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  •  which brings up the issue of time (2+ / 0-)
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    mettle fatigue, jds1978

    Much of this debate uses the contrived biblical timeline to shoehorn myths into possible geologic events.  This is likely not useful as it is hard to make the timelines consistent.

    The first thing to not is that all these Jewish testament stories were transmitted as spoken language.  Hebreew is only 4 thousands years old.  These had to be written down long after they happened.  This means that intervening events were likely woven into the story. For instance, the Noah story may indeed have only involved a primitive river vessel, but a more elaborate 'ark' may have been put in later.

    Look another timeline.  About a million years ago human expanding through the Africa continent.  According to some, the middle of Africa is the garden of Eden, and the expansion was when we kicked out.  On the other end we have the Pharaohs and Moses story, which biblical scholars would place about 2-3000 years ago, but it could have been up to 4 or 5 thousands years ago.

    So in this light the 6,000 number for the ark is not so bad.  But we don't know.  We know that boats were in use 40,000 years ago and in the biblical area they were in wide use perhaps 10-20 thousand years ago.

    One can imagine a valley flooded, and instead of everyone dying, as mentioned, boats were used to save a few lucky people and their livestock for some period of time.  Time dilatation/contraction is epidemic in any story telling, so who know how long there were actually on the boat.  The thing is that technology saved the world, and there was a story written about it.  Like all stories, for instance Independence Day, there was some creative elaboration.

    •  6,000 years ago… (1+ / 0-)
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      Mesopotamia wasn't the desert shithole we know today as Iraq. As the glaciers of the last Ice Age retreated 15,000 years ago they left a warmer, wetter region in earth's desert belts with the Sahara and Arabian deserts covered with a savanna more hospitable to farming in in the "Fertile Crescent" of Egypt, Israel, and Mesopotamia. The peak of these hospitable "green deserts" coincided with the beginnings of written human history 6,000 years ago.

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