“In the six hundredth year of Noach’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day All the fountains of the great deep burst apart, And the floodgates of the sky broke open.” Genesis 7:11 (The Israel Bible™)
Noah’s ark 3D rendering (Shutterstock)
A team of scientists studying diamonds found as far as 500 miles underground has discovered a form of crystallized ice that has never been observed in nature before. The discovery indicates that huge water reserves flow through the earth’s mantle in a manner that very much resembles the “Fountains of the Deep” mentioned in the book of Genesis.
The team, led by geoscientist Oliver Tschauner from the University of Nevada, investigated crystals that formed inside diamonds, which originated 250-500 miles underground, a region of the earth’s mantle known as the “transition zone.” The findings were published Thursday in the journal, Science.
The researchers discovered crystals were from the type, “ice-VII” that is formed under enormous pressure. The scientists estimated that the transition zone, where minerals are more soluble, holds up to ten times more water than other geologic regions. The samples of the diamonds were collected in China, South Africa and Botswana, suggesting that underground pockets of water can be found all over the world.
The ice-VII found in these diamonds was the first scientific evidence of aqueous fluid from the deep mantle. Ice-VII is a solid on the earth’s surface but is in liquid form at the depths from which it originates.
Dr. Oded Navon, professor of geology at Hebrew University, reviewed the study and was willing to discuss the applicability of the discovery of ice-VII to the Bible on a hypothetical level, concluding that the discovery of ice-VII was not evidence of the “Fountains of the Deep” mentioned in the book of Genesis..
“The study did not find proof of a layer of water under the earth,” Professor Navon said to Breaking Israel News.
Though Navon does not personally believe that the Bible describes actual historical events, he suggested how the discovery could be read into Biblical stories.
“If you believed in the Bible as a description of creation, the water in the earth’s mantle would not fit the description of the ‘water below.’”
Hashem made the expanse, and it separated the water which was below the expanse from the water which was above the expanse. And it was so. Genesis 1:7
“The waters were divided by the ‘rakia,’ (firmament) which is like a thin layer,” the professor said, citing the verse in Genesis.
Hashem called the expanse Sky. Genesis 1:8
“The study did suggest the possibility of pockets of water,” Dr. Navon said. “If you want to relate this to the Bible, it would fit nicely with the description of the Flood of Noah in which the flood resulted from rain and water from below.”
In the six hundredth year of Noach’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day All the fountains of the great deep burst apart, And the flood gaates of the sky broke open. Genesis 7:11
Although respectful of religion, Dr. Navon does not believe it has any relevance to his studies.
“The Torah is a beautiful Jewish mythology written by people I adore. It undoubtedly has great worth, but it is mythology, especially in relation to nature,” he said.
“To try to make a connection between the story of creation and science does not bear serious results. There are too many things the Torah does not mention. If God wrote it, he clearly did not intend for us to use it as a scientific manual.”
Dr. Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jewish physicist with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), believes the opposite is true; that the new discovery relates to the story of Creation.
“There is enough water there to easily flood the earth, but I don’t think this is the source of the water for the flood,” Dr. Schroeder told Breaking Israel News, explaining his interpretation of the Biblical flood as limited to a specific region.
“When the rain fell before the creation of Man, the Hebrew term used is ‘pnei ha’adamah (the surface of the earth).’”
But a flow would well up from the ground and water the whole surface of the earth. Genesis 2:6
“For the flood in the time of Noah, the words used are ‘pnei ha’aretz’ (surface of the land),” Dr. Schroeder noted.
And on the seventh day the waters of the Flood came upon the earth. Genesis 7:10
“‘Ha’adamah’ never appears again by itself in the Torah,” he noted. “Ha’adamah refers to a global phenomenon, but ‘haaretz’, as it describes the flood, refers to a regional phenomenon.
At the same time, Dr. Schroeder does not believe that the discovery of ice-VII is not relevant to Noah’s Flood.
“This scientific discovery has nothing to do with a specific region so it has nothing to do with the Biblical flood story,” he claimed. “The flood certainly happened, but it did not destroy the entire world.”
Dr. Schroeder does feel however, that the discovery helps to emphasize the role that water plays in creation.
“The word ‘shamayim’ (heaven) means ‘sham mayim’ (there is water),” he explained. “Heaven was the first thing God created.”
Dr. Schroeder feels this Biblical aspect of water is lalso reflected in its physical characteristics.
“Water is an essential,” he said. “Nature likes water. Hydrogen and oxygen combine very readily. That’s why water is everywhere in the universe.”
This dual explanation, combining religious and scientific concepts, comes naturally to Dr. Schroeder. He sees science and religion as not only compatible but two fields which must necessarily coexist.
“People who know a lot about science usually get it wrong when they criticize Torah because they don’t know Torah,” Dr. Schroeder added.
“And vice versa. When people try to cancel out either science or Bible, they bend them, and that’s when conflicts occur.”
After a lifetime of religious and scientific studies, Dr. Schroeder sees the two seemingly divergent disciplines coming closer to each other.
“I see these discoveries through the lens of science that is coming closer and closer to seeing the world through the lens of Torah,” he said. “After all, science and Torah have the same author.”