The Instigator
Jellon
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
RainbowDash52
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The Genesis Flood was a local, not a global flood

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Jellon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/19/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,404 times Debate No: 60667
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (2)

 

Jellon

Pro

Round one is acceptance.
It will be assumed by both that the Genesis account is completely accurate and the inspired word of G-d. This also implies that there was indeed a flood as described in Genesis.
RainbowDash52

Con

I accept the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Jellon

Pro

I must say I'm surprised that someone who selected "Atheist" for their religion in their profile would take the stance that the Genesis flood was global. Most atheists I know don't believe in Noah's flood, so I'm surprised RainbowDash took this challenge.

Unlike the Young Earth Creationists and others who assert a global flood, I do not believe that could be a rational reading of the story of Noah found in Genesis. The word typically translated "earth" is אָ֫רֶץ (eretz). For those familiar with Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, the Strong's number is H776. You can find it here:
http://www.blueletterbible.org...
Eretz appears 2503 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the NASB version, it is translated as "earth" 655 times. It is translated as either "land", "lands", or "ground" a total of 1757 times. The remaining translations of the word sometimes refer to people, dust, or similar things. Given that land is the most common translation of the word, it is entirely possible that land would be a more appropriate translation. To the modern English speaker, there is a difference between saying that the flood covered the whole earth and covered the whole land. Land may be a local area, but the earth is the entire planet. It is important to know what the most appropriate translation is to get the best understanding of the author's intent.

By reading the scriptures themselves, we see that the English translation in verse nine does not make sense in light of verse 5.
Genesis 8 KJV
5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole [eretz]: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
https://www.blueletterbible.org...

If you look closely at the Masoretic text in the link, you'll find the word for whole (kol כֹּל H3606).
http://www.blueletterbible.org...
If the waters in verse 9 covered kol eretz (translatted whole earth), then that would mean that mountains (which are part of the face of the earth) would not be showing. Clearly, mountain tops were already showing as described in verse 5 just shortly before. You may dismiss that as a weak argument, which it might be if it stands by itself. However, if we were to find all of references to kol eretz in the Hebrew text that refer to a location (as opposed to a people as is sometimes the case), then we would find such insistence laughable. For example, Leviticus 25:9 requires the Jewish people to blow horns in kol eretz. Surely the author did not mean that the Jewish people were to spread out on the day of atonement to cover the entire face of the earth and blow trumpets. It means throughout the entire land of Israel where they were. There are many other examples found here:
http://www.godandscience.org...
and also on some random person's blog:
http://austind90.wordpress.com...

So where the word for all is used throughout the scriptures, it often means all of a local region, not all of the entirety of everything possible. Therefore, it is not logical to say that the interpretation of kol eretz in this context must mean the entire earth.

If we are to take the scriptures as being true, we must also understand them in context of reality. The following is a long quote from a work cited article listed below it:
Augustine presciently wrote, "In matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision, even in such as we may find treated in Holy Scripture, different interpretations are sometimes possible without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such a case, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it."43 Copernicus and Galileo were castigated by the Church for advocating the cosmological theory of heliocentrism (earth revolving around the sun), which the Church deemed contrary to their geocentric understanding of Scripture (Psalm 93:1, Psalm 104:5, Ecclesiastes 1:5). Ultimately scientific discovery helped clarify Scripture and prompted correction of a faulty interpretation.
http://www.godandscience.org...

