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Hydroplate theory debate challenge



Walt Brown, originator of the hydroplate theory

I would like to address Geno’s responses in the comment space of Conservative News and Views. I would also like to make an offer to anyone else who disagrees with the hydroplate theory.

In answer to Geno Castagnoli

Geno Castagnoli (a science teacher in Plainview High School in Ardmore, Oklahoma) either cannot read or he is trying to confuse readers.

Over the past year and in many letters, some of which Terry Hurlbut has seen, Geno has acknowledged to me and others that he is not qualified to accept my written-debate offer.  For one reason, he doesn’t hold a PhD in the basic or applied sciences and he is unwilling or unable to find a qualified evolutionist to work with him.  Besides, the written debate is a book-length effort that would address the entire creation-evolution issue—a major undertaking.  Geno does not want to address that broad topic.  Fine; I understand.  So Geno should quit ducking my oral-debate offer by objecting to necessary requirements for the written debate.

The written-debate offer

Walt Brown, originator of the hydroplate theory

Col. Walt Brown, USAF (Rtd). Photo: self.

The written-debate offer has been on the table since 1980. Other evolutionists avoid it as well, and dozens of the world’s leading evolutionists know about it. You can read it beginning here, and see that the exchange would be comprehensive, balanced, available for all to see, and would avoid separation of church-state issues.  But notice, it is to be a strictly scientific debate; no religion allowed. Only scientific evidences and their logical consequences can be presented. (A few have written that I will not debate them, but they insist on including religion.)  I suspect that almost all science teachers (at all levels) will be able to follow the scientific arguments and reconvey them to their students if appropriate to the curriculum.

The purpose of the written debate is to lay out the hundreds of pages of evidences that bear on the creation-evolution controversy and allow the opposite side to rebut those evidences—side-by-side and point-by-point.  (I suspect that evolutionists would present few evidences, because the counter evidence that would rebut them would be withering, if not career ending.)  That written debate would provide, for the first time, a dispassionate and comprehensive exchange of scientific data on both sides of a heated issue in which little constructive dialogue has occurred for 150 years.  Millions of people would find such a written exchange enlightening.

The oral-debate offer

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The appropriate debate offer for Geno, which he should already know, is the oral debate.  It has no academic requirements.  Geno has known about it since I responded to him the day after he first wrote me on 13 September 2010.  You can read that debate offer here and see that Geno either has not read it carefully or is trying to mislead you.  The oral debate is not, as he stated, “a comprehensive examination of Brown’s entire model [the hydroplate theory],” although the critic (in this case, Geno) must state beforehand that he has read the hydroplate theory. Our focus in the debate will be on Geno’s criticism—and relevant aspects of the theory. I suspect that 95% of what I have written will not be relevant to any single criticism.

If Geno hasn’t read the theory, he will be “flat-footed” when I respond to his criticism.  I will not take my limited debating time to explain the supporting evidence to him and the physics involved (some of it at the graduate level)—and I am not sure he would understand it if I did.  I also suspect he would obfuscate or interrupt me a dozen times before I completed my explanation.  Besides, most of those topics are already explained in the theory—which I am confident he hasn’t read, because I believe it already answers, in various ways and places, his objections. The theory can be read beginning here at no cost, or in a hard-bound book that can be purchased here.

If Geno understands my rebuttals and disagrees with the physics, we can have an informative and interesting oral debate.  I would be delighted if that happened.  Geno should welcome the opportunity to expose my errors.  I would appreciate that as well.

A red herring against the hydroplate theory

Geno raises, as he says, “a hypothetical”—usually to others in chat rooms: If the flood sterilizes the planet, is Brown’s theory valid? End of discussion. First of all, I do not respond to hypotheticals. (Readers should give them little credence as well.) However, I will gladly respond to his criticism if he has read the theory and is willing to raise his objection in my presence and before a live, listening audience.  With today’s technology, that can be easily done by phone, with an internet recording service, a jointly selected debate moderator from some university, and a multitude of internet platforms to host the audio and transcribed versions of the debate. Radio stations might even broadcast it.

Wouldn’t readers like to hear this live, interactive debate? I hope they will urge Geno to quit ducking and misrepresenting my offer. He should put up or shut up.

Editor’s note

This article is a direct reply to comments that Mr. Castagnoli has left in reply to these articles:

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Walt Brown received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He has taught college courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science. Brown is a retired Air Force full colonel, West Point graduate, and former Army Ranger and paratrooper. Assignments during his 21 years of military service included: Director of Benét Laboratories (a major research, development, and engineering facility); tenured associate professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy; and Chief of Science and Technology Studies at the Air War College. For much of his life Walt Brown was an evolutionist, but after years of study, he became convinced of the scientific validity of creation and a global flood. Since retiring from the military, Dr. Brown has been the Director of the Center for Scientific Creation and has worked full time in research, writing, and teaching on creation and the flood.

