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Gap Theory Observation

By Donald P. Moss


Series Introduction

Foreshadows Introduction

Volume 1 -THE GARDEN OF EDEN - Adam's Creation and His
Spiritual and
Physical Environments


Volume 3 - JOSEPH, EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH - A Foreshadow of God's Agenda for Jew and Gentile

Volume 4  - CROSSING THE JORDAN RIVER - A Foreshadow of Salvation for Jew and Gentile

Volume 5 - THE BOOK OF REVELATION - God's Agenda for the End Time


Volume 7  - CHRIST IN THE TABERNACLE - A Foreshadow of Redemption


Bible Lessons

(An excerpt from Volume 1 -THE GARDEN OF EDEN - Adam's Creation and His Spiritual and Physical Environments. For an in-depth study of the gap theory return to Volume 1.)


The gap theory presents a few interesting observations. These are additional comments not discussed in Volume 1 of this series.

Gap Theorists believe the dinosaurs existed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Their theory suggests the flood waters of Genesis 1:2 destroyed the dinosaurs. If you read Chapter 4 of Volume 1 of this series, the environment of the Garden of Eden was a result of God dividing the waters in Genesis 1:6, forming a water canopy which encased the earth and it's atmosphere which shielded the earth from the sun's radiant heat and other cosmic elements. This was a highly suitable eternal environment for mankind and for growing large plant life and large animals. The key to establishing this environment was the dividing of the waters. The dividing of the waters caused dry land to appear so plant life and animal life could live on the earth.

Gap Theorists fail to include physical science of the earth when studying God's dividing the waters. The water canopy changes the theory of Carbon-14 dating method. Having accepted Carbon-14 as a reliable scientific measurement of time, they attempt to fit the dinosaurs into biblical scriptures concerning the beginning before God divided the waters. But, they do not realize Carbon-14 dating is faulty concerning fossils that existed during the time of pre-flood earth because the water canopy affected the amount of Carbon-14 naturally produced and absorbed by plant life through photosynthesis, which is then eaten by animals and absorbed by their bones. Therefore, the dating analysis by paleontologists is incorrect.

There are two problems with the Gap Theory -

First, If the dinosaurs existed prior to the earth becoming void and empty in Genesis 1:2 (covered with water), then dry land would have been present and plants had to be abundant and very large to feed them over thousands and thousands of years.

So, the question is this - what was the physical environment of the earth in the beginning when the dinosaurs existed? Was it like the environment of today, or was it also under a previous water canopy?

1. Was it like the environment of today? If God began the original earth environment with dry land and the waters were not divided as they were in Genesis 1:6 and the earth was not covered with a water canopy, then plant life would not be suitable for dinosaur life, because the absence of the water canopy would exposed the earth to the sun's radiation and the size of plant life would be approximately the same size as it is today. Dinosaurs could not grow larger than what the available amount of plant food would allow.

The question then is (concerning flood waters required to destroy dinosaur life and cover all dry land), "Where did all the flood water come from?" In this scenario, God would have added additional water volume to the original configuration of the earth in order to flood the surface of the earth and make it void and empty.

Of course, without a water canopy the environment would have been configured as it is today. Then the earthly environment of the dinosaurs would have been very unstable. Because the earth would have been exposed to the radiant heat of the sun, resulting in weather patterns which create deserts, polar ice caps, rain, droughts, devastating storms, wild fires, etc., affecting plant life. This environment would not be suitable for a large population of dinosaurs.

2. Was it under a previous water canopy? Maybe God began the original earth environment beneath a water canopy, then plants would be large and abundant over the entire plant because there would be no fluctuation in temperature and the canopy would shield the heat of the sun and trap the heat of the earth. The entire planet would be tropical with no rain, deserts, droughts, storms, lightning generated fires or polar ice caps. The environment during the Gap period of time would have been like the environment in the Garden of Eden and highly suitable for dinosaur life.

But, Here's the problem with this scenario. In order to flood the earth at a later time, God would have collapsed the water canopy to flood the earth and eliminate the dinosaurs.

Physical law comment: The increased burden of water upon the face of the planet would have had a tremendous impact on the contour of the surface of the earth (crust) by compressing the earth's surface which would have created very high mountains (subduction of tectonic plates beneath continents), like it did in the time of Noah's flood. Land mass would have been greatly compressed causing tectonic and continental plates to collide. Subduction of non-continent tectonic plates beneath continents would caused continental plates to rise, creating high mountains ranges with elevations that could not be covered by the Gap flood. Therefore, the earth could not have become void and empty in the flood of Genesis 1:2, because dry land would still remain.

Of course this scenario would conflict with dry land first appearing in Genesis 1:9 -10 (NIV) - And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. (10) God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.

Both of these scenarios have inherent problems with the laws of physics as we understand physics today. There are two opposing forces at play in the earth -

(1) Expansive thermal force from the tremendous heat generated by the molten iron core of the earth.

