Was There A Global Flood In Noah’s Life Time, Where Did The Water Come From, Where Did It Go, And Does It Even Matter?

Outline for PSU CFSF discussion, 2/17/2000


I.  Biblical Chronology: most precisely recorded year in the Bible

§         Flood begins suddenly with all the fountains of the great deep bursting opening on one day. "Geshem rain" begins.  Gen. 7:11

§         40 days and 40 nights of "geshem rain"  Gen. 7:12

§         Flood waters continue to rise until the 150th day when they cover all the earth's mountains, and all land life died except those on the Ark.  Gen 7:20-24 8:2

§         150th Day: A wind passes over the earth. Waters begin to subside. Ark lands on the mountains of Ararat.  Gen 8:1-5

§         150th -- 371st Day: All passengers remain on Ark.  Gen 8:14

§         371st Day: Ark off-loaded.  Gen 8:15-19


Genesis 7

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open [with enormous explosiveness, magnitude, and power], and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

12 The rain [Hebrew word used here is geshem which means extreme rain (rather than matar which means normal rain) and is sometimes accompanied by high winds and huge hailstones that can destroy mortared walls-Ezekiel 13:11-13] fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. (could fountains-rain be a cause and effect sequence?).

20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.

21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;

22 of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.

23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.

24 The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

Genesis 8

1 BUT God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.

2 Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;

3 and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.

4 In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.

5 The water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.

14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying,

16 Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons' wives with you.

17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.

18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him.

19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.



II. Evidence for a cataclysmic global flood in Noah’s Lifetime.


§         The following are subjects of controversy within the earth sciences that can best be understood and explained by a cataclysmic global flood during the lifetime of Noah. 

§         The waters erupted from subterranean chambers with an energy release exceeding the release of ten billion hydrogen bombs. 

§         The consequences of this event include the rapid formation of the features listed below.


1.       The Grand Canyon and Other Canyons

2.       Mid-Oceanic Ridge

3.       Continental Shelves and Slopes

4.       Ocean Trenches

5.       Seamounts and Tablemounts

6.       Earthquakes

7.       Magnetic Variations on the Ocean Floor

8.       Submarine Canyons

9.       Coal and Oil Formations

10.   Methane Hydrates

11.   Ice Ages

12.   Frozen Mammoths

13.   Major Mountain Ranges, arising out of the flood waters during the compression event.

14.   Overthrusts

15.   Volcanoes and Lava

16.   Geothermal Heat

17.   Strata and Layered Fossils

18.   Limestone

19.   Metamorphic Rock

20.   Plateaus

21.   Salt Domes

22.   Jigsaw Fit of the Continents

23.   Fossil Graveyards, even on every major mountain range on earth

24.   Comets


III. Where did all of the water come from?


The Canopy Theory Scientific Arguments opposing the canopy theory:

§         The entry heat problem

§         The greenhouse heat problem

§         The light and sight transmission problem

§         The nucleation problem

§         The pressure problem

§         The containment problem

§         The ultraviolet light problem


Probable Pre-flood earth surface

§         Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas were joined across what is now the Atlantic Ocean.

§         On the granite crust were seas, both deep and shallow and mountains, all smaller than those of today but some perhaps 5,000 feet high.


The Hydroplate Theory:

§         Two assumptions underlie the hydroplate theory.

§         All else follows from those two assumptions and the laws of physics.

§         Theories of past events always have some assumptions or initial conditions.

Assumption #1. Subterranean Water.

§         Biblical support for the presence of subterranean water.  Gen. 1:6-7 without the words “of the heavens” added as in verses 14-20, uses the word expanse to mean the earth’s crust which divides the surface water from the subterranean waters below.  Some other verses that support this interpretation:  Psalm 24:1-2, 33:7, 104:3-6, 136:5-9, and II-Peter 3:3-6. 

§         Before the 24 features (listed above) formed as a result of the global flood, it is assumed that the earth had a large amount of salty, subterranean water—about half of what is now in the oceans.

§         This subterranean water was contained in interconnected chambers about 10 miles below the earth’s granite crust.

§         Excluding the solid structure of the inter-connected chambers, the subterranean water would have formed a thin, spherical shell, ¾ of a mile in thickness.

§         Minerals and gases were dissolved in this water, especially salt (NaCl) and carbon dioxide.