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Tony Sidaway

Dr Brown, your hydroplate theory attempts to replace just about all of modern geology with the hypothesis that the upwelling “a gigantic, focused water source” emanating from inside the earth just a few thousand years ago accounts for all major geological features on earth, and not only that, the comets and meteors too.

The hypothesis rejects just about everything in geology: radiometric dating, progressive laying down of fossils, even the stratigraphic column. It has some stiff hurdles to overcome because all of those concepts are well supported in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

Moreover it has no significant scientific support. To my knowledge, there are no papers in the peer reviewed literature that test your hypothesis and find support for it. There is, in effect, a single book written by you and distributed via your website.

Few geologists, if any, seem to find your ideas worth considering. So instead of fruitlessly waiting for somebody to accept your challenge to debate those ideas, why don’t you start trying to engage geologists on their own terms and convince them that their own well established and well supported theories contain significant faults? If you can do that, then you will be more likely to find them receptive for ideas that may explain the world better.

Terry A. Hurlbut

Of course the hydroplate theory replaces modern geology. Read the whole presentation, and you’ll see how logical that replacement is. And as I have already shown, Walt Brown is the world’s first fully functioning geological engineer. He is the first person to look at a formation of the earth and apply himself to reasoning out all the forces that produced it. That includes the major mountain chains—most of which are oriented north-to-south. Now why do you suppose that is? Read the book at the links in the article, and you will find out.

“All those concepts are well supported in the peer reviewed scientific literature.” You mean, all those concepts are well agreed to in the peer reviewed scientific literature. “Peer review” is nothing more than making sure that any new article agrees with everything that everybody else agrees with. If that sounds circular, I meant it to sound that way. Because that’s the way it works. I know: I participated in peer review, as part of a Medical Information Science Fellowship at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center from 1989-91.

And one of the problems with peer review is that anything published for money (other than the subscription fee of the medical journal, and those fees go strictly to the editors, not to contributors) is automatically out-of-bounds. It’s the Jim Thorpe rule all over again.

Don’t talk to me about “significant scientific support.” History is replete with example after example of scientific theories that “had no significant scientific support” until a public demonstration proved those theories right and the other theories wrong. How do you pronounce “phlogiston”, for example?

Finally: your entire comment is typical of the dismissive attitude that Brown has encountered and that I have seen. Never once do you even try to say why the hydroplate theory is flawed. (At least Geno tries that, but until he reads the whole thing, his analysis will remain incomplete.) You want to take him on? Why don’t you accept his challenge?


Terry says:
At least Geno tries that, but until he reads the whole thing, his analysis will remain incomplete

Geno answers:
So, are you saying Brown’s model can be valid and provide a useful explanation even if it destroys all life on the planet?


Why would it matter (for example) how the Grand Canyon formed if the process that forms it sterilizes the Earth?

Terry A. Hurlbut

No. I am saying that your calculations, that lead you to conclude that the sub-crustal ocean would par-broil all of life, are erroneous. Because your model is erroneous. And the only way you can trace down that error is to read the whole thing. Then you will understand the mistake you made: trying to judge his theory by its alleged non-conformance with your own.


Terry, I must again ask why this “hydroplate theory” is necessary to explain the production of “the mountains, the plateaus, and the strata”. If God created the entire universe with its trillions of stars and other objects, Im pretty sure He could have managed to produce a few mountain ranges and strata on Earth. What is the purpose of Dr. Brown’s theory? Why does it need to have taken place?

You say that the geologists make claims that make as much sense as “two and two make five”. I really dont know where to even begin in critiquing that statement. From what I understand neither you nor Dr. Brown have degrees in the geosciences. Have either of you ever even taken a single university-level geology class? The formation of the Earth’s geomorphic features is very well understood. In addition, the prevailing theories within fields such as astrophysics, biology, chemistry, and geology all agree with eachother.

Yet you two claim to know more than the thousands of scientists who have been studying this stuff for many years, simply because it “doesn’t make sense” to you.

Honestly, you could probably attend a high school level geology class that would explain a lot of this to you. It may seem complicated when you have never studied it, but this is true with any subject. For a start you should go to your local bookstore and pick up any introduction to geology book. It doesn’t matter which one. They will all explain to you the same thing, because there is a consensus (I know how much you hate that term, but when 99.99% of all scientists over the past few decades agree with one another, that is a consensus whether you like it or not)

Terry A. Hurlbut

You ask the wrong question. The question is not “why is the hydroplate theory necessary?” It is: “What does the evidence say happened?”

