1 The Noah's Ark Fairy Tale B De
2 Investigating Noah's Flood Anonymous
3 Ziusudra's Barge
4 Noah's Flood 2
5 Noah's Ark Too Big A Job
6 Noah's Ark
Noah's Ark Fairy Tale
The Jews invented their god Yahweh — a very chatty sort as deities go.
At the drop of a halo, he would call on one of his favourites for a
chat, to give his instructions to be passed on to the gullible masses.
His favourites were John the Baptist, Moses, Paul, Joseph and Mary,
Lot, Joshua, Noah, Abraham to name but a few.
One day he called on Noah to tell him that he was about to destroy the
world by a huge flood. He told Noah he would save him and his family,
sons, a total of 8 persons.
God then instructed Noah to build an Ark. Here God gave him the exact
measurements in cubits. In ancient times a cubit is about the length of
one's forearm, about 18 inches or 45 cm long.
It was to have 3 decks, one window 22 inches sq. and
one door, shutting
on the outside.
- The length of the
Ark would be 300 cubits = 450 ft.
- The height would be
30 cubits = 45 ft.
- The width would be
50 cubits = 75 ft.
Noah would have to collect about 100,000 insects, 40,000 mammals, 1600
reptiles and all the different kinds of food each would eat. He also
instructed Noah to ensure that all Australia's unique animals, Koalas,
Kangaroos, Wombats etc and their special foods be collected into the
Ark. When all were inside God himself would close the door and Noah
close the window.
Then the rains came down, till the waters were over every mountain in
the world, over 5 miles deep.
According to Genesis 150 days [5 months] of flood. Eight people plus
all the livestock previously mentioned in that enclosed space —
unbelievable. Ha! Ha!
Genesis has two contradictory stories of the flood. [So much for God's
infallible word, but then again one must realize that God himself was a
creation of man.]
At that time Noah was 600 years old — another comic twist to the story.
In all the rush, this omni everything deity forgot to take into
consideration or mention to Noah, the Dinosaurs, Mastodons, etc. These
were monsters, some bigger than the Ark.
The comic story continues that this deity could not
even work out the
fact, that even if a couple of these monsters managed to get on the
Ark, the Ark would not have been able to float.
- Spinosaurus —
Length 59.1 ft. Height 20 ft. Weight 9 tons.
- Giantosaurus —
Length 52.5 ft. Height 18 ft. Weight 8 tons.
- T-Rex — Length 43
ft. Height 16.5 ft. Weight 8 tons.
- Diplodocus — Height
90 ft. Weight 17 tons.
- Mastodon — Height
10 ft. Tusks 15 ft long. Weight 15 tons
- Supersaurus —
Length 130 ft.
- Brachiosaurus —
Height 82 ft. Weight 65 tons.
- Sauroposeidon —
Length 100 ft. Height 60 ft. Weight 65 tons.
Another fact is that many of these Dinosaurs were on earth about 110
million years ago. This puts paid to the other Bible story that the
earth was 10,000 years old.
At last after 5 months, the Ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat [in present
day Turkey] 16,854 ft above sea level, and all went their merry way.
In addition to the two contradictory stories in the Bible, Great flood
stories have been recorded long before the Bible was written. The Hindu
Punaric story, the Sumerian flood myth, the Greek flood myth, the
Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, all go to prove it is nothing more than a
re-cycled myth through thousands of years in different countries,
featuring different heroes — just another fairy story.
Prof. Brian de Kretser
Institute for Research into Religions, Darwin, N.T. Australia.
The Babylonians had a flood story, the epic of Gilgamesh. Before the
Babylonians the Sumerians, Akkadians and Hurrians (SE Turkey) also had
flood stories in which a man built a boat and survived.
Armenians, Greeks and many other peoples also had flood legends; over
150 worldwide are known. How many are based on the same event and which
are revisions of others, cannot be established. Some commentators claim
the many versions echo one great flood; others that they reflect
numerous local floods.
Young Earth Creationists defend the Noah's Ark story (Genesis 6-8) by
rejecting much of modern science including a lot of geology, astronomy,
physics, chemistry, oceanography, archaeology, history, paleontology,
geography, zoology, botany, biology, etc. If, however, we want to find
out about the world and nature, we need to refer to science. If science
is wrong then nothing can be established, proved, confirmed or refuted.
Young-Earth-Creationist attempts to prove their beliefs by imagining
science to be wrong, is therefore contradictory.
Seventh Day Adventist Ron Wyatt (Discovered: Noah's Ark, 1989),
Fasold (The Ark of Noah, 1989) and others have claimed they
giant fossilized boat near Mount Ararat, but their claims have been
I'm going to leave science intact and investigate whether Noah's Flood
and Noah's Ark (Genesis 6-8) are still plausible.
Critics argue that wooden ships longer than 300 feet are non-seaworthy
in rough waters and Noah's 450-foot Ark would break apart.
From Genesis the Ark appears flat-bottomed without rounded hull or
keel, a huge barge suited for a calm inland flood rather than ocean
The Chinese fleet in the 15th century included barge-shaped ships 400
feet long (Viviano 2005), and these survived Indian Ocean storms. The
extra 50 feet needed to equal Noah's inland barge might therefore be
Some also argue that "cubits" in Genesis should be "spans" and Noah's
Ark was therefore 200 feet rather than 450 but this is speculative.
Ancient Egypt had obelisk-carrying barges 200 feet long — and one by
Queen Hatshepsut (15th century BC) was 95 metres long. Clarke &
Engelbach (1999) suggest that barges transported granite blocks
weighing up to 1000 tons. Emperor Caligula had "pleasure barges" 230
feet long on Lake Nemi (Italy). The world's largest wooden ships, some
over 400 feet long, are listed at:
How long did it take to build the Ark?
The BBC television documentary
"The Pharoah who conquered the sea" reported about a project to
re-enact the trip to Punt (probably Somalia) by Queen Hatshepsut's
fleet around 1480BC. Archaeologists employed Arab shipbuilders to use
ancient methods to build an Egyptian ship modeled on a bas-relief in
the temple at Luxor. The ship was 66 feet long, used 60 tons of Douglas
fir from Europe, and took one year to build. The documentary didn't say
how many workers were involved — but it seemed between 10 and 20.
Noah's Ark might therefore be built in reasonable time if manpower
employed was correspondingly greater. The 15th century Chinese fleet of
up to 300 vessels was built in three years.
DINOSAURS and EARTH'S AGE
Dinosaurs in Noah's Ark are a problem for young-earth-creationists who
claim the Universe is 6000 years old and who I refuted in Creationism,
ID and Science (#108).
How old is our planet? In 1970 I noted the description of "earth"
before creation in Genesis 1:2 and wondered how our planet could become
so devastated. The 1:2 description was also a test of biblical
accuracy, since if the description was fantasy then no scientific
explanation would ever be found. An explanation, however, came in 1974
when I read Bombarded Earth a book about asteroid impacts. (See
details in Investigator #83)
A crater from an oceanic asteroid impact big enough to produce the
Genesis 1:2 conditions was discovered off NW Australia in 2001. (#98,
p. 46) This discovery might not be the asteroid of Genesis 1:2 since
countless other impacts have occurred, but in principle the idea is
confirmed. This is one of the few successful predictions of future
scientific discovery ever made from Genesis 1.
Giant asteroid impacts imply that planet Earth is very old — old enough
for many geological and biological recoveries from repeated world
changing impacts. Just look at the Moon through a telescope and see
what Earth has recovered from!
My point is that Earth is old and Noah's Flood (Genesis 6-8), being
comparatively recent, had nothing to do with dinosaurs.
The most inclusive phrase in Genesis 7 of the Flood's extent is "all
the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered". This phrase,
however, gives Noah's perspective i.e what Noah observed, since Bible
statements about the sky ("heaven") are from the perspective of human
We therefore need to look for a large local flood, not a global flood,
but a flood which destroyed a civilization so that from Noah's
viewpoint there was "an end of all flesh" (6:13).
Archaeologists have discovered sediments from major floods in
Mesopotamia (Iraq) which occurred around 3500BC, 2900BC, 2800BC,
Archaeologist Bruce Masse argues that an asteroid slammed into the
Indian Ocean off Madagascar about 2800BC and produced 600-foot-high
tsunamis. (Carney 2007)
About 5500BC the Black Sea, which prior to that time was a fresh-water
lake, was flooded by the Mediterranean Sea. (McInnes 1998) Remains of
houses have been found 300 feet below sea level. Ian Wilson (2001)
argues that the biblical and Mesopotamian flood stories reflect the
Black Sea flood-event.
10,000 years ago much of the North Sea and English Channel was dry land
and inhabited, but flooded when the Ice Age ended. The Black Sea and
North Sea flooding, however, cannot be Noah's Flood since Genesis says
"the waters receded from the earth" (8:3-4) whereas these areas stayed
Giant floods occurred also in North America 15,000 to 13,000 years ago.
Glacial dams disintegrated after the Ice Age, releasing pooled water up
to 1800 feet high that carved huge canyons into the region's thick lava
foundations and deposited gravel bars hundreds of feet high and
40-layer stacks of sediment 30 metres thick. (Pendick 1997) In 1990
Russian geologists recognized from huge gravel bars and eroded hills
that equally great floods had burst from Lake Missoula in Siberia.
Stokstad (1996) writes that a huge flood may have restarted the Gulf
Stream after a cold spell 12,000 years ago shut it down. Lake Agassiz,
the size of Sweden, existed in west Canada at the time, and burst
through debris left by a retreating glacier.
Ted Bryant, geomorphologist of Wollongong, catalogued evidence of six
giant tsunamis on Australia's coasts from 4000 BC to AD 1600 including:
"car-sized blocks of rock lifted over 100-metre high cliffs." (Jones
In the 1960s oceanographers recognized that deep-ocean volcanoes near
Hawaii sometimes collapsed in huge landslides creating giant tsunamis.
Underwater landslides sculptured the Canary Islands in the Atlantic
Ocean 15,000 years ago.
The biblical flood came from rainfall, 40 days of it (7:12), and from
"the great deep":
On that day
all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the
heavens were opened. (Genesis 7:12)
"The great deep" is not necessarily the Mediterranean
people also knew of the Indian and Atlantic oceans. And if an ice dam
collapsed, as discussed above, that could also be a "great deep".
The "high mountains" (Hebrew harim also means "hills") were
"fifteen cubits deep" (7:19-20). This, however, could be the water's
depth as measured from the base of the hills i.e. the plain. If so,
then the Flood occurred where the "hills" were less than 15 cubits (22
The waters "gradually receded" (8:2-5) taking over half a year. The
location of Noah's Flood, therefore, appears to be a large flat area
surrounded by distant mountains or glaciers or debris that temporarily
contained the water.
Around 2000AD an ancient urban civilization unknown to archaeologists
was discovered in Iran. It's called Aratta, and preceded Mesopotamian
civilization. Even older, 7000 years old, is Trypillia discovered in
1897 in Ukraine. These civilizations can't be identified with Noah but
raise the possibility of yet other lost civilizations — and perhaps a
A 5th-century BC Chaldean priest supposedly saw the Ark on Mount
Ararat, and similar claims of sightings surfaced into the 1980s. But
all attempts at confirmation failed. The "mountains" of Ararat (8:4)
may refer to Urartu a kingdom north of Assyria and not to Mount Ararat
in Turkey. It's also unclear how long Ararat in Turkey has been so
Scientist says: "Our best estimates so far put the number of
species between 1.4 and 1.9 million." (24 April, 2010, p. 14)
The article lists: Invertebrates 1,203,000; Fungi 70,000; Plants
Vertebrates 60,000; Bacteria and Protists 250,000.
In Investigator 49/50 I analyzed the biblical words for various
animal groups in Genesis 6-7 and concluded that insects were "not
invited on board." What, therefore, went on board? Genesis 7:1-4 says
"Clean" and "unclean" animals and birds.
Deuteronomy 14:4-18 lists ten "clean" mammal species and four
"unclean", plus 20 "unclean" bird kinds.
Leviticus 11 gives the same
details but mentions also eight "unclean…creatures that swarm" i.e.
mouse, weasel, crocodile and various lizards. (11:29-30) "Clean" birds
are not listed but would include quail and chickens.
If the "clean" and "unclean" labels in Genesis correspond to these
later lists then the Ark held less than 50 species — livestock,
domesticated animals, birds, and "swarming" creatures that existed in
Noah's area. And 50 species is few enough for the Ark's eight human
passengers to have monitored and cared for.
Is Genesis 6-8 an amalgamation of two separate flood stories — Yahwist
(J) and Priestly (P) — as claimed by some scholars? Use of multiple
sources would not prove it wrong. Students today who write essays may
consult many references and combine all the main points and be more
accurate, not less accurate, for having done so.
The "Documentary Hypothesis" (or Hypotheses since there were
over 100 versions) postulates multiple sources for Genesis but has
reputable opponents. (Möller 1903; Young 1964)
Regarding Noah, the New Bible Dictionary (Second Edition 1982) says
that the evidence for multiple sources is "susceptible of other
of the Flood account is suggested by the consistent statements as to
the cause of the Flood (Gn. 6:5-7, J, 11-13, P), the purpose of it (Gn.
6:7, J, 13, 17, P; 7:4, J, 21, P, 22-23, J; 8:21, J), and the saving of
a representative remnant (Gn. 6:8, J, 18-20, P; 7:1-3, 7-9, J, 13-16a,
P, 16b, J; 8:16-19, P)." (p. 382)
No multiple authors have been identified and some scholars
the Documentary Hypothesis to be without "merit".
The setting for the Genesis Flood, as I've interpreted it, seems
somewhere in Asia but cannot yet be identified with a particular
historical flood. However, great floods have occurred, wooden ships
over 400 feet long are possible, the creatures saved on board numbered
hundreds rather than millions, and some ancient civilizations surely
remain undiscovered. If along with these points we recall the many
other biblical claims already proved correct in Investigator,
claims that formerly seemed wrong, then Noah's Flood is plausible.
Carney, S. 2007 Discover [No date or volume number]
Clarke, S. & Engelbach, R. 1999 Ancient Egyptian Masonry: The
Building Craft, Book Tree
Diamond, J. Voyage of the Overloaded Ark, Discover, June 1985
Gallant, Rene 1964 Bombarded Earth, John Baker
Jones, N. New Scientist, September 14, 2002, p. 15
McInnes, D. Earth, August 1998, pp 46-54
Möller, W. (1903) Second Edition, Are the Critics Right?
