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Weekly News                                                    21 August 2004

Q: If mountain climbers need oxygen tanks to climb Mt. Everest, how was Noah able to breathe if his Ark floated above the highest mountains?

Quotable quote:

‘With savages, the weak in body and mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of everyone to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands who, from a weak constitution, would formerly have succumbed to smallpox. Thus the weak members of civilised society propagate their kind.

No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but, excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered in the manner previously indicated more tender and more widely diffused. Nor can we check our sympathy, even without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature ... We must, therefore, bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.’

– Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, Second edition, pp. 133–134, 1887.

A: There are a number of aspects that need to be considered. First, mountains like Mt. Everest were not necessarily the height they were during the time of the Flood. In fact, the earth’s highest mountains have fossils of sea creatures at their tops, showing they were once under the sea. Either the sea rose to cover the mountains, or the mountains were once under the sea and have risen out of the sea—or both things occurred.

Second, measurements indicate that Mt. Everest is currently rising at six inches per year. This movement was probably much greater in the past—particularly at the end of the Flood—so its formation can easily be explained from the time of the Flood.

Third, as the water rose during the Flood, the atmosphere would have risen as well. The difference in pressure for Noah’s family would have been equivalent to standing on top of a 100 foot-high building.

Skeptics try to discredit Noah’s Flood, so it’s so important to know how to defend its record in Genesis.



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