Now about qualifications: normally I don’t take cognizance of critiques of qualifications. They amount to nothing more than argumentum ad hominem. I respect them about as much as the little boy in Hans Christian Andersen’s famous narrative about a naked emperor might have done.

But in this particular case: My degrees are in engineering and in medicine. Dr. Brown has the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in mechanical engineering. In addition—and here you ought to read my earlier article summarizing his biography—Dr. Brown has taken a selection of courses in geology, in an explicit desire to hear geology as evolutionists (or to be more specific, uniformitarians) teach it. And just as he thought all along, geologists deliberately shut their eyes and ears to the clear evidence of cataclysm, and indeed of all manner of catastrophe. In an effort to deny the Bible, they deny all catastrophe and prefer to say that all change was gradual. Their objections are philosophical only. They are also intellectually dishonest.

All I would get from a “high-school level geology class” is the current party line. That was what Walt Brown got. He gave the geologists every chance to explain things to him. They failed. Miserably.

And once again, I reject consensus as an index of truth. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier made fools of the “consensus scientists” of his day when he demonstrated oxidation, thus permanently disproving the phlogiston theory of fire. (You didn’t even catch what phlogiston was supposed to be, did you?) And I say, and you can laugh fit to choke if you like, that Walter T. Brown, Jr., Colonel, USAF (retired), MS, PhD, is the Antoine Laurent Lavoisier of today.


I do know what phlogiston “is” (or was), but just because scientists got something wrong 300 years ago does not mean that everything else that has been done for the past 100 years is false.

The Church decreed that telescopes were the work of Satan and that gravity didn’t exist. It also ruled that the Earth was the center of the universe and was orbited by the Sun. In fact, it even says in the Bible that the “the Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved” (Psalm 104:5) and that that “And the sun rises and sets and returns to its place” (Ecclesiastes 1:5). Obviously they got it wrong (or would you say that the scientists are in the dark about orbital dynamics as well?), but we don’t discredit everything in the Bible as a result of a few errors a long time ago.

Evidence? What evidence is there that asteroids were blasted out of the Earth? Asteroids are compositionally very different than objects on the Earth, which kind of proves the exact opposite of Dr. Brown’s claims. I am not even going to go into critiquing the “theory” line by line because it just isn’t worth my time.

If you really think that geologists have had it all wrong, then you should say goodbye to all minerals and hydrocarbons mined from the Earth, because it is by understanding how they formed that we geologists are able to find where they area and obtain them.

If you really want to believe a three thousand year old book (which really should be taken in allegorically, unless you think it should be legal to sell your daughters into prostitution (Exodus 21:7-11), or anyone working on the Sabbath should be executed (Exodus 35:2)) over the work of the tens of thousands of scientists whose research has led us to be able to live the great life we do today, go right ahead.

Terry A. Hurlbut

The phlogiston theory was not the only spectacular error that the “scientific consensus” has made. It is only one example. And you make the same mistake you accuse me of making: just because I cry bunkum on uniformitarianism, does not mean that I reject all the practical finds that geologists have made. A broken clock tells the correct time twice a day, don’t forget.

And one last thing: when you devote more than half your prose to heaping scorn on the Bible, you conform to the very stereotype that Brown has found. Well, you’re in distinguished company. Robert S. Dietz chickened out on Brown precisely because he was afraid that one couldn’t avoid religion when pitting the hydroplate theory head-to-head against uniformitarianism and plate tectonics. Translation: Dietz himself would yield to the temptation to write the kind of screeds that you just wrote.


“The hypothesis rejects just about everything in geology: radiometric dating, progressive laying down of fossils, even the stratigraphic column.”

You do yourself a disservice by not reading the book ! Mr. Brown’s book does a great job of explaining the above and more.

Donald R Laster Jr

Sounds like Geno Castagnoli is doing the standard Progressive/Marxist drive-by shooting straight out of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Of course it fails when the target turns around and says put up or shut up.


There is no “drive-by.” There are no moving targets. My objection to Dr. Brown’s model, was, is, and continues to be that the model involves so much heat it will destroy all life on Earth.

Just think of half today’s oceans coming from being stored at over 700F. That’s a lot of steam. The steam must condense to liquid water. In doing so, it will release huge amounts of heat. That heat has to go somewhere and it can’t be radiated to space quickly enough to get rid of it in a timely fashion.

It doesn’t take a PhD to work this one out.


Oh yeah… if anyone is saying “put up or shut up” it’s me. I’ve “put up” on Terry’s pages and he’s seen it…. in considerable detail.

