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  • Rick LoPresti

Creation, the flood, and Jonah

The Bible is by far the most substantiated document in history. Its internal evidence has been examined and attacked for millennia, but it overcomes every assault. External evidence supporting its validity has only grown over the years through such avenues as archeology. The discovery of more and older manuscripts which match the received text and other artifacts continually confirm the history of the Bible. This is a broad subject, and you can view a video on this website on the validity of the scriptures for a more in depth examination of it.

Three of the most attacked accounts in the Bible are creation (Gen 1-2), the flood (Gen 6-9), and Jonah being swallowed by a great fish. One tactic all critics use is eliminating the supernatural power of God from any consideration. Of course, if we do that the accounts seem implausible. The problem with that premise is that it invalidates the whole Bible, not just specific parts. The critics accuse believers of presuppositions, but they are also basing their entire view on this presupposition. Everyone has presuppositions. That is not the question. The question is whether or not those presuppositions are valid. Atheists accuse Christians of circular reasoning when they say something is true because the Bible says so, and to a certain degree that is true. However, the question is whether or not there is sufficient reason to believe the Bible is true, and there is. Also, the Bible claims to be the word of God. The only way it could be the word of God is if it is self-validating. There is no higher source to cite than God Himself (Heb 6:16-18). If the Bible required the validation of man, then man would be a higher authority than God, and God would need man to affirm Him. That does not mean we should dispense with all thoughtful examination of the Bible's claims. To the contrary, God is not intimidated by the challenges of man, and His people should be prepared to provide answers for serious inquiries (Is 1:18, Acts 1:3, 1Pet 3:15). God does not have a problem with us using our minds and having a standard of reasonableness that is based in sound logic. We are to love God with all of our minds (Mk 12:30). Biblical faith is not totally blind. It just trusts God who cannot lie more that the deceivable human heart (Jer 17:5-10). In fact, there is no basis for the rules of logic if there is no God. The error comes when man relies on carnal reasoning outside of God (Gen 3:5, Rom 8, 1Cor 1-2).

There is a two-part video on creation vs. evolution on this website which covers a basic overview of that subject, so that will not be covered much here. The account of Jonah is dismissed by some who say a great fish could not have swallowed Jonah and regurgitated him. There are several ways to address this. There are fish and whales large enough to do this, there are accounts of this happening in the recent past, we don't know exactly what type of sea creature it was to base a categorical dismissal on, and it was God who prepared the fish and commanded it to spit him out. Once again, the underlying presupposition is that there is no God. Those who dismiss God and His miraculous power are hypocrites because they believe many things that require the suspension of the laws of nature and "science". They believe among other things that matter created itself out of nothing with no scientific explanation of how it did. They believe the precise order in nature arose out of an unimaginably huge explosion randomly by itself despite the mathematical impossibility. They believe life came from non-living matter with no explanation of how the law of biogenesis was broken. They believe life is evolving upward in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics and the laws of genetic information. They believe our ancestor was a rock in that they teach that the materials which became the first living thing were washed out of rock by water and then by some mechanism which cannot be defined made the miraculous jump to life. These are just a few examples.

There is a video on youtube.com entitled, "Noah's Ark: The Story That Disproves the Bible" on a channel called, "The Truth Hurts". It is about 22 minutes long, and it is an example of an illogical and faulty attack on the validity of the Bible. One of the only things it gets right is that if the Biblical account of the flood is false, support for the validity of the whole Bible crumbles. The problem is that it makes the assertion that is it false but on a sandy foundation. Let us examine the points made and see if they hold up to scrutiny. This pursuit is also valuable in general as an exercise in examining claims.

The first observation is that he mentions the Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the video. From the content, his father, two other people he does not specify, and the Jehovah's Witnesses are his main references for all of Christianity and Biblical faith. There are certainly issues with the doctrine of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but that does not disprove the Bible itself. In fact, the prophets, Jesus, and the apostles all warned of false doctrine, and some of their warnings can be related to these teachings. In the opening, the video states that he "researched every single drop of evidence put forward to support the Bible story as being historically true". He bases this conclusion on that he read six books which he repeatedly holds up to assert his authority on this subject. This is presumptive. He did do some research, but the claim to absolute authority coupled with the summary dismissal of all others is based in pride and not honest pursuit of truth. The video dismisses belief in the flood account and Christianity in general on abuses of logic, but this assertion along with others is illogical. How can anyone claim to know everything there is on any subject, and to have exhausted all possible research. This is a logical fallacy called "appeal to authority". In this case, this video's maker claims to be that authority.

