The Global Flood in the Christian Religion occurred.
Debate Rounds (4)
I prefer to use the King James Version for my sources; however, if other transitions don't twist the scriptures, they can be used.
As for when the flood occurred, I support the viewpoint of its occurrence at around 1656 B.C. Actually, if we track the genealogies, it is quite logical.
God created everything. Genesis 1-2 (0)
Adam became the father of Seth at 130. Genesis 5:3 (0 130 = 130)
Seth became the father of Enosh at 105. Genesis 5:6 (130 105 = 235)
Enosh became the father of Kenan at 90. Genesis 5:9 (235 90 = 325)
Cainan became the father of Mahalalel at 70. Genesis 5:12 (325 70 = 395)
Mahalalel became the father of Jared at 65. Genesis 5:15 (395 65 = 460)
Jared became the father of Enoch at 162. Genesis 5:18 (460 162 = 622)
Enoch became the father of Methuselah at 65. Genesis 5:21 (622 65 = 687)
Methuselah became the father of Lamech at 187. Genesis 5:25 (687 187 = 874)
Lamech became the father of Noah at 182. Genesis 5:28 (874 182 = 1056)
The Flood started when Noah was 600. Genesis 7:6 (1056 600 = 1656)
My opinion comes in contradiction with the others, such as many accept the viewpoint that it occurred in 2348 BC. This idea I find just as logical, and either may be used.
I speculate that the waters took longer to recede than most people think. I believe that the total duration for the flood was 370 days.
The depth of the flood has a slight amount of guessing to it. The flood wouldn't need to cover Mt. Everest. The flood itself created the mountains we see. At the end of the Flood, after thick sequences of sediments had accumulated, the Indian subcontinent evidently collided with Asia, crumpling the sediments into mountains. With this in mind the flood would really need to bee only 8000 feet high.
If we refer to ourselves as Christians, we all submit to a link of common grounds. On of the ideas we share is God is sovereign. He can't lie or make mistakes. He also inspired the Bible. Therefore the Bible is without lies or mistakes. In Genesis 7:17-24 it gives us a description of the flood.
"And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days." 
By this account we see the flood covering the Earth, not some little town in Brazil. It also covered the mountains. When water rises, it is quite even in the spread. If it was a local flood it would look something like this . If we don't interpret the Word of God the way it is written, confusion almost always follows.
Global spread of fossils
If we consider the flood, what is the first thing that appears in our mind. Christians think of all the death and destruction that was a result of man's wickedness. All the dead thing didn't just sit around and rot. Quite a few of them were overtaken by the flood and quickly buried under the massive amounts of sediments being deposited. With this viewpoint in mind, we would expect to find millions of fossils spread across the Earth. And that's exactly what we find. Dr. Andrew Snelling from Answers in Genesis gives a report on this. He writes,
"Countless billions of plant and animal fossils are found in extensive "graveyards" where they had to be buried rapidly on a massive scale. Often the fine details of the creatures are exquisitely preserved.
For example, billions of straight-shelled, chambered nautiloids are found fossilized with other marine creatures in a 7 foot (2 m) thick layer within the Redwall Limestone of Grand Canyon. This fossil graveyard stretches for 180 miles (290 km) across northern Arizona and into southern Nevada, covering an area of at least 10,500 square miles (30,000 km). These squid-like fossils are all different sizes, from small, young nautiloids to their bigger, older relatives. To form such a vast fossil graveyard required 24 cubic miles (100 km) of lime sand and silt, flowing in a thick, soup-like slurry at more than 16 feet (5 m) per second (more than 11 mph [18 km/h]) to catastrophically overwhelm and bury this huge, living population of nautiloids. " 
In his article (which I highly advise further reading) he gives more examples of rapid burial of animals over continents. The only logical explanation for this is a global flood.
Sea creatures at sky level
A global flood wouldn't only effect land creatures. It would also catch marine animals in its catastrophic clutches. American journalist Malcolm Wilde Browne from the New York Times gives a rather interesting discovery. He writes,
"Scientists have found fossils of whales and other marine animals in mountain sediments in the Andes, indicating that the South American mountain chain rose very rapidly from the sea." 
Well, from this report we see marine creatures being deposited on a mountain from the sea. This is a clear indication of the flood throwing whales and other creatures in the most unlikely places. Unfortunately the New York Times doesn't attribute this evidence to creationism. If we present this evidence from a Creationistic viewpoint, a global flood is highly possible.
Global spread of sedimentary layers
To move out of the fossil evidence, lets talk about rocks. When rain floods a backyard mud and sand are lifted and transported over "large" areas. Now take this miniature flood and scale it to a global size. Obviously we can see the connection, and huge amounts of rock, mud, and any other substance was carried along with it. In the world we call home, this is what we find. Dr. Andrew Snelling again gives an article demonstrating this. He writes,
"Within this sandstone, we find grains of the mineral zircon, which is relatively easy to trace to its source because zircon usually contains radioactive uranium. By "dating" these zircon grains, using the uranium-lead (U-Pb) radioactive method, it has been postulated that the sand grains in the Navajo Sandstone came from the Appalachians of Pennsylvania and New York, and from former mountains further north in Canada. If this is true, the sand grains were transported at least 1,800 miles (3000 km) right across North America" 
If the flood was local we would maybe find sediments spreading over a few miles, but not close to two thousand.
So far we have seen the following arguments:
1. The Bible supports a global flood.
2. We see fossils covering the Earth.
3. We see marine animals on mountains.
4. There is a global spread of sedimentary layers.
All four of my arguments all support one obvious conclusion. A global flood occurred. Nevertheless, I only skimmed the surface for evidence concerning these arguments. Thousands of situations point to a flood that covered the earth. This finishes my first round and I am interested in seeing my opponent's arguments.
First I'd like to thank my opponent for this rematch. He fought through some of the finest glitches that DDO could produce to bring us this debate.
