The following article is reprinted with the author’s permission posted by Terry A. Hurlbut on November 4, 2016 at the Creation Science Hall of Fame, http://creationsciencehalloffame.org/2016/11/04/astronomy-2/space/pluto-new-horizons-review/. The reader is directed to the Creation Science Hall of Fame web site for additional videos related to this article.
On 27 October 2016, controllers for the New Horizons deep-space mission achieved a milestone. They got back the last data from their spacecraft’s flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto. Alice Bowman, head of the mission team, said the team would first verify the data. They then will order New Horizons to erase its memories. New Horizons must do this ahead of a planned rendezvous with another Kuiper Belt object (2014 MU69). It will make this flyby on or about 1 January 2019).
New Horizons flew past Pluto on 15 July 2015. Now NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) have all the data it gathered in that passage. So now would be a good time to review what New Horizons found, and what it means. In fact, the Pluto findings mean a great deal, not only for Pluto, but also for Earth.
What New Horizons found in the Pluto system
New Horizons flew toward a body everyone thought was 4.6 billion years old, like the rest of the solar system. So the mission team expected to find signs of great age. Instead they found signs, not of age, but of youth. They also found or confirmed several things they still cannot explain.
One of the first articles from JHUAPL discussed the first shocking findings:
- Equatorial mountains on Pluto, made of water ice, rise 3500 meters (11,000 feet) above the surface.
- Charon, largest moon of Pluto, has cliffs, troughs, and a seven- to nine-mile deep canyon.
- Methane ice abounds on Pluto, in some places far more than others.
Fig.1:, showing mountains rising to 3500 feet above mean ground, and standing out in stark relief. Source: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
Recently I was asked to give a talk on resources available on creation. I expanded the topic to include best evidences for creation. This article is based on that talk. For resources, I will discuss some of the major websites and organizations. Many of these will probably be familiar to you if you have been interested in creation science for a while. For best evidences, I will discuss scripture, the origin of the universe, the origin of life, the origin of species, empirical detection of intelligent causes, and the age of the earth.
There are many natural phenomena which evolutionary geologists say require many thousands or even millions of years to bring about. However, creationists have long held that most geologic processes can take place quickly if the conditions are right. Some of these phenomena include formation of the Precambrian granite "basement" rocks of the earth's crust, radioactive decay, canyon formation, petrified forest formation, coal formation, the rapid laying down of several successive sedimentary layers, formation of clastic dikes, formation of vast fossil graveyards, and stalagmite and stalactite formation.
Helium Diffusion in Biotite
There is an expression about not seeing the forest for the trees. Sometimes it is good to step back, and look at the larger picture. With regard to creation science, there are lots of "trees;" we have articles on geology, genetics, chemistry, paleontology, cosmology, botany, etc. But what is the big picture? Let's start at the beginning: the origin of life.