“The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth” (Proverbs 3:19)
“The earth was fitted for man, and man was fitted for the earth.” This is so evident, when one considers the facts, as to be axiomatic. The question arises, could a world that shows such marvelous evidence of design “just happen” — or does the fact of “design for an intended purpose” prove Divine creation? We say unhesitatingly, “it would be easier for a blind monkey in a dark room to pick up individual letters from a jumbled mass of type” and assemble Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” than for the innumerable miracles in creation just to happen.
If one footprint on the sand convinced Robinson Crusoe that a person was on his island, then by the same logic we know that a Creator made the world, because He left, as it were, the countless footprints of His activities.
When Moses wrote the Pentateuch, the Hindus held this view about the earth in relationship to the Universe: “the earth is borne by four elephants standing on a tortoise’s back” (quoted from Flammarion’s Astronomical Myths). How different from such childish nonsense is the declaration of Scripture:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The same Bible tells us in simple, non-technical language, that “He (God) . . . . hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). We all know this is exactly the truth!
How can one explain the simple yet profound teachings of Moses and Job, save on the ground that they spoke “by inspiration of God?”
Scientists have advanced many theories about the origin of the earth — and not one of them is accepted as a logical explanation today! Against every theory advanced by man, some scientist has advanced facts to prove that theory wrong. So, they conclude, “We must honestly admit that we do not know how the earth and the other planets came into being.” For example, the two best known theories of the origin of our solar system are: (1) Immanuel Kant’s and Laplace’s Nebular Hypothesis, and (2) The Planetesimal Theory, advanced by Buffon, Sir James Jeans and others. Scientists say concerning the first of these theories,
“We now know that a rotating mass of nebulous gas would not throw off rings” (Popular Science). “Since the days of Laplace, we have found out that if a ring of gas were thrown off from a spinning nebula, it would break up into many small pieces and these would never come together and join into making a planet — as the Nebular Hypothesis teaches. If the planets had been born that way, then the sun would be the fastest spinning object in the whole solar system. Actually, it is the slowest” (Adapted from E. V. McLoughlin).
Concerning the second theory, the same authority says,
“Unfortunately, astronomers and physicists have had to discard this Planetesimal Theory (that ages ago a large star came near our son and pulled off from the sun ‘tidal waves of hot gases’ that followed the whirling motions of the sun and became the planets. The second star later went off at a tangent, leaving our sun with its planets). First of all, we find it impossible to explain by the Planetesimal Theory how the planets got so far away from the sun. They would all be much closer to the sun than the earth is, if the theory were true. But there is a more serious difficulty: We cannot figure out how those ‘tidal waves’ of hot gases ever could have liquefied and later become solid rock. These original gases would have been so hot they would almost immediately have run off into space, and would never have had a chance to turn into drops of liquid or solid rock.” (Adapted from the Book of Knowledge. See Vol. 1, pp. 133-136).
The Strange Phenomena of “Phoebe” and the Rings of Saturn
To remind the reader of the many difficulties involved creating an acceptable theory as to the origin of the earth, we call attention to the “Rings” of Saturn and to Saturn’s moon “Phoebe.”
One of the most spectacular sights in the heavens is Saturn and its three broad, flat “rings,” as seen through a large telescope. These “rings” are not flaming and fiery, as was formerly supposed, but it has been discovered with the aid of the spectroscope that they are composed of “countless millions of tiny cold, dark bodies,” tiny moonlets if you please, each shining by the reflected light of the sun.
Saturn has nine moons. Phoebe (8,000,000 miles from Saturn, and almost a billion miles from the sun), most remote of the nine, revolves around Saturn in retrograde motion, in the opposite direction to that of the other eight. *
* All of the five moons of Uranus revolve around their planet with retrograde motion. Neptune has two moons, one of which is retrograde in motion. Strangest of all: Jupiter has twelve moons, and FOUR OF THEM (those numbered 8, 9, 11 and 12) TRAVEL BACKWARD, or with retrograde motion, in their orbits, contrary to the usual direction of rotation and revolution of the planets and their moons. Why eight of Jupiter’s moons should revolve one way and four in the opposite direction is “one of the unsolved mysteries of astronomy.”
Who but a versatile and Almighty and Sovereign Creator could make a system like our solar system that works perfectly despite the fact that part of its “machinery” is apparently going the wrong direction?
Here is another question that theorists find hard to answer: Why has not Saturn drawn these trillions of tiny pieces of matter to its surface? In three tiers the rings surround Saturn with a tiara of glory — but WHY they are there and how they got there, no man on earth knows. And they are there despite the fact that some theorists say they shouldn’t be there! And they most certainly would NOT be there if the Nebular Hypothesis or the Planetesimal Theory were correct.
Is There Life on the Other Planets?
All of the planets, except Mars, are immediately ruled out as possibilities because they are either too far away — hence too cold — or too close to the sun — hence too hot. Then too, they are either too small or too large, and so have either too little or no atmosphere, or have a poisonous atmosphere of the heavier gases.
Some believe that life on Mars, however, is a distinct possibility. But note these facts: Mars is 142,000,000 miles from the sun. Astronomers took a close-up look at Mars in 1954, when it approached to within 63,000,000 miles of our earth. They were convinced no human life exists there. Dr. Gerard P. Kuiper, director of McDonald Observatory (Mt. Locke Texas), said:
“Human life on Mars is entirely out of the question because of the severe night temperature and because there is not enough oxygen in the air.” Editor’s note: The amount of oxygen on Mars is infinitesimally small — only about one-fourth of one per cent per unit of volume as is in the air on our earth.
“The temperature on Mars ranges from a little above freezing at the equator during the day to about -90 degrees F. at night. Hence there is no liquid water on Mars; hence, no oceans or lakes.”
Dean B. McLaughlin, University of Michigan astronomy professor, says “the dark markings on Mars’ red surface are drifts of volcanic ash, and not vegetation,” as has been long conjectured by many. He says this volcanic ash “in the dry, oxygen-poor atmosphere of Mars, is green rather than brown as on earth.” *
* The facts about Mars are so well established, the question is no longer subject to controversy. Patrick Moore, in his book, A Guide to the Planets, says, “The earth is unique because it is the only world in the solar system upon which we could survive.”
The Bible says, “God created the heaven and the EARTH.” As we have seen, the earth is unique in our solar system — and as far as we know from science, it is unique in the entire universe. This can be accounted for on no other ground than that it was CREATED by an Intelligent, all-powerful God. And it was created for a specific purpose: that it might be a suitable dwelling place for mankind.
“Extraordinary Combinations” on Earth
When one considers “the extraordinary combinations of important characteristics that made the earth exactly what it is,” one marvels at the ingenuity and the carefulness of the Architect.
