Volume 2, Issue 7
April 15, 2012
The archaeological and faith questions created by NAMI's discovery - Part II: young earth Creationist science 
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent 



In Part I of this series addressing the archaeological and faith questions created by NAMI's discovery, I explained why mainline science will never be able to make sense of this possible discovery of Noah's Ark. That should have surprised no one. How can mainline science understand Noah's Ark when it has been unable to see the evidence of the kind of Flood necessary to raise such a large vessel to the heights where NAMI found it? Nor has mainline science noticed evidence of a second worldwide dispersion of mankind from the Ancient Near East that might be found continuous with evidence found inside this vessel.

In this Part II, I address the same issues in the light of young earth Creationist science. Since Creationism is widely regarded as teaching a young earth, for the rest of this newsletter I will refer to the young earth school simply as 'the Creationists.' But Creationism was not the term used by this school before the eighties when it was known as 'Flood science.' Flood science was launched in 1961 with the publication of The Genesis Flood, a book by John C. Whitcomb (b. 1924) and Henry Morris (1918-2006). 

The authors borrowed their core explanation of the Flood from George McCready Price (1870-1963). Price had developed a way of looking at the earth's Creation in 24-hour days by seeing fossils, oil, and coal has having been formed by Noah's Flood. His theory which further supposed that every form of life that God created were saved by Noah's Ark accorded with what Ellen G. White, founder of Price's Seventh Day Adventist Church, had seen in dreams and visions. The latter is probably the reason that Whitcomb and Morris neglected to mention where they obtained their Flood science.

Distancing themselves from things like Flood science was an important reason why, in the middle years of the twentieth century, conservative Christians rejected being called Fundamentalist and began embracing the term Evangelical. Billy Graham, who led this switch, backed evangelical theologian Bernard Ramm's book that taught an old earth and a local Flood and opposed Price's teaching of a young earth and worldwide Flood. These new evangelicals did not wish to be classified with what, in the wake of the Scopes trial, was coming to be seen as anti-science Fundamentalism. This same admiration of science became the chief reason for the popularity of Whitcomb and Morris' scientific explanation of Noah's Flood even if their book was specifically written as a response to Ramm's attack against a worldwide Flood.

The switch from Flood to Creation science occurred in the eighties after then law student Wendell Bird published an article in the Yale Law Journal suggesting that Creation could be taught in public schools as a form of science. Most Americans did not believe in evolution thus, though essentially the same teachings, Creation science has become far more popular than Flood science. Though the courts did not agree that Creationism could be taught  as science, Creationism began winning over evangelicals. By focusing on Creation against evolution, most evangelicals probably don't know the extent to which Creation science depends on Price's theory of Noah's Flood.

As I have explained in previous newsletters, the Creationist theory is amazingly simple: all the earth's fossils from petrified shells and bones to fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas are not seen as testifying to an ancient earth but were created in a single year by Noah's Flood. Because fossils (e.g. oil and gas) are found deep within the earth, Noah's Flood had to be of such magnitude as to displace the surface of the earth to depths as much as miles below. 

Price denied the progressive ordering of fossils over millions of years as taught by mainstream geology though he allowed an order which he taught as laid down by the Flood: heavier shell fish being at the bottom, vertebrate fishes which floated upon their death lying above that. As he explained, dinosaurs, mammals, and men were progressively more mobile and thus able to flee from the rising waters of the Flood. That explains why they are found in the higher geological strata. What conventional geology attributes to the changes of life forms over the passage of time, Creationists attribute to their varying mobility.

Neither human remains nor artifacts are found among the deeper fossils. The Creationists explanation is that a Flood capable of displacing the entire surface of the earth would also destroy antediluvian human remains and artifacts. Following Whitcomb and Morris, the large Creationist organizations altogether deny human fossils, supposing that all human remains and artifacts date from after the Flood. Pleistocene (Ice Age) deposits contain human remains, but today's Creationists deny they are from the Flood. They challenge what early nineteenth century scientists saw as diluvian, the actual deposits from the Flood. Not only do they believe in an Ice Age, they believe it occurred after Noah's Flood.

Dinosaur bones are among the fossils, hence the Creationists believe that a pair of each species of dinosaur were among the animals that boarded Noah's Ark. Despite being saved by the Ark, dinosaurs no longer roam the earth. Creationists believe they became extinct in the Ice Age or shortly thereafter. If you understand this and the three preceding paragraphs, you know the essence of Creation science even if various Creationists have different explanations for just how the Flood occurred and for why the rocks and fossils appear as they are presently found.

