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Young solar system evidence

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The Solar System, showing the Sun, Inner Planets, Asteroid Belt, Outer Planets, the dwarf planet Pluto, and a comet.

The solar system can be used to show consistency with the belief in a recent creation. Much of the evidence in support of a recent creation simply put an upper limit on the age of the Earth, solar system, or even universe, which are inconsistent with an ancient creation. For example, Russell Humphreys' argument based on the amount of salt in the ocean is designed to show the maximum possible age of the oceans based on uniformitarian assumptions, and thus shows that the oceans could not be as old as claimed; it is not designed to show the actual age of the oceans, and as such the resulting age, although far too great for the young Earth view, is not inconsistent with it.


Comets present a significant problem to those that would argue that the solar system is billions of years old.

Comets are purported to be enormous balls of dust and ice, and are numerous in the cosmos. In the solar system, a great number travel in elliptical paths around the sun, bringing them very close to the sun for brief periods of time. Every time a comet approaches the sun, the solar interaction sublimates some of the comet's material. Comets then can only orbit around the sun for at best 100,000 years before they disappear entirely, yet there are still many comets orbiting the sun. With secular astronomers teaching that the solar system is 4.5 billions of years old, they must explain this inconsistency.[1]

The current theory is an "Oort cloud", which is a "vast reservoir of icy masses orbiting far away from the sun." It is suggested that an occasional "icy mass" from this cloud enters the inner solar system and becomes a comet. As of yet, there is no scientific evidence to prove the existence of an Oort cloud, so it is all educated conjecture at this point in time.[1]

Scientists also propose a Kuiper belt that does exist, but it cannot be the source of the comets having the longest periods. Furthermore, a number of families of comets exists that have aphelia even shorter than the average radius of the Kuiper belt. Nor has anyone proposed a workable mechanism by which Kuiper belt objects could fall out of the belt and into the inner solar system on the highly elliptical orbits that comets have.

In 1984 paleontologists David Raup and Jack Sepkowski announced their hypothesis that extinction-level events occurred every 26 million years.[2] Then the astronomer Richard A. Muller proposed the existence of a companion star, named Nemesis, that had an orbital period of 26 million years and a perihelion that took it inside the Oort cloud to send devastating showers of comets into the inner solar system.[3] Astronomers have thus far failed to sight any such star.

Walt Brown has propounded a radical theory according to which comets have their origin in the earth itself, and particularly in the global flood.[4]

Recent Comet Observations

Recent observations have significantly challenged and now set-aside notions that a comet is made of water-ice or that any frozen solids exist on a comet at all. Close-up photographs of comets reveal that their jets are not uniform and their locations are volatile. No water or ice has ever been observed on a cometary body. Many scientists still hold to the unsupported notion of cometary ice contrary to recent observations. The absence of ice also closes the chapter on the never-observed Oort Cloud. While the commentary below recognize the light ionic/electrical interaction of a cometary body with its environment, it is not an endorsement of the larger Electric Universe Theory or Plasma Cosmology.

Upon closer observation with Comet Borelly in 2001[5], NASA has discovered that a cometary body is not made of icy "snowball" material as expected, but is rather a hard, darkened surface. This elicited a great stir of confusion among the proponents of the standard model of comets. Closer examination of more comets confirmed the same, that the comet is a hard, rocky surface marked with pointy structures and gouged erosion marks.

In 2011, Comet Lovejoy[6] hit the Sun's surface and ejected from another point in the Sun's surface. A "dirty snowball" would not have survived this.

In 2000, Comet Linear was recorded as having energetic x-ray glow surrounding the Sun-facing side of its nucleus[7]. All comets are now regularly seen with this feature[8]. X-ray glow is indicative of energetic electrical interaction, not possible from a "dirty snowball".

A comet's x-ray "tail" can be regularly seen in photographs as separate from the visibile cometary tail [9][10]

Comets have a measurable magnetic field[11][12]. A 'dirty snowball" could not maintain a magnetic field.

In 2005, the Deep Impact mission to Comet Tempel 1[13] yielded an astonishing result of a bright flare just before the probe hit the comet coupled with a highly energetic impact indicative of electrical discharge.

These observations collectively reveal that a cometary body is not made of snow and ice, but of a hard surface with latent electrical properties[14]. The gouged surface is indicative of light electric-discharge-machining from its latent electrical interactions with the environment[15].

The initial assertions of water-ice on comets was based on superficial presumptions, later given weight by additional indirect observations but had never been directly confirmed.

