creation.com/ pterosaurs-flew-like-modern-aeroplanes

PRESSURE

Genesis 9 tells how Noah planted a vineyard after the flood and became drunk from the fruit of it. This is an aberration in the life of this godly man. Some have suggested that Noah did not know his grape juice would ferment so quickly or so extensively in the post-flood atmosphere. Or perhaps the reduced atmospheric pressure made it harder for him to “hold his drink.” While this is only speculation, the removal of the vapour canopy could help explain this curious situation. 1

1 "https:// www.genesispark.com/ exhibits/early-earth/atmosphere/">https:// www.genesispark.com/ exhibits/early-earth/atmosphere/

OXYGEN?

… although there are some benefits to a temporary increase in oxygen in some cases (e.g., hyperbaric medicine), in other cases it is detrimental to your health (e.g., birth defects such as blindness in children due to supplemental oxygen, oxygen toxicity, swelling of lenses in the eye causing blurred vision, etc.). 1

Increased oxygen levels can cause a host of other problems because oxygen is extremely reactive, causing oxidation where your body doesn’t want it. People often eat foods that are high in antioxidants to reduce these extra “free radicals” of oxygen. Regardless, the simple fact is that such experiments have not permitted people to live to ages remotely close to 900 years. 1

1 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood/">https:// answersingenesis.org/ bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood

OXYGEN

Even though the post-Flood decline in longevity is obvious, we see that eight generations after the Flood, people are still living more than twice as long as is common today.

It would seem much easier to explain the situation if the change occurred within the makeup of humans, rather than external to them. If our longevity is genetically pre-programmed, then that can explain why Noah still lived for a considerable time after the Flood, regardless of any change in radiation or atmospheric pressure. In other words, he was fulfilling his genetic potential as far as lifespan was concerned (in the absence of accidental death or disease). Barring accidental death, one-celled organisms are potentially ‘immortal’. 1

1 "https:// creation.com/ decreased-lifespans-have-we-been-looking-in-the-right-place">https:// creation.com/ decreased-lifespans-have-we-been-looking-in-the-right-place

GENETICS

A bacterial cell reproduces by dividing into two where there was one, those two then become four, and so on. Why then do multi-celled organisms die? Individual human cells in tissue culture divide some 50 times and then stop -some sort of pre-programmed genetic limit is reached. Human tumour cells, on the other hand, can be propagated indefinitely by division -the DNA mechanism for preprogrammed cessation of division appears to be lacking or damaged in such cancer cells. In multicellular organisms, once damaged and worn cells can no longer replace themselves, death is only a matter of time as the function of whole organ systems deteriorates. So even without accidents or disease, there is a programmed ‘upper limit’ on our age, which appears to be 120 years or so. 1

1 Ibid.

GENETICS

According to the DailMail UK, a British neurobiologist, Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, believes 120 years might be a real absolute to human lifespan’ and that even with medical advances, it’s unlikely the threshold will be raised. 1

Gen 6:3 (NIV) Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

The NLT paraphrases it:

Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.”

1 "https:// www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2802895/we-ll-soon-live-120-years-old-probably-absolute-limit-claims-expert.html">https:// www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2802895/we-ll-soon-live-120-years-old-probably-absolute-limit-claims-expert.html

GENETICS

Many believe that the 120 years simply refers to the time until the Flood judgement will come but a few versions give a similar rendering to the NLT (CEV, GNT, ISV, GWT).

In contrast to Blakemore, Dr Pankaj Kapahi, a researcher at Buck Institute of Age Research, California believes that scientific breakthroughs could potential extend human lives dramatically, by 4 or 5 fold.

This could eventually lead to people living until they were 500 years old, for example. He made these claims after tweaking two genetic pathways in the lab worm Caenorhabditis elegans, which successfully boosted the creature’s lifespan by a factor of 5. 1

1 Ibid.

GENETICS

Suggestive evidence in support of this is the fact that in some other organisms (for example, fruitflies), it has been shown that changes in average lifespans can be bred into or out of populations. Most of us also know of individual family lines in which many successive generations all seem to live to very ripe old ages, with apparently delayed senescence relative to the norm. Reports of entire populations (for example, the Hunzas) living to 100+ far more frequently than is the case in our society (in spite of indulgence in tobacco and alcohol) has caused many to hunt for their dietary secrets. However, genetics would seem to provide an obvious answer. 1

1 "https:// creation.com/ decreased-lifespans-have-we-been-looking-in-the-right-place">https:// creation.com/ decreased-lifespans-have-we-been-looking-in-the-right-place

GENETICS

Carl Wieland from creation.com suggests “that our ancestors simply possessed genes for greater longevity which caused this ‘genetic limit’ to human ages to be set at a higher level in the past.” 1

If this suggestion has merit as the major (if not the sole) cause of greater pre-Flood ages, then the obvious question is how some of these longevity genes were lost. 1

Dr John Sanford received a Ph.D. in 1980 in plant breeding/plant genetics. In his book Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of our Declining Genome, he showed that mutational load in a ‘bottleneck’ situation could easily have generated that drop in ages.

