Halley’s Cometary Flood Theory Returns

Usually I don’t pay much attention to the various theories that surface from time to time about the Great Flood. Most just seem sensationalist and lacking a foundation in informed science. I don’t think it’s really that important whether the Great Flood really did cover the whole Earth, or if it was merely a local flood confined to Mesopotamia that appeared to the people there to cover the whole of the Earth. What matters is the theological message behind this action: that God is determined to wipe out evil, but that no matter how corrupt humanity and the world is, He will not destroy it again. God’s mercy far outweighs His justice.

However, this piece in Discover magazine is interesting. According to the article at http://discovermagazine.com/2007/nov/did-a-comet-cause-the-great-flood/article_view?b_start:int=1&-C= a group of scientists, the Holocene Impact Working Group, consisting of Bruce Masse, an environmental archaeologist, Ted Bryant, a geomorphologist and Dallas Abbott, and assistant professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, have suggested that there really was a global flood as described in Genesis. This was caused by a three-mile wide comet striking the Indian Ocean off Madagascar, producing tsunamis, superheated steam, torrential rains and darkening the sky for months on end. 80 per cent of all life on Earth may have been destroyed. The trauma of this impact was preserved in myths and oral history, while physical evidence exists in the form of chevrons – special rock formations produced by the resulting tsunamis containing deep-sea microfossils on the coastline of Madagascar and other places. The group suggests the collision took place in 2800 BC.

The theory is highly controversial, however, with Jay Melosh, an expert on cometary impacts at Arizona University strongly disputing it. According to Melosh, such an impact should have also produced fused rock and glass, which so far have not been found.

It’s an interesting theory, particularly as it’s a modern version of a very old one. Way back in the 17th century, the British Astronomer Royal, Edmond Halley, the discoverer of the comet that bears his name, presented several papers to the Royal Society outlining and refining his view that Noah’s Flood had been caused by the impact of a comet.

‘But the Almighty generally making use of Natural Means to bring about his Will, I thought it not amiss to give this Honourable Society an Account of some Thoughts that occurr’d to me on this Subject’, explained Halley in his ‘Some Considerations about the Cause of the universal Deluge, laid before the Royal Society, on the 12th December 1694. By Dr. Edmond Halley, R.S.S.’ 1

Halley believed that a comet had struck the Earth, changing the inclination of the poles and the Earth’s rotation, causing the sea to recede from the new position of the poles, and increase in their previous site. It also caused a ‘vast agitation’ in the sea, heaping vast quantities of Earth and high cliffs upon beds of shells, which once were at the bottom of the sea: and raising up mountains where none were before, mixing the elements into such a heap as the poets describe the old chaos.’ 2 Halley considered that the evidence for such a Flood and impact included the fossil remains of animals, great depressions like the Caspian Sea and other great lakes, and the intense cold in the American North, such as Hudson’s Bay. This latter may have been due, according to Halley, to that part of the world originally lying much further north than it is presently, and so preserving vast amounts of unthawed ice, which lowered the temperature in that region today. ‘that some such thing has happened’, stated Halley, ‘may be guessed, for that the Earth seems as if it were new made out of the ruins of an old world’. 3

Halley’s ideas about the possible extent of the damage caused by such a cometary impact seem naïve today. Certainly I can’t imagine many physical geographers giving much credence to his speculation about the cause of the intense cold of the American north being due to the existence of unthawed ice predating such an impact. Nevertheless, his approach wasn’t mistaken: he was looking at the evidence from fossils and the physical effects on the Earth’s geomorphology. Moreover, he compared the evidence of the Bible with ancient Greek mythology and its description of a primal chaos. Halley did realise, however, that such a violent impact itself posed problems for the Genesis account. If such an impact had occurred, then there was the problem of how Noah and his family in their ark escaped the general destruction around them: ‘In this case it will be much more difficult to show how Noah and the animals should be preserved, than that all things in which was the breath of life, should be destroyed.’ 4

A similar approach was taken nearly over a century later by Joseph Townsend, the rector of Pewsey in Wiltshire in England. In his The Character of Moses Established for Veracity as an Historian recording events from the Creation to the Deluge of 1813, Townsend, like Masse today, cited the evidence from the world’s mythologies, noting the existence of a global flood in Chinese, Japanese, North American Indian and Greenland myth and legend, particularly amongst the Iroquois and Mexicans peoples. He also considered accounts from ancient European and Middle Eastern historians, such as Josephus, Nicholas of Damascus, the Babylonian historian Berosus, and the unknown Egyptian author of the Phoenician Antiquities, as well as Plato, and the ancient Greek myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha. 5 Townsend then went on to consider the evidence from geology and geomorphology for corroborating the Mosaic account of the creation, citing the geologists of his day and their analysis of geological and physical geographical features, and concluding ‘The description of Moses, short as it is, corresponds exactly with the phenomena produced by this grand convulsion’. 6

