God has unlimited forms and He is the secret mover of the cosmos, wherein universes manifest, live and die ‘natural’ cosmic births and deaths. Evolution comes from a root word that means ‘to unwrap’, and it looks at the universe from a physical perspective; the word God comes from a root word that means ‘to invoke’, and it looks at the universe from a spiritual perspective. Guru Granth Sahib Ji speaks of the limitless and endless planets and galaxies – worlds upon worlds of His creation. As He commands, so they exist. Guru Nanak says: ‘He created the Earth and the two lamps: the Sun and the Moon…He has unfolded Himself in so many ways…Forever and ever, He is the One, the One Universal Creator. Many millions are created in various forms. From God they emanate, and into God they merge once again. His limits are not known to anyone. O Nanak, God exists by Himself…He established the three worlds (life in water, on land and in the air)’. Sikhism states that this is not the first time God created this Universe - He has done so many times. Life not only exists on Earth alone but on many other planets. Scientists are attempting to unravel the creation of God, but the whole of creation is so vast that it seems beyond what humans can explore. In fact scientists who try to comprehend the mysteries of His creation realise that the more they ‘learn’, the more they are amazed. However, when we meditate on God, He Himself unfolds the mysteries and reveals all of His creation.
The long-term stability of the Solar system remains a perplexing, ‘unsolved’ issue. Let’s see what makes Earth ‘tick’. The Earth is tilted on its axis at an angle of 23.5”. This is important, because it accounts for the seasons. Two factors impact the progression of seasons. The most important is the location of land masses on Earth. Nearly all of the continental land mass is located in the Northern Hemisphere. Since land has a higher capacity to absorb the Sun’s energy, the Earth is much warmer when the Northern Hemisphere is pointing towards the Sun. This happens to be the point at which the Earth is farthest from the Sun. If the opposite was true, the seasons on Earth would be much more severe (hotter summers and colder winters). Why is the Moon important to life on Earth? The collision of the small planet with Earth resulted in the ejection of the majority of Earth’s primordial atmosphere. If this collision had not occurred, we would have had an atmosphere similar to that of Venus. Such a thick atmosphere on Venus resulted in a runaway greenhouse effect, leaving a dry planet with a surface temperature of 800”F. Earth has 20% more mass than Venus and is further away from the Sun - factors that should have led to the terrestrial atmosphere here being much thicker than that of Venus. For some strange reason we have a very thin atmosphere - just the right density to maintain the presence of liquid, solid and gaseous water, which is necessary to life. That is His great design. There are three types of galaxies in the universe: spiral, elliptical and irregular. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is a spiral galaxy, and our Sun resides far away from the galaxy’s centre. At the centre of probably all galaxies is a black hole, which is so dense that light cannot escape from it. Any matter that comes near a black hole is attracted to it by gravity, and as the matter speeds up, a large amount of radiation is emitted. Stars near the centre of a galaxy, and far enough from the black hole, can survive its gravitational pull, but they are subject to much more intense radiation than stars that are far away from the centre of a galaxy. Since radiation is not conducive to life, it is good that our Sun is not near the centre of our galaxy. Further, the Sun’s almost circular galactic orbit keeps it far away from the centre. In the case of elliptical and irregular galaxies, their stars have orbits that cause them to visit the centre of their galaxies, and thus be exposed to the dangerous radiation that exits there. Next, consider our Moon, which, like the Sun, is critical to supporting life on Earth. The Moon’s gravitational pull on Earth stabilises the tilt in the Earth’s axis of rotation. If this axis were varied, the result would be that over time the North Pole would migrate down toward the Equator, and there would be tremendous changes in climate around the Earth. Areas that were fertile would become either too cold or too hot for crops to grow. As a result, life would be confined to small compact niches, and a large diversity of life probably would not exist. In fact, without the Moon, intelligent life might not exist at all. Mars has two moons, but they are too small to stabilise its rotation, and thus Mars’ axis of rotation varies widely. Our Moon is relatively large compared to our planet’s size. The best hypothesis for its formation is that the two planets collided just after Earth’s formation. However, the angle of the collision was critical. If the planets had collided head on, they would have annihilated one another; if the collision angle were too small, Earth’s gravity would not have been able to ‘capture’ the Moon. How many times in the universe have two planets collided in the precise way that the Moon and Earth collided? Finally, let’s consider Earth. If Earth’s mass was much smaller, its gravity would not be strong enough to retain its atmosphere; if Earth’s mass was too large, then the pull of its gravity would be huge, and it would not be possible to have high mountains. There is so much water on Earth that, without mountains, the entire surface of Earth would be under water. Plate tectonics and the related continental drift are also important for sustaining life on Earth. Continental drift results in the formation of mountains and high grounds, for a diversity of life to exist. A planet also has to have a minimum size, to keep the heat in its interior from being lost too quickly. Within the interior of Earth there are radioactive reactions taking place, which generate heat. The result is that the iron in Earth’s core remains molten, and this molten iron generates a magnetic field around Earth. This magnetic field is crucial to life, because it protects Earth from damaging cosmic rays, whose cosmic radiation would also strip away Earth’s atmosphere. In addition to Earth’s size and structure, we must also consider its orbit, which is almost circular. If the orbit was more elliptical, then Earth would either be too hot when it approached the Sun or too cold when it moved far away. If the radius of Earth’s orbit was changed by even 5%, there would be no animal life - the ‘zone’ for animal life in the Solar system is very narrow. The uniqueness in Earth’s design has prevented it from becoming a planet frozen solid in ice (like Neptune) or a sweltering scorched inferno (like Venus).
We can thus conclude that only a very, very tiny fraction of stars would have just the right conditions for intelligent life (as we know it to exist) on a planet orbiting them. More importantly, these facts seem to suggest the role of a super intellectual Creator, who could ‘design’ things with such meticulous finesse. As the Bible says: ‘The heavens declare the glory of God’. The universe, our galaxy, our Solar system and the Earth-Moon double planet link, demonstrate remarkable evidence of intelligent design. It is improbable that this came about randomly - design by an intelligent Creator is definitely a more ‘realistic’ explanation. Whichever and whatever…we must admit that we are the ‘products’ of a miracle – either by chance or (more likely) by design.
God, the director, not only stages the play, but Himself plays the many characters - life forms - in different costumes (bodies). When the Creator projects Himself, He creates many planets, living beings and life forms. And when He draws His creation within Himself, all living beings merge in Him.
Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 30 years. He can be contacted at email@example.com