Open letter to Brother Tom Ish- Editor of Creation Illustrated

 Thank you for your excellent magazine!  I have been a long time supporter of and advertiser in it and recommend it to all.

 With that said, I must object to an article in your Winter 2013 issue: "Creation Day 2" by Paul Taylor.  In this article Mr. Taylor objects to the teaching of a canopy above the atmosphere in the original creation.

 I don't recall ever having met Mr. Taylor but when I was given my "extended vacation" by the feds (for some illegal, bogus and hotly contested reasons you can read about on www.2peter3.com if you wish) I asked my son Eric to manage the Creation Science Evangelism (CSE) Ministry in Pensacola, Florida until my return.  Within a year he began a new ministry called Creation Today.  Soon thereafter he hired Paul Taylor to come from England and join his team and they have been doing a great job of spreading the creation message.

 I in no way wish to hinder anyone's outreach for the Lord or harm their reputation or hurt anyone's feelings but I also cannot sit silently after reading the many errors in that article!  These errors and the flawed premise they are based on may not only cast doubt in the minds of your readers about what I believe and teach on other issues, since I teach about the canopy in Seminar #2, they may also adversely affect my son's thinking (and your readers) on two critical topics as I will explain below.

 I try to be constantly alert for false doctrine.  I understand it can come from ANY source- even within myself- and it spreads quickly like a virus and can infect healthy organisms if not stopped and treated in time.  After all the years and money I invested in my son and the creation ministry in Pensacola I've got to stay vigilant as God gives me strength and insight to be sure it is not undermined or derailed in my absence.  I have paid a HIGH price for my convictions and won't let anyone destroy them now.  Jesus rebuked Peter (Mt. 16:23) when he taught something wrong.  Peter seems to have received the rebuke and correction.  I pray Paul and Eric will receive mine.  Nehemiah had to set a few things right after his extended absence (Neh. 13). So did the Apostle Paul (I Cor. 11:34).

 In the article Paul explains some problems with a canopy model that I don't think anyone believes or promotes today-I don't.  He is right that 20 inches of water above the atmosphere would not be enough to flood the world.  I sure never said it would. Beating up a "straw man" image you set up does NOT mean you have beaten the real man.

 His article starts with a false dichotomy when he says, "What I am about to suggest to you may be argumentative to some while others will wholeheartedly agree with my research."  Obviously this type of statement gives two false choices and makes it look like you either: A-argue with him or B. agree with his "research."  As if those who may disagree with him do not also do research.  The obvious third option is that his "research" has led him to the wrong conclusion or the forth option is that he researched the wrong canopy model or a fifth option that he was using the wrong Bible to study this topic.  It is rather like the Russians who first circled the moon and concluded there was no God since they didn't see Him out there during their "research."  Ah...not good logic fellas!

 So, I will address 3 points:
1-Which Bible should we use to determine ANY doctrine including the canopy?
2- The problems with Paul's article.
3- The canopy theory I teach.

1- Which Bible?

 I fully agree with Paul when he says that "No opinion on it (the canopy) should be elevated to the status of biblical inerrancy."  He also says, "God's Word is unchangeable and never up for review."  I actually REALLY believe that but from his frequent use of other versions and his criticism of the King James I don't think he really does. I would love for him to send me a copy of what he will stand by as "God's Word" which is "unchangeable" since the one he quotes from for the article has THOUSANDS of changes from the one I use and the one the church has used for over 400 years.

 For example: Let's look at Genesis 1:1 where we can't even read 7 WORDS without spotting a "change" in God's "unchangeable" Word.  The change I will point out is critical to lay the simple foundation for a discussion of the "canopy theory" in part 3 so bear with me please.

 Moses (1,400 BC) collected and edited Genesis from 10 eyewitness accounts (see seminar #7) and then wrote the next 4 books Ex.-Dt.  The Jews then CAREFULLY copied it thousands of times and spread it to all their synagogues.  They were concerned with every "jot and tittle" (Mt. 5:18) as they copied.  They also wrote scores of commentaries about the Torah.  Let's see if the copies were kept pure and "unchanged" in just Genesis 1:1.

 Genesis 1:1 in the Jewish Torah (OT) says, "In the beginning God created the heaven..."  Hmmm?  Heaven is in the singular and has been for 3,400 years in Jewish literature as well as the thousands of copies scattered around the world.

Early English translations of Genesis 1:1.

