Wednesday, December 19, 2018

When natural evils are natural goods

All this convective bubbling up and recycling between crust and mantle, this creative destruction and reconstruction of parts — “tectonic” comes from the Greek word for build — is Earth’s way of following the second law of thermodynamics. The movement shakes off into the frigidity of space the vast internal heat that the planet has stored since its violent formation.
And while shifting, crumbling plates may seem inherently unreliable, a poor foundation on which to raise a family, the end result is a surprising degree of stability. “Plate tectonics is a relatively benign way for Earth to lose heat,” said Peter Cawood, an Earth scientist at Monash University in Australia.
“You get what are catastrophic events in localized areas, in earthquakes and tsunamis,” he added. “But the mechanism allows Earth to maintain a stabler and more benign environment overall.”

1 comment:

  1. Not specifically related to this, but I'd like to point out a neglected aspect in the whole discussion of natural evils.

    Critics frequently ask "how could mechanism X, Y or Z" have a place in a "very good" world? The Christian often feels forced to explain how that mechanism *in itself* has a good purpose, which was corrupted at the Fall.

    However, the thing often overlooked is that there are other possibilities. One in particular is that there may have been other counter-vailing mechanisms, A, B, C, present at the Fall, which ceased to operate then.

    The classic here is the Tree of Life. Man's natural immortality may have been mediated through eating the fruit of that tree. Loss of access to the tree was what rendered death certain. But there may be counterparts in other areas too.