This article is from
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.

Posted on homepage: 23 March 2015

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.