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A Perpetual Dust Storm on the Moon


          Every lunar morning, when sunlight hits the moon’s dusty soil after two weeks of the frigid lunar night, a strange dust storm stirs the surface.  The long, skinny dust storm stretches all the way from the moon’s north pole to its south pole.  It swirls across the surface, following the terminator (the dividing line between night and day) as sunrise travels around the moon.

          The evidence for the storm comes from an Apollo 17 experiment left behind on the moon in 1972.  Called the Lunar Ejecta and Meteorites (LEAM) experiment, it was designed to detect dust kicked up by meteors hitting the moon’s surface.  The Apollo scientists wanted to know how much dust is kicked up by daily impacts.  The LEAM has three sensors, one pointing east, the second pointing west, and the third pointing up.  Each of the three sensors records the speed, energy, and direction of tiny particles hitting it.  LEAM operated for a short time, gathering only 620 hours of night data and 150 hours of daytime data. 

          LEAM detected a large number of particles every (lunar) morning, mostly coming from the east or west rather than from above or below, and mostly passing at slower speeds than expected for ejecta.  What happens is that when the sunlight hits a dust particle on the moon’s surface, the photon knocks off an electron, imparting a positive charge to the dust grain.  However, at night the dust particle becomes negatively charged.  At the interface between night and day, electrically-charged dust would be pushed sideways—from the dark side to the sunlit side—across the terminator.  The sunlit-charged dust stuck to the LEAM.  In so doing, it absorbed sunlight and heated the LEAM’s instruments so much that they had to be turned off and the data gathering ended. 

          Astronauts may have seen the storms, too.  While orbiting the moon, the crews of Apollo 8, 10, 12, and 17 sketched bands or twilight rays where sunlight was apparently filtering through dust above the moon’s surface.  This was reported before each lunar sunrise and just after sunset.  NASA’s Surveyor craft also photographed twilight “horizontal glows,” similar to what the astronauts sketched.  Possibly, some of the Lunar Transient Phenomena (LTPs) reported by earth-based observers over the last couple of hundred years may be the rising plumes of electrostatically lifted lunar dust. 


Figure 1:  Dusty “twilight rays” sketched by Apollo 17 astronauts.  (Courtesy NASA.)


          The dust’s attraction to NASA’s instruments matters to NASA because if astronauts are to remain on the moon at a permanent outpost, the wall of dust may create such problems as coating surfaces, causing hardware to overheat, and clogging spacesuits. 


Army Ants and Peleg’s Day


          A Cornell University study has discredited a long-standing evolution theory which claims that army ants originated separately on different continents and then evolved into the army ants we know all around the world today. 

          The problem is, how can army ants, whose queens cannot fly or get caught up in the wind, be so similar all around the world?  Sean Brady, a Cornell University entomologist, determined to find the answer.  Using fossil data and genetic forensics, Brady discovered that all army ants stem from one point of origin.  Furthermore, army ants have not evolved even a little bit.

          Brady studied the army ant DNA from several locations and compared them with twenty possible evolutionary ancestors within the army ant community.  His finds discredited the evolutionists’ established theory of army ants.  Furthermore, the DNA evidence argues for a recent continental split, even as the Scripture reports happened in the days of Peleg (Genesis 10:25[1]). 



          An infectious insanity, rampant in world these days, insists on the worship of ancient deities such as Gaia,[2] or Nature.  Although most environmentalists are practical atheists, they are concerned with “getting back to the garden,” by which they mean the garden of Eden, even though most will deny there ever was a garden of Eden.  But the Scripture says the LORD banished man from the garden of Eden and made certain that man could never enter it again (Genesis 3:24[3]).  Environmentalists are hostile to the Creator God for blocking them from access to Eden; they favor impersonal goddesses like Mother Nature or Mother Earth, or the lowly Father Sky.  As such, they must deny that the LORD God of the Bible knew what he was doing when he created the earth for man.  Such denial makes perfect sense in their minds, but to a Bible believer it is absolute insanity. 

          If God created the earth for man and planned for it to be around until the time came to create the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 20:11; 21:1), then he must have made sure that man cannot destroy this earth before God’s time.  In particular, this means that we cannot pollute the earth to death.

          There are a great many toxic chemicals which have been released on the surface of earth and in the waters.  The doomsayers promise to stop the pollution if we would only send them money.  The more money they collect, however, the more pollutants they find that need to be cleaned up and which we need to banish from our daily lives.  Recycling is an environmental disaster for most recycled items.  It takes more energy and creates more pollution to recycle most items than it does to make the material from scratch.  Much material is renewable, such as paper, for instance, and so the supply is effectively unlimited.  The end product, paper, is always biodegradable.  It is the manufacturing process that involves biologically caustic chemicals.  Did God not prepare the earth for such pollution?

          Recently, scientists discovered the existence of tiny, living creatures that serve as the earth’s recycling centers for metals and minerals.  Whereas we breathe air, these tiny creatures breathe in other things, things we consider pollutants.  The living creatures are called extremophiles. 

          What astounded the scientists was what happens to the products the extremophiles take in.  The worthless minerals or metals taken in are “breathed out,” redeposited in their original state!

          What has captured the imagination of most is one extremophile that breathes in dissolved gold and redeposits it as solid gold.  Deep in the ocean’s underwater canyons we find hydrothermal vents, even active volcanoes.  These have spewed out miles of deposits of dissolved gold.  When the extremophiles are introduced into that environment, the microbes rapidly convert the useless gold into a solid metallic form.  What was once dissipated by the heat and pressure of the earth’s crust and mantle has now been made whole again. 

          The extremophiles’ gold production is not great enough to give a commercial yield, and given its extreme environment it is clearly not cost effective; nevertheless, extremophiles hold a promise that even as the extremophiles can convert the earth’s pollution into a safe form, even so they can convert man’s pollution into a safe form.

          Such creatures are not new.  We have long known of bacteria that devour crude oil, for instance.  These keep the oceans free of the tar balls that surface from naturally occurring oil wells in the ocean floor.  Although environmentalists scream that the tar balls are caused by offshore drilling, the tar balls were just as frequent now as they were before the oil rig was invented. 






          A priest, doctor, and engineer were sentenced to die by the guillotine.  The priest was called first.  He was led up to the platform, strapped in, and the board lowered into position and his head secured.  The executioner pulled the lever and the blade came flashing down.  However, halfway down it jammed and came to a stop.  The executioner took this as a sign from God and freed the priest.

          The doctor was led up to the platform next.  The same thing happened and the doctor was freed.

          The engineer was led up the platform.  He looked up at the guillotine for a couple minutes, then said to the executioner: “You know, I think I see the problem….”


[1] Genesis 10:25—And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

[2] Gaia is the Hindi name of the elephant whose feet are planted on the back of a giant turtle swimming in a cosmic ocean.  On Gaia’s back is a flat disk called the earth. 

[3] Genesis 3:24—So [God] drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.