Re: moon dust info - please help

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Wed, 04 Nov 1998 08:13:01 -0800

At 02:44 PM 11/4/98 +1100, Jonathan wrote:

>I think you are missing the point I am trying to make. Perhaps I should
>explain myself better. It is not that scientists who were not YEC
>a thick layer of dust on the moon. That is not in dispute. Nor is it in
>dispute that at least two of the scientists in question (Lyttleton in 1956
>Thomas Gold in 1955) predicted a thick dust layer as a consequence of certain
>postulated processes operating over billions of years. However, for the
>prediction to be correct certain assumptions about lunar processes had to be
>true. These assumptions were disputed by several, including Whipple in the
>late 50's and Shoemaker in the early 60's. They proposed alternative models
>for the nature of the lunar surface based on a different set of processes
>operating. Lunar exploration by US and Russian missions showed the
Whipple and
>Shoemaker to be substantially correct and the Gold and Lyttleton model false.
>That is the way science goes. Lyttleton and Gold stimulated thought and
>research even though they were wrong in the long run.
>The issue to me is the way some YECs have mis-represented history as well as
>science.. First, that some YECs insisted the thick dust model was the
>one prior to Apollo - false (look at the design of the LM in the March 64
>Geographic). Secondly, they maintain that the lunar science team were
>dumbfounded by the absence of dust - false (you can feel the satisfaction in
>Shoemaker's writing by his model being proved correct in the November 64
>Geographic). Thirdly, they were able to get away with this despite this
>being easily refutable by anyone in the English-speaking world who had access
>to a good public library.
>The reason they were able to do this was the persistence of the folk science
>belief that the moon was (or should have been) covered in thick dust. Why
>this should be the case could shed a lot of light on the nature and
>transmission of folk science.

Point well made. Thank you.