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Creation 36(1):52–53, January 2014

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Water in the Moon!

‘Wholly unexpected’ says secular science



Scientists at the University of Michigan have made an important discovery—they’ve found a lot of water in rocks that derive from deep inside the interior of the moon. The water is chemically ‘bound up’ within the moon rock.1

Today’s dominant secular theory says that the moon formed nearly 4.5 billion years ago from molten material blasted off the new earth by collision with a Mars-sized object.2 Then this extremely hot molten material supposedly coalesced to form our moon.

Based on that theory, secular scientists predicted that any water present during the molten early stage of the moon would have boiled off and evaporated into space, leaving the moon and its rocks bone dry. This is what they expected to find, and for many years believed that this had been confirmed by analysis of rock samples returned from the Apollo missions to the moon. But the truth has now turned out to be precisely the opposite. Volcanic flows from deep within the moon’s mantle that had cooled on the surface were collected during the moon landings of 1969–1972. These rock samples have recently been re-analyzed.3

Moon rocks re-examined

The discovery of water was made after converging lines of evidence in the last few years began to support the idea of a ‘wet’ moon. Scientists recently decided to look again at the Apollo moon rock samples, this time more carefully. They used today’s more advanced analytical techniques, and revealed significant concentrations of water held within tiny volcanic glass beads. Surprisingly, the scientists of the 1970s who first analyzed the samples didn’t find any water, or if they did they assumed it was from contamination after the rocks were brought back to earth. They assumed that the dry moon theory had been confirmed. To what extent their preconceived ideas had influenced their methods of analysis, and depth of scientific inquiry, is not clear. Did the original scientists not bother to scrupulously analyze the Apollo moon rocks for any signs of water because they believed they would find none? If so, this would be another example of long-age/evolutionary assumptions slowing down the advancement of scientific knowledge.

Geologists are intrigued by the new discovery because the rock is a type of feldspar that is conventionally understood to be chemically ‘very dry’—no water should be present at all. Secular planetary scientists are highly puzzled, declaring the moon’s formation to now be “a mystery”.4 Not only has water been found in the interior rock, but probes sent to the moon in recent years have found large amounts of water on the surface. One crater is believed to hold as much as a billion gallons of water ice.5 Planetary scientist Paul G. Lucey commented that he was “completely blown away” by these new findings.6 Some scientists think that the surface water could have come from meteorite impacts, but they acknowledge that no known mechanism can account for the water in the interior of the moon that, chemically speaking, must have been there ‘from the beginning’.

Scientists now accept that large amounts of water were present at the very first moments of the formation of the moon. As it began to form, the material from which it was made must have been wet. The amount of water is large—there’s as much water in these moon rocks as there is in basalt that forms under the earth’s sea floor at the mid-ocean ridges.7 We’re talking very damp!8

Problems with theories

A glaring problem for secularists is the orthodox theory of how astronomical bodies such as planets and moons formed. According to secular theory, they began as molten spheres, which then slowly cooled. Secular planetary scientists, grappling with the new discovery of water deep within the moon, have recently come out with some ideas to try to explain it, but each idea they raise cannot get around the ‘molten’ problem discussed above, and other problems (see below). They say that the moon might have gotten its water from the early earth, even though the molten rock would have driven off all volatiles (easily evaporated substances). Or, failing that hypothesis, they say the moon might have derived its water from meteorites. But neither idea fits with secular formation hypotheses.

What about the earth? Where did it get its water from? Planetary scientists know that the earth is far too close to the sun to have gained any water from the disc of material that secular scientists believe formed our solar system. Some secularists have tried to imagine unlikely scenarios of the earth radically changing its position amongst the planets, whereby our planet acquired its water much farther out in the solar system and then somehow migrated to its current position much closer to the sun. But this would take a lot of time, even if it were possible. There is no reason for it to occur, and no evidence or observation that any such planetary migration has ever taken place; or that such a mechanism could in any case provide water to the earth. It is wild speculation.

Time defeats the secular, naturalistic hypotheses in other ways, too. Many scientists believe that the earth’s oceans were themselves largely derived from icy meteorite impacts. But the amount of water in the earth’s oceans (and in its interior rocks) is so amazingly vast that there is simply not enough time available to fit the theory. How can the earth have had time to acquire its water by the incredibly slow process of accumulated meteorite impacts? Secularists are in a difficult situation because they know that water cannot appear in space out of nowhere. They feel compelled to try to explain naturalistically where it came from—but they are running out of ideas.9

Leaving aside the problem of how the earth acquired its vast reserves of water, some scientists say that icy meteorites must at least have provided the moon’s water. But if this is so, how did the water become chemically bound-up with the interior rock of the moon? The watery inclusions in the rock are inconsistent with the idea that icy meteorites crashed into and altered the interior of the moon after it had already formed and solidified. But if it happened when the moon was completely molten, the heat problem ‘sinks’ the hypothesis, because all the water would have been driven off into space. And such a bombardment would have to occur at the very beginning, as scientists know from the rock ‘geochemistry’ that the water was there from the very first moments of the moon’s formation.

Another revelation that has recently come to light is that the moon appears to still be geologically active. Points of light are frequently seen from telescopes on earth suggesting that lava is appearing at the surface.10 This is a sign of geological youth.11 Secular science predicted the moon would be too old to retain its interior heat over the billions of years claimed.

God created

In the Bible, God tells us that He formed the earth from water, and by water.12 In other words, the earth had a watery, not molten, beginning.13 He also tells us that He made the moon on Day 4 complete and ready to fulfil its purpose. The irrefutable evidence of the moon’s watery beginning, a startling discovery of modern science, is entirely consistent with the claims of the Bible. It certainly ‘rings true’ with what God has told us of the creation of the earth and its companion moon.

References and notes

  1. Erickson, J., Water on the moon: it’s been there all along, ns.umich.edu, accessed 31 May 2013. Return to text.
  2. Postulated by long-agers, but never observed by science. Return to text.
  3. It is known that the rock samples represent the deep interior of the moon by their composition. Return to text.
  4. Khan, A., New look at Apollo moon rocks reveals signs of ‘native’ water, Los Angeles Times articles.latimes.com, accessed 31 May 2013. Return to text.
  5. The surface of the moon gets very hot from the sun, but areas that are in permanent shade, such as the bottom of craters, remain cold. Return to text.
  6. Water found on moon could lead to lunar colonies,www.news.com.au, 24 September 2009, accessed 31 May 2013. Return to text.
  7. Hauri, E.H., Weinreich, T., Saal, A.E., Rutherford, M.C. and Van Orman, J.A., High pre-eruptive water contents preserved in lunar melt inclusions, Science 333(6039):213–215, 2011; www.sciencemag.org. Return to text.
  8. Further amazing confirmation of a watery beginning for the moon is seen in granite found on its surface. It was long-believed granite formation on the moon was impossible. See Silvestru, E., The not-so-dark side of the Moon, creation.com/young-moon-active-mantle, 23 August 2011. Return to text.
  9. See also independent evidence in Samec, R.G., Lunar formation—Collision theory fails, J. Creation 27(2):11–12, 2013. Return to text.
  10. Walker, T., NASA pictures support biblical origin for Moon, Creation 33(2):50–52, 2011; creation.com/nasa-shrinking-moon. Return to text.
  11. The moon is too small to retain significant internal heat over the vast ages claimed by secular scientists. Return to text.
  12. Genesis 1:2; 2 Peter 3:3–5. One of the leading scientists involved in the new research, Alberto Saal, recently said “The implication, though I cannot absolutely prove it, is that probably the earth formed with water.” Return to text.
  13. See Humphreys, D.R., Starlight and Time: Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe, Master Books, USA, 1994. In Chapter 2, the author gives a possible scenario for the beginnings of the earth’s molten core, consistent with Scripture and the laws of physics. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

P. T.
Just a thought for Matthew R: read 2 Peter 3:5 -...by God's word the...earth was formed out of water and by water....etc.
After considering this excellent and encouraging article, what can we say? God has done what He decided is fit, and He has graciously permitted CMI (who diligently seek to know/understand His truth) to convey some understanding of it to us also. Awesome.
Thanks CMI for many very helpful articles. May our Lord delight to bless you in continuing to do this great work of His.
Erik W.
To Matthew R, that is fair and I would never hold it up as an article of faith as a non-essential. It is an inference from an exegetical study of the text -- so, neither pure eisegesis or exegesis. It does make an assumption, but it's based in the text.

