Answers Without Questions
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Ultimately, my greatest obligation is to God alone. Let me keep my mind and heart clear and keep in contact with my fellow believers. I may not be able to explain to anyone's satisfaction why a dollar burns in my pocket, but my fellow believers will give me the benefit of the doubt:
When God talks to you, He talks to you, not me. And if by arguing with people who do not seek real answers my mind becomes cloudy and my heart frail and I can no longer feel the dollar burning, then I have made a worthless sacrifice. I would rather have answers without questions than questions without answers.
[reprinted from July 1995 SP]
Stabilizers on Earth
“As for the Earth, we constructed it, and placed on it stabilizers (mountains), and we grew on it a perfect balance of everything.
We made it habitable for you, and for creatures you do not provide for.” (15:19-20)
“Did we not make the Earth habitable?
And the mountains stabilizers? ” (78:6-7)
The Quranic verses above hint of a link between the habitability of Earth and Mountains. Mountains have long had the obvious role of storing snow and releasing the melted snow in spring and summer. This has given us streams and rivers with fertile banks on which the first civilizations formed.
In the past 200 years, geologists have been fascinated by linear Mountain ranges. While they could easily explain the formation of a single volcanic mountain, which
forms as molten magma and lava are ejected through earth crust, they remained puzzled as to how linear mountain ranges are built.
Earth is the only planet in the Solar System which has mountain ranges on its thin crust. Mars has a few mountains among which Olympus is the tallest. But all the Mars Mountains are each separate from each other and are all in the form of a single cone. There is no wall of mountains such as the ones we see in large number on Earth, on Mars nor on any other planet.
Since its conception in the mid 1960’s, Plate Tectonics Theory has explained the process by which linear mountain ranges are formed. This theory has since been successfully tested and verified.
This is the list of benefits Mountains provide for us:
1) Mountains act as natural barriers for plant and animal life so that they could survive mass extinction in case of natural calamities. For example in case of a disease break out, mountain ranges act as protective partitions to minimize loss of life and prevent the spread of disease to the other areas within the continent.
2) Emission of CO2 (Carbon dioxide) through the top of volcanic mountains, either still active or long dormant,
warm the Earth atmosphere as CO2 and other green house gases trap the sun’s infrared rays. This is something nitrogen and oxygen can not do. CO2 comprises 0.035 percent (3.5 percent of one percent) of atmosphere.
As a result, the average temperature of Earth has remained 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Mountains are thus the Earth’s thermostat causing water to remain liquid and providing the favorable temperature range that plant and animal life depend on.
Only recently, the excessive CO2 emission due to human activity has become problematic. But in the past 2.5 billion years, since Earth’s crust cooled and became thick enough, CO2 emission from volcanic mountain tops has been the pivotal factor for Earth’s moderate temperature.
This moderate temperature has helped formation of billions of micro organic plants which first took root on Earth, and later the leafing plants. Plants undergo Photosynthesis during the day. This in turn has produced oxygen. Oxygen is crucial for animal and human life.
The sketch below shows the cycle of CO2 production through volcanic activity of a typical mountain.
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