Canopy theory is a Creationist theory that Earth once had a thicker atmosphere due to the different water cycle (according to Genesis 2:5-6 (KJV) Earth was originally watered by a mist, not rain) and original creation of a firmament (Genesis 1:6-8 (KJV)). It has now been scientifically proven that oxygen levels were 50% higher than today's levels, and that the Earth's atmosphere was in fact considerably thicker than it is now.
Perhaps spurred by Carl Baugh's newly patented hyperbaric biosphere in 2001, scientists discovered that hyperbaric experiments actually do reproduce the giant insects of ages past through imitating ancient earth's higher oxygen levels (30-35% compared to 21% level today), giving serious credence to the long-time Creationist claim that a vapor canopy resulted in higher oxygen levels and thus gigantism.
|“|| "For the giant insects that roamed Earth 300 million years ago, there was something special in the air. A higher concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere let dragonflies sometimes grow to the size of hawks, and some millipede-like bugs reached some six feet (two meters) in length, a new study suggests... During the late Carboniferous period (354 to 290 million years ago), however, oxygen levels were much higher than they are now, partly because coal swamps that leaked the gas into the air were very common. 'Back then, there was 31 to 35 percent oxygen in the air,' study lead author Kaiser said. 'Now we have about 21 percent.' That meant insects needed smaller quantities of air to meet their oxygen demands, allowing the creatures to grow much larger."
-Hope Hamashige, National Geographic, 2007
The recent discovery of fossilized raindrops has allowed scientists to learn more about ancient earth's atmosphere. They concluded the sun was 30% dimmer, there was more abundant water, there was a thicker atmosphere, and that said atmosphere was filled with greenhouse gases like methane; all of which are consistent with some form of canopy-like alternative atmosphere. A "thicker atmosphere" seems to be the same concept as a canopy, one way or the other.
|“|| "It was raining 2.7 billion years ago. That's according to imprints of raindrops discovered in ancient rock in South Africa. Those same weather marks are giving researchers a clearer picture of what Earth's early atmosphere was like. Back then, the sun was about 30 percent dimmer, giving off less heat, which suggests our planet should have frozen over. As for why it didn't, and why rocks show evidence of abundant water as far back as 4 billion years, scientists have suggested a much thicker atmosphere, high concentrations of greenhouse gases, or a combination of the two kept early Earth toasty. 'Because the sun was so much fainter back then, if the atmosphere was the same as it is today the Earth should have been frozen,' study researcher Sanjoy Som, a postdoctoral researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center, said in a statement. The new results suggest an atmosphere full of strong greenhouse gases, like methane, at the time helped keep the Earth warm instead of becoming an icy Hoth-like planet."
-Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience, 2012
Some creationist organizations, like Answers in Genesis advocate against the canopy theory, which has lost popularity in recent times. Although the supposed theological problems can be disregarded (the canopy still makes more sense, theologically), there are scientific problems. Such a vapour canopy would increase the greenhouse effect, and the energy released by the condensation of the water during the flood would have produced enough heat to boil the atmosphere. Some creationists, like Kent Hovind, stick with the canopy theory, seeing no problem in the objection.
- Keely, Chris (2001, March 31). "Dr. Baugh and the Pre-Flood Environment." KeelyNet.
- Than, Ker (2011, August 8). "Why Giant Bugs Once Roamed the Earth." National Geographic.
Choi, C.Q. (2006, October 10). "More Oxygen Could Make Giant Bugs." LiveScience.
- Martin, Jobe (1994, 2002). "Evolution of a Creationist." Chapter 7. Biblical Discipleship Publishers.
- Hamashige, H. (2007, July 30). "Giant Bugs a Thing of the Past, Study Suggests." National Geographic.
- Stratton, C. (2010, October 29). "Raising Giant Insects to Unravel Ancient Oxygen." The Geological Society of America.Also at ScienceDaily.
- BBC News Devon (2011, August 4). "Plymouth Scientists' Oxygen 'Key' to Gigantic Insects.
- Welsh, J. (2012, March 28). "Ancient Raindrops Reveal Early Earth's Hazy Skies." LiveScience.