The Bible and science: Saturn – The ringed planet
by Raymond Strom
Saturn is a planet that has long fascinated astronomers largely because of its beautiful and amazing rings. As another gas-giant planet, it holds some enigmatic mysteries in its structure. Saturn is made primarily of hydrogen, and as such, the planet has a very low density. Like Jupiter, it really should not exist at all. If the evolutionary nebular hypothesis was true, or the idea that the solar system congealed from a cloud of gas and dust, the gas giants would have been tugged into the sun, rather than form their own discrete orbs. This is known by astronomers as the “migration problem”.
The rings themselves create another problem. What appears in moderately powered telescopes as a single or perhaps double ring, is really thousands of individual rings some of which are twisted and stranded together. It remains a mystery as to how this braided structure could be maintained for millions of years before merging into single rings.
Saturn has about 60 moons. Some of these are completely mystifying. Perhaps the most interesting moon is Titan. This moon has methane in the atmosphere, and it also has oceans of methane and ethane. The first problem is where these hydrocarbons came from, because on Earth, they are thought to come primarily from decaying vegetation and organic material. Obviously, there is no living, organic material on Titan, so the source of the methane is a complete mystery. The fact that Titan has hydrocarbons, without organic material, should cause us to question where hydrocarbons come from on our Earth. Perhaps significant portions of our own hydrocarbons are sourced from inorganic materials, having nothing to do with living systems. Secondly, methane should not survive over hundreds of millions of years as this material is bombarded with solar ultraviolet radiation. The methane in the atmosphere of Titan should have been degraded and broken down in tens of millions of years, yet it is still there. The atmosphere of Titan suggests that it is a young moon, and not billions of years old suggested by evolutionary astronomers.
So once more, another planet begs to be seen as young, just as the Bible suggests.