CREATIONISM VS EVOLUTION, (CONT.)
II) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY & PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF A RECENT CREATION, (cont.)
B) SCRIPTURAL TESTIMONY & PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FROM EARTH WHICH TESTIFY TO A RECENT CREATION, (cont.)
5) PERIOD OF A WORLDWIDE FLOOD, (cont.)
c) PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF A WORLDWIDE FLOOD, (cont.)
6) THE AMOUNT OF WATER ON THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH TESTIFIES TO WORLDWIDE FLOOD
"There is, also, much evidence that sea level was once much lower relative to the land surfaces than it is at present, implying either that the amount of water in the ocean was much smaller, or that some parts of the sea bottom have dropped, or both. In the past decade have been discovered great numbers of 'seamounts,' which are nothing but drowned islands out in the middle of the ocean. These are flat-topped, and therefore non-volcanic in formation, and are now in many cases more than 1,000 fathoms below the surface. Yet they give abundant evidence of having once been above the surface. Dr. Edwin L. Hamilton, the marine geologist, says concerning them:
'They are fossil landforms preserved in the depths of the sea, where they are disturbed only by light currents and the slow rain of pelagic material from the waters above.'
[Edwin L. Hamilton: 'The Last Geographic Frontier: The Sea Floor,' Scientific Monthly, Vol. 85, December 1957, p. 303]
'Submarine canyons constitute another very intriguing indication that the ocean level was once much lower relative to the present seacoast than at present. These are great canyons, similar in every respect to the great river canyons of the land surface but extending under the ocean far out on the continental shelves. Usually they project seaward from a river valley on the land. One of the best known is the submarine canyon extending out some 300 miles to the deep sea floor from the mouth of the Hudson River. These canyons exist in great numbers around every continent of the world.'
[Francis P. Shepard: Submarine Geology (New York, Harper's, 1948), pp. 231-233]
Their striking similarity to canyons on land certainly would seem to favor the view that they were formed above the ocean. However, this would require a differential lowering of the ocean by at least several thousand feet, and therefore other explanations have been assiduously sought. There have been some geologists who strongly maintained the sub-aerial [surface-of-the-earth] origin of the canyons, accounting for the sea-level lowering by means of the storage of water in the glacial icesheets of the [so called] Pleistocene [age]. In a recent review of the problem, W. D. Thornbury, Professor of Geology at Indiana University, says:
'The difficulties encountered in explaining the lowering of sea level necessary for the canyons to have been cut by streams seem insurmountable... If Tolstoy's conclusion that Hudson Canyon extends down to a depth of 15,000 feet is correct, the magnitude of lowering of sea level to permit subaerial canyon cutting seems beyond any possibility of realization.'
[Wm D. Thormbury: Principles of Geomorphology, (New York, Wiley, 1954), p. 472]
[So the physical evidence and Scripture both reveal that a universal - world-wide Flood actually occurred in the recent past]
It is thus primarily the difficulty of accounting for the much lower former sea level that has caused most geologists to attempt to find ways of explaining the origin of the canyons while under the sea, the most generally accepted hypothesis [of the evolutionists] at present being that they were formed by 'turbibity currents' or flows of mixtures of water and sediment under water. This theory also has many difficulties, so that Thornbury says, after reviewing all the theories:
'The origin of submarine canyons remains a perplexing problem. The theory that they were cut by turbidity currents aided by submarine landsliding, slumping, and creep holds a slightly favored position, not so much because it answers all the questions connected with them but because it encounters fewer difficulties than any other theory [Except the universal Flood theory which is not even considered].' [Ibid., p. 475]
It would seem, on the other hand, that Deluge conditions, as inferred from the Scriptural record, could give a reasonable explanation for their origin. As the lands were uplifted and the ocean basins depressed at the close of the Deluge period, the great currents streaming down into the ocean depths would quickly have eroded great gorges in the still soft and unconsolidated sediments exposed by the sinking of the basins. Then, as these gorges were themselves submerged by the continuing influx of waters from the rising continental blocks, it may well have been that the turbidity currents entering the canyons may have deepened and extended them still further, a process which has continued on a smaller scale throughout the centuries since. These and other evidences prompted Dr. K.K. Landess, Head of the Geology Department at Michigan University, to say recently:
'Can we, as seekers after truth, shut our eyes any longer to the obvious fact that large areas of sea floor have sunk vertical distances measured in miles?' [And furthermore, can they ignore the fact that there is plainly much more water in the oceans than before]
[Kenneth K. Landes, 'Illogical Geology,' Geotimes, Vol. III, No. 6 (March 1959), p. 19]
b) ENCLOSED LAKE BASINS AND RAISED BEACHES TESTIFY TO MUCH MORE WATER IN THE PAST
"There is strong evidence, for example, that much more water once filled the lakes and flowed in the rivers of the earth than is true at present. This is the picture revealed by the raised beaches and terraces found all over the world, as well as the evidence that desert regions were once well-watered. With respect to enclosed lake basins, the American limnologist, G. E. Hutchinson of Yale University, says:
Almost all the drainage basins of the closed lakes of the world bear, above the modern lake level, raised beaches which clearly testify to high lake levels at a previous time; Bonneville and Lahontan are only two of the more dramatic examples.
