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This article is from
Creation 43(2):16–17, April 2021

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The perfect planet

For those with eyes to see, a new Attenborough series conveys much biblical truth

Sneak peek of a powerful article from the latest Creation magazine



Yet another stunning BBC documentary series about the natural world, narrated as always by Sir David Attenborough, has been released. It is titled A Perfect Planet. To quote the man himself in his introduction:

There is only one planet in the universe, as far as we know, where there is life: the earth, our home, the perfect planet. Life here is only possible because of a unique balance of natural forces.

World of wonder

Each new episode reveals more about the wonderful place where we live, its beauty and its fragility. It is indeed in many ways a ‘perfect’ world—the perfect combination of location, materials, energy, and more, to sustain the incredibly complex web of life. How many of us have looked out across a scene of breathtaking beauty as the sun sets, with green fields, contented animals, and a calm sea, with the ones we love beside us, and been overwhelmed with the wonder of it all?

And yet at the same time we are confronted with very different images of our world. Every day the news is predominantly bad news. War, murder, famine, devastating fires, environmental catastrophe, to say nothing of the seemingly ‘minor’ matters of cheating, lying, incompetence, and sorrow. How can we say this is a perfect world? It is a world of decay, death, and destruction. It is a world of hatred. If we feed each day upon the news, it can drive us to despair: imperfection is everywhere. If we look back in history, we see the same story, of wars, suffering, and death, the continual advancement in the ability to kill. And the future promises an even greater level of slaughter.

How can these two views of our world, our planet, be reconciled? Which is right? Can the two be held at the same time? Sir David is in fact closer to doing so than we might think, and closer to what we read in the Bible than he would want to admit. He would not wish anything he says to give encouragement to creationists—yet all he reveals reinforces the words we read in the Scriptures. At the same time as saying that we have a unique combination of circumstances here on Earth, he is greatly concerned about the effect of man upon the planet. He recognizes that the world we have is being destroyed, mostly not by those ‘natural forces’, nor by the violence and cruelty in the non-human world, but by the rapacity of mankind. Humanity has set in motion a series of events that seemingly cannot be stopped, and that threaten to lead to its own destruction, and that of the beautiful world that we have been given.

Making sense of it

This accords with what we read in the Word of God. God did indeed make a perfect planet: when He had finished creating He pronounced it “very good” (Gen 1:31). Just as Sir David says, it was a place with a unique blend of natural forces—and of course in mankind, a unique creation, made in God’s image.

However, the very first couple sinned and fell, and brought death and suffering to the world, as we read in Genesis Chapter 3. The bondage to sin and decay that grips the world, and which necessitated the coming of the Saviour, was God’s judgment, brought about by man. But it is also true that that bondage extends to the natural world. This includes natural disasters not brought about by human activity.

This corruption also included the animal kingdom. Nature was not originally “red in tooth and claw”1; when creation was complete it was all “very good”, devoid of harm. The predation that we observe is another effect of the Curse that Adam brought upon the planet when he disobeyed his Creator.

When we watch this well-made and awe-inspiring series, and listen to the passionate and knowledgeable commentary by the venerable Sir David, we are brought face to face once again with the truths we have learned from our God. He made the world perfect, indeed, and the harmony and intricacy are amazing. The more we discover, the more astonishing is the magnificent design. We are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

But at the same time we see the effects of the Curse as we see the cruelty in much of the animal kingdom. And we see more of the terrible consequences of sin in people as we seek to shake our fists at our Creator, and destroy what He has made. These programs, even while they seek to deny the hand of the Creator, nevertheless have a large measure of Gospel truth.

References and notes

  1. Canto 56 of his elegy In Memoriam A.H.H, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1850) Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Wonders of Creation: Design in a Fallen World
by Stuart Burgess, Andy McIntosh and Brian Edwards (editor)
US $30.00
Hard Cover
Spacecraft Earth
by Dr Henry Richter with David F Coppedge
US $14.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Nicholas S.
Sir David, how is it our earth is: Within Galactic Habitable Zone; Orbiting main sequence G2 dwarf star; Protected by gas giant planets; Within circumstellar habitable zone; Nearly circular orbit; Oxygen-rich atmosphere; Correct mass; Orbited by large moon? Unfortunately Sir David Attenborough's expression ."...Life here is only possible because of the unique combination of natural forces" is interwoven with his belief in the evolution ideology abstract theory of 'randomness' for everything to come into being. An oxymoron cannot be the basis for the beginning and coming into being of life and the universe. There is nothing of uniqueness about the 'randomness' of anything to explain its/their origin. The Unique Creation by God's Almighty Power brought about the combination of His Created natural forces able to be expressed by His laws of physics He Produced. In this there is no contradiction. There has to be God's Almighty Power for existence to occur in this three dimensional, atom structured universe. Atoms, us and this fine tuned universe could not come into being by themselves as Albert Einstein explained: "the necessity for a beginning," and "the presence of a superior reasoning power." Reasoning: i.e. of Thought i.e. of God, Hebrews 11:3. It cannot be string theory abstract in its origin and even if more words were strung together to further explain it, it would still be abstract theory as it does not include God and His Implicitly and Explicitly Directed Power. As this current three dimensional universe was and is made of atoms, there had to and has to be God, John 1:3; Isaiah 42:5. No random, exploding hydrogen/helium star power or exploding nothing can do it. Thank you Michael and CMI for conveying what you see, to and for the world so that they may see clearly.
Nichola W.
As Mark A remarked about being tired of watching Sir David, I also gave up watching his documentaries and his endless repetition of evolutionary dogma.
Once I saw a natural history documentary narrated by someone else (can't remember who) and this man did a beautiful job without mentioning anything about evolution or millions of years. But I'd seen the exact same footage before, narrated by Sir David before I'd stopped watching his work. It's such a shame that he is so iconic and lauded as the definitive natural history presenter and narrator.
Grahame G.
It is sad that people have so much evidence and still reject it. David Attenborough also claims that God cannot exist because of a worm that burrows into the eye and turns people blind. https://creation.com/why-doesnt-sir-david-attenborough-give-credit-to-god

