Dr. Danny Faulkner discusses the unique place the earth has in the universe.
DEL: When you see design what about the design of the two big lights we’ve got close to us, the sun and the moon?
DANNY: Well there’s a couple of things I can talk about. First of all, the sun is 400 times larger than the moon. So when we make a model of the two you’d have a bowl the size of an inch across, that would be the moon and the sun would be 400 inches across.
DEL: That’s not what we see though.
DANNY: No. Because you see the sun is not only 400 times larger than the moon but it’s also 400 times farther away. So if you take something and move it as far away as it larger than the other, they have the same size, both the sun and the moon appear to be about a half degree across in our sky. Now on rare occasions the moon passes between us and the sun. It doesn’t happen very often. About every year and a half somewhere in the world, usually in timbuktu or Siberia or Antarctica or something, we get a total solar eclipse. And when that happens the moon just barely covers the sun up. If the moon were a little smaller or a little farther away it wouldn’t do it at all. If it were larger or closer to us it would be grossly over total and it wouldn’t be nearly as spectacular. We’d get these rare and very spectacular eclipses. Well I’ve been to one total solar eclipse back in 1979. My wife and I drove 3500 miles round trip in five days from South Carolina to up 100 miles north of Winnipeg Manitoba. That was in February. The snow was this deep. Up there they have four seasons – early winter, mid-winter, late winter and next winter. And it was cold. And we did it in five days. We didn’t have a whole lot of time. In an old car by the way. We drove a 22 year old car when we drove up there. And we were there for 2 minutes and 46 seconds of totality and it’s truly remarkable. People who know me know that I talk a lot more than my wife does. And so during the eclipse we ran this tape recorder. It ran for about 20 minutes before, during and after. We played it back later and it’s the strangest thing. During totality my wife is just chattering away and I didn’t say two words. I was dumb struck. It was amazing. The most spectacular thing I’d ever seen. If I made a top ten list of experiences in my life it would be the top four probably. There’s another one coming in 2017. I hope to see that one. The first one since then coming across the continental US. That tells you how rare that they are.
DEL: Do you think that’s a design that God made to us?
DANNY: Well yeah if you look at the other satellites, 170 are still in the solar system, none of them have those kind of requirements. Either they don’t happen at all or they’re grossly over total so they’re not very rare and they’re not very spectacular. I read once given a place on the earth we get a total solar eclipse about once every 400 years. So either if you see one you’re either very lucky or you planned to be there and see the thing. And I’ve only see one so far and I’m past 60 already. So these eclipses are spectacular and rare and this is the only planet on which it matters. It’s the only planet which it happens. I don’t find that to be just a coincidence. I think there’s more to it than that. But there’s another more important thing about it. The moon’s orbit is different. We have the plane of the earth’s orbit around the sun. We call this the ecliptic. Imagine a flat plane here, the sun is here and every year the earth goes around like this and it causes the sun to seem to move through the stars. That defines this ecliptic across the sky, this big line across the sky, the plane of our orbit. Now the moon’s orbit is very close to that plane. It’s tilted a few degrees but basically the moon orbits around the earth in the same plane that the earth orbits around the sun. Of the 170 or so satellites in the solar system it’s the only one that does that. All the others have different orbits. The most common type of orbit is above the equator of what we’ll call the equatorial plane of the planet. Each of the planets have different tilts. Our own earth tilts about 23.5 degrees. So if this is a plane of the earth’s orbit there’s another plane, the equatorial plane, that’s tilted 23.5 degrees to that. And if the moon were like other satellites in the solar system it would be orbiting this plane, not in that plane. But the interesting thing is that tells you something right away that the origin of the moon must be different from other satellites. It must be unique, which we kind of know that from Genesis because the purposes involved. I believe the moon is unique and the origin scenario perhaps would be unique as well. And astronomers have tried to claim well we need to study the satellites of the other planets hopefully to learn more of where the moon came from. Well that’s nonsense because the moon’s orbit is unique in the solar system. Now you could argue that it’s a coincidence. How many coincidences are you allowed before you begin to realize well maybe these coincidences aren’t coincidences at all.