Robert Ballard Found the Titanic. Did He Also Find Evidence for Noah?

Well… not quite. But you could reach that conclusion from the BIG headlines over at and at . What Ballard seems to have found is the historical basis for the myth of Noah and the Flood. (It’s my OP, I can call it a “myth” if I want.)

To summarize: 7,500 years ago, as the Ice Ages were ending, the Black Sea was much lower than it is now, and it was fresh water. A natural earthen dam kept the Mediterranean at bay. It gave way and salt water filled in the basin to its present level. The remains of fresh-water animals such as shellfish show that the water was fresh before the flood.

There were people living there, of course, and they would have told and re-told this story, perhaps adding details with each re-telling? And it would have been the Babylonians who first told these tales, since their culture pre-dates that of the Hebrews.

Frankly, this is what people like myself and David B have been saying all along: The Bible is a collection of tales that freely mix fact and fantasy. It’s nice to see more concrete evidence for our opinions.

I wonder what they’re going to say about this over at ?

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

They probably will say exactly nothing. Nothing at all.

What evidence does Ballard present that the Black Sea (A) had a lower water level 7500 years ago than it does now, and (B) contained fresh water 7500 years ago?

Hmmm … well, I just read the National Geographic News article linked-to above. Ballard’s evidence consists of: (A) an area that looks like a beach 550 feet under water off the southern coast of the Black Sea; (B) seven shells he retrieved from this underwater “beach”, whose radiocarbon ages were less than 7000 years, all of which appeared to be from salt-water mollusks; and © two shells more shells he retrieved from the same area, whose radiocarbon ages were 15,500 and 7460 years, each of which appeared to be from an extinct species of fresh-water mollusk.

(The latest National Geographic dispatch on the subject rather disingenuously says that “The freshwater species ranged from 7,460 to 15,500 years,” neglecting to mention that there were only two samples.)

I am interested to know whether these shells were identified as fresh-water vs. salt-water mollusks by comparing their general body plans to known fossils, or if there’s some other give-away indication (shell thickess?) that tells a marine paleontologist instantly whether a mollusk lived in fresh water or salt water.

It’s on the websites I mentioned, tracer:

Using side-scan sonar, they found the ancient seashore at a depth of 550 feet. It had the shape of a seashore, the profile and even sandbars. Using a dredge, they scooped up shells of various shellfish and they were of extinct fresh-water mollusks. They also found the younger shells of extinct salt-water mollusks. Radio-carbon dating gave the ages of the youngest fresh-water shells as 7,500 years.

Next August, they’ll return with more equipment and look for the remains of buildings and artifacts.

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.


Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

Jab, this actually isn’t terribly new – though the extra evidence is. A couple of scientists put out a book on this very topic earlier this year: Noah’s Flood, by William Ryan and Walter Pitman.

I can’t recommend the book, because it’s not well-written. I can recommend the information in the book, if you can find it in another format. :slight_smile:

I’ll look for it. It’s just the combination of Robert Ballard and the National Geographic makes it more credible.

See y’all tomorrow.

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

Surgo & Jab: Actually, the folks over at EndTimes did start a thread on this as well. Some of those responding obviously didn’t bother to read the article (one said something along the lines of, “See, I knew they’d find evidence for Noah’s Flood!” – Which it isn’t. :slight_smile: ).

And SoulFrost, from our little MB here, is also posting there now.

No, they haven’t found Noah’s Ark. But Egyptologists have found the bones of seven cows, and radiocarbon dating has put them at the same timeframe as the Biblical story of Joseph. There are many who contend these are be the same seven cows menitoned in Pharoah’s dream. However, it has not yet determined whether they are the seven fat cows or the seven skinny cows.


It couldn’t be the fat cows, IIRC they were consumed by the skinny cows.

Jab: I distrust carbon dating on anything that doesn’t get its carbon from the atmosphere. Mollusc shells are notorious for providing inaccurate dates due to thier carbon being often provided as “fossil” carbon from dissolved limestone rather than “fresh” atmospheric carbon. I haven’t read the article cited yet, were the shells from species that are totally extinct or just locally extinct? If they are still found in other parts of the world I would wager that they are a fairly recent addition to the sea floor, possibly no older than, say, the time of the Vikings traders who came down the Danube.

If you couldn’t tell, I am not yet convinced that the Black Sea flooded within human experience, or if it did that the event was remembered in the flood myths of that region. People who live on flood plains tend to view a bad flood as the worst possible disaster. Jury is still out.

What ever happened to the ‘flooding of the Mediterranean basin’ theory? Several years back, it was thought that there was a good case for the straits of Gibraltar opening, flooding the Med basin, sometime after the dawn of humanity. Radar images supposedly showed where the water cascaded down from the Atlantic into the basin.

There’s no reason why both floods couldn’t have happened, but if the Med wasn’t always a salt-water sea, its flood obviously would have to have preceded any Black Sea flood, and by long enough for the Med to have reached a fairly high salinity, if the Black Sea researchers are correct.

My original line (emphasis added): << There are many who contend these are be the same seven cows menitoned in Pharoah’s **dream. ** However, it has not yet determined whether they are the seven fat cows or the seven skinny cows. >>

Dr Fid: << Dex: It couldn’t be the fat cows, IIRC they were consumed by the skinny cows. >>

Man, oh man, if I snagged Dr Fid on that one, it’s a Major Event.

Or maybe he snagged you:wink:

DrFidelius, thanks for the info on carbon-dating. If I have a gripe about NG, it’s that they leave too many details out of their stories in trying to “dumb it down” for the general public. In the future, there will be more on this story in other sources, don’t y’all think?

I look on this new evidence like this: It takes a lot of material to build a case against the “World-Wide Flood” that Creationists believe and this is just one or two more pieces. Some day, our case will be as air-tight as the Ark would have had to have been and the rational among them won’t be able to stop themselves from believing our side of the story.

It isn’t conclusive yet, not by a long shot. But we’re getting there.

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

The rational people among those who believe in the reality of Noah’s Ark?

I think you’re wasting your time there…

A rational person who doesn’t have enough facts can come to irrational beliefs. Maybe I should say “incorrect”.

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

In my OP, I wondered what the folks over at Left Behind will say about this story. Surgoshan said,

Oh, yes, they arrrrre! Go to:

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

I don’t think any of the first 15 posters read the article at all.

I wonder what they would do if I registered as Jesus and started tossing out facts…

I was kinda surprised – somebody there is registered as Jesus45 (or something like that). I thought sure he’d be flamed into oblivion for registering that way.