CREATIONISM VS EVOLUTION, (CONT.)
II) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY & PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF A RECENT CREATION, (cont.)
B) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY & PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FROM EARTH WHICH TESTIFY TO A RECENT CREATION, (cont.)
5) PERIOD OF A WORLDWIDE FLOOD, (cont.)
b) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY OF A WORLDWIDE FLOOD, (cont.)
7) THE NEED FOR AN ARK POINTS TO A UNIVERSAL DELUGE NOT A LOCAL ONE
[pp. 11-14, 33]:
"Not only would an ark of such gigantic proportions have been unnecessary for a local flood, but there would have been no need for an ark at all! The whole procedure of constructing such a vessel, involving over a century of planning and toiling, simply to escape a local flood, can hardly be described as anything but utterly foolish and unnecessary. How much more sensible it would have been for God merely to have warned Noah of the coming destruction, so that he could move to an area that would not have been affected by the Flood, even as Lot was taken out of Sodom before the fire fell from heaven. Not only so, but also the great numbers of animals of all kinds, and certainly the birds, could easily have moved out also, without having to be stored and tended for a year in the Ark! The entire story borders on the ridiculous if the Flood was confined to some section of the Near East...
[Critics maintain that Ark was merely an object lesson which was built to warn the ungodly of an imminent local flood. Noah and his family, it is maintained, could have just migrated elsewhere to avoid the coming disaster, but the Ark served as an obvious warning to everyone. As a matter of fact, it is often maintained that Noah actually was deceived by God that the Flood would only be local]
But how can one read the Flood account of Genesis 6-9 with close attention and then arrive at the conclusion that the Ark was built merely to warn the ungodly, and not mainly to save the occupants of the Ark from death by drowning? And how can we exonerate God Himself from the charge of deception, if we say that He led Noah to believe that the Flood would be universal, in order to encourage him to work on the Ark, when He knew all the time that it would not be universal?...
...The purpose of the flood was to destroy 'both man, and beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens' (6:7), and 'to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven' (6:17, cf. 6:12-13, 19-21, 7:2-4, 8, 14-16; 8:1, 17-19; 9:8-17). And this was accomplished when 'all flesh died'...
(v. 21) 'all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both birds, and cattle, and beasts and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every men; all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life,
(v. 22) of all that was on the dry ground, died.
(v. 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.']
...The fact of the matter is that no clearer terms could have been employed by the author than those which he did employ to express the idea of the totality of [the death of all] air-breathing animals in the world. Once this point is conceded, all controversy as to the geographical extent of the Deluge must end; for no one could care to maintain that all land animals were confined to the Mesopotamian Valley in the days of Noah!...
The fact that Noah was commanded to build an ark 'to the saving of his house' (Heb. 11:7) and was commanded to bring in two of every kind of animal 'to keep seed alive upon the face of the earth' (7:3) proves conclusively that the Flood was universal in scope."
a) THE SIZE OF THE ARK: BUILT FOR A WORLDWIDE DELUGE
[pp. 10-11, 33]
"The construction of the Ark with a capacity of at least 1,400,000 cubic feet, merely for the purpose of carrying eight people and a few animals through a local inundation is utterly inconceivable...
[Critics maintain]...that the size of the timbers alone for a 'building' 45 feet high (analogous to a four story apartment building) would seem by their sheer massiveness to be beyond the powers of four men to handle...
The Scriptures, however, do not suggest that Noah and his three sons had to construct the Ark without the help of hired men... ...for Noah to have built a vessel of such magnitude simply for the purpose of escaping a local flood is inconceivable. the very size of the Ark should effectively eliminate the local-Flood view..."
b) ARK ACTUALLY WAS CAPABLE OF AND DID SUSTAIN ALL THE ANIMALS INDICATED
"[Critics maintain] that that even if Noah could have collected such a vast number of animals, the Ark could not have contained them, nor could they have been properly cared for by eight persons for an entire year."
