Did Mars Have a Global Flood?
There’s enough ice under Mars’ southern polar cap to flood the entire planet under 36 feet of water, reports Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The MARSIS radar instrument on the ESA-NASA Mars Express determined that the ice cap is more than 2 miles thick in places. According to the report on National Geographic News, traces of possible impact craters were detected under the ice cap. If so, it would seem the ice must have melted and been distributed around the planet in the past. The article also states that even this huge volume of ice is believed to be a fraction of H2O on the red planet that has been lost underground or out to space.
Speaking of water reservoirs, a new source was found back on the home planet. A press release from Washington State Univ. in St. Louis last month inferred from seismic data the presence of a water reservoir deep in the mantle under Asia equal to the volume of the Atlantic Ocean.
Mars could never have had a global flood. Where did the water come from? Where did it go? This kind of reasoning has been used against Noah’s flood on Earth. Mars is dry today, and liquid water could not last on the surface, but that doesn’t stop geologists from eagerly searching for water on the red planet. With great interest they include copious volumes of liquid water into their theories of Mars history, hoping the precious elixir of life would have permitted the emergence of single-celled Martians. OK, then why shouldn’t the possibility of a global flood on Earth be treated seriously? The answer is that for a long time, secular geology has written off the Bible as a source of information about Earth’s past.
The secular geology of Hutton and Lyell was more an emotional, theological reaction against Biblical flood geology than an inference from data. Creation and the Flood were rarely questioned for thousands of years till Enlightenment secularists felt the need to remove God from an active role in the world He created. They wanted a world with “no hint of a beginning, no prospect of an end” (Hutton) that would operate slowly and gradually by natural processes alone (see AIG articles about Hutton and Terry Mortenson’s explanation of the origin of old earth beliefs). Notice that this was a preference, an a priori belief that colored the way they looked at the world. Uniformitarianism became dominant by 1830 in England largely due to the anti-Biblical, deistic views of Charles Lyell (a lawyer).* That was before 20th century scientists decided Lyell was wrong (and fudged his data; see 10/25/2006). Now, catastrophism is back in vogue (05/22/2003).
Frank Sherwin at ICR quips that we really shouldn’t call our planet Earth; we should call it Water. That would make for interesting conversation. “Life is beautiful on God’s blue Water.” • “I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last man on Water.” • “Where on Water have you been all this time?” On a planet whose surface is 70% water, with ocean basins miles deep, there’s plenty enough to submerge the Earth (whoops, the Water) under the right circumstances, if the mountains were lower and the ocean basins shallower before the Flood. Models of the Flood like those of Walter Brown and John Baumgardner et al. typically include orogeny (mountain building) and deepening of the ocean basins as consequences of the catastrophic deluge. Also, the “fountains of the great deep” are the primary sources of the water, with rain as the effect. That answers where the water came from, and where it went. Let’s not treat the planets by a double standard. That happens enough on Water as it is.