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Discovery Magazine 8/1/2005

Cleaning Your Room With Firecrackers

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

His room was a disaster zone. Phillip's mother told him he had twenty minutes to clean it up-but Phillip wasn't worried. For the first fifteen minutes, Phillip played his X-Box®. Then, after checking his watch, he began piling all of his toys, books, papers, and clothes into one giant heap in the floor. With barely two minutes to spare, Phillip walked over to his dresser and retrieved ten large firecrackers. He placed all ten underneath the huge pile and lit the fuses. Seconds later, right before his mom walked in, Phillip was de­ lighted to see that all of his clothes were now neatly hung, his toys were put away, books were back on the shelf, and all of the old papers were now in the trashcan-all from the explosive force of those fire­ crackers.

Sound outrageous? Well consider for just a moment what many people believe regarding the origin of our Earth and Universe. Rather than giving God credit for creating our Earth and the Universe around us, they suggest that a big explosion (called the Big Bang) occurred, creating all of the stars and planets. Of course, they never mention where the initial matter for this explosion came from. Can something (like planets or stars) ever come from nothing? Truly, God was the original Creator of all matter in the Universe.

The Universe shows an enormous amount of complexity and design. For instance, the Earth is just the right distance from the Sun and Moon to promote life. We can even predict comets and solar eclipses by the precise order of the Universe. These things would not be possible if the Universe formed from some cosmic explosion. Also, if all the matter exploded outward from the same point, we would expect the matter in the Universe to be traveling and rotating in the same direction. But we know today that Venus, Uranus, and possibly Pluto rotate back- wards from the other planets. Furthermore, at least six out of the more than 63 moons that we've identified in our solar system rotate backwards. Jupiter, Sat­ urn, and Neptune have moons that rotate in both directions. This would not be possible if we'd truly come from a central Big Bang. Our Universe is not the product of some cosmological accident!

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

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