On or about March 20, YouTube Influencer Jordan “The Angry Astronaut” Wright revealed something no one ever suspected. Which is: he is a stone-cold atheist. In an installment about alien civilizations, he specifically denied God – by denying the Genesis Flood. He said that to say that God was as Outrageous a Concept as are Kardashev’s Megastructured Civilizational Types. CNAV will now take this opportunity to set him straight.
The specific denial of God (God of the gaps or any God)
Jordan Wright normally talks about various space programs, the history of space flight – and the often silly decisions that have not only an opportunity cost, but pose a very real risk to human society. (To cite the best example, he expresses understandable and proper concern about “space junk.”) But lately he has gone off on tangents involving interstellar travel – and extrasolar civilization. (This prompted us to address some of the original proposals for interstellar travel and multistellar civilization.)
Then, on March 20, Mr. Wright left this episode, titled:
Alien “Death Star” Megastructures Discovered? The Strange Case of HD139139.
CNAV will not discuss here the particulars of the star HD139139. Instead, we will focus on one persistent accusation he has already received. Why assume that extraterrestrials are powerful enough as a civilization to dim a star? He retorted that his detractors accuse him of creating “Aliens of the gaps.” So he accused them – and more properly, us – of creating a “God of the gaps.” He cited the Noachic Flood as, in his mind, the booby prize example. The Flood could never have occurred, because not enough water exists on Earth to drown the great mountain chains. (That would be especially true of the Himalayas, the tallest mountains in the world, that include Everest.) Therefore, there was no Flood, so there was no God, so let’s talk about how aliens could be as powerful as I say.
How powerful aliens might be
Extraterrestrial civilizations have, since their invention, been God- substitutes or Devil-substitutes. (Exception: the Star Trek franchise, which often reversed the roles, making humans and their allies the Visitors to “backward” planets.) Indeed, in using the phrase “Death Star,” Wright proposed that HD139139 might host a hostile – and dangerous – civilization. See Star Wars Episodes VII through IX.
In fact, the Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev, in 1964, proposed a scale for measuring the power of a civilization by the amount of energy it could capture and use. His scale proposed three types:
- I – able to harness all the energy that strikes its homeworld from its primary star.
- II – able to harness all the energy its star puts out – which would render the star invisible to outsiders.
- III – able to harness the total energy output of a galaxy.
We don’t even come close to that scale. The Star Trek franchise, in one episode, featured the finding of a Type II civilization – the builders of a Dyson Sphere. Freeman Dyson proposed building a shell to envelope the Sun and suggested that people live on its inner surface. Other visionary engineers have proposed a swarm of ships in very precise orbits around the Sun that barely avoid colliding. (And no one – ever – travels or ships anything between any two of them.) Jordan Wright seized upon the Dyson Swarm concept to explain a dimmed star.
There! You see? Someone’s built a Dyson Swarm and put in the last element!
Is it really that difficult to imagine?
Yes. Jordan Wright, in other installments, has blithely assumed that photovoltaic “solar panels” will always collect the energy to replace themselves. CNAV has recently seen some very concerning numbers that the “solar lobby” consistently denies. The total energy budget for the solar energy must include the energy to:
- Extract the raw materials for solar panels,
- Fashion the panels,
- Transport them to job sites,
- Install them,
- Take them down when, as is inevitable, they become less efficient with repeated “use” (i.e., sun exposure),
- Transport them to a reprocessing center,
- Break them down to their component substances, and then:
- Re-fashion them and reinsert them into this cycle at Step Two.
We’re not doing Steps Seven and Eight. Instead we are shipping them to poor countries, who are throwing them into landfills. CNAV has seen numbers suggesting that a solar roof will yield even less energy than Steps One through Five require! And not one person in the solar industry is even thinking about the problem. (If anyone has, let them leave comments.)
Even Nikolai Kardashev could not have imagined this insurmountable obstacle to any civilization even reaching his Type I level!
(Then again, his masters in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union would never have listened.)
But what about the God of the gaps?
