Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Let there be a firmament (Gen 1:6-8)

Okay, those skeptical readers that believe that all Christians are wing nuts are in for a treat today, because day two of creation is where my personal beliefs are, I realize, more than a bit out there. Of course, my personal beliefs do not reflect the whole of Christendom, but I didn't come up with this stuff on my own, and when you get to an odd passage like this, you have to develop some sort of understanding.

The SAB lists this passage as an "absurdity", and I'll be the first to agree, but once again, we're talking about the miraculous, and the stuff that happens during the first few chapters here is largely outside of the norm for the whole of natural history. Many translations find different ways to fit an English term to this "firmament", but the essence of the idea apparently is that the Hebrew word raqiya in this context denotes the idea of a large solid object that's holding up a sky full of water. Yes, the world as described by these three verses is a big underwater dome. The atmosphere is made by creating an air bubble in an endless sea, held open by this undescribed structure.

My belief? There's a theory about the antediluvian age among many Bible believers known as the "water canopy" theory. The idea here is that God originally created the world with the ocean waters suspended in the air, holding in a warm, moist atmosphere. Supposedly, this accounts for a number of things which come to their end in the flood of Noah's day. People living long, healthy lives due to a clean, oxygen-rich atmosphere and lack of cosmic radiation; largely unchanging weather conditions (it may have never rained before Noah's day!); and, some believe, the coexistence of dinosaurs with humanity. While a lot of this sounds pretty bizarre and silly, suspending your disbelief regarding this suspension of water you can see solves many other Biblical dilemmas, thus its appeal.

For probably most people, however, this passage is taken to be poetic in nature. While the sky is most certainly not a solid object as far as we know (and given that we have traveled into space in modern times, it seems we can rest pretty sure about that) the concept of haraqiya as a "bowl" shape still has some appeal. After all, even after the flood the term is still used to describe the sky numerous times; and really, isn't the sky shaped like a bowl wherever you look at it from the ground? There's a reason observatories and planetariums are domed: it's the essential shape of the sky.

And what of the "waters above the firmament"? Well, those would just be clouds. If this explanation doesn't suffice to fit your concept of "above", then I would say wait for the fourth day, I'm going to take some time to talk about translation and prepositions. It should either clear things up immensely or convince you more than ever that I'm a crackpot. Either should be entertaining.

Remember also that when God calls the firmament "Heaven", that there is some vagueness to that word. In the NT, the Apostle Paul refers to the "third heaven", and is clearly talking about what we tend to think of in reference to the word "Heaven". However, this concept of "third" is important, as there were three heavens. The first heaven is the atmosphere, the second heaven is outer space, and the third heaven is beyond space, the place where God lives. Many translations render "Heaven" in verse eight as "sky", because the Bible seems to clearly be talking about the atmosphere.

The SAB makes an interesting note that God doesn't call the second day "good." No explanation is given. I don't find this troubling, only thought-provoking. One possibility that I like, being a believer in the "water canopy" theory, is that when God creates the world with this form, He's looking ahead to the day when all this water He has put in reserve will be used to wipe clean the face of the earth. He's not happy about it, but He foresees it coming, so He makes this water canopy with a heavy heart, so to speak. Who knows?

19 comments:

Brucker said...

"...wait for the fourth day, I'm going to take some time to talk about translation and prepositions."

I totally forgot to do this! I'm going to add it on the comments today.

mazinkaiser_z said...

