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Historical accounts of a 'Great Flood'

  1. Dec 10, 2006 #1
    I've noticed in most cultures, there is mention of a "great flood." in Native American legend, the Earth was created from a flood, Christianity has the story of Noah...and thoughts on this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2006 #2

    verty

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    Religions evolve. You are seeing modern renditions of old myths.
     
  4. Dec 10, 2006 #3

    arildno

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    A lot of water can be disastrous for those exposed to it. Great conflagrations aren't unusual mythical themes, either.
     
  5. Dec 10, 2006 #4
    Something "big" ,on global scale,certainly has happend in the past,and many cultures noticed it.
     
  6. Dec 10, 2006 #5

    verty

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    No. They borrow from each other as time goes on.
     
  7. Dec 10, 2006 #6

    arildno

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    That is an not a very well evidenced assumption, and rather unlikely, if we draw an analogue to archeology:

    At the time of Evans, the current theory of culture development was that of a cradle civilization in the Mesopotamia that sent cultural tendrils (like architecture) all across Europe.
    At the surface, this type of theory had much credibility, which was shattered when PRECISE dating techniques proved that several of these supposed "chains of cultural influence" were all awry.
    They couldn't possibly be true, and archeologists reconceptualized their field into one where:

    Local cultures are dynamic quantities that evolve on their own, and if there are similarities between cultures, this similarity may well be due to that both cultures need to face the same problems (and hence, their responses become similar), rather than naively assuming a cultural "influence" across the culture gap.

    There is no reason why this shouldn't be the case with the evolution of religions, either.

    EDIT:
    Suddenly, I am unsure:
    Perhaps your post was meant to deny that there is any evidence for some unique, historical disaster like Noah's flood. In that case, I agree with you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006
  8. Dec 10, 2006 #7

    verty

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    My mother who is a Christian tells me that it has been prophesied in the Bible that california will sever from the mainland. So it 'will' happen, she says.

    Another good example is the rapture. Christians tell us that the rapture will happen very soon, thereafter world war 3 will happen. If you read the passage concerned, you'll find it was about some effect that happened at the time it was written and was probably written after that event, whatever it was, in a manner to show that it was prophesied.

    So I'm just saying that religions change and their modern revisions are surely very different from what they started out being. I would hesitate to infer anything from what they say.
     
  9. Dec 10, 2006 #8

    Evo

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  10. Dec 10, 2006 #9
    I have a different way of explaining this.
    Do not forget that after the Ice Age native Americans and were stranded from having the rest of the world's culture. They too, developed flood stories as did Greek, Babylonia, Islamic and Jewish religions.
    Now, I believe this can be pinpointed at precise points.
    Both of these happens near the end of the last Ice Age.
    Imagine, if you will, the supposed flood that happened when a retreating glacier near Europe broke and flooded some sea whose name I have forgotten.
    Now, the story of this flood quickly made its way around the small civilizations that were just starting up (i.e Greece, Middle Eastern Peninsula). Very quickly all kinds of myths grew out of this.

    Yet, this does this describe native American's having a flood story...:bugeye:
    Yet, we can presume that they too, may have had a giant flood- caused by the same cause:
    end-of-ice-age
    North American, too, had glaciers and there is geological evidence that a flood did happen around the time that native began reaching that area, so we might assume that native american's saw a different side of the same stick, glacier melting.
    the something "big" would be glacier melting.
     
  11. Dec 11, 2006 #10
  12. Dec 11, 2006 #11

    arildno

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    And why wouldn't any type of disastrous swelling of a brook at the homestead be equally well suited to generate later stories?
    Why does it have to be glacial melting behind it all?? :confused:
     
  13. Dec 11, 2006 #12
    Check out this thread I started and please disregard the "cause mass extinctions?" part of the title.

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=127303

    In this thread I give links to the discovery of a 2 mile by 5 mile city that is submerged under 120 ft of ocean off the west coast of India. It has been dated to be from around 10,000 years ago using the straw mixed in the bricks of the streets and buildings and drainage conduits and so on. The "myths" that have survived since this time tell of a flood that originated with the glaciers that had locked up passage through the Himilayan mountains and how the ocean rose fast enough and high enough to swallow up quite a few cities along India's coasts.

    It takes slightly more of a catastrophy than a stream breaching its banks, effecting many lives and many families, to start a story that will survive through the ages, in the case of India over 10 millenia. There are stories from the same area probably because the whole area from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Sumeria and India had a rather sharp rise in sea level. In fact there is evidence of 3 major surges of melt water giving rise to the ocean. I can find you references but to save me time just have a look at the thread I linked.
     
  14. Dec 11, 2006 #13

    arildno

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    A totally unevidenced assumption. A story survives if people like it to be re-told, if it is a boring story it is soon forgotten.
    That is, whether or not a story survives does not depend in any large measure upon what events might have inspired the story in the first place, but upon whether the story is a skillfully wrought tale or not.
     
  15. Dec 11, 2006 #14
    Do you have evidence to support your assumption?

    When I wrote about how it takes the lives of many many people being up-rooted by a flood, or by any catastrophy, to form a story that will survive many thousands of years it was in my opinion.

    I didn't say it was my opinion because unless I have offered evidencing references to verify my statement I (erroneously) assume that what I've written can only be interpreted as my opinion.

    I'd think that it is probable where both story-telling mechanisms will work to keep "a story alive". Whether the story is a well contrived tale by a few well placed officials of an organization or the collective experience of thousands of people in either case the story will last.

    However, there's no denying that the more people who have experienced the events that initiate a story the more people will hear about it. And the more people who hear a story means more people will continue to spread the story. (And the more the story changes) So I believe it is a matter of numbers when it comes to the survival of a story. How the story is told is up to the person telling it.
     
  16. Dec 11, 2006 #15

    verty

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    And the story changes to take account of new knowledge because the teller wants it to sound credible.
     
  17. Dec 11, 2006 #16
    Take the story of a world wide flood. This story was taken as the truth. Millions of people believed and still believe that there was a time when the world was flooded and all peoples and all animals and plants would have been eliminated were it not for Manu (in India, just plants actually) or Noah (two by two and so on) and so on. Today we can physically prove that the excessive rains, rising seas and floods in those geographical areas did slow the progress of specific civilizations. But we can also point to areas that were not affected by flood and to civilizations that continued to progress while others were challenged by rising sea levels.

    If you look at a map of the rise in sea level between 15,000 ybp to 7000 ybp (please google for yourself) you will see that all the continents of the world lost the equivalent of a small continent in coastlines and associated lands. When these prime lands went the civilizations who utilized them for trade, fishing and habitation were disrupted and forced to adapt. This is the stuff stories are made of.
     
  18. Dec 11, 2006 #17

    verty

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    That change doesn't seem too fast. Is calling it a great flood all that accurate?
     
  19. Dec 11, 2006 #18
    well, if you live in a society who has never seen a flood before, and suddenly you rock up to a house underwater ('i could SWEAR i left it here yesterday...'), what are you going to think? that the earth is sinking?
     
  20. Dec 11, 2006 #19
    Having only read about it I imagine that as conditions changed the ocean being a foot or two higher each 10 years more or less and when any violent storms occured the loss of property and prosperity would seem instant. Sort of like the tragedy that happened in New Orleans if you think about it.
     
  21. Dec 12, 2006 #20

    verty

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    Wouldn't it make more sense if there were myths of the 'great creeping waters' or some such?
     
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