Walt Brown believes in creation, and a planet-wide flood. Is he “ignorant,” as some say? Or does the physical evidence favor him?
Walt Brown the soldier
Walter T. Brown, Jr. was born in 1937, the eldest of three children. His family were Methodists, and he heard the Bible all his life. He came by his personal faith gradually, after hearing people outside his family preach the Gospel to him.
He actually lived through a minor miracle in his adolescence. He had a congenital heart valve defect that limited his physical activity greatly. His prognosis was grim—for not more than thirty-six years of life. Yet he would often “push” himself to more activity than might have been wise, just to see whether he could do it. And then, at the age of 17, the miracle happened. The telltale “murmur” that his family doctor had always noted, vanished completely. Walt could now be as active as he wished.
He entered West Point in 1955. After graduating, he trained as a paratrooper and an Army Ranger. He married his wife of 51 years, Peggy Hill, in 1960.
After he finished his Ranger training, the Army sent him to New Mexico State University for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. When he graduated, the Army sent him to the White Sands Missile Range as a testing officer. There he solved a crippling program with the Army’s Littlejohn missile system. That feat earned him an early promotion to the rank of Major. Then he persuaded the Army to let him apply for a National Science Fellowship to study engineering at the doctoral level. He cleared the Fellowship exam easily and earned his PhD in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the record time of two years and three months.
From there Major Walt Brown went to Vietnam as a Division Material Officer. There he devised a new method of cleaning a rifle to stop it from jamming, and invented a simple tunnel-detection technique. After a one-year tour, he left Vietnam and went to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. From there he did a stint as director of the Benet Laboratory near Albany, NY, and then won an assignment to the US Air Force Academy as an exchange instructor. Within one year, the Academy superintendent helped him get a permanent transfer to the Air Force so that he could stay on at the Academy as a tenured professor. Within three years, he went to the Air War College, first as a student, then as a guest lecturer, and finally (1976) as a full-time professor.
But in 1980, Walt Brown realized that he had another calling: to tell the truth about how the world came to be. So he retired from the Air Force in that year, as a full colonel.
From evolution to creation
Walt Brown grew up a Christian, and he and his wife had always had a strong faith. But neither of them would question the prevailing doctrine of evolution until 1970. Before then, they accepted evolution, with God playing the role of a Patient, Painstaking Designer and Builder. This “theistic evolution” would not satisfy them forever.
In 1970, Brown first heard a discussion on the radio about Noah’s Ark, and the first expeditions to search for it on Mount Ararat (Cudi Dagh) in Turkey. The idea that any floating object could settle at an elevation of 17,000 feet flabbergasted him. He couldn’t accept that at face value—but he didn’t dismiss it out-of-hand either. He contacted an “Ark hunter” and discussed the idea several times with him.
That was the start of an investigation, not only of the Ark legend, but of all the scientific evidence that he thought supported evolution. Within two years he realized that the evidence did not support evolution at all. Among other things, he found that sea-life fossils are present at the summits of every major mountain chain that paleontologists have searched. And what’s more, geologists have known this all the time.
That was when he realized, in his study of the Bible, that Jesus Christ talked about Noah, the architect and captain of the Ark, as a real person. From then on, he accepted the Bible, including the first eleven chapters of Genesis, as true and accurate.
His wife needed more convincing. So he asked her one night, “Why do we need a Savior?” The problem: if evolution were true, then death was a part of life before humans ever existed. From then on, no one in the Brown family would try again to reconcile the irreconcilable.
The problem with science teaching
Walt Brown “believes in science” readily enough. The problem is that most teaching in origins science is unscientific. Those who teach evolution, tell their students what to think, not how.
Walt Brown found another problem when he went to Arizona State University to study geology. Geologists can describe what they see on earth, and in rich detail. But they do not adequately explain what they see. Most geology courses do not discuss how certain formations came to be.
Walt Brown has the advantage, with his engineering background. He can look at a formation of the earth and ask himself, “How did this happen?” And he can apply that insight on a global scale.
The Hydroplate Theory
These insights allowed Walt Brown to invent and develop his Hydroplate Theory of the global flood. It is the most comprehensive theory of that event that anyone has ever devised. It holds that the earth once had a sub-crustal ocean. On the day of the Flood, the crust cracked open at the present Mid-Atlantic Ridge, releasing the waters from their confinement. The waters eroded the two sides of the crack for 800 miles and shoved them apart, thereby creating the basin of the Atlantic Ocean. On the other side of the earth, the crust caved in and formed the deep basin of the Pacific Ocean—and the Ring of Fire. The mountains formed when the crustal plates, after moving rapidly apart, crashed onto the old sub-crustal chamber floor and literally wrinkled. And the waters of that ocean sloshed over the earth and deposited the entire “fossil column” all in one year.
In 1981, Walt Brown challenged Dr. Robert S. Dietz, the developer of the plate tectonic theory, to a written debate with no religious references allowed. Strangely, Dr. Dietz balked at that very condition. Walt Brown has kept his offer open, to Dr. Dietz and to any other PhD holder brave enough to accept the challenge.
Mulfinger G and Mulfinger-Orozco J. Christian Men of Science: Eleven Men Who Changed the World. Ambassador Emerald International, 2001. Quoted in Brown W, In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation.<http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/Julia.html>
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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