The Flood of Noah…what actually happened?

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Christian
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While studying some of the intricacies of the bible, I ran across some theories regarding the cause of the flood of Noah. Among the theories are a couple of popular prevailing, but opposing, theories regarding the flood. The first one is the water canopy theory1 which says the waters came from above and the second view surrounds something called the hydroplate theory2 which postulates that the waters came from below. I believe both theories are wrong…and right.

I think the bible proves both are wrong. Genesis 7:11 says: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” (NIV). The bible clearly states that both theories took place.

I could end the blog there, but what’s the fun in that? OK, lets step off the ledge and look at what these things are about and why these folks are all nuts…(it is a little lengthy, but if you are a technical geek like me…come along) (if you don’t care about the mumbo-jumbo in the middle, scroll down the the last three paragraphs, if you must…)

Water canopy theory:

Factors Supporting the Canopy Theory1

  • Continuous forty day rain.
  • Rainbows & clouds – not mentioned in the Bible before the flood
  • Fossil plants and animals in polar regions, indicating globally uniform temperatures before the flood.
  • Tremendous decline in human life expectancy following the flood.

More supporting factors from the CreationWiki link:

Before the flood, human lifespans were approximately 10 times our current expectancy. Also, the overall size of organisms, and the productivity of ecosystems, was generally much greater before the flood than after. Various regions of the Earth now perpetually glaciated, such as Antarctica, possess fossil evidence of rich ecosystems, including fossil ferns and amphibians with skulls measuring up to one meter. Productivity in these regions could only be explained by global temperature fluctuations or continental drift.

There are other indicators of an atmospheric change resulting from the flood, such as the sudden appearance of a rainbow following the flood, and the fact that human life expectancy declined to what it is today in just the few generations after Noah. Likewise the first mention of clouds is not until after the deluge, and many believe there was no rain or clouds beforehand. However, from the Bible it is clear there were stars also visible before the flood, therefore any supposed canopy was less dense than the standard cloud cover today.

A few scriptures that seem to support this:

“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.”Genesis 1:6-7 (NIV)

“When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds,”Genesis 9:14 (NIV)

OK…what about the Hydroplate Theory?

The hydroplate theory introduced by Dr. Walt Brown of the Center for Scientific Creation. The hydroplate theory states that before the Global flood a massive amount of water was underneath the crust. The pressure on the water caused the plates to break and separate. The escaping water then flooded the whole earth. Because these plates were broken, moved, and affected by water, (Hydro = water) these plates are considered hydroplates.

It is believed that the preflood earth held a mass of water that surrounded the earth underneath the crust. It might have held as much as half of the water in our oceans today. This water was seemingly held in coterminous chambers forming a thin spherical shell. The shell was possibly 10 miles below the earth’s surface. Increasing pressure on the water started stretching the crust. This “stretching” created a microscopic crack which violently grew about 3 miles per second. This crack found the weakest parts of the crust and broke through them. This crack encompassed the globe in about two hours. The water was being pressured by 10 miles of rock and exploded out of the crack. This water was shot almost 20 miles into the atmosphere. This created fierce rains and even extreme hail. Some of the water shot high above the stratosphere creating ice crystals that fell in certain areas. These extreme hails buried, asphyxiated, and instantly froze many animals. This includes the frozen mammoths found today.

These fountains eroded the rock on both sides of the crack creating massive amounts of sediment all over the world. The sediment buried many animals and plants establishing the fossil record. The width was so colossal that the rock beneath was compelled upward by pressure and became the mid-oceanic ridge. Then the hydroplates slid down and away from the inclining mid-Atlantic ridge. Once the gradually advancing plates reached speeds of about 45 miles per hour they would collide, compress and buckle. The plates that buckled downward became ocean trenches and those that buckled upward became mountains. This explains why large mountain ranges are in correlation to their oceanic ridges.

This theory attempts to reduce the following seemingly different phenomena into a single cause: the sudden rupturing of subterranean chambers of water which were once within the Earth’s crust.

  • Sudden destruction of most of the life on Earth;
  • Massive changes in land morphology, including mountain formation;
  • Continental drift;
  • Unusual geologic features, such as salt domes, limestone cliffs, canyons, and others;
  • Mid-oceanic ridges and trenches; 2

Here are my conclusions about these two theories:

The canopy theory helps explain why there were no mention of clouds before the flood (Genesis 9:14 first mention)

The canopy theory helps explain the mystery of tropical types of plants found in far northern and far southern longitudes.

The canopy theory help solve the mystery of the Pterodactyls (Pterosaurs3) and the atmospheric pressures needed for them to just fly…taking off needed even more atmospheric pressure under their wings.

The canopy theory helps explain why there was no rain before the the flood.

The canopy theory helps explain the longevity of life before the flood.

OK…what about the hydroplate theory?

The hydroplate theory may help explain the sudden deaths and sudden quick freezing that fossils appeared to undergo at the time of the creature’s demise.4

The hydroplate theory helps explain the tortuous plate action it appears was required for the formation of mountain ranges and deep canyons under the oceans.

The hydroplate theory helps explain the percentage of salinity of the world’s oceans.

The combination of the hydroplate theory in conjunction with the canopy theory helps explain the apparent sudden erosive condition the seem to have caused many of the earth’s canyon and scarps, such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Scablands in Washington State.

The hydroplate theory in conjunction with the canopy theory help solve many of the arguments against each theory alone. For instance; the volume of water required beneath the earth alone creates problem and the amount of atmospheric pressure and the amount of radiation blockage created by a solo canopy theory causes some concerns. Removing some of the required H2O from each theory, thus creating a balance between each makes each theory much more palatable.

It seems to me that those that are proponents of the canopy theory over any other theory do not have this verse in their bibles…“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”Genesis 7:11 (NIV)

It also seems to me that those that push the hydroplate theory as the sole explanation of the flood are also missing this verse in their bibles…“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”Genesis 7:11 (NIV) because it seems to me that God has provided His own theory…that it was waters above the earth (canopy theory fits here…) and waters below the earth (hydroplate theory fits here) that caused the flood.

I sort of think that both these camps of higher thought should get together over coffee and actually agree to read the bible as their basic, primary source of information and then discuss their different theories. If they did that, I believe there would be a new book published and coauthored by all these folks that combine their different theories and heavily lean on God’s theory from Genesis 7:11 that the water came from above and below.

God Bless, Jim




4 I may have some questions about this…I am thinking out loud here…for instance; if the flood created a weird condition that suddenly and catastrophically caused these fossil remains, why are there no fossil remains of humans preserved within the same strata. There were, by many accounts, millions of people that perished in the flood…perhaps it was because the human population of the earth was concentrated between the tropic bands of the earth…then how do we explain the preserved foot prints found along side of dinosaur footprints? I tend to over-think things…as you can see…but, I still have questions…

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