In studying and familiarizing myself with more “Goldilocks” factors, or factors necessary for life to exist on this planet, I am reminded of some basics, considerations I was amazed and entertained by in my youth, but have since forgotten or dismissed. I remember leafing through science books about oceans, and volcanoes, and animals, endlessly looking at pictures and enjoying all the wonders of nature. One of my favorite science books was the one on our solar system; our sun, our nine planets (Pluto wasn’t under the scrutiny it faces these days), and our amazing moon.
Genesis 1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
There are so many studies we could do on Genesis chapter 1, but one interesting thing to note is that many critics of the bible levy a charge against it that it simply borrowed creation accounts from other ancient cultures, such as Babylonian. I recommend studying that charge, as it is pretty easy to debunk. But note that those other stories from other peoples use terms for the sun and moon.
Babylon names them Shamash (sun) and Sin (moon). If we go farther back, to the Sumerians, their references to the moon-god are Sin, and Nanna. The sun was Utu, and Venus was Iananna, and since these were moon worshipping cultures, the writings say that these two objects were the children of our moon.
Clearly these ideas could not have given rise to our Genesis account, and any attempt to accuse such can be dismissed with a simple reading of the text. But note that at this point in history, these objects in our sky had already been named. It is intriguing to me that in our account, it simply states, “a greater light” (maor gadol) and “a lesser light” (maor qaton). It states they are there, made, and simply describes them. Genesis does not name either the sun, or the moon, because when that portion of Genesis was written, they had not yet been given names!
The names of these celestial bodies were given long after, by the Sumerians post-flood. The bible does not use names for them until Genesis 15 -Shemesh, the Babylonian name- and Genesis 37 – Yareah, a Canaanite name. This is great literary evidence that the first chapter of Genesis was written long before the myths of pagan cultures.
Our moon is a compass, a clock, a calendar, and a nightlight. Its distance and size is designed perfectly to provide a gravity that interacts with Earth’s, and regulates her tilt. It also keeps our oceans healthy, and regulates biorhythms. It is easy to understand how such a wonderful creation could be misunderstood and idolized by primitive peoples. But as Romans 1:25 tells us, mankind still falls into this trap today:
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the created things more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
The moon is 238,900 miles from Earth, a particular distance that allows it, on its particular orbit to do something extraordinary, create eclipses. I say particular because typically satellites orbit around their planet’s equator. Since our earth is tilted at approximately 23.4 degrees, this would send the moon up and down rather than along the same plane as the sun. Instead, God had it orbit in perfect alignment with the earth’s orbit around the sun, regardless of the earth’s tilt.
It also has a particular size. The sun is 400 times larger than the moon, while the sun is exactly 400 times farther away! The result is that from Earth, they appear to be the same size. And when its orbit around Earth takes the Moon directly between Earth and the Sun, the Moon blocks our view of the Sun in what we call a solar eclipse. Considering the enormity of these bodies, and trying to fathom their perfect timing, size, and placement, that allows us on earth to appreciate their splendor that much more, I would be a fool as a cosmologist to not believe in an all-powerful creator God.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands
Unfortunately though, that is precisely what many cosmologists are doing. The evolutionary mindset of many sciences has blinded them into thinking that despite all this perfect order, what they see is nothing more than blind chance, accidental, coincidental luck.
They cling to the dying theory of molecules-to-man evolution so faithfully that it forces the prevailing theories on the moon’s origin to be laughable. This is NASA’s theory as it stands today. This is literally what they believe, or try to believe, and condone teaching to students. This is what hoping there is no God looks like:
“The leading theory of the moon’s origin is that a Mars-sized body collided with Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. The resulting debris from both Earth and the impactor accumulated to form our natural satellite 239,000 miles (384,000 kilometers) away. The newly formed moon was in a molten state, but within about 100 million years, most of the global “magma ocean” had crystallized, with less-dense rocks floating upward and eventually forming the lunar crust. ” – NASA, (http://moon.nasa.gov/about.cfm)
Did you get that? A planet sized body collided with ours and formed a molten moon from the accumulating debris of an impact, in its perfect position, a perfect distance away, and didn’t destroy the earth in the process. And people laugh at my biblical beliefs!
Aside from the insurmountable ridiculousness of our leading cosmology theory, we run into another problem called lunar regression. It has been ascertained that the moon is slowly drifting away from the Earth at a rate of about 1.5 inches per year. Now, if we consider this drift from the presupposition that the bible’s chronology is accurate, after 6000 years or so this equates to moving the moon only 250 meters. Not a big deal.
However if, like NASA is declaring, the moon was blasted out of the Earth and somehow ended up in orbit 4 billion years ago, was it drifting the whole time? If we reverse the 1.5 inch drift over a period of only 1.5 billion years (I say only, due to the vast ages applied to evolutionary theory) we reach what scientists refer to as “Roche’s Limit”. This puts the moon only 11,500 miles from the Earth, at which point, Roche calculated that the gravity of the two bodies would rip each other apart. This does not bode well for the theory that the moon could survive being blasted off the side of our planet. It also does not bode well for the moon’s age, which is purported to be 4 billion years old. This limiting factor of 1.5 billion years continues to baffle those who hope our beautifully arranged solar system has come about by mere chance.
In addition to this Roche Limit, it was also calculated (to further complicate the scenario) that the closer the moon was to the Earth, the faster the lunar regression would be, due to the Earth’s gravitational pull and spin ‘flinging’ the moon away faster. This means that we now have to account for even more regression in the past, and two bodies that cannot be too close.
And one final consideration. If Lunar regression puts the moon insanely close to the Earth a billion years ago -95% closer! – and somehow scientists can bypass the reality of Roche’s Limit, what would gravity do to the tides of the oceans? Would the moon’s gravity flood the earth twice a day via global catastrophic flooding in a constant, destructive, never-ending, muddy, violent, perpetual water event? We already know evolutionists don’t believe in a global flood, right? (snicker snicker). But we would somehow have to explain how life not only came about and survived in this harsh environment, but also how it continued to thrive and evolve into more and more complexity.
I am glad it is not my challenge to solve, as I comfortably rest on the truth of God’s word. I can look up at the night sky, and feel blessed to look upon the heavens, and our amazing moon, and know that despite my sin, He loved me anyways.
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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