Believe it or not, the Bible is a coded book. It is not designed to be read straight forward, but it is a like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces scattered in the Bible itself. As mentioned in Isaiah, "...there a little, here a little..." The Bible is clear about the chronological events without contradicting science. The following is a brief sequence of events as described in the Bible, if only one will truly open his mind and do research without bias and biggotry:
1. (John 1:1) In the beginning, There was God and the Word (Logos in Greek, meaning spokesman). These 2 supreme beings co-existed. Later, we learned that the Logos became a human being, that is Jesus Christ. And we learned that the Logos itself did the creating as told by God. These 2 supreme beings are creators and lives in perfect harmony.
2. (Job 38:7) God created angelic beings. It is revealed in Job 38, that when God created the earth, all the "morning stars" shouted for joy. The morning stars refer here refers to angels. This verse proves that angels existed before the creation of earth.
3. (Gen 1:) And God created the heavens (plural) and the earth. There you go, the creation of the universe and earth. The sun, galaxies, etc. will be here.
4. (Isa 14:12, Eze 28:12) God put Lucifer, a cherub in this earth as a ruler with 1/3 of angels inhabiting earth. After some time, Lucifer rebelled, wanted himself to be the ruler in place of God. Convinced 1/3 of angels under him to fight God.
5. (Rev 12:7) There was war, Michael, one the archangels, and his army (angels also), fought with Lucifer and his legions. Lucifer was defeated along with his army, sent back to earth awaiting judgment day. The war destroyed God's creation including earth. Lucifer became Satan (enemy) and his legions became demons.
6. (Gen 1:2) The earth became waste and desolate. This would be the correct translation after examining the original Hebrew words and after the sequence of events. This would also be the most logical and scientific explanation. The universe including earth has existed millions of years and not only 6,000 yrs as assumed by many. The creation of the universe, rebellion of Lucifer, could have taken millions of years to happen. The rebellion destroyed God's creation, a good example is the moon with so many craters resulting in impact. These angels possess incredible powers. Darkness also covers the earth. darkness doesn't mean there is no sun to give light. But Satan's rebellion resulted in earth being destroyed, became waste and desolate, killing everything living on earth at that time, could also be ash from volcanic eruption or craters hitting earth. You can imagine that this war is the real Star Wars movie. The waste and desolate in the original Hebrew came from the words tohu and bohu. We know from the New testament that "God is not the author of confusion (of tohu / bohu). Also, the angels shouted for Joy when God created the earth. It could only mean it is very beautiful at that time and not waste and desolate. And we continue...
7. (Gen 1:3) God recreated the earth in 6 days. God removed the darness by saying Let there be Light. It means, removing the darkness (ash and dust) that surrounded the earth due to Lucifer's rebellion. Sunlight shines again in the face of the earth. God created man, in his image, in the 6th day. The earth is now ready for a new creature called man, created in the likeness of God, which makes him unique over God's creation. God said "Let US make man in OUR image." This doesn't conflict John 1:1, that there are 2 supreme beings, God and Logos. God of course, being the leader of the two. Does this mean there are 2 Gods? God in Hebrew came from the word Elohim, a plural form, in layman's term, it means a family or a surname. In this case, God family composing of God and Logos. One God family composing of 2 supreme beings almost identical living in perfect harmony. Scientists today believe that dinosaurs became extinct due to a meteor that crashed on earth resulting in ash and dust covering the earth. Without sunlight, plants and animals died. How true! This is because of Lucifer's rebellion that earth became a wasteland.

There you go, a brief sequence of events truly happened in harmony with science. The Bible is correct if all the pieces like a jigsaw puzzle has been put together. The earth existed more than 6000 yrs, this is evident from carbon dating, that our universe has existed for millions of years. The Bible never contradicts itself, it may look like if you don't study it carefully.

Anonymous said...

The idea that the 2nd day is not called "good", because God has a heavy heart does not make sense to me.

A perfect God cannot, by definition, create something that is not good. Further, how can a perfect God create things which he knows will "fail" - this seems impossible. If he knows that Adam and Eve will be "bad", why bother creating them to begin with. He's all knowing!

Brucker said...

You're asking a bigger question than I'm sure I can adequately answer; people have written books and books on the subject and I'm sure more than a few churches have been torn apart by disagreement on whether or not God created mankind either knowing that we would be a failure, intending that we would be a failure, or perhaps intending that a short-term failure could pave the way for a bigger and better triumph that would offset the failure of mankind. Nobody really knows for sure, and while there are theological positions on the matter that I find quite satisfying, they might not be sufficient to explain the matter to your satisfaction.

All that aside, though, I really don't see why God not saying "It is good," is much of an issue at all.

Anonymous said...

