This essay is an original work by TerryH. Please comment only on the talk page.
The Hydroplate Theory of the Great Flood is the most comprehensive theory ever devised to explain the most violent event the Earth has ever known. But it explains far more than the Flood itself. It explains much that evolutionists rely on to substantiate their own theories. This applies not only to Biological Evolution but also to uniformitarian theories of the origin and “evolution” of the Solar System.
This essay will serve to explain not only what the Hydroplate Theory explains but why origins scientists, and students of origins science, should care. Perhaps it can also serve to explain why all too many creation scientists dismiss it out of hand, and what profound mistake they make by so acting.
- 1 The Great Flood
- 2 Initial conditions
- 3 The Great Flood breaks out
- 4 Radioactive materials
- 5 The Mavericks of the Solar System
- 6 Date of the Great Flood
- 7 The Bombardment of the Moon and the Biblical Famine
- 8 What the Hydroplate Theory means
The Great Flood
Main article: Great Flood
No person alive today can fully appreciate the violence of the Great Flood. No mere overflow of a river over its banks can do it justice. The Great Flood overflowed the banks of the original great ocean. But it did more than that. It broke up one original land mass into seven. It created a new ocean basin and deepened another. It left permanent scars on the Earth, and even in the Solar System beyond the Earth.
But no person can appreciate that, because no person living today knows what the Earth was like before the Flood. Even the eight survivors of it (Noah and his family) could not appreciate how great the changes had been. In fact, God took steps to protect them from the Flood’s most violent effects. (See Genesis 8:1-2.) How could Noah appreciate that, when his Ark at last came to rest, it rested on three miles of stratified sediment, all laid down in little more than a year? We know only what Noah’s sons recorded in their Annals (Genesis 6:9b-10:1a): when the “fountains of the deep” broke open, the minimum depth of the water under the Ark, when they could see mountaintops, when the earth got dry, the results of the trial with the raven and the three trials with a dove, and the day Noah and his family could disembark and unload their precious animal and avian cargo.
Naturally those seeking to deny a role for God, insist those strata took billions of years (4.5 billion, to two significant digits) to lay down, and that never in all the history of the world did the world flood over. But that leaves them with many findings they cannot explain, and must explain. (Such as why anyone could find sediment, and even marine fossils, atop a high mountain.)
Sadly, the creation science community makes similar errors. They mistakenly accept as valid certain other theories conventional origins scientists have offered for the “geological column” and especially the layout of the continents. They little realize those who invented those theories, have no scientific grounds whatsoever to make their claims.
Against this backdrop, the Hydroplate Theory might seem outlandish. But every part of it follows logically from other parts, or from certain initial conditions and processes that agree fully with both Biblical and extra-Biblical evidence.
The Earth started, so the theory goes, with a vast ocean, at least three-quarters of a mile deep and thirty miles underground. (Dr.. Walt Brown, originator of the theory, says “at least” deliberately, in light of his latest findings.) This ocean lay in a sealed chamber, with pillars to support its ceiling, and arches between them. The overlying crust pumped up and down with the lunar tides. This made the water hotter than the critical temperature. But the chamber confined the water, so that it came under a pressure greater than the critical pressure. It thus became a supercritical fluid, in which the liquid and vapor phases literally dissolved each other. Supercritical water can dissolve many things cooler water cannot.
The Great Flood breaks out
Perhaps, after the Fall of Man, God withdrew His fine-tuning, maintaining hand and let the crust weaken over time. Or perhaps some person, maybe a member of Tubal-Cain’s workforce, set off an explosion over a pillar, cracking it and adding to the stress on the crust. How can we know? The tidal pumping weakened the crust further every month. Then, on a day falling two days past the full moon when the tidal stress would be near its height, the crust failed suddenly.
Now water that had been under supercritical pressure and was still at supercritical temperature, found one escape route: straight up. The first of this water flashed into dry steam—and condensed almost at once. (This sort of thing happens in any refrigerator or air conditioner, and in fact water, with its high heat of vaporization, is the best refrigerant known.)
So cold was the hail that then fell, that the woolly mammoths of northern Asia froze in place, some literally where they stood. Their lush jungle froze with them.
As the water continued its escape, it set up several effects. The water flow eroded the edges of the crack in the crust for four hundred miles inland in each direction. Those edges also began to flutter, like a sheet of paper caught in the slipstream of an electric fan. In consequence, they shook with a force ten, a hundred, or a thousand times as strong as the strongest earthquakes on record.
As the water escaped, it took the weight off the floor of the subcrustal chamber. The weight came off fast enough for the floor to buckle upward. This created two inclines for the two parts of the land mass to slide down. That caused the floor to buckle up further. And on the opposite side of the world, the floor of the original ocean caved in.
The seam where the subcrusal ocean broke out, persists today as the Mid-Oceanic Ridge. The most prominent part of this Ridge system is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Notice that this Ridge follows an S-curve, parallel to the shores of the Americas to the west, and Europe and Africa to the east.
The water rushed out so fast that the land masses sank beneath the surface of the waters. The Ark launched this way. The water covered all the lands to a depth of fifteen cubits. We may assume the Ark “drew” that much water.
The Americas fell sharply away to the west. Europe and Africa fell to the east. When they did, they cannoned into the Asian land mass.
The land masses moved on a lubricant layer of water. This eventually gave out, and the land masses came crashing down on the old subcrustal chamber floor. They then wrinkled, like a sheet falling laterally. The wrinkles persist today as most of the great mountain chains. Most of these run north-to-south, as a direct result.
The Himalayan Chain (Everest, etc.) presents a special case. Three land masses collided to produce that chain. For this reason, no one need suppose that the Flood waters reached to cover the top of Mount Everest. Rather, Mount Everest and its fellows rose up after the Flood.
(The rising of the mountains stirred up a wind—perhaps the very wind that kept the Ark in “an eddy cut off from the main flow.” Or, as most translations render it, “in the mountains of Ararat.”)
The waters eventually receded into the Pacific Basin, and the land masses came back above water. But not before about twelve strata sorted themselves out, from the most dense to the least. These are the strata of today: Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian (these two originally made the Carboniferous), Triassic, Jurassic, Cretacious, Tertiary, Quaternary.
The mountain chains, after forming, sank and rooted themselves. In so doing, they displaced the lands to their immediate east. All mountain chains have plateaus associated with them; this is how plateaus form.
So massive was the Himalaya/Tibetan Plateau system, that it unbalanced the earth and pulled it off its axis. The displacement moved the areas of frozen jungle into Arctic latitudes. That’s where we find the frozen mammoths and their jungle habitat today.
The Colorado Plateau and the High Plains lifted up and trapped lakes of water. The original Great Lakes persist to this day, as does the Great Salt Lake of Utah. But two other “great lakes,” Grand Lake and Hopi Lake, broke their natural dams centuries later. The Havasupai Beringians witnessed the event and tell stories of a combat of the gods to this day, to explain what they saw. In fact, the out-rushing waters of Grand and Hopi Lake stripped away the Quaternary stratum and cut a channel all the way through the other strata and into the bedrock. That channel remains as the Colorado River, and its most famous passage, the Grand Canyon.
So when someone asks, “which stratum marks the Great Flood,” one should answer: “all of them.”
Opponents of the Hydroplate Theory insist that radioactive materials reliably “date” the strata. Actually, they do not. Radiometric dates of these strata often do not co-ordinate and do not even stay consistent from one site to the next. Even if they did, hydrological sorting could explain the distribution of parent and daughter radionuclide.
For radioactive materials formed this way: the earthquakes during the various phases acted on the quartz buried liberally, but not uniformly, throughout the earth’s crust. All the quartz formed on antediluvian land, not under the sea. (One must have oxygen to get quartz.) Deform quarts in any way, and you will produce an electric current. One calls this “piezoelectricity” from the pressures involved. Deform it in wave after wave, and you will get alternating current. These earthquakes produced piezoelectric currents and electromotive forces (“voltages”) strong enough to strip atoms of their electrons and break down the resistance of those atoms to fusion.
Atoms of the heaviest elements fused to form “super-heavy elements.” Those elements decayed at once, mostly through fission but with a little cluster decay for good measure. They produced uranium, thorium, and radioactive carbon in the greatest quantities. In that highly charged environment, the uranium and thorium decayed to form the rest of the trans-lead radioactive elements we know today.
Radiocarbon forms a special case. The Flood buried most of the normal carbon stock. The piezoelectric storm produced radiocarbon to replace it, at least in part. Plants later took up this carbon, and animals eating the plants took it up, also.
That process also released a storm of neutrons. The subcrustal ocean took most of these up. That part of the subcrustal ocean that stayed on earth, mixed with the original ocean and diluted it about one to one. To this day the world’s oceans carry those neutrons, as part of deuterium or “heavy hydrogen.”
Other elements took up more neutrons to produce isotopes of the common elements. Some of these isotopes are radioactive themselves.
The Mavericks of the Solar System
Critics of the Hydroplate Theory find this last part most difficult to accept: the Mavericks of the Solar System owe their existence to the Great Flood. Meteoroids, asteroids, comets, and even Trans-Neptunian Objects, number among the Mavericks of the Solar System.
Four percent of the earth’s mass likely escaped that day. This included water, rock and mud, with some uprooted trees and shrubs, and perhaps even “fish out of water” (and cetaceans, too), included. Some of this water fell onto Mercury, the Moon, and Mars, to form their polar ice caps. (Some likely fell on Venus, too. But the atmosphere on Venus is too heavy and hot to allow ice to form.)
Even more water might have fallen to the surfaces of Europa, Ganymede, and Enceladus, and frozen over. Result: subglacial oceans. (The under-surface ocean on Callisto is probably a truly subcrustal ocean, like the one formerly on earth.) Brown predicts the concentration of deuterium in any of these three oceans will be at least twice that in the oceans of Earth. That would mean the original subcrustal ocean of Earth was as much as two miles deep, not merely three quarters of a mile.
But most of these materials stayed in space. As it flew beyond the earth, it flew out of earth’s gravitational field. Local gravitational fields formed. The escaped material, traveling together, accreted to form the objects we know today.
Meteoroids, formed of iron and nickel, occasionally fall back to earth when the earth intercepts them. Comets follow the elliptical paths into which the Flood threw them, with some changes from millennia of orbits around the sun. Asteroids and Trans-Neptunian Objects were large enough to propel themselves outward, into either the Asteroid Belt, or the Trojan Asteroid family or the Kuiper Belt. But Mars captured two asteroids (as Phobos and Deimos). The gas giant planets captured many more (including Enceladus, Hyperion, and some of the other “Large Moons” of Saturn). Some of these objects formed wide binaries (like Pluto and Charon).
Several findings about the Mavericks give further support to the Hydroplate Theory:
Ices from the comets have, on average, twice the concentration of deuterium one finds in the modern oceans of earth.
The dwarf planet Pluto has a frozen lake of carbon monoxide in the western lobe of the heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio (“Tombaugh’s Region,” named after Clyde W. Tombaugh, who discovered the body). That lake could have formed only one way: Pluto incorporated a lot of wood from uprooted forests. That wood burned from the heat of accretion. But it burned in a confined space. Carbon monoxide typically forms that way. A large quantity of it escaped into space, then condensed, fell as rain on Tombaugh Regio, then froze.
Date of the Great Flood
- Main article: Essay:Great Flood: an astronomical date
Careful back-tracing of the orbits of two comets, Halley and Swift-Tuttle, shows they were most likely to be both at perihelion in 3290 BC or as much as 100 years earlier or later. This window becomes the most likely “launch window” for the material that became the comets (and other Mavericks). This window positively settles the debate on how long the ancient Hebrews “sojourned” in Ancient Egypt – 430 years, not 215. It also gives strongest support to James Ussher’s chronology of the Hebrew Kings, a Late Birth for Abraham, and the Vorlage Text for the Annals of Terah, which list the descendants of Shem from Arpachshad to Abraham.
The Bombardment of the Moon and the Biblical Famine
The Moon obviously suffered a bombardment that left seven large, embedded masses and locked the Moon to keep the same face toward Earth. But this need not, and maybe could not, have happened in the year of the Flood.
More likely, the Earth originally had a companion asteroid in addition to its most famous one, Asteroid 3753 Cruithne. The orbit of Cruithne is inclined from the ecliptic. Perhaps this second companion had an orbit coplanar with the ecliptic. Such an object would have had to collide with Earth, the Moon, or both eventually. The likely scenario: in 1923 BC, this object passed within the Roth limit of the Moon. Tidal forces broke it up into nine or more fragments. Seven of these struck the Moon and left the “masscons” we know today. The other two or three struck the Earth. They threw up enough dust to cool the continents, especially in Africa (where the Nile flows toward the Mediterranean Sea) and the ancient Near East, including ancient Canaan. With the lands so cold, they were not much warmer than the oceans. Rains that normally fell, did not fall—for seven years. We now have the cause of the Famine in Egypt (and also in the rest of the ancient Near East).
What the Hydroplate Theory means
The Hydroplate Theory, first of all, vindicates the Genesis story. It even vindicates the story of Joseph, Grand Vizier of Egypt, and the Famine during which he saved Egypt and the then-known world from starvation.
It also vindicates creation. It explains all the evidence evolutionists rely on for their version of pre-history: “four and a half billion years,” and “descent with modification from a common ancestor.” (It does not—quite—vindicate abiogenesis. Nothing does. Or can.)
Why, then, do so many creation scientists oppose it? Bob Enyart, of Real Science Radio, has an answer. The modern creation movement tried to promote the canopy theory of Isaac Newton Vail. But Walt Brown told them that theory wouldn’t work. He pointed out its failure, and even said so publicly.
Walt Brown never set out to embarrass anyone. He set out only to defend the truth.
The creation community have repaid him with unfounded scorn. And to substitute for this most comprehensive of theories, they have chosen catastrophic plate tectonics to explain the Flood. Catastrophic plate tectonics is conventional plate tectonics with a twist: “runaway subduction” drew the continents underwater. How did this runaway subduction happen? How could subduction happen at all? For that, John Baumgartner and company literally invoke a miracle.
William of Ockham once warned: one must not multiply guesses without good reason. Walt Brown has his own “Razor”:One must not multiply miracles without good reason. If the plain sense of the Bible makes good sense, seek no other sense.
Brown’s Razor is consistent with the nature of the minor miracles in all our lives. The real miracle of the Great Flood story was not the Flood itself or any of its effects. It was that Noah received 120 years’ advance warning, and the design for a ship that could hold enough animal and avian specimens, and be seaworthy even in such rough seas. Likewise, the miracle of the Biblical Famine was not the famine itself, or even the seven years of plenty that preceded it. It was that Pharaoh Djoser (the most likely candidate) had, within the royal prison system at the time, a “trusty” smart enough as an administrator, and truly trustworthy. We remember that person as Joseph, Grand Vizier of Egypt from 1930 to 1850 BC. How Joseph came to Egypt, and how, first as the household slave for Pharaoh’s chief of security and then as an inmate in Pharaoh’s principal prison-of-state, he got the administrative training that would enable him to manage the Famine crisis and the affairs of an empire—that is miracle enough.
Modern students of this period should care, then, because the Hydroplate Theory gives a better explanation for the strata than “billions of years.” And because it solves several riddles of Biblical chronology.