Apart from contemporary Creationists, I doubt many geologists would give credence to Townsend’s arguments today. They were controversial when he published them. Townsend himself discusses the arguments from the geologists of his time against physical geographical evidence for a global flood, stating

‘Some vain pretenders to science, have been ambitious to display their knowledge and sagacity, by an appeal to natural evidence for the antiquity of the present system, in opposition to the Chronology of Moses’ and attacking in particular Canon Recupero, the great French scientist Buffon and others. 7 Nevertheless, even if they were wrong about the particulars, if Masse, Bryant and Abbott are correct, then Halley, Townsend and their successors were on the right lines and considering the right types of evidence.

Even if they’re wrong about a global Flood, Masse has himself contributed important evidence supporting the veracity of ancient, mythological accounts of events by demonstrating how Hawaiian legends about Pele accurately preserved memories of the volcano’s eruptions, and that Chinese mythology included accurate descriptions of comets and celestial events. Indeed, the British astronomer, Dr. Alan Chapman, presented a series on Channel 4 in Britain, Gods from the Sky, in which he suggested that the events of Egyptian mythology in particular referred to the movement of the planets and constellations as part of a religions based on the movements of these bodies. Chapman himself is no religious sceptic, but stated during the series that he was a Christian, and while believing in evolution made it very clear that he was not sympathetic to those who loudly announce that it disproves the existence of God.

Back to this story in Discover magazine, it’s likely that this will die down in a few days and the theory will be quietly shelved, depending on whether further evidence can be found to support it and convince sceptics like Dr. Melosh. Nevertheless, it’s one to keep an eye on, and shows that there are still secular scientists prepared to give a global flood, as experienced by Noah and described in mythology and legend around the world, some credence.


  1. ‘Edmond Halley (1656-1742): ‘Some Consideration about the Cause of the Universal Deluge’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 33 (1724-1725), 118-123’ in D.C. Goodman, ed., Science and Religious Belief 1600-1900: A Selection of Primary Sources (John Wright and Sons/The Open University 1973), p. 248.
  2. Halley, ‘Universal Deluge’, in Goodman, Science and Religious Belief, pp. 248-9.
  3. Halley, ‘Universal Deluge’, in Goodman, Science and Religious Belief, pp. 249.
  4. Halley, ‘Universal Deluge’, in Goodman, Science and Religious Belief, pp. 249.
  5. ‘Joseph Townsend, The Character of Moses Established for Veracity as an Historian recording events from the Creation to the Deluge’ in D.C. Goodman, ed., Science and Religious Belief, pp. 334-6.
  6. Townsend, Moses as Historian, in Goodman, Science and Religious Belief, p. 343.
  7. Townsend, Moses as Historian, in Goodman, Science and Religious Belief, pp. 343-5.

23 Responses to “Halley’s Cometary Flood Theory Returns”

  1. Rich Says:

    Do you believe in local flood, global flood or no flood?
    Do you think water didn’t refract light prior to god’s covenant?
    How does a “do-over” sit with the notion of a timeless, omnipotent god?


  2. beastrabban Says:

    Hi Rich!

    Actually, I believe in a local, rather than global Flood, one of the most interesting contenders for which is the massive flooding which created the Black Sea. See Ian Wilson’s Before the Flood (London, Orion 2001).

    Incidentally, I found a related article in Reuters with the claim that the inspiration for the Flood was the dramatic rise in sea level around the world caused by the melting of the North American ice sheet. This is believed by some archaeologists to have also given rise to agriculture in Europe. If you want to check that out, it’s at: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL1700215420071118

    As for water refracting light prior to God’s covenant, yes, I do believe that it did. However, the important point in the story of the Flood is that the rainbow becomes a reminder of the Flood, and therefore a mark of God’s justice and mercy.

    As for rainbows being created through refraction, this was discovered in the 12th century by the Anglo-Norman Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste, who described how experiments with lenses led him to this conclusion in his De Iride – Of the Rainbow. Before then it had been considered, following Aristotle, that rainbows were produced by reflection within the cloud, rather than refraction.

