Review of Dr. Walt Brown's "In the Beginning" by Catholocism.org
This is a book written by a scientist about science. The scientist is also a Christian, and the motivation for his book is the reconciliation of science with the description of the origins of the earth described in the biblical Book of Genesis. As the title suggests, science provides compelling evidence for the creation of the features of the earth, not by eons of random chance processes (the Theory of Evolution), but in relatively short and recent time by an unimaginably intelligence (God). In the process of his exposition the author shows that the godless Theory of Evolution is full of inconsistencies and unanswered questions that cannot be reconciled with science. All these inconsistencies and unanswered questions are answered scientifically by the author’s Hydroplate Theory, explaining the formation of the predominant features of the earth and the creation of asteroids, comets, and meteoroids in the solar system by a cataclysmic subterranean explosion of supercritical saltwater (explained below) resulting in a flood covering the face of the earth.
About the scientist: 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 twenty-one years of military service included: Director of Benet 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, Brown has been the Director of the Center for Scientific Creation and has worked full time in research, writing, and teaching on origins. His biography is in Christian Men of Science: Eleven Men Who Changed the World by Mulfinger and Orozco.
Here are just a few examples of what others say about this exciting book.
“Walt Brown’s book is the rarest of species: It is the most complete reference work I have encountered on the scientific aspects of the multifaceted subject of origins [of the earth]. At the same time it presents a comprehensive theoretical framework (his Hydroplate Theory) for reconciling the many seemingly unrelated, and sometimes apparently contradictory, facts that bear on these questions. This book is essential for any teacher or student who is serious about resolving these issues on the basis of the evidences rather than on opinions or unsubstantiated or unverifiable hypotheses.”
Dr. C. Stuart Patterson, former Academic Dean and Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, Forman University
“Classic uniformitarian geology has failed to solve a number of problems in geology. By contrast, using catastrophic basic assumptions, Dr. Brown has given scientists a way of addressing many problems that is philosophically sound and scientifically acceptable to objective thinkers. Never before have I encountered a more intellectually satisfying and respectable attack on a broad spectrum of geologic and biologic problems that are laid bare in this work.”
Dr. Douglas A. Block, Geology Professor, Emeritus, Rock Valley College
“Dr. Walt Brown uses three striking gifts in his creation science research and teaching: (1) a highly organized mind, (2) the ability to consider scientific evidence without the encumbrance of conventional paradigms, and (3) the ability to articulate the material with complete clarity. Walt is a born teacher. This enables him to develop significant new theories, such as the Hydroplate Theory, and to present them with remarkable clarity in both his seminars and this book. I am convinced that everyone needs to be familiar with the landmark work documented in this book.”
Dr. Stanley A. Momma, Professor of Architectural Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
“The subject of origins is inherently interesting to all of us; yet, this topic is so broad that one can get lost in the sheer volume of information. As a biologist and a Christian, I find In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood to be the most concise, scholarly treatment of the scientific evidence supporting creation that I have ever read. This book is a must for anyone who is serious about understanding the creation/evolution debate. Science teachers, regardless of religious affinities, should also find this excellent resource a valuable addition to their reference libraries.”
Terrence R. Mondy, Wheeling High School, awarded Outstanding Biology Teacher for Illinois, 1999-2000.
The Book and Layout
The book is 8 ½ X 11 inches in size, 446 pages long, printed on glossy white paper and filled with beautiful and often startling figures and pictures of the earth and the universe, making the book itself a beautiful creation. The first edition was printed in 1980 and the eighth (current) edition was printed in 2008. Over 150,000 copies have been sold. A free online Internet version of the book is available and is updated periodically as new relevant science becomes known.
The book is divided into three parts.
Part I is entitled “The Scientific Case for Creation.” It is a summary of the scientific evidence dealing with the origins of the universe and life, supporting intelligent creation and refuting the Theory of Evolution. The evidence falls into nine areas: three in the life sciences, three in the astronomical sciences, and three in the earth sciences.
Part II is entitled “Fountains of the Great Deep.” It describes the author’s Hydroplate Theory. “New evidence shows that the earth has experienced a devastating, worldwide flood, whose waters violently burst forth from under the earth’s crust. Standard textbook explanations for many of the earth’s major features are scientifically flawed. We can now explain using well-understood phenomena, how this cataclysmic event rapidly formed so many features. These and other mysteries briefly described in the next eleven pages are best explained by an earth shaking event far more catastrophic than almost anyone has imagined.” (Page 109) The author’s Hydroplate Theory explains how this violent, cataclysmic event, triggered by “Fountains of the Great Deep,” caused the world-wide flood and, in the process, rapidly formed so many features of the earth. The Hydroplate Theory solves the many problems inherent in the Theory of Evolution.
