Water Theories Dry Up

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Posted on April 2, 2014 in Amazing Facts, Astronomy, Bible and Theology, Dating Methods, Geology, Philosophy of Science, Physics, Solar System

Theories for how Earth got its water are parched for evidence, except for the tears of secular astronomers.

According to Genesis, the earth began as a watery chaos not that long ago, so water was paramount from the beginning.  Evolutionary astronomers, by contrast, believe the earth was born in fire, billions of years ago, when a dust cloud collapsed into rocky planets in the inner solar system.  Where, then, did the earth get its water?  They don’t know.  A PhysOrg article announces, “Astronomers looking for clues to water’s origins.”  In other words, they’re clueless.

A gas and dust cloud collapses to form a star. Amid a whirling disc of debris, little bits of rock coated with liquid water and ice begin to stick together. It is this stage of a star’s formation that astronomers hope to learn more about how water cycles through a solar system, although this is also when some of the least evidence is available to study.

Science is supposed to deal in evidence, but the article admits the “least evidence is available’ to study the claim that earth’s building blocks included rock coated with water and ice.  One of the astronomers admits of the wet rock idea, “that is something that we have not been able to fully trace observationally.”  The claim, further, begs the question of where the ice and water on the rocky bits came from.  And it’s not the only thing missing in the secular theory:

The main parts that we are still missing are the story of when the cloud collapses, and then you go into the disc where the planets are formed. That is still the crucial time that we don’t fully understand,” said Ewine van Dishoeck, a Leiden University researcher.

Yet those when’s and where’s are arguably the most important parts of their whole “story.”  How much, actually, do they “fully understand”?

Subterranean Water

The contrast between the Bible’s account and the secular account is exacerbated by a report posted on NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine that claims vast oceans of water may exist beneath the earth.  A paper in Nature describes finding minerals containing water trapped between the upper and lower mantle, particularly ringwoodite that is 1.5% water by weight.  A creation geologist would hardly be surprised, since the dry land emerged from the primeval water.  How, though, would a dusty disk supply those additional “vast oceans” of water, in a transition zone under the earth that “might have as much water as all the world’s oceans put together”?

Another boost to the creation account is the fact that this mantle water helps make our planet habitable.  “One of the reasons the Earth is such a dynamic planet is because of the presence of some water in its interior,” Graham Pearson [U of Alberta] said. “Water changes everything about the way a planet works.”  Without this condition, would life have ever “emerged” by evolution?

Surprisingly, the NASA article boasts that the discovery “confirms scientific theories about vast volumes of water trapped” in the mantle.  A look at the Nature paper shows that the theory only describes where water could reside in the mantle, not where it came from.  Planetary scientists still have to answer that question.  In the past, they postulated large wet asteroids bringing the water to earth after it cooled from its primeval fires – a kind of water balloon theory that secular scientists have tossed around for over a decade (see 3/26/02, 11/03/09, 7/23/12).  How those asteroids got their water is another mystery, to say nothing of how they gently impacted earth without destroying it.  The PhysOrg article fesses up:

Some researchers trace the arrival of water on Earth to striking meteors, which contained water as well as the ingredients for amino acids and DNA. If enough of these materials arrived in the right combinations, the theory goes, life would have followed.

Yet our understanding of water’s origins on planets is limited because the science is so new.

Well, actually, it’s not so new.  They’re referring to searches for water on extrasolar planets, but the Nebular Hypothesis dates back to Kant and Laplace, which  applies to any planet’s formation.  Confirming the existence of water elsewhere, though, would only compound the problem: how did those planets get their water?  It’s not enough to say that stars generated water.  The water has to survive infernal heat when rocky planets initially coalesce by gravity.   PhysOrg explains,

If water is created prior to stellar birth, then all planetary systems will be born with abundant water, giving rise to what could be life-friendly conditions throughout the universe. However, if this water is sometimes destroyed as the disc is formed, then water would not be as common in the cosmos.

As we reported two days ago (3/31/14), observational evidence shows at least some dust disks around stars are crumbling, not forming planets.  The PhysOrg piece ends by hoping that further observations will decide between the current theories about how earth got its water (three or more competing theories).

Wet Moon, Too

Debates are still ongoing about the amount of water in moon rocks.  PhysOrg reported that a “misleading mineral” may have led to overestimates of water in the moon.  Astrobiology Magazine, though, reported that apatite in lunar basalts indicates water from the earth made it to our moon somehow (the debate may be over the quantity of water, not its presence).  This discovery might please creationist Dr. Walt Brown (Center for Scientific Creation), who postulates that supercritical water from the “fountains of the great deep” during the Flood sent large quantities of earth’s water into outer space, some of it hitting the moon. Secularists would not have expected this:

According to the authors, their work is “challenging the paradigm of a “dry” Moon, and arguing that some portions of the lunar interior are as wet as some regions of the Earth’s mantle.” … These latest finding raise the odds that the Moon may have a partly-aqueous core today.

Pondering Water’s Design

Everyone knows that water is vital to life on our planet, but scientists are still struggling to understand its properties.  Science Daily says it’s time to rewrite the textbooks again: the “Air-water interface is negatively charged by the adsorption of hydroxide ions.”  Readers may not have realized there has been a “long-standing controversy” about that critical aspect of water’s behavior.  A chemist at the University of Melbourne said, “We now need to rewrite the text book models of surface tension for the next generation of chemists who work at the refined molecular level.”  Another physicist gave this embarrassing confession: “I would estimate many hundreds of thousands of hours of computer time have been wasted because the theoreticians have not included the charge of the hydroxide in their boundary conditions for the simulations, thereby leaving out the strongest force in the system.

Amazing FactsScientists are continuing to learn about the many ways water enhances life.  It’s not just its presence, but how it interacts with geology.  PhysOrg wrote about “how mountains and rivers make life possible.”   The water cycle works hand in hand with the carbon cycle, the article explains, in a multitude of ways.  For instance, volcanoes erupt carbon dioxide into the air; water mixes with the CO2 in clouds and releases some of it as carbonic acid in rainwater, which helps erode silicate rocks.  Minerals thus washed into the ocean form limestone that gets released to the atmosphere by plate tectonics.

Another consideration is the length of time that water spends flowing through the soil, a variable that scientists call the “fluid travel time.” The more time rainwater spends flowing through soils, the more weathering that occurs. The fluid travel time is in turn affected by the topography of the landscape – water tends to flow more slowly across a flat surface than down an incline.

In the real world, these different factors interact in complex ways.

What this means for us is that the self-limiting processes in the cycle “are important for maintaining CO2 levels within an acceptable range to maintain temperatures suitable for life.”  Researchers at Stanford are seeking to test “new hypotheses regarding how these processes may work together.”  Incidentally, if scientists still do not understand how these processes work together, how can they be confident about long-term climate trends?  And how can they say that human evolution is as simple as “Just add water”? (Nature; see 4/01/14).

Considering all the admitted ignorance coming from the secular scientists in the stories above, we could hardly improve on the opening verses of Genesis 1 to explain God’s green earth, blessed by an abundance of water:

  1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
  2. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
  3. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
  4. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.
  5. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
  6. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
  7. And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.
  8. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
  9. And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.
  10. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

Yes, God saw that it was good.  Water is good.  Water supported the life that came on the next three days in His creation plan.  Are we better off with the head-scratching theories of secularists who try to imagine a good world coming about by chance?  Scientists are great at studying present processes and learning how they work together to support life.  They are clueless getting a good earth by unguided natural processes.  Let their own words testify against them.

 

One Comment

rockyway April 2, 2014

The main parts that we are still missing are the story of when the cloud collapses, and then you go into the disc where the planets are formed. That is still the crucial time that we don’t fully understand…”

- I chuckle over this don’t ”fully” understand bit… This is akin to a chimp admitting it still doesn’t fully understand how the transistor radio works.

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