Browse Search Feedback Other Links Home Home The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
Previous Claim: CE280   |   List of Claims   |   Next Claim: CE301

Claim CE281:

The Poynting-Robertson effect causes orbiting particles (on the order of a centimeter in diameter) to slow and fall inward because solar radiation falls slightly more on their leading edge, like raindrops on a speeding car. If the solar system were old, the Poynting-Robertson effect would have caused all particles above a certain size to spiral into the sun, removing them from the solar system, but we still find interplanetary dust.


Brown, Walt, 1995. In the Beginning: Compelling evidence for creation and the Flood. Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation, p. 20, 30.


  1. The particles are replenished by disintegrating comets and colliding asteroids. It takes hundreds of millions of years for the Poynting-Robertson effect to cause centimeter-sized particles to fall into the sun, so the replenishment need not be particularly rapid.

  2. For smaller particles, there is a balance between the Poynting-Robertson effect and radiation pressure, thereby preserving the dust in stable orbits. Gravitational effects of planets can also keep particles in stable orbits.


Matson, Dave E., 1994. How good are those young-earth arguments?

Wong, Michael, 2001. Young-earth creationism: pseudoscience.

Further Reading:

Thompson, Tim, n.d. Is the Earth young?
Previous Claim: CE280   |   List of Claims   |   Next Claim: CE301

created 2001-2-18, modified 2004-4-17