“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” — Genesis 1:1-3
Many of us cannot relate to size and dimensions or begin to fathom the vast distances in outer space. Think of the room or building you are in as the Milky Way galaxy. Now, look at your thumb nail. Within the galaxy, we are living in a bubble the size of your thumb nail.
Your thumbnail represents the diameter of the size of a sphere in the galaxy and that includes all the stars we can see on a clear night. Some of those stars are over 250 light years from Earth, yet we live in that ball.
Perhaps this gives us a slight perspective of how small we are. The galaxy is over 100,000 light years across, but we can only see stars that are within 250 light years of Earth. Our solar system is traveling through the galaxy at 514,000 miles per hour. It takes 226 million years to make one complete orbit of the galaxy.
One light year is the distance light can travel in one year at the speed of 186,282 miles per second. That’s around the Earth seven and one-half times in one second and one light year equals a little over 5.83 trillion miles.
Extraterrestrials and UFOs make good movies and comic books. Unless amazing strides in travel and speed have been developed by the residents of another planet far, far away or Einstein’s wormhole theory is correct, don’t waste your time looking up at the night sky expecting to see a little green man from another planet. The distances are too great unless they have a lifespan of a million years and can travel at multiples of the speed of light.
If we are still not understanding how small we are, and how vast the galaxy and universe are, our Mother Earth is the equivalent of a green pea; a baseball represents Jupiter and a basketball represents the Sun. The Sun is only 93 million miles from us and the nearest star (other sun) (Alpha Centauri) is 4.3 light years. Our Sun is actually one of the smaller stars in the universe.
Astronomers tell us since the placing in orbit of the Hubble space telescope (1990) and now the James Webb space telescope (launched Christmas Day 2021), there are over 200 billion galaxies and each has over 200 billion stars.
Those numbers change occasionally as astronomers have time and power to study the universe. Some are estimating those numbers in trillions. Some believe there are other universes.
“As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured.” Astronomers once believed they would someday be able to map the universe and classify the stars. Now they concede this would be an impossible task. God, through Jeremiah, told us that 2,600 years ago. — Jeremiah 33: 22
So, why then did God create this humongous universe for this one lonely little planet? Interesting question; unanswerable but interesting. Now you’re wondering if “humongous” is a word; so am I.
On the other end of the scale are atoms. All chemical elements consist of atoms. Atoms are made up of a nucleus, which contains neutrons and protons. Orbiting the nucleus are electrons. Atoms can be compared to solar systems with the nucleus being the Sun and the electrons being the planets.
Scientists tell us there are 118 chemical elements. When I was in school last century, there were 92. I wonder how many there really are? I‘m guessing God knows.
Every chemical element has its own identifiable atom. Elements have equal numbers of protons and electrons in their atoms. Atoms are small, too small for this shop teacher to try to describe. About five million hydrogen atoms could fit onto a pinhead; sorry, that’s the best I can do.
The tiny size of many particles or little creatures can make us feel as large as comparing us to a galaxy can make us feel small. There are small creatures living in our beds, on our dog or cat and in our carpet or rugs in our houses. The Bearcat doesn’t need to know this.
We’ve seen microscopic pictures of some of those little critters. Usually, someone is trying to sell us a spray or some kind of gizmo to rid our beds or animals of them. Under a microscope, they usually look like a monster or an alien predator of humans in a B-grade movie ready to attack.
Size is a peculiar thing. The sizes of galaxies and atoms give us perspectives not realized in any other way. The universe leaves us with a fascination wondering what is out there and, more specifically, who is out there. Likely mankind will never know; the distances are simply too great.
Atoms, however, have been conquered to produce power for submarines, produce electricity in power plants and of course, the bomb. Even though mankind has conquered the atom, I doubt we will ever know its full potential.
Atoms can be harnessed to produce power in two ways. Nuclear fission is the splitting of atoms such as currently used in power applications.
Fusion is the process of “fusing” or joining two atoms together to produce immense amounts of energy. Scientists now believe nuclear fusion will, in the near future, be found to be the answer to the world’s energy problems.
Many believe mankind is destroying the planet by burning fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas). This use is creating a blocking of the atmosphere and preventing the Sun’s light and power from coming through. If this is the case, and it may be, climate change is inevitable.
If the fusing of atoms can be harnessed to produce electrical power as scientists are anticipating, then electric cars and trucks may become feasible. Scientists believe the power of fusion can be harnessed by the 2030s to provide adequate supplies of energy for mass usages. This may be a good time to buy stock in a fusion engine or converter company.
What is so amazing is that it appears God has provided man with the ability to save the planet by using the resources He (God) has created (Philippians 4: 19). By fusing atoms to produce infinite energy, the argument over climate change, electric vehicles and alternative methods of producing electricity, may in the future become a dead issue.
Scientists claim fusion is duplicating the Sun’s method of producing energy. The scientists also tell us the Sun has enough hydrogen to burn another five billion years. In such a case, the energy supply will be unlimited. Theorists claim the hydrogen atoms contained in one cup of water are enough to produce tremendous amounts of electricity.
Many of us believe God will provide solutions to our problems. He certainly solved the world’s problem of sin when He came to the Earth as the man Jesus to redeem the world. In my thinking, providing atoms for that infinite energy supply will be simple compared to resurrection from the dead.
The energy needs are man’s predicament, but so is sin. God has provided the world with a Savior and He solves other problems as well. Eternal salvation is determined in the Bible to be a faith-based belief that Christ Jesus was crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected.
If eternal life is a reality to us provided by God, why would we not think He would solve the energy crisis? Maybe He already has and we don’t know it yet. God knows our problems long before we do. — Matthew 6: 8
God’s unseen miracles are all around us. We don’t have to have a demonstration like a nuclear aircraft carrier float by or an atomic bomb pop in front of us to see the miracles. They are obvious if we simply open our eyes.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” — John 1: 1-4