Is God a God of the gaps? Or did the Noachic Flood occur exactly as Moses (quoting Noah and his sons) said it did? For answer, start with In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, by Walter T. Brown, PhD. One can read the entire book online, beginning at this link. Regular readers will remember CNAV’s collaboration with Brown in a key regard: fixing the date of the Global Flood with an astronomical anchor. See these three articles.
Brown observed the continued stratification of the Rocky Mountain Chain and especially the elaborate strata of the Grand Canyon. He concluded that the Layers of the Geological Column consisted of ancient silt. That applied even to the Rockies, despite their elevation.
In simplest terms, his Hydroplate Theory of the Global Flood works out this way. God created the Earth with a subcrustal ocean, about three quarters of a mile deep and located sixty to a hundred miles underground. A system of pillars kept this ocean from collapsing. But the earth’s crust, subject to tidal stress, “pumped” this ocean and made it supercritically hot. (That is, so hot that the water meniscus between liquid and vapor vanished, and liquid and vapor mixed – totally.)
But one day, one of those pillars cracked and crumbled. Why? Accident? Industrial carelessness? We can speculate endlessly on that, because the technology of antediluvian civilization could have vastly exceeded ours. However it happened, the tidal forces exacerbated the stress on the crust itself.
A crack in the world
In the year 3344 BC (by our most precise possible estimate), the crust cracked. That crack persists today as the Mid-Oceanic Ridge system.
The geologists were right in observing that the Earth’s continents fit together like a vast jigsaw puzzle. They called it “Pangaea.” The “crack in the world” (apologies to the producers of the 1965 motion picture) let mega-mega-hogsheads of supercritically hot water escape from the “fountains of the deep.”
The crustal edges fluttered, creating magnitude 10 to 12 earthquakes of which every earthquake since then has been an aftershock. These earthquakes, acting on buried quartz, turned the crust into the biggest nuclear reactor the world has ever seen. This is the source of radioactivity on Earth (and elsewhere in the solar system), and isotopes light and heavy of the original chemical elements.
As much as five percent of the Earth’s mass escaped beginning on that day, as water, rock and mud. This persists today as the Mavericks of the Solar System – meteoroids, comets, asteroids, and Trans-Neptunian Objects. (And especially Pluto, whose carbon monoxide lakes could have formed only from the burning of trapped trees from Earth’s forests and jungles.) And no, Jan Oort, we have never seen your Cloud! You assumed facts not in evidence.
And here we have the source of the astronomical fix. The year 3344 BC is the most likely year for all the comets to have been at perihelion at once. They weren’t at perihelion – they launched in that year.
How the mountains got so high
The event caused the Ridges to up-well and the Pacific Basin to collapse like a stove-in ping-pong ball. The up-welling Mid-Atlantic Ridge shoved the Americas to the west. When the Americas came crashing down to the floor of the old subcrustal chamber, the Great Divide bunched up like a wrinkle in a bedsheet. North America, broad as it is, got an eastern wrinkle: the Appalachian Mountain Chain. Notice that every mountain chain but two, is oriented roughly north-to-south. That’s why.
What are the two oriented in other directions? They are:
- The Pyrenees, where Iberia slammed into Europe and grafted itself on, and
- The Himalayas, where Africa, Europe and Asia collided.
(We can explain the Appenines by supposing that another upheaval made Italy’s Boot draw eastward for a kick, then freeze.)
Every mountain chain that rose up, then sank. East of each chain (except perhaps the Appenines in Italy), land hydraulically moved up to form a plateau. The Tibetan Plateau, together with the Himalayas, form a mass so heavy that it threw the Earth off balance. Originally, Mongolia was “Arctica,” and modern Antarctica was temperate. (And the Antarctic region was an ocean.) And the United States was tropical, and Canada nearly so. But the Earth rolled to its present orientation. Result: permafrost containing tropical jungles, frozen woolly mammoths – and an Arctic Ocean and a continent called Antarctica.
Where did all the water go?
