How Science Works: Are There Actual Facts in This “Science” Article? Probably, Possibly, Maybe, Could Be it is Believed

Posted by Chris Parker | January 6, 2010 3

In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. Gen 1:1

Following is a science article written to inform and to enlighten. It summarizes “new suppositions” presented at a recent American Astronomical Society function.

We were struck by how few “facts” are in the article versus conjecture. It is often said that the Bible is not “scientific” in that it doesn’t try to explain how something was done; i.e. God created the Heavens and the earth doesn’t attempt to explain how He created them.

Here however is a classic “science” article practically devoid of actual facts which is the opposite of what we expect science to be. So what do we learn here? We highlight speculation and or faith versus fact or actual knowledge in the article.

Solar system may be more compact than thought
January 2010 by Rachel Courtland, Washington, DC

The solar system may be significantly more compact than previously thought, according to a new computer simulation of the cloud of comets that enshrouds the solar system. The work suggests the cloud may not contain as much material as once suspected, which could resolve a long-standing problem in models of how the planets formed.

Long-period comets, which take longer than 200 years to orbit the sun, come from all directions in the sky, an observation that has long led scientists to believe that they were nudged out of a diffuse halo of icy objects surrounding the solar system – the Oort Cloud.

The objects probably formed from the same disc of material that gave rise to the planets but were scattered outwards by Jupiter and Saturn a few hundred million years after their birth.

The Oort Cloud is too dim to be seen by telescopes, but astronomers believe it has two components. Long-period comets were thought to originate in an outer portion extending from 20,000 to 200,000 astronomical units from the sun (where 1 AU is the Earth-sun distance).

Solar system models also predict the existence of an inner shell that stretches some 3000 to 20,000 AU from the sun. But researchers believed that objects orbiting inside this shell would never come close enough to the sun to produce glorious cometary displays because they would be ejected into interstellar space once they approached Jupiter and Saturn.

A new computer simulation suggests this gravitational barrier might instead be “leaky”, allowing a number of objects to pass inside Jupiter’s orbit. Jupiter and Saturn may actually nudge the interlopers onto elongated paths that bring them closer to the sun.

Persistent mystery

The work suggests that more than half of all long-period comets could come from this unseen “inner” Oort Cloud, which would mean that the solar system is much more compact than thought.

There may not be nearly as much stuff as far out as we thought,” says Nathan Kaib of the University of Washington in Seattle, who presented the RESULTS! on Tuesday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, DC.

“The region of the Oort Cloud that is not supposed to produce any comets may be the dominant producer of comets.”

That could help solve a persistent mystery about the solar system. Hundreds of long-period comets have been catalogued, and their numbers had suggested that the outer Oort Cloud might contain about 40 times as much mass as Earth……Source:NewScientist; Excerpted.

Test on Friday?

3 Responses

  • Administrator

    From Daniel Moore:

    Interesting piece on how the astronomical establishment is backpedalling and “hypothesizing” about the structure of the Solar System. As with biological and paleontological origins (actually paleontology is an “extinct” science!), they put themselves in indefensible positions because of their refusal to accept the truth of Special Creation.

    What the astronomers conveniently ignore is that they had a major “dog in the manger”: Professor Tom Van Flandern, one of the most respected astro-physicists in the business. I corresponded with Tom several times. He was certainly no Creationist–in fact, I didn’t even broach the topic of origins. But he was a leading exponent of the “exploded planet hypothesis” (EPH).

    He explained the derangement of the Solar System and the origin of meteoroids, comets, and asteroids by the explosion of one or more planets (Planet Five, etc.). Of course his time scale was in millions and billions of years ago. As I’ve said before, the EPH can explain the state of the Solar System and the Great Flood on Earth. The “mechanism” behind the explosion is the only possible one: God.

    I couldn’t agree more with your comments on Avatar and science fiction. I’ve been reading the stuff for fifty years, though less now. We just have to filter all of it through the Bible. I liked Avatar. Regards.–Dan Moore

  • Administrator


    With respect to Prof Van Flandern’s theories; have you read anything about Titius-Bode? This is a mathematical relationship that apparently exists between the outer orbits of the various planets in our solar system.

    Although not addressed in this article nor among those who published re this relationship, if true it would seem to preclude any missing or exploded planets…..

  • Administrator

    From Daniel Moore

    Anent the Titius-Bode Rule: Kepler noticed the disparity in orbits between Mars and Jupiter. Later Titius postulated that there should be something between the two planets; then Bode formulated the Rule. It stated that each planet was roughly twice as far out as the previous one. Telescopic observation finally showed the Asteroid Belt.

    Most astronomers have felt that the Belt is evidence of an incomplete planet, one that never accreted properly. There has always been a strong dissent, from Lagrange and others, who felt that there was a planet (“Planet Five”) that broke up or exploded. Only problem: not enough material to make up a planet.

    Enter Van Flandern and Co. with the exploded planet hypothesis (EPH). Tom and others calculated that if a sizable planet exploded violently most of the material would have been blown out of the System. What’s left is the Asteroid Belt, comets, and meteoroids. TVF showed mathematically that all of the latter two could be traced back to an original point.

    My point (and I’m not alone) is that God didn’t create the Solar System in its present, deranged state. The explosion of Planet Five would account for various destruction and disruption in the SS. And it would account for the Great Flood on Earth! TVF could never quite account for the mechanism that caused the explosion of Planet Five. He was not a Creationist. The answer is obvious: God.–Dan Moore

    P.S. –I forgot to mention a couple of excellent links: Lambert Dolphin has an excellent site (which I believe you’ve mentioned) Amateur astronomer J. Timothy Unruh has posted a book, Phaeton: The Lost Planet, which is briliant and informative. The link is “”
    Tom Van Flandern’s site is Unfortunately, Tom died last year, so the site is in stasis.–Dan Moore

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