This is why it makes sense to me that the whole universe was water, and not just that the earth was covered by it, with land already made:

Genesis says that the earth was formless and void. This is a difficult passage to interpret, but when you think of the entire cosmos as an amorphous glob of water, then there would be no physical distinction between the water that was "the earth," and the water that was "not the earth." (recall that "the heavens and the earth" is a merism meaning "everything"). If God made the earth as a sphere of any material, be it water or only partly water, would nevertheless have been "with form," because a sphere is a definitely recognizable mathematical object, with definite dimensions.

But if all the matter was uniformly dispersed in a region of space, then the only thing that would designate some of it as 'the earth' would be a determination in the mind of God, to make the earth within a three-dimensional region of said space.

That way, the earth -- the matter that would become it -- can certainly be said to exist, while at the same time, because it had no definite boundaries between the cosmos and the earth, it could still certainly be said that the earth had no form.

It appeals to me for its mathematical simplicity. I hope this serves as an intriguing thought-provoker.

But if it doesn't persuade you personally, Matthew, I won't argue the point. :)

The different creation models are nevertheless useful to be aware of, as aids in conversations with OECs and unbelievers.
Matthew R.
I don't know if the Earth was created from water, but the Genesis account does not say it was. It only states that the waters were gathered together to reveal the dry land. It may be that water and land were created together and that the land was merely covered by the water at first.
Robert N.
This is pretty cool, so there is water in the moon and it is geologically active? Wouldn't that remove a few steps in the colonisation process? i.e. we have a way to produce heat, we have a way to get water, now we just need to have shelter with air producing capabilities or figure out how to get an atmosphere going and then we can colonise the moon!
Robert W.
Ah, the mysteries of our Great God, YHWH.
What isn't mystery though is that we can have complete confidence in what He has given us in His Word. For God to have supplied every detail would have filled the earth with volumes of Bibles we would have gotten lost in trying to study. How perfect is the Book He saw fit to reveal to us, just perfect for comfortable study in line with our abilities to comprehend. Yet chock full of all we need to know. The good and the bad are there, in truthful honesty.
Once again, mankind will tweak his "theory", in this latest moon finding, as science must continually do in all areas of advanced study.
Yet advanced study of our Bible only grows our confidence that God is true.
Praise Him, let everything that has breath praise Him.
The "Big Bang" indeed may have been a Big Splash.
Erik W.
I think Russel Humphrey's "everything from water" cosmogony is one of the most elegant predictive theories arising out of Biblical Creation research. Start with a simple hypothesis: that based on the first few verses in Genesis 1, the original matter that everything in the universe was made from was water. And from that "flows" an amazing abundance of convincing explanations for why the various heavenly bodies demonstrate the characteristics they possess. Such simplicity.

"Young-earth" Creationism isn't persuasive because it has an answer for every objection. It's amazing via Occam's Razor -- that it has VERY FEW answers, that address a vast amount of skepticism with a single blow.

Its explanatory power is what convinced me, from a scientific angle, after it was already plain that the Scriptures unavoidably taught a recent creation.

It's amazing that people can still have doubt in this era. Next to the rare generations who lived to see the miracles of the prophets, apostles and Christ Himself, we are, I believe, living in one of the most privileged times in earth's history. There is so much confirmation of our faith that once you encounter it, it's impossible to comprehend ever thinking anything different, by any amount of second-guessing or willpower.

Thanks for giving believers an "immunization shot" against the 'flaming arrows' of doubt that the world comes against us with. Your trade is in information, but I have no doubt that the far-reaching impact of your ministry/ies are the "greater things than these" that Jesus spoke of, and I'll be excited to see what reward you gain for your faithful service when we're all assembled at the Mercy Seat.

I tried making this comment short. Sorry. Like Paul, I keep returning with more thoughts when I think I'm done writing.
Adelle B.
More proof of the Bible. How can anyone not believe in GOD and in Jesus Christ. it is all there to read and ponder. Pray and the Lord will lead you to HIMSELF.
Stephen S.
I always have to smile when I read naturalist theories of how the elements came into existence - water being one of them. It's always suddenly, as if by magic, and without a credible explanation other than if something exists, it had to develop on its own. In a chemistry class, we tried to make our own water by combining gasses. The result? Nothing. Good luck making oceans by natural processes.
rob J.
Wow this is so cool, so they have run out of explanations. The Bible may hold true. May I ask what website the original article was published on?
Tas Walker
It is all referenced. Check the references.
Jeremy S.
Well, as much as I generally like this site, and your stand on the truth of a young earth—6 days creation, I am dismayed and shocked to find that along with the unscriptural Copernican heliocentricity theory, you have bought into the Apollo moon landing hoax—a hoax that the late William Cooper (a Christian) took pains to expose, having been in on the knowledge of it, before he was bumped off for his trouble. Sad.