There is geological evidence for a local flood. Keep in mind that the area described in the scripture would be Mesopotamia. I don't mean to quote so much, but here's another one:

Two rivers, the Euphrates and Tigris flow through Mesopotamia, which is now the country of Iraq (Figure 1). There are several layers in exposed rocks near these two rivers in southeastern Mesopotamia (Iraq) that are likely flood deposits. Most are about a foot (0.3 m) thick, but one is as much as 3 meters thick (MacDonald 1988). Flood debris from this same thick deposit along the Euphrates River near the ancient Sumerian city of Shuruppak about 200 km southeast of Baghdad has been dated by the C14 method, giving an age of 2900 BCE (Best nd). Flood deposits 2.4 meters feet thick are also reported by MacDonald (1988) as far northeast as the ancient Babylonian city of Kish (120 km south of Baghdad). At any rate, the many flood-deposit layers show that flooding in southeastern Mesopotamia was not unusual in ancient times.
http://ncse.com...
For your convenience I will copy the reference to MacDonald 1988 from the source.
MacDonald D. 1988. The Flood: Mesopotamian archaeological evidence. Creation/Evolution 8 (2): 14"20.

The article goes on to explain how the area of Mesopotamia could possibly be flooded by a storm such as the one described in the Genesis account. You may notice that carbon 14 dating (which is admittedly the least reliable form of radiometric dating that I'm aware of) put the flood about the time we would expect Noah's flood to have occurred using inference from the genealogies from the scriptures and known dates. Furthermore, according to geological models, the time it would take for the water to receded in the area of Mesopotamia matches the time described in the Genesis account.

To summarize this round's arguments, the Genesis account of Noah's flood matches scientific models for such an event local to Mesopotamia, and there is scriptural precedent for interpreting the Hebrew text as a local flood rather than a global one. In the past, the Catholic church persecuted scientists who went against the common interpretation of the scripture at the time. Today, the very men the Catholic church persecuted are venerated for their scientific discoveries for which they were persecuted, and almost no one argues that their findings were in error.

In future rounds I plan to present evidence that a global flood never occurred. Although I know there is evidence for used by some to suggest a world wide flood, most of that evidence does not hold up under scrutiny. Con, would you please put forth any such evidence in your first statement so we may maximize our opportunities to discuss them. In the past, I've seen people put forth all their arguments in the last round so as to not provide me an opportunity to address them. Please do not employ this dubious tactic.
RainbowDash52

Con

My first argument as for why the flood of Genesis was global is that it makes more sense given the context of Genesis. If the flood was local, then it wouldn"t make sense that Noah would have to build an arc to save 2 or 7 of each animal to repopulate after the flood. Animals from surrounding areas would be able to do that. Also if God still wanted to save Noah and his family and some local animals, it would have been easier for God to just send them outside the flood zone instead of building a giant arc. But if you assume the flood was global, the story makes a lot more sense. Noah needed to save the animals to repopulate the Earth since all the rest of them would die in the flood. Also he couldn"t just go somewhere away from the flood since it was global, thus the arc was necessary. Thus the more logical interpretation of Genesis was that the flood was global.

The next thing I would like to mention is that Genesis is not the only ancient text that mentions a great flood. "The flood myth motif is widespread among many cultures as seen in the Mesopotamian flood stories, the Puranas, Deucalion in Greek mythology, the Genesis flood narrative, and in the lore of the K'iche'and Maya peoples in Mesoamerica, the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa tribe of Native Americans in North America, the Muisca people, and Ca"ari Confederation, in South America."[1]

If the flood was local then why do so many different cultures around the world all know about the great flood? A local flood would not be significant enough for different cultures all over the world to know about. It makes more sense if the flood was global because you would expect most cultures around the world to know about the flood.

There is also physical evidence of a global flood. There are several trees that have been fossilized upright that go through multiple geological layers. These are known as polystrate fossils. It is normally believed that geological layers form slowly over millions of years, too slowly to burry an upright tree before it rots away. A great flood that deposited large amounts of sediment in a short amount of time would explain how these trees got buried quickly enough to get fossilized. [2]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.icr.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Jellon

Pro

I believe I can summarize your argument in three points.

