Aliens astronomy Physics

Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained

Forty years ago a signal–called the Wow! signal–was obtained from space. Some speculated that it might be from an intelligent alien source. Read Wow! Communications from little green men?

Now it is argued that that it was not from little green men, but from a comet. Such is the hype around detection of a signal from aliens that common sense is ignored. Well, time, real science and cool heads have won out. The original source has been found.

Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained
Location of the two comets shown on the sky by pink ellipses. Credit: The Center for Planetary Science

The comets, P/2008 Y2(Gibbs) and 266/P Christensen, which were not known back 40 years ago when the Wow! Signal was first obtained, appeared again in the night sky from November 2016 through February of 2017.

An online news site reports from the astronomy team.1

The team reports that radio signals from 266/P Christensen matched those from the Wow! Signal 40 years ago. To verify their results, they tested readings from three other comets, as well, and found similar results. The researchers acknowledge that they cannot say with certainty that the Wow! signal was generated by 266/P Christensen, but they can say with relative assurance that it was generated by a comet.

astronomy Creation/evolution Physics

Comets, the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud

Abstract: With the development of modern space-based telescopes and the past decade or more of collection of data on both comets and celestial bodies found to orbit the sun at distance greater than that of the planet Neptune, a review of the current data suggests that there can be no longer any doubt that the Kuiper belt does exist. Though, the objects contained therein probably more rightly should be called Trans-Neptunian objects because there is no reason that the solar system ends at Neptune and a new region of space begins. However, there is no evidence that the putative Oort exists. The Kuiper belt was originally believed to be the primary source, from which the Oort cloud was populated, over the alleged 4.6 billion year history since our solar system formed. The latter still has not been found, yet it is critically needed as the only source of long-period comets for the uniformitarian theory.  However, I suggest that the existence of short-period comets as a young solar system argument may no longer be tenable.  (Accepted September 21, 2016, published January 17, 2017 in Creation Research Society Quarterly 53:5–13, 2016, PDF with colour figures.)


Comets were once thought to be atmospheric phenomena, and there was a time when they were believed to be harbingers of doom.1 Comets are now known to be dirty balls of ices and dust and some even icy dirt balls.2 They travel into the inner solar system displaying, in some cases spectacularly, their long tails, which comprise escaping gas and dust, sublimating3 from their icy surface. This display gets stronger as they approach the sun where the sun’s radiation has a very strong effect on the volatile chemicals in the ball of ice. Driven away from the sun, by radiation pressure and the solar wind, this loss of material depletes the mass of the comet. Some comets have relatively short orbital periods of less than 200 years, whereas others have periods much longer than 200 years. This has become a convenient basis for classifying a comet short-period or long-period. However the more significant criteria of classification is their orbital characteristics: inclination and whether prograde or retrograde in their orbital trajectories.

Figure 1: Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) April 30, 2013. The comet was 3.9 AU (580 million km) from the sun and 4.3 AU (640 million km) from Earth. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The Bible gives an age of the solar system and the universe of around 6000 years, but the nebular hypothesis proposes that the solar system began condensing from a giant collapsing cloud of molecular hydrogenand dust about 5 billion years ago and the material of comets formed about 4.6 billion years ago. However, based on the known loss rate of the material from observed comets, there should be no short period comets left.5,6

A typical comet (5 – 10 km in diameter) has a mass of 5 – 10 × 1014 kg. That may seem like a lot but comets lose tens of tons of material per second on approach to the sun. The comet Halley at its peak loss rate loses about 54 tons/second of gas including gas from volatile ices, at a distance of about 1 AU7 from the sun. Assuming the process only occurs during one third of its orbit—the portion when it is closest to the sun—a comet loses about 5.7 × 1011 kg/passage, which means it could only survive 95 passages around the sun before there is no matter left.8

Assuming that a comet is sourced from the original material from the creation of the solar system, if it passes the sun once in 200 years it could only pass 30 times in the biblical lifetime of the solar system, which is completely within expectation. In fact, it would only be 30% depleted of its initial mass. That means it still has 65 more passages left before all the material from its nucleus would be lost. But how could it pass 25 million times as required in the uniformitarian lifetime of the solar system? There is the problem. Why do short-period comets still exist if the nebular hypothesis is the true description of the formation of the solar system? Quite obviously this problem does not exist for the biblical creationist.

