Institute for Creation (Credulous) Research (Retards), PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021 Voi
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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. This infinite task is managed by Christ's
almighty Word, whereby the universe itself was first called into being
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.
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.
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.
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
Member, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
--- *** ---
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank