Dramatic new evidence supports the Bible's account of Noah's Flood. Deep-sea explorers have discovered a coastline on the floor of the Black Sea, providing evidence of a sudden catastrophic flood about 7,500 years ago that spread almost overnight over thousands of square miles of land.
Explorers led by Robert Ballard and funded by the National Geographic Society captured the first sonar images of a coastline 550 feet below the surface of the sea. It had been submerged undisturbed for thousands of years, according to radiocarbon dating that placed the remains of freshwater mollusks dredged from the beach at 7,500 years, and saltwater species at 6,900 years, The Washington Post said. Ballard said the findings indicate the flood occurred during that 600-year gap. Analysis of Ballard's evidence was done by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Insti-tution in Massachusetts.
The discovery offers independent verification to an idea advanced by geologists William Ryan and Walter Pitman of Columbia University. They have theorized that the Black Sea, between Ukraine and Turkey, formed when melting glaciers raised the sea level until it broke through a natural dam at what is now the Bosporus strait, which separates the Mediterranean Sea from the Black Sea.
That created a deluge that quickly submerged massive amounts of land overnight, probably killing thousands of people and billions of animals, the geologists say. Ballard's discovery backs up the theory, which is based on 30 years of research. Ballard found the ancient coastline this summer, almost exactly where Ryan and Pitman said they would. Biblical scholars date the writing of the Book of Genesis, which includes the story of Noah, between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago. A similar event is described in the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh legend, written about 3,600 years ago. Ryan and Pitman dated the flood at 7,600 years ago, and their theory argues that the flood was horrible enough for writers and minstrels to remember it for thousands of years
(Editors' note: In our humble estimation, the theory of Ryan and Pitman is much too limited in scope, though quite possibly
accounting for one of the cataclysmic changes wrought by the Great Flood.)