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Noah's Flood - And Then Some

from the January 04, 2011 eNews issue
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Northeastern Australia is currently under a whole lot of water. Nearly 200,000 residents have been forced to leave their home by floods that Queensland State Treasurer Andrew Fraser described as a "disaster of biblical proportions." Fraser estimated the ultimate cost of the flooding would exceed A$1 billion (USD $980 million). That may not be truly biblical proportions, but it is pretty bad, and the people of Queensland are hurting.

A bit closer to biblical proportions, the Indo-Asian News Service, via The Hindustan Times, declared last month that, "Noah's flood began in 6,000 BC Canada, created Persian Gulf." That's an interesting headline. It is still not referring to a global flood that covered all the earth's land, but rather a time after the last ice age when the water levels in the earth's oceans rose by a significant amount.

University of Birmingham professor Jeffrey Rose believes a lot of flooding put the Persian Gulf under water several thousand years ago. In the article "New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis" in the journal Current Anthropology, Rose proposes that major civilizations are buried under the waters of the Persian Gulf. He hasn't, of course, done a great deal of scuba diving and actually found these civilizations. He reasons, however, that there must be a great deal more, because of what archeologists have found along the edge of the Persian Gulf.

Archeological digs in countries along the Persian Gulf have uncovered well-built stone houses and roads and beautifully decorated pottery – the markings of a developed civilization. However, there is little in the way of less sophisticated civilizations underneath. This indicates that the people who built these stone buildings came from elsewhere,already having the cultural and architectural knowledge to put together strong cities.  These cultures also offer little evidence that they mixed with African cultures of the time. Rose proposes that the civilizations they came from are now under the Indian Ocean.

"Perhaps it is no coincidence that the founding of such remarkably well developed communities along the shoreline corresponds with the flooding of the Persian Gulf basin around 8,000 years ago," Rose said. "These new colonists may have come from the heart of the Gulf, displaced by rising water levels that plunged the once fertile landscape beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean."

Scientists argue that glaciers melted at the end of the last ice age, sending massive amounts of waters into the world's oceans, causing the oceans to rise. Some people might argue that this rise in sea level caused the flooding associated with Noah's Flood and the flood legends of cultures around the world.

Brian Thomas, writing for the Institute for Creation Research, offers an alternative view. Thomas presents the model long proposed by some creationists that there was just one Ice Age, and it was a direct result of Noah's Flood. It caused additional flooding when massive continental lakes broke through glacial dams and poured water back into the oceans, producing the rise in sea level that archeologists see in the Persian Gulf.

Thomas agrees with the majority of today's geologists that glacial melting and the collapse of dams did cause a rise in sea levels several thousand years ago (though there is a debate about exactly how many thousands of years). Lake Agassiz once filled an area massively greater than today's Lake Winnipeg in Canada.  In fact, Lake Agassiz alone is estimated to have held more water than all the lakes in existence today, including the Great Lakes of North America. The collapse of a glacial dam is credited with allowing those waters to gush out into the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic near Hudson Bay. Lake Missoula in Montana broke free several times during the same era, carving the Columbia Gorge in Washington State.

One major difference in opinions, however, is over what caused the Ice Age in the first place. Where did all that glacial ice come from? The Institute For Creation Research proposes that volcanic ash and debris in the air would have caused global cooling soon after the Flood of Noah.  Water had already evaporated in the warm weather immediately after the Flood, and it precipitated over the land. Massive glacial sheets and continental lakes would have formed where water had collected and cooled. When the dust settled and the ice melted, these huge lakes would have sent enough water into the oceans to make them rise 300 feet.

Thomas concludes, "Having drained within just years, all these Ice Age lakes would certainly have displaced low-elevation peoples in the Middle East. Rose's theory is an echo of the connection already made by creation research between the breaching of Ice Age dams and a rise in sea level."

We are certain that the people in Queensland will fare better, especially if they get some help. They will have to rebuild, yes, but at least the water they face will go away.


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Related Links:

  •   New Light on Human Prehistory in the Arabo-Persian Gulf Oasis - Current Anthropology
  •   Lost Civilization Under Persian Gulf? - Fox News
  •   Noah's Flood Began in 6,000 BC Canada, Created Persian Gulf - Indo-Asian News Service
  •   'New' Flood Theory Echoes Creation Research - ICR
  •   Australia Flood Hit Too Early To Call Re-Insurers - Reuters