‘No worldwide flood, ever’ = the most profound error in the history of science

Note: The following essay was to appear at a certain website in mid-Feb 2020. However, interactions with the site’s editor led me to conclude that its content was not appropriate for their audience…. Portions of this essay appear in other posts, and for that I apologize; however, there is a sufficient amount of new material, which prompts me to post it. Enjoy!

All modern science and associated disciplines accept geology’s paradigm that there was never a worldwide flood. The tenet’s history is easily summarized: In the early decades of the 1800s, geologists set about Europe searching for evidence of the worldwide flood. Leading the effort was Adam Sedgwick, Cambridge University Professor, President of the Geological Society of London, and a reverend in the Church of England. Sedgwick and his colleagues sought an expected, common layer of materials deposited by the supposed flood waters, but they could not find it. Thus, they concluded that there was never a worldwide flood. In his 1831 president’s address to his society, Sedgwick stated:

The vast masses of diluvial gravel … do not belong to one violent and transitory period. It was indeed a most unwarranted conclusion when we assumed the contemporaneity of all the superficial gravel on the earth…. Having been myself a believer [in a worldwide flood], and, to the best of my power, a propagator of what I now regard as a philosophic heresy, … I think it right … thus publicly to read my recantation.

It was a celebrated event, and it remains fêted as the triumph of science over religion (a misnomer, as it more correctly should be known as the triumph of science over the human narrative tradition). An example of its celebration is found in Stephen Gould’s The Flamingo’s Smile, Reflections in Natural History:

He [Sedgwick] had led the fight for flood theory; but he knew by then [1831] that he had been wrong. He also recognized that he had argued poorly at a critical point: he had correlated the caves and gravels not by empirical evidence, but by a prior scriptural belief in the Flood’s reality. As empirical evidence disproved his theory, he realized this logical weakness and submitted himself to rigorous self-criticism. I know no finer statement in all the annals of science than Sedgwick’s forthright recantation . . . it illustrated so well the difference between dogmatism, which cannot change, and true science. . . .

Sedgwick’s ‘no flood’ legacy is so pervasive that Graham Hancock notes in Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization, “The academic consensus today, and for a century, has been that the (flood) myths are either pure fantasy or the fantastic elaboration of local and limited deluges – caused for example by rivers overflowing, or tidal waves.” He also observes that thinking contrary to ‘no flood’ would be “a risky posture for any modern scholar to adopt, inviting ridicule and rebuke from colleagues.” Risky, indeed, because Sedgwick’s ‘no flood, ever’ finding has become so entrenched that, arguably, it is geology’s principal dogma.

As Gould notes, Sedgwick accomplished ‘true science’ because he applied the scientific method: he made observations that contradicted the prevailing paradigm, and, as a consequence, the paradigm (that there had been a worldwide flood) was discarded.

At this point, we should note that Sedgwick did not investigate the morphology of vast, submerged landscapes. Neither he nor anyone else could observe them until only recently.

New data lead to exposing the error in the ‘no worldwide flood, ever’ paradigm

Over the past decade, detailed maps of both subaerial and submerged landscapes became readily available. Now, anyone with access to the internet can observe features such as those off the Monterey and Big Sur coastlines in California, shown below. The maps reveal submerged river drainage systems (identified by white arrows) that extend hundreds of miles from the present shoreline into vast abyssal landscapes beneath more than two miles of water. Maps such as this represent new data.

Figure 6a Monterey Canyon

If you have been in a modern swimming pool, then it’s possible that you’ve investigated the subsurface jets that project filtered water into the pool at fairly high velocity. In addition, you might have noticed that these circulation streams cannot be felt merely a few feet away. Furthermore, these jets do not create currents that might affect swimmers’ performances. This is because concentrated water flows do not persist in essentially stagnant bodies of water due to the equal density of the flow and its media; water flows subaerially because it is vastly denser than its media, air (granted, there are slow-moving Earth-scale currents, but they could in no way create or affect local-scale, subsurface geologic morphology).

In spite of the new data and what we know about fluid dynamics, the modern, ‘no flood, ever’ geologist wants us to believe that submerged, gravity-induced turbidity flows carved the winding, submerged former-river systems that, in many cases, persist for hundreds of miles off present shorelines. They want us to believe that straight-moving, high-velocity, subsurface flows carved the oxbows and bends in these features. And they want us to believe that these gravitational flows act in the abyssal plains where, in the absence of steep topographic gradients, such flows could not exist.

