The Earth
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The Earth

The Earth is a complex system of plate tectonics and thermodynamics, made up of many different materials. It is located in the habitable zone, not too close nor too far from the sun. The atmosphere has oxygen for animals to breathe and carbon dioxide for plants; an ozone layer protects the inhabitants from harmful sun rays. Gravity holds things to the surface; an rotation around an axis provides night and day, and an orbit around the sun creates the four seasons of the year. There is no other known planet where life as we know it can exist. How and why is all of this so?

Click to see a movie of Earth rotating!
Religion's Answer:

God is a careful engineer, the greatest artist and architect. It is no surprise that the Earth's system is perfectly suited to its inhabitants; this was all part of God's plan. The Bible begins with an account of God's creation of the earth. "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:1-2) The first day, God created light and dark. On the second, He separated the heavens from the waters. Dry land appeared on the third day. "And God said, 'Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into once place, and let the dry land appear.'"(Genesis 1:9). He made distinction between night and day on the fourth day, and on the fifth day He created the creatures of the seas and the air as well as "the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind."(Genesis 1:25). The sixth day saw the creation of Adam, the first human. (Click "our origins" in the left-hand column). And, of course, on the seventh day God rested, and this became the Sabbath.

Science's Answers

There is no way the earth came into being in six days. It took millions of years for the earth to take its shape. "About ten billion years ago, before time and space existed, the entirety of our universe was compressed intoan atomic nucleus. According to cosmological models, an ineffable, infinitely dense explosion, trillions of degrees in temperature, created fundamental subatomic particles (matter) and energy. The stars came from these particles and energy.

According to the planetesimal theory, the planets formed out of a protostellar disk, first by forming small pieces which then grew by collisions ultimately forming planets. The disk was formed when the solar nebula gained so much momentum that it collapsed into a 'disk,' which in turn spewed out the dust that eventually became planets. Life, too, developed over a long period of time. Very simple one-celled organisms gave way to amoebas, simple fish, and plants long before any life survived on land. Animals, as a family, are far newer than bacteria and the like.

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