I will be arguing from a secular perspective that the flood narrative as described in the Bible was not a global flood. I take no stance on whether the flood narrative was inspired by a smaller, more local flood or was invented entirely.
My Opponent's Arguments:
(1) Biblical Support: I concede that the description of the flood in the Bible, wherein " the mountains were covered" by water certainly sounds like a global flood if taken literally. On the other hand, other passages paint a different story.
"And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth." Genesis 8:11
Where did this olive leaf come from? The surface of the Earth had been covered in semi-saline flood water for nearly a year at a depth roughly equivalent to that at the mid-Atlantic ridge. Any tree would have been crushed, drowned, deprived of sunlight and buried by the global sediment layer. Any olive seed attempting to sprout would be doing so in salted sea-floor muck.
Thus, we are forced to conclude that either the Bible is wrong or that the flood was a not global. This is in stark contrast to the passages that my opponent has cited. We can only conclude that the Bible does not serve well as a historical document and look to other evidence to support or contradict the flood story.
(2) Global Spread of Fossils: If there had been a global flood then we would expect to find all manner of animals and plants all jumbled together in death. We would expect to find trilobites, plesiosaurs and dolphins all in the same strata. Labyrinthodonts, velociraptors and horses should all sharing a common grave. Forests of fallen oak and maple should be intermixed with giant Lepidodendron and Lycopods. The fossil record shows us the opposite of this. Trilobites, labyrinthodonts and the giant club mosses and scale trees are exclusively found in the Paleozoic. Dinosaurs are never found much outside of the Mesozoic. Horses, dolphins, oaks and maples are all found only in the Cenozoic. That you never find these different creatures jumbled together in the fossil record is evidence against a global flood.
Answers in Genesis: Answers in Genesis (AiG) is self-described as an apologetics ministry . As such, they should not be relied upon for scientific information any more than you would go to Goddard Space Flight Center for spiritual advice. Their attempts at science are entirely contrary to the scientific method as they begin with a conclusion, which is clearly spelled out in their statement of faith , and work backward from there. Let's examine that first quote from AiG:
"Often the fine details of the creatures are exquisitely preserved."
Preservation of fine details is rare. Usually only the hard parts such as shells or bones are preserved. Finding fine details preserved is exceptional .
"To form such a vast fossil graveyard required 24 cubic miles (100 km) of lime sand and silt, flowing in a thick, soup-like slurry at more than 16 feet (5 m) per second (more than 11 mph [18 km/h]) to catastrophically overwhelm and bury this huge, living population of nautiloids."
What is described above is essentially 100 cubic km of concrete flowing at a fast run. As you might well imagine, no fine details will be preserved. Submarine turbidite flows are similar to this, though smaller scale and the few fossils that they produce are "disarticulated" and "fragmented" . Submarine debris flows also produce characteristic structures such as flute casts and scour marks . These are not observed in the Redwall Limestone, nor are they observed in the majority of sedimentary rocks. The Redwall Limestone is the result of thousands of years of coral reef growth in shallow, undisturbed waters resulting in many exceptionally well-preserved fossils . A stark contrast to AiG's debris flow.
Sea Creatures at Sky Level: The finding of marine fossils at high altitude merely demonstrates tectonic uplift of the fossils from seabed to mountain top. It indicates that the Andes rose from the ocean floor, but does not indicate that it did so rapidly. To operate plate tectonics over a few thousand years rather than hundreds of millions of years is as inadvisable as driving your car at a large fraction of the speed of light and likely to produce similar results.
Global Spread of Sedimentary Layers: A fine example of why you shouldn't trust AiG's science. On the one hand AiG decries radiometric dating as inaccurate and incorrect . On the other hand, they're eager to use radiometric ages from zircons to establish sedimentary provenance that they say proves a global flood. This is more than just a little disingenuous of them. AiG completely omits the fact that the two papers they cite [8, 9] date the zircons between 250 Ma and 3015 Ma.
Even if we allow AiG to use tools that it claims are broken they prove nothing more than large drainage basins can accumulate sediments from wide areas. If we were to go to New Orleans today, dredge up some sediment and check the detrital zircon ages to determine provenance we'd find exactly the same results. No flood was needed, we all know that the Mississippi's drainage basin is huge. And that's exactly what the authors of the original papers were saying of the drainage basins that fed the rivers that produced the Navajo Sandstone.
As my opponent has suggested, a global flood should produce a global sediment layer. The sediments produced by a global flood should be distinctive though. We're talking about an extremely high-energy erosional environment but a relatively short-term event (geologically speaking). The sediment should be extremely poorly sorted (grain-sizes will include everything swept downhill by the flood waters from clay to boulders) and highly immature (lots of rock fragments, no chance for chemical weathering to degrade lithic fragments or chemically susceptible minerals). The flood sediment should look like the mother of all mass-wasting events .
This is not what we observe. Sedimentary rocks range from poorly sorted to well-sorted and immature to very mature. The Navajo Sandstone that AiG speaks of is made of an very well sorted, highly mature sediment, utterly unlike what we would expect of a catastrophic flood. More importantly, it is an eolian (windblown) sand formed in a desert . Likewise, the Redwall Limestone is nearly pure limestone (99%) and was formed in a sheltered environment that allowed a high degree of preservation of fossils .
More importantly, this sedimentary layer isn't global. Welcome to the Canadian shield. Rocks and trees for as far as the eye can see but precious little of it sedimentary. Largely igneous and metamorphic rock. What happened? Canadians couldn't afford flood sediment? The same is true on all continents as shown below in blue.
This problem becomes worse when we consider the oceans. Flood sediments should be preserved best here, protected from reworking by weather. We find continental sediments of any sort only very close to the continents. The rest is fine clays and oozes, utterly unlike what we expect from a global flood.
