There is Disagreement About the Noah Story. Not a Surprise.

When we have no surviving scientific evidence of an event from the Bible, the door is left open for everyone to make up their own version of what happened, included people who believe.  It’s almost humorous the disagreement over a movie about the Noah flood.

Apparently, the movie’s premiere showed Noah or the aftermath of the flood as being sympathetic to environmentalism.  Political operatives of the Christian right consider environmentalism a leftist weapon and any hint of support is not tolerable.

There is no archological evidence of the flood.  There is not enough water in the earth’s air or land to cover the earth deep enough to float a large boat.

If the faith wants to appeal to vast numbers of people, stories like that of Noah should be treated as fiction.  One preacher said a while back the story is so cruel it should never be exposed to children.

That the story is included regularly in Sunday school classes probably explains why a movie is being made about it.  There is a market for a vindictive story where God drowns all sinners.

Apparently, the story also needs to properly reflect today’s conservative political agenda.

 

http://www.christianpost.com/news/noah-movie-runs-into-problems-director-clashes-with-paramount-after-worrisome-feedback-from-christian-viewers-106799/

 

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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54 Responses to There is Disagreement About the Noah Story. Not a Surprise.

  1. entech says:

    How could they even think of making a movie like that without Charlton Heston????

  2. Michael Ross says:

    “There is a market for a vindictive story where God drowns all sinners.”

    That is the testimony of the flood, that God judges sin. That is why you reject it and Him.
    It has nothing to do with evidence or lack thereof.

    • entech says:

      Define sin.
      While you are at it define God.

      • Michael Ross says:

        I’m not real good at definitions and I’m sure you can find better sources for that information but I’m honored that you revere and seek my wisdom.

        • entech says:

          I have never been able to find a source with a definitive definition. Everyone seems a little different in some way, some minor some major.

          • pqbd says:

            From Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals, Essay 2, Section 13: “Only something which has no history is capable of being defined.”

  3. Candyman says:

    I must be the only one who does research on historical events?

    very interesting… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfPGUmdAafo

    • entech says:

      UFOTV, confidence inspiring resource.

    • Michael Ross says:

      Very interesting documentary, Candyman. Another evidence for the flood account is that 230 early civilizations all have a comparable flood tradition. All center around a man and his family who survived a great flood in a large boat. The were oral traditions that told a similar story. How? Why? because it happened .

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Michael 6:40 “There were oral traditions that told a similar story.”

        Probably, local floods happened almost everywhere. If you had not traveled but a few miles, you would think your region was the entire world. Is that not a likely explanation?

        • Michael Ross says:

          230 ancient civilizations have a tradition of a flood where one man and his family survived on a large boat?

          Make that 500:

          altogether there are over 500 Flood legends worldwide. Ancient civilizations such as (China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, America, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia) all have their own versions of a giant flood.

          These flood tales are frequently linked by common elements that parallel the Biblical account including the warning of the coming flood, the construction of a boat in advance, the storage of animals, the inclusion of family, and the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided. The overwhelming consistency among flood legends found in distant parts of the globe indicates they were derived from the same origin (the Bible’s record), but oral transcription has changed the details through time.

          http://www.nwcreation.net/noahlegends.html

          • entech says:

            %00 seems to be more than a stretch

          • entech says:

            From your Creationist site. Australia- Kurnai
            Australia
            There is a legend of a flood called the Dreamtime flood. Riding on this flood was the woramba, or the Ark Gumana. In this ark was Noah, Aborigines, and various animals. This ark eventually came to rest in the plain of Djilinbadu where it can still be found. They claim that the white mans story about the ark landing in the middle east is a lie that was started to keep the aborigines in subservience. This legend is undoubtedly the product of aboriginal legends merging with those of visiting missionaries, and there does not appear to be any native flood stories from Australia.

            Very similar from a site called was this Atlantis:
            Australian
            During the Dreamtime flood, woramba, the Ark Gumana carrying Noah, Aborigines, and animals, drifted south and came to rest in the flood plain of Djilinbadu (about 70 km south of Noonkanbah Station, just south of the Barbwire Range and east of the Worral Range), where it can still be seen today. The white man’s claim that it landed in the Middle East was a lie to keep Aborigines in subservience.
            This story comes in quite a few books and sites almost verbatim, the question is this because it happened or because of plagiarism. I vote for the latter. It is inconsistent with aboriginal storytelling

            From talkorigins.org flood-myths
            Kurnai (Gippsland, Victoria):
            Long ago, a great flood covered the country. All drowned except a man and two or three women who took refuge on a mud island near Port Albert. Pelican came by in his canoe and went to help them. He fell in love with one of the women. He ferried the others to the mainland, but left her for last. Afraid of being alone with him, the woman dressed a log in her opossum rug so it looked like her, left it by the fire, and swam to the mainland. The pelican returned and flew into a passion when the log dressed as a woman wouldn’t answer him. He kicked it, which only hurt his foot and made him angrier. He began to paint himself white so that he might fight the woman’s husband. Another pelican came up when he was halfway through with these preparations, but not knowing what to make of the strange half black and half white creature, pecked him and killed him. That is why pelicans are now black and white.

            Wikipedia
            Kurnai Creation story
            It is told that the first Kurnai came down from the north west mountains, with his canoe on his head. He was known as Borun, the pelican. He crossed the Tribal River and walked on into the west to Tarra Warackel (Port Albert). He heard a constant tapping sound, as he walked, but could not identify it. At the deep water of the inlets Borun put down his canoe and discovered, much to his surprise, there was a woman in it. She was Tuk, the musk duck. He was very happy to see her and she became his wife and the mother of the Gunaikurnai people.
            In scientific terms, evidence of human occupation at Cloggs Cave near Buchan, has been dated at up to 17,000 years, while occupation at New Guinea Cave in the same area has been dated to over 20,000 years.

            The second two are closer to the traditional type of story:
            in 1. it mentions a great flood but almost a mud island and the main land, it is closer to a story of “Why Pelicans are black and white”, there are many explanatory stories of this type.
            in 2. No mention of flood and the canoe was being carried.

            This site is good for information, a lot of consultation and agreement was reached when the aboriginal stories and dances were used for ceremonies at the Sydney Olympic Games

            http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/dreaming

            Your Creation stories, Adam and Eve , global floods and so on and the attempts to correlate them with the rest of the world is a complete distortion of fact and reality.

          • Jinx says:

            My deceased husband was a geologist, there is absolutely no geological evidence to support Noah and 6 to 9 thousands years of earth existence.. Sea shells and creatures atop mountains were once sea floor’s that were uplifted by tetonic movement of the plate crust….as one plate of the earth’s crust slide under another that was a sea, the sea floor was lifted (over millions of years) higher and higher…lots of evidence in our Appalachians and Rockies as well as the Himalayans (are still rising as the african plate slides to the north and will result in the disappearance of the Mediterranian Sea in millions of years).

          • Michael Ross says:

            In many Indian traditions, a great flood covered the earth in ancient times, and some stories associate this event with the
            end of the age of monsters. Traditions of a mighty deluge can be found in oral and written literatures from around the world.
            The end of the most recent Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago, could have involved cataclysmic flooding. As the glaciers slowly
            melted, for example, the sudden release of a massive ice sheet into the ocean would have brought worldwide flooding. The end
            of theIce Age also coincides with the extinction of many species of megafauna around the world.
            The first Americans made artifacts and left sites which archaeologists can study for insights into the distant past. The ancient
            ancestors of modern Native Americans also created verbal documents about their experiences, and successive generations of
            Indians heard these stories as accounts of actual, not fictional, historical events. If Native American origin traditions shed light
            on the lifeways of people who settled in North America during the last Ice Age, then Indian literature preserves a remarkable
            legacy of documents about ancient human history in the New World.

            ~From the Society for American Archaeology – I don’t think this is a creationist website but the I could be wrong as I most often am.

            http://www.saa.org/Portals/0/SAA/publications/SAAbulletin/11-4.pdf

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Michael 2:09 Are you saying the Society for American Archaelogy endorses the Noah flood story?

            There was massive flooding when the glaciers melted for sure, including the lake that existed where you and I live. When a lot of water was here where we live in the form of ice (glacier) and later a lake, the water levels of the oceans were lower than they are today.

            Melting glaciers do not tell us the earth was completely covered with water and all the sinners drowned.

          • Michael Ross says:

            There was only one ice age and it was a result of the climatic changes after the flood.

            http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/fit/only-one-ice-age

          • entech says:

            Michael, 12,00 years ago for the end of an ice age, much more than 6,000 years ago. OK, some say 6 to 10 thou so maybe stretch it out a bit. The we have to think about how long the ice age lasted before that, how many ice ages were there? Some theories have the ice reaching almost to the equator, taking up so much water that the sea levels were pretty lo allowing the passage between Europe and America across the Bering Straits, camels and lamas are very close cousins – but all this is much more than your young earth ideas would permit. Many of the flood myths and legends are much older. You can’t have it both ways.

