When thinking of earth’s design, lots of people talk about
- earth’s location in the solar system,
- the size and temperature of the sun,
- and the size and distance of the moon.
Earth’s size and gravitation, atmospheric makeup, and magnetic field are also examples of God’s design. But, did you know the placement and size of the continents also show the forethought and ingenuity of God as he reformed earth to be man’s post-flood habitation? As creationists we believe the continents were put in place on purpose by God’s design—not random natural movements of earth’s crust.
Notice on the map how the separation between South America and Antarctica and between Asia and North America allows for the global circulation of water. Cold water is not trapped near either pole.
In the southern Atlantic, the majority of the equatorial current is redirected north by the Brazilian wedge shaped coast. It continues to be warmed as it flows along Central America and through the Gulf of Mexico.
At the same time, because North and South America connect, the warm equatorial ocean current cannot sweep through, and instead is forced to flow outward towards the polar regions. Following the map near the eastern USA, you can see warm water is then carried all the way to England and circulated around the Arctic Ocean.
The earth’s rotation empowers the equatorial currents which then circulate all the ocean waters. This helps regulate global temperatures, disperses nutrients, and even allows for the cleansing of the shorelines.
We can see the shape and position of each land mass is ideally placed in order to enhance the circulation of earth’s water.
Southern Summer and Winter
After the flood God told Noah that there would be seasons for planting and harvest that summer and winter would not cease.
Earth’s seasons are caused by our planet’s 23–degree axial tilt. If earth’s axis was not tilted, the entire world would have 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night every 24 hours causing fall-like temperatures year round. But with the tilt, each polar region experiences 6 months of complete darkness making a cold, harsh winter followed by 6 months of midnight sun.
And this isn’t the only factor affecting the seasons. Due to earth’s elliptical orbit, the Southern Hemisphere’s winter is even colder because at that point the earth is farther away from the sun, receiving weaker sunlight. Even more, the earth’s distance from the sun affects its orbital speed, causing the earth to travels slower when farther away from the sun.
So the winter is not only colder, it is also 5 days longer. No wonder only penguins live on Antarctica!
But, it could have been even worse. Water acts as an insulator only slowly releasing summer’s heat—and 80% of the Southern Hemisphere is ocean, leaving only 20% land, most of which is the frozen continent of Antarctica.
Meanwhile 68% of earth’s landmass, home to 90% of earth’s population, is in the Northern Hemisphere where earth is closer to the sun during winter and farther from the sun during summer so the seasonal extremes are not as drastic and summers are longer.
God truly designed the earth to be man’s habitation.
The heavens declare the glory of God and so does the earth’s design.
This book first introduced me to the concepts I present in this article:
DeYoung, Donald B. 1992. Weather and the Bible. Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, MI p.40-42