Origin and Fate of the Waters
This is a pivotal question that any debate on a global flood must address. A local flood does not have this problem but for a global flood 8000 ft deep it becomes an impossibility. All models that I have ever seen kill all life on Earth. Dropping the water from space releases energies that dwarf the global thermonuclear arsenals by several orders of magnitude and is likely capable of vaporizing the Earth's crust and a decent portion of the mantle. Dropping it from orbital ice rings is only half as bad but still sufficient to resurface the planet. Holding the water in the atmosphere as a "vapor canopy" produces atmospheric pressures and temperatures more suitable to Venus than Earth. Storing the water underground in an appeal to the 'fountains of the deep' is mechanically unstable. Rock is notoriously bad at floating on water. Storing the water as in magma underground is even worse since you have to erupt more magma than water, producing a lava ocean, and all the water exits as superheated steam at about 700 C.
Getting rid of the water is even worse. There is simply nowhere for an extra 8000 ft of water to go and no mechanism of disposing of it.
- Biblical support for a global flood is equivocal, with some passages providing evidence against a global flood.
- The ordered nature of the fossil succession cannot be produced by a global flood.
- Marine fossils found at high altitudes demonstrate tectonic uplift, not flooding.
- Sediments and sedimentary rocks found around the globe do not have the characteristics of flood sediments.
- Sediments and sedimentary rocks do not form a global layer.
- There is no plausible source or sink for the flood waters.
These arguments presented by my opponent have a rational ring to them. Others have noticed that as well, for these are the usual statements presented against creationists. Withal, in this round I will soundly disprove each of them as well as strengthen mine in the process of doing so.
Biblical contradiction at the sight.
This argument presented seems quite reasonable. If the world was covered by water, no living plants would survive. A living plant couldn't survive the flood, but the seeds of it could. And that's exactly what happened. If you look at a seed, you can see that it can survive most circumstances. Being underwater wouldn't effect them to a degree of becoming unusable. Also, when the flood waters receded, it seems a though you expect the waters to drain at the same time. David Wright from Answers in Genesis (I'll discuss them in the next round) writes an idea that most of us should agree with. He writes,
"The period of time was possibly shorter since it would have taken many weeks for the entire earth to be covered (including the high hills and mountains), and then some land would have been present long enough for the olive plant to have grown and produced leaves. So this time span could probably be shortened to six or seven months."
This would give the olive tree and other plants to sprout and grow leaves. As for the ground being basically a salty dump, common sense will explain this. The concentration of salt in today's ocean wouldn't be the same as it was before the flood. Today's oceans have had a massive flood to start their salinity plus 4344 years of erosion and stream deposits to gather the amount of salt we see today. After the flood occurred, it wasn't as uninhabitable as you think. In addition to the ground being fertile enough to grow plants, the olive tree itself is an extremely hardy plant.  The olive tree is able to grow in a multitude of climates. Therefore, the olive tree seed have a very good chance of surviving in the flood and growing after it.
Jumbled fossils FOUND.
Actually it's rather humorous that this topic has been mentioned. In here the fact of no sign of intermixed fossils has been long disproved. For on example of many, consider Cumberland Bone Cave. What is so interesting about this simple location is the fossils that have been found in it. It was found to contain remains of dozens of mammal species together with reptiles and birds. The types represented included creatures native to Arctic, temperate, and tropical zones, and both dry and moist habitats. A graveyard that could easily explained by a catastrophic flood.
To add another point onto my argument, I would like to take a step back and present a bird's eye view on our exploration of Earth. Throughout the years man has hunted, dug, and dived to gain knowledge of our home for thousands of years. With all of our research with and without modern technology, I have found a accurate estimate of what we have explored. The list of it is as follows:
"Throughout history, the ocean has been a vital source of sustenance, transport, commerce, growth, and inspiration. Yet for all of our reliance on the ocean, 95 percent of this realm remains unexplored, unseen by human eyes" 
"We’ve only explored about 0.4% of the Earth’s total mass... For all of human history, Earth’s explorers have been—quite literally—just scratching the surface." 
"In some of these places, scientists are also discovering new species! For example, in 1992, a new mammal species called the saola was discovered in the thick forests of Vietnam." 
The ground has been scarcely been searched for fossils. It's just like (not referring to my opponent) a toddler tired of searching for a lost toy and declaiming its existence. Once the strata layers have been thoroughly searched, we then can make that judgment.
Water laid fossils at sky level.
In my argument I was presenting the fact that the ocean has indeed been above the mountains or more likely they were created by it. A global flood does have the answer to this. In fact the flood with its force and catastrophic result would have been able to create major plate tectonic movements. If we try to explain it otherwise, it completely fails.
If the ocean didn't rise onto the continents, then the only other explanation would be that the continents sank below today’s sea level, so that the ocean waters flooded over them The continents are made up of lighter rocks that are less dense than the rocks on the ocean floor and rocks in the mantle beneath the continents. The continents, in fact, have an automatic tendency to rise, and thus “float” on the mantle rocks beneath, well above the ocean floor rocks. This explains why the continents today have such high elevations compared to the deep ocean floor, and why the ocean basins can hold so much water.
So a flood covering and creating mountains makes sense.
Globally spread sedimentary layers.
In AIG, they do condemn radiometric dating. What they do say about it, is that is fallible and can predict inaccurate results. Nevertheless they do not entirely exclude it.
Concerning the global spread of sedimentary layers, the result are rather surprising. In your argument you disprove my case by claiming that a flood wasn't needed to lay out large slabs of sediments. The only thing they prove is that the previous body of water was rather large. However I have a case to pose, which might indeed prove a stumbling block to explain. Consider the following pictures,
s://cdn-assets.answersingenesis.org...; alt="Kwagunt Creek" width="201" height="118" />
Obviously we can see that the issue with these sedimentary layers are bent. How these got here can be explained by the layers being bent while they were still soft. How evolutionists explain this leaves an insurmountable problem. The conventional explanation is that under the pressure and heat of burial, the hardened sandstone and limestone layers were bent so slowly they behaved as though they were plastic and thus did not break. However, pressure and heat would have caused detectable changes in the minerals of these rocks, tell-tale signs of metamorphism. But such metamorphic minerals or recrystallization due to such plastic behavior is not observed in these rocks.
