Recent research indicates that the Moon suffered intense asteroid and meteoroid bombardment impacting its entire surface some 3.9 billion years ago.1, 2 Because of the Moon’s proximity to Earth and because of Earth’s greater gravity, we can reasonably infer that Earth, too, suffered heavy bombardment at that time— an assault as much as thirty times more intense.
Such bombardment would have wreaked havoc on the planet. It would have reduced Earth’s crust to a molten mass, turning its surface water to vapor. This scenario may explain the lack of marine deposits and rocks dating earlier than 3.9 billion years. Remarkably, this pelting may have played a vital role in preparing Earth for life. Along with the asteroids and meteoroids, comets (which are mostly frozen water) would have rained down in abundance. Once the barrage slowed and surface cooling began, that water would have condensed, contributing to the formation of a huge ocean. (The bombardment may also explain the moisture on Mars about 3.9 billion years ago.)3, 4
These findings underscore the miraculous rapidity of life’s origin. We know from the ratios of carbon isotopes that life was abundant on Earth as far back as 3.86 billion years ago.5 Therefore, life must have arisen in the tiny span of 40 million years (3.9 billion minus 3.86 billion = 40 million), probably less. Naturalism offers no explanation for such a rapid appearance of life. The Bible, on the other hand, does.
- Richard A. Kerr, “Beating Up on a Young Earth, and Possibly Life,” Science 290 (2000), 1677.
- B. A. Cohen, T. D. Swindle, and D. A. Kring, “Support for the Lunar Cataclysm Hypothesis from Lunar Meteorite Impact Melt Ages,” Science 290 (2000), 1754-56.
- Richard A. Kerr, “A Dripping Wet Early Mars Emerging from New Pictures,” Science 290 (2000), 1879-80.
- Michael C. Malin and Kenneth S. Edgett, “Sedimentary Rocks of Early Mars,” Science 290 (2000), 1927-37.
- S. J. Mojzsis et al., “Evidence for Life on Earth Before 3,800 Million Years Ago,” Nature 384 (1996), 55-59.