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Nomore_lockout's avatar

Do you think that the Great Flood of Biblical fame, is a human racial memory of a real, but less catastrophic, event?

Asked by Nomore_lockout (6754points) 3 days ago

Perhaps the flooding of the Black Sea area, or the even more remote flooding of the Mediterranean “valley”?

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11 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

Probably. A lot of ancient civilizations have stories about major floods, which isn’t surprising given that those same civilizations all lived alongside large bodies of water prone to flooding. All it takes is for one catastrophic flood to be talked about generation after generation, growing larger and more severe in each retelling until it was eventually recorded as the stuff of legends when writing was invented. Alternatively, stories about several different floods could have been combined over time into a tale of one mega-flood.

Anyone who lived through the Great Blizzard of 1993 should be familiar with how this works. Even with photos, videos, and scientific data about the storm’s actual portions, plenty of people still exaggerate how big it was. And they sometimes conflate it with other major blizzards (which is easy to do in the Northeast given how many blizzards they get).

Demosthenes's avatar

It’s an interesting possibility. I always wondered if flood myths arose from ancient peoples observing fossils of sea creatures in mountainous areas (or otherwise far from the sea) and not knowing anything of ice ages, continental drift, and orogeny might’ve theorized that a colossal flood might explain their presence there.

flutherother's avatar

Myths about a huge flood go right back to the beginnings of agriculture in Mesopotamia, a word which means “land between the rivers”. I’m sure there were times when these rivers flooded the alluvial plain and to those living there it would seem the entire world was inundated.

I’m sure the ancient Mesopotamians had boats as they lived beside two rivers and while much of their livestock would have drowned a few sheep and pigs and goats may have survived in one of these vessels. An event like that would not be easily forgotten.

gondwanalon's avatar

According to historical geology, the flood described in the Holy Bible never happened.
In other words “the flood” is inconsistent with reality.

ragingloli's avatar

The Chinese also have a flood myth. But in their version, a great Chinese engineer came up with building dams to prevent flooding, and prevented catastrophe.
Speaks to the power of the christian god, that he sends a global flood to wipe out humanity, and the chinese just go and think ”同情的”.

kritiper's avatar

It’s just a story, like a fairy tale. A bit of lore, passed down over many generations by word of mouth until it was translated into Latin, and later, English.

gorillapaws's avatar

@SavoirFaire That’s certainly one possibility, another is that Noah built an arc with a moonpool and used Jesus-magic to hermetically seal the chamber off. But we’re all entitled to our own beliefs…

Dutchess_III's avatar

IMO it started as a local legend. Some farmer may have loaded some of his livestock on the boat to save them. Noah’s Ark grew out of that.

smudges's avatar

What is a “human racial memory”? Is it the same as “collective unconscious”?

flutherother's avatar

Maybe the story of Noah and his ark refers to a future flood rather than one in the past. Sea levels have begun to rise across the world and many animal species are going extinct. The story could be seen as a warning rather than a myth.

JLoon's avatar

Once you get past all the fairytale Bible stuff it’s actually an interesting question, with some facinating answers confirmed by geologic & archaelogical discoveries over the last century.

Here’s a good summary from one source :
Discover Magazine 8/28/2012

Evidently, several huge flood events occurred in diverse locations worldwide around 10,000 years ago. Causes usually connect to melting & collapse of natural ice dams as the planet gradually warmed.

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