Part III contains 131 pages of answers to thirty-seven questions most frequently asked of the author during question and answer sessions at seminars and in media interviews. I was amazed at the end notes, which contain many revealing and surprising quotations – usually from evolutionists – that seriously question the Theory of Evolution. The author says that, to date, evolutionists have generally controlled higher education, science trials, funding of research and the media, but the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports intelligent creation and a global flood.
Part I: The Scientific Case for [intelligent] Creation
Part one is comprised of 131 numbered items, each item describing a specific problem with the Theory of Evolution. The scientific evidence supporting intelligent creation and the occurrence of a worldwide flood as described in the creation account in the Book of Genesis is then presented. A general description of the 131 items is given on pages one through 48. Pages 49 through 101 provide additional scientific details about each of the 131 items. Items 94 through 131 document the probable existence of the remains of Noah’s ark, most likely on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. Statements are presented from historians, scientists, and explorers, some of whom actually saw and photographed the ark.
Life sciences: Here are some amazing life science facts presented in the book. The body of the human person is made up of about one hundred trillion cells. And every cell contains a copy of the double helix DNA code, which is unique for every living plant, animal, and human. If the information coded in the DNA in just one of these body cells were written in books it would fill a library of about 4000 books! And there are one hundred trillion of these cells in every human! Understanding DNA is just one small reason for believing that humans are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps.139: 4).
Astronomical and physical sciences: Space exploration has brought into focus some of the marvels of the universe. Many of these recent discoveries were not what evolution theory had predicted. The phrase “back to the drawing board” often follows discoveries in space. Early space exploration programs were attempts to learn how the earth, moon, and solar system evolved. However, not one of these questions has been answered and for scientists who start with evolutionary assumptions many perplexing problems have arisen. Far too many textbook authors and popular science commentators, who influence teachers and students alike, do not understand that “the heavens are telling of the glory of God” (Ps.19:1).
Earth sciences: The implications of a worldwide flood for the earth sciences, for the Theory of Evolution, and for mankind in general, deserve the serious reflection of every thoughtful person. Earth has many features which scientists with evolutionary presuppositions cannot explain, but these same features can be easily and clearly explained by a gigantic flood. A detailed and scientific reconstruction of these events can now be made independently of Sacred Scripture. This reconstruction, based only on what is seen on earth today, is explained in Part II of the book. If you study this explanation and the Biblical descriptions of the flood you will be startled by their agreement. It makes it possible to more deeply appreciate what the psalmist wrote 3,000 years ago: “the waters were standing above the mountains. At Thy rebuke, they fled; at the sound of thy thunder they hurried away. The mountains rose; the valleys sank down … so the waters may not return to cover the earth” (Ps.104:6-9).
More fascinating excerpts from the book
“Spontaneous generation (the emergence of life from non-living matter) has never been observed. All observations have shown that life comes only from life. This has been observed so consistently it is called the law of biogenesis. The Theory of Evolution conflicts with this scientific law when claiming that life came from non-living matter through natural processes. . . . all evolutionists recognize that, based on scientific observations, life comes only from life” (Page 5).
A major focus of the author is the difference between microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution, minor variations within a given species, can happen, as evidenced by the many breeds of dogs or cats. But macroevolution, the evolution from one species to a different species — for example, the evolution of a fish to a bird — cannot happen. “… Natural selection prevents major evolutionary changes. . . . No known mutation has ever produced a form of life having greater complexity and variability than its ancestors. . . . Many molecules necessary for life, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, are so incredibly complex that claims they evolved are questionable. Furthermore, these claims lack experimental support. There is no reason to believe that mutations or any natural process could ever produce any new organs — especially those as complex as the eye, the ear, or the brain. For example, an adult human brain contains over 10^14 (a hundred thousand billion) electrical connections, more than all the soldered electrical connections in the world. The heart, a ten-ounce pump that will operate without maintenance or lubrication for about seventy-five years, is another engineering marvel.” (Page 7)
Using arguments such as these throughout the book the author argues that the formation of incredibly complex living organisms is impossible through the random occurrences of chance proposed by the Theory of Evolution. Such organisms had to have been designed and created by an unfathomable and all-powerful intelligence.
“No verified form of life which originated outside of earth has ever been observed. … No known evidence shows that language exists or evolves in non-humans, but all known human groups have language.” (Page 8)
Other points that follow identify many of the inconsistencies and problems with the Theory of Evolution.
“A ‘program’ is a planned sequence of steps to accomplish some goal. Computer programs are common examples. Because programs require foresight, they’re not produced by chance or natural processes. The information stored in the genetic material of all life is a complex program. Therefore, it appears that an unfathomable intelligence created these genetic programs.” (Page 9)
“Many single-celled forms of life exist, but no known forms of animal life have two, three, four, or five cells. . . . If macroevolution [new species evolving from existing species] happened, one should find many transitional forms of life with two to twenty cells – filling the gap between one celled and many celled organisms.” (Page 10) None are found.
