by Bill Nugent
While much evidence for the necessity of an intelligent designer can be readily seen in the microscopic world of the awesome complexity of single celled life in this article we will shift focus away from the micro world to the macro realm of the universe. The solar system and indeed the universe itself seems to be ‘fine tuned’ in a very precise way to accommodate life. This fine tuning of the universe and the laws of physics to accommodate human life is called the anthropic principle.
The field of astronomy has produced many ardent creationists. There are many fine creationist writings on astronomy including Starlight and Time by Dr. D. Russell Humphreys.
So much evidence for intelligent design is observable in space that columnist George Will quipped “Soon the American Civil Liberties Union, or People for the American Way, or some similar faction of litigious secularism will file suit against NASA, charging that the Hubble Space Telescope unconstitutionally gives comfort to the religiously inclined.” (The Gospel from ScienceNewsweek 11/9/98 p. 88.)
One area of evidence for a recent creation of the Solar System is comets. Comets are objects composed of frozen water, carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia with an admixture of gritty dust particles. Comets orbit the Sun in regular, stable, defined, elliptical orbits. When a comet orbits closest to the Sun the icy nucleus partially melts and blows off as ionized gas and the comet is visible from earth. The comet loses a significant part of its mass every time it passes near the Sun. Short period comets orbit the Sun in less than 200 years; long period comets orbit the Sun in over 200 years.
Comets have long been a problem for those who believe in an old age of the Solar System. Comets burn out quickly and there is no replenishment mechanism. The theory that comets come from deep space and are captured by the Sun’s gravity has long been discredited even by noncreationist astronomers because the shapes of comets’ orbits are wrong for that type of origin. Astronomers are virtually unanimous in agreeing that comets are part of the Solar System and were formed when the Solar System was formed.
It became clear that comets could not have endured orbits around the Sun for the supposed multi-billion year age of the Solar System. They would have all burned out eons ago.
Dutch astronomer Jan Oort, around 1950, offered a hypothesis that there must be a cloud of comet nuclei out beyond the orbits of the planets. The Oort cloud hypothesis maintains that this cloud is as old as the Solar System and occasionally comet nuclei fall out of it to become visible comets. The Oort cloud hypothesis has many problems not the least of which is that it can’t be found even with the Hubble Space Telescope. Some noncreationist astronomers cling to the belief that it will be observable with more advanced technology.
Computer simulations of the Oort Cloud have shown that even if it did exist it ‘could not produce enough short period comets with the required low orbital inclinations.” (Comets and the Age of the Solar System, Dr. D. Faulkner, Cr. Ex Nihilo Tech. Journal 11(3): 264-273, 1997.)
The lack of plausibility of the Oort Cloud Hypothesis has caused some to turn to the Kuiper belt to grasp an explanation for replenishment of comets. The few objects discovered in the Kuiper belt (orbital range beyond Neptune) are much too large to become what has been observed to be short period comets. Also, astronomers agree that the Kuiper belt cannot produce long period comets.
In spite of the prodigious efforts of noncreationist astronomers it appears that the Kuiper belt and Oort Cloud hypotheses remain very tenuous and speculative. Comets still stand as evidence for recent creation of the Solar System. The Bible timeline of less than 10,000 years is once again supported by scientific evidence. Young solar system means young earth and young earth means too short a time to allow for evolution. Evolution, which is the secular origins myth, could not have occurred. Hence, we must look to the Creator.
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1 NAS.