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Designed for Discovery – Part 1: Why the Earth Is Unique

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Designed for Discovery

Part 1: Why the Earth Is Unique

The earth is seemingly filled with inferences of design. Recent discoveries reveal some of these unique and inspiring “markers.”

Learn the why behind the headlines.

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Many millions view the earth as just another planet in a vast universe. They see it as neither unique nor special in any way.

But decades of research are changing this view. If we peer through the lens of science, something remarkable can be shown about our planet. The more we discover, the more we realize that hundreds of conditions are needed for the rich abundance of plant, animal and human life on earth, which have not been found elsewhere in the known universe.

There are so many indicators on earth pointing to an Intelligent Designer that it becomes impossible to believe they appeared by blind chance. Reading with an open mind, the honest reader will be left with little doubt as to the inspiring origin of our world and the evidence left behind for humanity to discover. In fact, much of what has been set in place for mankind was designed so that only an advanced, technologically-driven society could uncover it.

As you read this article, you will see the fingerprints—the handprints—of something. You will be left to ask, “Are these the fingerprints of dumb, blind luck, or the fingerprints of an engineer who left markers—clues—careful design?”

Also ask: “Could our life-bearing planet be nothing more than coincidence?”

Ancient Geological Compass

One of the fascinating treasures waiting for millions of years to be uncovered is an ancient global positioning system found in rocks containing magnetic elements, such as iron. These rocks are located everywhere, but are particularly concentrated where iron-filled molten lava spews from within the earth. When superheated in a volcano or within crevices on the ocean floor, rock becomes as fluid as maple syrup. In this state, the iron element aligns with earth’s magnetic field.

While most are familiar with a standard compass, few realize that the planet generates a magnetic field in three dimensions. When lava cools, its magnetic alignment “locks” into place. (Only super-heating to a near liquid state would cause its position to change once again.)

Like a global positioning system using three satellites to pinpoint a location, these rocks can be used to pinpoint the location where they hardened. This opens a fascinating window into earth’s early history. As continents shift, molten rock bubbles up from deep within the planet’s crust. When this liquid rock comes in contact with water or air, it cools and solidifies. As the continents continue to drift, hardened rock moves with them. By measuring its magnetic field, scientists can determine its exact original location.

Collecting specimens from around the world has allowed scientists to determine that continents currently drift at a rate of about one centimeter per year.

If hundreds of measurements are compared from around the globe, a road map of how our planet transformed begins to appear. A picture of the earth from millions of years ago reveals only one large continent, referred to as Pangaea.

There is no evolutionary reason for the appearance of this ancient positioning system. Could it have just been chance?

This magnetic map is missing the important element of time. There is no direct way to measure how fast the continents shifted or if they maintained a constant motion over millions of years.

To develop a timeline of our world, another recent discovery is required.

Icy Encyclopedias

Without a clear timeline, scientists have no verifiable way to compare discoveries in various parts of the world. We have a picture of how the early planet looked, but no way to know the rate at which it developed.

Recall learning about tree rings in grade school. Counting them reveals the age of the tree. Their thickness would indicate the growth in a particular season, and indicate the total amount of rainfall that had occurred. We have come to learn that much more can be read from these natural data recorders. While fascinating in their own right, trees are usually only centuries old. Much of that time has already been recorded by man.

Ice Cap: In this satellite composite image, Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet. Around 90% of the fresh water on the earth’s surface is held in this ice sheet. Source: NASA

What was learned with tree rings has now been applied to many kinds of geological “layering,” and perhaps most interesting are the layers found in polar ice. In arctic regions, a fascinating phenomenon occurs: Snow, sediment, gases, etc., form easily-identifiable layers. With each year, another layer is formed, and “snapshots” are stored. Hundreds, even thousands, of years are documented in these icy data recorders. The longest ice core retrieved is a 2.25 mile sample allowing scientists to peer 420,000 years into the past.

By taking long core samples, each year can be read in a manner similar to tree rings. However, the information stored in the ice cores is much more detailed. Not only can temperature and snow depth be determined, atmospheric gases can be measured. Since gases are generally uniform worldwide, much can be learned about what constituted the early earth’s environment—and when. Major earthquakes, volcanoes, climate changes, shifts in the earth’s magnetic field and even events occurring in space can be read from these wonderfully designed ice core “books.”

But why would this information even exist? How could an accident “create” something as precise as sediment layers, which are so crucial to understanding the ancient earth? One could argue that this phenomenon happened by chance. However, again, could mere accident—luck—form data recorders so detailed and precise that, until recently, it was out of the reach of mankind’s ingenuity to unlock them?

Couple these icy “encyclopedias” with the detailed ancient compass already explained, and the mountain of evidence for a Creator continues to grow.

Life and Technology

One fascinating aspect of the above mentioned discoveries is that they require an advanced species to understand them. The earth is perfectly designed for advanced life. When scientists analyze the possibility of life on other planets, they use a series of parameters to determine if a planet can sustain life. Further, the more of these attributes a planet possesses the more likely it can contain both simple life (bacteria and proteins) and complex life (plants and animals).

A Lucky Size?

Studying the Magnetic Field

Another interesting “coincidence” is earth’s perfect size and mass, crucial to a planet’s ability to develop an atmosphere and sustain life.

If one were to create a duplicate of earth, but shrink its size, some amazing changes would take place. Most important, a smaller planet would generate a weaker magnetic field. Our existing magnetic field creates a kind of “force field” around our planet, protecting us from direct interaction with the sun’s solar wind—which could blow away our atmosphere and with it the ability to sustain life.

Also, the unfiltered energy of the sun would permeate all those living in such a hostile world. This alone would mean deterioration and eventual destruction of life.

Even a slight reduction in the size of the planet would mean a gradual sweeping away of our atmosphere, disrupting the delicate mixture needed for life.

Conversely, a larger earth would carry with it an entirely different set of problems. Instead of the atmosphere being swept away by a solar wind, the planet would have a much greater magnetic and gravitational field. The fine balance of gasses in our atmosphere would be disrupted, resulting in an atmosphere “thick” with carbon dioxide and methane. This would in turn increase the size of our atmosphere and make Earth resemble the gaseous giants Jupiter or Saturn.

Gravity also increases in intensity as the mass of a planet grows. Even an earth twice its current size would be devastating to life. Such a change would correspond to a 3½ times increase in gravity.

No matter which direction the mass of our planet was shifted, the effect would be a barren wasteland—not the lush world brimming with life we enjoy today!

Even beyond this is another “level” seldom addressed: technological life—that is, a species advanced enough to develop technology, and in turn discover the markers placed by a Creator.

Our planet was perfectly suited for the arrival of mankind. It may come as no surprise that many of the factors needed to sustain complex life are exactly the same factors needed for advanced technology. It is no mere coincidence that conditions facilitating technology are the same as those necessary to support a special life-form capable of harnessing it.

Michael Denton, a famous biochemist, states the following about the precise balance of oxygen in our atmosphere and its link to technology: “Another fascinating coincidence is that only atmospheres with between ten and twenty percent oxygen can support oxidative metabolism in a higher organism, and it is only within this range that fire—and hence metallurgy [working with metals] and technology—is possible” (Nature’s Destiny).

Not only is our planet perfectly designed to develop technology capable of advancing society, those resources are conveniently placed within our reach.

The Placement of Power

Another so-called “coincidence” is the location of the resources required to power society. This was the case with the first sustainable power source: fire, primarily derived from trees.

The ability to heat homes provided for a purpose greater than pure survival. Man was free to study and research. Time was spent testing and analyzing the world around him. And before he exhausted this resource, research efforts led to our next power source, coal. This gave way to petroleum, which paved the way to the Industrial Revolution and the massive resources needed to fuel it.

As society was on the verge of using up each source of power, it discovered something even better. Each resource was replaced just in time before it was completely exhausted.

However, if one were to change even small aspects of our planet’s environment (varying gravity or the levels of gases in the atmosphere) the first power source—trees—would never have existed, or would have been depleted long before we discovered the next sustainable source.

With most of the planet covered in water, it should be unlikely that each successive resource was within reach. Sustainable power sources almost always need the crushing weight of a landmass to form. Even in modern mining operations, it has been proven time and again that the minerals and materials we need are in locations that make them relatively easy to extract.

Are you beginning to question the striking coincidences that keep appearing?

All Blind Luck?

The complex order of our planet and the ability to learn about it are not things one can dismiss as pure chance. As you have seen, the potential for each discovery was placed before us. In many cases, the knowledge of one allowed understanding of another. And with each discovery, it seems everything mankind needed was right at its fingertips.

It is almost as if humanity has gradually been taught what it needs to know, each successive step at a time. It is only now that technology has allowed us to look back at Creation and discover what has been there all along.

Thousands of years ago, the ancient Bible writer Job was told to look for the fingerprints of a Creator in everything around him: “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach you; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell you: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach you: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto you. Who knows not in all these that the hand of the Lord has wrought this?” (Job 12:7-9).

It has not been until recent decades that man has been able to so fully “speak to the earth” and allow it to teach him. With scientific advancement, the precision and beauty of Creation becomes more apparent.

This has been done for a reason: The great Creator does not want any who are willing to objectively weigh the facts to come to any other conclusion. The apostle Paul reiterates this in the book of Romans: “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (1:20).

Putting the evidence together, it becomes easy to “understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3). His fingerprints are found in countless places—for those willing to look.

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