Wind, Fluid Dynamics Parted Red Sea

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Wind and fluid dynamics parted Red Sea, according to articles in BBC News 21 Sept 2010 and ABC (Australia) News 22 Sept 2010 and PLoS ONE doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012481. Carl Drews and Weiqing Han of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have been studying the effects of sustained winds on water. In some cases strong sustained winds blowing offshore can move water away leaving exposed ground. Tshis phenomenon is called wind setdown. They have developed a computer simulation of winds blowing across various bodies of water and used this in an attempt to explain how the Red Sea could have parted for Moses and the Israelites to escape from the Egyptian army.

The computer model showed that if the crossing occurred at a U-shaped formation of the Nile River with a shallow lagoon along the shoreline “a uniform 28 m/s easterly wind forcing in the reconstructed model basin, the ocean model produces an area of exposed mud flats where the river mouth opens into the lake. This land bridge is 3–4 km long and 5 km wide, and it remains open for 4 hours.” Drews commented: “The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that's in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in.”


Editorial Comment: PLoS ONE’s authors must declare their funding source and any competing interests. It pays to note that Drews wrote under the required Competing Interests declaration, that he has a theistic evolutionary website on which he “addresses Christian faith and biological evolution.” The Red Sea crossing is mentioned briefly. Drew’s present study “treats the Exodus 14 narrative as an interesting and ancient story of uncertain origin.”

The problem with theistic evolutionist Drews’ naturalistic type of explanation, is that for sufficient wind to have dried up the water in the Red Sea just as Moses and several million Israelite followers walked across it, followed by the wind ceasing just in time to drown Pharaoh and his army can lead to only one conclusion – this was a miraculously timed natural event. But miraculous and natural are regarded as contradictory terms in the 21st century scientific mind set – particularly in the mind of a theistic evolutionist like Drews whose attempt to explain a miracle naturally, is really an attempt to explain it away. It is actually easier to take Exodus 14 the way it actually reads - as a historical narrative recorded by witnesses who were there.

Drews’ computer simulation may explain some of what happened that night, as the text does say God sent an easterly wind to blow all night, but it is unlikely to have been as strong as Drews’ suggested 28 metres per second which is 101km/hour (63 mph), which would have made it difficult for the Israelites to even stand up – let alone walk across. The text also says there was a wall of water to the right and left of them. These had to be quite high, because when they fell, the water drowned Egyptian soldiers mounted on chariots and horses. The computer model also does not explain what made the wheels of the chariots fall off at just the right time.

Most of all, the computer simulation does not even come close to explaining the behaviour of the pillar of fiery cloud that led the Israelites to the right place for the sea crossing, and then moved between the Israelites and Egyptian army whilst the Israelites crossed the sea. A cloud standing still while the wind blew violently is rather unnatural to say the least.

We have no doubt God used both wind and water that fateful night, because as Creator of the wind and seas He has control over them. However, to explain all events of that night requires nothing short of God’s personal intervention and powerful provision of a way of salvation from certain death for the people of Israel. (Ref. miracles, salvation, meteorology)

Evidence News 27 October 2010