Astronomy was my first intellectual love as a child, especially the planets, the planets’ moons, asteroids and the other worlds out there in our solar system. Astronomy absolutely enthralled me. When I was almost 12 years old, I was glued to the television set when Neil Armstrong set the first human foot on the moon. It is hard for the newest generation, growing up as they have with routine space flights, to grasp the raw excitement that accompanied the first moon landing. It was a major historic event of the first order of magnitude. As a child, I dreamed of being an astronaut and maybe being the first human to set my feet on Mars.
I am still fascinated by astronomy. I recently followed the progress on a daily basis of the New Horizons probe which made its historic flyby of the planet/dwarf planet Pluto on July 14. I was partly interested in the project for its own sake, but also wanted to see what the scientists would say about whatever they found and if there would be any of the usual obligatory evolutionary, atheistic, naturalistic “spin” on any of the information. As usual, the scientists did not disappoint us in this regard. Check out this abstract by Kelsi N. Singer and New Horizons project leader S. Alan Stern about Pluto’s nitrogen atmosphere.
It has been discovered by the New Horizons probe that Pluto is losing its nitrogen atmosphere into space so fast (hundreds of tons per hour– “prodigious atmospheric escape” to use Singer’s and Stern’s words) that it is a mystery why Pluto has any atmosphere at all! They are scratching their heads as to how Pluto can possibly still have so much atmosphere after 4 billion years of existence. Note well: Singer’s and Stern’s abstract considers 1) the possibility of resupply of nitrogen by comets, but concludes it is not possible that resupply by comet impact could supply enough nitrogen, 2) the possibility of meteorite impact stirring up under-the-surface nitrogen if there is enough nitrogen near Pluto’s surface but conclude that falls far short of the quantity required, and that the best hypothesis is that 3) the rate of escape of nitrogen into space in the past was much slower (huh? Was gravity stronger on Pluto in the past?), or 4) that internal activity is bringing nitrogen to the surface and resupplying the atmosphere. Their bet is on number 4.
I am sure most people reading the news and scientific abstracts on this subject failed to understand that the hypothesis presented by Singer and Sterns (and others) is the expression of a RELIGIOUS FAITH. Make no mistake about it: their speculations are rooted in Naturalism, a religious faith which, a priori, ASSUMES naturalistic, materialistic processes explain all that there is. I have emphasized this point before but because most people have been brainwashed into believing that there is a “religious vs. naturalistic” opposition, it needs to be stressed that Naturalism is a religious faith founded upon unproven (and unprovable) assumptions (i.e. faith) about the ultimate nature of reality and existence.
Scientists are not supposed to assume ANY fact not empirically demonstrated. That is utterly contrary to the scientific method of investigation. Yet secular scientists routinely incorporate naturalistic religious faith as the premise of their modus operandi. We see this ever and always in the creation-evolution controversy. They treat us to their religious faith and call it “science,” even with all of the empirical data contradicting their assertions. Science, remember, simply means knowledge. And assumptions do not constitute knowledge. To assume Naturalism as a premise for scientific theorizing is therefore anti-science.
I have a prediction: further analysis of the New Horizons data will show that nitrogen resupply from Pluto’s interior is either not occurring or is occurring in insufficient amount to account for the amount of nitrogen in Pluto’s atmosphere–after 4 billion years. What will the scientists hypothesize then? Shoulders will shrug and the “anomaly” will be quickly forgotten about and put on the shelf for further investigation some time in the future.
I also have a fifth proposition to add to Singer’s and Stern’s four: the reason all of the nitrogen on Pluto is not gone after 4 billion years is precisely because only approximately 6,000 years have passed since the creation of Pluto, not 4 billion years. Now THAT would explain why so much nitrogen is still there. The problem, of course, is that Alan Stern has an a priori religious faith (Naturalism) that does not allow for that possibility. And, I emphasize again, make no mistake about it, Naturalism (which is the official religion of NASA–if you don’t believe this, just ask David Coppedge who was excommunicated because of his Christian faith) is every bit as much of a religious FAITH as Christianity (well, actually MORE so, since all of the EMPIRICAL facts point towards theism). There is no hypothesis number 5 for Singer and Stern, at least not my hypothesis. It is simply not up for consideration–no way, no how. Isn’t it ironic–the true explanation is the only explanation they will not consider!
Featured Image: True Color Image of Pluto,
Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
In my next article, “THE YOUTHFULNESS OF MARS,” we will turn our attention once again to astronomy, the planet Mars and an unexpected (from the secularists perspective) indication of Mars’ youthfulness.