John Baumgardner was working on a Ph.D. in electrical engineering when he discovered the reality of Jesus in a dramatic way through a group Bible study of the Gospel of John. After a four-year tour of duty at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, where he was engaged in gas dynamic laser research, he joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. Observing the deliberate use of evolution to assault and destroy the faith of Christian college students, Dr Baumgardner began to develop and present classroom lectures and evening forums to expose evolution’s false claims.
Upon realizing that Noah’s Flood involved a planetary-scale tectonic catastrophe, he left Campus Crusade to begin a Ph.D. program in geophysics at UCLA in order to obtain the expertise and credentials to address the problem of the mechanism of the Genesis Flood at a professional scientific level. His Ph.D. thesis research involved the development of a 3-D spherical-shell finite-element model for the earth’s mantle, a program now known as TERRA.
Upon completing his Ph.D. in geophysics and space physics, he accepted a position as a staff scientist in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he continued his research in planetary mantle dynamics, including the potential for catastrophic mantle overturn. He presented his work describing this mechanism for the Genesis Flood, now known as ‘catastrophic plate tectonics,’ at six International Conferences on Creationism held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Dr Baumgardner’s technical work at Los Alamos included development of a new global ocean model for investigating climate change. He served as a member of the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) team and led the RATE research effort on carbon-14. He retired from Los Alamos in 2004 and joined the Institute for Creation Research in 2005 where he helped develop a state-of-the-art computer program named Mendel’s Accountant for modeling of the processes of mutation and natural selection. In 2008 he joined Logos Research Associates, a collaborative network of Christian research scientists whose focus is origins and earth history issues from a Biblical perspective.
- B.S., Texas Tech University, Lubbock, 1968
- M.S., Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 1970
- M.S., Geophysics and Space Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, 1981
- Ph.D., Geophysics and Space Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, 1983
His model of plate tectonics:
I believe there is now overwhelming evidence in favour of continental break-up and large-scale plate tectonic activity. The acceptance of these concepts is an amazing example of a scientific revolution, which occurred roughly between 1960 and 1970. However, this revolution did not go far enough, because the earth science community neglected and suppressed the evidence for catastrophism—large-scale, rapid change—throughout the geological record. So the timescale the uniformitarian scientists today are using is dramatically too long. The strong weight of evidence is that there was a massive catastrophe, corresponding to the Genesis Flood, which involved large and rapid continental movements. My conclusion is that the only mechanism capable of producing that scale of catastrophe and not wrecking the planet in the process had to be internal to the earth.
I am persuaded it involved rapid subduction (sinking) of the pre-Flood ocean floor, pulling the ‘plates’ apart at the beginning of the Flood, and was probably associated with the breaking up of the ‘fountains of the great deep’ described in Scripture.
There are to my knowledge three other computer codes for modeling the earth’s mantle and so on, in the world. These other three use a mathematical method not so well suited for the modern parallel supercomputers. The one I developed uses the finite element technique and performs very well on the new, very large supercomputers. So, many of my colleagues are recognizing it as the most capable code in the world.
Last year NASA funded this effort as one of the nine grand challenge projects for the next three years in their High Performance Computing and Communication initiative, and are supporting two post-doctoral researchers to collaborate with me to improve it, and apply it to study the earth.
This code is comparable to what are called general circulation models for the atmosphere and oceans, which are some of the largest codes in the world in terms of how much machine power they consume. It’s got lots of physics in it to model the details of the mechanical behaviour of the silicate rock inside the earth. My present focus is to make the representation of the tectonic plates even more realistic. So the code is in an ongoing state of development, but it’s come a long way in the last 15 years.
Seafloor ‘zebra-stripes’ don’t mean slow and gradual.
The mid-ocean ‘ridges’ are undersea mountain chains with volcanoes at the boundary between two ‘plates’ of the earth’s outer shell. It is believed that here, molten magma from below can well up as the plates move apart, making new oceanic crust—a process called ‘seafloor spreading’. As the new crust cools down, it ‘freezes’ within it the direction of the earth’s magnetic field at that time.
When instruments measuring magnetism are towed (on the ocean surface) across these ridges, they detect bands of alternating magnetic direction, like a ‘zebra-stripe’ pattern, with each side of the ridge mirroring the other. This is interpreted to mean that as new seafloor had gradually formed on each side of the ridge, the earth’s magnetism had slowly reversed many times, over millions of years. However, DR Baumgardner says this pattern does not mean the spreading was slow. He says,
‘From an estimate of the viscosity of the outer core, where the currents associated with the earth’s magnetism exist, there is no reason why the magnetic field can’t reverse rapidly. Moreover, there is field evidence that it has reversed rapidly, within weeks.’
In addition, drilling the sea floor has shown that, regardless of the overall direction of the magnetism detected from the surface, the magnetic direction within a drill core frequently varies widely.  This is less consistent with slow spreading than with a rapid welling up of new magma during a period of rapid reversals; the magma in contact with the surface will reflect the direction at that time, but by the time the deeper magma cools a few weeks later, the direction has switched again—and so on for deeper levels.
1 R.S. Coe, M. Prevot and P. Camps, ‘New evidence for extraordinarily rapid change of the geomagnetic field during a reversal’, Nature 374:687–692, April 20, 1995. The finding (by highly respected experts in paleo-magnetism) of ‘astonishing’ rates of reversal, has now been duplicated more than once.
2 J.M. Hall and P.T. Robinson, ‘Deep crustal drilling in the North Atlantic Ocean’, Science 204:573–586, 1980.