Now, it’s time for Terry (or Brown) to “put up or shut up.”

Donald R Laster Jr

Having gone through a few pages of the on-line presentation I can see why many people vested in the other theories and ideas refuse to accept the challenges. Reading the full theory is going to be interesting reading.


There has been no “ducking” or “misrepresentation” of Dr. Brown’s offer by me, as Brown suggests. I’ve never accused him of “ducking” me, and I suggest he refrain from claiming I’m “ducking” him. We simply haven’t been able to come to an agreement regarding the terms and conditions of a debate. In other words, I’m “ducking” Brown in EXACTLY the same way as he’s “ducking” me.

It is ironic that one of Dr. Brown’s reasons for declining a written debate with me is it wouldn’t be worth his time. If my objections to his model were so easy to deal with, he would have spent far less time refuting my claims than he has refusing the written debate and insisting on the verbal debate.
While I lack the PhD required by Brown for the written debate, he does offer the following:
“Evolutionists who disagree with these proposed debate procedures but wish to participate can propose their own suggestions for a written, strictly scientific debate.”
In keeping with that statement, I have suggested two or three formats for a written debate and Dr. Brown has declined (or ignored) all of them.

The verbal offer is unacceptable for a number of reasons that have been explained several times already. Here they are again:
1) The issues I raise would necessarily include calculations and research that would require additional time, a timed debate is not suitable.
2) Verbal debates are often decided by “soundbite” not substance. (Example: Reagan’s “there you go again” comment to Carter.)
3) Dr. Brown offers written exchanges that can be posted on-line between sessions if necessary. (This change in Brown’s telephone debate offer was made after I pointed out (1) to him.)
a) Few, if any, listeners would bother to look up these exchanges.
b) If these exchanges can be done, so can the written debate I propose.
4) Inclusion of (undisclosed) matters not raised by me. (I’m getting conflicting messages on this one.) This makes it possible for Brown to bring up issue after issue and divert the focus of the debate from my claims.
5) Dr. Brown states he has participated in “about twenty” of these debates. I have participated in none. This, plus his 19 years of “one month per year presenting full-day seminars” mean he will have a highly polished presentation. (See objection 2)

From my perspective, I would be under a significant disadvantage in a timed, verbal debate. Just because we would each have approximately equal time and an agreed on moderator doesn’t mean the playing field would be either fair or level.

It is worth note Brown has complained his opponent could “cover up” not having done their “homework” in the debate format I proposed. I have already pointed out to him the exact same thing could be said of his opponent in the standing challenge to a written debate. I see no difference.

Dr. Brown speaks of my “hypothetical” question as if that is the substance of my objections to his model. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, I have only used the term “hypothetical” once in all of the exchanges I’ve had on this matter with both Brown and Terry. That usage was as a recent attempt to get some kind for response from Terry (or Brown) as to the usefulness or validity of ANY model that may explain 20 things perfectly, but results in the destruction of all life on the planet. It is my position such a model is fatally flawed. It doesn’t matter how much a model explains if it sterilizes the planet because we wouldn’t be here to argue about it.

It is still my position that Brown’s Hydroplate model WILL sterilize the planet because of the huge amount of heat that will be released. Further, it is my position that it isn’t necessary to discuss how well Brown explains the Grand Canyon; the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; limestone; meteors and comets; or frozen mammoths because none of that matters since all life on the Earth is destroyed in the process.

I have come to the conclusion a debate between Dr. Brown and I will not take place because we simply can’t come to an agreement about the terms and conditions. That is why, on Aug. 24, I made the following offer to Terry:

“You have an engineering degree….

I’ve been asking you for months to do a simple “back of the envelope” calculation of Brown’s model. How about you take me on in a written evaluation of the issues I raise with Brown’s model and show all my errors? You can even have Dr. Brown coach you.”


Since Terry has the degree, we would be reasonably evenly matched. It looks like Terry isn’t willing to take me up on the offer either.


Walt, the reason no scientist will debate you is because no geologist finds any of your ideas worth even looking at (as Tony said above). You replace hundreds of years of geologic science done by thousands of scientists with your “theory”, which as far as I can tell has absolutely no support from anyone within the scientific community. There are no papers in any respected journal that come anywhere close to agreeing with anything you claim. If I am wrong in this, please direct me to the relevant literature, I am very eager to read it.

Lets ignore all of the science that refutes your claims and just look at the “hydroplate theory” logically.

