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Old December 13th, 2012 (11:36 PM).
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Robert Ballard, one of the world's most famous underwater explorers, has set his sights on proving the existence of one of the Bible's most well known stories.

In an interview with ABC's Christiane Amanpour the archaeologist who discovered the Titanic discussed his findings from his search in Turkey for evidence of a civilization swept away by a monstrous ancient flood.

"We went in there to look for the flood," Ballard said. "Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed... The land that went under stayed under."

Many have claimed to have discovered evidence of Noah's Ark, the huge ship that Noah filled with two of each creature to repopulate the planet following God's devastating flood. But in the 1990s, geologists William Ryan and Walter Pitman gathered compelling evidence that showed a flood--if not an ark--may have occurred in the Middle East region about 7,500 years ago, PBS reports.

The theory, the Guardian reports, is that a rising Mediterranean Sea pushed a channel through what is now the Bosphorus, submerging the original shoreline of the Black Sea in a deluge flowing at about 200 times the volume of Niagara Falls and extending out for 100,000 square miles.

Ballard has been exploring this theory for more than a decade, National Geographic reports, first discovering evidence of a submerged ancient shoreline in 1999. At that point, Ballard was still not convinced this was a biblical flood, according to the Guardian. Last year, his team found a vessel and one of its crew members in the Black Sea, according to ABC.

Ballard is using advanced robotic technology to travel back nearly 12,000 years to a time when much of the Earth was covered in ice, ABC reports. If and when this ice started to melt, massive floods may have surged through parts of the globe, wreaking havoc on anything and anyone in its way.

With an impressive track record (besides the Titanic, Ballard also found the wreck of the battleship, Bismarck, and a U.S. fleet lost off Guadalcanal in the Pacific) and plenty of confidence, Ballard remains unfazed by critics. He plans on returning to Turkey next summer.

The story of Noah and his ark is a building block of Genesis, in the Old Testament. It is similar in some respects to the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, according to National Geographic, and the ancient Greeks, Romans and Native Americans all have their own variations on legendary flood stories.
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Not really a new position, as the fact that the biblical flood is believed to have been based around a real flood of the Black Sea has been accepted for some time. Still interesting to have in the news, though.

Thoughts?
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Old December 13th, 2012 (11:42 PM). Edited December 14th, 2012 by Ivysaur.
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Obviously, it's likely that a small, contained flood somewhere was the origin of the "worldwide flood" legend, since the people living around there had no ways of knowing whether it really was a localized event or a much larger thing.

Or it could have been pulled out of thin air making this thing pointless, but hey, studying past floods is indeed useful to understand the current geological formations in some areas so this is not a waste of time, it could be actually useful.
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Old December 14th, 2012 (12:34 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Went:
Obviously, it's likely that a small, contained flood somewhere was the origin of the "worldwide flood" legend, since the people living around there had no ways of knowing whether it really was a localized event or a much larger thing.
And conveniently enough, the Black Sea flood's estimated dates mesh well with when the Israelites would have been out and about in the Exodus, if I remember right. It's pretty obvious that a single event, a flood like this, influenced the peoples of the Mediterranean and Middle East.
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Old December 14th, 2012 (07:14 AM). Edited December 14th, 2012 by TRIFORCE89.
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Quote originally posted by Went:
Obviously, it's likely that a small, contained flood somewhere was the origin of the "worldwide flood" legend, since the people living around there had no ways of knowing whether it really was a localized event or a much larger thing.
Quote originally posted by Livewire:
And conveniently enough, the Black Sea flood's estimated dates mesh well with when the Israelites would have been out and about in the Exodus, if I remember right. It's pretty obvious that a single event, a flood like this, influenced the peoples of the Mediterranean and Middle East.
Makes sense to me. That's the point of a lot of the Bible. Particularly the early tales. People had questions, to which there were no answers at the time. There may have been some devastating flood, assumed to be global, and people wanted to know why without knowing any better. And then the Noah tale was probably proposed as an answer.
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Old December 14th, 2012 (08:48 AM).
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Well if you think about the Biblical world, to the people back then that was the whole world. They knew no different. There probably was a real flood and that's what the writing was based on. To them it was a "global flood"
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Old December 14th, 2012 (09:57 AM).
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Well the Bible was written before the discovery of the Americas, so the "global flood" people back in those days were discussing about was no different than any other major floods in history. This may also provide information that they animals Noah brought two-by-two could be animals that are native around the Mediterranean and Middle East rather than every single animal known to man as portrayed in children's media of the Bible.
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Old December 14th, 2012 (10:36 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Livewire:
And conveniently enough, the Black Sea flood's estimated dates mesh well with when the Israelites would have been out and about in the Exodus, if I remember right. It's pretty obvious that a single event, a flood like this, influenced the peoples of the Mediterranean and Middle East.
Of course, the date that the Israelites would have been exodusing is not the same date that the events of such exodus would have been written down, which would have been much later.

As far as my understanding goes, the flood story had been in existence for a while before it appeared in the Hebrew scriptures. So if the dates do mesh it's probably either a coincidence or attributable to older stories like Gilgamesh, etc., and perhaps all the flood myths from the Middle East are just copies of one original story, and if it was just one story originally then it could just as easily have been made up/modified from a not-so great flood.
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Old December 14th, 2012 (10:41 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
Of course, the date that the Israelites would have been exodusing is not the same date that the events of such exodus would have been written down, which would have been much later.

As far as my understanding goes, the flood story had been in existence for a while before it appeared in the Hebrew scriptures. So if the dates do mesh it's probably either a coincidence or attributable to older stories like Gilgamesh, etc., and perhaps all the flood myths from the Middle East are just copies of one original story, and if it was just one story originally then it could just as easily have been made up/modified from a not-so great flood.
Yeah, the oldest reference to it (IIRC) is the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Indo-European flood myth developed with them. The myth then got absorbed into the various powers of the region - Sumeria, then via the Egyptians, then Babylonian empire, then Persian, then into Hebrew culture and tradition, and then finally worked its way into Christianity.
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