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The Creation Explanation

Creation Explanation Design in the Universe

The Solar System Designed or Evolved?5

The solar system, of which our earth is a part, has as its center the sun around which nine planets revolve in roughly circular orbits which lie fairly close to the same plane. Associated with the planets are a total

1. The sun accounts for almost 99.9 percent of the mass of the solar system, yet about 98 percent of the rotational momentum of the system is in the planets.6 There is no know mechanical process which could accomplinsh this transfer of momentum from the sun to the planets. Therefore, astronomers have developed a scheme in which magnetic lines of force attached to the rotating sun dragged the condesing clouds of dust and gas around and transferred angular momentum to them from the sun. Some suggest that somehow this type of process transferred a large part of the sun's angular momentum entirely out of the Solar System. Others avoid the angular momentum problem by beginning their theorizing at a time after it has been cleared up by some unknown process. And still others remain critical of all current proposals, continuing to hope for something better.

An exceedingly delicate balance of conditions must be assumed to make the scheme seem plausible even in theory. The assumed temperature of the gas cloud must be sufficiently high to ionize the gas partly and thus provide for interaction between the matter and the magnetic lines of force. On the other hand the temperature must be sufficiently low to permit condensation of the material to form planets. These requirements are apparently contradictory. On the other hand, this process would require the sun to have a larger magnetic field than it now does, but there is no way to prove that it ever did. Some suggest that somehow this type of process tranferred much angular momentum entirely out of the Solar System. In view of the many unsettled issues and the numerous disagreements between leadisng authorities, perhaps one is justified asking, "Why not creation?"

A review of the results of the April 1972 Nice Symposium on the Origin of the Solar System concluded: "The Symposium has also served in delineating the areas of our ignorance, in particular in relation with the hydrodynamics of the nebula and with physico-chemistry of the 'sticking process.'"7 The "hydrodymanics of the nebula" involves the angular momentum problem which we have been discussing. Thus, though secular scientists believe a gas-dust cloud collapsed in the distant past to form the Solar System, they cannot bring together adequate theoretical explanatins sof how the process could have occurred. Needless to say, the hypothetical process cannot be demonstrated experimentally.

2. It seems that most of the solid dust particles in the early nebula would be composed of silicates. But laboratory experiments show that when particles of silicates collide they do not tend to stick together. However, it is speculated that the solid particles were made sticky by adsorbed gases or ices. Then, supposedly, chunks the size of golf balls could have formed, but there is no way to explain how the golf balls clumped together to form planets. This is all comprehended in the problem of the "sticking process" referred to in the previous quotation from the Nice Symposium review.. On this subject one of the symposium participants said, "We enter here into one of the most obscure chapters of our book."8 Another complained, "They have not given a plausible account of any process by which golf balls might be caused to produce an asteroid."9 Still another observed, "This symposium showed that we know next to nothing about the formation process of the solar nebula and its early evolution."10 But perhaps the sticking process is irrelevant, at least for the inner planets. The reason is that the sun's "Roche limit" extends to the orbit of the planet Jupiter, which means that out to that distance the gravitational action of the sun would disrupt the tenuous clouds of gas and dust which supposedly were proto-planets.11 As an example of this effect, the rings of Saturn will never coalesce to form satellites, for they are inside of Saturn's Roche limit.

3. No theory of the formation of the earth-moon system has yet succeeded in correlating all of the observed facts with the requirements of the laws of physics. The three principal theories are the formation of the moon by fission from the earth, capture of the moon by the earth, and accretion of the moon and earth together at the same time from a common cloud of gas and particles in the solar nebula.

a. The fission theory pictures the rotating earth speeding up as its heavier materials gravitated to its center. When the earth day had shortened to 2.6 hours the earth became unstable and spun offg the moon which then went into orbit about the earth. The problems with this theory are immense.12 In the first place, if the earth were originally homogeneous and the denser materials such as iron gravitated to the center as is presently considered to be the case, this would have increased the rate of spin by only about 13 percent. Thus the earth had to form with an initial rotation period of only 3 hours. This is so close to the spin rate for break-up that it is hard to see how the material could have stayed together to form the planet to begin with. Furthermore, oncse the moon had been spun off into an orbit, slowing down the earth by tidal friction. Two mnore difficulties arise at this point in the theory. The most serious is that half of the rotational momentum of the original spinning earth would have to be dissipated in some way, but no way is known for this to happen. Second, enough frictional energy would be released in the earth to heat its entire mass 1000 C. There is no evidence this ever happened. Finally, it is very probable that any moon spun off by rotation would simply crash back into the earth. The fission theory is really scientifically dead.

