Privileged Planet

Toronto posted this comment on another thread:

A privileged planet, ( for observation of the universe ), would be one that could see “most” of the universe, i.e. not part of it.

We would sit on “top” of the universe so we could see more star systems than having to look “through” a mass of stars.

This position would also cut down on the effects of gravitational lensing.

We would also have a unique orbit both within our solar system, and as part of it.

Our solar system’s orbit would take us close to other star systems so we could investigate them without having to build spaceships that take more than a scientist’s lifetime to get anywhere.

Our atmosphere would shield us from almost any deadly radiation but not impede any signal we require for observing the universe.

Sadly , none of these things are true.

In reality, like any other planet, our positions are relatively fixed for much longer than our lifetime and radiation from the stars would kill us if we got close enough to observe them, provided the gravitational forces or asteroid impacts don’t kill us first.

which sparked a lengthy discussion, which at first I moved to Sandbox, but will now move here.

Enjoy :)

231 thoughts on “Privileged Planet

  1. Joe G: Prove that I set it.

    I don’t have to prove you set your status to “creationist”, you posted under that tag for many months. That’s sufficient evidence. If you disagreed with it you had ample time to change it.

    And Joe, if it was a “group effort” why is it that when I run the text through an analyser and compare it to what “Joe” writes at UD it comes up as the same author?

    Just a massive coincidence I guess….

  2. OMTWO: What does “designed using relativity” even mean? Please detail how something can look old but in fact be much younger? Or will your answer to that simply be “it was designed using relativity” in the same way that you claim that biology was designed via design, as design is a mechanism?

    Miss this did ya Joe?

    If you are not a YEC then why the concern to show that the universe could in fact be young after all?

  3. Joe G: I gave you my answer. Don’t blame because you are too stupid to understand it.

    could you repeat your answer please. I’m curious how old you think the earth is. If your answer isn’t a number or a range, then you’re obviously not ready to discuss scientific things as you can use the evidence to support an opinion.

  4. OMTWO: Excuse me?

    Ok, I can make it to Boston between the 19 and 26 of this month, beyond that I’m not in the USA again until the start of June.

    So can you make any of those days? If so, where would you like to meet?

    If not, what date can you make?

    You are a liar and cannot be trusted with anything you say. I do not believe you will be in the USA next week and I sure will not go running around looking for some anonymous wanker who won’t be any where near where I am looking?

  5. Joe G: You are a liar and cannot be trusted with anything you say. I do not believe you will be in the USA next week and I sure will not go running around looking for some anonymous wanker who won’t be any where near where I am looking?

    You tell him! He’ll probably make up some sdress that is actually a parkign lot or something!

  6. Robin: Hmmm…Dembski seems to disagree:

    So according to Dembski, the design inference is quite independent of materialism and, according to Dembski, would exist quite fine without it. Care to try again?

    Robin,

    Try to respond to what I said- the EXPLNATORY filter and Newton’s First Rule mandate that materialism be given first shot at explaining the evidence.

    Also your Dembski quotes support what I said. Thanks.

  7. OMTWO: I don’t have to prove you set your status to “creationist”,

    Of course you don’t. bald assertions work fine for you.

    you posted under that tag for many months.

    Not me. Several people did.

    That’s sufficient evidence. If you disagreed with it you had ample time to change it.

    To what?

    And Joe, if it was a “group effort” why is it that when I run the text through an analyser and compare it to what “Joe” writes at UD it comes up as the same author?
    Just a massive coincidence I guess….

    LoL! I get to use the material we posted. If it still works I use it.

  8. OMTWO: Miss this did ya Joe?

    If you are not a YEC then why the concern to show that the universe could in fact be young after all?

    LoL! I go with the evidence. And I also know it matters how something was made when it comes to its age.

  9. Rich:
    Set the record staright Joe.

    Religious beliefs?

    None

    Age of the earth?

    The same as I have told you many, many times-> no one knows. First we have to know how the earth was formed.

  10. Joe G: None

    So is that atheist or agnostic, Joe?

    Consider, God(s) may be wathcing.

    Joe G: The same as I have told you many, many times-> no one knows. First we have to know how the earth was formed.

    How about a range, upper and lower bounds? That shouldn’t be to hard.

  11. Joe G: Robin,

    Try to respond to what I said- the EXPLNATORY filter and Newton’s First Rule mandate that materialism be given first shot at explaining the evidence.

    Ohh…Joe…I’m afraid I am responding to what you said. Here it is again:

    Nice try- unfortunately the way to the design inference is THROUGH your position.

    That doesn’t fit with what Dembski states.

