Secularists Can Believe Mars Had a Global Flood
Mars has no liquid water today, but water must have covered much of the planet in the past. How? Nobody knows.
Look at the diagram of Mars the way some secular planetary scientists believe it looked in ancient times (Phys.org). It’s almost covered with water. How could that be? There’s no liquid water there today, and Mars lacks the atmosphere that could keep it liquid. It’s also too cold for liquid water most of the time, although some may be locked up as ice in the polar caps.
Scientists infer its presence by its effects. The surface of Mars today is covered with what look like drainage channels. A leading hypothesis is that liquid water carved them at some time in the unobservable past, perhaps about 3 billion years ago.
A new study led by Northern Illinois University geography professor Wei Luo calculates the amount of water needed to carve the ancient network of valleys on Mars and concludes the Red Planet’s surface was once much more watery than previously thought.
Dr. Luo and his two colleagues re-estimated the amount of water needed. The new estimate is an order of magnitude higher than previous estimates, and 4,000 times the volume of all the valley cavities. He envisions an earth-like Mars with a water cycle, rainfall, rivers, streams, and a large ocean covering over half the planet.
Our most conservative estimates of the global volume of the Martian valley networks and the cumulative amount of water needed to carve those valleys are at least 10 times greater than most previous estimates.
There are some problems, though. Nobody knows how the water got there, or how it could last if it did.
But a large piece of the puzzle is missing, he added, because climate models have not been able to reproduce an early Mars climate sufficiently warm enough to promote an active hydrologic cycle.
“Mars is much farther way from the sun than Earth, and when the sun was younger, it was not as bright as it is today,” Luo said. “So there’s still a lot to work out in trying to reconcile the evidence for more water.“
Dr Luo needs a large ocean in his model to account for a water cycle that could drive rainfall and erosion to create the valley networks (VNs). Undoubtedly an ocean on a planet with 38% earth’s gravity would not just sit still like a placid sea. Even without a large moon, diurnal rotation and atmospheric winds would likely set up tides and currents. Some of the geological features are considered to be tsunami deposits. Could a sufficiently large impact or volcano move water over continents?
The paper in Nature Communications sets out some of the possibilities for a Martian ocean in motion: fluctuating shorelines, tsunami deposits, sedimentary layers and deltas. Luo does not speak of any floods. It’s amusing, however, to see planetary scientists routinely refer to a “Noachian epoch” on Mars.
How solid is the evidence for a large ocean on Mars? “There is no ground truth to assess the real accuracy of our estimation,” he says. In planetary science, that’s OK these days. If your model requires it, that’s enough reason to believe in it, even if you can’t imagine how water could exist on Mars at all. Someone’s rule of speculating is that if you’re going to tell a whopper, you might as well tell a really big one:
Our result is consistent with a warm and wet early Mars climate and the existence of an ancient northern ocean. If erosion of the VNs required significant chemical or physical weathering to produce transportable sediment, fluvial abrasion of channel beds or transport of appreciable quantities of gravel, the required volume of water may have been many times our conservative estimate.
Luo justifies his whopper on the basis that something had to carve these channels. If not a wet, warm, oceanic Mars, what did?
But on Earth, where the surface is 70% covered by water, could there have been a global flood? Oh, come now; that’s just a religious myth.
We’re not disparaging scientific models. Creation geologists use models to try to retrofit observations to Noah’s flood. Dr Walt Brown, for instance, traced ancient shorelines north and west of Grand Canyon to model a large inland lake that could have carved the canyon by a dam breach. Models are useful tools, but they are only simulations of reality. The test of a model is how well it conforms to observable reality. If your assumptions do not hang together well (for instance, a faint young sun with a warm, wet Mars), you had better remain humble about your assumptions, and be open to alternatives. And if you are going to go out on a limb like Dr Luo does, don’t disparage the work of those whose models have much better correspondence with observable reality. Creation geologists can count ten or more clear evidences from the Grand Canyon alone that not only support a global flood, but rule out any other explanation. That’s ground truth. And when you have an eyewitness account from the One who brought it about, that’s truth.
Recommended Resource: Want to see evidence for the Flood yourself at the Grand Canyon? Logos Research Associates has a trip planned for June 30 to July 2: 3 days, 2 nights for only $285. Click the link for full information. Highly recommended!