Was the pre-Flood world a paradise?

Was the pre-Flood world a paradise?

by Jonathan Sarfati

Biblical creationists by definition believe in a globe-covering flood. But how this occurred has been a matter of intense debate within the creationist geologist community. Some general observations can be made from a theological, philosophic and scientific perspective.

Hold the Bible strongly; hold models loosely

vertical temperature profile for a vapour canopy model of the earth’s atmosphere compared with the temperature profile today Figure 1. Calculated vertical temperature profile for a vapour canopy model of the earth’s atmosphere compared with the temperature profile today (after Rush and Vardiman). Increased water in the canopy increases the surface temperature of the earth limiting the amount of precipitable water that can be feasibly stored.

The Bible, as God’s written word, should be non-negotiable. Its teachings are propositional truth, and must be the foundation for all our teachings, including about the Flood. This applies not only to explicit statements, but to anything logically deducible from these statements.1 In fact, Jesus Himself endorsed the Flood as a real event, the Ark as a real ship, and Noah as a real person (Luke 17:26–27), so how can any of His professing followers deny it?

But where the Bible is genuinely silent, we are free to use science to help build models to help elucidate the clear teachings of Scripture. But these models are just man-made—they must never be given the same authority as Scripture. In any case, science is always changing, so being married to a model today will probably result in being widowed tomorrow. Worse, if the Bible is too tied up with a model later discarded, many will think that the Bible itself was refuted (cf. the church’s adoption of Aristotelian cosmology v Galileo2,3).

Model-building should be an example of the ministerial use of science. In contrast, the magisterial use of science, practised by all compromisers on Genesis, overrules the clear teaching of the Bible to come up with a meaning inconsistent with sound hermeneutics. Instead of the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), this is Scriptura sub scientia (Scripture below science).4 With these principles, some popular ideas can be examined.

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1. Sarfati, J., Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation, J. Creation 12(2):142–151, 1998; creation.com/logic.
2. Schirrmacher, T., The Galileo Affair: history or heroic hagiography, Journal of Creation 14(1):91—100, 2000; creation.com/gal-affair.
3. See Sarfati, J., The Galileo quadricentennial: myth vs fact, Creation 31(3):49–51, 2009; creation.com/galileo-quadricentennial.
4. Sarfati, J., Refuting Compromise, Master Books, AR, pp. 49–593, 2004.

Catastrophic Plate Tectonics

Catastrophic Plate Tectonics

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Catastrophic Breakup

A Scientific Look at Catastrophic Plate Tectonics
by Andrew Snelling, Ph.D.

March 20, 2007

When you look at a globe, have you ever thought that the earth looks cracked? Or, maybe the continents have reminded you of a giant jigsaw puzzle, with the coastal lines of South America and Africa seeming to fit together almost perfectly. But what did this “puzzle” of land masses look like in the past? Was the earth one big continent long ago? What caused the continents to move to their present locations? How did the global Flood of Noah’s day impact the continents?

Global investigations of the earth’s crust reveal that it has been divided by geologic processes into a mosaic of rigid blocks called “plates.” Observations indicate that these plates have moved large distances relative to one another in the past, and that they are still moving very slowly today. The word “tectonics” has to do with earth movements; so the study of the movements and interactions among these plates is called “plate tectonics.” Because almost all the plate motions responsible for the earth’s current configuration occurred in the past, plate tectonics is an interpretation or model of what geologists envisage happened to these plates through earth’s history (Figure 1).

Global catastrophe

As hot mantle rock vaporizes huge volumes of ocean water, a linear column of supersonic steam jets shoot into the atmosphere. This moisture condenses in the atmosphere and then falls back to the earth as intense global rain.
Click image to enlarge.

Slow-and-Gradual or Catastrophic?

Most geologists believe that the movement of the earth’s plates has been slow and gradual over eons of time. If today’s measured rates of plate drift—about 0.5–6 in (2–15 cm) per year—are extrapolated into the past, it would require about 100 million years for the Atlantic Ocean to form. This rate of drift is consistent with the estimated 4.8 mi3 (20 km3) of magma that currently rises each year to create new oceanic crust.1

On the other hand, many observations are incompatible with the idea of slow-and-gradual plate tectonics. Drilling into the magnetized rock of the mid-ocean ridges shows that a matching “zebra-striped” pattern of the surface rocks does not exist at depth, as Figure 2 implies.2 Instead, magnetic polarity changes rapidly and erratically down the drill-holes. This is contrary to what would be expected with slow-and-gradual formation of the new oceanic crust accompanied by slow spreading rates. But it is just what is expected with extremely rapid formation of new oceanic crust and rapid magnetic reversals during the Flood.

Read the rest of this article on AnswersInGenesis.org!


Cann, J., Subtle minds and mid-ocean ridges, Nature 393:625, 627, 1998.
Hall, J.M. and P.T. Robinson, Deep crustal drilling in the North Atlantic Ocean, Science 204:573–576, 1979.

How did Noah’s Ark withstand the Flood?

How did Noah’s Ark withstand the Flood?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Feedback: Miraculously Calm Waters Around the Ark?

by Tim Chaffey, AiG–U.S.
August 23, 2013

“In reference to the article by Tim Chaffey ‘Did the ark have a sail?’, I am glad to see that someone else has a concern about the design of the Ark as you present it. My thoughts on the matter is this: The design speaks loudly that you are relying on man’s idea as to what it took to with stand the rigors of the deluge of the flood instead of giving God’s protection credit for the survival of the Ark and its passengers. Jesus had calmed the waters in Mark 4:39. Therefore it wouldn’t be absurd to think that the Ark floated in calm waters for the entire event. Thank you for hearing me out as this has been a concern from the first time I saw the new pictures of the Ark.”


Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis and for your comments about the Ark’s design. As the author of the article you referenced, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read it and send you a few brief comments to consider.

First, as long as you aren’t implying that the entire Flood was tranquil, then I agree that “it wouldn’t be absurd to think that the Ark floated in calm waters for the entire event.” I do not doubt at all that God could have calmed the waters around the Ark, but we are not told that He did this, so why should I assume that He did? Does the Bible give us good reasons to believe that He calmed the waters?

Second, I don’t agree that “the design speaks loudly that [we] are relying on man’s ideas.” Since we have no record of God calming the waters around the Ark or of Him telling Noah that He would do so, it is not wrong to think that Noah may have faced stormy seas. In the example you cited, the disciples endured the great windstorm for some time before the Lord calmed the storm. While Jesus slept, “the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling” (Mark 4:37). So if we are to use this account as a possible example of what happened around the Ark during the Flood, wouldn’t it be consistent to assume that Noah and his family faced turbulent waters for a while?

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Another amazing formation of Noah’s Flood

Another amazing formation of Noah’s Flood

A giant cause

The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland: colossal volcanic eruptions during Noah’s Flood

by Tas Walker
Photo by Alistair Wylie

Geologic cross-section

Geologic cross-section

Only a very small portion of the total volume of lava erupted is visible in the cliffs at Giant’s Causeway. The total thickness of all the basalt erupted at that time could be as much as 1 km.

Each year, almost half a million people visit the Giant’s Causeway on the north-east coast of Northern Ireland to see the remarkable rocks.

On the plateau 100 m (330 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean, the rolling plains flaunt every shade of green. Steep basalt cliffs zigzag into the distance and the ocean foams along the rocky blocks below.

The Causeway is composed of tightly packed basalt columns crammed together with their tops broken off. They form a path of stepping-stones leading from the bottom of the cliff to disappear beneath the swells.

These volcanic rocks indicate a time when the world was very different. What was the cause? Generally, visitors are unaware that they are looking at some of the giant, catastrophic effects of Noah’s global Flood.

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Long human lifespans in Genesis: myth or history?

Long human lifespans in Genesis: myth or history?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Living for 900 years

by Carl Wieland

A few people reach around 120 years. We’re understanding more … but, with new research, can we live longer? Fascinating new information about how and why we age casts fresh light on the long lifespans of pre-Flood people.

In the book of Genesis, the Bible routinely records human lifespans which seem outrageously different from our experience today. Adam lived to 930 years; Noah even longer, to 950 years (see graph below). These long lifespans are not haphazardly distributed; they are systematically greater before the Flood of Noah, and decline sharply afterwards.

These great ages are not presented in the Bible as if they are in any way extraordinary for their times, let alone miraculous.

Graph of life-spans from Adam to the present

The lifespans recorded in the Bible, beginning with the pre-Flood patriarchs (plotted at date of birth). Notice the pronounced drop in lifetimes following the Flood. This is evidence for something very dramatic happening in world history.

Many people are quick to scoff at such ages, claiming they are ‘biologically impossible’. Today, even if they avoid all fatal diseases, humans will generally die of old age before they reach much past 100. Even the very exceptional cases don’t make it much past 120 years.

However, a look at the evidence related to aging suggests that the apparent upper limit on today’s average lifespans is not something that is ‘biologically inevitable’ as such for humans or other multi-celled creatures.

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Ancients were capable of building of colossal wooden ships

Ancients were capable of building of colossal wooden ships

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The large ships of antiquity
by Larry Pierce
Each generation produces a fresh crop of sceptics who are legends in their own minds. C. H. Spurgeon wryly said about such men in his day:

‘It is but the shallowness of his mind that permits him to see the bottom of his knowledge.1We should not be surprised that we are awash today with such experts, falsely so called. The Apostle Peter warned us this would be the case (2 Peter 3:3 ff.). It has become fashionable to scoff at anything biblical.

Noah’s Ark has never failed to be the target of sceptics and the butt of many jokes.2 ‘Everyone knows’, for instance, that you cannot build a boat as large as Noah did from wood, even using today’s advanced technology. Only when ships were made of steel, in the last hundred years or so, we are told, has man been able to build a ship approaching the biblical dimensions of Noah’s Ark, (137m (450 feet) long, 23m (75 feet) wide, and 14m (45 feet) high).

But these so-called experts display their ignorance of history in making such statements. Let’s look at what ships the ancients actually built, some of which were almost as large as the Ark.

Read the rest of this article at Creation.com!

References and notes

1. Spurgeon, C.H., Sermon No. 239, New Park Street Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, Pasadena, TX, USA, 5:113, 1991.

2. For powerful answers to the most common sceptical attacks on the Ark account, see Woodmorappe, J., Noah’s Ark: A feasiblity study, ICR, CA, USA, 1996. This book also gives other examples of huge ancient boats. For an expert study on the seaworthiness and stability of the Ark, see Safety investigation of Noah’s Ark in a seaway, CEN Tech. J., 8(1):26–36, 1994.