Earth 1 - Scot Pollok
The more we learn about other planets, around other stars, the more unique our Earth becomes:
Compositions of Extrasolar Planets - July 2010
Excerpt: ,,,the presumption that extrasolar terrestrial planets will consistently manifest Earth-like chemical compositions is incorrect. Instead, the simulations revealed “a wide variety of resulting planetary compositions.
Exoplanet Hunters Fail Predictions – August 2010
Excerpt: There are so many surprises in this field—almost nothing is turning out as we expected. There are Jupiter-mass planets in three-day orbits. There are planets with masses that are between those of the terrestrial planets in our solar system and the gas giants in the outer part of our solar system. There are Jupiter-mass planets with hugely inflated radii—at densities far lower than what we thought were possible for a gas-giant planet. There are giant planets with gigantic solid cores that defy models of planet formation, which say there shouldn’t be enough solids available in a protoplanetary disk to form a planet that dense. There are planets with tilted orbits. There are planets that orbit the poles of their stars, in so-called circumpolar orbits. There are planets that orbit retrograde—that is, they orbit in the opposite direction of their star’s rotation. There are systems of planets that are in configurations that are hard to describe given our understanding of planet formation. For instance, some planets are much too close to one another. But a lot of those surprises have to do with the fact that we have only one example of a planetary system—our solar system—to base everything on, right? What’s interesting is that we’ve found very little that resembles our example.
Even the solar wind from our sun is found to be necessary for life on earth:
Cosmic Rays Hit Space Age High
Excerpt: "The entire solar system from Mercury to Pluto and beyond is surrounded by a bubble of solar magnetism called "the heliosphere."
The Protective Boundaries of our Solar System - NASA IBEX - video
Even the orbits of the other planets, in our solar system, are found to be extremely fine tuned to make life on Earth possible:
Thank God for Jupiter - July 2010
Excerpt: The July 16, 1994 and July 19, 2009 collision events on Jupiter demonstrate just how crucial a role the planet plays in protecting life on Earth. Without Jupiter’s gravitational shield our planet would be pummeled by frequent life-exterminating events. Yet Jupiter by itself is not an adequate shield. The best protection is achieved via a specific arrangement of several gas giant planets. The most massive gas giant must be nearest to the life support planet and the second most massive gas giant the next nearest, followed by smaller, more distant gas giants. Together Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune provide Earth with this ideal shield.
Of Gaps, Fine-Tuning and Newton’s Solar System - Cornelius Hunter - July 2011
Excerpt: The new results indicate that the solar system could become unstable if diminutive Mercury, the inner most planet, enters into a dance with Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest of all. The resulting upheaval could leave several planets in rubble, including our own. Using Newton’s model of gravity, the chances of such a catastrophe were estimated to be greater than 50/50 over the next 5 billion years. But interestingly, accounting for Albert Einstein’s minor adjustments (according to his theory of relativity), reduces the chances to just 1%.
Milankovitch Cycle Design - Hugh Ross - August 2011
Excerpt: In all three cases, Waltham proved that the actual Earth/Moon/solar system manifests unusually low Milankovitch levels and frequencies compared to similar alternative systems. ,,, Waltham concluded, “It therefore appears that there has been anthropic selection for slow Milankovitch cycles.” That is, it appears Earth was purposely designed with slow, low-level Milankovitch cycles so as to allow humans to exist and thrive.
The moon, which gives the earth a stable orbit, which is of course necessary for advanced life, also 'just so happens' to give us uniquely 'perfect' solar eclipses, which has allowed many deep scientific discoveries into how the universe operates:
Privileged Planet - Observability Correlation - Gonzalez and Richards - video
The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
- Jay Richards
Further notes on the 'Privileged Planet' principle;
The Privileged Planet - video
Our Privileged Planet (1of 5) - Guillermo Gonzalez - video lecture
Guillermo Gonzalez & Stephen Meyer on Coral Ridge - video (Part 1)
Guillermo Gonzalez & Stephen Meyer on Coral Ridge - video (Part 2)
Fine Tuning Of The Universe - Privileged Planet (Notes In Description) - video
The magnetic field of the Earth, which is necessary for life on Earth, also allows beautiful auroras;
Magnetospheric Substorm causing Auroras - video
The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere
Visible light is also incredibly fine-tuned for life to exist. Though visible light is only a tiny fraction of the total electromagnetic spectrum coming from the sun, it happens to be the "most permitted" portion of the sun's spectrum allowed to filter through the our atmosphere. All the other bands of electromagnetic radiation, directly surrounding visible light, happen to be harmful to organic molecules, and are almost completely absorbed by the atmosphere. The tiny amount of harmful UV radiation, which is not visible light, allowed to filter through the atmosphere is needed to keep various populations of single cell bacteria from over-populating the world (Ross; reasons.org). The size of light's wavelengths and the constraints on the size allowable for the protein molecules of organic life, also seem to be tailor-made for each other. This "tailor-made fit" allows photosynthesis, the miracle of sight, and many other things that are necessary for human life. These specific frequencies of light (that enable plants to manufacture food and astronomers to observe the cosmos) represent less than 1 trillionth of a trillionth (10^-24) of the universe's entire range of electromagnetic emissions. Like water, visible light also appears to be of optimal biological utility (Denton; Nature's Destiny).