    As for how a ‘do-over’ sits with the notion of a timeless, omnipotent God, it certainly doesn’t contradict it. God is free to do anything He chooses, but clearly His power is limited by the kind of choices He makes. Every choice involves an exclusion. By choosing to do one thing, rather than another, I also make the choice not to do the alternative.

    Now God could create a universe that automatically followed His will, that did not require destruction and reconstruction. However, such a universe excludes the possibility of free will. So God allows the complete corruption of His universe, which He then destroys and recreates, in order to make the point to His creatures of the extreme destructiveness of sin and violence, and of God’s power, justice and mercy. He allows events to occur as they did as a lesson and not through weakness.

  3. Rich Says:

    But presumably he creates knowing it will fail, which seems a strange endeavour?

    I don’t think he made much of a case for mercy but made a good case for *his* destructiveness. Assuming entities and events are real, that is.

  4. beastrabban Says:

    Thanks for the reply, Rich.

    Let’s examine your obervations, beginning with your comment that I don’t think he made much of a case for mercy but made a good case for *his* destructiveness.

    I disagree, for the following reasons.

    Firstly, the destructiveness you mentioned in the text is both required by the situation, and consciously renounced by God afterwards. Remember, the Bible describes an outcry from the Earth itself against the Nephilim – the ‘mighty men of renown’ and their violence and evil. Therefore, God’s action against them is at the petition of creation and is represented as a just response to a situation of immense depravity and corruption.

    Secondly, the Bible states that God repented of his actions, and made the covenant with humanity not to repeat the destruction of the world. So God can send destruction – as the world’s author and supreme judge, He has that right, but graciously decides not to and forbears from doing so. Clearly this shows that there is a limit on God’s destructiveness. His role in destroying the world is to stop the violence, which by its very nature is destructive. God destroys, but is not destructive.

    Furthermore, I think that episode does a good job of demonstrating God’s mercy. It demonstrates that God has compassion on humanity – he vows not to destroy the world again. Even His anger can be considered to be compassionate – it’s a response to an outcry by a wounded party, represented as the Earth itself. He is not indifferent and ignores the violence and evil, nor does he arbitrarily decide to destroy humanity. In the Mesopotamian accounts of the Flood, such as in the Epic of Gilgamesh the gods decide to destroy humanity with a flood simply because humanity makes too much noise. Theyr’e an inconvenience. In the Bible, God sends the Flood not from petty selfishness, but because real injustice is being done, an injustice that demands punitive action.

    Now mercy also implies that one is acting – or refusing to act – from a position of strength. A king or other authority who does not punish rebellion, crime or injustice runs the risk of being considered weak and ineffective. So when violence and evil cover the whole Earth, its destruction by God is a suitable demonstration of divine power. However, it also gives a yardstick by which to measure God’s mercy. Despite the innate depravity in humanity, God refuses to destroy the world again. He has demonstrated that He has the power to, and that it would be just for Him to do so. However, He has compassion on humanity and so doesn’t. This is mercy, not weakness.

  5. beastrabban Says:

    Now for your comment But presumably he creates knowing it will fail, which seems a strange endeavour?

    The problem with that is that it assumes the fate of the world in one episode invalidates creation as a whole. Now when God creates the cosmos, he pronounces it ‘good’. So despite knowing that it will be corrupted almost to the point of utter destruction, it is still good that the universe exists, and the universe itself and its contents are still basically good, even after the devastating effects of the Fall. For St. Thomas Aquinas, being itself was good, and so it was a self-evident good that things exist.

    This indicates that to God, although He knows that the universe will ultimately be corrupted to the point where He will be obliged to send the Flood to wipe out the evil, nevertheless the good of the universe and the good of creating that universe are such that their existence far outweighs the evil of their corruption and the necessity of their destruction.

    Now the same can be said of some civilisations that have arisen and fallen over the millennia. Let’s take the Harrapan culture of Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan. This arose at the same time as Sumeria, with whom it appears to have had extensive trade links. Some time before the Aryans entered India, the Harappan culture collapsed. There’s still some debate why this occurred, though one theory was that it was due to the spread of malaria from their reservoirs and watercourses. Now clearly, if you look at it from the perspective of its eventual fall, the Harappan culture was a failure. However, if you look at what the Harappan culture was like in its prime – beautiful, well-planned cities with baths, reservoirs, something like flush toilets, a rich, highly developed art and literacy – the Harappan culture was, as a civilisation, a resounding achievement. If one values civilisation, and the arts and science of civilisation, then Harappa’s existence, even if curtailed by sudden decline and fall, was good.

