ASTRAL CATASTROPHISM has been considered thus far in various ways. Chapter II considered its historicity in modern thought. Chapter VIII considered these motifs in ancient thought. Astral catastrophism has been considered from the evidences which are beyond our Earth but yet resident within our solar system. It has also been considered from evidences from the sphere of our own planet. It has been considered with respect to two of the three fluids--fluid components of the Earth, the fluid hydrosphere (the oceans), and the fluid lithosphere (the magma). In a brief summary, the Earth is a three-component fluid, and of these components, the atmosphere is both the least massive and the least restricted. It is the least stable and most easily subjected to change. The atmosphere, weighing about one-millionth of the total weight of the Earth,1 is also man's essential habitat, because it is within the Earth's atmosphere that he breathes and lives.
Tidal effects have been considered with respect to the hydrosphere--the
global floodtides having been the reported phenomenon. Tidal effects have
been considered with respect to the magma--the globe-encircling arcuate
uplifts, the Earth's recent mountain systems, having been the result. Evidence
indicates that there also has been a reorganization of our atmospheric
envelope at the time of the Flood crisis, a reorganization which took its
effect in at least five ways:
1. A lowering of barometric pressure.
2. A change in the mix or proportions of gases.
3. The disestablishment of a heat equilibrium, causing a horizontal reorganization of the Earth's climates.
4. The disestablishment of a heat equilibrium, causing a change in magnitude of vertical turbulence in the Earth's troposphere, stratosphere, ionosphere, and exosphere.
5. A shift in the level of actinic radiation at the Earth's surface.
Thus, each of the Earth's three fluid components was profoundly affected. As far as gross weight, force, or thrust are concerned, the greatest change occurred within the shifting magma. As far as aquatic life is concerned, the changes in the hydrosphere (including salinity and temperature) were of primary concern. But as far as man is concerned, the changes in the atmosphere have easily produced the most extensive, long-range effects.
It is the author's contention that, prior to the Deluge, the Earth possessed
a primordial vapor canopy, in some ways similar to that surrounding Venus
today. The canopy of Venus consists primarily of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons,
with some water vapor. It is supposed that the Earth's primordial vapor
canopy was composed mostly of water vapor, some carbon dioxide, and virtually
no hydrocarbons. Even as the surface of Venus is hidden from the telescope
and from the rays of the Sun, so in the previous age was the surface of
our Earth also shielded from the direct rays of the Sun. This water vapor
canopy condensed out at the time of the Flood-Ice Cataclysm.
1. The Primordial Canopy
There are two sources supporting the conclusion that a primordial canopy existed. It has been discussed in the early chapters of Genesis in various ways. The Biblical rendition states, clearly and repeatedly, that the climatic regime was not only different, but much different. This is also maintained or indicated in numerous other ancient traditions. Secondly, geological findings compare and harmonize with these evidences and reinforce this conclusion.
If the Earth had a water vapor canopy prior to the Deluge, it is a very easy matter to understand why the canopy condensed and was eliminated at the time of the Flood cataclysm. Ice was captured in avalanches of charged particles, forming the Ice Epoch. Ice particles form the perfect nuclei of condensation. Had there been a primordial canopy of water vapor, and had the Earth captured a substantial amount of ice in particles at the time of the Deluge, the water vapor canopy would have been completely condensed out of the upper atmosphere. It could not have been otherwise.
Similarly, there are several reasons for concluding that there was much more available carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in that earlier era. One evidence is that during the Flood cataclysm, much vegetation was buried. Vegetation which was buried by alluvial action resulted in just that much less carbon available to today's atmospheric carbon cycle.
THE DESCRIPTION IN GENESIS. The Genesis account makes the
following statements which have implications relative to the antediluvian
And God said, Let there be a firmament (the expanse of the sky) in the midst of the waters; and let it separate the waters (below) from the waters (above). And God made the firmament (the expanse) and separated the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse. And it was so. (Genesis 1:6-7; Amplified)
When no plant of the field was yet in the Earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up. the Lord God had not (yet) caused it to rain upon the Earth, and there was no man to till the ground. But there went up a mist (a fog-vapor) from the land, and watered the whole surface of the ground. (Genesis 2:5-6; Amplified)
I set my bow (rainbow) in the cloud, and it shall be for a token or sign of a covenant or solemn pledge between Me and the Earth, and it shall be that when I bring clouds over the Earth, and the bow (rainbow) is seen in the cloud, I will (earnestly) remember my covenant or solemn pledge, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy and make all flesh corrupt. . . . (Genesis 9:13-15; Amplified)
The first quotation directly suggests that there was a water vapor canopy in the upper atmosphere at all times. No blue sky was ever seen until after the Flood. In this section of Genesis, not only are the oceans divided from other oceans by continents, but also the upper atmosphere (water vapor canopy) is separated from the lower atmosphere (the firmament). There were waters above the firmament and waters below the firmament, the canopy and the ocean. A separation of the atmosphere seems clearly indicated.
The second quotation states in definite terms that the Earth was watered abundantly, though not by rain. It was watered in a different manner than today, when the Earth is watered primarily by rain and somewhat by dew. It is believed that in this earlier age a dew regime was the only mechanism by which the Earth's surface was watered.
The third quotation reflects that rainbows are a result of the prismatic effect of bending of rays of light through water droplets. Rainbows can only occur after rains, and require the direct action of sunlight. This time immediately after the Flood was the first time that rainbows were observed. This again suggests that direct sunlight and blue skies, along with water droplets in the atmosphere, were new phenomena.
In Genesis 2:8-14, a swampy type of river hydrography is alluded to. Four major rivers met at the Garden of Eden. The type of hydrography here described suggests a similarity to the lake country of northern Minnesota and Manitoba, where water is in great abundance and swamps are numerous, but where there is so little gradient that the flow of water is very sluggish.
