The Universal Model (UM) gives a sort of clever (but badly flawed) explanation for the mechanism of Noah’s flood–the Earth is a variable-speed centrifuge! So buckle up, dear reader, while we take a spin on Centrifuge Earth.
According to the UM, the Earth actually gets less dense toward its center. The inner core is a ball of ice, the outer core is liquid water, and the mantle/crust are a mixture of rock and water. (Will Meservy recently pointed out that this can easily be disproven by referring to the Earth’s measured moment of inertia, but let’s temporarily overlook that.) This immediately introduces a problem, because buoyant forces would typically make the less dense substances rise to the top (or the outside, in the case of a spherical body like the Earth). Dean Sessions tells us, however, that Centrifuge Earth counteracts this tendency.
I’m not going into a long explanation of centrifugal force here, but the idea is that when an object is rotated around an axis, it appears to experience a force pulling it toward the outside, away from the rotation axis. For example, if you put a weight on a string and swing it around, the weight goes to the outside of the circle, as far as it can get from the axis of rotation. When you are in the passenger seat of a car and you turn a corner going fast, you feel like you are being pulled toward the outside of the turn and you get squashed against the car door. This is also the operating principle of a centrifuge. A centrifuge is used to separate substances in a fluid by spinning them around. Suppose, for example, I have some tiny clay particles suspended in some water. When I put the suspension in test tubes in a centrifuge, the tubes are spun around so that their bottoms are swung outward, away from the spin axis. The clay particles, which are more dense than the water, are forced away from the spin axis, and separate to the tube bottoms. Watch this video to see what I’m talking about.
TAKE NOTE: Within a spherical body that coheres due to gravity, the more dense materials tend to congregate in the center if they are free to move around. Within a spinning body, the more dense materials tend to congregate as far as they can get from the axis of rotation. Remember this, because it’s important.
In the UM (see UM, Vol. 1, p. 494, Fig. 8.3.1), the more dense crust is pushed to the outside via centrifugal force as the Earth spins around its axis. A few thousand years ago, a comet passed close by the Earth, disrupting its rotation, so that gravity caused the denser crust to collapse down into the watery mush below, and water was forced upward past the crust through a bunch of “hydrofountains”. The water covered the entire crust, to a depth of something like 30,000 feet. After about a year the Earth’s rotation magically sped up again. Oh… ahem… did I say “magically”? What I meant to say was that when Dean Sessions gets around to publishing Vol. 3 of the UM, he will explain how the rotation of the Earth was sped back up because of a “Central Universal Energy source” that is Totally NOT Magical.
Subchapter 25.7 identifies evidence of the Revolutionary Universe, which includes the revolutions the planets make around the Sun and their axial spin. The Universal Energy Laws in the Universe System will explain how all matter in the universe is directed by a Central Universal Energy source that affects the rotation of the Earth on its axis, which keeps the Earth spinning at its constant rate. Without an external energy source, tidal friction and friction from the solar wind would slow the planet’s axial spin, eventually stopping it. It would also affect its revolutions around the Sun. The Principle of Resonance directs Universal Energy through all matter, from atoms to the Universe itself. (UM, Vol. 1, pp. 493,495)
See? There HAS TO BE some external energy source that keeps the Earth spinning, because otherwise the Earth’s rotation would be slowing down! Okay, so maybe scientists can show that the Earth’s rotation really is slowing down by doing calculations based on the timing of ancient eclipses, but Dean Sessions has done his OWN calculations to show that tidal forces and solar winds should be slowing the rotation down WAY MORE…. Just kidding. Dean Sessions is a “big picture” kind of guy who can’t be bothered with mundane tasks like “doing math” or “trying to understand actual scientific literature instead of using it to cherry-pick out-of-context quotations”…………………..
So anyway, when the Earth’s rotation TOTALLY UN-MAGICALLY sped up again, Sessions says the more dense crust was pulled out past most of the water, restoring land masses and such. Now the perfect balance between gravitational attraction and centrifugal forces is restored!
