Diluvia World   Home   Menu    Copyright Tim Lovett Jan 2004

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What was it like before the flood?

Speculation is unavoidable when attempting to reconstruct the ark and Noah's world. Hopefully most of it is at least educated guesses. Here is a summary of assumptions we have made in constructing the world of Diluvia. These decisions are made on the basis of ‘most likely’, which is not necessarily the best conservative answer to one particular sceptical argument.  

(For example, to defend the ark against accusations of "not enough space" you should employ the short 18" cubit, but to defend it against claims of structural problems the longer 21" cubits should be used. How do we decide in this case? Since both are feasible, we use the MOST LIKELY cubit - whichever is more ancient, whichever is a more realistic size for Noah / Adam / etc). So far, it looks like the longer series cubit is the best contender.)

Environmental

Attribute

Description

Justification

Sky

Similar to modern sky

Rainbow was a sign, not necessarily seen for the first time. The demise of the canopy theory and the

Brightness

Good summer day in modern Northern climate. Not excessive sunburn weather.

Not relying on the ‘firmament’ theory for floodwater since this appears precluded by calculations. So expecting a reasonable level of sunlight.

Humidity

Med to high

Lush growth of fossil plants

Temperature

Warm but not overly hot.

Lush growth of fossil plants

Clouds

Same as modern.

No good reason to expect clouds to be much different than today – other than relatively moist environment.

Climate

More even temperature. Reduced temperature/wind/rain extremes.

Some greenhouse effect of atmosphere. (Though not excessive thermal increase).

Polar region

Temperature reduces to poles but less dramatically.

Polar extremes still valid but somewhat tempered by the atmosphere. 

Seasons

Same, but less dramatic

Perfection of creation. Assume no change in earth tilt, length of year etc. Definite seasons must have existed before the flood since God promised not to interrupt them again.

Precipitation

Mists, rain similar to coastal temperate regions such as Redwood forests of Northern California.

Perfection of creation (no heavy rain to erode and make floods etc). Normal rainfall is assumed. The passage about non-rain; Gen 2:5 "the Lord had not caused it to rain...Gen2:6..but there went up a mist (waters) to water the whole face...". This is before plants or man was created, (Gen 2:5) so is not relevant here.

Terrain

Undulating

Less contorted ground, mountain limit of around 2000m - 3000m to allow coverage by the ocean. Plenty of sediment (later re-arranged by the flood).

Altitude variation

Less pronounced than today, though true mountain regions would be expected in God’s love of variety.

Extremely mountainous regions of today’s world are mostly related to tectonic plate collisions and/of volcanic activity deemed to be post or late flood. Also Ps 104. Altitude limit of 3000m to allow submersion during the flood. (2000m might be a better candidate to allow for bumps and hollows).

Vegetation

Large. High variety and more mixed than today. Forests, grasslands, beaches, rivers.

Lush growth of fossil plants. Assume most plants could grow in most places. No desert, mountains less forbidding. Continuous carpet of vegetation

Eden

A forbidden area?

There is no indication that Eden had been destroyed before the flood - only guarded. Hence Eden should still have a geographical location in Noah's day. Due to the decadent nature of the population, this would be an area to avoid since it was a reminder of God and creation. Now, if Eden was destroyed in the flood, is the tree of life now petrified? One would expect the supernatural elements of Eden had been removed beforehand. If the ark had been constructed in the vicinity of Eden, this might increase the aversion of the general public. It would be easier for WWF to make no mention of Eden, but are planning a detailed (hypothetical) map of the pre-flood world.   

 

The Ark

Attribute

Description

Justification

Build Time

120 years

Gen. Most likely interpretation of the 120 year decree.

Cubit

Long series - such as long  Babylonian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Persian. All these cubits are suspiciously similar, and appear to pre-date the shorter series.

 

Cubits fall into 2 main groups - a short series around 18" and a long series around 21". There is reason to believe the longer cubits tend to be the earlier ones. The "common" 18 inch cubit is too short for ante-diluvian people – especially Noah. Assuming that Noah defined (whether his own forearm or his ancestor’s) the post-flood cubit, we would expect to see it passed down the civilizations. (Especially continuous civilizations). 

Gopher wood

The meaning of this term has been deemed obscure. However, the major meanings could include a species, a timber treatment, coating with pitch, or layering (lamination - wafer).

The most logical appears to be lamination.

Structural considerations indicate a need for layers of timber for reasons of attachment, handling and strength obtained by cross lamination. Various "species" would logically serve the varied structural and durability requirements in the entire structure (Timber ships often employed different timbers for decking, structure, keel etc). Pitch is explicitly stated so does not form a very logical statement. ("Get pitched wood and coat with pitch").  The link between "gophering" and lamination is much stronger than some reference to a wood hardening treatment.  Correct seasoning is compulsory anyway. 

Construction

Internal truss, cross-laminated plate and hull, heavy base deck & roof. Sparing use of metal (bronze) reinforcing, and bronze nails.

Ark longitudinal bending is critical. At this scale, single planking would be an unwieldy thickness and difficult to fix. Lamination adds to bending moment capacity. Lamination is potentially more waterproof especially if pitch used during construction.

