13. The Sun of God
“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Jn 1:3-5 (ESV)
According to Genesis 1, light existed on earth before the sun was formed. White hole cosmology explains how natural light would have been present at the surface of our planet before in the brief period before the sun was formed. Genesis requires this event to have taken place just a few thousand years ago. Big Bang cosmology, in accordance with Materialist beliefs, predicts the sun formed with or before our planet over a very long period, billions of years ago. In that model our solar system “evolved” from dust into its present form. For the sake of discussion we will call this aspect of non-biblical cosmology “Cosmic Evolution.” It is time now to consider the evidence within our solar system and ask which model best predicts our observations.
The sun contains about 98% of the total mass of our solar system. It is made mostly of hydrogen. The surface at the equator rotates on axis faster than the poles. The core is believed to rotate about once every 27 days. The surface of the sun is believed to be about 11,000°F.
Most stars are not of the energy range, light range, composition, size, or stability as our sun. Near the center of the Milky Way there is tremendous violent radiation making life anywhere near the nucleus highly unlikely. Earth is in the right part of the galaxy, orbiting the right size and composition star at the right distance, at the right speed, with the right solar and lunar gravitational forces, the right magnetic force, the right ozone, the right outer radiation belt, the right amount of hydrogen and helium in the atmosphere, the right amount of oxygen, the right amount of water, the right temperature range, with all the right chemistry to support life. The sun is of the right size (mass, density, volume) and composition to provide a very stable thermal and radiation output. Size also determines the amount of solar gravity. A larger or smaller sun would require Earth to be farther out or closer in, but it would also have a different composition and thermal output that might not be compatible with life. The size and distance ratio also impacts the relatively circular orbit Earth enjoys. If earth’s orbit were too oblong the temperature changes in our atmosphere would be too extreme for life. The odds are considerably lower than one in ten billion of life, yet here we are.
The sun is a giant fusion power plant. It is made mostly hydrogen. The intense gravity causes fusion of hydrogen which in turn releases heat and light. It has a definite maximum life span as a useful fusion engine. As the hydrogen fuel burns it converts to helium. Helium is more dense, but it is also a much less efficient fusion fuel. As the efficiency drops so also heat and light output will eventually decrease. As density increases, size decreases. Although this sounds like common sense, many astrophysicists deny that our sun is currently shrinking, In fact, many claim the sun will swell due to increased heating as more hydrogen is forced from the core to the surface before the late stage burn out causes rapid shrinking. Observations, however, indicate the sun is shrinking at a very small but measurable rate. Visual measurements by astronomers in the 1970s have been largely ignored or discredited on the basis of the measurement methods and solar cycle during the measurement period. Other measurements by different means have also concluded the sun is shrinking. One of the most recent, in 2004, measured gravity waves using spectrographic equipment. Conclusions by independent scientists suggest the sun’s radius is shrinking at a relatively constant rate of 1.5 to 6 kilometers per year (the average is about 2.5 km/year). That rate wouldn’t mean much over 6000 years, but over a billion years it would require the earth to have once been inside the sun’s corona—or else Earth’s orbital distance has been shrinking in proportion to the sun’s lost size. Computations based on real observations do not support this as even a remote possibility. If the sun did not change size and our orbit has not changed, then it seems the light and heat from the sun have not changed either. The sun would have to have been extremely stable indeed to have remained so constant over billions of years. The fuel burn rate of the sun is a matter of considerable debate, but if those who theorize the sun will increase in size before it decreases, then it stands to reason that several million years ago it was smaller and not as hot (at Earth) as now. If that is true then where is the heat needed for primordial soup to create life?
Cosmic Evolution predicts that planets form from the heavy stuff of space dust spinning with centrifugal force out from the dense center where the sun forms. Dust gathers by gravitational pull into small bodies, similar to the solar condensation, then form rock or gas balls. These planets form at various distances from the overall center of gravity (sun). Entropy predicts almost exactly the opposite. Rotational forces should cause the lighter elements to be flung out and the heavy matter should gather into the core. The organization of heavy elements into spheres also defies logic. Even given a strong center of gravity pulling against the centripetal force of the orbiting planets, the organization of dust and debris into nice spheres defies entropy.
The ecliptic is the flat plane where the planets orbit the sun. The orbits of Mercury and Pluto are substantially out of the ecliptic plane compared with the other planets. Many other small objects in the solar system, like comets and asteroids, orbit much farther out of the ecliptic plane. Orbits at extreme angles to the ecliptic present a problem for Cosmic Evolution models, but not for a solar system ordered by an inscrutable divine mind.
Most planetary orbits in our solar system are only slightly oblong. Only a few planets have been discovered orbiting nearby stars, but those which have been discovered appear to have extremely elliptical orbits. This suggests our own solar system is vastly better designed to support life than at least our nearest neighbors. The special nature of our system defies the Copernicus Principle.
Venus orbits with retrograde rotation. If the solar system formed as Cosmic Evolutionists suggest, a body with retrograde spin should not be possible and if it did happen, its orbit should decay until it falls into whatever it orbits. In the case of Venus, it should have fallen into the sun long ago. Never the less, Venus is in seemingly stable orbit. Uranus’ axis lies nearly parallel to the ecliptic—another peculiarity that should not be sustainable for billions of years. A number of moons orbiting outer planets have retrograde rotations. Triton, a moon of Neptune, has a strong retrograde rotation. Over billions of years moons like Triton should have long since crashed into their host planet. They have not. Although retrograde rotations are problematic for Cosmic Evolution, they are no problem at all for a solar system only a few thousand years old.