I) If it were only local, Noah could move instead of build a boat.
This is simply speculation that because it could have been done a different way, it would have been done a different way. If we recall other stories throughout the Hebrew scriptures, we find many examples of different methods allegedly (and I personally believe were) employed by G-d. Israel was required to march around the walls of Jericho for 7 days before the wall fell, and Israel was then forced to violently invade the land. In fact, war was required many times. G-d provided multiple miracles in Egypt, but G-d could have just struck Pharaoh dead and let the people of Israel go the first time. In the story of Jehoshaphat, they were required only to go out to see the deliverance G-d would bring; no battle was needed. The story of Gideon was similar where they were not required to fight, but they were required to play an active role in the miracle G-d provided. Stating that G-d would have acted differently in the case of a local flood verses is global flood is mere speculation, and it is not evidence at all when compared to the other various stories provided in the Hebrew scriptures. Throughout the scriptures, G-d often used prophets to warn people of pending judgement: Job, Hosea, Jeremiah, etc. It has been speculated that Noah was used in this way. It is recorded that G-d told Jeremiah that the people would not listen to him, but he should go give the message anyway, which is similar to many prophets, such as Moses himself. The fact that no one listened to Noah is not then evidence that G-d was not using Noah as a prophet to the people as a sign of their destruction. Although I cannot prove any of this, it is no less likely than the statement which is postulated by Con, thus, Con's argument should not be considered as evidence in favor of a global flood.

II) The flood story spans cultures, therefore it is likely true.
It is true that there are seemingly countless flood myths (1) (2). There are several very plausible explanations for this. First of all, let's assume that Noah's family was the only to survive the flood. We seem to agree on that point, but it is trivial even if we don't. Then after the flood, every human left alive would know the story of the flood. This story could be handed down from generation to generation. It may not be well preserved even (but as stated in Round 1, we assume the Biblical version is accurate). The story could easily be adapted by each culture, causing differences. Furthermore, I'd like to point out that these flood myths do not all assume that the entire earth was covered. Many of them include only a great local flood including but not limited to: Greek, Arcadian, Samothrace, and Celtic (1).
No only is it possible that all the flood myths came from Noah's flood, there is geological evidence that there have been many great floods of large areas, many of which include ice melting at the end of the most recent ice age (2). Let's say someone did survive such a flood. If water was as far as the eye could see in every direction, and the observer had little understanding of the earth in general, they may assume the flood was global, even though it was local. In fact, that is the argument made by some Old Earth Creationists: Noah thought the flood was global, because as far as he could tell, it was.
So then, the number of flood myths does not specifically support a global flood, because they don't agree that it was a global flood. Furthermore, there is reasonable evidence that not all flood myths came from Noah's flood. This is not evidence that it was global.

III) Polystrate Fossils
First of all, polystrate is not a geological term. It is used almost exclusively by creationists to describe these fossils. That aside, this is a very weak argument for a global flood, because it presupposes that a global flood is the only possible explanation, and it fails to search for a logical geological explanation. It is interesting to find that some of the first geologists to discovered this type of fossil were Christians (3). These Christians reasoned about how such fossils might have been created. The reasons differed depending on the location of the find. In many cases, it was tied to rapid sediment layers being laid by changing tides. In other cases, it was due to volcanic activity. In fact, it was documented that when Mount St. Helen's erupted, it created such fossils (4). There are commonalities among the many petrified forests all over the world. These commonalities reflect not only difference processes in how these fossils were created, but also similarities within each process. Some processes would require time to create the geological formations seen, even if there had been a global flood (3).

Now that I have addressed Con's objections to a local flood, I will present my last argument that there was not a global flood, so that Con has the opportunity to give a rebuttal in Round 4.

Tree rings are a problem for flood geologists, because it is not believed that standing trees would have survived the great flood. On average, a tree produces one ring per year, yet we have examples of trees with over 11,000 rings. According to ICR, which Con quotes, it may be possible for a tree or produce more or less than one ring per year (5). The problem with ICR's claim is that they discount radiocarbon dating of the different rings (6). If the flood had influenced the radiocarbon footprint, it would be unlikely for each ring to have a radiometric dating consistent either within each ring, or with models for the age of the tree based on dendrochronology. The oldest tree found is in Sweden, dated 9500 years old (7). In fact, there are many trees in that same area of approximately the same age. These trees are so old, they would have to have survived a year under water if Noah's flood took place in any timeline currently proposed by creationists.

