by Jay Johansen | Nov 5, 2022
A thought on life for the first few generations after Noah's Flood.
Background: The Flood would have dramatically changed the landscape. Modest local floods today can change the course of rivers, create new canyons, etc. A flood on the scale of Noah's Flood would have changed geography dramatically. Most creationist geologists say that it would have created new continents. At the very least it would have dramatically changed geography.
SO when Noah and his family stepped off the ark, it would have seemed almost like they were setting foot on another planet. If they had pre-Flood maps, they would have been worthless. The "known world" would have consisted of what they could see from their perch on Mount Ararat. Perhaps a few hundred square miles.
As they had children and grandchildren and the population grew, they started to spread out. But probably slowly. For several generations, if you walked for a few days in one direction, you would soon come to land that no human being had ever seen before. If you didn't get along with your neighbors, or just preferred solitude, you could pack up your stuff, walk for a few days, and settle down in new country where no one else lived. If you didn't want anyone to follow you, if you made an effort to hide your tracks you could make yourself be lost for the rest of your life.
When expanding civilization finally reached the sea in any given direction, that would have slowed them down. But for someone who wanted to escape the crowd, that just made it more complicated. Now they had to build a boat and master navigation. But that very difficulty meant that it would be equally difficult for others to follow. In those early days, it's likely that many sea-farers died in storms at sea, or to exposure or thirst or starvation when they failed to find land. But if you could find an island, you would have a refuge from the rest of humanity.
Some travelled far enough to discover major land masses, like Australia and the Americas. After all, when we say that Columbus discovered America, of course no one means that he was the first human being to visit America. The Indians were already there. Columbus discovered America in the sense that he put Europe and America into contact. But the true discoverer of America was some unknown ancestor of the Indians. All record of where those people came from and how they got there has long since been lost, though perhaps archaeologists will piece it together some day.
Side note: When I was in school, I was taught that the first Americans came over what is now the Bering Straits at a time when sea level was lower so it was dry land. In fact that's a plausible theory but that's all it is. There is no historical or archaeological evidence to confirm it. I recall a teacher once telling me that we know it's true because archaeologists have found a chain of ancient artifacts across Alaska and Canada Which have been dated and found to be in sequence, showing a path of migration southward. In fact she just made that up or heard it from someone who just made it up. There is no such evidence. Thus other historians have argued that the Polynesians were the first settlers, crossing the Pacific Ocean in canoes. Or that it was the Phoenecians, crossing the Atlantic. Some rebut such claims by saying that such a voyage, given the state of boat-building at the time, would have been very dangerous, and the chances of someone surviving it and making it across the ocean were small. Sure, but no one is claiming that they had regularly scheduled passenger service. It's not necessary to suppose that everyone who attempted the trip made it, or even most. It's only necessary to suppose that ONE boat made it. Anyway, my point is not to argue for any particular theory about where the ancestors of the Indians came from. I don't know. From my (admittedly cursory) look at the evidence, there are many theories that are plausible but none have any solid evidence to back them up.
But regardless of where they came from and how they got to America -- and to Australia and Madagascar and other remote places -- clearly people did. This is obvious because there are people there now.
Of course not everyone in those days was seeking new land. Most probably stuck close to home and other people. They preferred human contact, and they preferred the security and comforts of growing civilization. Indeed the Bible tells us that this became a problem: God said that people were not exploring the world fast enough. Read the story of the Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:1-8. But some did move out. Some of them were driven by curiousity to explore new lands. Others wanted to live in solitude. Some sought new land because they didn't get along with their neighbors. Some pushed out more slowly as they expanded their farms or hunting grounds.
Of course we are in the opposite situation today. The entire world has now been explored. There is still wildnerness, but few places are really out of reach of civilization.
Photo: Diorama of Japheth and his wife from Ark Encounter
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