The water drained into the Pacific Basin, which now holds most of it, and the new Atlantic Basin. Notice also that the concentration of deuterium in the oceans of Earth is half that in any comet. The comets came from the subcrustal ocean, which captured a tsunami of neutrons to form heavy hydrogen and heavy oxygen. The subscrustal waters diluted the original seas of Earth 1:1 – or the seas diluted the subcrustal waters. Which is why the deuterium concentrations are what they are, and why the comets could never have watered the Earth.
And the Grand Canyon? That formed after the Flood. Once, North America had two more Great Lakes – call them Grand and Hopi Lakes – at different elevations. A checkdam broke and drained the higher lake into the lower. Then another dam broke, and all that water rushed out, carved a river into the Gulf of California – and carved the Canyon. (The Havasupai tribe remember it today as a combat of their gods. Some of them were there. Oral legends almost always begin with eyewitness accounts.)
So what about this God of the gaps problem?
Where are now Jordan Wright’s objections to a “God of the gaps”? The Flood need not have covered Everest while Everest was higher than an airliner flies, because Everest did not exist. It formed in the Great Collision. And human beings could easily repopulate the Earth even in so “short” a time. They could if they did not suffer from the social problems that secularism, hedonism, and “alternative lifestyle-ism” have wrought. The site Ancestry.com could easily tell you that families with ten or more children were once normal.
Furthermore, the object Oumuamua is not, as Wright insists, a solar sailboat that dived into our solar system and “accelerated” on its way out. It is a Long Period Comet that fell closer than some of the heavier Scattered Disk Objects beyond Neptune. If it did accelerate, then it “slingshotted” away under the influence of those objects.
Which is more fantastical? A God Who warned a man to build a project that would make him the greatest shipwright in human history? Or an Emperor Palpatine, or Dictator Snoke or Kylo Ren, building a device that could wipe out human civilization in a trice? Which is more believable? An astronomical confluence that happens to accord with the best assumptions of the chronologies of Old Testament kings? Or a civilization that somehow solved the solar program budget problem to which we won’t even admit?
The servant of the God of the gaps issues a challenge
And therefore, CNAV issues a challenge. We challenge The Angry Astronaut to a debate, the same as Bill Nye the Science Guy had with Ken Ham. Perhaps Mr. Wright can give a better account of himself than Bill Nye did. The subject shall be:
RESOLVED: That the most viable theory of the origin and present condition of the Earth favors Genesis Chapters 1-11.
In addition we warn all who are trying to solve the problems of Earth through space exploration. The asteroid belt is not likely to hold any more valuable mineral resources, in any great quantity, than:
- Deuterium, in twice the concentration of the oceans of Earth,
- Tritium, in even greater concentration than one can ever find on Earth, and
- Tralphium, or helium 3, a substance the value of which most don’t appreciate.
Perhaps iron and nickel might prove valuable for construction. (And bringing them to Earth would be better than letting it fall to Earth onto someone’s house.) But striking it rich because “thar’s gold in them thar asteroids”? (Or platinum?) Forget about it! Absolutely no theory that anyone can construct that would predict such riches, has any validity. The asteroids did not come from an exploded planet; they came from Earth. That, and only that, is why some asteroids pass near enough to threaten us. (Or get trapped in near-companionable orbits, like Asteroid 3753-Cruithne, pronounced CREW-een-yah.) Anyone who tells you otherwise, is guilty of fraud.
But cheer up, Mr. Wright. It’s not so terrible as that. At least you don’t have to believe in a civilization that will come here fighting a war of annihilation. Or worse, just collect all the energy of a star in an object as big as a planet, and shoot it out at us. (Not my idea! That was Kathleen Kennedy and J. J. Abrams’ idea, and it ill befits anyone to take that to real-life heart!)
Instead you can believe in a God Who loves you. Now that might indeed be a God of the Gaps, because frankly none of us deserves His love. The only reason He hasn’t pulled off another Global Flood is that He promised He wouldn’t. More to the point, He sent His Only-begotten Son to die for us.
Resurrection Sunday is coming up, and indeed we are now in the season of Lent. This is as good a time as any to remind us that God filled the greatest gap of all – between Himself and us. That’s something no one else but Him can fill.
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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