The MASS and SIZE of the earth are just right. If the earth were 9,500 miles in diameter instead of the 8,000 that it is, it would double the weight of the air. With twice as much oxygen, the amount of water would be greatly increased; so much so that the entire surface would be covered with an ocean.
If the earth were much lighter than it is, its gravitational pull would be less, so that it would not be able to hold as much air as we now have. The lighter gases would escape first and heavier gases, like carbon dioxide, would remain, so the combination of gases in the air would be affected as well as its volume and density — and life as we know it would no longer be possible on earth. Conditions on earth would approximate those on the moon.
Dr. Wallace estimated that if the mass of our earth were only one-fourth less then it is (i.e. if its diameter were 7,200 miles instead of 8,000), almost the whole earth, due to a lessening of its atmospheric mantle, would be reduced to “a snow and ice-clad waste.” As a matter of fact, Dr. Wallace more than half a century ago concluded “there is evidence of design” in the size of our earth. He proved that if there were a variation of only 10 per cent, either in the increase or decrease of the size of our world, no life on earth would be possible!
The earth is just THE RIGHT DISTANCE from the sun, relative to the amount of heat and light the sun pours into space. If the earth were much closer, it would be too hot; If it were much farther away, it would be too cold.
Dr. William J. Humphreys, formerly with the United States weather bureau told the American Meteorological Society that if the average temperature of the earth were raised but two or three degrees “you could bid goodbye to all the big cities of the earth,” for the glaciers would melt and that in turn would raise the mean level of the oceans 150 feet. This would also inundate thousands of square miles of our most fertile lands.
If the average mean annual temperature were only a few degrees colder, vast amounts of moisture would be put in cold storage in the arctic regions, so robbing the oceans of much of their water. The result would be greatly increased desert areas of the world.
The Earth’s Tilt and Rotation Are Just Right
The earth’s axis, which now points toward the North Star, is tilted just right — at the strange angle of 23 degrees from the perpendicular, that is, in relation to the plane of its orbit. Because of this tilt the sun appears to go north in the summer and south in the winter, giving us four seasons in the temperate zone. For the same reason, there is “twice as much of the land area of the earth that can be cultivated and inhabited as there would be if the sun were always over the equator, with no change of seasons.” Think what would happen if the earth were tilted any other way than it is.
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 six months and flooded the other six months. If the axis of the earth were horizontal to the plane of its orbit there would result “a crazy jumble of fierce heat and deadly cold,” with prolonged nights on half the earth and prolonged days on the other.
The earth ROTATES at just the right speed, making a complete revolution every twenty-four hours in its trip around the sun. The result is, the earth’s crust is evenly heated like a chicken on a turning spit. Were our day a year long, as it is on Mercury, * there would be scorching heat on one side, and bitter cold on the other.
* Mercury’s period of rotation on its axis is about the same as its period of revolution around the sun, eighty-eight days, making the day the same length as the year! Consequently, the same side of Mercury is always turned toward the sun. That side is extremely hot, with a calculated temperature of about 770 degrees F. The side which is always turned away from the sun is forever dark and cold, with a temperature approaching absolute zero. If SUCH a condition prevailed on earth, there could of course be no life on this planet.
If our day of 24 hours were longer or shorter, all present balanced adjustments would be upset, and life on earth would become intolerable, if not utterly impossible,
The speed of rotation of the earth and its inclination on its axis of 23 degrees do NOT come under any law of the universe — they are just made that way, because it was best for God’s intended purpose for the earth. The other planets and satellites do not have the same speed, nor do any of them have the same inclination as the earth.
The Sun in Relation to the Earth
The SUN, 93,000,000 miles away, is a MIRACLE of the first magnitude. It is exactly the right distance from us to do as God intended for it to do; provide us with light, heat, power, and many other blessings. It is the power of the sun that lifts the water from the oceans in the form of vapor, and so makes possible the rainfall over the continents. It is the power and heat of the sun that drives the winds of the world that in turn carry the rain clouds over the lands. It is the mysterious power of photosynthesis — a process not fully understood to this day — that enables plants to manufacture organic food from carbon dioxide, water, mineral slats and SUNSHINE. Animals live on this organic food, manufactured by the plants.
Herschel told us what would happen if the sun were suddenly extinguished.
“In three days from the extinction of the sun there would, in all probability, not be a vestige of animal or vegetable life on the globe. . . . The first forty-eight hours would suffice to precipitate every atom of moisture from the air in deluges of rain and piles of snow, and from that moment would set in a universal frost such as Siberia or the highest peak of the Himalayas never felt — a temperature of between two and three hundred degrees below zero.”
The mystery of the sun’s unfailing stability. Despite the fact that the sun gives forth such vast amounts of power, of which we on earth get but a comparatively infinitesimal amount, the sun does NOT burn out or lessen or change its output. Who feeds the sun? What mysterious power keeps it going? The recent explanation is, “nuclear transmutation,” but even nuclear fission or nuclear fusion, or a combination of both, consume POWER, and matter — and so the sun should run down. Fred Hoyle in his book “The Nature of the Universe” discusses this problem. He says,
“But is nuclear transmutation taking place in the Sun nevertheless? . . . Energy generation must indeed be taking place inside the Sun, and at such a rate as to compensate for what is being radiated into surrounding space. . . . How then can the astrophysicist explain why the Sun does not collapse and why it has remained pretty much its present size, as the geologists have shown, over at least the last 5000,000,000 years?” (pp. 37, 34).
Hoyle suggests (following Eddington) that the sun keeps its same approximate size and a uniform temperature by “nuclear transmutation,” despite the fact it is slowly running down — a sort of self-balancing system that keeps the heat and light and power radiating from the sun at a more or less uniform level. He suggests that in a long time — possibly ten billion years — the sun will burn itself out and explode.
This is extremely interesting. It confronts us with this marvelous fact: the Sun IS a self-regulating furnace that consumes unbelievable amounts of ENERGY — and yet it stays stable year in and year out. It is like the burning bush that was not consumed that attracted Moses. It is both mystifying and marvelous.
The Christian finds his answer to this problem in the Bible. God created all things in, by and through Christ. It is Christ who sustains the Sun! *
* This answer will not, of course, satisfy the scientist who leaves God out and accepts only a natural explanation for the facts of a physical universe. We have no controversy with honest researchers who seek to discover the physical laws and reasons behind all natural phenomena; nevertheless, the universe is so full of MYSTERIES and unsolved problems that through sheer force of FACTS we are driven to the conclusion that a Supreme Being, whom the Bible reveals, not only created the Universe, but also keeps it going. True faith is not inconsistent with the facts of science. On the other hand, the sheer logic of FACTS forces us to acknowledge the Creator.
“Who (i.e. Christ) is the image of the invisible God. . . . For by Him were all things created. . . . all things were created by Him and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him ALL THINGS CONSIST (are held together)” (Colossians 1:15-17).
More Intricate Analysis of the Sun’s Rays
The sun’s rays are MIRACLES that science seeks to explain. When we ask what light is, we face a problem that has baffled the wisest, most learned scientists for generations — and still does. The ancient Greeks thought that light consisted of minute particles radiating from the sun. The physicists of fifty years ago theorized that light was “a series of waves in an all-pervasive material called ether.” Today, the “electro-magnetic theory” is advocated, and light is regarded as “waves, or bunches of particles.” So the current theory combines “particles” and “waves.” “Photons (the energy released when an electron jumps from one orbit into another) get together in bunches and form ‘electro-magnetic waves,’ which are light.” (Article in “Science Illustrated,” on “What is Light?”). Understand the theory? Don’t worry; no one else does either. That light from the sun could travel 93,000,000 miles at 186,280 miles per second, and reach us in a perfect state, as true light, is a miracle that none less than an infinite Creator can achieve!
But light is but one of many MYSTERIOUS FORCES coming from the sun! In recent years the theory that light, heat and radio waves are all “electromagnetic radiations” has won acceptance. We know that there are also other kinds of “electromagnetic radiations.”
“The sum total of these radiations forms what is called a complete electromagnetic spectrum. Arranged in the order of increasing wave lengths, the radiations in this spectrum include gamma rays, X-rays, ultra-violet rays, visible light (from violet to red), infrared (heat) rays and radio waves. They all have the velocity of light — 186,280 miles per second; they differ only in wave length, and accordingly, in frequency.”
Another authority says, “Ether wave vibrations of a frequency of 3,000 billion to 800,000 billion per second cause us to experience the sensation of radiant heat. Vibrations ranging from 400,000 billion to 800,000 billion per second, falling on our retina, cause us to experience light and color. Certain electric waves below 3,000 billion vibrations per second are not sensed, nor are the ultraviolet and X-rays, which are caused by the inconceivably rapid vibrations in ether, amounting to 800,000 billion to 6,000,000 billion per second!”
Confirmation of the “electromagnetic radiations” theory has come in the last few years.
“Between us and the sun there is a daily traffic of radiation as familiar and predictable as tomorrow’s sunrise. Less familiar, and much harder to explain, is the fact that across that vast distance the sun bombards us not only with light and heat, but also with streams of electrified particles of its own substance. Although we cannot see or feel them, they have astonishing effects upon the atmosphere of the earth.” (Condensed from “Corpuscles from the Sun,” by Walter Orr Roberts, Scientific American).
To try to explain SUCH UNBELIEVABLE PHENOMENA as coming to pass as the result of “fortuitous circumstances” or “mere chance” is the height of absurdity; such wonders are the work of a supreme Creator.
Because of these “electromagnetic waves” coming from the sun, we not only have Light, and Heat, and Power, but all the modern miracles of radio, television, radar, X-ray, and a hundred other achievements of modern science that have revolutionized our lives since the turn of the century.
The Moon and the Tides Are Just Right
If the moon were half as far away, or twice its present diameter, great tides would wreck most of our harbors, periodically submerge low-laying islands and coastal plains, and drive inland a hundred miles on some rivers. If the moon were smaller and farther away, it would not have sufficient pull on our tides to cleanse our harbours or adequately rejuvenate (with oxygen) the waters of our oceans.
Obviously, Divine wisdom is shown in the creation of the Moon as a servant of the earth.
Those who visit our seashores are fascinated by the rhythmic pounding of the breakers against the rocky coast and the resulting splash and spray with each incoming breaker. This rhythmic “breathing” — for such it truly is — is very important to the life of the sea. All animal life in the oceans must have oxygen. The breakers, activated in part by the pull of the tides, aerate the water, giving it a new supply of oxygen.
Both the sun and the moon affect the tides. As a matter of fact, both the sun and the moon create “tides” in the atmosphere as well as in the oceans! And this ebb and flow of gravitational pull helps circulate the air in our atmosphere.
“Far over our heads daily moon tides heave and billow on the bosom of our ocean of air” (Sydney Chapman, in “Tides in the Atmosphere,” Scientific American).
The Miracle of Our Atmosphere
To make the world habitable for man, it needs (1) a regular and sufficient supply of light and heat (which we get from the sun); (2) an abundant and general distribution of water; (3) an atmosphere of proper density and composition.
We have exactly the right kind of atmosphere — and the fact that we do have it is a MIRACLE! Our atmosphere is made up largely of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). In addition, our atmosphere contains an essential amount of argon, carbon dioxide and water vapor, beside traces of these gases: neon, helium, methane, krypton, xenon, hydrogen, ozone and a few others. Now here is the miracle:
“The signal fact is,” says Helmut E. Landsberg, writing in the August, 1953, Scientific American, “that the rare gases are present in our atmosphere in only small amounts, MUCH SMALLER THAN THOSE KNOWN ELSEWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE. At the same time, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor are present on earth IN MUCH GREATER ABUNDANCE than elsewhere.” Mr. Landsberg reminds us of the source of his information. “The relative distribution of the elements in the universe has been determined by spectroscopic analysis of solar and stellar matter and by chemical analysis of meteorites” (p. 83).
If the ingredients of our atmosphere followed the proportions prevalent in the Universe life on earth would be impossible. It is clear, Divine Intelligence designed our atmosphere and Divine power executed the plan.
The Miracle of Self-Adjustment
Mr. Landsberg further states,
“During the past billion years this atmosphere has probably been essentially in a state of equilibrium. Production and consumption of the various gases balance. The major producer in the process is the volcanoes; the big flywheels are plants and the oceans” (Ibid).
The omniscient God, knowing what conditions would prevail on the earth when man entered the industrial era, created the world so that its atmosphere would be self-regulating. Here is one problem and its solution:
Although 180 billion tons of carbon dioxide gas have been released into the atmosphere by the burning of mined fuel during the last fifty years. . . .and during the next 100 years, the increasing use of fossil fuels in our world-wide industrial civilization should result in the production of about 1,700 billion more tons of carbon dioxide, yet the end result will not be injurious to man because “well over ninety per cent of any excess carbon dioxide introduced into the atmosphere eventually finds its way into the ocean, being readily dissolved by the ocean water” (Dr. Robert E. Wilson).
There are other means in nature to keep the “balance” of the atmosphere as God created it. For example, plants use carbon dioxide gas in the process of photosynthesis — and that helps keep down an excess of carbon dioxide gas.
The Miraculous “Nitrogen Cycle”
About 78% of the atmosphere is nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Nitrogen is an important constituent of plant and animal life — but they are unable to extract nitrogen directly from the atmosphere. Scientists call the bacteria that capture and fix nitrogen in the soil, so that plants can absorb it, “nitrogen fixers.” These minute organisms then act as “middlemen” between free nitrogen in the air and the plants and animals who are unable to absorb directly from the air the nitrogen they need. It is good that the Creator made nitrogen an inactive (inert) gas. * Had it been otherwise, the world long ago would have ended in catastrophe.