c) GATHERING THE ANIMALS TO THE ARK
i) DIFFERENT CLIMATIC & ZOOGEOGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS BEFORE THE FLOOD
"[Critics assume] ...that climatic zones were exactly the same before the Flood as they are now, that animals inhabited the same areas of the world as they do now, and that the geography and topography of the earth continued unchanged. But on the assumption of a universal Deluge, all these conditions would have been profoundly altered. Artic and desert zones may never have existed before the Flood; nor the great intercontinental barriers of high mountain ranges, impenetrable jungles, and open seas
(as between Australia and Southeast Asia, and between Siberia and Alaska). On this basis, it is quite probable that animals were more widely distributed than now, with representatives of each created kind of land animal living in that part of the earth where Noah was building the Ark."
ii) MIGRATORY INSTINCTS OF THE ANIMAL WORLD SUPERNATURALLY USED BY GOD TO BRING THE ANIMALS INTO THE ARK
"It appears, therefore, that the animal world has two powerful means for coping with unfavorable environmental conditions, hibernation and migration. It is likely that all animals possess these powers in latent form, some of them still in active from. And thus far, at least, science has been utterly unable to explain them, in spite of their great importance in animal physiology and ecology..."
The critics further ignore the supernatural character of the Flood as contained in God's Word and they endeavor to explain it on today's naturalistic principles which they arbitrarily impose on the past when evidence shows that the past was different in many ways.
d) FITTING ANIMALS INTO THE ARK:
i) CRITICS MULTIPLY THE SPECIES
"...Realizing full well that the Ark was a gigantic structure, advocates of a local Flood have had to resort to various methods of 'multiplying the species' in order to make it impossible for any ark, however large, to carry two of each kind. One method has been to take the phrase 'seven and seven' (Gen 7:2-3) to mean fourteen, instead of 'by sevens' and to classify all the birds of the heavens as 'clean'...
(v. 2) "You shall take with you of every clean animal seven pairs, [lit."by sevens"] a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female;
(v. 3) also of the birds of the sky, seven pairs, [lit., "by sevens"] male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth."]
...There are known at present about 15,000 species of birds. This means that there were 210,000 birds in the ark...
But even assuming that there were 15,000 different species of birds in the days of Noah... [this then puts] ...180,000 too many birds into the Ark? The Hebrew phrase 'seven and seven' no more means fourteen than does the parallel phase 'two and two' (Gen 7:9, 15) means four!...
...'The Hebrew expression 'take seven seven' means 'seven each'... ...Hebrew parallels support this explanation... ...Three pairs and one supernumerary make the 'seven' As has often been suggested, the supernumerary beast was the one Noah could conveniently offer for sacrifice after the termination of the Flood. In verse 3 the idea of 'the birds of the heavens' must, of course, be supplemented by the adjective 'clean', according to the principle laid down in verse 2. The birds are separately mentioned so that Noah might not be left to his own devices in fixing the limits of what verse 2 included."
ii) CAPACITY FOR VARIETY WITHIN EACH 'KIND' REDUCES NO. NEEDED IN THE ARK
Each kind of animal has within its genes a fantastic capacity to procreate with fantastic variation. The terms genus and species from science are not the same as the term 'kind' from Scripture which encompasses innumerable variations within its genetic structure.
"Another common method of 'multiplying the species' has been to identify the 'species' of modern taxonomy with the 'kinds' of Genesis...
These 'kinds' have never evolved or merged into each other by crossing over the divinely-established lines of demarcation, but they have been diversified into so many varieties and subvarieties (like the races and families of humanity) that even the greatest taxonomists have been staggered at the task of enumerating and classifying them...
It is unwarranted to insist that all the present species, not to mention all the varieties and sub-varieties of animals in the world today, were represented in the Ark. Nevertheless, as a gigantic barge, with a volume of 1,396,0000 cubic feet (assuming one cubit = 17.5 inches), the Ark had a carrying capacity equal to that of 522 standard stock cars as used by modern railroads or of eight freight trains with sixty-five such cars in each!
