As Allan & Delair point out “… numerous peoples all over the world have preserved ancient accounts apparently describing some of the tremendous catastrophes …” How are these to be tested? How are they to be interpreted? They also point out “… the superficial simplicity, even naivete, of many traditions. For the initial compilers and purveyors of traditions to convey, in clear and unambiguous terms, often quite elaborate original concepts and sagas, to essentially illiterate mass audiences, it was necessary for these traditions to be presented in simplified or general forms.”
One would not expect the immediate survivors of the Deluge and the calamities preceding it to do more than work out how to continue their lives. The next generation may have opportunities to think about what happened, and to reach some sort of conclusion as to how it all came about. The following generation may then feel competent to compile an explanatory narrative – often couched in symbolic form. Refer the legends about the Sumerian Lord Marduk, and other legends of a religious nature which seem to be current.
Borrowing from Allan & Delair, one might treat some legends as intended to instruct or entertain. Or, to view some traditions as symbolic in some meaningful manner. Or, to evaluate them as profane or religious explanations. Or, they could represent fragments of memories of real historical people and their experiences. Or, a combination of these interpretations.
Then, would the stakeholders in any current paradigm hold off judgement about apparently inexplicable events and relationships, while waiting to see what patterns of information those working at the coalface might produce?
For example, the theory of uniformitarianism, which allegedly denies catastrophes – by definition, could be held as the basal condition for life on Earth, while also accepting that normal performances of major objects in space could impact upon life on Earth most catastrophically from time to time, and without warning.
While truth maybe multi-focal, varying over time, it must surely be sought – no matter what we fear!