[G. Evelyn Hutchinson: A Treatise on Limnology, Vol. (New York, Wiley, 1957), P. 238]
[Limnology = scientific study of fresh water bodies]
...Lake Bonneville, mentioned by Hutchinson, was a great lake that once covered much of Utah, the present Great Salt Lake being one of its small remnants. It still show at least four distinct strand lines, the highest and oldest being about 1,000 feet above the present level of Great Salt Lake and covering an area of almost 20,000 square miles...
[W. D. Thornbury: Principles of Geomorphology (New York, Wiley, 1954), p. 417]
Lake Lahontan, mostly in Nevada, has three major strand lines and covers some 8,400 square miles...
[Ibid., p. 418]
..with only a few insignificant relict lakes [lakes which are a remnant from greater sized lakes in the past] left of it at present. This entire region, now the most arid part of the United States, once was covered with an abundance of lakes and other features of a relatively humid climate. Lake Tahoe, in California, was 655 feet above its present remnant and probably connected with Lake Manley, which Occupied the present site of Death Valley...
..The same phenomenon is found in other parts of the world. Thornbury says:
'There are many examples outside the United States of similar lake expansions during pluvial glacial times. Lake Texcoco in Mexico was at least 175 feet higher than it is now; Lake Titicaca in South America was 300 feet higher; the Dead Sea was 1400 feet higher, and as many as 15 abandoned strand lines have been observed around it; the Caspian Sea was at least 250 feet higher and was apparently confluent with the Aral Sea to the east and the Black Sea to the west; lakes in Kenya Colony and Abysinia, in Africa, were greatly expanded, as was Lake Eyre in Australia.'
[Thornbury, op. cit.. p. 418]
..Even in the world's greatest deserts, such as the Sahara, an abundance of testimony exists that the climate in fairly recent times was more humid...
..It is quite reasonable, on the other hand, to explain many or most of these raised beaches around enclosed lake basins in terms of the gradually retreating Flood waters. At the termination of the Deluge year, the uplift of the lands resulted in a continental topography of much higher relief than before the Flood, and this rugged topography included many of these interior basis, in which large amounts of water were trapped. In most cases, however, these high levels could not be maintained by the local precipitation so that over the years the lakes gradually dried up. This process was intermittent, owing to changing meteorological conditions and perhaps also to occasional regional uplifts still occurring; each period of meteorologic and tectonic stability resulted in the formation of another strand line.
Evidence of pluviation [geologic change resulting from rainfall] and high lake levels is even stronger in the regions supposedly covered by continental glaciers, but presumably these are all to be attributed to glacial meltwaters, glacier-dammed streams, and similar factors related to the ice sheets. Whatever the explanation, whether in terms of glacial effects or retreating Flood waters, or both, it is abundantly plain that waters from some source occupied extensive areas which are now dry land and produced many and varied aqueous erosional and depositional features. Most of the thousands of lakes now fund in the northern states of this country are believed to be remnants of glacial lakes formed by the great ice sheet. Similar phenomena are found in other countries...
