Could the Genesis flood have ejected large rocks into space

I have decided to start a new thread with this question…now i know this will cause all sorts of grumblings and arguments, however, i simply want to try to explore whether or not it is scientifically possible given the type of catastrophic event the flood is described to be in the Bible.

this is not something i have really looked into before, whilst i am obviously YEC, honestly I have no prior belief on the idea…

Its a theory i have read about and a quick google brought up a reference fairly quickly (not one i have read previously however and I havent even read this article in full yet)

is it scientifically possible that the rocks we see orbiting through our solar system could have been caused by huge steam explosions when underground aquifers mixed with hot magma at the time the “fountains of the deep” broke up as illustrated in Genesis flood account?

I think the whole idea of using the break up of an upper crust to release founts of the deep with such violence as to account for asteroids and such in our solar system - I believe this (hydroplate theory?) was promoted (if not invented) by a Dr. Jay Wiles in a creation text of his own. And if I’m not mistaken, even many other YECs have rejected his scenario as implausible. It was too wild … even for them! I won’t go back to research the details of all that now, but … I recall it suffered the same shortcomings as other young-earth and flood-geology theories in that it is forced to ignore mountains of inconsistencies and implausibilities in order to rescue some favored creationist interpretation of Genesis.

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I would be interested in hearing to pros and cons and dicsussing them here. As i said, i have no particular belief on this however i will openly admit to leaning in that direction because of the way tye flood isndeacribed in genesis.

So can we have some pros and cons…im wanting to be as open minded as i can be despite my bias towards a literal global flood account and i am genuinely interested in reading about what it might take for this to be possible (even if so far fetched its impossible)

For example, to us on the ground, the distance to the upper stmosphere seems huge. However, when we see space images of the armosphere is comparson with the size of the earth, its a very small distance by comparison from the ground level to space. That has me thinking, whilst a simple approach…its not a big deal to eject a rock that far compared with the sheer size of the earth that would be ejecting the rock!

So the question is, what size steam explosion would it take to achieve that result and is the earth (given its size compared with the rather small surrounding atmosphere), capable of producing one?

We need about 11km per second to clear earths graivty right

I found this article that suggests that the maximum velocity of an organic explosion cannot exceed 11km/sec. Now i find that rather interesting in relation to this topic.

Escape velocity is 25,000 mph.


The total mass of the asteroid belt is estimated to be about 2.39 x 1021 kilograms, or about 3% of the mass of the moon. That’s a heck of a lot of stuff being ejected out of the Earth. At an escape velocity of 40,000 km/hour or 11,000 metres per second, you’re talking about 3 x 1029 joules of kinetic energy.

That is about as much energy as the sun gives off in twenty minutes.

So basically this is something that would have vaporised the Earth if it had actually happened.

On top of that, if something like that had happened, and by some miracle it hadn’t vaporised the Earth in the process, then we would be able to calculate the orbits of all the asteroids in the solar system back to Earth, circa 2700 BC, as their point of origin. We can measure their trajectories accurately enough to be able to do that—and, surprise surprise, they don’t come anywhere close.


What amount of energy was required to create the earth in the first place? Arent we ignoring God in the energy statement?

Do the orbits have to be that predicable? Are they not capable of being influenced after they left the earth originally and we only now see the stabilised orbits?

I dont think steady state science can be assigned here…the biblical deacription essentially calls the flood a catastrophically desctructive global event. So when you say vaporised…isnt the limiting factor in a steam explosion exactly that…the amount of vapour…so the explosion is self limiting in that once the vapour is gone it stops…wouldnt the fact its also water driven also prevent vaporisation of the earth. Water is a strange substance in its characteristics.

Let me put it another way…Adolf Hitler had his military build a gun that fired a 4m long shell about 40km. we dont need to scale that same illustration up much to have a shell leave the earths armosphere…especially given the generating device is the earth and it not a pissy little 100 foot long gun we are talking about.

The Earths’ binding energy is 2.24×1032 joules. Or about as much energy as the sun gives off in a week.

No, we’re just doing the maths. Believing in God isn’t a free pass to make things up.

Of course they can be influenced after they leave the earth originally. That’s what gravity does. And yes it does do it in ways that are that predictable. And no I’m not denying God by saying that. For God to stabilise the orbits in ways that require something other than gravity would not just be a miracle; it would be a deceptive miracle. It would serve no purpose whatsoever other than to mislead us about the history of the Solar System.

Doesn’t make any difference. You need to do the maths with the actual quantities that you are actually proposing, not just come up with hand-waving analogies to Hitler.

This is something you need to understand about science before you try to critique it, Adam. Scientists do two things that young earthists ignore or hand-wave away time and time again. They measure things, and then they do the maths.


The energy involved as per James calculation far exceeds the heat capacity of water, and as usual, would leave Earth as molten or vaporized. Miracle or not, high energy events are high energy events, it is gibberish to say that it was a high energy event but it was not a high energy event. Noah was instructed to build an ark, not the star ship Enterprise to get out of Dodge.


Yes you do. Once a shell leaves a gun it is no longer accelerating so it would have to reach escape velocity in the gun. The forces on a rock would be enormous. Remember F=ma. Same would be true for rocks being ejected by a steam explosion. To escape the earth’s gravitation well the steam would have to give a rock an initial push which would have to be so violent the rock probably wouldn’t survive. Think about what it took to get the very small Apollo crew capsule to just the moon. The Saturn V generated tremendous force just to get the tiny Apollo into low earth orbit.


Obviously, in addition to what has been said there is no scientific evidence for a global flood. We would need to prove a global flood happened first. Then find out how it happened. Then break it all down. But it never happened.

Also, that amount of energy, let’s just say somehow God used supernatural energy to help and it did not vaporize the earth.

If the water was coming out fast enough to cause that debris to spew into space…. That water would be superheated. Like steam. No one on earth would have drowned. Everyone would have been blown apart and if somehow that did not happen, they would have been steamed to death. If they somehow made it though that, any water coming out would have been boiling.

It’s just impossible to get a flood or it’s byproduct based on science.


As a layman in such things, I wanted to pop in and say a big thanks to the actual scientists and mathematics for measuring things, doing the maths, and then sharing it with the rest of us. Fascinating stuff. Thank you all.


@adamjedgar I’m curious, what problem is this theory trying to solve do you think? Why might asteroids be problematic for some in the YEC community? Is it because they are an indicator of the violent and ancient history of the cosmos? Genuinely interested.


I think this highlights the fundamental problem here but not in the way some might think because I’d say you are1000000% wrong. The science stuff is good but not this statement I quoted. I think it’s unfair and detached from reality. Believing in the inerrancy of scripture is a free pass to make things up in Christianity. That is how apologetics and harmonization work. I’ve seen Christians harmonize hundreds if not thousands of Biblical errors by positing “what it” solutions that ultimately are just made up.

If Edgar’s questions appear unseemly, they may be but I assure you they are par for the course when dealing with Christian apologetics. This is how people defend Bible contradictions. Mental gymnastics and making up possible solutions then trying to rationalize and justify them as reasonable when they are entirely contrived.

Why do we critique the method fundamentalists use in rationalizing Genesis when it’s the exact same method evangelicals use to defend the Gospels? Kettle meet pot, or plank meet speck.



The hydroplate model originated with Walt Brown. Baumgardner made an elaborate computer model version. As has already been noted, the hydroplate model would produce sufficient heat to vaporize the earth, and so does not match well with either the Bible or the geologic evidence.

A large asteroid crashing into a planet can launch pieces into space. Volcanic-style eruptions, including steam explosions, do not generate escape velocity on Earth. (Of course, if one messed with physics it would be possible to change the escape velocity, e.g., Setterfield’s attempt to avoid the fact that his changing speed of light model runs into problems with E=mcc by claiming that mass was less by a corresponding factor; but this causes so many ridiculous results as to not be plausibly useful.) However, these pieces will be surface rocks. Asteroids include many iron-rich chunks that would require the impactor to have blasted a hole down to the core, which would have also destroyed the ark. Isotopic composition of meteorites is often incompatible with an origin from the earth.

As already alluded to, it is possible to trace orbits back over long time periods. Certain groups of asteroids, for example, can be traced back to long-ago collisions. These collisions occurred long before the Flood.

Again, the fundamental problem is that Noah’s Flood is not described in the Bible to be the catastrophic event that is portrayed in modern flood geology. Genesis teaches that the location of Eden can be recognized with reference to post-Flood geography, whereas creation science claims that the pre-flood world was totally destroyed. The fountains of the deep breaking up are not aquifers mixing with magma (which is only present in scattered places), but rather are springs releasing lots of water to the surface. Having an olive leaf implies the tree surviving the flood; there was not time for growing from a seed, and the seed would have to survive the flood. The many impossibilities of flood geology come from attempting to use the flood as an excuse for all of the reasons why geology does not support a young earth, rather than seriously examining whether a model is viable.


An anachronism in the text from a later author is hardly enough evidence to overshadow the universal language, narrative thrust and undoing of creation in the text itself. Not to mention, I can point out a host of anachronisms that that don’t stop Christians from thinking Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Maybe this argument works (reductio ad absurdom?) in convincing wooden literalists who think the Bible was penned by God in heaven, but for everyone else, an anachronism is fine and honestly, to be expected. It cannot carry the weight local flood proponents would like it to.


Here is link to Walt Brown’s work, long read, worthwhile if you are interested. Entire book posted online.

Who is Walt Brown?
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.

At MIT he did his research in the heat transfer lab.

If the earth and universe were created very good, why would asteroids, meteors and comets, all of which could strike and harm the earth be present.

The type of catastropic event you think is described in the Bible is not scientifically possible. This has been well-established and I think you know this, so why would we grant it as a premise for some other completely contingent scenario?


Same reason tectonic plates that indirectly cause earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis are present. Same reason oceans, whose currents cause hurricanes to form are present. Same reason lightening can strike dry kindling and cause fires. It is not possible to create a natural system that operates on consistent physical laws like earth and not have randomness and causal events that lead to loss of life sometimes.


I like this explanation but what about heaven? So I am guessing heaven will have different “physics” or be something beyond our understanding. Or will there be “randomness and causal events that lead to loss of life sometimes”?

From a physics/astronomy viewpoint, it’s impossible for one simple reason: not even many near-earth asteroids are in orbits that would match such an event. If that was the source of the asteroids, all asteroids would be in near-earth orbits, and that’s assuming they could have been launched to space in the first place, which is essentially impossible. We know from “Star Wars” defense programs how massive the energy is to launch small solid projectiles into space, and a steam cannon can’t produce the needed power; since these rocks would have been launched with no focus on the energy, they wouldn’t have made orbit, much less gotten launched into solar orbit.

11.186 is the figure we used in astronomy class; IIRC our professor said JPL uses 11.2 – I guess that provides a safety margin.

That’s detonation velocity, which is the speed of the shock wave from the explosion. I forget how that relates to the “launch” velocity of something being pushed by an explosion.