Depending on the lens we use to interpret the evidence, logic and science can support the Biblical account of the flood—showing that it is more than just an ancient myth. If the story is true, then the character of God portrayed can also be reliable. Instead of a vengeful God bent on destroying His creation, the story reveals a God who gave mankind a second chance through the obedience of Noah. To show that the Biblical account is possible, I would like to briefly examine a few points of consideration.
Ubiquity of the Deluge:
Tales of a global flood are ubiquitous in ancient cultures (over 200)—existing throughout Asia and Europe, Africa, and the Americans. In most cases, the flood was worldwide. Many also included an ark, a probation period, chosen survivors, animals, and divine judgment.
“These traditions agree in too many vital points not to have originated from the same factual event.” (Furman Kearley, The Significance of the Genesis Flood)
“There never was a myth without a meaning…there is not one of these stories, no matter how silly or absurd, which was not founded on fact.” (H.H. Bancroft, The Native Races of the Pacific Slope—Mythology)
While the existence of flood myths is not scientific proof, the common nature of these narratives indicates that a large-scale catastrophe occurred that left an impression on the conscious of humanity.
“Of the combination of all these elements into a whole (the destruction of the earth by water, the rescue of a single man and seed of animals by means of a boat, etc), however, we may say without hesitation, it could not have arisen twice independently.” (William Wundt, Elements of Folk Psychology)
In addition, National Geographic archaeologist, Robert Ballard believes he has discovered physical evidence in the Black Sea supporting a scientific theory that a large-scale flood occurred approximately 7,000 years ago. His evidence includes an underwater river valley, ancient shorelines as well as Stone Age structures and tools. (National Geographic/New YorkTimes/BBC/Science.howstuffworks.com)
The Source of Water:
“…all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky.” (Genesis 7:11)
Floods normally result from excessive rainfall, but the Biblical account also mentions a significant amount of water erupting up from the earth. This oddity in detail needs explanation if the story is to be reliable. Furthermore, Genesis says that water ultimately covered the ENTIRE earth (Genesis 7:19 & 20). If ALL the ice caps melted, the oceans would rise 216 feet, but there would still be large masses of land. There must also be another source of water. View a map showing completely melted ice caps>>
Recently, evidence that the earth’s crust contains a significant amount of water has been discovered>>
“It translates into a very, very large mass of water, approaching the sort of mass of water that’s present in all the world’s ocean…” (Graham Pearson, author and a geochemist at the University of Alberta in Canada)
Given that water currently covers about 70% of the planet, this reservoir would be more than enough to flood the remaining land—even if only a fraction of it was pushed to the surface—making a global flood possible, and explaining the details of the testimony.
The only way ancient man, without modern science, could have known about “the fountains of the great deep” (Gen. 7:11) is if there had been eyewitnesses.
The “Out-of-Africa” theory is the predominant position held within the scientific community regarding the origin of man. According to this hypothesis, all people alive today have inherited the same mitochondria from an ancient woman (“Mitochondrial Eve”), and all men have inherited the same Y chromosomes from an ancient man (“Y-chromosomal Adam”). Some scientists now believe that at one point a few people left Africa and populated the entire world. Basically, everyone’s genetic code can be traced back to two individuals, and later, a small group of people were responsible for populating the world—while other early-man species died. Here again the interpretation of this information depends on whether it is viewed from a Biblical or a secular perspective. Nevertheless, the parallels are striking. More on genomic theory>>
“Before the flood God sent Noah to warn the world, that the people might be led to repentance, and thus escape the threatened destruction… For a hundred and twenty years the preacher of righteousness warned the world of the coming destruction, but his message was rejected and despised…Had the antediluvians believed the warning, and repented of their evil deeds, the Lord would have turned aside His wrath, as He afterward did from Nineveh.” (Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets)
Given that the pyramids were built and still stand, it seems also feasible for an enormous ark to have been built to house the animals and one family. Ultimately, we cannot prove that the Biblical story of Noah occurred, but there is significant evidence that supports its credibility—implying that it is more than a fantastical myth. I have made an informed choice to believe in the Bible, and a God who is deeply invested in our salvation. The Bible is full of second chance stories that testify to a loving God who desires to save mankind from the destruction of sin. It is in this God, I choose to place my faith.