The primordial canopy was thus organized quite differently from our present atmospheric regime, water vapor within the atmosphere being one component of difference. This antediluvian condition was similar to that found in the atmosphere of Venus today which has a remarkably reflective canopy. This reflectivity in scientific terminology is called "albedo." The albedo of Venus is 76%. The albedo of the Earth, with its reflective oceans, its white polar ice caps, its mid-latitude snows, and its low-latitude, light-tan deserts, averages about 39%. The albedo (reflectivity) of the relatively dark face of the Moon, by comparison, is but 7 %. Mercury is about 6 %.
Assuming that Earth had a canopy similar to Venus, the effects would be very great, not only in the area of climatology but also in the penetration of actinic radiation. Before considering some of the specific circumstances of the canopy, it would be well to note some evidences in geology which parallel these findings.
ANTEDILUVIAN CLIMATOLOGY. It has already been noted that
sub-tropical conditions have been ascertained from geological discoveries
in all lands surrounding the Arctic Ocean. These lands include such places
as Alaska, Canada, Nova Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, Severnaya Zemlya,
Siberia, and Spitzbergen. Palm leaves and marine crustaceans have been
found entombed in strata on Spitzbergen, 800 miles from the North Pole,
indicating the previous existence of a tropical or subtropical climate.
Admiral Byrd wrote about some similar findings in a protruding mountain
range, some 200 miles from the South Pole on the Antarctic subcontinent:
The rock fragments from this mountainside invariably included plant fossils, leaf and stem impressions, coal and fossilized wood. Here, at the southernmost known mountain in the world scarcely two hundred miles from the South Pole, was found conclusive evidence that the climate of Antarctica was once temperate or even sub-tropical.2
Temperature is but one consideration, and consideration of humidity is quite another. For instance, most tropical and subtropical areas today are composed of either desert or steppe climates. Northern South America and Southeastern Asia are the exceptions in equatorial humidity. Africa has about five times as much desert as rain forest; it also has much more steppe land than savannah grassland. The example of desert-like Australia is even more extreme; perhaps 5% of Australia can be classified as humid, whereas about 75% is desert or semi-desert.
In today's climatic regime, hot climates do not necessarily imply humid climates; in fact, the trend is toward the opposite, as, for example, Mexico. In the fossil record of the antediluvian era, however, desert-like conditions are not found.
Consider, for instance, the Rocky Mountain region of the United States, the intermontane region between the Cascades and the Rockies. This includes part of British Columbia, Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, Idaho, dry Arizona, drier Nevada, and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. This is distinctly dry country in which nature has preserved numerous fossils of both fauna and flora. Many varieties of both deciduous and coniferous trees (including the curious ginko tree) occur in the fossil record, indicating a climate of lush vegetation and reflecting excellent conditions of humidity, in addition to a favorable temperature gradient. Fruit trees with ripe fruit (encased in ice) have been found in Arctic zones, but luxuriant vegetation has similarly been found fossilized in sage brush and cactus country; moreover, this is true for deserts on five continents.
It appears that these conditions are not a result merely of a shift
of various regional climates; rather, they seem to be the result of a different
global climatology, a different organization of the atmosphere surrounding
2. The Composition of the Antediluvian Canopy
The composition of the antediluvian canopy should be considered in terms of pressure and in terms of components, or the proportions of gases.
BAROMETRIC PRESSURE. In our age, atmospheric pressure, as measured with reference to sea level, averages 14.8, or nearly 15 pounds per square inch. It is thought that the atmospheric pressure in the antediluvian age was greater; in fact, it is likely that the pressure was one to three pounds per square inch greater. Today, it is known that man can work under much greater pressures than this daily as well as over a period of years without apparent adverse effects. Underwater diving also illustrates how much pressure the human body can tolerate.
However, the human body cannot accept pressures radically smaller than the pressure of 15 pounds per square inch of our present mixture of atmosphere. At elevations over 14,000 feet, there is plenty of oxygen in the air to breathe. The critical problem is that it is unavailable to the human lungs due to the lack of pressure and the construction of the lungs. But if oxygen were present (under greater pressure) in even smaller proportions than our present atmosphere, it would still be equally available and usable for physiological requirements. Thus, the apparent slightly greater atmospheric pressure in the antediluvian world posed no problem for human survival.
THE MIX OF GASES. The second perspective from which the composition of the antediluvian atmosphere should be considered is its mix of gases.
Today, the atmosphere contains gases in the following proportions:
Water Vapor 0-1 1/2 % (variable)
Carbon Dioxide 1/4 %
Miscellaneous gases 1/4 %
It is possible that the antediluvian regime had the following proportions:3
Water Vapor 5-10%
Carbon Dioxide 1/2-l%
Miscellaneous gases 1/4 - 1/2%
The Earth's atmosphere contains a very small proportion of carbon dioxide; however, this does not mean that it is an insignificant gas. It is as necessary to all plant life as oxygen is to animal life. Carbon alternates between atmospheric circulation (as carbon dioxide) and plant fixation (in organic compounds). At the time of the Flood, a vast amount of carbon was buried, and in being buried, became locked out of the carbon cycle. Along with greater humidity, the greater availability of carbon dioxide in the earlier age was an additional reason why plant life was denser and more luxuriant.
