4. Egyptian time, e.g.: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=594
According to the Biblical account of the history of mankind, the population of the
world was extinguished about a thousand years after the creation of man by a worldwide
flood. Up to that point, there had been no rain. The earth was watered by dew. God
instructed a man named Noah to build a huge boat or ark, about 450 ft long by 75
feet wide and 45 feet high. This took about 100 years and provided much amusement
to the locals, who could not understand how he would ever get it into the water.
It has been calculated that a boat of this size, being over 1.5 Million cubic feet
would displace more than 40,000 tons and be sufficient hold over 200,000 animals,
which would be adequate to house pairs of all land animals. It is estimated that
there are about 10 million species in the world today, of which only 1% are larger
than a bumble bee. i.e. 100,000 species.
There is no way of estimating how many species of land-based animals were in existence
in Noah’s day, but it was certainly a lot fewer than today, so the above argument
shows that the preservation of all life was quite feasible. The definition of a species
is a grouping of creatures that can interbreed. The estimated 10 million species
includes all kinds of deviations that would not have been necessary to preserve all
life. For example, if we take a cat: it would not be necessary to preserve every
possible variation of cat to have all the types of cat we have today. Two cats, a
male and female preserved in the ark could have resulted in thousands of varieties
of cat today. So whilst it is theoretically possible for the dimensions of Noah’s
ark to preserve all of the life we see around us today, that huge number would not
have been necessary. Something like a genus, such as cat or deer or wolf would only
be necessary. Other species resulting from these would merely be adaptations as we
The flood could also explain the disappearance of some very large creatures like
dinosaurs and woolly mammoths.
Insects and water inhabiting creatures could well survive a flood without the ark.
So, unlikely as it sounds, it is certainly physically possible to preserve all of
the living creatures that we see today in such an ark as described in the Bible,
although it would have to be miraculous. Getting the animals in the ark, feeding
them, cleaning their mess and stopping them from fighting would seem like a miracle,
although the One who made all things could certainly make that happen. Man is the
only creature who is in rebellion against God. Animals probably are much more aware
of and obedient to Him than we think. It is hard to visualise what living in a confined
space for nearly a year with thousands of animals would be like; maybe God put them
into some kind of sleep or suspended animation for 6 months!
Torrential rain fell as well as subterranean fountains opening for 40 days, to deluge
the earth with water to a depth that covered everything. The water would not have
to be 5 miles deep to cover the earth, but turbulent flood-water rushing through
mountains and valleys would make it impossible for any land animal to survive.
After a further 150 days the water subsided and was absorbed into the earth giving
way to dry land. Noah and the animals were then eventually able to leave the ark
and begin to repopulate the earth.
Why did God flood the earth?
In the world in which Noah lived, mankind had become physically and spiritually polluted.
Angelic beings or demons had infiltrated mankind, having sex with women and producing
monstrosities of man-like creatures (Genesis 6:1-5). Such supposedly mythical creatures
are documented in other literature as well as the Bible, typically Greek mythology1.
This was in direct rebellion against God’s command that each creature should reproduce
after its own kind. As God himself planned one day to become a man, he could not
permit such aberrations to perpetuate, so he wiped out mankind. He preserved only
this one man and his family, who had not been so corrupted, to repopulate the earth.
As history unfolds, we do see further such infiltration of mankind by the demonic,
producing monsters and giants, such as the sons of Anak (Numbers 13:33), the Zamzummims
(Deuteronomy 2:20), Og king of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:11) as well as Goliath and his
brothers (1 Chronicles 20:5). But clearly prior to the flood this proliferation of
giants was endemic.
Where did the flood-water come from?
The Bible tells us that the earth was flooded to a great depth. But what was it like
before? Where did the water come from; and where did it go afterwards? A possible
scenario is that, prior to the flood there was very much less water on the earth
than there is today, with the earth, comprising mostly land with land-bound seas
and lakes in the hollows. This would enable creatures to roam freely across the world,
without the inhibition of oceans and continents to contain them. The atmosphere above
the earth for many miles was heavily laden with water vapour.
At the command of the One who created all things, most of the atmospheric water vapour
condensed into water and precipitated on to the earth in a single catastrophic event.
This may possibly have been caused by a sudden cooling of the earth’s atmosphere.
One could speculate that physically, something like a massive asteroid may have hit
the earth, moving it further away from the sun and causing huge tidal waves. At the
same time, water under the earth was released, the fountains of the deep, and the
earth was completely covered with water moving at great speed and with devastating
effect across the planet. Fortunately, Noah was ready for it and his boat filled
with animals, was able to withstand the catastrophe. After a time the water would
settle into dips in the earth’s crust and form seas, lakes and rivers, whilst the
land dried out.
God declared that he would never flood the entire world again and sealed the covenant
with the rainbow. A rainbow is caused by the refraction of light through water droplets.
Until the flood, all that was in the air was water vapour, which is transparent.
But since the flood, as the atmospheric water condenses, droplets are formed that
act as a prism to the sunlight giving the full visible spectrum which we call the
seven colours of the rainbow.
The precipitation of all of that atmospheric water was a once off event, never to
be repeated and life on earth was forever changed. Previously, the effect of such
a thick band of water vapour would be a greenhouse effect, far more effective than
we see today. Harmful rays from a much younger sun would be absorbed, giving the
earth a more equitable atmosphere and temperature. Much of the genetic damage done
to our cells is caused by radiation from the sun. The purity of the world in those
early days would contribute towards the biblically recorded longevity. Adam lived
930 years, his son Seth 912 years. Most of the early inhabitants appear to have lived
to an extremely old age, right up until the time of Noah, who lived until he was
950 (Genesis 9:29). After the flood, the longevity drops dramatically to about 400
and then quickly to less than 200 years. 1000 years later, man was declared as living
only for about 70 to 80 years (Psalm 90:10). Very few after that lived beyond 120
As a result of the flood, deep deposits of silt and debris would form a layer that,
over time would compress into rock, filled with the remains of creatures that perished
in the flood, forming the fossils that we see today.
Noah and his family, as well as the animals housed in the ark then began to repopulate
the earth, moving outwards across the planet.
We now leap forward about a further thousand years to a world that was by that time
well populated and quite civilised. Unfortunately, mankind had once again become
corrupted and idolatry was rife. Few worshipped the true God, but instead worshipped
idols of their own making with their own rules and regulations, which included child
sacrifice. God had to begin again to teach people the way back to him, but this time
instead of destroying mankind, he selected one man, whose name was Abram, through
whom He would work to begin to recover the fallen world,