Reasons to Believe

Earth/Moon Design

  • Late Heavy Bombardment: Not So Sterile

    Fireworks, thunderbirds, thunderstorms, NASCAR races, earthquakes–each of these phenomena displays power, generally accompanied by loud noises. But they all pale in comparison to the fireworks … more

  • A Message from Minerals

    One of my favorite words has been hijacked, thanks to Charles Darwin, and I want to bring it back to its original meaning. Evolution has always meant “change with respect to time,” which … more

  • Majestic Mountain Grandeur

    Most of my favorite trips from childhood (and adulthood) involved mountains








    X-NONE … more

  • Coreless Terrestrial Planets

    As I described in last week’s Today’s New Reasons To Believe, two MIT planetary scientists added to the list of these features. Their modeling of the formation history of planets the size … more

  • Confirming the Moon's Vital Role

    Back in 1993, a research team led by French astronomer Jacques Laskar proved analytically that the tilt of Earth’s rotation axis is stabilized over long time periods thanks to Earth being … more

  • Prehistoric Atmospheric Oxygen Levels

    Every part of human life experiences ups and downs. The stock market goes up and down just like my energy levels. As it turns out, the amount of life on Earth experiences similar changes.

    In fact, … more

  • Design of the Solar System’s Gas Giants

    The masses and orbits of the solar system’s four gas giant planets are crucial for life on planet Earth. Without the gas giant planets, Earth would suffer from frequent life-destructive … more

  • The Age(s) of the Continents

    The Hebrew phrase “tohu wabohu” provides the first description of Earth given in Genesis 1. Many English Bible translations render this description as “formless and void (or … more

  • A Mega-Collision with Earth’s “Sister Planet”

    Of all the planets in the solar system, Venus most closely resembles Earth. Venus’s mass and radius are only 20% and 5% smaller, respectively. In addition, it orbits about 30% closer to the sun … more

  • Design Feature Prevents Hard Snowball Earth

    Imagine the Antarctic glaciers extending over the whole Earth. Dating back to the early 1960s, scientists proposed just such a scenario, known as a “snowball Earth” hypotheses to explain … more

  • Earth Just Barely Large Enough

    As I discussed two weeks ago, Venus and Earth are remarkably similar in terms of their size and composition. Both probably started out with large oceans of water. While Earth continues to maintain a … more

  • A Planet’s Magnetic Field Protects Its Water

    Disaster movies seem to be a staple for Hollywood. One such disaster movie that I found enjoyable (enough to watch it four times on my way to Japan) was The Core. The movie opens by showing some … more