Where do comets come from? It's a mystery.

When the current revival of the young earth creationist cosmology was young, Henry Morris and John Whitcomb penned The Genesis Flood. In the scientific portion the book they included an account of several indicators of a young earth and cosmos, among which was a passage about comets. Comets are icy snowballs which circle the sun in long, elliptical orbits. They loose mass with every pass as the solar wind tears at them to produce the characteristic tail. "Since comets are very definitely a part of the solar system, the natural inference would be that the maximum age of the comets would also be the maximum age of the solar system, the two having come into existence at approximately the same time."

Evolutionists, committed to a view of the universe as vastly old in order to render the random development of life at least cosmetically plausible, have postulated a source of resupply of the comets. The idea is that the comets are young in an old solar system, but that the comets were only lately nudged out of their ice-box. There are two general orbital patterns, hence two different proposed sources of resupply, the "Oort Cloud" (for the farther out, long-period comets) and the "Kupier belt" (for the closer-in, short-period comets).

The Genesis Flood was written several years ago so how has it stood the passage of time? In Science News, "Second Look Finds No Comet Reservoir," (06/22/96, p. 395) is an update on the search for the Kupier belt. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, headlines were made claiming that 30 comet-sized objects apparently belonging to the Kupier belt were seen. The finders emphasized that "they had relied on statistical methods to determine that some of the faint, barely detectable blobs in the Hubble images were in the Kupier belt" (Science News 5/13/95, p 293). Did another young-earth chronometer bite the dust? The June update discusses the re-examination of that same patch of sky. This time they found nothing. Thirty "comets" vanished.

Finding the Kupier belt, if it does happen, won't "prove" the universe is old, just as not finding it doesn't necessarily prove that it isn't out there hiding with the missing neutrinos, Oort cloud, and other phantoms of evolutionary theory. Perhaps the cloud will be the source of the impacts described in the book of Revelation (in which case evolutionists will wish there were no Kupier belt after all). But note how your tax dollars go to buttressing the evolution model, in this case searching for the cloud. Note how philosophic bias (the age of the cosmos) dictates comet research. Note how the alternative is not even comprehensible to evolutionist researchers: what Kupier belt?

Research courtesy DiscoverCreation.org


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