• Kevin

Why Trust the Bible and its Account of the Flood?

Updated: Jun 27


Humanist RC challenged me with three basic claims: (1) The Bible is just like any other professed “sacred text”; (2) The biblical account of the Flood cannot be trusted; and (3) God has not proven His own existence. I shared the dialogue regarding RC’s first claim in my previous blog post entitled “Why Trust the Bible Over Other Sacred Texts?” My discussion with RC concluded the very lengthy Evolution as “Science” Debate that involved more than two dozen humanists, and 65 Facebook comments collectively between their posts and my posts. RC asserted his three claims in the 63rd comment, which I split into “63a” and “63b” between my previous blog post and this one. I followed with comment numbers 64 and 65. In Part 10 of 10 of the debate transcript below, I share comment numbers 63b and 65 which encompass the dialogue regarding RC’s latter two claims.

Note: transcript portions are in topical order for clarity, but the posts are numbered to maintain chronological integrity. After sharing this tenth and final part of the debate transcript, I have now shared the entire debate transcript between this blog post and the previous nine posts. Also, all names are abbreviated for privacy and brevity.

63b. RC:

Let us address the first point: that the fossil timeline in rock strata that we see are the result of a global flood, as described in Genesis. The initial and rather obvious challenge to that assertion would be that the flood was very organised in its deposition of its victims! A second argument is that we date the rocks through a number of different metrics, so we can gain multiple measures for their age (various forms of nuclear decay are the primary tools of this). We can measure geological timescales far exceeding the 4,500 years you mention. Furthermore, we can challenge the idea of a global flood quite easily; for starters, we know that there's not enough water on earth to completely cover it's surface - now, we could handwave that by saying that God could make as much water as he saw fit, but we can then challenge that again by asking why God would bother going for the whole flood method to achieve his aim. Why, for example, flood the earth for 40 days to kill it's wicked inhabitants, whilst also requiring a human to rescue breeding populations of all animal species? Surely God could simply cease the existence of all those who displeased him with a single act of will, whilst preserving the few innocents and the animals of the earth? Seen as a historical account of a true instance of divine action, it seems needlessly complex and wholly unnecessary; seen as a myth or story crafted by human minds, and to me it makes much more sense. (One may also ask, what happened to everyone else's boats? Why didn't other people sail away when the flood waters started rising?)

Anyway, I will return to the crucial point of the whole counter argument: beyond the matter of faith and the claims of the Bible, what evidence do we have to support the notion that their claims are true? We have enormous amounts of evidence that support the claim that the earth is billions of years old, and the universe older still. The defense may call God as a witness, and believe him to be reliable, but the prosecution not only questions his reliability, but his very existence. Even those who believe he is real cannot agree who he is, or what his wants and values are. One must present the witness for their statement to be admissible.

(BTW, I aim to keep things civil, since I really see no point in being anything other than that.)

65. Kevin:

“Let us address the first point: that the fossil timeline in rock strata that we see are the result of a global flood, as described in Genesis. The initial and rather obvious challenge to that assertion would be that the flood was very organised in its deposition of its victims!”

How so? While there may be a general order to the fossil record that can be explained by successive burial of ecological zones, there is also a lot of mixing. 95% of the fossil record is of marine creatures, and they are found throughout most of the strata. In fact, land-dwelling dinosaurs are commonly found to be buried and fossilized right next to ocean-dwelling marine creatures such as clams and ammonites (see http://www.icr.org/article/dinosaur-fossils-found-marine-rocksagain/ and https://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCATRE72O4TZ20110325). This is consistent with the concept of a global, oceanic flood that would bury the land dinosaurs in sediments while carrying marine creatures along with them.

“A second argument is that we date the rocks through a number of different metrics, so we can gain multiple measures for their age (various forms of nuclear decay are the primary tools of this). We can measure geological timescales far exceeding the 4,500 years you mention.”

I responded to this argument in an earlier comment, and I will repeat it here. Radiometric dating is not a pure science in terms of what is truly observable, testable, and repeatable. Even radiometric dating relies on unverifiable assumptions: (1) the initial conditions of the rock sample regarding the amount of parent and daughter elements, (2) the quantities of parent and daughter elements were not somehow altered over time and (3) the decay rate was always constant. In fact, these assumptions have been proven to be incorrect with dating methods such as Argon-Argon and Postassium-Argon. “When muscovite (a common mineral in crustal rocks) is heated to 740°-860°C under high Ar pressures for periods of 3 to 10.5 hours it absorbs significant quantities of Ar, producing K-Ar ‘ages’ of up to 5 billion years, and the absorbed Ar is indistinguishable from radiogenic argon (40Ar*).”—Dr. Andrew Snelling (http://www.icr.org/article/potassium-dating-crystal-rocks-problem-excess-argo/). Even at face value, not all atomic methods give apparent “ages” of millions of years. For example, helium diffusion rates in zircon crystals give apparent ages of only ~6,000 years (https://answersingenesis.org/age-of-the-earth/6-helium-in-radioactive-rocks/). There is just scratching the surface of research conducted by creation geologists.