    One can also argue that in the episode of the Flood, corruption and destruction does not equal failure. Yes, the Earth is comprehensively corrupted to the point where it requires almost total destruction. However, God does not totally destroy it, and uses the episode to make a lasting pact with humanity which will partially bridge the gulf of sin that led to the Earth’s destruction. Thus there is a positive aspect to the episode. As St. Paul said, God works to bring good out of evil, which surely counts as good, and when it is achieved, a success.

    Therefore, God’s creation of the world with the foreknowledge of its eventual corruption really isn’t as bizarre as it appears. Creation itself is good, the world is basically good, and good can be brought out of apparent failure and destruction.

  6. Rich Says:

    Ah, but he could have created *any* universe, so he authored both the sin and the punishment. Which isn’t very nice. With regard to repenting the flood, does that mean God made a mistake?

    Also, “Despite the innate depravity in humanity, God refuses to destroy the world again. ”

    Ah, but he will, acording to the bible…

    In the end you seem to make a case for “the necessity of evil”, which almost makes it good…

  7. beastrabban Says:

    Thanks for your latest comments, Rich.

    Let’s examine them.

    Ah, but he could have created *any* universe, so he authored both the sin and the punishment. Which isn’t very nice.

    Not quite. God is free to create any universe He chooses, but He is limited by His own nature, which is good. Thus God is constrained by His own nature to create whatever universe is best. Thus if God creates a universe which contains sin and punishment, it’s because this universe is, despite its defects, good.

    Furthermore, creating a universe in which such situations may occur does not mean that God is the author of sin. Humanity is still required to follow God’s intentions and avoid sin, even if it God foresees that this will fail.

    Also, “Despite the innate depravity in humanity, God refuses to destroy the world again. ”

    Ah, but he will, acording to the bible…

    No. What is foreseen in the Bible is the world’s reconstruction – a new Heaven and a new Earth, not Earth’s destruction, despite the violence of the ‘end of the Age’.

    In the end you seem to make a case for “the necessity of evil”, which almost makes it good…
    Well, there is that phrase ‘felix culpa’ – fortunate sin. But this does not mean that sin and evil are themselves good, only that a universe that contains their potential is better than one that does not.

  8. Rich Says:

    Not sure I agree with the 1st point. I would infer gods nature from the universe, which, looking at nature, would not be good.

    I’m not sure about reconstructing the world. That may be one interpretation.

    As for the third point, only if you dsign it that way…

  9. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    “I would infer gods nature from the universe, which, looking at nature, would not be good.”

    Greetings. Just out of curiosity, Rich, what is your standard–be it something you think is objective or subjective–of the “good” and how would such be determined. Better yet, what balance of ill and good would draw you to the conclusion that God is good, on balance. Or is this a Vegas “all or nothing” game where as in one argument against God’s providence some claim that “my cat dies and my bank account is thin, therefore God does not exist” or “I know terrible things happen in the world, thus God does not exist.”

    Beyond this, what in your world is the good, how is this manifested, and how do you know that goodness to you is not an evil or deleterious item to some other soul? This argument HAS been made, for example, about certain kinds of social and economic arrangments. And not just in recent times.

    Many thanks. Take care.


  10. Rich Says:

    Hi Wakefield.
    I’m a moral relativist, I think. I can think of times when killing would be fine, for (an extreme) example. Given the alleged infinite love and infinite resources (omnipotence), I judge this world to be Poor. It would be “good” if created by chance, though.

    We’re not really getting into omnipotence properly. If an omnipotent being wanted me to know he existed, I would, by definition…

  11. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    Well, on moral relativism I’ve never found a way to “anchor” such things, and keep in mind this is similar to “pragmatism”–the flaw of both being that you STILL have to account for some base belief in order to say that moral decisions are based on context, etc. In a way, ALL people understand context. For example not all killing is murder any more than all sex would be rape. But most of us, I trust, don’t think there are many so called “lifeboat” scenarios out there that justify stealing and cheating and killing at random. The issue is brought up about killing a crying baby in order to save an entire house from the Gestapo, etc, or a woman allowing herself to be abused or molested if the perpetrator promises in return not to harm her children. These scenarios, while heartrending, are rare enough and additionally make poor moral guides to what usually bedevils people—-everyday issues. So we still have to have an anchoring device that should not allow for randomness. You have to still have a firm foundation for even moral relativity in order to account for context.
    Otherwise it is all based on subjective feeling–which is an even worse guide to morals.