...The Glacial Great Lakes, for example, covered an immensely greater region than even their present large remnants. The great complexity of the old lake deposits and erosional features has made their history difficult to decipher... [especially for evolutionists]
'Their history has been worked out by tracing topographic features that mark positions of former lake levels and outlets. Such features include: wave-cut cliffs and associated features such as arches and caves; beaches and associated bars; lacustrine deposits; dunes back of former shore lines; and spillways or outlets cut across bedrock or glacial deposits, which are today occupied by underfit streams [streams too small for the valleys they flow through to have been formed by them], and exhibit accumulations of peat or muck in abandoned channels.'
[W. E. Thornbury, op. cit., p. 405]
...It is evident that these features could also be explained in terms of large water bodies remnant from the Flood, pluvial climates persisting after the Flood for a time, and continuing intermittent uplift of the lands. It may be that the difficulty of unraveling Great Lakes history has been in part due to the neglect of this very factor of the Flood. We recognize, however, that much evidence exists in favor of the glacial explanation of the lakes, and we see no necessary reason to question it from the Biblical point of view. In either case, whether the water come directly from the retreating Deluge waters or only indirectly from them by way of the great ice sheet to which they contributed, it is clear that in the very recent geologic past, both in glaciated and non-glaciated regions, a much greater part of our present continents was covered by water than at present!"
c) EVIDENCE OF MUCH GREATER RIVER ACTIVITY IN THE PAST
"The rivers of the world universally give evidence of having once carried much larger volumes of water than do their present remnants. This is evidenced both by the raised river terraces nearly always found along their courses and by the extensive deposits of alluvium along their floodplains. These terraces are so common that an entire terminology has been developed attempting to categorize them in different types on the basis of their assumed evolution.'
[C. A. Cotton: Geomorphology (New York, Wiley, 4th Ed., 1946), pp. 240-250]
...Many streams are actually called 'underfit' streams, because the valleys they traverse are much too large to have been constructed by them.
'If a stream, or more correctly the size of the stream meanders, is too small for the size of the valley, the stream is said to be underfit; if too large, it is referred to as overfit. It is difficult to cite examples of overfit rivers, or streams with floodplains too small for the size of the stream. Hence there may well be a question whether overfit streams exist... The underfit condition can persist indefinitely; hence many examples of such streams exist.' "
[Thornbury, op. cit., p. 156]
ii) DRY STREAM CHANNELS
...Similarly, there are many examples known of former stream channels that are now completely dry. Some of these of course have resulted from shifting of channels, but many others were evidently formed by streams that no longer exist, except perhaps in greatly reduced volume as sub-surface streams. These are especially common in the glaciated regions and of course are usually [but not always accurately] attributed to formation by glacial meltwaters. But they are also found in the non-glaciated regions."
iii) CERTAIN SAND & GRAVEL DEPOSITS INDICATE FORMER EXISTENCE OF GREAT RIVERS
In addition, sand and gravel deposits are found in many places that indicate the former existence of great rivers whose valleys now are buried by the later glacial deposits. A notable example of this phenomenon is the so-called Teays River, which once coursed across the continental United States nearly from the Atlantic to the present Mississippi, where it debouched into a far northerly embayment [? formation of the bay] of the old Gulf of Mexico. This was truly a mighty river in every sense of the word...
'It was this valley that Tight long ago recognized as the abandoned course of a great river. Thick beds of sand and gravel, including water-worn boulders up to twelve inches or more in diameter, lie upon the valley floor. Many, composed of rocks quite dissimilar to the bedrock of the valley, show unmistakably that they were washed by river action from the bedrock region of the Blue Ridge. Only a great and powerful river could have accomplished this.'
[Raymond E. Janssen: 'The Teays River, Ancient Precursor of the East,' Scientific Monthly, Vol. 77, December 1953, p. 309]
...This great river probably represented a channel developed by the retreating Flood waters in response to the uplifting of the present Appalachian region. With its huge load of sand and gravel and boulders it could have scoured out its great channel rapidly and also carried an immense amount of alluvial materials initiate the formation of the Mississippi delta region.
'With its great network of tributaries, it helped carve the landscape of a large portion of the continent. The amount of sediment - mud, silt, sand, and pebbles - which it eroded and carried to the sea must have been tremendous. The sea into which it poured those sediments was the long narrow arm of the Gulf of Mexico. This long seaway, from southern Illinois to New Orleans, has been completely filled, and the great delta now juts far into the Gulf proper.