Pendick, D. Earth, February 1997, pp 26-35
Ryan, W. & Pitman, W. 1998 Noah's Flood, Simon &
Stokstad, E. New Scientist, November 16, 1996, p. 19
Viviano, F. China's Great Armada, National Geographic, July 2005
Wilson, I. 2001 Before The Flood, Orion Paperback
Young, E.J. 1964 An Introduction to the Old Testament
Tyndale, Chapter 8.
'NOAH'S ARK' HAVE BEEN
"If something appears to be too absurd to be true,
then there is a good chance that it's not true."
John H. Williams
I refer to Anonymous' article, Investigating
Noah's Flood in
he stated, there are flood stories in over 150 cultures, and, given all
of the available evidence, we can, as he does, dismiss the idea of one
global inundation, and with it, in my view, a literal
If the Ark story were true, then everything we know about the history
of life on Earth would be discounted as wrong. The books and articles
discussing that barge's (ark is the Hebrew word for box) size,
to withstand oceanic waves, the number and kinds of kinds it held and
their on-board diet are so much verbiage. Mr A's "analysis" of Genesis
6-7, showing that "insects were not invited on board" (Investigator
#49/50/135), highlights the futility of speculating about something
which never occurred: the Insecta 'uninvited' – that's
Mr A is, I believe, correct in describing it as a
"flat-bottomed…barge", suited for an "inland flood", though the
accompanying graphic in #3/135, at "137 metres", is twice as long
(based on a mistranslation) as the barge on which I believe the 'Noah's
Ark' story was based, since such a large unpowered river craft would
have been impracticable. (On being unloaded, it had to be partially
dismantled and hauled up-river to its home port).
He told us that he was "going to leave science intact" and check
whether the Noachian allegory is "plausible". 'Intact science', of the
kind that's found in New Scientist on relevant topics such as
paleoanthropology, reminds us that the Bible is not "historically
correct and scientifically accurate in every detail": given its
ancient, derivative, mistranslated, misinterpreted, partial, incomplete
and labyrinthine history, how could it be?
It's likely that the Noah's Ark story was primarily based on one
millennial river valley flood c. 2900 BCE, in Sumer, now southern Iraq.
I believe that a version of the story below actually happened, and,
possibly including other major flood events, was incorporated into
Sumerian legend (Eridu Genesis), and later transmitted to the Akkadian
and Babylonian epics of Atrahasis and Gilgamesh, then 'borrowed' by the
two main sources of the Hebrew Torah.
This RIVER FLOOD, attested by research and carbon
dating, is likely to have become the prototype, over two thousand years
later, of the Genesis Deluge, calculated by Bishop Ussher to have been
in 2348BCE, which occurred in the lower Euphrates valley during a six
or seven day rainstorm which coincided with the late spring/early
summer peak flow.
A river port city-state, SHURUPPAK, or FARA (now
modern Tell Fara) was overwhelmed by a rapid 15 cubits (seven metres)
rise of the Euphrates, catching the inhabitants by surprise, so that
they had no time to flee to distant high country. It was so wide and
voluminous that it understandably seemed universal, "the end of all
flesh" (Gen 6:13), and it effectively ended the ruling dynasty and the
Jemdet Nasr period.
ZIUSUDRA (Zin-Suddra, Xisuthros), a likely flood
hero prototype for the mythological Noah (Nuh in the Quran), was
Shuruppak's tenth king, the son of the biblical 'Lamech', aka Suruppak,
written as SU.KUR.LAM in Sumerian), and grand-son of 'Methuselah', the
8th and 9th Genesis patriarchs, as shown in the Sumerian King List.
Ziusudra owned at least one commercial tub-like barge, a 'quffa',
plied the old course of the Euphrates, transporting sheep, goats,
cattle, barley, beer, lumber, hay and other goods to Ur, a city - state
port near the Persian Gulf.
The dark yellow alluvium deposited by that c. 4,910
year-old flood has been studied: directly below this flood stratum,
polychrome pottery of the Jemdet Nasr period has been found, dated
3,000–2900BCE. Other cities were also flooded, including Uruk and Kish:
the latter became the dominant city after the flood. A range of dates
has been proposed for this flood: the Samaritan Bible gives
2903BCE; Keith Maisels dates the end of the Jemdet Nasr period as
2,960BCE, very close to the Greek Septuagint's 2,958BCE; Professor HW
Saggs suggests about 2,900BCE, and David Macdonald believes it was
between 2,950BCE and 2,850BCE.
Ziusudra and his family, having survived the
journey to Ur, offered a sacrifice atop a near-by 'hill', which led to
the mistranslation of the Hebrew word har, which can mean a hill or
mountain, by the writer(s) of Genesis 7.20 and 8.4 as a "mountain".
That 'hill' is also possibly a mistranslation of what was the altar of
a (ziggurat?) temple, an artificial 'hill'. The barge had been close to
fully loaded, almost ready to disembark, and became a vessel of
survival, not a floating zoo!
One of Ziusudra's (Noah's) predecessors, 'Adam'
(his Sumerian name has been lost), was the first king of Shuruppak, the
tax records of which go back no further than 3113BCE in the Jemdet Nasr
period, though Sumerian city states had begun to emerge from c.
Scribes had kept tax records, using a pre-cuneiform
number system, stored in temple archives. The flood story of 2900 BCE
was first written during the Early Dynastic 3a period (2600 – 2500BCE)
by a scribe, using whatever records were available, as well as various
oral traditions about previous floods. This same (or another) scribe
miscalculated the ages of Sumerian kings from raw birth and death
figures, using an archaic Sumerian number system of the 3a period.
Over seven centuries later (1800-1600BCE), during
the Old Babylonian era when Sumerian was still in use, a scribe
mistranslated the numbers into cuneiform using the classical
sexagesimal number system, erroneously assuming the original numbers
were Sumerian proto-sexagesimal, designed for counting objects such as
animals, when they were designed for counting grain volume. The
Sumerian King List's (composed c. 2100BCE), cuneiform gave numbers in
shar; the cuneiform for shar is 3,600 (60 x 60) = one year: Ziusudra's
pre-diluvial rule was for 10 shars, translated from 36,000 years, thus
10 actual years.
The corrected ages of four of the 'patriarchal'
Ziusudra ('Noah') ('He saw or found life') was born
in 2948BCE and died
aged 83 (Gen, 950) in 2,865BCE, He was regarded as pious, humble and
god-fearing, and he and his wife were awarded immortality.
(Utnapishtim, 'The Faraway', 'He found or saw life', is an Akkadian
translation of the name Ziusudra, and became, 1700 years later, a
mythical flood hero based on Ziusudra.
- 'Adam' began his
rule in 3113BCE and died at 81 (Genesis, 930).
- 'Methuselah' died
age 85 (Gen, 969).
(Suruppak/Sur.Kur.Lam) died at 63.3 yrs (Gen, 777).
(The ratios of Biblical ages to actual ages for 'Adam', Ziusudra and
Methuselah are x 11.48, 11.44 and 11.41); for Lamech it's x 12.3).
Mr A referred to the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic (c.1150BCE), whose flood
hero is Shuruppak's Utnapishtim, while the Akkadian, Atrahasis
(c.1635BCE), is believed by many to be the same being as Utnapishtim.
Comparing the three flood 'histories', there are strong parallels
between the stories of the Sumerian flood hero, Ziusudra, and the same
flood hero(es), Utnapishtim/Atrahasis. In the Berossus epic (278BCE),
the hero is Xisuthros (a Hellenised version of Ziuzudra) of Sippar
(upstream of Shuruppak), beset by the destroyer god Enlil, and aided by
a savior god, Enki, exactly as in the three other stories. Similar
versions are also found in Greek texts (c 700BCE) and the Quran (c.
In Gilgamesh, Utnapishtim is secretly warned to prepare for a great
flood, to be sent by the god Enlil (Lord Air) to drown all life.
Utnapishtim, having been warned by the god Enki (Enlil's son, Lord
Earth, later known as Ea), took all his animals on an ark, which was
becalmed for seven days, sent a dove (returned), a swallow (returned),
then a raven which did not return, so confirming land was near-by.
Utnapishtim made a sacrifice to Ea on top of Mount Nisir/Nimus and he
and his wife were taken by the gods to live at the mouth of the rivers.
Compare the following:
"the storm had swept for seven days and seven
nights" (Eridu Genesis, 2030)
The Mesopotamian stories all involve multiple gods:
much later it was
the solitary Yahweh who sent the Flood, due to 'humanity's wickedness'.
For Atrahasis, his chief god Enlil decided to destroy the world because
humans had become too numerous and "noisy" (one interpretation is a
surfeit of 'god-bothering', thus disturbing his days and preventing
sleep!). The biblical Ark story is a 'transmitted narrative', a blend
of myth and history, one handed down from generation to generation and
from (Sumerian/Babylonian) culture to (Hebrew) culture.
"for seven days and seven nights came the storm"
(Atrahasis III, iv, 24)
"six days and seven nights the wind and storm"
(Gilgamesh XI, 1270)
"rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty
nights" (Genesis 7:12)
"The gods smelled the savor" (Atr III, v, 34)
"The gods smelled the sweet savor (Gilg, XI, 160)
"And the Lord smelled the sweet savor" (Gen, 8:21)
offered a sacrifice" (Atr 111, v31)
"And offered a sacrifice" (Gilg X1, 155)
Noah offered burnt offerings on the altar" (Gen,
Built an altar and sacrificed to the gods"
Hans Schmidt and other archaeologists believe that the Yahwist and
Priestly versions of Genesis 6-9 were compiled while the Jews were in
Babylonian exile from 586BCE to 539BCE, and were directly
derived/plagiarised from Babylonian sources containing Sumerian
stories dating to c. 2,900BCE. Following the end of exile, Genesis went
through a long process of redaction in Jerusalem from 539BCE to 400BCE.
Naturally, there's an ongoing debate about the flood stories, the
amalgamated Yahwist (J) and Priestly (P) versions, or the multiple
sources of the Documentary Hypothesis, as outlined by Mr A in #135.
