Has YEC solved the heat problem?

SFT brought these to my attention. Apparently there will be an open mic discussion about it sometime in the new year.

As an initial thought, aren’t they missing a couple of zeroes in that number? Like 5 of 'em?

Article 1

This abstract deals with the effects of large amounts (~700 ˣ 10e24 Joules) of geothermal heat being slowly transferred across the seafloor for several hundred years. This is enough energy to heat the oceans by 125 °C if it was deposited instantaneously. The mechanism of how this geothermal heat is supplied to the seafloor is a separate topic that is not discussed here.

What makes this different than other “warm ocean” models is that they use a one-time ocean heating event during the Genesis flood. My model uses continuous heating for centuries, while the oceans also simultaneously cool by transferring thermal energy to the atmosphere.

I evaluate both models by doing an energy balance for the entire planet. For the one-time heating model, calculated ocean cooling rates are 21.6 to 31.4 °C per century, thus the ice age could have only lasted about 80 to 120 years.

For the multi-century geothermal heating model, the ocean temperature vs. heat loss is calculated for zero to 1,500 years after the flood. The model starts out with no (zero °C) post-flood ocean temperature increase. After about 200 years, the deep-water ocean temperature increase maximizes at about +15 °C. By 1,000 years post-flood, deep-water ocean temperatures are similar to today. I demonstrate that the geographical distribution of this seafloor heating makes little difference in the resulting climate.

Also discussed is a “maximum geothermal heat budget” that the climate can safely handle, which any proposed CPT model must comply with.

If significant amounts of geothermal heat were discharged into the deep ocean, warmed water would rise from the seafloor, disrupting the thermohaline circulation. An estimate of the flow rates and the post-flood ocean circulation pattern resulting from this scenario is provided. Additionally, this moving water can erode fine particulate matter from the ocean floor, thus sediment calculations are also provided.

Other post-flood impacts are discussed, such as the effect on the chemistry of ocean water. Hot water travelling through rocks can change (and be changed by) the physical and chemical makeup of those rocks (metamorphism). Hydrothermal vents are discussed, and also the formation of manganese nodules (secular science does not have a good answer to how these formed).


Groundwater Flow and the Resulting Heat Transfer from the Sea Floor, Immediately after the Genesis Flood

This abstract provides a multi-faceted solution method to the “Heat Problem after the Genesis Flood” which is defined as follows:

Most models of CPT require that large amounts of hot crustal material would be spread across the ocean floor during the flood, especially the Atlantic ocean. This would release so much heat as to possibly boil the oceans. Because of this problem, the genesis flood didn’t happen, and thus the bible is wrong and evolution is right.

It is argued that long amounts of time are required to transfer any significant portion of this heat, and it is proposed that this heat remained trapped under the seafloor for hundreds of years after the flood ended. Most of the extra heat was eventually dissipated via (the very slow process of) radiation from the upper atmosphere. Since crustal material is not in thermal contact with the upper atmosphere, an analysis of the methods of heat transfer is needed.

Under the circumstances resulting from CPT, it is demonstrated that hydrothermal groundwater convection beneath the seafloor is the limiting heat transfer method. The other two possible mechanisms to transfer heat across the seafloor (thermal conduction and magma convection) are also discussed, calculated, evaluated, and ultimately dismissed. Also dismissed is the idea that miracles were involved in removing this extra heat, and it is explained why the use of miracles in this situation is unnecessary and also theologically problematic.

Although hydrothermal convection via groundwater flow is the main focus of the abstract, it simply brings thermal energy across the seafloor. It must then be transferred to the upper atmosphere by Earth’s weather. The climate impacts of this new heat source are not discussed here.

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lol. no.

The flood heat would turn the crust into plasma. Any “solution” to that problem has to deal with that amount of heat, and it has to do it FAST. YECs don’t have hundreds of years to play with here. They have, generously, the flood year. And liquid water is not going to put a dent in that heat. And then of course the heat has to get to the upper atmosphere. Presumably through the rest of the atmosphere, vaporizing everything.

The best play for YECs is to say “yes, there would have been enormous heat, but God miraculously removed it, keeping the planet safe for life”. The flood was a miraculous event! Just add heat dissipation to the miraculous part! That’s the answer.


I’m always taken back by the waste of sheer effort that YEC put into some of these papers, akin to writing fan dissertations on the geology of Middle Earth.

The inescapable heat problem of YEC is you cannot have energy and not energy. They, not anyone else, are the ones insisting on all this high energy catastrophe. Heat, and prodigious amounts of it, are essential to the processes they conjecture in order to squeeze epochal processes into the compass of the one year flood.

Heat is not some side effect of radioactivity. Spontaneous decay is always in the direction of lessor mass, and that difference does not vanish; it must manifest as energy. You cannot have accelerated nuclear decay without accelerated thermal catastrophe.

Heat of enthalpy is likewise inherent - you cannot have exothermic formation of the earth’s biogenic limestone without the oceans scalding. Likewise, you cannot have screaming velocity tectonic plates without melting them.

The earth orbits in the vacuum of space, so all YEC proposed convective mechanisms of heat removal are hogwash. Ultimately, the global heat must be radiated.

The only physically plausible solution to the YEC heat problem is to allow that these processes did not happen.

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I think it is a clever idea to try and store the heat somewhere and release it over a longer period of time. If, for example the center of the earth was just hotter than it is now, as a result of the flood, and then cooled back to normal in the hundreds of years that followed, that could be an answer… in fact it’s probably a better answer than the one proposed here, where some small amount of groundwater is used to store all of that heat. In order for that ground water to store enough heat to boil the oceans, without boiling itself, wouldn’t the amount of ground water needed be the same as…the oceans?

The center of the earth, on the other hand, that’s a thermal mass that wouldn’t really blink at the amount of energy proposed here.

Edit : upon re-reading the second abstract above, it appears that the heat is putatively stored in the mantle, and only transferred to the ocean by convection currents. In such a scenario, a second ocean’s worth of water would not be necessary. My bad.

Which I think brings us to the second problem–how did we get this number?

According to @GutsickGibbon, the amount of heat generated from just the radiometric decay is some number e29 or e30. This guy is using e24.

This doesn’t sound like that much of a difference to a non scientist until you realize that is the difference between raising the temperature of the ocean by 100 degree C, and raising it by 100 MILLION degrees C.

All of a sudden, the idea of storing this heat in groundwater doesn’t seem to do as much.

Another thing,

I’m going to ask SFT if he can send us the actual paper as well, because this portion concerns me:

Does the author of this paper think that continental drift assumes that the continents inch around on the ocean floor? As I understand it, the continents move kind of like how a scratch on your fingernail moves distally towards the tip of your finger as the fingernail itself grows and is clipped off over time. The continents don’t move “over” the ocean. The plates change their relative size and as they do so, the points where they meet change, and that growth and shrinkage in different directions moves the continents around. How would such a process, even when sped up, result in spreading crustal material over the ocean floor. Is there something I’m missing here?

‘Fast’ isn’t enough. It must do it instantaneously and continuously. Anything less and the planet is a rapidly expanding mass and the water is the least of Noah’s problems.

Presumably, they’re talking about the oceanic crust that arises at spreading centers. All the crust under the Atlantic Ocean, for example, must have appeared during the Flood.

Ah, that may be it. In my defence, that doesn’t spread crustal material “over” the ocean floor. That is the cooling of crustal material which makes up the ocean floor.

But regardless, I think you are right, that is probably what he meant.

I guess that leads me to the question of how exactly he proposes to have 1300 degree magma cooling into rock in an ocean, but yet still keep the heat from that rock inside the mantle somehow. Well, we will have to wait to find out I guess.

If that is the heat he is trying to explain, is his math even right? I know he is ignoring all of the meteorites, the limestone, the friction on the leading edge of the plates, and about one million times more heat in radioactive decay alone, but is it even right with respect to the cooling of basaltic mid-ocean tectonic plates?

Don’t break a leg falling into all the rabbit holes these people dig. The bottom line is that cramming 4.5 billion years of radioactive decay into one year means at least 4.5 billion years worth of thermal energy into the Earth in one year.

The Earth’s natural heat flow is about 500 watts/square meter, or 500 joules/second/meter squared. Scale that up to 4.5 billion and you get around 2.25x10^12 watts/meter square.

The earth would heat up like the “pit” of a nuclear weapon when it goes critical.

The Flud is a miracle that requires another miracle to bring in the water that needs another miracle to get rid of the water that need another miracle to explain the entire geological record that needs another miracle to burn 4.5 billion years of radiological decay in one year that needs another miracle to prevent the vaporization of the Earth that requires a miracle…

I’ve seen better amateur hour magic shows.


