Tag Archives: gravity

Why would people need God? Part 1

By Spencer D Gear PhD

1. Why would anyone need this?

#pingellybustrip

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)[1]

What is it? It’s a John Deere tractor that would be needed by farmers who are planting and harvesting crops. What if farmers had a job like this to do?

The Case IH Module Express 625 picks cotton and simultaneously builds cotton modules (Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

Spring, summer, or winter. Whatever the needs of your operation, John Deere has the application equipment with the features and options you need to get in, get done, and get on to the next paddock quickly.[2]

It’s also used for sugar cane harvesting, hauling a trailer or machinery, combine harvesters for a variety of crops, silage[3] harvester, cotton picker, and to pull implements for field sprayers (watering, pesticides, and fertilizers).[4]

Which products on supermarket shelves depend on the use of tractors? Cabbage, potatoes, onions, sugar, many other fruits and veggies. What else?

Why would anyone need these?

clip_image005

(Image courtesy ABSFreePic)[5]

It should be obvious that this lipstick would be needed by some ladies to look spruced up for a special occasion.

2. Let’s throw a tennis or basket ball into the air.

Why did it come down when I threw it up? Shouldn’t it have gone up, up and away?

Can you see gravity that brings the ball back to earth? Not at all! However, you can see what it does.

It came down because of gravity. We can’t see gravity but if there is no gravity, you would not be seated on your chair and have your feet on the ground. You would be flying in the air.

Gravity makes sure the earth keeps on going around the sun. The space agency, NASA, USA states that,

The Sun’s gravity pulls on the planets, just as Earth’s gravity pulls down anything that is not held up by some other force and keeps you and me on the ground. Heavier objects (really, more massive ones) produce a bigger gravitational pull than lighter ones, so as the heavyweight in our solar system, the Sun exerts the strongest gravitational pull.[6]

clip_image007(Image courtesy Space Place, NASA USA).[7]

The website, ‘Ask an Astronomer’, states,

The basic reason why the planets revolve around, or orbit the Sun, is that the gravity of the Sun keeps them in their orbits. Just as the Moon orbits the Earth because of the pull of Earth’s gravity, the Earth orbits the Sun because of the pull of the Sun’s gravity.[8]

This invisible force also causes the rain to come down instead of going up. It also helps to cause the daily ocean tides. Do we need rain? Why doesn’t it go up instead of coming down?

A scientist and Assistant Professor of Physics at West Texas A&M University,[9] Dr Christopher S Baird, wrote that

The ocean tides on earth are caused by both the moon’s gravity and the sun’s gravity. In general, ocean tides are not generated by the overall strength of gravity, but instead by the differences in gravity from one spot to the next (the gravitational gradient). Even though the sun is much more massive and therefore has stronger overall gravity than the moon, the moon is closer to the earth so that its gravitational gradient is stronger than that of the sun.[10]

We can’t see gravity, like we can’t see God, but we know what gravity does, based on what we see and know. All things travelling through space have a gravitational pull on each other. Gravity ‘is the glue that holds together entire galaxies. It keeps planets in orbit. It makes it possible to use human-made satellites and to go to and return from the Moon…. It can also cause life-destroying asteroids to crash into planets’.[11]

What do you need every moment of every day that you cannot see?

I’m thinking of the air we breathe that contains nitrogen, oxygen and a small amount of other gases.

clip_image009(Image from ‘Atmosphere of Earth’, Wikipedia)

‘By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases’:

3d-red-star-small 21% oxygen,

3d-red-star-small 78% nitrogen,

3d-red-star-small Of the remaining 1%, it contains various gases like carbon dioxide, argon, neon, methane, and helium.[18]

Can you see these gases you breathe?

Do you believe in what you cannot see with gravity and the gases that you breathe? Why?

You can see the absolute need for them. Why, then, do we have so much difficulty in believing in God whom we cannot see? We believe these other unseen things because of what they do.

