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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 


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It has stood the test of time with God's Book the Bible still relevant in today's complex world and. It is written. Messages of hope around the world. Have you ever wondered why our earth is not covered by oceans of oxygen Now if you were paying attention in chemistry class and I know it may have been hard for some of us to pay attention but it probably crossed your mind at some point in our atmosphere the oxygen molecule composed of two oxygen atoms and I know I'm getting a little technical but stay with me when those two oxygen atoms are joined together it's a gas but if you put two hydrogen atoms together with an oxygen atom of course you get liquid water H two O. the water molecule is much lighter than the oxygen molecule Now why is the heavier molecule a gas in the lighter molecule water. How would our world be different. If there were no liquid water to help me answer those questions and there implication on faith I'm joined today by Dr Tim Standish Dr Standish thank you for being with us thank you for letting me come you know Dr Standish I was I was talking about things that were getting me a little bit outside. The realm of my expertise you are an expert in this area of water because of course you are a biologist you hold a Ph D. and environmental biology and public policy you have a masters in biology an undergraduate degree a Bachelors of Science in zoo ology and you're the senior scientist at the geo science research institute now Dr Standish just to help our audience get a little more familiar with you what do you do want to daily basis for the geo science research institute the great thing about working where I work is that every day is different some days I come in and I I write for much of the day there are always constant interruptions and things like that yes I work with graduate students who are working on graduate degrees in in the sciences obviously correspond with people I have a laboratory on a good day I get to do some work in there yes and then of course there's a lot of work outside of the office where we travel teach classes give presentations of various kinds of meetings. Every day is different well and you you work in a place where every day is different the geo science research institute just to help folks what is it dedicated to what's kind of the mission of the geo science research institute the reason for the institute to exist is to explore the relationship between science and faith what is what is a good productive reasonable understanding of the Biblical record of history and the current claims of science. Most of the time there are no there are no tensions there you know the Bible talks about a place called Jerusalem. Hey we can go and see Jerusalem and there it is you know lots of things. Like that. But there are these occasional areas where there's some kind of tension and we're interested in the hell might these tensions be resolved how can they legitimately be resolved when Might there be something new that we need to find out those are questions that we ask and sometimes that we come up with the with one that we might be able to address we may actually go out and work on doing science to see whether. A given way of resolving things might in fact be a possibility now that sounds all very interesting and if someone wanted to maybe read more about your work or some of the work of the geo science research institute where would they find information probably the best place to start is our website which is W W W G R I sta dot org OK and. I encourage people also to. Get on to our Facebook page you can just do that by looking for two Science Research Institute and there's constantly changing information there on the on the Web site itself we have a constant news feed where we put up links to articles not necessarily articles that we all agree with OK but calls that are coming out in the literature that address these issues that we were interested in in some way very good now we've opened we've talked about water and I'm sure someone might be wondering what is water have to do with faith but let's just talk about water because we're going to get there so so if you're watching just hang on you're get we're going to we're going to tie this into the Biblical faith. What makes water so different then other molecules is what it is almost like a miracle it's a very unique. Kind of molecule. We already talked about how it's a relatively small light molecule but it exists as a liquid at room temperature Now the interesting thing is there are not many things that actually do exist as liquids at room temperature. Water is obviously the big one yes there are certain oils oils are big molecules OK water's tiny Yes some alcohols ethanol and and methanol him in these they are liquids at room temperature but they're significantly heavier Also than water itself but things that are liquids at room temperature a kind of unusual So that's one special thing about water and the big question is Why yes why is that it's because water is a whole molecule what that means is it's got an area that is a little bit more negative on it with a little bit of a negative charge and it has slightly positive charges out with the night where the hydrogen atoms are on the molecule and because of that the positive and negative charges attract one another and so the water molecules stick together and they remain a liquid at room temperature as opposed to pretty much anything else that is is you know that kind of molecular weight but the fact that it's Paula then means that water has some other really interesting characteristics to it. If you try dissolving salt in cooking oil. It doesn't. Work Very No it just doesn't happen at all you know water will dissolve all kinds of different things sometimes people call it a universal solvent Yes it isn't truly universal but because there are things obviously that you can't dissolve in water but it is amazing the way that it can dissolve all kinds of different. Ions like salt yes it can dissolve. Alcohol that can dissolve sugars it can do just tons of stuff which is really useful for living things yes because those are the sorts of things that we need to move around in our bodies where we can use water to move things like salt and sugar and so on around inside our bodies because our bodies made primarily of water yes when we when we talk about living things frequently we get obsessed with with carbon and carbon containing molecules water when you weigh yourself it's mostly water. Now obviously there are other things that way something in the sure. If we were to dry ourselves out we would lose a huge amount of