1st Oct 2014

Our God Is Amazing

By John Rankine

People, especially scientists, are often heard to say that we cannot be alone in the universe and that somewhere out there, in that vast expanse of space, there must be other solar systems much like ours with planets which could support life, even if not like our own. It’s the same sort of theory that says that giving thousands of monkeys a word processor each, they would eventually come up with the entire works of Shakespeare.


Maybe there are others. If God can create us, then he can create others – if He so wished. I would hope that others would not be so like us that God would have to send His Son to pay the penalty for their sins as well. 
It has always amazed me how accurate the first few verses of Genesis chapter 1 are, and it is recognised that a vast period of time elapsed between verse 1 and verse 2. No one at the time they were written could have worked the beginnings of our world, so they must have been inspired.


I did hear recently that our world is uniquely set up in such a way that it is highly unlikely that there could be another just like us. I shall try to spell out the reasons as simply as I can.


The Big Bang theory of creation is generally accepted these days. This postulates that millions upon millions of lumps of rock were sent hurtling into space and that some of them crashed into each other in such a way that they formed ever larger units. This is how Earth was formed.


However, Earth was initially much smaller than now and therefore could not support life or much else as it gravitational field was too weak. Not far away was another ‘earth’ about the same size as us and the two crashed into each other and stuck so that we have the globe on which we live today. Thus Earth’s own gravity determined our distance from the sun so that we are neither too hot, not too cold. Some bits of debris spun off, one of which became our moon. We have lots of moons, all very small, as well as the one which rises and for a while each month illuminates our night sky.


Now, the crash knocked Earth off its true axis. This means that, instead of the core of the earth being vertical in relation to the sun, it leans over at 23 degrees. (That’s 23 out of 360). If it did not lean then the temperature of the whole world would be constant at about what it now is at the equator – i.e. 31C or so. Because it does lean, then, as we orbit the sun, different parts are closer to, or farther away from the sun at different times. We call those times ‘seasons’ – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. These influence all aspects of our lives, including the food we grow.


We all know that the moon causes our tides in the oceans. Its own gravity pulls against Earth and draws the water in the sea to bulge. If Earth did not tilt then the whole world would be flooded (see Genesis 1 again) and some parts would be frozen and others under water. At the start the moon was much closer to the Earth than it is now and so its gravitational pull was much stronger. God waited until it had moved away before putting life onto Earth’s surface.


Incidentally the moon is still moving away from us – the rate is about just under 4cm a year, or say 1.5 inches. Given long enough it will move far enough away for us all to perish. That could possibly coincide with the point at which the sun burns out and Earth spins out into space. Don’t hold your breath!


Stephen Hawking, the eminent physicist, in his book about the Big Bank states that there could be no greater argument for the existence of God. Lately he has retracted that and says it is all down to the laws of physics. He does not explain who invented those laws. Only God could invent them and then arrange matters to produce our world in a unique situation and arrangement. With God nothing happens by chance.