Frankly, I simply don’t understand why your “theory” needs to have taken place. If God created the Heavens and the Earth, why is it you claim that the asteroids and comets were all formed later during the flood? Why exactly is it that God did not create them in the beginning when He created everything else? You also make a distinction between the asteroids and comets within the inner solar system and the Kuiper Belt Objects, even those all of these are very similar both in mineralogical composition as well as geologic structure.

You also use your “theory” to explain why there could be water on Mars. Why couldn’t the water have been there prior to the Flood? Are you proposing that water was initially only on the Earth? There is likely liquid H20 on numerous objects in the solar system (Mars, Europa, Ganymede) and solid water ice on many more (Callisto, Titan, the Moon, Pluto, the majority of Hildes, Centaurs, main belt asteroids, comets, and Kuiper Belt objects). Did all of this come from the Flood as well?

Furthermore, you state that your debate cannot go into religion. Okay, that sounds fair. This is a debate between scientists (although from what I understand you have a degree in engineering, not the sciences, but I shall ignore that detail for the time being), not theologians. So I pose a question for you: what is the source of the massive energy required for your “hydroplate theory”, and what caused this process to begin? In other words, what triggered the Flood? You are not allowed to use the supernatural as an explanation, as per your own rules of the debate.

Terry A. Hurlbut

Not the data. Rather, the last hu8ndred fifty years of erroneous interpretation of those data.

Tony Sidaway

Doctor Hurlbut, thanks for the reply. My suggestion stands. Doctor Brown isn’t making any progress in his mission to revolutionize the field of geology. He really does need allies.

He cannot gain such allies merely by standing to one side and proposing his own story. At some point he will have to set about the serious task of dismantling the existing scientific system of geology, which is persuasive enough to stand in the way of his innovative and imaginative alternative. That’s the only way to do it.

Until then I assure you those geologists are going to stick with their stratigraphy and their fossil markers, because they have a consistent and workable system of geology that, while Doctor Brown’s notions stay the same for decades, continue to make progress in providing a useful explanation of the world.

He cannot just go on asserting that the other geologists have got it all wrong. He has to prove it.

Terry A. Hurlbut

Yeah, well, hey—you might as well ask him to agree with those geologists that two plus two make five, instead of four, as ask him to do as you ask. What those geologists have might seem self-consistent on the surface. But it breaks down very rapidly once you consider the forces that must—I say again, must—have worked on the earth to produce the mountains, the plateaus, and the strata.

Tony Sidaway

Doctor Hurlbut, thanks for your further reply.

By reiterating your opinion that the other geologists are adhering to superficial nonsense but Doctor Brown’s theory is more coherent and persuasive, you only advance my point: it should be comparatively easy to persuade them, by scientific methods, that they are wrong.

This has not happened. I don’t even see any evidence of a serious attempt to engage scientific geologists. The book itself appears to have been written to appeal to a bible-believing layperson rather than a scientist.

Terry A. Hurlbut

Then tell me this: why won’t any of them take on Dr. Brown in a debate designed to produce a book? Why do you think Dr. Brown put that offer on the table?

Sure, it’s easy—so long as people are willing to hear a theory that challenges the cherished notions of 150 years.

But they don’t even wait to hear words like “religion” or “God” or whatever. They know the implications. And they don’t dare face them.

Tony Sidaway

Thanks for your third reply.

You ask “why won’t any of them take on Dr. Brown in a debate designed to produce a book?”

This is evident. The science of geology is secure and they don’t take Doctor Brown seriously.

“Why do you think Dr. Brown put that offer on the table?”

I don’t know why he did that. He needs to do far more than challenge people to discuss a theory that clearly has not presented any kind of challenge to scientific geology.

You conclude: ‘But they don’t even wait to hear words like “religion” or “God” or whatever. They know the implications. And they don’t dare face them.’

It is my understanding that Doctor Brown specifically excludes all references to religion from his challenge so it isn’t that.

But even then, why do you think an honest and capable scientist would not dare face the words “religion” and “God”? Certainly honest people may disagree about the nature and existence of God but still discuss scientific matters.

Terry A. Hurlbut

I gotcha there, Tony. Robert S. Dietz, of plate tectonics fame, specifically backed out of a written debate with Walt Brown, and said that he didn’t see how the debate could move without a reference to religion. Translation: he, Dietz, wanted to reserve the right to say, “If you believe this, then you have to accept talking snakes and people rising from the dead, and we all know those things are impossible.”

Terry A. Hurlbut

So the science of geology is secure? It can scarcely be secure if they don’t want to talk. If it’s all that secure, let them lay it out.

In point of fact, the science of geology is anything but secure. The basis of geology today is gradualism, also known as uniformitarianism. That means that processes operating today, have always operated, at the same rate, since the founding of the planet. Know the rate, know how far along a process is, and you can calculate an age.

