Our Goldilocks Planet

It's reasonable to assume that Earth is universally unique

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Earth Faith

About 20 years ago, the children of tenants renting my house pasted glow-in-the-dark stars on the master bedroom ceiling for their parents. When I moved in, I noticed the virtual galaxy the children created. Lying on my bed, I turned off the lamp and looked at the ceiling, surprised and smiling before drifting off to sleep. I have left their starry heaven up there all this time.

The next day I was walking west toward the afternoon sun and noticed the sidewalk had a glitter, perhaps bits of mica reflecting sunlight. I imagined gazing from a starship portal at millions of stars. But then what struck me was the fact that each of those “stars” was a reflection of only one power source: our Sun. I couldn’t help speculating from a spiritual angle that the one source is God, the Father of Lights, who energizes the velvet canopy of dazzling jewels displayed in our nighttime sky.

Within billions of swirling galaxies observed with increasingly sophisticated telescopes, astrophysicists are finding many satellite planets encircling stars in solar systems like ours. Our planet Earth is situated in what is called the Goldilocks zone, not too hot and not too cold. Here water isn’t evaporated off or deep frozen, and Earth’s atmosphere burns up asteroids. The many meticulous details and delicate tuning required to permit life here force the important question of who arranged this incredible masterpiece we call Earth.

A slight variation in the tilt of Earth’s axis, or its distance from the sun, would make it impossible for us to exist here. The loveliness of its changing seasons would be lost. Earth’s many unseen players are conducted by a Master Composer in some symphonic Song Without End.

Are there other planets in the universe with a Goldilocks situation like ours? The sheer number of planets out there allows for not only the possibility but the probability. But to find one exactly like this gorgeous blue marble is doubtful. Of the seven billion people it supports and nourishes, no two have the same fingerprints, not even identical twins. I think it reasonable to assume that Earth is universally unique.

In bioscience it is fact that each of us is one of a kind. Every swirl in our fingerprints and every hair on our head is numbered (Matt 10:30) by our Maker. Think what a master craftsman of an expensive Swiss watch must do to make it run so accurately, with each piece numbered for precision placement, self-winding, its calendar synchronous with the planet as it rotates on its axis and travels around the Sun. Because we each of us are more precious than that, fearfully and wonderfully made, (Psalm 139:14) it staggers my imagination to ponder how our Maker does it all.

Maybe little cherubim help him paste up all those stars for us.

 

Richard M. DellOrfano spent ten years on a cross-country pilgrimage following Christ’s instruction to minister without possessions. He is completing his autobiography: Path Perilous, My Search for God and the Miraculous.

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