The Wonder of Water

A number of essential factors about our existence on planet Earth are “fine-tuned.” Sometimes called the “Goldilocks” properties, these environmental factors must be precisely as they are. For if they were just slightly different, life as we know it could not exist. We have discussed some of the fine-tuning” involving the laws of the universe. But Michael Denton recently released a book on the amazing attributes of H2O that make it “just right” for life. He gets the reader thinking early in the book with this insightful comment: “The one substance, water, is uniquely fit to serve two utterly different vital ends–ends as different as can be conceived: the erosion of rocks [allowing life’s essential minerals to be made available for plants and animals] and the circulation of the blood. Both are absolutely vital to our existence. No other substance in nature comes close to having the essential set of properties needed to do these two jobs. If water served only these two very different vital ends, it would be miracle enough. But…water’s unique fitness for life on Earth involves a vast ensemble of additional elements of fitness serving a vast inventory of diverse vital ends.” Denton discusses how oceans moderate climate and drive the hydrological cycle (clouds to rain to streams to rivers and back to oceans). He talks about how important it is for photosynthesis. Water is needed to make soil, cool the human body, and fold proteins in cells. Water can dissolve most substances, making it a universal solvent. It has the special property of expanding when it freezes, safeguarding life in lakes and rivers and enhancing it’s ability to do erosion work. Truly water is an incredible substance. Small wonder that God began the whole universe with a ball of water: “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).

Posted on January 1, 2024 by dwoetzel.