Kyle Hill at But Not Simpler on the Discover Magazine site, has a post up debunking the Noah story. I almost didn’t read it, because debunking Noah feels a bit like debunking the Easter Bunny, but then I looked at the comments there, and remembered that somewhere between 33 and 46 percent of Americans believe the story of Noah literally happened.
I’ve said this before, but since so many out there appear not to understand it, it’s worth doing my part to repeat it. There’s room to debate the existence of God, but not room to debate young earth creationism including the idea that there was a world wide flood a few thousand years ago. You have to throw most of modern science under the buss to believe it.
There’s no geological record of a world wide flood. We have archaeological evidence of human cities going back thousands of years before the flood or before the purported creation, and of human habitation going back hundreds of thousands of years, not to mention all of the fossil evidence going back billions of years, or the astronomical evidence of a 14 billion year old universe. And genetic evidence has pretty conclusively shown that the human population never went through a bottleneck of less than 1000 people.
All of this is aside from all the logistical issues of rounding up and cramming millions of species of animals into the ark, feeding them, or explaining how all the land plants survived.
Take the story of Noah as a metaphor for something if you’d like. Take it as a morality tale of some sort. Or simply take it as a founding myth that ancient Mesopotamians told each other in their quest to understand reality. But insisting on it being literally true, despite all evidence to the contrary, and getting upset about whatever liberties a move adaptation might be taking with it, is simply equivalent to getting upset about a movie taking liberties with Greek mythology or Aesop’s fables.
Hundreds of millions of religious believers hold their belief while accepting the scientific worldview. If they can do it, so can you.