* “It is amazing to know that nitrogen SHOULD be much more active, chemically than it is. Nitrogen’s thermodynamic relations indicate that it has the potentiality of being MUCH MORE ACTIVE than it ordinarily is” (Martin D. Kamen, Scientific American).
“It is fortunate that nitrogen is chemically inert. If it were less reluctant to combine with other elements IT MIGHT READILY COMBINE WITH WATER TO FORM NITRIC ACID. . . .and then the oceans would turn into diluted nitric acid — a catastrophe certainly as horrible as any visualized in speculations about atomic warfare” (Martin D. Kamen, “Discoveries in Nitrogen Fixation,” Scientific American).
An error in making even one gas would have made the world uninhabitable! The Creator is the perfect Chemist; all His works are perfect. The evidences for Divine Design in the world are overwhelming.
The vital place that nitrogen fixation holds in the world is seen in this striking quotation from Mr. Kamen:
“Nature’s nitrogen cycle is as important to us as the carbon cycle of photosynthesis, by which plants recapture carbon dioxide from the air and convert the carbon into organic compounds. The nitrogen fixers and the photosynthetic organisms, linked in a majestic partnership, keep the living economy of the world solvent.”
Lightning has a vital role in replacing nitrogen in the soul. “One hundred million tons of usable plant food a year are supplied to the soil by lightning. Nitrogen and oxygen are combined by lightning into plant food.” (Farmers Digest).
This is another testimony to this great fact: God not only created the world in wisdom, He made it self-supporting; nature is so adjusted that it keeps itself in BALANCE. The fact that the earth is “self-adjusting” is an awe-inspiring wonder.
The Miracle of Oxygen
Oxygen, which constitutes 21% of the atmosphere is essential to all life. It is in the air in exactly the right proportion. *
* Evidence that oxygen is in the air in exactly the right amount is seen in the tragic experiences of many hospitals a few years ago. In giving premature babies extra oxygen, they gave too much — and hundreds of babies were blinded. For several months doctors did not know the cause. Eventually they discovered the blindness was due to too much oxygen given the babies in the incubators.
“We may almost say that the more chemistry and mineralogy we know, the more puzzled we are about the oxygen in the air. For, the more common rocks of the world contain so large a proportion of oxygen, that it makes up nearly half their weight. This is true of granite, sandstone, limestone. . . .and clay. The wonder is that any free oxygen is left over for the air” (Forethought in Creation, p. 14).
Nitrogen is inert; oxygen is overly active: and yet the Creator designed the world in creation so that there was just the right amount of oxygen as well as nitrogen.
The Atmosphere Has Just the Right Density
Obviously, the Creator, knowing all laws of His Universe, made the atmosphere at JUST THE RIGHT DENSITY at the surface of the earth. How do we know? It has been discovered recently that while
“the temperature eight miles up is a frigid 67 degrees below zero, it becomes a scorching 170 above at an altitude of 30 miles up” (Joseph Kaplan, in “The Air Above Us”).
It is clear that if the atmosphere were rarified, life on earth would be impossible because of the extreme cold; if it were very rarified, life would be impossible because of the extreme heat.
What the Atmosphere Does for Us
In this brief treatise it would be manifestly impossible to list one one-thousandth of all things the atmosphere does for us, but we give a few to show Purpose in Creation. We are living at the bottom of a great ocean of air which not only provides us with life-giving oxygen, but also much more.
(1) The atmosphere shields us from the constant barrage of meteors that reach us from outer space. Hitting our atmosphere, most of them are burned up before they reach the earth.
(2) The atmosphere gives us a protective covering from the harmful effects of the ultra-violet rays from the sun. Dr. Florence E. Miller, scientist connected with the Smithsonian Institute, says that we live “miraculously” on this planet, protected from eight “killer rays” from the sun, by a thin layer of ozone high up in our atmosphere.
“If that little belt of ozone, approximately forty miles up and only one-eighth of an inch thick (if compressed), should suddenly drift into space, all life on earth would perish.”
The whole subject of “ozone” in the air is so unusual, it seems almost incredible.
“There are two kinds of ultra-violet rays — long and short. The long are deadly, and are absorbed and neutralized by that ozone belt. If permitted to come through, they would blind and blister the human race, and would soon destroy all life on earth. The short violet rays, on the other hand, are necessary to life. If that belt of protective ozone were too thick, so that the short rays could not come through, we would all die of rickets.
“the most deadly of the ‘eight killers’ comes through in quantities just sufficient to render great service, without destroying us. It keeps down the growth of green algae, one-celled plants that grow in streams. Unrestricted, they would multiply so rapidly that they would clog all the streams of the world, and lead to endless flooding of the world. On the other hand, it is fortunate for the earth as we know it that the algae were allowed to develop in moderation.”
Ozone itself is poisonous to human beings; but it is present in such a small amount and is so high up in the atmosphere (20 to 40 miles up) that it acts as a protective shield. Who can read such wonders in creation and not give glory to the God who made all things?
(3) The atmosphere is, moreover, a perfect blanket, an unfailing insulation against both heat and cold. It prevents the rapid escape of heat. Were it not for our atmosphere “we should be frozen as hard as a board every night” (Fred Hoyle in, “The Nature of the Universe”). It also acts as “a great reservoir and distributor” of heat. Dr. Wallace said,
“The atmosphere has the ‘peculiar’ property (most fortunate for us) of allowing the sun’s rays to pass freely through to the earth which it warms, but acting like a blanket in preventing the rapid escape of the non-luminous heat so produced.” Dr. Wallace points out the proof of this: When you get high enough in the tropics, you find snow lying on the ground all year round! (Quoted in “The Bible and Modern Science,” p. 84).
(4) The atmosphere also provides us with a wonderful “night air glow.” This is the light reflected to the surface of the earth from the upper atmosphere. “It amounts to about five times the total starlight falling on the earth.” (Science Digest, Jan., 1953). While the sun is the great source of light, it needs the co-operation of the atmosphere to properly diffuse the light, both by day and by night; this is essential for the proper illumination of the earth.
“Dust” — a Witness for the Creator
The “witchery of the soft blue sky,” to borrow a phrase from Wordsworth, has charmed people for ages past. Were it not for the DUST in the atmosphere the heavens would be black. “At 17 miles up the sky is always black, with only a luminous glow from below.” To the presence of dust in the atmosphere we owe also our sunrise splendors, gorgeous sunsets and radiant afterglow.
The dust also is necessary to help form the rain drops. “Scientific investigation has shown that if there were no dust in the air, not a drop of rain or a snowflake would fall on the earth, and no clouds or fog would form.” In view of this, it is interesting to read in the Bible:
“The clouds are the dust of His feet” (Nah. 1:3); and Proverbs 8:26 speaks of “the highest part of the dust of the world.”
