Hydroplate theory v. catastrophic plate tectonics

Walt Brown, originator of the hydroplate theory
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The hydroplate theory competes with catastrophic plate tectonics for acceptance among creation scientists. A side-by-side comparison shows that the hydroplate theory explains more and has more evidence to support it.

Catastrophic plate tectonics

Catastrophic plate tectonics came from six prominent members of the Institute for Creation Research: Steven A. Austin, John  R. Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew A. Snelling, Larry Vardiman, and Kurt Wise. In 1986, they proposed that the floors of the earth’s oceans were much weaker than they are today, but still as deep. The Flood began, they said, when the ocean floor broke into slabs. Some of the slabs dived or subducted into the mantle and under their neighbors. This happened along the continental margins. In diving into the mantle, the slabs made the mantle hotter and thinner. Result: the slabs moved even further into the mantle and set up a convection current. These processes, once started, “ran away.” As a result:

  • The magnetic field of the earth reversed itself several times in rapid succession.
  • The continents began to move, and far more rapidly than they move today.
  • The upwelling magma flashed the oceans into steam; this steam rose rapidly into the air, formed clouds, and fell as rain.
  • The ocean floor began to rise, and literally spilled the oceans onto the dry land.
  • The process created hot brines that precipitated many minerals out of solution. These settled on the beaches, and then tremendous earthquakes generated tsunami-like waves that washed those sediments far inland.
  • Finally the ocean floor grew more dense, and the oceans deepened. The water then drained off the land and back into the ocean beds.

Baumgardner and his colleagues presented their ideas at the Third International Conference on Creationism in Pittsburgh, PA, in July of 1994. More recently, Austin gave a fifty-minute talk on catastrophic plate tectonics at the Seattle Creation Conference of 2009. (See video below.)

Antonio Snider first proposed catastrophic plate tectonics in 1859. Baumgardner and his team (“The Six”) give Snider due credit. Of course, conventional geologists refused to accept anything like plate tectonics. They then developed a uniformitarian or gradualistic plate-tectonic model that assumes that the plates move at a uniform rate, and always have.

That aside, catastrophic plate tectonics has obvious problems. First, no one has ever explained how any part of the earth’s crust could dive under another part. (Nor has anyone tried to verify that conventional impression by sending a submarine to dive to a “subduction zone” and try to watch or film it in action.) Second, catastrophic plate tectonics does not explain how the world’s oceans spilled over mountains as high as the Rockies to the west, and the Appalachians to the east, and then drained into the Gulf of Mexico and left so little sediment in that body of water.

Furthermore, upwelling magma, once it touched the water, would yield its heat and form a crust. No geyser could form, and certainly not enough to yield forty days and nights of rain.

Walt Brown, developer of the hydroplate theory, explained further what is wrong with catastrophic plate tectonics in a letter to CNAV:

A crust would quickly form on any magma that suddenly erupted onto an ocean floor.  That crust would insulate the magma, so not enough heat could be transferred to the water to form geysers, especially under thousands of feet of water.  [Catastrophic plate tectonics] never explains how the crust (1) broke all around the earth and then (2) dove into the mantle.  Any animation of that would immediately raise questions from viewers.

Brown further asserted that “The Six” invoked a miracle to explain how the plates broke up and started diving into the mantle. Brown criticized The Six severely for invoking such “miracles of convenience,” saying that such things make a “shambles” of science. He has always held to a rule that he calls “economy of miracles.” To paraphrase William of Occam, he does not invoke miracles, far less multiply them, without very good reason.

Brown further says that “The Six” proposed catastrophic plate tectonics recently to replace the canopy theory of the Flood. According to that theory, a canopy of water vapor covered the earth, until several volcanoes erupted at once and caused the water to fall as a long, hard rain. Such a canopy would have to be in orbit, and only the tropical parts of that canopy could ever hold a stable orbit.

The hydroplate theory

Walt Brown, originator of the hydroplate theory

Col. Walt Brown, USAF (Rtd). Photo: self.

Brown first conceived of his hydroplate theory in 1972, and began working on it in earnest in 1980. He explains it in detail here. The hydroplate theory shares one feature with catastrophic plate tectonics: the idea of the breakup of the earth’s crust into plates that moved apart, or crashed into one another. There the similarity ends. The key to the hydroplate theory is a subcrustal ocean, ten miles underground and three quarters of a mile deep. This ocean held one-half of the water in the world’s oceans today. Oceans did exist before the Flood, but held the other half of their current amount in much shallower basins. Mountains existed, too, rising to 9000 feet above sea level, not the 35,000-feet-plus of the Himalayan chain.

The gravity of the moon pulled the crust up and down, and thus “pumped” this ocean until it grew supercritically hot. This pumping also weakened the crust, until finally, on the day of the Flood, the crust cracked. What rushed out of that crack was neither magma nor lava, but a vertical hypersonic water jet, rushing upward at least as fast as 32 miles per second (and perhaps as fast as 117 miles per second). As this water expanded, it converted its heat into kinetic energy and did not merely transfer its heat to the surrounding ocean. (Anyone who has been near a vent of high-pressure steam knows that the danger zone is directly in the path of the out-rushing steam, not off to the side.) The best modern analog of this process is a jet contrail or “vapor trail” that forms from the exhaust of a jet engine at altitude.

The upward-rushing water eroded the broken edges of the crust, and that created the sediment that would wash over the continents. At the same time, the continents formed their own breakaway plates and sank as the water rushed out. That is how the Flood could wash over them. Those plates slid away from the breakout line until the water ran out, and then crashed onto the original chamber floor, compressed, and buckled. This buckling formed most of the mountain chains of today, especially the Ural chain in Russia, the Rocky-Sierra Madre-Andean chain along the Pacific Coast of the Americas, and the Appalachian chain on the American Atlantic Coast. The Himalayan chain, having the highest mountains on earth, formed when several plates crashed into one another. (Mr. Paul Gosselin also explains the hydroplate theory here.)

Critics often complain that no evidence for a subcrustal ocean exists on earth. But it does. Geophysicists have known about a subcrustal ocean beneath the China mainland, having half the volume of the modern Arctic Ocean, for four and a half years. (This article also reports that conventional scientists say that subcrustal water lubricates the tectonic plates even today.) Brown describes another kind of evidence for a subcrustal ocean: the black smokers of the Mid-Oceanic Ridge system. These are plumes of supercritical water, laden with minerals, that spew out of isolated spots along the ridges. Water could not seep down from above to create the smokers; such water would form a crust and seal any lava breach that it touched.

The most important difference between the hydroplate theory and catastrophic plate tectonics lies in what each theory takes for granted, and what each theory explains. Catastrophic plate tectonics takes for granted the hot mantle and core, and invokes a miracle to explain the event that started the cataclysm. The hydroplate theory says that the mantle-and-core structure of the inner earth is a consequence of the Global Flood, as are the high mountains of today. The hydroplate theory makes one assumption, for a subcrustal ocean. And now we find evidence even of that.

An interesting twist

Recently Answers in Genesis published this link to their own animation of how the Global Flood started. (This animation shows regularly at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.) Answers in Genesis, like ICR, accepts catastrophic plate tectonics. One would expect any animation for catastrophic plate tectonics to depict a volcanic breach, an upward thrust of magma, one side of the breach diving or subducting below the other, and the steam plume that gave the earth forty days and nights of rain. Instead, it shows a crack developing in an ocean floor (how deep that floor might be, is not clear), and then a wall of water rushing out of it. In other words, AiG’s animation, that is supposed to show how catastrophic plate tectonics worked, is more consistent with the hydroplate theory.

Brown has seen different versions of this animation since 2009. He shared with CNAV two misgivings that he had about the animation:

  1. Naïve viewers might mistakenly assume that Brown “stole” some ideas from catastrophic plate tectonics in developing his hydroplate theory.
  2. In any event, neither the animation, nor its Web page, nor the related display in the Creation Museum directs the viewer to the information behind the hydroplate theory.

In fact, these sources do not even direct viewers to information behind catastrophic plate tectonics.

But anyone familiar with the hydroplate theory will recognize it, not catastrophic plate tectonics, in the animation.

The following videos show a presentation of catastrophic plate tectonics, a brief animation of the hydroplate theory, the AiG animation, and Pastor Kevin Lea’s lecture on the hydroplate theory, in six parts.

Disclose.tvhydroplate theory 1.6

Disclose.tvhydroplate theory 2.6

Disclose.tvhydroplate theory 3.6

Disclose.tvhydroplate theory 4.6

Disclose.tvhydroplate theory 5.6

Disclose.tvhydroplate theory 6.6

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

121 Responses to Hydroplate theory v. catastrophic plate tectonics

  1. “The hydroplate theory competes with catastrophic plate tectonics for acceptance among creation scientists.”

    There’s that word again, “scientists.” You can’t use it legitimately after the word “creation” because scientists do not ignore the facts.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      If anyone is ignoring the facts, it’s the evolution advocates. Creation scientists are rediscovering several facts that the evolutionists are trying to bury as deep as a Cambrian trilobite. (Only to face this inconvenient fact: people have found trilobites out in the open, not buried a mile deep. I’ve talked to someone who brought samples for a little show-and-tell.)

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “people have found trilobites out in the open, not buried a mile deep.”

        Yes. So what? Open your dictionary. Somewhere between “erogenous” and “erotic” you will find “erosion.” Exposed trilobite fossils are not a mystery. I have several myself. They’re from Utah and if their little heads weren’t petrified they’d probably be shaking them in disbelief at what’s happened to their state.

  2. You’re only revealing your ignorance here. Of course fossils are often found on or near the surface. What’s buried can be uncovered by normal processes well understood by geologists. Fossil hunters don’t have to go off down a mine to find older fossils.

    And if anyone thinks these self-described “creation scientists” are indeed scientists, they only have to go to the ICR website, which quite proudly posts this statement of religious belief:

    http://www.icr.org/tenets/

    They’re engaged in biblical apologetics, not science.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      A statement of religious belief is not enough to show that they are somehow “not doing science.” Not, that is, unless you’re going to avow here that “science” equals “atheism.” Which not everyone is willing to do, in case you haven’t followed the thread as well as I have to. (Remember, I moderate everything.)

      To the extent that anyone at ICR or AiG or anywhere else falls back on miracles without sufficient reason, they don’t help themselves. Walt Brown has criticized them for that sort of behavior for decades. But no one has yet shown me where the Hydroplate Theory fails. Now one person (maybe) is ready to go head-to-head with Brown in a public recorded telephone conversation. He thinks he’s found a hole in the hydroplate theory. I say that he’s missing something, something as obvious as a jet contrail, and for the same reason.

      • Geno says:

        Terry claims:
        A statement of religious belief is not enough to show that they are somehow “not doing science.”

        Geno points out:
        The statements from ICR and AIG go far beyond that. They claim any evidence that contradicts a literal reading of Genesis is invalid BY DEFINITION. This absolute refusal to even consider an objective evaluation of the evidence goes beyond being UNscientific to being ANTIscientific.

        ####
        Terry claims:
        Not, that is, unless you’re going to avow here that “science” equals “atheism.”

        Geno points out:
        Agnositicsm is more accurate. Science is not the proper method to prove there is, or is not, a God. We call them “natural” and “physical” sciences for a reason. When God suspends the natural laws and performs a miracle, the correct scientific answer is “Wedonno” not “Goddidit.”

        #####
        Terry claims:
        But no one has yet shown me where the Hydroplate Theory fails.

        Geno answers:
        No one has yet shown any error in my claims as to why the Hydroplate Theory fails…. and I’ve been asking Terry to do this for months now.

        ######
        Terry claims (with regard to the pending verbal debate challenge):
        I say that he’s missing something, something as obvious as a jet contrail

        Geno answers:
        So you say. You’ve said the same thing with regard to my analysis. When do you think you’ll show what that “something” is?

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “Now one person (maybe) is ready to go head-to-head with Brown in a public recorded telephone conversation.”

        I am indeed, just as soon as he gives me an assurance that he won’t email my home address to every religious maniac on the planet. So far he hasn’t been willing to do this, which means so far I’m not willing to give him my address. Apparently he needs this to post me a pdf of his book, despite the fact that it would be much quicker and cheaper to just attach it to the next rude, patronising email he sends me.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “no one has yet shown me where the Hydroplate Theory fails.”

        Wrong. Geno has; repeatedly, in great detail and backed up by all the required maths. You just don’t want to acknowledge it. I suspect that Walt Brown doesn’t either, which is why he’s trying to back out of debating me.

        • Geno says:

          Terry claimed:
          “no one has yet shown me where the Hydroplate Theory fails.”

          Fergus replied:
          Wrong. Geno has; repeatedly, in great detail and backed up by all the required maths. You just don’t want to acknowledge it. I suspect that Walt Brown doesn’t either, which is why he’s trying to back out of debating me.

