A Real-World Joomla! Template

The BIG picture PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Monday, 04 May 2009 10:09

Dinesh D'Souza has an interesting article (to me, at least) in the e-mail newsletter of Christianity Today titled, "Why We Need Earthquakes." It might also be titled, "Why God allows natural evil." This is a question that has bedeviled many, many Christian minds, and contemporary science, especially geophysics, my old stomping ground, has something to contribute.

People over the centuries have struggled with why, if God is loving and omnipotent, does He allow evil. Moral evil is a bit easier to deal with, since human freedom is its source. Natural evil, like earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and the like, are a bit harder to explain, since they so often cause innocent human suffering on a large scale. While some Christian apologists propose that such disasters turn our eyes to God, or give us opportunities to show one another charity, such claims, while true, are not entirely satisfactory. Couldn't God give us less dramatic and devastating opportunities?

D'Souza mentions "Rare Earth," a book published in 2003 and authored by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee, a paleontologist and astronomer at the University of Washington, Seattle, who examine some of the many conditions required for life to exist on any planet. Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and a whole host of geologically-based catastrophes are all a consequence of plate tectonics, a well-established, though recent, scientific description of relative motion between huge jigsaw-like pieces of the earth's crust. The authors acknowledge W
hile natural disasters occasionally wreak havoc, our planet needs plate tectonics to produce the biodiversity that enables complex life to flourish on earth. Without plate tectonics, earth's land would be submerged to a depth of several thousand feet. Fish might survive in such an environment, but not humans.
Plate tectonics also help regulate the earth's climate, preventing the onset of scorching or freezing temperatures that would make mammalian life impossible. In sum, plate tectonics are a necessary prerequisite to human survival on the only planet known to sustain life.
Some might complain that a loving, omnipotent God could create a world that didn't require processes that cost so much human life. Ward and Brownlee's response to such an argument would be simple and direct:
Such a world could have produced life, but it surely could not have produced creatures like us. Science tells us that our world has all the necessary conditions for species like Homo sapiens to survive and endure.
Our planet requires oxygen and a warming sun and water in order for us to live here, and we appreciate this, even though we recognize that people can get sunstroke and drown in the ocean. So, too, it seems that plate tectonics are...a 'central requirement for life' as we know it.
This would be good to remember, the next time a natural disaster takes human life. It is a price we pay for the possibility of a planet that can sustain human life.

And a good opportunity to love our neighbor, as well.

Add comment

Security code

Order From Our Store


siting sundries
carrots cheap viagra read wrought cuisine If your destination is on the Northeast Corridor, this isn't a big deal (departures are every hour) but in other parts of the country the next train may not be until tomorrow. If your reservations involved sleeper accommodations (Amtrak's First Class on their long-distance overnight trains) on either your late-arriving train or your missed connection, you will get a hotel voucher for the unplanned overnight stay. Customer Service will commonly offer travel vouchers of $100 or more off future Amtrak travel to inconvenienced passengers. This is true for all classes of service. If you plan to board an Amtrak train at a location other than the train's initial place of departure, it's usually a good idea to call ahead before you leave for the station to see if the train is running on time. A major Amtrak line in regular daily use by Americans is the Acela Express line, running between Boston and Washington, D. Financial and managerial accounting principles. Basic accounting statements, processes, and management applications. Open to all students. Crocodyliform systematics and diversity, with the description of new taxa from the Cretaceous of Texas. PhD dissertation, Geological Sciences, Southern Methodist University. Digital paleoart: reconstruction and restoration from laser-scanned fossils. MS thesis, Drexel University, 228 p. She tends to spend her evenings sleeping at friends' houses. Although she appears close to her brother, I know she sees and is influenced him. She gets no reward, but the son gets free cable, food, sleeping until noon and no curfew. I don't see any change and am now having to make the hard decisions for my own life, which don't include any of the ongoing drama. My BF and I both agree that his son could not move into my home (which would ultimately be our home), so I am left to wait. Ever hopeful, he solicited funding for renewing his plans for a conquest of Mexico, but was rebuffed. Spanish Florida or British possessions in the Caribbean. After returning from Europe, Burr used the surname "Edwards," his mother's maiden name, stendra for a while to avoid creditors. With help from old friends Samuel Swartwout and Matthew L. Burr was able to return to New York and his law practice..