It's a big, complicated, fragmentary 'jig-saw', and I acknowledge my
limited biblical scholarship and historical expertise in offering this
plausible source of the Ark myth, for which, in my opinion, there's
However, much of my Ziusudra story is based on Noah's Ark and the
Ziusudra Epic (1999) by Robert Best, who has no credentials in
Mesopotamian languages and history. One can question his confident
speculation and his ignoring of 'the unknowable': Best's reconstruction
could well be too heavily based on orally transmitted stories, though
it's likely that a 'Ziusudran' flood event (or events) eventually
became a mythical epic.
Mr A believes that the Genesis flood can't be identified with a
particular historical flood: he could well be right: there may
have been a series of local floods which were conflated in folk memory
as one catastrophic deluge. He states that the creatures on board
numbered "hundreds", of "less than 50 species": the hundreds were the
barge's livestock, a vital food supply, plus the usual shipboard fauna.
Mr A's reference to "clean" and "unclean", is irrelevant, and was a
later Jewish embellishment which helped them to assert their distinct
identity during their time in exile, helping to minimise socialisation
and marriage with non-Jews.
Despite his comprehensive review of the Noah's Flood myth, and his
useful, factual and relevant corrections, Mr A remains wedded to the
inerrancy of Genesis. Yes, there are undiscovered civilisations, but
they are almost certainly not relevant to that which has found its way
into Genesis 6 – 9. It's the multiple parallels with
culture, history and myth which offer sufficient evidence to give us a
strong insight into its original source. Also, recalling "other
biblical claims already proved correct in Investigator" is
and unconvincing. Noah's Ark is, I submit, a 'busted' myth.
The Noachian odyssey is one of THE great stories of western culture,
one which colorfully and simplistically expresses the idea of an
all-powerful creator god deemed capable of slate-wiping and
re-starting, sending a grossly 'over-the-top' punishment/'lesson' for
human wrongdoing, or perhaps warning of any hankering after rival
Mesopotamian gods. It's an allegory emphasising that 'our god is
all-powerful, people owe him for their existence, and he expects them
to behave themselves'. Such ancient myths often have at core a factual
basis, and I believe that the mega-flood element of the Genesis story
did occur in the Euphrates valley of Sumer and became the basis for
Babylonian myths which later evolved in a version required by those who
were composing their tribal mythology, replete with expedient
mistranslations, misinterpretations and cultural Iron Age spin.
Anonymous, Investigating Noah's Flood, Investigator #135
Best, Robert.M. Noah's Ark and the Ziusudra Epic, Eisenbrauns,
Carroll, R, Noah's Ark, the Skeptic's Online Dictionary
Cline, Eric H, Biblical Archaeology, Oxford University Press,
Cohn, Norman, Noah's Flood in Western Thought, Yale University,
Hooke, SH, The Various Accounts of The Flood (article on
Commentary on the Bible)
Kriwaczek, Paul, Babylon, Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilisation,
Atlantic Books, London, 2010
Gardner, Laurence, Genesis of the Grail Kings, Bantam, 2005
Gardner, Laurence, The Grail Enigma, Harper Element, 2008
Lendering, Jona. The Great Flood: the story from the Bible (has
useful and comprehensive comparative table):
Straughen, Kirk, Ancient Cosmographies, Investigator #58, Jan
Time-Life, Mesopotamia: The Mighty Kings (1995) p.132 shows the
Babylonian map of the world (c. 500 – 600 BCE) which refers to Ziusudra
in the cuneiform above the clay tablet map (British Museum #92687)
Ages of biblical patriarchs: http://noahs-ark-flood.com/ages.htm
(Investigator 139, 2011
The most successful fiction to masquerade as history is Napoleon:
invented in 1945 by French historians seeking to glorify
France with a French equivalent to Adolf Hitler. This explains why
Hitler's achievements and Napoleon's are so similar — Napoleon is myth
based on Hitler.
Notice that to discard history or invent fake history
is easy. We
Both men invaded Egypt,
Italy and Poland; both attacked Malta, and
England on land and sea; both made treaties with Russia but invaded
Russia, both in June. Both legislated law codes — Hitler enforced
Nazism, Napoleon the Code Napoleon. Each commenced political prominence
in violence, went to prison, remained prominent 22 years and died in
his 50s. French historians reduced Hitler's age at death (56) by 1/14th
to get 52 for Napoleon's age at death to reflect lower life-spans in
the 19th century. Napoleon could not have invaded Russian due to the
impossibility of supplying 500,000 men without trains or trucks.
Hitler's war was lost
by 1944 when he suffered an assassination attempt
after which he organized the Ardennes offensive in Belgium. The
mythical Napoleonic equivalent is Napoleon's defeat in 1814, his exile,
then his attack at Waterloo also in Belgium. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf
and Napoleon wrote his Memorial. Both men loved two women —
Raubal and Eva Braun, and Napoleon Josephine and Marie Louise.
parallels are a sample and could be expanded. To
promote the Napoleon myth the French Government published fake
histories and documents and printed 19th century publication dates on
them, and built monuments falsely dated. Some 20th century historians
recognized the hoax but were bribed into silence. No other two men in
history have the same similarities as Hitler and Napoleon, which
confirms that Napoleon never existed.
