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Discovery Magazine 1/1/2008


The Nine, No Make That Eight, Planets

My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. That is the little sentence I learned in school to help me remember the order of the planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. But things are changing in the world of astronomy. When I was a child, there were nine planets, and Pluto was one of them. But now Pluto is no longer considered to be a planet, and science texts tell us that there are only eight planets. Why did Pluto get “kicked out” of planethood? It seems that Pluto is just too small.

All this talk about Pluto helps us understand that our knowledge of space changes on a regular basis. Scientists often look into space, study what is happening there, and make predictions about what will happen in the future, or guesses about what happened in the past. As telescopes improve and satellites take pictures of space, those predictions and guesses often turn out to be totally wrong.

One example of scientists being very wrong about space is the idea that the planets “formed” out of the Big Bang many billions of years ago. Supposedly, according to scientists who believe in evolution, a huge explosion caused all the planets to form. According to this theory, the Sun formed before any of the planets, billions of years ago.

There are several problems with this idea of planet “evolution.” First, the laws of nature are so perfect that the Earth stays the perfect distance from the Sun for life to survive. Also, the Moon stays the perfect distance from the Earth for tides to be controlled. The Earth never crashes into Mars, and Jupiter never blocks the Sun’s rays, causing Earth to freeze. The design of the Solar System is perfect. Design like that never comes from a big explosion.

Furthermore, the Bible tells us that the Earth was created on day one of the Creation week, and the Sun, Moon, and stars were created on day four (Genesis 1:14). The Sun did not evolve before the Earth. God created both of them exactly when He said He did.

When we look into space, we should never think that it all came about because of some accidental explosion.

Instead, we should praise God and give Him glory for His wonderful creation. As the Bible says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).



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