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Evidence of a World-Wide Flood

The Bible clearly depicts that the entire world was flooded in the days of Noah.

  • “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.” (Genesis 7:19-22 cf. 6:7, 12-13; 7:4)
  • “And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11 cf. 8:21; 9:11, 15)
  • “and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5 cf. 1 Peter 3:20; Matthew 24:39; Luke 17:27)
  • “whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6; Hebrews 11:7)

The Lord Jesus Christ plainly placed the global judgement of Noah’s day in comparison with the whole world being judged when He returns (Matthew 24:37; Luke 17:26). The teaching of His return and judgement is obviously a global event as it effects men and women during both day time and night time hours simultaneously (Luke 17:34-36). On purely exegetical grounds, it is necessary to reject the foolish perspective of men like Hugh Ross who present a local flood, stating, “the human race had remained localized to just the environs of Mesopotamia. That was the only place God needed to inundate—the region that constituted the whole world to the antediluvians.”1)Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, Navpress (Colorado Springs, CO: 1998), p. 142 It was the “whole world” that was condemned (Hebrews 11:7) with the exception of eight souls (1 Peter 3:20) and the animals that were preserved on the Ark. Furthermore, God had promised Noah and every living creature that survived on the Ark to never again send a global flood upon the earth (Genesis 9:12-17). “If that statement is not to be taken at face value, then God has broken His promise repeatedly through the many local floods that have occurred since then.”2)Henry Morris III, The Book of Beginnings: A Practical Guide to Understand and Teach Genesis, Institute for Creation Research (Dallas, TX: 2014), Vol. 2, p. 56

The emphasis of Genesis chapter 7 is most obviously speaking about global conditions. “upon the face of all the earth.[v. 3]… and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.[v. 4]… the flood of waters was upon the earth.[v. 6] And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.[v. 7] Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth [v. 8]… the waters of the flood were upon the earth. [v. 10] all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. [v. 11] They [Noah and his family], and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. [v. 14] And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. [v. 15]… the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. [v. 17] the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. [v. 18] And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. [v. 19] Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. [v. 20] And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: [v. 21] All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. [v. 22] And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. [v. 23]”

While some may scoff at this complete and global destruction, it is relevant that even skeptics that reject the Bible’s account of a world-wide flood on earth, which has 70% of its surface covered by water, think that Mars was once globally flooded.

The researchers said many of the Mars valley systems must have formed after a significant amount of the Tharsis volcanic load was in place….

The total release of gases from Tharsis magma may have produced the equivalent of a global layer of water nearly 400 feet deep, although much of the water would have been lost to space, [Roger] Phillip [director of Washington University’s McDonnel Center for Space Sciences] said.

At the very end of the Noachian epoch, volcanic activity dissipated and carbon dioxide and water were removed from the atmosphere by a combination of factors – including stripping by the solar wind and thermal escape, among others. The removal of carbon dioxide and water would have driven surface temperature below freezing.3)Reuters, Mars Calamity May have Created Conditions for Life. New York Times, 16 March, 2001; http://mobile.nytimes.com/2001/03/16/science/mars-calamtiy-may-have-created-conditions-for-life.html

While Mars has not been determined to have a drop of water on its surface, it is remarkable that the idea of a global flood devastating earth could be denied.

It is also a matter of history as recorded in practically every culture around the world that a global flood did indeed impact this planet as such traditions are remembered by people groups everywhere just as would be expected.4)this graph is adapted from  Johnathan Sarfati, The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, and Scientific Commentary on Genesis 1-11, Creation Ministry International (Powder Springs, Georgia: 2015), p. 509, Figure 17.5; who accredited it to Monty White, UK.

The fact is that all of mankind today is held responsible to recognize that the Holy God of the Bible has sent a judgement over the whole earth in the past, and holds every one accountable to acknowledge this past event in light of the promise that another judgement is coming and we are commanded to repent (2 Peter 3:3-6).

