Where Science and Faith Converge

Is Earth the Only Planet with Water?

By Jeff Zweerink - March 1, 2010

Considering that life depends on liquid water, it seems natural from a biblical perspective to assume that only Earth manifests this life-essential fluid. After all, the Bible speaks of God fashioning life on only one planet. However, such reasoning misses a few key inferences of the creation narrative found in Genesis 1.

According to Genesis 1:2, Earth started in a formless and void state or a waste and emptiness though covered in water and darkness. Thus, before the description of any explicit miraculous work, water engulfed the primordial Earth. Yet, this abundance of liquid water did not alter Earth’s early hostility toward life. God’s work on the first creation day remedied the darkness shrouding the surface of Earth. The second day witnessed the separation of the waters above from the waters below so that Earth experienced a stable water cycle. On day three, land gained a permanent foothold on Earth’s surface. Thus God established the day-night cycle, the water cycle, and the continental landmass (Proverbs 8:22–31) and what God established remains until He intervenes (Jeremiah 31:35–36, 33:25).

The fact that the Genesis 1 account details these divine activities indicates they would not have occurred without God’s intervention. Yet no intervention seems necessary for Earth to begin covered in water. These two inferences include consequences for RTB’s creation model regarding terrestrial (or rocky) planets. First, we predict that astronomers will find numerous young (less than a billion years old) planets containing substantial amounts of liquid water. Further, most rocky planets older than a billion years will show signs of abundant water in the past. However, we predict that astronomers will find no old (greater than roughly 4 billion years old) planets that still exhibit a stable water cycle. From a biblical and scientific perspective, it’s not the presence of liquid water at any given time, but the long-standing, just-right water cycle that shows this planet to be the work of a purposeful Creator.

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