Dr. Marty Leipzig looks at the mathematics of 'Noah's Flood.'

Date: 09-02-99 10:11
From: Marty Leipzig

Hey, Georgie. The cretinists at the ICR, AIG, CRC and a half-dozen other fundy-run shill organizations absolutely insist on the Flood of Noah" being global (meaning ALL the world, to your limited deference). To them, your claim that it was local makes you the infidel.

Shocking. When you're obviously nothing more than a nescient schmuck.

Hell, I'm just taking what they claim and agreeing it to death.


First- the global flood supposedly (Scripturally) covered the planet, (see that, George? If so, why are you still being so stupid?) and Mount Everest is 8,848 meters tall. The diameter of the earth at the equator, on the other hand, is 12,756.8 km. All we have to do is calculate the volume of water to fill a sphere with a radius of the Earth + Mount Everest; then we subtract the volume of a sphere with a radius of the Earth. Now, I know this won't yield a perfect result, because the Earth isn't a perfect sphere, but it will serve to give a general idea about the amounts involved.

So, here are the calculations:

First, Everest

V= 4/3 * pi * r cubed
 = 4/3 * pi * 6387.248 km cubed
 = 1.09151 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.09151x102 km3)

Now, the Earth at sea level

V = 4/3 * pi * r cubed
  = 4/3 * pi * 6378.4 km cubed
  = 1.08698 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.08698x1012 km3)
The difference between these two figures is the amount of water needed to just cover the Earth:

4.525 x 10 to the ninth cubic kilometres (4.525x1009 km3) Or, to put into a more sensible number, 4,525,000,000,000 cubic kilometres

This is one helluva lot of water.

For those who think it might come from the polar ice caps, please don't forget that water is more dense than ice, and thus that the volume of ice present in those ice caps would have to be more than the volume of water necessary.

Some interesting physical effects of all that water, too. How much weight do you think that is? Well, water at STP weighs in at 1 gram/cubic centimetre (by definition)...so,

4.252x1009 km3 of water,
X 106 (= cubic meters),
X 106 (= cubic centimetres),
X 1 g/cm3 (= grams),
X 10-3 (= kilograms),
(turn the crank)
equals 4.525E+21 kg.
Ever wonder what the effects of that much weight would be? Well, many times in the near past (i.e., the Pleistocene), continental ice sheets covered many of the northern states and most all of Canada. For the sake of argument, let's call the area covered by the Wisconsinian advance (the latest and greatest) was 10,000,000,000 (ten million) km2, by an average thickness of 1 km of ice (a good estimate...it was thicker in some areas [the zones of accumulation] and much thinner elsewhere [at the ablating edges]). Now, 1.00x1007 km2 X 1 km thickness equals 1.00E+07 km3 of ice.

Now, remember earlier that we noted that it would take 4.525x1009 km3 of water for the flood? Well, looking at the Wisconsinian glaciation, all that ice (which is frozen water, remember?) would be precisely 0.222% [...do the math](that's zero decimal two hundred twenty two thousandths) percent of the water needed for the flood.

Well, the Wisconsinian glacial stade ended about 25,000 YBP (years before present), as compared for the approximately supposedly 4,000 YBP flood event.

Due to these late Pleistocene glaciations (some 21,000 years preceding the supposed flood), the mass of the ice has actually depressed the crust of the Earth. That crust, now that the ice is gone, is slowly rising (called glacial rebound); and this rebound can be measured, in places (like northern Wisconsin), in centimetres/year. Sea level was also lowered some 10's of meters due to the very finite amount of water in the Earth's hydrosphere being locked up in glacial ice sheets (geologists call this glacioeustacy).

Now, glacial rebound can only be measured, obviously, in glaciated terranes, i.e., the Sahara is not rebounding as it was not glaciated during the Pleistocene. This lack of rebound is noted by laser ranged interferometery and satellite geodesy [so there], as well as by geomorphology. Glacial striae on bedrock, eskers, tills, moraines, rouche moutenees, drumlins, kame and kettle topography, fjords, deranged fluvial drainage and erratic blocks all betray a glacier's passage. Needless to say, these geomorphological expressions are not found everywhere on Earth (for instance, like the Sahara). Therefore, although extensive, the glaciers were a local (not global) is scale. Yet, at only 0.222% the size of the supposed flood, they have had a PROFOUND and EASILY recognisable and measurable effects on the lands.

Yet, the supposed flood of Noah, supposedly global in extent, supposedly much more recent, and supposedly orders of magnitude larger in scale; has exactly zero measurable effects and zero evidence for it's occurrence.

Golly, Wally. I wonder why that may be...?

Further, Mount Everest extends through 2/3 of the Earth's atmosphere. Since two forms of matter can't occupy the same space, we have an additional problem with the atmosphere. Its current boundary marks the point at which gasses of the atmosphere can escape the Earth's gravitational field. Even allowing for partial dissolving of the atmosphere into our huge ocean, we'd lose the vast majority of our atmosphere as it is raised some 5.155 km higher by the rising flood waters; and it boils off into space.

Yet, we still have a quite thick and nicely breathable atmosphere. In fact, ice cores from Antarctica (as well as deep-sea sediment cores) which can be geochemically tested for paleoatmospheric constituents and relative gas ratios; and these records extend well back into the Pleistocene, far more than the supposed 4,000 YBP flood event. Strange that this major loss of atmosphere, atmospheric fractionation (lighter gasses (oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, neon, etc.) would have boiled off first in the flood-water rising scenario, enriching what remained with heavier gasses (argon, krypton, xenon, radon, etc.)), and massive extinctions from such global upheavals are totally unevidenced in these cores.

Even further, let us take a realistic and dispassionate look at the other claims relating to global flooding and other such biblical nonsense.