The sedimentary layers themselves proclaim a global flood.
Water all around us.
"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:6-10) 
In this verse from the bible, what do we see? we see the earth being entirely enveloped in water before the land was created. So there was enough water to cover the earth a fist time, and it could cover it again. The origin of where the waters came from is quoted in the bible. It says that the fountains of the deep were opened up and the windows of heaven rained on the earth. Dr. Tas Walker backs up this idea. He writes,
"We read in Genesis 7:11 that ‘all the springs of the great deep burst forth’. It’s likely that this water came from the earth’s mantle. Geologists calculate that the rocks in the mantle still contain within their mineral structure enough water to fill the oceans at least ten times over. They also recognize that material has come out of the outer part of the mantle, which they call the 'depleted mantle'"
In this evidence we see that water is everywhere.
If there was enough water to cover the earth at one point, then where did it all go? The answer is simple. All you have to do is take an drive (or flight) to the nearest ocean. Since the flood did have enough force to create major tectonic plate movements, the water simply had to recede into the new ocean floor. Consider this quote.
" The hypsographic (Gk. hypsos=height) chart shows the amount of the earth’s surface at (or higher than) various elevations.1 It illustrates that if the ocean basins were pushed up 5 km and the mountains shaved off, water would cover the entire earth. Such tectonic movements seem huge to us, but compared with the radius of the earth, (6,378 km), the movement is tiny, less than 0.1%."
In a global flood perspective we, speculate that the mountains and ocean floor was created by the flood.
In this round I hopefully explained your arguments considering how skimpy they were. Unfortunately I have run out of available character and will refute your attack on Answers in Genesis. I eagerly await my opponent's next arguments.
 4.J. P. Davidson, W. E. Reed, and P. M. Davis, “Isostasy,” in Exploring Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997), pp. 124–129.
 Ref. 8; G. H. Davis and S. J. Reynolds, “Deformation Mechanisms and Microstructures,” Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions, 2nd ed. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996), pp. 150–202.
Plate Tectonics in a Nutshell
Most of my opponent's arguments from Round 2 are based on plate tectonics so we'll have to delve into that topic briefly. Plate tectonics is the theory that the Earth's crust is made of plates that slowly drift atop the mantle . Crustal plates are less dense, more buoyant, and float higher atop the comparatively dense mantle. Oceanic plates are less buoyant, float less well, and thus form deep ocean basins. Oceanic plates cool as they age, becoming even less buoyant and eventually sink back into the mantle in a process known as subduction . Subduction of oceanic plates is the driving force behind plate tectonics and pulls the other plates around at roughly the speed that your fingernails grow .
Truly Catastrophic Plate Tectonics
AiG attempts to run plate tectonics at extreme speeds in what they refer to as "Catastrophic Plate Tectonics" . It tries to do in about one year what regular plate tectonics does in a few hundred million years. The results are unarguably catastrophic.
First they use a computer simulation to show that runaway subduction occurring "at rates of feet-per-second" to close an old ocean basin, pull apart a supercontinent and form new, warm, shallow oceanic crust. The shallower oceans can't accommodate all the water which either vaporizes and falls as rain or floods the land as a series of tsunamis. The new ocean floor then cools and sinks, allowing the water to return.
A few minor problems:
- Oceanic plates only subduct when they are old and cold. AiG's model would require that God created the Earth with old, cold oceanic plates ready to initiate the flood.
- Oceanic plates are about 100 km thick and a few thousand km on a side . Pushing them through water at feet per second is implausible. Pushing them through solid rock at those speeds is utterly ridiculous.
- The stresses produced would not only pull the supercontinent apart but would pull the continents into tiny bits of gravel. Friction at plate boundaries produced by continental drift moving at the speed your fingernails grow causes melting . At feet per second we'd expect a blazing wall of plasma along every plate boundary.
- Sea-floor spreading governs the rate at which the underlying mantle ascends and the degree to which it melts. Under modern conditions that's limited to about 25% partial melting of the mantle source, producing ordinary ocean floor basalt . During Earth's earlier, hotter geological history as much as 50% partial melting occurred, giving rise to komatiites. Komatiites are lavas we haven't seen on Earth in 2.5 billion years. AiG's catastrophic rates would cause 100% melting, producing volcanic equivalents of mantle peridotites and dunnites, rocks for which geologists have no names because they don't exist.
- All the super-heated steam that's going to fall as rain has to shed a whole lot of energy and since water vapor is such an excellent greenhouse gas  precious little will be lost to space. The only place for it to go is into the atmosphere, leading to rapid and catastrophic temperature rise and the inevitable steaming alive of all aboard the ark.
- Producing an ocean roughly the size of the Atlantic requires a whole lot of lava. About 4000 km wide by 15,000 km long and at least 10 km deep. To put that another way, about 600,000 times as much lava as would be released by a VEI-8 eruption of Yellowstone . The gas released by that much lava would render the atmosphere unbreathable. The heat will boil the ocean entirely. The hydrothermal action would release massive amounts of metals into the waters. Given the weird composition of the lava, most of the metal would be iron and nickel. This fluid would more closely resemble the run-off from mine tailings ponds than ocean water. The end result would be turning the world's oceans and all its sea-life into the nastiest mine-waste gumbo imaginable before finally evaporating it completely.
Put simply, running plate tectonics at these speeds simply doesn't work.
Point 1: The Olive Leaf
The salinity of seawater is regulated largely by hydrothermal interaction at mid-Oceanic ridges . Thus, my opponent's hypothetical olive seed is trying to grow in post-flood sediment that has been thoroughly immersed in either salt water (my version) or mine-waste effluent (AiG's version). Neither is suitable for germinating plants in.
