Genesis 7:11-12 (NIV)
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.12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
The public’s view that science and religion can’t work in collaboration is a misconception that stunts progress, according to a new survey of more than 10,000 Americans, scientists and evangelical Protestants. The study by Rice University also found that scientists and the public are surprisingly similar in their religious practices. The study found that nearly 50% of evangelicals believe that science and religion can work together and support one another. That contrasts with the fact that only 38% of Americans feel that science and religions can work in collaboration. This is not surprising because of the way science-religion relationships are portrayed in the news media. Most of what is seen in the news are stories about these two groups being at odds with each other. The news media likes to emphasize the controversial issues like teaching creationism in schools. Actual findings from the Rice study shows:
- Nearly 60 percent of evangelical Protestants and 38 percent of all surveyed believe “scientists should be open to considering miracles in their theories or explanations.”
- 27 percent of Americans feel that science and religion are in conflict.
- Of those who feel science and religion are in conflict, 52 percent sided with religion.
- 48 percent of evangelicals believe that science and religion can work in collaboration.
- 22 percent of scientists think most religious people are hostile to science.
- Nearly 20 percent of the general population think religious people are hostile to science.
- Nearly 22 percent of the general population think scientists are hostile to religion.
- Nearly 36 percent of scientists have no doubt about God’s existence.
So it really comes as no surprise when a story about science matches up pretty well with religious teachings found in the bible. That is the case with the latest scientific discovery of vast oceans of water found beneath the earths surface.
Geophysicists say they have discovered an immense water reservoir deep below the Earth’s surface—a find which Christian scientists say could be an affirmation of a verse in the biblical Great Flood account.
On Thursday, researchers with Northwestern University and the University of New Mexico announced the discovery of a vast underground ocean several miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Though the scientists cannot immediately verify their claims, they remain confident about their conclusions.
Water is part of Earth’s very definition as a planet. Clouds of water fill its atmosphere, oceans cover most of its surface, and groundwater is found everywhere underground. For the last century, geologists have traced the influence of water deeper and deeper into Earth’s interior. During the last year, whole oceans worth of water have been found in the mantle, hundreds of kilometers below the crust. And a paper in today’s issue of Science traces water’s influence all the way down to an important boundary inside the Earth, the top of the lower mantle.
“Northwestern geophysicist Steve Jacobsen and University of New Mexico seismologist Brandon Schmandt have found deep pockets of magma located about 400 miles beneath North America, a likely signature of the presence of water at these depths,” explains a press release from Northwestern University.
If the scientists’ calculations are correct, the amount of water beneath the Earth’s surface could dwarf the amount of water in our planet’s surface oceans.
“If just one percent of the weight of mantle rock in the transition zone is H2O, that would be equal to nearly three times the amount of water in our oceans,” the press release states.
The results of the study will help scientists understand Earth’s water cycle, and how plate tectonics moves water between the surface of the planet and interior reservoirs, researchers say.
The Earth’s mantle is the hot, rocky layer between the planet’s core and crust. Scientists have long suspected that the mantle’s so-called transition zone, which sits between the upper and lower mantle layers 255 to 410 miles (410 to 660 kilometers) below Earth’s surface, could contain water trapped in rare minerals. However, direct evidence for this water has lacked, until now.
To see if the transition zone really is a deep reservoir for water, researchers conducted experiments on water-rich ringwoodite, analyzed seismic waves traveling through the mantle beneath the United States, and studied numerical models. They discovered that downward-flowing mantle material is melting as it crosses the boundary between the transition zone and the lower mantle layer.
“If we are seeing this melting, then there has to be this water in the transition zone,” said Brandon Schmandt, a seismologist at the University of New Mexico and co-author of the new study published today (June 12) in the journal Science. “The transition zone can hold a lot of water, and could potentially have the same amount of H2O [water] as all the world’s oceans.” (Melting is a way of getting rid of water, which is unstable under conditions in Earth’s lower mantle, the researchers said.)
A complete explanation of the testing process and what laboratory experiments have produced can be found here
According to Genesis 7:11, “the fountains of the great deep” were broken during the Great Flood, leading some Christians to believe that the underground ocean discovery sheds light on the biblical account. Brian Thomas, science writer for the Institute for Creation Research, told Christian News Network that the findings could potentially be related to the scriptural reference.
“It is of course possible that water found below Earth’s crust could be what remains from the waters ‘of the great deep’ that burst as fountains to Earth’s surface to initiate Noah’s year-long Flood according to Genesis 7:11,” Thomas said. “I would not refer to this news as a ‘significant verification’ of the Genesis Flood since some may suggest other explanations for the water, but it is consistent with Scripture’s general reference to waters deep beneath the earth.”
However, Thomas added, the very existence of water on Earth presents a problem for secular scientists.
“Secularists faced a tough enough challenge in trying to explain how Earth’s ocean waters came from rock,” he noted. “They imagine hydrated minerals from space rocks collided to form Earth. But the heat from those collisions would have pushed out the water. Now they have to explain this newly discovered deep water, too.”
The biblical account, Thomas continued, is much more consistent with the scientific evidence, since the Bible says God initially created the world as a watery sphere.
“Unlike secular thinkers,” he stated, “biblical scientists do not arbitrarily discount miracles, being open to the possibility that God built Earth with water like He said.”