3. The Greenhouse Effect
A third reason plant life was more luxuriant in that earlier age has to do with the proportions of carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere, the principle of long-wave radiation of heat from the Earth, and a Greenhouse Effect. The Earth receives short-wave, medium and long-wave radiation from the Sun during the day. It converts this into long-wave radiation which it re-radiates into space, during both the daytime and the nighttime. The emission of heat is in long-wave rays, which are efficiently captured by either water vapor or carbon dioxide, particularly carbon dioxide. Hence, an increase of either water vapor or carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will tend to recapture radiated heat and create a Greenhouse Effect which creates an increasing uniformity in temperature within the atmosphere between day and night and also between summer and winter.
If there had been a canopy of water vapor enshrouding the Earth during the antediluvian period, this would have greatly reduced temperature differentials at the Earth's surface. Today, because the Sun's radiant energy shines directly on the Earth's surface, and because it shines unequally in strength on the various latitudes, the Earth's atmosphere acts very much as a great heat engine. The planetary winds function to equalize or moderate these differentials in temperature and pressure. The pressure differentials accompanying the temperature differentials cause the flow of air.
The Earth today has several types of winds. One group is the planetary wind system, which includes trade winds, mid-latitude westerlies, and polar easterlies. Another type is the seasonal monsoon, a periodic wind which is caused when a continent either heats up or cools off much faster than the surrounding oceans.
A third type is the diurnal land and sea breeze. It is similar to the monsoon in that it is caused by a differential in heating of the land relative to the surrounding water; however, this is a daily rather than a seasonal type of wind. It is also local rather than continental in scope.
If there were a canopy, comprised of relatively large amounts of water vapor and carbon dioxide, enveloping the Earth (a circumstance similar to that of Venus), the result would be a near-temperature equilibrium. This is for two reasons. One is the high reflectivity, or albedo of the canopy. More solar radiation would be reflected. The second reason is the efficient capture by the atmosphere of long-wave radiation of the planet, the Greenhouse Effect. If there were temperature equalities, there would be no planetary wind systems, no trade winds, no mid-latitude westerlies, no monsoons, and no land and sea breezes. And this appears to have been the case.
The significance of this wind system is made manifest in study of the relationship between wind and rain. There are three types of rain: convective, cyclonic, and orographic. Each is based on various combinations of winds, temperatures, and elevations. But all are based on flowing air, or winds. Thus, if there were a canopy, there would be no temperature differential, which means there would be no winds, which in turn means no rain.
And as a consequence of no rain, there would be a very poorly developed or primitive arrangement of river systems, because river systems are based on rain and run-off, which are in turn based on wind systems, which in turn are based on temperature inequalities.
The Biblical record, like the geological record, indicates that the
Earth in the antediluvian era was a luxuriant place for flora (vegetation).
It was anything but desert-like. And it was anything but ice-bound. Yet
the Biblical record specifically states that there was no rain; rather,
the Earth was abundantly watered by mist or dew at night:
But there went up a mist (a fog-vapor) from the land, and watered the whole surface of the ground. (Genesis 2:6; Amplified)
If there were a canopy of water vapor, the water vapor would have been an abundant atmospheric constituent. It may have been as much as 5 to 10% of the total, compared to the present 0 to 1 1/2%. Under these conditions, humidity, even in the daytime, would have been at a near maximum, and temperatures would have hovered constantly near dewpoint. But with the coming of night, the temperature would have dropped perhaps a degree or two and dewpoint would be quickly reached. At this time, a thick, somewhat chilling, clammy and uncomfortable layer of dew would begin to form. And with the vast volume of available water vapor in the air, the layer of dew may have been rather thick.
In today's climatic regime, dampness versus dryness of a climate is evaluated in two ways: the amount of rainfall, plus what dew may occur, measured in inches; and the measured evaporation potential. For instance, 10 inches of precipitation will grow wheat in Alberta; 25 inches may be insufficient in West Texas. This is due to the high rate of evaporation. The evapo-precipitation ratio is the important feature, along with temperature, in evaluating a particular climate. Under the circumstances of the canopy, with humidity continuously hovering near 100%, evaporation would be at a minimum, and the Earth would be abundantly watered by the dew or the fog-like mists forming in the evening.
There are other features of this antediluvian era which must be considered along with the foregoing observation of relative humidity, dewpoint, and the canopy. First is the phrase, "the cool of the day" which is found in Genesis 3:8 with the discussion about the Garden of Eden. This apparently was the period toward dusk, after the temperature slid below dewpoint, and the clammy dew had started to gather. The chilling coolness was related not to gross declines in temperatures but rather to saturation, or dew point. This may have been the "cool" of the day.
Secondly, it is of interest to observe the habitation of the so-called cave men, whose homes have been discovered and studied in France, New Mexico, Spain and other areas. Today, such caves are among the chilliest and most inhospitable places for human habitation. If they are inhabited at all, it is ordinarily by animals. However, traces of antediluvian man, antediluvian art, antediluvian hardware, and antediluvian bonfires have been persistently found in or near caves. Why? Very likely the antedi-luvians, in building a bonfire at the mouth of a cave, could thereby maintain the temperature above dewpoint all night and thereby increase their comfort. Undoubtedly, cave regions in this era were centers of culture. Climate and comfort, more than protection from predators, were reasons for such fires.
There are also persistent traditions in folklore of both hemispheres of an age when the sky hung very low--a condition similar to the observation given in Genesis of the division of the waters above the firmament from below the firmament.4 How conclusive are these evidences? Each is not conclusive in and by itself. But the principle of the primordial canopy draws from numerous different bases, locations, observations, and records which verify a general pattern involving a completely different organization for the climate of our planet, a climatic regime superior in most ways to that of today.
Is a canopy possible? Yes. Venus has one. Another planet (Jupiter) has
belts. Yet another (Saturn) has rings. Yet another (Mars) has ice caps.
