Noah's Flood, as described in Genesis, did not happen


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Resolved: The Global Flood, as described in Genesis, did not happen
1. Opening Arguments
2. Rebuttals
3. Defense
4. Closing arguments/Summary
The burden of proof is shared. It is my burden of proof to show that the Flood story did not and could not have happened and con's burden is to prove that it did happen. For purposes of this debate, we will be taking Genesis literally like Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministry International take it. In other words, this flood was less than 4500 years ago and contained 2 of each "kind" of animal, including dinosaurs.
The time for arguments is two weeks. Good luck.
1. No K's
2. No forfeits
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
Round 1
I want to begin by thanking my opponent for accepting this debate. This will be a fairly lengthy opening statement, so please bear with me. I will be utilizing multiple independent lines of evidence from multiple independent disciplines to prove that Noah’s flood did not and could not have happened.
I. History and Archeology
Let’s begin with the most obvious issue with the flood. We have buildings and records that go back before the flood began less than 4500 years ago with no hint of a global flood that left all but 8 people dead.
A. When did the Flood Happen?
When exactly did this flood happen? It depends on who you ask. This will become important later. According to Creation Ministry International, the flood happened 2304 BC ± 11 years [1]. Answers in Genesis says it happened in 2348 BCE [2] and another article in Answers in Genesis says it happened in 2500 BCE [3], and finally the Institute for Creation Research says that it happened in 2472 BCE [4]. This means that the earliest and latest date is off by nearly 200 years. Let’s be generous and take the average of these dates which means the flood happened in the year 2406 BCE. This will be my starting point.
B. Population Rebound
So how did the post-flood population rebound so quickly without any hint of a global flood? According to Answers in Genesis [see source 3], the population doubled every 150 years. So, in 2406 BCE, we have 8 people, in 2256 BCE we have 16 people, and in 2106 we have a total of 32 people and so forth to the present age. This presents monumental challenges as we have archeological and recorded history dating well before those dates.
C. The Pyramids
The first pyramid of Egypt, the Step Pyramid of Djoser, is traditionally dated to about 4700 years ago [5], well before the flood was supposed to begin. How does AiG reconcile this date? In one of their articles, they say that the more “realistic” date would be 1875 BCE [6]. That’s 531 years after the flood. So, what’s the global population then? If we take AiG’s population calculation, that’s less than 48 people alive at that time frame. Obviously, something does not add up.
How do they reconcile this? They really don’t nor do they really even try. The closest I could come up with is David Wright’s article: “Were There Enough People to Build the Pyramids,” [7] he states “According to Archbishop James Ussher’s biblical chronology, the Tower of Babel was about 2250 BC. So that gives a window of about 150–250 years before Egypt began constructing the pyramids.” But 2250 is only 156 years after the flood. According to AiG’s calculation, that means the global population at that time would be less than 20!!
Wright also states: “If we assume that Mizraim left Babel with a family of eight children (four boys and four girls), and if each couple averaged eight children every thirty years (which is probably quite conservative), in 150 years he could easily have had nearly 30,000 descendants. In 250 years, the population could explode to well over one million.”
This clearly contradicts AiG’s earlier estimate that the population doubles every 150 years. Instead, Wright has to double the population every 15 years. Even still, 30,000 people is still not enough to build the pyramids. In contrast, the Milpas, CA has a population of over 70,000 people [8]. That means Milpas has a greater population than the entire world did at that time.
To get around this, Wright gives three possibly solutions:
1.     The Egyptians likely had knowledge of building pyramids from the Tower of Babel.
2.     They surely had many labor-saving technologies (cranes, hoists, etc.).
3.     The Egyptians could have hired outside help or used slave labor (as is evidenced by the time of Joseph, Genesis 37–40), or both.
Solution 1 is fails because as I shown, the global population would barely be 60 people. Hardly enough to build even the Tower of Babel. Solution 2 also fails because how did they get these cranes and hoists? Someone has to build them, and they have to come from somewhere. Someone also needs to cook the food, grow the food, gather the materials, and many other things that make this unlikely. Finally, solution 3 fails because the global population is only about 60.
D. Other historical buildings
The pyramids aren’t the only problem. There are dozens and dozens of building that pre-date even the flood [9], even buildings in the Americas. It’s hard to imagine these buildings being built so quickly after the flood with no signs of a population bottleneck.