“Fossils all over the world show evidence of rapid burial. . . . The presence of fossilized remains of many other animals, buried in mass graves and lying in twisted and contorted positions, suggests violent and rapid burials over large areas [of the earth]. These observations together with the occurrence of compressed fossils and fossils that cut across two or more layers of sedimentary rocks are strong evidence that the sediments encasing these fossils were deposited rapidly — not over hundreds of millions of years. The fossil record is not evidence of slow change.” (Page 11)
“In what evolutionists call the earliest part of the fossil record (generally the lowest sedimentary layers of Cambrian rock), life appears suddenly, full blown, complex, diversified, and disbursed worldwide. Evolution predicts that minor variations should slowly accumulate, eventually becoming major categories of organisms. Instead, the opposite is found. … Insects, the class comprising 4/5 of all known animal species (living and extinct), have no known evolutionary ancestors. The fossil record does not support evolution.” (Page 12)
“If, despite virtually impossible odds, proteins arose by chance processes, there is not the remotest reason to believe they could ever form a membrane-encased, self-producing, self-repairing, metabolizing, living cell. There is no evidence that any stable states exist between the assumed formation of proteins and the formation of the first living cells. No scientist has ever demonstrated that this fantastic jump in complexity could have happened – even if the entire universe had been filled with proteins.” (Page 14)
“DNA cannot function without at least seventy-five pre-existing proteins, but proteins are produced only at the direction of DNA. Because each needs the other, a satisfactory explanation for the origin of one must also explain the origin of the other. The components of these manufacturing systems must have come into existence simultaneously. This implies creation [not evolution].” (Page 16)
Other Scientific Arguments
“How could immune systems of animals and plants have evolved? Each immune system can recognize invading bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Each system can quickly mobilize the best defenders to search out and destroy these invaders. Each system has a memory and learns from every attack. If the many instructions that direct an animal’s or plant’s immune system had not been pre-programmed in the organism’s genetics system when it first appeared on earth, the first of thousands of potential infections would have killed the organism. In other words, the large amount of genetic information governing the immune system could not have accumulated in a slow, evolutionary sense.” (Page19)
“Many bacteria, such as Salmonella, Escherichia Coli, and some Streptococci, propel themselves with miniature motors at up to fifteen body lengths per second, equivalent to a car traveling 150mph – in a liquid. These extremely efficient, reversible motors rotate at up to 100,000 revolutions per minute. Each shaft rotates a bundle of whip-like flagella that act as a propeller. The motors, having rotors and stators, are similar in many respects to electrical motors. … The bacteria can stop, start, and change speeds, direction, and even the propellers’ shape. They also have intricate sensors, switches, control mechanisms, and a short-term memory. All this is highly miniaturized. Eight million of these bacterial motors would fit inside the circular cross section of a human hair. . . . Evolutionary theory teaches that bacteria were one of the first forms of life to evolve, and, therefore, they are simple. While bacteria are small, they are not simple. . . . Increasing worldwide interest in nano-technology is showing that living things are remarkably complex in design — beyond anything Darwin could have imagined.”(Page 20)
“Heat always flows from a hot body to a cold body. If the universe were infinitely old — has always been here — everything would have the same temperature. Because temperatures vary, the universe is not infinitely old. Therefore the universe had a beginning. (A beginning suggests a Creator.)” (Page 29)
“If a big bang occurred, what caused the bang? How could anything escape the trillions upon trillions of times greater gravity caused by concentrating all the universe’s mass in a “cosmic egg” that existed before a big bang?”(Page 30)
“Most scientific dating techniques indicate that the earth, solar system, and universe are young. . . . possibly less than 10,000 years old.” (Page 37) The age and distance of celestial bodies in distant parts of the universe are based on the assumption that the speed of light is constant. However, in the past three centuries, the measured speed of light has decreased about 1 %. “The farther back one looks in time, the more rapidly the speed of light seems to have been decreasing. Various mathematical curves fit these three centuries of data. When some of those curves are projected back in time, the speed of light becomes so fast that light from distant galaxies conceivably could have reached earth in several thousand years.” (Page 322) Therefore, the age of the universe is much younger than is commonly assumed in modern astronomy.