            A “verbal document” is not worth the paper it is printed on :lol:

          • entech says:

            Answers in Genesis says:
            So these so-called ancient ice ages can be explained as gigantic underwater landslides during the Genesis flood.
            But you say:
            There was only one ice age and it was a result of the climatic changes after the flood.

            Better stick to cut’n'paste, you only seem to be able to read something that says what you want it to say, was it during or after? I suppose that is a useful ability when reading the Biblical stories.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Candyman 5:24 “very interesting”

      There must be a hundred “sitings” of the ark–one everymonth or so. It’s always some stones or timbers and nothing every comes of them. Every time you hear of a new one, Candyman, send the group some money.

  4. Avatar of realist realist says:

    The sticking point for me has always been all those animals in a boat. Outrageous as the rest of the story is, it’s all the male/female pairs along with Noah’s extended family that has me shaking my head. I read once how big a boat this had to have been to actually accomplish what the story states. It could only happen in the imaginations of those early mythmakers.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      realist 2:06 “The sticking point for me has always been all those animals in a boat.”

      That’s the problem with the Moses story as well. If an exodus actually like the Bible described, there would have to have been hundreds of thousands of animals with them. There was not room in the story’s staging area for all those animals. Animals were needed to convert the grass into palatable food. On top of that, we know the story was written later than it implies because it mentions towns now known not to have existed during the time frame of the fictional exodus.

      • Wolfy32 says:

        Jon.. the sticking point here, is that you assume they had a diverse massive food supply… The story as I recall indicated that they rushed, only taking what they could carry or quickly grab.. There was no time to heard up a large heard of animals for food.. The story makes it fairly clear they had insufficient food and water to wonder in a desert.. The authors implied this with the “mana rained upon them from heaven to feed them and give them nourishment.”

        And Moses used his staff to provide springs of water in the desert.

        They had nothing but the shirts on their back and food from the sky and a running stream from a rock. No massive staging area needed….

        What no one thinks about though, is the hidden details that every christian I’ve met overlooks… Mana raining from the sky.. O.k. visualize the scene… Thousands of very hungry people wandering through a desert, and suddenly there’s a bunch of strange triskets raining from the sky…. No one questions what this is? It just happens? How is it facilitated? The clouds do it? Why is this even mentioned in the story?

        To me one explanation is a ship hovering over them dumping a payload of food. Moses Staff was actually a technological instrument, that he may have been given special training to use. He pressed a button that signaled the flying ship following them and it used some advanced device to part the sea. Thus, perfectly timing when the people passed and Egyptians were at their weakest moment.

        If it all could be timed / monitored / then it becomes much more feasible and believable. then following them into the desert providing the people with “mana” scientificly advanced food crumbs etc.

        The moses story to me, is much more a story out of science fiction and possibly an early documented encounter with an advanced civilization that for some reason at the time, cared about the Israelites fleeing the egyptians. This story by itself makes more sense from this perspective.. Some advanced group seeking to protect these particular people… Directly influencing the development of the human race. It would also then explain why the pillaging of the cities that they come across as permissable.. the advanced race had an investment in this group of people surviving and for what reason or purpose is inconcludable. Since all this is pure speculation, but, it’s as believable as anything else.

        • entech says:

          Shirts on their backs and enough gold to build an idol.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            See gold leaf–early bronze age.

          • entech says:

            Exodus 32:8 … They have made themselves a molded calf …

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            How big, and molded from what? Speculation. They had invented clay and pottery. We don’t know. Anything more is speculation.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I know what you’re going to say next.

          • entech says:

            OK, you win, Life is too short for futility.
            I was only quoting the word of God – you, of course know better.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            The word is “Molten”, not “Molded”. Although one would presume the gold leaf would have been molten before pounded into thin leaves. They did have pure gold lampstands, etc. in the tabernacle, also molten. The molten bull is reasonable. How big it was, we don’t know. It could have been a foot tall or more. Not at all out of the realm of possibility. The narrative reports from earrings, etc. We can’t assume the bull was full size. A golden bull is a golden bull, no matter what size. Depictions of the size in art paintings also is speculation. Where the gold came from, was most likely from the “plunder” of the Egyptians, in Exodus 12:36. How much that was, we don’t know. It is best when you quote “the word of God” accurately.

          • entech says:

            OK, you win, Life is too short for futility.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            ! ! !