This entails that the Flood must have left some incontrovertible evidence. If not, then why are these scoffers condemned because they “deliberately ignore this fact”? So, given that this passage suggests that the Flood left incontrovertible evidence, what can be predicted?5)Johnathan Sarfati, The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, and Scientific Commentary on Genesis 1-11, Creation Ministry International (Powder Springs, Georgia: 2015), p. 536

What can be predicted is that we will find evidence of a global flood all around the planet.

The first thing we need to understand in viewing this evidence from around the world is that it must be interpreted correctly. The difference in interpretive methods is distinguished as “uniformitarianism” and “catastrophism.” The uniformitarian interpretation was presented by James Hutton in 1785, who said, “The past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now…. No powers are to be employed that are not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted except those of which we know the principle.”6)James Hutton, “Theory of the Earth,” Transaction of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1785); quoted in A. Holmes, Principles of Physical Geology (United Kingdom: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1965), p. 43-44 However, the very skeptics that have depended upon the uniformitarian method of interpretation to deny a world-wide flood have recently rejected this method of interpretation. Evolutionist Robert Dott who is antagonistic towards the Biblical account wrote, “What do I mean by ‘episodic sedimentation?’ Episodic was chosen carefully over other possible terms. ‘Catastrophic’ has become popular recently because of its dramatic effect, but it should be purged from our vocabulary because it feeds the neo-catastrophist-creation cause…. I hope I have convinced you that the sedimentary record is largely a record of episodic events rather than uniformly continuous. My message is that episodicity is the rule, not the exception.”7)Robert H. Dott, “Episodic View Now Replacing Catastrophism,” Geotimes, vol. 27 (Nov. 1982) p. 16 Creationist Gary Parker has explained, “…because of the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence, many evolutionists are now calling themselves neo-catastrophists. They want nothing to do with old-fashion catastrophism (Noah’s flood!), but they agree that most layers of fossil-bearing rock were produced rapidly and broadly by flooding on a catastrophic scale… It’s these short periods of terror, it seems, that caught plants and animals off guard, buried them too deeply and quickly for them  to escape or to be obliterated by scavengers, and turned them into fossils. Claims and snails, for example, are not normally knocked dead and fossilized by a few sand grains or even by huge shifts of sand induced by hurricanes, but zillions were buried and fossilized, it seems, in the first overwhelming deposit of ‘Flood mud.’”8)Gary Parker, Creation: Facts of Life, Master Books, 1980, p. 218-219 Thus it is universally recognized that interpreting the earth’s past through catastrophic events is the only accurate way to understand natural science.

One of the major evidences for the global flood is fossils. Most people ignorantly think that fossils are formed through uniformitarian processes. For example, Dr. Donald Johanson, who is famous for discovering the Lucy fossil, wrote of the fossil collected from Hadar, Ethiopia where the geological sediments are loaded with fossils. “Collect anywhere, and fragments of animal fossils show up, more prominently in some places than in others, but nowhere are bits of stray animal bone entirely absent, attesting to the opportunities for deposition presented by the sheer passage of time, to the slowness of geological activity, to the incessant wandering and dying of unnumbered animals—back and forth, endlessly, while hundreds of feet of deposits are laid down over hundreds of thousands of years.”9)Donald Johanson & Maitland Edey, Lucy: The Beginning of Humankind, Simon and Schuster (New York, NY: 1981), p. 214 But animals do not just die and lie around for hundreds of thousands of years to be covered by sediment waiting to become fossils. “The buffalo carcasses strewn over the plains in uncounted millions two generations ago have left hardly a present trace. The flesh was devoured by wolves or vultures within hours or days, and even the skeletons have now largely disappeared, the bones dissolving and crumbling into dust under the attack of weather.”10)Carl O. Dunbar, Historical Geology, John Wiley and Sons (New York, NY: 1949) p. 39 This is true of sea creatures as well. “Because most dead animals are scavenged and disintegrated quickly. In the ocean, a dead fish floats, contrary to the pervasive textbook model which shows it sinking. And such a floating dead fish rots and is eaten by scavengers. Even if some parts reach the bottom, the scavengers such as crayfish take care of them. Scuba divers don’t find the sea floor covered with dead fish being slowly fossilized.”11)Jonathan Sarfati, PH.D., F.M., The Greatest Hoax On Earth?: Refuting Dawkins On Evolution, Creation Book Publishers (Powder Springs, Georgia: 2010) p. 107 Fossilization can only happen with rapid burial as the evolutionists admit. “To become fossilized a plant or animal must usually have hard parts, such as bone, shell or wood. It must be buried quickly to prevent decay and must be undisturbed throughout the process.”12)F.H.T. Rhodes, H.S. Zim, and P.R. Shaffer, Fossils, Golden Press (New York, NY: 1962) p. 10 Creationism expounds this more precisely: “How are fossils formed?… The recently dead (or living) organism must be rapidly buried in sediment that can harden and exclude oxygen. Again, just what you’d expect from a catastrophic worldwide flood. Fossilization and rapid formation of deep strata must occur rapidly.  How else do you explain vertical fossilized trees (without roots!) or a dinosaur’s neck sticking through strata that are allegedly millions of years old?”13)Stephen Grocott, Ph.D., B.S., “Inorganic Chemistry”, In Six Days, (ed.) John F. Ashton, Master Books (Green Forest, AR: 2005) p. 151 Many fossils bare witness to the fact that they had to have been formed rapidly, such as fish in the middle of eating another fish:

Further evidence for rapid burial is seen in an Ichthyosaur fossilized while giving birth:14)see comments on Icthyosaurs in Heath Henning, “More Soft Tissues in Dinosaur Fossils,” November 24, 2017; https://truthwatchers.com/soft-tissues-dinosaur-fossils/

The overwhelming majority of the fossil record is marine animals which identifies an active flood as the cause of these fossils. The common findings of marine fossils on top of mountains is also strong evidence that these mountain tops were covered by water. Also, large marine animals such as Basilosaurus, a 65 foot long 8-10 ton serpentine creature found in the Sahara; or this whale fossil in the middle of a desert establishing the fact that these entire continents were once under water deep enough for large marine animals to end up buried rapidly enough to become a fossil.

Consider also what kind of catastrophic event would need to take place to rapidly bury a whale or a dinosaur, or many dinosaurs in a dinosaur grave yard. “A serious problem with the use of fossils for geological dating is the fact that their very existence requires rapid, permanent burial of the organism, before decay or scavengers can destroy it. This becomes especially obvious when, as is often the case, fossils are found buried together in great fossil graveyards, indicating that the animals (and/or) plants had been suddenly overwhelmed by a geologic catastrophe of some kind. This very fact argues strongly against long ages required to produce the geologic column, every fossil-bearing unit of which must have been deposited rapidly.”15)Henry Morris, That Their Own Words May Be Used Against Them, Master Books (Green Forest, AR: 2000) p. 261

Such graveyards reveal that the alleged layers of rock (geological strata) were not laid down slowly over periods of long ages, but had to have been rapidly and successively laid in order to bury such massive living creatures, deep enough that they could not struggle their way out of the sediments surrounding them.

What is known as polystrate fossils, specifically which are petrified trees, are fossils that run through consecutive strata of rock layer allegedly separated by possibly millions of year according to common depictions of the geological columns.  William Rhind discussed a famous fossil tree discovered in 1830 embedded in 200-feet think mass of rock, alternating sandstone and shale in Craigleith Quarry in Edinburgh. He asked, “If we thus, then, have proofs of strata, two hundred feet in depth, having been formed suddenly, may we not apply the same analogy to other strata, where proofs of the fact are not now so evident?”16)William Rhind, The Age of the Earth: Considered Geologically and Historically, Fraser and Co. (Edinburgh: 1838), p. 37

Obviously, these layers of rock were rapidly laid down in order to bury this tree causing it to petrify. Evolutionist Derek Ager described some polystrate fossil trees:

If one estimates the total thickness of the British Coal Measures as about 1,000 m, laid down in about 10 million years, then, assuming as constant rate of sedimentation, it would have taken 100,000 years to bury a tree 10 m high, which is ridiculous.