Magnetic field decay

Main Article: Geomagnetic field decay
The strength of planets' magnetic fields, such as that exhibited by the earth, seems to suggest a much younger age than several billion years.

In the solar system, many of the planets have powerful magnetic fields, fields that are generated by electrical currents. These electrical currents decay over time, so the magnetic fields should be extremely weak at this current age if the planets were billions of years old.[1]

The decay in the Earth's magnetic field is a significant indicator that the solar system cannot be old. They claim that it is lessening too rapidly. Secular scientists have hypothesized that the field reverses itself every certain number of years or else it has freely decayed from a higher value. The latter theory is considered untenable (by scientists on both sides) due both to the extreme effect ultra high fields in the past would have had on life and to the archaeological evidence that the field has apparently changed polarity. A great deal of speculation has ensued on both sides, as it is unclear how often the field reverses and by what mechanism. Talk.Origins[16] offers a typical response to this claim. CreationWiki offers this response in turn. Jonathan Sarfati[17] offers further information.

Russell Humphreys in 1984 developed a magnetic field creation model that assumes that God made all celestial bodies initially of water and then transmuted them to their present composition after the magnetic fields were established. He thus could calculate the total magnetic dipole moment of any celestial body at creation and set limits on the magnetic decay time, half life, and core conductivity of that body.

Humphreys used his model to make predictions for the magnetic fields of Neptune and Uranus, and published these prior to the measurement of those fields by Voyager 2. In fact, Voyager 2 validated Humphreys' predictions and embarrassed uniformitarians, who failed to predict that either Uranus or Neptune would have a magnetic field at all.[18][19]

Moon Recession

Main Article: Moon Recession

Astronomers have found that the moon is gradually moving away from the earth, moving about one and a half inches further away every year. Granted, this seems like a minor amount, but over time it becomes significant. In the past six thousand years, the moon has receded about 800 feet, a fact that does not disturb the biblical account of creation. Secular astronomers claim that both the moon and earth are over four billion years old; this belief however is jeopardized by the moon’s rate of recession as the moon would have been touching the earth only 1.4 billion years ago.[1] Besides, the earth's tidal forces would have shattered the moon had it ever been closer to the planet than 11,500 miles. These dates are vastly different than those of radiometric dates of moon rocks or the age of the moon according to evolution. [20] Main Article: Moon recession

Both creation and secular scientists have indicated that there is a problem with the distance the moon is from the Earth. In particular, its rate of departure seems high. This was noted by Kerr in a 1983 article for Science magazine. Donald DeYoung extrapolated plots of lunar distance in 1990. When new data was found using putatively old varves, DeYoung's extrapolation was supported. The problem is that this appears to put the Moon in contact with the earth only 1.5 billion years ago. Thompson, writing at Talk.Origins, suggests that DeYoung's model does not take dissipation and deformation appropriately into consideration.[21]

Moon dust

Main Article: Moon dust

The minimal quantify of moon dust was once used by young earth creationists as supporting evidence for a young moon. It was argued that based on current measurements of cosmic dust and its estimated rate of accumulation, the moon must be very young. It was also said that before the moon landings, there was considerable fear that astronauts would sink in the dust. The first recorded use of the argument was by Harold Slusher in an article published by the Creation Research Society in 1971.[22]Henry Morris likewise published the moon dust assertion in his book Scientific Creationism in 1974.[23]

However, most creationists now recognize the argument to be outdated and advise not to use it.[24] In April, 1993, Dr. Andrew Snelling and David E. Rush published an extensive, in-depth analysis of the issue in the Journal of Creation, 1993. In addition to reviewing data from chemical analysis of deep sea sediments & dust in polar ice and satellite observations, Snelling and Rush survey the literature on moon dust, providing a thorough assessment of the issue.[25]

Faint young sun paradox

The sun is powered by nuclear reactions which gradually burn up the sun's fuel and shrinks its core. As this occurs, the nuclear fusion should occur more readily and expel even more amounts of energy, causing the sun to shine brighter even as it ages. This also means that the sun was much dimmer in the past, but on a timescale of 3.8 billion years (the time when evolutionists believe life began on earth) the sun should have been 25% fainter back then. If this were the case, the earth would be frozen around –3ºC; also, the majority of paleontologists believe that the earth was warmer, not cooler, in the past.[26]

The problem with frozen water-ice on Earth, is the lack of liquid water for life to form. The Earth's crust has recorded the presence of liquid water since its earliest days after crustal solidification[27]. In a rebuttal to creationist claims[28] noting a computer-modeled conjecture and presupposition about early-Earth CO2 and methane levels are trotted out as the answer. However, computer models cannot be shielded from the bias of the modelers, so not surprisingly, in the wake of this gassy-based solution, NASA refuted the claims that the paradox had been resolved[29]. And so the paradox is still in play.