    • Michael Ross says:

      It could have been done according to those who have researched the subject:

      http://creation.com/how-did-all-the-animals-fit-on-noahs-ark

      If you scoff at the biblical account you will scoff at the evidence that proves its scientific and historic accuracy.

      • Avatar of realist realist says:

        Seriously? Creation.com? Of course they proved a way for Noah to fit all the animals in the world on his ark. Isn’t that the outfit that “proved” the world is 6,000 years old?

        • Michael Ross says:

          So prove the world is 5 billion years old when radio carbon dating is only reliable to a few thousand years.

          • Avatar of realist realist says:

            Yeah, cause that’s all we got: carbon dating. Nothing else, except for fossils, geological layers, DNA. Wake up, Michael.

          • Michael Ross says:

            Fossils – show no transitional life forms

            DNA – Francis Crick, the co discoverer of the DNA molecule, has admitted that there is no evidence for evolution.

            Geological layers – were laid down at the same time from a catastrophic event (Noah’s flood).
            http://www.icr.org/article/ten-misconceptions-about-geologic-column/

          • entech says:

            Michael 2:55 am

            Theistic Evolution and the Reasonable Christian.
            Collins’s main argument in The Language of God makes three related claims:
            “Faith that places God in the gaps of current understanding about the natural world may be headed for crisis if advances in science subsequently fill those gaps” (p. 93). We cannot use causal action by a transcendent intelligence to explain puzzling natural phenomena. In short, no God?of-the? gaps allowed.

            “Darwin’s framework of variation and natural selection,” but especially Darwin’s picture of a Tree of Life—the common ancestry of all organisms on Earth—“is unquestionably correct” (141). Universal common descent by natural processes is scientifically non?negotiable. The theory of neo?Darwinian evolution cannot rationally be doubted by any educated person.

            The best way to reconcile the propositional content of a transcendentally grounded morality with modern evolutionary theory is what Collins calls “BioLogos,” his renaming of “theistic evolution.” BioLogos is “not intended as a scientific theory” (204), but it is “by far the most scientifically consistent and spiritually satisfying” (210) of the alternatives in the science/religion debate (the others being atheism or agnosticism, young?earth creation, and intelligent design). BioLogos “will not go out of style or be disproven by future scientific discoveries. It is intellectually rigorous [and] provides answers to many otherwise puzzling questions” (210).
            Given this, a reasonable Christian will find herself embracing theistic evolution—BioLogos—if she wishes to be heard in our current culture.
            From a review of Collins Book “The language of God”.

            And from another:
            ‘God Is Not Threatened by Our Scientific Adventures’
            A genome researcher explains how he reconciles science with his deep Christian faith.
            BY: Interview with Francis Collins

            In your book, you say religion and science can coexist in one person’s mind. This has been a struggle for some people, especially in terms of evolution. How do you reconcile evolution and the Bible?
            As someone who’s had the privilege of leading the human genome project, I’ve had the opportunity to study our own DNA instruction book at a level of detail that was never really possible before.
            It’s also now been possible to compare our DNA with that of many other species. The evidence supporting the idea that all living things are descended from a common ancestor is truly overwhelming.
            I would not necessarily wish that to be so, as a Bible-believing Christian. But it is so. It does not serve faith well to try to deny that.
            But I have no difficulty putting that together with what I believe as a Christian because I believe that God had a plan to create creatures with whom he could have fellowship, in whom he could inspire [the] moral law, in whom he could infuse the soul, and who he would give free will as a gift for us to make decisions about our own behavior, a gift which we oftentimes utilize to do the wrong thing.
            I believe God used the mechanism of evolution to achieve that goal. And while that may seem to us who are limited by this axis of time as a very long, drawn-out process, it wasn’t long and drawn-out to God. And it wasn’t random to God.
            [He] had the plan all along of how that would turn out. There was no ambiguity about that.

            You say so many things to support your young earth creation viewpoint that are just wrong, have been demonstrated to be wrong so many times.
            Your words on fossils are quite simply deliberate lies, there is more than enough evidence to show it is not true what you say, yet you and yours completely ignore everything except what you want to believe.
            People ask me what would it take to make you change your mind and become a true believer, there are many things, I can imagine some undeniable things that would have me on my knees in a moment. I get the impression however, that if positive proof of the non- existence were shown you would find some way to find fault. Further I do believe that if a proof of God was found and it did not produce a God that your creationist viewpoint could reconcile, then you would deny that too – a trick of the devil perhaps?

