Hanoka, Y. 2002.
BH 13:87-. CELD ID 21430
|Continental drift, asteroid impacts, and the Flood|
The leading paradigm in modern geology is continental drift and plate tectonics. The surface of the Earth is viewed as being a series of plates that move relative to one another. At one time all connected together, the continents are now separated and still slightly moving as part of this plate movement. Paleontologists today widely accept the Alvarez theory of a massive asteroid impact to explain the sudden demise of dinosaurs as well as numerous other fauna and flora. The mass of such an asteroid has been estimated as up to 10^13 kilograms. There is now strong evidence that the location of the impact crater is the Yucatan Peninsula. Investigation of Torah commentary on the Flood suggests some of these recent findings in geology and paleontology. A midrash in Genesis Rabba clearly states that the continents were connected prior to the Flood, and later commentaries assert that the seasons of the year began only after the Flood, and later commentaries assert that the seasons of the year began only after the Flood. The Talmud Rosh Hashana elaborates on possible extraterrestrial causes (i.e., asteroids) of the Flood. Taking these Torah sources along with the conclusions of some of these scientific findings, it is possible to construct a broad qualitative model that potentially could explain a wide diversity of phenomena, for example, why the Yucatan Peninsula is the location of the impact crater and how the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth's axis relative to the plane of the ecliptic may have come about. The model can explain the major distributions of microtektites throughout the world. If verified by some of its predictions, this model could clearly have very significant implications for the Torah/science interplay. Given the validity of the model, the issue of reconciling radioactive rock dating with the chronology of the Torah needs to be addressed, and some approaches to this will be presented.