And then Mount Saint Helens upsets the apple cart by creating formations that uniformitarianism says ought to take a million years to form.

Not to mention a radiometric dating laboratory that takes five samples of dacite from the M-St-H lava dome and reports five different ages, varying from half a million to two point eight million years. When everybody knows that those samples were ten years old!


As just a lay person to this forum, I would say that Geno is engaging in drive-by tactics. He has a perfect opportunity to debate Dr. Brown and really refuses to do so. It sounds so liberal, attack, throw mud, make excuses and run. I think that he has not read Dr. Browns book, else he would address the section on rapid expansion and flash evaporation that would cause a great amount of cold and even cause a bridge to the sub zero temperatures of outer space. (Hopefully I have correctly represented that, but it does not appear in any of Geno’s writings that I have seen.)

Geno, you need to man-up or apologize and get out.

In addition, I noticed another blow-hard attacking the Bible from a scientific point of view; trying to use scriptures like Psalm 104, et al. Your problem is that you assume too much. Again another case of drive-by rhetoric, all smoke and no substance.

Dr. Brown – keep up the good work.


Glen claims I’m engaged in a “drive by.” As is typical of those who have been so dismissive of my objections to Dr. Brown’s claims, he’s engaged in generalities while I’m producing specifics. I have posted a list of no fewer than five specific reasons I decline Brown’s debate “offer.” What Glen has not done is show even one of my reasons for declining is in error.

Glen speaks of “flash evaporation” which will cause a “lot of cold.” Well, Glen, this is a matter of “basic refrigeration” which both Brown and Terry have claimed I don’t understand. My question is how much cooling will you get from 700F steam as it evaporates? The fact is there will be no cooling at all until the steam cools to the local temperature. Then there will be some cooling as the steam cools to the dew point. Once the dew point is reached, the water vapor must condense to a liquid. In doing so, it will release far more heat energy than was absorbed in cooling from the ambient temperature to the dew point.

As for the “sub zero temperatures of outer space.” In my “Fire and Brimstone” calculations of Brown’s model, I allow for the returning mass of material that does not escape Earth’s gravity to cool all the way to the coldest temperature possible…. absolute zero …. before it falls back to the surface.

Glen claims this is a case of “another case of drive-by rhetoric, all smoke and no substance.” That is not true and Terry knows it. Terry, and I’m sure Brown, have seen the complete detail of my calculations. They are the ones who have been delivering “rhetoric, all smoke and no substance.” Not I.

The first posting of my “Fire and Brimstone” evaluation of Brown’s model can be found at:
(Note: Brown’s model is a “work in progress” and is constantly being edited. Therefore, some of the links provided are out of date, but the actual data is within 2 or three pages of the one cited.)

Go ahead, Glen…. evaluate my work. Then tell me if the detailed evaluation I provide is “rhetoric, all smoke and no substance.” In this discussion, there has been one party who has been dealing in specifics and substance, but it isn’t Dr. Brown and it isn’t Terry.

Oh yeah… Glen accuses me of throwing mud. I’ll be polite and simply point out that accusation is completely false.

Glen, I have “manned up.” I have provided specifice (if you can’t understand them, it isn’t my problem). And there is no need to apologize for things I haven’t done.


I’m not sure I totally understand the theory, it seems a little farfetched, and given what I know about physics, which is admittedly not much, this theory seems particularly problematic.

From what I understand, Brown’s hypothesis is that the Earth’s crust was suspended over a truly unbelievable quantity of water, and that a global flood occurred when the crust broke, and water came flying out, and the whole world flooded, and some of this water even sprayed out into space because the force of the crust falling was so great. This is what I understand Mr. Brown’s hypothesis to be, but again I’m not totally sure if I have all of this straight, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

Now, with this floating crust, and the water initially not being able to be displaced, the world would have to have no oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, or even small ponds, and probably couldn’t have any mountains or hills either, since the extra weight of a mountain or hill could break the crust. Also, meteor strikes couldn’t have happened, because that would have broken the crust, and all the water would have come out. Also, earthquakes couldn’t have happened, because that would also crack the crust. I don’t know if there’s any water in the sky in this scenario either, or what weather was like in general, since wind and water erosion might also break the crust and allow all of the water to spill out. Also, attempting to dig a well would probably cause a flood, or any attempts at mining. Also, there couldn’t be any large herds of large animals, since the extra weight, and possibly the vibration caused by a stampede may cause the crust to crack. I assume one of these things must have happened to cause the flood, but it’s kind of amazing that none of this happened prior to the flood.

