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Originally published in Creation 16, no 1 (December 1993): 46-47.
The fact of the biblical Deluge is the keystone with which the whole of the biblical history of life, man and the universe comes into line with the evidence of the real world.
It stands as the major reason why there are billions of dead plants and animals in water-laid rocks around the globe, even though there was no bloodshed before Adam. Which is one reason why, among creationist arguments, the Flood is especially singled out for frequent attack.
As creationists have more and more publicized the evidence that catastrophic forces have shaped this planet, it seems that mainstream geologists have, somewhat reluctantly, moved away from strict insistence on ‘slow and gradual’. For example, a world-wide impact catastrophe is now the most popular theory of dinosaur extinction. Some evolutionary geologists readily accept isolated, continent-wide (slow) flooding as the cause of many formations—as long as it doesn’t mean letting go of evolution’s long ages or (horrors) accepting the truth of the Bible’s record of God’s judgment on the ancient world.
Now two respected German (evolutionist) geologists have gone so far as to accept that there was a mountain-covering, world Flood. This accounts, they say, for the world-wide existence of global Flood legends. In a large new technical book, Werner and Edith Tollmann (he is from the Vienna University Geological Institute, she an internationally renowned micropaleontologist) claim that not only parts of the Noahic account, but references in other ancient books can be accounted for by the following hypothesis:
Around 10,000 years ago, a massive comet heading towards earth broke into seven pieces and slammed with incredible force into different parts of the earth’s oceans. (They have already labelled / five known marine impact craters as being from this alleged event; the number seven is because some ancient accounts talk of seven glowing objects in the sky.)
The incredible forces involved would have sent huge tidal waves around the earth, literally covering all the mountains but—and here’s the catch—only for a short time, one part of the world after another. Their postulated flood lasts only long enough to leave minimal traces of its passing, and so, unlike the biblical Flood, cannot account for the huge thicknesses of sedimentary strata. So evolution and vast time spans, supposedly represented by these layers, are not threatened. Thus the authors will not have to suffer the ridicule and abuse heaped on geologists who uphold the biblical Deluge.
Of course, they do not accept the biblical account of the reason for the Flood, or the salvation of one man and his family from whom the rest of the world is descended (even though this also features in most of the other historical accounts and legends they take so seriously).
Interestingly, they even claim that these cometary fragments slamming into the ocean floor would have smashed open the crust, releasing subterranean water under pressure high into the air—giving rise, they say, to the biblical description of the breaking open of the ‘fountains of the great deep’.