Can science establish the truth of Noah's ark? Here's my take on the gathering of the animals to the ark: thackerlorenc.wordpress.com. I would like to hear a creation scientist's thoughts about that (very short) essay.
If you will go with a local flood with years of exaggeration, you may be on safe ground. But finding 10,000+ types of beetles, getting the kangaroos from Australia and back; lamas from South America and back is asking for me to suspend logic for an old story that is not new to the Bible.
I read the article and it bothers me that the author spends a lot of time writing the article and trying to cover all the bases but yet misses out on perhaps the most important aspect of believers of the global flood like Ken Ham. And what aspect is that? That the flood waters in Noah's day did not cover the present mountains we have today. The mountains we have today arose as a result of the flood and were upthrust and created a barrier so that the flood waters would no more cover the entire earth. Had the author even spent 5 minutes venturing to Ken Ham's site he would have found out this belief of Ken Ham and pretty much all other scholars who believe in the global flood.
So, we must accept the literal event of the universal flood by faith? We must ignore our lying eyes, and rational mind. We must forget science, geology, radiology, and common sense because the great prophet Joseph Smith declared it to be a real event? I suggest that faith has one real big problem. It can be misplaced. If we followed the faith line we would still believe that the sun, moon and stars all revolve around the earth. It took a scientist, using t he scientific method to break the theological binders as to the fundamental nature of the universe. Even Joseph Smith said that a prophet could be wrong.
Maybe God is someone who wants us to believe things on faith, and not to have actual evidence. The reasoning in this article would help explain a lot of the problems that those anti to the church bring up about the Book of Mormon. Maybe God removed all evidence of a Nephite, Jaredite, and Lamanite civilization. No Hebrew DNA in Native Americans, not a problem, God removed it from them and left no trace. No evidence of horses, elephants, steel, chariots, wheels, etc.,in the Book of Mormon time frame, no problem, God removed all the evidence, No evidence of great battles that involved millions of people, no problem, God removed all that evidence. Perhaps the Book of Mormon is a "leave no trace" miracle also.
Does Gale's comment really remind you of those who were ashamed or embarrassed of the Gospel because of the taunting coming from those within the great and spacious building?
Believing in a global deluge that covered even the tops of the Himalayas in no way places any of us in a better position when it comes to the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is, frankly, irrelevant to our salvation (though an interesting topic of discussion). Not all members of the Church are comfortable with the historicity of a global flood, but they may be just as committed to the cause of Christ as those who accept a literal, global interpretation of the flood.
It is interesting to note that Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of Twelve opined, in chapter 22 his book Evidences and Reconciliations, that, "The fact remains that the exact nature of the flood is not known. We set up assumptions, based upon our best knowledge, but can go no further. We should remember that when inspired writers deal with historical incidents they relate that which they have seen or that which may have been told them, unless indeed the past is opened to them by revelation."
Elder Widtsoe continued,
"Though the whole of the earth was covered with water, the depth was immaterial. When a person is baptized, it does not matter how far under the water he is brought, nor whether every part of him is at the same depth. The essential part of the symbolism is that he should be completely immersed.
"So with the story of the flood. All parts of the earth were under water at the same time. In some places the layer of water might have been twenty-six feet deep or more; in others, as on sloping hillsides, it might have been only a fraction of an inch in depth. That the whole earth, however, was under water at the same time was easily possible under a terrific, long-continued downpour, such as is described in Genesis. The depth of the layer of water is of no consequence."
To summarize, Elder Widtsoe had no problem with the notion of a flood that resembled a global rainstorm, which simultaneously covered the planet in a veneer of water, however thin. In certain areas, the flood that resulted may have been catastrophic on local levels, and may have seemed worldwide to Noah and his family who were afloat in the midst of it. In other areas of the planet, the "flood" may have been a downpour of rain that baptized the earth with a thin coating of water, but did not wipe out localized plant and animal life in those parts.
As Elder Widtsoe illustrates, we have room in the Church for divergent views on the flood.
"I am always disappointed when I read an article such as this. This type of logic tends to harm the church and its members for its lack of logic and supportable evidence."
You remind me of those who were ashamed when those in the great and spacious building were pointing fingers and mocking.
You must spend a lot of time being disappointed since how many things related to the gospel can be supported with logic and evidence?
Creation, the fall, the atonement, the existence of God/Angels/devils, any miracle you claim to name, the first vision, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, restoration of priesthood and keys, any revelation, the second coming, the resurrection, ad naseum.
