Reasons to Believe

Solar System Design

  • Grand Tack Model Reveals More Solar System Designs

    All standard planetary formation models, when applied to the solar system, are stymied by the “Mars Problem” and the “Main Belt Problem.” Most solar system formation models can explain the masses and … more

  • Our Sun Is Still the One and Only

    I grew up in coastal British Columbia where the weather was easy to predict. If you could see the mountains, you knew it was going to rain. If you could not see the mountains, it was raining already. … more

  • Why Water Worlds Are Inhospitable to Life

    In the classic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the thirsty mariner looks out at the ocean surrounding him and declares, “Water, water, every where, / Nor any drop to drink.”1 … more

  • Persuasive Reasons: Thoughts on Fine-Tuning

    Recently, I wrote about what I find as the most persuasive argument (scientifically speaking) for the truth of Christianity. Big bang cosmology reveals a marked correspondence between the biblical … more

  • Earth’s Seven Sisters: Are They Really Similar?

    NASA just announced the discovery of the largest ever batch of Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around a single star, 39 light-years away. The star is TRAPPIST-1, otherwise known by its … more

  • From the Big Bang to Humans

    Life abounds on planet Earth. We are familiar with numerous forms, like people, pets, insects, and fish. Using microscopes, we see a host of bacterial and viral organisms. Digging in the dirt reveals … more

  • Rogue Star on Path to Splatter Us with Killer Comets

    In case your list of things to worry about is a little short and you need something to raise your anxiety levels, two astronomers have now come to your rescue. Filip Berski and Piotr Dybczyński at … more

  • Middle Age Is Good, Especially for Our Sun

    The most elaborate birthday celebration I ever had was the one that our Reasons to Believe staff organized for my 60th birthday. I was expecting just a token nod for having completed 60 trips … more

  • How Did Migration Affect Our Solar System?

    Try to imagine the last collision you witnessed that improved the objects involved. As much as I like collisions, they almost always bring destruction. Similarly, consider what happens when a bowling … more

  • Clouds Cause Problems for Extraterrestrial Life

    When I was a child, my friends and I would sometimes lie on the grass and watch billowing clouds traverse the sky. As they traversed the sky and changed shape, we would call out to one another what … more

  • Are We Alone in the Cosmos?

    My book Improbable Planet, due to be released next week, provides the most extensive explanation and documentation to date about how the entire universe, every event in Earth’s history, and … more

  • Long-Term Habitability Requires a Sun-Earth Twin

    The popular science news outlets are filled with articles claiming that our galaxy is teeming with habitable planets—as many as 40 billion by some estimates. These claims and estimates are based … more

  • Have Astronomers Found Pluto’s Replacement?

    In 1930, American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered a large body in the outer solar system. After analyzing astronomical photographs of the night sky, Tombaugh and colleagues determined this body … more

  • Search for Earth Analogues Reveals Design

    Does life exist beyond Earth? Not surprisingly, searches of the solar system yield no evidence because the only planet (or moon) located in the right place is Earth. However, the discovery of … more