Water in the Earth’s Mantle
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
One question that many have asked through the years is, “Where did all of the Flood waters go?” If, as the Bible indicates, the entire Earth once was covered completely with water (Genesis 7:17-24), what happened to all of the water? Skeptic Bill Butler posed this question in an article he wrote, titled “Creationism = Willful Ignorance” (2002). Allegedly, one who believes in the trustworthiness of the biblical Flood account is ignorant because, for one, he cannot logically explain where the Flood waters went.
Apologetics Press has previously answered Butler’s accusations (see Lyons, 2002), but in light of recent findings it seems appropriate to reconsider one of Butler’s criticisms. He wrote:
If the earth’s surface were covered by an additional 29,000+ feet of water, how do you get rid of it? Water is less dense than the rock of the earth’s surface. Thus it would not drain down below the surface. Even if you forced it down, where is it? No oil or gas well has ever hit a subterranean ocean 29,000+ feet thick.
As is often the case with Bible critics, time is not their friend. Repeatedly throughout history, time has helped exonerate Bible writers. Whether it is archaeologists finding remains of a particular biblical people, which critics once alleged never existed (e.g., the Hittites; cf. Butt, 2002), or scientists finally learning why the eighth day of a child’s life would have been the perfect day to perform circumcision (cf. Genesis 17:11; Holt and McIntosh, 1953, p. 126), again and again time has turned out to be a friend of the Bible and a foe to the ever changing theories of man (cf. Harrub and Thompson, 2002). Consider Butler’s comments. He confidently asserted that the Flood waters would be unable to “drain down below the surface.” He then asked, “even if you forced it [the Flood water—EL] down, where is it?” Apparently, in 2002, no one knew about great amounts of water below the crust layer of the Earth. With the passing of time, however, scientists have learned differently.
Livescience.com staff writer Ker Than reported that “[s]cientists scanning the deep interior of Earth have found evidence of a vast water reservoir beneath eastern Asia that is at least the volume of the Arctic Ocean” (Than, 2007, emp. added). “The discovery,” Ker Than added, “marks the first time such a large body of water was found in the planet’s deep mantle” (2007, emp. added). Butler criticized the biblical Flood account because the Flood waters supposedly “would not drain below the surface” of the Earth, yet a large amount of water has been discovered “in the planet’s deep mantle.” What’s more, “researchers estimate that up to 0.1 percent of the rock sinking down into the Earth’s mantle in that part of the world [eastern Asia—EL] is water” (Than).
Once again, time has become the foe of Bible critics. Although no one can be certain what happened to all the water that once flooded the Earth, it is very possible that God sent some of it to reside “in the planet’s deep mantle.” Regardless, it is unreasonable to reject the Genesis Flood account because one assumes the floodwaters could not have relocated beneath the Earth’s crust. One wonders how Flood critics will react to news of a “vast water reservoir beneath eastern Asia.”
Butler, Bill (2002), “Creationism = Willful Ignorance,” [On-line], URL: http://www.durangobill.com/Creationism.html.
Butt, Kyle (2002), “Hidden Hittites,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1750.
Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2002), “No Missing Links Here...,” Reason & Revelation, May, 1:20-R, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2509.
Holt, L.E. and R. McIntosh (1953), Holt Pediatrics (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts), twelfth edition.
Lyons, Eric (2002), “Where Did All of the Flood Waters Go?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1803.
Than, Ker (2007), “Huge ‘Ocean’ Discovered Inside Earth,” LiveScience.com, [On-line], URL: http://www.livescience.com/environment/070228_beijing_anomoly.html.