Answers in Genesis — Pluto Again

It’s not easy being a creation scientist. All the evidence is against the idea of a universe that was created only 6,000 years ago. Nevertheless, the true believers never give up. We see this regularly at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Their latest effort is The Puzzle of Pluto, written by Danny Faulkner. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University.

This isn’t the first time Danny has written about Pluto — see Answers in Genesis: Pluto Is Young! That was almost three years ago. He focused on the relative lack of surface craters on Pluto, and — like a good creationist — he ignored the abundance of craters on other solid bodies in the solar system. This time, Danny “remedies” that oversight. Here are some excerpts from his new effort, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

When a probe flew by Pluto, it made a shocking discovery: the surface is young. Astronomers are still scrambling to explain why.

That’s how he begins. We’re going to skip most of his description of Pluto so we can focus on how he insists on a recent creation of the solar system, despite all the contrary evidence. First, he describes the problem:

Why did astronomers expect Pluto’s surface to have many craters? This idea stems from a common belief that the solar system formed naturalistically over billions of years.

[…]

Naturalistic astronomers [Hee hee!] believe objects beyond Neptune’s orbit failed to reach the size of planets. These smaller objects, as well as smaller objects orbiting the sun within the region of the planets, are called asteroids. As asteroids formed, the argument goes, other small objects crashed into them and made them larger. These small bodies left craters on the surfaces of asteroids.

Craters supposedly accumulated on planets as well, but the surface of a planet is generally much more dynamic, showing significantly fewer craters than asteroids because volcanic eruptions and even weather can fill in and eventually cover ancient craters. This is the theory that most astronomers use to explain the limited number of impact craters on earth. The moon, in contrast, is less active than the earth, with very little volcanic or weather activity. So its surface still bears testament to many impacts.

Similarly, the small bodies of the solar system, including asteroids and Pluto, supposedly lack geological and significant weather processes. So their surfaces should be covered with craters. Several spacecraft have visited asteroids and sent back images revealing many craters on their surfaces. Most of the moons (or satellites) of the planets possess many craters as well. So astronomers expected Pluto to be more heavily cratered than our moon.

To their surprise, the images from New Horizons [the NASA probe that visited Pluto — see New Horizons] showed very few craters on Pluto’s surface. Pluto’s largest satellite, Charon, has more craters than Pluto, but far fewer than expected.

Then he tells us how those hell-bound “naturalistic astronomers” explain what was seen:

Why do Pluto and Charon have so few craters? Naturalistic astronomers don’t believe that Pluto itself is young, but that the surface is young. How can the surface be young but not Pluto itself? Their assumption is that material spewed from recent geological activity must have covered many craters.

They’re fools! Danny dismisses a few proposed explanations and says:

Astronomers may eventually suggest that Pluto and Charon just happened to have experienced some rare, catastrophic event recently (in the past few hundred million years). However, blaming a rare event amounts to an arbitrary rescuing device. It cannot be proven, so it hardly constitutes science.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Creationists would never resort to an unprovable “arbitrary rescuing device.” Let’s read on:

Another explanation — anathema to evolutionary astronomers — is possible. What if Pluto is not nearly as old as many scientists think? [Gasp!] If Pluto is very young, its surface may not have had enough time to accumulate many craters. Or perhaps Pluto was created with internal heat that is still there. That could drive geological processes that could not only erase many craters but also explain the gases that are released from within Pluto to sustain a thin atmosphere.

But if Pluto is billions of years old, none of its internal heat would remain. Scientists who believe in biblical creation would expect evidences of a young Pluto, and those are what we see.

So far, this is pure creation science, because it ignores all the other evidence of an old solar system. But now Danny remedies that problem from his earlier essay. He mentions the contradictory evidence:

If the solar system is young, you might be wondering why some bodies, such as the earth’s moon and Mercury, have numerous craters on their surfaces. One suggestion is that most craters may be the result of the rapid process that God used on Day Four to assemble solar system bodies. God may have made some bodies with internal heat, such as Io and Pluto, so that their surfaces have been refreshed, largely removing original craters.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Danny has deployed an unprovable “arbitrary rescuing device.” Skipping a bit we come to this:

At any rate, Pluto appears unique in the solar system. Why did God make Pluto this way? One possible reason is that God wanted to confound man’s thinking and to show us that He truly made the universe in the manner and time frame found in the Bible. … Bible-believing Christians look forward to new developments in man’s understanding of Pluto.

At the end he discusses one of Pluto’s moons and says:

Charon is the largest and most interesting of Pluto’s five satellites, or moons. While Charon has more craters than Pluto, it has far fewer than expected. This means it has not been around very long (the creationist view), or the ice on the surface has been active recently and covered the craters.

