Your word is a lamp
for my feet and a light
for my path.
Psalms 119:105

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God’s Love Seen in the Milky Way

“Whoever it was who searched the heavens with a telescope and found no God would not have found the human mind if he had searched the brain with a microscope.” George Santayana (1863 - 1952)

In 1992 William Keel and his associates discovered how important it is that our solar system, with planet Earth, is situated between the two spiral arms of our galaxy. Within each of the galaxy’s spiral arms, the star densities are high enough to disrupt the orbits of planets like Earth. Moreover, supergiant stars reside inside the spiral arms – supergiants that would expose Earth-like planets to radiation intense enough to prevent life. Providentially, our sun is one of those rare stars that finds itself located between the spiral arms and away from supergiants and high star densities.

Our position between the spiral arms is important for another reason. The spiral arms are loaded with gas and dust. If planet Earth were located within a spiral arm, such gas and dust would block our view of anything but the nearby stars, gas and dust clouds.

But our position between the spiral arms permits us to see the other parts of our galaxy and also the other several hundred billion galaxies in the universe. That is why the Psalmist David could write, “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

Astronomers have determined that the heavens’ message can only be read if one is sitting on a uniquely clear-viewed cosmic window seat. Earth’s inhabitants enjoy this unique window to our solar system, our galaxy and the whole universe. In any other galaxy or at any other location in our galaxy, the observableness of the universe would be obscured. Our solar system is located in the exact galactic locale that affords both a safe haven for life and a clear window on the cosmos.

By comparison, other suns in our galaxy orbit the galactic center at a rate out of sync with the spiral arms’ orbit pattern. Which means those suns and their planets – if they ever do wander into the safe zone between spiral arms – won’t stay there for very long.

This is thrilling! God exclusively positioned the Earth between the spiral arms so we can see and exclaim—“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.” Psalm 19:1, 2

Why was Earth’s unique window view of the universe just discovered in the 1990s? We are living in end-times. The signs of the “end of the age” given by Jesus in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 are all around us. Prophesying about our day, Daniel 12:1, 4 speaks of an unprecedented increase of knowledge and travel, Israel’s restoration and a “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.”

The Twin Towers and Pentagon terrorist attacks reminded us of this time of unprecedented trouble. The run on duct tape, clear plastic, flashlights and batteries brought the war on terrorism to a level of personal fear. The globalization of terrorist weapons of mass destruction (anthrax, small pox, radiation) brings home the grim meaning of Jesus’ prediction in Luke 21:25, 26—“distress of nations with perplexity” (Greek – no way out) and “men’s hearts failing them for fear.”

Because of the US attacks on Iraq, many fear years of occupation that will spark a fresh burst of anti-American rage. By factoring in the economic, environmental and energy crises, the future could be foreboding.

Perhaps the Lord only recently revealed His awesome power by Earth’s unique position in the Milky Way to assure us of the power of his loving concern for His people during these end-times. But there is much more to the awesome creative power of our God.

Earth, The Focus of the Universe

For centuries Earth and its inhabitants were believed to be the center of the universe. In 1543 the Copernican system of astronomy disproved the centrality of the planet earth and became the paradigm of astronomy. Philosophically, the human race was downgraded. Evolutionists latched on to this view. Search for life elsewhere in the universe reached a crescendo of excitement in the 1950s. The noted astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, boasted there were many thousands of planets in our galaxy capable of sustaining life.

But evidence began to accumulate that would challenge these arrogant claims of evolutionists. By the 1980s the once atheistic physicist Paul Davies was compelled to concede that the whole universe was designed so that human life might exist on planet Earth.

To describe his “ingenious design” concept, Davies originated the term “anthropic principle.” Why? Research since 1961 forced many agnostic and atheistic cosmologists to exclaim—“Someone has fine-tuned the universe for life on earth.” Many of them became believers in God.

Life on Earth did not just happen. Most astronomers, atheists and theists, now agree the universe evidences unique fine-tuning for life. Scientists have identified over 150 parameters for life within our solar system and 38 elsewhere in the universe. Each parameter is so exacting that they could not have happened by chance.

For example: the ratio of the gravitational force constant to the electro magnetic force constant. If it differed from its value by any more than one part in 1040, life on Earth could not be possible. One part in 1040 has been illustrated as follows:

Cover the entire North American continent with dimes stacked up to the moon (230,000 miles). Make a million other piles of dimes of equal size. Paint one dime red and hide it in the billion piles. The odds that a blindfolded person would pick the red dime are one in 1040. This is only one of the delicately balanced parameters that are necessary to allow life on the planet Earth.

These recent discoveries of the universe support Biblical creation. Ironically, some of these discoveries were made by scientists pursuing their atheistic quests to prove evolutionary life on many of the other planets of the universe. Religion, to the scientists, was the “opiate” of the superstitious and weak. Naturalistic evolution was supposed to be the reality of the brave who dared to charter the unknown.

What a shocking disappointment they experienced! For example, the eminent cosmologist, Fred Hoyle, aggressively opposed theism and Christianity. But Hoyle discovered that an incredible fine-tuning of the nuclear ground state energies for helium, beryllium, carbon and oxygen were necessary for any kind of life to exist. If the ground state energies of these elements proportioned to each other were just four percent higher or lower, there would be insufficient oxygen or carbon for life anywhere in the universe, including the planet Earth.

Other cosmologists spoke of this fine-tuning of the universe as they also discovered parameters for life on earth. Just think God fine-tuned the cosmic characteristics of the universe so that human life flourishes on Earth. Humankind must be central to God’s eternal purposes. Position-wise, Earth is not the center of the universe. But from the standpoint of importance, Earth is center stage.

No wonder the Scriptures speak of each person being so precious to God. Isaiah 13:12 What an indescribable premium on humanity! Yes, there is a God and He cares for you! God has a wonderful purpose for you, for me, and for the entire human race. This is why Jesus “tasted death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9.

Fred Hoyle in his journey of faith rejected the basic premise of evolution—that the first living cell was formed by change in a swirling, boiling pool of prebiotic soup (organic chemicals). The chances of life coming from prebiotic soup, Hoyle says, have the same probability of occurring that a “tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”