The Genesis Flood

Many Christians have assumed that the language of Genesis 8-9 requires that the flood covered the entire globe.  There are a few problems with this idea, scientifically!

Sea level: The traditional view of the sea level at the peak of the flood is that the tops of the all the world’s mountains were covered.  Leaving Mt Everest aside, even the level required to cover the mountains of Ararat would require a billion cubic kilometres of additional water, weighing 3 quintillion tonnes.  That’s a tripling in the size of the world’s oceans in 150 days!  And where did all that water go after the sec­ond 150 days? There is nowhere an ocean can drain to, because the oceans already fill the lowest places.  What about evaporation?  It is calculated that three quintillion tonnes of water vapour would make the earth’s atmospheric pressure about 840 times higher than it is now and sunlight would not reach the surface of the ground. Such an atmosphere would be incompatible with life as we know it.

The care of the animals: Assuming that the 21,000 species of amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal had to be represented on the ark, it would require around 42,000 individuals. Assuming that each of the eight people on the ark had to take care of their share of the animals, each person would have 2,637 cages to visit each day for feeding and cleaning. If each person worked a 12-hour shift, then each cage would only get three and two-thirds minutes of attention per day….

A straightforward reading of the chronology outlined in Gen. 7:1— 10 indicates that Noah and his family had only one week during which to load all the animals. If the eight people were required to lead the 35,000 animals from the ark’s door to its cage, the work load would have been crushing. Each member of the ark’s crew would have to climb the equivalent of a 19.5 story building every hour, day and night, for the entire week prior to the Flood. Even the time constraints are imposing; two pairs of animals per minute must be loaded. Other physical problems include the generation of 78, 750 litres of urine per day. To carry fresh water on board to replenish the lost water would occupy 70% of the ark’s volume.

Other logistical problems: How can there still be some freshwater lakes and seas if salt water had mixed with all the bodies of water? How did freshwater and saltwater fish survive? And how would ani­mals today found only in Australia have gotten to that continent?

If the Flood were severe enough to reach 5,000 metres in 150 days, it would have had to rise at the rate of over 30 metres per day, almost one and a half metres per hour. Even if such a rapid rise were possible and could be sus­tained over a five-month period, it would have created currents that would have made survival in the ark unlikely.’

Those searching for the ark have had to use very sophisticated moun­tain-climbing equipment to scale the heights of Mount Ararat, and at times have had to abandon the effort. How would Noah and his fam­ily and animals such as elephants and hippopotami make the trek down the mountain?  And how did they make their way across moun­tain chains and over deserts to return to their native habitats?

What did the carnivores eat until their prey populations were replenished?

Source, John Walton, NIV Bible Application Commentary.


Category: Blog · Tags:


One Response to “The Genesis Flood”
  1. Andrew Cox says:

    A helpful sermon and PowerPoint from David Instone-Brewer can be found here:

Eden Community Church Bulletin and News Sign Up

* = required field