email - May 2019

Moon Memories

The Apollo 11 anniversary reminded me of an old email from an evolutionist.

This month, there have been several TV programs about the Apollo space program. I watched them all because that was such an important part of my life. In particular, I watched “Mysteries of Apollo” Season 1 Episode 5, which was broadcast on July 1, 2019. It was about how the lunar rover was designed to cope with the dust on the surface of the moon. It reminded me of an email we received 20 years ago.

The unexpectedly thin layer of dust on the moon was a strong argument against the theory of evolution in the 1970’s. In the 1960’s, the Moon was believed to be just 2 billion years old, 1 covered with 50 feet of cosmic dust. The space program proved that to be wrong.

In April of 1999, we started getting letters from a Canadian evolutionist named John. In one of them he claimed,

Moon dust. The idea here is that if the moon is several billion years old it should be covered in 50 feet of dust. When Neil Armstrong stepped onto a solid surface, this was a blow to evolution. This urban legend is based on the earliest estimates of the influx of space dust which were already known to be wildly in error by the early 60's. Nobody was actually surprised by anything. In any case this is irrelevant. We can now measure the amount of dust in space very accurately using satellites, and the true value is perfectly consistent with the amount accumulated on the moon over 4 billion years. 2

This is revisionist history. The estimates of space dust were NOT “already known to be wildly in error by the early 60's.” It is not true that, “Nobody was actually surprised by anything.”

Episode 5 of “Mysteries of Apollo” showed the initial designs of the lunar rover, which were designed to cope with the thick layer of dust on the moon. About 4 minutes into the program they showed one lunar vehicle design which used Archimedean screws “in case everything submerged under the surface, it can burrow itself through the loose material.” About 6 minutes into the program they said,

The unmanned Surveyor probe was designed to touch down gently in the soft lunar dust. At least, that was the plan. ‘When the Surveyor landed, it bounced something like 10 feet in the air, and then continued to bounce a few more bounces until it finally came to rest. And therefore we realized that the lunar surface itself probably consisted of a very fine layer of upper layer and a very hard surface beneath it.’ The Surveyor 3 mission proved that the Moon’s surface could support a wheeled exploration vehicle.” 3

Surveyor 3 landed on April 20, 1967, so John was not correct. NASA didn’t know the dust estimate was “wildly in error by the early 60's.” They still thought there was thick dust two years before the first manned moon landing. NASA might not have been convinced even then. Perhaps Surveyor 3 just happened to hit a protruding rock.

Furthermore, I don’t think the general public was aware that there wasn’t that much dust on the Moon. I know I wasn’t aware because I was concerned as I watched the real-time animation on TV show the Eagle had already landed, while Armstrong was still calling out status on the radio. The NASA animation was based on how long they expected the descent to be; but the descent took so long that the Eagle almost ran out of fuel, because Armstrong had to avoid a boulder field. I didn’t know that, and feared the descent took much longer than expected because Armstrong could not see through all the dust being kicked up by the rocket motor.

The estimated age of the Moon and the estimated amount of dust on it were revised after the Apollo landings. (Estimates made after the fact aren’t really estimates!) The revised “estimates” were back-dated by John 30 years later in an effort to claim that evolutionists never believed what they actually believed—but I was there and remember the truth.

Will evolutionists (and politicians) ever learn that they can’t get away with lying because their words are recorded on video tape? People younger than me don’t have to take my word for it. They can watch the tapes to see what was really said, and what really happened.

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Footnotes:

1 Disclosure, April 1997, “Action & Reaction”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v1i7r.htm
2 “John's Final Word”, http://scienceagainstevolution.info/john5.htm
3 The portion outside the single quotation marks was said by an anonymous off-screen announcer. The portion inside the single quotation marks was from an on-screen interview with Otha “Skeet” Vaughan, Lunar Surface Operations Engiineer 1969-75, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.