Eden and the Flood: A Historical Reading of Genesis 2-3 and 6-9

@gbob a question for you. There are massive salt deposits at the bottom of the Mediterranean correct? And the rivers that emptied into the Mediterranean would then flow through these deposits. Wouldn’t that render the water that reached Eden in your theory too salty to be considered fresh?

I was also under the impression that the rivers that flowed into the Mediterranean basically evaporated like it does in the Dead Sea.

Aye gbob, the multiverse isn’t falsifiable, but that doesn’t knock it from its perfectly sound rational position.

[I’m intrigued why you haven’t reacted to my twice pointing out Jesus’ overt, blatant racism?]

The environment varied from time to time. The event extend from 5.9 myr to 5.6 myr (salt deposition), after that until 5.3 myr or so, the Med was completely cut off from the ocean. Details below.

YEs there are big salt deposits but they were deposited earlier in the descisscation perion while ocean water still flowed in. To deposit that much salt , there must be a constant supply of sea water with none of the brine leaving the basin. Today, the Med still evaporates more than the rivers input and the bottom waters of the Mediterranean are saltier. they exit the strait of Gibraltar in a counterflow that hugs the bottom of the strait. So, fresh ocean water flows along the surface into the med and salty water flows out of the med along the bottom of the strait.

But if the bottom of the strait where higher, it would block off this counter flow and the waters would become salty and eventually salty enough for salt deposition. Since I have to go to chemo in a few minutes it is easier for me to copy a bit from Wiki:

The Messinian Salinity Crisis ( MSC ), also referred to as the Messinian Event , and in its latest stage as the Lago Mare event, was a geological event during which the Mediterranean Sea went into a cycle of partly or nearly complete desiccation throughout the latter part of the Messinian age of the Miocene epoch, from 5.96 to 5.33 Ma (million years ago). It ended with the Zanclean flood, when the Atlantic reclaimed the basin.[2][3]

Sediment samples from below the deep seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea, which include evaporite minerals, soils, and fossil plants, show that the precursor of the Strait of Gibraltar closed tight about 5.96 million years ago, sealing the Mediterranean off from the Atlantic. This resulted in a period of partial desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea, the first of several such periods during the late Miocene.[4] After the strait closed for the last time around 5.6 Ma, the region’s generally dry climate at the time dried the Mediterranean basin out nearly completely within a thousand years. This massive desiccation left a deep dry basin, reaching 3 to 5 km (1.9 to 3.1 mi) deep below normal sea level, with a few hypersaline pockets similar to today’s Dead Sea. Then, around 5.5 Ma, less dry climatic conditions resulted in the basin receiving more freshwater from rivers, progressively filling and diluting the hypersaline lakes into larger pockets of brackish water (much like today’s Caspian Sea). The Messinian Salinity Crisis ended with the Strait of Gibraltar finally reopening 5.33 Ma, when the Atlantic rapidly filled up the Mediterranean basin in what is known as the Zanclean flood https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messinian_salinity_crisis

After 5.6 myr, rivers started covering the salt with sediment and much life lived down there.

One Sunday afternoon in 1972 an amateur fossil collector dug into a hillside outcrop of gypsum-bearing rock in the Tarano Valley in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. He peered at the inside face of the thinly laminated anhydrite rock that had just split apart with the blow of his hammer and saw a specimen of an ancient eel the outlines of its entire body and fins splendidly preserved. The fossilization in this rock was exceptional because the environment at the time the sediment was laid down had been a briny lagoon whose tranquil bottom waters were devoid of oxygen. No scavengers had been able to tolerate such conditions.
"When the quarried slab was delivered to Carlo Sturani, an articulate and energetic professor of paleontology at the Institute of Geology of the University of Turin, he knew imediately that it was equivalent in age to the Gessoso Solfifera of Sicily and the anhydrite and salt recently discovered by the Globmar Challenger. He visited the cliff to undertake a detailed investigation of a succession of fossil-rich rocks. Along with more eels he found foraminifera, corals, echinoderms, conch, herring, small flounder, dragonflies, leaves, acorns, land turtles, freshwater reeds, and roots of trees still in place. In a three-hundred-foot cliff Sturani could observe a moderately deep former sea that had dried out and become a tidal flat with algae and mud cracks. Then it became a shallow lagoon so concentrated by evaporation that its brine precipitated massive banks of selenite from which the first eel had been discovered. After a while the lagoon turned into a brackish lake, sometimes filled with freshwater. Then the lake withered into a peat bog as the region progressed from marshland to a sequoia forest. Abruptly, in the span of a tenth of an inch of rock, it was once again an open deep sea situated far from land. The transformation from sea to land and back to sea had taken less than half a million years. Except for those privileged to have been on the Glomar Challenger, no one else had ever expected that a major sea such as the Mediterranean could have evaporated so rapidly and refilled so quickly.” ~ William Ryan and Walter Pitman, Noah’s Flood, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998), p. 89-90

