I think, overall, it was mostly two things in high school that pushed me towards Atheism. First was the Miller-Urey experiment. When I read (falsely) that life could have arisen by chance, I began to think science and religion were in conflict. (For a detailed explanation of why life could not have arisen by chance, see Chapter 10 of Counting To God.) Second was the Genesis account of Noah and the flood.
The flood story seemed crazy. A global flood covers the highest mountains? Noah and three sons are warned and build a large boat, an ark? Land animals of every kind come two-by-two onto the boat, and stay on it for months? Noah sends a dove out to see if the land is dry? The animals repopulate the Earth, and all people are descended from the sons of Noah and their wives?
I had many questions, and no one to talk to. I thought that, if the flood story wasn’t true, why should I believe other parts of the Bible? Perhaps nothing in the Bible has been attacked as strongly as the flood story of God’s judgment. It is rejected by most secular scientists. It is often mocked.
I am now absolutely convinced, for many reasons, that it is true. I was astonished, blown away, to learn there more than 500 different memories of the flood. In at least 300 of them, it is clear the flood is global. This from the NW Creation Network:
Native global flood stories are documented as history or legend in almost every region on earth. Old world missionaries reported their amazement at finding remote tribes already possessing legends with tremendous similarities to the Bible’s accounts of the worldwide flood …. Ancient civilizations such as (China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, America, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia) all have their own versions of a giant flood.
These flood tales are frequently linked by common elements that parallel the Biblical account including the warning of the coming flood, the construction of a boat in advance, the storage of animals, the inclusion of family, and the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided.
Ken Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis and the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, which features a full scale replica of the Ark. He writes:
I met two missionaries who visited the Creation Museum while on furlough from their missions work. They are missionaries who are the first contact with certain tribes in the Amazon. At the time, they were the first in contact with two different tribes. I asked if those tribes had a flood or creation legend. They said the tribes did and they even had a legend where the languages split apart too!
(The splitting of languages is a memory of the Tower of Babel.)
Flood memories can be found on many websites. Parallels to the Bible are stunning. Hawaiians have a memory of a time when the world became a wicked place, and only one good man, Nu-u, was left. Nu-u built a great canoe with a house on it and filled it with animals, and only Nu-u and his family were saved. Chinese have a memory that Fuhi, his wife, three sons, and three daughters escaped a great flood and were the only people alive on Earth. Ancient Babylonians have a memory in the Epic of Gilgamesh, stone tablets discovered in 1853 that mirror many features of the flood story in the Bible, including sending out a dove to see if the waters had receded.
When you read these stories, you know they are based on real events. You just know. Unrelated tribes and cultures from around the world could not possibly have this memory if the flood did not occur. Differences in the details of the flood stories are exactly what you would expect when cultures pass down memories for thousands of years. Associates for Biblical Research date the flood at around 3000 BC.
Imagine a world that was much flatter. Imagine that world rocked by enormous volcanos as the “fountains of the great deep burst forth.” (Genesis 7:11). The fountains may have included water from underground oceans in addition to massive amounts of lava. Huge tsunamis washed over the entire Earth, and the volcanic activity and rapidly shifting tectonic plates created the mountains we see today, either during the flood or shortly after.
I recommend Ken Ham’s easy-to-read book: A Flood of Evidence. He provides solid answers to the most common questions and objections. He notes the many flaws and inconsistencies of radioactive dating. All fossils, coal, and diamonds contain Carbon 14, an isotope with a half-life of 5,000 years, which could not possibly be detected if those items were more than 100,000 years old. Fossils, coal, and diamonds cannot be millions of years old!
The flood of Noah explains a great deal. It explains why sedimentary rocks and fossils are found all over the world. It explains the Ice Age. You don’t get an ice age if the Earth just gets colder; there isn’t enough moisture to build sheets of ice miles high. You need warm oceans for evaporation and cool summers so the snow doesn’t melt. After the flood, perhaps for centuries, the oceans were warmed by volcanic activity but the summers were cool because of volcanic dust.
As I noted in an earlier post, human DNA provides strong evidence that all men are descended from Noah. Here’s two other items. First, if humanity is tens of thousands of years old, why don’t we find stories of people who lived more than 5,000 years ago? Second, if the layers of rock in the Grand Canyon were laid down over tens of millions of years, why are they so level with no sign of erosion?
Jesus spoke of the flood, and compared it to his second coming:
For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24: 38-39. The flood is noted in the letters of St. Paul and St. Peter. Peter predicted that “scoffers will come.” “For they deliberately overlook this fact … that the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.” 2 Peter 3:4-6.
I never ask you to believe despite the evidence. I ask you to believe because of the evidence.
Thanks for reading. Please ask others to consider the truth. It could change their life.