List parallels and similarities;
Respond to science with conspiracy theory and
accusations of fraud.
To show that Noah's Flood is plausible (#135) I relied on standard
science. Williams (#138) replied with alleged parallel events and
pseudoscience. His references include Genesis of the Grail Kings
and The Grail Enigma the author of which, Laurence Gardner, is
conspiracy theory and pseudoscience. One review of Gardner says:
years ago, Adam and Eve (known then as Atâbba and
Kâva - and jointly called the Adâma) were purpose-bred for
kingship by Enki and his sister-wife Nîn-khursag. This took place
at a 'creation chamber' which the Sumerian annals refer to as the House
of Shimtî (Shi-im-tî meaning 'breath - wind - life'). Adam
and Eve were certainly not the first people on Earth, but they were the
first of the alchemically devised kingly succession. Nîn-khursag
was called the Lady of the Embryo or the Lady of Life, and she was the
surrogate mother for Atâbba and Kâva, who were created from
human ova fertilized by the Lord Enki.
Gardner uses names of Bible persons but rejects what
the Bible says
about them, and brings into his plots space aliens, cloning, alchemy,
Celtic mythology, Arthurian legends, and more. He omits Bugs Bunny but
might as well have included him. Gardner's premise that Adam and
Eve were cloned by aliens, Moses was Akhenaten, and Jesus was a
Rosicrucian married to Mary Magdalene is silliness that historians
ignore and skeptics lampoon.
Detailed response to Gardner is a job for skeptics — which Williams
claims to be. My "job" is to consult mainstream science to evaluate the
Various modern authors parallel the Genesis pre-flood patriarchs with
kings of Shuruppak (a city in Sumer), and the Genesis Flood with a
Sumer flood. However, all the names, all the life-spans, and most other
details don't match up.
Ziusudra, king of Shuruppak, is known from a 17th century BC tablet.
The story deals with creation of man and animals, the founding of the
first cities, and Ziusudra who is warned by the god Enki to build a
In the Akkadian flood story the hero is Atrahasis who also is warned by
Enki to build a boat to escape.
In the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh the hero is Utnapishtim who
constructs a boat to save his family plus representatives of all
animals. When the flood subsides the boat is grounded on a mountain.
After 7 days Utnapishtim releases in turn a dove and swallow which both
return, then a raven which does not return. Utnapishtim then makes a
sacrifice on mount Nisir and receives immortality.
The Britannica says regarding Ziusudra:
Mesopotamian religion rough counterpart to the biblical
Noah as survivor of a god-sent flood. When the gods had decided to
destroy humanity with a flood, the god Enki (Akkadian Ea), who did not
agree with the decree, revealed it to Ziusudra, a man well known for
his humility and obedience. Ziusudra did as Enki commanded him and
built a huge boat, in which he successfully rode out the flood.
Afterward, he prostrated himself before the gods An and Enlil (Bel),
and, as a reward for living a godly life, Ziusudra was given
We don't have archaeological confirmation of
Ziusudra, therefore when
writers connect him with the flood of 2900BC it's speculation.
The Sumerian king list is of limited help since it has various versions
with not much confirmed:
The king list
gives as coming in succession several dynasties that now
are known to have ruled simultaneously. It is a welcome aid to
chronology and history, but, so far as the regnal years are concerned,
it loses its value for the time before the dynasty of Akkad, for here
the lengths of reign of single rulers are given as more than 100 and
sometimes even several hundred years. One group of versions of the king
list has adopted the tradition of the Sumerian Flood Story according to
which Kish was the first seat of kingship after the Flood, whereas five
dynasties of primeval kings ruled before the Flood in Eridu,
Bad-tibira, Larak, Sippar, and Shuruppak. These kings all allegedly
ruled for multiples of 3,600 years (the maximum being 64,800 or,
according to one variant, 72,000 years)… (The Britannica)
Parallel event theorists claim the ages of these
mistranslated, and reduce them accordingly. They also reduce the
Genesis numbers to about one tenth the Bible figures — although this
would mean that Enosh became a father at age 9 and several others at 6
or 7. (Genesis 5)
Some websites speak of "the Sumerian Noah" and "Noah, king of
Shuruppak". These are attempts to get conclusions based on parallelisms
accepted by repetition. It's like trying to get Napoleon-is-Hitler
accepted by repeating the phrase "the French Hitler".
In Noah's Flood it rained 40 days (7:12), in the Mesopotamian stories 7
days and in both cases the flood survivors offered a sacrifice. The
parallels are fewer than could be listed for the Australian floods of
1974 and 2011. To argue from similarities that one Australian flood is
myth based on the other, and that the title "prime minister", in use
during both floods, means that the prime ministers of 1974 and 2011 are
one and the same, would be silly.
In the 1990s oceanographers discovered that the Mediterranean Sea
flooded into the Black Sea around 5500BC. This led to the idea that the
Babylonian flood stories, and the Biblical, are all based on the 5500BC
Black Sea flood. (Wilson, I. 2001 Before The Flood) If correct
this alone refutes the alleged Genesis-Sumeria connection. However, the
Black Sea interpretation for Noah's Flood is itself a conjecture, since
other large floods occurred even earlier.
For example, a "Live Science" Internet report in 2006 says: "A volcano
avalanche in Sicily 8,000 years ago triggered a devastating tsunami
taller than a 10-story building that spread across the entire
Mediterranean Sea, slamming into the shores of three continents… The
Mt. Etna avalanche sent 6 cubic miles of rock and sediment tumbling
into the water…"
Furthermore, archaeologists are still discovering ancient submerged
cities and civilizations. ("Deep Secrets" New Scientist, 28 November,
2009) The latest discovery is west of Gibraltar, which the discoverers
are identifying with Atlantis! (Newsweek, March 28 & April 4, 2011)
My point is that science has not identified Noah's Flood, and that to
argue from similarities with other stories while ignoring differences
is not history but nonsense.
The Genesis Flood, as argued in #135, was a large local flood. The
words "earth" and "ground" (Hebrew = eretz & adahmah) in the Bible
do not mean planet Earth but refer to land. Therefore Genesis 8:1 "a
wind blew over the earth" (eretz) implies there was other land not
covered by Noah's Flood.
Consider an experiment of arranging small stones in a circle and
emptying a bucket of water over the circle. The circular arrangement
would be destroyed. Now consider asteroid impacts and ask, "Is ejected
material from any ancient impact craters arranged into any patterns or
is everything obliterated as if washed over by mountainous tsunamis?"
Consider also large volcanic eruptions such as Mount Toba in Sumatra
74,000 years ago. New Scientist discussed a 2.5-metre-thick
Toba ash in southern India with stone artefacts above and below the
layer. (14 July, 2007) Do the ash deposits and positions of stone
artefacts suggest transfer from other places by worldwide movements of
water or not?
Similarly with ancient ice ages, ancient floods and ancient tsunamis:
Are their sediment layers and deposits of rocks all washed away as if
by global movements of water?
A useful rule for getting correct history is: "Consult the Encyclopaedia
Britannica and/or mainstream texts in harmony
with it." A
bad rule is: "Consult conspiracy, pseudoscience, and alternative
history derived from supposed parallel events."
Mr Williams has not budged the evidence for Noah's Flood that I
presented in #135 which was:
Many large inland floods have occurred, some
probably still undiscovered;
This is the current evidence without conspiracy,
parallels, or mythology.
Wooden barges longer than 400 feet are possible;
Analysis of the biblical words suggest as few as 50
species went on the Ark;
Ancient civilizations are still being discovered,
including some under water;
Many Bible claims have been confirmed in recent
decades so that Noah's Flood may be only a matter of time, just as
other claims were only a matter of time.
NOAH’S ARK —
TOO BIG A JOB
151, 2013 July)
Charles Darwin recorded his 'golden rule' as follows:
"I had also
during many years followed a golden rule, namely, that whenever a
published fact, a new observation or thought came across me, which was
opposed to my general results to make a memorandum of it without fail
and at once."
A small letter was printed in the "Guardian", one of Britain's
'top-line' papers on May 30th, 2013 which Investigator's
long-time contributor, Mr Anonymous, may like to consider.
The author, Gavin Ross, gives the dimensions of Noah’s Ark in feet as
450x75x45 and comments: "The ark was constructed by 600-year-old Noah
and his three sons in six months. Whether he engaged any labour force
(to be drowned) and how he obtained the necessary supplies of gopher
wood and pitch is not recorded."
(Investigator 152, 2013
Regarding Dr Potter's question in #151 on how long it
took to build
Genesis implies that the Ark was built after the births of Noah's three
sons (6:9-14). This allows for a construction period of decades, not
just 6 months.
In #135 I wrote:
argue that wooden ships longer than 300 feet are non-seaworthy in rough
waters and Noah’s 450-foot Ark would break apart.
Would it have been ethically wrong if Noah hired a
work force of men
who subsequently drowned?
From Genesis the Ark
appears flat-bottomed without rounded hull or keel, a huge barge suited
for a calm inland flood rather than ocean waves.
The Chinese fleet in
the 15th century included barge-shaped ships 400 feet long (Viviano
2005), and these survived Indian Ocean storms…
How long did it take to
build the Ark? … The 15th century Chinese fleet of up to 300 vessels
was built in three years."
That would be no different to Christians today using radio, printing
presses, travel arrangements or anything else useful in their ministry
and paying unbelievers the going price. If Jesus were to return in the
21st century or Armageddon occurred, many of the previously helpful
unbelievers, who are still alive but not reconciled to God, might then
To provide services and getting paid for them does not guarantee
The bible investigated by examining the
evidence — on this website: