Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Was the Destruction in 3 Nephi Merely Cosmetic? – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding the meaning of the destruction described in 3 Nephi. 
   The computer-generated model of co-founder of marine geophysics, Sir Edward Bullard, which ignored shorelines like others have used, developed the theory of geodynamo, pioneering the use of seismology to study the sea floor, measure geothermal heat flow through the ocean crust and the first to find new evidence for the theory of continental drift.
    Even so, in the Bullard fit, David Pratt of Saint Martin’s University, in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, claims there are still a number of glaring omissions, such as ignoring overlaps which cover more than 1,864,113 square miles. Another problem is that the whole of Central America and much of southern Mexico—a region of some 1,304,879 square miles—has been left out because it overlaps South America. In addition, the entire West Indian archipelago has also been omitted. 
    In fact, as tests show, much of the Caribbean is underlain by ancient continental crust, and the total area involved, 186,411 square mile overlaps Africa. Then, too, the Cape Verde Islands-Senegal basin is underlain by ancient continental crust, creating an additional overlap of 187,000 square miles. Several major submarine structures that appear to be of continental origin are also ignored, including the Faeroe-Iceland-Greenland Ridge, Jan Mayen Ridge, Walvis Ridge, Rio Grande Rise, and the Falkland Plateau.
Proposed Supercontinent Pangaea

Like the Bullard fit, the Smith & Hallam reconstruction of the Gondwanaland continents tries to fit the continents along the two-thirds of a mile depth contour on the continental shelves. The South Orkneys and South Georgia are omitted, as is Kerguelen Island in the Indian Ocean, and there is a large gap west of Australia. Fitting India against Australia, as in other fits, leaves a corresponding gap in the western Indian Ocean.
    Robert Sinclair Dietz, a scientist with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey as well as a marine geologist, geophysicist and oceanographer, and John C. Holden, a scientific illustrator, who based their fit on the 1.2 mile depth contour, still have to omit the Florida-Bahamas platform, ignoring the evidence that it predates the alleged commencement of drift. In many regions the boundary between continental and oceanic crust appears to occur beneath oceanic depths of 1.2 to 2.5 miles or more, and in some places the ocean-continent transition zone is several hundred kilometers wide.
    This obviously means that any reconstructions based on arbitrarily selected depth contours are flawed, casting some doubt on Alfred Wegener’s theory that, among other criteria, the continents fit together like puzzle pieces, which is also known as continental fit. Given the liberties that drifters have had to take to obtain the desired continental matches, their computer-generated fits may well be a case of GIGO, i.e., “garbage in, garbage out.”
    As stated by David Pratt in Sunken Continents and Continental Drift: "The curvature of continental contours is often so similar that many shorelines can be fitted together quite well even though they can never have been in juxtaposition. For instance, eastern Australia fits well with eastern North America, and there are also remarkable geological and paleontological similarities, probably due to the similar tectonic backgrounds of the two regions. The geological resemblances of opposing Atlantic coastlines may be due to the areas having belonged to the same tectonic belt, but the differences—which are rarely mentioned—are sufficient to show that the areas were situated in distant parts of the belt."
    H.P. Blavatsky regarded the similarities in the geological structure, fossils, and marine life of the opposite coasts of the Atlantic in certain periods as evidence that “there has been, in distant pre-historic ages, a continent which extended from the coast of Venezuela, across the Atlantic Ocean, to the Canary Islands and North Africa, and from Newfoundland nearly to the coast of France.”
    The point is, that through these plate tectonics we can see the movement of the Earth into its current position from the previous understanding that at creation, and before the earth was divided in Peleg’s day, the earth was one solid land mass with the oceans in the north countries. Obviously, the movement or separation of this one land mass into the several continents we see today, would have been a catastrophic event, and would have been accomplished in a relatively short period of time.
Around 2300 B.C., “unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan” (Genesis 10:25). And we learn that “Peleg lived thirty years and begat Reu, and Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years” (Genesis 11:18-19), which means that at some point in this 239-year period of Peleg’s life, the Earth was divided.
    Thus, the solid land mass of the Earth that existed prior to this time was broken up and divided into what we now see as continents. This process began sometime earlier during the Flood (see our work Scientific Fallacies and Other Myths for an understanding of what took place during that preparation for the Flood of Noah and the period right before and following).
    For those who think this scripture about Peleg refers to the nations of the earth being divided, the original Hebrew word used and translated as “land” is arez or erets, אָ֫רֶץ, which means just that, i.e., “land” or “earth. “ It is translated as “earth” 655 ties in the Bible, and as land 1581 times (it is translated as “countries” only 59 times, and ground 119 times). 
    Stated differently, the word "earth," related to the Hebrew eres, was used commonly in the ancient Near East with the meanings of "earth," "ground," and "land." Only its context will indicate if reference is made to the whole world (the planet), to the surface of the earth on which life is lived, or to a territory of the earth.
    The Hebrew eres (earth) occurs more than 2500 times in the Hebrew (and Aramaic) Old Testament. Even a cursory look at this word in scripture will suggest that its meaning varies within the Old Testament just as is the case with its usage outside the Old Testament, and it includes the idea of planet earth, earth surface, and land. Thus, eres refers to the whole earth (or planet, as we say); for example in expressions such as "the God of heaven and of the earth" (Genesis 24:3), "creator of heaven and earth" (Genesis 14:19, 22), and "Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool" (Isaiah 66:1).
    This does not mean that the earth was always perceived as a sphere then as now. Thus, it is described (poetically) as having four corners (Isaiah 11:12) and ends (Isaiah 40:28). It is also said to have a center; literally, a navel (Ezekiel 38:12), and it could tremble and quake (Psalm 18:7) and stagger like a drunkard (Isaiah 24:19f).
    Secondly, in addition to the two-part division of the world into heaven and earth (planet), a three-part division also appears in the Bible. Heaven is above, the water beneath, and the earth is the dry land in between (Exodus 20:4; Psalm 135:6). In these cases eres (earth) refers to only the dry surface, or the land of the living (Psalm 52:5; Isaiah 38:11). Of course, it also provides the dead with their graves (Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 31:14). Moreover, the dry dust and the waste places are part of it (Deuteronomy 28:23; 32:10; Psalm 107:34; Jeremiah 2:6).
    Thus, not just the earth's life giving surface, but its specific and various materials are indicated by eres. A person can be pinned to it (1 Samuel 26:8), and blood can be spilled upon it (1 Samuel 26:20). At this point eres receives a meaning akin to that of adama (ground, soil, earth), but primarily it is the ground upon which life can thrive (Genesis 1:11f; 27:28; Deuteronomy 1:25). Finally, eres means "land" in the sense of circumscribed territory. Thus, we find "the land of the north" (Jeremiah 3:18); "the land of the plain" (Jeremiah 48:21); "the land of the fathers" (Genesis 31:3); "the land of their captivity" (1 Kings 8:47); "the land of the Canaanites" (Exodus 13:5); "the land of Israel" (1 Samuel 13:19); "the land (territory) of Benjamin" (Jeremiah 1:1); and "land of Yahweh" (Hosea 9:3).
    Once again we must conclude without a clear definition of our term. Earth, dry land, ground, territory, all are suitable and common translations of the Old Testament word eres. Only the context can guide us in the selection of a proper translation. Thus, in Genesis 10:25, the earth was divided means that the ground, planet, land of the earth was divided, which is a pretty clear indication that what was meant was that the land masses were separated from one another, or divided into continents.

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