Conservative estimates show that star dust to the amount of 100,000 tons is filtering onto the earth yearly; and each day billions of tiny meteoric bodies invade the earth’s atmosphere and are destroyed by friction.
So we see that every little part of creation is essential to the whole and has its necessary function in the Divine Plan.
Water: The Miracle of Nature
We all know that a world without water would be lifeless; but a world in which water followed the customary laws of physics would also soon become lifeless! Water has been aptly called “the most uncommon of the common substances.” What a marvelously versatile substance water is! Its “molecules lock together in flinty embrace as ICE” — and think of all the uses of ice in our economy. In another form water covers the earth with a dry, protective blanket of SNOW in the winter, and piles up ton after ton of stored water in the valleys of the mountains. It falls as RAIN to quench the thirst of the dry earth in the spring and summer; it feeds our rivers and fills our oceans and lakes. It shades us from the heat of the sun as vapor in the CLOUDS. As STEAM it drives powerful machinery. Truly, water is one of the greatest gifts of God to man. Without water there could be no inhabited earth.
Water, unlike any other substance (except bismuth) is heaviest at 4 degrees centigrade — slightly above freezing. Above that and below that it is lighter. Because of this, ice floats and water freezes from the top down. If ice were heavier than water, instead of lighter, when a lake froze the ice would sink and the water would soon be solid ice from the bottom up. All rivers and lakes would freeze solid! This would kill all fish, prevent thawing in the spring and so upset the scheme of things as to make life on earth impossible. Who changed the law that cold contracts and heat expands, when it applies to water? The Creator designed it so.
Water has many other virtues that make it indispensable for a habitable earth. Water is nature’s best “air-conditioner.” Water has an immense capacity for storing heat energy. Thus, the oceans can absorb enough heat during summer to cool the air; and during winter this heat is given off, thus moderating the cold weather.
Then too, water is “the closest approach to a true universal solvent” that we know. It dissolves with ease a fantastic variety of materials; and yet it does NOT dissolve the rocks of the seashore, otherwise the continents would melt away and disappear in the oceans.
Though sea water weighs 800 times more than air, when it is vaporized by the heat of the sun it is lighter than air and is lifted into the clouds! This remarkable miracle makes rain possible. Did all these strange and wonderful characteristics of water “just happen”? Hardly. Water with all its marvelous characteristics is one of God’s creations.
“And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. (Genesis 1:6, 7).
Ages before the modern science of meteorology, the Bible revealed the “rain cycle.”
“The wind. . . .whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again” (Ecc. 1:6, 7).
Modern science describes this amazing rain cycle:
“The energy of the sun received on a square mile of ocean will evaporate and raise about 5,435 tons of water vapor into the air in an hour. Water vapor rises to considerable heights and moves with the air currents (over the continents). When the air holding water vapor cools, the vapor condenses into billions of tiny droplets, so small it takes about 8,000,000 to make a fair sized drop of rain! . . . Each of these tiny droplets must have a tiny particle of dust on which it clings. As this condensation takes place in the atmosphere, clouds are formed; when the air has been chilled sufficiently to form clouds these tiny droplets coalesce and form larger drops, and when the air can no longer support them, it rains.” (Condensed from Science Digest).
The Miracle of the “Lightning-Nitrogen” Cycle
Few people realize it, but there is an almost constant discharge of electricity from the earth.
This electrical discharge, almost exclusively in fair weather, is not very strong. Over the whole globe at any one moment the total is only about 1,500 amperes and represents a continuous expenditure of energy at the rate of around 50,000 kilowatts. This 1,500-ampere discharge was first discovered in 1917. . . . After three years of study of the atmosphere over separated points Dr. Vannevar Bush reported that the current comes from the still air lying above the clouds of thunderstorms. The current there is going downward, instead of upward. And the amount of it that reaches the earth, over all the world, is estimated to total — what do you think? — 1,500 amperes! This cycle goes on steadily. The discharge that rises from the earth HELPS PRODUCE LIGHTNING. There are about 16,000,000 thunderstorms over the world every year. These thunderstorms, with the accompanying lightning, produce about 100,000 tons of nitrogen compounds annually, dropped into the soil thereby helping greatly to fertilize it!
And so the Creator uses the powers of lightning and the imperceptible discharge of electricity from both the earth and the clouds to create “Lighthing-Nitrogen” Cycle that does so much good to the soil!
We have Just the Right Number of Clouds
By the way — speaking of clouds, rain, thunderstorms and lightning, brings to mind this interesting fact: Our world has clouds, but not too many. The planet Venus “is covered entirely with a deep blanket of clouds that touch each other and seldom if ever break apart. Our world, on the other hand, averages one-half open sky when no clouds interfere with our sun’s work” (George Leo Patterson). Blind unguided chance? Evolution? Oh no, the Living God made this adjustment in nature as well as all others that together make our world a habitable planet.
The Place of Rivers in the Rain Cycle
Every continent and all major islands are drained by rivers.
Africa has the Nile, Niger and Congo; in North America we have the St. Lawrence, Columbia, Colorado * and the Mississippi; South America has the Amazon and the Orinoco; Europe has the Rhine, the Rhone, the Danube and the Volga; Asia has the Yellow River, the Ganges, the ancient Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and many more.
* We can not help but mention how prone men are to suggest impossible theories and make preposterous statements. For example, in the article, “the Face of the Land” that appeared a few years ago in “Life” Magazine, the author said, “In the million years since man first evolved on the earth (?). . .
the Colorado River has carved out the Grand Canyon a mile deep, eight miles wide at the rim, in about the same period of time.” This is utterly impossible. Engineers, in building the Boulder dam found a layer of large and small rocks — three to four feet thick in thickness — in the bottom of the Colorado River channel. This layer of loose rocks acts as a buffer and protects the actual hard, rock bottom of the river channel FROM ANY ABRASION WHATEVER! Century after century could pass WITHOUT THE COLORADO RIVER WEARING DOWN THE CHANNEL ONE INCH.
All of these rivers, with their tributaries, drain vast areas of the continents — and add greatly to the beauty and productivity and commerce of the world. Almost all the great cities of the world are on the seashore or on a river.
It is not hard for us to realize that these mighty rivers as they flow continuously toward the sea are “part of the cycle which goes on eternally and without which we could not exist. For this cycle assures us of an adequate supply of fresh water; and water is necessary for all living things — both animals and plants — as well as for the far-flung industries upon which our modern civilization is based.”
The Place of Mountains in the “Rain Cycle”
“It is hardly an exaggeration to say that rivers could not exist if there were no mountains. . . .For one thing, the chill sides of mountains offer vast condensing surfaces where the clouds give up their moisture in the form of rain or snow. . . .Mountains also provide slopes and necessary elevation down which the water runs in its journey to the sea.”
