- National Geographic News: “‘Noah’s Flood’ May Have Triggered European Farming”
The University of Exeter’s Chris Turney coauthored a study that links the rise of agriculture in Europe to a massive Black Sea flood speculated to have occurred 8,000 years ago. Thought to have been triggered by the end of an ice age, secular scientists say melting water rapidly expanded the Mediterranean Sea, which spilled over into the then-freshwater Black Sea, forming a much larger, salty, inland sea. Some consider such a rapid expansion to have been the basis for the story of the biblical Flood and Noah’s Ark.
Turney’s team hypothesizes that the expansion of the Black Sea forced hunter-gatherers inland, where they turned to farming:
The deluge may have also contributed to an explosion in European agriculture—especially throughout inland regions near the Black Sea, where farms were previously scarce, the researchers found. . . .
After farming had spread from the Near East to southeastern Europe about 9,000 years ago, the growth of agriculture in Europe had inexplicably slowed.
When Turney and colleague Heidi Brown of the University of Wollongong in Australia looked at the dates for the expansion of farming throughout Europe, they found an intriguing link.
Turney adds that “As soon as the flooding happened, what we see in the dates is a massive acceleration [in farming].”
Now, there’s nothing inherently problematic with speculating that a large flood (for example) drove populations inland and encouraged agricultural development—though we disagree, to varying degrees, with the dating methods used to establish these geological and anthropological dates. Our problem lies with the increasing treatment of this hypothesized local flood as the source for the Genesis Flood, which the Bible portrays without exception as global, and which in many ways is nonsensical if it were only local (e.g., no reason for Noah to have taken animals with him, no reason floodwaters would have covered the highest mountains). One can accept the hypothesized Black Sea flood as the basis for the Genesis Flood only if one believes, in advance, that the Bible’s accounts are not entirely true. Otherwise, something has to bend (or break).
The truth is, there is ample scientific evidence and absolutely clear biblical verification of a global flood that God used for both punishment and, ultimately, to demonstrate His mercy. Why is there so much squirming to get around the fact? Ken Ham explains the hidden rationale in “They Can’t Allow ‘It’!”
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