weight yes losing water is the quickest way to lose weight for a human being yes don't do it because you need that water but. That's one other thing about water another amazing thing about water in fact some people have contended that life might not be possible on Earth because of this one property and that is that water when it freezes expands Yes Now most things the colder they get the more they shrink but water gets cold and then it gets a little bit bigger. And as a consequence of that ice which is frozen water floats Yes in water yes. The cool thing about that is that it means that life can survive underneath a layer of ice imagine if ice froze at the surface and fell down to the bottom of a lake. Well then the bottom of the lake would be frozen and it would Unforgiven very very slowly the next time a winter came around more ice would freeze and fall down to the bottom of the lake and of course if you had fish trying to live in this lake there'd be ice falling down all the time and the water would be getting shallower and shallower and shallower as the bottom of the lake froze and in addition to that here in Canada you would have no ice skating yes possible you are you might be able to ski on the water if you have a if you have a boat but but there be no no ice skating by the way because of this property that water has ice skating wouldn't be possible either even if you had the ice else on dry land and the reason for that is that when the skate goes over the surface of the ice it exerts a lot of pressure and it squeezes it down and the water it actually melts underneath the skate that's why it slides so nicely so their own lots of these amazing properties that water has Yeah and I think I think you know and you are of course in Canada I think of New Finland and the amazing icebergs that and these icebergs are often this size and sometimes even larger and in not necessarily in height but in mass to some of these skyscrapers in Toronto. Monto in Vancouver you see these amazing icebergs but they are floating on the water and it's profound and water you know I think of my own experience with water it's an amazing thing water is required for us to live we have to drink water we have to be hydrated but water is actually also very powerful and you talk about this is you can't really separate you know you can't squeeze water and separate water from water one time I did what you're not supposed to do I drove my car on a road that was covered in water and it was deeper than I thought it was it always is isn't it and the water was sucked into the intake and it actually bent the piston in my vehicle and it's an amazing thing this piston is not some you know the size of my pen here is piston is is a huge metal object and when it went to hit the water the water was so powerful that it would it wouldn't give It's so powerful that the metal gave way so. Let's just ask the question What would our Earth look like what would life on earth be like if there were no water. I'm a biologist I can't imagine life without water. It's it's just one of those perfect things about life and. The life sort of seems to require to exist I mean we know. What things a like when water isn't present because there's nothing living there now the Atacama Desert is one of the driest spots on earth if not the driest spot on earth when you go there there are no plants now because there are no plants there are no animals it is just barren. So without water you know the earth does the experiment for us we don't really have to think about it to have no water no life it's fascinating to me that in the biblical creation account the very first thing that the Bible says about the earth. Is water yes the Spirit of God moved on the face of the water at the beginning and then God creates life yes but yeah water is the first thing that's mentioned there and then if you look at the first few days there you can see that God is doing things with water yes to prepare the earth for life. It's so fundamental. It's one of the things actually that impresses me about the biblical creation account it makes much sense Imagine if God had decided to I don't know. Create the giraffes first yes. The giraffes will just drowned. The earth had to be prepared they needed to be an atmosphere then needed to be water in the right place not everywhere and yet anough in the places that it needed to be. God separates the waters below from the words above them and creates the atmosphere. That's sort of you know another step in the right direction but separates the land from the water and and if you didn't have that situation you would run into all kinds of interesting things that have to do with the properties of water they. The if if you don't have both. Land and Water you probably would have huge trouble with any kind of significant life let's put it that way any kind of. Organisms like the kind that we observe around us dogs cats humans possibly possibly even Big Fish Yes And so maybe that Leigh and it's an amazing thing because we've talked many times about this issue of design plan a design or a plan or so God clearly had a plan by that so why or how does water make abundant life possible and an abundant life by the way that from my understanding as a as a person not involved in science but you read like for example after some of these tsunamis we're reading about scientists discovering life that we never knew existed out of the depths of the water so how does water make abundant life so possible you know if I was wearing a watch I'd be looking at them asking how long this program with this is something that we could literally spend days talking about so let's talk about just one or two things that people might not be familiar with OK. Because. Yes it's just huge We've already mentioned that water is fantastic for moving nutrients around OK and for dissolving things so you have to have water to move nutrients around within bodies and also within the oceans and so on as well but it does a lot more than the just move things it also is necessary for the proteins. Our bodies are made out of to have the correct shape so that they can do the jobs that they do they have to be dissolved in water or they simply don't function OK Now a lot of people are familiar with discussions about something called global warming Yes Yeah and they know that this has something to do with carbon dioxide and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is actually a very tiny proportion of the atmosphere why is that because carbon dioxide while we need it in the atmosphere of there's too much that's going to be a problem for us carbon dioxide dissolves in water and it gets sequestered there in the oceans now we're still struggling to understand all the dynamics of this sure it's a very interesting thing but. There's actually a three way relationship it turns out between land. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and water in the oceans and you have to have all those three working together to maintain the right amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere Wow And obviously carbon dioxide is what plants use to make organic molecules the animals eat so we wouldn't exist if the big oceans went out there holding on to that carbon dioxide releasing it back into the atmosphere but also soaking up carbon dioxide. And there are other mechanisms that are involved in this too it's a big complicated cool thing and it in a fascinating thing Dr Stanley So what you're saying is that God had a plan yes the the vastness of the oceans is required to keep and maybe I'm not using the right term here the equilibrium of actually life on this earth yes. These big global cycles that keep the make life possible depend on the fact that it has not just a little bit of water it requires huge amounts of water which is what we have in the oceans themselves. On the subject of the oceans. We talked about heating yes cooling with water a little bit one of the great things about what it is it soaks up huge amounts of heat and it can release huge amounts of heat so what happens is there are these huge ocean currents that soak up heat in the equatorial regions and then take that heat south or north from the equator and they release that heat making these really big habitable Yes On the face of the earth all kinds of stuff what it is it's a miracle. And you know it's a very interesting thing now. We're talking about and we could spend as you've said volumes of shows talking about this Miracle of water. But as I'm thinking about some of the things you're talking about the carrying of nutrients the carrying of heat and cooling the just really how much water. Is and maybe I'm using too strong of a word is required for life to even exist it's very interesting to me Jesus. Is called in the Bible the water of life yeah now we could have a theological discussion on that but why do you think Jesus is referred to as the water of life. Because life is not really possible without him certainly not a full life in at least in my experience Jesus is the life given. Jesus Christ is our creator and our Ridhima So he's the source of life and so water so this is a fabulous metaphor. For the life giving characteristics the Jesus exhibited and you know it's interesting Jesus says in several places that he came to give life they came to give life more abundantly and so tying it into this illustration or metaphor of water I think of a garden. You know if you can grow a garden or a let's make it even Let's make it very a political to our folks here in Canada I think of the Okanagan Valley in in British Columbia. Beautiful place. Soil that is has a lot of nutrients but they have a very a very distinct problem there it's an arid place it's dry. And so if you can bring water in they tell me that you can grow anything there and I can tell you by experience they grow some of the best cherries that I've ever tasted before I'll have to visit it yes you need to go and visit some of our friends there in Colona and other places there. So when Jesus talks about himself being the water. The water of life the life giver giving life more abundantly it is in the same way that water land that is nutrient rich without water. Nothing will grow. Dr Standish maybe comment a little bit about this issue of water and the spiritual life and Jesus as that water you know when you are talking I was thinking about Jesus meeting the woman at the well. Yes and the offer that he made. He would give her water that would be a fountain of life springing up inside. This offer of of water the water of life that Jesus is giving is the offer of eternal life I'm thinking about. The ways in which. We ourselves interact with water you know water cleans us without water we die Without Jesus we will die yes with him we live. Water cleans us Jesus. Cleans us he changes us into something different than we were I have a dog actually I have two dogs they are different creatures after you've given them a bad yes then. We are different creatures when we cleansed in the blood of Jesus Christ remember blood is mostly Who was it yes. And I tell you Dr Standish it's hard to believe that we're out of time and we could just continue this discussion onward but a powerful find the water molecule one of the lighter molecules yet one of the most powerful molecules that exists on this earth and in the same way she's. Jesus who lightens our birds yet one of the most powerful things in that He cleanses us and makes us a new creation Dr Standish Let's pray together. Heavenly Father we thank you so much for water and not just the water on this earth we thank you for the Water of Life Your Son Jesus who makes us a new creation we thank you in Jesus. Name a man human. Dr Standish What an exciting conversation about water now you've been part of a project producing a film Living Waters tell us about it that's right I was very privileged to be an associate producer on this documentary film about dolphins and whales salmon and Toddles looking at the design in these creatures it's beautiful it's compelling it's just amazing and I encourage anybody who can to see it. Different if you would like to get a copy of the film Living Waters for any size donation you will receive your own copy in addition to that I'd like to offer for free a D.V.D. of this program that Dr Standish and I have done together here is the information that you need to receive today's offers. To request today's offer just log on to W.W.W. dot it is written canada dot ca That's W W W dot it is written canada dot ca and select the T.V. Program tab for Canadian viewers the offer will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada shipping charges will apply if you prefer you may call toll free at one eight eight eight call. That's one eight eight eight call. Call any time lines are open twenty four hours daily That's one eight eight eight call. Or if you wish you may write to us it is written box twenty ten Oshawa Ontario L one H seventy four and thank you for your prayer requests and your generous financial support that it is written Box two thousand and ten Oshawa Ontario. L. one age seventy four. Dr Standish thank you so much for joining us today thank you so much for having me I look forward to being with the living water absolutely and Fred I want to thank you for watching I want to encourage you to join us again next week where we'll discuss more about Jesus the master designer and tell then remember it is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.


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