Black Sea flood link to Noah sinking fast

An international team of scientists have recently rejected the idea that the Black Sea ever flooded suddenly in the past.  The latest issue of TJ, the in-depth journal of Creation, examines their report and assesses its implications for the Bible.

In the late 1990s, two marine geologists, William Ryan and Walter Pitman, claimed to have found evidence for a catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea area about 7,600 years ago.1  Their ‘Black Sea flood’ claim became famous when they alleged that it was actually the Flood of Noah as recorded in the Bible.2  In effect their claim alleges that the Biblical record of Noah’s Flood is grossly inaccurate and cannot be trusted.

Given the attitude of the media towards the Bible, it’s not surprising that their speculations have proved remarkably popular in television documentaries, books, journals and lectures.3  What is surprising though is how quickly their ideas have been embraced by Christians and even included into Bible handbooks.4

We examined the claims of Ryan and Pitman and showed that, even if there was a catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea, it was definitely not the Flood of Noah.5  If the Black Sea flood did occur, it would not have been 7,600 years ago but more likely around 1650 BC.  From the limited geological evidence Ryan and Pitman presented, we felt that they had made a reasonable case for a sudden drowning of the Black Sea and we had no reason at the time to challenge that conclusion.  However, it was not the Flood of Noah!

An international research team from Canada, USA, UK and Turkey is now disputing that there ever was a catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea.6,7  So, the whole idea of a Black Sea flood may evaporate completely.

The team used data from the ‘Marmara Sea Gateway’, which connects the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean (see figure).  From seismic surveys, drill cores, radiocarbon dating and fossil studies they conclude that there is no support whatsoever for a catastrophic northward flow of saline Mediterranean water into the Black Sea.  Rather, from the earliest times the connection was dominated by a southward flow of water, exactly the opposite direction required by Ryan and Pitman’s hypothesis. 

Ryan and Pitman proposed that a land bridge across the Bosporus isolated the Mediterranean from the Black Sea, which contained fresh water at a level at least 110 m lower.  Catastrophic breaching of the hypothetical land bridge allowed salt water from the Mediterranean to pour into the Black Sea.  However, new geological investigations in the Marmara Sea, especially the exit delta (C), show that water has always flowed south from the Black Sea and not north as required by Ryan and Pitman’s hypothesis.

This latest report, which illustrates how conclusions can change dramatically when new geological evidence comes to light is featured in issue 16(3) of TJ—the in-depth journal of Creation.  The report illustrates the importance of putting our confidence, not in the speculations of fallible humans, but in the 100% reliable Word of God.  Although the media were quick to speculate on the Black Sea/Noah’s Flood link, there has been no similar ‘media hype’ about the Bible being true.  In fact, one media headline suggested that the latest findings proved Noah’s Flood never happened.  You can always be assured of the full story , however, in TJ [now Journal of Creation].

Also included in issue 16(3):

  • Newly discovered dinosaur megatracks support Flood model
  • MOND over dark matter: new concepts in astronomy
  • Greenland ice cores: more evidence for catastrophic deposition
  • Claims about feathered or furry dinosaurs
  • Linguistics and the Tower of Babel
  • Did Darwin plagiarize his theory?
  • Missing solar neutrinos found
  • Exploitation of deformed humans to promote evolution
  • Book reviews
  • Debates, discussion
  • And much, much more! (See Contents page)

TJ strengthens, challenges, and keeps up to date.  Many testify they are helped by this journal: 

  • ‘Appreciating your service in Creation—TJ is an excellent resource.’
  • ‘There is an awful lot of argument going on in the Creation Link about the Flood at present—and these [TJ] articles / letters are very relevant’.
  • ‘[TJ is] considered to be an auspicious publication’.

TJ is an essential resource for teachers, professionals, academics, and students.  Why not subscribe today?  Don’t forget, now is a great time to give a gift subscription. 


  1. Ryan, W.B.F., Pitman, W.C., Major, C.O., Shimkus, K., Moskalenko, V., Jones, G.A., Dimitrov, P., Gorur, N., Sakinc, M. and Yuce, H., An abrupt drowning of the Black Sea Shelf, Marine Geology138(1–2):119–126, 1997. Return to text.
  2. Ryan, W. and Pitman, W., Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History, Simon & Schuster, 1998. Return to text.
  3. Examples include: Noah’s Flood, Archaeology and Anthropology Network, BBC Television, 1996. <www.bbc.co.uk/horizon/noah.shtml> 22 November 1999;. Mestel, R., Noah’s Flood, New Scientist156(2102):24–27, 1997; Gugliotta, G., For Noah’s Flood, a new wave of evidence, Washington Post, p. A01, 18 November 1999; Noah’s Flood: The geological evidence, The Australian Geologist112:11, 30 September 1999; Pockley, P., Noah had a great flood but where is his ark? Australasian Science20(10):21–23, 1999; Scientists confirm a great flood, The Sunday Times, Perth, West Australia, p. 34, 3 October 1999. Return to text.
  4. Alexander, D. & P. (eds), The New Lion Handbook to the Bible, Lion Publishing, UK, 2001. Return to text.
  5. See: (a) Walker, T., The Black Sea flood: definitely not the Flood of Noah, CEN Tech. J.14(1):40–44, 2000; (b) Proof of Noah’s Flood at the Black Sea? What has Robert Ballard really found?, 2 July 2002; (c) Walker, T., Pre-Flood relics on the bottom of the Black Sea?, 2 July 2002. Return to text.
  6. Aksu, A.E., Hiscott, R.N., Mudie, P.J., Rochon, A., Kaminski, M.A., Abrajano, T. and Yasar, D., Persistent Holocene outflow from Black Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean contradicts Noah’s Flood Hypothesis, GSA Today12(5):4–10, 2002. Return to text.
  7. Noah’s Flood Hypothesis may not hold water: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor part of international research group refuting popular theory, <www.rpi.edu/web/News/press_releases/2002/noahsark.html>, 28 June 2002. Return to text.
Published: 3 February 2006