Fine Tuning Of Universal Constants, Particularly Light - Walter Bradley - video
Fine Tuning Of Light to the Atmosphere, to Biological Life, and to Water - graphs
If the oxygen level of our atmosphere were only a few percentage lower, large mammals would become severely hampered in their ability to metabolize energy; if only a few percentage higher, there would be uncontrollable outbreaks of fire across the land (Denton; Nature's Destiny). Yet the oxygen percentage of our atmosphere holds steady around 21%. 21% 'just so happens' happens to be a 'very comfortable' percentage for humans to exist.
Even the Nitrogen of our atmosphere is extremely fine tuned for life:
Engineering and Science Magazine - Caltech - March 2010
Excerpt: “Without these microbes, the planet would run out of biologically available nitrogen in less than a month,” Realizations like this are stimulating a flourishing field of “geobiology” – the study of relationships between life and the earth. One member of the Caltech team commented, “If all bacteria and archaea just stopped functioning, life on Earth would come to an abrupt halt.” Microbes are key players in earth’s nutrient cycles. Dr. Orphan added, “...every fifth breath you take, thank a microbe.”
Planet's Nitrogen Cycle Overturned - Oct. 2009
Excerpt: "Ammonia is a waste product that can be toxic to animals.,,, archaea can scavenge nitrogen-containing ammonia in the most barren environments of the deep sea, solving a long-running mystery of how the microorganisms can survive in that environment. Archaea therefore not only play a role, but are central to the planetary nitrogen cycles on which all life depends.,,,the organism can survive on a mere whiff of ammonia – 10 nanomolar concentration, equivalent to a teaspoon of ammonia salt in 10 million gallons of water."
The interplay of the biogeochemical (life and earth) processes that produce this balanced. life enabling, oxygen rich, atmosphere are very complex:
The Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Cycle - video
The Life and Death of Oxygen - 2008
Excerpt: “The balance between burial of organic matter and its oxidation appears to have been tightly controlled over the past 500 million years.” “The presence of O2 in the atmosphere requires an imbalance between oxygenic photosynthesis and aerobic respiration on time scales of millions of years hence, to generate an oxidized atmosphere, more organic matter must be buried (by tectonic activity) than respired.” - Paul Falkowski
Uranium, the last naturally occurring element on the period table of elements, is necessary for life. The heat generated by the decay of uranium is necessary to keep a molten core in the earth for an extended period of time, which is necessary for the magnetic field surrounding the earth, which in turn protects organic life from the harmful charged particles of the sun. As well, uranium decay provides the heat for tectonic activity and the turnover of the earth's crustal rocks, which is necessary to keep a proper mixture of minerals and nutrients available on the surface of the earth, which is necessary for long term life on earth. (Denton; Nature's Destiny). These following articles and videos give a bit deeper insight into the crucial role that individual elements play in allowing life on Earth:
The Elements: Forged in Stars - video
Michael Denton - We Are Stardust - Uncanny Balance Of The Elements - Fred Hoyle Atheist to Deist/Theist - video
The Role of Elements in Life Processes
Periodic Table - Interactive web page for each element
As well, It is found that not only must the right chemicals be present on earth's surface to have life, the chemicals must also be present on, or in, the earth in 'specific abundances'.
Elemental Evidence of Earth’s Divine Design - Hugh Ross PhD. - April 2010
Table: Earth’s Anomalous Abundances - Page 8
The twenty-five elements listed below must exist on Earth in specific abundances for advanced life and/or support of civilization to be possible. For each listed element the number indicates how much more or less abundant it is, by mass, in Earth’s crust, relative to magnesium’s abundance, as compared to its average abundance in the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy, also relative to the element magnesium. Asterisks denote “vital poisons,” essential elements that if too abundant would be toxic to advanced life, but if too scarce would fail to provide the quantities of nutrients essential for advanced life. The water measure compares the amount of water in and on Earth relative to the minimum amount the best planet formation models would predict for a planet the mass of Earth orbiting a star identical to the Sun at the same distance from the Sun.
