To the Editor,
Was the Flood Mythical?
I enjoy reading John McKay’s articles and find them very informative and well written. However, in a recent article Mr. McKay questioned the biblical account of Noah and the flood and I must take exception to his views in this matter. He looks at these things from a somewhat skeptical and perhaps atheistic point of view while I view these things from a Christian and biblical perspective.
In his article he questioned why “some god” would cause such a flood in the first place, but the Bible says in Genesis 6 that the “wickedness of man” was great on the earth. Suppose God had allowed this terrible wickedness to go unchecked down through the ages. Just think what our world would be like today. Suppose a man such as Adolf Hitler (who was responsible for the death of millions of people) was allowed to live on for many years or imagine a world full of Hitlers. We can’t even comprehend what such a world would be like. The kindest thing that a loving God could do was to bring judgment on the world of that time and start over with Noah and his family.
Also, Mr. McKay questions how the Ark could carry such a load. I would like to give two reasons how this was possible. First, the Ark was a huge ship - 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Even these dimensions are very interesting as they represent a very advanced knowledge of shipbuilding. It was not until 1884 that a larger boat was built - the Italian vessel “Eturia”. The Ark was almost half the size of the “Queen Mary.” Secondly, how could Noah possibly pack all of those critters on board? One of America’s leading systematic taxonomists says that “one may reasonably conclude that no more than 35,000 individual vertebrate animals, the size of a sheep (overall average size) boarded the Ark”. Noah would not have taken two full-grown elephants, for example, but would have taken two much smaller younger ones. It is estimated that a train hauling 150 box cars could easily handle these animals. But the Ark had a carrying capacity of more than 520 box cars. In other words, there was more than enough room in the Ark. Noah and his family would have had room to play floor hockey if they had a mind to do so.
So the question is asked - how could Noah feed and keep these animals for over a year while they were at sea. One very possible explanation might involve that mysterious and remarkable factor of animal physiology known as hibernation, where an animal can endure long periods of complete inactivity. The Bible says the animals went aboard 2 by 2 and certain ones by 7¢ s, and came off the same way (including the rabbits which would have made a good meal for some).
The question is often asked - were there dinosaurs on the Ark? The answer is probably yes, there would have been small dinosaurs on board, as there is now evidence that man and dinosaurs did indeed live on the earth at the same time. For example, dinosaur footprints have been located in the same strata with human footprints in Glen Rose, Texas, and in the Bible in the book of Job, Job describes what can only be some sort of dinosaur.
Another question asked is how could Noah gather all these animals, but the Bible says God gathered the animals, perhaps similar to some kind of migration.
Another thing Mr. McKay questions - was the flood worldwide? The correct answer to that is yes, it was worldwide. From a Bible perspective - God would not have told Noah to build such a boat if he could escape the flood by trotting down the road a few miles.
But the fossil evidence shows that there must have been a worldwide flood, as marine fossils have been found on top of mountains. Scientists of the 19th century were amazed to find that as high as they climbed, the rocks yielded skeletons of marine animals, ocean fish and shells of mollusks. A whale’s skeleton has been found on the top of Mount Sanhorn on the Arctic coast and other similar skeletons a mile high on California’s coastal range. How could these have gotten there apart from a worldwide flood? And there are other proofs that we don’t have space to go into.
As to where the water could have come from for such a flood, there would have been some kind of supernatural intervention. The Bible says “that the foundations of the great deep were broken up and the windows of heaven were opened² . One only need remember the Tsunamis of late to see how tremendous amounts of water can be moved in a very short time.
Another interesting point is that of the rainbow (which has nothing to do with the flag that some groups fly) but is God’s promise found in Genesis 9:13 that He would not flood the whole world again. And of course for the Christian, the greatest proof of Noah and the flood is that the Lord Jesus speaks of these things a number of times in the New Testament, Matthew 24:37-38, for example.
Lastly, some archaeologists think they have found the remains of Noah’s Ark on a mountain range in eastern Turkey. Whether they have or not, I don’t know, but it is very interesting what we find when we go to the computer and Google “Noah’s Ark”.
Now stop and think. If the Bible is correct in this matter of Noah and the flood, as many scientists believe it is, then could it also be true in the areas of sin, of righteousness and judgment?