The next observation is that the person claims that we don't need faith to have truth. That itself is a faith statement and thus a logical fallacy. It states that Christians are guilty of logical fallacy and circular reasoning. This is addressed above. It continues that this argument for the Bible is equally valid as asserting that the Koran or Hinduism is true because their adherents say so. The problem with that is that the Bible makes unique claims and validates them internally and confirms them externally. Also, the Bible makes claims that directly contradict the Koran and Hinduism. The doctrine of the Bible is unique in explaining where we come from, why we are here, and where we are going. It stands alone as the highest moral code.

The video then examines whether or not various flood legends support the validity of the Biblical account. First of all, all external evidence is confirmation and not proof in itself. The video states that because the legends vary, they are not proof. That is true, but that does not invalidate the fact that so many flood legends from so many different cultures and parts of the world show some level of information that a flood story in some form existed. The video also dismisses flood legends as any support for the Biblical account by categorization as "destruction by water". It compares this category to finding similar humans. That is a false analogy and has nothing to do with the Bible. We should remember that this is extrabiblical information. The Bible does not assert validation based on flood legends. It does not categorize them in any way, and it does not describe the flood as a local event. This bears no direct weight on the Bible itself. People only mention these legends to show that many unbiblical cultures also had flood stories. The video criticizes the flood legends for not mentioning God; but these were not cultures based on the Bible, so why would we expect them to? The flood legends are also dismissed because according to the video, most of them come from areas near water. Once again, this has nothing to do with the Bible, and it is illogical on its face. Most populated areas are near water because people need water to live. Almost all major cities are near water. The legends are dismissed because the ones that most resemble the Bible are the ones from closest to the area of Noah. Isn't that what we would expect? As people dispersed over space and time, it would not be surprising to find variations in the story. The maker even admits that this fits the account of the tower of Babel (Gen 11). The video asserts that the legends are from people who did not have access to modern science. All ancient civilizations did not have anything modern by that definition. Modern means current or at least recent. This also reveals more presuppositions. It assumes that ancient people were intellectually inferior because of evolution. If anything, the evidence shows they may have been more intelligent by the things they did without "modern science". Also, "modern science" had gotten many things wrong. This again is nothing but pride.

The video compares the flood to earthquakes which is another logical fallacy. The flood was one worldwide event that has never happened before or since. Earthquakes happen locally and repeatedly. The Bible makes no such comparison, so this baseless line of reasoning does nothing to disprove the Bible. The video mentions that believers mention fish fossils on the world's highest mountains including Everest, but offers no other explanation besides a worldwide flood. In fact, it attempts to relate the Biblical flood to a 22-foot flood in 2900 BC. How could a 22-foot flood place fossils on Mt. Everest thousands of miles away? It also does not address fossil formation at all or how they tie directly to evidence of a worldwide flood.

The video dismisses the Bible based on two people's faulty attempts to answer questions. That is not thorough research and seems to hint that maybe there is something else going on spiritually with the maker of the video as there usually is. The maker of the video states that he reread the Bible through the lens of skepticism. That is a direct confession to using a presupposition to interpret the scriptures. If we are predisposed to find excuses to dismiss the Bible, we will interpret the evidence accordingly. This is hypocrisy.

The video dismissed the flood account because Noah would have gotten married as soon as he was physically able to, would have had numerous times of intimacy with his wife, and undoubtedly had many children before he was 500 years old. This is total conjecture. The genealogy of Genesis 5 shows many men not having children until they were around 100 years old. They lived longer before the flood, and we do not know why Noah did not have children when he was younger. We can suggest that maybe it was so his children lived longer after the flood to repopulate the earth. The Bible does not and cannot include every detail of everything it speaks on. That would be impossible. As John said of the recording of the works of Christ when He was here in the flesh in just 3 and a half years, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen (Jn 21:25)". The Bible is not primarily a science textbook. It is a book of spiritual lessons about God, but it is always accurate on true science and history.

