The Land of Abraham – Fossil Corals – 500 Cubic Kilometers of Salt – and a Global Flood
Was the flood described in the Bible local or global? How long had this planet and life been around before the flood?
For decades there has been conflict between evolution and Christianity. This debate is particularly vexed when it comes to how life came to be what it is today, and how long life has been on this earth. Evolutionary views suggest this earth and life on it have been around for millions of years. A literal interpretation of the Creation story in the Bible, suggests that this earth and life on it are just 6000 years or so old. Who is right?
Of recent times there has actually been a resurgence of the belief that life and the planet are young. Much of this push is in reaction to the evolutionary point of view. Similarly, the evolutionist, and particularly the atheist have pushed in the opposite direction.
Many follow with interest and a degree of frustration the debates between evolutionists and those who argue for a young earth and young life. Every argument sent back and forth seems to have just enough uncertainty that neither side can claim a conclusive case. It seems to me the weight of argument belongs to one side, and that in fact there is a conclusive case for an ancient and evolutionary process for life. This case is demonstrated from the Bible account of the flood and events shortly afterwards!
This material will bring geological data from Israel, Sinai, and Egypt and the Biblical account of the post flood landscape together, some for the first time. Both key points I will make here have been looked at in part by others, but I wish to bring them together in order to add compelling weight to the many other evidences for an old earth.,
However, I am reminded of something I read in part 6 of an 8 part blog series by Irvin Taylor some time ago. Here is his point:
“It is with great reluctance that I have come to the view that a mature individual of normal cognition with at least a secondary education and reading level currently living in the modern Western world who insists that the overwhelming weight of the scientific evidence taken as a whole supports an understanding of earth history and life of only a few thousand years is at least one of four things: dogmatically directed, scientifically miseducated, simply confused, or intellectually dishonest.”
I hope this information will be of value if you are really seeking to learn and understand. It certainly was for me. As noted there are a multitude of other compelling evidences for an old earth for which this material becomes supporting evidence.
If you are one of the few who’s views are, lets say, fixed as a fossil, then you may want to surf on, because dogmatism and intellectual dishonesty have no place in determining truth or defining faith. Faith that is strongly held in spite of evidence, which is clearly visible to others, exhibits unintended arrogance and has no place where honesty exists. Joe Meert discusses the geologic column and some quite vocal young earth creationists who seem to fall into this category of questionable integrity.
I do not intend to present this dogmatically, so please accept my apologies if my certainty about the reality of fossils, reefs, salt domes, geologic columns, and Bible history come across with too much conviction.
However, I do believe bringing these two points together can present an ultimate puzzle for believers in a young earth, doing away with debate over uniformity, over methods of dating events in earth’s history, over the geologic column, erosion, and deposition. I invite you to be the judge.
This is not to suggest that these methods of dating the age of the earth are faulty or unnecessary. There is a vast amount of excellent material on the subject.
The Landscapes of Abraham and post Flood Noah
Using some simple events described in the Bible, we can easily trace the current geography and landscape of the Middle East back to within 60 – 80 years of the flood.
According to Genesis chapters 10, 11 and 12, Shelah, Shem’s grandson, and Noah’s great grand son, was born about 30 years after the flood. Shem’s family line stayed around Ur of the Chaldees until the time of Abram. Shelah of course was a cousin and contemporary of Nimrod who’s first center of activity was Babylon. From there Nimrod moved throughout Assyria and built other cities. So effectively that family line moved away from Ur before Abram did.
Now, move forward in the Bible account just over 200 years and 9 generations from the flood to Abram, as noted a descendant of Noah’s family line through Shem. Abram leaves the land of Ur (in Iraq) and moves throughout Canaan. He is then forced on into Egypt because of drought.
There is little doubt that these locations and geography are still clearly identifiable in our day. Apart from possible vegetation loss, and desert drift, nothing much has changed.
Here is a map showing Abraham’s travels and locations as it was in his time. You can see on the lower right Ur, on the left center the area where Israel and Palestine are today, and Egypt on the lower left.
There is a period of only about 30 years immediately after Noah that we cannot be absolutely sure that this map would not describe the world as it was from the very end of the flood when Noah planted his vineyard.
Is 30 years enough to expect any significant change in this geography and land? Hardly. And as we will see, the type of changes needed to answer this puzzle would definitively not fit in this time frame. However, let’s assume for the sake of doubt that the sea levels could have fallen several meters in that 30 years or so to leave the land as it was for Terah and a little later Abraham. It could also have risen, but that also is no problem.