Alternatively, if a 10 m tree were buried in 10 years, that would mean 1,000 km in a million years or 10,000 km in 10 million years (i.e. the duration of the coal measures). This is equally ridiculous and we cannot escape the conclusion that sedimentation was at times very rapid indeed and at other times there were long breaks in sedimentation, though it looks both uniform and continuous.17)Derek Ager, The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Events in Geological History, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, UK: 1993), p. 43

Further evidence is the fact that one would expect to find erosion from rain in between the layers of rock. One is hard pressed to claim what may be found is a representative of millions of years’ worth of erosion occurring while the next layers was slowly forming.

Not only is there not the erosion evidence for millions of year between these rock layers, but there is also mass erosion where one would not expect to find it, mainly on rocks that are very high indicating a lot of water was also that high and carved the erosion marks during the recessive stage of the flood. Creationist Jonathan Sarfati discusses Devils Tower in Wyoming:

Vast areas of the continents show evidence that erosion has removed huge amounts of material. For example, the 275-m-high Devils Tower in Wyoming is composed of a hard igneous rock called phonolite porphyry. Thus it was probably a filled-in neck of a volcano. But now the rest of the volcano has eroded away, meaning that 300 m deep of surrounding rock has been removed. The tower itself is now eroding quite fast—fast enough to have eroded the whole tower if it had been exposed millions of years ago. This suggests that the erosion of the surrounding sediments occurred quickly and much more recently.18)Johnathan Sarfati, The Genesis Account: A Theological, Historical, and Scientific Commentary on Genesis 1-11, Creation Ministry International (Powder Springs, Georgia: 2015), p. 547-548

“Furthermore, evolutionary time frames cannot explain the soft-sediment deformation anomaly as pictured below.  These immense rock bent at such angels without fractures indicates that they were deposited by flood waters and remained pliable for the short time before lithifying. The alternative view is that they either stayed soft and pliable for millions of year or they were bent slowly over millions of years and in a brittle state and amazingly never cracked.”19)Heath Henning, Unreliable: The Science and Logic of Bill Nye, Truth Watchers (2016), p. 78; download this free ebook  at https://truthwatchers.com/ebooks/

Enormous canyons that are known to have been rapidly formed also gives us good evidence for catastrophism. For example, what is called the Little Grand Canyon, which is a canyon 1/40 scale size of the real Grand Canyon, was formed by the mudflow from Mt. St. Helens in an afternoon in 1982. The Burlingame Canyon near Walla Walla, Washington, is close to 450 m long and 35 m deep and wide formed in six days. The largest catastrophe in history after the flood of Noah’s day carved the gorge 80 km long and up to 300 m deep in eastern Washington when Lake Missoula flooded.20)see Heath Henning, Unreliable: The Science and Logic of Bill Nye, Truth Watchers (2016), p. 75-77; download this free ebook  at https://truthwatchers.com/ebooks/ If skeptics can and do accept these facts presented, then why is it difficult to believe the flood of Noah’s day could have carved the Grand Canyon?

As the Bible states, the reason scoffers deny the world-wide flood is because they wish to be ignorant of the Holy God Who judged the world for sin in the past and has promised to do so again in the near future. These facts leave us with two options. First we could ignore the evidence and remain willingly ignorant (2 Peter 3: 3-6) denying the former judgment of a world-wide flood. Or, secondly, we could repent of our sins and turn to Christ for salvation. Here is how you can know that you can be saved from your sins and find forgiveness and mercy from God.



Heath Henning
Heath Henning
Heath heads the Set Free addictions ministry on Friday nights at Mukwonago Baptist Church and is involved in evangelism on the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus, offering his expertise in apologetics at the weekly Set Free Bible Study every Tuesday evening. He currently lives in East Troy, Wisconsin with his wife and nine children. Read Heath Henning's Testimony

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