WND: Noah’s Ark Proven!

The Worldnutdaily headline screams “Evidence That Noah’s Flood Did Indeed Happen.” The article is actually just a link to an article on the ABC News website that deals with an entirely local flood, which in fact contradicts the Bible’s claim that God sent a global flood to destroy everything in the world other than what was on the ark. Unfortunately, ABC News is equally bad:

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour for ABC News, Robert Ballard, one of the world’s best-known underwater archaeologists, talked about his findings. His team is probing the depths of the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey in search of traces of an ancient civilization hidden underwater since the time of Noah…

Now Ballard is using even more advanced robotic technology to travel farther back in time. He is on a marine archeological mission that might support the story of Noah. He said some 12,000 years ago, much of the world was covered in ice…

“The questions is, was there a mother of all floods,” Ballard said…

Fascinated by the idea, Ballard and his team decided to investigate.

“We went in there to look for the flood,” he said. “Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed… The land that went under stayed under.”

Four hundred feet below the surface, they unearthed an ancient shoreline, proof to Ballard that a catastrophic event did happen in the Black Sea. By carbon dating shells found along the shoreline, Ballard said he believes they have established a timeline for that catastrophic event, which he estimates happened around 5,000 BC. Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah’s flood could have occurred.

“It probably was a bad day,” Ballard said. “At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under.”

The theory goes on to suggest that the story of this traumatic event, seared into the collective memory of the survivors, was passed down from generation to generation and eventually inspired the biblical account of Noah.

No one would be the least bit surprised to find out that a large local flood buried a coastal village, of course. But it would be all but impossible to tie it directly to the flood myth of the Bible. And even if you could, as I said, this actually contradicts what the Bible says about it and leaves the story, at the most, being a mythologizing — that is, giving a supernatural explanation to a mundane natural event — of something that actually took place. That is not what the folks at the Worldnutdaily believe. In fact, they’ve been pushing Noah’s Ark stories for years, most of them about creationist fraud Ron Wyatt and his absurd claims to have found the real Noah’s Ark.

There was no real Noah’s Ark. And there was no global flood. Period.

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  • alanb

    The problem with tying the Black Sea flood to Noah is that it is hard to come up with a scenario in which the rise was more than a foot or two per day. That is not the kind of nightmare that spawns thousands-year-old myths.

  • eric

    This is probably due to lousy reporting rather than Ballard, but…12,000 year-old glaciers have exactly what to do with a 5,000 B.C. flood? The math is off by 5,000 years or so.

  • whheydt

    It’s not like the sea breaking through the Bosphorus and (re)flooding the Black Sea is a *new* suggestion for the origin of the myth of Noah’s Flood. The idea has been around for years.

    Given the geology of the region, it probably happened several times. (Anatolia is being forced west by the converging plates to the north and south of it with faults at an angle to each other.)

    Now…the REALLY spectacular flood would have been when the Mediterranean refilled the last time as the Atlantic broke through the Straights of Gibralter…about 6 million years ago.

  • lclane2

    Creationists have always ignored orders of magnitude.

  • Sastra

    What sometimes seems to happen among supernaturalists is a stunning lack of concern for the details of their own special revealed truths: what matters most is that the enemy — skeptical atheistic materialist naturalism — is being attacked. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    I’m reminded here of a theism vs. atheism debate I once attended. William Lane Craig was the theist, and he was using the kalam argument, which loosely (very loosely) could be characterized as “the Big Bang proves God.” He was cheered on by the Christians who surrounded me. When I questioned them during the breaks, it turned out they were all Young Earth Creationists. “But you don’t even ‘believe in’ the Big Bang!” I protested. True, I was told — but they loved watching an atheist get bested on their own terms, using “their own” science.

    I’m also reminded of New Age-y holistic health fairs, where competing claims about the One True Cause of all Dis-ease or the Miracle Cure for Everything are never seen in any actual competition. Nobody — either at the booths or walking around — argues for one remedy over another. They never argue at all, It’s all good — as long as it’s sticking it to the Man and fighting the dogmatic scientific hegemony.

    Big flood, little flood — who cares as long as the headline says something implying the Bible is True and Atheists Are Wrong!

  • anandine

    I looked into the Black Sea as a source of flood stories idea back when I was taking a lot of near-eastern archaeology classes in college. It is not implausible that there was a big flood in the Black Sea basin when the Dardanelles suddenly opened. It is not implausible that this was the source of the flood stories that are so common in that area. Of course, that is a far cry from the biblical claim of a world-wide flood.

  • matty1

    There have been lots of floods throughout history, it makes at least as much sense to claim that Atlantis stood on the shores of the Black Sea. After all the Biblical flood is supposed to have gone down again.

  • Evidence strongly suggests that a few thousand years ago — pre-history, but within our species’ memory — the Bosphorus did not exist, and what is now the Black Sea was mostly steppe with a large freshwater lake in the middle. Some catastrophe around 5300 BCE, likely a combination of rising sea levels and a large earthquake, opened up the Bosphorus, flooding the basin. That may or may not have also created the Sea of Marmara, a body of salt water between the Black Sea and the Aegean.

    A very large flood, yes, but not exactly a global one.

  • Curt Cameron

    Maybe if they had said something like this, it would be more plausible:

    We have some evidence that there was a big-ass flood thousands of years ago. Stories of this flood could, perhaps, have been passed down the generations, eventually ending up as a fanciful story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Then a thousand years later this story got copied and re-branded as something that happened to ancestors of the ancient Israelites, and was written down in the Torah.

  • Larry

    Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah’s flood could have occurred.

    Experts in what? Mythology?

    And precisely when was the “time of Noah”? Was it before or after the 3rd Age of Middle Earth?

  • Artor

    Is there any reason to think that Noah or other proto-Jews ever lived near the Black Sea? There’s a pretty sizable mountain range between there & their putative homeland. I’d always thought that they might have been from northern Mesopotamia, where the rivers are known to have flooded dramatically & cyclically.

    There must be some info missing from the quoted article too. Ballard found an ancient shoreline under 400 feet of water, and immediately concludes that it must indicate a catastrophic flood. It could have taken centuries for the sea level to rise. What evidence is there for a catastrophe?

  • matty1

    Doesn’t textual evidence suggest the Biblical story is derived from the flood of Utnapishtim, which is set in the Euphrates valley, an area where river floods are common? Adding a flood further away as the source of the myth seems an unnecessary complication compare to it originating in people exaggerating and combining stories about floods close to where the story originated.

  • alanb “The problem with tying the Black Sea flood to Noah is that it is hard to come up with a scenario in which the rise was more than a foot or two per day.”

    People were much shorter back then. And slower.

  • psweet

    I believe Ballard’s evidence involves the archaeological remains found in the area — they demonstrate that the area was abandoned very quickly. And I would think that any flood where the waters rose a foot or two a day would be pretty catastrophic in any sort of flat land — think of how much land we could lose in a week of such flooding in Florida, for example.

  • left0ver1under

    The only way all the land on Earth could be submerged is by massive tectonic shifts that flattened all the land equally and simultaneously. Yes, there are imbeciles who claim the fossils of sea creatures on top of Mount Everest are “proof” of all the land being flat and submerged.

    If all the land had ever been flattened, it would be in the geological record somewhere and there would have been massive worldwide earthquakes when it happened. Funny how the babble doesn’t mention any of this….

  • baal

    Unless god is a hopped up blastoise, where could enough water for a global flood come from and where did it go? I suppose if you allow for ‘goddidit’ this type of consideration is irrelevant.

  • gridironmonger

    In other ark news, the guy in the Netherlands (I think it was) who was building a full-sized “replica” has claimed he has finished. He used a heck of a lot of steel, however. I’d say he was cheating, but that would be like complaining that some souvenir kitsch from Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings wasn’t authentic because it wasn’t made from *real* dragons.

  • busterggi

    “The theory goes on to suggest that the story of this traumatic event, seared into the collective memory of the survivors, was passed down from generation to generation and eventually inspired the biblical account of Noah”

    This is somewhat more ‘scientific’ than the ‘theory’ of birth defects being caused by ‘maternal imprinting’ but not by much IMO. Floods occur way too commonly to assume that just one of them would be remembered for thousands of years.

    Besides, where are the collective remembrances about the New Madrid earthquakes of 1812? Almost none of the general public even knows about them even thought they were the worst in the recorded history of the US.

    How about 1816 or Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death? You’d think this would be well remembered into folklore but it isn’t and it was truly worldwide.

