According to the eye-witness account in Genesis, God created the earth on Day 1, and the sun and moon on the Fourth Day, most likely along with the planets. However, evolutionists reject a Creator a priori, so need to come up with another explanation.
Skater © iStockphoto/technotr; Nebula from NASA, JPL-Caltech, P.S. Teixeira (CfA)
The leading candidate is called the nebular hypothesis. This proposes that the sun, the earth and the rest of the solar system formed from a nebula, or cloud of dust and gas. The best known pioneer of this was French atheistic mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749–1827).1 However, despite the dogmatic support by evolutionary astronomers, it has a number of huge problems.
First of all, if the collapsing cloud theory can’t even explain the sun alone, then it is doomed from the start. To form the sun, or any star, a cloud must be dense enough to collapse and compress the interior so that it becomes hot enough for nuclear fusion to start. But most gas clouds have a tendency to expand rather than contract.
The British mathematician and astrophysicist James Jeans (1877–1946) calculated how massive a cloud must be so that gravity can overcome the tendency for gas to expand.
The main points are: high density favours collapse, and high temperature favours expansion. The minimum mass he calculated relates to both of these, and is now called the Jeans Mass (MJ ).2
But according to the big bang theory, at the time the first stars were formed, the temperature was so high that the required Jeans Mass would be about 100,000 suns.3 This is about the same mass as a globular cluster, i.e. no cloud less massive than this could have collapsed into a star, thus no star could have formed this way.4 Abraham Loeb, of Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics, says, “The truth is that we don’t understand star formation at a fundamental level.”5,6
So, stars alone can’t be explained by such naturalistic conjectures. However, the planets are even more problematic, with several additional problems.
One major problem can be shown by accomplished skaters spinning on ice. As skaters pull their arms in, they spin faster. This effect is due to what physicists call the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. Angular momentum = mass x velocity x distance from the centre of mass, and always stays constant in an isolated system. When the skaters pull their arms in, the distance from the centre decreases, so they spin faster or else angular momentum would not stay constant.
In the formation of our sun from a nebula in space, the same effect would have occurred as the gases allegedly contracted into the centre to form the sun. This would have caused the sun to spin very rapidly. But our sun spins very slowly, while the planets move very rapidly around the sun. In fact, although the sun has over 99% of the mass of the solar system, it has only 2% of the angular momentum.
This pattern is directly opposite to the pattern predicted for the nebular hypothesis. Evolutionists have tried to solve this problem, but a well-known solar system scientist, Dr Stuart Ross Taylor, admitted when discussing the angular momentum problem that “a predictive theory of nebular evolution is still lacking.”7
If the sun and the planets were formed by a collapsing nebula, then the sun should be spinning in the same plane as the planets. However, its axis is tilted 7.167º away from the ecliptic, which is defined by Earth’s orbit. A better comparison would be Jupiter’s orbital plane, since it has most of the planetary mass and angular momentum of the solar system. Jupiter’s orbital inclination is 1.308º from the ecliptic, so this still leaves almost 6º difference.
Evolutionary astronomers believe that the planets arose from collisions of dust particles which melted and stuck together to form larger blobs of molten rock. These blobs further accreted to form larger and larger blobs till the inner planets were formed: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. However, research has shown that the rocks would not melt, but most likely “simply zoom past each other or collide and recoil like snooker balls.”10
The huge planets Jupiter and Saturn are meant to have formed far enough away from the sun so that ice could condense. This would mean extra mass, thus strong enough gravity to suck in gas from the nebula. But Jupiter’s core turns out to be too small to do this. And simulations indicate that the solar nebula would have dissipated before the core had a chance to grow big enough. Furthermore, the nebula would be so unstable that the planets would spiral into the sun.11
When it comes to the ‘Ice Giants’, Uranus and Neptune, problems are even more acute,12 as one evolutionary astronomer admitted:
The nebular hypothesis predicts that as the nebula spiralled inwards, all the resulting planets and comets would rotate and orbit in the same direction (prograde). But Venus rotates in the opposite direction, called retrograde.14 Furthermore, a comet was discovered with a retrograde orbit,15 and a recently discovered extra-solar stellar system has planets in retrograde orbits, opposite from the star’s spin. One secular article stated:
Although the nebular hypothesis is accepted uncritically by many evolutionists, there are severe problems with forming both the sun and the planets from a collapsing cloud. The best explanation is still, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host” (Psalm 33:6).