On Day 2 of the Creation Week, God created the firmament (space) surrounding the earth with an atmosphere that provided for perfect environmental conditions for luscious plant growth and for animals and humans to grow large, live long. . . . and flourish.
Genesis 1: 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
A very interesting possibility that I first learned about coming from Carl Baugh's Program - Creation in the 21st Century - was the possibility of a canopy made up of water in a crystallized form surrounding the earth that served to protect the earth and provide for a perfect atmosphere within it to support the plant, animal and human life God was going to create on days 5 and 6 of the Creation Week.
This possibility is supported in a variety of ways. The evidence left from the worldwide flood provides proof that there was a sub tropical - temperate climate around the globe prior to the flood. Plants, animals and people grew large in size and evidence indicates long life.
According to an article in the archives of Answers in Genesis:
A Dr. Joseph Dillow did much research into the idea of a blanket of water vapor surrounding the earth before the flood. In a modification of the canopy theory, a Dr. Larry Vardiman suggests that much of the "waters above" could have been stored in small ice particles distributed in equatorial rings around the earth similar to those around Venus.
The Genesis 7:11 reference to the windows of heaven being opened has been interpreted as the collapse of such a water vapor canopy, which somehow became unstable and fell as rain. Volcanic eruptions associated with the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep could have thrown dust into the water vapor canopy, causing the water vapor to nucleate on the dust particles and make rain.
Dillow, Vardiman, and others have suggested that the vapor canopy caused a greenhouse effect before the Flood with a pleasant sub tropical-to-temperate climate all around the globe, even at the poles where today there is ice. This would have caused the growth of lush vegetation on the land all around the globe.
Others believe it would not have been necessary for there to be an actual water vapor canopy surrounding the earth, but that God could have accomplished the perfect atmosphere in other ways.
I tend to support the possibility of a canopy surrounding this very special planet God designed specifically to support His creation of plants, animals and human beings. The Bible does not mention rain falling until the windows of heaven were opened and rains fell during the worldwide flood event.
Fossil Remains Show the Effects of a Perfect Atmosphere
The fossil remains tell us that plants and animals could grow to be huge in size in comparison to today.
From plant life found encased in the different layers we find: Mosses grew two or three feet in height instead of just an inch or so as they do today. Horsetail reeds today ordinarily reach heights of five or six feet. In the past similar plants grew up to fifty feet tall!
Dragonflies today have wings that span four inches or so. Before the flood, their wings were up to three feet across. Some cockroaches were as much as a foot long.
Giant animals seem to have been commonplace on Earth. The hornless rhinocerus was about eighteen feet high and nearly thirty feet long! Coiled shellfish today grow up to about eight inches across, but fossilized specimens are displayed in museums that measure over five feet across. And, of course our favorite the dinosaurs could grow to be very large.
The human footprints that have been preserved in limestone (along with dinosaur footprints) along the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas, are larger than the footprints we would expect to see today. Some say that Adam could easily have stood 7 feet tall.
Sub Tropical -Temperate Climate Examples
Fossil impressions of palm fronds have been found on northern Vancouver Island in Canada, which makes it obvious that the climate has changed drastically since these tropical plants grew there.
Within the Artic circle two island groups, the New Siberian Islands and the Spitzbergen Islands were explored in the 19th century. Remarkable things were reported by explorers. Immense frozen gravel mounds were discovered to have entombed in them entire fruit trees with the fruit still on them.
Redwood forests are found buried under massive ice deposits at the South Polar region. These towering giants require a very special environment.
Lifespans Before and After Flood
Before flood: Adam lived 930 years, Methuselah lived 969 years, Noah lived 950 years
After flood: Shem (Noahs son) lived 600 years, Abraham lived 175 years, Joseph (Jacobs son) lived 110 years
The evidence is clearly there to support that the entire earth was very different than what we now experience. Everything changed after the worldwide flood. God created a perfect firmament surrounding earth. Man's sin brought about drastic change to the atmosphere and environmental conditions.
Information about fossil remains from Unlocking The Mysteries of Creation by Dennis R. Petersen
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Always enjoy these studies Sister Dorothy! There have also been found 11 foot tall human skeletons! Keep 'em comin! God Bless you richly! Dave