Asides: (1) In the abyssal plain, any gravitational flows that might be associated with these submerged features would flow down the banks and cut into the prominent channels. That is, the gravitational flows would be perpendicular to the channel beds. (2) The remnant of a massive, wide, straight turbidity flow exists on the large oxbow (Sheppard Meander), just above and left of the map’s center. It bears no similarity to the myriad winding, subaerial rivers on the map.

The historic error

Clearly, something is wrong. We know that subsurface processes could not have carved the now-submerged river systems that are found all over the planet, most in more than two miles of water. In addition, the systems are very well preserved, which indicates that they were quickly submerged.

Contributing to the dilemma: today’s lettered geologists staffing the science’s premier journals do not know about Sedgwick and the work that led to their field’s historic and pervasive ‘no flood, ever’ paradigm. As with any dogma, they simply accept it as an article of their faith. They follow ‘no worldwide flood, ever’ so unthinkingly that they go so far as to try and fit the observations (submerged river systems) to the prevailing theory (no flood) via ad hoc hypotheses such as turbidity or gravity flows. This is the practice of anti-science, or fantasy.

I am not a lettered geologist, but I am a scientist, and so I have engaged them – many of them – over the past decade. I have found that the few that are aware of the history are wholly uncritical of Sedgwick’s conclusion relative to its supporting evidence. Uncritical? Indeed. It turns out that the celebrated, pervasive ‘no flood, ever’ finding is the source of the cognitive dissonances we have noted, as well as all amnesia regarding our past and our planet’s, for the early geologist’s conclusion is indisputably wrong. From the evidence, Sedgwick should have concluded that presently exposed landscapes were never subjected to a common flood event. This is undeniably true yet wholly different from the tenet holding that there was never a worldwide flood. Unfortunately for us and for all of modern science, the early geologists passed judgment on vast, submerged landscapes that they could not observe; they assumed that all of Earth’s waters have been with us since the beginning. It was an historic blunder, unequivocally the most profound error in the history of science.

Correcting the error

Geology’s incorrect finding persisted for two reasons: (1) There was little contradictory evidence on presently exposed landscapes that would call into question the prevailing theory. (2) We could not see into the bathymetry to observe submerged landscapes until the new maps became available. Now, the new data clearly reveal well-preserved river drainages under more than two miles of water, and they are ubiquitous. Their existence indicates that there must have been a worldwide flood.

Note that we are applying the scientific method: new data (maps) caused us to review theory, and that led us to discover the error in geology’s ‘no flood, ever’ paradigm. The new data should evoke new thinking, which in our case would result in the restoration of the belief that Earth suffered a devastating, worldwide flood. That geologists have failed to review their fundamental belief in the presence of this new data is powerful testament to the constraining effect that ‘no worldwide flood, ever’ holds over science, related disciplines, and rational thought.

Uncovering geology’s historic error makes the bathymetry maps the historical equivalent of Galileo’s telescope: The new instrument allowed Galileo to observe that the moons of Jupiter do not orbit Earth, which put an end to geocentrism; similarly, the submerged rivers in the new maps expose the error in geology’s ‘no worldwide flood, ever’ theory.

A major question remains: what was the source of so much water? I answer it in my recently published paper, “The Flooding of the Mediterranean Basin at the Younger-Dryas Boundary.” Its major findings include: (1) identification of Sedgwick’s historic and far-reaching error; (2) identification and analysis of the Younger-Dryas impact that delivered the worldwide flood waters (i.e. the YD event and the worldwide flood are synonymous); (3) recognition that the Mediterranean Sea flooded through the Strait of Gibraltar ~12,800 years before present. Please read it and share it.

Understanding two popular legends

My paper contains this passage (wherein ‘IO’ refers to ‘impacting object’):

“We note that the west-to-east flooding of the Mediterranean basin through the Strait of Gibraltar occurred after the IO impact and subsequent inundation of the planet’s ocean basins. As a consequence, during the period immediately after the IO’s impact yet before the flood waters reached the Strait, human inhabitants of the former Med basin would have noticed dramatic environmental changes that included rains, prolonged cold, and earthquakes.”

