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Some Christians believe Noah's flood was a local event rather than a global flood.

What physical or geological evidence has been given by such Christians to support their position?

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Strange that this was closed as a duplicate. –  fredsbend Aug 13 at 21:59
I have edited it to make clear that we are interested in the beliefs of Christians, and not just everyone who thinks it was local. Answers should provide evidence that Christians do support their position with this evidence. While dancek's answer below may be true, I think it should be deleted for being unreferenced. –  curiousdannii Aug 13 at 23:39

4 Answers 4

up vote 14 down vote accepted

To expand on dancek's answer, here are several pieces of evidence that don't fit with a global flood:

  • To cover the entire world in 40 days, the rain would have had to fall at about 15 feet per hour. It would have fallen with enough force to sink the ark. [source]
  • The ark wasn't big enough to hold all the species of the world. There are at least 1.7 million species alive today, and over 250,000 (now extinct) fossil species have been identified. [source]
  • A global flood would have mixed seawater into all the fresh water sources and killed all the fresh-water fish. [source]
  • Most plants would have died after being under water nearly half a year. [source]
  • Some animals can only survive on fresh leaves; others rely on plants that only grow in small isolated regions of the earth. Gathering and storing enough of the right kinds of food for all the world's species would not have been possible. [source]
  • Egyptian records go back to a time before the usual given date of the flood, but they do not mention such an event; the pyramids, according to these records, were built before the flood but show no signs of having ever been buried under water. [source]
  • The life cycle of mountains is well understood; after the initial uplift the mountain range begins to erode, often by glaciation. Some mountain ranges, like the Appalachians, show signs of much longer periods of erosion than others, for example the Sierras. This would not be the case if all mountains had been created at the time of the flood. [source]
  • Even if the world was different before the flood, there would be no way for animals from faraway continents to get back after the flood, if the flood created the oceans. [source]
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the modern understanding of "species" and the Biblical use of "kind" are not interchangeable and there is also no indication of "continents" prior to the flood (indeed, the creation account says the land was together) –  warren Aug 30 '11 at 22:07
@warren that doesn't really diminish the issue of the numer of species; selective/intentional breeding applies only to domesticated or farmed species –  Marc Gravell Sep 1 '11 at 15:10
@warren: There is plenty of geological evidence for continents prior to the presumed date of the flood. I also don't think "the creation account says the land was together" holds much water (no pun intended) for people who would take a local interpretation of the flood, as they are likely to take an old-earth view, as well, where, even if the creation account does say lad "was" together, there's no reason to believe it was still together "millions of years later" at the time of the flood. –  Flimzy Sep 12 '11 at 18:52
I haven't looked at all your sources, but it looks like at least some are from non-Christians. Can you provide evidence that all of these points are supported by some Christians? –  curiousdannii Aug 14 at 0:40
@curiousdannii Now that the question has changed, I'm going to have to substantially rewrite my answer. Until I can make time for that, this document makes a good start. –  Bruce Alderman Aug 14 at 20:40

The lack of archaeological evidence for a global flood.
(According to those who don't believe in a global flood.)

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At first glance I almost flagged this as "not an answer", but then I realized its' true. There is almost no other way to answer this question. The only "evidence" for something on this nature having NOT happened is a lack of convincing evidence that it DID happen. This isn't just sarcasm or tongue-in-cheek since there is no authority we can appeal to as a witness for it having not happened -- other than God who's testimony is generally agreed to be the opposite. +1 even though I personally find this "evidence" unconvincing! –  Caleb Aug 27 '11 at 17:22
The lack of evidence for a global flood is not, by itself archaeological/physical evidence of a local flood; it still completely assumes the existence of a significant flood. Meaning: in evidence terms it is a false dichotomy - there is a third, simple, option... –  Marc Gravell Sep 7 '11 at 20:29
@thedarkwanderer local floods happen constantly, yes; but that does not mean that "Noah's flood" represents an actual event. We have winter regularly - and even unexpected cold spells in other seasons; that doesn't mean that this is evidence that "The Day After Tomorrow" (2004 film) depicts actual events from a "localized winter". The lack of evidence of a global winter in the last few decades is not evidence for this having happened, but locally. –  Marc Gravell Dec 31 '14 at 8:25
This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. –  bruised reed Aug 14 at 5:05
@Caleb In a word, yes. The comment was auto-generated from a low-quality post review. The context is that the question has been edited and what was a borderline answer at the time of original posting is now more objectively "not an answer" according to the revised question. –  bruised reed Aug 14 at 6:30

Here's an interesting article I came across which discusses several ancient myths and likely corresponding floods including the Black Sea event: http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jul-aug/06-biblical-type-floods-real-absolutely-enormous

Were early farmers in the area forced to flee as their world disappeared underwater? Archaeologists found the rising waters coincided with the onset of the initial migration of farming cultures into Europe and the floodplains of Mesopotamia. Wherever they came from, the first farmers arrived in southern Mesopotamia shortly after the filling of the Black Sea. Did they bring the story of a great flood that destroyed their world?

Which further links to: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/17/science/geologists-link-black-sea-deluge-to-farming-s-rise.html

An international team of geologists and oceanographers has reconstructed the history of this catastrophic flood from data gathered by a Russian research ship in 1993. Seismic soundings and sediment cores revealed traces of the sea's former shorelines, showing an abrupt 500-foot rise in water levels. Radiocarbon dating of the transition from freshwater to marine organisms in the cores put the time of the event about 7,500 years ago, or 5500 B.C.

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Can you give some evidence that some Christians support this theory? –  curiousdannii Aug 14 at 0:38

The Black Sea deluge hypothesis suggests the Black Sea may have suddenly and violently flooded due to it being below sea level at one point, thus possibly providing material for the story of Atrahasis, Gilgamesh, and the latter story of Noah.

Naturally if you lived in a little hut on the shores of the Black sea when this may have happened it would not be completely irrational for you believe the whole world has flooded.

Archaeologists argue over whether it happened or not.

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Can you provide references? –  Flimzy Sep 1 '11 at 16:57
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_theory. I am not sure if it should be called a theory though, thus I more cautiously call it a hypothesis. –  Jenny Thomson Sep 1 '11 at 17:32
Can you give some evidence that some Christians support this theory? –  curiousdannii Aug 14 at 0:37

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