He became a Christian at 26 and achieved notoriety for efforts to prove scientifically the Noachian flood. He created a computer simulation called Terra to model the flood. In 1985, Baumgardner joined the controversial amateur archaeologist Ron Wyatt and salvage expert David Fasold to Durupınar, Turkey for an expedition recounted in Fasold's The Ark of Noah to locate the biblical ship's remains. Baumgardner did not support Wyatt and Fasold claims to have found a boat-shaped 'object' which was the Ark. He argued that the object was a natural formation. In 1997, US News and World Report described him as "the world's pre-eminent expert in the design of computer models for geophysical convection".
In 2005, Baumgardner began to work with John Sanford to develop a numerical simulation program called Mendel's Accountant, which seeks to accurately model the accumulation of mutations in a genome.[non-primary source needed] This research was then used to test the validity of the neo-Darwinian theory, exposing as he says the "un-reality of the primary axiom".[non-primary source needed]
Baumgardner has a B.S. from Texas Tech University, an M.S. from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in geophysics and space physics from the University of California at Los Angeles.[unreliable source?] He worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and in 2002 joined the staff of the Institute for Creation Research. He is a member of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center.[unreliable source?]
According to Web of Science, he has published 20 peer-reviewed papers, including
- Bunge, H.P.; Richards, M.A.; — (1 February 1996). "Effect of depth-dependent viscosity on the planform of mantle convection". Letters to Nature. Nature 379 (6564): 436–8. Bibcode:1996Natur.379..436B. doi:10.1038/379436a0.
- "Three-dimensional treatment of convective flow in the earth's mantle". Journal of Statistical Physics 39 (5-6): 501–11. 1 June 1985. Bibcode:1985JSP....39..501B. doi:10.1007/BF01008348.
- Bunge, Hans-Peter; Richards, Mark A.; — (10 June 1997). "A sensitivity study of three-dimensional spherical mantle convection at 108 Rayleigh number: Effects of depth-dependent viscosity, heating mode, and an endothermic phase change". Journal of Geophysical Research 102 (B6): 11991–2007. Bibcode:1997JGR...10211991B. doi:10.1029/96JB03806.
- Moore, Randy; Decker, Mark; Cotner, Sehoya (2010). Chronology of the Evolution-creationism Controversy. ABC-CLIO. p. 321. ISBN 9780313362873.
- Newsweek 128 (1-14). p. 82.[full citation needed]
- Burr, Chandler (8 June 1997). "The Geophysics of God: A scientist embraces plate tectonics--and Noah's flood". U.S. News & World Report. pp. 55–8. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007.
- Fasold, David (1988). The Ark of Noah. New York: Wynwood. p. 7. ISBN 9780922066100.
- Baumgardner, John (26 September 1996). "Letter From John Baumgardner: Regarding the claims of Ron Wyatt". tentmaker.org. Hermann, MO: Tentmaker Ministries. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- "Amazing ark expose". Creation Magazine 14 (4). September 1992.
- Sanford, J.C.; Baumgardner, J.; Brewer, W.; Gibson, P. et al. (2007). "Mendel's Accountant: A biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program". Scalable Computing: Practice and Experience 8 (2): 147–65.
- Sanford, J.; Baumgardner, J.; Brewer, W.; Gibson, P. et al. (3–7 August 2008). "Using numerical simulation to test the validity of neo-Darwinian theory". In Snelling, Andrew. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Creationism. International Conference on Creationism. Pittsburgh, PA: Institute for Creation Research. ISBN 9780615190648.
- "John Baumgardner, Ph.D.". answersingenesis.org. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- "The Epiphany Project". icr.org. Institute for Creation Research. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- "John Baumgardner". ideacenter.org. Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center. Retrieved 1 May 2014.