It is often claimed that the Hawaiian Islands provide an impossible problem for biblical geology and the young earth. One skeptic put it this way:
The key observation that must be explained away is the linear relationship between the measured ages of these islands (more than 100 independent measurements) and their distance from the volcanic hotspot. You see, we have two independent sets of data (age and distance) that support the uniformity of movement of the Pacific plate over a period of 65 million years.1
Of course, the creationist Plate Tectonic Model is well able to account for this pattern within the biblical time scale.2
However, research reported just this week in Science raised questions about the hot-spot story itself.3 From the beginning of the paper the authors spoke about the problems of finding the hot spot:
The Hawaiian hotspot is often attributed to hot material rising from depth in the mantle, but efforts to detect a thermal plume seismically have been inconclusive.4
Instead of a hot spot, the researchers found what they have described as a pool of magma (molten rock) 800- to 2000-kilometer-wide over 1000 km west of Hawaii. They said:
hot material does not rise from the lower mantle through a narrow vertical plume.
In other words, they have not found any hot-spot under Hawaii. Instead, they reported:
[the hot material] accumulates near the base of the transition zone before being entrained in flow toward Hawaii and, perhaps, other islands….
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