II. The Ice Age
There were at least 5 major Ice Ages in the Earth’s history, but we will focus on the most recent one that we all agree happened. Creationist attribute the global flood to causing the global flood. So how long did this last and how soon did it start? Creation Ministry International says it happened soon after the flood and lasted for about 700 years [10]. AiG said it concurs with this time frame [11]. That means the Ice Age lasted from 2406 BCE to 1706 BCE. AiG also states:
“Why did people wait so long after Babel to build cities and farm again? Problems included the tiny populations, the threat of skirmishes, and the changing climates. We also know from the fossil record that they faced constant flooding, dust storms, supervolcanoes, massive earthquakes, meteorites, and downpours of snow or rain on a scale never before seen.” [12]
It seems like whoever was left alive had far more stuff to worry about than building pyramids and emigrating to the Americas.
IV. Genetics
In my opinion, genetics is the strongest argument against Noah’s Flood. Creationist want me to believe that the entire human population went down to only 8 individuals shortly after the flood. Not only that, but the entire animal population went down to only 2 or 14 individuals. That means every one of us alive can trace our lineage back to only 8 people on the ark and every species can trace their lineage back to this event as well. If this was the case, genetics would present a major piece of evidence for the flood, but instead, it soundly refutes it.

Whenever a population is severely reduced, it creates what is called a bottleneck effect. These effects can not only be seen in genetic sequencing, but also give us a ballpark for the date this happened. Ashkenazi Jews, for example, suffered a severe bottleneck about 100 generations ago which is the main cause of most Ashkenazi genetic disorders [13]. If every specie alive went through such a severe bottleneck, it would be noticed. Indeed, Mark Isaak notes [14]:

“Harmful recessive alleles occur in significant numbers in most species. (Humans have, on average, 3 to 4 lethal recessive alleles each.) When close relatives breed, the offspring are more likely to be homozygous for these harmful alleles, to the detriment of the offspring. Such inbreeding depression still shows up in cheetahs; they have about 1/6th the number of motile spermatozoa as domestic cats, and of those, almost 80% show morphological abnormalities. How could more than a handful of species survive the inbreeding depression that comes with establishing a population from a single mating pair?”

V. Conclusion
Lots of other evidence could be brought forth, but I’ll focus on these main points. It is clear that the story of the flood is rightfully absurd. The story is so full of holes that the hardest part is knowing exactly where to start. Noah’s boat doesn’t float.
Good luck
VI. Sources

I would like to take a moment to thank Virtuoso for challenging me to this debate.
Introduction: In similar fashion I will be using multiple lines of reasoning to support the viability of the Genesis flood. The Genesis flood has been fictionalized through numerous whimsical renditions riddled with inaccuracies. Rather than being cute and whimsical, the original Biblical account of the Genesis flood is rooted in rational practicality. I will demonstrate how the Genesis flood is supported by (a) the geological, (b) the paleontological, (c) the genetic, and (d) the mathematical evidence. Please bear with me as I have a lot of information to cover:
Existence of God: The existence of God is essential to the Genesis flood. Although not highly dependent upon the supernatural, divine intervention is required in some limited capacity for events like the gathering of two of every kind. I will offer a simple proof to demonstrate how a worldview with God is no more fantastic than a worldview without God.
In seeking the origin of all matter and energy we observe today, evolutionists and creationists are looking for the uncaused cause. Any materialistic working models that attempt to explain how everything can come from nothing fall short in that:
(a)    The model does not agree with empirical science. For example, the first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed.
(b)   The model redefines the concept of nothing. Since nothing is not anything, the very attempt to define what nothing is automatically identifies the defined item as being something other than nothing.
No matter which worldview is used, the origin of the universe is quite a supernatural event.
Young Earth: The Biblical worldview only retains integrity under a young earth model. Under a young earth model one or more wide spread catastrophic events, like the Genesis flood, is key to explaining the geological record we see today. The geological evidence supports a young earth:
    Soft Tissue: We find soft tissue in dinosaur bones that are claimed to be many millions of years old. Although much effort has been exerted to explain how organic structures could be preserved for millions of years, there is no tenable explanation for this extraordinary phenomenon. Dr. Don Batten explains,
“DNA extracted from bacteria that are supposed to be 425 million years old brings into question that age, because DNA could not last more than thousands of years” [1].
