Saturday, September 01, 2012

Methane lakes on Saturn's moon? Young creation yet again...

Planetary scientists think they have detected a lake filled with methane on Saturn’s moon Titan, as reported in the scientific journal Nature.1

An artist imagines
methane lakes on Titan.
Nature pointed out that scientists are puzzled how any methane could still remain after the presumed 4.5 billion years of Titan’s existence, given that a methane lake like this must be replenished within a ten-thousand year time scale!

Marko comments: It is much easier to explain if we accept that God created the Earth and the planets of our solar system within the last ten thousand years, as taught in God's own word to us, the Bible.

(excerted from David Copperedge, "Titan Lake News: Throwing Caution to the Wind", Creation Evolution Headlines, June 15, 2012. Also published in Creation Matters, a publication of Creation Research Society, Volume 17, Number 3, May/June 2012, to appear at

Let's consider these scientists' conclusion in the Nature article:
General circulation models demonstrate that long-lasting tropical lakes several metres deep must be replenished, depending on the ethane content, within a ten-thousand-year timescale. Taken together, tropical lakes and studies of Titan’s lakes suggest that, currently, subterranean liquid supplies methane to Titan’s surface and atmosphere. A supply of on average 6 × 10−4 kg m−2 yr−1 is needed to explain the composition of Titan’s atmosphere, because methane, the progenitor of the moon’s organic species, is destroyed in 10–100 million years through solar ultraviolet photolysis. More observations are needed to determine whether this 4.5-billion-year-old moon is undergoing a specific recent flourish of geological activity, because it is freezing and its orbit decaying.
What that last sentence implies is that scientists are being forced by the evidence to consider special conditions – “a specific recent flourish of geological activity” – to account for the presence of methane on Titan at all. At most, the methane on this bizarre moon would all be gone in 100 million years, one fortieth the assumed age of Titan, unless it were constantly being supplied from somewhere. Underground reservoirs might provide a convenient (unobservable) hiding place for the stockpile, but that solution arouses geological puzzles about how deep the methane would need to be, how it would form, and how it could erupt onto the surface. Added to that are indications that since Titan is freezing and its orbit is decaying, there should be less geological activity, not more.

Secular scientists are generally reluctant to invoke any “specific recent flourish” of activity occurring right at the time humans are around to observe it. Why now, and not throughout Titan’s lifetime?

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1. Caitlin A. Griffith et al, Possible tropical lakes on Titan from observations of dark terrain, Nature 486, 14 June 2012, pp. 237–239, doi:10.1038/nature11165.