Nature and the Universe – design not coincidence
If we look at a macro level in the Universe or micro level inside a cell, we see that they turned out the way they did because of a seemingly improbable series of events. But when we scrutinise these events it becomes extremely obvious that they could not have happened by chance:
1st – the Universe expanded at just the right rate
2nd – Just the right environment was provided on the earth
3rd – Then life with all its detail and complexity appeared on the Earth.
For such a sequence of events to take place by accident does test the limits of credibility. If we look at the careful and intricate design of the world around us, and then think logically, we can not help but come to the conclusion that there must have been a designer. a being that would be so powerful that He could create the universe and then control everything which took place in it. Who is this being? The Bible gives us the answer:
“Praise the Lord from the heavens;…Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him; all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heaven of heavens…Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created” Psalm 148:1 – 5
and also in the Bible:
“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” Jeremiah 32:17
The first book of the Bible, Genesis, tells us that God created the world we live in over seven days. This article looks at each of these days to see what was created and then shows that only a great designer could have created these things.
God’s glorious creation
Close to six thousand years ago a new world was created. Where there had been nothing, there was all of a sudden over a matter of six days a world full of life.
There was a world full of living breathing life-forms many of which were capable of thinking for themselves. When one considered each life-form it would be found that each one had been created according to a set of perfect plans. And each design was so intricate that it could not be duplicated by anyone but the creator Himself. Indeed this entire creation was so magnificent that it would make those who consider it feel small and insignificant in comparison with the one who had created this. One couldn’t help but feel awestruck at the magnificence and glory of He who created such a intricately designed system of life.
Let’s look at how this great creator did it. This is what the Bible says at the very beginning:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light “Day”, and the darkness he called “Night”. So the evening and the morning was the first day”. Genesis 1: 1-5
So these first few sentences tell us how it all started. This must be one of the simplest concepts to grasp. Light and darkness were created and they were made to occur in regular sequence. Every twenty four hours the night and day were designed to make one appearance each. The duration of the night and day depended upon where you were in the world. The great creator made the earth spin at the speed of about one kilometre every two seconds. Which works out that the earth does one spin upon its axis every 23 hours 56 minutes and four seconds.
The Bible then goes on to tell us about the second day of creation:
“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water’. So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky”. And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day”. Genesis 1: 6-8
God gathered the waters together into one place so that there could be oceans full of life. Water could not have been formed without the existence of the chemical hydrogen. So God made sure this gas was in abundance at the earth’s inception.
Hydrogen is the lightest of all elements and because of this, a planet of our size simply doesn’t have enough gravity to hold on to it. But God made sure that just enough hydrogen, that is, about one percent stayed in the atmosphere, for this one percent when combined with carbon, silicon, sulfur and oxygen proved to be the right recipe to produce water. The fact that just the right amount of hydrogen stayed in the atmosphere to create water, might look like a coincidence to some in the world but to believers in God they know it is the great creator’s intervention.
But God’s intervention in the formation of water didn’t stop there. The earth had to be the right size and distance from the sun in order for the earth to stay wet. The reasoning behind this is that the temperature of the earth had to be within a certain range in order to keep water. When we look at the temperatures of this universe we see that the temperatures extend over a vast range from the deep freeze of space to the thermonuclear heat of stars. Within this immense span of over thirty-six million degrees Fahrenheit, fluid water can occur only within the narrow band of 180 degrees Fahrenheit that lies between its freezing and it’s boiling points. Our planet is just far enough from a star of exactly the right size and condition to keep the temperature right within that 180 degrees spectrum.
Water – the ultimate solvent
Water was given a number of unique properties by God. One of these unique properties is that water is the ultimate solvent. It can break up and clean away any other liquid. Nothing is safe from water. There isn’t a container strong enough to hold it. For example, seconds after distilled water is poured into a beaker, it is contaminated by the molecules of glass from the beaker. Yes, that’s correct; water starts to eat away at the glass. So we see every lake, stream and ocean in the world full of dissolving matter making them concentrated soups of thousands of substances, including enough gold to make every person in the world a millionaire.
Of course it was also in God’s plan that water have this characteristic of being a universal solvent for it is through this attribute that minerals can pass from soil into the roots of plants, and flow from there up there stems and flowers. Without such movement within living things, life would have long ago come to a stand still.
Likewise within us, we can not grow in the knowledge of the Bible unless we let the word of God flow through us nourishing us spiritually. This is what the Bible says:
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the lord, and on his law he mediates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does propers”. Psalm 1: 1-3
We should try to be like that tree which is being compared with a Godly man. It grows and propers because it feeds on the good things of God.
