The Flat Earth theory is currently gaining credence and Albert Michelson's experiment of 1887 proved it is a stationary plane. This has not been disproved. It occurred to me while contemplating the World's immense oceans on this model, surrounding the continents, that what we are actually seeing is the Deucalion Flood, it is still here. The waters have receded from their previous height, but not to their prior level and there is evidence of lost civilizations which are still submerged. The continents themselves appear as though they were once part of a uniform landmass before the inundation separated them.
By Providence, I came across a 17th Century hypothesis by Thomas Burnet which confirmed my supposition. Burnet's proposal, which he dedicated to King William III, was entitled: 'The Sacred Theory of the Earth' and was "writ with a sincere intention to justifie the Doctrines of the Universal Deluge, and of a Paradisiacal state, and protect them from the Cavils of those that are no well-wishers to Sacred History." He pieced together pertinent verse from Biblical scriptures to describe the Earth's creation from Chaos to Paradise and it's dissolution.
The question arose from trying to account for the volume of water required to drown the entire Earth in Noah's flood, which Burnet estimated at about eight oceans. He asserts it could not have risen up from the 'Fountains of the Deep' without leaving these subterraneous chambers empty, or fallen in sufficient quantity as rain from the sky, or descended from the 'Floodgates of Heaven.' Burnet claimed that the Antediluvian World was of a different construction from the current one, which is built upon the ruins of the former, which was created perfectly smooth and regular, with neither mountains, valleys nor seas. An unblemished paradise that was always in the spring season, with rivers flowing from the poles to the Equator
His exposition is as follows: In the beginning the Earth was without form and void, (called Nun by Egyptians) and Burnet says that this "fluid, dark, confus’d mass, was without distinction of Elements; made up of all variety of parts, but without Order, or any determinate Form; which is the true description of a Chaos." He surmised that eventually all these particles divided accordingly by their properties into oily liquors which eventually solidified and the airs which fill the vault of Heaven. The denser matter formed a smooth crust over the abyss.
Burnet theorised that this original uniform landmass was cloven asunder in a violent upheaval and sank down into the abyss, upon which it was founded, causing the waters below to engulf the whole World. Simultaneously, the floor of the Earth was contorted into mountain ranges, hills and valleys, with rocks strewn all around, while inside, hollows, dens, arches and cavernous tunnels appeared, some filled with water, some with air and vapours. This commotion has not yet settled as demonstrated by the frequency of volcanoes and earthquakes.
It should be noted that this theory is post-Copernicus and so when Burnet refers to the "convexity of the Earth" in his treatise, he means the globe, but like his contemporary, the Astronomer Royal, Sir Edmund Halley, he proposed that the Earth is hollow. No provision is made on the conventional globular model for vast reservoirs of waters below the Earth's crust. On the contrary, it is said to be comprised of solid rock which extreme temperatures cause to become molten and the heat intensifies until it reaches the furnace at it's core. Water would evaporate under such conditions.
Thomas Burnet summarises the course of events...
"Thus a new World appear’d, or the Earth put on its new form, and became divided into Sea and Land; and the Abysse, which from several Ages, even from the beginning of the World, had lain hid in the womb of the Earth, was brought to light and discover’d; the greatest part of it constituting our present Ocean, and the rest filling the lower cavities of the Earth: Upon the Land appear’d the Mountains and the Hills, and the Islands in the Sea, and the Rocks upon the shore. And so the Divine Providence, having prepar’d Nature for so great a change, at one stroke dissolv’d the frame of the old World, and made us a new one out of its ruines, which we now inhabit since the Deluge."
The coastlines, he observed are rugged and irregular, accompanied by clusters of islands, severed from the mainland by channels of sea. Others are sandy and level with the ocean, but in 1690 what lay beneath the seas was beyond his comprehension. He wrote; "...in the search of the deep? Or who can make a description of that which none hath seen?" Burnet presumed it had "all the common inequalities we see upon Land; besides these, ’tis very likely there are Caves under water, and hollow passages into the bowels of the Earth." Today, we can confirm he was partially correct, there are indeed bottomless trenches and mountainous ridges, but 50% of the ocean floor is Abyssal Plain, which are the flattest and smoothest regions on Earth.
This would attest to Burnet's concept of the Earth's original composition, as flat as a pancake! "Plain as the Elysian fields; if you travel it all over, you will not meet with a Mountain or a Rock, yet well provided of all things requisite for an habitable World..." It seems half of this smooth surface area remained intact when the land sunk into the abyss. What is visible above the retreating deluge, Burnet called "a ruine" which is our World; but it's permanence is not guaranteed either, because "the present Heavens and Earth have another constitution, whereby in like manner they are expos’d, in God's due time, to be consum’d or dissolv’d by Fire."
He proceeds to give an account of the Earth's environment when it was in it's paradisaical state and presents the evidence as to why in it's current condition it has the components to be consumed by conflagration in the future, but I will let the reader discover that for themselves, if they have the interest. Thomas Burnet laments: "The truth is, the generality of people have not sence and curiosity enough to raise a question concerning these things, or concerning the Original of them, so much is the World drown’d in stupidity and sensual pleasures, and so little inquisitive into the works of God and Nature." Some things never change!
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." - (Hamlet.)