QUESTION: Is there any scientific proof of the Great Flood?
Scientific proof of the Great Flood is elusive, not because there is not enough substantive evidence to prove its historicity beyond a reasonable doubt, but because much of the evidence is equivocal. That is, it can be reasonably interpreted in more than one way. “Proof” is evidence which demands a singular conclusion. Consequentially, we do not have scientific proof of the Great Flood per se. Rather we have a strong interdisciplinary scientific case for the Flood.
One line of evidence concerns the fossilized remains of marine life found atop every major mountain range in the world. Flood advocates (“diluvialists”) see the masses of dead sea-life found atop every major mountain range in the world as reasonable evidence that the planet’s surface was inundated by a global deluge, but not proof. Modern conventionalists interpret the same evidence to mean that ocean boundaries periodically shift, whereby dry land submerges and reemerges from the sea in a seemingly endless cycle of uplift, subduction, and erosion.
Another line of evidence concerns the global prevalence of sedimentary rock. The planet is covered in layer-upon-layer of sedimentary rock. These consist mostly of eroded, displaced, re-solidified sediments which were transported, sorted, and re-deposited in some sort of a fluid, typically water. These layers also contain of the fossilized remains of billions and billions of displaced dead things -- the fossil record. Diluvialists interpret the fossil record (billions of dead things buried in sediments laid down by water) as strong evidence for a global deluge. Conventionalists disagree, conjecturing instead that these layers and the fossils they contain accumulated slowly over long periods of time rather than quickly during (and after) a marine cataclysm.
A third line of evidence concerns the hundreds of flood legends preserved all over the world by somewhat isolated, indigenous cultures. Diluvialists believe these stories represent a shared primeval experience: the common ancestors of these divergent cultures survived a massive deluge and past record of the traumatic event down through successive progeny. Conventionalists believe these stories are purely mythological and their prevalence is coincidental.
These are just three pieces of the puzzle. None of the three (or any other piece of evidence) is enough to constitute proof of the Great Flood. But together they form a compelling interdisciplinary scientific case for the Flood of Noah’s day.