(2) Gravity's inward pull of material elements towards the iron core of the earth.

The earth's mantel and crust floats on molten lava. When the weight of the earth's crust and the expansive outward force of thermal activity are equal the earth is in equilibrium. If one of the forces is altered then a new equilibrium must be reached. The earth's contour would expand or contact depending on which force is greater. When the new equilibrium is reached the earth would be at rest until another imbalance in the equilibrium occurs. Adding water weight to the earth's crust and removing water weight from the earth's crust has a dramatic impact on the contour of the earth's surface.

The dividing of the waters in Genesis 1:6 removed a large volume of water from the surface. Therefore, the earth's crust expanded. This expansion created open seams in the crust allowing molten lava to ooze to the surface forming high hills. This was the time of creating tectonic and continental plates.

When the water canopy was collapsed during Noah's flood, the weight of the water canopy returned to the surface of the earth and greatly compressed the crust. This compressive force of the returning water volume was catastrophic and much greater than the original expansive force when the waters were divided. Why? The expansive force opened seams in the crust, but did not cause tectonic and continental plates to collide with each other, instead they drifted apart over the entire surface of the planet. Compressive collision of the plates is what caused the high mountains we see today. This was the greatest and most chaotic event that has ever to happen on the earth.

These physical facts presents some difficult obstacles to overcome when looking for scientific support for what Gap Theorists believe.

So, it is prudent to realize there had to be a water canopy during the age of the dinosaurs, allowing plant life could grow large enough to support dinosaur life. Additionally, there could have been only one water canopy in the historical age of the earth and that canopy was collapsed during the flood of Noah's time.

I personally favor the premise that God created the heavens and earth with a total complement of elements and did not add additional elements later after the original creation in Genesis verse 1. All of earth's elements that were a part of the original creation in Verse 1 are still all of the earth's elements today.

Secondly - The following perspective supports the existence of dinosaurs prior to the time Noah built the ark, but not necessarily prior to Genesis 1:2. When Noah built the ark God commanded him to cover in inside and outside with pitch. Genesis 6:14 (KJV) - Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. Pitch is a tar substance derived from the decomposition of animals. Pitch Lake and the La Brea Tar Pits in California is an example of fossilized crude oil pooling near the surface of the ground.

Copyright © 1994-2002 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. - Pitch Lake is a large surface deposit of natural asphalt, a mixture of heavy oils that is left after the lighter, more volatile components of crude-oil seepage have evaporated. An example is Guanoco Lake in Venezuela, which covers more than 445 hectares (1,100 acres) and contains an estimated 6,000,000 tons of asphalt. It was used as a commercial source of asphalt from 1891 to 1935. Smaller deposits occur commonly where Tertiary marine sediments outcrop on the surface; an example is the tar pits at Rancho La Brea in Los Angeles (brea and “tar” are synonymous with “semisolid asphalt”). Although most pitch lakes are fossils of formerly active seeps, some, such as Pitch Lake on the island of Trinidad, continue to be supplied with fresh crude oil seeping from a subterranean source. Pitch Lake covers 47 hectares (115 acres) and contains an estimated 6,700,000 tons of asphalt. The asphalt is a major export of Trinidad and Tobago and is used mostly for road building.

Noah began building the ark approximately 1550 years after the creation of Adam, according to biblical genealogy. Noah coated the exterior of the ark with pitch - Genesis 6:14 (KJV) - Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

Could dinosaurs have lived, died and decomposed, creating fossil tar / pitch during the 1650 year period of time? Yes! Dinosaurs died and created a pool of pitch material on the earth's surface. This pitch was used for the waterproof coating of the ark. Keep in mind, there were dinosaurs so large and tall that if they ever toppled over on their side they would never be able to upright themselves and would die.

So, there would have been some pooling of fossil crude on the surface of the earth in various places because there was no rain to cause erosion to bury the pools of pitch. The radiant heat of the sun was blocked and evaporation of dinosaur fats would be minimal. The most liquid fats would seep into the earth's soil and the more solid fats would pool on the surface. The most liquid fats would later become reservoirs of oil deep in the earth beneath sedimentary rock layers. The more solid fats became shale sedimentary rock after Noah's flood, as eroded silt buried the pools. Sedimentary layers of rock are formed by accumulation and compression of eroded silt. Keep in mind, all dinosaur fossils are found in sedimentary rock and oil reservoirs are located beneath sedimentary rock. So, the dinosaurs became extinct in the flood of Noah's time.

The only sure thing we can surmise from the above scripture is there were dinosaurs that died beneath the water canopy prior to the building of the ark.

The only sensible logical conclusion is perceiving the age of dinosaurs as occurring during pre-flood times of Noah and his ancestors.


For a more indepth teaching concerning the beginning in the book of Genesis return to Volume 1 - THE GARDEN OF EDEN - Adam's Creation and His Spiritual and Physical Environments. It's a good free read!