Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Fountains of the Deep?

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” (Genesis 7: 11-12, NIV)

A story from the Washington Post reports that scientists have seriously underestimated the amount of water underneath the surface of the earth. How did it get there? Here is one idea:
When our solar system began to take shape, roughly 4.5 billion years ago, it was a disk-shaped cloud of gas and dust spinning around a dense core, which became the sun. Close to this core, the cloud was very hot - too hot for compounds such as H2O to condense, so they got blown outward by a powerful solar wind. When they got far enough from the nascent sun, they condensed into water and ice. This happened beyond the orbits of the inner planets, including Earth, which coalesced out of heavier dust particles.
Okay, so how did it get under the earth's surface? The original theory involved cometary impacts, but that left too many unanswered questions. The story continues:
Michael Drake of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson, thinks there's a better explanation. The majority of Earth's water, Drake believes, was there from the beginning, despite Earth's having formed inside the solar system's snow line. He and his colleagues have speculated that individual molecules of water vapor could have glommed onto dust particles inside the snow line, much as dew forms on grass. Then, when the dust particles drifted together into larger and larger objects, eventually growing to become the inner planets, the moisture stayed with them. Eventually, there was enough to form Earth's oceans.
So are these the “Fountains of the Deep?” Well, if flood geology hinged on only this one hypothesis, that might be reasonable. But it doesn't. The source of the flood's water is only one problem that flood geologists have to overcome out of hundreds that they cannot. Besides which, the amount of water necessary to flood the entire planet up to fifteen cubits above the tallest mountain would be vastly greater than the largest estimates of the present amount of subsurface water. One would have to employ a model out of the movie “2012” to make it work. How good was the science in that film? NASA felt compelled to put up a web page dispelling the sheer inanities in the film. Interestingly, there is a Christian review of the film that came out at the time by Sheri McMurray of Christian Spotlight which deals largely with the ideas of the end of the earth and the ultimate survival of humankind. Oddly enough, she does not touch on a particular aspect of the film that leaped out at me: that the cataclysmic events on the screen must have been very like that which are purported to have happened in Genesis 7 and 8, complete with sinking and rising continents, if the flood geology model is correct. As of now, there is no evidence that it is.

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