The Cognitive Dissonance of a God Cosmology
Volume 3: Cosmology of the Bible
Kelli Jae Baeli
The Great Fib
There’s a huge hole in the whole Flood drama, because anything that could float or swim got away scot-free, and it was the idea to wipe out everything, He didn’t say, “I will kill everything, except the floating ones and the swimming ones, who will get out due to a loophole. ~ Eddie Izzard
The story of the flood is a familiar to most people. A man is instructed by God to build a large boat to save himself and his family, along with the male and female of each animal species. God then sends a great flood, and all are drowned except for the occupants of the vessel.
Am I speaking of Noah and the Ark? Yes. But also of The Epic of Gilgamesh, and The Egyptian Book of the Divine Cow. (I kid you not.) From texts discovered in the tombs of pharaohs, we learn of a tale about the people turning bad and the sun god who had to kill them all and start civilization over. The Divine Cow was a transformation from the Goddess Nut. (I promise you, I’m not making this up. But someone did, and that’s the point here).
The Biblical motifs of the Fall and the Flood suggest a rupture, a necessary loss of “eternity”, forcing mankind to return to the original state of perfection through history. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this cleavage between man and God ensued when the former ate from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge (between good and evil). So history starts when, stripped naked, man, in blood, sweat & tears, has to work for his living. But this is not enough. Divine wrath floods humanity, leaving only a small percentage alife (cf. Noah). The literary parallels are obvious (cf. infra).
The Gilgamesh story was itself a borrowed tale of Sumerian origin. Both these ancient stories were combined and altered to produce the Biblical flood story. The Gilgamesh epic was written on 12 clay tablets in cuneiform script, and dating to between 2750 and 2500 BCE—long before the story of Noah was to have taken place. In fact, The Epic of Gilgamesh is thought by ancient historians to be the oldest written story ever found.
Most Christians view the flood story as unique to Christianity, but it is, in fact, a copy of the two other stories, tweaked to fit the needs of the Christian religion. There are obvious similarities that cannot escape the attention of anyone capable of employing reason. For example, In the Biblical account, we see:
Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. (GEN 6:14-22).
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, we see:
Tear down the house and build a boat!
Abandon wealth and seek living beings!
Spurn possessions and keep alive living beings!
Make all living beings go up into the boat. The boat which you are to build, its dimensions must measure equal to each other: its length must correspond to its width. Roof it over like the Apsu. I understood and spoke to my lord, Ea: ‘My lord, thus is the command which you have uttered I will heed and will do it. (Tablet XI)
The Gilgamesh author also used the measurement of cubits
as did the Biblical story of the flood.
The child carried the pitch, the weak brought whatever else was needed. On the fifth day I laid out her exterior. It was a field in area, its walls were each 10 times 12 cubits in height, the sides of its top were of equal length, 10 times It cubits each. (Tablet XI)
Both stories also tell of the boat mooring or being stuck on a mountain. In the Bible, it was Mountains of Ararat, in Gilgamesh, it was Mount Nimush.
And just as the biblical story, a bird was sent out to seek land, and finally land was located, and the animals of the ark were released. In the biblical account, it says,
…and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again. (8:7-12)
Notice the similarities in the Gilgamesh version:
I sent forth a dove and released it. The dove went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a swallow and released it. The swallow went off, but came back to me; no perch was visible so it circled back to me. I sent forth a raven and released it. The raven went off, and saw the waters slither back. It eats, it scratches, it bobs, but does not circle back to me. Then I sent out everything in all directions and sacrificed [a sheep].(Tablet XI)
Now, according to reason, it becomes plain that the flood stories are myth, based solely on this information, and common sense. The truth is even more illuminated by the obvious flaws.
Historically, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers did overflow and cause great damage, but nothing as severe as the biblical account relates. The only river in the region that could have been involved was the Jordan, but it was below sea level. There are no historical records, nor archeological nor geological evidence that show a flood of this magnitude in the region.
Aside from the obvious widespread killing of everyone who wasn’t on the ark, including children and animals who could not logically be regarded as “evil”—there are the usual problems.
Regarding the logistics of Noah and the Ark, first, the size of the Ark would have resulted in the boat breaking in half under the force of the first wave it encountered; modern ship builders know this for certain. They also know that Noah could not have constructed this Ark in the amount of time allotted.
The animals that Noah allegedly loaded onto the Ark (using both versions of that information found in two different places in Genesis) would not only be too numerous to fit, as our modern science tells us that 99% of the world’s species are now extinct, and it’s obvious that even if the Ark were built and loaded today, they wouldn’t fit; so why would they fit then, when there were millions. Remember there was only “one” creation, according to the bible. This, even though the fossil record shows us that there were many rebirths of new species when others were wiped out (remember the dinosaurs?). The fossil record also shows us that modern species began later—that’s why they are called modern. To hear the theists tell it, all the animals, of all kinds were created by God, during the Original Creation of the world. That’s easily explained, of course, by the facts of evolution; which theists insist isn’t accurate.
Back to the Ark: Also, there would be no room to store water and food for them, and no way the small group of people on board could care for them and clean up after them. Not to mention that it would collapse from the weight and sink. Then there’s the fact that all animals weren’t indigenous to the area in which Noah lived, yet there is no mention of a “road trip” to herd all those animals to the Ark. Additionally, if one only has a male and female of each species, this would create mutants due to inbreeding.
And what about this verse?
“…taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done” (GEN 8:20-21)
Noah took “some of all” of the animals, which would mean there were some who couldn’t “be fruitful and multiply” because, as we know, Noah loaded the Ark with one male and one female of each kind. That would leave some without a mate. Those species must have just died out. Maybe that’s what happened to the dinosaurs, eh?
Also, the most glaring error of all: why did the animals have to be saved in the first place? Since God is omnipotent, why couldn’t he just re-create them all after the flood waters receded?
Other details in the flood story don’t add up, either. God places a rainbow in the sky to remind himself of the event—though why a Omni-everything being would need a atmospheric Post-it Note is beyond me.
There’s also the obvious belief by the author of the Book of Genesis that the Earth was flat, and there was only water above the dome of sky and below the ground. Again, if God created all these things, and then inspired men to write about them, would he not correct such a profound inaccuracy?
And what about the depth of the water as told in Genesis 7:19-20? “The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.” If we figure a cubit as on the average being 19 inches, that would mean the water level reached around 24 feet. Obviously not enough to cover all those mountains, even the smallest of the small. It’s another case of making a mountain out of a molehill; common in the Christian religion.
 A cubit was an ancient unit of length, equal to the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, approximately 43-56 cm (17-22 in) [14th century. Latin cubitum “elbow, forearm” (Encarta Dictionary).