§         Beneath the subterranean water was a layer of basaltic rock, and beneath the basalt was the top of the earth’s mantle. An important distinction between the basalt and upper mantle was discovered in 1909 by seismologist Andrija Mohorovicic. He noticed that earthquake waves passing into the mantle suddenly increased in speed. This boundary, now called the discontinuity, has for obvious reasons been shortened to “The Moho.”


Assumption #2  Increasing Pressure.

§         The hydroplate theory assumes the pressure in the subterranean water was increasing.  That pressure increase caused the granite crust to rupture releasing the fountains of the great deep.  No attempt will be made here to determine what caused these initial conditions.

§         Instead, it will simply be assumed that about 10 miles below the interconnected continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas was a large shell of salty, subterranean water, and pressure was increasing within that water. 

§         It appears that all 24 features described earlier, such as major mountain ranges and the Grand Canyon, are consequences of these two basic assumptions.

§         The chain of events that flow naturally from these starting conditions are divided into four phases.


IV.  The Hydroplate Theory: Events


1.        Rupture Phase: (day 1)

§         A crack propagates around the earth in about 2 hours releasing subterranean water.

§         Some of the fountains of muddy water jet high above the earth and freeze.  Mammoths are frozen in muddy hail falling from above the atmosphere. 

2.        Flood Phase: (first 150 days)

§         After 40 days, rising flood waters blanket and suppress the high jetting fountains of the great deep.

§         Animals and plants are buried. 

§         High-pressure subterranean waters continue to gush out.

§         Liquefaction sorts sediments and dead plants and animals.

§         Coal and oil deposits begin forming.

§         Salt domes begin forming. 

3.        Continental Drift Phase: (~ day 150)

§         Mid-Atlantic Ridge buckles up, and the hydroplates slide downhill.  As the massive hydroplates meet resistance and decelerate, they crush, thicken, buckle up and down, and heat up in a gigantic compression event. 

§         Overthrusting occurs in some places.

§         Continents take on present shape.

§         Major mountains and trenches are formed displacing air and causing a great wind.  Metamorphic rock is formed. 

4.        Recovery Phase: (from day 150 to now)

§         Hostile environment:  earthquakes, volcanic activity, initially high continents, water drainage, and lack of food.  Ice "ages" begin.

§         Lowered sea level facilitates land migrations, allowing formation of tablemounts and submarine canyons. Plateaus form.

§         Many continental canyons form by dam breaching.


V.  Where did the water go?

§         It’s all still here, the mountains rose out of it in the drift phase and the water drained out into the newly formed deep ocean basins during the recovery phase. 

§         As the continents continued to settle and the basalt conformed, the water level continued to rise until in the days of Peleg (approx. 200 years after the flood), the continents were divided by water.


VI.  8 min video “Young Age of the Earth”


VII.  Does it even matter?

§         If an historic event as cataclysmic as a global flood were ignored, for any reason, major errors would creep into science and society.

§         One of the first would be the explanation for fossils. Typically, Fossil A lies below Fossil B, which lies below Fossil C, etc. If flood explanations were weak or disallowed, then evolution provides an answer: Organism A turned into B which later turned into C. Fossil layers would represent vast amounts of time. 

§         Other geologic features could then be fit into that time frame. With so much time available, possible explanations multiply, explanations not easily tested in less than a million years. 

§         Two centuries later, evolutionary explanations would be given for the universe, heavenly bodies, chemical elements, and life. 

§         These ideas are false.  There are major flaws in these geologic explanations.. . For example,

§         coal, oil, and methane did not form over hundreds of millions of years; they formed in months.

§         Fossils and layered strata did not form over a billion years; they formed in months.

§         The Grand Canyon did not form over 6 million years; it formed in a few weeks.

§         Earth’s major mountains did not form over hundreds of millions of years; each formed in minutes. 

§         Failure to answer honest flood questions from laymen and scientists has opened the door to evolution.

§         Answering them will begin to reestablish the flood as earth’s defining geological event

§         and will begin to reverse serious errors that have crept into science and society. 

§         Are you shocked at how catastrophic the flood was?


VIII  Closing thought:

“The waters were standing above the mountains.  At Thy rebuke they fled; at the sound of Thy thunder they hurried away.  The mountains rose; the valleys sank down…[so that the waters] may not cover the earth.”  (Ps 104: 6-9)


Ref.:  IN THE BEGINNING: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, 6th edition 

Dr. Walt Brown, Director of the Center for Scientific Creation


S. A. Mumma

214 Engineering Unit A

3-2091    sam11@psu.edu