With the Winter season upon us (at least here in Michigan!) and a fresh coat of snow on the ground, it seemed timely to link to this article from the December 2011 issue of “Acts and Facts” published by the Institute for Creation Research. It contains the story of a Christian scientist who made the snowflake his special study and who discovered some amazing facts about this detail of God’s creation and providence. Below is part of the story; you may find the full article at the link above. Read it and once again be amazed at God’s “treasures of the snow” (Job 38:22).
One of his inspirations to study snow was the Bible verses in Job 38 about the “treasures of the snow.”5 When asked why he took an interest in snow, he answered that
snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design; and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind. I became possessed with a great desire to show people something of this wonderful loveliness, an ambition to become, in some measure, its preserver.6
In his study of snowflakes, he learned that almost all snow crystals have six similar branches, and a few very rare ones have three. He at first expected that all snowflakes would be the same, but was surprised to learn that all of those he examined were different. Bentley concluded that, to the best of his knowledge, no snowflake “was an exact duplicate of any other snowflake!,” adding “with profound humility, we acknowledge that the Great Designer is incomparable and unapproachable in the infinite prodigality and beauty of His works.”7
…Bentley believed it is not only “the sheer scope of creation that fills us with praise for the Creator” when examining snowflakes, but the
wonders of God’s handiwork are to be found in the tiniest details of all He has made. One powerful example of this beauty is the intricate design of a snow crystal. Anyone who’s seen snowflakes under a microscope cannot help but be amazed by how beautifully complex they are….Bentley spent nearly fifty years of his life devoted to the study and photography of these fragile jewels. Fascinated both scientifically and artistically by snow crystals, he marveled at what he called the wondrous beauty of the minute in nature. As he observes from the 5,000 photographs of snow crystals he collected, “Under the microscope I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty.”15
Bentley learned that the reason no two snowflakes are exactly alike is because all ice crystals—whether shaped like simple plates, bullets, needles, solid or hollow columns, dendrites, or sheaths—are hexagonal. As they descend from the clouds, they ride air currents up and down for an hour or more through regions of differing temperatures and humidity that leave their marks on snowflakes’ growth and shape. Given how they form, it is extremely unlikely that two complex snow crystals will end up exactly alike. Blanchard wrote that Bentley was puzzled by the fact that the crystal design variations were endless. He said that the explanation “can only be referred to the will and pleasure of the Great First Cause, whose works, even the most minute and evanescent, and in regions the most removed from human observation, are altogether admirable.”16