Centrifugal force created by the Earth’s spin is thrusting the crust of the Earth away from the center of the Earth. However, this force is balanced by the Earth’s gravity, which is pulling the crust toward the Earth’s center. This gravitational force keeps us stuck to the Earth’s surfuce because we are also pulled toward its center. If this force were to suddenly vanish, we would fly off the planet, just like a rock released from a swinging sling. The crust of the Earth is held in remarkable equilibrium by the opposing forces of centrifugal motion and gravity–but this equilibrium can be disrupted. (UM, Vol. 1, p. 495)
Like I said, it’s kind of a clever explanation, but even if I could get past the moment of inertia problem and the ad hoc nature of Sessions’ mysterious energy source, it would still be patently absurd. Here’s why.
There is no centrifugal force operating at the Earth’s poles due to the Earth’s rotation.
Centrifugal force pulls material away from the axis of rotation, and the force is proportional to both the mass and the spin radius. At the Earth’s poles, the spin radius is ZERO. Here’s how the Wikipedia article on Centrifugal Force explains how this plays out.
If an object is weighed with a simple spring balance at one of the Earth’s poles, there are two forces acting on the object: the Earth’s gravity, which acts in a downward direction, and the equal and opposite tension in the spring, acting upward. There is no net force acting on the object and the spring balance so the object does not accelerate and remains stationary. The balance shows the value of the force of gravity on the object.
When the same object is weighed on the equator the same two real forces act upon the object. However, the object is moving in a circular path as the Earth rotates. When considered in an inertial frame (that is to say, one that is not rotating with the Earth), some of the force of gravity is expended just to keep the object in its circular path (centripetal force). As such, less tension in the spring is required to counteract the ‘remaining’ force of gravity. Less tension in the spring would be reflected on a scale as less weight — about 0.3% less at the equator than at the poles. The concept of centrifugal force is not required. However, the Earth is not a perfect sphere, so an object at the poles is slightly closer to the center of the Earth than one at the equator; after accounting for both effects, the actual measured weight of the object is about 0.53% less on the equator.
It is generally more convenient to take measurements in a frame of reference rotating with the Earth. In this reference frame the object is stationary and to account for the loss in measured weight when the object is measured at the equator it is necessary to include the upward acting (inertial or fictitious) centrifugal force. In practice, this is often observed as a reduction in the force of gravity.
Obviously, gravitational attraction is MUCH STRONGER than any centrifugal force experienced on the Earth. Measured weight (force of attraction toward the center of the Earth) is only reduced by a few tenths of a percent going from the equator, where the maximum centrifugal force is experienced, to the poles, where ZERO centrifugal force is experienced. Therefore, any differentiation of materials in the Earth in order of density would cause the denser material to move toward the center. And isn’t it cool that this application of fundamental physics leads us to a conclusion that is supported by 1) the measured mass of the Earth, 2) the measured moment of inertia of the Earth, 3) the evidence of seismic wave velocities in the subsurface, 2) a plausible theory about the origin of Earth’s magnetic field?
We’ll have to wait and see how Dean Sessions responds to this enormous hole in his model. Hopefully, he won’t make up some “Universal Pushy-Outy Force” that draws on his “Central Universal Energy Source” to make denser material congregate around the outside of a planet. [FULL DISCLOSURE: Okay, I’ll admit that a tiny part of me does want Sessions to do this, because then I could point to this blog post to show that I came up with it first, and then demand it be called “Bickmore’s Universal Pushy-Outy Force.” My life would then be complete.]
So let’s be clear, Barry,
Are you denying that a a universal flood ever occurred in the history of the earth, i.e. are you disputing all of the EVIDENCES for it as laid out in chapter 8 of the UM, or are you disputing only the MECHANISM for the flood? Please spell that out for us.
