Chapter 2

Water And Our World

THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER

The earth is the only planet we know of where water and life walk hand in hand. The way the earth uses water is so fine-tuned that just one factor out of kilter would destroy the very life that water sustains. Simply put, virtually everything alive on earth has its source in water and lives in some form of water. Marine creatures and plants live in and depend upon liquid water and are composed primarily of water. Terrestrial creatures and plants live in and depend upon gaseous water (water vapor) and they too are composed mostly of water. And people who live in the humid tropics sometimes find it hard to believe they aren’t living in liquid water!

Since we are virtually surrounded by water, it seems ironic that we would feel discomfort with high humidity.especially given that our bodies are mostly water. A human baby is 75 percent water, an adult male is 65 percent water, and an adult female is composed of 60 percent water.

When we age, however, we tend to gdry out.h The older members of our families are about 50 percent water. This fact gives rise to the theory that people might live longer and remain healthier by drinking more water. It seems reasonable.given what water does for our bodies. Water is the very stuff of our cells. Of the 11 gallons of water in the average adult body, about 61.2 gallons are what make up the fluid in our cells: intracellular water. The remainder of the fluid, which is extracellular, is used to lubricate and operate functions like blood flow, digestion, metabolism, procreation, and muscle and bone movement. Water also provides the body with the temperature control critical to maintaining its life-giving and lifesustaining processes. And water even helps us to think: Our brains are 75 percent water. Knowing this, we can readily understand that while we can live more than a month without food, we can’t live more than a week without water.

While we can live more than a month without food, we can’t live more than a week without water.

Unless we were highly motivated in chemistry class, it’s not likely that most of us remember the chemical formula for many of the common compounds and materials we interact with from day to day. But most of us remember the formula for water: H2O. And we may even remember that the formula means that water is a compound formed from two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen.

Hydrogen and oxygen are two of the Creator’s basic material building blocks. Science calls them “elements.” And hydrogen is the most basic. It’s listed #1 on that complex chart of elements many of us came to dread: the Periodic Table. Those who named these elements actually did a pretty good job of it. Take hydrogen, for example. It’s made up of two Greek terms that mean “water” and “born.” By giving it that name, scientists were making it clear that this substance is what gives birth to water. That’s pretty significant when you understand how water, birth, and life are related. And it’s interesting also to learn that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, making up 90 percent of its weight.

But hydrogen doesn’t particularly like being alone, so it teams up with a number of other elements to make some really significant compounds—the most important to life being its bond with oxygen. This bond happens because hydrogen atoms have a positive electrical charge and oxygen has a negative charge. They’re like magnets attracting each other. In nanoseconds these little teams join up with one another to form vapor and drops, then eventually clouds, thunderstorms, puddles, lakes, and streams—and finally our great oceans.

It’s been discovered also that this chemical bond isn’t unique to the earth. Water is actually common all over God’s cosmos (which isn’t surprising when you learn how widespread both hydrogen and oxygen are). There’s a cloud of gases in the constellation Orion that’s making water vapor so fast—and so vast—that it puts out enough water molecules to fill the earth’s oceans more than twice every hour!

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