In Japan’s Earthquake Altered the Length of a Day they manage to jam together into one little article not only Japan’s earthquake and Noah’s Flood, but also the length of a day, the radius of the earth, and the existence of tectonic plates. We can’t really summarize or critique this one in a brief post, so we’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us, and then you can click over there to figure it out for yourself. They begin by saying:
Japan’s disastrous March 11 earthquake has had a lasting geologic impact on the earth. Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology preliminarily found that it moved the planet’s rotation axis by 25 centimeters.
ICR’s source for that is something they read in the Huffington Post. But after that dramatic opening, their next paragraph says:
The earth movements caused a slight contraction in the overall circumference of the planet, which has shortened the length of each day by about a millionth of a second.
Okay. A huge earthquake caused a minute shortening of the length of a day. Remember that as we read on:
Historian and author Bill Cooper showed how the length of each day was such that exactly 360 days comprised a year — the earth’s single revolution around the sun in the pre-Flood world. He used information from portions of Genesis chapters 7 and 8 to calculate a year consisting of 12 months of 30 days each.
It’s not important who that guy is, or how he arrived at his conclusion. We know that in our own time a year is a bit more than 5 days longer than that. Assuming the earth’s orbit hasn’t changed, that means our days must have shortened rather considerably in order to fit 365 of them into a year that was only 360 days long just a few thousand years ago. That would require a lot of massive earthquakes! ICR is aware of the problem, as can be seen here:
The effects of Japan’s earthquake were relatively miniscule [sic], subtracting only a tiny fraction of a second’s worth of day/night rotations during a single year. So, altering the earth’s day/year synchronization by five days would take an almost unimaginably powerful earth-altering event. And yet, there is geological evidence that just such a fantastic catastrophe occurred.
ICR’s “evidence” is the biblical Flood, plus the existence of tectonic plates. We shall ignore the dubious persuasiveness of their scriptural evidence, and their peculiar assumption that tectonic plates are the the result of earthquakes rather than the cause, and press on with their article.
Next they have a couple of paragraphs that say this, with reassuring footnotes to an ICR article and a creationism conference:
Research geophysicist John Baumgartner wrote in 2004, “Many lines of evidence show that today’s igneous ocean floor — all of it — has formed via seafloor spreading since roughly mid-way through the Flood.” The earth’s crust looks as though it has recently suffered a complete overhaul.
In this scenario, the equatorial radius of the pre-Flood earth would have been 30 miles longer than today’s radius, assuming earth’s mass distribution is the same now as it was then. This represents about a 3.5 percent decrease in earth’s equatorial circumference, perhaps caused by runaway subduction associated with the Flood, causing earth to spin on its axis more than five days faster.
Never mind the earth’s radius. Let’s just pause for a moment to see where we are in all of this. According to ICR, a year (presumably unchanged) used to be 360 days because the earth used to spin slower — thus a day was longer. Okay, we’ve done some math. 360 divided by 365.25 = .985626, which means (we think) that a day today is roughly 1.5% shorter than ICR claims it was in Noah’s time. That’s no big deal, or is it?
How many seconds are there in 1.5% of a day? A day is 86,400 seconds. One point five percent of that is 1,296 seconds. That’s how much ICR claims a day has shortened since Noah’s Flood about 4,000 years ago. By contrast (or confirmation, according to ICR) the Japan earthquake shortened the day by only one millionth of one second. Okay, it’s all very clear now. Here’s how the article ends:
The testimony of Scripture is that at the start of the year-long global Flood “the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up.” [Footnote to Genesis.] This indicates that subterranean material was violently thrust to the earth’s surface, having torn through the crust, leading to a profound redistribution of the planet’s mass. Historical evidence from Scripture and geological evidence from the earth indicate that it was indeed possible for the rigors of the Flood to have significantly altered the number of days in a year.
So there you are, dear reader. As you can see from the fact that Japan’s earthquake shortened the day by a millionth of a second, the biblical account of the Flood is true.
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