[b-hebrew] Genesis 1:2 - And the earth was without form,

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Apr 23 02:11:00 EDT 2006

Dear Steve and Peter,

The idea that the laws of nature were somehow different before the Flood is 
a well-known way of dealing with the "discrepancies" between a literal 
reading of Genesis and "natural history". In fact, such claims are made in 
the Talmud. They are not, however, based upon the biblical text. Gen. 8 does 
NOT claim that there were no seasons before the Flood, only that the seasons 
would continue henceforth uninterrupted. Gen. 9 does NOT claim that there 
were no rainbows before the Flood, only that from that point, we should 
consider the rainbow to be a sign of the covenant between God and humanity. 
The "mist" (if that is indeed what "ed" means) mentioned in Gen. 2 reffers 
to the primeveal state of the Garden of Eden, NOT to the whole period up to 
the Flood. And as far as eating meat - Gen. does not say that people did not 
eat meat before the Flood, only that God now regulated how meat is to be 

Yigal Levin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Miller" <smille10 at sbcglobal.net>
>> > ... I think C14 dating is accurate up until Noah's flood, but not 
>> > before
>> > that.
>> >
>> OK. So if I find you a tree ring which is C14 dated to soon after your
>> date for the flood and which is clearly (even allowing for some possible
>> multiple rings per year) from when the tree was several hundred years
>> old, would you accept that as evidence that that tree had been growing
>> since before the flood?
> Thanks, Peter, for the great question. I would consider that tree ring by
> itself to be very weak evidence that the tree had survived the flood:
> 1) If there is only one such specimen, it could be an anomaly.
> 2) If there are 3 such specimens from different locations, then to me it
> means, more likely, that C14 dating stops being accurate some time before
> the flood. We know C14 dating is accurate to 500 BC. It seems reasonable
> that the underlying assumption behind it holds up until the time of the
> flood, but maybe not. Maybe C14 formation rate was changing gradually the
> whole time while man's life expectancy was changing: from 900 yrs before 
> the
> flood, to 400 yrs for the 1st generation after the flood, down to 70 years
> at least by the time of Moses.
> 3) If the tree ring had no rings in the center, then I would take that as
> strong evidence that the tree had survived the flood, because there were 
> no
> seasons before the flood. Apparently the olive tree, whose branch the dove
> brought back to Noah, survived.
> 4) The reason I am sure that all the radioactive dating methods 
> assumptions
> fail before the flood is because the Bible tells us that the earth's
> atmosphere changed after the flood. i.e.
> a. no rainbows before flood, but after.
> b. no seasons before flood, but after.
> c. man not allowed to eat meat before flood, but after. (necessitated by
> winter)
> d. before flood, a mist watered the earth. After flood, rain.
> e. man's life span was rather constant 900 years before flood. Went down
> rapidly after flood.
> Are there any such tree rings dated to ~ B.C. 2350?
> -Steve Miller,
> Detroit
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