One of the glaring incongruities in reading standard attacks on Noah’s flood is the totally disconnect between the view of the world which critics ascribe to the narrator, and the view of the world which critics use as their frame of reference in attacking the flood account.
On the one hand, critics tell us that the narrator subscribed to a triple-decker cosmography. On this model, the earth was flat. The “earth” comprised a single landmass or supercontinent, with mountains at the “corners” or “ends” of the “earth” to support the sky. The sky was a solid dome with sluice gates allowing the cosmic sea to precipitate rain and snow. Under and around the supercontinent was the primeval sea.
When, however, critics attack the coherence of the flood account, they pose objections like this: How did all the animals cross natural barriers to reach the ark? And how did they disperse? How could the ark accommodate so many species? How could animals adapted to very different climates and diets survive on the ark? How much water would it take to submerge Mount Everest? What would be the rate of precipitation to generate so much water? What would be the rate of runoff for the floodwaters to subside?
But an obvious problem with this whole line of attack is the way in which these critics using the wrong model of the world to attack the flood account. Notice the systemic failure to use a triple-decker cosmography as the point of reference when disputing the logistics of the flood. Yet the same critic assures us that the prescientific narrator was operating with a triple-decker cosmography.
Well, assuming for the sake of argument that this is the case, then the stock objections miss the mark. Indeed, we end up with two mutually exclusive arguments.
The critic needs to ask what natural barriers the animals had to cross on a flat-earth with a single landmass to reach the ark as well as disperse. Needs to ask the number of “species” which occupied this supercontinent. Needs to ask the number of ecological zones on this supercontinent. Needs to ask the size of the flat-earth. How much rainwater would it take to submerge the flat-earth?
Is the flood account internally coherent given the “primitive” cosmography which the critics ascribe to the narrator? Isn’t that the proper way to direct the question?
Critics need to get their stories straight. If they are going to attribute a triple-decker cosmography to Genesis 1, then that also has to be the frame of reference for Gen 6-9.
It doesn’t speak too highly of their intelligence when critics raise self-contradictory objections to Gen 1-9. For one set of objections cancels out the other set of objections.