The video confuses what the Bible calls kinds (Gen 1) with what modern "science" calls species. A kind is probably more akin to what science now calls a family. The purpose of placing the animals on the ark was so that their kinds would survive the flood and repopulate afterwards. How does the maker of the video know precisely how many kinds of animals existed at the time to do his math? Instead, He uses an estimate of how many species there are today. What he mocks in the video is the estimate by PhD scientists of how many genetic kinds it would take to preserve representatives. A kind would thus be broader than what may be thought of as a species. Scientists cannot even clearly define what a species is, so this whole line of argument is invalid on its face. He does not acknowledge the possibility that the animals on the ark may have been juvenile representatives which means they would take up less space, require less food and care, and would live longer after the flood to reproduce and repopulate. He mocks God as not being wise enough to have killed the mosquitos to prevent future spread of disease. He talks about how many animals have gone extinct since the flood but never asserts a number to do science from because he doesn't know. On a side note, extinction is the opposite of evolution. The Ark Encounter which was built by Answers in Genesis thoroughly answers the question of if there was enough space in the ark.

The maker of the video states that if you are determined to believe the Bible, the evidence will not sway you. The same can be said of the critics. He portrays himself as all knowing, unbiased, and free of presuppositions, but he betrays that portrayal in the video. This video once again demonstrates the direct link between atheism and evolution.

The video states that it is impossible to get today's variations in 4,300 years and cites monkey variation. However, in 1900 there were only 80 breeds of dogs. The American Kennel Club now recognizes 197 breeds. That is over 100 variations is just over 100 years. 4,300 years is 430 times that period of time. It could be said that would equate mathematically to 43,000 dog breeds in a period that allegedly could not produce 330 variations. Also, breeds that existed 100 years ago have deviated from what they were like then. This confirms what we would expect from the Biblical account of variation within each kind, but not macroevolution from one kind to another. The video purports that it would be impossible to load all current species into the ark in 12 hours. That is a red herring because we can only reasonably estimate the number of kinds that got onto the ark. Again, we cannot extrapolate the number of so called species today to the ark. Also, this dismisses the ability and existence of God.

The maker of the video again asserts his alleged superior knowledge especially to Christians by saying that if you have the slightest bit of knowledge of the natural world, you will know that the Biblical account is impossible to reconcile with modern science. He uses the example of a turtle he was keeping in an aquarium. Despite all of his efforts to give the turtle the optimal environment to live, it died. He then asks how God could have kept the sea creatures and the animals on the ark alive during the flood. This perfectly illustrates his faulty arguments and and ignorance of the God of the Bible. God created all things and is omnipotent. How do any animals live in the wild without the expertise of the maker of this video? How do animals live in the zoo without him? How do millions and millions of pets live without him? Did he get an autopsy on the turtle to determine the cause of death? How old was the turtle compared to their average lifespan? These things are not explained, nor how this has anything to do with confirming the Bible. One turtle died, and based on that are we to dismiss the Bible because he says so?

The video assaults the ark landing on Mt. Ararat. Its maker questions why it did not land on some taller mountain. It states the ark rested 450 miles from where it launched, but then alleges that a 22-foot high local flood carried it that far. There is no explanation for why it is only logical for the ark to rest on a mountain that is taller than Ararat. This does not even take into account that the Bible says the ark rested on "the mountains of Ararat (Gen 8:4)". It does not give precise GPS coordinates. It is generally understood that this area equates to modern Turkey. Most flood models when combined with the description in the Bible (Gen 7:11, Ps 104:8) show us that there was not only a great amount of water on the earth, but great upheavals of the land surface as well. This would indicate that the current state of the surface of the earth is different than it was before the flood. This exposes a great weakness of the evolutionary view. It uses the idea of uniformitarianism which is summed up in the phrase "the present is the key to the past". In other words, we can understand what happened millions and billions of years ago based on what is occurring today. This is absurd on its face, and even contradicts the theory of evolution itself. The theory acknowledges that there were events, processes, and rates in the past that we do not observe today. Yet, they have to have this idea to assert millions and billions of years. This flaw shows up several times in the video.