1384 John Wycliffe- "In the bigynnyng God made out of nouyt heuene and erthe." Heaven is Singular.
1525 William Tyndale- "In the begynnynge God created heauen and erth."  Singular
1535 Miles Coverdale- "In ye begynnynge God created heauen & earth."  Singular
1537 Matthew Bible- "In the beginnyng God created heauen and erth." Singular
1539 Taverner Bible- " In the begynnynge created God heuen and erth." Singular
1540 Great Bible- "In the begynnynge God created heuen and earthe." Singular. Gen. 2:1 The heauens also ...plural
1568 Bishops Bible- Gen 2:1- "The heavens also the earth were finished..." Plural in 2:1
1579, 1599, 1606, 1611 Geneva Bible- heaven singular in 1:1 and heavens plural in 2:1
1587 Geneva Bible- " the heauen " Singular
1609 Doway Bible- 2:1 "The heavens therfore ..." plural
1611 King James Bible- "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Singular
1750 Challoner DRV Bible- "...created the heaven " Singular  heavens plural in 2:1
1885 English Revised "...created the heaven " Singular
1886 Parallel RV/AV "...created the heaven...." Singular in both columns and plural for 2:1
1895 and 1898 English Revised "...created the heaven..." Both have Singular

French-
1555 1:1 Diev crea au commencemet le ciel & la terra. Singular- Les cieux... Plural in 2:1
1561 1:1 ...le ciel & la terra." singular, Les cieux donc... plural in 2:1
1562 1:1 ...le ciel- singular.  2:1 Les cieux donc... plural
1956 1:1 Au commencement, Dieu crea le ciel et la terre. Singular (La Sainte Bible Tranduite en Francais sous la direction de L'ecole Biblique de Jerusalem.)

German-
1535 Gen. 1:1 "Amanfang schuff Gott Himel und Erden." Singular
1540 Dietenberger Bible- hymmel- singular
1556 Himel- singular
1591 Himmel- singular
1599 Luther Bible- Hemmel- singular

 The FIRST "bible" I can find that uses "heavens" plural in 1:1 is the 1553 Spanish "Inquisition Approved Old Testament" -"En Principio crio el dio alos cielos y ala tierra."  Plural. Catholic Spanish Inquisition... Hmmm?  Satan plans lo-o-o-o-ong term!

 The first English one I can find that says heavens -plural- in Gen. 1:1 is the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV) which was based on the recently completed perversion of the Bible by two British cultists (and Darwin admirers) named Westcott and Hort in 1881.  They chose the manuscript found in the Vatican basement in 1481 (on leather in "EXCELLENT SHAPE") as the basis for their text in spite of the fact that it did NOT have: the first 45 1/2 chapters of Genesis, Psalms 106-138, I & II Tim. and Titus, nearly 5 chapters from Hebrews and all of Revelation.  It was also missing numerous individual verses and had thousands of individual word changes.  It had been rejected as corrupt by most scholars.

 They filled in the missing chapters from 2 even MORE corrupt Egyptian texts and ignored the reading in over 5,000 ancient texts because they didn't fit their theology!  Since those two evil men resurrected and synthesized the 3 corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts and published it in 1881 there have been nearly 1,000 English translations of this altered and perverted text. NIV, NKJV, etc. There are SCORES of great books on the King James controversy for those who wish to look further.  I know full well that some don't WANT to "look further" into this issue because they LIKE the freedom to alter God's "unchangeable Words" if need be and they LIKE the feeling of power and prestige they get when people have to come to THEM to know what the Word REALLY says on a topic.  But, IF you are honest and seeking truth see www.chick.com & www.avpublications.com for starters or my Seminar Part 7.

 ALL new Bible (per)versions I have seen after 1901 including the "New King James" Paul quotes in his article have "heavens" in the plural in verse 1. Hmmm?  I can't even read 7 WORDS into the Bible without finding that somebody changed the "unchangeable" Word!  This is NOT a minor point! (I used to think it was) Which Bible you BASE your theology and SCIENCE on reflects on scores of things later, including the "canopy theory" as we will see.  Just that one letter "s" changing singular to plural totally changes the meaning.

 Satan took just three words- "God hath said..." and only changed the ORDER to "Hath God said...?" and fooled Eve in a PERFECT world!  ALL the new "bibles" I have seen (even NKJV) change ONE LETTER in Rev. 13:16 and 14:9 from saying the mark of the beast goes "IN the hand" to make it say "ON the hand."  Ya think Satan will use THAT to fool folks into getting "micro-chipped" soon?

 LITTLE details like a small "O" ring on the space shuttle can make a BIG difference!  Ask NASA!  

 Jesus said "netS" and Peter left off the "s." See Lk. 5:4-5

 Ya'll can do what you want, and you will, but I'm not going to sit by and let ANYONE change ONE letter in my Bible.  Satan is too slick and he can even get good, godly, sweet, mild-mannered, kind, intelligent men who "love the Lord" to work for him.  He did it with Peter.  Even if NO other creation ministries want to take a stand on the Bible version issue I WILL!  Any ministry I have will not only "defend the Bible from the very first verse" but will be able to hand you a copy of it.

 "Heaven" is SINGULAR in Gen. 1:1 in the REAL unchangeable Word of God and THAT is a beginning point for discussing the canopy.  "Heaven" is used 7 times in Gen. 1 in the KJB.

 Genesis 2:1 in nearly ALL versions I have seen including KJB have "heavens" in the plural so the translators listed above who used "heaven" singular in Genesis 1:1 certainly KNEW the difference between singular and plural.  Why did they ALL choose the singular?  Were they stupid?  Were they waiting for a "modern scholar" to show them the truth and the light?  OR, did someone change it?

 If God's Word is "unchangeable" how did it change from singular to plural found only in a few corrupt Catholic versions?  Which is right?  Before we get into a discussion or debate about God's Word and what it means on ANY topic (including the canopy) we must first be sure we are all on the same page and talking about the same Bible!  

 In my Seminar Part 4, I explain the importance of defining the slippery word "evolution" BEFORE proceeding with the discussion.  It is ESSENTIAL to define terms in a discussion or debate.  Do WE have authority over the Word of God or does IT have authority over us?  Do I need some guru to tell me what the Word REALLY says or can I just read it on my own and not be misled?  To discuss or debate the canopy only to have the opponent say, "What this verse really means..." is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall!

 For about 28 years of my Christian life I used, promoted and defended many of the new "Bible" versions.  I have a huge collection of them at home.  About 15 years ago I devoted hundreds of hours to the study and I was forced by the overwhelming evidence to agree with millions of other Christians before me that God preserved His very Words (as He promised in Ps. 12:6-7) for the English speaking world in the King James.  So, I agree with Paul that God's Word is "never up for review" but I take it further and can actually hand you a copy of God's Word.  I don't think Paul or any of those who use other modern versions can do that.  I know that some like the feeling of being superior to the Word when they say, "What this really means in the Hebrew (or Greek) ..."  The Pharisees loved the greetings in the marketplace and to be called Rabbi... Mt 23:2-7

 These new Bible versions are always "correcting" the KJB and will hinder people from simply trusting God's Word and His ability to preserve it for us today.  They even change Ps. 12:6-7 where God promised to preserve HIS WORDS!  Hmmm?

Problems with Paul Taylor's article on the Canopy Theory.

1. I already mentioned the false dichotomy Paul creates in the first sentence of his article.  If I find a problem with one of the old canopy models does that proves them all wrong?  Does one flat tire prove tires don't work?

2. PT- "The Canopy Theory is an honorable attempt to interpret Scripture correctly and also to account for the waters of the flood." p. 22.

KH- I agree that the canopy theory is an honorable attempt to interpret scripture and, as we will see in part 3 of my answer, is still very likely the correct way to interpret it but the canopy water/ice probably contributed VERY little to the flood.  Most creationists believe and teach the flood waters came from inside the earth when the fountains of the deep (Gen. 7:11; 8:2; Job 38:8, 16; Ps. 24:1; 33:7 133:6; Pr 8:28) broke open.

3. "The basis of the Canopy Theory is that the firmament represents earth's atmosphere."

KH- I AGREE on this one.  No scripture is to be interpreted privately (II Pt. 1:20) and Gen. 1:20 tells us clearly that the "fowl (birds) that may fly ABOVE the earth IN the open firmament of heaven."  That would be clear biblical evidence that the "firmament" is the atmosphere we are breathing now and the birds fly in.

4. "It is thought that this canopy could have been the source, or at least a source, for the waters of the Flood. The Flood would have been initiated, therefore, by the collapse of this canopy." p. 23

KH- NO! This is but another example of why we need to settle on the Word of God first!  The KJB clearly says "the fountains of the great deep" broke up FIRST and THEN "the windows of heaven were opened." Gen. 7:11.  The Canopy collapsing did NOT initiate the flood. The breaking open of the great deep did.  This may have triggered the collapse of the canopy however.

5. "the pre-Flood canopy would have caused conditions of environment and weather before the Flood to be very different from those of today."

KH- I AGREE!  It is obvious to all, creationists and evolutionists alike, that the earth was VERY different in the past.  Giant Red Wood tree stumps are found in the arctic circle. Coal (from trees) is found near the South Pole.  The Sahara was a forest at one time.  HUGE animals and insects of nearly all kinds are found as fossils.  They could not grow that large today. Some argue about WHEN it was different with evolutionists claiming it was during the mythical "Jurassic" period but all agree it was different.  Nearly all Young Earth Creationists agree these giant animals including dinosaurs lived before the flood and maybe even after the flood for a while with smaller specimens possibly alive today!  See Seminar Part 2.

6. "My rejection of their support for the Canopy Theory is merely an indication that our understanding moves on." p. 24

KH- WOW!  "My rejection" and "our understanding".  Hmmm?  Would that imply that if anyone still believes there was a canopy they lack understanding enough to move on?  I sort of resent that insinuation!

7. "In 1976 Morris was satisfied that such a vapor canopy would provide the water required for the Flood." p. 24

KH- As I recall Dr. Morris always taught that flood waters came from inside the earth and only part of it from the canopy.  Even so- 1976?  Our understanding moves on.  The purpose of the canopy was not to be a source of water to later flood the world but to provide perfect living conditions.  If Dr. Morris had a wrong idea about the size of the canopy that doesn't prove the entire idea wrong.  Edison had about 1,000 FAILED attempts to make a light bulb.  Does that prove it can't be done or that the theory needs tweaked.  Let me turn on my light to study this one!  Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

8. "Some creationists, however, have suggested a canopy of ice.  Carl Baugh, for example, suggests a crystalline canopy.  In this theory, the ice would be made either of ice crystals or of a solid, metallic-hydrogen lattice, suspended above the earth by magnetic levitation.  This specific crystalline canopy has particular problems.  Magnetic levitation would not work on molecules like water or hydrogen..."

KH. Are you sure magnetic levitation won't work on super cold ice?  You may want to follow the latest research on that. Visit www.creationevidence.org ; Dr. Baugh- 254-897-3200 to see scores of articles that disagree with this statement.  More about that in part 3 below.

9. "a solid lattice of ice would make it difficult or impossible to see the stars." p. 25

KH. What?  Who says?  Does a "solid lattice" of melted sand (i.e. glass) make it impossible to see the stars?  NO! Glass is used for lenses to ENHANCE our vision of the stars.  Telescopes and microscopes use lenses and mirrors to great effect.  An ice canopy that compressed the atmosphere to say, 10 miles rather than the current 60+, would eliminate most atmospheric distortion (twinkle) as well.  Under a solid clear crystalline canopy the pre-flood people would see the stars even more clearly than we can today!

10.  "Finally, hydrogen can exhibit metallic properties only under extreme conditions of high pressure and temperatures near absolute zero."

KH- And?  Outer space IS near absolute zero, +3K or -170 C or - 456+F.  A canopy of ice in contact with outer space would act like an Eskimo's igloo.  He can build a fire inside and not melt the ice roof because it conducts heat to the frigid outside.  You can also boil water in a paper cup because of the same effect.  Maybe the canopy provided a way to transfer heat and prevent "global warming" or the "greenhouse effect" some seem so worried about a canopy producing?

11. "Canopy theorists have also claimed that the giant insects seen in the fossil record would not have been able to breathe without increased oxygen partial pressure.  Again, this position can be shown to not be the case."

KH- OK, I'd like to see where it has been "shown not to be the case."  I'd also like Paul's explanation for the giant insects.  They did live on earth once and they don't now.  He offers no explanation.  Giant insects have a surface area to volume problem explained in Part 3 below.

12. "increased oxygen partial pressure can actually be shown to have a deleterious effect on longevity of humans."

KH- I'm gonna have to see proof of that!  Hundreds if not thousands of hospitals and sports teams use hyperbaric chambers every day where people get 100% oxygen at triple pressure with GREAT results.  I've done it.  It is true that over 35% oxygen can be bad long term but 1.5 ATM and 25-30% oxygen has GREAT positive effects and no "deleterious effect" on humans or animals or plants.  No one knows what pressure and % oxygen the pre-flood world had but I would bet God made it "just right" since God Himself pronounced it "very good" when He was done. (in the KJB- I didn't and won't check all the others on that one.)

13. "it has been suggested that the longevity of humans before the flood was due to greater atmospheric pressure.  However, a better explanation of this longevity is the comparative absence of mutations among the human gene pool.  The level of mutations would have greatly increased after the Flood; so, this could explain the rapid decrease in longevity."

KH- What??  I have never heard that one suggested by anyone nor do I think the sudden drop from 912 avg to 70-80 within a short time can be explained by mutations!  That's quite a stretch!  Noah lived to be 950 and Shem lived to 600.  How would Shem inherit a mutation that made him live 35% less than his dad since Shem was conceived and born 100 years BEFORE the flood?  Noah lived 350 years AFTER the flood.  Did this same mythical mutation problem affect all the animals and plants since they are all smaller now too?  I'd like to see the evidence for that claim!

14. "any vapor canopy would trap heat from the sun, leading to increased temperatures at earth's surface." p. 25

KH- And???  What is the problem here?  It's -10F wind chill outside in NH right now as I write this.  I'd LOVE an increase in temperature!  A LARGE % of earth's surface is too cold to raise crops or support any significant # of humans today due to the cold.  Antarctica is bigger than America I believe and NOBODY can live there without LOTS of outside support.  Estimates are that 3% of the earth is habitable today yet the Bible says God "formed it to be inhabited." Is. 45:18. SOMETHING must have changed since then.  An increase in temperature with a system to keep the temperature evenly distributed worldwide would lead to the earth being habitable from pole to pole.  Sounds good to me!  No one has demonstrated that a canopy would create a serious temperature problem at the surface.  See #10 above.

15. "A better model for how the Flood began is the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics model, which shows that the major source of water would probably have been the mantle." p. 26

KH- I MAY agree with him on this one if I heard his details but that would NOT mean there wasn't a canopy as well.

16. "Dr. Russell Humphreys has suggested a cosmology based on the stretching of space.  In this cosmology, Humphreys has suggested that the firmament, which divides the waters above from the waters below, in Genesis 1:6-8, represents the stretching universe. ... a side effect of this theory is that the waters above would therefore be beyond the stars.."

