The Amazing Hypothetical Moon of Saturn

I am a Biblical Creationist, meaning that I believe our universe was created in six literal days as described in Genesis chapter 1, a "literal" day meaning the usual twenty-four hour evening-morning cycle, including the heavenly objects (sun, moon, and stars, including other planets) which were created on the fourth day. From this starting point, and studying to other chronological information in Scripture, it follows that the universe can only be at most around 10,000 years old, at least from Earth's time reference.[1]

Creationists have, naturally, been interested in the young rings of Saturn. As ICR explains, if Saturn's Rings were formed when our solar system was formed, supposedly billions of years ago, then billions of years worth of micrometeor bombardment would have reduced them to a black, sooty mess, rather than the beautiful rings we see today. Also, Saturn's gravity is steadily devouring the rings in the process of ring rain water loss, where some of Saturn's icy ring material "falls in the form of charged water particles known as ring rain". By secular calculations, the rings are unlikely to be more than 100,000 years old, and this is a vexing problem for secular scientists.[2][3]

This problem, and the dubious attempts to solve it, were highlighted in a post at[4]

While Saturn’s rings are massive and majestic, the ring systems of other gas giant planets in our solar system are vanishingly thin. And scientists have wondered … why? On September 15, 2022, scientists at UC Berkeley said think Saturn’s rings and tilt are linked. They think that, 160 million years ago, a large moon of Saturn tore apart and became the planet’s rings. They dubbed this lost moon Chrysalis, for its power to transform from a moon into rings, much as an insect chrysalis produces a moth or a butterfly.

This is the icy moon idea, mentioned in the 2019 ICR article referenced previously. To the best of my knowledge, we have no actual evidence that this happened, that this moon ever existed, or that anything similiar has ever happened elsewhere. Therefore, it seems rather arrogant, not just to advance this notion as scientific, but to actually name this hypothetical moon. And not only is the moon named, but it is given a name meant to highlight "its power to transform from a moon into rings, much as an insect chrysalis produces a moth or a butterfly". Moons certainly don't have "power to transform" themselves, and anyway it remains to be shown (a) how the moon was torn apart, and (2) how then it would transform by natural processes into a beautiful set of rings.

By the way, the insect chrysalis does not deserve any credit either for "[producing] a moth or butterfly". That is an amazing ability that God, the Creator, built into the genetics of the insect.

End Notes

[1] The insights of Relativity force Creationists to grapple with the question of whether, at some point in the Creation week, that processes far distance from the earth might have been operating with faster clocks relative to the Earth, as well as questions regarding the speed and nature of light.

[2], Secular Scientists Dumbfounded by Saturn's Young Rings, accessed September 17 2022

[3], Saturn's Ring Rain Rates Run Fast, accessed September 17 2022

[4], How Saturn’s lost moon Chrysalis became its rings, access September 17 2022

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