          Geno adds:
          I have offered Dr. Brown two alternative formats. The first he rejected outright with: “The written debate won’t happen.” (paraphrased)

          He did, however, modify his verbal debate offer to include written exchanges between verbal sessions. In response, I pointed out a half dozen or so reasons the verbal debate isn’t acceptable closing with: “The verbal debate won’t happen either.” (again, paraphrased)

          As a final attempt to find some way to make a debate happen, I offered to conduct the written debate first followed by the verbal exchanges in which we could use the written information as an outline for the verbal debate. That was over a year ago. I take the lack of a response as a “NO.”

          In addition, Brown requires he be able to raise “related” issues. However, he has never disclosed what those issues are. (It’s worth not here, Brown has engaged in precisely the conduct Terry accuses me of.) I have pointed out (repeatedly) that I have no interest in discussing anything that is not “related” to my claims.

          In this forum, Terry has indicated those “related” issues could include things like the formation of the Grand Canyon. Since I see no possible relationship between the formation of the Grand Canyon and the energy issues I raise, there is no alternative but for me to conclude Brown intends to (a)distract from my objections to his model and (b) use these undisclosed and unrelated matters to blind-side me and have me disqualified for not having done my “homework.”

          • Fergus Mason says:

            The information Brown requires before he’ll have a telephone debate with me has now expanded to include much of my military service record, including but not limited to my rank, the operations I served on and whether or not I received an homourable discharge.

            This information is not relevant to the proposed debate and, needless to say, he’s not getting it.

  3. The ICR’s religious statement expresses factual beliefs about the nature of the world. It expresses a rejection of evolution a priori, thus making it impossible to assess the evidence. That is apologetics, not science: starting with a prior belief and setting it before the facts.

    You will search in vain for scientific research institutions that similarly express a fundamental commitment to ignoring the facts.

    On Walt Brown, well you informed me the other day that he rejects subduction. He too seems to be ignoring the facts. We can see subduction happening.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Show me the footage from a bathyscaphe or similar deep-diving submarine that actually made a dive to one of your vaunted “subduction zones,” and I’ll review it. Until then, I reject out-of-hand your assertion that anyone has “seen” any such thing.

      Here is why evolution fails: one taxonomic family cannot give rise to organisms that deserve placement in another family, short of a miracle. Yet evolution rejects miracles.

      Contradictions do not exist. When you find a contradiction, check your premises. One of them is false.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “one taxonomic family cannot give rise to organisms that deserve placement in another family”

        So what? The theory of evolution doesn’t require that to happen.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “Show me the footage from a bathyscaphe or similar deep-diving submarine that actually made a dive to one of your vaunted “subduction zones,” and I’ll review it.”

        You know that subduction occurs at the rate of 1-3 inches a YEAR, right? That would not be exciting footage to watch, and I suspect the submersible crew might want to surface for air long before any motion was apparent.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          If subduction occurs as stated, you should be able to film the unmistakable appearance of one slab diving underneath another, even if it looks as though you are catching it in freeze-frame.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “you should be able to film the unmistakable appearance of one slab diving underneath another”

            No doubt you could, if it wasn’t for the sediment that’s scraped off the subducting slab and covers the whole area. Really, this isn’t even undergraduate-level geology. I did it in my geography class when I was about 15.

          • Geno says:

            Terry wrote:
            “you should be able to film the unmistakable appearance of one slab diving underneath another”

            Fergus replied:
            No doubt you could, if it wasn’t for the sediment that’s scraped off the subducting slab and covers the whole area. Really, this isn’t even undergraduate-level geology. I did it in my geography class when I was about 15.

            Geno comments:
            There is actually a lab my 9th grade students do with a couple pieces of cardboard that models subduction quite nicely.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            All of which has its basis on unfounded supposition.

          • Geno says:

            Terry claims (with regard to my 9th grade demonstration of subduction):
            All of which has its basis on unfounded supposition

            Geno answers:
            Is that the best you can do, Terry? More broad, general and unsupported assertions like you have done with the specific, documented energy issues I raise with Dr. Brown’s model.

            We know for a fact uplift happens. We can measure it. We also know that geologic plates move toward each other in some places…. also by measurements.

            So, if we have two plates aligned with each other that are being forced toward each other, you are claiming a slight mismatch or misalignment won’t force one to ride up over the other.

            Since you didn’t even ask what the model entails before declaring it “unfounded”, I probably shouldn’t even bother but ….

            Take two pieces of cardboard. Same thickness as they are cut from the same box. Push them toward each other until something “gives.” Most of the time, one of those pieces will ride up over the other one. That’s subduction (for the lower piece) and uplift (for the piece on top). It’s a simple model but it does demonstrate the process involved.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Do you really think that you can force me to accept as valid a “demonstration” of a paradigm that I later have reason to find questionable?

            Now you start to imitate the dishonest tailors in Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale of a naked emperor.

            About your cardboard demonstration: try that again with a couple of two-by-eights. Tell me what happens then.

          • Geno says:

            Terry claims subduction can’t be seen. However, it can be measured. Here’s a link to a paper in which that was done:
            http://www.geol.ucsb.edu/faculty/hacker/viz/Husen03_Costa_Rica_subduction_zone.pdf

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Now isn’t this typical! It starts with the assumption that such things occur and then seeks to prove the very thing it assumes!

  4. You cannot propose miracles and profess to be doing science thereby. Nothing is explained by “and then we assume God intervened.” Evolution being a science requires no such handwaving. No intervention necessary, contrary to your dogmatic assertion, which I note is quite without evidence and contrary to the known facts.

    As for subduction, I’ve shown you seismologists’ maps showing subducted plates in the Western region of North America, and other evidence. If you choose to reject it that does not surprise me.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      You’ve shown me maps showing someone’s erroneous inference from actual facts. You have not shown me sea charts made by submariners who actually took a dive and feasted their eyes on any such phenomenon.

      Intervention is necessary when an event utterly violates all known or reasonably inferrable laws of nature. Since neither you nor anyone else can show how a single cell self-assembled from simpler, independently functioning components, the origin of life requires a miracle. That’s only one example, but it is the prize example.

      The best explanations will always be the simplest. But they must fit all the facts. I see facts in evidence, concerning biology, that require a “God-less” or “non-miraculous” origin to come about when the laws of nature were other than what they are today. And I see a history of starting assumptions that turn out to be totally unsafe—because evidence discovered later on, contradicts those assumptions. The Miller-Urey hypothesis that the earth once had a reducing atmosphere is the prize example of this last.

      • how exactly do you see with you own eyes a subduction zone? It’s big, and underneath a huge layer of solid rock. You can drill for samples, and collect several different kind of data, but you cannot “see it”. Are your eyes the only part of you that work for collecting data? How about tools and your brain?

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          How do you see a subduction zone with your own eyes? You outfit a submarine to dive deep (the Greek-sounding word is bathyscaphe), climb aboard, take a dive, and look out the porthole–or turn on the monitor attached to an outboard camera. That answer your question?

          Your data can’t help you if you approach them with faulty reasoning. Most of the time you end up “seeing” what you want to “see.”

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “look out the porthole”

            And what you will see is a layer of ocean sediment with a huge layer of solid rock under it. This may come as a surprise to you, but geologists have much better ways of investigating subduction zones than looking out the window of a tin can.

          • I don’t know why you don’t understand this. A camera cannot film something that is happening inside of a rock. If you travel to a subduction zone you will see a large sediment layer on top of the juncture where the two pieces of crust slide over each other. If you scraped away the sediment then the pressure involved would fracture the rock as you went and you would end up with a new layer of rubble and sediment. You will never be able to see it just like you cannot see inside of an atom bomb as it detonates. If you want to know if an atom bomb has detonated you can take other measures, if you want to know that subduction is happening you can take other measures.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Well, now, what you’ve just admitted is that you can’t see anything like what you describe. And: “if you scraped away the sediment the pressure would fracture the rock.” If true, that pressure alone would prevent subduction.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “that pressure alone would prevent subduction”

            That has to be one of the most ill-informed comments I’ve ever seen. That pressure is CAUSED by the subduction! The plate is being deformed under immense pressure. The pressure of the overlying sediment is holding it together. Take away that pressure and the distorted rock will fracture and spall.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And I say, as Walt Brown also says, that any attempt at subduction would create sufficient pressure to prevent it.

            Have you a process to suggest that would relax the pressure sufficiently to suck a plate down below another, or to boost one plate up to let another dive under it?

            You know that Walt Brown will ask you the same question in the debate, don’t you?

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “You know that Walt Brown will ask you the same question in the debate, don’t you?”

            Doesn’t matter. Brown’s hydroplate story fails on the energy release; if the events he describes had actually happened, we wouldn’t be here. That makes everything else irrelevant. His “model” simply isn’t credible. Put bluntly, it’s not even wrong.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Pardon me, but it does matter. Once he shows what you have been missing, your argument will fall to the ground. Then he’ll ask that question of you, about how subduction could possibly have occurred. And you will not have a satisfactory answer.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Have you a process to suggest that would relax the pressure sufficiently to suck a plate down below another, or to boost one plate up to let another dive under it?”

            Irrelevant as the question is, of course, the answer is yes, I do. So does every geologist in the world.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            I look forward to listening to you put up that model in the recorded telephone debate.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Once he shows what you have been missing”

            I’m not missing anything, unless it’s “God can do anything.” And if I hear that I’m simply going to put down the phone.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            He won’t tell you that. Once he does tell you that—well, I won’t predict how you’ll react. I’ll just listen, or read the transcript afterward.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “And you will not have a satisfactory answer.”

            If it ever came to that, yes, I do have a satisfactory answer. And it’s an incredibly simple one. I’m honestly baffled that you haven’t come up with it yourself.

  5. Fergus Mason says:

    “Since neither you nor anyone else can show how a single cell self-assembled from simpler, independently functioning components, the origin of life requires a miracle.”

    FALLACY: Argument from ignorance. All this really means is that we don’t yet know how the first cells formed, and neither do you. “Goddidit” isn’t an answer.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      That “argument from ignorance” could as easily apply to you.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “That “argument from ignorance” could as easily apply to you.”

        Not at all. I have no idea how the first cells formed and I’ve never claimed otherwise. I could give a few hypotheses but they’re simply conjectures based on biochemistry, and I have no evidence to suggest that any of them are correct. As an argument from ignorance takes the form “I don’t know how X could happen, therefore Y must be true” I’m rather afraid I have to plead not guilty to that one.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          What you are overlooking is that you need to start with a plausible assumption of an initial condition, build a process that took matters from point A to point B, and then compute the resultant probability of those events. And I say that you cannot come up with a probability greater than five percent, or even anywhere near it. Therefore, you must reject the null hypothesis.

          What you are trying to do is to say flatly that “there is no God; therefore it happened some way or another, so you just wait and you’ll see; we’ll come up with it someday.” Sorry, but we’ve been waiting for a hundred fifty years. And Darwin himself admitted that if the cell be found to be, or hold, an irreducibly complex system that could never have formed by itself from simpler components, he’d be the first to abandon his theory. And that’s what we’ve got here.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “And that’s what we’ve got here.”

            No it isn’t. There are multiple ways in which a cell could have formed and nobody has ever demonstrated an irreducibly complex structure. In fact the only person who’s ever tried, Mike Behe, got publicly crucified in court when it was revealed that he hadn’t even read the relevant literature.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Name some.

            Build your model. Put it out there, as Walt Brown did.

            Have you the courage?

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Build your model.”

            Dozens of biochemists have already done that. There are many ways in which a cell could form; we just don’t know which one actually happened.

            “Put it out there, as Walt Brown did.”

            Walt Brown doesn’t have a model. He THINKS he does, but it is fatally flawed. The energy release he postulates terminally invalidates the rest of it. Do not pass go, do not collect 650,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons of superheated high-pressure steam conveniently blasted into an atmosphere near you.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And what are the odds on any one of those models? I’d be surprised to learn that those odds were as short as nineteen to one against, or even 100 to one against.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            I’d be surprised if any of them was a trillion to one against. So what? We’re talking about a whole world covered in molecules.

            What are the odds against the first cell being created by a semi-literate desert godling with an unhealthy obsession with foreskins? Are there that many zeros in the universe?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Well, first of all, your question is loaded, and your description of God, inaccurate.

            With that little item cleared up, we know that God can do anything. And furthermore, He said He created life: plants on Day Three, sea and air life on Day Five, and land life on Day Six.

            Now: when I quoted the odds, I took into account the numbers of molecules available. If life could have arisen from non-life way back when, then it could do so today. And it would often do so today, and defeat every attempt at sanitation and asepsis.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “If life could have arisen from non-life way back when, then it could do so today.”

            Sure it could. It’s quite possible that it does so every day. Of course, as it would immediately be eaten by one of Earth’s 5×10^30 highly evolved bacteria we’d never know, would we?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Oh, yes, we would. It would arise inside a sealed food container, like, for example, a jar of peanut butter. Which then would become unfit for human consumption. And that would be as sensational as it would be horrifying.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “It would arise inside a sealed food container, like, for example, a jar of peanut butter.”

            You think there aren’t bacteria in a sealed jar of peanut butter? Come on Terry, I expected better of you; leave the pathetic peanut butter analogy for idiots like Banana Man.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Hey—maybe in your country they don’t know how to seal a jar of peanut butter so that germs do not grow in it and ruin it. I wouldn’t know about that. But here in the States, we know how to do things right. Whenever any jar of peanut butter turns out to have bacteria growing in it, that creates a scandal and a sensation that lasts at least a week. Once, in fact, the Food and Drug Administration shut a peanut-paste distributor down for its pains and ordered the recall of thousands of jars of peanut butter and dozens of peanut-butter-flavored products of all kinds. I am shocked and astonished that you retain no memory of that scandal.

            But under your model for spontaneous generation, such things would be a daily occurrence, and people would greet that sort of news with two words: “Ho” and “Hum.”

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “He said He created life”

            How do you know he said that? Do you have any evidence?

            Naturally, children’s books with talking animal characters don’t count as evidence. I want it in his own words (which obviously rules out any source where he’s referred to in the third person,) so where can I find this?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Be careful what you wish for. Job wished for such an interview as you describe. He got it, and wished he hadn’t. (Job chh. 38-40)

          • Fergus Mason says:

            Just answer the question, would you? What is your evidence that your god said he created life.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            I have the Bible’s word on that one. And no, that’s no mere “children’s Book.” That Book has the best quality-control system of any work of literature. Believe it…or not.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “I have the Bible’s word on that one.”

            Not good enough. The bible was written by men, and ignorant men at that. DO you have any REAL evidence?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And that is the basis of your unfortunate attitude. You refuse to accept Divine inspiration, or Divine anything. You declare that such things do not exist and never existed.

            And I also notice that you don’t seem to get any sleep, either. The time stamps on your comments show that you are staying up at all hours of the night where you are, assuming that you keep Greenwich Meridian Time, not the Eastern Standard Time that I keep.

            Now there’s the mark of the true fanatic. Nobody suffers from that kind of insomnia without seeking medical attention.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Whenever any jar of peanut butter turns out to have bacteria growing in it”

            Every jar of peanut butter, as well as every jar, can and packet of everything else, has bacteria in it. “Sterile” means that the load of harmful pathogens is below the safe level and will remain there until some point after the use-before date.

            My country – meaning the one I now live in – is not exactly behind the USA in technological ability. This is why WE export cars and precision machinery to YOU.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            I’ve heard of dodges to explain why abiogenesis would not negate food safety, but this takes the cake.

            Let me put it this way: if abiogenesis were as common as you suppose, no jar of peanut butter would remain safe after one day. It wouldn’t even last for the train or truck ride from factory to store.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “But under your model for spontaneous generation, such things would be a daily occurrence”

            Are you being obtuse on purpose? FIrstly I don’t believe in spontaneous generation – Pasteur disproved it – and secondly, if abiogenesis occurred in a jar of peanut butter, whatever appeared would not be a human pathogen and it would in any case be EATEN BY BACTERIA.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            You’re the one being obtuse, not I. And you’ve also set forth a non-falsifiable proposition. You assume a priori, that any abiogenetic organism would fall immediate prey to bacteria that, by your own admission, are undetectable, but still present. And that such a process would leave the food safe for human consumption. That assumes not only that those other bacteria are present, but also that the abiogenetic germ would never be able to overwhelm the other germ and be deadlier than ever. Or that the bacteria doing the eating would never absorb some genetic material from what it eats that would make it deadly.

            Just what do you think a “safe level” of bacteria is? Now maybe in yogurt, cottage cheese, or raw milk, you have levels that the government grudgingly recognizes as safe. But in any other context, “sterile” means, at a minimum, undetectable.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “if abiogenesis were as common as you suppose, no jar of peanut butter would remain safe after one day.”

            You’re not listening to what I’m saying, are you? Firstly, if new life arose ina jar of peanut butter it would be incredibly simple. It wouldn’t be a human pathogen and we wouldn’t even notice it. Secondly it would be immediately eaten by terrestial bacteria, because “sterile” DOES NOT MEAN FREE OF BACTERIA.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Oh, I hear what you’re saying, all right. I just flat-out don’t believe it. And I think you know that neither DEFRA (where you are) or EPA or FDA (where I am) would ever, ever, accept such feeble assurances as you give about food safety in an environment in which abiogenesis occurred regularly.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            ““sterile” means, at a minimum, undetectable.”

            It means a safe level of pathogens. Every complex animal on this planet is made up largely of bacteria; 90% of the cells in your body aren’t yours. If you removed all the bacteria from food there wouldn’t be a lot of food left. And what chance do you think a newly appeared, primitive cell yould have against bacteria that have been evolving and competing for nearly 4 billion years?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            There is no such thing as a safe level of pathogens. Actually, some of us might think that human beings are capable of fighting off more pathogens than the Nervous Nellies in government give us credit for. But that does not change the uniform attitude of regulators everywhere: No threshold, one hit. And now you tell me that some germ can pop into existence even after all precautions against it? I’m surprised that someone at Planet Film Productions, or Hammer Films, or some such outfit, isn’t already writing the script.

            In fact, this is very close to the “evolutionary leap” theme that has found its way into several scripts and television series concepts in the horror genre. It’s just the kind of wacky what-if game that filmmakers love to play with their viewers’ heads. And that’s about all it’s good for.

            Now here’s another, perhaps more-serious script: someone demonstrates abiogenesis in a jar of peanut butter, and instantly the regulators jump all over the finding. Recalls go out everywhere. Parliament puts on an unrivaled show of the invective for which Parliament, or at least the House of Commons, is famous worldwide. Food packagers are accused of knowing about this risk all the time and failing to inform the public.

            And then comes the report from the investigators that failed to replicate the finding. And where do the food packagers go to get their reputations back?

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “assuming that you keep Greenwich Meridian Time”

            It’s Greenwich Mean Time, and no, I don’t.

  6. Fergus Mason says:

    “He said He created life”

    How? Describe the process please.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      He spoke, and the first plants (and then the first sea creatures, birds, and land creatures) came to be, fully formed, and ready to reproduce others of their kind. Life comes from life. Life does not come from non-life. Never did, and never will.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “He spoke, and the first plants (and then the first sea creatures, birds, and land creatures) came to be”

        How? Can you describe the mechanism by which speaking creates fully formed adult organisms?

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          When God speaks, anything can happen.

          But without God, you do not get spontaneous generation. No way, no how.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “When God speaks, anything can happen.”

            I’m asking HOW it happens. How does speaking create adult organisms? Explain the mechanism please.

            “you do not get spontaneous generation”

            I know. So what? We’re not talking about spontaneous generation; we’re talking about abiogenesis.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Now you admit that spontaneous generation does not happen. “Abiogenesis” and “spontaneous generation” are the same.

            How does creation happen? That we can never know, until and unless God chooses to tell us. Part of your problem, I gather, is that you don’t want to believe that God exists. That forces you to believe that a sequence of events occurred that is much akin to a tornado ripping through a junkyard and assembling a Concorde.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            ““Abiogenesis” and “spontaneous generation” are the same.”

            Only in the minds of dishonest creationists who want to claim that Pasteur disproved abiogenesis. “Spontaneous generation,” as disproved by Pasteur, refers to the spontaneous appearance of maggots, flies, mice etc in food stores. Abiogenesis refers to the origination of life from non-living matter, which is something entirely different and by the way is also required under any creation model.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            False. Creation supposes that God created life as-is.

          • “When God speaks, anything can happen. But without God, you do not get spontaneous generation. No way, no how.”

            Translation: “I reserve the right to call on the imaginary attributes of my invisible friend to fill in the holes in my argument.”

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Yes, and you reserve the right to call on such imaginary constructs as “dark matter” and “dark energy” and “missing links” to fill in the holes of your own argument. So we’re even. Or at least, creation advocates and evolution advocates are even in this regard.

  7. Fergus Mason says:

    “Creation supposes that God created life as-is.”

    Out of what? Because unless he created it out of pre-existing life, abiogenesis occurred. Now, you never told me HOW your god created life. Let’s have an explanation of the mechanism please.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Out of nothing at all. And only God can do that. He is the First Cause of the universe and everything in it, including life.

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “Out of nothing at all.”

        So not out of pre-existing life; tehrefore, abiogenesis.

        “only God can do that”

        Prove it. What mechanism does he use?

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          And not without intervention.

          Abiogenesis assumes “without intelligent intervention of any kind.” It means ultimately out of star dust, the stuff of which (according to the nebula hypothesis, which I assume you also champion) the earth itself fell together.

          Life did not just happen. It came about by design. Divine design, and Divine implementation. Nothing else can serve. Otherwise, as I have said, sanitation would be worse than pointless.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Abiogenesis assumes “without intelligent intervention of any kind.” ”

            No it doesn’t. It only assumes an absence of life as a starting condition.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            That’s your (convenient) opinion. I know otherwise.

  8. Terry, it is your position that the pressure would stop the subduction. This is a hypothesis, what experiments have been done to confirm it? Huge plates of rock sliding against each other under extremely high pressure is something that we know happens, it’s what causes most earthquakes.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Walt Brown explains, in detail, in his on-line book, why subduction cannot occur.

      The one thing that everyone has ignored repeatedly in this thread is that Dr. Brown includes Technical Notes to substantiate every proposition he makes, no matter how wild, outrageous, or offensive to cherished notions of how the earth works. Maybe what some people cannot accept is that he, probably more so than any other creation scientist, pushes the conventionals beyond their comfort zones. (He also pushes many creation advocates beyond their comfort zones, but that’s beyond scope here.)

      • How many hours am I supposed to wander though his website before I find the experiments he conducted to prove that subduction cannot happen?

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Find the link to the Tech Notes page. I gave that in a comment that I put in this morning. Check the math.

          Of course, no one has performed the kind of experiment that can prove that subduction does or even can occur.

          • “The coefficient of static friction for rock against rock is about 0.6” is a real gem. Coefficients of friction are really simplistic approximations, and so is this. He also assumes that the entire face of the rock is pressed up against the rock above it, he ignores the fact that a sinking cold crust into the mantle would create a lubricating layer of mantle above it.

            His model is flawed and constructed specifically to get the results that he wants, he has done no experimentation, he just sat in an arm chair and figured out one of many ways to construct a system that does not work; he never bothered to really construct a system that looks like our own.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Well, among other things, he assumes that the heat at the earth’s core is a consequence of the Flood and not something that existed prior to the Flood, or from the first formation of the earth.

        • “Subduction cannot happen” he said.

          Of course not. That would mean no global flood, no geysers of superheated steam spurting out from subterranean reservoirs.

          “Eppur”, Galileo is sometimes held to have replied to another religious authority, “si muove.”

          The world doesn’t oblige Dr Brown by operating in the manner he proposes that it does.

          Once again, proof that just because somebody writes something in a book, doesn’t make it true.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            You’re borrowing the “geysers of superheated steam” from the catastrophic plate tectonic model, not the hydroplate model.

  9. Genghis says:

    Terry, why do you persist with this hydroplate nonsense when you say “…we know that God can do anything.” Why try and concoct some inconsistent pseudo-scientific theory if you are going to rely on divine intervention. It would be more intellectually honest for you to say that it was all God’s work in the first place.

    Also, if you were really concerned about people editing late into the night perhaps you should look out for your fellow sysop ‘Conservative’ at Conservapedia who has been known to edit for up to 36 hours with hardly more than the occasional bathroom break.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Well, I’m not sure how you would know that, given that your IP address hasn’t shown up lately in any edits on Conservapedia.

      Now about miracles: the only time that I cite miracles is when the Bible directly attests to them, and when nothing else will serve. Non-intervening abiogenesis has a problem: something has to start all by itself, even spontaneously, from a collection of chemicals. And after that, billions (actually trillions) of years must pass to get the life-diversity results we see today. You and your fellow evolution advocates want to take the billions or trillions of years as proved because you rule out anything divine. The trouble is, the evidence doesn’t add up that way. Too many inconsistencies, for each of which your side invents a fudge. I’ve seen enough fudges in evolutionary “science” to take a lifetime to untangle. Better men than I have already spent a great deal of time untangling them.

      I put it to you, more broadly, that the universe must have begun, for it has not persisted since “eternity past.” And that beginning cannot have taken place according to present physical laws. Something, or rather some-One, had to make those laws and set the universe up according to those laws.

      This is slightly beyond scope, but still on topic: a workable cosmology does exist that vindicates those parts of Genesis chapter 1 that describe the setup of the universe as a thin sheet, and the stretching of that sheet later on. That cosmology explains every observation that Big Bang advocates must invoke things like “dark matter” and “dark energy” to explain. And: that cosmology sets a time limit on the age of the universe, and therefore of the earth: six thousand years, give or take a hundred or so.

      Now as regards the hydroplate theory: Walt Brown made one central assumption of a starting condition. Everything else flows from it. The only miracle he requires is Creation itself: that is, that God set up the earth with a subcrustal ocean for His own good and sufficient reasons, whether we understand them yet, or not. The support system for that subcrustal ocean started to break down, in ways that Dr. Brown describes. On a fateful dayu, two days past the full moon, 1656 years into the history of the world, it failed. With the result that we are now talking about.

      And unlike all the uniformitarian, abiogenetic, and common-descending models, this model has evidence even for that initial condition. I cite the Beijing Anomaly, that geologists have known about for four and a half years and are still trying to work out their “fudge” for. I cite the Black Smokers of the Mid-Oceanic Ridge. Once again, the typical “fudge” to explain that won’t cut any ice—or, as in this case, boil any water.

      In closing: if mice in a massive cage could talk, they’d probably insist that their world came about naturally if you left them alone for enough generations. Maybe God had this reason to leave us alone long enough for most of my fellow men to doubt Him: to separate the real men from the mice.

      • Eggpan says:

        You don’t have to edit Conservapedia, just click on Conservative’s contribs and just watch the times he makes edits. It’s true – in at least one case, he edited for 36 hours straight.

        Maybe God had this reason to leave us alone long enough for most of my fellow men to doubt Him: to separate the real men from the mice.

        “Maybe”? Sorry, but that’s an assumption, then it’s followed by a statement of faith. No claim, be it pseudo-science or truly scientific, could be proven in any way with statements of faith or belief. In other words…

        He is the First Cause of the universe and everything in it, including life.

        How can that be proven in any way? It can’t be, and it’s only based upon assumption and faith of being right. Once that core ideology is established, any further claim without scientific evidence can be viewed as a biased claim towards that ideology.

        It’s just like the Question Evolution! Campaign – when one reads the “if it contradicts scripture, it is not accepted” rule – it can be established that the person’s ideology who made up that campaign has made sure that no answer to the “questions” can be answered. Such intellectual dishonesty makes all the “questions”… well… questionable.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Well, now, are you going to suggest that a first cause is not necessary, and that all the universe is some kind of never-ending and never-begun cycle? If so, then you violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. You have just tried to turn the universe into a perpetual-motion machine.

          Your model has the worse problem. All you can offer is “Wait and see.”

          Does it bother you, by the way, that the Record on Which I rely confidently predicted just such behavior as this? “Everything has been going on in the same way, and at the same rate, forever.” That is the very essence of uniformitarianism. In other words, you’re conforming to stereotype, and its a stereotype against which I received Divine warning.

          At least the creation model is self-consistent. The uniformitarian/abiogenetic/common-descending model is not.

          • ‘At least the creation model is self-consistent. The uniformitarian/abiogenetic/common-descending model is not.’

            The “universe was created last Tuesday” model is self-consistent. Why do you have such low standards?

            Aim to match the available evidence.

            You’ve actually named several different models above:

            * uniformitarianism, which you seem to define as everything in geology having happened at exactly the same rate at all times (that would rule out volcanoes, I suppose).
            * abiogenesis which seems to be a reasonable stab but is, at this point in time, awaiting a mechanism.
            * common descent which is an established fact.

            Do you not see why having different models corresponding to fields about which we have different levels of knowledge is actually a good thing?

            Basing your model of the universe on a set of inviolable tenets leads to a tendency to patch up holes in your ideas with “and here God stepped in and made a miracle” which is rather unscientific.

            In fact it’s so profoundly unscientific that this email originally ran to 16 paragraphs of exposition, but by some miracle I decided this was an ample sufficiency.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            I have named the three parts of the Generalized Theory of Evolution. And not one of them can claim self-consistency. Every single one of them needs multiple fudges.

            I’d rather start with the miracle of the beginning of life, than to try to defend the Big Bang with a lot of twaddle about “dark matter” and “dark energy.”

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “the Generalized Theory of Evolution”

            Yes, but as that isn’t the current scientfic concensus, who cares? The accepted theory of evolution is the Modern Synthesis, otherwise known as neo-Darwinism.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Hm-m-m-m. Seems to me that, atheist that you are, what I just called the Generalized Theory of Evolution is about all you’re left with. That is, if you want to be what Richard Dawkins calls an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “what I just called the Generalized Theory of Evolution is about all you’re left with.”

            No, I’ll stick with the scientific theory of evolution, I think.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And just how does it propose that life came to be?

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “And just how does it propose that life came to be?”

            It doesn’t. The theory of evolution explains the DIVERSITY of life.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            And by not explaining the origin of life, it cops out.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “And by not explaining the origin of life, it cops out.”

            Does the germ theory of disease also cop out by not explaining the origin of life? Atomic theory, perhaps? No. Why not? Because neither of these theories ATTEMPTS to explain the origin of life. And neither does the theory of evolution.

  10. “I have named the three parts of the Generalized Theory of Evolution.”

    Fine.

    ” And not one of them can claim self-consistency. Every single one of them needs multiple fudges.”

    That’s because not one of them is or claims to be the absolute truth. They’re just whatever seems to fit the evidence best.

    You’ve hooked on an idea by Dr Brown (Conservapedia tells me he runs some outfit called the Center for Scientific Creation). Walt Brown is having a bit of an argument with some other guys at Answers in Genesis (AiG) and still other guys at Institute for Creation Research (ICR). They all have different ideas about how the flood happened.

    Having different ideas is good! Arguing is good!

    But here’s the problem: they all think the flood happened for a reason that has nothing to do with the evidence. They think it happened because some desert dwellers wrote about it in a book that a good proportion of the people on the planet think is sacred. I don’t know why they think that, but they do.

    Meanwhile the evidence has led geology away from ideas like those of Dr Brown and the guys from Answers in Genesis and Institute for Creation Research.

    Those chaps aren’t producing credible science.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      The evidence had nothing to do with geology’s abandonment of the Flood model. Ideology, in this case atheistic ideology, is the sole reason that we have been running around in circles with this uniformitarian model for a century and a half.

      • “The evidence had nothing to do with geology’s abandonment of the Flood model. Ideology, in this case atheistic ideology, is the sole reason that we have been running around in circles with this uniformitarian model for a century and a half.”

        Because geology is overrun with atheism? Even atheists don’t claim to be so ubiquitous! Lyell himself was devoutly religious and had a terrible struggle with his beliefs over his friend Darwin’s new theory of natural selection.

  11. “You’re borrowing the “geysers of superheated steam” from the catastrophic plate tectonic model, not the hydroplate model.”

    Well I’m relying on this:
    ‘The gravity of the moon pulled the crust up and down, and thus “pumped” this ocean until it grew supercritically hot. This pumping also weakened the crust, until finally, on the day of the Flood, the crust cracked. What rushed out of that crack was neither magma nor lava, but a vertical hypersonic water jet, rushing upward at least as fast as 32 miles per second (and perhaps as fast as 117 miles per second). As this water expanded, it converted its heat into kinetic energy and did not merely transfer its heat to the surrounding ocean. (Anyone who has been near a vent of high-pressure steam knows that the danger zone is directly in the path of the out-rushing steam, not off to the side.) The best modern analog of this process is a jet contrail or “vapor trail” that forms from the exhaust of a jet engine at altitude.’

    In what state was this water, then, if not as superheated steam?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      All right, then what you were doing was oversimplifying. A great wall of water, fast enough to travel at hypersonic speeds, is a lot more than the point source we call a geyser.

      In a supercritical fluid, liquid and vapor are miscible, so that no meniscus can be found.

      At the risk of causing Fergus Mason to re-evaluate his confidence in winning a debate with Walt Brown, I have decided now to publish this link to what everybody is missing. We deal here with an expanding supersonic flow of water. Fast enough to go right through even an existing body of water without imparting any heat to it. (Nor do we know that the original Mid-Atlantic Ridge appeared in a then-existing body of water. The breakthrough could have occurred on land.)

      When supercritical fluid, or water vapor, gains such speed and expands to that extent, it cools off. Rapidly. More rapidly the faster it goes. 32 miles per second happens to be the speed at which a body in space, even as close to the Sun as the earth itself, would escape the Sun’s gravity. It would be the speed of a parabolic or near-parabolic comet, and thus would serve as a minimum speed for this flow. The speed limit is even higher: 117 miles per second.

      What Mason, and Castagnoli, and maybe you, have been missing is that even a very hot fluid would not simply diffuse its heat into surrounding matter if it’s moving at such tremendous speeds.

      That link contains Dr. Brown’s calculations. I am shocked and astonished that not one of you has bothered to consult it. Mr. Mason would have had access to this information anyway; all I am doing now is pointing to the information that everyone has overlooked.

      • Geno says:

        Terry wrote:
        What Mason, and Castagnoli, and maybe you, have been missing is that even a very hot fluid would not simply diffuse its heat into surrounding matter if it’s moving at such tremendous speeds.

        Geno answers:
        I have not allowed for even one joule (or calorie, if you prefer) of heat from the steam to be transmitted to the surrounding matter. In other words, I allow for the expanding fluid to cool from supercritical to the ambient temperature without any heat transfer at all. That’s a temperature drop of some 600+F energy added to the atmosphere. None. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Ninguno. Zed. Zero.

        ######
        Terry writes:
        That link contains Dr. Brown’s calculations. I am shocked and astonished that not one of you has bothered to consult it.

        Geno answers:
        I am shocked and astonished that you seem to think jet (or rocket) exhaust cools the surroundings.

        ####
        Terry writes:
        Mr. Mason would have had access to this information anyway; all I am doing now is pointing to the information that everyone has overlooked.

        Geno answers:
        I didn’t say anything at all that addresses the latent heat of condenastion. Further, the formation of contrails does happen as the exhaust gas cools but they do NOT form by cooling the surroundings.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          You will say, then, that the rest of the subcrustal ocean would have come out more slowly and kept its heat. But Brown has an answer for that, too, if you’ll look for it.

          • Geno says:

            Terry wrote:
            You will say, then, that the rest of the subcrustal ocean would have come out more slowly and kept its heat. But Brown has an answer for that, too, if you’ll look for it.

            Geno answers:
            My initial comment had a typo. It said:
            I didn’t say anything at all that addresses the latent heat of condenastion.

            It should have been:
            I didn’t see anything at all that addresses the latent heat of condenastion.

            Now, in response to Terry’s comment….. I wouldn’t say anything at all like that.

            What I might do is suggest those who believe you will have some kind of “cooling effect” from a situation such as Brown describes stand in the exhaust plume of a jet or rocket engine and see how much cooling they experience.

            Shall we discuss how a contrail forms? Here’s some help:
            http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/science/contrail.php?wfo=fgz

  12. “At the risk of causing Fergus Mason to re-evaluate his confidence in winning a debate with Walt Brown, I have decided now to publish this link to what everybody is missing.”

    Woah, differential equations! No substitute for evidence.

    Try science, why doncha?

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      So now you throw out mathematics when they don’t agree with you? Can you show where any of that math is wrong?

      • Fergus Mason says:

        “Can you show where any of that math is wrong?”

        We don’t need to. Water that escaped into space isn’t relevant; we can discount the (admittedly substantial) amount of heat it would bave generated through friction.

        What kills Brown’s idea is the water than ended up in the oceans. That alonewould have contained enough heat to sterilise the Earth many times over.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          OK. Tell him that, and see what he has to say.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “Tell him that, and see what he has to say.”

            It doesn’t much matter what he has to say. What matters is what teh numbers say, and that’s unequivocal.

            Of course, as you probably know, Brown has just expanded the list of information he wants from me yet again. He’s going to have to start being a bit more realistic in his demands, because a lot of it is stuff that I’m quite simply not going to tell him.

  13. […] has made no further reply directly to Brown. But in a comment at CNAV, he said: The information Brown requires before he’ll have a telephone debate with me has now expanded to […]

  14. Autozavod says:

    As for “seeing” a subduction zone, I have plenty of 3D seismic images if anyone is interested.
    I took the time to read Brown’s entire book, and for such pervasive theory it contained virtually no specifics. Where specifics were provided it was to validate a widely know phenomena, none were given when Brown suggests his own radical musing.

  15. […] article is a reprint of an article that appeared originally at Conservative News and Views, with minor updates and […]

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