It is stated in Christian Scripture:

clip_image011 ‘God is spirit. So the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth’ (John 4:24 ERV).

clip_image011[1] ‘No one has ever seen God. But the unique One [Jesus], who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us’ (John 1:18).

clip_image012 ‘All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen’ (1 Timothy 1:17).

clip_image012[1] God reminded the Israelite nation in the Old Testament: ‘But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live’ (Exodus 33:20).

3. What does God, an unseen person, do?

3.1 Who made gravity?

I’m dealing with plain sailing Christianity. C S Lewis called it Mere Christianity. It’s a Christian understanding, based on Scripture. This is what the Apostle John wrote:

God created everything through him [Jesus],
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone (John 1:3-4).

That’s one reason we need God. He made everything, including the physical laws, and we need gravity to keep our feet on the ground every day of our lives.

Did you know that God not only made gravity in the first place, he keeps it going? The Bible makes this clear in these statements: ‘God created EVERYTHING through him (Jesus)’. Everything! No koala, kangaroo, emu, taipan snake or human being was missed.

3.2 What would happen if gravity stopped?

Scientists are confident ‘this could never happen’.[12] Karen Masters, a graduate student at Cornell University, Ithaca NY, USA, wrote for, ‘Ask an Astronomer’.

A third grade class asked her this question: ‘What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off?’

Part of her reply was:

We would like to start our answer by saying that we’re sure you realize that this could never happen. The Earth has mass, just like every other solid object does (including you). It is the Earth’s mass that causes it to have gravity, and so in order to not have gravity the Earth would have to not have mass. But if the Earth didn’t have mass, it wouldn’t be there anymore!

“Switching off” gravity is [like][13] letting go of the string. Things not attached to the Earth in any other way would fly off into space in a straight line that would take them away from the surface of the Earth. In buildings, people would start floating gently upwards until they bumped into the ceiling. Outdoors, however (or in buildings with GIANT ceilings), things would start floating away from the Earth gently but eventually go much faster, as their straight lines took them farther and farther away from the circular path that the spinning Earth takes.[14]

If God decided to quit continuing the physical laws, including gravity, lots of things would happen to make people and the universe fall apart.

Imagine people outside the house and gravity stops. People would fly off into space; kangaroos would be flying through the air. Cars could not be kept on roads; they also would be off into space.

I don’t know if you give this any thought. We take it for granted that the world has always been there and kept going. But will the universe stop one day? Who will stop it?

We need God to keep the world going. As we will learn soon,

“He is the God who made the whole world and everything in it…. He is the one who gives people life, breath, and everything else they need (Acts 17:24-25 ERV).

In part 2 of, ‘Why do people need God?’ I will see that Christianity teaches there will be a time when gravity and all other activity in the universe will stop. That’s for the next article.

3.3 If gravity stopped, what else would happen?

There was a story on BBC News, ‘What would happen to you if gravity stopped working?’[15]

clip_image014(Image courtesy Adrianko/Alamy Stock Photo)[16]

These are a few points from that article. If gravity stopped:

clip_image015 ‘Physics is adamant it could never actually happen’.

clip_image015[1] ‘If we spend time living where gravity is different, such as on board a space station, our bodies change’ (Jay Buckey, former NASA astronaut). It is now an established fact that astronauts lose bone mass and muscle strength during stints in space, and their sense of balance changes’.

clip_image015[2] ‘For reasons not entirely clear, our red blood cell count falls, bringing on a form of “space anaemia”. Wounds take longer to heal and the immune system loses its strength. Even sleep is disturbed if gravity is weak or absent’ (Kevin Fong).

clip_image015[3] ‘”Earth itself would most likely break apart into chunks and float off into space’ (Karen Masters).

clip_image015[4] ‘Without the force of gravity to hold it together, the intense pressures at its core would cause it to burst open in a titanic explosion. The same thing would happen to all the other stars in the Universe’.

clip_image015[5] ‘Oh, and of course we’d all die’ (Jolene Creighton).

clip_image015[6] ‘Gravity is one of four fundamental forces that govern our Universe’.

3.4 What are the other 3

The 4 fundamental forces of the universe are: (1) Gravity, (2) Electromagnetism – it holds atoms together, (3) The strong force – holds nucleus of atom together, (4) The weak force – responsible for radio active decay of atoms. So, the 3rd and 4th forces work at the atomic level.[17]

4. Where does the oxygen you breathe come from?

A simple answer is: ‘Out of the air’. How much of the air is oxygen?

4.1 Who made these gases?

Scientists have tried to give answers. This is one of them:

Take a deep breath. About 78 percent of the air you inhaled is the most abundant pure element found on Earth. Besides its role in the atmosphere, it’s used in all sorts of products: fertilizers, propellants,[20] you name it. It’s also an essential component of DNA and proteins. It’s called nitrogen.

But it’s something of a mystery. The nitrogen found on Earth doesn’t match the nitrogen found in the Sun or in the tails of comets…. One clue is that some very ancient meteorites do match the Earth’s isotopic abundances very closely, implying that the nitrogen may have come from an ancient source that wasn’t so much interplanetary, but existed before the planets formed”.[21]

Notice the language, ‘But it’s something of a mystery’ – the origin of nitrogen. What about the continuing manufacture of oxygen and nitrogen for us to breathe?

More recently, other scientists have concluded: ‘There was another type of nitrogen in the early solar system billions of years ago, and this molecule was probably responsible for making the building blocks of life and bringing the nitrogen of our atmosphere to Earth’.[22]

4.1 There is something missing in the scientific explanation.

What could it be? Here’s a tip: Since this is a Christian website, ‘Truth Challenge’, presented by a Christian who accepts a Judeo-Christian world view, who could be absent from this scientific interpretation?

It is a distortion to miss this essential core of the origin of oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere. We see it through our Christian eyes. This is how God explains it:

But in these last days, he (God) has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one whom God appointed to receive all things. God also made everything through him. The Son is the shining brightness of God’s glory. He is the exact likeness of God’s being. He uses his powerful word to hold all things together….

He also says,

Lord, in the beginning you made the earth secure. You placed it on its foundations.
The heavens are the work of your hands.
They will pass away. But you remain.
They will all wear out like a piece of clothing.
You will roll them up like a robe.
They will be changed as a person changes clothes.
But you remain the same.
Your years will never end (Hebrews 1:2-3a, 10-12 NIRV).

Some scientists call the origin and continuation of nitrogen ‘something of a mystery’. That’s not how God sees it. He stated it clearly in the Book of Scripture that God made everything through Jesus the Son. The Son uses his powerful word to hold the world together and keep it going.

‘For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life’ (Job 33:4 NLT).

Do you see what happens when we leave God out of creation and continuation of the universe?

  • Where does the air you breathe come from?
  • Who made that air?

Our breathing is a good example of how much we need God to keep the universe going. What happens if you hold your breath (don’t do it for the length of time to read this article)? For most of us, we will need to breathe in air within 30 seconds to 2 minutes.[23]

We would die in a few more minutes if we couldn’t breathe in air. So the way God has made our breathing system in us is a vital organ. You need it to live your life, one moment after another.

This is not an anatomy lesson, but one day you might learn how the breathing system works.

It was especially designed by God. You will know it when it’s not working properly. People with asthma know that.

clip_image019

(Milky Way, image courtesy PublicDomainPictures.net)[24]

5.   Notes


[1] Wikipedia 2019. List of John Deere Tractors (online): J John Deere new 8295 R 2017 build tractor, 22 January. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_John_Deere_tractors (Accessed 15 April 2019).

[2] John Deere 2019. Application Equipment (online). Available at: https://www.deere.com.au/en/application-equipment/ (Accessed 20 April 2019).