          • entech says:

            Sorry wrong Francis in my previous comment. Logical error really as Collins is well known for his conversion to and strong advocacy for Christianity, frequently referred to here. And they worked in similar fields.

            Crick on the other hand was always known to be not of that view.
            A couple of quotes from his biography in Wikipedia.

            In Crick’s view, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, Gregor Mendel’s genetics and knowledge of the molecular basis of genetics, when combined, revealed the secret of life

            Crick once joked, “Christianity may be OK between consenting adults in private but should not be taught to young children.”
            In his book Of Molecules and Men, Crick expressed his views on the relationship between science and religion. After suggesting that it would become possible for people to wonder if a computer might be programmed so as to have a soul, he wondered: at what point during biological evolution did the first organism have a soul? At what moment does a baby get a soul? Crick stated his view that the idea of a non-material soul that could enter a body and then persist after death is just that, an imagined idea. For Crick, the mind is a product of physical brain activity and the brain had evolved by natural means over millions of years. Crick felt that it was important that evolution by natural selection be taught in schools and that it was regrettable that English schools had compulsory religious instruction. Crick felt that a new scientific world view was rapidly being established, and predicted that once the detailed workings of the brain were eventually revealed, erroneous Christian concepts about the nature of humans and the world would no longer be tenable; traditional conceptions of the “soul” would be replaced by a new understanding of the physical basis of mind. He was sceptical of organized religion, referring to himself as a skeptic and an agnostic with “a strong inclination towards atheism”.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 11:09 Great summary of Crick. That the soul is an imagined idea is central to the criticism of faith. Nevertheless, it is an appealing notion and it’s understandable millions of people would grasp at such a concept to avoid ultimate death.

    • Jinx says:

      Yea, how does the recent DNA evidence that identified the so called Yeti as related to an ancient polar bear that lived about 60,000 years ago match up with Noah? The hairs used for analysis resembles the ancient polar more than the modern polar bear……. Haven’t looked into the research behind the new findings to check out the methodology but a quick skim through it looked good. So, Noah had 2 of them and 2 modern polar bears……….it does not compute so it is not logical so it is not true, just more folk tales for the sheeple.

  5. Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

    They’re metaphors.

    This would be a lot more productive if we could just dispense with the notion that it matters one whit weather or not or to what extent any of this stuff in any myth from any culture actually happened and get on with talking about what the narrative has to tell us.

    Obviously the moral of the flood myth is that everyone should have insurance.

  6. Gerald Fauske says:

    I scoff at ‘evidence’ for a great worldwide flood as described in the bible because it did not happen based on real science. Michael Rose- your vocabulary word for today is ‘biogeography.’ Flood proponents overlook many obvious things like the elephants in the room: a) Elephants require between 300 and 440 gallons of fresh water per day- so, no saltwater fish in a worldwide flood scenario; b) The Elephantidae (elephants and mammoths) have a prehistoric distribution with oldest fossils in Africa, youngest fossils in North American yet none in South America or Australia. The African species are never found in North America and visa versa. On a bigger scale, the distribution of animals (and plants) in the world fits exactly the theory of continental drift and plate tectonics- it does not fit a world wide flood scenario.

    • Jinx says:

      You got that right Mr. Fauskee!

    • StanB says:

      Gerald, every source I checked says elephants need 50-100 gallons a day depending on temperature. You got that 300 to 440 gallons from what source? Change that to liters ans we are fairly close. Off by a factor of 400% and that is for animals in the wild.

    • Michael Ross says:

      With large animals such as elephant and dinosaurs it is logical to assume that Noah took babies weighing a few hundred pounds and not tons as an adult. Also as far as eating and waste it could be that they were put a state of hibernation. Unquestionably Noah had some supernatural help. He did what God commanded in building the Ark and God brought the animals to him.

      • entech says:

        Of course, we keep forgetting. “with God Anything is Possible”. Suspended animation.

        But one needs to wonder why all the effort and agony imposed on the innocent as well as the guilty, if “In the Beginning, was the word”. Why not “The Ending was the word”. Get it over and start again is what a truly great designer would have done, you have to know when to say enough is enough and stop twerking, or is that tweaking, the design.
        Of course, if the are remnants of older designs left in the latest incarnation, it either points to something that could not go back and start again had to adapt to changing circumstances as best it could, in a word to evolve. Either that or an incompetent designer.

      • Wolfy32 says:

        It was the invention of the first world renowned aquarium museum! Suids, sea horses, and freshwater trout! All mixed together!

        :)

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