I always believed in the water canopy theory becaise it made sense, but then I ran into this issue. If there truly was the remanents of a water canopy, then why does it say "waters above the firmament" but when talking about the two great lights sun and moon, it says God placed them "in the firmament". Naturally, the only conclusion you can come to is the author believed the sun, moon and stars were all under the water in the midst of the expanse, while the water was above it. So, my question is, can that be refuted?

Brucker said...

You need to see my comments here.

Anonymous said...

I read your comment, but here's the problem. The Hebrew word "above" is properly translated according to it's definition in the Strong's Concordance. So, why wasn't that same word used to describe the two great lights being "above" the firmament, rather than using "in" the firmament which is also properly translated from the Hebrew. I read your comment, but it seems you're trying to make sense out of something that is very straightforward and obvious. I can be creative and invent an answer to explain this inaccuracy, but based on the Hebrew, as well as matching verses throughout the Bible and especially when you take into account the primitive scientific knowledge of the time, the only logical conclusion is the author looked up and saw a blue sky, so when the rain came down, he thought the same way as his contemporaries, that God was opening a window to let all the water down. This is supported by other verses in the Bible itself as well as the Book of Enoch. The evidence is overwhelming in the Bible of a dome shaped universe with the celestial bodies inside that dome, the roof of the dome being crystalized water and God sitting on top of that roof; in fact, according to Job 22:14 He even walks on it. I'm a born Christian and have studied the Bible extensively, but after researching this topic and apparent error thoroughly, my faith has been seriously shaken. I'm on the verge of becoming an Atheist, something that I use to dread before. I'm desperately trying to find a logical explanation, but I haven't found one yet. How can we ignore this verse of Creation and several others like Genesis 8:2, Pslam 148:4, Isaiah 40:22, Ezekiel 1:22-26 that reinforce this scientific error?

Brucker said...

I think you're missing the point of my comments. No matter what language you are speaking/writing in, there is always some ambiguity when it comes to prepositions. As I said, or maybe just hinted at, even today in proper English we say that stars are "in" the sky. Actually, in addition to that, it occurs to me that is colloquially understood that when you speak of something like the moon or sun being "in the sky" you mean that they are positioned within the hemisphere of space directly above you at the current time. That is to say, even today we speak of the sky as though it is a finite, dome-shaped object that hangs over our heads, even though most people know otherwise. Genesis 1 is a story about the power of God, not a lesson in astrophysics. Yes, the people of that day had a primitive understanding of the cosmos, but that does not automatically imply that the author of the Bible knew no better.

Now, as to the verses you cite, some of them are food for thought, I suppose, but a few of them can be dismissed outright as having any true bearing on the matter:

Job 22:14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.
Gen 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
Psa 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that [be] above the heavens.
Isa 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Eze 1:22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

Job and Psalms are both poetic books, and so even before looking, I suspect they are using figurative speech. It turns out that Isaiah is also figurative, which happens a lot in apocalyptic literature. Yes, the Psalms passage talks about water above the Heavens, but it also commands these waters to praise God! Do you think this is really meant in any manner to be literal? Likewise if Isaiah is meant to be taken literally, then you have to also accept that Isaiah thought that people were literally grasshoppers. Job is actually not so obvious, and I probably should take a closer look, but there are two things to note from the greater context: The verse in question is part of a speech by Eliphaz the Temanite, who is not exactly considered a prophet; nonetheless, I suspect this speech is largely spoken with sarcasm, as it says God can't see through clouds. The Genesis passage is interesting, as it may imply the firmament still existed after the flood, which I think I have made clear that I do not believe to be so. Still, it could also be figurative, I personally don't think there are literal windows, or that there ever were. Now that Ezekiel passage is a stumper, but mostly because it comes across as gibberish to me. If you can understand what's going on there, please explain it to me, because I don't get it.

In general, even when these things are occasionally called into question, it doesn't bother me personally, because I never looked to the Bible as a scientific document. If you do look at the Bible as a scientific document, you're bound to run into trouble from time to time. But is it a problem with the Bible, or just our understanding of it? That's a question you have to answer for yourself. I get sad sometimes when I hear people who say something like "I was raised as a Christian, and my parents were cruel and controlling. I don't think I want to be a Christian anymore." Such a person is not rejecting Christianity, they're rejecting their parents, and they just don't know it. It sounds to me like you have something in your personal belief system to reject, just be sure you know what it really is.

