Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Summary of the problems with the Flood of Noah

The listing of problems with the flood account in Genesis that I have presented on the BLOG, doesn’t come close to being complete. We also need to figure out how the animals got to the Ark, how the carnivores were kept from eating the other animals while living for a year together, how polar icecaps can exist through a flood, how plants survived, how diseases which require a living host survived (which of Noah’s family had each of the various venereal diseases) and many, many other problems, the sum total of which would fill a large book by themselves.

If you begin to discuss these individual problems with creationists, eventually they will almost certainly throw up their hands and admit that God was probably forced to perform numerous miracles.

One creationist put it this way:

> Special creation means that regardless of the factual evidence,
> God still could have done it and he owes us no defense for
> the way he has created and governed his world.

But isn’t that such an admission really a concession that God must be deceitful? What this creationist is saying is that God does some things and then apparently He hides all of the evidence.

Why would God do that? God doesn’t need to apologize for doing things however He wishes, but doesn’t He need to explain why He does things and then hides the evidence that He did those things? It surely seems to be a pretty pathetic explanation to claim that an omniscient being needs to “test our faith”.

Creationists are really trying to “prove” God’s existence by trying to find evidence that the Bible is inerrantly true. If God doesn’t hide evidence because He is deceptive, then at a minimum He is saying that He doesn’t want there to be evidence proving that the Bible is inerrant. Whatever God’s reasons are, aren’t creationists going against God’s wishes by looking for proof?

I must share another observation here. As long as I have been debating creationists, I have noticed their utter lack of enthusiasm for discussing problems with the flood account in the Bible. For a long time, I felt that was only a matter of creationists being unwilling to look at their own beliefs.

More recently my view has changed a bit. Surely many creationists are still unwilling to test their own views. But I now believe that creationists are more influenced by another factor.

That factor: the cause of the flood was God. God can do anything. As I mentioned before, creationists simply believe that God performed a lot of miracles.

So all of these many questions have the same answer in the eyes of most creationists:

Q: Where did the water for the flood come from?
A: It was a miracle.

Q: Where did the water for the flood go afterwards?
A: It was a miracle.

Q: How did the animals get to the Ark?
A: It was a miracle.

And so on.

If there are 1000 problems with the flood account, then God performed 1000 miracles.

No problem!

Actually there is a problem. That problem is that these many, many miracles define a God who isn’t really very competent. There were many ways for God to achieve his goal without using so many miracles.

God sent the Flood because men had become wicked and man’s heart was only filled with evil at all times.

The reason why God chose to kill all of the animals as well (except for those on the Ark) is unclear, but only Noah found favor with God and only Noah and his family was to be saved.

But is a global flood really needed in order to accomplish that?

What if, instead, God had created some very contagious, instantly fatal disease but made Noah and his family immune to that disease?

Problem solved, or so it would seem. At most two miracles are required.

Even if God really wanted to do something similar to all of the animals, he could have done something similar with them as well. All of the problems that we see with the flood would have disappeared.

So why did God choose a course of action that required possibly thousands of miracles when it is quite possible that only a single (or at least a small number) of miracles was really necessary?

In essence, a strong argument could be made that an insistence that the flood account is true diminishes God’s character by making him barely competent. (I get the image of God slapping his forehead and saying, “Why didn’t I think of that when asked about using diseases?”)

And, in fact, a truly competent God could have come up with another solution even more elegant than the one that I suggest here.

So we have yet more support that creationism is actually anti-God.

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