carbon* 1,200 times less
nitrogen* 2,400 times less
fluorine* 50 times more
sodium* 20 times more
aluminum 40 times more
phosphorus* 4 times more
sulfur* 60 times less
potassium* 90 times more
calcium 20 times more
titanium 65 times more
vanadium* 9 times more
chromium* 5 times less
nickel* 20 times less
cobalt* 5 times less
selenium* 30 times less
yttrium 50 times more
zirconium 130 times more
niobium 170 times more
molybdenum* 5 times more
tin* 3 times more
iodine* 3 times more
gold 5 times less
lead 170 times more
uranium 16,000 times more
thorium 23,000 times more
water 250 times less
Water is incredibly fine tuned for life:
When we look at water, the most common substance on earth and in our bodies, we find many odd characteristics which clearly appear to be designed. These oddities are absolutely essential for life on earth. Some simple life can exist without the direct energy of sunlight, some simple life can exist without oxygen; but no life can exist without water. Water is called a universal solvent because it has the unique ability to dissolve a far wider range of substances than any other solvent. This 'universal solvent' ability of water is essential for the cells of living organisms to process the wide range of substances necessary for life. Another oddity is water expands as it becomes ice, by an increase of about 9% in volume. Thus, water floats when it becomes a solid instead of sinking. This is an exceedingly rare ability. Yet if it were not for this fact, lakes and oceans would freeze from the bottom up. The earth would be a frozen wasteland, and human life would not be possible. Water also has the unusual ability to pull itself into very fine tubes and small spaces, defying gravity. This is called capillary action. This action is essential for the breakup of mineral bearing rocks into soil. Water pulls itself into tiny spaces on the surface of a rock and freezes; it expands and breaks the rock into tinier pieces, thus producing soil. Capillary action is also essential for the movement of water through soil to the roots of plants. It is also essential for the movement of water from the roots to the tops of the plants, even to the tops of the mighty redwood trees,,,
Towering Giants Of Teleological Beauty - October 2010
,,,Capillary action is also essential for the circulation of the blood in our very own capillary blood vessels. Water's melting and boiling point are not where common sense would indicate they should be when we look at its molecular weight. The three sister compounds of water all behave as would be predicted by their molecular weight. Oddly, water just happens to have melting and boiling points that are of optimal biological utility. The other properties of water we measure, like its specific slipperiness (viscosity) and its ability to absorb and release more heat than any other natural substance, have to be as they are in order for life to be possible on earth. Even the oceans have to be the size they are in order to stabilize the temperature of the earth so human life may be possible. On and on through each characteristic we can possibly measure water with, it turns out to be required to be almost exactly as it is or complex life on this earth could not exist. No other liquid in the universe comes anywhere near matching water in its fitness for life (Denton: Nature's Destiny).
Here is a more complete list of the anomalous life enabling properties of water:
Anomalous life enabling properties of water
Water's remarkable capabilities - December 2010 - Peer Reviewed
Excerpt: All these traits are contained in a simple molecule of only three atoms. One of the most difficult tasks for an engineer is to design for multiple criteria at once. ... Satisfying all these criteria in one simple design is an engineering marvel. Also, the design process goes very deep since many characteristics would necessarily be changed if one were to alter fundamental physical properties such as the strong nuclear force or the size of the electron.
Water's quantum weirdness makes life possible - October 2011
Excerpt: They found that the hydrogen-oxygen bonds were slightly longer than the deuterium-oxygen ones, which is what you would expect if quantum uncertainty was affecting water’s structure. “No one has ever really measured that before,” says Benmore.
We are used to the idea that the cosmos’s physical constants are fine-tuned for life. Now it seems water’s quantum forces can be added to this “just right” list.
Actually, the fine tuning of parameters for life on Earth greatly exceed the 20 to 30 conditions mentioned by Scot Pollock in the video;
Does the Probability for ETI = 1?
Excerpt; On the Reasons To Believe website we document that the probability a randomly selected planet would possess all the characteristics intelligent life requires is less than 10^-304. A recent update that will be published with my next book, Hidden Purposes: Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, puts that probability at 10^-1054.
Linked from "Appendix C" in Why the Universe Is the Way It Is
Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ≈ 10^-1333
dependency factors estimate ≈ 10^324
longevity requirements estimate ≈ 10^45
Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ≈ 10^-1054
Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe ≈ 10^22
Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.
Hugh Ross - Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) - video
Hugh Ross's Four Main Research Papers
Privileged Planet Principle - Michael Strauss - video
"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” παντοκρατωρ [pantokratòr], or “Universal Ruler”… The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect."
Sir Isaac Newton - Quoted from what many consider the greatest science masterpiece of all time, "Principia"
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
Although the privileged planet principle certainly gives us some fairly strong clues that we might actually have significance, afterall, in such a vast universe, the following leaves no doubt that we matter:
Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Plausible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
Quote from preceding article:
I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:
The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
Intelligent Design - The Anthropic Hypothesis
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