    Heck, the Little Ice Age from ~1350 to `1850 is barely known by the public and that was world-wide AND three centuries long. A three century weather event ought to be memorable.

  • The Noachian flood story in the Bible is also disproved by genetic and archaeological evidence.

    According to Genesis, after the Flood, the descendants of Noah settled in Mesopotamia and were all gathered in one place and began building the Tower of Babel. Then God is alleged to have caused everyone to start speaking different languages and they scattered all over the Earth.

    Problem is, the oldest genetic haplotype is found among the San and Bushmen people of Southern Africa. There is also no archaeological evidence supporting a migration of anatomically modern humans into and dispersing throughout Africa.

  • So evidence that there was a flood, somewhere, at some time, proves Noah’s ark is a true story?

    Obviously my witnessing a lightning storm is proof that Zeus is hurling lightning bolts.

  • jimmiraybob

    Old news. In 1997, two marine geologists working in the Black Sea wrote Noah’s Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About The Event That Changed History (Ryan and Pitman).

    They conclusively proved that the flood had occurred and that Noah’s Ark was real. They reported finding smaller wooden “life boats” containing the remains of adolescent dinosaurs that they hypothesized had been set adrift when they grew too big to fit in the Ark. They found the remains of a flying saucer that they hypothesized had apparently made contact with Noah to tell him where dry land was – often mistakenly reported as a dove or bird of some sort. It’s all there.

    Of course, I might be misremembering some/all of the book’s details. But still, the title contains “Noah’s Flood” and “Scientific Discoveries.” This book has apparently been entirely removed from memory and the public record…..except possibly Google. Certainly there’s something the vast Obama/Rice conspiracy doesn’t want us to know.

    — To the best of my knowledge, this has not yet been commented on by John McCain. But any day now, probably this Sunday on TV, he probably will.

  • Wikipedia has a decent summary of the Black Sea deluge and where it stands.

    Suffice to say, it does not appear to be as strongly associated with either catastrophic deluge (although it is not necessarily ruled out as far as I can see) or mass population movements; nor does it support in any way a global Noachian flood.

  • wscott

    And precisely when was the “time of Noah”? Was it before or after the 3rd Age of Middle Earth?

    It was right the 3rd Age of Middle Earth, and right after the Hyborean Age. I thought everyone knew that.


    I’m a little disappointed to see Ballard’s name associated with this; I always thought he was moderately respectable, if obviously sensationalistic. Or has he gone off the deep end in recent years and I just haven’t noticed?

  • whheydt

    Re: wscott @ #23:

    For Ballard…400 feet is hardly the “deep end.”

    However, while we’re thinking about local flood sources for “Noah”… I rather liked a proposal Isaac Asimov put forth. It was for a good sized meteor strike in the Persian Gulf sending a wall of water UP the Mesopotamian rivers and–if somebody was on a boat–pushing into the mountains to the north (which would be consistent with the Biblical text.

    Another alternative is simple exaggeration…15 miles, uphill both ways, though the snow to school, or fishermen’s tales about how big the one that got away was. Similarly, the flood back in King Whosit’s time was SO BIG that the entire world was covered. Yeah…right grandpa.

  • dingojack

    My dear Ballard – Doggerland, 8400 yrs b.p.



    busterggi (#18) – New Madrid? Hell, what about old Madrid, 1755?

  • eoleen

    Sorry, folks, Really, really sorry. Anyone who has tried to maintain a salt-water aquarium knows exactly how “interesting” it is… The osmotic balance required for fish to live in fresh water as opposed to salt water is, to say the least, “interesting”…

    To sum it up: very few species can manage the transition: shad being one of them, salmon being another (group) of species, as are some eels, etc. Aside from this comparatively small number, IF YOU PUT A FRESHWATER FISH IN SALT WATER IT TURNS UP IT’S HEELS AND DIES. THE SAME GOES FOR SALT WATER FISH IN FRESH WATER.

    A world-wide flood would have killed off almost all of the then-existing fish species, not to mention non-fish, like corals, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc……

    If this did happen, then evolution proceeded at an absolutely AMAZING pace, in order to repopulate the worlds oceans and fresh waters with the currently existing species: everything from diatoms to whale sharks…

    It would be nice if the idiots learned just a little bit of biology…

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