Anonymous said...

I understand what you’re getting at, but Genesis 1 is far more than a story; it’s a description of our origins and creation; it’s God who is acting and creating. The author is saying God ‘did this’ and God ‘did that’, so we have to assume that God handed down this knowledge to Moses. The author clearly said “water above the firmament”, but when speaking of the two great lights he made the distinction by saying God placed them “in the firmament.” By your logic, Moses should have used the word “above” to describe both the water and the lights, or he could have used “in” to describe both of them. Instead, he made the distinction, which puts a hole in the prepositions explanation and only goes to prove that Moses was not divinely inspired, but writing independently from his primitive knowledge.

In regard to literal and figurative language; as the reader, I can recognize figurative from literal language; Revelation being a perfect example. I agree the “windows of heaven” is probably figurative, just like a “mountain” was representative of a nation and the “dragon” or “snake” representative of Satan. The problem here is all the authors of the books of the Bible believe there is a sea in the sky. You mentioned the Psalms verse commands the waters to praise God, which is obviously figurative, but that doesn’t change the fact that the author thinks there is water in the sky. As in Genesis 8:2, Moses writes “The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;” which proves again that he literally believed there was waters in the sky, like there was water in the deep. If the truth was revealed to Moses by God, how can he and other Prophets consistently make scientific errors? Moses could have showed the power of God without making errors. And you’re right, this is not a lesson in astrophysics, but that does not excuse a “Prophet of God” from making basic scientific errors.

Eze 1:22 "And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above."

I have no trouble with this verse, it’s clearly figurative. But yet again, it demonstrates this Prophet believes there are waters above the expanse. Why is Ezekiel and other Prophets still talking about a water canopy when it’s suppose have come down in Noah’s flood?

The only reason I mentioned I was a born Christian is because I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m out to discredit Christianity because I have an anti-Christian agenda. I’m just trying to make logical sense out of the Bible, and I believe I have failed. However, I still would like to hear your input on why the distinction was made in Genesis 1 and why the post-Noah Prophets keep writing of a sea in the sky? To me it all filters down from Gensis 1, thats why I keep going back there.

Brucker said...

I still hold that there is a problem with ambiguity whenever you deal in propositions, and this ambiguity is twofold: not only is there possibility of ambiguity in the original writings, but when it comes to translating the writings to another language, it may be a tough choice.

The difference between using "above" to describe the water while using "in" to describe the "lights" may be a matter a further subtlety of the prepositions used. After all, one thing that is quite clear either from modern understanding or from a supposed ancient misunderstanding of the nature of the cosmos, the stars are not in the same place as tangible objects that are part of the atmosphere.

(I also might add that I don't think there is necessarily a contradiction in saying that Moses was both divinely inspired and writing from his personal primitive knowledge, but that sort of discussion has the complexity of a discussion on the nature of free will, so I'd rather not go there.)

Yes, the authors do think there is water in the sky, but aside from the concept that there once may have been this "water canopy" thingie, the fact also remains that there actually is water in the sky! Where else does rain come from? Anyway, looking at the Genesis passage again, I'm curious as to which sense of the word "stopped" is intended here, as there are two distinct meanings that have interesting implications depending on how figuratively one wishes to take the passage in question.

Ezekiel's verse doesn't seem to mention water, though; it mentions the "firmament" having the appearance of crystal. It's only what the thing looks like, and it's only in a vision, not in real life, is it?

In case I didn't make it clearer before, I'm trying to accuse you of anything negative. While of course only you know what's really going on in your mind, you give me the impression of being a person who simply has some honest questions with no acceptable answers yet to be found. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

Na said...