The video gives us s direct look into the worldview and presuppositions of the atheist. It states that we now live in a time period that we don't have to take the Bible at face value. This is the assertion that the atheistic intellect of man under the guise of modern science has disproven the Bible. There is not one fact of science that contradicts anything in the Bible. It is the hypotheses of man who seeks excuses to dismiss the Bible and its binding morality and accountability to gain freedom in his mind to sin. It is man justifying himself instead of God. This is nothing new and has nothing to do with modern science. It is the same lie the serpent told Eve in the garden of Eden (Gen 3:5).

The maker of the video states that we can dismiss the Bible because we have a foolproof method to determine historicity. He says it is to analyze animal diversity today. First, this cannot be applied to all truth claims. It can only be applied as part of a plausibility study of post-flood events. He asserts that the closer you get to Mt. Ararat in reverse engineering the diversity of animals, the more diversity you would find. He shows a list of 23 nations and their diversity of mammals today. This chart purports to show that the further you get from Turkey today, the more diversity you see. He claims this disproves the Bible. It actually confirms the Bible and disproves his idea. The Bible does not directly address the post-flood spreading of genetic diversity specifically and scientifically, but it is reasonably assumed by the spread of animals and the knowledge of animal breeding combined with current understanding of genetics. The Bible does not say that there was more diversity when the animals disembarked from the ark, and that this diversity lessened over time and space. We would expect the exact opposite from the Biblical account, and that is confirmed by the video's alleged evidence against it.

The video accuses Christians of diversionary tactics when they say that Jesus, Paul, and Peter spoke of the flood as a literal, historical event. Therefore if it is not, they are all liars. That is not diversion. That addresses the exact issue at hand - the validity of the flood account. Just because evidence is internal in the Bible does not make it invalid. That is another false presupposition. The video states that the authors (plural) of the flood account plagiarized, but it offers no information on who "they" were, who they plagiarized, from and what evidence there is for that.

There is also a short video on youtube.com of an excerpt from the debate between Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and Bill Nye. This video is entitled, "Bill Nye Destroys Noah's Ark". Bill Nye's presentation at this debate can be summed up as lies, hypocrisy, dodging, insults, and slander. In this excerpt, he states that there is not one example anywhere in the world of out of order fossils. That is a lie. There are thousands all over the world. There is no such thing as a complete example of Charles Lyell's infamous diagram of an alleged geological column. It does not exist, but many examples of its inaccuracy do. As mentioned above, fish fossils on Mt. Everest is just one. Polystrate fossils are another. Bill Nye asks how animals got to Australia after the flood. This is an interesting question even for evolutionists. One theory that both camps consider is floating mats of vegetation. This would fit the flood account as there would be much tree and plant debris floating on the water. Bill Nye asks where the kangaroo fossils are. That is a bigger problem for evolutionists who claim that animals have been around millions of years than for believers in the Bible who only believe they have been around for thousands of years. Also, a lack of found fossils doesn't prove or disprove anything, especially the Bible. That is reminiscent of the atheists denying the Bible because they had not yet discovered archeological proof of King Sargon or the Hittites. The Bible speaks of both. When the evidence was discovered, you did not see a big news bulletin entitled "Atheists wrong. Bible right".

Bill Nye asserts Noah and his family did not have the knowledge to build the ark and cites an example of a failed attempt in 1900 to build a wooden vessel. This not only reveals his presupposition that man was dumber in the past and because of evolution has gotten smarter, it does nothing to disprove the Bible. One example of a modern ship design failing does nothing to disprove the Bible. Also, people such as the Vikings sailed across the Atlantic in wooden vessels hundreds of years ago. Other societies also built wooden vessels right up to today. The ancients built other large, amazing structures such as the pyramids without "modern science".

Attempts to discredit and disprove the Bible always have logical fallacies, hypocrisies, and other shortcomings because they rely on the fatally flawed mind of man outside of God. Just take a look at the history of man trying to build on this sinking sand, and there is no other conclusion than that we need God to illuminate us to His truth. Accountability to God is not something to reject in a vain attempt to justify ourselves. It is the healthy and essential ingredient to our morality. Without it, there is no basis for logic, laws, or morals. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (Jn 14:6)."

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