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Hydroplate theory and controversy: a primer

The Global Flood and the Hydroplate Theory

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Bob Enyart and his colleagues at Real Science Radio (http://kgov.com/) have outdone themselves. They bravely waded into one of the most bitter controversies in creation science. That controversy often destroys those who get too close, like the "third rail" in a subway. Enyart must have known he must hit hard, or those he would likely offend would crush him. And hit hard he did. The Global Flood and the Hydroplate Theory makes the Hydroplate Theory clear to a layperson. And it reveals the real reason so many in the creation movement still refuse to accept it.

The full program is available on a single Blu-Ray disk, two DVD disks, or as two high-definition downloads. At $40.00, it is at about the same price as two tickets to a typical hour-and-a-half motion picture. The program runs slightly longer than three hours, and has a thirty-five-minute bonus from a third party. That alone would be worth the price. But the content is worth much more.

In the first of three segments, Bob Enyart describes the real reason why the creation science movement turned against Walter T. Brown, who invented the Hydroplate Theory. The controversy goes back more than a hundred years, to a theory from a secularist who quoted the Bible to make Christian-oriented scientists accept it more readily.

In 1874, Isaac Newton Vail first proposed that water vapor, escaping from a molten earth, condensed to form a canopy that surrounded the earth. He cited several handed-down stories or "myths" about the creation of the world, to assert that early humans knew such a canopy once floated above their heads.

Neither he nor anyone who came after him, could explain why the canopy did not fall out of the sky of its own weight, or else turn the earth into a Turkish bath with the temperature turned up far too high. Nevertheless, John C. Whitcomb Jr. and Henry M. Morris, in 1961, took the Vail canopy theory, shortened Vail's course of time from millions of years to thousands, left his name off it entirely, and presented it in their book, The Genesis Flood, as the best answer to the question: where did the Flood waters come from?

Scientists at the Institute for Creation Research, among other places, knew the water-vapor canopy could never hold. Larry Vardiman, in 1998, admitted the sun would have to be much cooler, or the earth much farther away, for the canopy to be present without making the earth too hot for comfort. At about the same time, Henry Morris himself admitted he wanted the canopy theory to be true, but knew it had serious, if not insurmountable, problems.

That's when Walt Brown upset the apple cart. He said flatly: the vapor canopy theory does not agree with the text of Genesis as properly understood, and is scientifically infeasible. What made this a bigger flap: at the time, Brown was a senior scientific director at ICR.

Relationships, once they turn sour, almost never make up again. So says Enyart. Since that episode, Brown has toiled all alone. But Enyart goes on to show that Brown has the scientifically consistent answers. Enyart explains why, in rich detail. You don't have to be an earth scientist, or a classical Hebrew scholar, to understand what he says. But if you are any of these things, he gives references you can check out for yourself.

Nor does Enyart stop with attacking the vapor-canopy theory, or showing why Brown was right to condemn it as he did, when he did. ("Brown took one for the team," says Enyart.) He sets forth evidence for the Hydroplate Theory that makes hash, not only of conventional plate-tectonic theory but also of the "catastrophic plate tectonics" of Baumgardner and colleagues. With regard to the latter: Enyart finds the same problem with it that the Creation Science Hall of Fame's peer-review panel found: namely that it relies entirely too much on miracles to which the Bible never attests. Enyart includes an animation of a hypothetical miracle involving a second moon that made six close passes at the familiar moon, to explain a key assumption about catastrophic plate tectonics.

Enyart speaks in a friendly, engaging style. He makes his case in a way anyone can understand. Whatever your beliefs, he will make you think.

The only fault in Enyart's program is probably inevitable in a program about an active area of investigation. Already, events have overtaken him to a small degree. Specifically, he must have sent his content to the duplicators before the discovery of the planetoid 2012-VP113. With that discovery, Brown knew trans-Neptunian objects must also have come from earth. He suspected as much at least a year ago (he said so to this Examiner). Object 2012-VP113 confirmed it.

But that discovery is less than six months old. Enyart doesn't address it, because it is too recent. This does not detract from the main points Enyart makes, about the Hydroplate Theory or the controversies involving Walt Brown. No doubt he'll have more to say about that in time.

In the meantime, if you want a clear but digestible account of the Hydroplate Theory, and to know why so many workers in creation science won't accept it, this program will explain it so you can understand.