When my wife heard of my dismay at your stand on these issues, she chuckled and said, “Well, they don’t get it ALL right!”
Jonathan Sarfati
Glad that you generally like our side.

Actually, we don't accept the (biblically neutral) Copernican heliocentricity theory; we accept the theory of the biblical creationist Johannes Kepler of elliptical orbits, where the cube of the semi-major axis is proportional to the square of the orbital period, in turn deducible from the three laws of motion and law of gravity formulated by biblical creationist Isaac Newton.

Also, we don't believe the sun is at the centre of the universe, but instead accept the galactocentric cosmology of biblical creationists Dr John Hartnett and Dr Russ Humphreys. For more, see our very detailed paper Why the Universe does not revolve around the Earth: Refuting absolute geocentrism.

We indeed do not believe that there was any moon landing hoax. On the 40th anniversary of the genuine Apollo landing, we wrote Did the moon landing bring evolutionary insights? which briefly explains why the hoax idea is untenable. Indeed, it is listed in our Arguments we think creationists should NOT use page. For one thing, it requires that Australia was complicit in the hoax, since it and not America was on the right side of the earth to communicate with the Apollo crew. For another, it casts serious aspersions on the Christian character of the late James Irwin, a staunch biblical creationist who landed on the moon, as well as on Buzz Aldrin, who brought bread and wine so they could celebrate Holy Communion on the moon—this is historical fact, not urban legend.
Roy A.
Great factual article. Eventually, they may get it right and realize that everything was planned and created by a loving God.
Michael B.
Excellent article! Launched a discussion with our family on why it is again we home school. Recently watched Harry Potter Deathly Hollows with our children and talked about how the evil wizards take over the school to "re-educate" the children. However fanciful that series is, the truth remains that those who seek to destroy a society always reeducate the children. Again, this article just proved how far off secular science is. Thank you again for all your hard work in fighting for the Gospel!
Robert B.
Are these water inclusions definitely NOT from the brief period of volcanism induced by the Late Heavy Bombardment by the moon with icy asteriods? This CMI article (http://creation.com/lunar-maria) places this at the time of Noah's Flood and NOT at the moon's initial creation.

Does current evidence rule out this later date for the formation of these water bearing rocks?
Jonathan O'Brien
Ronald G. Samec's article discussed the evidence that an asteroid bombardment might well have initiated the global Flood on Earth, at the same time damaging the surface of the moon. However, the moon's asteroid collisions occurred well after the moon had already been fully formed, and the evidence of water in the interior of the moon indicates that it existed right at the beginning of the formation of the moon. Therefore, the water inclusions in the moon rock cannot be from the brief period of asteroid bombardment as discussed in the lunar maria article.
Robert D.
It will be fascinating to watch the many "by-pass" theories that will now spring up in order to force-fit yet another scientific observation into the pre-defined "fact" of billions-of-years origins theories.
And yet, there is a God to whom observational science and historical science is the same thing—A God who was there when He did it—and as usual the observational science fits His Word. If anyone is reading this for the first time, check out the rest of the site!!!
Keep showing us how it's done, CMI!
Aleksandar K.
It would be good if the article included a description of a chemical process that could create tiny volcanic glass beads with water within them, specifically the temperatures it would require. If such process is known. So the reader can see the actual differences between theory and physical reality.
A. H.
A theory is a way of seeing things that helps you to predict what you will find when you test the theory. You can falsify a theory, or at least an hypothesis derived from the theory, by a repeatable, experimental test. This is the essence of true science.
Clearly the test applied to the moon formation theory shows that this theory first misdirected testers in the 1970's then has lead them to fruitless speculation to save the theory when it has been falsified by experimental observation.
This is exactly what a good theory should not do and what a pseudo-scientific theory does.
Evolutionary Cosmology is not science . It is a naturalistic philosophy dressed up as science
Perhaps somebody should tell National Geographic.
Rolland H.
Wouldn't even icy meteorite impacts vaporize some of the water upon collision? And how often would it be hit by these types of meteors. Even a barren wet moon's origin cannot be explained by natural processes.

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