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Issue Features
Discovery Magazine 5/1/1997


Our Well-Designed Universe

While the size of the Universe certainly is impressive, the design of the Universe is even more impressive. When we examine the facts, it is obvious that God designed and built it for us. The Earth is 93 million miles from the Sun—a distance that happens to be just right for life to exist. The Sun is like a giant furnace, or nuclear engine. It gives off more energy in a single second than mankind has produced since the creation. It converts 8 million tons of matter into energy every single second and has an interior temperature of more than 20 million degrees Celsius. We should be glad we live so far from the Sun, because the 93 million miles of empty space between the Earth and the Sun help stop the deafening noise and destructive pressure waves given off by the Sun as it converts matter to energy. If the Earth were much closer to the Sun, people couldn’t live because of the horrible heat, noise, and pressure.

The Sun also produces radiation, which is a form of light that can hurt our eyes, possibly give us cancer and cause many other problems. Fortunately, humans receive some protection from this radiation because of a special gas known as "ozone." There is a layer of ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere (about 12 to 18 miles up in the sky) that soaks up the radiation and keeps too much of it from hitting people on our planet. In addition, the Sun constantly sends out an invisible wind that is composed of tiny particles called "protons" and "electrons." These particles approach the Earth from outer space at a very high speed and could be very dangerous to humans. Instead, most of these protons and electrons are reflected back into space because God has made the Earth like a giant magnet that pushes away the solar wind and makes life on Earth possible.

The Earth has exactly the right surface temperature. The average temperature on the Earth is 11.3°C (or about 53° Fahrenheit) and is perfectly suitable for human, animal, and plant life. But the average temperature on Pluto is a freezing -230°C, and on Venus it is a scalding 480°C! Nothing can grow in these extremely low and high temperatures.

The Earth is slanted on its axis exactly right. It’s tilt is 23.5°. If it were not tilted, but sat straight up in its orbit around the Sun, there would be no seasons. The tropics would be hotter, and the deserts would get bigger. If the tilt went all the way over to 90°, much of the Earth would switch between very cold winters and very hot summers.

The Earth is 240,000 miles from the Moon. This, too, is just right. The Moon helps control the movement of the oceans (tides). This movement is very beneficial to the Earth, because it provides a cleansing of shorelines and helps ocean life to prosper. Currents are an important part of the oceans. Without these currents, water in the oceans would stagnate, and the animals and plants living in the oceans and seas would soon perish. Our existence as humans depends upon the Moon’s tides, which help to balance a delicate food chain in nature.

The Earth’s oceans are another good example of perfect design. Water covers about 72% of the Earth’s surface, which is good because the oceans provide a reservoir of moisture that constantly is evaporating and condensing. Eventually, this causes rain to fall on the Earth. It is a well-known fact that water heats and cools at a much slower rate than a solid land mass, which explains why deserts can be blistering hot in the daytime and freezing cold at night. But water holds its temperature longer and provides a sort of natural heating/air-conditioning system for land areas on the Earth. The Earth’s annual average temperature (53°F) is closely maintained by the great reservoir of heat found within the waters of the oceans.

Another well-known fact is that humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Plants, on the other hand, take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Humans depend on the plant world for a constant, fresh oxygen supply. But approximately 90% of that oxygen comes from tiny, microscopic plants within the Earth’s oceans and seas.

People who believe in evolution say that our Universe came into existence as the result of a "Big Bang" that accidentally caused the things we see around us. But the Earth is exactly the right distance from the Sun; it is exactly the right distance from the Moon; it has exactly the right diameter; it has exactly the right tilt on its axis; it has exactly the right amount of water on its surface; it has exactly the right atmospheric pressure; it has exactly the right amount of oxygen. And it has many other conditions that are just right. Could all of these things be "just right"—just by accident?

Of course not! Instead, God is the One Who planned and designed the Universe. Moses said in Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The apostle Paul said it was God Who "...made the world and everything in it...," and Who "...gives to all life, breath, and all things" (Acts 17:24-25). Moses and Paul both were correct. Our marvelous Universe can tell us a lot about our marvelous God—if only we will listen!



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*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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