The firmament

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Kalimni, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. Kalimni Registered Member

    I did a quick search, and didn't find anything pertaining to my question.

    Is there any scientific evidence that a firmament may have once encircled the globe? Or if it is physically possible that such a thing could of existed?

    Now, by firmament, I am using an interpatation of the passage in genesis referring to God creating the firmament and separating the waters from the waters. It could refer to a layer of water surrounding the upper atmosphere, or possibly just a ring of ice surrounding the planet.
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    We call it- the land.
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  5. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    No evidence and plenty of evidence to the contrary. Difficult to know where to direct you without a knowledge of your current background, but google accretion disc and planetary formation as a start.
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    If there were a tremendous decrease in solar energy and the temperature dropped below freezing all over the planet, is there enough water for the glaciers to spread over the entire land mass and meet at the equator? I'll let you do the math and tell us.

    I should think that once that happened it would be very difficult to reverse, since ice reflects sunlight and would keep the temperature down and resist melting, even when the sunlight increased.

    Next question for any cosmologists here: Has solar radiation been increasing or decreasing over the life of the sun and the planets?
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    It's possible that the Earth's surface was at one point, completely frozen over.
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Really? Please elaborate. As I suggested, if the entire surface of the planet were ice, it would have a very high albedo (percentage of light reflected). Reflecting all that sunlight back into space would tend to stabilize the earth at a very low temperature, would it not?

    Or... has the amount of solar radiation been steadily increasing over the eons, succeeding in melting the ice? But if that were true, then as the ice melted the newly uncovered land masses would begin to absorb far more radiation than before, and the temperature of the globe would start to skyrocket.
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Volcanoes could upset the balance.
  11. Pete It's not rocket surgery Moderator

  12. Enmos Staff Member

    I thought that the volcanic activity on Earth has been steadily decreasing since it's formation.
    Your idea suggests that the Earth at one time was cold enough to be covered completely in ice and that there were no volcanoes around, and then all of a sudden volcanoes appeared..
  13. Gerhard Kemmerer Banned Banned

    The answer is in understanding what the "waters" are. Named so because the natural water we are accustomed to best describes its behaviour. They are a super natural force that basically causes the effect of space.
    The firmament according to ancient beliefs, is a division of them. The outer or upper layer stretched out to about two light years radius, and the lower condensed to help produce the earth, our sun and planets etc.
    The difference created by the outer and inner states of the "waters," causes the opposite supernatural component named "light" (which is responsible for the effect of time) to condense around the lower waters in a gradient that produces the shadow we call gravity.

    Notice that the sun moon and planets (called stars in Genesis) are in the firmament.
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Short answer: No.

    The word 'encircled' is probably anachronistic, since the ancients who spoke of the 'fimament' typically thought that the Earth was flat, and imagined the sky above it as a dome. If there was any circularity associated with that model, it's associated with the idea that the flat Earth might be disk-shaped.

    The Earth was never a flat disk, so no. I suppose that it's physically possible that a roughly spherical planet could be surrounded by a shell of some sort. But suggesting that at one time in history the Earth was surrounded by such a shell that no longer exists is nothing but sci-fi imagination.

    Ancient cosmogonic mythology is fascinating. These stories kind of represent the first stirrings of philosophy. But it's foolish in my opinion to try to interpret these stories as if they recorded historical facts.

    In ancient Mesopotamian mythology, the idea of 'the waters' symbolized primordial chaos.

    Water was the primary engine of chaos in early Sumerian and Akkadian society, since floods periodically devastated their early cities. Even the rain tended to dissolve their stuctures, which were typically built from sun-dried unfired dirt bricks.

    More philosophically, water was seen as being without form. Water takes the shape of any container that it's in and has no innate shape of its own. So in ancient Mesopotamia, creation was imagined as an act of taming the primordial waters, creating dry land and a world of stability. Form was imposed on shapelessness.

    That's what the 'waters above and below' stuff is basically talking about. The universe was imagined as inherently chaotic and formless, and the Earth was conceived as having been created by the earliest gods through a process of separating the waters and creating a dry bubble of stable reality in between.

    This, btw, is what the 'flood' myth was about. The threat that the ancient Mesopotamians always felt that rational form and stability might disappear and chaos return.

    The Hebrew writers of Genesis were just making allusions to middle-eastern cosmogonic mythology that was already several thousand years old by the time they wrote, retelling the traditional story in such a way that their god Yahweh played the central role.

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