How Creationists Pretend to Do Science

Hat tip to Hemant for calling my attention to this article by Danny Faulkner, a young earth creationist astronomer, wherein he does “research” to determine the exact length of the (entirely mythical) global flood. Did it last a literal year, 365 days, or 371 days? Let’s go to the lab and do us some scientific researchin’.

Belief that the Flood lasted 371 days is common among recent creationists, but there are other possibilities. I argue that the Flood’s duration most likely was 365 days, exactly one year. At any rate, all possibilities for the length of the Flood are about one year, though not necessarily greater than one year. Therefore, I suggest that the best short answer to the question of how long the Flood lasted is “about one year.”

Many recent creationists are of the opinion that the Flood’s duration was 371 days. This belief is in agreement with and probably has been influenced by Whitcomb and Morris (1961, p. 3). However, Whitcomb and Morris did not produce the calculation for this, but merely reproduced a table that they referenced from Kevan (1953, pp. 84–85). Interestingly, Kevan did not endorse this figure as the length of the Flood. Rather, he preceded his table with the statement that the Flood chronology may be constructed this way, but he followed the table with the remark that this result assumes a 30-day month. He further noted that the synodic month1 actually is 29.5 days, and from this Kevan concluded that the Flood’s duration was 365 days. Hence, Kevan actually endorsed the theory that the Flood lasted exactly one year. The manner in which Kevan presented his table suggests that the idea of the 371-day Flood duration preceded him in the literature, but if it does, he failed to reference it.

It is clear that belief in the duration of 371 days for the Flood relies upon the assumption that the Flood account of Genesis 6–9 was based upon a calendar that used twelve 30-day months….

But how well-founded is the 30-day month and a 360-day year in ancient calendars? Several authors have approached this question recently. Boyd and Snelling (2014, pp. 6–7) briefly discussed several possible calendars that may have been in use in Noah’s time, without reaching any firm conclusion. Similarly, Boyd et al. (2014, pp. 52–54) also discussed various possible calendar choices.2 Anderson (2014, pp. 194–195) noted five fixed dates in the Flood narrative, but also commented that the exact duration of time depended upon which calendar was in use. Longacre (2014, pp. 233–234, 269–270) pointed out that 4Q252, a Qumran commentary on Genesis, apparently endorsed a 364-day calendar. However, these authors were not as concerned with the exact duration of the Flood as they were in establishing the relative chronology of the Flood for the purpose of using subtle clues in the biblical text in developing a geological Flood model.

Recently Faulkner (2012) criticized the belief that prior to the Flood the year consisted of exactly 360 days divided into 12 months that were exactly 30 days long. Nearly everyone who believes in this alleged pre-Flood calendar also subscribes to the 371-day length of the Flood, but the converse is not necessarily true. Here I must repeat some things from my earlier paper, and the reader is referred to that paper for some of the details. I will show here that there is a good case to be made for the Flood lasting one year (365 days) as Kevan did.

Now that’s some powerful sciencing, my friend. In his next paper, Faulker will determine exactly how many angels can, in fact, dance on the head of the pin. The answer will no doubt depend on the size of the angels (which he will no doubt measure in cubits) and the exact dance they’re doing (slow dancing would require much less space than, say, that Russian kick dance thing). And he’s currently part of a crack team of scientists working on an earth-shaking research project to determine how close the kryptonite has to be to Superman to sap his strength.


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  • busterggi

    Why not count the daily sedimentation layers to determine how long the flood lasted? it sounds sciency enough.

  • blf

    What does “duration of the flud” even mean?

    (I have not looked at the ramblings to see if this nutter defines his terms or not.)

  • Michael Heath

    The fact these YECS are arguing about the length of Noah’s flood is proof they’ve lost touch with their inner-thetans. I say call in the Scientologists!

  • sceptinurse

    I was under the impression that the world used a 13 month lunar calendar at the time. Although I doubt that would make any difference to these jokers.

  • briandavis

    I don’t see any evidence that he fasted as part of his research. How are we supposed to take his results seriously?

  • grumpyoldfart

    Faulkner writes that stuff because it sells. Americans buy it. Not just a few of them; millions of them!

    (Might be time to think about upgrading the education system.)