"So an all-knowing and loving god creates children in his own image and knows that there will be a time when every single one of his children will behave in such an abhorrent manner that he will kill them all, except for a handful of them? Why not just wait til they die and judge them? What lessons about the nature of god are we supposed to learn from this? What does this teach us about how to treat our fellow humans? This is a very confusing event."
How do you approach the scriptures that speak of the earth being cleansed by fire at Christ
Re the comment from Lex Anderson by "coincidence" I happened to come across this article. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2579584/The-vast-reservoir-hidden-Earths-crust-holds-water-ALL-oceans.html
I am always disappointed when I read an article such as this. This type of logic tends to harm the church and its members for its lack of logic and supportable evidence.
The story of Noah is beautiful as a story about starting over and beginning life as a new person or an act of personal forgiveness and a new beginning. To argue that it is historical is truly disturbing. Two examples are sufficient: 1.) Animals with insufficient genetic diversity have high rates of infant mortality and birth defects. Cheetahs are a good example of this phenomenon and in the animal kingdom, genetic diversity is strong. 2.) There is no way that Noah could acquire all the animals on the earth, all the species and get them on the ark, let alone back to their respective environments. It is simply ludicrous to assume that all of that could be accomplished.
Those are only two issues. There are many more. The church position on young earth theories has evolved moving from a young earth creationist view to a "we don't know how God did it" perspective. I like the second view better because it allows the church and religion to find truth.
Fundamentalist beliefs are harmful and wrong. They damage members who feel a need to support such fictions while trying to learn scientific theories where there is actual evidence to support them.
I'm sorry to say that I find this article is disgraceful and silly.
So an all-knowing and loving god creates children in his own image and knows that there will be a time when every single one of his children will behave in such an abhorrent manner that he will kill them all, except for a handful of them? Why not just wait til they die and judge them? What lessons about the nature of god are we supposed to learn from this? What does this teach us about how to treat our fellow humans? This is a very confusing event.
Water subducted over hundreds of milluons of years does not form a big pond in the mantle. The water becomes part of the rock and magma. Magma cotain up to 5% water. time is the key to understsnding earth processes
The author asked me: "Why would the books of [Moses] and Abraham be called part of the 'Pearl of Great Price' if they simply told fables or parables." I assume they're referred to as the Pearl of Great Price because they have valuable lessons for us, and that's true of whatever is historical as well as what is figurative or allegorical. I don't think you understand my belief that truthfulness and historicity can be independent of each other. Even the parts of Genesis I believe to be mythological aren't _only_ myth.
I always wondered where such a large volume of water necessary for Noah's flood might come from. Two recent scientific findings provide a possible answer. I didn't know that there's a large amount of water deep in the Earth's mantle that is carried there by deep sea fault zones.
"Seismologists at Liverpool have estimated that over the age of Earth, the Japan subduction zone alone could transport the equivalent of up to three and a half times the water of all Earth's oceans to its mantle."
This is just one subduction zone they're talking about. Another article in Nature this month discusses the discovery of the first-ever sample of a mineral called ringwoodite containing a significant amount of water. It was found in a diamond brought up from deep in the earth by a volcanic rock known as kimberlite. This recent discovery also supports the notion that there is a very large amount of water in the Earth's deep mantle. In other words, the water needed to cause Noah's flood does exist. But how it got to the surface is another question.
Thank you brother Millett. This non literal view seems to be growing. I think the main reason members don't fully accept great miracles is because they have greater faith in science than in scripture. There is supporting science for the global flood, but one has to look for it. It is not found in the prevailing views of our modern agnostic science.
There are many Evangelical scholars who argue that the evidence points to a local world flood, in their world. One could ask if you accept the worldwide view then how did the kangaroo, koala bear, lama get to their unique parts of the world without being eaten by the lions from the ark.
It's interesting that, in the references to the Flood in the New Testament and Book of Mormon, there is no reference to the flood being global.
"Leave no trace" is a good ethic for hikers. But our Father in Heaven communicates His truths to us, in part, through what we can see in His creation: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." (Romans 1:20.) Thus, there is no room for a God of truth to cover his tracks, and make creation seem to give evidence of something other than the truth.
If the earth does not have the appearance of having been universally flooded -- it wasn't. God is not a man, that he should lie.