My post was only about the proposed mechanism. I don’t think much of the “evidences” presented in Ch. 8, either, but we can argue about that later. For now, do you find anything wrong with what I said about the proposed mechanism?
I’m not a scientist, Barry, so I will leave that response to others better equipped to respond than I. I am fascinated by your comment “I don’t think much of the evidences presented in chapter 8.” First time I have seen anything but a total denial from you about any subject in the UM. Are you perhaps wavering a bit?Personally, I found the 100 or so evidences for the flood to be easy to understand by a layman and to be overwhelmingly in favor of the flood. So I am extrmely interested to see how you will manage to demolish them all, because isn’t that the job you have assigned yourself?. Why wait till later? They are at the heart of the UM. If you are worth your salt as a geologist, and given that “peer reviewed” science categorically denies all evidence for a universal, same time flood, and you are apparantly the only current geologist attacking the UM in detail–generalized denunciations don’t count–isn’t it your responsibility to disabuse us laymen of the evidence in favor of it?
Then we can see how the UM team responds to you about flood evidences..
Say on, Barry, say on! Let’s get to the guts of the UM.
You ask, “Why wait till later?” The answer, of course, is that I have a job, a family, a calling in church, and only 24 hours in a day. And I try to actually look things up and think about them before I start pontificating.
I’ll do whatever I have time to do, but I don’t see it as my job to challenge every single proposed evidence for the UM. It seems more economical to pick out some of the UM arguments that appear to be the more important ones, and show that Dean Sessions is playing fast and loose with the facts. I would think that honest people would see that at least as an indication that Sessions isn’t the sort of person one can trust to have done his homework on the topics he writes about.
For instance, how many times in the book does Sessions say that something or other must have happened how he thinks, because melted rock always turns to glass? Seems like an important point in the book to me. And yet, Sessions’ own sources say that crystals (even quartz) have been formed from melts in the laboratory. Does that bother you? Does it make you want to put forth a little effort and look up a few books in a university library to see who’s telling the truth? If not, then why not?
Your book review on the UM website says you are a retired Naval Intelligence analyst. I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t have lasted long enough to retire from that job if you just believed every information source that told you what you wanted to hear. People want a nice story all tied up in a bow, but reality is usually more complicated than that, and harder to sort out. But putting in the effort to understand the nuances, even if we can’t sort out every last detail, makes us wiser. What if, after trying to put in some due diligence, you came to the conclusion that the UM does not provide good arguments? What would you have lost? I wouldn’t think you would have to give up on your religious beliefs. You might come to the conclusion (like John A. Widtsoe in his book Evidences and Reconciliations) that the Flood may have been only a thin sheet of water in some places, or (like Hugh Nibley in his book Old Testament and Related Studies) that the Flood in the Bible was a localized event that was described from the point of view of particular people, and it seemed to them like the whole world was buried in the deluge. You might come to the conclusion that the Flood was just like you thought, but acknowledge that the UM didn’t provide very good evidence for it.
P.S. Frank, I can do requests if there is something in Chapter 8 that you think is especially impressive. (I just don’t do “deal with everything in this 224 page chapter, and then we can talk” kinds of requests.) If you think of something, let me know.
Well,Barry, I’m retired and although you may think that I have so much time on my hands that the subject of glass ought to induce me “to put forth a little effort and look up a few books in a university library to find out who’s telling the truth” I choose to spend my time more productively than that. But in deference to you I did spend some time googling the subject of glass coming out of a melt. The most succinct result of my efforts were these quotes: “In nature,glasses are formed when sand/or rocks, often high in silica, are heated to high temperatures and then cooled rapidly.”
“Glass is created when molten material cools so rapidly that there is not enough time for crystaline structures to form.”