    On the last part, you’re actually switching gears and getting into the “Why is God so Obscurantist” notion. Many answers are possible to this, but perhaps the best one is formed as a question. Seeing the complexity and variety and splendor and beauty of life and the nature of the mind and thought, WHAT parameters or threshold of “proof” for God’s existence would you deem sufficient? You might be asking for what many theologians would consider as a disreputable magic show from God parting the clouds just for you in order to prove something. Or would you ask for something more subtle but not quite as subtle as the subtleties some of us consider as sufficient but magnificent in their own right?

  12. Rich Says:

    Hi Wakefield.

    I think morality can be an emergent evolutionary property. Clearly society gives reproductive advantage and is facilitated by laws and morals.

    As for the last past, I think you sidestepped my gear-switch!

    “WHAT parameters or threshold of “proof” for God’s existence would you deem sufficient? ” does not directly address “If an omnipotent being wanted me to know he existed, I would, by definition…”

    I think the world is amazing, but not necessarily divine in origin.

  13. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    Thanks, Rich.

    So….. His Omnipotence would FORCE the issue on you. So in this case you’d have no free will per se about believing, though I assume you could resist the implications of such belief if you felt like it. The issue of free will being violated in this manner is something to ponder also, as it is a basic tenet especially of Christianity without which issues like redemption and grace have no significance.


  14. Rich Says:

    I would suggest that free will is an illusion if you believe in Christianity, God creates you knowing exactly what you will do, and could have created you slightly differently to do something else. the universe must be deterministic from Gods point of view, no?

    I see you’re a commenter @ Uncommon Descent. I’m banned there, thrice, but feel free to come over to after the bar closes if you like. I can set up and introductory thread and say I’ve invited you if you like. We don’t censor, although you might get overwhelmed with questions.

    Let me know if you fancy it, I’ll ask folks to play nice if you do.

    Fond regards,

  15. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    Well I’m a guest there over at UD, but rarely get time to interact anymore. I don’t censor, but I think with my site and others the reasonable standard is that certain kinds of insinuations and scatalogical sayings are verboten. Not to say you did this of course, but at UD the issue for most people is staying on topic and keeping things lively enough not to make William Dembski start snoring. They’ve also gotten baraged with fakers and con artists like Lazarus trying to sneak in asinine commentary and mockery, etc.

    As to the deterministic charge, that can also be claimed with ANY materialistic interpretation of how the human mind works in making the “illusion” of free will or for that matter the illusion of thinkiing (also claimed, as some materialists say even human consciousness is sheer illusion!) IF all is biological default, then it stands to reason we are back to square one in this game of “emergent” properties of “free will.” etc.

    God’s omnisicence automatically nullifying free will is a topic that has plauged theologians for all time, but I think the best answer(and maybe BR will chime in here) is that foreknowledge about possible outcomes of events is not in itself a nullification if we see (as indicated elsewhere in Scripture) that for example God says he forgets and wipes away sin in Grace. Not just foregiveness, but erasure. Blank slate. Either He can manifest that power or not. If so, then He can create of state of being where the possibilities of any action are not automatically foreknown.

    Now to THAT end this brings up other issues I’d ask of BR. Is it unfair, the event in the Garden, knowin man would sin, and holding us ALL responsible for sin by default for merely being related to Adam?????

    That to me is far more an issue! Are we sinners by nature of default then?

    Or with the Fall just preordained to certain tenditious behavior still freely choosing but finding the problem difficult (like bad habits, etc)

  16. Wakefield Tolbert Says:


    I seriously doubt I’m the best person to field questions of this magnitude. But thanks!


  17. beastrabban Says:

    Hi Wakefield and Rich – thanks for continuing to comment on the blog here. I’ve been following the debate, although I’ve been a bit busy with one thing and another, and haven’t really been able to post.

    There’s a lot to get through, but regarding the specific questions about free will, Creation and the effects of the sin of Adam, my perspective is that knowing something will happen does not automatically mean that you make something happen. Furthermore, it does not mean that humans have no free will. For example, created the universe knowing that it subsequently be corrupted through humanity’s rebellion. However, this does not mean that Adam and Eve had no free will, as they were created in the image of God and the freedom to choose. They weren’t puppets or automatons mindlessly following God’s programming. This is essentially the compatibilist position – events may be predetermined, but humans still have freedom of choice. It is a radically different position from the type of determinism predicted by the Selfish Gene, where humans and other organisms are essentially puppets controlled by their selfish genes.