The Faint Young Sun is no mystery to creationists, who accept that the Earth was formed as stated, from liquid water first, with a fully functional Sun installed four days later. In short, the Sun was never faint.


Main Article: Helioseismology

Helioseismology - The core of the sun produces deuterium from hydrogen fusion at 5 million degrees K. The heat is transferred from the core by convection currents so it could reach surface in days, not a million years. It also leads to an age for the sun based on the deuterium/hydrogen ratio of the local interstellar medium of 6,000-12,857 years.

Interplanetary dust

Creationists have indicated that there is too much interplanetary dust in the solar system. The solar wind, solar gravitation and the Poynting-Robertson effect remove dust from the solar system, while comets and asteroids can contribute to the dust. An argument was issued by Robertson and Slusher in a 100 page monograph confirming that equations derived nearly fifty years earlier were essentially correct and the solar system was limited to a few thousand years without some hitherto unknown massive replacement method. At least half of this conclusion is supported by secular scientists who hold that the lifespan for a typical dust particle is about 10,000 years.

Mainstream scientists have not suggested other major sources of dust, and so one must assume they consider the dust created by meteors and comets sufficient.

A related, but qualitatively different, argument based on flux of particles (not their lifetime) has been largely abandoned by creation scientists.[30]

Lunar surface ghost craters

The moon has numerous "ghost craters" on its surface, suggesting an inexplicably long time between the moon's initial cooling and a later lava overflow. Creationists, such as Danny Faulkner, also object to the standard timeline for lunar evolution because they claim these ghost craters should be more plainly visible. This is discussed in brief by Fryman[31] and in more detail by Faulkner himself.[32]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Does the Bible say anything about astronomy? Dr. Jason Lisle, War of the Worldviews. 2005.
  2. Raup, D. M., and Sepkowski, J. J. "Periodicity of extinctions in the geologic past." Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 81(3):801-805, February 1984. doi:10.1073/pnas.81.3.801. Accessed June 10, 2008.
  3. Muller, Richard A., ed. "Nemesis." n.d. Accessed June 10, 2008.
  4. Brown, Walter. "The Origin of Comets." In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, online book, 1995-2008. Accessed July 20, 2008.
  16. Claim CD701: The earth's magnetic field is decaying at a rate indicating that the earth must be young. Talk.Origins
  17. Sarfati, Jonathan. "The earth's magnetic field: evidence that the earth is young." Creation, 20(2):15-17, March 1998. Accessed August 14, 2008.
  18. Humphreys, D. R. "The Creation of Planetary Magnetic Fields." Creation Research Society Quarterly 21(3), December 1984. Accessed April 29, 2008.
  19. Humphreys, D. R. "Beyond Neptune: Voyager II Supports Creation." Institute for Creation Research. Accessed April 30, 2008
  20. The moon: the light that rules the night Jonathan Sarfati. Creation 20(4):36–39. September 1998.
  21. Thompson, Tim. "The Recession of the Moon and the Age of the Earth-Moon System." Talk.Origins, 2000. Accessed August 14, 2008.
  22. Some Astronomical Evidences For A Youthful Solar System by Harold S. Slusher, M.S., Creation Research Society Quarterly Volume 8(1) June, 1971.
  23. Morris, Henry. 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p 152.
  24. Arguments we think creationists should NOT use Creation Ministries International, Accessed May 13, 2010.
  25. Moon dust and the age of the solar system by Dr Andrew A. Snelling and David E. Rush. Journal of Creation 7(1):2–42, April 1993.
  26. Our steady sun: a problem for billions of years by Jonathan Sarfati. Creation 26(3):52–53. June 2004.
  30. Snelling, Andrew A., and Rush, David E. "AiG Moon dust and the age of the solar system." Journal of Creation 7(1):2–42. April 1993
  31. Fryman, Helen. "Ghost Craters in the Sky: Is the Man in the Moon Telling us Something?" True Origin, 1998. Accessed August 14, 2008.
  32. Faulkner, Danny.A Biblically-based cratering theory. Journal of Creation 13(1):100-104, April 1999.

Further reading