It was a startling and somewhat disconcerting thing to see the astronaut floating outside the space vehicle. Those of us who teach science were especially enthralled by the sight because we knew how easily the situation could turn tragic. Any leak in the space suit or cord and the pressure would drop, causing the astronaut's blood to foam like a bottle of hot shaken-up soda pop--causing instant death. Man's dependence on the carefully designed conditions at the earth's surface is incredibly obvious to those who deal with the conditions in outer space. In the years since our cover picture was taken, space suits have improved and the cord is gone, but not forgotten. The margin for error once you leave the earth's surface is incredibly small.
The story of Apollo 13 brought this message home in another way. When an accident happened that incapacitated a part of man's connection (his umbilical cord) to earth, the three astronauts were in extreme danger of dying of their own exhaled gases. Man's best attempt to survive in the area between the earth and the moon was almost totally destroyed by one part being damaged.
The earth, by contrast, has been mutilated by man, clobbered by hunks of rock from outer space, and mauled by the ravages of time. In spite of all we have done to it, the earth retains its ability to support its population of life (thwarted only by human greed, stupidity, and selfishness).
We would suggest that all of this shows the improbability of being able to rationally believe that our existence is the product of chance. We find new design features of this planet on a regular basis, all of which show the intelligence behind our existence. Chemistry and physics have been the primary disciplines that show these features, but new technologies and advancements in astronomy and biology are compounding our understanding of just how complex this planet is. Our real umbilical cord is to God, who not only sustains us in a physical but in a spiritual world as well.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JulAug01.