    Regarding the issue of God blaming all of humanity for the sin of Adam, I don’t think that’s quite the case. It isn’t that Adam’s sin means that all humans are automatically blamed by God, but simply that human nature and the whole created order has been corrupted to the extent that humanity is estranged from God and cannot by its own nature return to the Edenic communion with the Lord. God doesn’t blame us for Adam’s sin.

  18. Rich Says:

    I’d like to comment on “erasure” with regard to god, if I may. Contextualize this with ‘the fall / original sin”. Clearly he holds immoral grudges. Sins of the father makes no moral or logical sense. Neither does forgiveness by proxy, either.

    Blaming human nature is wrong. Can I blame “black people’s” nature? No, I’d be racist. Each individual judged on their own merits…


    “knowing something will happen does not automatically mean that you make something happen. ”

    Agreed, but it does if you also make the enity that performs the act.

    Fond Regards,


  19. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    I’d like to comment on “erasure” with regard to god, if I may. Contextualize this with ‘the fall / original sin”. Clearly he holds immoral grudges. Sins of the father makes no moral or logical sense. Neither does forgiveness by proxy, either.

    Blaming human nature is wrong. Can I blame “black people’s” nature? No, I’d be racist. Each individual judged on their own merits…


    “knowing something will happen does not automatically mean that you make something happen. ”

    Agreed, but it does if you also make the entity that performs the act”

    Who says we’re forced to do anything? Most of us make decisions without threat of force unless it is implied force from government, military, etc and other authoritative figures. But that kind of compulsion is another color from morals, and is more akin to “ethics”—the legal norms and business version of morals. God is not like this on a number of accounts

    For more on this notion of automatic sinning and grudeges, see BR’s input above. Though I think tendencies are there. Keep in mind that the very phrase sins of the father also had a lot to do with Mid East peoples’ perceptions of justice at that time in history. And to some degree still do. The closest modern rendition of this might be some areas of Japan and China that honor the codes of honor, so it is possible that God placed warnings in that kind of phraseology to make the maximal impact. The sins of the father being vested on the next generation, etc.

    And while saying that a particular group had some trait that is negative could be labeled racist, above all God is neither that way and surely would understand what we ourselves now know and should have all along. All were descended from one race and today are fairly homogenous. Most differences between people are cultural, not genetic.



  20. Rich Says:

    I guess my point on free will is that all choices would ultimatley be made by god. He coudl create any version of you, will full foreknowledge of what you’re goign to do. As an interesting aside, as think is the same as doing and there can be no benefit for the omnipotent, why bother at all? Think about why people do things and how that might not apply to a god.

    With regard to ‘sins of the father’, born into sin, bigotry etc. It would seem the sons of David were favoured for a long time, and the poor homosexuals don’t get much love at all….?

    Fond regards,

  21. JOR Says:

    “Who says we’re forced to do anything?”

    Well, we could say here that if a man’s future actions are such that God can know them (even from an atemporal perspective) then man is not free – he is determined by something: either directly by God, or by his psycho-biological or spiritual constitution, for which God is ultimately responsible. In either case then God is in fact responsible for not just man’s every action, but for man’s every motive. Calvinists more or less go this route but they try to salvage man’s responsibility by way of compatibilism. Most unsatisfactory.

  22. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    Beast. Hi Again!

    Not sure if you’ll get this message, but I just thought of something regarding the story of Noah: If the Flood was local and not global (though the scriptures seem to indicate global in scope and that has been tradition in CHristendom) would it not have been more prudent for God to just simply direct Noah to take his family to higher ground somewhere else in the world?

    After all, it supposedly (says the bible) took 120 years to build the Ark. In this time Noah could have traversed the entire planet many times over. In less than 1/20 of this time consumed in building a large structure he could have gone to North America and South America if a land bridge was around near the Bearing Straight. This directive makes no sense unless one assumes that for some inscrutible reason God needed Noah to stay in the same general Mideast vicinity????

    Also, there were peoples and tribes and nations (like the South American Indians and peoples of Asia and the Maori Pacific Islanders) who would have survived a local flood that afffected the MidEast only. Right? Yet Scripture tells us God was displeased with all men at this rotten time in human history.

    Please tell me if I missed something here.


  23. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    Also–God promised not to wipe out humanity with a flood again. But if the flood of Noah was local he violated that pact. There have been MANY local floods of horrendous magnitude wince the age of Noah including many tsunamis and hurricanes.

    Also, birds and animals mobile enough could have simply moved to higher ground or flown to the nearest islands or land mass to wait things out like they always do. Another problem here for the Local Flood Only thesis.


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