Thursday, 17 June 2021 14:12

The Bridge over … EEEK! … There’s No Bridge

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Have you ever walked across the Royal Gorge Bridge?  It’s an exhilarating experience, being suspended practically in midair with what appears as a model railroad and a tiny rivulet winding through rocky crags far below.  But sometime, for a heart-stopping moment, just saunter to the middle of the bridge and examine the slatted surface on which you have been walking.  The slats are loose, and some separations between them exceed 2 inches.  Then for a rush, put the lens of your SLR between the slats and peer through the viewfinder.  At this point you will be accosted by the realization that, below the old two-by-six supporting your knee, there is nothing but open air for nearly a thousand feet!

 In many regards, this situation is quite similar to the terra firma we so blithely trust in all matters of our daily affairs.  You see, the earth itself consists of little more than a sparse latticework of forces thinly stretched across an abyss of empty space … there is practically nothing solid included.  

 As evidence, first recall that the sun emits massive streams of small particles called neutrinos.  A neutrino is so named because it is electrically neutral; it has no charge and therefore nothing attracting it to or deflecting it from the electron clouds and the nuclei of atoms.  Consequently, unless it encounters a nucleus or pings a chance electron, a streaming neutrino will be oblivious to its passage through an atom.  In fact, all but a very few neutrinos entering the sunward side of the earth will exit the night side, traversing the nearly eight thousand miles of solid rock and iron as if it had been but a wisp of cloud!  

 This is no joke; the earth is nearly entirely empty space.  If we assume that the neutrons, protons, and electrons, comprising the matter in the earth, are actual material (which they probably are not!), then everything else is empty space.  The size of the earth – minus the empty space – can be calculated, resulting in the earth becoming a ball 1,207 feet in diameter!  And the density of this ball would be about the same as that of a neutron star.  

 But it appears that the particles in this ball are likely also mostly empty space, as evidenced by the probable existence of black holes.  So if the entire earth were reduced to a black hole, its event horizon would be only 11/32 of an inch in diameter.  Of course this would be a nasty little marble, shredding and devouring anything that got near it, and weighing more than 6.5 billion trillion tons!  

 My point is this:  the ground we so trust to hold us up, scientifically speaking has no truly material component.  What we perceive as material reality is in fact nothing more than an organized group of forces; while force is just a physical expression of power.  

 Therefore, if we perceived neutrinos instead of light, the earth’s surface would appear as a tenuous boundary, below which little supporting structure would be visible, much as with the Royal Gorge bridge.  Now the Holy-Spirit-inspired author of the book of Hebrews had it figured out, two millennia before the science of this discussion, when he wrote:  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, … - Hebrews 1:3a

 While the author of Hebrews may not have quantified these forces, he predicted their existence and their source!  So think about this next time you are strolling across a grassy lawn on a warm sunny day:  it is only because of the reliability and unwavering power of God’s Word that you are not swallowed alive and sucked into the depths of the earth.  



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Rob Bracken

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