b. All capture theories suffer from the lack of a mechanism for slowing down the inbound visitor and disposing of the excess energy. Tidal friction in the earth could account for only a tiny part of this energy in the first pass, so the candidate moon would almost certainly not return for a second pass. One form of the theory requires the moon to approach earth at just the right (improbably slow) velocity and within two earth radii. But this is inside the Roche limit (2.89 earth radii), so earth's gravitational force would probably break up the incoming moon. Another problem is that the moon's present orbit to have begun by a process of chance capture.13

c. The most popular scenarios now have the moon forming together with the earth by condensation. of a cloud of gas and particles. It must be assumed, of course, that planets and moon can, indeed, form by such condensation. But in addition, this theory requires a delicate balance of the rate of growth and distance between the proto-moon and the proto-earth as they are growing, and also a gradual increase in the rate of rotation of the embryo moon. Nobody can prove that it could actually happen or did happen. Finally, there are distinct differences in density, composition and mineralogy of the earth and moon which seem to disagree with the idea of condensation from a common source cloud. For example, the moon is short of both metallic iron and volatile elements, and the moon rocks are very high in uranium compared with the earth.14

4. Although the nine planets and most of the satellites orbit around their parent bodies in the counterclockwise direction (viewed from the north polar direction), nevertheless eleven of the thirty-four satellites revolve in the opposite direction. All theories designed to explain these irregularities and the formation or capture of satellites have failed.

5. Although six of the planets rotate on their axes in the counter-clockwise direction, three of the nine--Mercury, Venus, and Uranus--rotate in the other direction. Furthermore, the axis of rotation of the planet Uranus lies almost in the plane of its orbit rather than roughly at right angles, as in the cases of the other planets. Theorists are hard put to explain these deviations from the pattern by means of any evolutionary scheme.

6. The idea that the sun could be formed by the gravitational collapse of a cloud of gas involves many theoretical difficulties. A gas cloud of the type presently observed out in space, unless sit were a number of times greater in mass than the sun, would tend to expand rather than contract. Just how massive it would have to be has long been disputed by cosmogonists.15 Furthermore, the cloud could not contract unless there were some way in which much of the resulting heat could be radiated out of the cloud. Some have questioned whether a process exists that could get this heat out of the cloud. When the cloud is reduced to approximately the volume of the present solar system, much of the nebula around the newly forming sun must be somehow blown out of the system, yet it is not clear how this house-cleaning occurred.

7. About twenty years ago a new mystery for astrophysicists arose from the fact that painstaking measurements failed to detect the predicted flow of neutrinos from the core of the sun. The nuclear fusion reaction which is believed to power the sun and other stars produces neutrinos, and all these years repeated efforts to detect them have indicated only a small fraction of the number required by theory. This serious problem is still unsolved in early 1992.

The failure to detect the neutrinos required by stellar theory and nuclear physics has led to speculation about possible explanations. Suggestions include the following: (1) nuclear reactions do not power the sun, (2) the nuclear reactions responsible are not yet fully understood, (3) neutrinos change character as they travel through space, and (4) periodic surges of nuclear activity produce the sun's energy and the neutrinos in spurts every million years or so, with slow diffusion of the energy to the surface. The first explanation leaves only gravitational collapse to power the sun, but this means that the sun could not be billions or millions of years old, and secularists can't swallow that, for it would preclude the possibility of evolution. It would be a neat solution for creationists, but since the temperature and pressure at the sun's center make it seemingly impossible that nuclear fusion is not occurring at a rapid rate, the proposed solution itself has serious difficulties. The second explanation is certainly a possibility, but an unpleasant one for the secularists to contemplate. The third explanation, changeable neutrinos, has been studied intensively but does not yet appear to be acceptable. The fourth explanation, that of surges of energy production in the sun's core, also has its problems. First, it does seem unlikely that the sun could appear to radiate with a relatively constant radiation of energy, even though the production of energy is so extremely pulsed as the theory holds. Furthermore, the required pulses of neutrinos have not been observed, and if they are separated by periods of thousands or millions of years, it leaves scientists with a theory for which there has been no observable evidence. All theoretical explanations offered to date are equally unsatisfactory.16

8. Another review of the Nice Symposium referred to earlier says: "Yet to be discussed adequately is the detailed fragmentation of the massive cloud in which protostars are born. Also in question are the hydrodynamics and the stability considerations of the protosun nebula. Most important, there remain to be specified (and carried out!) the crucial experimental tests that can distinguish between the available viable theories. It is particularly disappointing that we have almost no useful information on the specific solid state processes at work in the accretion phase."17 The reviewer goes onto quote seven fundamental questions posed by H. Reeves, the editor of the Symposium report:

Do the sun and planets originate in the same interstellar cloud?

