This where the stories of Atlantis came from, which would be from around the same time period, give or take a few hundred years. I mean, logically (ahem) the only way a man as old as Noah could live as long as he did is if they had advanced technology. Also, it would explain why one man was able to build such a sturdy boat. He had power tools! Yes, you read that right. But here's the thing. My dad was right about one thing--You have to make these mental leaps in order to make the story work. One farmer at the age of 100 couldn't possibly build an ark the size described in the Bible by himself without serious help. Since the Bible does not specify if anyone helped him, and based on the recent pitiful museum built in Kentucky, there really isn't a way for someone to build that monstrosity without help of some kind. Hence, this idea that Noah was part of an advanced civilization that lived hundreds of years and still had the raw intelligence that God gave Adam & Eve. In other words, those early people were smarter than us.
Now, let's jump ahead to Genesis 10:25. As a kid, my dad told me that this was referring to the splitting apart of the continent Pangia into the continents we have today. Later, he changed his mind to say that the divide was one of language, not geography and that he believed the continents split during the flood. We are not going to go into the fact that such a vast upheaval of land in one go would have caused a catastrophic effect on our planet to the point where it would not have been habitable 40 days after the floor. The volcanic activity alone, nevermind the tsunamis would have been awful. And there is absolutely no evidence that this all happened at once since we do actually know how these things work. So back to Peleg. My dad now believes that this verse is referring to the Tower of Babel and everyone getting a different language. This was actually one of the first Bible stories I rejected as it is obviously an attempt by ancient peoples to explain why there were so many different languages. Looking at the etymology of words we can see how language changes and grows. Linguists can look back at language and trace its origins. We may not speak Egyptian now, but we can look at some of the dialects and languages spoken in that region and come up with a reasonable approximation of how the language sounded.
But last weekend my dad threw me a new doozy when he suggested that not only was language divided in the days of Peleg, but that was when human beings also developed an in-group/out-group mentality. Say what now? His logic was that because human beings could all speak the same language at one point, they all got along. It wasn't until we couldn't speak the language that we began to form psychological connections with people who are the same as us and shun those who aren't. Now, the Bible itself contradicts this notion. I mean, Cain already killed his brother fairly early on in Genesis and it suggests people were living in cities already and would kill him if they knew of his terrible dead. That's basic otherness. People build cities to form groups.
Now, not liking to argue I said to my father, "I'm not sure about the days of Peleg, but it is a natural human instinct to want to group yourself with people who have common interests and beliefs." I wanted to insert, it was a safety measure created by evolution, but I'm not stupid. The interesting part of this whole conversation is that my mother was giving me some serious side eye the entire time because she knows that I think most of Genesis is a load of hooey. We've gotten into it before.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.