KH- Ps. 148:4 says "the waters THAT BE above the heavens."  Based on that verse I believe the entire universe we see is inside a water canopy right now.  That would not negate the idea that there was also one over the first heaven as we will cover in part 3.  The birds fly in the firmament (KJB).  That means it is the air not the stretching.  I do agree the heavens have been or are being stretched.  The Bible says they are at least 11 times.

17. "Second, some have pointed to birds flying in the canopy, as pointing to the canopy being at the edge of the atmosphere.  However, if the canopy were at the edge of the universe, this position would not contradict this verse (Genesis 1:20).  Moreover, the Hebrew version actually talks about the "face of the firmament."

KH- First the Bible says the birds fly in the firmament NOT the canopy.  The waters were ABOVE the firmament where the birds fly.  This is why point 1 about which Bible to use must be agreed on first!  The Bible does NOT say the birds fly in the "face of the firmament."  We don't need any Hebrew or helper to understand exactly what it says.  Birds fly in the firmament. Gen. 1:20.

18. "Some versions, such as the NKJV, refer to this statement: 'let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.' So, the birds are not actually in the firmament but flying across the face of it."

KH- Do you see why I had to make point #1 first!  ERIC!  Please DON'T fall for any of this!  This is why I have been harping for 15 years now that we must first find God's Words BEFORE we can claim we are defending them!  Defending WHAT EXACTLY?  Is it heaven or heavens?  I found God's exact Words!  I had them all along but it was various "Bible scholars" and Bible correctors that made me doubt for 28 years!  After spending hundreds of hours studying the Bible version issue it was such a relief when I FINALLY got through that jungle of wondering "what the Bible REALLY meant."  I remember sitting on my bed with my Bible in hand and saying, "This is it!  I'm holding God's Words."  I got down on my knees and told God I was sorry for doubting His ability to preserve His Words and I thanked Him for letting me have a copy!  I pray you and Paul come to that point one day soon.

Nehemiah 8:8 has the right sequence.  A. Read the Word as it is.  B. Explain it all you want.  C. Help the people understand.  DON'T change the Words and THEN explain your new version of them!

19. "Scriptural analysis and modern scientific understandings both show that the canopy model is not necessary." p. 27

KH- WHAT?  You sure didn't do that in this article!  You never did explain the giant insects or long life spans.  You never did give a model to explain red wood trees in the arctic or coal at the South Pole.  I'd sure be willing to examine any theories you put forth but please don't think you "demolished the canopy theory" with this post.

20. "It seems today that the effects, for which the Canopy Theory was developed to explain, are actually better explained by other means."

KH- Such as???  Paul is right that some older models of the canopy theory have serious flaws and are most likely unworkable but don't be too hasty here!  After 1,000 failures at making a light bulb Tom knew 1,000 ways that didn't work so he knew he must be closer to finding the right way!  Hmmm?  Go Tom!  Ditto the canopy.

In part 3 of this way to long response I will present what I teach about the canopy.

THE ORIGINAL CREATION-HOVIND'S CANOPY THEORY
What was the original creation like?  Why did they live 900+ years before the flood (Gen. 5)?  Where do dinosaurs fit in?  Why don't we live to be 900?

Let's look at the facts from Scripture, Science and History and see if we can make a reasonable theory to explain it all. This is indeed a theory and subject to change as new data is obtained.  The Bible is not subject to change.

BIBLE FACTS:
 Genesis 1:6-7, "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  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."

 We see from this passage that this "firmament" -whatever that is, divides the waters.  Some water is UNDER it and other water is ABOVE it.  The Bible normally interprets itself if you keep reading so let’s look at the next time the firmament is mentioned.

 Genesis 1:20 "...and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven."  Here we learn that the birds fly in it.  That would mean it must be the air.  We also see that the firmament is called heaven.  Water ABOVE the air?  Hmmm?

 Genesis 1:1 told us God created the heaven-singular.  Now, starting in verse 6-7 He is starting to divide it up into heavens-plural.  It would be WRONG to say there were heavens -plural- in verse 1.  The Bible does NOT tell us how MUCH water was above the firmament nor does it tell us if it was solid, liquid or gas nor does it tell us what held it up nor does us tell us WHY God put it there.  It DOES tell us there WAS water ABOVE the firmament.  I may never be able to UNDERSTAND all the details but the Bible says it was there.  Case closed for me.

 Gen. 1:14-18 says stars are in the heavens.  Psalm 148:4 says "ye waters THAT BE above the heavens."  David wrote this about 1,000 B.C. so there must STILL be water beyond the stars.

1. The Bible says there was water above the firmament (not across the face of it as some bible perversions say).  Above means--are you ready?-- above.
2. The word "firmament" is used 9 times in Genesis 1!  I think God is trying to get our attention to study that word!  It is used 17 times in the Bible. (THAT #17 is a study in itself!  See my blog on that!)  By looking at these 17 references we see: it divides the waters above from the waters below (Gen. 1:6-7); birds fly in it (Gen. 1:20); stars are in it (Gen. 1:14-18); it shows God's handiwork (Ps. 19:1); We can praise God in the firmament (Ps. 150:1); it is associated with a "color of the terrible crystal, stretched over their heads above" (Ez. 1:22-23); a throne (of God?) is above the firmament (Ez. 1:26-27: 10:1); the ones who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament (Dan. 12:3)
3. The average age recorded before the flood was 912.  After the flood it dropped to 600, then 400's then 200's and today very few make it to 100.  Something that GREATLY affected life spans must have happened at the time of the flood.
4. The Bible clearly teaches there are three heavens today and Paul was caught up to the 3rd one (II Cor. 12:2).

SCIENCE FACTS TO CONSIDER:
1. Fossils of GIANT insects have been found like: 2' grasshoppers, 18" cockroaches, 3' spiders, 50" dragonflies etc.  See Sem. Part 2 for more on that.
2. Insect size is limited due to their surface area to volume ratio problem since they breathe through their skin.  For example-a 1 inch cube has a volume of 1 cu. in. and a surface area (SA) of 6 sq. inches. 6/1 ratio.  A 2 inch cube has a vol. of 8 cu. in. and a SA of 24 sq. in. 3/1 ratio.  Hmmm?  If the interior must be supplied with oxygen through the skin the bigger it is the more of a problem this becomes.  They don't have enough surface to supply the air for the volume.  Giant insects would need greater air pressure or higher oxygen % or both.
3. Air bubbles trapped in amber are often found to have 30-35% oxygen rather than the 21% we breathe today. We can reasonably presume the air trapped is pre-flood air.
4. An atmosphere of oxygen beyond 35% can create problems but below that is beneficial.
5. Hundreds of hospitals and sports teams have hyperbaric chambers to give people 100% oxygen under double or triple normal pressure and have great results with health and healing.
6. Fossils of giant dinosaurs indicate they had small nostrils and small lungs.  This would be a problem in today's atmosphere but if there was higher % of oxygen or higher pressure (or both) they could breathe just fine.
7. HUGE bird (and flying insect) fossils have been found.  It would be difficult if not impossible for them to fly in today's "thin" atmosphere.
8. Most reptiles never stop growing. If they could live long enough we would call them dinosaurs.
9. The earth's magnetic field is getting weaker fast!  NASA estimates it is losing half of its strength every 800-1400 years.  6,000 years ago it would have been up to 20 times stronger than it is today.  At this intensity humans have enough iron in their blood to have a built in compass and "feel" which way is North.  A built in GPS!  You could never get lost or disoriented.
10. HUGE inflatable buildings are used all the time.  In a windless environment they can be held up with very little internal pressure. The Minnesota Viking's Football Stadium- The Metro dome is inflated.
11. A 3" layer of ice would weigh about 15 pounds /sq. ft.  It would only take 1.1 ATM (a 10% increase) to support that over the whole earth.
12. Squeezing the current 60 miles of air down to 10 miles inside a canopy of ice with metallic strength would be very feasible.
13. Ice at extremely low temperatures becomes laminated, metallic and magnetic.  It becomes a photo-amplifier and will act like a crystal radio and change radio waves to audible frequencies.  The music of the stars?  See Job 38:7.  See www.creationevidence.org (P.O. Box 309 Glen Rose, TX 76043; 254-897-3200) for more on that.  Magnetic lines tend to concentrate in laminated metals.
 I would also highly recommend the somewhat technical book "God Created the Earth-Genesis of Creation Chemistry" by Dr. Edward Boudreaux and Eric Baxter from Rocky Mountain Creation Fellowship, PO Box 3451, Littleton, CO 80161; eaboudre@yahoo.com.  Their explanation of God using water (Genesis 1:2) to form ALL of the elements is fabulous!  So is their evidence that high temperature, pressure and magnetic fields all shortened radioactive element's half lives from billions of years to minutes!  They calculate that the pressure inside the ice canopy would be about double what it is now.  That explains a lot of things we find as fossils.
14. Outer space is near absolute 0 Kelvin which is -459.6 F.
15. Greater air pressure creates "thicker" air making it easier for all insects, birds and even a few fish, snakes and mammals to fly or soar through the air.  It also allows bigger ones to fly like the 50 ft wingspan pterodactyls that have been found. They could not fly in today's atmosphere.
16. A layer of metallic ice would also filter out many harmful rays like ultraviolet (UV) that comes from the sun and can damage skin and body cells.
17. With uniformly higher pressure world-wide storms and wild weather would be impossible.  Watch the weather channel-high pressure? Clear skies.  Low pressure? rain, tornados, hurricanes, thunderstorms etc.
18. The earth may not have been tilted 23.5 degrees like it is today.  This also evens out the weather to spring like conditions everywhere.
19. Today's atmosphere has .06% Carbon Dioxide (CO2).  A 50% boost to .09% would make plants grow MUCH faster, bigger and produce more fruit.  Fossils of club moss are found 150 feet tall.  Today they reach about 1.5 feet.  SOMETHING was different!