[…]

As with Pluto, the only explanation that evolutionists can come up with is that Charon has been geologically active in the relatively recent past. But we don’t know what mechanism could have produced all of this activity. These mysterious bodies at the edge of the solar system continue to confound evolutionary theory but give testimony to the Creator.

So there you are. Despite his brief and dismissive mention of the evidence for an old solar system, Danny’s article is an excellent illustration of what we call the Creationist Scientific Method:

1. Select a conclusion which you hope is true.
2. Find one piece of evidence that possibly might fit.
3. Ignore all other evidence.
4. That’s it.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

15 responses to “Answers in Genesis — Pluto Again

  1. Fascinating

  2. Charles Deetz ;)

    One possible reason is that God wanted to confound man’s thinking and to show us that He truly made the universe in the manner and time frame found in the Bible.

    Wow, that works for about everything inconsistent in the AIG world. Except that they have also said that god wasn’t a trickster … which contradicts the quote I just pulled. Again, wow!

  3. When AIG’s god seems to trick you, CharlesD, it doesn’t mean he’s a trickster. He’s testing your faith.

  4. “…AIG’s biographical information [says Danny Faulkner] taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University.”

    Anyone “teaching” astronomy from a creationist point of view is not teaching astronomy.

  5. Michael Fugate

    I think Danny is admitting that what he does isn’t science.

    “However, blaming a rare event amounts to an arbitrary rescuing device. It cannot be proven, so it hardly constitutes science.”

  6. So he’s admitting that he’s not being consistent.
    That’s no surprise for creationism.

  7. That he’s admitting it would be a surprise indeed. So I quite doubt it. I think Danny’s mind goes like this: when naturalistic astronomers “blame a rare event [for something that puzzles them – MNb] it amounts to an arbitrary rescuing device. It cannot be proven, so it hardly constitutes science.” When creationists ascribe a rare event to their god however it’s irrefutable proof and hence rock solid Biblical science, the only science worth that name. Because theology is the queen of all sciences (I’m quoting a Dutch creacrapper here).

  8. Dear SC – I disagree with your definition of the Creationist Scientific Method. Much too tentative and timid. Your thinking is still affected by the uncertainty which pollutes the secular scientific method.
    I suggest:
    1. State the conclusion you know is true
    2. Lay out the evidence that fits
    3. Ignore all other evidence
    4. Highlight the shortcomings of secular science.

  9. Your posting contains some errors that I have repaired.

    “2. Lay out Cherry pick the evidence that can be distorted so that it appears to fits

    “4. Highlight the IMAGINED shortcomings of secular science.” (Hint, there is no non-secular science anymore than there is astrological science or Baptist science, etc.)

  10. According to Danny boy “… mysterious bodies at the edge of the solar system continue to confound evolutionary theory… ” Apparently Danny, alleged to be an astronomer, is unaware that those bodies are not descended from a common ancestor and haven’t been modified by natural or artificial selection, so they have nothing to do with evolutionary theory. Most of the astronomers I know about wouldn’t make such a stupid statement.

  11. Moreover, pay attention to the fallacies of composition and division.
    Biological evolution is concerned with populations. It is not about the change that takes place in the lifetime of an individual.
    Astronomical evolution is about the changes that take place in individuals.

  12. Stephen Kennedy

    Danny occasionally has moments of lucidity, unlike Jason Lisle, and writes something not totally senseless, this was not one of those moments of lucidity.

  13. Eric Lipps

    One might note that Pluto is anomalous in other ways: the high eccentricity of its orbit, for one, which leads some astronomers to suggest it was originally a moon of Neptune. And so what? Creationists can’t account for why other planets have many craters except by selectively invoking another explanation.

  14. Surely, the relative duration of an impact crater is even more highly dependent on the composition and structure of the surface in which it is made as on the prevalent ambient “geological and significant weather processes” (and size of the crater).

    The expectation that, if Pluto is of roughly the same age as other members of the Solar System, it would show significantly more impact craters than it apparently does is based on the assumption that its surface is of the same general composition and structure as the Earth, Luna, Mars, etc.

    Is this assumption valid? Has it been tested?

  15. There are an abundance of (geologically) young surfaces in the solar system…they don’t need God’s magic as an explanation. It is clear that one old surface is enough to set the age of everything else.
    Even before New Horizons flew by it was well known that Pluto had the most contrasting surface in the solar system (so very likely that some of it was young).
    The danger of Danny Faulkner’s creation “science” is that rather than express an interest for what is really going on Pluto, Danny is satisfied to confirm his bias and move on.