So the mountains become God’s reservoirs to store moisture in the form of snow and ice until the warmth of spring thaws the ice and melts the snow and sends forth the water to the lowlands below — at the time of year when moisture is needed by the crops.
“the snow-laden summits of the Alps, the Himalayas and the Andes represent an enormous reserve, which is later made available for wide spread areas of the earth’s surface” (Popular Science).
One is led to ask, “Who (but God ) hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with a span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:12).
The Sublime Beauty of Snow
“A snowflake is one of God’s most beautiful architectural marvels. Snowflakes are infinite in variety and beauty — the great majority being six-sided crystals, each geometrically perfect and differing from all others in design” (Dr. Arthur I. Brown).
Who can watch the myriads of snowflakes filter down through the winter skies, pile up in fleckless beauty, and not know that this is God’s world? Such miracles as snow could not “just happen.” No one but an infinite God could create trillions upon trillions of delicate snow flakes each winter, with NO TWO OF THEM IDENTICAL! That is a miracle of creative genius that should prove to the most skeptical that GOD is the Master Architect who made all things.
“If, through the centuries, snowflakes accumulated only one-half of one per cent FASTER than they melted, the water of the earth would eventually pile up in mountains of ice until. . . the earth at last gathered all the water of the earth in frozen embrace” (B. H. Shaddock, Ph. D).
If the sun were farther away or if the earth were smaller, and the atmosphere lighter, if the earth were tilted other then it is, if the mean temperature of the earth were a few degrees lower than it is, or even if water froze at a temperature a few degrees higher than it does — our intricately well-balanced world WOULD SOON PERISH IN THE THROES OF IRREMEDIABLE MALADJUSTMENT.
William O. Field, writing on “GLACIERS” in the Scientific American, said:
“Of the earth’s total water budget not much more than 1 per cent is in the solid form of ice or snow, and far less than that in the form of water vapor in the atmosphere. Yet these proportions make up a delicate balance which is immensely important to life on earth. Any appreciable change in the ratios of water, ice and atmospheric moisture would have catastrophic consequences for man and his economy. The ice piled in glaciers on the lands, for instance, exercise a vital control over sea levels, climate and the continents’ water supplies.”
The Continuous Miracle of the “Soil Replenishing” Cycle
Pick up some loamy garden soil between the thumb and the forefinger. Within that thirtieth of an ounce of soil is a teeming world of living things — “almost as many microbes as there are human beings on earth,” some two billion or so. These thousands of millions of micro-organisms in the soil are both plant and animal organisms. They are there as part of the Creator’s ingenius system to keep the soil rejuvenated. One species will assist another in “breaking down complex compounds of dead organic matter to simpler substances,” to become food for plant life.
The root systems of grasses and other plants help break down rock particles, the first step toward creating a new soil. As the roots spread through the soil, they deposit there nitrogen and other new substances built from air, sunlight and water. When the plant dies, it offers food to many organisms in the soil — and they then decompose the remains of roots, stems and leaves, so they can become food for succeeding generations of plants.
Earthworms, too, help in the manufacture of wholesome soil. They eat decomposing plants and soil, mixing and digesting the whole, casting it up on the surface. Earthworm castings not only bring soil up to the air and so help aerate the soil, and loosen it, but also the castings are a rich, rejuvenated soil
Is it not wonderful that, through the use of micro-organisms, earthworms, the root-system on plants, and certain fungi, God has established a self-perpetuating system of universal soil rejuvenation that keeps the soil fertile for its perennial crops? Such a wonderful and practical system could have been devised and put into operation only by an all-wise Creator,
The Blessing — and Menace — of Molds
Most of the approximately 100,000 species of fungi are scavengers; they grow upon the remains of dead plants and animals, and concert these into rich soil.
And so, year in and year out, this ceaseless activity goes on — and man is able to plant seeds year after year, and get crops.
There are enemies and dangers of course. Some fungi destroy flour, wood, leather and innumerable other products. They are especially active when the relative humidity of the air is from 70 to 75%. In equatorial regions where the humidity is high fungi do much damage. Here is a warning:
“Fungi have done fairly well at converting a major portion of this world into mold. Given a slight but consistent increase in temperature and relative humidity over a large portion of the globe. . . and they probably would become a dominant form of plant life” — destroying the complex life as we now know it. (Amazing Appetites of Molds).
Here again we see the perfect balance of God’s world. IF THE RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE WERE INCREASED, THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT WOULD SOON BE RUINED BY MOLDS!
The Miracle of the Stable Elements
God “doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number” (Job 9:9, 10).
The 100 or so elements on earth — from hydrogen to uranium and beyond — are just the right kind of elements for a habitable world, and are here in just the right amounts and in the right combinations. Comparatively small amounts of gold, silver and other precious metals, and the precious stones, are here for the use of man. Iron, copper, aluminium and other industrial metals are here in larger quantities, for they are needed by man in his industrial enterprises. Coal, oil and natural gas are hidden in the bowels of the earth (and yet they are near the surface), to be discovered and used by man when needed. Phosphorus, necessary to the organic world, would spread death and destruction, if it were here in too large quantity. The same is true of chlorine, fluorine, and other elements.
The continents must be made of rocks and mineral combinations not soluble by water (silicon, aluminium, magnesium and iron compounds) — and they are; otherwise all land would soon be carried away into the sea.
Without oxygen, there could be no water; without calcium, there could be no lime, no bones; without nitrogen, there could be no plant life — and so the story goes. There is definite need for EVERY ONE of the nearly 100 elements found in nature, in the intricate economy of this world and in the economy of man.
The elements unite into innumerable combinations — all with the infinite precision of absolute perfection. “No druggist’s prescriptions are made up with the thousandth part of the accuracy with which nature works,” for all chemical compounds unite in strict conformity to atomic valences. The water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen. It is staggering what chemical combinations are possible. Consider the various resins, plastics, alcohols, carbohydrates, nitrates and phosphates. Consider what possibilities are latent in common things. George Washington Carver developed over 200 useful items peanuts; well over 200 medicines, dyes and synthetic products are made from coal; from the casein in skim milk are made such products as cloth, plastics, glue, buttons, paints, etc. Obviously, GOD made the elements for man, and as a challenge to man, that through research he might put to use all of the wealth of things God has put here.
Because these elements are constant and stable, the chemist can work with them with absolute assurance. There is no “evolution” in the elements; thank God there is not; all nature is reliable, stable.
“The properties of elements are to be regarded as fully determined from the earliest conceivable epoch, and are perfectly changeless in time” (L. J. Henderson, “The Order of Nature”).
Could these approximately 100 elements create themselves? A man would be a fool to believe that. Creation demands a creator.
There are thousands of other amazing facts about the elements, such as unusual design exhibited in the “Periodic Table,” and the orderliness and design in evidence in chemical combinations.