Comets are essentially dirty snowballs in space. Hundreds of comets have been catalogued. Many comets have extremely elliptical orbits at angles far off the ecliptic plane. Comets appear to have tails. The tails are made of dust and ice that break away from the core and fall out, trailing and eventually dispersing. As comets pass near the sun, its heat melts some of the surface of the comet. This in turn increases the deterioration of its core. As the debris drifts out into the tail, the melted debris drifts apart, some of which eventually falls into the sun due to gravity. Eventually any comets that pass nearer to the sun than Earth would evaporate completely and disappear. Comets do not present a problem for a young solar system, but there should be few if any comets left at all in the solar system after billions of years.
An asteroid belt orbits along the ecliptic between Mars and Jupiter. Its origin is unknown and it presents no significant danger to Earth. It seems odd that such a debris field would remain intact over billions of years. This asteroid belt does not appear to be the main source of meteors. Other freely orbiting asteroids pass through the rest of the solar system on and off the ecliptic plane, often with highly elliptical orbits.
Most if not all planets and moons have the tell-tale pock marks of meteorite and asteroid impacts. Earth is no exception. There are giant craters in very diverse places around the globe. A popular Cosmic Evolution theory for dinosaur extinction is that a giant asteroid hit the earth and the resulting cloud cooled the surface resulting in mass extinction of the large beasts. Although there is clear evidence of impacts on Earth, there is no compelling evidence that any of these could have thrown enough debris into the sky to cause plant and animal extinction on a planetary scale. Amazingly, Earth does not have anywhere near the number of impact sites observed on other planets or our own moon. The “dark side” of the moon is very heavily covered in craters compared with the side facing Earth.
It is theorized that an as yet undetected debris field far out beyond Pluto’s orbit called the Ort Cloud is the source of a relatively constant flow of new comets, meteors and asteroids. The Ort Cloud has yet to be observed and theories about how it spews debris into the interior of the solar system, if it exists at all, are far from being proven. This imaginary source of comets and other natural debris is needed to satisfy Cosmic Evolution, but is not required by the Creation model.
The moon is about ¼ the size of the Earth and orbits at an average of about 250,000 miles away. The moon orbits the earth every 29.5 days. Except for a small amount of wobble, the same side moon always faces Earth (the other side is called the “dark side”). The dark side is heavily cratered compared to the near side. The moon has no magnetic field. Lunar chemistry is fundamentally different from earth chemistry.
According to Gen 1:14-19, God made the moon on Day 4. There are three Cosmic Evolution theories for the origin of our moon. The “daughter” theory says that the moon broke away from the Earth at or shortly after the formation of the solar system. Rock samples from moon landings show that our moon’s chemistry is fundamentally different from the Earth. Lunar chemistry invalidates the daughter theory. The “wife” theory says the moon is just a giant asteroid captured by earth’s gravity. This would explain the moon’s unique chemistry, but it creates a whole list of other problems. The moon’s nearly perfect orbit with the same side always facing earth is fantastic. The moon is as nearly a perfect sphere as the earth. Scientists generally agree that spherical bodies in our solar system are the oldest. An asteroid from elsewhere should be pock marked all over its surface, but the dark side is much more heavily cratered than the side facing earth. The “sister” theory says that the earth and moon formed together when the solar system formed. It only superficially addresses the problems with the first two theories. This theory does not require like chemistry and it addresses problems with the difference in cratering.
The biggest problem with each of the Cosmic Evolution theories is the need for the lunar orbit to be at perfect equilibrium. It must remain the same distance from Earth over billions of years. The moon is known to be moving away from Earth at an average of several inches per year. At 6 inches per year, it would take close to 10,000 years to drift a mile—not a problem for the Creation model. At 1 million years it would have to have drifted 100 miles. Such a change would radically impact ocean tides. 1 billion years ago the moon would have been 10,000 miles closer to earth and that would be close enough to affect tectonic plates. Aside from tidal problems, if the moon were just a few thousand miles closer it would have crashed into the earth instead of drifting out. The math is actually much more complicated since distance and orbital rate are not linear, but suffice it to say even the small increases in the moon’s orbital distance we see today present an incredible problem for an Materialist theories.
The moon is needed, if for no other reason, to generate and maintain the tides. Without tidal force the oceans would have no circulating currents and probably no life. Ocean currents drive wind and push the water cycle along.
When the moon passes between the Earth and sun it casts a shadow on a small area of the Earth. This is called a solar eclipse. This can only happen during a “new moon” and then only when the earth and moon are perfectly aligned on the ecliptic plane. When Earth passes directly between the sun and moon, the shadow of the earth is large enough to completely hide the moon in lunar eclipse. If the moon were even slightly bigger or smaller (or if it were much farther out or closer in), neither type of eclipse would be possible. Without near perfect solar eclipses, a number of astronomic measurements that have proven critical to our current understanding of the solar system and the universe could never have been performed.
Related Topics: Creation