Jupiter apparently possesses great oceans of ammonia and an atmosphere
of methane and hydrogen, while our own planet possesses immense reflective
oceans of water, repeatedly covered and uncovered by cyclonic systems which
swirl across its atmosphere. The condition of Venus illustrates that a
canopy is possible. The summary of evidences herein presented in abbreviated
form indicates that a canopy of water vapor (and some carbon dioxide) was
probable in the earlier age.
4. A Primordial (Hydrocarboniferous) Catastrophe Prior to the Flood
It is proposed that the antediluvian canopy condensed with the intrusion of particles of astral ice, and that this was one phase of the Flood catastrophe. This subject of the atmosphere of the Earth has a greater significance, and a more striking history, than any of the areas thus far presented. In Figures 6 through 12 in Chapter V (Orogenesis), a series of arcuate curves, spanning our globe, was given as one great evidence of a global cataclysm involving gravitational conflicts and tidal upheavals of magma. Figure 24 now gives a similar pattern, relative to the Appalachian Mountain uplift of the Eastern United States. Here again, the same pattern of arcuate uplifts occurs, lower, to be sure, but nevertheless comparable in alignment or pattern. Other mountain ranges, lower and more eroded, seem to be of this same era, including the Caledonian Mountains of Scotland and the Ural Mountains of Russia. These uplifts suggest that at least one earlier catastrophe, probably more, overtook the Earth prior to the age of the antediluvian world.
There are various reasons which serve as grounds for this suspicion.
One is the orogenetic observation just mentioned. Another is our atmosphere.
Our atmosphere today contains inert nitrogen, that is, N2.
N2 comprises about 77% of our atmosphere, and it comprised nearly
as much in the antediluvian age. Where did the nitrogen come from? The
crust of our Earth--the rocks and volcanoes--contain no clue. Our Earth's
oceans also contain no clue. Yet great oceans and atmospheres of nitrogen
are found in various compounds such as ammonia, beyond the asteroids in
the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. Compounds of nitrogen are also found
in the trains of comets. They include ammonia, cyanogen, hydrides of nitrogen,
ionized carbon monoxides, ionized hydroxyls, ionized nitrogen and various
of the lighter hydrocarbons. Perhaps the Earth's nitrogen, like the ice,
came from an extraterrestrial source in an earlier primeval catastrophe.
||Furthermore, it is to be noticed that coal beds occur horizontally
in broad series of strata, often alternating with shales, sometimes limestones.
Sometimes there are fifty or more alternating layers.5
The Appalachians are replete with examples. Sometimes the layers are a
few inches thick; occasionally they are many feet. But they seem to have
been laid down horizontally. They seem to have been laid down through fluid
mechanisms. They seem to have been laid down alternately. They seem to
have been laid down by similar mechanisms from continent to continent,
and on something approaching a global basis. Again it seems that tidal
mechanisms were involved.
These are grounds for suspecting at least one primordial catastrophe before the era of man. At that time or during those times, the Earth may have captured materials including ammonias, cyanogens, hydrides of nitrogen, hydroxyls, light and heavy hydrocarbons, ionized carbon monoxides, and nitrogens. These compounds are found in the trains of comets and also in the atmospheres of the Jovian planets. These will break down into nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water.
Some of the hydrocarbons which may have been captured were gaseous, like methane; others were liquids, and others were heavier tars. Some became compressed by diurnal tides and formed coal strata. Thus, this earlier primordial hydro-carboniferous catastrophe or catastrophes may well assist in explaining the following:
1. The large proportion of nitrogen (N2) in our atmosphere.
2. The great amounts of water in our oceans.
3. The successive layers of coal strata, often alternating with shales.
4. The deposition and percolation of petroleum into substrata pools.
Another illustration might come from Carbon 14 tests of petroleum. Petroleum deposits are supposedly paleozoic for the large part. This means they are supposedly in excess of 200,000,000 years in age, according to classical uniformitarian chronology. Dr. W. F. Libby tested some petroleum from the Tampico region of Mexico in 1952. His results show an age of thousands, but not millions, of years. This deposition upon the Earth may have been as late as 20,000 B.C.6 Petroleum, like coal and limestone, contains very little Carbon 14 or its ash byproducts.
It is important to differentiate the Primordial Carboniferous Catastrophe from the later Flood Catastrophe as related in Genesis. For if the primordial catastrophic approach is also correct, then immediately the genesis of the antediluvian atmospheric canopy can be postulated. Within the Earth's atmosphere reside four principal elements in varying proportions: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. Two of these, hydrogen and oxygen, comprise the principal elements in the Earth's oceans. They also were the elements in the "waters above the firmament" prior to the Flood as described in Genesis.
The crust of the Earth contains many oxides, such as aluminum, iron, calcium, and silicon, and it might suggest the origin of a portion of the oxygen in the Earth's oceans. But the crust of the Earth fails to give a clue as to the bulk of the hydrogen as well as the origin of the other gases. It does not point toward the origin of either carbon, hydrogen, or nitrogen. However, the regions beyond Mars and the asteroids do point to a possible common origin of each of these, in addition to more oxygen.
And with the possible deposition on the surface of the Earth by an earlier catastrophe of ammonias, cyanogens, hydrides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons, and hydroxyls, there would immediately have been a great oxidization or burning across the face of the Earth. The result of the burning would be water, water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The nitrogenous compounds would have decomposed and reduced to N2. The result for our atmosphere was the production of oxygen (O2) water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and inert, diatomic nitrogen (N2).
Some of the water vapor became part of a permanent shroud or canopy--permanent with respect to that earlier age. Much of the carbon was deposited in layers or pools. Here occur the basic elements provided for life as we know it, with our Earth's unique biological organic chemistries, based ultimately on carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen and water.
