This year I’ve been relearning earth science with my daughter. Slogging through material for the thousandth time is one of the hazards of homeschooling, but this time around has been pretty amazing. Maybe I’m just getting old enough to appreciate learning, or maybe, like with movies, it takes several rounds for the story to sink in. Either way, my eyes have been opened to how incredible the earth really is.
For example, the earth’s atmosphere protects us from radiation. Without this, there could be no life on earth. I knew that. So did you. We take it for granted, but it’s pretty cool when you think about it. The atmosphere also contains abundant oxygen for all plant and animal life, and it provides just the right amount of air pressure for us to breathe. Wow!
Life also requires water. Lucky for us we have oceans full of it. This provides all the rain we need. The water moves inland through the air! and falls to the ground where we use it. How cool is that? The soil then sucks it down so we don’t drown, but it also uses capillary action to bring it back up so the plants don’t dry between storms.
Okay, how about some less obvious examples? You know the earth’s tilt produces the seasons, but did you realize it also spreads out the sunlight? This extends the growing seasons far north and south of what would be possible if the earth stood perfectly upright. (And it keeps the masses from migrating to Florida permanently–imagine Spring Break crowds all year!)
The lengths of our day and our year are also perfect. If we had days as long as other planets, we’d freeze to death before daylight and roast to death before evening. Even if we could survive that, our water supply would always be frozen or evaporated. Same with our year. It is the perfect length to produce a growing season, first in one hemisphere and then the other–every year.
This is amazing stuff! None of the other planets can claim even one of these life-sustaining qualities, yet we have them all and more besides! Do you know what the odds are that one planet would get ALL THIS?
Hmmm….it almost seems there was some sort of…plan.
“He who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45:18, NIV)