A Flood of Evidence

by Dr. Tim Chaffey on May 1, 2018; last featured July 30, 2023
Featured in Answers Magazine
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Evidences for the flood are everywhere if your assumptions don’t blind you to them.

“There’s no evidence for a worldwide flood!”

Have you ever heard this objection when attempting to share your faith? Skeptics believe this claim invalidates the Bible and Christianity. After all, if we can’t trust the beginning of the Bible, why should we believe the rest of it?

In the face of such confident pronouncements, some Christians reinterpret the Bible’s claims about the global flood, saying it was merely a regional event. Others ignore them altogether and don’t even try to resolve the perceived conflict between science and God’s Word.

But Christians need not be intimidated by “scientific” pronouncements that deny the clear words of Genesis. Contrary to these popular claims, the biblical account of Noah and the flood provides the best explanation of the evidence around us.

Biblical Teaching on the Flood

First, we need to realize that many verses in both the Old and New Testaments point to a global flood. So any Christian who tries to argue from Scripture that the flood was merely a local event faces an uphill battle.

The flood account in Genesis 6–9 refers to “all flesh” 13 times in reference to the destruction of all the land-dwelling animals. A local flood could never destroy “all flesh.”

If Noah needed to house only local animals and plants, such an enormous ark would be unnecessary. Noah wasted his time building something so big.

God brought flying creatures to Noah for safekeeping on the ark, but that would be pointless if birds and bats could just fly to a safe area.

Genesis 7:19 states that the waters rose above the highest mountains. Once the water cleared the highest peak, nothing would restrain it from covering the rest of the land in a global event. Further, Noah’s family spent about a year inside the ark, but even the most devastating local floods do not last that long. And why would God tell Noah to spend years building an ark if the deluge were going to destroy only one region? Why not simply move?

Besides these logical concerns, rejecting the worldwide flood has important theological implications. In Matthew 24:36–39, Jesus used the flood as a picture of the coming judgment. Likewise, 2 Peter 3 also associates the flood with the coming judgment by fire. If the Genesis flood were merely a local event, then we could assume the coming judgment would be just a local event. Furthermore, in Genesis 9:12–17 the Lord gave Noah the rainbow as a sign of his promise never to send another flood like the one Noah had just endured. But if the Genesis flood was local, God has broken that promise many times over.

Scientific Evidence for the Flood

Back to the lack-of-evidence claim. Everyone accepts that fossil-laden rock layers cover the continents, and most of these were laid down by water. Couldn’t that be evidence for a global flood? The evidence is right there in front of us!

The problem is not lack of evidence. The problem is that many scientists don’t see it because they have accepted a different history of the earth.

The problem is not lack of evidence. The problem is that many scientists don’t see it because they have accepted a different history of the earth. They say the fossils are a record of death over hundreds of millions of years, even though that popular view is rife with problems.

Consider the fact that it takes special conditions to make a fossil, and the world is covered with billions of them in mass graves. Creatures must be buried rapidly before they rot or get eaten by scavengers. And, in fact, vast numbers of animals were buried and fossilized so quickly that some could not even finish swallowing their meal or giving birth.

Another obvious evidence that makes sense in a global flood is fossils of tree trunks standing upright or upside down through more than one layer. This doesn’t make sense with the slow accumulation of layers over millions of years, but instead it is a sign that these polystrate fossils were buried rapidly.

Another obvious example, which tourists can visit around the world, is rock layers that were deposited around the globe at the same time. This is consistent with the Genesis account of a worldwide, versus a regional, catastrophe. For example, the Tapeats Sandstone, which sits on the basement rocks of Grand Canyon (Arizona), also appears far away in Wisconsin and across the ocean in Israel and Libya (under different names). How could a local flood deposit the same rock layer across multiple continents?

The Canyon also contains multiple flat layers that are sitting on top of each other without any evidence of erosion in between. Secular scientists believe these were deposited millions of years apart, and in fact, other deposits were laid in the interim in other places. For example, the Coconino Sandstone sits directly on top of the Hermit Formation, but there is no indication of any layer deposited between these two layers (seen elsewhere). Supposedly five to ten million years passed before the Coconino Sandstone was deposited on top of the Hermit Formation without evidence of any erosion. The Coconino looks like it was in fact deposited immediately on top of the Hermit. Wouldn’t you call this evidence for a global flood?

Or how about this one? You can go to many places on the planet and see row upon row of consecutively deposited rock layers that were soft when deposited and then bent, sometimes drastically. The whole series shows no signs of fracturing. Obviously, hard rocks do not bend without breaking. A better explanation is that the flood laid these layers rapidly, and they were bent before they could dry out and harden.

So the evidence for the flood is everywhere, if your assumptions don’t blind you to it.

It Matters

Denying the clear biblical teaching about the global flood has catastrophic consequences. It makes nonsense out of God’s statements to Noah, and it contradicts passages throughout the Old and New Testaments.

Ironically, in changing the clear meaning of God’s Word to accommodate claims by fallible humans, some Christians have actually done away with some of the best scientific evidence to confirm the Bible’s claims.

Tim Chaffey holds a master of divinity degree, specializing in apologetics and theology, and a ThM in church history and theology from Liberty University School of Divinity. He is content manager for Answers in Genesis’ attractions division.

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