The idea has once again floated to the surface, this time on the ABC-TV special “Back to the Beginning.”* For more than twelve years, underwater archaeologist and Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard and others before him have cited evidence in the Black Sea that the flood of Noah actually happened. But what have they really found?
Studying the bottom of the Black Sea off the Turkish coast, Ballard’s team says it has found further evidence of the massive regional flood that devastated the area at the end of the Ice Age, as the ice melted and the world’s oceans rose. The water refilled the Black Sea and overwhelmed any humans dwelling there.
In an ABC interview, Ballard suggested that “it’s not a crazy thing to think that the flood stories of the various cultures . . . are based upon true cataclysmic events.”** Ballard and others suggest that this regional flood was so devastating that it became a memorable event passed down and embellished from generation to generation. Eventually it was recorded in Genesis as Noah’s Flood.
The Black Sea flood is a fascinating event from the Ice Age, but it was no Noah's Flood.
We agree that the Black Sea flood is a fascinating event from the Ice Age, which shows us how devastating the changing environment was during that one-time era of post-Flood history. But it was no Noah’s Flood.
The Flood of Noah’s day covered the whole earth and laid down sediments more than a mile deep on the continents. Evidence of these massive piles of sediments appears in the rock layers beneath the Black Sea. Measured against Noah’s worldwide Flood, Ballard’s little Black Sea flood was like filling a pond compared to filling an ocean!
While it sounds like Ballard and others would make natural allies in defending the Bible’s account, they miss the boat. Creationists aren’t arguing for a local flood when they discuss Genesis 6–8. Says geologist and creationist Dr. Andrew Snelling, “Bible-believers don’t need Ballard to confirm the Flood. Ballard does not accept its global extent and considers the biblical account to be a myth. Such people, no matter how close their conclusions seem to ours, are not allies.”
* Jenna Millman, Bryan Taylor, and Lauren Effron, “Evidence Noah’s Biblical Flood Happened, Says Robert Ballard,” December 10, 2012, http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/evidence-suggests-biblical-great-flood-noahs-time-happened/story?id=17884533.
** Ibid., audio clip.