Hydrogen and Oxygen
The conflict between the larger planets resulted in
long-stretched filaments ejected by a disturbed Saturn to cross the Earths
orbit. The hydrogen of the planet combined with the oxygen of the terrestrial
atmosphere in electrical discharges and turned into water.
There are definite indications of a drastic drop in
the atmospheric oxygen at the time of the Delugefor instance, the
survivors of the catastrophe are said in many sources to have been unable
to light fires.(1)
The consumption of the oxygen in the air by its conversion
into water could not fail to have a marked effect upon all that breathes.
The animal life that survived needed to accomodate itself to the changed
According to rabbinical sources, before the Deluge man
was vegetarian; but the post-diluvian population did not continue the
vegetarian habits of the sinful population of the earth. The
Talmud and the Midrashim narrate that after the Deluge a carnivorous instinct
was awakened in animal and man, and everyone had the impulse to bite.(2)
The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon
every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the air. . . . Every
moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the
green plants, I will give you everything.(3)
The prohibition against quenching the thirst for blood(4)
is an ordinance said to have been introduced immediately after the Deluge.
In a teleological program this result of the Deluge
does not seem appropriate for a catastrophe brought about to chastize
the human race and the animals, to cleanse them of their vices and make
them better. Because of its non-program appearance the carnivorous urge
must have been not a mythological motif, but a result of physiological
changes. Most probably an anemia connected with the diminution of oxygen
in the air was responsible for the new inclination.(5)
- [Such were the accounts of
the Sioux, Menomini, and other Indian tribes as told by J. G. Frazer
in his Remarks to Volume II of Apollodorus The
Library in the Loeb series, p. 342. Cf. Skanda Purana, describing
the deluged world in which nothing could be seen . . . fire there
was not, nor moon, nor sun. (Shastri, The Flood Legend in Sanscrit
Literature, p. 88). Even in the relatatively slightly rarefied atmosphere
of La Paz, Bolivia, because of the reduced oxygen content . .
. fires start with such reluctance that there is little work for the
citys fire department. (Area Handbook for Bolivia
[Washington, 1974], p. 55.].
of Enoch 89:11: After the deluge they began to bite one
another. According to Midrash Aggada to Genesis 10:8, Nimrod
was the first to eat meat.
might speculate that the diet of meat would be conducive to the production
of the additional red blood cells needed by the body to absorb more
efficiently the diminished amount of oxygen entering the lungs. In
Tibet the high altitude and rarefied atmosphere is said to make it
impossible to follow the vegeterian diet advocated by Buddhist teaching.
Cf. Science Vol. 203, no. 4383 (March 23, 1979), p. 1230:
At high altitudes all animals hyperventilatean involuntary
mechanism of fast breathing in which carbon dioxide causes the ph
of the blood to become alkaline and constricts blood vessels. This,
in turn, reduces the blood flow to the brain and brain cells become
starved of oxygen, eventually dying. An alkaline ph in the
blood can also produce other fatal effects. ].