Planetary system formation: exposing naturalistic storytelling

Attempts to explain how stars form naturalistically have encountered significant challenges because the known laws of physics indicate it is virtually impossible.1  There is a remote possibility for star formation via the mechanism of a nearby supernova, but dark matter is generally invoked as the ‘unknown god’, a ‘god of the gaps’ to make it work, because such events are extremely unlikely.Without this ‘unknown god’ in their uncreated universe, the formation of the star at the centre of a planetary nebula is essentially impossible. It also follows that planet formation has a similar problem. How do planets form in a nebula of gas and dust, which according to the known laws of physics cannot condense a star at its centre?

More importantly, how do you get a solar system with planets in habitable zones?  Radiation from the newly born star would drive out any excess gas and dust from the path of the planets via photo-evaporation and stellar winds, making the formation of planets very unlikely. The planets allegedly condense via the core accretion model resulting in (in some cases) a habitable planet in the habitable zone, at the right distance from the parent star where water can exist in its liquid state.3 Then water is assumed to condense on the surface of that new planet, but by what mechanism?  Ultimately this is a question about life elsewhere in the Universe. But I digress.

By product of star formation

solar sytem formation

Figure 1: Illustration of the star formation story. CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Standard astrophysical dogma is that planets form around stars as a natural by-product of the star formation process.4 But there are several problems.

For the initial molecular cloud to collapse, and eventually form a star, the cloud must eliminate any magnetic fields (due to unpaired charges) that oppose the collapse. The alleged process, which removes any magnetic field induced pressure from molecular clouds, entails the ions that carry the magnetic fields slowly diffusing out of the cloud, taking the magnetic fields with them.5

But these same magnetic fields are invoked to shuttle the angular momentum from the newly forming star, at the centre of the cloud, outward into the disk region of the solar nebula, to overcome another unsolved problem. This is the angular momentum problem, where the putative central star should have 99% of the angular momentum of the collapsing cloud, but in real observed solar systems like our own, 99% of the angular momentum resides in the planets, hence in the disk of material around the central star. Their suggested naturalistic solution to this problem is just-so storytelling. See below. Continue reading

The earth is not flat and hangs upon nothing!

What do we understand when we read Job 26:7?

He stretches out the north over the empty place [תּוֹהוּ tohuw, nothing], and hangs the earth upon nothing. (KJVER)

We are told two things. One is that the Lord stretched the north over an empty place and the second is that He hung the earth upon nothing.

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Earth suspended in space, a picture taken from space. Credit: NASA.

From astronomy we know that the planet is hung on nothing. It is freely orbiting around the sun. In the gravitational field of the sun it is actually falling towards the sun but because of its speed it moves in a stable orbit. But nothing holds it up, because there is no up or down in space.

The direction we give to the north or south are convenient terms, but north is not any more important than south. What is truly amazing though is the fact that the Scriptures have such a statement, when more than 3,000 years ago, around the time the book of Job was written, the ‘science’ of the day (actually myths in Hindu culture) taught the earth was held on the back of four giant male elephants who stood on the back of a giant female turtle. That is probably where they get their elephant god from. And then there is in the ancient Greek mythology, Atlas, a giant Titan god, who held the earth on his back. But the Bible does not describe a fanciful myth but describes what we know to be true. Continue reading

Giant molecular clouds

A look at uniformitarian assumptions in star formation

41P1BB52W1L._SX372_BO1,204,203,200_In almost any standard university astrophysics text you will find a chapter on star formation. Stars are alleged to have formed, and still do form, from giant clouds of molecular hydrogen gas. That is the standard party line. Thus it follows from standard big bang thinking that they were not created by the Creator on the fourth day of Creation week as outlined in Genesis 1, but naturally condensed out of gas (and dust) under the force of gravity only.

Nowadays you can read about dark matter as the seeds of the formation of galaxies and hence stars.1  But dark matter is still just a hypothetical substance. So how does star formation stack up without invoking such stuff? What physics can explain the alleged collapse of giant molecular clouds (GMC) to form stars? What were/are the typical explanations for star formation when dark matter was/is not assumed? And what unprovable uniformitarian assumptions are required?

To discover the answer to these questions I went to (and hence I quote extensively from) a standard 1996 first year university astrophysics text “An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics” (1st Edition) by Carroll & Ostlie,hereafter referred to as Carroll & Ostlie. I also looked at what the authors might have added in terms of overcoming some of the problems for star formation, a decade later, in their 2nd Edition, and found no substantive improvements.3,4

Carroll & Ostlie write:

“In some sense the evolution of a star is cyclic. It is born out of gas and dust that exists between the stars, known as the interstellar medium (ISM).”5 (emphasis in original)

Continue reading

Have Population III stars finally been discovered?

What are Population III stars? In short, the alleged story is as follows:

The super-hot big bang fireball produced only hydrogen (~75%), helium (~25%) and tiny traces of lithium. So the first stars to form (given the name Population III stars) could only form from these gases. Astronomers label all elements heavier than helium as ‘metals.’  Thus they call these type of stars extremely metal-poor. But each successive generation of stars, being formed from the products of supernova explosions of the generation of stars before them, which produced all the heavier elements, became more and more metal rich. The nuclear fusion within stars during their life produced the heavier elements, the ‘metals,’ like carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen, which were released into space when the stars exploded. During the actual explosion it is theorized that the very heaviest elements were produced also. Population III stars allegedly were the first stars formed just shortly after the big bang.

Until now (as claimed) these original stars have never be observed, hence they were nothing more than hypothetical. But their existence is a big bang prediction.

Population I, II and III stars

Astronomers classify stars into three types: Population I, II and III. Population II are those generation of stars, which allegedly formed from the Population III stars and have only a low metal content. Population I stars were allegedly the last to form, hence are the youngest and hottest stars and those with high metal content. Population I and II stars were historically first identified in our Galaxy. Population I stars are found predominantly in the spiral disk of the Galaxy and Population II stars are found above and below the disk. They have other distinguishing features also but their metal content is the major distinguishing feature.

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Figure 1: A newly found galaxy called CR7 (seen here in an artist’s illustration) is the brightest yet known (considering its claimed distance) and may contain some of the oldest stars in the universe. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Those early-generation stars also first formed into small galaxies that later by merging with other galaxies grew larger, or so the story goes.1  Growth in galaxy size and in ‘metal’ content is called ‘galaxy evolution.’

The first generation of small galaxies was likely well in place 400 million years after the Big Bang. Following this initial phase of galaxy formation, galaxies then went through an extended phase of merging and coalescence with other galaxies, whereby they built up from masses of several thousand solar masses to billions of solar masses. This buildup process extended until the universe was roughly two billion years old. Then, due to some feedback process — now predominantly speculated to be AGN feedback — it is thought that this buildup process halted and gas accretion and star formation in the most massive galaxies halted and galaxies underwent a much different form of evolution. This later evolution continues to the present day.

This is the big bang evolution story, but it vitally needs those Population III stars or there is no story. Now it is claimed that Population III have been found in a very distant galaxy. Continue reading

A ‘protoplanetary system’ in formation?

What appears to be a solar system in the process of formation has been imaged by the newly commissioned Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope (see Fig. 1).1 The ALMA telescope, located 5,000 meters up in the Andes of northern Chile, on the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert, consists of 66 mobile radio-astronomy dishes, which can be spaced up to 16 kilometers (10 miles) apart. This effectively combines their power into one 16-km-wide telescope which results in detailed images never before achieved. The telescope’s submillimeter wavelength resolution allows it to see through the clouds of dust that obscure it from sight in visible light images. Future improvements to the facility are expected to more than double its resolution.

HL Tauri

Figure 1: Caption from original article Ref. 1. “Planets are forming around HL Tauri, a young, variable star just 1 million years old. They’re leaving their imprints in the dusty disk leftover from the star’s formation, a protoplanetary system that spans 235 astronomical units (the distance between Earth and the Sun). The innermost disk gap appears at a radius of 20-30 a.u., roughly the size of Neptune’s orbit around the Sun. A second gap appears further out at 70 a.u., which would lie outside Pluto’s orbit, and still more gaps appear beyond that.” Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ) / C. Brogan / B. Saxton

This leaves us asking questions. Have planets been imaged while forming around young stars? Have protoplanetary systems—as they are called—actually been observed while the formation process is happening? If so, how do they fit into the biblical creationist worldview? According to the latter God created the stars on Day 4 of Creation Week about 6000 years ago (as measured by Earth’s clocks). Continue reading

Stars just don’t form naturally— ‘Dark matter’ the ‘god of the gaps’ is needed

‘Dark matter’ is an essential ingredient to form stars naturally given only standard known physics. ‘Dark matter’ is a hypothetical exotic form of matter, unknown to laboratory physics, which does not interact with or emit light in any way, hence it is invisible to all forms of detection within the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio-waves to gamma radiation. ‘Dark matter’ itself, therefore, is outside of standard known physics. It is made-up stuff that has been given one special property, which is that it gravitates, that is, unlike normal matter, it is a source of gravity only.

Detection of ‘dark matter’

Figure 1: Image of dark matter detected using advanced methods.

Figure 1: Image of dark matter detected using advanced methods.

But has dark matter been discovered by any direct measurement? That is apart from inferring its existence due to anomalies like galaxy rotation curves where the motions of stars and gases in the arms of spiral galaxies do not follow the expected Keplarian law in line with standard Newtonian physics? No, it has not and that is after 40 years of searching in laboratory experiments. Yet it is believed to exist—a ‘god of the gaps’—and is essential, otherwise many astrophysical observations just do not agree with those expected by application of standard laws of physics. See Fig. 1 for image of dark matter.

Theoretical physicist Mordehai Milgrom has proposed an alternative to dark matter, called Modified Newtonian Dynamics (or MOND) wherein he slightly changes the law of gravitation on the very large-scale of galaxies to solve the problem of galaxy rotation curves and dynamics of galaxies on larger scales. Continue reading

The lecture: 8 reasons why evolution is foolish

Synopsis:

8 reasons are presented that make evolution an impossible idea. The term evolution is used in the general sense applying to the universe beginning at the big bang, and including cosmic evolution of stars and galaxies, the solar system and Earth, and the origin of life and biological evolution.

The questions are taken from the cosmos, from geology of the planet Earth and from biology. The reasons that make evolution foolish as a viable scientific theory are posed as the lack of any reasonable answer to 8 questions:

Where did the Universe come from?
How did nothing explode?
How did stars and galaxies form?
How come all rocks dated with Carbon-14 give ‘absolute ages’ less than 56,000 yrs?
How do you determine the absolute age of a fossil?
Why hasn’t evolution been observed?
How does specific complex coded information in DNA arise by chance?
How did life arise from non-living chemicals by random chance?

See my article 8 REASONS WHY EVOLUTION IS FOOLISH.  Note the questions and my answers also at the end of the web article. You can find a pdf tract of the same title in English or other languages under Downloads on the front page.

This is a lecture delivered at the University of Adelaide on June 6th, 2014. I presented the lecture to an audience of about 55 and spoke on the topic for about 60 minutes presenting my 8 reasons via 8 questions which, so far, have not been answered by evolutionists. Following the lecture we had about 40 minutes of Q&A. The lecture was attended by an atheist group who attempted to catch me with ‘straw men’ and misdirected questions, see: ATHEISTS TURN OUT TO STRIKE AGAINST CREATIONISM AND THE SUPERNATURAL.

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