Various models explaining the pre-Flood world and the mechanisms that caused the Genesis Flood have been bantered around for years. Several weeks ago I addressed the model of the pre-Flood world being a paradise that was destroyed by the Flood (Hold the Bible Strongly, Hold Models Loosely). Today we are going to take a look at the Meteorite Impact Model as the mechanism that initiated the Flood.
Could a meteorite impact or impacts have been the trigger that initiated the Flood?
There is no doubt that the earth has been impacted by meteorites in the past. However, most of the impact craters we observe were made in sedimentary layers that are believed to have been laid down during the Flood. This evidence would tend one to think that as least some of the meteorite impacts occurred during the later stages of the Flood.
Turning our gaze skyward to the moon and nearby planets it is also obvious they have sustained numerous impacts. The question lies with when did these impacts occur and could they have any connection with the Flood?
A close examination of the lunar craters, their location in one quadrant along with what are called ‘ghost craters’ imply that the prime cause was due to a slender band of meteorites that swept past the moon before it had moved any great distance. It may have occurred during the year of the Flood.
If there had been a shower of meteors hitting the earth during the Flood, they would have released a great deal of energy sending plumes of water and water vapor into the sky. This would have helped to maintain the Flood for a longer period of time, but again we have to ask if it would have been sufficient to have caused the Flood.
So let us see exactly what Scripture says about the cause of the Genesis Flood.
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. Genesis 7:11
The first cause for the Flood was all the fountains of the great deep burst forth and second cause for the Flood was and the windows of the heavens were opened. According to Scripture, the Flood started with the ocean depths bursting open and causing huge fountains to shoot high into the atmosphere. Then the windows of heaven were opened and rain poured down on the earth.
Based on the biblical text, a meteorite impact cause for the Flood appears to be unacceptable as the first cause is the bursting forth of the great deep. Impacts could be a secondary cause with the windows of heaven opening up, but not a primary cause.
Scripture refers to any bright object in the sky, other than the Sun and moon, as a star. Therefore, if God had used a meteorite or meteorite shower to initiate the Flood wouldn’t He have said something like: “God cast a star down from Heaven” or “the heavens rained down stars?” But Scripture is silent on this issue.
There are logical arguments concerning the Bible’s silence on any given issue like this, but one must be careful using these arguments. One could say that in formal logical terms such as argument based upon obvious silence would be a valid one called denying the consequent. In other words, something as important as using a meteorite to cause the Flood would most likely have been mentioned, but since it wasn’t, then it most likely was not the cause of the Flood. At the same time, the argument of silence can also be a logical fallacy called denying the antecedent. In other words, if the Bible stated that Noah stocked fruits and nuts on the ark for food, then he stocked those items, but since the Bible says nothing about him stocking those items, it means he did not do so. Therefore using arguments from silence can be used in opposite ways and weighed very carefully.
The idea of a meteorite impact initiating the Flood basically comes down to asking if it fits into the Genesis 7:11 verse. As stated earlier, a meteorite impact could be associated with the secondary cause of the Flood, the windows of heaven, but not the first or primary cause of the bursting forth of the great deep. Thus, it is highly unlikely that the initial cause of the Genesis Flood was the result of a meteorite impact or impacts, but very likely that some occurred during the year of the Flood and perhaps shortly afterward.
Sarfati, Jonathan, Flood Models and Biblical Realism, Journal of Creation, Vol. 24(3), 2010, pp. 46-53.
Author: Dr. Tas Walker
This book will answer your questions about the reality of Noah’s Flood and the Ark. Was the Ark big enough? Is there evidence that it really happened? Author Dr Tas Walker, an engineer and geologist, shows that the biblical account is thoroughly believable, and explains where you can see the evidence. The message can change your world. (High School–Adult) 32 pages.