This consideration does in no way bar as impossible the principle of chemical reactions in the atmospheres of the colder planets; however, it presupposes that such reactions must be based on chemistries other than water, oxygen and carbon dioxide. But primitive chemical reactions (based on chemistries of ammonias, cyanogens, and the lighter hydrocarbons) could occur. The relatively weak rays of the Sun in those areas will still cause chemical reactions in the upper atmospheres.
The sudden and chaotic occurrence of the earlier Primordial Hydrocarboniferous Catastrophe could have provided the Earth with much of its atmosphere--its carbon and nitrogen, plus abundant amounts of hydrogen and oxygen. Even as it is concluded that the Floodtide Catastrophic Period was one in which the Earth received substantial volumes of ice from outer space, so it is similarly concluded that the Primordial Hydrocarboniferous Catastrophic Era was one in which the Earth captured hydrocarbons and nitrogenous compounds.
(A discussion concerning the timing of the Primordial Hydrocarboniferous Catastrophe, along with the Flood Catastrophe, is given in Chapter XI, in the section which discusses the Lyellian Geological Time Chart and a Catastrophic Time Chart.7 The Lyellian concept of oceans of time for every local uplift is cast into a full comparison with catastrophic contradictions.)
The heavier hydrocarbons in the form of tars which may have been captured, were stratified by alternating tidal action. They became compressed into seams of coal, alternating between layers of limestone, shale, or sandstone. Other hydrocarbons, lighter in weight, liquid in state, may have percolated through the Earth's upper crust and gathered into subterranean petroleum pools.
The Earth then became a dark, hydrocarboniferous dump at the time of
the earlier catastrophe or catastrophes. Part of the surface tar (bitumen)
from that period may have been utilized by Noah and his sons for the pitching
of the Ark (Genesis 14). Bitumen was also gathered several centuries after
the Flood in the oil-rich Mesopatamian Valley. It was used at that later
time to pitch the Tower of Babel so that it, too, like the Ark, would be
impervious to water if another Flood might recur (Genesis 11:3). Similarly,
bitumen was reported in the slime pits of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14:10)
at a time which may have just preceded a rifting of the Earth's crust in
Thus, it is posited, some 10,000 or 20,000 years ago, our planet
may well have been the scene of a dark, celestial, carboniferous dump.
This might help explain why horizontal seams of coal, like subterranean
pools of petroleum, contain virtually no Carbon-14 (along with limestones).
Perhaps this is how our antediluvian canopy originated, with its abundances
of water vapor and carbon dioxide, merely oxygenated hydrogen and carbon.
Our planet may have become literally a dark dump or void, a contention
suggested in Genesis 1:2.9
The Earth became without form and an empty waste (or void), and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. (King James)
5. Ozone, an Atmospheric Radical
Thus far the canopy (the Greenhouse Effect) has been discussed, with its resultant heat equilibrium relative to the Earth's climate, in which neither winds, rains, nor mature river systems played a prominent part. This was a result of a horizontal wind equilibrium--an absence of horizontal wind systems which today sweep across the face of the Earth in the fashion of land and sea breezes, hurricanes, typhoons, monsoons, blizzards, cyclonic storm fronts and trade winds.
However, if there was a horizontal wind equilibrium in the Antediluvian Age, similarly there also must have been a near equilibrium vertically with a minimum of convection (turbulence) between the exosphere, ionosphere, stratosphere and troposphere. This is to say that our modern epoch must experience more mixing of gases between the zones of the Earth's atmosphere.
Is the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere, ionosphere and exosphere) composed any differently from the troposphere, the Earth's atmosphere at or near ground level? This has been a question of importance to modern astrophysicists and meteorologists, concerned with such items as men plummeting through electrically charged fields (Van Allen Belts), formation of weather patterns and their relevance to jet streams, and even the consumption of pressurized stratosphere on jetliners.
In the upper atmosphere, the solar wind beats down unrestrained upon the atmosphere until the solar rays, especially of the ultra-violet frequency, strike the oxygen molecules and ricochet. When they strike the nucleus of the oxygen atom in just the right way, they will split the oxygen molecules (O2). The free oxygen atoms immediately recombine into another form of oxygen known as ozone (O3).
The ozone in the atmosphere is concentrated in the upper atmosphere zone where these reactions mostly take place. Although the content of ozone in the atmosphere is extremely small, its influence is out of all proportion to the quantity involved. The molecules of ozone, formed by the solar wind, possess the property of absorbing radiations of wave lengths less than 3000 A° (Angstrom units), which means that the layer of ozone effectively shields the Earth's crust from the majority of the Sun's ultra-violet range of radiation.
The Earth's shield of ozone is a canopy which is invisible to the human eye (the human eye sees radiation only in wave lengths between 3000A and 8000A). The ozone canopy is a vital factor in the composition of our outer atmosphere. If it did not occur, and the short-wave rays of the Sun could beat down directly upon the Earth's crust, there would be a sudden extinction of all life processes on the Earth's surface.10
There is no certainty that throughout the previous ages, the ozone shield has remained constant in quantity, altitude, or effectiveness. It would seem that the ozone shield in the Antediluvian Age was more effective than is the current ozone shield; moreover, the ozone shield was reinforced by a water vapor shield, which has already been discussed (the waters above the atmospheric firmament, as related in Genesis). Over and above this, there was a greater amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide also.
