Maverick Surf Competition wave and man, photo credit: Shalom Jacobovitz

Do We Have Enough Water to Flood the Whole Earth?

A guest post by John Hudson Tiner, who has written a number of books published by Master Books (I particularly enjoyed his book on Physics–I’m not scared of it any more!). First published August, 2013.

Maverick Surf Competition wave and man, photo credit: Shalom Jacobovitz

Bible doubters like to point out how crazy it is to imagine all earth’s mountains covered with water, but all geologists believe they were. The difference is whether we believe it all happened at once or over “millions of years”.
Another piece of the puzzle is if earth has enough water to cover the whole world at the same time or not. Solving this uses a lot of math, which I’m not too excited about, so all I’d ever seen were the conclusions Creationists had come up with.
Enter our guest writer. Saturday, I spotted this little gem of mathematics he’d posted and loved how factual and “simple” it made the whole problem. Since he was taking questions on a live expert forum, I could ask him if it was OK for me to share with you all. Mr. Tiner kindly granted my request.
So, here’s what he has to say about the amount of water on earth [for metric users: 8,000 feet equals 2438.4 meters]:

. . . Now to the depth of the water during the flood. Dr. Morris says that it has been calculated that on a smooth spherical earth the water would cover the earth to a depth of 8,000 feet.
That is easy enough to check (provided I remember to use radius of earth rather than diameter!)

  • Radius of earth in miles: 3,963 miles
  • Thickness of 8,000 feet of water in miles: 8,000 ft/5280 ft/mi = 1.5 miles
  • Volume in cu mi of a smooth, spherical earth with a 1.5 mile thick layer of water:
    (4/3)pi*r^3 = (4/3)pi(3,963 + 1.5)^3 = 261,008,000,000 (rounded to nearest million)

Volume in cu mi of a smooth, spherical earth without the layer of water:
(4/3)pi*r^3 = (4/3)pi(3,963)^3 = 260,711,000,000 (rounded to nearest million)

The difference (261,008,000,000 – 260,711,000,000 ) is the amount of water to make:

A layer of water 1.5 miles thick: about 296 million cubic miles of water.

This site, The USGS Water Science School, How Much Water is there on, in, and above the Earth? shows the total amount of water to be 338 million cu mi. That figure agrees with one I read in an old-fashioned world almanac about 30 years ago.

Stratocumulus Clouds as seen from the ISS, photo credit: NASA

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. Psalm 29:1-3,10

Recommended Resources: Persuaded by the Evidence

With the help of family and friends, I’ve been collecting Creation resources to check out and sort based on importance for you. This is one I’ve been wanted to share most. It’s going in the top-tier spot, aka “your family needs this!

Why? Because Persuaded by the evidence is all about people. It has enough eye-crossing science-speak for me to hold off giving my kids until they’re about 13 or so, but that’s just part of the focus. This book is about how these scientists and others came to dedicate their lives to Jesus and recognize Him as the Creator God. Which means a lot of people who don’t care much about science will connect to this book.

Being a lady, I found this book much better than a romance story. You have the same tension wondering how they will find their Savior: What did it take? What held them back? How did God break through to them in the end? What most attracted them to Jesus? And the best part is, I have the same Lord and Savior! Ahhh, the wonder of it! 🙂

So, for girls, this is especially good. For guys: well, it’s all written by guys, so there’s nothing mushy about it.

Teen Book GroupFor young people, It addresses a lot of the questions and doubts they experience now, or will when college starts. A few stories were of men who stayed firm about the Bible their whole lives, but the rest came out of the Evolutionary worldview.

For parents, some tell how they strayed from the Bible’s account and came back later; which is particularly important as their stories can serve as warning for us to avoid the same mistakes.

Some had never been exposed to anything but Evolution. Some became Jesus’ followers first and then struggled with the Bible’s claims about origins. A few accounts are from the early 20th Century when very little Creationist material was available. Their stories are all over the map in every way.

Questions?

Large parts of this book are filled with the science leading them to doubt the Evolutionary storyline and turning them to the claims of the Creator God. The subjects range from “why are there still continents if the world is as old as claimed?” to “how can we know right from wrong if everything is random?” Lots of people saw the impossibility of Evolutionary changes producing the order and complexity we see in living creatures.

The last section of the book is a treasure in itself. It is accounts of some founders of the modern Creationist movement. Did you know Dr. Henry M. Morris rose on the shoulders of other outspoken men of God and science? Dr. Duane T. Gish, Dr. Gary E. Parker (who has a particularly poignant story), and Dr. Andrew Snelling are all in here. Morris, Gish, and Snelling are names you can’t avoid in our field. How delightful to know their stories of God leading and preparing them for the places they fill!

