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
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
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
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
If the US attacks 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