Assuming the crust breaks, and it must have if only because of the reasons outlined above, then all of the water comes out. But because the water is under this giant weight of crust, the water would be highly pressurized, probably so highly pressurized that it would be steam, or explode into steam when the crust is finally broken. Still, this probably isn’t enough force to allow any of this water to escape from the Earth’s gravity in any quantity, since the water is probably going to condense in the upper atmosphere anyways. Still, the steam is probably going to be so hot that it kills everything on the ground, except for those handful of micro-organisms that can survive those kind of temperatures. Then of course the entire world would be flooded, by the water released.

But where does the water go? I’m assuming that crust all falls down into the sea and sinks, since it probably can’t support itself, so now the whole planet is covered in water, but where does the water go? Some of it will evaporate into the atmosphere, but then it will just come back down as rain. Where does all the land come from? It’s covered in what I assume is a pretty substantial amount of water.

And since the whole planet has been more or less sterilized, does some (massively sped up) form of evolution happen to repopulate the planet with things like plants and animals?

Where does this occur geologically anyways? Like in which stratum?

If we cannot invoke religion in this theory (meaning no miracles or intervention from any deity), it’s hard to explain how the world recovered from this catastrophe. Where the theory ends (at least so far as I understand) the world is left as just a sterile global ocean, which certainly isn’t what we have today, so obviously something had to change afterward, but how did that happen? Do we invoke more widely accepted theories of geological change after the flood to explain how the world recovered?

Again, I hope I’m not misrepresenting Mr. Brown’s hypothesis, but I’m left with more questions than answers by the end of it.

Terry A. Hurlbut

Your understanding of the Hydroplate Theory is incomplete, certainly. It’s not so much a matter of what you put in, as what you left out. Don’t feel too bad about that; I have studied the Hydroplate Theory far longer than have you. Plus, I can pick up the phone and call Dr. Brown any time—within reason, of course, bearing in mind that we are two or three hours apart in time zones. (Arizona keeps Mountain Standard Time throughout the year and never changes its clocks. With that desert, it doesn’t have to.)

The crust had pillars to hold up the roof of the sub-crustal chamber, likely three quarters of a mile deep, that held the great ocean. And yes indeed, the world had only very shallow seas in those days. We have no evidence that the world had any seas remotely as deep as the ocean today. That, then, is where the water went. And mountains? They all formed when the crustal plates crashed to the bottom of the now-empty sub-crustal chamber floor. And they formed the same way that a wrinkle in a bedsheet might form if you threw it the right way onto a hardwood floor. Note that most of the world’s mountain chains run north-to-south—directly athwart the direction of travel.

But remember how thick the crust was: ten miles. Mining operations would barely scratch the surface. And there would be no such things as volcanoes, or geysers. The source of geothermal heat is the gravitational settling that came with the flood, and not the decay of radioactive minerals. Those same radioactive minerals formed in the crust. Dr. Brown estimates that the Flood began with a generalized magnitude-13 earthquake—or at least a magnitude-13 earthquake at the fracture site and close to it. (The Seder HaYashar, or “Book of Jasher,” actually mentions a great earthquake immediately before the Flood. And it mentions flashes of lightning. The New Madrid earthquake in middle America had lightning in the chasms. Where you have lightning, you have plasma. And plasma, by its very name, is matter than can and often does transmute.)

The water would exist as supercritical water—liquid and vapor totally intermixed, with no boundary between the two. Tidal forces would produce that. The crack occurred after some of the pillars collapsed, and the crust began to settle in some places, and stretch at the eventual fracture plane. Now when you release water under pressure, it goes from high pressure to low pressure. It then vaporizes. Vaporization takes energy. So it would cool very rapidly. And much of it would escape into the stratosphere, or even punch a hole in the atmosphere and escape into space itself. This is the origin of comets, asteroids, and meteoroids. The distinction has to do with the proportions of water, mud and rock.

The planet does not become sterilized. This is Geno Castagnoli’s mistake. Supercritical water, suddenly released, does not hold its temperature.

Now as the water shot out through the fissure, a seamount chain formed in the old chamber floor. The sudden release of pressure did that. This created two gigantic chutes for the land masses, now called hydroplates, to slide down. And on the other side, the surface of the earth caved in, and formed the Pacific Basin and all the trenches. This includes the Marianas Trench with its Challenger Deep. That’s where all the water went, after it sloshed over the land.

You asked about “what stratum.” Actually, the proper question is “which strata?” That’s right: plural, not singular. And the answer is: all of them. The strata appeared all at once, and sorted themselves out into layers from the lightest to the heaviest as you go down.