Point 2: Jumbled Fossils
Jumbled fossils have been found. My opponent provides no source for his information on this point and all of the sources that I have found on the Cumberland Bone Cave indicate Pleistocene fauna and flora . To defeat my point my opponent needs to find an example of fossils from different ages in the same location. A dinosaur and a horse for example.
The remainder is an argument from what is not known, and thus an argument from ignorance. My opponent's problem is that what we have found, again and again, is a clear fossil succession. This is entirely contrary to what the flood should produce.
Point 3: Fossils in the Andes
As the Andes are well above 8000 ft, both my opponent and I agree that they must have been uplifted by tectonic forces. Where we differ is the speed at which these forces can operate. As I've noted above, running plate tectonics at the speed that AiG desires is ridiculous.
Point 4: Global Sedimentary Layers
AiG entirely condemns radiometric dates in excess of a few thousand years. The youngest dates cited by the authors of the papers that AiG quotes is 250 million years. AiG is being incredibly dishonest by claiming that the Earth cannot be more than a few thousand years old and then relying on multi-million year U-Pb zircon ages to make their case.
My opponent appears to have dropped my points regarding (1) The lack of global distribution of sediments and (2) The lack of chaotic sediments we would expect from a global flood (3) Well-ordered and stratified sedimentary rocks that could not be formed by a flood.
My opponent then goes on to make an argument from folded strata. This argument does not demonstrate a flood, it demonstrates deformation. My opponent asserts that this could only happen if the sediments were deformed while still soft. This is patently false but would not demonstrate a global flood even if it were true. Contrary to my opponent's claims, folding requires neither the temperatures nor the pressures necessary for metamorphism . Neither do sedimentary rocks deform without fracture. Sadly, my opponent's images did not turn out, but here's a similar one from AiG.
Note the abundant fracturing of the rock, especially in the upper left of the photo. This is the axis of the fold where strain is highest and fracture most common. These fractures would not occur in soft sediments.
Soft sedimentary deformation is well-understood and differs wildly from folding of sedimentary rock. In large scale it leads to chaotic jumbles of rock known as olistostromes . In smaller scale it leads to a variety of soft sediment deformation structures such as convoluted bedding, sand volcanoes and flame structures . I should thank my opponent for bringing this topic up as soft sediment deformation is relatively rare when it should be produced in abundance by a global flood.
Point 5: Source and Sink of the Waters
My opponent attempts to appeal to the "fountains of the deep" as a source for the waters. The Earth's mantle may contain as much as tent times the amount of water as the oceans but the only way to release it s to melt the rock that contains it. This produces more lava than it does water, so while you will have a flood it will be a entirely molten rock. All of the water will be released as vapor at several hundred degrees in what is known as pyroclastic flows. A gopher wood ark will not fare well under these conditions.
My opponent seeks to sink the waters in the existing ocean basins but this runs afoul of the catastrophic plate tectonics noted above.
A few new points of contention
Greenland and Antarctica both have extensive ice caps. Ice floats and these glacial caps should have floated free by any global flood. The GRIP ice cores date back over 100,000 years  and the Vostok ice cores over 800,000 years . Clearly these ice caps didn't float free during the flood.
Rain Falls. Everything Dies.
While the land animals may be cozy in the ark, the rest of the world's creatures are doomed. All aquatic life will be faced with either too much or too little salt as ocean and flood waters mix. Anything on the bottom will also be buried in hundreds of feet of sediment. This will lead to the extinction of most life that can't survive living beneath 2400 m of saline water for a year or so. A few seeds and spores might survive but all they'll find are the inhospitable salt wastes left when the flood waters recede.
Voice_Of_The_People forfeited this round.
I'm sorry to hear that my opponent's computer and busy schedule have been giving him grief. Here's hoping that things are looking up.
Last round I neglected to address the following quote that my opponent provided:
"The hypsographic (Gk. hypsos=height) chart shows the amount of the earth’s surface at (or higher than) various elevations.1 It illustrates that if the ocean basins were pushed up 5 km and the mountains shaved off, water would cover the entire earth. Such tectonic movements seem huge to us, but compared with the radius of the earth, (6,378 km), the movement is tiny, less than 0.1%."[My Opponent's Round 2, Source 11]
It sounds so simple. Just shave off the mountain tops and push up the ocean floor by five km or so. The comparison in the final sentence is particularly beguiling and not terribly useful. Compared with the radius of the Earth, most things seem pretty insignificant. It attempts to gloss over the fact that you have to go from a pre-flood difference of about 6400 meters (21,000 ft) from ocean bottom to tallest peak, level that off to a mere 2400 m (8000 ft) during the flood and then increase that to present day values of nearly 20,000 meters (65,000 ft) from the bottom of the Marianas trench to Everest's peak. That has to be accomplished on a global scale in a little under a year, then stop suddenly.
More importantly, it completely disregards the fact that in order to "push up" the ocean basins we effectively have to resurface the world's oceans, roughly 70% of the surface of the globe, approximately 360 million square kilometers . That requires moving tectonic plates laterally by several thousand km or roughly 100% of the radius of the Earth. Such movements seem unimaginably colossal to us because they are.
Non-Tectonic Problems for Catastrophic Tectonics
Catastrophic plate tectonics runs up against more problems in that it can't account for a variety of features that aren't formed by tectonic uplift. These include:
- Stratovolcanoes: These are largely piles of volcanic ash and lava hundreds to thousands of cubic km in volume . A few thousand of them dot the face of the Earth. The volcanic activity required to produce all these peaks in just a few thousand years would yield both a historical and geological record. It's the sort of thing that ought to have been mentioned in the Bible, given that there are a few right in their back yard (e.g.: Mt. Ararat).
- Ocean Islands: Having resurfaced the oceans, we now need to furnish them with the island archipelagoes that decorate them. These include Hawaii, Iceland and Easter Island. Erupting these will be as devastating as making the stratovolcanoes.