And yet he calls the planet perfect. Astounding cognitive dissonance.

So which is it, David? This article brilliantly points out that the only solution is to believe it was originally perfect and has become corrupted, but there is still overwhelming evidence of that perfection. There is no reason for beauty and balance and all the perfect settings for life to exist if naturalism is true. So they invent infinite universes. Astounding. Anything to avoid God.

And this is also a great reminder of God's grace to still provide such a wonderful world and how much He has retarded the effects of sin and is upholding all things.

Thanks Michael.
Jeffrey C.
Earth, is it not the Home Planet for God's family from the beginning and forevermore? Formed to be the headquarters planet of universe for the Kingdom of God.

Despite the Curse, our Holy Creator's glory shines forth in all He had made, most especially here on Earth through the awesome beauty and diversity of lifeforms.
Philip Bell
Forevermore? The present world comes to an end but there's a new heaven and earth to come; for further discussion on this see The new earth.
Chuck R.
That we all have "been overwhelmed with the wonder of it all" is precisely the "invisible attributes ... clearly seen" that Paul states are undeniably "understood by the things that are made" leaving us "without excuse."
Because they refused to "glorify Him as God", they "became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened, professing to be wise, they became fools", even to the point of believing in the absurdity of evolution.
Hans B.
The quote in this story of David Attenborough:
"There is only one planet in the universe, as far as we know, where there is life: the earth, our home, the perfect planet. Life here is only possible because of a unique balance of natural forces."
Reads a lot like a quote from Carl Sagan:
"The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand."

Naturalists seem to have an observation that only goes so far then stops dead blind. Worshiping what is seen and no regard for the unseen.

Romans 1v23 "And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."
Romans 1v25 "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."
Philip S.
How sad that in back of it all, Attenborough is just one big, confused, god-denying hypocrite - according to his own wild guesses, '95%' of ALL life has already been wiped out in 'millions of yrs' of 5 massive, earth-shattering catastrophes in his so-called 'Perfect Planet'! And his documentaries have for decades shown us endless [examples of] creatures eating others alive whilst cameraman and producers stand back and say [in effect], tut, tut - mustn't interfere in 'Mother Nature'! He should be applauding what he and others see as the 'destructive virus' of mankind coming to its end, so the ants or whatever can take over - to him it's just yet another huge Kali-ian cycle of Destruction and Renewal, completely random & accidental, on and on and on, & 'meaningless & pitiless' as the Dawkins says. [Ed. re: Kali, "In Hinduism, goddess of time, doomsday, and death", britannica.com] By the way, Attenborough's wild claim of 95% of all life already being wiped out, with c. 8 million life forms on earth today, means he needs c. 150 million 'separate' species in the fossils, let alone the billions of totally unknown linking forms! British Natural History Museum claims a mere 750,000 fossil 'species' and even that is a wild exaggeration, as some are named more than once, others will be juveniles, male and female, or simply size or form variations.
Mark A.
I used to watch David Attenborough's documentaries but got tired of him using 'repitition syndrome' in nearly all of his films when it came to the extinction of dinosaurs and the 'catastrophic meteoric event' that caused it, because in recent documentaries he has changed his view to the now popular 'Dinosaurs into Birds' explanation for their demise.

Because he is an atheist he uses subliminal psychoanalytical techniques to further his atheistic agenda and although he may acknowledge God's handiwork as in his introduction, "There is only one planet in the universe, as far as we know, where there is life: the earth, our home, the perfect planet. Life here is only possible because of a unique balance of natural forces." He does not give God the glory for creating it, rather he gives it to 'nature' a collection of flora and fauna located in an environment and does not do anything except exist and interact. Life here is possible because of Gods grace not natural forces.

The Perfect Planet recently aired on our TV One channel and, when advertising the final episode David Attenborough, states that "Over the last 1000 years the Earth's climate has remained stable"; this is blatantly untrue since, as shown in the Anthropogenic Global Warming report by Don Batten et al, there was a medieval warm period, then between 1645 to 1715 a little ice age. David Attenborough said this because he believes that humanity is responsible for climate change and will say anything to support his misanthropic view that humanity is a "plague on the Earth."

Do not be deceived by David Attenborough's slick film making, after all, he's been doing it for over 50 years and has pushed his evolution and deep time mantra in every one of them. He may convey Biblical truth but gives God no credit for it.
Philip Bell
Yes, in spite of the incredible production standards, the frequent references to the alleged ability evolution or the natural world do the work of the Creator are tiresome. See also Nature programmes, science and God. This assigning of creative powers to evolution is par for the course in the cult of science (really scientism).

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