The universe, what is known of it, is vast beyond measure. It is estimated that there are about 100 billion galaxies in the universe with each containing about 100 billion stars each. Among all of those stars, one medium sized star hosts eight or nine planets, one of which we call home – Earth – a tiny speck of dust in a measureless universe. But what makes Earth so special? For one thing, Earth is perfectly suited for life as we know it. Some scientists, however, find it difficult to believe that Earth is the only planet in the entire universe capable of supporting life. For that reason, they spend billions of dollars “listening” for intelligence “out there” somewhere, or sending probes to Mars to find evidence that life once existed there or maybe still exists in one form or another. They probe the stars for evidence of habitable planets, but to date, no evidence for life has been found anywhere other than here on our beautiful blue planet.
So what makes earth so special and especially suited for life?
The average surface temperature of Earth, according to NASA figures, is 15°C (59°F). Three main reasons for this are:
- Earth’s distance from the sun – not too close, not too far
- The tilt of Earth’s axis (23.5°) that gives us our seasons
- The rotation of the earth once every 24 hours helps maintain an even temperature
- Earth’s atmosphere is a perfect blend of gasses: Nitrogen (78%), Oxygen (21%), Argon (<1%) and Carbon Dioxide (0.03%). They are essential for sustaining life and protecting us from harmful radiation.
- The density of our atmosphere is ideal for insulating us from the coldness of space.
Earth’s diameter also factors directly into the density of the atmosphere.
- A larger diameter would increase the density of the atmosphere and increase Earth’s temperatures.
- A smaller diameter would decrease the density of the atmosphere and make the earth colder.
Water is a rare compound in space, but it is abundant here on earth.
- Liquid water has unique chemical and physical properties making it ideal as the primary component of life.
- As the universal solvent, water makes it possible for essential nutrients needed for life to be dissolved and assimilated.
- Water’s transparency makes it possible for ocean plant life to perform photosynthesis below the surface and for ocean animals to see through the water.
- Water expands when it freezes, keeping our rivers, lakes and oceans from freezing from the bottom up.
- Water captures and retains solar heat thereby absorbing more of the sun’s energy than equal areas of land. This helps maintain Earth’s average temperatures.
- Ocean currents caused by the earth's rotation serve to circulate seawater and prevent the equatorial seas from becoming too hot and the polar seas from becoming too cold and freezing completely.
- Earth’s continents cover less than one-third of our planet’s surface. If we were to scrape off the continents and place them in the deeper parts of the ocean to make an earth of common elevation, we would have an earth covered with approximately 8,000 feet of water! That is something to consider next time someone questions the feasibility of a global flood!
Of the four inner planets in our solar system, only Earth has a moon.
- The moon is the perfect size and distance from the earth
- Its size and distance make for perfect eclipses, providing a precise time record confirming the chronological systems employed by O.T. scribes.
- The moon’s gravitational pull on the earth gives us our tides which prosper ocean life and cleanse the shorelines.
- Earth’s weather patterns and water cycle ensure that the land is watered regularly.
So much more could be said about our incredible home. It would seem that it was designed specifically with man in mind.
Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork." Can you give specific examples of this?
Thank you, I will be using this for a project in school. Hopefully some of this information is correct. I am not copying or pasting FYI. No plagerism here.
YOM mentions this at the end of the post - "So much more could be said about our incredible home. It would seem that it was designed specifically with man in mind."
I just read today (12/28/12) this Scientific American blog - "Only the most contrived and strained interpretation of what we see by way of the elemental and chemical composition of the cosmos and of terrestrial biochemistry would suggest there’s something ‘special’ about what happened here on Earth. Carbon-chemistry rules, and Earth 4 billion years ago was about as alien from Earth today as one can imagine, yet life started up fast. It’s going to happen in other places too." ref. Should We Expect Other Earth-like Planets At All?, http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/2012/12/26/should-we-expect-other-earth-like-planets-at-all/
My observation - this blog appeals to evolutionary story telling about origins. The chemicals cited and chemical abundance in the Milky Way, many of these carbon compounds and others are short-lived in various gas clouds due to photo-evaporation process (UV rays) and other destructive forces like magnetic fields. According to stellar evolution theory, when a molecular gas cloud collapses to form a new star, many of the molecules will be destroyed as the gas heats up intensely including the formation of magnetic fields. We have the problem of proto-planetary environments mentioned. Where are these proto-planetary environments? Currently the exoplanet link (http://exoplanet.eu/) shows 854 exoplanets, 32 are directly imaged now. In my home DB tracking exoplanet reports, 6 exoplanets are reported with dust disks like 61 Vir b or Fomalhaut b. A number are reported with dust disk evolutionary problems, i.e. short-lived dust disks compared to age of host star. So the vast majority of exoplanets we do not see proto-planetary environments or dust disks. We also have the evolutionary picture of the Earth 4 billion years ago. This runs into the Faint Young Sun problem and we have no geologic evidence to support that the Sun existed in this stage of stellar evolution throughout the geologic record. The Scientific American blog at best represents an evolutionary belief system report - not empirical science.