Hippos lived along the Nile system

“And apparently, hippopotami made their way from the Nile to Cyprus. The migratory traffic might have been more frequent if the wanderers had not had to travel across a desert 2,000 to 3,000 meters below sea level.” ~ Kenneth J. Hsu, The Mediterranean was a Desert, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), p. 177"

Hippos eat grass, which means the Nile delta area, where I put Eden, had to have a lush grass growing around it. It would have looked like the Okavango delta in the Kalahari Desert. The only source of water is the delta and it is a very lush place full of life.

A later article describes the conditions as 'hellish" but if that were true, there would not be grass for the hippos. Elephants eat fruit bark and grasses. The pygmy size might be due to there not being enough of this stuff to sustain the massive animals, but pygmyism occurs often on islands or other places where large animals are selected against.

“On the island of Cyprus, investigators from University College in London excavated the skeletons of elephants and hippopotamuses from graveyards 5.5 million years old. These mammals were not the usual multiton behemoths of East Africa. They were pygmies that you could have picked up and carried around in your arms as pets. Apparently they had wandered down a distributary channel of the Nile and deep into the empty desert basin to inhabit lakeside swamps and neighboring savanna. In the novel ecological setting on the floor of the broiling hot eastern Mediterranean, the elephants and hippopotamuses had evolved through natural selection to a dwarf form that could cope with the hellish conditions. Their skeletons had been fossilized in the deposits of the riverbeds. Later the ongoing collision of the African and Asian continents had uplifted the buried northern rim of a lake, long turned into sedimentary rock and thrust it into the landscape that would one day become the Pentadaktylos mountain range of northern Cyprus.” ~ William Ryan and Walter Pitman, Noah’s Flood, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998), p. 89

Some of these dwarf elephants and hippos may have survived the flood, but they were widespread across the region:

Fossil elephants have been found on Cyprus, Sardinia and a number of Greek islands including Crete, Rhodos, Naxos and Karpathos (de Vos et al., 2007; van der Geer et al., 2010). The tiniest of them all was Elephas falconeri from Sicily, standing a little over 1 meter tall. Crete, Cyprus, Malta, and Sicily each also had their own species of hippopotamus, the smallest of which is Phanourios minor from Cyprus.https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/25/sun-sea-and-fossils-the-mediterranean-is-a-surprising-palaeontological-paradise

The island fauna must be a survivor from the flood. More later I gotta go

You haven’t ‘pointed it out.’

Actually there appears to be two layers of evaporites. The lower is marine and the upper is from continential runoff. The only way to get salt from the rivers is if it is trapped in a basin and then evaporates.

From " Origin and age of the Mediterranean Messinian evaporites: implications from Sr isotopes"

There are two layers, Bill, The final desciccation took place and no more salt was deposited. It was at that time that the salt was covered with sediment so that when the flood happened, the salt didn’t dissolve.

In what follows, I encourage you to read to the end. there is an amazing fossil there that I don’t fully know what to think about, but it fits my view.

I spent my chemo time tooling around in the paleontological literature for the Messinian in the Mediterranean. I found three articles rather quickly which outlined a large fauna living on the floor of the desiccated Mediterranean. This areas have since been lifted above sea level by the slow movement of Africa into Europe. This article:

Simone Colombero, Chiara Angelone, Edmondo Bonelli, Giorgio Carnevale, Oreste Cavallo, Massimo Delfino, Piero Giuntelli, Paul Mazza, Giulio Pavia, Marco Pavia, and Giovanni Repetto, The upper Messinian assemblages of fossil vertebrate remains of Verduno (NW Italy): Another brick for a latest Miocene bridge across the Mediterranean” N. Jb. Geol. Paläont. Abh. 272/3 (2014), 287–324 Article Stuttgart, June 2014

examined the Verduno section of Italy. While they used species, genus etc for animal identification, I spent some time translating them into normal animal names. They found

African primates.

Hyaenictitherium (also of African affinity)

toads

frog two types

Turtles

Lizards, 2 types

Monitor lizars, iguana type lizards, worm lizards

thread snakes and colubrine snakes

legless Amphisbaemia called worm lizards

Pheasant like birds (Galliforme

Accipitridae birds (birds with strongly hooked bills

Owls,

Gomphotheriidae–ancient elephant

small giraffes

Huge giraffes

small antelope (bovidae)

Gazelle

possible camel

Eucyon monticiensis: similar in size to a Jackal

lynx-like cat

Sabre tooth cat

rabbit or pika

5 species or mouse

2 species of dormouse

Here are a couple of pictures of two of the animals found in Italy

Sardinian_pika

The western Med at that time looked like this:

At another Italian outcrop they found civet like or gennet like animals.

:

“They pointed out strong affinities between the Baccinello V3 fossil, Viverra n. sp. “A” from Sahabi, Libya (Howell, 1987) and Viverrinae sp. indet from Lothagam, Kenya (Werdelin, 2003), thus erecting the species Viverra howelli. This species is characterized by a relatively small size and a lower carnassial with a short talonid. ” Raffaele SARDELLA,“Remarks on the Messinian carnivores (Mammalia) of Italy” Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 47 (2), 2008, 195-202. Modena, 11 luglio 2008, p. 196

http://paleoitalia.org/media/u/archives/195_Sardella.pdf

**

“ The following hyaenid taxa have been collected from Italian Messinian localities: Plioviverrops faventinus Torre, 1989 (Brisighella; Fig. 2), Plioviverrops orbignyi (=Ictitherium orbignyi) (Gaudry & Lartet, 1856) (Gravitelli), Hyaenictitherium hyaenoides (Zdansky, 1924) (=Ictitherium hipparionum) (Gravitelli), Hyaenictitherium sp. (Verduno), Lycyaena chaeretis (Gaudry, 1861) (=Thalassyctis (Lycyaena) ex gr. chaeretis-macrostoma) (Brisighella), Hyaenidae indet. (coprolites) from Baccinello V3.” Raffaele SARDELLA,“Remarks on the Messinian carnivores (Mammalia) of Italy” Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 47 (2), 2008, 195-202. Modena, 11 luglio 2008, p. 197

**

Mustellidae “ The Mustelidae are a family of carnivorous mammals, including weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, minks, and wolverines, among others. ”

“At Brisighella Rook et al. (1991) referred a mandibular branch with teeth to Mellivora beinfieldi,” Raffaele SARDELLA,“Remarks on the Messinian carnivores (Mammalia) of Italy” Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 47 (2), 2008, 195-202. Modena, 11 luglio 2008, p. 199

**

“Sabertoothed cats have been recorded in the Baccinello V3 horizon faunas (Rook et al., 1991) and Gravitelli (Seguenza, 1902, 1907). The occurrence of Metailurus major in the late Messinian of Italy is testified by two mandibles with teeth having the typical size and morphological characters of this species, widespread in the Eurasian Late Miocene deposits.” Raffaele SARDELLA,“Remarks on the Messinian carnivores (Mammalia) of Italy” Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 47 (2), 2008, 195-202. Modena, 11 luglio 2008, p. 199

In the eastern Med, Greek strata of Messinian age show these species living on that dry land M10 is the top of the Messinian. I will let yall look up the species or genus to see what the common name is, but there are lots of creatures listed.

Kastellios , 1 , 2 , 3
MN 10
(Steininger et al. 1 9 9 6 ) Cricetulodon c f . sabadellensis, Dorcatherim s p ., Hipparion s p., Muscardinus s p ., P rogonomys woelferi, P. cathalai, Spermophilinus c f . b re d a i (De Bruijn & Zachariasse 1979).

Ravinde la Pluie
MN10
(Steininger et al. 1996) A d c rocuta eximia, Bohlinia attica, C h o e rolophodon pentelicus, Cremohipparion macedonicum, Decennatherium macedoniae, Graecopithecus fre y b e rgi, Hippotherium pri migenium, Mesembriacerus melentisi, Palaeotragus coelophrys, P.roueni, Plioviverrops orbignyi, Progonomys catalai, P rostrepsiceros vallesiensis, Protictitherium gaillardi, Samotragus praecursor ( Koufos1989, De Bonis et al. 1988, NOW 1 9 9 5 , Bernor et al. 1996a) .

