We do this every couple of months because these posts always drive creationists crazy. The last was May 2020, and now it’s time for another update in our ongoing series about planets beyond our own solar system.
We are delighted to inform the creationists that — once again — the numbers are bigger than ever. They’re always increasing.
First, however, we’ll repeat some background material you’ve seen before. We keep repeating it because it infuriates the creationists. You can skip right to the numbers, if that’s your preference.
The picture above this post illustrates the universe described in Genesis, written around 1,000 BC at the time of the Babylonian empire. Immovable in the center of the universe is the flat Earth, which was created as the abode of man. It’s supported by pillars. The Sun orbits the Earth, as does the Moon. Above them are the stars. They’re not suns, they’re lights embedded in a presumably solid firmament, which also revolves around the Earth. Above the firmament is heaven, the glorious realm of Yahweh. Below Earth is the lake of fire, described later in scripture. That’s the universe and we’re in the center — the focus of divine attention. No other worlds are mentioned in Genesis — or anywhere else in the bible. There’s no place for them.
Creationists believe that the universe described in Genesis is The Truth™. However, virtually everything learned since then seems to contradict that primitive universe. Creationists don’t like any of it, but to avoid looking too crazy they’ve accepted some of it. Most of them are no longer flat-Earthers. Although many passages in the bible say that The Earth Is Flat!, and none say otherwise, most creationists now deny that the bible is a flat-Earth book. And since Galileo, creationists have reluctantly accepted that the Earth is merely one of several planets in our solar system — but that’s where they drew the line.
Until very recently, they insisted that ours was the only planetary system in existence. Why? Because the bible doesn’t mention any others. We keep reminding you of this oldie-goldie from the 1970s at the Institute for Creation Research: The Stars of Heaven. It was written by Henry Morris himself, who said:
[T]he earth is unique in the solar system and, for all we know, the solar system is unique in the universe. So far as we can observe, there are not even any planets anywhere else, let alone a planet equipped to sustain biological life.
With a lot of grumbling, most creationists have accepted that there are other planetary systems out there — but no life! That’s important. Although some are now hedging their bets and saying, “Well, okay, maybe primitive life — but no intelligent life!”
We haven’t found any life out there yet, but the search has only barely begun. Meanwhile, just the number of planets out there is enough to drive creationists crazy — and the number keeps growing!
Our information comes from NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — see Exoplanet Exploration. For each statistic, we’ll give you the latest figure as well as the figure we reported two months ago, which will show you how things are progressing:
Confirmed planets: 4,183 (old figure: 4,154) 29 more!
Planets awaiting confirmation: 5,351 (old figure:5,142) 209 more!
Planetary systems beyond our own: 3,101 (old figure: 3,078) 23 more!
Remember — our observations are only of nearby stars (relatively speaking). Considering the percentage of neighboring stars that have planets, it’s generally accepted that most of the stars in our galaxy have planetary systems — which means that the odds against a life bearing world out there are getting slimmer by the day.
And so we leave the creationists — writhing in pain and anger. Whether they’re Hambo-type creationists or Discoveroids, it makes no difference. They all insist that Earth is unique, and there’s no life — certainly no intelligent life — anywhere else. But every day the facts keep piling up against them. That’s why we like to bring you these updates, and it’s why the creationists don’t like us. They don’t like reality either, but that’s their problem, not ours.
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