The Flood

Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at
Thu Sep 28 12:06:58 EDT 2000

Dear Rolf,

My observations are interleaved below as WM.

All the best,  Walter

----- Original Message -----
From: Rolf Furuli <furuli at>
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 5:00 PM
Subject: Re: The Flood

> Walter Mattfeld wrote,
> >Michael is quite right about a flood depth of about 2 miles covering the
> >earth, if all the land forms were flattened. But my studies indicate that
> >no time in the geologic history of mankind was the whole earth ever been
> >completely flooded, nor were 90% of all animal forms wiped out, save
> >on the ark (by the way I am a social studies teacher, and have taught
> >Geography as well as History as well as Art).
> >
> >The "key problem," is the dating of the Flood. The Hebrew Bible
> >Text) is quite clear that this Flood occured within the 3rd millenium
> >or 4th if you want to cite the LXX, and Geologists are unaware of such
> >wide deposits engulfing the whole world and destroying man and animals at
> >this time, or at any time in the past. Dave is correct, practically all
> >cultures have Flood myths, but, then, flooding is pretty common, and when
> >occurs, primitive man tends to see it engulfing "his world," which then
> >becomes through embellishment the "whole world."
> >
> Dear Walter,
> Thomas Kuhn has argued that science consists of paradigms, which in effect
> are belief systems. When individual data seem to contradict the paradigm,
> it is explained away ad hoc. After a time, much contrary data
> accumulate,the paradigm is changed, and a new paradigm which can account
> for the data somewhat better, is born. The mechanism behind this change is
> not, according to Kuhn, rational thinking, but rather something irrational
> that can be compared to a religious revival.

WM: I would prefer to see a "rational mind" carefully weighing the evidence,
pro and con, realizing that the accumulating data defies the paradigm, and
thus, because of rational thinking, the paradigm is either modified or
scrapped for a new one. I see nothing "irrational" or "religious" (i.e.
"faith") in the paradigm building process.
> I suppose we agree that history cannot be proven. This means in effect
> each  person interprets the finds of his or her focus in light of his or
> her pradigm.
WM: As you know, the preferred word amongst Humanists is not "prove or
proven" but "plausible," but I understand what your point is.

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