No one would doubt that the geography and land that Abraham walked upon was essentially that of the first generation after the flood, and apart from degradation, the same as we see today.
Now, here is the lynch pin for the global flood story: There are fossilized coral reefs in the Great Western Desert of Egypt, and the Sinai Peninsula, which sit on top of up to 7 kilometers of eroded and deposited layers including oil and gas.
The Great Western Desert
We can go to the Great Western Deserts of Egypt, for which there are some great tours available, to see areas not far from some of the very lands that Abraham walked in, and find petrified wood, fossil coral reefs, and fossil shells, whales, sea stars and sea urchins, all lying around the desert floor. These fossil beds and areas range from current sea level to over 200 meters above it. Much of the Siwa desert region has areas where the ground is like a sharp reef, or fossilized coral! Further south in Whale Valley the fossils of different periods lie at different levels and are valuable indicators suggesting that the creatures were coming into a bay area for calving over a long period of time. The skeletons (fossils) remain in their original geologic and geographic setting. The fact that these animal fossils remain in the setting of their original habitat is significant when added to the data on the fossil coral reefs below.
These ocean beds where these fossils and fossil reefs are, now form vast areas of limestone, escarpments, and desert sands as can be seen below. There is a distinction here, this first image below is a fossil reef – made of the remains of life cycles of the animals that formed it. Global Flood proponents will argue it may have been material deposited from elsewhere. They use shaky evidence for this, as noted below, but it can be argued. Of course this does not even begin to address the question raised by Michael Suttkus, how all the relatively modern corals are always on top of the geologic column.
For the purpose of this material it is important to make the distinction between fossil reef and fossil corals.
As we noted, apart from desertification, these landscapes are the same as Abraham walked in. Little has changed, he too could well have seen the fossil coral reefs, the fossil whale bones, and the starfish in the sands. True, they may have been covered with more soil and vegetation, but the overall geography has not really changed.
The image above is an actual coral section of a fossilized reef, probably near Marsa Alam, in the Eastern Desert, south east of Whale Valley. It has the distinct appearance of fossilized coral. It has unique pattern structures running cross wise, and other lines running lengthwise. This does not look like composite material as with the reef image above, and therefore must be in the same place it was when formed. There are three pieces visible in the picture, all running the same way, with the same unique pattern. Impossible to have been washed into place by turbulent water.
Andrew Snelling, a young earth creationist and global flood proponent describes the vast limestone and coral type formations in Israel and Egypt as having been deposited by rapid water action during the “global flood”. However, these images cannot be dismissed in this way, as their symmetrical patterns and shapes noted above, are distinctly not random as required for deposition. Coral reefs do not form in floods, they form over long periods of time, and in relatively shallow ocean waters. Of course if they break up through erosion or damage they end up in pieces – nobody will ever see a coral reef reconstructed after destruction by erosion.Yes, we might get limestone, sandstone or conglomerates. But not a reef of corals like these or others discussed below!
The image above is from the Sinai region and is a powerful example of massive, entire corals impregnated by calcium minerals. Note again the symmetrical “fan” shape in the center extending vertically up and outwards from the core. This coral reef could never have relocated in their entirety, or even in large chunks, because they are embedded, they are not “floating” bits and pieces.
The only logical way these type of fossil coral reefs could be in situ, on this desert land, immediately after the flood is from an ocean that existed before the flood,
The same problem exists where the edges of the deserts fringe the sea on the other side of the Sinai Peninsula. Above is an image of an undercut fossil reef from the area of the Sinai peninsula.
There are three terraces or levels of fossil reef running along the southeastern end of the Gulf of Aqaba. There is no room for debate over the origin of these reefs. They were formed in situ. The only debate has been over what caused the sea level change. Either fall by reduced volume in the oceans due to higher ice levels at the poles, or due to tectonic effects.
The upper terrace is about 22 meters above the current sea level. They are not conglomerate reefs formed by deposition of material by a flood, but represent at least three old ocean shores with terraces stepping down reflecting the receding levels of the ocean.
Apart from a small area near Ras Mohamed, these fossil reefs are probably not raised up or broken by geological faulting, though some suggest otherwise with some vertical uplift over a long period of time. Of course this does not change the significance of their presence for our discussion. All three levels, four if you count one below current water levels, have fairly uniform heights, horizontal levels, and shared erosion patterns. They are simply left there – high and dry as the current ocean levels fell. Here is more detailed research (pdf) on their dating.
