Pluto, Part 4 - God's Mathematically Designed Solar System
By Clint Bishard
Jesus Created Ministries
Over the last several weeks we have
seen some of the design present in our closest neighbors in the sky. Now, I
want to turn our attention towards the big picture of the solar system.
Specifically, I want to highlight that the orbits of the planets in our solar
system do not match that of a chance random process of cosmic evolution, but
instead appear to be following a formulated pattern. This pattern is found in
that the average distance from the sun to each planet is closely matched with
that of an exponential mathematical formula.
The formula for this
planet/distance relationship is as follows: D = (A + 4)/10, where A = 0 for
Mercury, and A = (3x2n)/2, where n = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 for
Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. The units attached to
this distance formula are in astronomical units, or AUs for short. One AU is
roughly equal to the average distance from the sun to the earth, or about 93
million miles. To save you the math, the average distances from the sun to the
planets as computed from this formula are 0.4, 0.7, 1.0, 1.6, 2.8, 5.2, 10.0,
and 19.6 AUs respectively for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter,
Saturn, and Uranus. This matches very closely (all within 5%) with the actual
measured values for these same planets as follows: 0.39, 0.72, 1.00, 1.52,
2.77, 5.20, 9.53, and 19.19 AUs.
This ordered planet/distance
relationship was well known in the past and is known as the Titius-Bode Law.
It was first proposed in 1766 and gained widespread acceptance in the
astronomical community when William Herschel (a well know Christian
creationist) discovered Uranus in 1781. With Uranus shown to fit the 8th
position, Bode called for a search for the only missing planet in the formula,
the fifth planet out from the sun. This search resulted in the discovery of
Ceres in 1801 at the predicted position. With the then
known eight planets identified at the predicted positions, many clearly acknowledged
the evidence for design in our solar system.
Note: Ceres was initially
considered a planet in 1801; then, an asteroid in the 1840s; then, recently
almost a planet again; and now, officially, one of the three dwarf planets as
defined by the IAU in August of 2006.
This clear order to our solar
system was quickly swept under the rug with the finding of Neptune in 1846. As
one modern writer puts it “Neptune broke the ‘law.’ So, yes, it’s just a
coincidence that most of the planets fall within the Titius-Bode law
But as a creationist who expects to
find ordered design in God’s creation, I am a little slower to throw away the
Titius-Bode Law as a strange coincidence given the many objects in our solar
system it does describe as noted above. Additionally, this “coincidence” is
something that the scientific community continues to try and explain naturally
with no solution. “In fact, so many ideas have been advanced that Icarus,
a leading journal of planetary science, no longer accepts papers that allege to
explain the series.” Furthermore, the
extra-solar planets (planets around other stars) in the universe discovered to
date do not appear to follow this same type of predictable pattern. Therefore,
next time I will try and address the anomaly of Neptune as well as several
unanswered questions, including Pluto, in my quest to keep the planets orbits
as an example of design in our solar system.
Go to part 5 of this series