Everyone knows that according to Genesis 1:6-8 (King James version, of course):
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
That’s rather straightforward. What’s the problem? Well, they seem to be struggling with it at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.
Their latest post is What Were the ‘Waters Above the Firmament’? It was written by Brian Thomas. He’s usually described at the end of his articles as “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” This is ICR’s biographical information on him. Here are some excerpts from his article, with bold font added by us:
Early ICR scientists hypothesized that the “waters which were above the firmament” implied a canopy of water vapor that covered the earth before the Flood. However, later tests led researchers away from this model. What changed their minds?
Gasp! We’re shocked — shocked! — that the “early ICR scientists” have changed their minds. Those were the giants of creation science. What happened? We’re told:
The vapor canopy theory helped explain why God separated the Genesis 1:1 formless mass of water into two bodies, one above and another below, with a firmament between them. An atmospheric vapor wrap gave a place for the waters “above the firmament.” This canopy’s greenhouse effect might have made the whole pre-Flood world tropical and helped people live for hundreds of years.
Sounds perfectly logical. Let’s read on:
But holes appeared in the theory. Atmospheric physicist Larry Vardiman used climate modeling software to construct a virtual vapor canopy. When he input enough water vapor for the first 40 days of rain during the Flood year, he found that Earth’s temperatures would have soared due to an intense greenhouse effect. His results required the sun to emit only 25 percent of its current intensity to keep Earth’s inhabitants from basically boiling.
So what? A few miracles could have handled it. Thomas continues:
While Dr. Vardiman tested the vapor canopy, physicist Dr. Russell Humphreys formulated a new model that placed the firmament waters beyond the farthest galaxies! Humphreys suggested that God miraculously stretched out the heavens on Day Two of the creation week. In other words, God pulled the upper waters some 20 million light-years away from Earth-bound waters below, leaving a firmament of heaven between.
Oh — the water canopy above the firmament was placed 20 million light-years away. According to ICR, that’s “beyond the farthest galaxies.” Okay, that also makes sense — to creationists. Here’s more:
But if there never was a vapor canopy [above the Earth], then what about that idyllic pre-Flood climate helping people live hundreds of years?
Jeepers — another problem. This is terrible! But ICR can handle it. Thomas tells us:
[G]enetics better explains the dramatic decrease in life spans after the Flood. A population bottleneck, like when the world’s population shrunk to only eight on the Ark, would reduce later life spans.
Well, yes — assuming Noah’s family included people with uncharacteristically short lifespans. Here’s the end of the article:
Responsible creation researchers test various historical models, but basic Bible facts never change. For example, “in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them,” and “the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water,” regardless of where one places the creation week’s upper waters.
Okay. No problem. It’s all true, regardless of where you put that troublesome water canopy. We are grateful for the tireless work they do at the Institute for Creation Research.
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