Water Canopy

  1. I may have mentioned this problem in a thread on the old PFs, but I don't remember the answer, and I can't use my Archive C.D. right now, so I figure I should ask again (I'll probably get some new responses anyway):

    What evidence is there for or against the idea that a giant "water canopy" (vapor, obviously) used to surround the Earth about 5,000 years ago?

    The idea of a global deluge is present in alot of ancient religions and cultures; and, for this to have happened, it is said that a great water canopy would have to have existed, that's why I want to know if there's any proof for or against this possibility...

    Anyone have information on this?
  2. jcsd
  3. You are referring to a creationist idea.

    http://www.harrypottermagic.org/Evolution of Creationist/Chapter 07.htm

    The creationist main objective is to prove that the creation tale was exactly true and happened exactly as in the Bible.

    To less pious people this has little to do with Earth science where ideas are being tested using plain down to Earth physics and math.

    Try and press such a water canopy in physical properties. We do have a water canopy BTW, there are tonnes of water in the atmosphere. If you try to put too much in it, it rains out again.

    Is there evidence for the big flood? Wel there is plenty of evidence for several big floods albeit always locally. One of the more elegant proofs against a global big flood is the existance of primary fresh water fish. These groups (ie Carps etc)of very old genera have always been unable to live in salt water. If there had been a giant world wide flood, all the fresh water in the rivers and akes would have been blended with salt water of the ocean and all primary fresh water fish would have become extinct. But then you would have to believe that evolution is true too.

    Apart from that, geologic research of many sites reveal that those have never been oceans in the recent past.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2003
  4. Thanks for your response, Andre. Just so you know, I wasn't saying that I approve of one idea or the other, I was saying that I wanted to understand what proofs there might be for such an occasion (the water canopy collapsing and producing a global flood), if it occured in the past.

    As it is, I don't understand the objection about fresh-water fish. They shouldn't have a problem in an enormous deluge where there is a new (much more dilluted) distribution of the water.

    Also, is it possible that a comet (which is basically a big chunk of ice) could come through the atmosphere, thus melting and producing even more water than the water canopy would have on its own (note: again, I'm not trying to prove anything, I'm just trying to see what the real disproofs or proofs are for this possibility)?
  5. LURCH

    LURCH 2,507
    Science Advisor

    The most widely accepted model of planetary formation is (or at least was) one in which the early Earth was far too hot for liquid water to exist. As the surface began to cool and harden, the envelope of gasses saroundong the planet also cooled. when the temperature at high altitude dropped below 100o C, the water vapor in the atmosphere condensed and precipitated, pretty much all at once. This would fit very well with the idea of a global "water cannopy" falling and creating a flood. Doesn't help much with explaining the floods mentioned in many culture's ancient literature, however, as this global deluge would have taken place long before any life existed on the planet at all, let alone literate human beings.
  6. Well, considering scenarios, there are flood stories from all over the World:


    But the are also many data records from all over the world like pollen cores, seditment cores, ice cores etc, that record all kind of environmental conditions.


    If there had been a global flood within the last era's when humans emerged, it is very likely that it would have shown in some of those proxies. For instance, would not the ice sheets of Antartica have floated away and melt consequentlely? Yet, Antartica ice has been dated to more than 420,000 years.

    But there have been catastrophical local flooding. Google for Lake Missoula for instance or Lake Agassiz or the Black Sea flood


    So, many floodings all over the world but not a simulaneous big flood.
  7. Hmm...so there's no way that this canopy could have lasted or been recreated to produce the flood that all of these legends seem to point to?
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