Every now and then, someone comes up with a purported proof for something like Noah’s flood. “Answers in Genesis,” the Australian group behind the elaborate Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, is still trying to build a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark, though it’s having trouble raising the money.
No wonder. The museum features animatronic figures suggesting that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Attendance has declined dramatically in the five years since the museum opened. The number of young-earthers within driving distance of the museum is limited, and it’s getting harder to sell people on the idea of a seven-day creation just 6,000 years ago.
A Dutchman named Joahan Huibers had better luck: he took it upon himself to build a half-size replica of Noah’s Ark near Amsterdam, and it even floats.
Now ABC News and Robert Ballard, the undersea explorer who found the Titanic, are calling up images of Noah’s flood to promote a TV special on his current explorations in the Black Sea. The Black Sea is an anomaly because it’s a large, deep, inland sea, but it’s salty, rather than fresh. Several theories seek to explain this, one being that melting ice from the most recent ice age raised the water level of the Mediterranean Sea so much that it rushed into the Black Sea, adding 400 feet of salty water to its depth.
Ballard’s TV special hopes to show evidence for an ancient shore line well beneath the current surface of the Black Sea. He dates the flood to about 5,000 BCE.
All of that is well and good, and there’s no question that there were ancient floods of considerable size that were remembered in the oral and written histories of multiple civilizations. Both the Gilgamesh Epic and the Stories of Atrahasis recall floods in Mesopotamia very similar to the one described in the Bible.
But all of that is just sensationalism when it comes to Ballard’s finds in the Black Sea. There, the evidence points to an melting ice-fueled catastrohic event that didn’t reverse: the Black Sea remained 400 feet deeper. The biblical story (which is probably two different accounts that have been intertwined) speaks of torrential rains and fountains springing up to cover the entire earth, with the water subsiding after a time.
Ballard’s TV special should be entertaining, in some ways informative, and it will certainly show evidence of an ancient flood in the Black Sea area — but it won’t prove the biblical account of Noah’s flood, which is a pointless effort. One doesn’t have to prove every biblical story as fact in order to learn its truth.