- Chicxulub: Widely accepted as the event the ushered the dinosaurs off the world stage, the Chicxulub crater resides within limestone and gypsum off of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Its ejecta contains charcoal from plants luckless enough to have been near the impact site . The impact had a variety of immediate consequences including tsunamis and global firestorms. The environmental aftermath likely took several thousand years for the Earth to recover from . If it had happened any time in the last few thousand years we'd have noticed.
The Armenian Death March
Having beached the ark and waited for the flood waters to recede, Noah now opens the doors. The sight that greets him is much like what you would expect if you removed all the water from a great ocean basin. Lifeless muck stretches for as far as the eye can see. No plant grows and the only water is befouled by salt. He now disembarks the animals, of which there are either two or seven of each. Most are not native to Armenia and have a bit of a walk ahead of them, over mountains, rivers and oceans without food or water. Speaking of food, amongst the animals released are the lion, the tiger, the wolverine and the honey badger. You don't need to be an ecologist to see that this situation is going to be very bloody and very brief.
If a global flood had occurred, species recovering from just two (or seven) ancestors should show profound signs of a population bottleneck and horrible inbreeding occurring about 4400 years ago. Bottlenecks of this sort are observed in a few rare species that have tiptoed along the edge of extinction . They are not seen in the overwhelming majority of land mammals.
During the 17th century BC:
- The various Mesopotamian civilizations invented the wheel (3500 BC), the chariot (3200 BC) , and had a brewing industry (3000 BC) . They promptly invented drinking songs (2 to 3 hours after 3000 BC) and a goddess of beer (the very next morning) . The world's oldest bar tab dates to 2050 BC . Hammurabi codified his famous laws a hundred years earlier and his descendants ruled the first Babylonian dynasty .
- The Sphinx and the Great Pyramids at Giza were built nearly a millennium earlier and pyramid building in Egypt had already ended . The Old and Middle Kingdoms had come and gone and the Pharaohs were in a bloody struggle with the Hyksos for control of the Nile .
- On Crete, the labyrinthine palaces that gave rise to the minotaur legends had been established and Minoan culture was at its peak .
- The Longshan and Erlitou cultures in China had established the beginnings of the silk road, exporting lapis lazuli, jade, turquoise and silk as far away as Persia, Egypt and India as long ago as 3000 BC. The Shan Dynasty may have already been ruling what would later become China .
- The Indus Valley Civilization had established numerous cities on the border between what is now India and Pakistan. They had advanced trade and agriculture and had invented metallurgy in a society that rivaled the Mesopotamians .
- In what would eventually become Mexico, the Olmec were raising the first of a long line of Mesoamerican civilizations .
Every one of these civilizations failed to be extinguished by a global flood at this time.
- Biblical evidence is equivocal and should not be used as historical reference by itself.
- Sediments are neither global in distribution nor of the type expected of a flood.
- Fossil succession is not the random assortment you would get in a flood.
- There is no plausible source or sink for the flood waters.
- Tectonics at the speeds used to try to explain the flood are impossible for numerous reasons.
- Greenland and Antarctica have ice caps. Ice floats.
- The flood kills everything not on the ark. The post-flood world is inhospitable to what few seeds and spores survive no matter which version you accept.
- The animals on the ark die of thirst/starvation/predation shortly after release.
- Population bottlenecks that the flood should have produced are not observed.
- Civilizations existing at the same time as the biblical flood were not extinguished and make no mention of a global flood.
And with that I turn the floor over to my opponent for the final round.
Tectonic plate movement
In my opponent's text, he implies that a entirely catastrophic, supernatural, and destructive flood would not be able to cause tectonic movement. What we also realize is that he agrees with the fact that our continents were once one. We and a number of other scientists readily agree with this theory. Although a global flood does sound like a fantastical method of explanation, I'm sorry but all the evolutionary explanations for tectonic movement are utterly ridiculous. Since my opponent didn't specify his accepted viewpoint concerning this, I will debunk a few theories.
Plates slide by gravity from the elevated mid-ocean ridge to the depressed trench.
Plates are "pulled" into the mantle below trenches by chemical phase changes during melting,
Plates are "pushed" apart along mid-ocean ridges by slow injection of magma into vertical cracks.
"Each of these mechanisms (alone or together) cannot overcome the viscous drag at the base of the plate, and cannot explain how the difference in elevation developed or how the plate boundary originally formed. The absence of sufficient mechanism for plate motion, the uncertainty regarding the existence of sea-floor spreading, and the doubts about subduction cause us to question the popular geologic syntheses known as 'plate tectonics.'"
Noah's Flood solves these issues and others. Large quantities of volcanic rocks on the sea floor support this idea. The presence of low density crustal rock down to a depth of 700 kilometers within the mantle below trenches can be attributed to rapid under thrusting. Altogether a Global flood would be able to accomplish tectonic movements.
To begin this argument, I would like to bring up a point I stated earlier which my opponent agrees with, since he made no attempt to disprove it. In my second argument in the, well, second round, I brought up the fact that we have hardly scratched the world's surface which is supported by many scientists. , ,,. We haven't even begun to search to arrive at a conclusion.
Nevertheless, one example of this is the Baltic amber deposits.
"The Baltic amber deposits have been found to contain fossil insect and plant remains which are native to all types of climatic zones ranging from near-Arctic to tropical. Competent zoologists have concluded that the Baltic amber fossils were the result of some worldwide cataclysmic process." 
Fossils sky high
In this round, the major point I have proven is the absurdity of plate tectonic motion under slow changes. Since the next best explanation is a global flood, the fossil were undoubtedly laid by the flood in the Bible.
Global spread of layers
In my previous round, I had thought I had relatively refuted your arguments, but since a clearer explanation is wanted, I will present my case.
