Next to the sun, our moon is the largest and brightest object in the sky.  It has been the subject of worship, songs, poetry, novels and movies.  It’s been a guide for sailors, travelers and farmers.  The moon’s gravity is sufficient enough to pull on the oceans and seas, creating tides and currents that help keep the waters stirred up.  It guides the spawning of thousands of marine creatures.   To those in love, there seems to be nothing more romantic than to sit in the moonlight on a summer’s eve.

There is no doubt that the moon affects every living thing on earth in some way, either directly or indirectly.  But is our moon unique as moons go or is it a rarity when compared to what’s been observed?

Compared to the other moons observed in our solar system, our moon is one-of-a-kind.  It is more than a quarter of the earth’s diameter and orbits at a relatively close distance.  No other moon in our solar system comes close to the size and relational properties to their planet or planetoid as does our moon.

The origin of the moon has been a subject of much speculation and controversy among the evolutionary astronomical community.  At one time it was suggested that the moon was a wandering body that was captured by earth’s gravity and pulled into an orbit around the earth.  When the problems for this theory became insurmountable, the idea was scrapped for what is now the generally accepted concept.

Currently the accepted theory is that several billion years ago, a solar body approximately the size of Mars didn’t just drift into earth’s gravity and end up orbiting our planet, but in fact it slammed into the earth.  The resulting collision caused a huge mass of molten rock to be ejected from the earth.  Instead of this mass drifting off into space, it was held close by earth’s gravity and settled into orbit where over time it cooled and coalesced into the nicely shaped round moon that we gaze at in the night sky.

Based upon this model of an earthly collision formation of the moon, researchers from the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado conducted a series of computer simulations in an attempt to recreate the same formation scenario.

They reported that their simulations indicated that there was a 1 in 12 chance of such a collision creating a planet more than half the size of the earth and a moon more than half the size of our moon.  However, they also admitted that considering the errors in their modeling simulations that the actual probability ranged from 1 in 4 to as few as 1 in 45.  With the wide range of probabilities, it didn’t surprise me to see this bolded statement in the article reporting the study:

About one in 10 rocky planets around stars like our Sun may host a moon proportionally as large as Earth’s, researchers say.

The researchers also admitted that an unusually large moon like ours can confuse the measurements and that it still created a host of mysteries to their computations.

I wonder what the secular scientific world would say or how the media would report the work of a creationist study that stated that their findings for the cause of the Genesis Flood varied from a 1 in 4 to a 1 in 45 chance of being accurate?  I’m sure that those involved in the creationist study would be publicly ridiculed and criticized as being completely unscientific in their work by both the secular community and the media.

It seems obvious to me that the reasons they got results all over the place and that there are sill mysteries with their computations due to the moon’s size is because they started with the wrong theory to begin with.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with a number of creationist astronomers and astrophysicists about a number of topics including the uniqueness of our moon.  They all agree that our moon is one-of-a-kind not only in our solar system, but probably throughout the universe.

And why is that you may ask?  Because God created the moon just for the earth, which in and of itself is a unique and special planet in the entire universe.  God created the earth as the central focus of His creation.  It wasn’t until Day 4 of Creation that God made the sun, moon and stars and placed them in the firmament.  The sun was to be the light that governed the day and moon the light to govern the night.  The sun, moon and stars were also to be signs of days, years and seasons here on earth, not Mars, not Jupiter and not Gliese 581d.

To read more on how special our moon is and some of the problems related to the collision or impact theory for the origin of the moon, check out the following articles:

The moon: the light that rules the night

Problems for ‘giant impact’ origin of moon

Reference

Palmer, Jason, Moons Like Earth’s Could be More Common than We Thought, BBC News, June 4, 2011.

Privileged Planet (DVD)

Today, most scientists and philosophers claim that Earth is an ordinary speck of dust adrift, without purpose or significance, in a vast cosmic sea. This idea (popularized by the late astronomer, Carl Sagan) is an outgrowth of the naturalistic philosophy that has dominated science for the past 150 years. Yet, remarkable evidence–unveiled by contemporary astronomy and physics-may now tell a very different story.

This hour-long documentary explores the scientific evidence for intelligent design and purpose in the universe. In the process, Earth is revealed as far more than the product of time, chance, and random natural processes.

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