The day had started with an unpleasant disagreement over a sleepover, but Emma’s minor explosion had led to an opportunity for Emma and her mother, Jessica, to talk. Jessica had been able to turn Emma’s outburst into a subject to be explored over dinner preparations.
Jessica started the conversation. “So, you’re wondering why God made the Earth instead of just making us and putting us directly into Heaven, skipping all the hard work of living on Earth?”
“Yeah, I guess so. But I guess being here gives us time to learn what we need to know so we can decide if we want to live in Heaven with God.” Emma remembered their earlier discussion.
Jessica wanted to help Emma understand how really significant the planet Earth was in God’s grand scheme of redemption. “So,” she asked, “what have you learned about the Earth in your science classes?”
“Well, the Earth is part of our Solar System, and our Solar System is part of our Galaxy. But there are bazillions of galaxies in the universe. The teacher said we’re just a tiny blue dot in the cosmos. She even said there might be other planets out there that have life on them.” Emma grinned, proud of being able to “educate” her mom on the finer points of 5th-grade science.
Jessica nodded. “Our universe is massive, and I can see where our Earth seems small, and maybe even unimportant. You’ll probably hear about scientists that think we’re just a speck in a universe full of specks. Do you ever watch Bill Nye, the Science Guy on TV at school?”
“Yes! He’s really smart! We watch him in Science class all the time.”
“The Science Guy said, ‘I’m just a spec on a spec whirling among other specs among still other specs in the middle of specklessness. I am insignificant! I suck!” 1
“What?!” Emma laughed.
“He said he wasn’t important and our world isn’t important because it’s all just a bunch of specs.”
Emma frowned, wrinkled her nose, rolled her eyes, and shook her head.
“Do you think that sounds right? ”
“I think it sounds dumb.”
“Why?” Jessica asked as she continued browning the hamburger for her spaghetti sauce. “Why do you think what he said sounds dumb?”
Emma was silent as she tore the lettuce for the salad. Finally she ventured a guess. “Because the Bible says so?”
“Well, that’s one correct answer. The Bible says that God loves us and that we’re made just for Him. And that makes us—and the speck we are on—important. But some people don’t want to believe what the Bible says. So God gave us an additional way to discover how things work and what He’s done. Do you want to guess what way that is?”
Emma shrugged her shoulders.
“Through a study of our world and what we learn from it.”
“Oh! You mean through Science?” Emma exclaimed.
“Yes, Science. Now, remember that science doesn’t talk; scientists do. But we can look at scientific facts ourselves and learn from that. As you get older, you’ll learn more about what some scientists say—like the Science Guy—and you can make up your own mind about who is closer to the facts.”
“So why DID God make the Earth?” said Emma, repeating the question.
“Since I graduated from school, scientists have learned that our Earth is very, VERY special,” Jessica began. “Scientists have learned that for anything to live on any planet, it has to have every little thing exactly right. It has to be just the right size, the right distance from the right kind of star like our sun, surrounded by the right size of planets, and have the right air around it. The air around the Earth—our atmosphere—must have the right amount of the right chemicals, water, and even volcanoes for it all to work. AND everything has to be exactly right from the very minute the universe started, or a planet like the Earth could never have existed.”
Emma stopped what she was doing and looked at her mom. “Wow! So our Earth is just right?”
“Our planet is precisely what is required for human beings to live here. Even NASA scientists believe that our universe is precisely right for life like us. They’ve learned that the most important element in life on earth is Carbon.”
“You mean like Charcoal? We saw some at school, and the teacher said that was carbon.”
“Well, Charcoal is mostly carbon mixed with some other stuff. But then so are we. Without the carbon in our bodies and also in plants and animals, we wouldn’t exist.”
“Oh, okay.” Emma mused. “Then are aliens made of carbon, too?”
“Well, if there is life on any other planet, they would also have to have Carbon to live in our universe. No other element would keep anything alive. But that’s the problem.”
“What’s the problem?” Emma wondered if she’d missed something.
“Life has to have not just carbon, but all those other things in exactly the right amount: gravity, heat, water, and oxygen. And only Earth has all of it right.”
“So humans couldn’t live anywhere else?”
“Not live and walk around without special equipment as we do on Earth. So you see, God made the Earth just right for us—so we can live here, learn about Him and His ways, and be made ready to live in His world.”
“Did God make the animals special, too?”
So Emma was also wrestling with the idea that humans and animals were of equal value on Earth because both are technically “animals.” “You know, Emma, you are really good at thinking and asking questions. Are animals and humans the same? Are humans more important than animals? Do you ever wonder about that?”
“Everybody says we are the same.”
Jessica looked around. The table was set. Dinner was ready. “Maybe tonight we could talk about that during our time with God before bed. Would that be okay?”
“Okay.” Emma smiled.
Jessica loved that their family talked about things that mattered. Tonight, her husband, the Biologist, would come in handy.
(To be continued)
Deut. 4:32 “Now search all of history, from the time God created people on the Earth until now, and search from one end of the universe to the other. Has anything as great as this ever been seen or heard before?” NLT
1 YouTube, “PRIVILEGED SPECIES with Dr. Michael Denton” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoI2ms5UHWg&t=35s