It is articles like this that make me concerned about people who promulgate things like this, who are doing the Church no favors, or the people in the Church that they have influence over no favors. It makes me wonder why Meridian Magazine will publish such things that uphold young-earth-creationist type pseudoscience. There is nothing in the Church that demands that we should have loyalties to such things as the theories put forth in this article. The Global Flood is not something that is required to be defended to be a worthy Mormon. So let go of it. If someone like the writer of this article is a Seminary teacher or in CES, he should know better, because he would not be doing my kids or anyone else's kids any favors. We need to shave down the gospel to the very basics of all basics and let go of indefensible things that people have no business teaching to our children.
"Even the most devout and sincere believers in the Bible realize that it is, like most any other book, filled with metaphor, simile, allegory, and parable, which no intelligent person could be compelled to accept in a literal sense. ... The Lord has not taken from those who believe in his word the power of reason. He expects every man who takes his 'yoke' upon him to have common sense enough to accept a figure of speech in its proper setting, and to understand that the holy scriptures are replete with allegorical stories, faith-building parables, and artistic speech. ... Where is there a writing intended to be taken in all its parts literally? Such a writing would be insipid and hence lack natural appeal. To expect a believer in the Bible to strike an attitude of this kind and believe all that is written to be a literal rendition is a stupid thought. No person with the natural use of his faculties looks upon the Bible in such a light."
With his strong views in favor of divine creation and opposed to evolution, consider this quote by President Joseph Fielding Smith about his writings: "As I ponder the principles of the gospel, I am struck forcibly by the uniform manner in which I
"When I was a child I believed as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things" or something similar..
I know the LDS church needs the flood to get Adam's family from Missouri to the mid-east, but is it really necessary to force the issue so much that you have to throw all of modern science under the bus. Maybe its also time the church backed away from the Eden in Missouri idea.
Also, wanted to note that not everything can be a one way street. What I mean is people of faith use oil, gold, iron etc., as found by geologists using basic geologic principles. These principles work - its a proven fact. However, when it comes to any conflict between what some guy said 5000 years ago what some other guy said in conference a couple of times I am required to abandon science and go with "some guy" who has no evidence other than what "some guy" said. You can't have it both ways.
I have always believed there was a flood. I read the OT for years before I joined the church, and am surprised at how unfamiliar people in the church are with it. It makes me too obvious in Gospel Doctrine Class. My testimony of the power of God has greatly deepened with access to our LDS scriptures, a desire to do more in depth study, by constant rereading and pondering, learning more through the tools I have and then adding to that by quotes from Prophets, and insightful articles and books by academic researchers. My testimony of God's majesty, power, and great knowledge, which far surpasses ours, has increased my love and worship of Him. I am thankful for men who have the time to increase their understanding and thus enrich ours. ,
Here' s an interesting article: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/earth-secret-reservoir-water-scientists-191039455.html#rW9rZmL There is likely much, much more water on or in the earth than we can observe.
>>> Jeff Bradshaw: "The Sunday School teacher who makes a pastime of ridiculing men of science, and of holding them up as the arch enemies of religion, usually loses the respect of the most intelligent members of his class. <<< I think that the way Elder James E. Talmage would address these issues with faith, testimony and reason would certainly avoid this counterproductive description brother Bradshaw quotes. --RM
>>> Alex Barclay : Im surprised that Bro Millett makes no reference to the Jan 1998 Ensign article
Article does not validate or prove anything. It uses "authoritarian" approach to declare its position. No room for logic, common sense or observation. It says that if I don't see it your way then I am out of touch with God. Articles like this illustrate the narrowmindedness that comes from ignoring the data and common sense.
Additionally, since the Lord promised Enoch not to flood the earth again, it means that He still has the capacity to flood it, but due to Enoch's pleadings He promised not to do it again.
In studying scriptures, it is helpful to do cross referencing, to use a very good commentaries,, and to have a copy of Strong's Concordance to the Bible, which enables you to understand Hebrew and Greek meanings of King James English. This is an excellent article, as it adds additional scientific information to which most of us do not have access. What interests me is: the earth was first covered with water when created, then baptized, cleansed and reborn with water by the flood, and will be again cleansed with fire in the end times. This is both literal and also typo-logical in that it points to the Savior's experience, and to ours. There comes a point when God can no longer send His spirit children to such corrupt and violent people, less it continue to degenerate the population. There are plenty of examples in the scriptures of the Lord's intervention in great wickedness on the earth in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the separation of peoples at the false temple or tower of Babel.. We also have examples of what is involved in great wickedness in societies by studying the history of the Nephite and Jaredite civilizations. To understand how the earth was repopulated by Noah's family members read Genesis 10.