HISTORY FACTS TO CONSIDER:
1. MANY ancient cultures have legends of a "Golden Age" where people lived to be 1,000 years old.
2. Many cultures have taught the earth is only a few thousand years old.
3. The Jews taught there was a crystalline canopy over the earth. The 1st century Jewish historian Josephus said, "After this, on the second day, He placed the heavens over the whole world, and separated it from the other parts: and determined that it should stand by itself.  He also placed a crystalline firmament around it, and put together in a manner agreeable to the earth, and fitted it for giving moisture and rain, and for affording the advantage of dews." Flavius Josephus, Antiquity of the Jews, Book 1, Chapter 1.
4. Another Jewish text states, "and God made the firmament, its thickness being three fingers between (separating) the limits of the heavens (atmosphere) and the waters of the oceans." J. Bowers, D. S. Joanthgan translation, The Taroums and Rabbinin Literature, Cambridge University Press, 1969, P. 95.  (My three fingers total 2.4 inches in thickness.)

So, Here is the "Hovind version" of the "canopy theory."

 I believe God created everything in 6 literal 24 hours days exactly as recorded in Genesis 1 in the KJB. In verse one there was just the earth and one "heaven."  Starting in v. 6 God began dividing the heaven into 3 heavens by placing a "crystalline sphere" above the first heaven (atmosphere) and then another one above the second heaven where the stars are (Ps. 148:4).  The first canopy fell down or condensed at the flood and the second "canopy" is still there beyond the stars.  The entire universe that we marvel at is probably a little snow globe on God's dresser.  In the Wizard of OZ the witch watched Dorothy in one of those.  Hmmm? Satan always imitates the Most High. See Isaiah 14:13-14.

 This first canopy made in Gen. 1:6-7 was probably super cold (-450F?) perfectly clear crystalline ice about 3 inches thick and maybe 10 miles above the ground but containing all the atmosphere.  3" of ice weighs about 15 lbs/sq ft so 1.1 atmospheres would support it without the magnetic field helping.  However, it was probably also held up by the earth's magnetic field which was MUCH stronger 6,000 years ago.

 The second "Canopy" is probably also clear crystalline ice beyond the stars and is still there today.  See. EZ. 1:22-27.  No one knows where space ends.  I think God did that so we would say, like David in Ps. 8, When I consider the heavens...what is man...?

 The Bible clearly teaches there was water UNDER the crust of the earth in Ps. 24:1-2; 33:7; 136:7.  Earth's crust varies from 3-25 miles thick today.  This water under the crust came gushing out like water out of a womb (Job 38:8) when the fountains of the great deep broke open in Genesis 7:11.  THIS is where the flood water AND the 40 days of rain came from! 

 The crust of the earth would sink into the void as the water left further flooding the surface and trapping huge pockets of hot water that STILL shoot up into the bottom of the ocean in tens of thousands of hot water springs along the mid-Atlantic ridge and various fault lines.  God asked Job if he had entered into the springs of the sea (38:16).  These were not discovered until 1977!  More about the waters under the crust in Appendix 2 of my book "What on Earth is About to Happen for Heaven's Sake?" (due out in March, 2013) or in Creation Seminar Part 6 and in Dr. Walt Brown's book, "In the Beginning". 

 The crust sinking in would also speed up the earth's spin.  Maybe there were 360 days/year originally and 365.2422 today?  THAT would explain ancient calendars and other phenomenon-but that's for another book! Japan's 2011 tsunami and underwater land slide sped up the earth 1/1000th of a second.

 Under the first canopy of ice the people, plants and animals would live MUCH longer and grow MUCH bigger!  Fossils of giant animals have been found like: 6' beavers, 1,500 lb guinea pigs, 15' tall camels, 10' Kangaroos and 50' crocodiles.  Reptiles which never stop growing would become dinosaurs.

 Adam and Eve could see the stars MUCH more clearly and even hear the music of the stars as they sang together. Job 38:7.

 The flood began with the fountains of the deep breaking open. (Gen. 7:11; 8:2; Pro. 8:28).  Dr. Walt Brown offers convincing evidence that 10 miles of rock on top of the subterranean waters (which would have a pressure of about 10 million pounds/square foot) would jet water, mud and rock into orbit!  The canopy of ice may have been destroyed and collapsed at this time.  3 inches of ice would contribute VERY little to the flood itself.

 Both the waters above and most of the waters below are now on the surface.  Oceans cover 70% of the earth God created to be inhabited.  Redistributing this mass of rock and water may have caused the earth to wobble and SLOWLY change its tilt from maybe 0 degrees (causing more uniform spring-like temperatures from pole to pole preflood) to 23.5 degrees today (which causes our seasons).  Hmmm??

SUMMARY

Tom, thanks for reading this LONG post.  I pray it will better explain my position and passion for the Word of God.  Please post it or print it if you like.  Your magazine is a GREAT blessing to many and makes and EXCELLENT gift for those wondering how they can influence others for Christ.  I pray that MANY who read my blogs will go to www.creationillustrated.com and get a subscription for themselves and a loved one.  I'm sorry the article by Paul made me give this public response.  I'd sure much rather solve differences without the whole world watching if possible but it was too late for that this time.