Ozone occurs in its greatest amounts, or proportions, at altitudes between 50,000 and 80,000 feet, and in volumes of 3 parts per million. This proportion is a balance between the effect of the solar wind, which creates ozone, and the effect of the Earth's long-wave radiation, which acts as a catalyst and turns ozone back into its normal diatomic state of O2 (oxygen).
| Rare Gases in
| Parts per
|6. Nitrous oxide||5|
|- (at sea level)||1.4|
|- (at 80,000 feet)||10 to 30|
|8. Xenon 1||1|
|Approx. Total||280-300 ppm|
In the antediluvian atmosphere, which contained more water vapor and carbon dioxide, it may well be that the effect of the Earth's long-wave radiation of changing ozone (O3) back to oxygen (O2) was also increased in the lower atmosphere, but was decreased in the upper atmosphere, allowing for a greater canopy of ozone to form at upper atmospheric levels.
It is viewed that the water vapor canopy worked two ways. It prevented the Sun's short-wave radiation from reaching ground level. In this way, it buttressed the effect of the ozone canopy, which the human eye cannot see, since our eyes see only wave lengths from 3000 to 8000 Angstrom units.
But the water vapor canopy not only shielded the Earth from solar radiation; it similarly shielded the outer ozone layer from the Earth's long-wave radiation. It was a buffer zone in the atmosphere. The Earth's long-wave radiation is what causes the ozone (O3) to recombine back to its normal diatomic state of oxygen (O2). A reduction in the Earth's long-wave radiation at upper atmosphere levels, absorbed by the intervening water vapor canopy, possibly allowed for an even thicker ozone canopy than exists in the present age. Thus the ozone canopy more effectively shielded the Earth from the solar wind in the Antediluvian Age.
The water vapor canopy caused a near temperature equilibrium at ground level, where the atmosphere is thickest. The temperature equilibrium reduced horizontal turbulence to the extent that wind was very slight. The temperature equilibrium also reduced vertical turbulence. Therefore it is contended that the earlier atmosphere actually contained a thicker ozone canopy at the upper atmosphere levels than does the Earth in the present age: nevertheless, the ratio of ozone at ground level was also reduced as compared to current conditions. Thus the ratio of ozone at the Earth's surface in the previous age may have been measurable in parts per billion or even less, as contrasted with the present age in which it is measurable in parts per ten million.
It has been pointed out to the author that, under these conditions, Carbon-14, an atmospheric radical of carbon, would perhaps also be formed in even greater volumes at upper atmospheric levels; however, it too, like ozone, would not experience the convection (turbulence) of the present modern era. It would remain in its higher concentrations at the upper levels, and would similarly exist in even lower proportions at ground level than in the present age. One of the assumptions in the Carbon-14 dating mechanism is that the level of Carbon-14 has remained constant in the atmosphere over the ages--an assumption over which Dr. Libby, its discoverer, has been somewhat uneasy, and apparently for good reasons. This could conceivably throw Carbon-14 datings for events earlier than the 2nd millennium B.C. into a new light.
The proportion of ozone in the upper atmosphere varies considerably.
It is greater in the ionosphere above the magnetic poles than in equatorial
magnetic latitudes. It varies during the peaks and troughs of sunspot activity.
It varies due to both horizontal and vertical turbulence at upper atmospheric
levels. It will average between 10 and 30 parts per million at 75,000 feet;
but at the Earth's sea level, it averages about 1 part per ten million.
Under the conditions of the Antediluvian Age, it may have occurred in proportion
of a few parts per billion at sea level. The significance of this factor
is seldom realized, but shall be further considered later in this chapter.
6. The Primordial Canopy and Actinic Radiation
Actinic radiation is a term which encompasses the various kinds of short-wave radiation: cosmic rays, X-rays, and ultra-violet rays. The author's conclusion is that the level of actinic radiation at the Earth's surface was reduced in the Antediluvian Age. Part of the reason for this conclusion was the water vapor canopy, and part of the reason was the greater effect of the ozone canopy.
These shields, along with the differing mix of gases in that atmosphere, and the different climatic regime, constituted a self-perpetuating balance or equilibrium much different from the current conditions.
Ultra-violet light, for instance, affects bacteria, and is an effective
germicidal agent. Ultra-violet light also penetrates the human skin, and
is significant in the production of Vitamin D. It apparently also has a
complicated relationship with the rate of metabolism. Both of these in
turn affect calcification and tissue wear. These in turn have cumulative
effects upon the process of aging.
7. The Curve of Declining Longevity After the Flood
Figure 25 illustrates the declining curve of longevity of man
following the collapse of the Antediluvian Canopy. This curve is recorded
in the chronicles of Genesis. The resultant curve is a biochemical curve
involving over 1500 years of history, and over 30 generations until the
new norm was ultimately reached. This logging of the ages of the post-diluvian
patriarchs is one of the formidable but unexplained facts of Genesis. This
includes the "beget" and "begot" chapters which have seemed so repetitious
and boring to the casual reader, chapters which in reality are among the
most important of all ancient literature.
|Ancient longevity is a tradition not only in Genesis but also in many
other independent folklores and literatures of the ancients.11
Only in Genesis has there occurred a carefully preserved account.
This curve required over 30 generations and more than 1500 years until the new norm of "three score and ten" years was reached by the descendants of Noah. This curve suggests that cumulative factors rather than single factors were involved in causing the change in the rate of aging. This curve is a common type of decay curve, and can be duplicated in many other chemical or electrical experiments. It can be plotted when a capaci-tator is discharged and a new norm is ultimately reached. It can be plotted by subjecting bacteria to mild (and non-lethal) levels of germicidal ultra-violet radiation. It can be achieved by subjecting fish to ozonated water.
It should be observed that the abscissa of this curve is not calendar years but is rather number of generations, and in this sense it is a semi-chronological graph. If this biochemical curve contains any meaning at all, its implications are immense. It imnlies that with a reorganized atmosphere, both climate and longevity could be either markedly improved or deranged.