If the ocean level was high enough to just cover these fossil reef terraces the entire Nile Delta would be under water. On the image of the Nile Delta (above) you can see where Cairo is. The entire delta is just meters above sea level today, and much of Cairo would be under water or have ocean views. Imagine if the sea level was high enough to cover the fossils and fossil reefs in the Western Desert, some of which are much higher?
Below is an image with the location of ancient Ur marked. The entire region around Ur is much less than 10 meters above today’s sea level. The most Noah, Terah, and Abraham could have done there would be fishing in a boat.
With the ocean levels suggested by the peninsula fossil strata, Cairo would be a city on the edge of the ocean, the Persian Gulf would extend into Iraq well over 200 kilometers toward Baghdad, and the ancient Ur of the Chaldees would be over 15 meters under water!
Now, if the ocean that formed these reefs existed before the flood, it tells us at least three things:
First, it becomes a marker in any “column” of deposited material and its contents. In other words, flood deposition, erosion, and geographic evidence for the flood should be at or above this level in any comparable strata in the geologic column.
As has been pointed out, the flood theory can only be refuted IF its proponents define “…when the flood occurred in the geologic record…”. These fossils and the Biblical account does it for them.
Secondly, it demonstrates multiple sea levels before the flood. There are three terraces or levels around the peninsula area, representing three sea levels! There are also indications of higher or multiple levels in the Western Desert. These would seem very difficult to fit into just 2000 years or so of climatically and geologically stable life for the planet.
Thirdly, it tells us that there should be very limited sedimentary deposition below the level of these fossil reefs. In fact apart form limited deposition under that coral, and which clearly belongs to “that” ocean, there should be a base of bedrock. After all, according to the creationist perspective there is only two thousand years of history before the flood. Unfortunately for a young earth view: these reefs do not sit on bedrock.
The image below is the skeleton of a Pakicetus (whale) from whale valley, or wadi Al Hitan. Some of these fossils are from beneath the fossil coral reef levels we are discussing. What are they doing there? National Geographic has a fascinating video of part of this discovery.
There is fossil reef sitting on bedrock under the Great Barrier Reef off the East Coast of Australia where ancient reef extends over 100 meters to bedrock. There are many other places around the world where there are large sections of fossil coral reef, including Israel. There is the Talme Yafe Formation, west of Judea. A fossil reef some 3000 meters thick, 20 kilometers wide and 150 kilometers long. There is two fossil reef and sedimentary terraces that lie 50 to 90 meters and 120 to 140 meters below the current sea surface along the coast near Elat. These and many others around the world are dismissed by global flood theorists as deposited by a one year global flood event, because that is the only way to fit them it into the one year of Noah’s flood. All dismissed with assumptions.
The fossil corals we are discussing in Egypt, and the Sinai region cannot be dismissed.
Of course the dismissal of other fossil reefs around the world is doubtful, because they depend on uniformity and interpretation of how they think a fossil reef might look based on how they think it should look today! Of course, such dependence on uniformity is criticized when used by evolution science.
Fossil reefs have been discussed by others, however it is we must emphasis the weight of the connection between the Biblical description of the land and the existence of these fossil coral reefs. Eye witness observation of how the land was.
The impact of the fossil corals and fossil reefs we are discussing is that we can demonstrate from the Bible itself that the land has not changed since Noah’s flood. There is nowhere in the world where we can discuss fossil reefs, or almost any other dating issue, with a young earth proponent without them saying “we can’t be sure that is how the land was when…” Its the old uniformity argument.
For the intellectually honest I believe that argument is dead:
These fossil coral reefs are in a land which the Bible itself tells us has not changed. The anti uniformity argument cannot apply in Egypt, Sinai, Israel, Iraq etc, and probably nowhere else in the world either. And it is patently dogmatic to suggest that fossil reefs and fossil corals of this nature and scope are deposited from bits collected by a global flood
The Geologic Column Under Abraham’s Feet
The Great Western deserts of Egypt are one of the many places in the world where most all the layers of the so called geologic column are found. There are thousands of meters of layers and sediments below this ancient ocean floor on which Noah’s descendants walked. For example, the southern Sinai region has about 2000 meters of continental (facies) layers, west of Sinai is deeper again, and north of Sinai has up to 8000 meters marine facies.(pdf.