    Amino acids: All living organisms are comprised of entirely left handed amino acids. Once a living organism dies, the amino acids start working toward a 50:50 mix of left and right handed amino acids. Fossil specimens allegedly considered to be millions and even billions of years old have been found consisting of primarily left handed amino acids. Dr Larry S. Helmick projected a conservative maximum of 20 million years for left and right handed amino acids to establish a 50:50 mix [2]. Dr. Carl Wieland explains that,
“The chert layer known as Fig Tree Chert, South Africa, is estimated to be three billion years old, yet it contains only amino acids in the left-handed form. A similar result applies to several Precambrian and Miocene sediments (supposedly some 1,200 million and 30 million years old respectively)” [3].
    Carbon 14 dating: Based on current radiocarbon decay rates, all materials older than 100,000 years should no longer contain a detectable amount of carbon 14. Natural diamonds are believed by evolutionists to be millions of years old. Diamonds contain detectable amounts of carbon 14 [4].
    Wrapping up a young Earth: Any one of these three points provides compelling evidence for a young earth. All three of these phenomena are observable in a wide range of specimens. Empirical science supports an earth that is thousands of years old, not billions.
Rapid Erosion: The geological evidence we see today strongly supports the occurrence of a wide scale massive catastrophe such as the Genesis flood:
    Rock folding: We find numerous rock layers that have been folded, sometimes even back over themselves, with little to no fracturing. As David Allen PhD explains,
“If this sediment had been laid down over millions of years, it would have consolidated and solidified, making such incredible movement impossible” [5].
    Water Gaps: This term refers to a narrow gorge that has been cut through a mountain range. The extent of the erosion of these water gaps shows that, if a small river and a lot of time carved the gap, the river would have had to run up hill during the early stages of erosion. This is of course absurd. A catastrophic event like the Genesis flood would easily explain such a phenomena. This phenomena is observed worldwide, and is present in most mountain ranges [6].
    Polystrate fossils: We find polystrate fossils cutting across multiple rock layers. Under the evolutionary model there is no way these specimens would have been buried quickly enough to be preserved. As Dr. Tas Walker explains:
“It is not possible that polystrate fossils were buried gradually over many thousands or hundreds of thousands of years because the top part of any tree would have rotted away before it could be protected by sediment” [7].
    Rapid burial: Many of the fossils we find show blatant signs of raped burial:
1.       A marine reptile called ichthyosaur was buried and fossilized so rapidly it was caught in the middle of the birthing process.
2.       Fossilized fish have been buried in the middle of swallowing other fish.
3.       Clams are found fossilized all over the world. When clams die they promptly open up. Numerous examples of clams can be found fossilized shut. This only makes sense when we consider that these creatures must have been rapidly buried alive [8].
    Wrapping up rapid erosion: All four of these proofs support strata laid down rapidly through catastrophic events. Rock folding, water gaps, polystrate fossils, and the evidence of animals being literally buried alive all are perfectly explained under the Genesis flood model. The old earth model simply can’t adequately explain these phenomena.
Feasibility of the Biblical account:
    Building the ark: Noah didn’t have to build the ark by himself. He had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. There is also no reason to believe that Noah didn’t take advantage of the labor and technical expertise of the general population of that time.
Number of animals on the ark:
Empirical science supports that all living creatures are losing useful genetic code over time. As Botanist Alexander Williams puts it,
“Irrespective of whether creationists or evolutionists do the calculations, somewhere between a few thousand and a few million mutations are enough to drive a human lineage to extinction, and this is likely to occur over a time scale of only tens to hundreds of thousands of years. This is far short of the supposed evolutionary time scales” [9].
Not only does this support a young age for the earth, but it also shows that creatures are not creating new genetic characteristics. What we do see is speciation through natural selection.
“Natural selection favors certain already-existing genetic traits in populations by culling genes out of the gene pool; thus it helps adaptation of a population to its environment” [10].
The point here is that each kind of animal loaded onto the ark possessed genetic code rich enough to be divided into more diverse classifications after the flood. For example the original dog kind would include dingoes, wolves, coyotes, domestic dogs etc. The horse kind would include ponies, Clydesdales, donkeys, zebras, etc. Rather than the tree of evolutionary life, evidence supports a forest of life where each tree represents an independent kind. Each branch of this tree (donkey for example) represents a narrower selection of genetic code as found in the much broader trunk of genetic code (the original horses on the ark).
