Messenger Mission Has Begun With Mercury

This is going to be an historic exploration of Mercury, Mariner 10 visited in the planet back 1971 with only a few brief passes which caused a stir back then. Now settled in orbit, Messenger will be collecting breath-taking data for the next three years! This is welcomed news for creation science as the second smallest planet in the solar system has been a major challenge for evolutionists but confirming data for creationism.

Last time Mariner 10 flew by the planet it gathered some interesting data as well, such as Mercury’s magnetic field was discovered! Evolutionary scientists have come up with a story called the ‘dynamo’ theory, which was designed for the assumption of the solar-system being billions of years old and still have a magnet field because all other mechanisms would require that the planets be very young!

The reason why Mercury had been such a surprise for evolutionists because of  its magnetic field that contains north-south asymmetry which affects interaction of the planet’s surface with charged particles from the solar wind. Why would a small planet like Mercury having a magnetic field be a problem for planet evolution? Because for a planet to be billions of years old and still have a magnetic field, there must be fluid motions within a planet’s core.

Therefore, the core itself must be molten. As one scientist put it, ‘Mercury is so small that the general opinion is that the planet [i.e. its core] should have frozen solid aeons ago’ which presents a problem and therefore, the core cannot be molten, and so evolutionary theories would have to conclude that Mercury cannot have a magnetic field. But yet it does and now its magnetic field is labeled as one of the mysteries of science as a result of the data not matching up with a fundamental theory in planet evolution and hopes Messenger will give them enough data to come up with a solution.

Other observational data which does not match up with the assumptions of planetary evolution and considered another mystery of science, is the high density that Mercury has which is also second to Earth’s density in the solar system. This is a problem within the slow-and-gradual-development models. Like in other cases in the solar system that have particular data problems, the unobserved and historic catastrophic collision was invoked. What is the evidence for this collision? Nothing!

Even with little gravity, this surprise consists of Mercury having an atmosphere but even more of a surprise, Mercury is loosing its  thin atmosphere and this of course presents a problem with the assumption that the planet is billions of years old. So it somehow needs “the atmosphere has to be constantly regenerated” says one scientist. How this happens is unknown, again they lay hope on the Messenger mission will give them ideas.

This historic exploration of Mercury will certainly be of great interest. Keep in mind discoveries can happen by accident as it doesn’t normally follow a particular method. Also, discoveries can happen by a hunch or a dream or even by mistake! But when it comes to explaining those discoveries that is an entirely different concept. Remember to keep discovery and explanation separate from one another when reading articles such as these.  Scientists with their reporters will often mix them together, giving the illusion there is only one explanation between the two but there is not! The next three years is going to be exciting, can’t wait to see what is going on with Mercury!


4 thoughts on “Messenger Mission Has Begun With Mercury

  1. The Messenger mission has found some surprises on Mercury. An unexpected magnetic field. A thin atmosphere. Michael crows that these are “consistent with” a young Mercury.[1] Of course, Mercury’s orbit, its mineralization, its isotope ratios, etc. all indicate a very old origin. But, says, Michael, we can ignore all those facts, can’t we?

    One day Michael’s bedside alarm may wake him, but the sky is dark and the birds are not chirping. He of course concludes that the Earth has screeched to a halt unnoticed while he was dreaming of cave men saddling up dinosaurs for a joyride. It would never occur to him that the alarm clock may have malfunctioned. Because, after all, the darkness and silence are “consistent with” the explanation that he prefers.

    The purpose of Messenger is not to find out what we already know. It is to find out what we don’t know. If we knew that Mercury were just like Earth, why spend billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars[2] to launch a spacecraft there? Job creation?

    So we found out some surprising things. One of them may be that a molten core is not necessary for a planetary magnetic field. We have only the earth as a datum, and it does have a molten core. The point is, however, that scientists will find out, while creationists will continue to sit on their thumbs and contribute nothing. The asymmetry of the field—which Michael’s young-age hypothesis can’t begin to explain—is already offering clues as to possible alternative mechanisms.

    Michael also sneers at the discovery of a (very thin) atmosphere, which Mercury’s gravity cannot retain.[3] Here again, the Earth’s reference point may be misleading. Why should Mercury’s atmosphere be generated in the same way, especially when Mercury differs in so may other ways as well? Possible explanations have already been proposed, including sputtering of the surface from the solar wind.[4] Any of them will advance the state of knowledge, and creationists will again have contributed nothing. They will merely go on to something else, brushing Mercury under the planetary rug.

    To paraphrase Churchill, creationists occasionally stumble over the truth, but pick themselves up and hurry off as though nothing had happened. Scientists, however, will stop and wonder—hmm, that’s strange.


    [1] Remember “consistent with” from Does “Many-Worlds” and “MultiUniverses” Really Exist?. Apparently Michael does not.

    [2] Michael’s favorite phrase.

    [3] Here Michael unwittingly shoots his own theory in the foot. Mercury could not hold onto its atmosphere even for 6,000 years, let alone 4 billion. So his theory would require that Mercury was created within the past few hundred years. Unfortunately, the early astronomers must have had their eyes trained in another direction at the time, and missed this big event.

    [4] Yes, yes. The magnetic field would screen the solar particles. However, the discovery of “tornadoes” in the field make it very leaky.

  2. Olorin,

    “The purpose of Messenger is not to find out what we already know. It is to find out what we don’t know.”That is like doing a math problem that you don’t know rather than doing one you do know. If ‘theories’ are only there to be falsified, then why have them in the first place and go with what you don’t know? The mission by the way was for both, confirmation of theories and exploring new data…It also shows what scientists really know about reality.

  3. Michael still can’t tell the difference between a theory and a fact. He believes that confirmation causes theories to grow into facts, the way metamorphosis causes caterpillars to grow into butterflies.

    What the Messenger probe does is to gather data. It has no sensors for detecting theories. The data are sent back to Earth, where they are analyzed and interpreted. The we try to make sense of the data in terms of one or more theories, if we have any.

    The purpose of creationism is to confirm a theory. However, the purpose of a scientific investigation such as Messenger is to gather data. The purpose of the data is to devise a theory that fits a wider range of phenomena than any current theory. It may happen that a current theory already successfully covers the new data; or a current theory may need a modification to account for the new data; or it may be that no current theory would predict this data, in which case we need a new one altogether.


    Michael may wish to review the section of “Science Wars’ in which the lecturer compares two scientific instruments invented in the 17thC—telescopes and calculatuing machines, and how they differ from each other.

  4. If ‘theories’ are only there to be falsified, then why have them in the first place and go with what you don’t know?

    That is at least a tie for Dumbest Statement of the Year from this blog.

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