Ironically part of the upper layers of the column in these areas, including Israel, have a massive layer of chalk at an upper level. This chalk layer is pretty much the same level in the column as the White Cliffs of Dover, the coastline of France, and parts of USA. All physically impossible within the flood time frame of 12 months. That is even before we address the geologic column under Abraham’s feet.
Examples of the depth of this geology are seen in the significant oil reserve, The Suqqara. It lies just 12 kilometers off shore in the central section of the Gulf of Suez, and west of the Sinai Peninsula. The well is 6500 meters deep, showing the depth to the west of Sinai. In addition to this is the recent Leviathan gas discovery off the coast of Israel, the most significant gas discovery in the world for the last decade. It lies just 130 kilometers west of Haifa, and 180 kilometers north of Cairo, and of course this is similarly north of Sinai. The Leviathan is situated in 1500 meters of water, and drilled to a deepest depth of over 7 kilometers. This is an amazing discovery.
Below is an image of the globe with all the places the entire geologic column occurs. The Leviathan, Great Western Desert and Saqqara are highlighted. Click on the map for a larger image.
How did these oil and gas reserves get to be 6.5 and 7 kilometers below the surface, and below the level of the fossil coral reefs?
If one accepts the biblical account of the flood as the only major catastrophic event up to the time of the flood and Noah’s Ark, there is no explanation for how the oil and gas, with the kilometers of covering deposition, got to be underneath the fossil corals. This is a major problem for Creationists who believe in a recent creation and global flood. One such proponent of this view, when asked on a blog site if the entire fossil record was laid down by the flood had this to say: “….Yes, the fossil ‘record’ is the result of Noah’s flood, except for the small portion that was formed post-flood”
This is now demonstrated as patently impossible, and has major consequences for the view noted above. This is well illustrated by another quote from Michael Oard
“…I advocate viewing the rocks and fossils through Flood glasses – through the actual mechanism that produced the rocks and fossils, the Genesis Flood. Why look at rocks and fossils through a false philosophical system based on the hypotheses of uniformitarianism, and old earth, evolution, and naturalism?”
This is classic Flood/Creation thinking: Begin with the belief (FACT) that the flood happened, and the earth is young – and make every thing line up with that. It is a powerful presupposition that indeed makes powerful glasses.
However, this documentation of fossil corals demonstrates that this flood mechanism is actually the false philosophical system, and that an old earth is more likely to be the better philosophical approach.
It is simple: up to 8000 meters of depositional matter beneath fossil corals, or their level, proven by the Bible itself to predate the flood!
While there may have been some decay and burial of matter before the flood, even in a relatively new and perfect world with no rain, I’m sure no creationist would suggest that the vast amounts of oil and gas we are speaking of could possibly have come from pre-flood decay, erosion or deposition – all in just 2000 years.
Now that we have come to this point in examining the data, it is worth reminding ourselves that many, many other places within the geologic column around the world do not fit a single flood event. If 8000 meters of deposited material sounds like a lot, compare that with the Gulf of Mexico where there are 75000 ft (25 kilometers) of deposited layers. As is pointed out, even with incredible erosion rates and almost impossible water flow speeds, the time required for this amount of deposition to take place is phenomenal.
Another fascinating example of how the process of deposition occurred over long periods of time are the ancient river beds, noted in the link above. These are buried thousands of meters below the current surface. How did they get there? Flood theories have no answer.
Add this kind of issue to the fossil corals, and the evidence for a single flood event in a young earth is non-existent.
Just the deposition under the land Abraham walked in demonstrates extensive and ongoing erosion, deposition, and decay happening to produce up to 8 kilometers of deposited matter with vast reservoirs of oil and gas beneath it.
It is also worth noting, as has been pointed out by others, many young earth proponents identify the Euphrates and Tigris rivers with those mentioned in Genesis. If Noah’s flood was responsible for the thousands of meters of column beneath this land, how did these rivers get “reinstated” on top of it? How could we even begin to imagine there were the same rivers if such a catastrophic event took place?
It is generally understood that the volumes of oil and gas held in these reservoirs would require a major anoxic event. That is where the ocean runs out of oxygen and there is mass death/extinctions. Such an event in excluded by the flood theory.
