The Vapor Canopy Theory Of Earth’s Ancient Past
By James Donahue
The old stories of a deluge of water that covered
all of the land on the earth, reports of giant pterosaurs, or winged dinosaurs that flew and the mystery of the frozen remains
of extinct creatures like the wooly mammoth in the northern tundra and the discovery that trees once grew on Antarctica have
supported a theory that the world once was surrounded by a thick vapor canopy.
Various archaeological and geological discoveries
over the years have supported a belief that the world once enjoyed a more temperate climate and that animals and vegetation
once roamed the entire planet, including the far northern regions and South Pole. The theory is that the ice caps formed after
something catastrophic happened.
Bible believers, of course, claim that event was
the world-wide flood. Vapor canopy theorists say the water for such an event had to have fallen from above, thus they argue
that a thick canopy of water vapor once existed, creating a greenhouse effect and a perfect climate everywhere.
Books have been written on this subject. Supporters
of the theory quote Genesis 1:6-8 when in the midst of creation, God said: “Let there be an expanse in the midst of
the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters. And God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were
below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse, and it was so. And God called the expanse heaven.”
Also quoted is Genesis 7:11 that describes the
beginning of the great flood. This verse states that “all the fountains of the great deep burst open and the floodgates
of the sky were opened.” In other words, there was a great store of water that came up from the reservoirs deep in the
earth, and the water held in the thick vapor cloud overhead suddenly collapsed.
John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, in their book The
Genesis Flood, suggested that the canopy surrounding the original earth had such an effect on the climate it caused nearly
uniform temperatures and humidity, and even prevented wind, storms and rainfall. They said they envisioned a fog or heavy
dew occurring each night, thus providing water for the plants.
The canopy filtered harmful radiation from the
sun which accounted for the extreme longevity of the first humans. The air at that time was heavier and vapor-filled, which
allowed heavy dinosaurs with strangely small wings to fly the skies. It is estimated that the wings on such heavy creatures
would be too small to allow them to fly in today’s world. (They do not address the mystery of the bumble bee.)
Modern physics disproves the vapor canopy theory.
Scientists who have studied plausible ways in which so much water could have been held in suspension over the planet for thousands
of years cannot find an answer to such a puzzle. They say it either had to exist as frozen ice crystals, or in a heated steam
condition. Neither model seems to fit the story as portrayed in Genesis, however.
Joseph Dillow, who worked with the steamed air
model, calculated that if all of the energy of such a vapor were to be released at the speed described in the flood story,
the potential energy of the falling water would be converted to kinetic heat and raise the atmosphere to 2,100 degrees Centigrade.
It would be too hot for life to exist.
Another problem was brought to light by Robert
Whitelaw, who argues that water vapor cannot maintain a boundary over air without diffusing into it. “It appears that
a miracle is necessary for any canopy model, either to hold the water up, or to get it down without destroying the earth.”
And finally Frank Steiger calculates that to provide
enough water to flood the earth, a vapor canopy, if it existed, would have had to have been a dense fog or cloud formation
at least 18,000 miles thick.
Thus Steiger argues, “the theory suffers
from a fundamental contradiction: it’s impossible to postulate a cloud cover sufficient to provide significant flood
water depth without placing the world in perpetual darkness.”
It appears clear that there had to have been some
other model in play that created the conditions that appear to have existed during the time of the dinosaurs, wooly mammoths
and all the other creatures, now extinct. And the catastrophic event that caused such a broad extinction of life forms probably
was not a flood.