Here is something I just read today about habitable planets that could support life on them based upon exoplanet studies.
"(Phys.org)—Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md." "They suggest that the size and location of an asteroid belt, shaped by the evolution of the sun's protoplanetary disk and by the gravitational influence of a nearby giant Jupiter-like planet, may determine whether complex life will evolve on an Earth-like planet..." ref - Asteroid belts of just the right size are friendly to life, http://phys.org/news/2012-11-asteroid-belts-size-friendly-life.html, posted 11/01/12.
My observation - this report adds another problem in evolution models to create habitable earth-like worlds that allow the evolution of life on them from non-living matter. Asteroid belts and their formation and size now become an issue. Also the presence of so many hot jupiters is explained away by inward migration of giant gas planets, something we cannot observe in exoplanet studies. Accepting such evolution model based answers for the origin of our habitable earth takes more faith than accepting the Biblical account in Genesis.
The bullet about Earth's continents and if we leveled the entire planet, it would be under almost 2 miles of water... may I see a reference to that? It strengthens the case for the Global Flood.
Here is the primary source for this article:
Planet Earth: Plan or Accident?
Here are two other sources provided by our science team:
Alfred Russell Wallace was Darwin’s contemporary and an evolution proponent, yet his observations can be found here:
The Permanence of the Great Oceanic Basins
Wikipedia has a good diagram:
Earth Elevation Histogram
- Michael, on behalf of YOM
These two websites post interesting information about the current batch of exoplanets documented. http://kepler.nasa.gov/ which currently shows at least 2300 candidates and 77 confirmed and the European site, http://exoplanet.eu/catalog/ listing 843 confirmed exoplanets.
The big question, where are all the habitable earths in these lists? To be sure evolutionists are working hard to prove other stars have habitable earth like planets and these arose from particle collisions and random processes at work in the universe. However we have a clear alternative in Isaiah 45:18 for why our Earth is habitable and teeming with life. Here is something interesting about other stars in these exoplanet studies that frequently gets over looked. Many stars in the studies are enormously more flaring and unstable compared to our Sun.
"Kepler scientists expected solar-type stars to fluctuate in brightness by only about 10 ppm, as the Sun does. But as this plot of 12th-magnitude stars shows, they were surprised to find that the fluctuations are much greater...This added noise makes their light curves messier and identifying transits by small bodies all the more difficult. "They're much more variable than the Sun," Borucki admits. "It was a big surprise to us." Ref - Kepler's Dilemma: Not Enough Time, July 2011, http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/126242378.html
"NASA's Kepler mission is finding solar-type stars that emit jaw-dropping explosions of high-energy particles and radiation. Now astronomers are looking into why some solar-type stars emit superflares — and why the Sun never will...” Ref - Superflares from Sun-like Stars, May 2012, http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Superflares-from-Sun-like-Stars-151753935.html
"ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2012) — The sun is nearly the roundest object ever measured. If scaled to the size of a beach ball, it would be so round that the difference between the widest and narrow diameters would be much less than the width of a human hair. The sun rotates every 28 days, and because it doesn't have a solid surface, it should be slightly flattened. This tiny flattening has been studied with many instruments for almost 50 years to learn about the sun's rotation, especially the rotation below its surface, which we can't see directly...” Sun's Almost Perfectly Round Shape Baffles Scientists, August 2012, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816150801.htm.
My observation - Perhaps our very round Sun is part of the reason it is so stable compared to many stars as observed by NASA Kepler mission. Part of God's design allowing earth to be habitable - Isaiah 45:18.