Earth can be compared to a giant spacecraft carrying more than 6 billion people and billions of animals and plants. Our planet is expressly designed for life down to the smallest detail.
American scientist Buckminster Fuller coined the term “Spaceship Earth” to describe our planet. It rotates at an amazing speed of 66,600 miles per hour, spins at 1,000 miles per hour at the equator, and the annual journey around the sun is more than half a billion miles. This all happens without us being aware of the velocity or the trip itself, while the gravitational force of the sun keeps the planet on its circular path.
Job’s description of the creation of the earth was correct when he said of our Creator: “He hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7). The earth is able to “hang” suspended through the unseen force of gravity, and the distance from the sun is perfect for life.
By comparison Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, has a daytime temperature of about 600 degrees Fahrenheit (316 Celsius).
Instead of a universe once thought to be possibly teeming with life, scientists are now realizing the rare qualities of earth. Cosmologists Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee wrote the 2003 book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe to explain some of our planet’s unique features and how difficult it would be to duplicate these conditions on some other planet. Lee Strobel also points out in his book The Case for a Creator: “Each dial has a huge range of possible settings, and you can see if you were to adjust one or more of them just a little bit, the environment would go out of whack and life would be impossible” (The Case for a Creator, 2004, p. 130).
As scientific discoveries accumulate, planet Earth has become recognized as a very privileged planet. For example: the transparent canopy covering the planet houses a renewable supply of oxygen for human beings and animal life, and carbon dioxide and nitrogen for plants. It also provides the proper air pressure for living things, and the outer edge of this translucent shell is composed of an ozone layer protecting life from harmful ultraviolet rays. Also, a magnetic field generated by the spinning iron core at the centre of our planet deflects damaging cosmic rays and deadly solar winds. Without these features and others mentioned in the full-length article linked below life on earth would not be possible.
No other planet in our solar system is remotely like earth. To keep the temperature comfortable our planet remains in orbit at just the right distance from the sun and is designed with an optimum tilt of 23.5 degrees. As Fred Meldau points out in Why We Believe in Creation Not in Evolution, “If the earth had been tilted as much as 45 degrees instead of what it is, temperate zones would have torrid zone heat in the summer and frigid zone cold in the winter. On the other hand, if the axis of the earth were vertical to the plane of its orbit, January and July would have the same climate and ice would accumulate until much of the continents would be ice-covered for six months and flooded the other six months” (1972, pp. 27-28).
Astronomer, Dr. Hugh Ross also describes how the moon and surrounding planets play a vital role in preserving life on earth. For example, the planet Jupiter protects earth in a way not acknowledged in earlier centuries: “Late in 1993, planetary scientists George Wetherell, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., made an exciting discovery about our solar system. In observing computer simulations of our solar system, he found that without a Jupiter-sized planet positioned just where it is, Earth would be struck about a thousand times more frequently than it is already by comets and comet debris (The Creator and the Cosmos, pp. 137-138).
We see around us a carefully designed creation, calibrated to sustain our existence. No wonder the Genesis creation account concludes with this summary of God’s handiwork: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31) and Psalms 104:24 praises our Creator: “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of your possessions.”
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