So apparently it all depends on how rapidly the molten material cools as to whether there is a crystalline nature to the resulting volcanic glass. Does that resolve the differences between you and Sessions on the subject? And if it does not, should it make any difference to me or anyone else as far as the UM is concerned? Why must I spend hours in some university libary consulting a variety of books, as opposed to just accepting the above definitions and focusing on more important subjects such as evidences for the Flood? I don’t know about Widstoe, but I do know that Nibley was as wrong anybody else when he apparently bought into the idea that Central America was the geographic location for the Book of Mormon. If he had lived long enough he would know that modern evidence,such as DNA connections with American indians,and the Hopewell Mound builders, supports the United States as the geographic center.
Next time, Barry, I will take you up on your offer to debate specific evidences for the Flood, as presented in the UM. That should be fun–for me at least, as a non scientist who is not checked out on the various mathematical formulae that you so love to reference.
Thanks for putting forth the effort to look that up. No, it doesn’t resolve the differences between me and Sessions on the issue, however. In fact, the points you quoted support my point, and refute Dean’s. If you look in the UM book where he talks about “evidences” for the universal flood, he repeatedly says that various minerals “must have” come from “hyprethermal” conditions in the flood, rather than from molten rock, because melt always turns into glass. I wrote a blog post explaining the whole thing with the title, “Quartz is Not Glass. So What?”
Personally, I think this should make a difference to you as far as the UM is concerned, because it calls into question quite a number of Dean Sessions’ arguments. Does it completely disprove his main claims? Of course not, and I never said it did. But when, by searching the internet for a few minutes, you can find information that refutes a simple point that is referenced over and over in the UM’s arguments, doesn’t that make you want to exercise a little caution with the UM? Take it’s claims “with a grain of salt”?
As for the topic of this thread, I propose that you do like Dean Sessions says and perform your own experiment. Take a heavy-ish weight and tie it to a rope or string. Swing it in a circle around your head and note how hard the string tugs on your hand. Now hold the string so the weight is much closer to your hand (the swinging radius is much shorter) and do the same thing, making sure that the time it takes for the weight to go around once is about the same as before. You will find that it tugs on your hand much more weakly. You will have just proven to yourself that I was right, and Sessions’ centrifugal force explanation for the flood can’t be right, because it wouldn’t work at the poles, where the spin radius is zero. Supposing you go to the trouble to do that experiment, wouldn’t that make you wonder if Sessions’ other arguments are similarly flawed, when this one can be refuted by reference to a simple freshman-level physics principle? All I’m asking you to do at this point is to exercise a little caution.
Sorry Barry, but at age 87, and suffering from back ache, one thing I can’t do is swing heavy weights around my head. I will have to back out of that experiment.
The mechanism of the Flood presented in the UM seems to me to be as plausible as any of the various theories about the formation of the earth, the moon, and the origin of the earth’s oceans. These are all fundamental scientific questions, and over the history of science there have been many THEORIES presented for all three: The ruling ones now are 1) accretion for the earth’s formation, 2) a large impactor on the earth for the formation of the moon, and some combination of water in the original rocks, plus bombardments by comets and/or asteroiods for the origin of the oceans. But there are problems with all of these THEORIES, so they are not universally held and are in constant flux, and they are–and will always remain, theoretical. No humans were around to observe them at the time any of them allegedly appeared. The same is true for the mechanism of the Flood–if it was caused by the near passage of anothe celestial object, either no one observed it or no one recorded it. But plenty of people experienced the flood itself, and some form of it has been recorded in the history of almost every ancient people. We call it the human history of the earthy. So were these all just local or was it world wide? The UM argues that it was world wide, and suggest a plausible mechanism for it. The mechanism has to provide for some other source than rainfall or ocean water. And so it does–the argument that the earth is a hydroplanet, so that most of the water for the flood came from under the crust . An enormous quantity of verifiable evidence is provided for that in the hydroplanet chapter, and an enormous amount of physical evidences are provided for the reality of a flood that covered the earth by miles and not just feet, in the universal flood chapter. Scientists such as yourself may disagree with that evidence, but so do you with the larger questions which I cited at the beginning of this piece. An ever changing “consensus” proves nothing. Scientific truth is not a matter of majority opinion. The UM repeatedly asks and attempts to answer “fundamental questions.” In Every field of science! It does not claim infallibility. No one can do that. But it does open up entirely new fields of debate, inquiry and study: “Millenial Science!”