One question that I have never seen a global flood supporter attempt to explain is our observation of varves. It was sad that in a recent high-profile debate, Bill Nye failed to respond to Ken Ham's statements regarding varves. A single varve is a thin sediment layer. It is observed in many places that a few layers of varves are placed down each year in certain bodies of water. Study of varves which we observe being put down each year allow us to identify differences among varves based on the season of the year in which they were put down. There are many locations around the world with literally millions of these varve layers (8). Flood geologists claim that a global flood could put down millions of layers of varves as we observe a local flood may do. However, the varve layers put down by a local flood are different than varves put down over time, because of the way water tends to separate sediments. The sediment layers containing millions of layers of varves show uniformly seasonal sediment layers without fail. These varve layers often contain organic material which may be carbon dated (pollen for example). When carbon 14 dating methods are employed to independently determine the age of a varve layer, it is consistent with the expected age of the varve layer given geological models (9). If there had been a global flood, it would have put down multiple varve layers in many places all over the world. We would then expect to be able to use carbon 14 or other radiometric dating methods to show that such varve layers were put down rapidly, because we are able to do so when we observe the quick formation of varve layers. However, this is not the case (9). The prediction regarding varve layers in the event of a global flood has not been observed any where on earth at any time. This failed prediction is strong evidence that there was not a global flood.

1) http://www.talkorigins.org...
2) http://io9.com...
3) http://www.talkorigins.org...
4) Karowe, A.L. and T.H. Jefferson, 1987, Burial of trees by eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington: Implications for the interpretation of fossil forests, Geological Magazine 124(3):191-204.
5) http://www.icr.org...
6) http://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com...
7) http://news.nationalgeographic.com...
8) http://glennmortonspages.wikispaces.com...
9) http://biologos.org...
RainbowDash52

Con

As a reminder, the terms of the debate only state we will assume that Genesis is accurate, not that we would assume the entire Bible is accurate. My opponent referenced scripture outside of Genesis and assumed them to be accurate. When pro gave examples of God asking people to do unnecessary things to support that Noah would have to build an arc despite the fact he could move outside the flood zone if the flood was local, none of his examples occurred in Genesis thus are not to be assumed to be accurate. So my argument that it doesn"t make sense to build a giant arc and put 2 or 7 of each animal on it if the flood was only local still holds.

My opponent stated he agreed that Noah"s family was the only one that survived the flood. This [1] shows that humans migrated outside of Africa way before when it is believed the great flood occurred. Thus a local flood would not have been enough to kill of the human population. So the assumption that Noah"s family was the only one that lived implies a global flood since a local flood could not kill humans both in and out of Africa.

My opponent claims that an 11,000 year old tree would have had to live through the flood according to any timeline proposed by creationists. I will provide a counterexample with a creationist who believes the great flood occurred about 12,500 years ago.

"This was unacceptable to the majority of the Anunnaki high council and it was decided to wipe out the human population through a flood that was predictable when Nibiru, the tenth in our solar system and the Anunnaki home planet, came through the inner solar system again (around 12,500 years ago) on one of its periodic 3600 year returns."[2] (Bolded added by me)

He was referring to the Sumerian flood story, but Genesis flood story and the Sumerian flood story are extremely similar [3] to the point that Genesis must have been taken from the Sumerian flood story and they are both referring to the same great flood. So an 11,000 year old tree does not discredit the Genesis flood being global since it has been predicted that the great flood happened before then.

Varves can be better explained with liquefaction which is consistent with a global flood. Evidence for this include flattened fossilized fish that are found in varves. For fossilization to occur, the animal must be buried rapidly, which contradicts the idea that varves are formed very slowly over time. Flattened fossilized fish found in varves support the idea that they had been compressed in a collapsing liquefaction lens. That is just one of the many evidences for liquefaction explaining varves. [4]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.world-mysteries.com... (Sumerian Culture and the Anunaki)
[3] http://webcache.googleusercontent.com...
[4] http://www.creationscience.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Jellon

Pro

Con
"As a reminder, the terms of the debate only state we will assume that Genesis is accurate, not that we would assume the entire Bible is accurate. My opponent referenced scripture outside of Genesis and assumed them to be accurate."