Ravin de Zouaves 1
MN10 (NOW1995)
Adcrocuta eximia, Choerolophodon pentelicus, Cremohipparion macedonicum, Helladotherium duvernoyi, Ictitherium s p ., Mesembriacerus melentisi, Ouzocerus graci lis, Samotragus praecursor (Koufos 1989, Bernor et al. 1996a )

And I have said that the eastern end of the Med was Eden. I have also said that God has dealt with us for a long long time, at least 5.5 my years. I don’t believe that the image of God must be in H. sapiens only. I do beleive that God implanted the image to Adam and Even who were small brained hominids. I also believe that the curse on both Adam and Eve are effects of an enlarged head. that means Adam and Eve DIDN’T have enlarged brains. They were small brained hominids.

Because of the above, I would point out that there is a controversial report, of human footprints on Crete in the Messinian strata. The idea is controversial because it challenges current ideas. Even the authors don’t know what to think of this anomaly. I don’t know what to think of this anaomaly, but it does fit my scenario, not the normal scenario.

Title: Possible Hominin Footprints from the Late Miocene c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?" https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001678781730113X

Bill, I saw an article yesterday saying that Medieterranean salt water poured into the dead sea rift at one point.

Ah, this isn’t that article but it says the same thing: During the second stage, which began at about
3±6Ma, the basin was invaded by the Mediterranean Sea, forming an elongated seawater arm (called Sedom Lagoon) which has evaporated, resulting in the deposition of the 2±3-km-thick Sedom Formation evaporites (unit Qse). H. Gvirtzman and E. Stanislavsk, Palaeohydrology of hydrocarbon maturation, migration and accumulation in the Dead Sea Rift, Basin Research (2000) 12, 79±93
, p. 80 http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.554.7048&rep=rep1&type=pdf

There are also other sources of salt being considered.

Various theories have been put forward regarding the salination mechanism in the Jordan-Dead Sea Rift Valley and its branching valleys. None of these have suggested current subsurface seawater penetration to the internally drained Judea Group aquifer, as a part of the system. The hydrogeological configuration is a combination of a low water table and a rather low groundwater divide, resulting in a shallow sea-fresh water interface. In most of the area the interface is expected to be situated above the base of the aquifer. As a result current seawater intrusion is possible across the ground water divide through the Yizre’el and Beersheva valleys which dissect Israel and connect the Mediterranean and the Jordan-Dead Sea Rift Valley. The model suggested herein is in accordance with, or cannot be rejected on the basis of the chemistry and isotope composition of the saline waters. In the highly flushed aquifers of the internal valleys, brackish water with marine affinity suggests current infiltration of seawater. This mechanism is additional to other sources, such as deep-seated highly-concentrated brines and entrapped fossil seawater, all of which are diluted by the flow of cyclic freshwaters.

Joel Duff did a piece on this back in 2017

A quote from there:

How do you fit the earlier evidence for bipedal hominins with your idea?

And here is an Biologos article

I know, I think Joel got part of the idea from me. We were on the ASA list together and my article on this was published in 1997. The article was rejected by PSCF in 1995 but a guy decided to set up a debate between me and Dick Fisher on the flood. We debated on the old ASA list. I think it was May 1996 The journal editor was on that list also. I kept pointing out physics problems with Dick’s Mesopotamian flood, and pointing out how my view didn’t have those problems. And after the debate, I sent Jack Haas a note saying that they would publish flood views that violated both geology and physics, but wouldn’t publish one that matched geology and didn’t violate physics. He replied “send me the paper again”. This time it was published a year and a half later. I have always been appreciative of Jack’s guts in publishing my paper.

Joel didn’t push the Eden view that I have, but I see no other way to make the Bible historical than this scenario. Someone much smarter than I might be able to come up with a better view, but so far no one seems to be trying, which leaves us with accommodation or YEC, and that is truly sad.

Would have been polite if my friend Joel had given me an honorable mention for being the first one to bring this idea to the Christian community. But I understand. I am like the radioactive man, among academics.

Are you a cyber-stalker, following me around always demanding answers to your questions? No one here is required to answer anything, and any answer I give you is going nowhere; our belief system is so different that we have little common ground, so I see no reason to waste time on you. So, why don’t you cease following me around with questions?

Sometimes the way you write makes me think this is some new idea you are just now having.

Your head is conspicuously over the parapet and your selective deflections, evasions according to faith speak volumes. And you could prise me from my epistemology but you can’t be bothered [my paraphrase of you anadromously].

What’s this?

And you have a void on it too?

Please take the personal stuff out of this thread. Start a thread on the evils of Glenn Morton, I will support you in that effort. I have plenty of failings and I am sure you can find them all.

After you. Give what you want.

Some of these supporting ideas ARE ideas I just learned. I am always learning and always adding to my database of information.

I just found this from a 2019 article. I think I last scanned the lit for info back in 2018. 2019 I spent 2-3 days a week at MD Anderson and felt like cow patties in the intervening days, so I didn’t do much in 2019.

I ran in to Andrew S. Madof ; Claudia Bertoni ; Johanna Lofi, “Discovery of vast fluvial deposits provides evidence for drawdown during the late Miocene Messinian salinity crisis,” Geology (2019) 47 (2): 171–174. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/47/2/171/568108/Discovery-of-vast-fluvial-deposits-provides

They have a slide of Messinian river deposits which is amazing. It shows the deposits of a major river from the area near where the paleo Euphrates would have poured into the Med. The thing I don’t understand is how, without blind luck or divine inspiration, the Bible could have described the river situation that existed 5.5 myr ago. Yeah, most will say it is blind luck, but using Biblical references to the places mentioned in the description of the rivers of Eden, one gets exactly what is shown on this slide.

Reading the article they say these things about the green, Nahr Menashe, deposits:

From its position and morphology, as well as interpreted age and depositional environment, we show that the Nahr Menashe is one of the largest riverine accumulations associated with the terminal MSC, and that it deposited in a subaerially exposed, actively deforming Levant Basin." Andrew S. Madof ; Claudia Bertoni ; Johanna Lofi, "Discovery of vast fluvial deposits provides evidence for drawdown during the late Miocene Messinian salinity crisis,” Geology (2019) 47 (2): 171–174. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/47/2/171/568108/Discovery-of-vast-fluvial-deposits-provides

Based on its seismic stratigraphy and morphology, the Nahr Menashe is interpreted to be a fluvial accumulation (Fig. DR5) sourced from southern Turkey and western Syria and is presumed to consist of poorly sorted siliciclastics and mixed lithologies (i.e., marls).” Andrew S. Madof ; Claudia Bertoni ; Johanna Lofi, “Discovery of vast fluvial deposits provides evidence for drawdown during the late Miocene Messinian salinity crisis,” Geology (2019) 47 (2): 171–174. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/47/2/171/568108/Discovery-of-vast-fluvial-deposits-provides

A riverine interpretation is further validated by the occurrence of numerous late Messinian fluvial deposits in the eastern Mediterranean and the presence of onshore MSC fluvial valleys situated directly inboard of the Nahr Menashe (i.e., in the Hatay Basin [Turkey] and Latakia Basin [Syria]; see Mocochain et al., 2015).” Andrew S. Madof ; Claudia Bertoni ; Johanna Lofi, “Discovery of vast fluvial deposits provides evidence for drawdown during the late Miocene Messinian salinity crisis,” Geology (2019) 47 (2): 171–174. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article/47/2/171/568108/Discovery-of-vast-fluvial-deposits-provides

Hatay is the province across the water from Adana, and Latakia is the principal port of Syria, and is about 140 km south of Hatay.

What is interesting is that I proposed this so long ago, before I had access to data like this. I am delighted I lived long enough to see this data become available. When one sees data supporting a very risky theory, 20+ years after it was published, one can’t help but be excited even if no one else is. It certainly is more fun than finding contradictory data.

BTW the article says this about the age and time it took to deposit it:

" Assuming an astronomically induced climatic origin (see Krijgsman et al., 1999), we tentatively propose that each of the six lobes of the Nahr Menashe may have accumulated over a single precession cycle (i.e., 21.7 k.y.), and that the deposit developed in ∼130 k.y."

This is a technical post. I used to make gravity models like this all the time. If you empty the Mediterranean of its water, the old water bottom will want to go up. But, it won’t go up if you cover it with the observed 2 km of salt, which is heavier than water. So the old water bottom will sink. The adjacent land will rise. So there is a question about how desciccated the Med was at its worst. This model would strongly support that there was more than 5 km of elevational difference between the land of Egypt and the desert below, even after you fill the empty Med with 2 km of salt. The box on the right explains it a bit. The original article is at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250085654_Isostatic_response_and_geomorphological_evolution_of_the_Nile_Valley_during_the_Messinian_salinity_crisis

All you did was make an unsupported statement that ‘Jesus used stark racism.’ That points out nothing other than that you made a statement. If you would care to cite something, now that mignt be pointing.

And yet in the Discussion they say

Which to this layperson sounds like the water flowing into the basin would be too salty to be considered fresh.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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