I’ll respond to the one bit of evidence you put forward. I’m sure something happened to provoke all those flood legends, and personally I think there was a worldwide event, although not as dramatic as the UM holds. So anyway, I don’t have a problem with that.
As I read most of the rest of your reply, you’re just saying you believe Sessions because he provides lots of evidences. But if all those evidences don’t really prove what he says they do, then they add up to a big, fat nothing. I’ve taken apart several of his main arguments, and shown that they are fatally flawed. That’s fine if it doesn’t bother you enough to want to do some spot-checking yourself, however. I’ll just keep writing these things for the people who don’t have such unshakable faith in the UM.
Well Barry, you have denied the UM mechanism for a universal flood, and you have denied the source for it (water beneath the crust), so let’s cut to the chase, do you accept any evidence for it at all? Chapter 8 is the most important chapter in Volume 1, and it contains many evidences for the reality of a universal, rather than a localised flood. So I’m going to put the ball in your court. Rather than ask you to comment on this or that evidence as presented in Chapter 8, why don’t you pick out two or three that you disagree with and provide a rationale as to why they COULD NOT be used as such evidence. That should be interesting.
I am not part of the UM team and I am not a scientist I am just a very old man who would like to be able to believe that the human kept record of man and creation is more accurate than the scientific one, which claims that the Flood is a myth. A few years ago a poll indicated that 92% of scientists identified themselves as atheists or agnostics. How could it be otherwise?
Hi Frank. Actually, the last poll I saw said about 40% of scientists in the USA believe in God. Also, for the most part they didn’t become atheist/agnostic by taking science classes. People who grow up as atheist/agnostic become scientists in disproportionate numbers.
Interesting discussion. I Do not believe in the idea that the water from the flood came from beneath the surface. I believe it came from above the earth and was let loose at the time of the Flood. There is too much evidence that the earth core is made of Iron. For one thing the earth magnetic field is based on a core of iron. I must admit that I am new here however and have not read the UM as of yet. But I like the idea of a universal flood. I’ve always believed in the flood from my earliest days. I’m a retired geologist and have always believed in the flood even though I sat through all the dogma that was presented in school.
This is where I get the idea of the water above the earth- at the time of creation according to Genesis 1:7 the Lord created a firmament that divided the water from up above from that which was below. The word firmament in Hebrew means hammered out or something hard. I have a friend that studied with the rabbi’s in Israel years ago. He found in the ancient writings that before the flood the earth was more of a terrarium. This hammered out layer existed over the entire earth and was supported at the poles by what the ancients called the pillars of heaven. At the time of the flood the firmament and pillars were removed and the water came down.
So I can agree with the idea of a Universal flood and for me it was a reality. But the mechanism is something that needs to be discussed. We don’t need to throw out some good science that has been done on this and accept something that isn’t plausible.
One thing that you’ll have to do is meld the scriptures in with the debate. Yes there is plenty of evidence that the universal flood was reality and can be found in rock layers, but some aspects of it cannot be understood without the records of the ancients. Ira
Hi this is Dennis from Cedar City,
Barry I have read many of your responses on the UM. I won’t pretend that I can keep up with all your scientific techno speak. It is a little overwhelming. However It doesn’t matter what you say to criticize the UM even though they will be the first to admit they haven’t got everything figured out yet! I think if you were honest with yourself you would admit to many many incredible truths that Dean has put forth.
