Pluto: Did God Make Nine? Part 1


By Clint Bishard

Jesus Created Ministries


Now that all of the hype is gone and the media has moved on to bigger stories than Pluto (pun intended), I thought I would provide a creationist viewpoint concerning whether Pluto should be considered a planet.

Pluto’s planetary status has been a source of debate within astronomy circles since it was discovered in 1930.  The debate stems from its relatively small size, as well as the lack of a set standard for what constitutes a planet by the scientific community.  The debate was finally unavoidable when a more distant Xena (officially 2003 UB313) was discovered in 2005 and revealed a size slightly larger than Pluto.  Initially, it looked like the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) decision would be to keep Pluto; and we would also add Xena, Pluto’s largest moon (Charon), and the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt (Ceres) as planets (an even dozen).  However, in the end the IAU decided that eight was enough and Pluto’s status was changed from a “planet” to a “dwarf planet”.  Therefore, our acronym is now reduced to “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine” – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.

Before I give my viewpoint concerning Pluto’s planetary status, I must first describe the beliefs that influenced the IAU’s decision, as well as, the beliefs that influence my own viewpoint of the planets.  The IAU is made up of mostly secular astronomers who reject the Bible as an authority.  Therefore, they reject the supernatural creation of the planets on day four of the creation week (Gen 1:14-19).  Instead, they attempt to explain the formation of the solar system by naturalistic processes.  As a result, most hold to the nebular hypothesis view for the formation of the solar system.  This view teaches that about five billion years ago our solar system began to collapse from a nebula of dust and gas molecules.  The collapsing core lit up and became our sun and the dust and gases around this core became our planets through the process of accretion.  This supposed accretion was initially from micron-sized dust particles that collected together as planetesimals and these eventually collected into our planets.  Therefore, given the IAU’s naturalistic beliefs for the formation of the planets by this process of accretion, they were left with only physical properties to set their planetary standard; mainly the object’s size, its orbit, or its ability to clear out the area of its orbit.

However, as a Christian, I by definition accept the supernatural.  For example, the belief that a man (Jesus) was actually God in the flesh, that He died for our sins, and that He rose again according to His plan from the foundation of the world, clearly demands a belief in the supernatural.  Additionally, just as I accept His revelation (the Bible) concerning my salvation, I also accept His revelation concerning the supernatural creation of the solar system.  For only after the creation of the earth did the Lord say “"14Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so” (Gen 1:14-15). Therefore, I believe naturalistic explanations for the formation of the solar system are an exercise in futility. Instead, as a Biblical Christian who accepts a supernatural creation of the solar system, I will note the evidence for design in the solar system and from this evidence I will then make the case for what should be included as planets in the our solar system.


Go to part 2 of this series

Jesus Created Ministries (JCM) - Page last updated January 12, 2007