Friday, October 22, 2004

Did You Know (2)

To The Saints !!!!!

Obviously the key (from a scientific viewpoint) to continued life on Earth is the sun, whose nuclear fusion, taking place at twenty-seven million degrees Fahrenheit at its core, provides us with a consistent warmth and energy 93 million miles away. If the distance between the earth and the sun was adjusted by 5% either way human and animal life would be impossible because the mix of carbon dioxide and oxygen would not be able to sustain it.
Our sun is pretty special. For instance its among the 10% most massive stars in the universe. In fact if you pick a star at random, you're likely to pick one that's far less massive than our sun, usually red dwarfs, which make up about 80% of stars. Another 8 or 9 percent are called G dwarfs, most of which are less massive than the sun. The sun is a yellow dwarf ; technically, it has a G2 spectral type. So we can see that yellow G2 dwarfs like our sun help account for the balance, between 1 and 2 percent, of all stars (this 1 to 2 percent also consists of other types of stars some of which are more massive than the sun).
Lets take a look at red dwarfs quickly since they make up the majority of stars in the universe. These are not very conducive to having life-bearing planets orbiting them. There are several reasons for this. First red dwarfs emit most of their radiation in the red part of the spectrum, which makes photosynthesis less efficient. A greater problem though is that as you decrease the mass of a star, you also decrease its luminosity. A planet would have to orbit this kind of star much closer in order to have sufficient heat to maintain liquid water on its surface. This then results in the problem that the tidal force between the star and the planet gets stronger as you move in, so the planet will spin down and eventually end up in what's called a tidally locked state. This means it always presents the same face towards the star. This is very bad (major understatement) because it causes huge temperature differences between the lit side and the unlit side. The lit side would be terribly dry and hot while the unlit side would be prohibitively icy and cold.
Now back to our sun (aren't you warming up more to it?). Fortunately our sun is not only the right mass, it also emits the right colours (a balance of red and blue). If the Earth was orbiting a more massive star, say an F dwarf, there would be much more blue radiation that would build up the oxygen and ozone layer very fast. Any imbalance in the ozone layer would subject the planet to an immediate flood of highly intense ultra-violet radiation, which would be disastrous to life.
The sun is also metal-rich; in other words it has a higher abundance of heavy elements compared to other stars of its age in this region of the galaxy and surprise surprise the sun's metallicity may be near the golden mean for building Earth size habitable terrestrial planets. The sun is also highly stable, more so than most comparable stars. Its light output only varies by one-tenth of one percent over a full sunspot cycle, which is about eleven years. This prevents wild climate swings on Earth. As mentioned in the previous mail the sun's orbit is more nearly circular than other comparable stars in our galaxy and this keeps it away from the dangerous spiral arms in our galaxy.
So our star the sun has some pretty amazing properties - just the right mass, the right distance, the right light, the right composition, the right orbit, the right galaxy, the right location, the right stability - to nurture living organisms on a circling planet. Pretty allright don't you think. Now what do you think the chance of all this just kinda happening on this grand a scale.
Is not our God just awesome. More of His glory to follow just watch your mail.

Info taken from The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel (2004)

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying? What supports its foundations and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)

I believe in God the Father
Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered by Pontius Pilate
He was crucified dead and buried

And I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the truth of God and not the invention of any man

I believe that He who suffered was crucified, buried and dead
He descended into hell and on the third day, He rose again
He ascended into heaven where He sits at God's mighty right hand
I believe that He's returning
To judge the quick and the dead of the sons of men

Oh yeah I believe it
(Creed by Rich Mullins)

LoCTY !!!!!!

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