I have lived nearly my whole life in Central Utah near the San Rafael Swell which includes the Wedge overlook and have asked the smartest people I could find over the years how that formation took place. How does a river flow through a bulge and make a mini grand canyon? Why are the fossils located in the upper layers and of the canyon? Nothing has ever gotten close to explaining it like the UM. You see Barry I don’t believe that you don’t have to be a PhD in Geology or any other degree to recognize truth. What the UM has presented just makes sense and my gut tells me it’s true. In fact I am currently excited once again about Geology and the beautiful formations around me that I am trying out the experiments from the UM. For example I have been told all my life that the big black deposits on the mountains and hills around Southern Utah were from Lava. Last week I gather up a few samples from a Basalt deposit with the black hexagon shapes on my way to St. George and ran the UM experiment. Sure enough as I heated these rocks with my torch the rock melted. Very Cool. I confirmed it was not from lava at al or it would have already melted.
I ordered a dozen enhydra quartz pieces off ebay a few weeks ago. It is so amazing that the crust is mostly made of silicates and I have possession of samples that not only have water bubbles in them but tiny drops of petroleum also. Not something that could have been near magma. I also gathered up a few rocks in my yard and took them in the closet to see the mass of sparks that is generated when rubbed together confirming the piezoelectric quality in quartz. I look forward to putting quartz in a vise and seeing how quartz can generate electricity with my grandkids. I now have confirmed that quartz was never magma or lava formed or the spark or electrical quality in quartz would have been destroyed. I now understand the earth is not like a bar magnet for if magma was present the magnetic quality would have been destroyed also in a magma environment. As I keep reading more and more it all make sense. I have never been so excited about a subject for years! I wish you well but the cat is out of the bag! There really is a dark age but because of the UM the light is breaking out and it will never be stuffed back into the box! Thanks to the great work of Dean Sessions and all his family and associates. Truly a courageous Hero in my book to buck the godless pseudo theories that have been taught as truth my whole life!! My grandchildren and friends will know the truth! Hurrah for new truths and discoveries!! Dennis Cox
I don’t think it requires a degree to understand truth, either. It requires lots of mental effort. For instance, if you were to apply yourself, you might find out that, long before Dean Sessions entered the scene, geologists already knew that you get glass if you take a blowtorch to a piece of rock and let it cool quickly, and that lots of quartz is made from hot, pressurized water so the resulting crystals can have fluid inclusions (“enhydros”) in them. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. In other words, Dean Sessions’ handy experiments are meaningless.
In any case, do you have any objections to bring up about my point regarding centrifugal force at the Earth’s poles? This is high-school level physics that you can read about on Wikipedia. I’m not asking for much work.
I was rereading all of the above posts about the alleged flaws in the UM explanation for the Universal Flood, and I noticed that in your first one you referred to one “Will Meservy” as some kind of scientific expert. I am just wondering who this guy is and why we must accept whatever he says as the final word on the subject at hand. I’m under the impression that modern science never actually claims to have the final answers about anything, but is always open to new theories. There is a new one in almost every month’s issue of Scientific American. So why should the readers of this Forum discussion be overawed by Will Meservey? I, at least, have never previously heard of him. I would still prefer to focus on the evidences for the flood in Chapter 8, rather than the mechanism for it. Because what is important for readers of Genesis, and the UM, or any part of the biblical narrative of history, is whether the authors have made up a collection of myths, replete with cast of characters, or whether they are recounting actual events. There is this curious reference to the “fountains of the deep” being “broken up”, which I think even you might agree could refer to a subterranean source for all of that water. Or then again, would you?
1. Will is a geologist. When I mentioned him above, I linked an article he wrote about the UM on my blog, but the moderators here always remove any links to my blog from my posts. If you are interested in reading his argument, just Google “Will Meservy Universal Model”.
2. What I think is that SOMETHING happened, and some ancient tribal folks described it from their perspective, and using language that reflected their view of the world. Here is a good explanation of ancient Israelite cosmology, if you are interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8duzqEOhw8