Okay, you say the Bible isn't a scientific textbook, but then with the next breath you entertain this "water canopy" idea as being something that could actually be real, though to your credit you did give us fair warning that you were going to be a little nuts on this post, so at least you recognise it. I'm guessing you think that this water canopy stretched around the world and was just thick enough to cause the flood during Noah to cover everything. What held that water in the air? Why is there no evidence of a world wide flood? Where did all that water go? Why wouldn't it rain being that there are seas created in genesis 1 as well? If there was no rain, how did the plants grow? If there is a lack of cosmic radiation wouldn't that make the planet really, really cold? Not sure why the water canopy would create an oxygen rich atmosphere, but I'm not sure that would necessarily be a good thing, and I don't know why it would extend lifespan. "...some believe, the coexistence with dinosaurs and humanity"; obviously scientifically illiterate ones, who have gained all their knowledge about dinosaurs from The Flintstones.
Finally you say that he creates clouds (but "it may have never rained before Noah's day" :/), not sure why he didn't just let nature do that bit by itself.

Na said...

This is R. Crumb's take on all this.

The Creation: "Let there be a vault in the midst of the waters." After closely reading the beginning of the Creation, I suddenly imagined an ancient man standing on the shore of a sea, and gazing out at the horizon, and seeing only water meeting the sky. It appears to him that somewhere off in the vast distance the water curves up and forms a bowl-like "vault". The "heavens" are a hollow space in this vault. The "dry land" is floating in an infinite sea. If you dig down deep enough in the ground, you will come again to the water that underlies the "dry land." The sun, moon, and stars are suspended in the hollow "vault." The universe beyond is just a solid mass of water.

Brucker said...

The thing about what you're saying here, as well as what I was saying when I wrote the post, is that all of this relates back to the story of Noah, which I continue to admit as a logistical mess even without trying to deal with "windows of heaven" and "firmaments" and such.

The reason I bring up the items I do is that a lot of people see them as providing a cohesive whole to the creation story; I myself see them as an interesting approach.

"What held that water in the air?" The firmament, whatever it was. "Why is there no evidence of a world wide flood?" I don't know. I've tended to suspect that there was a real flood, but it wasn't really world-wide, rather it washed away all the world that Noah knew of. "Where did all that water go?" Most of it became oceans, I would guess. "Why wouldn't it rain being that there are seas created in genesis 1 as well?" I don't understand this question. "If there was no rain, how did the plants grow?" My view of the matter is as it was presented to me, although I don't recall by whom: the atmosphere under the firmament was warm, dense, and moist. "If there is a lack of cosmic radiation wouldn't that make the planet really, really cold?" Maybe, I don't know. The real point of noting the lack of cosmic radiation is that if indeed there was a layer of water that the light of the sky had to filter through, surely some kinds of radiation were absorbed. The thing that makes that interesting to me is that it relates back to the comments on the earlier post about carbon dating. If canopy theory were correct, it makes carbon dating wildly inaccurate for anything before the flood, or maybe even soon afterwards. "Not sure why the water canopy would create an oxygen rich atmosphere, but I'm not sure that would necessarily be a good thing, and I don't know why it would extend lifespan." Eh, that's just me parroting something I heard somewhere. I guess the point is really that if the antediluvian people and animals were living in some sort of bubble, the atmosphere would probably be quite different from what it is today. All of this is probably me trying too hard to stretch science to sort-of fit the story even after I kept talking about Genesis not being scientific. Ah, well...

Oh, and do you have Crumb's Genesis book? The guy is just an artistic genius, isn't he? I was a big fan back about 20 years ago, but haven't been as much of a comic book reader since then. You probably didn't know, but comics is one of my main passions. When I first considered blogging, I was thinking about blogging on comics, but there are plenty of people far more competent than me doing a fine job of it already. I created this blog out of personal interest as more of a hobby than really expecting I was educating many people.

Na said...

Okay let's go back over the questions.

Q = My Question A = Your Answer F = Follow up

Q. What held that water in the air?
A. The firmament, whatever it was.
F. Could you confirm whether this firmament was a container or just magic. If it was a container where did it go, if it was magic then there is no reason based discussion to have, and you believe it purely because it's in a book you like.