Ernst Mayr, probably the leading American systematic taxonomist, lists the following numbers for animal species according to the best estimates of modern taxonomy:
Reptiles & Amphibians 5,500
Tunicates, et al 1,700
Worms, etc. 25,000
Coelenterates, etc. 10,000
TOTAL ANIMALS 1,000,000
In the light of this recent estimate, one wonders about 'the innumerable millions upon millions of animalcules' which Pye Smith insisted the Ark had to carry, especially when we consider that of this total there was no need for Noah to make any provision for fishes (18,000 'species'), tunicates (marine chordates like sea squirts - 1,700), echinoderms (marine creatures like starfishes and sea urchins - 4,700), mollusks (mussels, clams, oysters, etc. - 88,000), coelenterates (corals, sea anemones, jelly fishes, hydroids - 10,000), sponges (5,000), or protozoans (microscopic, single-celled creatures, mostly marine - 15,000). This eliminates 142,000 'species' of marine creatures. In addition, some mammals are aquatic (whales, seals, porpoises, etc.); the amphibians need not all have been included; a large number of the arthropods (815,000 'species'), such as lobsters, shrimps, crabs, water fleas, and barnacles, are marine creatures, and the insect 'species' among arthropoda are usually very small; and many of the 25,000 'species' of worms, as well as many of the insects, could have survived outside of the Ark. When we consider further that Noah was not required to take the largest or even adult specimens of each 'kind' and that comparatively few were classified as 'clean' birds and beasts, the problem vanishes. Jan Lever completely misses the mark when he states that 'the lowest estimate of the number of animals in the ark then would by fully 2,500,000.'
For all practical purposes, one could say that, at the outside, there was need for no more than 35,000 individual vertebrate animals on the Ark. The total number of so-called species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians listed by Mayr is 17,600, but undoubtedly the number of original 'kinds' was less than this. Assuming the average size of these animals to be about that of a sheep (there are only a very few really large animals, of course, and even these could have been represented on the Ark by young ones), the following will give an idea of the accommodations available:
...at least 240 animals of the size of sheep could be accommodated in a standard two-decked stock car. Two trains hauling 73 such cars each would thus be ample to carry the 35,000 animals. We have already seen that the Ark had a carrying capacity equivalent to that of 522 stock cars of this size! We therefore find that a few simple calculations dispose of this trivial objection once and for all...."
e) CARING FOR THE ANIMALS IN THE ARK
i) HIBERNATION: A LATENT CAPACITY OF ANIMALS AND BIRDS
"Granting, then, that the Ark was large enough to carry two of every kind of land animal, how could Noah and his family have cared for them during the year of the Flood?...
..the Bible does not give us details on these points... We suggest the reasonable possibility, however, that the mysterious and remarkable factor of animal physiology known as hibernation may have been involved...
..an important and widespread mechanism in the animal kingdom for surviving periods of climatic adversity..."
"Hibernation is generally defined as a specific physiological state in an animal in which normal functions are suspended or greatly retarded, enabling the animal to endure long periods of complete inactivity."
[pp. 70-75 cont.]
"Hibernation is usually associated with 'winter sleep,' estivation with escape from summer heat and drought. Other factors also apparently are often involved, such as food shortage, carbon dioxide in the environment, and accumulation of fat...
Similarly, many of the invertebrates hibernate in some fashion for long periods. Although it is sometimes said that birds do not hibernate, it is now known that at least one bird, the poor-will, does so, and the humming-bird also exhibits nightly many of the characteristics of hibernation, so that fundamentally it can be said that birds also possess the latent capacity of hibernation. Apparently, the reason more of them do not practice it is that their power of flight makes long migrations a more effective means of coping with adverse weather and other conditions...
It appears, therefore, that the animal world has two powerful means for coping with unfavorable environmental conditions, hibernation and migration. It is likely that all animals possess these powers in latent form, some of them still in active from. And thus far, at least, science has been utterly unable to explain them, in spite of their great importance in animal physiology and ecology...