How long did all this deposition take? Regardless of uniformity, or dating things in millions of years, one is left with the distinct impression that there is a very long time represented by up to 8000 meters of deposited matter or column, under which there is oil and gas, and over which Abraham’s contemporaries walked on the remains of a bygone ocean!
Bricks and Tar
The Bible, in Genesis Chapter 11, has a fascinating account of the building of “The Tower of Babel”. This took place within the first few generations, and they used pitch or tar from tar pits or similar sources as mortar. It is only a few generations later that tar pits are also mentioned around Sodom and Gomorrah. The words used to describe this “pitch” are the same root words used to describe the “pitch” with which Noah sealed the joints of the Ark before the flood.
Much debate has taken place over the use of the similar words in an effort to show these terms are different, especially the pitch used by Noah on the Ark. For the young earth creationist there should not be petroleum products available before the flood. Some global flood supporters make the suggestion that it was pitch distilled from trees. A fairly questionable argument, but one which nobody could win. Much debate has also taken place over how quickly pitch could have begun to ooze from the ground after the flood, because even creationists don’t try to suggest this post flood use was from trees. Rather another argument against uniformity is required; another argument nobody can win.
These debates are now demonstrated to be pointless. The pitch was there before Noah’s flood, oozing up from perhaps thousands of meters beneath the land. To this day there are occasional lumps of asphalt rising to the surface of the Dead Sea. The Dead sea is at the bottom of the massive Rift Valley in Jordan some 400 meters below sea level. Argument over how soon after a global flood pitch could form, what the source and cause of the buried matter was, and how the flood buried it is totally irrelevant. The buried matter which produced the pitch, oil, and gas was there long, long before the flood, and nothing has changed
Global flood theorists believe that the Rift Valley, Jordan Valley and Red Sea opened up during the very end of Noah’s flood. This is after explaining all the depositional layers above and alongside it as being deposited during successive inundations over the continent by the flood. The Jordan and rift valleys are commonly seen by creationists as the location of Sodom and Gomorrah, a location we already have associated with great depths of geologic column and the rising tar. Even if we were to accept that a flood caused the deposition above the rift valley, it still does not explain how the source for the tar pits got there. This is particularly important when we consider what else is under the Dead Sea.
500 + Cubic Kilometers of Salt?
Mount Sodom is on the western side of the southern end of the Dead Sea, and is one of two salt domes, of “salt diapirs“. Salt domes form as consequence of the relative buoyancy of salt when buried beneath heavier sediments, (see image below). The salt flows upwards to form salt domes, sheets, pillars and other structures. This is obviously an extremely slow process. Hydrocarbons are commonly found around salt domes because of the abundance and variety of traps created by salt movement and the association of evaporate minerals that can provide excellent sealing capabilities. The image below illustrates a dome associated with oil and sulfur.
Mount Sodom (below) is a massive salt diapir. It rises 230 meters above the Dead Sea, and is 11 kilometers long and up to 3 kilometers wide. With a depth of several kilometers.
Mount Sodom, looking south, courtesy of wysinfo.com
Below is a seismic image courtesy of the Geological Society of America (GSA) You can purchase the full papers here. This is a cross section view of the Mount Sodom diapir, viewed end on, and looking from south to north along the western bank of the Dead Sea. This view shows the “submerged” section of the mountain like a big bubble rising “slowly” from the depths. The top section is 2-3 kilometers wide. The length is about 11 kilometers, depth several kilometers! Click to enlarge.
The other diapir is the Lisan diapir. Its top is actually below the surface of the Lisan Peninsula on the central section and eastern side of the Dead Sea. The seismic image below, again courtesy of the GSA, suggests it is 13 x 10 kilometers, with a maximum depth of 7.2 kilometers. Its roof is about 125 meters below the surface.
The combined salt volume for these two diapirs would be over 500 cubic kilometers of salt! The obvious question relates to our discussion above regarding the geologic column, the corals above, and the relationship of these massive bodies of salt.
I am reminded of the description made by Andrew Snelling at the Answers in Genesis Research Journal, “Building the Creation Model”. I will highlight in bold the critical point.
“… In Israel this great regression, as the Flood waters receded and widespread marine sedimentation ended, also coincided with the commencement of the rifting that opened up the Red Sea and the Dead Sea-Jordan River rift valley along the Dead Sea Transform Fault, as well as the uplifting of the Judean Mountains along a north-south axis of folding (the Judean Arch), and the thrust faulting that created Israel’s highest peak, Mt. Hermon (2,814 m) (9,232 ft), all of which marked the end of the Flood event.”
Thus we have it, on a young earth proponents own authority, that this rift, part of which now forms the Dead Sea, opened up in the last 100 days of the flood. So how on earth did two gigantic “blocks” of salt get where they are? One totally submerged, and the other just sticking above the surface, both extending some 6 and 7 kilometers below the surface of the Dead Sea!
Salt domes or diapirs of this nature are evaporitic. There is currently a salt body forming on the floor of the dead sea as salts are forced out of the saturated waters. It only has a thickness of hundreds of meters – not kilometers. You can find more illustrations of this salt dome problem on my A Pinch of Salt page.
We have already noted the vast chalk beds that cover much of Israel. Andrew Snelling’s argument to explain these now creates further major problems for him when we look at these salt domes.
Here is what he had to say when explaining how the chalk beds came to be. I have highlighted in bold again. This is just above the previous reference:
“At the initiation of the Flood when the ocean waters catastrophically rose and advanced over the pre-Flood supercontinent as it broke apart, eroding the crystalline basement, the first sediment layer to be deposited in Israel and widely across surrounding regions was a sandstone with a conglomeratic base, identical to the Tapeats Sandstone in the Grand Canyon whose equivalents were deposited right across North America. Similarly, late in this Flood inundation of Israel the waters were nutrient rich, likely due to the addition of chemical-rich hot waters from associated volcanism, allowing coccoliths to flourish as massive algal blooms that then rapidly accumulated as oozes to become thick chalk beds. These were not just a local phenomenon, as these chalk beds in Israel can be traced west across Europe to England and Ireland, and east to Kazakhstan, with other remnants in the Midwest of the USA and in southern Western Australia. Both these examples powerfully illustrate the global Flood deposition of transcontinental rock layers (Snelling 2008c).”
Here we have, late in the flood event, a flourishing ocean that can allow unimaginable amounts of coccoliths to flourish, depositing vast quantities of chalk on the undersea landscape. Based on the above statement, this deposition takes place late in the flood. Yet, according to the first of the two quotes, by day 224 of the flood, the waters are receding, and the Rift Valley and Dead Sea begin to open up.
Current deposition rates for coccoliths in absolute ideal conditions is 2 mm per year, yet somehow these massive chalk beds have to form at impossible rates, and in this very brief time hardened enough to not wash away in the turbulence caused by the “regression”. On top of this stretch to the imagination, between that point in time, and shortly after the end of the flood, 500 cubic kilometers of evaporitic salt get buried under 7 or 8 kilometers of deposition, beneath what is now the Dead Sea. Based on the 150, and 74 days Snelling provides above, that is a window of just 141 days, requiring a deposition rate upwards of about 3.5 cubic kilometers of salt per day. This rapidly formed salt then has to harden sufficiently so that kilometers more of deposited matter, heavier than itself, can sit on top of it without “floating” it to the top. If this is not difficult enough, based on Snelling’s scenario, the depositional material that buries all this salt, is washed in on top by an already departed ocean. The “regression” had ended, and widespread marine sedimentation was already over! In other words, there is no more flood to wash in the debris over the salt!
Now, just in case some young earth proponent brings it up, it should be mentioned here, that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah not too long after the flood may be responsible for some of the landscape of the Dead Sea. However, I do not anticipate that any one would even begin to imagine that event could have placed these 500 cubic kms of salt kilometers underground.
Not only are these timetables for flood events contradicting each other – coccoliths do better in less turbid water, and they like it salty. One would expect the flood could be less rather than more salty. Then, to complicate things even more, within weeks the water is meant to be gone, but to have somehow formed 500 cubic kms of evaporitic salt. This would require vast amounts of hyper saline waters, and impossible rates of evaporation. The Dead Sea is currently hyper saline enough to be forming a new body of salt beneath, and absolutely nothing can live there. Such is the density required to form the type of salt diapirs we see today. In other words, if the receding oceans were salty enough to form these massive salt bodies – they would have killed every living thing. Try producing an unimaginably massive algal bloom of coccoliths to create hundreds of meters of chalk one month, and the next? 500 cubic kms of salt dome. Plus the multitude of salt domes around the world. One example is the Louann Salt stretching from Texas across the Gulf of Mexico. It underlies thousands of square kilometers. Of course we are left with the question why are the oceans no longer as saturated with salt as they would have had to be to create these vast amounts of salt. The answer of course is that they never were. It is the result of time and evaporation. All these requirements are clearly Impossible within the global flood theory.