It is not my purpose to dispute the Creationists' geological interpretation. It makes more sense than Darwinian evolution. If blind chance can create beautifully-designed flowers, lobsters, the human eye, the marvelous mechanisms found in microbiology, and a beautiful sunset above the mountains all from cosmic dust, why cannot a Flood sent by the Creator himself produce all the things that Creationists claim? Still, because Creationists declare that antediluvian remains were destroyed by the Flood, their geological interpretation presents archaeological problems. Human artifacts made of stone, tusks, and certain hardwoods and metals are harder and tougher than soft (birdlike) dinosaur bones. There are also fossil insects and ferns. However severe the Flood, why aren't Creationists able to point to the remains of those who the Lord sent the Flood to destroy?

There are some Creationists who point to things like human footprints among dinosaur tracks. How are footprints and tracks preserved if these remains are from the Flood? Creationists who understand the logic of their theory wisely eschew these claims. They also reject other things like artifacts found in coal beds. If human remains could have been preserved by the Flood, why aren't they commonly found among the fossils?

As I mention above, human remains are found in the formerly diluvian deposits now attributed to the Ice Age. If these are the deposits of Noah's Flood, as I and the former diluvian geologists claim, that destroys the Creationists' explanation of the fossils that is key to their defense of 24-hour Creation days. That may be why Creationists declare the Ice Age to be after the Flood.

Importantly, Creationism is not for unbelievers. Their theories do not convince unbelievers to become believers. Instead, Creationists aim to teach believers who desire a scientific explanation for things like Noah's Flood, dinosaurs, and the appearance of an ancient earth. This explains their insistence on 24-hour Creation days as the only "uncompromising" reading of Genesis 1. Unbelievers have no problem with reading the days of Genesis as 24-hour days. Many of them delight in that reading.

Creationists' archaeological problem with NAMI's discovery is not just their inability to relate the findings of Noah's Ark to an antediluvian civilization whose archaeological remains they believe to be entirely destroyed. It is also their inability, no less than that of mainline science, to trace a second worldwide dispersion of man from Noah's Ark. Just as does mainline science, they deny that man's archaeological remains reveal two worldwide dispersions. They stand with an older version of mainstream archaeology in seeing all the remains of mankind as dispersing from the apex of the Fertile Crescent.

Importantly, the Creationists challenge mainstream geology, but they do not challenge mainstream archaeology, where I contend the problem of not seeing the evidence of Noah's Flood exists. 
The problem with Creationists (and an older mainstream) archaeology is that the worldwide dispersion from the apex of the Fertile Crescent does not stem from the earliest human remains but from Transcaucasian remains that date to the third millennium before Christ. The latter perfectly accords with the date of the Flood as given in the Bible, with the radiocarbon date published for NAMI's discovery, and with pottery (published only by Randall Price though mentioned in the Epilogue of my book) that NAMI has found inside the Ark! That ought to be a bell ringing loud enough to awaken the entire world. 

It must first awaken "believers." Unfortunately, this conflict with the archaeological assumptions of Flood science explains why the Creationists organizations have not been happy with the radiocarbon dating of wood from NAMI's discovery however much it lines up with the date of the biblical Flood. For all these reasons, we should not have been surprised that most of the major Creationists organizations have not favored NAMI's discovery as being the possible remains of Noah's Ark. It explains why some Creationists who do embrace NAMI's discovery are rejecting the radiocarbon dating and are claiming that the pottery is intrusive!

In addition to these archaeological problems of Creationist science, there are also faith problems with Creationist science that I discuss in the two articles below. Creationists defense of a worldwide Flood and 24-hour Creation days have given them a reputation of fidelity to the Scriptures. I have no doubt that they intend to be just that, but as I explain below, this is not in fact the case. Creationist science's conflict with mainstream science is by no means fatal. Its conflict with the Scriptures certainly will be.

It is however possible for believers to have a science that is perfectly in line with the most literal reading of the Scriptures. We must keep in mind that readings long taught as the natural and proper reading will also seem the literal reading of Scripture. Unbelieving critical scholars (though most of them would deny that they are unbelievers) read these same verses of Scripture as the creation of ancient men who believed the earth was flat. It is unbelieving scholars who agree with the Creationists that the days of Genesis are 24-hour days! Teaching people how to read the Scriptures is imposing some human light on these divinely inspired Scriptures. Instead, what we ought to do is to use these divinely inspired Scriptures to understand archaeology, history, and everything else that we think we know.

Best regards,
Philip Williams

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Its been several weeks since the last newsletter because I have been preparing an ebook version of The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood. I will let you know when the ebook is available.

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In this issue
The archaeological and faith questions created by NAMI's discovery -- Part II: young earth Creationist science
Why I find criticizing Creationism painful
Why the Creationist's "Flood" is not the Flood of the Bible
The Bible identifies antediluvian rivers and lands according to currently known landmarks


Why I find criticizing Creationism painful
Those who convinced me that the Flood taught by the Bible had to be worldwide

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Necessary as it is for bringing archaeological and biblical light on the Flood and on NAMI's apparent discovery of Noah's Ark, I find writing this particular newsletter painful. By contrast, I thoroughly enjoy exposing the indefensible foundations of a mainline science that openly challenges the Bible. The reason of course is that the Creationists are my fellow believers. I share with them the same goals: belief that the early chapters of Genesis cannot be explained away by clever hermeneutics and the understanding that failing to recognizing the literal truth of the early chapters of Genesis is a matter of greatest importance.


In particular, I admire the founder of Creationism and Seventh Day Adventist, George McCready Price. Far from the unlearned geological amateur that Darwinist hacks have supposed him, he understood modern geology better than most of his opponents. He was also a man of integrity, something rare in any endeavor including both mainline and Creationist science. I have discovered that the best scholars and scientists, whatever their world views, do in fact have both humility and integrity. Integrity and humility are more important than whether someone agrees or opposes what I teach. I am pleased to remember that Price served as the geological expert for William Jennings Bryan at the famous Scopes trial, though Bryan was a day-age Creationist like myself.
I must also mention that I appreciate John C. Whitcomb for resisting the tendency of Christians to bow to the latest theories of science. I also appreciate Creationists Harold W. Clark (who suggested that geological deposits followed zones rather than time or animal mobility) and Henry Morris for thinking independently about geology. But in that regard, I must include evolutionists such as Niles Eldridge and the late Stephen J. Gould who admitted the lack of evidence for the still missing links of evolution. I also admire Neo-Darwinist pioneer, the late Theodore Dobzhansky for his respectful dialogue with Creationists with whom he greatly disagreed.


Integrity among Creationists has not disappeared. I have in mind the author of Dragons or Dinosaurs, a new book about historical records of possible human references to dinosaurs. That is not a topic that interests me, but at the recommendation of Reuben Dedmondt, I traveled to Greenville, S.C. to hear Darek Isaacs speak. I was surprised to discover that Isaacs' work was backed by careful research, even more by how persuasive were his arguments that certain historical records might have been referring to dinosaurs. Isaacs persuaded his audience that evening, who were mostly Creationists. 
Isaacs ended his talk by taking questions from the audience. Listening to his excellent answers, I decided to ask one: "You have made an excellent case for dinosaurs from historical records, but are you aware of any case where human remains have been found among those belonging to dinosaurs?" To my astonishment, Isaacs candidly replied: "I have not." He did mention a case of a mammal being found in the stomach of a dinosaur (or perhaps it was a small dinosaur inside a mammal). His candid admission took the punch from his lecture that evening. 
More importantly, Isaacs convinced me that evening: not that dinosaurs and humans had ever lived at the same time - I don't believe that - but of something far more important: that among Creationist scientists today, some have the highest integrity. 
I am sure that Isaacs had himself carefully studied the claimed cases of the evidence of humans among dinosaurs. Were he merely interested in proving the case for Creationism, he could have given arguments to that effect, however unconvincing I may have found them. But it appears that Isaacs refused to argue for evidence that did not convince himself however much that might have benefited his arguments.
Embracing the truth is painful to our egos and may seem costly to our ambitions, especially in the short term. When we have long advocated and sacrificed on behalf of a cherished belief, it may seem particularly painful. If we haven't experienced this pain, we do not love truth. Nor do we love God, because his Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of truth.
Embracing truth is more important than how we understand the Scriptures! This is not to say that our understanding of the Scriptures is not itself important, but that changes as we mature in spiritual understanding. Even so, we must remain committed to how we honestly understand the Scriptures. That is because the Spirit of truth requires us to be committed to our conscience. 
Thus, if we believe that Genesis teaches 24-hour Creation Days, we must remain committed to that, regardless of problems with Creation science. That should not concern us because if the Spirit of truth remains our guide, this will eventually will lead us to all truth including whatever we need to know about the Creation days of Genesis. If we all follow the Spirit of truth, it will eventually lead us to a common understanding. 


