Institute for Creation (Credulous) Research (Retards), PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021 Voi

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________________________________________________________________________ Institute for Creation Research, PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021 Voice: (619) 448-0900 FAX: (619) 448-3469 ________________________________________________________________________ |||||| |||| |||| |||||||||| ||| |||||||| |||||||||| |||| ||||| ||||| |||| ||||| ||||| ||||| |||| |||| |||| |||||| |||||| |||| ||||| ||||||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||||||||||||| |||| ||||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||||||||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| || |||| |||| ||||||||||||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| |||| ||||| |||| |||| |||||| ||||| ||||| ||||| |||||| |||||| ||||||| |||| ________________________________________________________________________ No. 256 "Vital Articles on Science/Creation" October 1994 ________________________________________________________________________ Gravity by Don B. DeYoung, Ph.D.* Copyright (c) 1994 by I.C.R. All Rights Reserved * Dr. DeYoung is an Adjunct Professor of Physics at ICR. ________________________________________________________________________ Introduction Gravity holds us firmly on the ground and also keeps the earth circling the sun. It draws rain from the sky and causes the tides. This mysterious gravity force continues to puzzle scientists even as it gives stability to the universe. How is gravity able to act across empty space, and why does it exist in the first place? Science has never been very successful in explaining such "natural" laws. After all, these universal rules cannot slowly arise by mutation or natural selection; they have been here since the very beginning. Gravity, as well as every other intricate physical law and constant, is actually an absolute testimony to creation. What is Gravity? Galileo (1564-1642) first explored the motion of falling objects. Isaac Newton (1642-1727) later described the law of gravity: All objects in the universe attract each other. This attractive force is proportional to the objects' masses and decreases as the square of the distance separating them. Figure 1 illustrates the gravity force; Table 1 gives some representative values. Henry Cavendish (1731-1810) finally measured the gravitation constant which allowed the gravity force to be precisely calculated. Comments from these science pioneers show their respect for gravity's origin: Galileo: From the Divine Word, the Sacred Scripture and Nature did both alike proceed.[1] Newton: This most beautiful [gravitational] system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.[2] Newton: When I wrote my treatise [_Principia_l about our [solar system], I had an eye on such principles as might work with considering men for the belief in a Deity; and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.[3] The origin views of Cavendish are not known because he left very little written material. One will search in vain for these creation quotes, or anything similar, in most science books. Texts typically give only half the story; they accept gravity without any discussion of its origin and implications. The properties of gravity illustrate just how unique this essential force is. Consider six points, chosen from many others. 1. Gravity does not change with time. Many researchers have looked for a possible variation in the strength of gravity, without success. Some feel that stronger gravity in the distant past might possibly have helped trigger star formation or the Big Bang itself. Even with a long time scale, however, gravity appears to be perfectly constant.[4] Gravity therefore does not solve the problems of Big Bang cosmology. 2. Aside from air resistance, large and small objects fall downward in exactly the same time. Drop two compact objects and you should see and hear them hit the floor simultaneously. 3. Gravity is always attractive, while other forces such as magnetism can either repel or attract. This beneficial property makes gravity the universal "Elmer's Glue" which binds the universe together. Even the distant galaxies, which appear to have been created with an outward expanding motion, are gradually slowing due to the inward gravity pull from all other galaxies in the universe. 4. Gravity cannot be turned off or shielded in any way. Intervening objects have no effect on the original gravity force between two separated masses. This means that them is no anti-gravity chamber available in which the occupants can continually float freely. The weightless, gravity-free feeling you may have experienced on an amusement park ride results from a temporary falling motion. Orbiting astronauts appear weightless only because their fall toward the earth is balanced by the outward directed centrifugal force. 5. Gravity attraction does not depend on the composition of objects, only on their mass or weight. Several blocks composed of glass, lead, ice, or styrofoam, if they all have equal mass, will attract each other identically. 