(Based on Ron Samec, "Lunar Formation Theories" published in Creation Matters, a publication of Creation Research Society, Volume 17, Number 4, July/August 2012, to appear at http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2012/CM17%2004%20for%20web.pdf)
Theory One. Fission Hypothesis.
George Darwin was the fifth child of Charles Darwin, who wrote On the Origin of Species, the sacred book of evolution. George, who became a professor of astronomy, followed in his father's footsteps by calling into question the Biblical account of the formation of the Earth and the Moon. In 1898, he published The Tides and Kindred Phenomena in the Solar System, in which he discussed the effects of tidal friction on the Earth–Moon system.1
The problem with this is that the initial spin or angular momentum is not conserved in the present Earth-Moon system (50% loss).
Also, the orbit of the moon and the obliquity of the ecliptic (likewise the inclination of the earth) should coincide, and they do not. The Earth’s inclination is about 23.5o to the orbital plane (the ecliptic) and the Moon’s orbit is inclined by some 5o.
|The plane of the Moon's orbit does not match the plane of the Earth's rotation.|
Theory Two. Condensation Hypothesis.
|The Solar System supposedly |
formed from a spinning ball
of gas. But then why is the
motion of the Moon and
Earth on different planes?
As the sun’s nebula condensed, conservation of angular momentum caused a disk to form and within the disk, eddies or whirlpools developed. At the center of these, the planets formed. Secondary eddies led to satellites or moons of the planets. The Earth and the Moon supposedly formed in an eddy and a secondary eddy. Again, the current, strange Earth-Moon orbital-inclination would not result — the Moon’s orbital plane and the Earth’s equator should coincide.
Theory Three. Lunar-Capture Theory.
|A ring of dust around earth slows |
the passing Moon, but it can't be enough
for it to be captured by Earth's gravity.
The big question is what caused the Moon to slow down? If captured by the Earth, we would expect the present Moon to have a larger eccentricity and inclination. The resulting, fantastic tidal dissipation would have resulted in major distortions and destruction of the Earth. Also, if a near-collision brought the object within the Roche limit of the Earth, the Moon could have been shredded into rings.
Theory Four. Collision Hypothesis.
In 1976 astronomers Alastair G. W. Cameron and William R. Ward suggested that the Moon was formed by the tangential impact upon Earth of a body the size of Mars. Most of the outer silicates of the colliding body would be vaporized, leaving the metallic core of the two bodies. Hence, most of the collisional material sent into orbit would consist of silicates, leaving the coalescing Moon deficient in iron.2
|A body the size of Mars collided with Earth, resulting in the Moon with core properties different from Earth.|
A recent study of Moon rocks now puts even this model in doubt3. The research team confined their study to a rare form of titanium (using the 50Ti/47Ti isotopic ratio) which is known to occur in widely varying amounts throughout the solar system. After correcting for the difference caused by the continued exposure of the lunar surface to the Sun’s radiation, the scientists found that the isotopic abundance in Moon rocks was identical to that of the Earth.
This implies that the Moon came only from Earth materials and not an alien planet that collided with the Earth. Thus, there is no evidence of the Mars-mass object in these data.
In other words, the collision theory has failed.
The Real Explanation: the God Hypothesis
As we read in Genesis 1:16-18,
…God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Theory Five. Efficient Impact Ejection.
Of course, scientists who work for mainstream universities and government agencies no longer allow themselves to think that there is a Creator God who was directly involved in the formation of the Moon, or of anything else.
|Complete mixing of |
two colliding bodies?
It is hard enough to imagine such an improbable event as a planet just the size of Mars ... impacting the Earth at just the right angle ... to result in a perfectly placed Moon ... that benefits life on Earth in such wonderful ways. It is even harder, though, to imagine that this involved ... such a thorough mixing of the alien planet and the Earth’s crust ... so that the two bodies have identical core materials.
The God hypothesis will ultimately be the only fully reasonable explanation!
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1. Britannica.com: Sir George Darwin, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/151966/Sir-George-Darwin, retrieved October 8, 2012.
2. Wikipedia.org: Giant impact hypothesis, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_impact_hypothesis, retrieved October 8, 2012.
3. Meier, M.M.M. 2012. Moon formation: Earth's titanium twin. Nature Geoscience 5:240–241.
4. Zhang, J., N. Dauphas, A.M. Davis, I. Leya, and A. Fedkin. 2012. The proto-Earth as a signifi- cant source of lunar material. Nature Geoscience 5:251–255