Meteors provide evidence of a young earth
As I was watching the meteor shower the other night I was wondering how meteors fit in with God's plan and the Bible. Where do they come from and does the Bible mention them?
I was also watching meteors at 5 A.M. on Sunday morning with my family in the backyard. Quietly yelling, "There's one!" about 150 times we counted about three per minute until our necks could not stand the strain of looking up any longer. It was like watching fireworks but it was nature (under God's supervision) that was providing the pyrotechnics in this rare event.
Two ways meteors help us to understand God and His word are evident. First, they confirm the biblical age of the Earth. An examination of meteors, meteorites and comets provides good evidence for the young age of the Earth--that is, an age in the thousands of years and not millions of years.
Meteors, also called "shooting stars," are not stars at all. Most meteors are only the size of pebbles or salt grains and burn up quickly by friction in the upper atmosphere of the earth thus producing the streak of light we see. The space debris can come from disintegrating comets, collisions between space material and the moon or nearby planets or could be material that has escaped from the asteroid belt. In this case, the meteors came from cosmic dust and debris left behind by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Every year between November 16 and 18, the Earth's orbit takes it through the dust and debris trail of this comet. Because these meteors appear to come from the same part of the sky as the constellation Leo it is called "Leonid Meteor Shower." The Tempel-Tuttle comet orbits the Earth every 33.25 years. According to the American Meteor Society this year's shower was special because the Earth was near dust trails left in 1699, 1767 and 1866. Some areas saw up to 3000 per hour.
Each time comets (including Tempel-Tuttle) passes close to the Sun they become smaller because the surface melts and sheds more dust and debris. Thus, the life-span of comets is relatively short. Dr. Fred Whipple, one of the most respected authorities on comets, estimates that a comet can only orbit the Sun about 200 times before it will burn out. Halley's comet, for example, has an orbit of 76 years on average, meaning that it must be, at most, 15,000 years old or so. The short life-span of comets provides a problem for those wanting to believe the 4.6 billion year age of the Earth. This short life-span is exactly what the creation model of origin outlined in the Bible predicts.
The existence of meteors and meteorites (large meteors that have survived passage through the Earth's atmosphere) also causes a major problem for evolutionists. Oxides left from burned up meteors form a dust that eventually settles on Earth. Even though it is a rare event for a meteorite to reach Earth given the millions of years that are attributed to the age of the Earth we would expect to find many. In addition, meteorites and meteor dust should be found all throughout the sedimentary rock layer in the "geologic column." Instead, Ian Taylor in his book "In the Minds of Men" reports, "not a single true meteorite has ever been found in the sedimentary rock layer." The amount of meteor dust settling on the Earth each year multiplied by five billion years caused even Isaac Asimov to admit that, if undisturbed it would cause a layer fifty-four feet deep over the entire surface of the Earth. No trace of such a layer exists. Again, the evidence in nature confirms that the Earth cannot be as old as so many want us to believe.
A second observation we can make from these extraterrestrial rocks is that while they demonstrate God's power they are also the result of sin on creation. The destructive nature of these objects was certainly not a part of God's original plan. Also, fear of comets and meteors in the ancient past can be understood from what we now know: comets are disintegrating and thus they would have been larger then and meteors would have also probably been larger in the past. This fear could have also led some to worship them. Perhaps that is what is being seen with the "image that fell down from heaven" in Acts 19:35. Instead of worship and fear of these objects and lights in the sky they should remind us of God's power and the groaning of creation (Romans 8:22) waiting to be restored to the original state of perfection.
In summary, meteors, because of their destructive nature were not part of God's original plan. Even so, they can show us God's power. In addition, as we look at the "meteorite clock" in geology and the absence of meteors in the sedimentary rock it confirms the age of Earth given in the Bible. Finally, the short lives of comets confirm the young age of the Earth.
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Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen