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. [1]  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 distances.”[2]

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.”[3]  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


[2] Ask Astro: Is it a coincidence that most of the planets fall within the Titius-Bode law’s boundaries? Astronomy, October 2006, p. 70.

[3] Ibid.

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