...It seems evident that the greater bulk of the delta was built by the Teays, with the Mississippi adding only the latest portions. Hence, the immense delta, more appropriately, might be called the delta of the Teays.'
[Ibid., p. 311]
Glacial geologists believe that the continental glaciers then buried the Teays and other such streams under a thick deposit of till and completely changed the surface drainage pattern when they retreated."
iv) VALLEYS & RIVERS EVIDENCE MUCH GREATER RIVER ACTIVITY IN THE PAST
"But it is the present valleys and rivers which appear to give the strongest witness to the former existence of much larger rates of river flow than now.
[Evolutionists von Engeln and Caster deny that there could have been a greater river flow inspite of the evidence]
'In a stream valley, the width of the channel occupied by the current may be only a small fraction of the width of the valley floor. Further, the banks of the channel are regularly low compared to the height of the valley sides. In a word, valleys commonly appear to be far too large to have been formed by the streams that utilize them. A first thought is to infer that the stream was once a much greater current. This almost always proves to be an unreasonable conclusion because no evidence can be found that a larger volume of drainage was ever available.'
[O. D. von Engeln and K. E. Caster: Geology, pp. 256-257]
...If, as indicated, the reason for rejecting the plain indication of a former much greater stream flow is merely the lack of a source of the required waters, we would suggest for consideration once again the waters of the Flood, which in response to the uplift of the lands and subsidence of the ocean beds, required to be rapidly and powerfully transported to the sea. Furthermore, the rainfall of the early post-diluvian times must have been much greater in most places than it is now."
v) RAISED RIVER TERRACE EVIDENCE HIGHER LEVELS & VOLUMES OF STREAM RUN-OFF
Similarly, the former higher levels and volumes of stream run-off are shown by the raised river terraces, but in like manner this evidence is commonly [and falsely] explained away [by evolutionists] as caused by various complicated processes of geomorphic evolution...
...most large stream valleys are both deeply filled with alluvium and exhibit well developed raised terraces more or less paralleling their present slopes. These conditions are, of course, exactly what would be expected on the basis of the Biblical descriptions of the tectonically-induced retreat of the waters after the Flood. Nevertheless, they are commonly [and falsely] explained [by evolutionists] on a strictly uniformitarian basis. Thus, old river terraces are [falsely] attributed to gradual formation of a flood-plain by 'lateral planation'; that is, by the meandering of the river back and forth across its valley, gradually eroding the valley sides and smoothing out the valley floor; [contrary to the laws of hydrodynamics of moving bodies of water] then, [the evolutionists must insist that] 'rejuvenation' of the river somehow takes place, so that it begins a downcutting action, [again violating the laws of hydrodynamics which demand bottom cutting first before erosion of the river banks] leaving its former flood-plain perched above its new level as a raised terrace...
...It is plain that there is little actual evidence of this extensive lateral corrasion of streams, especially when cutting through bedrock. Alluvial streams, such as the lower Mississippi, of course have a wide meander belt, but they are cutting into an alluvial fill [and NOT bedrock] which had already been deposited by earlier flows of greater magnitude, so that the flood plain itself is basically a plain of deposition rather than erosion...
'If rivers that flow across floodplains many times wider than their meander belts are observed, it will be found that in relatively few places are the streams actually against and undercutting the valley sides. This suggests at least that there may be a limiting width of valley flat beyond which lateral erosion becomes insignificant.
The valleys of many, if not most, of the world's large rivers are so deeply filled with alluvium that it may seem inappropriate to consider their flood-plains as veneers over bedrock valley flats. The alluvial fills in such valleys as those of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio in places are several hundred feet thick.'
[Thornbury, op. cit., p. 250]..Thus, the lateral corrasion hypothesis of river terrace formation appears to be mainly a uniformitarian assumption rather than an actual present geomorphic process... ..The Mississippi and its terraces have been studied probably more than any other stream and, although a complex history has been [falsely] deduced for it, the evidence strongly refutes the notion that its broad valley could ever have been eroded by later planation. Russell, long a student of Mississippi delta geology and now Dean of the Graduate School at Louisiana State University, says:
'Broad flood plains are characteristic of most rivers leading to the sea. For many years these were explained on an erosional basis. The rivers were pictured as having cut down their valleys to a base-level established by the sea, after which their energies were directed toward lateral corrasion, or valley widening. The alluvium of flood plains was thought of as a thin veneer, resting on laterally planed bedrock. Within more recent years, however, the alluvium of many of these flood plains has been penetrated by borings, which in practically all cases reveal valley fill which is many times deeper than the deepest pools scoured along the river beds. In the case of the Lower Mississippi Valley the character of the bedrock topography which underlies the alluvium is comparatively well known, and contains river trenches several hundred feet deep, while while the river is rarely over sixty feet and in no case as much as 200 feet deep.'
