Correspondence: Noah's Flood
September 23, 2012
Dear Dr. Aardsma,
I've always believed a water vapor canopy protected pre-Flood Earth from damaging rays from the heavens, and enabled huge dinosaurs, fast growth of plants which became our coal deposits, and long lives of people.
I have a question:
The earliest civilizations are:
Even your added millennium and 3350 B.C. date of the Flood doesn't explain the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations reputedly established before the Flood. What's your explanation?
(Ancient Civilization, Dr. Harold Damerow, Senior Professor of Government and History, Union County College, Cranford, NJ 07016, http://faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/ancients.htm)
- Mesopotamian Civilization about 4000 BCE on the Tigris/Euphrates River
- Egyptian Civilization about 3500 BCE on the Nile River
- Minoan Civilization on the Island of Crete about 2500 BCE
- Indus River Civilization on the Indus River about 2300 BCE
- Civilization of North China about 2200 BCE.
If it is truth you are after you must brace yourself for a major paradigm shift. The new paradigm takes Genesis at face value, but fails to find any support for a pre-Flood vapor canopy.
In answering your question, note that the proper Biblical Chronology date of the Flood is 3520+/-21 B.C., not 3350 B.C. (See the Aardsma chronology time chart on the BiblicalChronologist.org home page.) With 3520 B.C. for the date of the Flood, only the first item in the list you have quoted (i.e., Mesopotamian civilization) predates the Flood.
You have been taught that the Flood was so overwhelmingly destructive that no evidence of pre-Flood civilizations could possibly have survived. This view of the Flood is incorrect. The Flood was a global-scale catastrophe, but it was not the Earth-shattering tectonic cataclysm some have imagined it to have been. It did not significantly alter the surface of the ground in most locations. Archaeological remains of pre-Flood civilizations survived the Flood, in Mesopotamia and elsewhere.
Mesopotamia is the "cradle of civilization". We expect it to be oldest in any such list. The Flood happened at the end of the Late Uruk Period in Mesopotamia, terminating that particular expression of Mesopotamian civilization. The following Jamdat Nasr Period is the biblical post-Flood Tower of Babel civilization.
The Chalcolithic civilization in Palestine is another example of a pre-Flood civilization which was suddenly terminated by the Flood 3520 B.C.
Trust this helps. Note that you can use the Search utility on the BiblicalChronologist.org web site to quickly find more information on specific topics.