Water – what happens when it freezes
Another unique property of water is what happens to it when the temperature falls. All matter on Earth becomes denser as its temperature falls and it gradually shifts from gas to liquid to solid state. All matter on Earth does this except for water which behaves in the expected way of all other matter until its temperature reaches four degrees Celsius where something strange happens – instead of shrinking further. it starts to expand until at zero degrees it has grown in volume by 11 percent.
When God designed water, why did He make sure water did this when it started to freeze? Because if it hadn’t, there would probably be no life left on this Earth. When water freezes it has lots of air between its molecules, even more than normal liquid water. Therefore because of the fact that it is less dense than liquid water it will actually float on the liquid water. This is probably just as well…. if it weren’t so, then ice would sink, and before long every pond, pool and arm of the ocean would be solid freezing from the bottom up. Once this happened, all Earth’s water would be locked away and there could be no wells or springs, no streams or brooks, no humidity and no rain. It is only our great Creator giving water this particular property of expanding when it freezes that has prevented disaster on the Earth.
Water – the lifesaver
As we have seen, there are two properties that God gave to water when he created it so that life could exist on this planet.
God created enough water that if the oceans were divided up among all the people of Earth, every single man, woman and child would get the equivalent of 110 billion gallons (416 billion litres). If each person were given only fresh water, which makes up only 1.6 percent of the water on our planet, each would still get 40 million gallons (151 million litres). There is an abundance of water because it is the vehicle of all the numerous chemicals of living tissue. Rain, rivers and oceans ensure that it is widespread and so life is found over the globe.
The third day of creation is described in the Bible in this way:
“And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear’. And it was so. ‘God called the dry ground “land”, and the gathered waters he called “seas”. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation; seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. The land produced vegetation; plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the third day” Genesis 1: 9-13
So we see here that firstly, dry land was created and then vegetation was made.
There are three broad groups of plant life mentioned in these verses:
• herbs, which yielded seed
• trees, which yielded fruit – whose seed is used to grow itself again.
The earth was covered with this vegetation. The type of vegetation it was and the density of it depended on where it was in the world and what the climate was like. For example, there is a spruce tree forest in the lakes district of central Canada that is so dense and impenetrable that the winter snow stays on top of the trees, like a blanket, and the forest floor stays bare.
Why God created plants
God created plants for a number of reasons.
Plants are of course used for food. Think of all the foods that are produced from plants like sugar, bread, vegetable oils, spices, fruits and vegetables.
In addition, to using plants for food, man also uses it for shelter. Consider the number of wooden houses there are in the world – not to mention the amount of furniture there is made out of wood. Remember that the materials used in the books on your bookshelf all come from trees.
And what about the clothing that is made out of plants. For example, those clothes you wear that are made out of cotton.
Of course plants are also useful as medicine. Modern medicine relies on many plant products in the control of disease and the relief of pain.
Therefore when God created plants, he gave them many characteristics so that they would be useful in a number of roles.
One of the main reasons plants were produced was quite simply to show the glory of God. The Earth would indeed be a dull depressing place without plants to add their many colours and shapes to the landscape.
For those who have been to Queenstown in Tasmania, Australia you would know what I mean when I say without plants the Earth would be depressing. In Queenstown there has been so much mining that the surrounding hills are like huge piles of dirt for they are devoid of any vegetation whatsoever. The overall picture is one of greyness and ugliness. Yet contrast this with the mountains in Canada in autumn where there is blaze of colours showing everyone who looks upon them that there is truly a creator.
There are many wonderful things about plants. But to keep this article to a reasonable length let me tell you about one last thing that on its own tells us that there surely must be a creator:
The wonderful story of the plant cell
This is the green pigment chlorophyll contained inside plant cells. This chlorophyll traps the energy from sunlight which, together with water and the gas called carbon dioxide, allows the plant to convert the sunlight into simple sugars that allow it to grow. On its own, this points to the wonders of the great creator. But even more amazing is that the tiny discs of chlorophyll in the plant cells knows that it must move around inside the plant cell so as to adjust for different light and heat conditions. When the sunlight is too strong, these chlorophyll discs turn edge on. On a cloudy day, they know that they must turn broadside so as to make the most of the available light. With such minute design perfection like this how can anyone possibly say that there isn’t a creator!
Part 2 and 3
Please continue to consider the wonders of creation by reading part 2 and 3 of “Nature and the Universe – design not coincidence”.