Why the Creationists' "Flood" is not the Flood of the Bible
Unlike the Creationist "Flood," Noah's Flood spared the creatures of the sea

Creationists teach that all the fossils of the earth were created by the Flood of Noah. Importantly, the vast majority of recognizable fossils such as those from the Grand Canyon are sea shells or from creatures that live in the sea. A great problem for Creationist science is that, according to the Bible, God sent the Flood to destroy land rather than sea life! There are not just 1, but 4 separate passages among the verses of Genesis pertaining to the Flood that clearly make this point. To quote but one:


Gen. 7:21-23 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished-birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth....


Note the specific mention of mankind, animals that move along the ground, and birds of the air just as in the account of Creation. But there is no declaration in the Scriptures that God would destroy the fish and other creatures that live in the water and there is no mention of the Lord instructing Noah to build an aquarium. The Ark was sealed with bitumen from the waters of the sea. I doubt that those investigating NAMI's discovery will find evidence of marine life having once been inside the vessel they have discovered.


Creationists appear to be in the position of presuming now fossil sea life to be the Lord's collateral damage when he sent the Flood. That is an unworthy view of the capabilities of the Lord, especially when it appears according to the Creationist theory that the overwhelming majority of the creatures who died in the Flood were those who live in water.


This is not to say that no fish or sea creatures died in the Flood. Some may have been stranded on land by the retreating waters above land, eventually perishing in their temporary lakes as has continued to be the case since the time of the Flood. Sea shells and fish may have been washed upon the land as earlier defenders of the Flood believed. Such incidental damage was thought to support rather than conflict with the biblical account of the Flood. But that would not be true if most Flood victims were from the oceans. As we read the account of Genesis, the Flood was sent to destroy life on land rather than life in the rivers and seas.


To be sure, this is not the only way that the Creationist Flood differs from Noah's Flood in the Bible. Instead of a Flood that destroyed people and land animals, the Creationist Flood seemed aimed at burying fish, dinosaurs, and forests, all for the seeming purpose of creating coal, oil, and gas for use by modern man. The "Flood" of the Creationists is definitely not Noah's Flood in the Bible.

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The Bible identifies antediluvian rivers and lands according to currently known landmarks 
But  Creationists claim that the Flood destroyed the entire surface of the antediluvian world

According to the Creationists, human remains are not found among the fossils because they were destroyed by the Flood that obliterated the entire surface of the earth. Creationists teach this in order to claim that oil was created when great forests were buried by the Flood to miles below the present surface. The great pressures beneath miles of sand and rock would indeed create oil  and gas as mainline geology must also agree. The difference is that instead of taking millions of years, Creationists claim this happened as a result of Noah's Flood.


In no place would this be more necessary for the creation of fossil fuels than in the NearEast where there exist so much oil. A problem is that the Bible seems to suggest that the Garden of Eden can be identified according to rivers and places that still existed in the era when the Bible was written. That should not be the case had the Flood destroyed the surface of the earth as it buried forests, creating the vast amounts of oil now found there.
Among the places that the Bible mentions as identifying the Garden of Eden are the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. There is also mention of two additional rivers flowing from the Garden of Eden that are further identified by their location among peoples who lived after the Flood. One of these locations is the land of Havilah where there exists gold and aromatic resins. The land of Havilah has been long known as being in Saudi Arabia and was known as a land of gold and resins. Harvard geo-archaeologist, James Saur, discovered from satellite photographs a dried river bed crossing through the land of Havilah in Saudi Arabia and intersecting the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers near present-day Kuwait. This would appear to be the Pishon River as named in the book of Genesis.
The Gihon, the fourth river of the Garden of Eden, flowed through the land of Cush. Cush was one of the sons of Ham who settled in the land of Mesopotamia as we know from the account of his son, Nimrod in the Bible. They appear to be the same as the historical Kassites speaking a Hamitic language, the widely-spread Akkadian language. Dark skinned Cushites seem also to have settled southern India and Eastern Africa. They would have done so by sailing down what is now the Persian Gulf. Recently archaeological remains of wide spread human settlements have been detected within the Persian Gulf. It seems that the Persian Gulf has been created within historical times, perhaps as land hosting the Gihon River sank to its present depths beneath the Persian Gulf.
Creationists do recognize this problem. Some of them try to resolve it by suggesting that these historical identifications are not the same as the places given in the early chapters of Genesis. If that is the case, why does the Bible refer to them this way? Surely, the Scriptures are not intended to confuse but inform. 
NAMI's Ark documentary
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Christian Leaders & Scholars is the newsletter and publication site of Philip Ernest Williams, author of The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood (2011). The site is also a ministry not only to Christian leaders and scholars but all who are interested in the more difficult issues pertaining to the Bible and its implications for science and history. (Read more)