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A Pale Blue Dot of Incredible Importance

By Krista Bontrager - November 1, 2011
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One of astronomer Carl Sagan’s most popular contributions to the cultural vernacular is the idea that Earth is merely a “pale blue dot,” a seemingly insignificant dust particle in a forgotten corner of the universe. Such a belief has led to a vigorous search for another life-support planet to deliver us from a “desperate feeling of being alone and trapped on a small pale blue dot” (see “The Quest for an Earth-Like Planet” by Hugh Ross).

The Bible paints a different picture of our planetary home. Scripture repeatedly describes the Creator’s intervention and supernatural design of His creation. Here are just a handful of examples.

Supernatural design of the Sun, Moon, and stars

Genesis 1:16
Psalm 8:3

Supernatural design of Earth

Genesis 1:1

Supernatural design of Earth’s features

Genesis 1:9–10

Supernatural design of Earth with human habitation in mind

Isaiah 45:12
Isaiah 45:18

Scientists have catalogued hundreds of parameters needed in order to make even one earthlike, life-support planet.

The critical question is, what does our planet’s rarity mean? The contrast between the Christian worldview and Sagan’s claim is stark. At its best, affirming the “pale blue dot” assertion results in a worldview of secular humanism, but no ultimate or transcendent meaning. Christianity, on the other hand, offers a different scenario. The Creator’s interventions implies not only that our planet is the result of purposeful design, but also that the Earth itself has a meaning and purpose by providing a home for humanity. It also furnishes the venue for the Creator to bring about the salvation of His creation.

Perhaps our planet’s small size and apparent isolation in the universe may actually point to its vast importance, negating Sagan’s observation while validating the Christian worldview.


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