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Homework Help: Noah's flood, fact or fiction

  1. Feb 27, 2005 #1
    It's my homework assignment to get two different opinions on Noah's flood:

    A Christian version


    A non-Christian version

    Does anyone have an opinion? And please state which one.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2005 #2
    Non-Christian version: Muslim version: It's a fact.
  4. Feb 27, 2005 #3


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    You might note in your assignment paper that the very tip of Mount Everest is limestone. That is a rock which forms over a long period of time--not just 40 days--under water. The non-biblical (and non-Muslim) explanation would be that the rock there was formed in shallow seawater many millions of years ago, and that the northward movement of the Indian plate has caused an ongoing squeezing together of India and China that has led to that particular rock stratum being 29,000 feet above sea level.
  5. Feb 28, 2005 #4


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    I'm a Christian, but I don't take the Great Flood literally. It may simply be that there was a big flood in the Middle East and at the time, the author of Exodus (?) thought that that was the entire world. Why don't I think it can be taken literally?: That's a lot of water (not hard to calculate how much) - where did it come from?
  6. Feb 28, 2005 #5
    Christian-its fact....the story of the flood wasn't in Exodus it was in Genesis 6:1-9:29. Remember in the story that it Rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Your right, that is a lot of rain.
  7. Feb 28, 2005 #6
    What kind of assignment is this?

    So here is a non-faith-based opinion: It's a story that may be loosely based upon a set of events that may or may not have happened. The story serves more to instruct and affirm a belief system. Regardless of what events that may or may not have happened, its function is much more useful as instruction to the specific faith it serves. That is how these things work. Factuality is irrelevant. As stated in other posts, there are some accounting problems that have to be amended in order for the story to be true. But then again if one is to use the bible a literal source of information, then Pi is equal to 3. :uhh:

    As to the origins of the story, some have speculated that Gilgamesh, a Babylonian story, is the source of the Noah flood myth. This seems to be possible considering the ties between the middle-east and Babylon. Along with goods and services, stories amongst other things, have a tendency of being exchanged as well. There has been a few shows on the discovery channel about this topic and the one that I think best corroborates the Gilgamesh/Noah story is the possibility that the Black Sea at one time, about 7000 years ago, was cut off from the Mediterranean. Here is a link to the National Geographic write up on this interesting theory:


    As it states in the beginning of that page, most cultures have legends of a flood and this has many investigators speculating that it may be the result of the glacial meltdown from the last ice age. If one is to take a factual account of things, I find this proposition more realistic than the ones being purported by those who are looking to either promote or affirm their own beliefs and faith.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  8. Feb 28, 2005 #7
    I have seen those shows. Its a vaild opinion of what happened and its great that people feel the need to explore this. I wasn't using the Bible as a source of literal information. Simply restating what is said in that particular story. As well as commenting on the book it came from. I do agree that the theories developed are interesting. Its not surprising that stories travel with goods and services then. It was a source of information. People still do that today. Except instead of taking it to be an exact account we just go watch the news.
  9. Feb 28, 2005 #8
    What was it that Mark Twain said:

    "Those who do not read the newspaper are uninformed, those that do read it are misinformed" :rofl:

    We could say the same is true of watching the news nowadays!

    I am not trying to hark on people's faith, that is not really my intent. The Noah story is really a device to affirm one's faith in God, Javeh(?), or Allah, depending on your faith. As to it's factual basis, that does not have the same value as it does as vehicle to affirm faith. That is just my humble opinion. I hope I didnt kick off a religious discussion that will end up in a locked thread. :frown:
  10. Feb 28, 2005 #9

    thank you all for responding and thank you for your link, polyb, thats what i need for my report. :biggrin:
  11. Mar 1, 2005 #10
    let me explain what i have to do in a more detailed manner:

    I have to read 100 pgs for a nonchristian version and 100 pgs for a christian version. Since i cannot find any books im askiing you so you can be my sources or references. :smile:
  12. Mar 1, 2005 #11


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    I certainly hope this is a Sunday school assignment, because honestly, in any other class, your teacher has no business setting Bible reading for students as homework. The same goes for the Koran, Torah and the Bhagavad-Gita. Strict no-nos in a secular classroom.
  13. Mar 1, 2005 #12
    maybe the great amount of waters came from god.. you wuold have beleived that if you were a christian
  14. Mar 1, 2005 #13
    actually i go to a Christian school and i regularly have these type of assignments
  15. Mar 1, 2005 #14
    I'm glad that we could all help you.
  16. Mar 1, 2005 #15


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    Wow, so much for Old World Lit in public schools. For examples of very old literature, just what is one supposed to read if not old religous works.
  17. Mar 1, 2005 #16


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    I dunno...Greek mythology ? Much less chance of offense if it isn't a current (and contentious) religion.

