Many have considered Noah's Flood. Some look at the traditional interpretations and reject the Bible. Others have proposed possible solutions that though they do not fit the Bible completely, offer a scientifically believable flood. Many Christians have grabbed onto these explanations as a way out of the dilemma. A careful analysis of the flood story shows a scientifically accurate flood in a historic setting with a very typical Biblical message.
I looked at the traditional interpretation of the flood. It states that the oceans rose to cover the highest mountains and then fifteen cubits over the top of the tallest. Scientists can't see how this is possible. Either the world was much flatter than it is now, or one massive amount of water escaped out of the mantle and then went back into the mantle during tha span of one year. It is true that plate techtonics have pulled enough water into the mantle that if it escaped all at once, the surface of the ocean would be 1.5 miles above Mt Everest. The loss of that much water would cause massive disruption of the land surface. Then there is no known meathod for the water to go back in. Many have tried to argue that all the sedimentary rock was laid down on the flood. Again, this would cause major disruptions in science. For example, many of the layers are dated using radioactive decay. One has to argue that the decay is not constant. Another problem is the fossils in the rocks. A flood would jumble up all the animals. They would not appear in separate layers. There are other problems that people have noted. In the 3,000 year history of wooden sail boats, no one has been able to make a seaworthy ship over 350 feet, let alone the 450 feet stated by the Bible. People have made boats 300-325 feet long and tried to sail them across the Atlantic. the boats "hogged," that is they bent in the middle and had to be constantly pumped out. If they hit larger waves from a storm, they were in danger of breaking in half. If they made it across, the sailors were so frightened by the experience that they refused to sail it again. A storm like Noah experienced would have been fatal. Another problem is trying to contain all the animals in the world plus their food and then distributing them back to their homes in the order that we find them today. I can't imagine 8 people feeding the millions of animals every day, let alone mucking out the cages also. All in all, this interpretation is so fantastic sounding that I can understand why many people have rejected this interpretation if not Christianity completely. I decided that I needed to research the Bible to see exactly what it said.
The book, Noah's Flood by Ryan and Pitman intrigued me like it did many other people. These two scientists had been on a survey of the Black Sea when they discovered a bench deep under the water. This led them to discovering that the Black Sea had been a fresh water lake thousands of Years ago. At the height of the Ice Age, a huge ice shield lay over Sweden. Melting water formed an immense lake over Germany and Poland. The lake drained south into the Black sea through river like the Dnieper. The Black Sea drained south through the Bosphorus/Dardenelles into the much lower Mediterranean. As the ice sheets melted, the Mediterranean sea began to rise. The great ice lakes began to shrink and drain elsewhere. As a result, the Fresh water Black Sea shrank. Eventually the Mediterranean rose to the level of the Bosphorus/Dardenelles and the Black Sea was much lower. Then the salt water broke through. The water poured over in a flood ten times greater than Niagara Falls. As great as this was, most people living around the lake saw a slow rise of the lake. T he greatest distance from the old shore to the new shore was 120 miles. It took one full year for the sea to fill to its current level. 120/360=1/3 mile per day. This was annoying, but no one was in danger of drowning. As I read the book, I realized that this was a major flaw in considering this to be Noah's flood. Another drawback was that the Bible described how the water level dropped over half a years time. The Black Sea never receded.
Having rejected the Black Sea flood, I looked at the other floods that I had discovered, the Ice lake floods and the rise of the oceans. The Ice lakes flooded the countryside. Slowly, over thousands of years, the Ice lakes grew from summer melting of the ice sheets. This was not a one year flood. Periodically, an ice dam broke and the water poured out, flooding a new area, but only for a few weeks. Lake Missoula in Montana is a well known example of what must have happened in Northern Europe. Layers in Washington State show that it broke the ice dam and drained the lake many times during the last Ice episode (90,000-10,000 BC) The path of the flood was scoured the scablands down to bedrock. Again this type of flood was too short in duration. The floods in Europe also occurred too far north to have come close to Mt Ararat let alone Sumer.
During the Ice Age, the ocean level dropped much lower exposing many areas of land. One could walk from France to England. Many of the islands of Indonesia were connected in an area called Sundaland. Half of the Adriatic sea was dry. Finally, all of the Persian Gulf was dry except for the combined Tigris/Euphrates river. At the end of the ice age, and the sheets melted, the oceans rose 400 feet. The land is so flat that the 400 foot rise made the waters advance 400 miles up the gulf. Though some sea level rise occurred between 18,000 and 12,000 years ago, most occurred between 12,000 and 8,000 years ago, over 4,000 years. This advance is 1/10 mile per year, or a foot and a half per day. Compare that to the black sea flood of 1/3 mile (1,760 feet) per day. Even snails might not be drowned by this flood. Again, this flood did not go back down either. Therefore, neither the ice lake floods nor the rising sea level floods could be Noah's flood.
One argument frequently heard is that since all cultures have flood myths, this supports the story of Noah's flood. The other flood myths could come from these floods, independent river floods or tsunami events such as how the tsunami triggered by the eruption of Santorini spawned the story of Atlantis could all account for the other flood myths. What we need is to find the type of flood that fits the details of the Bible. It must last one year and three months and it must dry out again. River floods, tsunamis, and ice dam floods only last weeks though they do dry out again. The Black sea flood lasted two years but did not dry out again and the end of the ice age flooding took thousands of years and also did not dry out again. The next page lists the only type of flood that typically can last a year.