The Miracle and Mystery of the Seas
“The sea is His and He made it” (Psalms 95:5).
“From the beginning men have recognized the sea as a supreme wonder and paradox of the natural world — at once a thing of beauty and terror. . . . a source of life and a fearful and capricious destroyer” (The World We Live In — The Sea; Life Magazine).
We know of course that life on earth would be utterly impossible without an abundance of water. No oceans, no rain; no rain, no life. But when the Creator made the oceans, He really did a magnificent job. Nearly three-fourths of the earth’s surface is covered with water that has an average depth of two miles! These oceans contain some “300 million cubic miles of water” that form an immense, life-packed and life-giving reservoir.
The first miracle, in the light of what the rest of the universe is like, is that there IS an ocean here!
“In the universe as a whole, liquid water of any kind 0151 sweet or salt — is an exotic rarity.”
“Contrary to common belief, the liquid state is exceptional in nature; most matter in the universe seems to consist either of flaming gases, as in the stars. or frozen solids drifting in the abyss of space. Only within a hairline band of the immense temperature spectrum of the universe — ranging through millions of degrees — can water manifest itself as a liquid” (Life Magazine).
Scientists have wondered and theorized where all the water came from. Most scientists today tell you that the earth’s water came from volcanoes — from water “sealed in the heart of the young planet from the beginning.” (See, “The Earth Is Born,” Life, Dec., 8, 1952). But how could it if the earth was originally a whirling mass of flame and fire, or a whirling mass of hydrogen gas, as many theorists claim?
“Most authorities agree that this first great flood (of water, coming from volcanoes) could NOT have filled the ocean basins as they are filled today, or indeed supplied much more than 20% of the water that now laps high on the continental ramparts” (Ibid *).
* We know that originally the entire world was covered with water (Gen.1:2). Furthermore, we know that oxygen is a VERY SCARCE ELEMENT IN THE UNIVERSE: so where did the earth get all the oxygen necessary to create so much water, in addition to the vast quantities of oxygen, in chemical compounds, in our rocks? God made it so.
WHO MADE THE OCEANS? The answer is, God made them. For an enlightening discussion of this, read Job 38:1-11.
Obviously, the very presence on our earth of such vast quantities of water is a special work of the Creator.
The second miracle, in view of the vast quantity of water there is on our earth, is that there is any land area at all! There is full evidence that at one or more times the entire earth was covered with water! (See Genesis 1:2; also Genesis 7). We know this because practically everywhere on earth may be found sedimentary rocks containing fossils from the sea. All land area of the earth was once “a part of the sea floor that happens now to be. . . sticking out.”
All authorities admit,
“This planet is mostly sea, and there is nothing really to prevent it being ALL sea. A little natural levelling of the land would do so” (Living Sea).
Were we to level off completely the earth’s present land surfaces (including the bottom of the oceans), the present continental masses would be about 1½ miles under water! Remember, only 29% of our earth is above water level — and if all the land now above sea were dumped into the depths of the oceans, it would fill only one-eighteenth of the present area of the oceans! Although the oceans average two miles in depth, the land area above water averages only ½ mile in height. How shall we account for this? The only possible explanation is the MIRACLE OF CREATIVE DESIGN! God made it so!
One authority says,
“Every ocean bed has long, narrow chasms where the bottom falls away AS THOUGH SOME TITANIC FORCE HAD SUCKED THE CRUST INWARD TOWARD THE EARTH’S CORE. Curiously, these great oceanic trenches appear near the continental slopes or along the edge of island arcs rather than in mid-ocean” (“The Miracle of the Sea,” in Readers Digest).
The Bible tells us that “GOD (caused) the waters under the heaven to be gathered together unto one place, . . . and the dry land appeared” (Genesis 1:9).
One is reminded of the statement in Job 38:10-11, where the Lord told Job that He had established His decree “and said, Hitherto shalt thou come but no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed” (Margin Job 38:10, 11).
In view of these facts we ask, as the Lord Himself asked Job, WHO SHUT UP THE SEA WITH DOORS?” (Job 38:6).
The Amazing Wealth of the Seas
“Every cubic mile of sea water contains 100 million tons of common salt, six million tons of magnesium, and 4 million tons of potash.” In addition to vast quantities of at least forty other elements, there are “7 tons of uranium and 5 grams of radium to the cubic mile.” (The World of Water). . . .”and in a cubic mile of sea water there are about $93,000,000 in gold and $8,500,000 in silver” (Wealth from the Salt Seas).
“All commercial iodine was formerly obtained from seaweeds; and this (iodine) is perhaps the most mysterious of all substances in the sea.” (Wealth From the Salt Seas).
“A monopoly of the world’s bromine is held by the ocean, where 99% of it now occurs. The tiny fraction present in rocks was originally deposited there by the sea.” * Today we extract thousands of tons of bromine from the sea and add it to our gasoline to make it “high test.”
* So BROMINE becomes another silent but effectual witness for the Divine Creator. The fact that it is present ONLY in the oceans argues for the Divine creation of the seas — otherwise, if the ocean waters originally came up out of the bowels of the earth through volcanoes, WHY IS THERE NOT BROMINE IN THE EARTH?
We also get vast quantities of MAGNESIUM from the oceans. It is a strong, light-weight metal, used in the manufacture of airplanes.
“The ocean is the earth’s greatest storehouse of minerals. In a single cubic mile of water there are about 166 million tons of dissolved mineral salts, and in all the oceans there are about 50 quadrillion tons!” (Wealth From The Salt Seas; Science Digest).
“According to the Dow Chemical Company, which alone manufactures 500 preparations from substances found in the oceans, each cubic mile of sea water stores 175 tons of dissolved chemicals worth FIVE BILLION DOLLARS!” (The Unknown Deep).
Obviously, God created the oceans to be of use to mankind.
Space forbids more than the mere mention of the enormous WEALTH mankind gets from fish and other edible creatures of the sea (crabs, lobsters, oysters, etc ). All combine to serve mankind, even as the Creator planned: for He made the earth and all that is in it for the benefit of mankind!
The Maintenance of Fresh Water Rivers and Lakes
Life as we know it must have FRESH WATER in great abundance, as well as the briny waters of the vast oceans. In the economy of God He solved this problem by keeping the water vapors that the sun lifts into the clouds FRESH, with no additional chemicals. So, when more than 24,000 cubic miles of rain descends each year over the continents, it is all fresh water with no other chemicals added. If there had been that one mistake of having the laws of nature such that the ocean waters as they are would have been lifted in vapor, then soon the land areas of the earth would be salty marshes on which no crops could grow!
Further Miracles and Mysteries of the Seas
The mysteries and miracles of the sea include such wonders as the fascinating Miracle of “protective coloring” for the fish of the sea. God is behind these wonders!
