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Section 1: Design in Nature

Design in the Earth-Sun system

The balanced design features of the earth-sun system include the following:23

1. The average distance of the earth from the sun provides the average temperatures required for life.

2. The sun's temperature is correct to provide the right kind of radiation to sustain life.

3. The nearly circular orbit of the earth limits temperature variations.

4. The water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere produce a "greenhouse effect" which moderates the temperature extremes.

5. A high altitude ozone layer effectively absorbs the lethal fraction of solar ultraviolet rays which would otherwise in minutes destroy life on the earth's surface.

6. The 23 degree inclination of the earth's axis of rotation from the plane of its orbit provides for the seasons and probably prevents the locking of excessive amounts of water in polar glaciers. Average equatorial temperatures are probably lower and desert areas less extensive than would be the case were the axis not inclined. In addition intensive summer agriculture is possible in large areas north of the temperate zone.

7. The earth's magnetic field, extending tens of thousands of miles into space, shields the earth's surface from the lower energy cosmic rays and high energy solar wind particles which would be deleterious to life.

8. The lunar gravitation provides important tidal circulation effects in the oceans, which make conditions much more suitable for sea life in the shallow zones along shores and in estuaries.

9. The mass and size of the earth are adjusted to provide gravitational force and atmospheric pressure suitable for life. Furthermore, the vital gases such as oxygen and nitrogen and water vapor are not able to escape from the earth.

10. The two principal constituents of the atmosphere, oxygen (21 percent) and nitrogen (78 percent), are balanced to make up the ideal medium for the support of life.

11. The elements essential to life, such as nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and phosphorus, are contained in the earth's crust, hydrosphere, and atmosphere considerably or even greatly enriched over the average content of these elements observed in most other parts of the cosmos.

The obvious question at this point is, "Where does the weight of evidence lie--the evidence from living things, ecological communities, the structure and properties of the water molecule, the balanced conditions upon the earth's surface and in the solar system, and the chemical composition of the earth?" Does the weight of evidence lie with the thesis of origin of all things by random, purposeless, unplanned, materialistic processes, or does it lie with the thesis of origin by intelligent, purposeful design and creation by an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator? You must answer this question for yourself.

Man's place in the world. Human nature is a complex of attributes and capacities which make man man, not animal--his intellect. affections, moral capacity and will. Alone of all creatures on earth, man uses symbols, language and logic, reasons inductively and deductively and is capable of abstract thought, plans for the future, preserves the intellectual accomplishments of the present for use in the future, and makes use in the present of the heritage from past generations. Man alone possesses and exercises a sense of moral responsibility; he alone shows compassion and concern for others arising from moral and spiritual considerations. He alone evidences awareness of a supernatural world or feels any responsibility to know if such a world is real and has any desire to relate to it.

The dominion over all other creatures which man obviously possesses to a considerable extent is sometimes exercised in a responsible manner, but oftentimes irresponsively. There remains, nevertheless, a sense of that responsibility in the world which is unique with man, to preserve the natural order for the benefit of all. Only man has the intellectual capacity for comprehending at least to some degree the complex ecological systems which make up the world of living things, including the human race. Man alone has the ability to apply knowledge and reason to the solution of the difficult problems of imbalance, pollution and destruction caused primarily by man's activities. It is now universally recognized that such problems are of extreme importance to all peoples, because of the need not only to keep the earth a livable place, but also to preserve its order and beauty which only man has the aesthetic sense to appreciate.

The person who intelligently receives the force of the scientific evidence which points, according to the creation model of origins, to purposeful design in nature should be more responsible and concerned for the preservation of the natural order. The primary reason for this sense of responsibility and concern is the fact that all the world belongs to God who created it. The knowledge of science and creation such as that offered in the present and succeeding chapters of this book should be seen as a reasonable basis for understanding and appreciation of man's place in the world and of each individual's responsibility to function in it in a manner which develops his or her own character and abilities and makes the person a useful citizen in society.

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