Oort Cloud, the God in a Cometary Gap
November 22, 2013 § 2 Comments
We all believe in things we can’t see, which is necessary to understand the universe. Often though, faith in Naturalistic ideas can lead to pretty clouded conclusions.
The Oort cloud is an immense spherical cloud surrounding the planetary system and extending approximately 3 light years, about 30 trillion kilometers from the Sun. This vast distance is considered the edge of the Sun’s orb of physical, gravitational, or dynamical influence. … Recognition of the Oort cloud gave explanation to the age old questions: “What are comets, and where do they come from?”
If you search the internet for “oort cloud”, the web page(1) that bears the above summary is among the top results. Some sources, such as Wikipedia,(2) are honest enough to admit that the Oort Cloud is “hypothesized”, while some, like NASA(3) and the site quoted above, state it as a fact.
The truth is, nothing like an Oort Cloud has ever been observed or directly detected. What we do know is that comets cannot be anywhere close to 4.6 billion years old, which is the age of our solar system according the estimates of Naturalistic Cosmology. This view states that since comets lose too much material when they pass near the sun, they should have burned out long before now, so they must have been generated at various times long after the origin of the solar system. They’re too new to be a byproduct of the formation of the solar system.
The Dutch astronomer Jan Oort first suggested in 1950 that comets come from a common region at the outer edge of the solar system, which was later named after him. This hypothesis, like the whole of secular science, was based solely on the prior commitment to a universe without a Creator—a completely naturalistic presupposition. From this view, there is no God, so we must assume that the universe was formed by chance over billions of years, and there must be another explanation for the creation of relatively young comets. The God of that gap is the Oort Cloud.
It’s interesting how faith commitments work, even in Christendom. We hypothesize based on convictions we already have, an a priori faith commitment to something that might support the new idea. The religion of Naturalistic Cosmology (the universe came about naturally) excludes divine creation. Of course, none of us were around to observe the solar system’s origin, so we start out with a certain assumption about how it began, gather evidence, test and interpret it based on the prior assumptions. In Christianity, we start by taking on faith the Bible’s description of God and creation and assuming its truth that God created comets (Genesis 1:14-19)(4). If we look at the same scientific evidence, interpreting it based on the Bible, comets still make sense.
Worldviews stand or fall from their foundations—where we start out in our thinking. When it was determined that comets do not make sense on Naturalism, secular scientists had to amend it by imagining an Oort Cloud, something for which we have absolutely no empirical evidence. It just needs to be there in order to keep Naturalistic Cosmology alive. But at its foundation, we still have to wonder how, on Naturalism, we end up with comets that move in predictable orbits when Naturalism itself can’t explain the origin of matter, motion, or any basic principal related to what we know about comets. That responsibility is ultimately passed along to other fields of study that also don’t hold up to inquiry about ultimate foundations either.
Only the eternal, omniscient Creator described in the Bible makes sense of comets, and everything else we can observe. Yes, since we cannot scientifically account for God, we ultimately accept Him by faith. But that faith makes sense of everything else—especially science. Those who put their faith in Naturalistic Cosmology often do what they accuse Creationists of doing, which is hypothesize an invisible origin for something like comets. That doesn’t make a lot of sense either.
I suppose that’s one way to describe the Oort Cloud hypothesis, but I’d prefer to call it a superfluous or unfounded conclusion, in order to avoid unnecessary profanity.