The Bible tells us “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis1:1) He tells us why He made the earth in Isaiah 45:18: “…God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited:…” God made the earth to be lived in! Today many scientists believe in an idea called the Anthropic Principle, which says that the universe seems to be carefully designed for the well-being of people. Here are just a few examples of God’s amazing design of the earth that make it just right for us to live in.
- The earth’s distance (93 million miles) from the sun is just right. The average surface temperature of the earth (53 degrees Fahrenheit) is perfect for people, animals, and plants to live. If the earth were a little closer to the sun, the heat and noise the sun gives off would make life impossible. If it were any farther away, the earth would be too cold for life.
- The earth’s distance (240,000 miles) from the moon is just right. The moon’s gravitational force pulls on water in the oceans causing the water to move (tides). If the moon were closer to the earth, the tides would be so huge that the ocean waves could sweep across the land, wearing it away. The oceans might then heat to the boiling point from the friction of the water rushing over the land, killing all sea life. If the moon were farther away, there would be no tides, and the oceans would stagnate causing the animals and plants living in the water to die. People breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Plants take in carbon dioxide and turn it into the oxygen we need to breathe. About 90% of that oxygen comes from tiny plants living in the oceans and seas. Without tides, these plants would die and we would be in big trouble!
- The earth is the only planet in the entire universe known to have liquid water. About 72% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. The oceans and seas are huge reservoirs (pools) of water that are always evaporating and making rain. The rain falls to the earth providing the water that all life must have to stay alive. Water is also important because water heats up and cools down more slowly than the land. Water acts like a heating or cooling machine, helping to keep the earth at a perfect average of 53 degrees F.
- The earth’s atmosphere (layer of gases above the earth) is just right. It has just the right mix of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gases needed for life. The atmosphere also acts as a protective blanket; the water vapor and other gases help hold the heat in so that when the sun goes down we don’t become too cold. In addition, the atmosphere has a special gas called ozone, which blocks many of the ultraviolet rays from the sun that are harmful to life. The earth’s atmosphere also gives us protection from meteors falling from space…most burn up from friction as they enter the atmosphere.
- The earth’s gravity seems to be just right. Too little gravity and we would float away into space. Too much gravity and we would be crushed.
- The earth’s magnetic field protects us from harmful radiation. The sun is continuously sending out an invisible wind, made of tiny pieces called “electrons” and “protons.” They are traveling so fast that they could be very harmful to people; however, the magnetic field pushes the solar wind away from the earth, throwing most of these electrons and protons back into space.
There are many other things that also show the earth is just right for life. When we study the facts, it is easy to see that God designed and built the earth for us. We should give Him thanks for the wonderful place He has given us to live!
Originally Published in the Nov/Dec 2006 Kids Think and Believe Too.