Everyone knows the story of Noah’s ark, though not everyone believes it, especially because science denies it.
How, though, could science, which limits itself to natural phenomena only, determine that something supernatural never happened when it won’t address the supernatural? It’s like saying that because quantum physics, which never looks for angels, finds no angels, angels don’t exist.
Nevertheless, one of the world’s most well-known Christian apologists, William Lane Craig, writes: “It is even more fantastic that the earth suffered a worldwide deluge that wiped out all of humanity not aboard the ark as well as all terrestrial animals. Modern geology and anthropology have rendered such a catastrophe all but impossible.”1
Science, the final arbiter of truth, denies a worldwide flood; therefore, proclaims this defender of the faith, it never happened.
Or, instead of flat-out denying Noah’s flood ever happened, many will argue for a local flood instead, which does raise such questions as Why build the ark? Why not just get out of the flood zone?
However, this position leads to a deeper dilemma for the Christian. Scripture reads: “And God said: . . . ‘I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh’ ” (Gen. 9:12-15).
According to God Himself, in His own words (verbatim, like the Ten Commandments), the rainbow is His covenant sign that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” However, because science claims no universal flood could have happened, “all flesh” must simply mean “all flesh” killed in local floods.
Yet how many local floods have washed the dirt, and swept away “all flesh,” since Noah’s? So far in 2022, local floods in Ecuador, Columbia, Alabama, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia, and elsewhere have wreaked devastation and death. “Intense rainfall caused by two different tropical weather systems which have impacted Madagascar over the last week has driven flooding , landslides, destruction of infrastructure and loss of life.”2 Or this: “From late February to early March 2022, Australia’s Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) were hit by extreme flooding following days of rain, including ‘rain bombs.’ ”3
If Noah’s flood were only local, not worldwide, every flood since then makes God a liar, and every rainbow a lie—a dramatic testimony, not to God’s faithfulness but to His broken promises. Either the science, which denies the universal flood, is wrong; or God is a liar, and, with every exquisite arc of color and light, He pushes that lie in our faces.
1 William Lane Craig, In Quest of the Historical Adam, Kindle edition (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2021), p. 151.
Clifford Goldstein is the editor of the Adult Bible Study Guide and a longtime columnist for Adventist Review.