[Richard J. Russell: 'Instability of Sea Level,' American Scientist, Vol. 45, December 1957, p. 417]
...That these extensive alluvial deposits, not only in the delta region, but also along the continental shelves, required a tremendous river to erode and transport and finally deposit them seems as obvious as anything could well be. By all odds, the most reasonable explanation of these things is that one or more great streams initiated by the post-Deluge uplifts, and perhaps later augmented by glacial melting, laid down these alluvial fills after carving the great valley, and then, in response to intermittent uplift toward the north, left the present raised terraces. The terraces all tend to converge as they approach the Gulf, the oldest terrace being the highest and, therefore, reflecting the period of greatest discharge...
...Furthermore, the terraces are as difficult to explain in terms of [supposed] former higher sea levels [which evolutionists also propose]...
'Most of the evidence in favor of higher sea levels is [supposedly] provided by terrace and shoreline features which now occupy elevated positions. But the alternative possibility exists that continental margins and interiors have actually risen positively [rather than the sea level]. If there were freshly created shoreline features widely distributed along maritime coasts at some comparatively uniform level, such as 200 feet, the argument that today's sea level represents a lowering by that amount would be strong. On the other hand, if shoreline features stand at a variety of elevations, [which is the case] the suggestion is fairly conclusive that elevation has resulted from the differential elevation of rising land masses. The latter appears to be the case...
[Furthermore, if there were more than one glacial period - which evidence does not support - then the hypothesis that higher sea levels produced by a supposed interglacial period when there was a melting down of the glaciers between glacial periods would still not be supported by the evidence. Richard J. Russell states further]:
...That interglacial seas at times may have exceeded today's stands is possible [if there were more than one glacial period], but not by the differences of level suggested by positions of higher terraces, for many of these surfaces are located above the level which would be established if all continental ice should melt.'
[Russell, Ibid., pp. 427-428]
...Thus the height of the [raised river] terraces can only be explained in terms of intermittent uplift processes such as terminated the Deluge period, and the width of the valleys and their great depth of alluvial fill can only reasonably be explained in terms of great swollen rivers plunging rapidly toward the sea.
'This evidence from the most thoroughly explored continental shelf on earth refutes the physiographers' lateral-corrasion hypothesis for the Lower Mississippi Valley and an erosional explanation for the shelf. A deeply alluviated major valley leads to a deeply blanketed shelf. The flatness is depositional [rather than erosional] in both cases.'
[Richard J. Russell: 'Geological Geomorphology,' Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 659, January 1958, p. 4]
...Further proof that the rivers formerly carried much larger quantities of water is found in the great size of their original channels as cut out of the bedrock.
'As has already been stated, the bed widths of the filled channels are some ten times those of the present channels in the same localities... The whole of the present annual precipitation, with no loss to percolation or evaporation, could similarly have been run off in no more than five days. It is therefore necessary to postulate a former precipitation greater, and probably considerably greater, than that which is now recorded.'...
[G. H. Dury: 'Contribution to a General Theory of Meandering Valleys,' American Journal of Science, Vol. 252, April 1954, p. 215]
...Theory, model tests, and field observations all demonstrate that there is a definite limit to the width of a stream's meander belt, and this is always much less than the width of the alluvial plane on which it flows...
[See 'Basic Aspects of Stream Meanders,' by Gerard Matthes (Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Vol. 22, Part III, 1941, pp. 632-636)]
...Mention should also be made of the old marine shore lines that are now found around all the world's sea coasts. As we have noted, these raised beaches are found so universally that they have been considered the chief evidence of eustatic [i.e., worldwide] variations in sea level.
'In various parts of the world elevated strand lines and terraces exist which are believed to have had a marine origin. If these were local phenomena, their positions above sea level could be explained as the result of local diastrophism, but they are so world-wide in extent that they seem to be related to eustatic rise in sea level rather than to local uplift.'