This ability [of hibernation] has also been inherited, in greater or less degree, by the descendants of those animals that, in the Ark, survived the Flood."
ii) GOD'S SUPERNATURAL USE OF HIBERNATION
"The mechanistic scientist, of course, will deride these suggestions with the epithet of 'supernaturalistic.' Exactly so! The Bible plainly says that God directed the animals to come to Noah, not Noah to go in search of the animals...
[Gen 6:20, 7:9, 15]:
(v. 6:20) "Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female."
(v. 7:9) "There went into the ark to Noah two by two, male and female, as God had commanded Noah."
(v. 7:15) "So they went into the ark to Noah, two by two of all flesh in which was the breath of life."]
...It also indicates that God continued to keep special watch over the occupants of the Ark during the Flood...
"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."]
...But if the uniformitarian decries our ascription of the migration of the animals to the Ark and their dormancy in the Ark to powers imparted to them by God, let him offer a better explanation of these same powers even as they exist today! As we have seen, no explanation has yet been forthcoming, and one might even be justified in saying that the marvelous migratory instinct and the equally remarkable power of hibernation can only be explained teleologically.
We do not deny, of course, that some truly physiological explanation of these capacities may some day be developed, although none is in sight as yet, but even this would only constitute a description of that which God Himself originally endowed. Again we say that we do not really know how all this was accomplished, since the Bible is silent on these matters, but this is a very possible and plausible explanation, so that there is no longer any justification for the critic to profess incredulity about animals on the Ark..."
iii) SUFFICIENT DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE
"Noah may have obtained drinking water from the rain that fell..."
iv) SUFFICIENT AIR TO BREATHE AVAILABLE
"[Critics maintain that] at elevations above that of Mount Everest, if the Flood covered the mountains, [it] would render all but a few creatures insensible in a very few moments for lack of oxygen...
[But] atmospheric pressure depends on elevation relative to sea level. The air column above the raised sea level during the Flood was just as high, and the resulting sea level atmospheric pressure just as great, as the present sea level pressure."
f) NATURAL & SUPERNATURAL CHARACTERISTIC OF THE ENTIRE FLOOD EVENT INCLUDES THE ANIMALS IN THE ARK
[Critics maintain that since] the flood is recorded [in the Bible] as a natural-supernatural occurrence.... [And since] It does not appear as a pure and stupendous miracle...
[In other words,] ...the natural and supernatural work side by side and hand in hand...
[Then] ...if one wishes to retain a universal flood, it must be understood that a series of stupendous miracles are required. Further, [the critics maintain that] one cannot beg off with pious statements that God can do anything.
[Bernard Ramm, opposing the Biblical view of the flood, states in 'The Christian View of Science and Scripture', Grand Rapids; Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1954]:
'[One]...can constantly [solve one's] difficulties by recourse to the miraculous or to the sheer omnipotence of God. With this type of argumentation any theory, no matter how feeble, can be ad hoc patched up.
There is no question what Omnipotence can do, but the simplicity [?] of the flood record prohibits the endless supplying of miracles to make a universal flood feasible.'
Our first criticism of this attitude is that it fails to take into account the fact that the Word of God makes ample provision for miraculous elements in connection with the gathering and keeping of the animals. For example, God told Noah that "two of every sort shall come unto thee' (6:20); and then we read that 'they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life' (7:15), and finally that 'Jehovah shut him in' [Gen 7:16]
Furthermore, we must not underestimate the implications of 8:1, 'God remembered Noah, and all the beasts, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark.' This statement refers to a time when the waters were still at their height and the fountains of the deep had not yet been stopped (8:2). It is important to realize that the word 'remember' ('zakar') in this context does not imply that God had forgotten the Ark and its occupants during the first five months of the Flood! According to Hebrew usage, the primary meaning of 'zakar' is 'granting requests, protecting, delivering' when God is the subject and persons are the object...
[Brown, Driver, and Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 270]
...But once we grant God's power in bringing the animals to the Ark, we have no right to deny His power over the animals while they were in the Ark. The simple fact of the matter is that one cannot have any kind of a Genesis Flood without acknowledging the presence of supernatural elements.
