Author: Ron Calais
(Editor’s note: Before we landed on the moon, those who believe that the Earth and moon are billions of years old feared that the moon was covered with deep dust that might swallow a spacecraft. They based this fear on measured rates of dust accumulation in our area of space. If dust had been accumulating at measured rates for billions of years, we could have a problem when we tried to land. Creationists at NASA argued that since the Earth and moon were only about 6,000 years old there was nothing to fear. Not enough dust had accumulated to endanger the landing. After creationists were proven right, and old-age predictions were proven wrong, evolutionists were embarrassed. They tried to deny that they were ever concerned about the depth of the moon dust.)
The “lunar dust controversy” occasionally surfaces in the pages of creation literature. Skeptics continue to question the sources and conclusions published by creationists. Some critics still deny that few, if any, astronomers ever predicted a thick, unconsolidated layer of meteoritic dust particles on the moon.1 In fact, dozens of popular science sources that effectively disprove evolutionist’s denial.
Dixon,2 for example, in a discussion of the moon’s surface texture, writes: “The moon was for many years characterized as having a thick layer of dust covering its surface, into which an object would sink if it landed on the moon.” He then continues with the observation: “…we have landed numerous spacecraft on the moon and have found the lunar ‘soil’ to be capable of supporting reasonable loads, with only an inch or two compaction.”
Brantey3 had this to say before we landed: “Some astronomers think that, in places, lunar meteoritic dust may be a hundred feet or more deep. Also, it may be so loosely packed that a spaceship would sink into it, never to be seen again.”
Science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov4 agreed before there were any landings: “Now it is already known, from a variety of evidence, that the moon … is covered with a layer of dust. No one knows for sure how thick the dust may be … the thickness may be great … and if the moon gets anything like the Earth’s supply, it could be dozens of feet thick.”
Another 1964 volume on moon science assumes an ancient moon. It says that the amount of dust formed by “erosive forces” acting on the lunar surface materials would “come to an equivalent dust layer of at least 300 feet in thickness, and probably more…”5
This idea of a meteoritic “dust bowl” on the lunar surface was predicted by many astronomers during the years before the Apollo program.6 Their predictions were based on the huge volume of meteor-related debris. Approximately 2,000 tons per day, was accumulating on the Earth. Even though “the moon’s surface is smaller than Earth’s … it is large enough so that several hundred tons of meteoric material could ‘fall’ to its surface daily.”7 Assuming the immense age of 4.5 billion years for the lunar orb, and an uninterrupted deposition of dust on its surface, the amount of accumulated dust would stagger the imagination!
Evolutionists search for their missing dust
Contrary to recent claims,8 NASA has published data9 collected by orbiting satellites that confirm a vast amount of cosmic dust reaching the vicinity of the Earth-moon system. It seems there is much more of this debris out there than was once thought.10 So if the moon is as old as astrophysicists believe, there should be the enormous dust load on the lunar surface that many astronomers once believed existed.
Studies to find out past rates of meteoritic dust accumulation on Earth have produced tenuous results. However, some evidence suggests a similar rate of accumulation throughout geologic time.11 There are no data contradicting the idea that influx rates for the moon’s surface have remained constant. Therefore assumptions of drastically decreased rates in the past are baseless.
Evolutionists have speculated about the possibility that most of this loose lunar material has somehow been transformed into solid rock. Admittedly this has not been addressed in detail by creationists. Whether such a process is even possible in the moon’s waterless environment is irrelevant to this discussion. The fact remains, evolutionary ideas about the age of the moon led astronomers astray in their assessment of the nature of the lunar surface.
Ron Calais is director of the Origins Research and Information Service, 137 Oak Crest Drive, Lafayette, LA 70503.
Copyright © 1992 Bible Science Newsletter. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253 www.creationmoments.com
1. Clark, Maurice. 1984. “Moon Blue?” Ex Nihilo, 2(3)- international ed.
2. Dixon, Robert. 1971. Dynamic Astronomy, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
3. Branley, Franklyn. 1964. Apollo and the Moon pub. for the American Museum-Hayden Planetarium by the Natural History Press, Garden City, N.J.
4. Asimov, Isaac. 1959. “14 Million Tons of Dust Per Year,” Science Digest, Jan.
5. Salisbury, Frank and Peter Glaser (editors). 1964. The Lunar Surface Layer. Academic Press, N.Y.
6. Rand McNally New Concise Atlas of the Universe. 1978. Mitchell Beasley Pub., London.
7. Op. cit., Branley.
8. Awbrey, Frank, 1983. “Space Dust, the Moon’s Surface and the Age of the Cosmos,” Creation/Evolution 4(3).
9. Hawkings, G.S. 1967. “Meteor Orbits and Dust,” Smithsonian Contributions to Astrophysics. Vol. 2.
10. Whipple, Fred. 1961. “The Dust Cloud About the Earth,” Nature, Jan.
11. Op. cit., Awbrey.