It appears as though my opponent has defused conception of what a global flood would create. A global flood would not be able to gather the sediments of the world and deposit them in one even layer. It would simply carry a large amount of sediment and deposit it over vast areas until it had run out of that material. What it would create is exactly what we see today. ,
To address the later two questions pressed upon me, I would like to demonstrate the error of these two with the following picture.
What we see here are small yet even and well ordered layers of strata. Surprisingly these sediments were deposited by several mudslides caused by the Mt. Saint Helen's eruption. If we magnify this catastrophic result, we will end up with the strata we see today.
Another interesting feature caused only by a global flood is the issue of Polystrate fossils.  The typical Evolutionist's explanation is rapid burial or accumulation of volcanic material around a periodically erupting stratovolcano. However, This explanation doesn't "cut it" when it comes to coal beds. Coal beds, of course, requires vast spans of time to form. ,. Polystrate fossils have been discovered lying vertically through several layers of strata.  A global flood can easily explain this error.
As for folded rock layers the rock in the picture you graciously provided for me, it does have slight fracturing due to erosion and movement. However the rest is undoubtedly folded. This can only be explained by pressure when they were soft. For there abundance, I think I've made my position quite clear. We have barely explored earth and claiming their scarcity is highly absurd.
The water's source
In my text, I was merely demonstrating the fact that earth does indeed have enough water to flood it's surface. I also stated that the mountains and the ocean floor depth we have today was created by the tectonic movements in the flood. The origin of the waters is then quite simple. If there was enough water to flood the earth and the oceans weren't as deep as they are now, the best basin for the extra water is underground. Actually this has been confirmed by many scientists.  In the bible, the method of forcing these underground seas under extreme amounts of pressure is given. "All the fountains of the great deep broken up." Once the earth split, out would pour prodigious volumes of lava as well as water. this would create what is known as continental flood basalts. "For example, the Deccan Traps of India are over a mile (2000 m) thick and spread over nearly 200,000 square miles of the Indian subcontinent (500,000 km) The Siberian Traps in Russia are even thicker (more than 480,000 cubic miles [2 million km3] in volume), however, they are slightly smaller (130,000 square miles [340,000 km])."  I thank my opponent for strengthening my argument.
Ice caps were actually formed in the ice age after the flood. 
As I've explained before, salt levels would have been much lower during the flood. To add onto my case, if the ocean were millions of years old, the oceans would be to salty for any organism. 
I'm going to make this brief. Volcanoes have been in huge quantities in our past. History has shown that there have been volcanoes who dwarf Mt. St. Helen's. For example, Yellowstone eruption, soon after the Flood, which produced at least 480 cubic miles of ash.  And there are many examples of these. However, just because they aren't world known doesn't disprove their existence. Pompeii is a good example. It happened in 79 A.D. but was rediscovered in the mid-18th century. 
As for the Chicxulub crater, I highly ignore this idea. If a meteor would happen to crash with it's destructive properties, it wouldn't single out one type of species and leave the rest. Dinosaurs died out as all organisms go extinct.
With the ocean's concentration of salt being at a minimum, and several locations budding with growth because of that, the herbivores would easily be satisfied. The carnivores could quickly find food in the dead organisms left behind. Experience has shown that most carnivores prefer to eat carrion than to kill live animals for food. Also, the Flood must have left behind many residual pools of water and marine life. As these waters retreated or dried up, fish and other marine animals were stranded in lakes, ponds, and streams on land. This could also have served as food for the ark-released carnivores. In fact, experience shows that many normally non"fish-eating carnivores, such as lions, will eat fish if it is available, and do so in preference to hunting their usual prey.
Response to AIG
AIG does have a world view that they clearly state. The sites my opponent has stated take an evolutionary aspect to their thinking. Both sides take the same evidence and interpret it according to their world view.
This debate has been rather interesting, and my opponent has debated quite well. Unfortunately all my evidence and responses weren't able to be included. I now await my opponent's response.
 Nilsson, Heribert, Synthetische Artbildung, Reprint from English Summary (Evolution Protest Movement of North American, Victoria, B.C., 1973), pp. 1194-1195.
Plate tectonics is not "just" a theory. Plate motions have been measured using high-precision GPS and have been found to be in exceptionally good agreement with predictions . In fact, my opponent's arguments requires plate tectonics to raise up the ocean floor and build the mountains post-flood. He just needs it to happen a lot faster than possible.
We don't yet fully understand the forces that drive plate tectonics. It's surprisingly hard to get funding for a field trip to the upper mantle. The dominant theory is currently slab pull (my opponent's theory #2) coupled with mantle convection . As such, mantle drag is not a problem to be overcome but the driving force propelling the plates.
My opponent objects that we have not examined every fossil. I addressed this argument in Round 2, Point 2, Paragraph 2. Let me be more specific. We don't need to examined every fossil on Earth. It's the fossils that we have examined that contradict fossilization via global flood.
The trilobite and the crab lived in similar environments, filled the same niches, had similar body plans and required similar taphonomic conditions to fossilize. If the global flood had fossilized them then we would expect them to be found together at least occasionally. That we never find them together demonstrates that either the fossils were not produced by the flood or that every fossil we find is exceptional.
Now consider all of the fauna and flora that trilobites are found with and those that crabs are found with. And once again, none of these are ever found with the others. Crab fossils are never found with rugose corals, placoderms or the bulk of the brachiopods. Trilobite fossils are never found with modern fish, dolphins or mafia informants.
Extend this line of reasoning to include every environment where fossils form and it becomes rapidly apparent that fossils occur in a succession that cannot be explained by a global flood.
My opponent appeals to Baltic amber as an example of jumbled fossils, leaving us wondering how hundreds of thousands of tons of tree sap is supposed to trap insects and dry during a global flood. His source states that the fossils "contain fossil insect and plant remains which are native to all types of climatic zones ranging from near-Arctic to tropical." This once again fails to produce jumbled fossils from different eras (e.g.: trilobites and crabs). The processes creating the amber were operative over millions of years and some climate change likely occurred during that time so this isn't even unusual. Moreover, Baltic amber is not found in situ but is reworked by glaciation, rivers and oceans . A mix of fossils is expected under these conditions.