The ocean is not sterile, and neither is the land. The hardiest plants, including some olive trees, remain standing. (Hence the olive branch that the dove brought back on her second trip out.) As to the animals: recall that Noah took mating pairs with him, aboard a ship that could hold as much as eight freight trains consisting of nothing but livestock cars, with a few grain cars thrown in for good measure.

Dr. Brown ruthlessly avoids miracles in his model. The chief miracle is that Noah could get a direct message from God, and that the society in which he lived, basically left him alone to build his great ship on dry land.

There’s more. Where you get mountains, you get plateaus to their east. Mountains sink; plateaus rise. Hence the Colorado Plateau, east of the Rockies. That plateau had two vast lakes in it. Call them Grand Lake and Hopi Lake. One fine day, a natural dam burst and let all their water out. That rushing water carved the Grand and Marble Canyons, and carried the dirt out to sea.

In summary: you really have to think out of the box, and remember how violent the Flood was as an event. And again: if you want another miracle (for the happenstance of any event with very-very-low probability is a miracle), then it might be that Noah and his sons built such a marvel of naval architecture as the Ark must have been, and handled it so well.


Terry claims:
“Now when you release water under pressure, it goes from high pressure to low pressure. It then vaporizes. Vaporization takes energy. So it would cool very rapidly”

Geno answers:
It would be like taking the cap off the radiator of an overheated car…. the water will boil instantly… but that doesn’t mean you are cooling the surroundings.

The problem is that at supercritical temperatures (over 700F) the water already has the energy to vaporize. It does not need added energy normally required to vaporize…. in fact, it will be releasing energy as it cools…. not absorbing it.

Terry claims:
“This is Geno Castagnoli’s mistake. Supercritical water, suddenly released, does not hold its temperature.”

Geno answers:
No one is claiming the water holds its temperature. In fact, I allow the water to cool from over 700F to around 60F without adding a single joule of energy to the atmosphere. I submit that more than 640 degrees is a LOT of cooling.

The real problem takes place as all that water vapor condenses to become liquid. Water vapor has a specific heat of 1860 joules per kilogram. The condensation of water vapor releases 2,500,000 joules per kilogram.

Just condensing enough water vapor to cover the planet to a depth of one meter (less than 40 inches) releases enough heat to increase the temperature of the atmosphere by over 240C.

Brown would have about half the modern oceans filled from a chamber where it was stored at around 374C (over 700F) in only a few weeks. You simply can’t get rid of all that heat fast enough to avoid cooking everything on the planet. (Note: That ignores the energy from the returning ejecta that fails to escape Earth’s gravity in my “Fire and Brimstone” analysis.)

Terry is absolutely right that the “would cool very rapidly.” But there will be no cooling of the surroundings until the vapor cools to below the ambient temperature. As I recall, the global average temperature is around 15C…. that’s about 60F.

If Brown and Terry are right, we should be cooling our houses with steam from superheated water. The fact we don’t do so should be self-explanatory

Terry A. Hurlbut

Now you’re being absurd. Is this your idea of fishing or cutting bait?


Terry replies to me:
“Now you’re being absurd. Is this your idea of fishing or cutting bait?”

Geno answers:
Hey, Glenn ! ! ! ! Speaking of a “drive-by”…. did you notice the only thing Terry had to say is a one-liner with no substance at all?

Between Terry and I, notice which of us is providing specifics and which of us is arguing in generalities with no supporting evidence?

Where’s the substance, Terry? Why not quantify how much refrigeration you will get as that superheated steam cools from over 700F to around 60F? What will happen to water vapor when it cools below the dew point?

Be as specific as possible, Terry…. exactly which of my statements is “absurd” and why? The reason I ask is you and I have very different ideas of “absurd.” I think it’s absurd to claim one is going to get massive cooling from the release of massive amounts of supercritical water at temperatures over 700F. If that is the case, can you provide just ONE example where 700F steam is used to cool ANYTHING (except, maybe a nuclear reactor)?

Go ahead, Terry…. explain for all your readers exactly what is wrong with my understanding of “basic refrigeration.”


For Glenn….
Oh yeah…. and you wonder why I won’t engage these guys in a verbal debate……


All you guys are just silly. You speak as though you actually could prove something about the past. Any scientist older than kindergarten should UNDERSTAND that everything science postulates is actually a hypotheses. I don’t know about what area of science in which you actually play for a living, but the true mark of a fraud is his insistence that he KNOWS. Look at every hypothesis we have ever had and you can tell we “know” only the barest of minimums needed to even talk about our subjects. Do you think that God is so small as to make a creation we can understand like we were Gods? Wasn’t that Satan’s trick question to Adam and Eve?

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