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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CG202.2:

The Hihking, a Chinese classic, tells a story of a flood very like the Biblical story. The family of Fuhi, including his wife, three sons, and three daughters, survived aboard a boat a great flood which covered the entire land. After the flood, they repopulated the world. An ancient temple in China shows Fuhi's boat in raging waters with dolphins swimming around it and a dove flying toward it.


Brodie, Graham. 1998. Destruction of the world.

Northwest Creation Network. n.d. Flood legends from around the world.


  1. This flood story apparently comes from the United States, not China. We have traced it back to Nelson's The Deluge Story in Stone (1931, 181-182). Nelson says that, according to the Hihking, Fuhi "escaped the waters of a deluge, and reappeared as the first man at the reproduction of a renovated world, accompanied by his wife, his three sons and three daughters." There is no mention of a boat. The temple illustration is a separate account which Nelson attributes to Gutzlaff, presumably Karl Gützlaff, a Lutheran missionary in China around 1825. Gutzlaff reports it as a picture of Noah, not Fuhi. There are no further references to allow either account to be checked.

    Nelson's "Hihking" most likely refers to the Shan hai ching, or Classic of Mountains and Seas. However, the flood myth described therein is very different from Nelson's account. The Shan hai ching story says that when a great flood came, Kun ("Hugefish") stole breathing-soil (the matter of creation) from the great god to dam the waters, but he did not wait for the great god to command him to use it, so the great god ordered Kun killed. Kun was later restored to life and gave birth to Yu who, at the great god's command, completed Kun's work of damming the flood waters (Birrell 1999, 195-196; Walls and Walls 1984, 94-100). The differences between the two accounts are so profound that we can only speculate how Nelson came by his version. Presumably, he relied on a second- or third-hand version which was conflated with the biblical flood in memories and retellings. Perhaps Fuhi (Fu Hsi, Fu Xi, or other transliterations) became substituted for Yu because both are considered founders of aspects of civilization.

    It is possible that the Hihking refers to another work, but we can find no other that is more plausible. The I Ching is a possibility as Fu Hsi is credited with its authorship, but it contains no flood account at all.


  1. Birrell, Anne (transl.). 1999. The Classic of Mountains and Seas. London: Penguin.
  2. Nelson, Byron C., 1931. The Deluge Story in Stone. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
  3. Walls, Jan and Yvonne Walls. 1984. Classical Chinese Myths. Hongkong: Joint Publishing Co.

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created 2005-6-13