In Genesis 1:14-19 the account of the Third Creation Day is recorded. On this day the Sun, Moon, and stars were formed. We are told in verse 16 that they have been given to us “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”.
The science of astronomy is the study of these (and many other)1 celestial bodies.
In this series of articles we are going to examine a number of features unique to our closest celestial body – the Moon – which also happens to be earth’s only natural satellite.
In this opening article we will take a brief look at six ‘coincidences’ unique to our moon and its relationship to the earth. During upcoming articles each of these topics will be examined in greater detail.
An Amazing Set of ‘Coincidences’
If you speak with anyone who is routinely involved in the process of investigation in his/her profession, they will readily tell you that coincidences are very RARE. From criminal investigators to forensic pathologists to engineering analysts, they all recognize patterns in evidence that lead them to solutions.
In fact, they all apply the standard ‘scientific method’ in the execution of their investigative work and allow the evidence to stand on its own merit. In simple terms, they follow the clues wherever they lead.
Our earth, moon, and sun relationship must be examined with this same unbiased ‘scientific method’; and, we must be willing to ‘follow the clues’ wherever they lead without exception – despite any personal biases we may have (i.e. ‘feelings’ must be excluded).
So, with this in mind, we are going to ‘scientifically’ test the Bible’s claim cited at the beginning of this article that God (1) Created the Moon, and He (2) Created it with purpose.
Of course, the same passage speaks of the creation of the Sun & stars as well; but, for this study we are only examining the Moon. As we move deeper into this study it should become readily apparent that God’s design for one celestial object extends to all celestial objects.
The following is a list & brief description of the six (6) topics that will be covered in this article series:
- Size relationship to earth vs. other planetary satellites
The earth’s moon is significantly larger proportionately to the planet that it orbits than any other moon in our solar system.
- Size relationship to sun vs. distance to earth (total solar eclipse)
The size and position of our moon as they relate to the size and distance earth is from our sun allows for a total solar eclipse on the earth’s surface while revealing only the corona of the sun.
- Only planetary satellite to orbit in ecliptic (vs. equatorial) plane
Every moon in our solar system either orbits its planet in the planet’s orbital plane, or in an oddly skewed plane. Only earth’s moon orbits within a narrow band centered on our equator.
- Significant mass vs. other planetary satellites
The earth’s moon has by far the highest mass relative to its ‘mother’ planet in our solar system.
- Regulates ebb & neap tides
The moon’s orbital path both creates and regulates earth’s tides like clockwork several times daily.
- Stabilizes orbital ‘wobble’
The moon’s orbital position keeps the earth’s polar axis stable relative to the Sun, maintaining consistent seasons annually.
An extremely conservative estimate for any planet in our solar system having only one single moon with all of these characteristics is approximately 6×1057:1. That’s six (6) with 57 ‘zeroes’ after it!!!2
This estimate does not even take into consideration the fact that the earth orbits in a very tiny band of space within our solar system known as the ‘habitable zone’ (approximately 0.0002% of the area between the Sun and Neptune within the Ecliptic Plane. Nor does it address the unique angle of the earth relative to the Sun which accounts for our annual seasons.
Before we even delve into the incredible details of our amazing moon, we have already seen that it is highly unlikely that it could possess even the six properties above by mere happenstance.
God’s Word tells us that He has created all things, and that all things He has created have a specific purpose. That includes everything from our own moon to you and me! We can truly rest in His promise from 1 Corinthians 1:17 which tells us, “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
In His Love,
Dr. Jack L. Burton
(1) New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, King James Version. James Strong, LLD., S.T.D. Nelson. ©2005.
(2) Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words. W.E. Vine. Nelson. ©1996.
(3) NASA Planetary Fact Sheets (Sun, Earth, and Moon).
(4) TheSky Astronomy Software © 1894-2000. Software Bisque, Inc.
- Refer to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definition: Astronomy. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astronomy
- Only the eight (8) planets Mercury through Neptune were considered in this calculation.
- Habitable zone calculations based on conservative value obtained from ‘habitable zone limits calculator’ found at: https://depts.washington.edu/naivpl/sites/default/files/hz.shtml.*
*Note: The habitable zone range is calculated to be: (0.95-1.68 AU)*93,000,000 mi/AU = approx. 67,000,000 mi. The ‘Effective Radius’ of Solar System used is 2.8 billion miles (based on distance of Neptune from Sun – some astronomy models cite our Solar System as being many times larger than this).
- All Bible quotes in this article are taken from the KJV.
- Bible passages in double quotes (“) appear exactly as found in the KJV.
- Bible passages in single quotes (‘) have been modified for emphasis or ease of reading only (such as capitalization of pronouns referring to God, bolded text, or modernized punctuation, etc.) without altering the actual wording of the text.
Disclaimer: While to the author’s knowledge all of the information cited in the referenced material related directly to the content of this article is correct and accurate, the author in no way endorses any of the cited references in their entirety – especially where the material contained therein is in direct contradiction with the Creation account given in the Word of God.