Where Did All The Water Come From?

As a young family, we often visited Niagara Falls, since it is close by. On a particular visit, my young daughter posed a question that intrigued me. "Daddy, where did all this water come from?" Of course, the initial question was less difficult, as I shared with her the facts of the water/rain cycle. Rain would fall in the vicinity of the Great Lakes and eventually, would drain over Niagara Falls. But she persisted, "Daddy, but where did the rain come from?" I tried to explain that there where many oceans on this earth releasing water vapor, which eventually cooled, condensed and then fell as rain or snow. But her final question stumped me. "Daddy, where did the water in the oceans come from?"

With research, I discovered planet Earth has 1,400,000,000,000,000,000 (1,400 quadrillion) tons of water. Indeed, this is a huge supply of the liquid stuff! Just in United States alone, 7 billion tons (1,500 cubic miles) of rain fall each year on the land. Now there are some scientists who suggest that water was dumped on Earth by a zillion comets billions of years ago. This view is intriguing because the Earth's distant brother, the planet Mars, or even our Moon, contain no large quantities of water. Imagine zillions of tons of water falling to the Earth with mega erosive power, and still confined to our earth's borders because of the normal atmospheric pressure of 14.7 lbs/si. If water fell on Mars or the moon, it would vaporize quickly, since there is no atmosphere on that planet. Thus, a difficult chicken-egg question is posed: what came first, the water or Earth's atmosphere? If a zillion comets unleashed zillions of tons of water here on Earth and there was no atmosphere, the water would simply vaporize. If the air was here first, falling water could vaporize as it hits the atmosphere.

Even more intriguing is considering this in relation to the Big Bang Theory of the universe. Water on the Earth would have a very difficult time staying within the Earth's gravitational pull if a big bang occurred. Then there are those who suggest that the Earth suffered from a large impact at one time which made a huge chunk of our planet fly away, eventually becoming our Moon. Such an impact would have vaporized much of the water within our oceans and blown away boulders, rocks, sand, particles--anything that would not be fastened or tied to the Earth. Some purport that water hidden in deep cavities within our planet, eventually surfaced, resting in hollow areas called oceans, seas and lakes. However, this theory is losing relative strength.

Thus, the question of where water came from will haunt many scientists and geologists for years to come. I propose to you that we accept the simple belief that God created this planet along with its quadrillions of tons of water. Genesis 1:1,2 states that God created the heavens, the earth with its water. Simple, and yet, astonishing--something only to be taken by faith. But here we can see that faith is compatible with reason.

Does this make you desire to come one step closer to our Creator? If God is now in heaven, you will find that accepting this in faith does not require you to throw reason and common sense out the window, but in fact confirms both... ...and in the process, gives you a sense of peace such as you have never known.

Contributed by George Prins. Gprins@becon.org

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