Particularly, in order to flood the Earth to the Genesis requisite depth of 10 cubits (~15' or 5 m.) above the summit of Mt. Ararat (16,900' or 5,151 m AMSL), it would obviously require a water depth of 16,915' (5,155.7 m), or over three miles above mean sea level. In order to accomplish this little task, it would require the previously noted additional 4.525 x 109 km3 of water to flood the Earth to this depth. The Earth's present hydrosphere (the sum total of all waters in, on and above the Earth) totals only 1.37 x 109 km3. Where would this additional 4.525 x 109 km3 of water come from? It cannot come from water vapour (i.e., clouds) because the atmospheric pressure would be 840 times greater than standard pressure of the atmosphere today. Further, the latent heat released when the vapour condenses into liquid water would be enough to raise the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere to approximately 3,570 C (6,460 F).

Someone, who shall properly remain anonymous, suggested that all the water needed to flood the Earth existed as liquid water surrounding the globe (i.e., a "vapour canopy"). This, of course, it staggeringly stupid. What is keeping that much water from falling to the Earth? There is a little property called gravity that would cause it to fall.

Let's look into that from a physical standpoint. To flood the Earth, we have already seen that it would require 4.252 x 109 km3 of water with a mass of 4.525 x 1021 kg. When this amount of water is floating about the Earth's surface, it stored an enormous amount of potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy when it falls, which, in turn, is converted to heat upon impact with the Earth. The amount of heat released is immense:

 Potential energy: E=M*g*H, where
 M = mass of water,
 g = gravitational constant and,
 H =  height of water above surface.
Now, going with the Genesis version of the Noachian Deluge as lasting 40 days and nights, the amount of mass falling to Earth each day is 4.525 x 1021 kg/40 24 hr. periods. This equals 1.10675 x 1020 kilograms daily. Using H as 10 miles (16,000 meters), the energy released each day is 1.73584 x 1025 joules. The amount of energy the Earth would have to radiate per m2/sec is energy divided by surface area of the Earth times number of seconds in one day. That is: e = 1.735384 x 1025/(4*3.14159* ((6386)2*86,400)) = 391,935.0958 j/m2/s.

Currently, the Earth radiates energy at the rate of approximately 215 joules/m2/sec and the average temperature is 280 K. Using the Stefan- Boltzman 4'th power law to calculate the increase in temperature:

 E (increase)/E (normal) = T (increase)/T4 (normal)

E (normal) = 215 E (increase) = 391,935.0958 T (normal) = 280.

Turn the crank, and T (increase) equals 1800 K.

The temperature would thusly rise 1800 K, or 1,526.84 C (that's 2,780.33 F...lead melts at 880 F...ed note). It would be highly unlikely that anything short of fused quartz would survive such an onslaught. Also, the water level would have to rise at an average rate of 5.5 inches/min; and in 13 minutes would be in excess of 6' deep.

Finally, at 1800 K water would not exist as liquid.

It is quite clear that a Biblical Flood is and was quite impossible. Only fools and those shackled by dogma would insist otherwise.


In fact, I had a similar discussion with some ExPat fundy over here a while back.

It went something like this (I think you'll be amused by the logic...):

Fundy: "What? You don't believe the Bible?"

Me: "Nope. It's full of contradictions, nonsense, lies and logical physical impossibilities."

Fundy: "Like what?"

Me: "Well, for starters, how about all that flood business?"

Fundy: "Well, the flood did happen."

Me: "And the evidence for this claim is...hmmm?"

Fundy: "Well...ack...urk...it's there."

Me: "Look, buckwheat. I'm a geologist and I can say without fear of contradiction that there is no evidence for the flood and it is quite physically impossible for it to have occurred (show him the above...having to explain, in great detail, every step of the way)."

Fundy: "Well, it's quite obvious. God performed it. It was a miracle. He caused the flood and later removed the evidence."

Me: "So, chuckles, the total lack of evidence for the flood is evidence that it did happen and moreover, God did it. Am I getting what you're saying correct?"

Fundy: (sensing imminent victory...oh, silly fundy) "Yes. That's it. That's it exactly!"

Me: "So, this lack of evidence of a flood is evidence of your supernatural God...so, with evidence like that, you do not need faith, right? Because with evidence, one doesn't need faith? Correct?"

Fundy: "Yeah. That's right. It's proof of God. Right there..."

Me: "(mutterning...proof is for math and booze...) But, your Bible notes that God doesn't want/need/have to provide evidence of His existence for He said 'Without faith, I am nothing.', correct?"

Fundy: "Ulp...erk...ahhh..."

Me: "So, if the flood did not occur, as I maintain; the Bible is wrong, false, errant and faulty; ergo, as it is claimed to be the word of your God, so is your God."

Fundy: "Ulp...erk...ahhh..."

Me: " Therefore, in case one, your God is non-omniscient, non- omnipotent and therefore, by your very cult's definition, not God."

Fundy: "Ulp...erk...ahhh...but it did happen!"

Me: "Or, in case two, where you claimed the flood actually occurred, but was done by your God and later covered up (i.e., removed); this indicates that (a.) your God is deceitful (hiding evidence), which again is counter to your cult's teaching and theref

Fundy: "Ulp...erk...ahhh...you've twisted my words! You chapped bastard!"

Me: "Always the ad hominem, you silly fundy. I've twisted nothing. In fact, I've just agreed your beliefs to death..."

Fundy: "You (*%**(%*$%& godless atheist...!"

I even agreed here.


So, Georgie, it's time to pay the piper, as it were. Show where my calculations are in error or recant your malicious and specious assertions.

Put up or shut up, George. The gauntlet down has been thrown.