Editor’s note: As Creation magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we
are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this. For teaching and
sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles below.
In the last few decades, a number of exciting space ventures have provided scientists with a great deal of new information about our solar system.1 Unfortunately, such discoveries are usually interpreted in terms of an age for the solar system of billions of years and as having come about by natural processes, without input from the hand of God.
Yet it is not just the Earth which displays the power and divine nature of its Creator (Romans 1:20). The sheer scale and variety of the solar system demonstrate God’s power and creativity.
New and better data often challenge evolutionary origins theories and their old age assumptions. For instance, the Voyager missions in the 1970s and 80s revealed surprising features in the beautiful rings of Saturn, which were found to possess a very detailed structure, described as ‘rings within rings within rings.’ The sharp edges of the rings and other evidences imply that the rings must be quite young in age.2
Scientists expected the surface of the small moon of Uranus, called Miranda, to be undramatic and uninteresting, since if it were very old, such a small moon should have little heat left for driving geological processes. Actually, Miranda’s surface has very extreme topography and many strange geological features that are difficult to understand if indeed it is very old.
Neptune, being the eighth planet from the Sun, would not be expected to have enough heat energy left for driving high speed winds after more than four billion years, yet it does. Measurements in late 1995 by the Galileo probe indicate a similar situation at Jupiter. Heat for driving the surprising turbulence and strong winds in Jupiter’s atmosphere must be coming from inside the planet, not from the Sun or any other external influence.3 Since the planets and moons are actually young, it is not difficult to understand how heat could still be present from within them.
One of the most amazing findings of the Voyager spacecraft was the two small moons of Saturn called Janus and Epimetheus which orbit extremely close to each other. One moon very gradually catches up with the other until about every four years the two objects revolve around each other so that they actually trade orbits! This is extraordinary, and requires a very unlikely delicate relationship between mass, speed, and distance.
There are a number of such ‘surprises’ which show that the Creator God is not limited to the naturalistic patterns predicted by evolutionary theories. In recent years scientists have been struck by the diversity and variety of objects found in the solar system. Planetary physicist David Stevenson, from Caltech, said recently: ‘The most striking outcome of planetary exploration is the diversity of the planets.’4 Another scientist put it this way: ‘I’m surprised at the versatility of nature … you put together the same basic materials and get startlingly different results. No two are alike; it’s like a zoo.’5 Like a zoo! Of course, since the same God made the animal kingdom and the solar system! It is not nature, but God who is versatile and creative.
Scientists have long argued, on the basis of their belief in a common evolutionary origin for the solar system, that studying other planets should help us understand our own. However, it seems this is not so. One planetary geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey said,
’I wish it were not so, but I’m somewhat skeptical that we’re going to learn an awful lot about Earth by looking at other planetary bodies. The more that we look at the different planets, the more each one seems to be unique.’4
Many characteristics of the Earth are quite unique, and recent discoveries underscoring this are causing a turn toward viewing planetology as a study of contrasts with Earth, not similarities to it.
Creationists are making exciting progress in explaining the geology of Earth in terms of catastrophic processes. But what about the geologies of the nine planets and over sixty moons of the solar system? Cratering, volcanism, and other geological processes are evident throughout.
Since there has not been 4.6 billion years of time for the above processes to occur, then something catastrophic must have occurred to explain the many craters and the unusual surface features on planets and moons.