This statement finds full support in Psalm 29:10, which definitely speaks of the Noahic Deluge ('mabb?l'): 'Jehovah sat as King at the Flood; yea, Jehovah sitteth as King for ever.' ... But throughout the entire process, 'the waters which were above the firmament' and 'the waters which were under the firmament' acted according to the known laws of hydrostatics and hydrodynamics. They churned up, carried away, and deposited sediments according to natural hydraulic processes, moving at velocities and in directions that were perfectly normal under such conditions. To be sure, the sudden and powerful upsetting of the delicate balances of antediluvian nature brought into play hitherto unknown tectonic and acqueous movements while new sets of balances and adjustments were being achieved. But such adjustments must be described as natural and not supernatural...
We read in Genesis 8:1 that 'God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged.' Judging from the effects produced... ...it seems that this must have been more than a merely natural wind... We are sure, as an element of the miraculous entered into the matter of the coming of the Flood, so a similar element contributed to its abatement...
An example of the basic misconceptions underlying this entire controversy is the assertion on the part of Dr. Ramm that a universal flood would necessitate 'a great creation of water' because 'all the waters of the heavens, poured all over the earth, would amount to a sheath seven inches thick' and 'to cover the highest mountains would require eight times more water than we now have,' For such an objection to be valid we would have to assume that there were no waters 'above the firmament' before the Flood, and that the earth's topography was unaltered by the Flood. In other words, we would be assuming the truth of uniformitarianism in order to prove the impossibility of catastrophism! But if we accept the Biblical testimony concerning an antediluvian canopy of waters... ...we have an adequate source for the waters of a universal Flood.
[Gen. 1:6-8, 7:11, 8:2]
(v. 6) "Then God said, 'Let there be a firmament [a solid metallic type sheet] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.'
(v. 7) And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.
(v. 8) And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."
(v. 7:1) "Then the Lord said to Noah, 'Enter the ark, you and all your household; for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this generation.' "
(v. 8:2) "Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained:"
[II Peter 3:5-7]
(v. 5) "For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
(v. 6) through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
(v. 7) But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."]
Furthermore, such passages as Genesis 8:3 and Psalm 104:6-9 suggest that ocean basins were deepened after the Flood to provide adequate storage space for the additional waters that had been 'above the firmament' from the second day of creation to the time of the Flood, while mountain ranges rose to heights never attained during the antediluvian era...
"and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased."
(v. 6) "Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters were standing above the mountains.
(v. 7) At Thy rebuke they fled;
At the sound of Thy thunder they hurried away.
(v. 8) The mountains rose; the valleys sank down
To the place which Thou didst establish for them.
(v. 9) Thou didst set a boundary that they may not pass over;
That they may not return to cover the earth."]
...It is a mistake, therefore, to assume that the concept of a universal Flood involves 'an endless supplying of miracles...'
We may agree with Dr. Ramm that the Flood was 'a natural and supernatural occurrence,' with 'the natural and the supernatural working side by side and hand in hand.' But how this militates against its universality we fail to see...
It must be recognized, then that the efforts which some... ...have exerted to write off the universality of the Flood by appealing to supposed a priori principles of divine methodology in the performing of miracles, stand condemned by the testimony of the Word of God itself. Whether or not such a concept can be adjusted harmoniously into one's theological or philosophical presuppositions, it happens to be true nonetheless that the Flood was an utterly unique and never-to-be-repeated phenomenon, a year-long demonstration of the omnipotence of a righteous God which mankind has never been permitted to forget, and a crisis in earth-history that is comparable in Scripture only to the creation and to the final renovation of the earth by fire at the end of the age. It is because the Bible itself teaches us these things that we are fully justified in appealing to the power of God, whether or not He used means amenable to our scientific understanding, for the gathering of two of every kind of animal into the Ark and for the care and preservation of those animals in the Ark during the 371 days of the Flood."