1 "https:// creation.com/ decreased-lifespans-have-we-been-looking-in-the-right-place">https:// creation.com/ decreased-lifespans-have-we-been-looking-in-the-right-place

GENETICS

Population bottlenecks occur when a population’s size is reduced for at least one generation.

The genetic drift caused by a population bottleneck can change the proportional random distribution of alleles and even lead to loss of alleles.

No matter how large the subsequent population numbers become, the loss is irreversible and the new population have much less genetic variation.

GENETIC BOTTLENECK

In the 1990s it was proposed that the decline in lifespans had genetic causes. Recent advanced computer programs vindicate this proposal, showing that an exponential decline of lifespans fits well with accumulating mutations after the catastrophic population bottleneck at the Flood. 1

There were two major genetic bottlenecks:

At the Flood

At the Tower of Babel 2

Genetic bottlenecks cause a significant loss of access to other people’s versions of genes (called alleles) that are essentially lost. 2

1 "https:// creation.com/ flood-models-biblical-realism">https:// creation.com/ flood-models-biblical-realism 2 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood">https:// answersingenesis.org/ bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood

GENETIC BOTTLENECK

There was a loss of a great many alleles from the gene pool of those who died in the Flood. 1

The obvious loss of pre-Flood people reduced the alleles in the gene pool in humanity to only 8 people, but really only 6. Scripture reveals that Noah and his wife had no more sons after the Flood (Gen 10). So, this leaves Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their wives, and, of course, these 3 men each inherited their genes from the same 2 parents. 1

Early generations after the Flood saw marriages between people who were close relatives. (Such close intermarriage was not forbidden until the time of Moses).

1 "https:// answersingenesis.org/ bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood/">https:// answersingenesis.org/ bible-questions/why-did-people-have-shorter-lives-after-flood

FLOOD BOTTLENECK

If you look at the ages of people born after the Flood, there is a sudden drop in lifespan which stabilized at round 450 years.

1

Arphaxad

438

"https:// biblia.com/ bible/esv/Gen%2011.12%E2%80%9313">Gen 11:12–13

2

Shelah

433

"https:// biblia.com/ bible/esv/Gen%2011.14%E2%80%9315">Gen 11:14–15

3

Eber

464

"https:// biblia.com/ bible/esv/Gen%2011.16%E2%80%9317">Gen 11:16–17

TOWER BOTTLENECK

After the Tower of Babel and the dispersion of the people, ages again suddenly drop from about 450 to around 235 for 3 generations. Even 2 generations after this, Terah lived to only 205. But age limits trickle down from there.

1

Peleg

239

"https:// biblia.com/ bible/esv/Gen%2011.18%E2%80%9319">Gen 11:18–19

2

Reu

239

"https:// biblia.com/ bible/esv/Gen%2011.20%E2%80%9321">Gen 11:20–21

3

Serug

230

"https:// biblia.com/ bible/esv/Gen%2011.22%E2%80%9323">Gen 11:22–23

Mendel’s Accountant (MENDEL) is a Genetics Simulation Tool for Studying Mutation and Natural Selection. It is an advanced numerical simulation program for modelling genetic entropy over time. 1 It was developed collaboratively by John Sanford, John Baumgardner, Wes Brewer, Paul Gibson and Walter ReMine.

Based on this research, former atheist (now YEC) Sanford holds that the human genome is deteriorating, and therefore could not have evolved through a process of mutation and selection as specified by the modern evolutionary synthesis.

1 MENDEL’s input variables include such things as mutation rate, distribution specifications for mutation effects, extent of dominance, mating characteristics, selection method, average fertility, heritability, non-scaling noise, linkage block properties, chromosome number, genome size, population size, population sub-structure, and number of generations.

GENETIC BOTTLENECK

Using Mendel’s Accountant, Sanford entered values consistent with the Flood bottleneck recorded in Scripture.

GENETIC BOTTLENECK

The resultant genetic entropy decay curve looked like this.

GENETIC BOTTLENECK

What is startling is that the predicted decay curve follows the same pattern as what is recorded in Genesis in terms of decline in longevity. The pattern is not random, but is decaying in a mathematically predictable manner.

GENETIC BOTTLENECK

So the Flood and the Tower bottlenecks did something significant to cause ages to drop. In both cases, there is a loss or splitting up of the gene pool. 1

With these bottlenecks, a host of alleles would have been filtered out and lost. For example, immune systems may not be as good, resulting in more infectious disease. 1

The decrease in longevity as recorded in Scripture follows the same pattern as a computer model predicts for genetic entropy after a population bottleneck.

1 Ibid

GENETICS

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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