Long-period comets might have a period from a hundred thousand years up to a million years, it is alleged. But if they too can only survive 95 passages around the sun, they have at most only 95 million years of total life.9 So, why are there still any long-period comets? From the perspective of the uniformitarian nebular hypothesis, where do they come from?

Age of the Earth astronomy Creation/evolution Physics Science

Evidence For a Young World

Sometimes people ask me to show them some evidence that can only be interpreted to mean that the earth and the universe is about 6000 years old as the biblical chronologies suggest. Well, all evidence can be interpreted from both an old earth/universe perspective or from a young earth/universe perspective.  But to make some of that evidence fit into an old universe one may have to make some extreme assumptions. Nevertheless all evidence must be interpreted within an interpretive framework else we could never understand it. What evidence then is best interpreted with a young earth/universe worldview? That is the question. When we look into it we find that there are some lines of evidence that require additional assumptions to maintain a uniformitarian age of billions of years.

Earth outer core
Electrical resistance in the earth’s core wears down the electric current which produces the earth’s magnetic field. That causes the earth’s magnetic field to lose energy rapidly.

Recently I had the pleasure of spending some time with Dr D. Russell Humphreys as we toured around Israel and taught Messianic congregations about Genesis creation which includes all aspects from the creation of the universe to the global flood in Noah’s day. Russ gave a presentation on Evidence for a Young World.

Some of those evidences are:

  1. Galaxies wind themselves up too fast.
  2. Too few supernova remnants.
  3. Comets disintegrate too quickly.
  4. Not enough mud on the sea floor.
  5. Not enough sodium in the sea.
  6. The earth’s magnetic field is decaying too fast.
  7. Many strata are too tightly bent.
  8. Biological material decays too fast.
  9. Fossil radioactivity shortens geologic “ages” to a few years.
  10. Too much helium in minerals.
  11. Too much carbon 14 in deep geologic strata.

The numbers for the ages listed (often millions of years) in his presentation are maximum possible ages set by each process, not the actual ages. The ages required by evolutionary theory are often much greater than determined. The point is that the maximum possible ages are always much less than the required evolutionary ages, while the biblical age (about 6,000 years) always fits comfortably within the maximum possible ages.

Age of the Earth Belief in God Creation/evolution History Physics Roman Catholic church Science

Development of an “old” universe in science

Notes of a lecture on the historical philosophical development of the notion that the universe is very old. The lecture was given August 1st 2015. See Age and Reason Seminar Adelaide for details.

Bishop James Ussher was the Irish Archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland. He excelled in education, was fluent in Arabic and Hebrew. In 1654, after an exhaustive investigation, he published his date for the Creation of the Universe – 4004 B.C..When Ussher published this Creation date it was believed. There was nothing remarkable about that. If you add up the genealogies in the Bible, and with a bit of historical knowledge, you can easily get a time since the beginning of the world of around 6000 years. It was believed that God created the world as He said in Scripture about 4000 years before Christ. For roughly 18 centuries of the Christian era such a time period was widely believed.

In the 17th century Sir Francis Bacon developed the ideas of the modern scientific method – scientific empiricism—where one developed a thesis and did experiments to test it. Bacon has been called the ‘father of the scientific method.’

Middle ages onAnd it was from the Middle Ages science was nurtured in the Christian universities of Europe and flourished after that, from the Reformation on, underpinned by the rich Christian worldview that held that the Universe was created by a rational trustworthy God, and the unchanging laws of nature are His creation.