  • marcus

    According to my extensive and exhaustive research conducted over many years (roughly ages 6-32) of the types of reactions Superman exhibits upon exposure to various color-forms of kryptonite, length of exposure time and distance from material, I would have to say relatively close, say 6-10 ft. maximum. It should be noted that exposure for any amount of time generates some reaction and that the reactions are exacerbated as that length of time increases. Your welcome.

  • LightningRose

    Using the Wholly Babble to determine the duration of the flood is like asking, “How many cretins can dance on the head of a pin?”

  • raven

    This is silly.

    We’ve moved on and advanced since the bible was written. There are far more interesting and important questions today.

    1. Who would win a one on one MMA cage match, between an Orc and an Elf?

    2. Is Glenda the good witch more powerful than Harry Potter? How about Gandalf?

    3. Who would win a fair fight, Achilles or Hercules?

    4. What would happen if the Romulans had a war with the Klingons? Who would the Terrans root for?

  • Marcus Ranum

    The answer will no doubt depend on the size of the angels (which he will no doubt measure in cubits)

    Assume a spherical angel…

  • John Pieret

    His ultimate answer is “Probably the best answer that avoids many of the details that I have discussed here is to reply that the Flood lasted about a year. This covers all possibilities.”

    In other words, it is crocks of shit all the way down.

  • carpenterman

    I understand that it’s human nature to believe what you really want to. To get past that natural impulse, to look hard at the available facts and believe what *they* tell you (whether you like it or not), is difficult. Millions of people (obviously) never do. What I find so strange is that so many people *want* to believe in the Bible. What is it about these nasty, childish stories that appeals even to intelligent, educated people? Evolution, plate tectonics, stellar formation, so many other scientific disciplines that say, “Hey, that book is all wrong”… not only are they based on facts, the stories they tell are SO much more amazing and wonderful than *any* man-made fable could ever be. Why do so many people push knowledge away and cling to myth so fervently? I don’t understand that at all.

  • yoav

    Now that’s some powerful sciencing, my friend. In his next paper, Faulker will determine exactly how many angels can, in fact, dance on the head of the pin.


    *Assuming the dance is a gavotte, and assuming Azriaphele can find a suitable partner able to both gavotte and dance on the head of a pin.

  • Nick Gotts

    In his next paper, Faulker will determine exactly how many angels can, in fact, dance on the head of the pin.

    This question wasn’t actually as ridiculous as it sounds: angels supposedly being able to adopt any size they choose, the point (pun not originally intended) was whether the number was finite or infinite – i.e., whether space is infinitely divisible. This issue has still not been determined.

  • birgerjohansson

    But if angels are sufficiently small, does that mean they can use quantum tunneling to get around?

    What about their De Broglie wavelength?

    And if you cool them to 0.1 Kelvin, will their quantum states begin to overlap?

  • StevoR

    n his next paper, Faulker will determine exactly how many angels can, in fact, dance on the head of the pin.

    I believe Marcus the Ranger answered that question in Babylon 5 with the best and most obviously accurate answer possible : “As many as want to!”

    Also ask the Vorlons they’d know!

    BTW. African or European pin?

    @9. raven : “What would happen if the Romulans had a war with the Klingons? Who would the Terrans root for?”

    Whaddya mean if the Romulasn and Klingons fought!? Oh and the Federation.

  • culuriel

    Am I crazy? Doesn’t the Bible state it rained for 40 days and 40 nights? Oh, now I realize, they’re trying to determine how long the flood waters covered the earth. Well, I guess that depends on which piece of earth they’re talking about. The areas under the oceans are still flooded. Does this mean their god hasn’t made up his mind about us?

    Also, I think angels on a head of a pin question is also answered. The answer: All of them. Think about it. If you’re going to believe in angels, you would kind of have to belief they could all fit on the head of a pin.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    Raven: 4. What would happen if the Romulans had a war with the Klingons? Who would the Terrans root for?


    Well, the majority of Americans would choose the Klingons. I mean, c’mon – whom would you rather sit down and have a beer with?

  • dingojack

    Americans? Siding with the Klingons? Don’t make me laugh.

    Klingons are honourable warriors!

    :) Dingo

  • dingojack

    (Personally I’d join Neelix and the Doctor under that Parisien door awning.)


  • Alteredstory

    This is probably why conservatives think scientists just sit around all day making shit up.

    That’s what the scientists they LIKE do…

  • Alteredstory

    Should have had scare quotes around “scientists” in that last sentence.