Con has misjudged my argument. The stories I quoted need not be assumed true. They were included in my argument to show there is a reasonable argument in favor of Noah building a boat for a local flood. I assert that Con has failed to show that G-d would have had Noah move instead of build an ark in the case of a local flood. Con's argument is out of speculation, and thus should be ignored on the basis of lack of supporting evidence in contrast to other equally likely scenarios.

By reading the tail in Con's second reference, I notice two things. First, the fail told there shares only two things in common with the story of Noah: the Sons of god(s) were having children with the daughters of man, and there was a flood (no mention of global here, but perhaps implied). One of the gods in this story protected a single family, but it is not specific as to how. Even if I were to assume it was by an ark, that would still not be enough evidence to show it is the same story as Noah's flood, because there are other myths with many more similarities. I previously gave a link to a near-exhaustive list of flood stories as compiled on talkorigins. Although I disagree, just for sake of argument, I will conceede Con's point that the stories are the same. I will point out that the Sumerian flood story was not agreed upon to be accurate, thus the 125,000 years ago date is questionable. Second, if you read Con's first link (the one to Wikipedia), you can read that modern humans did not migrate out of Africa until 125,000 years ago. Coincidentally, the dates are exactly the same! So, if we did assume both of her sources to be reliable, we would conclude that all of the human species were still in Africa at the time of the flood. As a disclaimer to that, Wikipedia distinguishes among the various species of sapiens. I will give a direct quote from Con's source 1.
----
The expansion of H. erectus out of Africa was followed by that of H. antecessor into Europe around 800,000 years ago, followed by H. heidelbergensis around 600,000 years ago, who was the likely ancestor of both Modern Humans and Neanderthals.[1] The ancestors of the human species H. sapiens evolved into Modern Humans (i.e. our current day subspecies H. sapiens sapiens) around 200,000 years ago, in Africa.
Migrations out of Africa occurred some time later. Around 125,000 years ago Modern Humans reached the Near East from where they later spread across Asia and Europe.[2]
----
We are, of course, assuming evolution here, which was not agreed upon; yet, I will, for sake of argument, agree with mainstream science. I maintain that these two links actually show that all "Modern Humans (i.e. our current day subspecies H. sapiens sapiens)" could be wiped from the face of the earth 125,000 years ago according to the Sumerian flood myth and evidence provided by Wikipedia. Let me remind the reader that we are assuming the Sumerian story is an account of Noah's flood and that the myth is accurate, including dates. It is interesting the the 125,000 years match between the two sources, because post-flood would be an expected time for humans to spread out over the earth.

Con:
"He was referring to the Sumerian flood story, but Genesis flood story and the Sumerian flood story are extremely similar [3] to the point that Genesis must have been taken from the Sumerian flood story and they are both referring to the same great flood."

The wording Con uses in conjunction with with the reference may lead the reader to believe that the epic of Gilgamesh is the same as the Sumerian myth. This is simply not true, and I wanted to make that clear. The epic of Gilgamesh is much more known for mirroring the flood of Noah than the Sumerian myth. It appears to get more comparisons than any other flood myth (1) (2) (3). The Wikipedia article on Noah's Ark mentions the Sumerian flood myth as being the earliest, but then gives the new couple paragraphs to the Gilgamesh and Atrahasis flood myths (which as compared as being very similar to each other). Just because the Sumerian myth comes first, does not mean it is most credible.