“Furthermore, we can challenge the idea of a global flood quite easily; for starters, we know that there's not enough water on earth to completely cover it's surface - now, we could handwave that by saying that God could make as much water as he saw fit…”

No “handwaving” is necessary here. Within the context of the global flood, the Bible poetically mentions in Psalm 104:8 that the mountains rose and the valleys sank after the recession of the flood waters. This is significant, because there is enough water to cover the earth if the pre-flood mountains were not as high as today’s mountains, and if something caused the pre-flood ocean basin to swell and push the water onto the land. That is the essence of the geological flood model of catastrophic plate tectonics. Given the right conditions, runaway instability could have caused the pre-Flood sea floor to catastrophically subduct underneath the continent, causing a large-scale convectional flow in the mantle. This convectional flow would rapidly heat the ocean floor causing it to expand in volume and raise the ocean floor enough to flood the continent (https://answersingenesis.org/geology/plate-tectonics/can-catastrophic-plate-tectonics-explain-flood-geology/). Moreover, there is evidence consistent with additional water deep within the Earth’s mantle that may have been a factor (https://answersingenesis.org/geology/rocks-and-minerals/diamond-ringwoodite-reveals-water-deep-earths-mantle/).

[Responding to the point that begins with “…but we can then challenge…” and ends with “…and to me it makes much more sense”]

Correction: when adding up the complete Flood timeline, it lasted about one year, not 40 days, but I know that is mostly beside the point that you are trying to make. Regarding your argument here, by what ultimate standard do you judge God’s method to be “needlessly complex and wholly unnecessary”?

“(One may also ask, what happened to everyone else's boats? Why didn't other people sail away when the flood waters started rising?)”

Were their boats necessarily big and stable enough to survive the violent floodwaters that “prevailed” upon the earth (Genesis 7:18)? Noah built an Ark that was 300 cubits (about 500 feet) long per Genesis 6:15. That’s a massive vessel. There is much more to say about the seaworthiness of the Ark (https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/thinking-outside-the-box/).

“Anyway, I will return to the crucial point of the whole counter argument: beyond the matter of faith and the claims of the Bible, what evidence do we have to support the notion that their claims are true? We have enormous amounts of evidence that support the claim that the earth is billions of years old, and the universe older still.”

What observable, testable, and repeatable evidence prove the supposed ages of billions of years? Who was around billions of years ago to verify these conclusions? As I mentioned in response to the argument on radiometric dating, even these supposed “clocks” rely on unverifiable assumptions.

“The defense may call God as a witness, and believe him to be reliable, but the prosecution not only questions his reliability, but his very existence. Even those who believe he is real cannot agree who he is, or what his wants and values are. One must present the witness for their statement to be admissible.”

The “prosecution” relies upon the preconditions of intelligibility to make their argument, and consequently “borrows” biblical principles, even if they don’t believe the Bible or have no knowledge of the Bible. The prosecution is unable to account for the preconditions of intelligibility in their materialistic, evolutionary worldview. Consequently, the prosecution falls into an irrational trap that is similar to arguing against the existence of air while having to breath air in order to make the audible argument against the existence of air.

The Witness presented Himself to mankind in various ways, especially in the form of the person and work of Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh. His miracles and resurrection from the dead are corroborated by biblical (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:6) and extrabiblical evidence, and I’m sure we can have a whole separate days long discussion about that. Moreover, while most humanists/atheists scoff at personal testimony, I will still briefly mention this: I know the biblical God through the Holy Spirit ever since he saved me and I became “born again” over 7 years ago. I was supernaturally changed.

“(BTW, I aim to keep things civil, since I really see no point in being anything other than that.)”

I greatly appreciate that!

Note: read my previous blog post to understand the context behind my comment regarding the preconditions of intelligibility.

I did not see any further responses from RC or any of the other humanists. Although RC did not show reverence/respect for our Creator and Savior, he was civil and respectful with me in our discussion, and for that, I commend him.

My prayer is that he and other humanists come to realize that God’s Word is absolutely True, and that God alone is worthy of all honor, praise, and glory. Moreover, I pray that they confess their sinful thoughts and deeds and turn to the person and work of Jesus, God the Son, for the washing of their “robes.”

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”—Revelation 22:14-15

#GlobalFlood #Dinosaurs #Geology #Fossils #Radioisotopes #UltimateProof #Resurrection

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ"
--2 Corinthians 10:5
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect"
--1 Peter 3:15

© Kevin Hadsall 2018

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