The more that Dr. David Bradstreet learns about the heavens, the more he marvels at the Creator. The celebrated astronomer and Eastern University professor explains just how vast our universe is.
“We estimate it is about 47 billion light years across at this present time. Since light travels about six trillion miles in a year, going at 186,000 miles per second – with 31 million odd seconds in a year – light goes six million miles in one year of time. So multiply that times 47 billion and you’d have how many miles there are roughly in the universe at the moment. Better known as ‘a lot’.“
We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about weather conditions on Mercury and Venus, but when we take a look at our solar system neighbors, we quickly realize that Earth is uniquely equipped to support life. Dr. Bradstreet describes Earth as a Goldilocks Planet.
“We all know the story of Goldilocks – the interloper who broke into the bear’s cottage. And she’s really the villain in the story! She goes around trying different things – the father’s porridge, the mother’s porridge, and the baby’s porridge – that’s the one that’s just right. The others don’t work at all.”
“So, Earth – there are so many things that have gone right with the Earth for life to exist and not just exist but to be bountiful everywhere we go. Even the deepest oceans have life. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence.”
Even just a relatively small adjustment in Earth’s position in the Solar System would make all this impossible.
“If the Earth had been closer to the Sun, just a few million miles closer, it would be too hot. If it was several million miles further out, it would be too cold. And so we have this Goldilocks Zone – this distance from the Sun where water can exist in a liquid state.”
The likelihood of this situation coming to pass completely naturally, without assistance from a Creator, seems remote. But Dr. Bradstreet notes that, for believers, that argument, by itself, will never be enough for a committed atheist.
“It’s interesting. You can’t prove God exists through science, and I think God has set it up that way. The scriptures are clear that you can only please God through faith. If we could prove God existed, you wouldn’t need faith. You still have to take that leap.”
Dr. David Bradstreet is the author of Star Struck: Seeing the Creator in the Wonders of Our Cosmos.On the Road with Dr. David Bradstreet