Supporters of the Noah's flood myth strongly disagree with the 125,000 years ago date (4) (5) (6). I want to point out here that the website for sources 5 and 6 is a secular website dedicated to promoting science of evolution and climate change. It is an anti-Christian source promoting archaeological evidence the dating Noah's [local] flood somewhere between 3000 BCE and 2600 BCE. The Christian source, which uses Biblical genealogies as a means of estimation, arrived at the date 2348 BCE, which is relatively close to the date supported by archaeological evidence.

Con poses that fish fossils found in some varve layers could not possibly have been preserved long enough for to be fossilized in many varve layers that take years to lay down. Under typical conditions, this is correct. However, science shows us there are conditions which allow for this to occur (7) (8) (9). My reference 7 gives a claim and rebuttal on the topic. So readers need not go searching for it, I will provide the rebuttal here verbatim.
---
REBUTTAL: There are many factors that go into fossil preservation. Time is not the only consideration. However, time is the only variable that the young earth creationists allude to. The condition of the water in the lake is extremely important. Consider the bog people of Europe. These bodies are very well preserved after many years, in some instances in excess of 2,000 years. In terms of the GRF, that would be 4,000 varve layers. How could this happen?
Decay is slowed dramatically in conditions of anoxic water. In other words, there is virtually no oxygen at the bottom of the lake, and thus other living organisms could not reach the bottom of the lake to scavenge the carcasses. This is what we see with the bog people. When you throw in the two additional variables of oxygen level and scavenger population, the young earth theory clearly does not pose a threat to the standard geologic explanations.
---

I have previously argued that when the Genesis account refers to "all" (Hebrew: kol), it means all locally, as is the vast majority of all uses of the Hebrew word throughout the Tenahk. Mainstream science contains evidence to show that there were humans living outside the area of the flood who would then have survived the flood. Other groups believe the evidence shows human kind had not ventured out of the flooded area at the time. The former case is not an issue unless Con can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the rational interpretation of Genesis account is that the flood killed every human on the entire earth, not every human living in the land to be flooded.

1) http://www.icr.org...
2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
3) http://www.talkorigins.org...
4) http://bit.ly...
5) http://ncse.com...
6) http://ncse.com...
7) http://www.oldearth.org...
8) http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu...
9) http://www.pbs.org...
10) http://www.godandscience.org...

As this is my last round, I will give a closing. I want to think Con for taking this debate with me. I have enjoyed it, and I have learned new things in the process. I know sometimes I come across differently than I intend, so if I have ever offended you, please forgive me. It was never my intention to come across as sarcastic or prideful. I wish you the best luck in the future, and perhaps we'll debate again. :)

Con put forth two types of positive evidence that the Genesis account says that the entire earth was flooded. I argued that the most common way the same Hebrew words are interpreted only refer to local areas (10) .
Then God said, "Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all [kol] the earth [erets], nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the LORD, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you. (Exodus 34:10) (There would be no need to add "nor among any of the nations" if "all the earth" referred to the entire planet.)
'You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all [kol] through your land [erets]. (Leviticus 25:9) (The Hebrews were not required to sound a horn throughout the entire earth)

Con argued that there is scientific evidence for a flood: "polystrate" fossils and fossilized fish in varve layers. I have addressed both of these arguments by showing modern examples where we have observed these naturally occurring without a global flood.

Con failed to address or even mention the scientific evidence from many religious and atheistic sources I put forth supporting a local flood. I showed that this scientific evidence agrees both with the description of the flood in Genesis and the date predicted by modern Creationists.
RainbowDash52

Con

Con stated my first argument should be ignored because it is just speculation. This is an exaggeration. When a word can be has multiple meanings, you look at the context to determine which meaning is implied. The meaning that makes more sense in the context is the one more likely implied. It may be argued that this evidence is somewhat weak, but it definitely should not be ignored for being speculation.

My source clearly stated that it believed the great flood was about 12,500 years ago, but my opponent kept referring to the flood predicted to be 125,000 years ago, off by a power of 10. This is an unfortunate mistake for my opponent as a significant portion of his argument relied on this false number. The migration out of Africa does not correspond with a flood 12,500 years ago. My sources do not indicate that the great flood occurred before humans spread throughout the Earth.