    At any rate, especially in a school, some literature has to be "off limits" for pragmatic purposes. I'm pretty sure that a teacher telling students to read Mein Kampf *purely for historical significance* or the Marquis de Sade *purely for biographical insight* still won't go down too well with most parents. Heck, some parents are trying to ban Harry Potter (which I don't agree with, BTW).

    But since there's already an "unwritten" rule that some lit is not appropriate in a school, I think it stands to reason to include that restriction to works of faith. Surely you know of the contention that surrounds these things, with many people clamouring for the abolition of evolutionary teaching in favor of creationist tripe, etc. etc. ? I just think it makes good sense to steer clear of unnecessary controversy.

    As an atheist, if I sent my son to a secular school and his Christian teacher asked him to study the Bible, I would be miffed. I'm not saying that I actually would mind my son reading the Bible, I just don't think school is an appropriate place to learn mythology. I might well let him read the Bible at home (after instructing him on the historical and cultural context), along with the other major religious texts and ancient mythology, but it would be on my terms and on our personal time.

    Of course, if it's a Christian school, I see no problem with this sort of thing, since the parents and children should know exactly what they're getting into.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2005
  18. Mar 1, 2005 #17
    I would just like to know, who here can rationally justify Noah's flood? The whole story. Everything from two of every animal to the whole world being covered in rain. I would like to know your thoughts, as I do not see a way to explain the complete story logically and scientifically.

  19. Mar 2, 2005 #18


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    I think what you say is true in in practice. But, I also think the over-concern on 'political correctness' is one of the problems with today's schools. On the one hand, schools will be criticized if they don't teach diversity. On the other, they'll be even more severely criticized if they do teach diversity.

    A couple of your comments illustrate the conflict. Virtually no one would be offended by teaching Greek mythology. Yet, you would be offended by an assignment involving the Bible, because you feel school's not an appropriate place to learn mythology.

    The real problem lies in teaching a subject where the opinion over whether it's fact or mythology isn't unanimous. Even when I was in high school, a teacher would not have been able to assign anything from the Bible as homework. If the assignment treated the Bible as a literary work similar to Greek mythology, one side would have lynched the teacher. If the assignment treated the Bible as a religous work, the other side would have lynched the teacher.

    The only reason other religous works could be used is because virtually everyone in our school was Christian or Jewish. No one was offended by treating something like the Bhagavad Gita as literature.
  20. Mar 2, 2005 #19


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    I read you loud and clear about the political correctness angle (and agree with you) but I think it's wrong to teach Hinduism or Buddhism in school as well. It would be hypocritical to exclude Xianity/Judaism/Islam and allow other current religions air time in a secular classroom. I prefer to sidestep the whole issue : no religion, unless it's a class specifically advertised as dealing with it, in which case it's fine.
  21. Mar 2, 2005 #20
    There is no real way to justify the ENTIRE flood. Most of it is just a leap of faith. Thats why they call it Faith. People are in the process of trying to prove the flood was a real honest to goodness historical event. Look at all the time people are spending on Mount Ararat in Turkey. Many people believe thats where the remains of the ark are located.

    As far as banning books and such, I don't agree with the banning of any kind of piece of literature. Its call the FIRST AMENDMENT. People who have issues with other people expressing their views in literature should just not read the book. Not try to prevent others from reading it.

    Its important to read as many different works as you can possibly get your hands on. Even if you don't agree with the opinion expressed, you should still read it so you can obtain an idea of that person/persons 's thought process at the time.

    Although teachers have to be very careful with what they tell their students to read as an assignment, they shouldn't exclude influential works such as John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men or anything by Hemingway or Twain. Most of the cases I have heard about banning these novels, have been based on the language content. If you don't like the language used and thats why you hate it then don't read it! One also needs to remember these novels were written in a different time, so then that language was acceptable to be used in any kind of work.

    :smile: I completely agree with Curious, this banning books business is a waste of time. Also, if your going to send your student to a school that encourages such readings then know exactly what you are getting yourself and your child into.
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