Very recently, someone who had read my paper contacted me about the passage because it obliquely alludes to the legend of Noah and the flood: the reported forty days and nights of rain represent the period of time from immediately after the IO’s impact until its waters began flowing through the Strait. During this period, monumental changes to the planet were taking place, including persistent rains. If Noah and his ark actually existed, then it is likely that his craft operated in the pre-flood sea that existed in the western half of what is now the Mediterranean Basin (see Fig. 6 in my paper). His craft is reported to have landed on Ararat, so candidate locations are the subaerial landforms either in or surrounding the Mediterranean Basin. It is likely that Ararat might have been the name of a pre-flood mountain that was sufficiently tall so as to become a post-flood Mediterranean island; certainly, Noah’s Ararat is not a mountain in Turkey. The animals that Noah encountered, post-Deluge, would be those that existed for tens of millions of years in formerly upland, pre-flood domains. Today, we encounter a subset of those species that initially survived the flood; as the post-Diluvian ecosystem came to be, some of the initially surviving species would become extinct because they could neither adapt nor migrate to suitable landscapes (e.g. wooly mammoth).

Humans are among the surviving species, and, perhaps surprisingly, this brings us to the story of Adam and Eve. Like Noah and the ark, the legend of Adam and Eve is another flood-survivor story. Pre-flood humans, represented by the pair, were naked (better said: furless) because they were adapted to the pre-flood, warmer ecosystem, a.k.a. Eden. The post-flood Earth is much cooler, so, like the surviving pair, we require clothing as an adaptation mechanism. The serpent, Satan, is among the many names by which the IO was known. As detailed in my paper, the IO was not a comet but rather the source object from which comets fragment. So, imagine the immense IO’s tail on its Earth-approach…. It would have been brightly illuminated, incredibly long and, well, serpentine. Thus, we can conclude that the snake is an allegory for the IO, and its effects were so planet-altering that humans found themselves ill-adapted; we must now work, compete, cooperate, and abuse resources in order to create survivable habitats. That is, Satan, the IO, changed our nature. Thirteen-thousand years later, we continue our quest for environments in which we might be properly adapted – our Eden’s, perhaps exemplified by the modern home that provides shelter, warmth, and stored food.

The Deluge towards its close Shaw 1813 public domainThe Deluge towards its close by Joshua Shaw, 1813 (public domain)

Academic Battles

Not long after my paper’s publication, I asked the journal’s editor how long he thought it might take for it to become accepted. His reply: “About five years.” So, four to go….

About which, a few days ago, I discovered that my paper has been cited in two recent works: Disaster Geoarchaeology and Natural Cataclysms in World Cultural Evolution: An Overview and Reemergence of Atlantis: The Shifting Paradigm and Creation of Neo-spatial ModelsEach appears in what academics would classify as a “serious journal.”

Interestingly, since the publication of these papers, I have noticed a greater number of ‘hits’ at this site, and from a wide variety of nations. This indicates to me that the papers are having effect – others are becoming aware of the most profound error in the history of science.

Yet, because there are about four years to go, I continue the academic battle against the authors and editors of the bad ‘science’ that geologists perpetuate. For instance, a recent paper published by PNAS is called “Sustained wood burial in the Bengal Fan over the last 19 My.” PNAS describes the article’s significance this way: “This study shows that woody debris can survive thousands of kilometers of transport in rivers and in turbidites, to be deposited in the fan.”

The location of the drill site from which the wood was extracted is shown on the map, below left. It is a region roughly 30 km by 50 km, centered at 7.91°N, 85.854°E, about 1600 km (1000 miles) to the south of the Bengal Fan, with water depths ~3700 m (more than two miles). To its right is a map of a 30 km by 50 km portion of the Ganges drainage (rotated 90° clockwise from north for comparison).

Submerged and aerial Ganges meanders and oxbows

It is important to note that the authors and editor chose not to include in their article a map of the drill region. (Why could that be?) Also omitted from the PNAS article is the process by which oxbows and meanders might form beneath two miles of water. That is because such a process does not exist. Furthermore, the article’s authors want us to believe that subsurface flows carried the tree fragment-covering sediments a thousand miles – and in sufficient quantities – so as to preserve the wood. Sediment transporting flows do not exist over such vast distances…. (Also, what caused the wood to sink through two miles of water, and in exactly the same place?) Clearly, the reported PNAS findings are but another example of geologists attempting to fit observations to their ‘no flood, ever’ dogma – more fantasy masquerading as science.

So, I wrote to the paper’s corresponding author and to its editor to inform them of their error. My intent was to have them either retract the submission or modify it to claim that its findings support the occurrence of a worldwide flood. Unsurprisingly, neither recipient recognized my correspondence, another instance of dealing with geologists….

Failing to move the article’s authors and its editor, I then submitted a letter to the editors at the National Academy of Sciences concerning the paper. The title of the letter was “Uncovering an historic error,” and, after submission, it was with the editors for about 24 hours…. With so little diligence to such an historic matter, the PNAS editor informed me that they would not publish my letter. I was given neither comment nor reason for the denial.

Regardless of the rationale, their decision is further indication that “no flood, ever” is as deeply entrenched as it is incorrect…. Folks, this is the National Academy of Sciences failing to recognize Sedgwick’s error!

So, for the historical record, here is my letter to the editors of PNAS. Its length could be no more than 500 words, which accounts for its brevity.

The reported significance of “Sustained wood burial in the Bengal Fan over the last 19 My” is that “woody debris can survive thousands of kilometers of transport in rivers and in turbidites, to be deposited in the fan.”

The immediate problem: the drill site from which the article’s cores were obtained is not in the Ganges deposit fan. That is, there is no known mechanism by which turbidites, let alone sufficient quantities of covering, preserving, sandy sediments, could be transported more than 1600 kilometers through the essentially stagnant water from the Ganges’ entry into the Bay of Bengal to the drill location.

The drill region from which the paper’s sandy cores were obtained is shown on the map, below, left. To its right is a map of a portion of the Ganges drainage (rotated 90° clockwise from north for comparison). Each displayed region measures roughly 30 km by 50 km and is viewed from a height of approximately 90 km.

Submerged and aerial Ganges meanders and oxbows

Had ancient wood chips been discovered in one of the subaerial oxbows, then it would be explained this way: the trees were carried downstream, deposited, covered, then preserved in the river’s sediments.

Accordingly, the essential question becomes: how do we come to find oxbows in 3700 m of water?

Pursuing it leads to an historic matter: Adam Sedgwick’s “no worldwide flood, ever” conclusion that affects all modern science. It turns out that Sedgwick erred: from the evidence, he should have concluded that subaerial landscapes were never subjected to a common flood. Instead, he concluded that there was never a worldwide flood, thereby passing judgment on the morphology of vast, submerged landscapes that he could not observe. No one could observe them until the publication of detailed bathymetry maps about a decade ago.

Therefore, the discovery of preserved tree chips in abyssal Bay of Bengal oxbows is not evidence of some ad hoc sediment transmission process conjured to fit observations to the prevailing, incorrect “no worldwide flood, ever” paradigm. Rather, the discovery of preserved wood chips obtained from oxbows submerged beneath 3700 m of water represents unambiguous evidence of the worldwide flood.

Thus, the Lee et. al. paper must be retracted. Its authors should be counseled to consider re-submitting with the purpose of correcting Sedgwick’s historic error.

A final note on the matter: the pre-flood river carried and deposited the tree fragments, then its sediments covered and preserved them. This simple, well-understood process, followed by submersion during the worldwide flood, accounts for the discovery of millions-year old tree remnants in oxbow- and meander-sediment layers thousands of miles off the present shoreline at such a depth.

The way ahead

I am confident that, over the next four years (or so), my paper will continue to be cited in other works. Young academics will recognize the nearly unbounded publishing opportunities presented by correcting two-hundred years of misguided science amassed in geology and affected disciplines. In particular, map evidence will put an end to geologists’ claim that subsurface flows carved the many submerged riverbeds, transported sediments 1000 miles, etc. In addition, some journalist or entrepreneurial filmmaker will capitalize on the opportunities that my work presents. It is also likely that some deep-sea explorer will encounter remnants of human activity in the deep abyss, and this will forever put an end to ‘no worldwide flood.’

 

References

Gould, S. 1985. The Flamingo’s Smile, Reflections in Natural History. New York: Norton.

Hancock, G. 2002. Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization. New York: Crown Publishers.

Jaye, M. 2019. The Flooding of the Mediterranean Basin at the Younger-Dryas Boundary. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 19(1): 71-83.

Lee, H., V. Galy, X. Feng, C. Ponton, A. Galy, C. France-Lanord, S.J. Feakins. 2019. Sustained wood burial in the Bengal Fan over the last 19My. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(45): 22518-2225.

Sedgwick, A. 1831. Address to the Geological Society of London, on retiring from the President’s Chair, February 18.

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