Interestingly enough, it has also been found that ozone, an extremely
toxic gas, can accomplish this same "transient decay curve" chemically
upon human cell tissue. Ozone is a chemical radical which, when ingested
through the lungs and into the blood stream, can be bound by hemoglobin,
distributed throughout the human body, and diffused to the cells as a substitute
for oxygen. Here it is received as an over-oxygenated substance.
Laboratory studies with ozone have shown that this molecule reacts with amino acids and proteins, with nucleic acids and their derivatives, and with other compounds all of which are biologically essential.12
Ozone, a radical form of oxygen, can also disrupt chromosomal material, something accomplished chemically which may also be accomplished physically by ultra-violet radiation. Following are some excerpts taken from reports of laboratory tests of human cell cultures immersed in water ozonated at a rate of 8 parts per million:
The investigations reported here are an extension of this work to demonstrate the activity of ozone against human cells in culture . . . Table 1 and Figure 2 represent the results of exposing cultures of KB cells to 8 parts per million by weight of ozone in oxygen for 5 and 10 minutes. . . This investigation has demonstrated that exposure to ozone is capable of producing chromatid breakages in human cell cultures, which are apparently identical to those produced by X-rays.13
In the above study, by Fettner, Figure 2 was a plotting of the findings. The resulting curves were also of the transient decay type, strikingly similar to the one in Figure 25 concerning decline in longevity of our own race following the Floodtide Catastrophe, and the resultant breakdown of the primordial canopy.
Ozone, even when ingested in parts per 10 million, has a tiny, but nevertheless toxic effect, and as a chemical radical, will react and injure many types of tissue, not excluding germ (reproductive) tissue.14
Ozone, like ultra-violet radiation, will disrupt genetic material, and this might occur to any cell. A very limited number of studies have been undertaken, which have been concerned with the toxic effects of ozone upon lung tissue in industrial regions, and also the effect of ozone upon thyroid tissue. More studies of greater breadth and depth may reveal some most interesting data; data which may be very latent in significance.15, 16
It should be pointed out that if this understanding of the toxicity of ozone is correct, even in such minute proportions as exists in our atmosphere, it is a subject for concern. It is a problem more for long-range concern than short-range concern, because the effects of excessive ozone would appear to be cumulative and permanent and not immediate in its effect.
The conditions in the earlier Antediluvian Age were much different than in today's atmospheric environment, and were for the most part better, if we consider longevity to be "good."17
The human body absorbs or ingests material in three ways. These three ways are (1) through the skin (ultra-violet radiation) , (2) through the lungs (oxygen, ozone, and sometimes carbon monoxide), and (3) through the stomach (the diet).
Thus far it has been stated that there was a different (and reduced) level of ultra-violet radiation in the Antediluvian Age. There was also a different mix of gases, and a different barometric pressure. These features pertain to sunlight and ingestion through the skin and lungs.
Similarly, there seemingly was also a difference in the diet of fauna in the Antediluvian Age in the following respect: the dispersion of minerals. Minerals are dispersed through soils and solutions by running water. Minerals are collected in solutions, and our oceans with their great concentrations of salts are the leading example. Interior basins such as the Aral Sea, the Dead Sea and Great Salt Lake are other examples.
With little running water, and little leaching of the soils, and with the water table constantly high, there would be little in the way of dispersion of solutions, and little in the way of dispersion of trace minerals in water. It is thought that such elements as bromine, cadmium, calcium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, zinc and others were less available in the previous age. And this was especially true in "heartland" or landlocked areas in contrast to maritime areas.
Many trace elements are vitally required by the human physiology, and it cannot function either effectively or durably without them. However, it also appears that other trace elements effectively poison the human physiology. Iodine illustrates the former case; cadmium the latter case.
The subject of the differential in dispersion of trace elements is an
additional consideration which may bear heavily on longevity differentials
plus an assortment of other physiological differentials between the two
8. Traditions of Longevity
The tradition of longevity among the ancients is a universal phenomenon.
It occurs in Greek mythology where the ancient gods such as Prometheus
take a position comparable to antediluvian patriarchs such as Enoch or
Methuselah in the Hebrew account. Egypt, Syria, Persia, and India all possess
similar traditions of a long-lived race during a previous age. This principle
is unfortunately garbled, and often takes the form of folklore in more
primitive cultures. Being vague rather than specific is the rule, except
in the Hebrew account. However many of these ancient traditions were at
one time clear to the ancients, and those sources have been lost. Josephus
was familiar with many of those accounts, from historians of several ancient
cultures, and wrote as follows:
But let no one upon comparing the lives of the ancients with our lives, and with the few years which we now live, think that what we have said of them is false; or make the shortness of our lives at present an argument, that neither did they attain to so long a duration of life, for those ancients were beloved of God, and made by God himself; and because their food was then fitter for the prolongation of life, might well live so great a number of years; and besides. God afforded them a longer time of life on account of their virtue, and the good use they made of astronomical and geometrical discoveries, which would not have afforded the time for fortelling the periods of the stars, unless they had lived six hundred years, for the great year is completed in that interval. Now I have for witnesses to what I have said, all those that have written Antiquities, both among the Greeks and Barbarians: for even Manetho, who wrote the Egyptian history, and Berosus, who collected the Chaldean monuments, and Mochus, Hestiaeus, and besides these, Hieronymus the Egyptian, and those that composed the Phoenecian history, agree to what I here say: Hesiod also, and Hecataeus, and Hellanicus and Acusilaus, and besides these, Ephorus and Nicolaus relate, that the ancients lived a thousand years. But as to these matters, let every one look upon them as they think fit.18
It has been noted that the Genesis account very formidably states that longevity was normal in the Antediluvian Era, and its decline was regular (and not sudden) following the Floodtide Catastrophe. These other ancient chroniclers, with whom Josephus claimed much familiarity, gave a similar story.
