In the Beginning:  Science and Genesis 1-11

Class Eleven - Genesis 7, The Flood and Language

We need to move on to our next section, which is PP

the Great Flood described in Genesis 7.  This segment focuses on the physical aspects of the Flood set forth in Genesis 7:1-20.  Hopefully you have already read these verses.  The pertinent portions are PP:

2.  “You shall take with you of every animal… a male and his female.”  PP 11.

 “…all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”  PP 19.

Video Animation of the Great Flood"







“And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.”

In this section we will address whether the ark as described in Genesis was adequate to preserve all the “kinds” of life described in verse 2, the impact on the earth of the opening of the fountains of the great deep, and where all the water described in 19 went.  But the first question is whether or not the flood was a global or a local flood.  Of course, if the flood was merely a local flood, Noah certainly didn’t need to spend 120 years building an ark when all he needed to do was walk over a few hills!  He’d be the biggest fool in the history of the earth.  The fact that the earth is uniformly covered with sedimentary rock layers speaks loudly of a global flood.  In fact, one of those layers, the Austin sandstone, is found on every continent on the earth.  As geology has become more refined, geologists have in fact identified the sand in sandstone deposits in the western United States as being from the eastern United States.  Furthermore, the fact that those layers are uniformly filled with billions of dead things (fossils) also speaks to a global flood.  Again, if the flood was local, those animals would have simply moved out of the area for the most part.  But more compelling than any of that is the statement of Christ in Matthew 24: 37-39: PP 








“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.”  Christ’s analogy is only impactful in reference to a global flood.

Back to Genesis 7:2 PP:



“You shall take with you of every animal… a male and his female.”  As early as the second century AD, a Gnostic heretic named Appelles wrote that the Ark could not hold even two elephants. According to Appelles, this supposed error in Genesis showed that the Flood account could not have been inspired by God.  Such arguments, or similar ones relative to the ark’s capacity are still with us today.

Here are some artist renderings of the ark PPx3 

under construction and renderings PPx3









of the completed ark based on the dimensions given by God in Genesis chapter 6.  Keep in mind that the ark is the first recorded ship in history.  While we won’t examine it in detail, the scale of the Ark is huge yet remarkably realistic when compared to the largest wooden ships in history. The proportions are even more amazing—they are just like a modern cargo ship.  Noah’s Ark was the focus of a major 1993 scientific study headed by Dr. Seon Hong at the world-class ship research center KRISO, based in Daejeon, South Korea. Dr. Hong’s team compared twelve hulls of different proportions to discover which design was most practical. No hull shape was found to significantly outperform the 4,300-year-old biblical design. In fact, the Ark’s careful balance is easily lost if the proportions are modified, rendering the vessel either unstable, prone to fracture, or dangerously uncomfortable.

The ark is believed by some to be the largest wooden vessel ever built and this relative size comparison PP

is useful in sensing its relative size.  The ark was estimated to have a carrying capacity equal to 522 standard railroad stock cars, each which could hold 240 sheep.

How many animals were on Noah’s Ark? For land animals and birds, the created kind most often corresponds to the conventional classification rank called “family,” which includes many species. There is evidence that the camel, horse, cat, dog, penguin, and iguana families are each a created kind.  The coyote, wolf, jackal, fox and dog are probably included in the same kind.  The lion and house cat would be in another kind, and the llama and camel in yet another kind. Today these species (i.e., llama and camel) look amazingly different, but they seem to have been generated after the Flood from information already present within their parent kind. Lions, coyotes, and dromedary camels were probably not on the Ark but were born to parents within the cat, dog, and camel kinds.

