What is the Death Star?

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The Sun as seen by observatory.

Some scientists speculate that the sun has an unseen companion star whose orbit bring it close to the solar system about once every 26 million years. On each trip inward, this star unleashes numerous comets from the Oort cloud. According to this theory, on a previous pass (about 65 million years ago), many of these comets struck the Earth. This resulted in explosive collisions that pushed a great dark cloud of dust into the upper atmosphere and thus shielded the Earth's surface from sunlight for many years. Since plants could not grow, the vegetarian dinosaurs starved, and the broken food chain soon affected the carnivorous animals as well. Geologists call this the Cretaceous extinction.

The star that supposedly started all this is appropriately named Nemesis--the Death Star--after the Greek goddess of punishment. The search for this disturbing star has been unsuccessful. Perhaps the reason is that the star does not exist!

Creationists have a more credible explanation for the period of widespread destruction, based on the Genesis flood. It is interesting to note that the disappearance of the dinosaurs has forced scientists to postulate many worldwide catastrophes. They have abandoned James Hutton's “uniformitarianism,” whereby all changes on Earth are slow, and the present is the key to the past. The creationist position has always emphasized the role of biblical catastrophes in Earth history.

Author: Dr. Donald B. DeYoung - adapted from Astronomy and the Bible: Questions and Answers, 2nd Edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), 176 pp.

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