Providing Alternative Explanations
by Luke Nix
There have been several times that someone provided me a phenomenon that supports a specific worldview. They implied that this support for their worldview demonstrated that my worldview was false. The most recent example that comes to mind is a debate that is inside Christianity. As many, both inside and outside the Church, know, Christians debate the age of the earth/universe, and along side that debate tends to be a lesser known debate about the geographical extent of Noah’s Flood (whether the flood was worldwide or localized to a single geographical area).
I currently hold that Noah’s Flood was a localized event. (I’m not going to go into a huge defense of this position here because the purpose of this post is just to make a quick point, which Noah’s flood being local is not it.) A friend of mine gave me two pieces of evidence that he states can only be explained by a geographically world-wide flood. These two being the large amounts of sediment all over the land and aquatic fossils being found on top of many mountains. He told me that this was evidence that the whole world was covered by water, and further concluded that could only have been Noah’s flood (worldwide).
I have to agree that a worldwide flood could explain that evidence, and a local flood can not. However, that does not mean that the local-flood hypothesis has been overturned. How? All I have to do is provide an alternative explanation for the presented evidence that is consistent with my worldview. I happen to believe that the universe and earth are billions of years old. I also subscribe to the planetary formation theory that states that all planets begin with a rocky core, and some of those rocky cores are entirely covered by water for great expanses of time.
We both agree that evidence shows that the earth was covered by water at some point in time. One side says that it was at the time of Noah’s flood, the other side says that it was much earlier. Both sides have provided an explanation of the evidence. So, that evidence may not be considered to exclusively support one view, while falsifying the other…
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