 John Woodmorappe has suggested about 8,000 kinds—including extinct kinds—in his very detailed work, Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study. Therefore the Ark would have contained about 16,000 animals (there are not many clean animals, of which Noah required seven pairs). Whatever the exact number, though, there would have been plenty of room to house these and their food, plus Noah and his family, as this PP

cross-section demonstrates.   Woodmorappe shows that the average size of the animals on the Ark could have been that of a sheep. Many animals, including dinosaurs, were rat-sized. Even considering the very large PP

sauropods, there would still have been room, especially considering that the oldest and largest animals would likely not have been chosen for the Ark—smaller, younger, more fertile animals would have been preferred. As mentioned, the ark was estimated to have a carrying capacity equal to 522 standard railroad stock cars, each which could hold 240 sheep.  So a minimum of 67 cars would be needed to hold the animals.  Let’s be conservative and double that to 134.  That still leaves space equal to 388 railroad stock cars for Noah, his family and food/water storage.  Caring for these animals for a year would have been difficult but not impossible. 

Skeptics claim that the worldwide distribution of animals proves that there could never have been a global Flood or an Ark. If the Ark landed somewhere in the Middle East, then all the animals would have disembarked at that point, including animals that we do not find in the Middle East today, or in the fossil record in that area. How did kangaroos get to Australia, or kiwis to New Zealand? How did polar bears get to North America and penguins to Antarctica?

Scripture is clear that after the Flood, God desired the ecological reconstruction of the world, including its vulnerable animal kinds, and the animals must have spread out from a mountainous region known as Ararat.  The multiplication of dogs is an example of how animals could have quickly repopulated the earth. Two dogs came off Noah’s Ark and began breeding more dogs. Within a relatively short time period, PP

there would be an incredible number of dogs of all sorts of different shapes and sizes.

These dogs then began to spread out from the Ararat region to all parts of the globe.  As these dogs spread around the world, variations within the dog kind led to many of the varieties we find today. But it is important to note that they are still dogs. This multiplication of variations within a kind is the same with the many other kinds of animals.

Non-flying animals may have traveled to the outer parts of the world after the Flood by floating on vast floating logs, left-overs from the massive pre-Flood forests that were ripped up during the Flood and likely remained afloat for many decades on the world’s oceans, transported by world currents. Others could later have been taken by people. A third explanation of possible later migration is that animals could have crossed land bridges, which we will discuss relative to verse 19.  This is, after all, how it is supposed by evolutionists that many animals and people migrated from Asia to the Americas—over a land bridge at the Bering Straits. For such land bridges to have existed, we may need to assume that sea levels were lower in the post-Flood period—an assumption based on a biblical model of the Ice Age.

Let’s move to beginning of the Flood as described in Genesis 7:11  PP:


“…all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.”  We’ll start with the short segment you viewed earlier at the end of the Ken Ham presentation regarding the beginning of the Flood. CLICK HERE TO VIEW FLOOD ANIMATION VIDEO   The clock on that video indicated that the entire earth was covered by water in about eight hours.  We’ll explain how the Flood may have occurred using Dr. Walt Brown’s book, In the Beginning, PP

which I highly recommend and can be purchased or viewed on-line at  This is a somewhat complex area that takes a reasonable amount of reading to grasp, and certainly beyond the scope of this class. Dr. Brown proposes what he calls the Hydroplate Theory, which he feels much better explains the geology we see today than the Plate Tectonic theory or the Catastrophic Plate Tectonic Theory.  I encourage you to purchase the book or view it on-line if you’re interested in this topic.  Dr. Brown not only sets forth his theory, but also discusses the other theories and then contrasts how each fits with the evidence.  In my view his wins easily.  But to the opening of the fountains of the great deep.

Failure in the earth covering the waters in the great deep began with a microscopic crack at the earth’s surface. Because stresses in such cracks are concentrated at each end of the crack, each end grew rapidly—at about 3 miles per second. Within seconds, this crack penetrated down to the subterranean chamber and then followed the path of least resistance around the earth. The rupture probably completed its path around the earth in about 2 hours. As the crack raced around the earth, the 10-mile-thick crust PP PP

opened like a rip in a tightly stretched cloth. Pressure in the subterranean chamber directly beneath the rupture suddenly dropped to nearly atmospheric pressure, allowing the crust to drop quickly into it. This caused water to PP

explode with great violence out of the 10-mile-deep “slit” that wrapped around PP


the earth like the seam of a baseball. PP



All along this globe-circling rupture, whose path approximates today’s Mid-Oceanic Ridge, a fountain of water jetted supersonically into and far above the atmosphere. Much of the water fragmented into an “ocean” of droplets that PP

fell as rain great distances away. This produced torrential rains such as the earth has never experienced. 

Some jetting water rose above the atmosphere, where it froze and then fell on various regions of the earth as huge masses of extremely cold, muddy “hail.” That hail buried, suffocated, and froze many animals, including some PP





mammoths such as this baby mammoths with some fur still attached to his legs. The most powerful jetting water and rock debris escaped the earth’s gravity and became the solar system’s comets, asteroids, and meteoroids.

Sediments swept up in the escaping flood waters gave the water a thick, muddy consistency. These sediments settled out over the earth’s surface in days, trapping and burying many plants and animals. The world’s fossils then began to form. We’ll examine the results of that in the latter portion of Genesis 7.

Genesis 7:19 states PP:


“And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.”  Here we must address the covering of the mountains by the flood and also where all that water went.  But again recognize the clear intent in that verse of a global, not a local flood, with the statement that the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.  By high mountains it doesn’t mean the Alps and other high mountains we think of today.  Once again we have to visualize the earth as it was before the flood, realizing that most of the mountains we see today were formed during and immediately after the flood.  There were hills and some small mountains before the flood, but nothing of the significance of what we see today; the earth was relatively smooth.  But back to the action of the flood.

The rising flood waters eventually blanketed the jetting fountains, although water still surged out of the rupture. Because today’s major mountains had not yet formed, global flooding covered the earth’s relatively smooth topography.

Flooding uprooted most of earth’s abundant vegetation and transported it to regions where it accumulated in great masses.  Later, at the end of the continental-drift phase, buried layers of vegetation were rapidly compressed and heated, precisely the conditions that laboratory experiments have shown will form coal and oil.  We’ll see more on that in our next section on the fossil record.

The rupture path continually widened during the flood phase. Eventually, the width was so great, and so much of the surface weight had been removed, that the PP

compressed rock beneath the exposed floor of the subterranean chamber sprung upward.  As the Mid-Atlantic Ridge began to rise, the granite hydroplates started to slide downhill on the steepening slopes. This removed even more weight from what was to become the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, so the floor rose faster, the slopes increased, and the hydroplates accelerated, removing even more weight, etc.  The entire Atlantic floor rapidly rose almost 10 miles.  As the floor of what is now the Atlantic Ocean rose, no void would open up deep inside the earth, because pressures are too great. Consequently, high-pressure rock from below would buckle up to fill the space. That would not leave a void farther down, because even deeper rock would be squeezed up to fill the space. Ultimately, mass from the opposite side of the earth must depress to compensate for the rising of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the entire Atlantic floor. Therefore, the Pacific and Indian Oceans rapidly formed.

The sliding hydroplates were almost perfectly PP

lubricated by water still escaping from beneath them. The water trapped in spongelike pockets in the chamber floor and ceiling was slowly squeezed out. This lubrication and the related sliding process resembled the following:

A long train PP

 sits at one end of a very long, level track. If we could somehow just barely lift the end of the track under the train and the wheels were frictionless, the train would start rolling downhill. Then we could PP









lift the end of the track even higher, causing the train to accelerate more. If this continued, the high-speed train would eventually crash into something. The long train of boxcars would suddenly decelerate, compress, crush, and “jackknife.”

Continental plates accelerated away from the widening Atlantic. Recall that the rupture encircled the earth, and the escaping subterranean water widened that rupture to an average of about 800 miles—on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the earth. Plates then slid away from the rising Mid-Atlantic Ridge and toward that 800-mile-wide gap on the Pacific side of the earth.    The Pacific floor simultaneously dropped as the Atlantic floor rose, steepening the downhill slide and removing obstacles to the accelerating hydroplates.

