By Matt Miles
Diversity is a buzz word, or so it seems lately. By definition, diversity is a variety of something such as opinion, color, style, or kind. We have heard it in a variety of places and ways. We hear it in context of our schools and universities. Here in the United States of America, as we are pushed to multiculturalism, we hear of cultural diversity - which is seen as a good thing, when in reality it waters down who and why we are a country. We see diversity within the animal kingdom that is truly amazing. And, when one studies the universe, it becomes apparent how diverse the objects out there are as well. The diversity in the universe, which is quickly becoming one of my main passions, is what I will focus on in this blog.
In the night sky you will see stars, moon, satellites, and possibly the haze that is the Milky Way galaxy. The stars, when looked at with the naked eye, vary in appearance from apparent size and color. Some of those “stars” are actually planets in our solar system. To the naked eye they appear to be just really bright stars; yet when looked at through a telescope, it can be clearly seen that they are actually planets. Saturn is quite stunning with great rings and moons. Jupiter, with its cloud bands and the large spot spinning across its face, is excellent viewing. Venus shines brilliantly because of its cloudy atmosphere. There is great diversity within our solar system. But what about beyond our backyard - is there diversity in the stars and galaxies?
When you study astronomy from an evolutionary point of view or materialistic mindset, the universe appears extremely old and evolving. The stars and nebulae that we can see are interpreted as being in different stages of birth or death. Star formation (or star “birth”) is naturally assumed as an ongoing process in a naturalistic approach to the universe. Our sun then becomes just one in a number beyond our comprehension of stars in the universe that have evolved over a huge amount of time. We are told that stars are birthed in nebulae. (And let me just say that there is quite the elaborate story for how this birth happens.) We then see, when looking at all the stars out there, that they are very diverse. To begin with, the sizes differ physically from star to star. This difference determines their brightness. We also can see that they burn at different temperatures, which affects their color. In the “evolution” of a star these differences are interpreted as stages of life and death. Red Giants, stars with large size and cool temps, are assumed to be in a stage of death millions or billions of years old and ready to collapse. When collapse happens it shrinks for 10,000 years then begins to grow again to regain red giant status. We DO see star death – it’s been observed and is to be expected Biblically as a result of the fall. A star birth, however, has never been observed and is said to take millions or billions of years. To me, the various “stages” that stars are seen in, for the most part, just represent one more aspect of the amazing diversity God created within the universe at the beginning. However, this explanation of the diversity we see is very similar to that which is done in biology.
Diversity in biology is sometimes used to support a story called evolution. Within the animal kingdom we have various characteristics that define certain types of animals. Bills are found on birds while they also lay eggs. Mammals give birth to live young and are hairy most of the time. Then we have those creatures like the platypus that have characteristics that cross the lines we usually draw. Most of the time in the naturalistic evolutionary story, these creatures are used to show a stage that different kinds have evolved from the some point in history. The story clouds the interpretation of observable reality.
The Lord is the great and mighty Creator of all things. He created things with great diversity. That diversity should not be seen as stages of development, but rather as creativity and complexity of its Creator. He even tells us that stars differ in glory or brightness in 1 Cor. 15:41. At every level of the universe we see diversity. In the Deep Space Field of the Hubble Space Telescope we see galaxies upon galaxies. He created many different kinds of stars, planets, nebulae, and galaxies. The diversity in the heavens declare His majesty. When the same diversity is seen in biology, it points to our created kinds, not ancestry. There may be similarities between kinds and even great variation within a kind (i.e. Compare a poodle to a Great Dane) but that does not equate to stages in evolutionary development. Rather I believe it points to a creator who took great pleasure in putting diversity in its creation. A common designer created many different kinds of mammals, birds, sea life, microscopic life, and even humans using the same basic elements of life. But we must always remember, with us created in His image - with diversity built in - that screams majesty of our Creator!