Saturday, March 29, 2014

#56 Snowflakes

This past Tuesday was March 25th, 2014, 5 days after the start of Spring. Still we got 2 inches of snow and it’s been freezing cold. In fact, snow has been a regular weekly occurrence this whole month. This winter has been one of the coldest on record in the last 100 years.

So this article will be a tribute to the lowly snowflake. May I not see another one until next winter!

In reading the Wikipedia article on snowflakes, it says that scientists aren’t really sure how snowflakes get made or what holds them together.

In warmer clouds an aerosol particle or "ice nucleus" must be present in (or in contact with) the droplet to act as a nucleus. The particles that make ice nuclei are very rare compared to nuclei upon which liquid cloud droplets form; however, it is not understood what makes them efficient. [1]

The exact details of the sticking mechanism remain controversial. Possibilities include mechanical interlocking, sintering, electrostatic attraction as well as the existence of a "sticky" liquid-like layer on the crystal surface. The individual ice crystals often have hexagonal symmetry. Although the ice is clear, scattering of light by the crystal facets and hollows/imperfections mean that the crystals often appear white in color due to diffuse reflection of the whole spectrum of light by the small ice particles. [2]

It’s amazing that something as simple as some frozen water is a mystery to today’s scientists. Whoever claims that scientists have discovered all the truth is either not digging deep enough or intentionally deluding themselves.

Snowflakes are absolutely fascinating. Here are some amazing photos of snowflakes to remind you of what they can look like. These are by a famous snowflake photographer. [3]

Some photos from CalTech. [4]

Here is a link to some time-lapse photography of snowflakes being formed. It is almost like they are alive. [5]

Your typical snowflake has about 1019 (10 quintillion) water molecules.[6] Since there is an unbelievably huge number of molecule combinations going into a snowflake, it pretty much guarantees that old saying that “no two snowflakes are identical.”

When you looked at the snowflakes in the pictures, do you get some type of feeling in response? What is that feeling? Do you have any thoughts about where such amazing patterns could have come from? Do you marvel at the intricate details? Do you think, “Wow, what an amazing accident!!!”, “What an amazing accident”, “What an amazing accident,” over and over and over again every time you look at a different snowflake? Hardly.

Scientists may not be able to explain it yet, but one thing we can be sure of is that the ability of water to turn into snowflakes has been a property of water since the very origin of water. It could not be something that was added or “evolved” at a later time.

Long before there was life on earth and long before any inkling of “evolution” existed, there was water. And surely that water had the capability to make snowflakes.

If there is a creator of water, that intelligent being endowed it with the capability to make snowflakes long before we came along to look at and appreciate them.

If there was no creative intelligence, then it must have all come from NOWHERE. All of it. Then, of course, there is no purpose to anything? Without a purpose, what value is there? When you look at something that has no value, it does not inspire you. Think of a piece of junk. You don’t feel inspiration or amazement.

The joy that is experienced from the beauty of a simple snowflake is almost universal among human beings. We all feel it. How could that be? That we all have a reaction of awe and wonder at snowflakes is not accidental or a mistake. There was no ancient “natural selection” for only people who could appreciate snowflakes and they were the only people able to survive.

There is an overall design built into human beings so we can appreciate the precious gifts around us, all the way down to the lowly snowflake. Even one scientist, Dr. Masaru Emoto, goes so far as to proclaim that humans by using thought energy can change the patterns of ice crystals. [7] Very interesting research (but controversial of course). His pictures are really interesting and he has been featured in movies like What The Bleep Do We Know. [8]

Not just snowflakes, but all of the tiniest particles of the universe are awe inspiring. DNA is a beautiful spiral staircase. At the other extreme are the largest entities of the universe which inspire awe as well. The amount of beauty we can discover is mind boggling, possibly even infinite.

There must be God.


[3] Famous snowflake photographer: Alexey Kljatov

[5] Time lapse photography of snowflake.

[8] Website of movie: What The Bleep Do We Know?

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