6. The gravity force decreases with distance but is actually infinite in its extent. Gravity acts instantly between the earth and moon, as well as across the millions of light years of space between galaxies, according to classical theory. Gravity and Scripture Two Bible verses especially help us understand the nature of gravity. First, Colossians 1:17 explains that Christ is before all things, and by Him all things consist. The Greek verb for "consist" (sunistano) means to cohere, preserve, or hold together. Extrabiblical Greek use of this word pictures a vessel holding water within itself. The word is used in Colossians in the perfect tense, which describes a present continuing state arising from past action. This perfect tense also implies permanence of the act of holding the universe together. One mechanism used is obviously gravity, established by the Creator and still maintained without flaw today. Consider the alternative: If the Lord turned His back on the universe for one moment, instant chaos would result. Without gravity, the earth, moon, and stars would immediately disintegrate. A second reference, Hebrews 1:3, declares that Christ upholds all things by the word of His power. _Uphold_ (Greek, _enegko_) again describes the sustaining or maintaining of all things, including gravity. The word uphold means much more than simply supporting a weight. It includes control of all the ongoing motions and changes within the universe.[5] This infinite task is managed by Christ's almighty Word, whereby the universe itself was first called into being (Hebrews 11:3). Gravity and Modern Science We know of just four fundamental forces in nature. First, there is the electromagnetic force which operates electric motors, radio-television, and particle accelerators. Second and third, the strong and weak nuclear forces arise within the nuclei of atoms. Finally, there is gravity, actually 10^40 times weaker than electromagnetism, and the only force known in Newton's day. Gravity dominates other forces on the larger scale of space objects (Figure 2). Physicists have long attempted to _unify_ these four basic forces into just one entity or theory. Initial success was shown by Faraday and Maxwell 150 years ago when electricity and magnetism were combined. So far, however, gravity has proven a special challenge to the experts. Gravity should reveal both wave and particle (quantum) properties, to fit the pattern of the other forces. Traveling gravity waves, suggested by some researchers, should slightly compress or curve space-time, according to Einstein. The hypothesized particles called gravitons, with no mass or charge, are thought to stream back and forth continually between the earth and moon, resulting in the observed gravity force. Neither gravity waves nor graviton particles have been observed yet. One wonders if scientists will ever discover the actual method by which the Lord maintains the gravity system. Perhaps, similar to the creation process itself, such details lie forever beyond our probing. Conclusion It is a fair question to ask natural science why basic laws such as gravity exist. Why is the universe filled with intriguing technical relationships, symmetry, and unity? Some experts are quick to reply that the task of science is only to find out the how of nature, not the why. But this excuse simply reveals the incompleteness of natural science alone. Ultimate truth about the universe must also deal with God's initial provision and His continuing care for us. The Creator is clearly an intimate part of every physical detail, including gravity. References 1. From Galileo's letters of 1613-1615. Quoted by Gerald Holton, _Introduction to Concepts and Theories in Physical Science_. Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., Reading, MA, 1973. p. 57. 2. In the second edition of Newton's _Principia_. Quoted by J. De Vries, _Essentials of Physical Science_. Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, SD, 1958. p. 15. 3. From a 1692 letter. Quoted by Gerald Holton, p. 192. 4. "Timeless gravity." _Nature_ 348 (15 November 1990) (6298), p. 195. 5. Vincent M.R., _Word Studies in the New Testament on Hebrews_, first published in 1886. MacDonald Pub. Co., McLean, VA, 1970. p. 1093. ________________________________________________________________________ This "Impact" was converted to ASCII, for BBS use. , from the original formatted desktop article. Comments regarding typographical errors in the above material are appreciated. Don Barber, ICR Systems Administrator Fax: (619) 448-3469 All ICR staff members adhere to a Statement of Faith in the form of two documents: "Tenets of Scientific Creationism" and "Tenets of Biblical Creationism." (see Impact No. 85) ________________________________________________________________________ As a missionary organization, ICR is funded by God's people. The majority of its income is provided by individual donors who desire to proclaim God's truth about origins. Gifts can be designated for research, the graduate school, seminars, or any special part of the ICR ministry. All others will be used where most needed. We pledge to use them wisely and with integrity. If you would like to receive our free monthly newsletter "Acts & Facts," or our free quarterly devotional Bible-study booklet "Days of Praise," just request them by contacting ICR at (619) 448-0900. ________________________________________________________________________ We believe God has raised up ICR to spearhead Biblical Christianity's defense against the godless dogma of evolutionary humanism. Only by showing the scientific bankruptcy of evolution, while exalting Christ and the Bible, will Christians be successful in "the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:4,5). Member, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability --- *** ---


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