If so, how was the planetary matter separated from the solar gas?

How massive was the nebula?

How did the collapsing cloud cross the thermal, magnetic, and angular momentum barriers?

What were the physical conditions in the nebula?

What was the mechanism of condensation and accretion?

How did the planets, with their present properties and solar distances, form?

8. Another international symposium on the Origin of the Solar System was held for two weeks at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1976, reported in Nature by David W. Hughes.18 About half of his report deals with problems and disagreements among the specialists. Six competing and generally contradictory scenarios for the collapse of the hypothetical gas-dust cloud were proposed by different authorities. Hughes concludes, "Diverse ideas and suggestions were put forward by many people but the list of unanswered questions remains uncomfortably long...The remaining questions are legion...Two weeks of stimulating mental activity was had by all."

The cause of all of this disagreement among astronomers and cosmogonists is the fact that the processes they are discussing have never been observed, and that they can in general not be reproduced experimentally. This is the common problem with most evolutionary hypotheses, either cosmic or biological. Is natural star formation possible and has it ever actually happened? The following comments by leading authorities are instructive: "...the cold dust and gas of the interstellar medium must be gathered into a blob or cloud of sufficient density to permit it to pull itself together under the attraction of gravity...no suitable theoretical picture has yet been proposed."19 "...If a protostar is an object into which mass is falling, then it is doubtful whether we have ever observed one. Indeed, outflow is typical of all the known spectra of young stars...the knotty problem of actually observing infall remains controversial."20 "...If stars did not exist it would be easy to prove that this is what we expect."21

It does seem clear that secularist scientists are acting on faith when they insist that the solar system evolved from a nebular cloud.

9. The earth-sun system, which is to man the most important segment of the solar system is beautifully and delicately balanced to provide an environment on the earth's surface suitable for habitation by man. A number of the provisions for man's welfare on earth are detailed in Chapter-1. The probability that all of these factors would be found conjoined on the same planet is astronomically small. Our conclusion, supported not only by faith, but also by a sober appraisal of the facts of the case, is that Earth came into being as a result of intelligent, purposeful design and divine power.

 

References

5. Pasachoff, Jay M., Contemporary Astronomy (W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1977), pp. 284-288; Steidl, Paul, The Earth, the Stars, and the Bible (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich, 1979), p. 429.

6. Kaula, W.M., An Introduction to Planetary Physics (John Wiley and Sons, New ork, 1968), p. 429.

7. Reeves, H., Icarus, Vol. 19(1973), pp. 604-616.

8. Reeves, H., in On the Origin of the Solar System (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, 1974), p. 41.

9. McCrea, W.H., ibid., p. 368.

10. Levin, B.J., ibid., p. 370.

11. McRead, W.H., ibid., p. 2.

12. Goldreich, Peter, Scientific American, Vol. 226, April 1972, pp. 43-52.

13. Whitcomb, John C., and Donal B. DeYoung, The Moon--Its Creation, Form and Significance (BMH Books, Winona Lake, Ind., 1978), pp. 37-42.

14. Hammond, A.L., Science, Vol. 192, 28 May 1976, p. 875; Hays, James Fred, Physics of Earth and Planetary Interiors, Vol. 5 (1972), pp. 77-84.

15. Spitzer, L., Origin of the Solar System, Robert Jastrow and A.G.W. Cameron, Editors Academic Press, New York, 1963), p. 45.

16. Anon., Nature, Vol. 247, 15 Feb. 1974, p. 427; "Science and the Citizen," Scientific American, Vol. 233, Aug. 1975, p. 47; Trefil, J.S., et al., Nature, Vol. 302, 10 March 1983, pp. 111-113.

17. Rasool, Ichtiaque, Science, Vol. 183, 8 Feb. 1974, p. 504.

18. Hughes, David W., Nature, Vol. 261, 6 May 1976, pp. 15-16.

19. Aller, Lawrence H., Nature, Vol. 261, 6 May 1975, pp. 15-18.

20. Morrison, David, Mercury, Sept./Oct. 1975, p. 29.

21. Burbidge, Geoffrey, quoted in Aller, L.H., and McLaughlin, D.G., Stellar Structure (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1965), p. 577.

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