[3] ‘Silage is grass, corn or other plant that has been chopped into small pieces, and compacted together in a storage silo, silage bunker, or in silage bags. The silage is then fermented to provide feed for livestock’ (Wikipedia 2019. Forage harvester (online). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forage_harvester (Accessed 19 April 2019).

[4] Wikipedia 2019. John Deere (online). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Deere (Accessed 19 April 2019).

[5] Available at: http://absfreepic.com/free-photos/download/many-of-lipstick-4304x2869_58243.html (Accessed 16 April 2019).

[6] Space Place (NASA) n.d. Why do the planets go around the Sun? Available at: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/review/dr-marc-solar-system/planet-orbits.html (Accessed 5 April 2019).

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ask an Astronomer 2007-2019. Why do the planets orbit the sun (Beginner)? Cornell University (online). Available at: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/57-our-solar-system/planets-and-dwarf-planets/orbits/243-why-do-the-planets-orbit-the-sun-beginner (Accessed 20 April 2019).

[9] Available at: http://wtamu.edu/search/directory.aspx (Accessed 20 April 2019).

[10] Christopher S Baird 2013. West Texas A & M University. ‘Why does the moon’s gravity cause tides on earth but the sun’s gravity doesn’t?’ Science Questions with Surprising Answers (online), 9 May. Available at: https://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2013/05/09/why-does-the-moons-gravity-cause-tides-on-earth-but-the-suns-gravity-doesnt/ (Accessed 13 November 2020).

[11] Northwestern University n d. Qualitative Reasoning Group. How does gravity work in space? (online) Available at: http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/vss/docs/space-environment/zoom-grav.html (Accessed 5 April 2019).

[12] Karen Masters 2015. What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner). Ask an Astronomer (online), 27 June. Available at: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/39-our-solar-system/the-earth/other-catastrophes/64-what-would-happen-if-the-gravity-on-earth-was-suddenly-turned-off-beginner (Accessed 6 March 2019). Ask an Astronomer is run by volunteers in the Astronomy Department at Cornell University. Most of them are graduate students at Cornell.

[13] The original said, ‘Analogous to’.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Colin Buras 2016. What would happen to you if gravity stopped working? BBC:Earth (online), 12 February. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160212-what-would-happen-to-you-if-gravity-stopped-working (Accessed 7 March 2019).

[16] In ibid.

[17] Information from Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. 2009, ‘What are the four fundamental forces of nature?’ 3 March. Science:HowStuffWorks.com (online). Available at: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/fundamental-forces-of-nature.htm (Accessed 7 March 2019).

[18] Wikipedia 2019. Atmosphere of earth (online). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth (Accessed 25 April 2019). These percentages are confirmed in other sources such as The APC Microbiome Institute and University College Cork (UK) 2015. Available at: http://microbemagic.ucc.ie/explore_body/air_composition.html (Accessed 25 April 2019).

[19] Ibid.

[20] ScienceDaily (2019. s.v. propellant) provided this brief definition: ‘A propellant is a material that is used to move an object by applying a motive force.

This may or may not involve a chemical reaction. It may be a gas, liquid, plasma, or, before the chemical reaction, a solid. Common chemical propellants consist of a fuel, like [petrol], jet fuel and rocket fuel, and an oxidizer. In aerosol spray cans, the propellant is simply a pressurized vapour in equilibrium with its liquid.

As some gas escapes to expel the payload, more liquid evaporates, maintaining an even pressure’.

It acknowledged this information came from Wikipedia (2018. s.v. propellant). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propellant (Accessed 25 April 2019).

[21] The APC Microbiome Institute and University College Cork (UK) 2015.

[22] Dennis Harries et.al. 2015, in S Gary 2015. How the Earth got its nitrogen. ABC Science (online), 20 January. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/01/20/4164551.htm (Accessed 7 March 2019)

[23] See Healthline at: https://www.healthline.com/health/holding-your-breath (Accessed 13 November 2020).

[24] Available at: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=180438&picture=milky-way (Accessed 20 April 2019).

Copyright © 2020 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 13 November 2020.

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