You aren’t going to like this, but Noahs Ark is part of a story. Of course, the story could have been inspired by real events, but I suspect that the flooding idea was more easily derived from the annual floods of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers than from an event involving the Black Sea.
Similar flood stories are found through the region of Mesopotamia. The best known is the Gilgamesh Epic, a popular story for thousands of years. Gilgamesh lived around 2500 BC. The best-known version of the Gilgamesh Epic is from about 649 BC. It is an etiological tale, with many smaller etiological stories within it.
One part is very much like the Noah story, which clearly borrows from it.
Now that you are, I fear, disturbed about what I am saying, please calm down and be reassured. The point of the story of Noah is not in the little incidentals: it is in the lesson, and what it says about God and Man. Gilgamesh Epic has almost no moral content. Noahs story is, by contrast, all about ethics, and how God will deal with sinful man. It is written, of course, from the understanding of the ancient Hebrew people.
The delightful story of Noah says, basically, that God will not deal with the problem of sin merely by wiping out mankind, which (as the story clearly and intentionally illustrates) he very well could. That message is very profound, and I trust, true. Certainly I hope that it is true!
If I remember correctly, the Scriptural text is not even clear it was a global flood. Hebrew “eretz” could mean the whole earth or just mean “the land”. So there have been arguments over whether the Flood was geographically universal (it flooded the whole world) or anthropologically universal (it just involved the area where all mankind was living at the time).
It would be a mark of impiety to bleed all the historicity out of the account, but it’s perfectly reasonable to recognize parallel traditions and to understand that there is more involved in the story than a bare accounting of facts.
Not disturbed at all.
I read some time back in Science News about evidence of flooding in the Black Sea at the end of the last ice age (?) and evidence that there were possibly ancient buildings or something near shore but now underwater. The speculation was that a cataclysmic event like a glacier melting or breaking off, or something, could have given rise to the Biblical Noah account as well as the other great flood stories in the area. It was supposed to have been maybe 10,000 years ago, and might be the earliest pre-history thing that humanity remembers.
Anyway, I thought that it might be interesting if that was roughly the same time period as the Tahitian coral findings.
I’m not proposing using the Bible as a history book or science book, in the way that modern scholars do history or science. The Bible is the love story of God and His people. Clearly, the spiritual point of Noah’s adventures has nothing to do with global temperatures. Nevertheless, the Bible has some intriguing hints and clues about the ancient physical world, so why not ponder them?
It is entirely possible that there was more than one major flood. At the end of the Ice Age, the sea level was at least 400 feet lower than today. The depth of the Straits of Gibralter are around 400 feet. A massive rapid rise in water level could have entered the Straits (with less depth then) and rapidly scoured it to the current depth while causing massive flooding throughout the Mediterranean basin. There could have been a second influx of water following the melting after the Younger Dryas around 11,000 years ago.
Scientist often have disagreements over interpreting physical evidence. Just saw this interesting article on disagreement over the meaning of certain formations on Mars which may support or deny the existence of substantial amounts of water in the past.