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No Sun, No Life?comment (0)

December 12, 2013


Pastor Eric House began his article titled “Want to Know God?” (in the Nov. 21 issue) with this statement: “Scientists will tell you that all life on earth requires light provided by the sun.” Unfortunately that statement is inaccurate. 

The National Science Foundation notes that “Scientists once thought sunlight, like water, was crucial to sustain life on Earth. But we now know of deep-sea communities of organisms that use chemical energy, rather than energy from sunlight, as the basis for their food.” More complete and very interesting information on this topic can be found at www.nsf.gov/news/overviews/earth-environ/earth_q04.jsp.

And consider septic tanks. They are completely devoid of sunlight, yet they are alive with a gazillion bacteria and other microscopic organisms that happily devour and convert wastewater. However, all the material these organisms consume does indeed come from organic matter generated initially in sunlight (plants that we eat, animals that we eat that first ate plants, etc.). I don’t want to get too graphic, but the sagacious reader will get the picture.


With all that being said, I think Pastor House’s article is a good one. Yet I could also see a couple of good sermons coming from the idea that there can be life without light. The question would be whether one wants to live like giant tube worms and other blind scavengers on the deep ocean floor or live life in the light? And, of course, there are those who live in the septic tank of life devouring and enjoying the refuse that comes their way. Yep, I think some pastor could work on this angle.

Vic Payne
Environmental Engineer
Auburn, Ala.

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