Materialist philosophy offers a single explanation of the order and balance in the universe: it is coincidence. According to this claim, the whole universe is shaped through coincidences.
However, when we investigate the universe only briefly, we see that this claim is completely unreal. Coincidence only leads to chaos whereas order, rather than chaos, prevails in the universe. This order proves to us the being and eternal power of Allah, Who created the universe out of nothing and then gave it a shape.
When we explore the universe, we encounter numerous examples of order. The world we live in is only one of those. With all its features, the world is created with extremely delicate balances making it suitable for the survival of living beings.
The distance of the earth from the sun, the inclination of its axis to its orbit, the balances in the atmosphere, the rotational speed of the earth around its axis and around the sun, the functions of oceans and mountains on the earth, the features of living beings and the interactions of all those, are just a few elements of this ecological balance.
When earth is compared with other planets, it becomes even more evident that it is especially designed for man. Water, for instance, is a compound that is very rarely found in space. The liquid form of water exists only in our planet out of all the planets in the solar system. Moreover, 70% of the world is covered with water. Millions of varieties of living beings live in this medium. The freezing of water, its capacity to attract and store heat, the existence of very large masses of water in the form of oceans, and the even distribution of heat across the world are all exclusive characteristics of the earth. No other planet has such a liquid mass in constant circulation.
The axis of the earth makes a 23-degree inclination to its orbit. Seasons are formed due to this inclination. If this inclination were a little more or less than it is now, temperature differences between seasons would reach extremes and unbearably hot summers and extremely cold winters would take place on the earth.
The earth’s rotation around its axis is at the most appropriate speed for living beings. When we look at other planets in the solar system, we see that they also experience night and day. However, because the time differences are far bigger than those in the world, the temperature differences between day and night are very high. The fierce wind activity in the atmospheres of other planets is not experienced in the world’s atmosphere thanks to this balanced rotation.
The gases making up the atmosphere and their concentration in the atmosphere are extremely important for the existence not only of human beings but also of all living beings on the earth. The formation of the gasses in the atmosphere in just the right proportions that remain constant is made possible by the co-existence of numerous delicate balances.
Hundreds of points can be listed in addition to the above mentioned features. Even the examples quoted so far, however, reveal to us a certain reality:
The world in which we live is very specially constructed for the survival of living beings. It is the product not of coincidence but of a conscious order.
This perfect order prevailing throughout the universe leads us to a single conclusion: a Creator with infinite power and wisdom, that is, Allah, Who is the Possessor of all worlds, created the universe.
There are four basic gasses in the atmosphere. These are nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), argon (less than 1%), and carbon dioxide (0.03%). Gasses in the atmosphere fall into two groups: "those that are reactive" and "those that are non-reactive". Analysis on reactive gasses reveals that the reactions they enter into are essential for life whereas non-reactive gasses produce compounds that are destructive for life when they enter into reaction. For instance, argon and nitrogen are inactive gasses. They can be involved in very few chemical reactions. However, if these could react easily, like oxygen, the oceans would turn into nitric acid, for example.
THE GREAT BALANCE IN THE ATMOSPHERE
On the other hand, oxygen reacts with other atoms, organic compounds, and even rocks. These reactions yield the most basic molecules of life such as water and carbon dioxide.
In addition to the reactivity of gasses, their present concentrations are also highly critical for life.Let us look at oxygen, for instance. Oxygen is the most abundant reactive gas in our atmosphere. The high oxygen concentration of our atmosphere is one of the features that distinguish earth from other planets in the solar system in which even minute amounts of oxygen are not present.
If there were more oxygen in the atmosphere, oxidation would take place quicker and rocks and metals would be eroded sooner. Hence, the earth would be eroded and disintegrate, and animate life would face a great threat. If we had a little less oxygen, respiration would become harder, and less of the ozone gas would be produced. Changes in the amount of ozone would be fatal for life. Less ozone would cause the solar ultra-violet rays to reach the world in greater intensity causing living things to vanish. More ozone would prevent the sun’s heat reaching the earth and thus be fatal.