Timber processing

Sawing and percussive cutting (axe etc)

No ship of the scale of the ark could be built without serious timber processing capabilities. High quality standards are essential to ensure a leak-free voyage - especially the structural integrity and fitting of hull planking. Ancient Greek vessels had up to 4 layers of timber lining the hull. Lamination requires higher accuracy and thinner planking possible through sawing, and the superior intelligence of Noah should preclude wasting his time doing things the hard way (adze). (Labour saving animal or water powered saw would be feasible – but not ‘high-tech’ industrialization like heat engines etc)

Pitch

Tree resin recipe

Manufactured tree resin recipe ensures quality control. Cooked pitch is ancient technology. Bitumen is not entirely precluded before the flood, 1.5 millenia is plenty of time, however it might be just as easy to boil up your offcuts. 

Metals

Bronze, steel, gold

All mentioned early in Genesis, so well established technology in Noah’s day. Note that Cain's descendent Tubal-Cain developed brass/bronze and even iron working. Iron production requires considerable control of ingredients and temperatures as high as 1500 Celsius - way beyond a bit of backyard pottery. "Forged iron" is steel (assuming some level of carburization - such as the much later Hittite swords), and requires even more finesse. These guys were capable.

The Door

Mid level but not amidships

The bible mentions upper and lower decks which seems to indicate and entry level on deck 2. This is fair enough. What is not nice is a penetration in the hull wall exactly half way along the length of the hull - where stress is highest! Nearer the ends of the hull would be an optimal placement. 

 

The Flood

Attribute

Description

Justification

Mechanism

Runaway subduction

Provides a suitable flood encroachment rate, an explanation for extreme rainfall, sea level rise, flood retreat and tectonic movement evidences, as well as a host of “difficult” issues like magnetic field reversals, continental drift etc.  

Encroachment

Rapid rise but no catastrophic wave inundation.

Water must rise fast enough to prevent the ark being boarded by the desperate and dangerous. “Kilometer high” tsunamis are excluded on the basis of a 30 cubit ark height, and precious cargo. 

Fountains

Sub-terrainean wells burst open

Size, frequency? Assuming they are not geysers that toss the ark in the air.

Possibly unrelated to early mention of watering in Genesis. Could be volcanic, ground water pressures, sub-terrainean cavities effected by distant geological pressures,…more info?

Open Sea

Heavy rainfall, large but long period waves.

Extreme rainfall due to volcanic activity. Deep water means waves are not steep. Tsunamis caused by the massive geological events go virtually unnoticed due to water depth.

Drowned vegetation

Collection vegetation debris

Huge areas of vegetation (x100’s km) float in water, collected by planetary eddies/vortexes. These waterlog and sink, later becoming trapped under the huge sediment coverage caused by continental runoff. Oil fields! Now, if the ark had been protected by such a mat, it might just happen to land somewhere near the oil field.

 

 

The People

Attribute

Description

Justification

Action against Noah

More disregarding than antagonistic. Neither helpful, nor directly aggressive.  Since the world was "full of violence", the ark project would naturally attract some violence 

Scripture lacks account of resistance during construction. Ignorant of coming judgment. One would expect increased aggression due to descent of mankind, and attention aroused by animal activity with supernatural indications. But NT descriptions indicate the world was consumed with other activities at the time. Geographical isolation might help to reduce aggressive acts.

Attitude towards Noah

Mockery, fading novelty of the man who built that boat and is waiting for the sea to rise.

Noah is not considered a threat, but a relic. Not relevant to society, an off-beat eccentric with a message for the feeble-minded. Noah is well known and the object of party jokes. Noah is called a "preacher of righteousness", so his fame and his ark is on view for the world to see.

Appearance

Very healthy, good-looking, wide variety of appearance.

Attempt to expand appearance attributes that were lost through the Noah genetic bottleneck. Hyper-longevity features unknown today such as new sets of teeth every 150 years or so (multiple teeth are well known), superior eye lens circulation to prevent loss of focus, hearing etc. Always room for colour, height, feature, hair variations unknown today. 

Lifestyle

Busy. Rich. Plenty of leisure. Materialistic & hedonistic, religious, violent.

Jesus description. Marrying etc. Busy with life and preparations for their future. No resource limitations so easy to build houses etc. Longer lives could end up in multiple families, multiple careers, more leisure time, much higher wealth... 

Housing

Predominantly timber, brick, stone. Time is not an issue.

Abundant and good quality timber. Advanced metalworking technology means brick-making is a trivial task. Not as much stone as we have today (near - perfect soil coverage, and not yet flooded and covered in sediment.)

Speech

Predominantly one language, though maybe divided by Cain line.

One speech before Babel was derived from Noah, however, in pre flood times the longer time between Adam and Noah, as well as the separation of the Cain would probably have generated some dialects.

Population

Possibly billions

Large families, long life, good health, progeny competition between Cain and Seth lines. In 1500 years, the population cause easily exceed the current world population, in fact, population limiting factors are almost implied  - like war, abortion, disease, and social aversion to parenthood.

Races

Cain vs Seth

Direct competition between the aggressive Cain line and the Messianic Seth line. Cain line intent on overcoming the ‘roaming’ curse by dominating their civilization over the Seth line. By the time of Noah, the Cain line had populated virtually the entire world, with the demonic intent to wipe out the Seth line altogether (thereby thwarting the Messiah)

Nephilum

Physically big. Aggressive and without moral restraint

Demonic in thought and action. Controlling the masses, and in positions of power. Most likely ones to resist Noah towards the end. Organised crime.

Religion

Worship of elements, animals and humanity.

Taking a hint from the Egyptian plagues of Moses day, which were direct rebuttals of the Egyptian deities; The flood of Noah may have been countering ante-diluvian religion. So water, animals, the strength of man, the annihilation of the Seth line (and promised seed), continuity of the earth and seasons, etc