It is strange that we look at an ancient document through modern eyes, and then demand that it meet our expectations. Is there no room out there to suppose that the flood was a powerful metaphor? Why do we suppose that the "earth" for Noah included Australia? Or that the entire planet had to repopulate from the contents of the ark?
We do more damage to the flood account and to our faith by refusing to admit what we do not know!
This is a very problematic and unfortunate article. It's not necessary (let alone wise) to cling to hyper-fundamentalist views of scripture that are based on traditional understanding in the absence of direct revelation.
I believe in a God of miracles. I don't believe in a God who performs miracles on a massive scale and then covers up all the evidence so well that it looks like it happened in a completely different way that is logical and consistent. (See also: the Creation.)
Someplace recently, I read that there is a huge pocket of water under the island of Japan(?)- I read so much that I forget if this is the right place. Think of the fact that the Lord said he would not flood the earth again. That means He still has the capacity to do it again but has promised not to as a result of Enoch's pleadings. Perhaps the waters in the heavens were greater, so that when the rain began and the fountains of the deep broke up, it might have been a very quick elimination of individuals. When God destroys great masses of wicked people He does it quickly and mercifully. The earth had to be baptized with water, as do we, and then cleansed by fire, as we must be cleansed. All these things are both literal and typological.
While sharing Bro. Millett's view of God's sovereign wisdom and power, the historicity of Noah and the Flood, and the prophetic nature of Joseph Smith's revelations and teachings, readers should be aware that many faithful members, scholars, scientists, and modern apostles have carefully studied the story of Noah and the Flood and have found that it is in harmony with both scripture and mainstream science. I am sure that Bro. Millett would agree that none of us would want to imply that those who do not share our specific views on topics that are not fundamental to salvation (e.g., that do not affect our qualifications to be members in good standing nor our ability to hold a temple recommend) are necessarily skeptical of the scriptures or lack faith in God. In an article in the Instructor, for many years the Church's official magazine for teachers, we read these wise words (https://archive.org/stream/instructor834dese#page/n51/mode/2up): "The Sunday School teacher who makes a pastime of ridiculing men of science, and of holding them up as the arch enemies of religion, usually loses the respect of the most intelligent members of his class. Others, who for the time being accept his conclusions, are forced later on to believe they must choose one or the other. Sometimes, they don't choose religion. And if they don't the deceptions of unscrupulous and irreligious teachers of science may have been one of the causes; but it's equally true that the Sunday School teachers themselves may have been the worst offenders." For information from faithful, mainstream Mormon scientists on the Flood and related topics, see, e.g., https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/events/2013-symposium-science-mormonism-cosmos-earth-man/
Very interesting article. It seems well thought out and researched. One thing that wasn't addressed is how today's human population could have come from just those 8 individuals. I'm thinking about the recent essay released by the Church about DNA and the Book of Mormon. In it, the Church used scientific studies that claim humans migrated to the Americas as long ago as 10,000 years. The essay concludes that the blood of the Lamanites have become mixed with the blood of those early migrants. How can those individuals be some of the ancestors of the living Native Americans if they were destroyed in the flood?
I'm not sure where to begin. This pseudoscientific explanation of how the Flood could have occurred doesn't even touch on the serious iisues raised by human DNA studies, which show conclusively that our most recent common ancestors go far beyond the time of Noah. Incidentally, these DNA studies were all but endorsed by the Church in its recent explanation of why we don't have DNA evidence showing a link between indegenous populations and Nephi's kin.
But what is most troubling about the article is this line: "And if we do not defend the miracles of the Bible, what will be left of our churches and our faith?" If our faith rests on a literal reading of the first 11 chapters of Genesis, then our faith is shaky indeed.
Just because the story of Noah isn't historical doesn't mean it isn't true. It's a powerful story, rich in metaphor, and has valuable lessons for us as Christians and Latter-day Saints. There are reasons that story is in the Old Testament, but historical-scientific veracity isn't one of them.
I think you articles are fascinating. I wasn't able to comment on the article about the ascension of the City of Enoch, but found some quotes of Joseph Smith that said that parts of the land and the city went with them; the patriarchs were always looking for that city. I have always felt that the original formation of the Grand Canyon happened during the crucifixion and that it is the greatest sign of his death when the rocks broke up all over the earth. Your article is fascinating and brought out things I had never thought about before and I want to study these Venus cycles more as that shows the order and way in which God operates and how he uses the planets and stars for signs and seasons. Thank you for your interesting articles.I did not watch the debate, but heard about it.
