EVIDENCE FOR THE CREATION


Apparently the oldest known extra-biblical written description of The Creation is found in Egyptian writings.  In fact, they had many different accounts of the Creation which were supposedly accomplished by the many different gods in their pantheon.  One unique and highly sophisticated account is called the "Memphite Theology," and it was associated with Memphis which was, according to commonly accepted tradition, founded about 2925 B.C. by Menes.  Encyclopaedia Britannica Online summaries the Memphite Theology as follows:

According to an Egyptian document know as the "Memphite Theology," Ptah created humans through the power of his heart and speech; the concept having been shaped in the heart of the creator, was brought into existence through the divine utterance itself.1

It is of great interest in that it expresses a similarity with the Genesis account by showing that "Ptah" spoke creation into existence.

Another ancient extra-biblical written description of The Creation is found in the Ebla Tablets, which are dated c. 2500-2250 B.C..  This Eblaite Creation Hymn has been found in three copies, and was translated by Pettinato as follows:

Lord of heaven and earth:
the earth was not, you created it,
the light of day was not, you created it,
the morning light you had not [yet] made exist.2,3

Pettinato made the following remarks about this astounding find:

These words echoing the first chapter of Genesis have not been taken from the Bible but rather from a literary text found in three copies in the royal library of Ebla of 2500 B.C..4

    The text speaks for itself; under the form of a litany the Eblaite theologians reveal their concept of God, Lord of heaven and earth and hence of the cosmos.  God is seen as a superior being but continually present upon the earth and in daily life.
    At this point it becomes clear that the Eblaite was profoundly religious and believed in his own gods; indeed, this hymn makes it plausible that this culture, to be sure polytheistic, was on the way to a henotheism virtually declared.  Who in fact, is the Lord of heaven and earth?  Certainly not Dagan or Rasap or Sipiš, but GOD written in capitals.5

Clearly this Eblaite Creation Hymn is of considerable interest because there is one god, called "Lord of heaven and earth," who creates the earth and then light.  This also shows clear similarities to the biblical account.

These two very ancient sources strongly suggests that The Creation account we have in Genesis was very likely known and transmitted in antiquity.  Specifically, the written Canaanite Eblaite creation hymn, dating from the third millennium B.C., is evidence of a prominent and very ancient culture that placed great value in reading, writing, and preservation of written material.  Therefore, the assumption of the Documentary Hypothesis that the creation myth was started in the first millennium B.C. as a oral tradition that was born around campfires must be severely questioned.  The Documentary Hypothesis goes on to say that the creation myth along with other "documents" from other unknown authors were compiled by an unknown redactor at the time of Solomon in about 900 B.C., and that is how we got the Pentateuch.  Their assumption was that there were no written documents in Canaan because they were not advanced enough to write.  This entire line of reasoning must now be discarded altogether.  How can one still hypothesize that the Hebrew understanding of the creation was only ORAL in nature in the first millennium B.C. when we now have evidence of a WRITTEN understanding of creation in Elba in the third millennium B.C.?

EVIDENCE FOR CULTURAL COMPLEXITY PRIOR TO THE FLOOD


The discovery of the Ice Man6 in September 1991 frozen in the Schnalstal glacier of the Otztal Alps documents cultural complexity in the Copper Age far beyond previous expectations.  The corpse is dated from about 3300 BC.  The multiple tools he had, including a copper axe, as well as his clothing, clearly have implications regarding certain sophistication in the culture of that time.  This is consistent with early biblical history in Genesis 4 which documents shepherding, farming, construction, urbanization, musicians, and ironsmiths prior to the Flood.

EVIDENCE FOR A BIBLICAL FLOOD


The liberal scholars debunk the idea of a great Flood, and call it a "myth."  However, the Bible records a catastrophic Flood in Genesis 6-8.  Furthermore, the Bible is not the only book that contains an account of a great Flood.  Many civilizations, including Sumarian, Babylonian (Epic of Gilgamesh), Islamic, Chinese, Indochina, India, Australian aborigines, New Zealand Maori, Malaysian Temuans, Greeks, Germanic, Irish, Finnish, Aztec, Inca, Maya, Hopi, Caddo, Menominee, Mi'kmaq, and Polynesians also have similar accounts of a great flood brought on by a deity because of evil deeds of mankind.7  The Elba Tablets referred to above also show an account of a great flood.

For a remarkable Chinese opinion concerning how their own ancient characters tell the story of a flood and an ark, and how these ancient Chinese characters can be traced back to 2500 BC, please see the 8th reference in the Endnotes.8

Below is a picture of the Flood Tablet, from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is now located in the British Museum.9  This tablet is from the great library of the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal:


If indeed the Flood was mythical and never really happened, how then could the account of Flood be so disseminated throughout the earth among so many different ethnic groups, many of them who are, and have been, so isolated from each other?  Only if it really happened, and all these people looked back on it as something in their own history, could the story have been sustained in some form for eons of time.  Something big must have happened.

Is the Flood really just a myth?  Or is it presumed as such because of the liberal scholars' insistence that there cannot be anything miraculous, and that all must conform to uniformitarianism and that these assumptions must overrule all other views regardless of the evidence?

POSSIBLE EVIDENCE FOR THE REMAINS OF NOAH'S ARK


The quest for finding the remains of Noah's Ark has been vigorously sought as this would vindicate God and His Genesis account.  However, no finding so far has reached the level of certainty such that there is a consensus of opinion among fundamentalists and liberals.  Scripture records the following:

1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2  The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, 4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Gen 8:1-4 (ESV)

Evidently there has been some contention about where the ark must be, and some say that it must be on Mount Ararat instead of any other mountain in Ararat, although the translation of the passage in Genesis does not mandate this.  There have been multiple claims of seeing the ark on Mt. Ararat, as well as some suggestive photographs of wooden structures protruding from the snow and ice.  However, some of these sightings were on the Russian side of Mt. Ararat, and until the Russian government allows an on-site excavation, this question cannot be settled.10

There was another interesting sighting on Doomsday Mountain, which is located 12-15 miles Southeast of Mt. Ararat.  The site is called Durupinar after the Turkish Army Captain who discovered a boat-like structure in an aerial photo in October 1959.11  Unfortunately, the Wikipedia entry that gives the history of the Durupinar site does not present the aerial photo that sparked the interest.  Therefore, if you are interested, you can view it at the 12th reference.12  It appears that surface testing with a ground penetrating radar as well as chemical testing done by Ron Wyatt's consultants suggested this was an ancient boat with the exact length (in Babylonian cubits) as was described in the Biblical account (Genesis 6:15), but somewhat wider secondary to some collapse of the structure.  Turkish governmental and scientific authorities evidently were impressed by these findings, and have recognized this site as Noah's Ark and built a visitors' center there.  However, a report regarding further testing done by Fasold and Collins did not confirm Wyatt's information, and suggested that the Durupinar site was just a natural phenomenon.13

The controversies about the Mr. Ararat and the Durupinar sites will not be resolved until these are properly excavated.  Hopefully the unpleasant and sometimes caustic rhetoric between theists and atheists will cease then, at least on this subject.

ENDNOTES:
  1. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/374532/Memphis/4780/Foundation-and-Early-Dynastic-Period#ref=ref120499
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebla
  3. Pettinato, G. The Archives of Ebla: An Empire Inscribed in Clay. Afterword by Mitchell Dahood, S.J..  Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, ©1981, p 244.
  4. Pettinato, G. Ibid., p 244.
  5. Pettinato, G. Ibid, p 261-262.
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96tzi_the_Iceman
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluge_(mythology)
  8. http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j19_2/j19_2_96-108.pdf
  9. http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/me/t/the_flood_tablet.aspx
  10. Stewart, ibid., pp 98-100
  11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durup%C4%B1nar_site#cite_note-Pockley-10
  12. http://www.wyattmuseum.com/noahs-ark-03.htm
  13. http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/bogus.html