This article first appeared as a Vic Skeptics discussion pamphlet and was first posted here in March 2011.
One of the many amazing stories in the Bible is the story of The Great Flood.
Before The Great Flood Noah was commanded by his God to build an ark (a large boat) and to collect a pair of all the animals on Earth. The Great Flood wiped out all the other animals, including humans, and those on Noah’s Ark repopulated the Earth after the flood subsided.
Given our present knowledge of evolution, genetics, geology, physics and archeology, few people, even practising Christians, believe the story to be literally true. However there are some people who insist that all the Bible stories are literally true. As well as the story of Noah’s Ark they also believe that:
The Earth and all living things on it were created in six 24-hour days.
This occurred about 10,000 years ago.
All present day animals are descended from those on Noah’s Ark.
The theory of evolution is incorrect because it is not consistent with the Bible stories.
These are the fundamental beliefs of Creationism. But why are the religious beliefs of Creationists of concern to scientists? Does it matter if people’s religious beliefs are in disagreement with scientific knowledge?