Q. Why is there no evidence of a world wide flood?
A. I don't know. I've tended to suspect that there was a real flood, but it wasn't really world-wide, rather it washed away all the world that Noah knew of.
F. That deals with how the world isn't under water, but it does beg the question of why Noah needed to get all those animals on board.
Also being that the flood took place in a single place that was only relatively large, and the water canopy would have covered the entire globe which is massive, taking into account the oceans already existing as well and the flood didn't raise it enough to drown the land, the water canopy must have been pretty thin. This could allow for the UV light to pass though meaning the world wouldn't be an inhabitable ice ball; however there is still a problem which I will come back to when you next see this *

Q. Where did all that water go?
A. Most of it became oceans, I would guess.
F. As I said, pretty thin water canopy.

Q. Why wouldn't it rain being that there are seas created in genesis 1 as well?
A. I don't understand this question.
F. Well if you have a sea, and you have heat from an energy source (the sun - without which nothing could live) then the water cycle takes care of itself, which means clouds and rain.

Q. If there was no rain, how did the plants grow?
A. My view of the matter is as it was presented to me, although I don't recall by whom: the atmosphere under the firmament was warm, dense, and moist.
F. I guess it would be, * I also guess that the thin water canopy would heat up and because a massive radiator, the heat would just continually build up until everyone was boiled alive.

Q. If there is a lack of cosmic radiation wouldn't that make the planet really, really cold?
A. Maybe, I don't know. The real point of noting the lack of cosmic radiation is that if indeed there was a layer of water that the light of the sky had to filter through, surely some kinds of radiation were absorbed. The thing that makes that interesting to me is that it relates back to the comments on the earlier post about carbon dating. If canopy theory were correct, it makes carbon dating wildly inaccurate for anything before the flood, or maybe even soon afterwards.
F. I guess it's possible, I mean you only get strong UV B, and UV A closer to and at the equator; UV C already dissipates completely in our atmosphere. Further north or south the UV B dissipates substantially and the UV A is lessened. This is why you get darker skin from the melanin acting as sunscreen nearer the equator and lighter skin from the lack of melanin so as to allow the body to use the smaller supply of UV B in order to make Vitamin D. But as you can see, the lessening of UV radiation comes with its own problems, it doesn't make you healthier.
I would say there is ways of dating other than carbon-14, but actually I'm not sure why it would be affected, could you explain?

Crumb's work is awesome, but my favourite comics of all time is the Transmetropolitan series by Warren Ellis. I think the thing about blogging about comics is that you're not just up against other bloggers, but the comic book writer's blogs as well. Mind you, a good writer is a good writer. If you were to play to your strengths; you could do one on a comic book series you like saying why it's true, like a Super Hero apologist, might be fun (^-^)

Brucker said...

F: Could you confirm whether this firmament was a container or just magic[?]
A2: No. As the whole thing is largely speculation, I have nothing that I know of to tell me what the substance of the "firmament" was. All I know is that it allowed light through.

F: That deals with how the world isn't under water, but it does beg the question of why Noah needed to get all those animals on board.
A2: I once saw a TV documentary that tried to explain the story of Utnapishtim (the Sumerian version of Noah, for those who don't know), and while there was a lot about it that didn't make sense, there were some points that made a lot of sense.

The documentarians suggested that U. saw the flood coming, and knew it was going to be a big one. He happened to be guy who owned a good-sized boat, so he quickly put his family, their food, and as much livestock as he could fit on board, figuring that if he survived the flood, he'd probably have to start from scratch since the whole area he was in would be massively devastated.

So switch to the Noah version. He needs to get all those animals on board for the same reason he always did: The flood is going to destroy everything wherever the waters cover, so not only is Noah saving himself, but he's saving the local wildlife to rebuild. This also simplifies the problem of putting millions of species on the ark. What if Noah only had to fill the ark with species from the Mesopotamian region? That's still a big task, but doable.

F: As I said, pretty thin water canopy.
A2: Okay. I may have missed the point of that after all this time.

F: Well if you have a sea, and you have heat from an energy source (the sun - without which nothing could live) then the water cycle takes care of itself, which means clouds and rain.
A2: Well, like I said, the atmosphere under the canopy may have been "warm, dense, and moist." Add meteorology to the long list of sciences I know very little about, but what happens if the air is simply saturated with moisture? I don't know if it makes sense or not. Furthermore, since we're assuming this goofy idea of a world under a dome, perhaps the water cycle is different, involving the dome as part of the process in the place of clouds. (I'm not sure why we're speculating so much on this, but I guess I still find it interesting to talk about.)