Carbon dioxide has similar delicate balances. Plants absorb the sun’s radiation via this gas, mix it with water, form bicarbonate that dissolves rocks, and leave it in oceans. They also break this gas down and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. Thus, oxygen, an essential for living beings, is constantly released into the atmosphere. This gas also helps the world maintain a "greenhouse effect" keeping its present temperature constant.
If there were less carbon dioxide, the amount of plant-life on land and in the sea would be reduced, leaving less food for animals. There would be less bicarbonate in the oceans, thus causing an increase in acidity. An increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would expedite the chemical erosion of land forming a detrimental alkali residue in oceans. In addition, the greenhouse effect would increase, thus causing the surface temperature of the earth to rise and life on earth to be destroyed.
As seen, the existence of the atmosphere has great importance for the continuation of life on earth. A number of astrophysical conditions have to co-exist for the atmosphere to be maintained.
A) The earth’s surface has to remain at a certain moderate temperature, within definite limits. For this:
1. The earth has to be a certain distance from the sun. This distance plays a role in the quantity of heat energy reaching the earth from the sun. A slight deviation in the earth’s orbit around the sun – either drawing closer or farther – would cause great changes in the heat reaching the earth from the sun. Calculations show that a 13% decrease in the heat reaching the earth would cause it to be covered with an ice layer 1,000 metres thick. A slight increase in energy, on the other hand, would cause all living things to be scorched.
2. The temperature should be homogeneous across the earth. For this, the world has to rotate about its axis at a certain speed (1,670 km/hr at the equator). If the earth’s speed of rotation were to exceed a certain limit, the atmosphere would grow extremely warm, increasing the gas molecules’ velocity of escape from the earth and causing the atmosphere to be dispersed in space and to vanish.
Earth's rotation axis
If the earth’s velocity of rotation were slower than required, then gas molecules’ velocity of escape from the earth would decrease and they would also disappear through being absorbed by the earth because of the effect of gravitation.
3. The 23º27' inclination of the earth's axis prevents the excess heat between the poles and the equator liable to pose an obstacle to the formation of the atmosphere. If this inclination had not existed, the temperature difference between the polar zones and the equator would increase enormously, making it impossible for a life-supportive atmosphere to exist.
B) A layer is needed to prevent the dispersion of generated heat:
To keep the earth’s surface temperature at a constant level, temperature loss must be prevented, particularly at nights. For this purpose, there is a need for a compound to prevent heat loss from the atmosphere. This need is met by introducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide covers the earth like a quilt and prevents the loss of heat to space.
C) On earth, there are certain structures maintaining the balance of heat between the poles and the equator:
There is a heat difference of 120°C between the poles and the equator. If such a heat difference had
existed on a more even surface, there would be tremendous atmospheric movement, and heavy storms with speed of 1,000 km per hour would turn the world upside down. Because of these storms, the equilibrium in the atmosphere would soon be destroyed and the atmosphere would dissipate.
However, the earth is uneven and that blocks potential powerful air currents that might have arisen due to the heat difference. The unevenness starts with the Himalayas between the Indian sub-continent and China, continues with the Taurus Mountains in Anatolia, and reaches the Alps in Europe through mountain-chains joining the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Pacific Ocean in the east. In the oceans, the excess heat formed at the equator is channelled to north and south due to the properties of liquids, thus balancing the heat differences.
As seen, the existence of air, one of the basic elements of life, has become possible only with the establishment of thousands of physical and ecological balances. Moreover, the establishment of those conditions alone on our planet is not sufficient for the continuation of life on earth. If the world were to exist in its present state with its geophysical structure and its motion in space, yet have a different position in the galaxy, the balance would still be upset.
For instance, a smaller star instead of the sun would cause the earth to grow extremely cold, and a bigger star would scorch the earth.
It is sufficient to look at the dead planets in space in order to understand that the earth is not a result of random coincidence. The conditions essential for life are too complicated to have been formed "on their own" and at random, and, certainly within the solar system, the earth alone is especially created for life.