My opponent states, "The Christian source, which uses Biblical genealogies as a means of estimation, arrived at the date 2348 BCE""
My opponent"s source states "Using the Bible, well-documented historical events, and some math, we find that the Flood began approximately 4,359 years ago in the year 1656 AM or 2348 BC."[1]

As we have agreed, we are not assuming the validity of the Bible outside of Genesis, thus we can"t assume the conclusion based off of the Bible. That age since the flood can"t be calculated using Genesis alone.

As a reminder the reason the 12,500 year ago flood is significant is that it explains why the oldest tree alive we know of is 11,000 years old.

My opponent states, "I have previously argued that when the Genesis account refers to "all" (Hebrew: kol), it means all locally, as is the vast majority of all uses of the Hebrew word throughout the Tenahk"
How do we know that a vast majority of all uses means locally? Because of the context in which it is used. Which supports my point that it is important what context the word is used.

My opponent requested at the end I show proof that the rational interpretation of Genesis is that the flood killed everybody on Earth. My opponent previously said we were in agreement that Noah"s family were the only survivors, so I didn"t make that argument earlier. I will make this argument now but only reference Genesis so I don"t bring up additional sources my opponent can"t argue against. Genesis chapter 6 states that right before the flood, the sons of God (also referred to as Nephilim or fallen angels) were having children with humans, and God then started considering humans to be evil. Immediately after that God told Noah (who was probably one of the few who wasn"t a Nephilim hybrid since God considered him one of the few good people) to build the ark. The logical interpretation is that the purpose of the flood was to kill off all the human Nephilim hybrids whom God considered evil. There is no reason to assume that only local humans were impregnated by the sons of God, so a global flood would have been needed to kill off all of the human Nephilim hybrids.

Evidence for a local flood does not contradict evidence for a global flood, so that is very weak evidence that the Genesis flood was local. Although evidence for and against the Genesis flood being global were given, none of it was conclusive. So it really comes down to what interpretation is more likely. And as I have explained Genesis makes more sense if the flood was global.

[1] http://lmgtfy.com... opponent"s source
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
Off by a power of 10... dangit! This is why I shouldn't type my debates at 3 in the morning. LOL. Oh well. You seem to assert the Sumerian flood story as true, while attacking me for stating how Christians use the Bible to estimate the age of the flood. That seems like a contradiction to me. Besides, I pointed out that the Christian date was an approximation (not truth) and that the approximation was very close to the date predicted by secular geologists. You never addressed that. ;)
Your last argument didn't provide any evidence that it was global. You merely stated that it makes sense to you if it were global.
Posted by TheQuestion 2 years ago
TheQuestion
Haha yeah, the issue on the age of the earth is one I claim a sort of passive agnosticism as well. That being said, I find it hard to believe either extreme, but again, I'm not as concerned about how old the earth or the universe is or about evolution (as that is a related topic to the age of the earth) as much as I am concerned about whether or not God created the universe and formed the earth. I might read the debate more attentively but not tonight =P, another time maybe. Maybe when I'm finished on the current issue I'm focusing my main attention on, abortion.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
@TheQuestion
I hope you read this debate and vote on it.
My religious beliefs are complicated. Although I don't consider myself Christian, I do believe the Christian scriptures and would like to promote what I believe to be the truth about Messiah. The scientific community is, more often than not, told to become young earth creationists in order to share our faith. I would like more believers to understand that young earth creationism is not taught by the Bible, and that the scientific community doesn't need to commit intellectual suicide to put their faith in the Bible.
Posted by TheQuestion 2 years ago
TheQuestion
Actually, whilst I've read an interesting article or watched an interesting video or two about the flood and the ark, I've not really studied into the issues enough to either develop a case for my own critical opinions or become swayed in either direction. Or say I hear something which is persuasive like your support for the argument that "eretz" is more commonly translated into a local sense, I would deem that as possibly persuasive but I'm not critically examining these things at the moment. Objectively speaking from where I sit at this moment in time I'm pretty much on the fence. The main reason I don't try to challenge the traditional interpretation is of a pragmatic nature. The implications of either view (global vs local) don't seem too primarily important to me, that's not to say that they're not important, they are, it's just that they are further down the line to other issues. So, with the implications being of secondary importance to me and assuming the cases for both sides are equally persuasive (that's an assumption, not an assertion I think is correct), I'm not overly bothered. I'm not leaning on an argument for the traditional view, I'm just going with it. Of course, I wouldn't be so dismissive in this pragmatism if the consequences of either view were of a more primary importance, it seems the issues of judgement, morality, and God etc. remain the same whether or not the flood was global. All the same it is just as interesting.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
@thequestion
Yes, it isn't a strong argument on is own. I do point out that the vast majority or times eretz is used in the Tenahk, it is used to refer to a local area. I didn't have the space to show it, but my links did. I felt I proved that using the translation of local area is more than reasonable, because that is the way it is almost always translated. To move it from reasonable to most likely I used science to show that Noah's flood matches both modern models of a local flood in the area as well as geological analysis of the area with radiometric dating consistent with the likely date of Noah's flood. All that together makes a pretty strong argument.
to add to that argument, I can furthermore show scientific evidence that there has not been a global flood in millions of years, which makes the argument stronger. Having been taught flood geology at a conservative Christian school year after year growing up, I'm familiar with the arguments and have since learned rational explanations for their alleged evidences.
If the strongest evidence you have it that you prefer to translate it global flood because of tradition, then I have a feeling your leaning on a weak argument.
Posted by TheQuestion 2 years ago
TheQuestion
lol, I tried copying your fancy Hebrew letters but obviously it didn't work XD
Just ignore that, you know what it's saying.
Posted by TheQuestion 2 years ago
TheQuestion
@Jellon