F: I guess it would be, * I also guess that the thin water canopy would heat up and because a massive radiator, the heat would just continually build up until everyone was boiled alive.
A2: I don't think I follow you here. Maybe there's some implication that I'm not aware of that the canopy could only be a heating factor and not a cooling one, but once again, that has to be based on pure speculation.

F: I would say there is ways of dating other than carbon-14, but actually I'm not sure why it would be affected, could you explain?
A2: I thought that one was obvious: Carbon-14 is generated by cosmic rays acting on Nitrogen atoms. If there were less or no cosmic rays, that implies less or no Carbon-14.

"If you were to play to your strengths; you could do one on a comic book series you like saying why it's true, like a Super Hero apologist, might be fun (^-^)"

Well, my other blog has some in-depth examination of Moore and Gibbons' Watchmen in case you missed it. The thing that really sets me apart from a lot of other comics fans is that I've always been far more interested in the comic strip than the comic book. I used to run an online discussion forum on the topic, but I never seem to meet people online like Scott McCloud or Art Spiegelman that are interested in discussing form as well as content. (Although I've met both of them IRL; I even took a college course from Spiegelman.)

Na said...

Definitely a more plausible Noah story. We could go a step further and say the two by two only referred to the need of male and female to keep stocks up. He build a boat big enough for enough of his farm animals and family, and managed to ride the storm. Possibly he lived in an area that flooded a lot, so having a boat wasn't a bad idea.

Warm, dense and moist places tend to get really rainy, like tropical rainforests :)

It is speculation but the thinking behind it is this; I think it would be a heating and not cooling factor as this thin water canopy would be constantly exposed to the sun, this I have assumed would keep it pretty warm. Add the greenhouse effect that it would cause and you get a massive rise in temperature.
I'm speculating on this because I thought you thought it was convincing and it would be unfair to challenge what you don't agree with, plus it's all goofy to me ;p

With the C14, it's calibrated to take into account changes in the Earth's climate, I don't really know about how that's done, but I guess they'd do the same thing.

I'll have a look at the Watchmen stuff.
I only really know about Maus with Spiegelman, but that must have been awesome.

Brucker said...

The course I took from Spiegelman was one of my favorites of all time, although it had some oddities. First of all, the day of the first lecture happened by chance to coincide with the day Maus was awarded the Pulitzer. Because of this, despite the class having about 25 people enrolled in it, the college moved us to a huge lecture hall, since all these people from the press showed up. So the first lecture (he just went ahead with his prepared material and answered questions after the class was over) had over 100 attending, the second had about 40, and by the fourth we'd settled down to about 20 serious students. The course was on the history of comics, and I found it amusing that I turned out to know more about Thimble Theater and Pogo than Spiegelman did, which he took in stride and actually asked me questions. The other big oddity about the class was a hunch I had about Spiegelman as a professor in contrast to a lecturer. I loved the course, learned a bunch, bought some great textbooks which were all comics, but as the class was winding up, I just sensed trouble. As it happened, it was a short course, and the last day to drop a course was also the last day of the course itself, so I dropped it and didn't turn in my final paper. A few weeks later, I ran into a classmate who said, "Dude, I asked around, and Spiegelman hated everyone's final paper and flunked almost everyone!"

I still love the guy and his work, but I'm glad I dropped the course. I wasn't an art major anyway.

James Stearns said...

One thing about the "water canopy" idea that really makes it problematic is that water vapor is a very potent greenhouse gas; in fact, it is primarily the water vapor in our atmosphere that allows the earth's surface to retain heat as well as it does. Put loads of extra water up in the sky, though, and you end up with something like Venus where everything on the planet is literally cooked to death.

Also, as for the "it didn't rain before Noah's Flood" idea, there are raindrop impressions preserved in ancient sedimentary rocks.

Brucker said...

"there are raindrop impressions preserved in ancient sedimentary rocks."

This blows my mind. I ask seriously, and not sarcastically at all, how the heck does that even work? I don't think I've seen a raindrop impression preserved from five seconds previous, and you're telling me there are ones on ancient rocks? Tell me more!