The Gravitational Constant and Earth’s Mass

The Gravitational Constant

“How much does planet Earth weigh?” We can’t put the planet on a scale, and the correct question is, “What is Earth’s Mass?” The scientific literature tells us Earth’s mass is six ronnagrams. That is six followed by 27 zeros (6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 g). Newton’s law of gravitation is expressed in the equation F=G(mm’/x2). The m and m’ are the masses of two objects, x is how far they are from each other, and G is the gravitational constant which makes the equation work. The value of G is 6.67430 x 10-11, that is .0000000000667430.

Any two objects with mass will attract each other. For example, you and the Earth are attracting each other, and you are attracted to the person sitting next to you, such as your spouse or significant other. So why don’t you feel that attraction to each other? (Gravitationally, that is.) If you put your mass and the other person’s mass into that equation, you will find that the force is extremely small. However, if you were in outer space and floating isolated from any other mass, you and that person would be drawn together.

So what is the point? This design of the gravitational constant is an amazing display of God’s wisdom and intelligence. Earth’s mass is so large that you can feel its attraction for you. That prevents you from flying off into space while allowing all of life to have mobility on the planet’s surface. The attraction of gravity on all objects in space pulls them together, with the force depending on the mass of the objects. The matter clumps into meteoroids, asteroids, and comets if the mass is relatively small. Greater mass results in stars and planets, with gravity pulling them into spherical shapes. Gravity also keeps solar systems and galaxies from flying apart. The gravitational constant acting on mass allows the cleansing of debris from space and the continuing production of new astronomical bodies.

The value of the gravitational constant (G) allows the creation of the universe, the Milky Way galaxy, our solar system, and planet Earth. It is just one of many mathematical constants that must be just right to allow matter and life to exist. How did such numbers get chosen? Is this some cosmological accident, or is it the product of intelligence?

Atheists respond by suggesting there are an infinite number of universes with different constants. We just happen to be in the one that got everything right. Unfortunately, there is no way to test this multiverse theory scientifically. It is more like a religious idea that has no purpose except to avoid believing in the existence of an intelligent Creator.

The gravitational constant is only one of many constants that must be fine-tuned for the existence of life in any universe. We have no reason to believe there are other universes, but if there are, they would also have to be created. We believe God created our universe for a purpose. The Bible gives a purpose for human life and states clearly that the creation described in Genesis 1:1 was by a God who created with Wisdom, as we read in Proverbs 8:1, 22 -31.

— John N. Clayton © 2023