Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? - Job 38

I blame fracking!

Posted by Doug at June 17, 2014 4:36 AM

Latest studies show that woulda, coulda, might be
preposterous, and that folks with credentials bestowed by other folks in the credential bestowing business are now the proud contestants for adornments "very similar to the Emperor's", ultimately at great expense to somebody else.

Posted by CaptDMO at June 17, 2014 5:12 AM

Genesis 7:11 -

In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month--on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.

I'd always wondered how it was that the flood waters came from below as well as above ;-)

Posted by Gayle at June 17, 2014 5:55 AM

"Apa trece, pietrele ramin."
"The water flows, the rocks remain."
— Old Romanian Proverb

Feel better now?

Posted by chasmatic at June 17, 2014 6:05 AM

In addition to the Genesis chapter 7 passage that Gayle cites above, Gen. 8 also refers explicitly to the "fountains of the deep" that burst forth to cause the Noahite deluge in addition to the rainfall.

It is repeated in Proverbs.

Posted by Donald Sensing at June 17, 2014 6:53 AM

Sure, Gayle and Donald. Now tell me this: Where did the 5 miles of water go when the Flood was over?

And why 5 miles? Gen 7,19-20: "19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits."

Everest is 5 miles high. Somewhat more, in fact.

Posted by Fletcher Christian at June 17, 2014 7:18 AM

Back from whence it came, Fletcher.

Posted by Leslie at June 17, 2014 9:30 AM

Fletcher: The greatest and most important questions of our lives are those that reach out beyond the materialistic,
beyond the things we can know, and search in the infinite for the things beyond our knowledge.

The answer to these great questions can only be found in Faith. A trustful faith is greater than knowledge.
Without faith in a Supreme Beneficent Power, without faith in a resurrection after death to a glorious life eternal,
the suffering and trials of this life would be unbearable.
But our faith is real.
it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We walk by faith, not by sight.

Posted by chasmatic at June 17, 2014 10:42 AM

And then, of course, we have a few other small questions. Such as how land plants managed to survive for several months under the aforesaid five miles of water, and why there are still any fish in the sea (if it was fresh water) or in the lakes and rivers (if it was salt). And how Noah managed to get breeding pairs of several million species into the Ark and feed them for several months. Perhaps he borrowed engineering specs for the Ark from Doctor Who?

I could go on. But anyone who can't see how utterly ridiculous it is to take the Flood story literally (or many earlier parts of Genesis, including the first few verses) is beyond help.

Posted by Fletcher Christian at June 17, 2014 11:13 AM

Back to the science:

There is no real bottom to the ocean. If there were, you could poke a hole in it and let the water out.

What happens is that the water percolates through and around the rock, and the heat of the mantle eventually turns liquid water to steam — which holds up the oceans through pressure. Heat rises, and eventually is radiated and convected to outer space, keeping the planet at a relatively constant temperature.

Oceans are like rivers. There isn't really a river bottom. The river also flows under what appears to be the river bed. Some rivers flow completely underground for part of their length.

Not only is there water under the oceans amounting to about 3X the volume of the oceans, there is also what is called abiotic oil and natural gas. The deeper that wells are drilled, the more oil and gas is discovered.

The idea that ancient flora and fauna created fossil fuels is only confirmed in coal. With oil and natgas, the question is open. But increasing evidence, such as huge methane oceans on Titan, argue for non-biological origin. If this is confirmed, then oil and gas are being continually created in the mantle.

Posted by Smokey at June 17, 2014 11:46 AM

Well, Fletcher, I guess ALL Christians are raving, stupid fundamentalists, right? Or perhaps there are some of us who do not think that every verse must be taken literally to be understood seriously.

Genesis says that there were vast stores of water under the surface of the earth. And now science says that is so - but somehow that proves that Genesis is wrong. Oh, I get it now!

There are many scientists who profess religious faith. Six examples are:

• Joseph Taylor, Jr., 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first known binary pulsar, and for his work which supported the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.
• Robert Jastrow , astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies.
• Colin Russell, Cambridge University historian of science.
• Max Planck, Nobel Prize physicist, founder of quantum theory, and one of the most important physicists of the 20th century.

Two other examples are Dr. Francis Collins, head of the human genome project and currently director of the National Institutes of Health and Dr. John Lennox, professor and Fellow in Mathematics at Oxford University. There are many others.

Sociologist Elaine Ecklund surveyed 1,700 scientists and conducted personal interviews with 275 of them at elite American universities, seeking to find out what their views on religion were. She writes:

"After four years of research, at least one thing became clear: Much of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong. The [presumed] ‘insurmountable hostility’ between science and religion is a caricature, a thought-cliché, perhaps useful as a satire on groupthink, but hardly representative of reality."

Most of the non-religious scientists Ecklund interviewed said that they just were not interested in religion questions, any more than a Methodist preacher would be much interested in how to mass produce elemental isotopes. And unlike the rest of America, younger scientists are more religious than older ones.

As for the first few verses of Genesis, exactly what do you find so objectionable about them?

"The universe is incredibly wondrous, incredibly beautiful, and it fills me with a sense that there is some underlying explanation that we have yet to fully understand. If someone wants to place the word God on those collections of words, it's OK with me." -- Brian Greene, world-renowned physicist and author of The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

Posted by Donald Sensing at June 17, 2014 1:43 PM

Mr. Sensing - No. I do not think all Christians are raving-mad fundies. But I think YECs and Bible-literalists (the two sets overlap greatly) are.

As for the first few verses of Genesis - well, just for starters, the creation of day and night two days before the Sun was created is just a tad difficult to swallow. Don't you think?

Posted by Fletcher Christian at June 17, 2014 4:08 PM

FC: how Noah managed to get breeding pairs of several million species into the Ark

The Ark was bigger on the inside than it was on the outside, obviously.

Nobody knows what the Ark was, really. It is described as being a "boat", but the actual Hebrew word supposedly means something more like "basket" or "container". It was built from "gopher wood" (words which are said to suggest something like "laminated fiber"), a substance not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture, and was sealed with a substance called koper, which is translated as "pitch" but which apparently can mean something more like "smear". I am not a Hebrew scholar, so I could be wrong about this, but it seems plain to me that the Ark was built of extraordinary materials.

Christ tells us [Matt. 24:37-38] that in the world of the End Times, things will be "as in the days of Noah". Given the high level of technology that exists today (and the likely higher levels that will exist tomorrow), we may speculate that perhaps the world in which Noah lived was not the Bronze Age civilization usually imagined.

What matters, of course, is not the physical dimensions of the Ark, but the spiritual meaning the author of Scripture wished to convey in his retelling of the Great Flood story: that is, that the Ark serves as a prefigurement of the Incarnation as the sole means of human salvation. Considered in this light, the Ark of Noah -- along with other Scriptural containers such as the Ark of the Covenant (which somehow contained the infinite Presence of God) and the New Ark of the Covenant (the Blessed Virgin Mary, who somehow contained the omniscient, ominipresent, and omnipotent Lord of All Creation within her virgin womb), Noah's Ark is an image of salvation: a bark of refuge (the Church) built by the Hand of a Carpenter.

Have you never read of Aslan's Stable?

Posted by B Lewis at June 17, 2014 4:52 PM

See? This is EXACTLY why you don't leave the water running when you brush.

Posted by Lazlo at June 17, 2014 5:11 PM

Fletcher Christian: (what an ironic name for such as you)
I think you are being purposely obtuse and argumentative. Like, knee-jerk reactions and set-piece arguments opposing us Believers and our, uh, beliefs.
I do not care to enter into seemingly endless reparte with you where every one of your pithy comments contains "yes, but ..."
As for me and those of a similar mindset, we believe what we believe, and we're not gonna shove it down your throat (insert "yes but ... here).
You believe what you want to believe.

if you care to comment further please refrain from disparaging remarks directed at some of us, to wit: "utterly ridiculous" and "beyond help".
C'mon Fletch, don't hide behind your keyboard. Pretend you are talking to one of us face to face, within arm's reach of each other.
Some of us are rather gentle folk and suffer fools tenderly.
There are some of us that hold some tenets of the Old Testament, such as eye for an eye rather than turn the other cheek.
I tell you what, Fletch here are my core beliefs:
If you wish to discredit me for my beliefs, which I emphasize are not offered with objective proof or validation,
why don't you click the link over to my humble crayons and wrapping paper blog;
you can continue your rather obnoxious comments on that venue rather than show-boating on Gerard's site?
I am throwing down the gauntlet;
how far do you want to go with this, uh?

Posted by chasmatic at June 17, 2014 7:00 PM

This MLB jerseys comment has earned a good hard punch in the face.

Celebrate Assholes Get a Punch in the Face Day.

Posted by chasmatic at June 18, 2014 7:31 AM

My uncle's name was Louie Lozko. We all called him "Letsgo Lozko".
He raised bantam chickens. Award-wining bantam chickens.
In Heaven there is no beer.

Posted by chasmatic at June 19, 2014 10:22 AM