Wikipedia has a simple explanation for the Dead Sea:
“Approximately two million years ago, the land between the Rift Valley and the Mediterranean Sea rose to such an extent that the ocean could no longer flood the area. Thus, the long bay became a lake.
The first such prehistoric lake is named “Lake Gomorrah.” Lake Gomorrah was a freshwater or brackish lake that extended at least 80 km (50 mi) south of the current southern end of the Dead Sea and 100 km (62 mi) north, well above the present Hula Depression. As the climate became more arid, Lake Gomorrah shrank and became saltier. The large, saltwater predecessor of the Dead Sea is called “Lake Lisan.”
* The flood of Noah must have been local in nature. There is no globally connected geological evidence for a global flood above the level of these fossil reefs and corals, and massive salt domes. It is also very debatable that there is in fact any such evidence in any of the column.
(There is now some archeological suggestions for an inundation of the Persian Gulf about 8000 years ago, and also the flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates river regions at a similar time. This evidence is added to by geological and global warming over the past several thousand years, during which the ocean has risen some 40 meters. Could this have been the background to Noah and the Ark? (Ur lies at the head of the Gulf.)
* There must have been at least one significant anoxic event before Noah’s flood.The fossil coral reefs in the Deserts of Egypt lie on top of vast amounts of deposited materials, including oil and gas. There is no other way for it to be there.
(There is sound geologic evidence for up to 8 significant anoxic events on the planet. We have now demonstrated that at least one such anoxic event happened before Noah’s flood. There is no reason to reject the strong evidence for the others. Taken literally the Bible does not allow for one event, but there was at least one. This means the interpretation methodology must be wrong.
* Before Noah, the world cannot have been “perfect” or “rainless”. Rather it must have been subject to incredible amounts of change, erosion, decay, and time. How else can we explain over 500 cubic kilometers of salt buried under the Dead Sea? Time.
(This point of course once again raises issues about the Creation Story of Genesis. If taken literally there is absolutely no explanation for the erosion, deposition, decay, death, and time suggested by the eight kilometers of “stuff” below the land Abraham walked on, nor for the massive fossil record in the column around the globe. There is in fact simply too much fossilized life form matter to exist within the short time frame allowed by Noah’s flood.)
* Developing complexity of life forms is demonstrated by the geologic column before the flood. There is a massive amount of fossil evidence for life in many forms below the fossil reefs of Egypt, and they cannot be explained by the flood, and are therefore very difficult to fit into a literal creation just 2000 years or so before Noah’s time.
(We now know these fossils were not placed there by a global flood. How then do we explain the apparent development of life with increasing complexity as we move up the fossil record in the geologic column? Once again, it does not fit a literal interpretation of the Genesis account)
* Vast amounts of time are required to produce the geologic column as we know it today. We have demonstrated that the geologic column was not the result of a single cataclysmic global flood at the time of Noah, Thus, there is no reason to doubt that the geologic column is the result of many processes over time. The time required for salt diapirs like Mt Sodom and Lisan to develop, as with the geologic column, are beyond the comprehension of most young earth proponents who refuse to see the data.
As for Me
I personally believe there is a God, as I discuss in my page The “Evolution Deletes God” Myth. However, as I observe the very real world around me, I am left no choice but to believe that God has used a process and time to bring life and this planet to be as we know it today. Therefore, I must challenge my methods of interpreting the Bible because my method is proven wrong by reality.
For someone who does not believe in God or the Bible these things pose no problem. For those who do, it means we can no longer be content with literalistic interpretations.
Someone asked me recently, why, if I consider myself a Christian who believes in God, do I put this effort into destroying the Biblical Flood theory.
The answer is simple. Promoting a young earth in the face of the incredible evidence there is for a very old earth makes us look foolish. Why should you, or anyone for that matter, listen to me about my faith in God, when I also try to convince you about a global flood that is such obvious nonsense?
The question of whether there is a God is in fact a separate question. And maybe it is time we Christians began trying to understand God and life within the framework of evolutionary processes. It is certainly time we stopped trying to defend extreme views of creation with arguments which in isolation from other evidence may carry some weight, but in the larger picture are very difficult to justify.
Copyright: oldearthmygod.com 1. 01. 2011
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