KOLOB, the Mormon Masterplanet
The following is a one page article published by REASONS TO BELIEVE, out of California. To see an LDS response to this article click here.
KOLOB, the Mormon Masterplanet
According to the Mormon scriptures (Doctrine and Covenants, Abraham 3) our galaxy, if not all galaxies, is posited to contain countless planets either already, or soon to be, inhabited by human-type life. The greatest of these planets is Kolob.
Kolob is said to be the greatest of the planets because it is "nearest unto the throne of God." But, it is also "the greatest of all the Kokau-beam that thou hast seen" ... "which signifies stars or all the great lights which were in the firmament of heaven." Moreover, at least two stars and possibly fifteen or more stars and planets, the Moon, the Earth, and the Sun receive their light from Kolob. Kolob also is said to be surrounded by many great stars which are near unto it (Abraham 3:2). According to this same passage (Abraham 3) the greater the planet the longer its rotational period. Kolob, the greatest, has a day equal to 1000 years.
Now, how do these statements square with the facts of astronomy? Observations convince astronomers that stars are very different from planets. The visible stars (to Abraham) are large ranging from 500,000 to 300,000,000 miles in diameter. They produce huge amounts of light through nuclear fires burning in their cores. No star (except for an extremely rare kind of close binary companion) receives significant light from another. Planets on the other hand, are small--smaller than 90,000 miles in diameter and produce no light of their own. They simply reflect some of the light they receive from the stars.
It is now known by astronomers that the ability of a planet to support life depends on its size. Only planets very close to the dimensions of the earth can maintain stable water cycles free of those gases [sic] poisonous to life.1
A life supporting planet must have a rotational period close to 24 hours. If it is as brief as it is for the greater planets (e.g. Jupiter and Saturn), thousand mile per hour winds result. If it is as long as Kolob's thousand year day, the night temperature would barely rise above absolute zero (-460o F) while the day temperature would exceed the melting point of lead (621o F).2
A life supporting planet cannot exist too close to "many great stars." Such stars would disrupt the planet's orbit and would undergo explosions that would terminate the planet's life-forms.3
However, there are more fundamental problems. Life support conditions are calculated to be absurdly rare in our universe. Even with the existing hundred billion trillion stars out to the limits of the universe the possibility of finding even one planet with the right conditions for life is less than one in one hundred quintillion.4 The Mormon scenario of millions of populated planets is just pure fantasy.
Recently, science has proven that the universe requires a transcendent Creator.5 The creator in Mormonism is not transcendent. Rather, he dwells in his kingdom on one of the planets of our universe.
Obviously, the Mormon Kolob is an impossibly inhospitable place for life. Obvious, too, are its violations of observed principles of astronomical structure.
1. Ross, Hugh, Genesis One: A Scientific
Perspective (Pasadena, CA: Reasons to Believe, 1983), pp. 6-7.
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