As the new postflood continents rose out of the flood waters, water drained into newly opened ocean basins, some of which are more than six miles deep.

Mountain chains were pushed up by the crushing of hydroplates. Where the compression exceeded the crushing strength of granite, the plate thickened and shortened, with the pressure PP


on occasion dramatically folding the layers.  Obviously, the evolution millions of years for layer deposition story would not allow for this folding as hard rock does not fold, it breaks.

The collapse of strength in the crushed region increased the load on adjacent regions, causing them to crush and the mountain chain to lengthen. Therefore, bending and crushing rapidly lifted mountain chains. The long axis of each buckled mountain was generally perpendicular PP

to its hydroplate’s motion—that is, parallel to the portion of the Mid-Oceanic Ridge from which it slid. So, the Rocky Mountains, Appalachians, and Andes have a north-south orientation.

When the compression event began on a particular hydroplate, the plate crushed, thickened, buckled, and rose out of the water. As it did, the flood waters receded.  For several hundred years after the flood sea level would have been lower than today, providing land bridges between the continents that would have allowed for the migration of animals and man.

After the flood, hydroplates rested on portions of the former chamber floor and oceans covered most other portions. Because the thickened hydroplates applied greater pressure to the floor than did the water, the hydroplates slowly sank into the chamber floor (the mantle) over the centuries, lifting other parts of the deep ocean floor. To visualize this, imagine lying on one side of a soft waterbed.  The other side of the water bed would rise.  Thus the land bridges that existed would then be under water by several hundred feet.  Before this PP

occurred North America would have joined Asia at the Bering Strait.  Australia would have connected to Asia along a 1,000 mile wide land bridge, Europe would join North America via Greenland and Antarctica would have touched South America.

This is an appropriate time to address the verses regarding the dispersion at Babel and the division in the time of Peleg – Genesis11:9 PP:





“Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.” and  10:25 PP: 


“And two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided…”

Notice that I have the verses reversed in the order that they appear in the Bible.  That’s because verse 11:9 occurred before verse 10:25 chronologically.  Notice verse 10:25 refers PP

to “for in his days the earth was divided.”  Chapter 10 is a genealogy of the descendents of Noah and extends well beyond  the events we are about to discuss.  Some of your study bibles may indicate 10:25 actually refers to 11:9, but, for reasons you’ll now see, I don’t believe that is the case.

Looking at verse 25, we see that Peleg received his name because in his day the earth was divided.  Peleg means “division”, so it is reasonable to assume that he received that name because he was born during the time of the division.  The question is what division are we referring to.  Some postulate that the division refers to the rendering of the one large continent into the continents we have today.  However, the physical division of continents would require another significant catastrophic event after the flood.  Such an event would have involved such significant forces that indescribable global violence and volcanic activity would have occurred, yet there is no geological or historical record of that. 

The genealogy in chapter 10 indicates Nimrod lived three generations after the flood, while Peleg lived five generations after the Flood and therefore after the dispersion at Babel.  I believe it simply means that the rising of the waters we just discussed divided the continents.  This is supported by indications that the original Hebrew word Peleg meant not just division, but division by water.

So we physically have the means for the dispersion, now we need the mechanism, which is found in Genesis 11:9 PP:


“Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

Before we deal with God’s dispersion of a disobedient people by confusing their language, the first question we need to address is whether there is any evidence of a common language? The answer is yes.   Beyond the Biblical indication in Genesis 11:1 of a common language, there are numerous people group descriptions of language being confused by God to spread people.  Here are two examples, first from a legend of the Gaikho tribe of Burma (Myanmar) which says PP:


“In the days of Pan-dan-man, the people determined to build a pagoda that should reach up to heaven. . . . When the pagoda was half way up to heaven, God came down and confounded the language of the people, so that they could not understand each other. Then the people scattered, and Than-mau-rai, the father of the Gaikho tribe, came west, with eight chiefs, and settled in the valley of the Sitang.”