While we may not agree with Josephus' reasoning as to why the ancients lived longer, the fact is that he had a strong conviction about the matter. Josephus, like others, made some premature conclusions. One was that rain, since it was associated with the Flood, caused the Flood--a premature conclusion. Josephus considered the food of the earlier age as the superior factor; rather it may have been the atmosphere which was breathed (in general), and the absence of the ozone radical (in particular). Secondly, however, a reduced level of trace elements in the diet may have also been an additional category of factors.
There seems to be three general ways in which the ancient chroniclers erred about the extended lives of their ancestors. First of all, the later historians did not understand that which they were trying to report. This was a major handicap, and led to inaccurate interpolations. Secondly, historians (not unlike other human beings) have a tendency to exaggerate. But in the astrologically minded India, a third factor also may have occurred.
In India, where a tropical climate prevailed, including minor temperature differences between seasons, it is suspected that certain ancient chroniclers used a dicalendar system--some counted with lunar cycles and others with solar cycles. (Even among the Hebrews of ancient times, the festivals of the new moon rivaled the annual feasts in importance.)19 It is suspected that in India, earlier chroniclers counted in terms of the lunar cycle; later chroniclers counted with solar cycles, and did not realize the difference. Thus months became interpreted as years. In this way exaggeration also occurred, even though there is a core of truth in their understanding of ancient longevity, of zodiac-related catastrophes, of ages, cycles and previous ages.
Traditions of longevity among the Hindus for the earlier age ascribe ages of 10,000 and 15,000 years. Berosus, the Babylonian historian of 300 B.C., basing his history on the archives from the Temple of Marduk, copied the names, in sequence, of the Pre-Flood kings, Alulim through Xisuthros and ascribes ages of 18,000 through 60,000 years for them. (And "in the time of Xisuthros, the Great Deluge occurred.") Our conclusion is that exaggerating occurred in counting, estimating, copying, and confusions occurred among counting systems; nevertheless, there is a core of truth also in the chronicles of Berosus.
Further implications drawn from the biochemical curve of declining longevity, as plotted from the Genesis chronicles, are vast. One implication is that the re-establishing of a canopy similar to that of the previous age is by no means impossible. Such a development could rejuvenate the climate of the Earth, and could cause the desert to again bloom as the rose. Vast barren regions like the Sahara could again become fertile. This has demographical (population) implications. On the other hand, whether such a re-establishing of the ancient longevity would be desirable, at the present state of man's spiritual development, is questionable.20
At this juncture, toward the close of this 9th chapter on the Greenhouse Effect, the trend of the book begins to take a wide turn, not dissimilar to that of a baseball player, rounding third base and heading for home plate. Up to now, the discussion has been centered around considerations which were astrophysical and geophysical in the history of our planet. It has concerned such physical matters as ammonias, asteroids, atmospheres, carbon dioxides, comets, electro-magnetic fields, forces, interacting gravities, ices, meteor streams, monsoons, oceans, orbits, ozones, planets, satellites, space, tides, vulcanism and water vapor.
But the line of demarcation between the physical (the astrophysical and the geophysical) and the biological has now been reached. The discussion enters into the biochemical realm.
Lyell's (geological) uniformitarianism is seen as hopeless. Does Darwin's (biological) uniformitarianism have a basis apart from its Lyellian foundation? From now on, the discussion shall consider such subjects as apes and alleged apes, catastrophism and cave wall art, chromosomes and genes, Darwins and dinosaurs, cross-breeding and in-breeding, alluvial fossils and ice fossils, saber-toothed mesonyxes and saber-toothed smilodons, twenty-foot bears and twenty-inch dragon flies, genetical disorders and endocrine disorders, acromegalics and cretins, mutations and transmutations. Thus the subject of Lyell's uniformitarianism is left behind, and the more famous subject of Darwin's uniformitarianism, usually termed "evolution," comes to the front. This is always a controversial and emotional subject, and is usually discussed in a quasi-scientific manner. What is its foundation--how strong is its defense--to what is its real appeal?
It has been proposed that physical uniformitarianism, whether celestial or geological, is inconsistent with observation both astronomically or geophysically. Nor does it make sense when one views the astral and catastrophic motifs which saturate ancient folklores, histories, literatures, religions and architectures. Uniformitarianism is incompatible with the Biblical narrative. It does not adequately interpret the atmosphere, hydrosphere or lithosphere of our planet. It does not account for the magnitude of force required for orogenesis, nor for the patterns of global arcuate uplifts (nor the parallelism also involved). Uniformitarianism fails to explain the basis for sudden changes, whether orogenetic, glacial, flood-tidal, or climatic.
Uniformitarianism does not explain the amazing mixtures of strata which occur, such as the ice and lava sandwiches of the Pacific Northwest. It fails to explain the immense pools of petroleum which underlay much of our great Southwest. It fails to explain the origin of the great seams of coal, both folded and unfolded, which lay astride the Appalachian uplift on our Eastern seaboard. Uniformitarianism fails to explain the rich, many-specied fossil finds of aquatic animals, covered over with sedimentary strata in our semi-arid mid-continental Great Plains states, the very heart of the North American continent.
Geological uniformitarianism, even in its vaunted near-monopolistic
position in academic circles, is totally lacking in mechanics, and therefore,
must be considered an absurd hypothesis. But what about biological uniformitarianism?
Can Darwinism stand apart from its Lyellian foundation? The next chapter
is directed to a systematic analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of
this famous hypothesis.
"The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch" by Donald W. Patten - is ©1966 by Pacific Meridian Pub. Co.