An earthquake actually warns people in advance, if they know where to look. And a comprehensive creation theory shows how and why.
Why people fear earthquakes
An earthquake can lay waste to large tracts of land, and release gigantic waves that do even more damage. The magnitude-9.0 Tohoku Earthquake of 2011 (“The Japan Earthquake”) is the prize example in recent memory. But some earthquakes cause psychological damage out of proportion to the physical damage they cause. The Virginia Earthquake, for example, was a relatively weak temblor. But it struck where no one expected it.
The worst feature of any earthquake is that it seems to strike without warning. The best that anyone can do is realize that a particular parcel of land will often shake violently, and then either:
- Stay away from it, or
- Try to build something that will still stand after it’s over.
The second option does not work completely when a very strong (magnitude 7 or stronger) earthquake strikes. This is especially true along the Ring of Fire and the faults that connect to it.
Efforts to predict an earthquake
Scientists have made many efforts to find reliable signs that an earthquake will strike. This includes watching pets, livestock, and other animals. Something about an approaching temblor seems to scare them or even make them run away. City dwellers have seen this sort of thing for thousands of years. The problems:
- Reports of such animal scares are sketchy. Usually only a few animals behave this way, not nearly enough to show a trend.
- No one knows what, exactly, scares the animals.
Worse yet, an animal might act scared, or run away, days in advance. So witnesses totally miss the signal. And because no one knows what makes the animal run away, no one pays attention. Even when hundreds, or thousands, of pets run away, no one suspects anything. No one can imagine that pets know anything except where their meals come from.
But the Tohoku Earthquake seems to have given another sign, one that people can measure.
The atmosphere gives warning
Geologists have often reported another tantalizing sign: strange weather breaks out shortly before an earthquake. Until recently, scientists had the stories of bad weather, but nothing to connect the weather with the earthquakes. After all, correlation does not imply causation.
Still, geologists started to set up weather stations in regions that tend to shake most often. Several space agencies have also launched many weather and other satellites that can test the atmosphere. And now a team from the Goddard Space Flight Center has found what looks like solid evidence.
In May of 2011, Dimitar Ouzounov and his colleagues reported two signs of atmospheric changes above the epicenter of the Tohoku Earthquake. They were:
- A high concentration of electrons in the ionosphere above the spot, and
- Emissions of infrared light. This is usually a heat signature. Something was heating up the atmosphere over the center of the earthquake, before it struck.
More to the point, these two signs built to a peak three days in advance. Furthermore, Ouzounov found that the atmosphere near the ground built up a static charge, all of electrons. The charge dissipated after the main shock.
This is more than a “just-happened-this-way” story. Now all those reports of bad weather striking before the ground shakes up have a good reason behind them. Hot air aloft, and a build-up of static electricity, are both known weather-makers. The extra static charge might also be what scares all those animals and makes them run away. Animals don’t take time to figure out whether something makes sense or not. When something “smells off” to them, they run. All they know is that they don’t like it, and that’s enough for them.
That still leaves one wondering where the static charges and the extra heat come from. Conventional scientists like the Lithosphere Atmosphere Ionosphere Coupling idea best of all. In simple terms: something deep in the ground affects the atmosphere. One idea is that the ground releases large amounts of radon. This radioactive gas causes ionization in the atmosphere. Water then condenses, and releases a lot of heat—hence the infrared light. But in fact: no one really knows where the static charge comes from.
A creation theory
But Walt Brown of the Center for Scientific Creation thinks he knows why. Yesterday, Brown reminded CNAV of a large granite deposit deep to the epicenter of the Tohoku Earthquake. Granite contains quartz—and when quartz deforms, it produces an electric current. Scientists call this piezoelectricity (literally, “electricity from pressure”) and have known about it for decades.
Brown suggests that piezoelectrical activity will always build up a strong positive charge in the ground (the “lithosphere”). Naturally this will attract a strong negative charge in the atmosphere and especially in the ionosphere. (Scientists call it the “ionosphere” because almost everything in it exists as ions and free electrons.) This, and not the release of radon, causes the static build-up, and the secondary heating.
The implications are staggering. Brown expressed outrage that geologists have not realized this earlier.
Twenty-three thousand people lost their lives in that earthquake. Think how many of them the authorities might have saved, had they realized that all this electrical activity was building up. And the more it builds, the stronger the earthquake will be.
But this finding also provides evidence for a very controversial part of Brown’s Hydroplate Theory of the Global Flood. During the Flood, all the earth shook—at magnitude thirteen or stronger. That would produce tremendous currents and discharges—lightning in the ground. When lightning strikes, it produces radionuclides along its path. The discharges during repeated magnitude-thirteen earthquakes were enough, says Brown, to transmute lead into uranium on massive scales. This, then, is the source of all the radioactive minerals we see today.
Featured image: map of Japan. Graphic courtesy US Central Intelligence Agency.
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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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