[Thornbury, op. cit., p. 410]
...Glacial geologists have long been intrigued with the idea of correlating these old beaches with the supposed inter-glacial warm periods when the ice sheets had melted and filled the oceans to a higher level. But, in spite of intense study directed to this end, such correlation has proved quite elusive.
'Finally, if we [evolutionists] can follow continuously a system of terraces all along a river valley and see them united on the one hand with moraines [glacial deposits], on the other with ancient shores, the whole problem of correlation is solved... Unfortunately, and contrary to expectation, it is extremely difficult to follow fluviatile [river formed] terraces continuously from the region of moraines [glacial deposits] as far as former marine shores.'
[Maurice Gignoux, op. cit., p. 611]
...One is warranted, therefore, in suspecting that the multi-glacial hypothesis may perhaps be wrong after all. Although the old marine shorelines are found around all the continents, they could reflect universal continental uplift processes just as well as higher sea levels. In fact their irregularity, their varying number from place to place and the great elevation of some of them strongly favor the former explanation, as Russell pointed out."
d) EVIDENCE OF FORMER LOWER SEA LEVELS
"There does appear to be much evidence of a former lower sea level. The topography of the continental shelves, the irregularity of coast lines, the great submarine canyons, the seamounts, similarities between faunas of now-separated areas, and many other factors seem to indicate that they were formed at least in part at a time when the sea level was relatively lower by several hundred feet than it is at present.
The continental shelves themselves are evidence of a former lower sea level, since their edges mark the true boundaries between ocean basins and continental blocks. The continental shelf extends out as much as 750 miles, with an average width of about 42 miles, [F. P. Shepard: Submarine Geology (New York, Harper's, 1948)]
...and descends gradually to a maximum depth of from about 300 feet to about 1500 feet, with a mean depth of about 430 feet. Beyond the shelf, the continental slope then descends to the ocean depths. As already noted, most evidence favors the view that the continental blocks were uplifted (or the ocean basins subsided, or both) by a great fault along the continental slope.
This of course accords quite well with the Biblical implication that the uplift of the lands, coincident with the subsidence of the ocean basins, marked the terminus of the universal inundation caused by the great Flood. This uplift (or fault slippage along the edge of the granite blocks of the continents) was intermittent, largely being completed during the Flood year but evidently continuing on a lesser scale for many centuries to come. The present continental shelf could well define the edge of the oceans as they developed during the glacial period. The best calculations for the depth of ocean lowering during the [so called] Pleistocene due to the water locked in continental ice sheets seem to be of the same order of magnitude as the average depth (about 430 ft.) of the edge of the shelf...
[J. K. Charlesworth, op. cit., pp. 1354-1355]
...With the melting of the ice sheets, the oceans rose to their present level and, with minor fluctuations, have remained at that level since...
'The ocean basins can thus be characterized as overfull - water not only fills the ocean basins proper, but extends out over the low margins of the continents.'
[J. V. Trumbull, John Lyman, J. F. Pepper, and E. M. Thompson: An Introduction to the Geology and Mineral Resources of the Continental Shelves of the Americas, U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1067, 1958, p. 11]
..There is even some evidence of a past lowering of sea level to much greater depths than that of the continental shelf. These evidences include the great depth of some of the submarine canyons and some of the flat-topped sea-mounts (for both of which there is strong evidence for formation above sea sea level) and the many fresh-water and shallow-water deposits found in recent years in deep-sea sediments...
..if convincing evidence should eventually be forthcoming that the sea level actually was several thousand feet lower than at persent, as some of these data seem to indicate, then it would appear that the only logical explanation of such lowering would be simply that there was no more water in the ocean at that time - in other words, that must have been the antediluvian sea level! It is obvious that the immense amount of missing water involved in this amount of lowering could not have been frozen in a great ice sheet, and there seems no other way of explaining where it could be...
..And if the second alternative is chosen, that of a relatively sudden increase of 30 per cent in the volume of the ocean, the compelling question of the source of this water must be faced, and this few geologists can bring themselves to do! But the problem becomes simple if the existence of the antediluvian 'waters above the firmament,' precipitated at the time of the Deluge, is accepted."