God Proclaims His Love:
Design of Our Solar System

 

Comets:

l Collisions required early in the history of the Solar System (provided needed materials)

l Collisions must not occur at high frequency after establishment of higher life forms.

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Slide 23 of 49


Because of the original abundance of comets and other debris in the early Solar System, even Jupiter could not protect the Earth from the early cometary bombardment. However, this cometary bombardment was necessary to bring the water necessary for life to exist on the Earth. Collisions were so frequent on the early Earth that is is estimated that at least 30 large collisions (1) occurred that were energetic enough to vaporize the entirety of the Earth's oceans (in addition to much of its crustal rock) (2). However, once life was present on the Earth, the effect of cometary impact was devastating. It seems likely that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by the impact of a large meteor or comet with the Earth 65 million years ago.


References

  1. Chyba, C. and C. Sagan. 1992. Endogenous production, exogenous delivery and impact-shock synthesis of organic molecules: an inventory for the origins of life. Nature 355: 125-132
  2. Sleep, N.H., K.J. Zahnle, J.F. Kasting, and H.J. Morowitz. 1989. Annihilation of ecosystems by large asteroid impacts on the early Earth. Nature 342: 139-142.

Photo credits: This picture is used by permission of Wally Pacholka. It won the 1997 photo of the year from Time magazine. Hale-Bopp "as seen from Mars" titled image taken 4/4/97 at 8 PM from Joshua Tree Nat Park using 50mm lens on a tripod, at f/2, 30 second exposure using Fuji 800. A flashlight was used for 4-5 seconds to illuminate the foreground rocks. Mr. Pacholka is a strong Christian believer and a friend of Reasons To Believe. More comet photos by Mr. Pacholka.

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Last updated March 31, 2008

 

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