Current estimates of how many kinds of animals the ark needed to carry range between 1,400 and 7,000 [11]. These estimates have actually been in decline as our understanding of genetics deepens.
    Timeline of the flood: The flood lasted for almost exactly one year. Estimates puts the flood as lasting 370 days from the moment the flood started to the moment Noah stepped off of the ark [12].
Calculating the Ark’s space requirements:
    Average animal size: Earlier estimates of the average animal size on the ark have been estimated at the size of a sheep [13]. The latest estimates are coming in even smaller.  Michael Belknap and Tim Chaffey explain,
“it is projected only 15 percent of ark animals would have achieved an average adult mass over 22 pounds (10 kg). This means that the vast majority of ark animals were smaller than a beagle, with most of those being much smaller” [14].
    So what about those huge dinosaurs: According to John D. Morris, PH.D. the average size of a dinosaur comes in around the size of a cow [15]. Although some dinosaurs are quite massive once fully grown, even the largest species have quite a diminutive beginning. The largest dinosaur egg found measures around 20 inches long [16]. It only makes logical sense to take younger animals requiring fewer resources and possessing greater reproductive potential. To be generous, the following calculations will still assume the average animal to be the size of a sheep.
    Space required for the animals: Trucking guides calculate a 44’ long tractor trailer truck can hold 302 woolly sheep [17]. These trailers have a capacity of around 3086 cubic ft. [18]. This means that each sheep requires 10.2 cubic feet for transport. To be generous, let’s call it 11 cubic feet. If we take the largest current estimate of 7,000 animals required on the ark we can see that 77,000 cubic ft is required to hold the animals. Indeed they are packed in tight, but remember that this is not a pleasure cruise.
    Space required for food: The average food consumption of a ewe in late gestation is from 4.5 to 5.5 pounds a day [19]. Naturally, sheep not in gestation are not going to eat as much, but let’s go ahead and use 5 pounds of food per animal per day for our calculations. Corn comes in at around 45 lb. per cubic ft. Food for 7,000 animals for 370 days would require just under 288,000 cubic foot of storage.
    Space required for water: Sheep require between .5 to 5 gallons of water a day. Considering that the environment of the ark is not arid and that water requirements for ewes increase greatly during late gestation let’s use 1 gallon of water per animal per day [20]. Indeed, this is relatively comparable to what adult humans require. One cubic foot of water contains approximately 7.5 gallons. Water for 7,000 animals for 370 days would require less than 346,000 cubic ft. of storage.
So the total space required for 7,000 animals with food and water comes in at around 711,000 cubic ft.
Size of the Ark: Genesis 5:14 tells us that the ark is 300 cubits by 50 cubits, by 30 cubits. The length of a cubit ranges from 17.5 inches to 20.6 inches. Ancient civilizations typically used a royal cubit 19.8-20.6 inches in construction; however, to be conservative, we will use the 17.5 inch cubit in our calculations [21]. This would put the ark at 438 X 73 X 44 ft or 1,406,856 cubic feet. This is nearly twice as much room as required under our above calculations. Therefore, we can conclude that there was more than enough room on the ark for all the animals. Please also note that at many points in these calculations the most generous estimates were used.
Work Load: Would the eight people on the Ark be able to handle the work load of tending all the animals? First let’s consider what the work load for such a task might look like today:
“A contract producer with a 2,000-head [swine] nursery should work an average of 20 to 25 hours/week, including barn cleaning and disinfection, loading and unloading, checking feeders and waterers and treating sick pigs.” [22].
This would put the work load at 70 to almost 90 man hours per week. This would allow one overworked individual to potentially tend all the animals by himself. The lack of automation and more sophisticated mechanical equipment would likely increase this work load, but eight workers provide quite a generous margin for error. It is also quite well within the realm of possibility that the use of labor saving mechanisms were employed (eg. gravity feed systems, pumps, elevators etc.). The exact working conditions are impossible to determine, but current knowledge of the subject puts the work load well within the capacity of the eight member crew.
Sea Worthiness:
The ark’s dimensions as given in the Bible have been studied for their stability, strength, and comfort. Tim Lovett summarizes the findings,
“The research team found that the proportions of Noah’s Ark carefully balanced the conflicting demands of stability (resistance to capsizing), comfort (“seakeeping”), and strength. In fact, the Ark has the same proportions as a modern cargo ship” [23].
It is really quite unbelievable that the author of a supposed fictitious account would stumble upon such perfect dimensions for the ark.
Source of flood water:
Was the Genesis flood local? Genesis 7:20 tells us that the flood waters covered the highest mountain peak by twenty feet. Clearly this was not a local flood.
Is there enough water to cover the earth? Critics claim that there is not enough water on earth to cover the highest mountain; however, this assumes that mountains such as Mt. Everest existed before the flood. If the surface of the earth were to be leveled all land would be covered with water 1.6 miles deep [24]. The land mass of that day was likely much lower than that of today.
So assuming the land was lower why didn’t the oceans of that time cover the land already? There is good reason to believe that the bulk of the ocean water we see today was subterranean before the Genesis flood. As Genesis 7:11 states, “all the springs of the great deep burst forth.” It is likely that this process was the origin of the earth’s fault lines as we see them today.
Where did the water go after the flood? The large majority of the flood water is most likely in today’s oceans. After the fountains of the great deep shattered the earth’s crust, extensive plate tectonic movement could easily form the continents and deep oceans we see today. This sort of process would also easily explain how the generally accepted concept of Pangaea could have been initially divided.
The large quantity of marine fossils found at the top of Mount Everest is well explained by this model. These rock layers must have been lifted rapidly. If this lifting process occurred over a long period of time the topography would have been eroded as fast as it was lifted [25].
Conclusion: The mountains, the rock layers, the fossils, the genetics, and the biological chemistry all support a young earth, shaped by widespread catastrophe. Indeed, the empirical science today mirrors the scientific expectations of a global flood model. After studying the mathematical feasibility behind the Genesis Flood an amazing pattern emerges. This ‘legend’ is remarkably sound mathematically. The weight of this is greater than simply showing that this ‘legend’ is tenable:
1.       The author would not have possessed the required knowledge to fabricate such a mathematically sound account, but God would.
2.       The author would almost certainly miss significant points if he did attempt to write a legend possessing a high level of mathematical accuracy, but God wouldn’t.
3.       It is highly questionable why the author would even care if his ‘legend’ was mathematically sound to the nth degree; however, a true account would effortlessly lend itself to this level of accuracy.
It is the job of scientists, historians, and all those who seek the truth to examine the evidence and find the account that best fits that evidence. As demonstrated here, the weight of evidence supporting the Genesis flood account is far too strong to be ignored. Indeed this evidence fits the model extraordinarily well. Therefore, I assert that the only logical conclusion is that the Genesis flood most certainly did happen.
2.       Helmick, L., ‘Origins and Maintenance of Optical Activity’, Creation Research Society Quarterly 12: 156–164, December 1975.
8.       Ham, Ken, and Hodge Bodie. A Flood of Evidence. Pg. 142. Master Books, September 2018.
12.   Ham, Ken, and Hodge Bodie. A Flood of Evidence. Pg. 177. Master Books, September 2018.
13.   Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., p. 69.
Woodmorappe, John, 1996. Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study, Santee, CA: ICR, p. 13.
24.   Ham, Ken, and Hodge Bodie. A Flood of Evidence. Pg. 252. Master Books, September 2018.

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--> @Lazarous
Yup, and jews wonder why they have been ridiculed
the flood myths were based on actua floods but of course they did not cover the whole world
--> @Dr.Franklin
I think it is fair to point out that most Jews consider themselves Jewish by blood and ritual only. They treat their rituals kind of like Santa Claus and the Easter bunny in that, they are traditional, or an excuse to celebrate. Believe me, I mean no offense to the Jewish communities that do take their rituals seriously.
--> @Virtuoso
So why would you believe in myth
--> @Dr.Franklin
It's clearly mythology, most likely flood stories are based on real localized floods.
--> @Virtuoso
Then what would happen in the bible instead.
--> @Dr.Franklin
Most Jews do not take Noah's flood literally.
so much for being a jew
--> @zedvictor4
Thank you, my friend.
--> @Virtuoso
Love your opening argument.
--> @Christen
I just gave my final speech in the other debate
Are you sure you should be spreading yourself too thin? You're debating me, another person, AND Lazarous too. You can't be doing so many debates all at once!
--> @PressF4Respect
Lol. I'll wait for a YEC to actually accept this.
--> @Virtuoso
I was going to accept this debate just to see what it's like to argue from the theistic perspective, but then I realized...
you know what, I wanna keep my 1500+ rating.
--> @PressF4Respect
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