“Every major mountain range on earth contains fossilized sea life — far above sea level and usually far from the nearest body of water.” (Page 40)
“Almost every ancient culture had legends telling of a traumatic flood in which only a few humans survived in a large boat. … Could the ark [Noah’s ark] have held all the animals? Easily. A few humans, some perhaps hired by others, could build a boat large enough to hold representatives of every air breathing land animal – perhaps 16,000 animals in all. (Of course, sea creatures did not need to be on the ark, nor did insects or amphibians; only mammals, birds, reptiles, and humans.) The ark, having at least 1,500,000 cubic feet of space, was adequate to hold these animals, their food, and all their other needs for one year.” (Page 47)
Part II: Fountains of the Great Deep
“Part II will show, in ways interested laymen can understand, the flaws in these [evolutionary] geological explanations and that a global flood, with vast and unique consequences, did occur. For example, coal, oil, and methane did not form over hundreds of millions of years; they formed in months. Fossils and layered strata did not form over a billion years; they formed in months. The Grand Canyon did not form in millions of years; it formed in weeks. Major mountain ranges did not form in hundreds of millions of years; each formed in hours. These statements may appear shocking, until one has examined the evidence in Part II.” (Page 103)
“Fleshy remains of about fifty elephant like animals called mammoths and a few rhinoceroses have been found frozen and buried in Siberia and Alaska. One mammoth still had identifiable food in its mouth and digestive tract. To reproduce this result, one would have to suddenly push a well-fed elephant (dead or alive) into a very large freezer that had somehow been pre-cooled to -150°F. What could cause such a large and sudden temperature drop?” (Page 110)
The Hydroplate Theory: Key Assumption
“Only one startling assumption underlies the Hydroplate Theory. All else follows from that assumption and the laws of physics.” … [This is the only assumption made by the author in his Hydroplate Theory. Other than this assumption, the entire theory is based on solid science and experimentally derived scientific evidence. The following is the assumption.] “About half the [salt] water now in the oceans was once in interconnected chambers about ten miles below the entire earth’s surface. The average thickness of the subterranean water was about 3/4 mile. Above the subterranean water was a granite crust.” (Page 117)
“Centuries of tidal pumping powerfully increased the pressure in subterranean water. [Twice each day the gravitational attraction that the moon and the sun exert on the earth causes the tides we see in the ocean today. These same tides in the subterranean water lifted the massive crust twice daily and let it collapse again. This tidal pumping created tremendously high temperatures and pressures in the subterranean water.] This stretched the overlying crust, just as a balloon stretches when the pressure inside increases. Eventually, this shield of rock reached its failure point. … The rupture probably completed its path around the earth in about two hours. . . . As the crack raced around the earth, the ten miles thick crust opened like a rip in a tightly stretched cloth. Pressure in the subterranean chamber directly beneath the rupture suddenly dropped to nearly atmospheric pressure. This caused supercritical water to explode with great violence out of the ten mile deep “slit” that wrapped around the earth like the seam of a baseball. . . . A fountain of water jetted supersonically into and far above the atmosphere. . . . Some jetting water rose above the atmosphere, where it froze and then fell on various regions of the earth as huge masses of extremely cold, muddy “hail.” That hail buried, suffocated, and froze many animals, including some mammoths. The most powerful jetting water and rock debris escaped the earth’s gravity and became the solar system’s comets, asteroids and meteoroids. . . . Sediments swept up in the escaping floodwaters gave the water a thick, muddy consistency. These sediments settled out over the earth’s surface in days, trapping and burying many plants and animals, beginning the process of forming the world’s fossils.” (Pages 118-121)
“Twenty-five mysteries related to the earth have been briefly explained, solved and interrelated. Each of the next seven chapters will examine one of the twenty-five topics in detail: . . . each chapter will contrast the Hydroplate Theory with all the leading explanations and will add a surprising new dimension to the theory and to the flood’s destructiveness. As you read these chapters, please keep in mind that all the theory’s details and events were consequences of only one key assumption and the laws of physics. (Page 131)
The Origin of the Grand Canyon
“Geologists admit that they do not know how the Grand Canyon formed. . . . we will examine the eight main proposals for the Grand Canyon’s origin and why they are rejected by almost all experts. . . . Finally, we will consider two ancient, post-flood lakes — Grand Lake and Hoppe Lake — that successively breached their boundaries and carved the Grand Canyon in weeks. This explanation not only unravels the confusion, but solves other puzzles not previously associated with the Grand Canyon.” (Page 183)
The Origin of Asteroids and Meteoroids
“The fountains of the Great Deep launched rocks as well as muddy water. As rocks moved farther from earth, the earth’s gravity became less significant to them, and the gravity of nearby rocks became increasingly significant. Consequently, many rocks assisted by their mutual gravity and surrounding clouds of water vapor, merged to become asteroids. . . . all the so-called mavericks of the solar system (asteroids, meteoroids, and comets) resulted from the explosive events at the beginning of the flood.” (Page 295)
I’ll end this review with a quote from Mary Pride’s Big Book of Home Learning, Science Reviews. “In the Beginning is a great creation science book for teens and adults. It’s easy to read, carefully researched, meticulously documented, and offers answers to the most important questions of the origins controversy. . . . You owe it to yourself to get this book.”