This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Issue Features
View this issue online as it looks in print
Discovery Magazine 3/1/2005

Cold Light

Have you ever tried to unscrew a light bulb from a lamp that has been on for 10 or 15 minutes? I don’t recommend that you attempt this, but if you have, you know that the standard light bulb gets very hot very quickly—and remains hot the whole time it is on. The average bulb lights up when the tiny filament inside is heated by the electricity that passes through it. Unfortunately, heat and light bulbs go hand in hand.About 95% of the energy produced by a light bulb is lost in the form of heat. For this reason, scientists have sought new ways to produce cheaper and safer forms of light.

One “new” form of light involves chemical reactions (without the addition of heat). You probably have seen this kind of light in the form of glow sticks (or light sticks). These “tubes of light” have become very popular in recent years. People use them for all sorts of things. Once when I was staying at a hotel and the electricity was off for a few hours, I used these sticks to see where I was going. People like them so much because they produce light without heat (and they look pretty cool, too!).

What people seem to overlook is that this technology is not new. Man did not invent this kind of light. It actually has been here since the Creation when God made lightning bugs. Lightning bugs (also called fireflies) are little beetles that carrytheir own “flashlights.” These insects have special chemicals called luciferin (lew-SI-fer-in) and luciferase (lew-SI-fer-ace), which they combine with oxygen to form a bright, heatless light. This process is called bioluminescence (by-oh-LOO-meh-NESS-sense)—the emission of light from living organisms.

For years, scientists have studied fireflies, in hopes of learning how they produce “cold light.” And they have been somewhat successful in making light from chemical reactions. But, scientists confess that light from fireflies (and certain other bioluminescent creatures) still is many times more efficient than what they can produce in laboratories.

The more scientists learn about the little beetle we call a firefly, the more amazed they are at its complexity. Sadly, many of these same scientists believe that the firefly simply evolved over millions of years—from who knows what. They dismiss both its obvious design and the Great Designer Who created it.

“And the light shines in the darkness, and the
darkness did not comprehend it”
(John 1:4).

Copyright © 2005 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, excepting brief quotations, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558

Web Store

Defending the Faith Study Bible

We are very excited to announce the NEW AP Defending the Faith Study Bible now available.

Featured Audio


Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio