This appeared at PhysOrg a few days ago: Ancient Chinese flood is latest to match oral, geologic histories, and as soon as we saw the headline, we knew that the creationists would be jumping all over it. PhysOrg says:
A paper published this week in Science finds evidence to support stories that a huge flood took place in China about 4,000 years ago, during the reign of Emperor Yu. The study, led by Chinese researcher Quinlong Wu, finds evidence for a massive landslide dam break that could have redirected the course of the Yellow River, giving rise to the legendary flood that Emperor Yu is credited with controlling.
Wowie — a flood, roughly 4,000 years ago! And a hero is associated with the tale. Unfortunately, his name is Yu, not Noah, and there’s no mention of an ark, but for creationists, it’s close enough.
This is the article in Science: Emperor Yu’s Great Flood, but you can’t read it without a subscription. They have another article by the same author: Massive flood may have led to China’s earliest empire, and you can read that online without a subscription. Here’s a bit more from PhysOrg:
An accompanying commentary by David Montgomery, a UW [University of Washington] professor of Earth and space sciences, discusses how this finding supports the historical basis for traditional tales about China’s Great Flood. It even explains some details of the classic folk story. “A telling aspect of the story — that it took Yu and his followers decades to control the floodwaters — makes sense in light of geological evidence that Wu et al. present,” Montgomery writes.
That’s interesting, but except that it’s about water, it seems to be a local event, utterly unrelated to the biblical tale of Noah. One more excerpt:
“Great floods figure prominently in some of humanity’s oldest stories,” Montgomery said. “In researching my book, ‘The Rocks Don’t Lie,’ I found that while the idea of a global flood was soundly refuted almost 200 years ago, many of the world’s flood stories have their roots in real catastrophic events — like tsunamis, glacial dam-break floods and disastrous flooding of lowland valleys and areas along major rivers.”
Nevertheless, we know the creationists can’t ignore this. We’ve been hearing rumblings that Ken Ham is already claiming that it’s evidence that the Noah tale describes an actual global catastrophe, but if that’s happening, it must be on Twitter or some place like that. Nothing about it has appeared yet at his website — but we’re confident that it will. So instead of waiting, we decided to get in ahead of ol’ Hambo and let you know about the news. The entertainment is certain to come — and soon.
Update: Ken Ham & The Great Flood of China.
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