The alternative translation of the Hebrew word "אָ֫רֶץ (eretz)" into "land" instead of earth isn't a very persuasive argument (on it's own that is, you do make other arguments). On the one hand it isn't persuasive because, as you say, "land" only may refer to a local region. It's too ambiguous to definitively conclude though so more reason is needed. It is just as easy to use "land" in an absolute sense as it is in a localised sense. The other reason is because (as I currently take it) at this stage, this is offered merely as a possible alternative translation... not a correction of the traditional translation.
So as far as I've understood this, the argument is that it's possible the word could be translated as "land" instead of "earth" and it's possible that "land" would refer to a localised region and not globally. On it's own that's not very persuasive... which is of course why you made numerous other arguments to bolster the reasoning for this one but I'm not debating you so I'm not going into it.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
Have you seen "Thrive" the documentary? Sounds up your alley.
Posted by RainbowDash52 2 years ago
RainbowDash52
I actually haven't watched ancient aliens from the history channel in a long time. They don't make the best arguments, but they do a good job of getting the ideas out there.

I have been following the Starchild project for a long time. They are doing studies on a skull that has strong evidence for being an alien. More info here http://starchildproject.com... . I have also listened to Lloyd Pye who talked about the flaws in evolution and how being being genetically engineered by aliens is the more logical explanation.

So no, I don't just believe everything on the history channel.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
@RainbowDash
I take it you've watched too much history channel. ;)
http://www.history.com...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Truth_seeker 2 years ago
Truth_seeker
JellonRainbowDash52Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro makes a strong case against a global flood by going back to the Hebrew and looking at the context. He also successfully points out that the young creationist views are not scientific. Round 2, Con simply makes rhetorical questions and fails to address the evidence presented. Pro presents scientific evidence which clearly makes it unlikely for a global flood to occur. Based on the lack of evidence for a global flood and the fact that the Hebrew tebel is a stronger word for the planet, we can say that the flood was probably local. Even Josephus himself implies the flood was not global.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 2 years ago
MrJosh
JellonRainbowDash52Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con wins arguments based on his point in round 3 about humans migrating out of Africa before the flood.