Eric (and Paul and any who have ears to hear), the two MAJOR reasons some otherwise intelligent fellow creationists do NOT believe there was a canopy above the originally created atmosphere is because:
1. they are not studying the right Bible and
2. they have the wrong canopy model.

1. As we have seen, some don't believe they have God's exact Words to even begin to evaluate the canopy topic or, if they have His Words they don't trust them or feel that they must submit to them.  In every article I have read by those who oppose the idea of a canopy above the atmosphere the author is always changing the words in Genesis from the KJB to fit his theory rather than changing his theory to fit the Word of God.

   Hundreds of great books have been written on the King James topic already.  I implore you to study this topic.  You will NEED a SOLID WORD to hold to in the tribulation time that is coming here soon.  I can clearly remember the feeling I got in about 1998 or so when, after pouring scores of hours into the study of the issue, I became convinced by the overwhelming evidence that God DID preserve His Words as He promised He would in Ps. 12:6-7.  I remember when I knelt by my bed and held my Bible and looked at it for a minute as my rebellious spirit softened.  Finally I prayed, "Lord, I'm sorry for the way I have treated Your Word all these years.  I have always been quick to adjust it or change it if I felt the need to make it match what I believed or wanted to believe.  I felt superior to Your Word rather than trusting it as my inflexible perfect standard.  Starting today It is my master, I am not its master.  Thank you for all the millions of saints over the years who have given their lives so I can hold a copy of your perfect Word.  Please guide me as I preach to defend it against all attacks.  In Jesus' Name. Amen."

   Once you get the issue settled that we have the Perfect Word of God, the rest is easy.  Just read it and try to rightly divide it.  You can't even read 7 WORDS into the various Bible versions before there is a profound difference!  KJB says "heaven" and almost all the others say "heavens."  Somebody is WRONG!  Ditto with the canopy teaching.  The Bible could not be more clear when it says there was water ABOVE the firmament (Gen. 1:6-7).  Verse 20 is clear that the firmament is where the birds fly-i.e. the atmosphere.  If there was no canopy what does that mean?

  I'm not sure which part of the word "above" the critics don't understand.  Is it the "a" part or the "bove" part?  These verses CANNOT be referring to clouds IN the atmosphere or "across the face of" or "the stretching" like some foolishly claim.  The Bible does NOT say there was 20 feet of water up there.  Nor does it say the flood water came from the water above the heaven.  We covered that.  It came from INSIDE the earth.

   If the Word says it, we are to believe it even if it has no scientific explanation.  I believe in the creation, resurrection and all the miracles WITHOUT any scientific explanation.  It is the same with the idea of "water above the firmament."  I believe it because it says it.  Now, with that said, that does NOT mean I cannot try to study and understand HOW God did it.  He WANTS us to "study to shew ourselves approved unto God."  I try HARD to do that!  I know you do too.

  I think anyone is authorized to give their "opinion" or "theories" about what God's Word says and means (but keep James 3:1 in mind!) but they are NOT authorized to "change the Words" themselves and THEN give their ideas about what THEIR translation says or means.  The Word says there was water above the firmament.  That issue is closed for me. 

  The New King James (NKJV) Paul used to critique the canopy also says people "are being saved" (Catholic teaching) rather than "are saved" (KJB) in I Cor. 1:18.  Is Jesus God's SON (KJB Acts 3:26) or His Servant (NKJV)?  Will God provide Himself as the lamb (Gen 22:8) which has a double meaning or does God need to provide FOR Himself a lamb as if He sinned and needs a sacrifice (NKJV)?  Did God tell Noah to COME into the ark (God's inside and going with on the trip) Gen. 7:1 KJB or GO into the ark (NIV) like, "see ya later Noah-hope ya make it?"  This Bible version issue is MUCH more serious than most realize.  PLEASE seek His face on it Eric and Paul (and all others!)

2. They are studying the wrong model.  Jesus' critics said no prophet comes from Galilee. (Jn. 7:52)  They challenged those who believed he was a prophet to go home and study for themselves!  They were searching in vain for the wrong thing!  Jesus was born in Bethlehem but raised in Nazareth.  I think Paul may have rightly criticized flaws with some older canopy models but he threw out the baby with the bath water.  More and more evidence is coming in to support the idea of a 3" canopy of super cold ice above the atmosphere.  This would be true to the Bible AND answer loads of questions about the world and the pre-flood world.

  I may not have all the details about the water above the firmament perfect myself.  I would gladly hear any reasonable criticism of my canopy theory.  It may need to be adjusted and modified many times.  That is fine if it stays in the parameters of God's infallible Word.  I started with assumption that I held the perfect Word and sought for a model that would stay true to that standard.  I think the God who sees the heart will like that.  I suggest you do the same.

Kent Hovind