I recommend this book for every home which has teenagers or older living in it (yes, that means you, parents). 🙂

If you appreciate what I do, please use my affiliate link to purchase this from Answers in Genesis. Thanks much!

In the same way, my words leave my mouth,
    and they don’t come back without results.
My words make the things happen that I want to happen.
    They succeed in doing what I send them to do. Isaiah 55:11

 

The Institute for Creation Research has another review to check out as well.

Sumerian Cylinder Seal, Flickr, Steve Harris

God Says Earth Spins like a…. Seal?

No, not the animal, but a seal to press into clay. Check it out:

Sumerian Cylinder Seal, Flickr, Steve Harris

Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. Job 38:12-14

If you read these verses in other versions, you’ll read something quite different. They say the earth was changed like clay under a seal. But King James’ translators tried to be super honest with the Hebrew even if something seemed odd. They just translated each word into English as best they could and left us to puzzle why God would say things the way he did.

Let’s see what we can solve using modern archaeology:

Mesopotamian Cylinder Seals:

Ancient Mesopotamians.com says: Cylinder seals, small stone cylinders covered with a design were the oldest form of art in Mesopotamia. Cylinder seals were used as ownership stamps for the people. They were also used as jewellery or magical amulets. Cylinder seals were related with the cuneiform system of writing because they were used to authenticate cuneiform documents.

These seals differ in sizes, designs and shapes. It was from the 3rd millennium BC that they began to be prevalent. They were used extensively by the government officials in various occasions such as sealing the closure of the door of a storeroom, confirmation of receipt etc. Cylinders were used as signatures in contracts and other documents.

Cool, huh?

How does this fit our verses? Verses 12 and 13 are easy enough; God is talking about the morning and how bad guys can’t hide once the sun comes up. Then He says, “It is turned as clay to the seal”. What is “it”? Not the earth, but the morning. The morning is compared to clay getting stamped by one of these cylinder seals.

“Morning” isn’t a thing like the sun or moon. It’s the name we have for the time of day when sunlight first starts shining onto us. When we put verse 14 together, it sure looks like God is talking about the atmosphere. “And they stand as a garment makes a lot of sense when you think of how the air wraps around the earth like a skin or clothes.

But what could God be talking about with “it” being turned or pressed like clay in one of those seals? I decided to check around to see if the atmosphere changes shape when morning comes. Here’s what NASA has to say about it:

Since air is gaseous, it is compressible. This means that the air pressure nearer the surface of the Earth is greater than the air pressure in the stratosphere. . . .

The page goes on and on about how temperature affects an airplane’s flying power. Air pressure also messes with the instruments telling pilots how high they are above sea level. Temperature gets higher every morning.

It isn’t easy to find out if the whole atmosphere changes shape; most people just want to talk about its “average height”. But, I kept looking and check out what I found:

Federation of American Scientists: Understanding the Atmosphere: The tropopause is a thin zone of transition between the troposphere [where we live] and the stratosphere. Obviously, the tropopause height varies directly with the troposphere thickness and depends largely on geographical location, season, and other factors.

Could the tropopause change height in the morning? I found a super eye-crossing paper saying, yes it does. About an hour after sunrise, the height starts changing. This study didn’t come out until the end of 2008AD, but God told us it happened 1,000s of years ago.

Once more we see God knows what He’s talking about. Our job is to remember how smart He is and watch for ways to check it out.

BTW, there’s one cylinder scroll creationists find extra interesting. You can read more about it on Creation Ministries International: Mesopotamian monsters in Paris

Long necked creature seal, Louvre, wikimedia

“Lions”?!!! Are you sure?

Pasteur's Swan Flask

Louis Pasteur’s Swan Flask Experiments

Illustration of Pasteur's swan neck flask experimentSome time ago, I wrote about how Evolutionists still believe in spontaneous generation, just giving it a new name: Abiogenesis. That post mentioned Pasteur a bit and included a picture of one of his experiments using “swan flasks”. Ever since then, I’ve had a trickle of people searching for info about Pasteur’s flasks.

Eventually, I got so curious I did some searching of my own. Here’s what I found:

Louis Pasteur photo

Pasteur’s photo portrait by Nadar

Darwin’s Origin of Species book retelling the ancient idea of biological evolution was first printed in 1859. From the beginning, many people recognized what believing in life creating itself would do to Christianity and human equality, including Louis Pasteur.

Just a few years before, Pasteur had begun studying how microbes (tiny living creatures like bacteria and yeast) were the cause of food spoilage. He was in a perfect place to understand what Darwin was claiming and the scientific truth about life. He was soon busy showing how impossible the #1 necessary step of Evolution was: getting life to start in the first place.

Since the time of the ancient Greeks, people had believed everything from flies to mice to eels just popped into being every day. Slowly, scientists had shown all of them actually had parents.