My vague understanding is that a change in the fine structure constant to allow that much radioactive decay in a short time, would also change the laws of chemistry so that life as we know it could not exist.
Physics is not kind to Creation Science.

Answers in Genesis posted an article on the heat problem specifically regarding the ocean floors around the time those ICC abstracts were being finalized: Heat Problems Associated with Genesis Flood Models—Part 4: Heat Deposited by Magmatic Activity.

Worrakers main conclusion is that the total heat which has to be removed from the ocean floors is something like 1.4x10^28 J. Worraker came to the conclusion that, quote:

The main conclusion of this article is that the total amount of geological heat deposited in the formation of the ocean floors and of LIPs is overwhelming: it cannot be removed from the biosphere within a biblically-compatible timescale by known natural processes. Using CPT-style Flood models as our theoretical framework, no more than a tiny fraction of the total could have been released into the atmosphere and oceans during and after the Flood. Given that the highest bulk ocean temperature in the early Cenozoic did not exceed 13°C in contrast with the present-day value of ~2°C (Worraker 2018; the lower figure of 2°C may be taken as a representative pre-Flood minimum temperature), the total heat absorbed by the oceans, earth’s main environmental heat sink, would have been of order 6 × 10*25 J at most, assuming a thermal capacity of 5.5 × 10^24 J/K (as estimated above). This is only 0.04% of the total heat deposition: the remaining 99.96% must have been removed or absorbed elsewhere. It seems that this must have been accomplished by some special, hitherto unrecognized mechanism.”

So according to Worraker at least, there’s no currently known natural mechanism which could remove that much heat from the ocean floors in the YEC timeframe, and it’s far more than what those abstracts are considering.


Here is an older paper (1983) that may interest you.

I can’t read it because I don’t have access to your Google drive, I’m afraid.

New link, try again.

I’m told there will be an open mic Q and A on the standing for truth YouTube channel with this author on January 11th.

I hope you will all be there with bells on (considering the holidays).

ETA: the event is now advertised. Here is the link:

William Worraker (AiG guy who writes about the heat problem) has apparently been made aware of this upcoming presentation. I got an email from a YEC friend of mine about it. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this, as Worraker seems adamant the cooling issue of the sea floor alone is too much for currently know natural processes. Idk if he’ll join the call in given the time zone difference.


Everything about the Flood story is “miraculous” rather than rationally scientific.

That’s why I find it difficult to engage Flood proponents with any kind of reasoning other than “and God miraculously solved that problem!”

From my inbox. The AiG approach to the heat problem is to ignore it and hope it goes away.


Remember everyone, it’s heat problem day!


Here you go guys. If you want to see yours truly in action, is at the 2:20 mark or so.

Spoiler alert:

They may not have solved the heat problem just yet.


So I watched the presentations and mid presentation QnA section. This was…interesting. A few conclusions were drawn:

  1. Worrakers math for the heat generated by the ocean floors is too much for Winsberg to deal with. He complained Worraker made bad assumptions but didn’t really go into detail on this. Worraker has been made aware of this and I’ll communicate any response I am forwarded by my YEC friend. But when asked what he thought the actual heat that needed to be removed from the ocean floors was, Winsberg didn’t answer, just said it was model dependent. It’s not at all clear to me how this is supposed to solve the heat problem of the ocean floor then.

  2. He does not accept Acclerated Nuclear Decay happened because, as he admitted, that heat too is far too much to be removed without ad-hoc miracles. When asked how he explained the RATE team’s evidence for accelerated decay, he admitted he had no answer. He also admitted he had no answer for why rocks date old, that it seems correct, but he chooses to go with the biblical timeframe regardless. So the heat problem for accelerated decay can only be solved by rejecting it ever occurred, and thereby create other issues which have no present resolution. That’s not really a good answer and my YEC friend Andrew (who I see was in the live chat) told me he was disappointed by this. I’d imagine the professional YECs like Snelling, Austin, and Baumgardner would be similarly hostile to this conclusion, and for good reason.

  3. Winsberg shut down Donny and McQueens pet hypothesis about the mantle being a heat sink. That’s off the table. Can’t happen.

  4. Erika seemed to be having a wonderful time in the live chat and might do a video covering this.

All in all I don’t think this was at all a good solution to the heat problem. The actual heat which needed to be dealt with was never quantified, and the biggest source has to be wholesale rejected, but that’s just swapping one unsolvable problem for another and doesn’t really help the YEC case.