In the Beginning
A Catholic Scientist Explains How God Made Earth Our Home

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Summary

When, on July 20, 1969, a spacecraft landed on a rocky basalt crater of the Moon, one of its two astronauts would recall, “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet.” It is this tiny pea in a vast Universe that we call our home.
How did the Earth become our home? That certainly didn’t happen overnight. We all know Rome was not built in one day. Well, neither was the Earth, a tiny speck in an immense Universe. It actually took billions of years to get our home set up the proper way so we could enter and comfortably live there. Some see this as the outcome of a long, protracted sequence of coincidences. Others think this process had to be the way it was, because it was intended to be that way. Who is right?


Table of Contents

BEFORE WE GET STARTED	
	1.THE TIMESCALES	
		The Book of Scripture	
		The Book of Nature
	2.DATING TECHNIQUES
		The Universe
		The Earth
WHERE SCIENCE AND RELIGION MEET
	3.CREATION OR THE BIG BANG?
		The Big Bang
		What Is Creation?
		Creation And Big Bang
		Who Is the Creator?
	4.WHAT COMES WITH CREATION?
		Physical Laws of Nature
		Physical Constants
		Anthropic Coincidences
		The Anthropic Principle
		Does Science Have the Last Word?
	5.THE EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE
		The Milky Way Galaxy
		Our Solar System
		Seeming Chaos
		Randomness And Providence
	6.HOW THE EARTH DEVELOPED
		Planet Earth
		The Continents
		The Earth-Moon System
		The Role of Chance in God’s Plan
	7.THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE
		The Dawn of Life
		What Propelled Life?
		What Threatened Life?
		Mass Extinctions	
		Ice Ages
		The Dawn of Humanity
	8.WERE WE MEANT TO BE HERE?
		Science May Not Have an Answer
		The Cosmic Design
		At the Mercy of Natural Selection?
A FINAL WORD
	Is God at the Mercy of His Cosmic Design?
	A Purpose-Driven World
	Is Planet Earth Unique?