“Many surface fish, like the mackerel and the herring, are colored blue or mottled blue and green on top and silvery white beneath” because that is the color of the water as viewed from above — and the bottom corresponds to the color of the sands on the sea floor. “In the shallow waters near the shore fishes that live habitually among seaweed are striped and mottled” — to protect them from their enemies.
Consider the mystery of Migration in the Sea.
“The whale will travel thousands of miles between the food-rich waters of the polar seas and the warm breeding grounds near the tropics. Salmon travel hundreds of miles to return to the stream in which they were born. Eels from European rivers make a journey of 3,000 miles to the Sargasso Sea when they are ready to spawn. The tiny larvae, in their turn, set of on the long journey to the shores of Europe (where they have never been), taking several years for their marathon swim. There are no landmarks to guide them, yet these little creatures find their way unerringly through the monotonous vastness of the sea!” (The World of Water, p. 85).
It would take many volumes to describe that vast array of strange deep sea life in the canyons and lower depths of the ocean: odd fish with luminescent and electric light equipment, and a host of other wonders of the deep that live in lightless depths of a mile or more below the last glimmer of the sun.
The Marvelous Circulation of the Seas
To provide oxygen, and phosphates, to help keep the temperatures of the earth more equal, the Creator has made the seas with a most intricate system providing proper CIRCULATION. This circulation is the result of
“the waves and currents that cause continual movement in the waters of the sea; these are created by the wind and the weather and the rotation of the earth (called the Coriolis Effect). . . .also by the rhythmic movements of the tides.”
“the forces that unite the oceans and keep them in reciprocal motion, agitating the depths, impelling warm waters to the frozen ends of the earth and cold water in return to the sunny tropics, are intricate and interlocking, but essentially they are three in number: the wind, the rotation of the earth and the changing density of the water. Climate, gravity, and the varying density of the salt water . . .have smaller parts in perpetuating the motion” (Life Magazine).
All of us are familiar with the vast ocean currents. Both the Atlantic and the Pacific currents “form clockwise and counterclockwise patterns.” Among the most important of these vast ocean currents are the famous GULF STREAM (which keeps moving a volume of water equal to a thousand Mississippis at flood tide), the POLAR STREAM, the JAPANESE CURRENT, the BRAZIL CURRENT, the PERU CURRENT, and a score of other lesser known ocean currents!
Surely, this gives full evidence that Someone PLANNED it that way — to keep the oceans in proper balance as far as heat and cold are concerned, and to keep the minerals — especially phosphates — and oxygen in good supply.
The Three Amazing “Cycles” of the Oceans
In addition to the regular movements of water, there are at least three LIFE CYCLES in the oceans of more than passing interest. “In contemplating the intricate balance of these natural forces the mind is filled with deepest awe” (Miracle of the Sea).
The first amazing FOOD CYCLE, beginning with the “grass of the sea” — the plankton that grows in great abundance in the upper 250 feet of the sea waters.
This “pasture of the sea” can produce nearly twenty tons per acre during the year — several times the yield of crops taken from the soil! this so-called “plankton” (the primary source of food for the living things in the sea) is made up in part of algae, that grow profusely; these include the microscopic “diatoms” — minute plants. In the blanket of floating plankton are also myriads of tiny animals little bigger than the diatoms — animals such as radiolarians, foraminifera, tintinnids and minute animals called copepods, that feed on the little plant cells.
This “plankton” is food for the fish. Herring, sardines, mackerel and other small fish feed on it continuously. then larger fish, like salmon and tuna, feed on the herring and mackerel — and these in turn are devoured by sharks, seals and porpoises. One miracle about plankton we must mention is:
“Plankton. . .make daily migrations through depths of hundreds of feet as they adjust their environment to the light conditions they prefer” (The World of Water).
This is the Creator’s very practical plan for serving fish that live at different levels their daily meal of plankton.
The second Cycle is the OXYGEN Cycle. All life in the sea breathes and lives on oxygen. ALL OXYGEN IN THE SEA MUST COME FROM THE SURFACE LAYER — about 250 feet deep. In this upper layer we find this miracle:
“The microscopic plants (in plankton, mentioned above) are busy at their work every moment of taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen, by means of the process called photosynthesis, while at the surface itself atmospheric oxygen is taken into solution direct. What remains then is merely a matter of distribution. This is effected by currents and rises and falls of the water, due to the action of winds and waves. In effect, the sea is being continually stirred like soup in a saucepan” (The Living Sea; p. 214).
This is nothing less than a MIRACLE OF DIVINE DESIGN.
The third life Cycle id the astonishing PHOSPHATE CYCLE. Phosphorus is of great biological significance because it is vital to life. Most of earth’s phosphorus is distributed as simple or complex phosphates. The cycle is stated for us in an article on “Phosphorus and Life,” by D. O. Hopkins, printed in the 1952 “Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution.”
“All igneous rocks contain phosphorus, mainly as an apatite, a complex form of calcium phosphate.” Phosphates are now found in solution in the sea. “the initial assimilation of phosphate in the sea is largely made by algae (in the plankton).” This plankton is eaten by the fish. “A large proportion of sea life dies (a natural death), and their remains sink to lower depths; the eventual decomposition of this dead organic matter returns the phosphates to the (lower depths of) the sea. There is therefore in the lower water levels a steady building up of phosphates; (but) there are the REGULAR INVERSIONS OF THE UPPER AND LOWER LAYERS OF SEA WATER which result in the further utilization of deep-sea phosphate for plankton growth.” “All the deep-sea fishing grounds are places where an exceptional uprising of bottom water takes place. With it, a supply of nutrients, particularly phosphate, is brought back to the sunlit zone of plankton growth.”
So again the Creator has planned things to keep the economy of the earth — and the sea — solvent.
The EARTH — and all things therein: atmosphere, soil, oceans, rain, clouds, mountains, elements — becomes a vast and unified witness for GOD. Such intricate and involved MIRACLES prove not only CREATION but also the fact that the Creator made the earth a well-balanced and self sustaining and self-rejuvenating system. The humble heart cries out with the Psalmist:
“O Lord, how manifold are Thy works. In wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is FULL of Thy riches . ‘ (Psalms 104:24).
We have given scores of facts; hundreds more could be given. Enough has been presented to show that the world is NOT the result of “fortuitous chance.” But we say with Dr. Paul Francis Kerr, noted mineralogist:
“I cannot believe that the facts of science are mere accidents. The more we study the earth, the more sense it makes. What I have studied about the earth has made me no less a believer in a Supreme Power, but actually more so. . . . We have seen so much of God’s handiwork we can say, GOD MUST BE. “Honest thinkers must see, if they investigate, that only an infallible Mind could have adjusted our world and its life in its amazing intricacies.”
It is as easy to believe that the Mona Lisa came into existence by stray bits of variously colored pigments being hurled through space that happened to hit a canvas now in the Louvre as to believe that this marvelous world came about by chance.