Eclipses are caused by Earth's Moon being between the Sun and Earth or the Earth being between the Earth's Moon and the Sun. A shadow is cast onto the object further from the Sun. The Sun may be partially or totally obscured from the view of an observer.
While most Christians accept the scientific explanation, a few have a supernatural interpretation:
- "And in that path, the sun will be perfectly blotted out, by the ruler of the night, plunging all of America in its path into virtual total darkness. This is a metaphor, or a sign, of the work of the Prince of Darkness in obscuring the light of God’s truth."
This is despite scientists being about to accurate predict eclipses, which indicates that the phenomenon is deterministic and operates according to natural laws, rather than supernatural causes. This is similar to claiming rainbows are a sign from God.
- Main Article: Argument from cosmic coincidences
- "The moon has a number of distinctive characteristics. It is both 400 times smaller and 400 times closer to Earth than the sun is. This means that the moon and sun have about the same apparent size in our sky on average. This makes total solar eclipses possible. Earth is the only known planet that can experience eclipses where its moon so precisely covers the sun.[...] Of the planets in our solar system, Earth is uniquely designed for life, and the moon is uniquely designed to aid life on Earth. God chose to spend five of the six days of creation working on Earth, making it just the way He wanted it to be."
The hypothesis that the Moon's size and distance is evidence of a designer is problematic because we cannot distinguish between coincidence and design.
The orbit of the Moon is not precisely aligned with the orbital plane of the Earth. The moon is gradually moving away from the Earth, so total eclipses will become impossible in around 600 million years. Also, the Moon always shows the same size toward the Earth which is subjectively boring. These examples are evidence of poor design.
- How did the sun evolve to put itself at just the right distance from the Earth for life?
- Biblical knowledge of round earth before science
- Earth is at the center of the universe