Scientist’s research affirms parting of the Red Sea
By Anna Maria-Basquez
From his office in Boulder, scientist Carl Drews, having never been there, can—with Google Earth Pro imaging on his computer—pinpoint the location his research points to as the new theorized location of the Biblical miracle of the Crossing of the Red Sea.
The technology can zoom in on the place in Egypt where Moses and the Israelites escaped death when waters parted, according to the Book of Exodus. His virtual “pushpin” comes back with images of what is now predominately agricultural land, with orchards, irrigation canals and grape fields indicating vineyards.
It is in the Eastern Nile Delta, between Pelusium and Qantara, and 75 miles north of the most popular theorized place in Egypt, which has been the Suez Canal. And it’s travelable by foot.
“One of the places right in the middle of the crossing shows what looks like a hotel and some type of building,” said Drews, a member of Epiphany Anglican Fellowship in Boulder, a congregation under the umbrella of the Anglican Mission of the Americas out of Rwanda. “It would be fun to knock on their door and to say in Arabic, ‘Do you know that Moses walked right by here.’ It would probably elicit a form of disbelief. But perhaps people would say, ‘Well, maybe…’”
His own research elicited all but disbelief. In fact, it made the miracle ever more real, said the researcher who claimed to have always been enchanted by the miracle in the Book of Exodus.
“For anyone who always believed this happened, somehow it’s still a thrill to see it supported by scientific finding,” Drews said.
Drews, of Gunbarrel, took up the Crossing of the Red Sea for his master’s thesis for his degree in oceanic and atmospheric sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving national attention this year that included a segment by ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.
However, much of the attention reported that Drews’ research into the biblical miracle “explained” the phenomena of the parting of the Red Sea. That’s a statement the Boulder software engineer with the National Center for Atmospheric Research said he isn’t comfortable with.
“The science can only look at the physical aspects of it,” said Drews. “’Explanation’ means somehow God didn’t do it and I don’t like those connotations. I think my research further affirms it happened. I think it supports the account.”
The study was part of a project into the impact of winds on water depths, including the extent to which Pacific Ocean typhoons can drive storm surges, according to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).
“By pinpointing a possible site south of the Mediterranean Sea for the crossing, the study also could be of benefit to experts seeking to research whether such an event ever took place,” UCAR said in a statement. “Archaeologists and Egyptologists have found little direct evidence to substantiate many of the events described in Exodus.”
Drews and CU oceanographer Weiqing Han analyzed archaeological records, satellite measurements and current-day maps to estimate the water-flow and depth that could have existed 3,000 years ago. They then used an ocean computer model to simulate the impact of an overnight wind at that site.
The results were that a wind of 63 miles an hour, lasting for 12 hours, would have pushed back waters estimated to be 6 feet deep. That would have exposed mud flats for four hours, creating a dry passage about 2 to 2.5 miles long and 3 miles wide. As soon as the wind stopped, the waters would come rushing back, UCAR said in a statement…
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