The Amazing Properties of Water

Ron Hughes:  David, we’ve talked about some amazingly complex things, but God is not just the God of the complex.  There are some wonderfully simple things, or things that to us seem simple and common, ordinary, everyday – and yet when we look passed the obvious we see God written all over them. And water is a wonderful example of that.

Dr. Humphreys:  Right.  You know, that’s an interesting example; because water is something we take for granted. But actually if you know some chemistry, Ron, you’d be very surprised that water was a liquid.

It turns out to be a bit technical. Most people know water is H2O.  Chemists call it a hydride of oxygen.  You see, it’s got hydrogen and oxygen, but you see, the hydrides of the other family members – like sulphur and selenium in the same family as oxygen – I mean, they’re poisonous gases.  Like H2S smells worse than rotten eggs.  I mean, it’s a dreadful poisonous gas and yet H2S is in the same family.

It’s actually surprising that water is a liquid.  And, of course, if it was just H2O that wouldn’t be enough.  It turns out that when it vaporizes – you know makes steam – water vapour – it’s disassociated a little bit. And without going into technical details, this is what allows it to control the atmosphere and the weather.

And of course, just as a liquid it’s actually the most versatile solvent there is.  So, it transports substances in the body.

In fact, it’s such a cold day outside here today that I see all the ice floating on the river.  And I’m thankful for the sake of the fish that water is unusual in the sense that ice, the solid form of water, is less dense than liquid water.  That’s very unusual, because for most substances the solid is most dense.

Ron:  It’s the other way around.

Dr. Humphreys:  If ice sank, of course, the whole river would freeze up.  The fish would be out of luck in the winter.  The fact that ice floats, which is fortunate for fish, is again a unique property.

Water has so many unique properties – its ability to hold heat and be a solvent – that enables it, really, to be tailor made for life.  And life requires that.  You see, and so even in these simple molecules we see, what I call, evidence for design.

I mean it is a long liquid range. Most people know water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100 degrees Celsius.  That’s a long liquid range.

All this is due to the arrangement of the atoms, but it is most fortunate, you see.  And what I say, I mean you might say if you’re a chemist, ‘that’s interesting,’ but I’m saying it’s not only interesting, but it’s significant.

Scientists talk about strange things like the Anthropic Principle.  Which means that somehow the cosmos needs us. It sort of makes our existence an explanation for everything.  And we know that the explanation for everything, in terms of what the Bible says, is God.  But the significance of the fact that water is special, that carbon is special, that the distance from the sun is special, that all the molecules are tailor made for the job they do in sustaining life is that life, again, is no accident.

And, hey, if we are designed with purpose in mind, I’d better find out what God’s purpose for my life is.  I mean that’s the motivation for seeking God.  Because if everything is just right and we are not here by accident, then we’d better find our why we are here.  And that’s what I mean by saying it’s significant.