But then we developed microscopes and started seeing all kind of miniature living things that Pasteur first called microbes. Where did they come from?

Others had tried to show whether microbes just came to life whenever things were right. Some reported that droplets of ocean water reenacted what they believed had been happening since the dawn of time: life springing into being all by itself. But no one really knew how these invisible things worked and they made mistakes like letting air in or not heating things enough to kill everything.

We all understand what Pasteur was the first to figure out: you don’t have to touch something dirty to get germs on you. Bacteria and viruses float around in the air ready to settle into a pleasant environment like your lungs and nose.

Pasteur proved this when he managed to catch some microbes from the air in cotton. He cultured the cotton and it grew the same kinds of microbes as usual. Now it was time to see if stopping those airborne germs stopped life from starting in a flask.

Swan Flask used by Pasteur

Here’s how Pasteur did it:

  • First he made flasks with bent, “swan”, necks. This was to trap all the organisms in the air before they could get through
  • He filled the bottom of the flask with some broth microbes liked to grow in
  • Then he boiled it to kill anything already there
  • While it was still hot, he melted the glass at the tip of the neck to keep microbes from getting in

Nothing grew in the broth

  • Even when the sealed end was broken off, the swan neck did its job (in fact, it’s still doing it’s job today almost 150 years later!)

Some people believed in a “vital ingredient” in air, so Pasteur broke off the tip of the glass neck to let air flow through. But the swan neck shape would catch anything heavier than gas. No microbes could float through.

Finally, Pasteur tipped the flask to expose the broth to the trapped microbes

  • sure enough, it started to culture just like usual

Artwork of Meteorite falling: WikiCommonsAs you know, Pasteur’s experiments were undeniable; what he discovered was true. To this day, evolutionists don’t like to talk about spontaneous generation; most books skip right over it to the “first cells”. The most recent experiment “proving” you could get life to start from non-life is over 60 years old. Some scientists have even turned to asteroids to give them enough time for the impossible to happen.

But, nature serves its Master whether people are willing to worship Him or not.

Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That you might be justified in your sayings, and might overcome when you are judged. Romans 3:4

Want to see Pasteur’s original flasks keeping germs out? Have a look at the bottom of this page by the Pasteur Institute

You can do Louis Pasteur’s experiment for yourself with the right supplies. This article on how to do it at Biology Junction is worth the read even if you don’t have a lab.

There’s also an interesting 7 minute video about the Swan Flask Experiment at the Education Portal.

Did you notice how much these pages sound like creationists? The people who believed in spontaneous generation are rightly seen as ignorant of reality.

I found a lot of information for this post in the Answers Research Journal article by Alan L. Gillen and Frank J. Sherwin III: Louis Pasteur’s Views on Creation, Evolution, and the Genesis of Germs

Want to see Pasteur’s thoughts on evolution and the origin of life for yourself? Check out this speech he gave in 1864.

Water cycle drawing, WikiCommons

Science in the Bible: The Water Cycle

First Published June, 2012; things haven’t changed any since then!

Water cycle drawing, WikiCommons

Today I want to mention how knowledgeable the ancient writers of the Bible were about the water cycle. I found a long webpage from UNESCO that talks about what most people long ago thought of the Water Cycle:

“The Greeks therefore described the water cycle backwards, arguing that since the level of the seas remained constant despite all the rivers flowing into it, the water must penetrate the earth’s depths and feed the underground springs. Evaporation and Precipitation were ignored.”

Ancient Egyptians couldn’t figure out how the Nile flooded annually even though it never rained during that time of year. The average Egyptian thought that the river was just a sort of back flow from the Mediterranean Sea. You’d think they would have wondered why the river water wasn’t salty!

The Chinese knew that rain was the source of the water in their rivers and even had a flood warning system using horseback messengers that could travel faster than the rising waters! But there is no evidence that they understood where the rain came from in the first place. They even invented a Rain Dragon myth to explain what caused it.

But is this the kind of confused tale that the Bible presents for us about the water cycle?  Have a look at these verses:

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. Ecclesiastes 1:7

If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: Ecclesiastes 11:3a

He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain; he brings the wind out of his treasuries. English: LightningPsalm 135:7

The Psalms verse is especially interesting because it shows the connection between lightning and rainfall. Even what is known as Dry Lightning has rain, it just never reaches the ground! I found out that there is something called a Rain Gush whenever lightning occurs. If there is even lightning very close to you, you might notice it starts to rain extra hard a few seconds later. This all has to do with the electricity in water and is something we still don’t completely understand, but the Creator does!

Mist on Lake Ontario

He that calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name. Amos 9:6b

When he utters his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings with rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasures. Jeremiah 10:13

These last three verses show a clear understanding of evaporation, unlike what these other cultures were thinking!

Beginning with Leonardo Da Vinci in the late 1400s, and Bernard Palissy 100 years later, modern scientists pieced together how the water cycle works. Finally in the 1600s, two Frenchmen, Pierre Perrault and Edmé Mariotte, showed that there was enough water from evaporation and rain to explain how water reached the land and then flowed back to the sea.

Nowadays, knowledge of the water cycle is so common that we all learn about it in our first school years.

Praise be to our great God who formed the earth so carefully and thoughtfully!

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: Isaiah 55:8-11

Continued: God’s Miracle: the Clouds

Mossy Rock

A Scientist’s Prayer

Yesterday someone was looking for this prayer and ended up on my Pray For Us page. I don’t think that was what they were searching for, but it got me thinking. What should scientists, and anyone else thinking scientifically, ask God to help them with? Here are some of my thoughts and I’d love to add any more you all come up with as well.

Dear Creator God,

Scientist observing cowpea leaf under microsco...

(Photo credit: IITA Image Library)

Today I’m seeking to understand more about you and the way you made the world. I know your thoughts are as high above mine as the heavens are above the earth (Isaiah 55:9), but I also know you love to fill us with your wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:5).

I come to you knowing you have all the power and authority (Matthew 28:18); it is only when I fear you and place my mind under yours that I can really know anything (Proverbs 1:7). Remembering you is also what I need to develop theories and think through how to use the facts I uncover (Proverbs 8:12).

Soil Scientist at Work (9)

(Photo credit: Soil Science @ NC State)

Thank you, Jesus, for being the root and foundation of science (John 1:1-4 The Word= λόγος). Thank you for translating God’s truth into a language we can understand (John 1:14; John 14:9). Please guide my thoughts and actions to the best ways to uncover the truth.

Bless me with wisdom to see what natural people would never dream of looking for.

Most of all, Lord God, I ask that all I discover may reveal more of your glory. May we recognize in a deeper way your genius, orderliness (I Corinthians 14:33), and beauty (Psalm 27:4).

For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever (Matthew 6:13). Amen

Johannes Kepler engraving

Johannes Kepler

“Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.” –Johannes Kepler

“Without Him I understand nothing; without Him all is darkness… Every period has its manias. I regard Atheism as a mania. It is the malady of the age. You could take my skin from me more easily than my faith in God.” –Henri Fabre

Galileo Galilei, a renowned Italian scientist ...

Galileo Galilei

…the glory and greatness of Almighty God are marvellously discerned in all his works and divinely read in the open book of heaven. For let no one believe that reading the lofty concepts written in that book leads to nothing further than the mere seeing of the splendour of the sun and the stars and their rising and setting, which is as far as the eyes of brutes and of the vulgar can penetrate…” –Galileo Galilei

Beneficial Mutations: Stop Those Growth Hormones!

How would you like to have a mutation that makes you way less likely to get cancer or diabetes, allowing you to live longer than most of your relatives? There is one like this that scientists have discovered. It’s called Laron Syndrome.

But….

English: Kirnu, a steel roller coaster in Linn...

You have to accept never growing tall enough to ride loop-the-loop roller coasters and always needing a booster seat in the car. Why? Because people with Laron’s top out at less than 4 ft [122cm] tall.

(Read more about this in National Geographic’s article New Clues to a Long Life)

You’re not likely to be extra smart and can easily get hypoglycemic. It’s also going to be hard to keep your tiny figure trim and you won’t feel like exercising much. Your bones aren’t going to be very healthy either, but, hey, you’ll probably live a long time anyway!

closed gate

closed gate (Photo credit: airefresco)

Here’s what’s going on: Laron’s is caused by a mutation, you know, the things Evolutionists say help change a fish into a lizard. This one breaks one of the gates into your cells which lets growth hormones in (there is another form of this syndrome where the cells just can’t use the hormone properly).

Even grown ups need these hormones to keep their bones healthy and use the energy from food properly. People with Laron’s make a normal amount of growth hormone, but it doesn’t do them any good because the mutation stops it from getting where it’s supposed to go.

Now, here’s the big question: Is someone with this mutation, even if they live a long time, closer to a super evolved human?

Children at play

Children at play (Photo credit: cwarnercarey)

It’s a good thing God doesn’t wait until we’re perfect before He loves us. In the beginning, our DNA was perfect and allowed us to live for hundreds of years. But, this far from Adam’s disobedience we all carry a bunch of mutations. Some of them can be useful, or even pretty (like blue eyes), but none has ever been found to turn us into a higher organism.

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT

We’re only about 200 generations out from Adam. Just imagine how many mutations our descendants would collect by 1,000. But, God would still lavish His unfailing love on them!

NASA-Galaxy Cluster