Polynesians on the island of Hao said that Rata and his three sons survived a great flood. Then PP


they made an attempt to erect a building by which they could reach the sky, and see the creator god Vatea [Atea]; but the god in anger chased the builders away, broke down the building, and changed their language, so that they spoke diverse tongues.”

Today there are 6,912 known languages.  Evolution would of course posit that those 6,912 languages developed from one language over millions of years.  So linguists should be able to work backward to that common language if the evolution story is true.

If the Biblical story is true, Genesis 11:9 clearly indicates that in an instant, people that could previously understand each other couldn’t.  It is reasonable to presume that a family – husband, wife and children, could still understand each other, but they couldn’t understand any one else.  Once the shock of what had happened ended, there would be nothing left to do but to separate from each other.  So each family became a tribe and moved away from Babel PP

to work out its own manner of life, as God had intended them to do in the first place. 

Under the evolution model, there should be many languages differing very slightly from each other stretching right across every continent and around the globe.  Further, the 94 language families presently on record should be reducible to just one. But claims for a single original language, or anything near that, are not supported by the existing facts.  The only option for the evolutionist beyond all these language groups (and their derived languages) coming from a single original language is the language capacity must have evolved and expressed itself multiple times. But the theory that any language could arise by chance has been refuted logically and mathematically.  The idea that the language capacity could come about by chance more than once is even less likely than its evolving accidentally just once.

Johann Peter Sübmilch PP

established in 1756 that man could not have invented language without having the necessary intelligence, and also that intelligent thought in its turn depends on the previous existence of speech. The only solution to this paradox is that God must have given human beings language as a gift.

Language is the ability to express information and is the most important and most extensive vehicle for communicating information. An unlimited range of subject matter can be expressed by means of human language.  Man’s natural language is the most comprehensive as well as the most differentiated means of expression. This special gift has been given to human beings only, allowing us to express all our feelings and our deepest beliefs, as well as to describe the interrelationships prevailing in nature, in life, and in the field of technology. Language is required for formulating all kinds of thoughts and is essential for conveying information.  There are no “primitive” languages.  It is in principle possible to formulate any arbitrary idea in any language. Human languages are able to convey an unlimited number of meanings and contents, in contrast to the communication systems of animals.

A language can be regarded as a system whereby certain sounds or gestures convey certain meanings. In this sense, many animals like birds, bees, crabs, wolves, and dolphins communicate with one another, but as far as fundamental characteristics are concerned, human language is vastly different from the communication systems employed by animals: PP

1. Creativity: Only human language can be creative. When speaking, humans can arbitrarily link together many lingual units to form well-constructed new sentences. Man is able to produce sentences which he has never before uttered, and he also can understand sentences which he has never beforehand heard. Any arbitrary matter can be verbalized. The communication systems used by animals are fixed and limited. The history of experiments with animals, purporting to teach them some complex language, is characterized by failure.  PP

2. Voluntary conventions: The vocabularies of all human languages all over the world consist predominantly of arbitrary vocal structures which correspond to the relevant concept or object purely by convention. In contrast, the sounds and gestures used in “animal languages” are inherently fixed, and can thus not be arbitrarily assigned some other meaning. PP

3. Comprehensiveness: The number of thoughts that can be expressed in a human language is unlimited, but it is fixed and bounded in the animal world. The dance performed by bees PP

is in principle such an effective communication system that numerous different messages could be conveyed, but in practice, the system, being restricted to a few concepts only, is inflexible.  PP

4.  Reason for transmission:

The messages sent by animals depend on certain stimuli (e g., fear, warning, desire to mate, and quest for food), but man is not limited to such strictures.

It’s time to move to our next section, Genesis 7:21-24 PP:



“And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all  in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.  PP


Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.  And the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.”