Marine Fossils in the Andes
Conventional plate tectonics has no problem with these. Catastrophic flood tectonics require forces that would shatter the continents, so there would be no Andes, much less fossils.
Global Flood Sediments
In round 1 my opponent argued that sediments had been transported by the flood from the Appalachians and mountains in Canada westward to Colorado. Oddly, these sediments failed to be transported to Canada or the Atlantic Ocean. If the flood transported all that sediment all the way to Colorado then it should have deposited even more sediment closer to source. This is not what we observe.
Sadly, I'm unable to open the image that my opponent provided. I'll assume that it's similar to this one from AiG:
This is precisely what we would expect from a global flood, though on smaller scale. Layer after layer of monotonous debris flow deposits. I'm not arguing that the global flood couldn't produce any strata, I'm arguing that it couldn't produce the strata that we observe. The exquisitely preserved fossils of the Redwall limestone were not produced by a massive flow of limey mud. The finely sorted aeolian sand of the Navajo sandstone was not transported from the Appalachians to Colorado as a debris flow.
As mentioned in round 2, folding of sedimentary rock is not a feature of soft sediment deformation . Folded strata cannot be formed by deformation of soft sediment as this leads to very different structures [24, 25].
My opponent then falls back on a "we haven't seen every rock" argument to try and explain the paucity of soft sediment deformation. The rocks that we haven't seen aren't the problem, it's the rocks that we have seen. Soft sediment deformation should be abundant if there had been a global flood. Most of the rocks that we have seen don't show it so either they weren't deposited by a global flood or they're exceptional. That the overwhelming rocks exposed at surface should be so exceptional is ridiculously implausible.
The flood can't explain coal, much less polystrate fossils in coal. Forming coal requires large volumes of organic matter, commonly peat, with very little silicate. The flood has no mechanism to deposit vast beds of pure peat, so no coal. Polystrate fossils in coal requires little more than a tree falling over into a bog. Some trees even grow in this position.
Water Source and Sink
Ringwoodite is a mineral composed of about 1% water and found about 600 km below the Earth's surface. To extract the water you need to melt it. So what you're going to get will be 100 ft of lava for every foot of water and the water will erupt as super-heated steam. This will thoroughly sterilize the planet's surface. Continental flood basalts don't begin to describe what you'll get. You're in for 'global flood-geologists don't have a name for this rock because it doesn't occur'. Please do not use this for the "fountains of the deep" because it kills everything.
Lacking catastrophic plate tectonics, because they also kill everything, my opponent has no mechanism to raise and lower the Earth's topography to generate a global flood.
As much as AiG would love to have the ice age after the flood that's as ridiculous as high-speed plate tectonics. The GRIP and Vostok ice cores have been dated by multiple independent methods at hundreds of thousands of years old [26,27].
The notion that ocean salinity was lower pre-flood is without evidence and ignores the fact that salinity is governed by hydrothermal processes at mid-ocean ridges . We can follow conventional geological data that suggests that ocean salinity hasn't changed much in the last few hundred million years or we can follow through the consequences of catastrophic plate tectonics, which erupt vast quantities of lava and converting the ocean waters into nickel-iron-rich fluid akin to mine waste effluent. Neither will be healthy for anything in the flood.
Volcanoes and Ocean Islands
Apologies to all. I posted the wrong image last round for the global distribution of volcanoes. That one is earthquakes. This one is volcanoes:
http://www.visionlearning.com...; width="1144" height="606" />
The point remains, there are a lot of them. My opponent wishes to erupt a supervolcano to make each one. Thousands of supervolcanic eruptions are unlikely to leave anything alive and will radically alter the global climate. They'd also have left an unmistakable layer in the geological record.
The water's salinity won't be at a minimum. It'll either be semi-saline or it'll be mine-waste as described above. Any seeds have spent nearly a year in the water and the overwhelming majority will be waterlogged an dead. The few "lucky" survivors not buried, drowned or washed out to sea will be trying to germinate in the salted or toxic muck left behind by the flood. The dead organisms have been rotting for over a year. There will be precious little left for the carnivores, though the stench will be impressive. The fish all perished when the fresh and salt waters mingled.
The problem with AiG is that they begin with their conclusion, biblical inerrancy, and then pick their results to fit. This is dogma, which they label science, but is the opposite of science.
I've attempted to avoid obviously biased sources in this debate. I'm sure Talk.Origins and Iron Chariots have some interesting points to make but, like AiG, I would not consider them neutral. I've stuck with sources such as the USGS, the Smithsonian and the like.
Unfortunately, my opponent has dropped my points regarding:
- Population Bottleneck, or lack thereof
- The catastrophic effects of catastrophic plate tectonics
- The existence of numerous civilizations during the time that the world was purportedly flooded
There is no plausible mechanism to create even this meager 2400 meter deep global flood. All attempts to do so kill everything more complex than unicellular life and many attempts sterilize even those. The flood myth fails the following reality checks:
- Biblical evidence is equivocal
- No source or sink for the flood waters
- The fossil succession
- Strata that isn't debris flows (e.g.: aeolian sandstones, coal)
- Paucity of soft deformation or dewatering structures
- Absence of flood sediments where it ought to be (e.g.: Canada, the Oceans)
- Catastrophic plate tectonics is impossible and would kill us all
- Stratovolcanoes and ocean islands
- Ice caps
- All life not on the ark perishes
- All creatures on the ark die shortly after release
- Population bottlenecks not observed
- Numerous civilizations at the time of the flood didn't even get damp
Numerous physical, geological, biological and archaeological lines of evidence, presented above, demonstrate that a global flood never happened.
In closing, I would like to thank Voice_of_the_People for a fun debate.
 http://books.google.ca...; Page 59, Section 4.4
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Vote Placed by Envisage 1 year ago
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