Your faith allows you to believe in miracles. Fine, but that gives people everywhere license to believe in whatever they want with no evidence. Anybody can profess any kind of belief and cannot be challenged because "miracles." I can say that the moon used to be made out of cheese. It's rock now, and there's no evidence of cheese, because there was a miracle. But I will cling to my cheese moon history belief because I read about it in a book once. I can use my shield of faith to ignore pesky scientific facts and evidence, because they can't verify miracles.
All the gold, silver, elements etc. on earth have always been here.
That is why natural resources are limited. All the water that we have ever had is tied up in ice, liquid. or in the atmosphere. Science says that if all the glaciers melted it would raise the oceans only some 260ish feet...world wide, which makes Noah 's flood problematic.
On the other hand massive regional flooding of the Tigis & Euphrates is well documented.
While I would never discount God's miracles, I have no problem with believing that the flood could have been a more localized event that was perceived by those who experienced it as worldwide because it encompassed the world they knew.
The author states, "I thought what will happen to our little ones if this most central and beloved of Bible histories is declared blatantly false by their respected teachers in schools." While I agree that it should not be taught as "blatantly false," neither is it necessary for us to assume that an account passed down to us over thousands of years needs to be seen as literal truth in every detail.
There is plenty of room for continued belief in miracles even for those of us who feel there could be a more scientifically realistic version of events behind the story.
Insisting upon strictly literal interpretations of Biblical accounts sets us up for disappointment in so many other areas as well. I don't think that our faith--or salvation and exaltation--requires it.
Believing in the Restoration means that we are free to bring new knowledge and understanding to bear when we consider the as-translated-correctly Bible. We're not limited to the imaginations of Evangelicals.
"Where is there a writing intended to be taken in all its parts literally? Such a writing would be insipid and hence lack natural appeal. To expect a believer in the Bible to strike an attitude of this kind and believe all that is written to be a literal rendition is a stupid thought. No person with the natural use of his faculties looks upon the Bible in such a light."
----- Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr.,
in Doctrines of Salvation, Bookcraft, 1956, vol. 3, pg. 188
He flood was a soft target for Bill Bye. There are strongertioed guments, from design, to justify theism. I personally cannot justify a literel interpretation of the flood story, but I'm not going to give up on God because of it. Noah may have existed, but I don't necessarily want to be tied into believing everything said about him. Prophets can still perpetuate a mythological story if it has instructional benefit.
It seems to me that a really vital and useful point has been overlooked. In 1 Ne 17:50, Nephi confirms that God has no problem turning earth into water and vicaversa
Good article. Two thoughts. I don't believe that having clear evidence/knowledge of them flood would undermine our need for faith. We see people, including ourselves, deny clear truths, facts and evidences all the time. We choose what we believe and how we interpret things; I.e., even with the Gold Plates in his hands, Joseph Smith, still had to have faith in God's plan and not just sell them.
It is easier to understand the movement of the animals and the coverage of the flood when we remember that the land was not yet divided.
Bill Nye may not be not current on his science. I read a book 2 or 3 years ago, the name of which I do not recollect, written by a scientist about "Noah's Flood" or a similar title. The documentation therein goes a long way to support the story of Noah. The book compiles scientific findings from archeologists, oceanographers, paleontologists, geologists and even an office in the Russian navy that has mapped the floor of the Black Sea. There were other experts too, who have found physical, scientific evidence of the great flood. Until the internet it had not been possible to connect the research of greatly diversified scientific discoveries. This book is documented and footnoted and is based on findings, not theories. The author describes discovery of physical evidence of an ancient people being flooded. The pieces the author has put together are compelling.
I really appreciate your insights. Without faith miracles are never 'seen' even when they are observed. Please share your reference for the Noah/Elias link.
A wise scientist once told me that true science and true religion will never conflict. Obviously the science is wrong here. Most of the scientific investigators of our day are trying to understand and explain the miracles of God while excluding God as the author. Paul said it very succinctly when he said that in the last days men would be forever studying and never coming to an understanding of the truth. I think they will all be in for a great surprise when they reach the other side. Shades of Korihor.
So in your view, Genesis is assuming a modern cosmology?
Is revelation necessarily of a scientific nature?
What is the relationship between the Genesis flood account(s) and the Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, and the Eridu Genesis?
This article is amazingly problematic. The unwarranted assumptions, the overreaching, and the rhetoric, none of which get at the real problems of the text.
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