    Also your Dembski quotes support what I said. Thanks.

    ‘Fraid he disagrees. Sorry Joe.

  12. Joe G: Robin,

    Try to respond to what I said- the EXPLNATORY filter and Newton’s First Rule mandate that materialism be given first shot at explaining the evidence.

    Oh…and here’s your other quote:

    LoL! Robin, the design inference was ALWAYS through materialism.

  13. Robin: Ohh…Joe…I’m afraid I am responding to what you said. Here it is again:

    That doesn’t fit with what Dembski states.

    ‘Fraid he disagrees. Sorry Joe.

    No, he doesn’t. Again the EXPLANATORY FILTER supports my claim and Dembski’s quote all say materialism sucks.

  14. Joe G: The same as I have told you many, many times-> no one knows. First we have to know how the earth was formed.

    But we do know how the Earth formed. And we know how old it is.

  15. Joe G: No, he doesn’t. Again the EXPLANATORY FILTER supports my claim and Dembski’s quote all say materialism sucks.

    Funny Joe…you didn’t say anything about materialism sucking. In fact, you insist that the design inference relies upon it.

    And how odd it is that I provided three quotes from Dembski that contradict your claim and yet you can’t seem to provide one quote from Dembski that supports your claim.

  16. Joe G: Exactly- what is your problem?

    Oh…I’ve got no problem with you and Dembski disagreeing about ID. In fact, I see that as quite telling…

  17. Robin: Oh…I’ve got no problem with you and Dembski disagreeing about ID. In fact, I see that as quite telling…

    We don’t disagree- you only think we do. Huge difference.

  18. olegt: But we do know how the Earth formed.

    No, we don’t. Unfoirtunately for you your model is untestable and cannot be replicated.

    And we know how old it is.

    You may think we do, but that is about it.

  19. Robin: Funny Joe…you didn’t say anything about materialism sucking. In fact, you insist that the design inference relies upon it.

    Yes it relies upon it sucking, just as it does.

    And how odd it is that I provided three quotes from Dembski that contradict your claim

    LoL! How do they contradict my claim? And obviously you have no idea what the explanatory filter is nor do you know what Newton’s first rukle is.

    and yet you can’t seem to provide one quote from Dembski that supports your claim.

    The explanatory filter and everything else he wrote, supports my claim- even the stuff you quoted

  20. “Increasingly, people with any sense of religious sensibilities believe there’s an underlying purpose to the world,” Dembski, an evangelical Protestant, says. “Intelligent design is the only view opposed to the reductionist materialism that prevails in the academy and in the scientific view the elites of the culture. Most of the unwashed masses, and I count myself among them, believe there’s a sense of purpose. We’re giving a voice to those people, saying: ‘The science backs you up.’”
    – William Demski, 2005 from:
    Pike, D (February 24, 2005). “Evolution Revolution”. Las Vegas City Life.

    IE materialism sucks.

    “The real significance of intelligent design theory and its related movement is the success with which it undermines the materialistic and naturalistic worldview central to the theory of evolution.”
    – William Dembski, 2007 from:
    http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=19115

    Again materialism sucks

    ID is part of God’s general revelation. Consequently, it can be understood apart from the Bible. That’s why, for instance, the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies invited me to lecture on intelligent design and warmly embraced my message (this happened in October 2003). Just about anyone who is not wedded to a pure materialism agrees that some sort of design or purpose underlies nature. Intelligent design not only gives a voice to these people, but also gives them the tools to dismantle materialism.
    – William Dembski, 2005 from:
    http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.02.Reply_to_Henry_Morris.htm

    And even more railing against materialism- That supports my claim, Robin.

  21. Joe G: No, we don’t. Unfoirtunately for you your model is untestable and cannot be replicated.

    Replicating the creation of the Earth — a unique event — is of course impossible. However, the theory of its formation is most certainly testable.

    For example, the theory holds that the Earth formed from the same cloud of molecular hydrogen, helium and dust as the rest of the solar system and the Sun itself did. One can measure the ages of the oldest rocks on Earth and of meteorites and compare them. Or one can estimate the age of the Sun using models of stellar evolution (independently tested with other stars).

    That’s just a couple of tests off the top of my head.

  22. Joe if you can’t give a date range for the age of the universe, you’ve got no business opining on if you think it’s designed. Time is one of the probabilistic resources in play. Of course the real answer is that you’re desperate not to admit your YEC status. Hence your obfuscation when asked the simplest of questions.

  23. Joe G: Being part of nature does not mean produced by nature.

    So, if a fairy waves her wand at a prince and turns him into a frog, would the frog be natural in your view?

    And if the fairy were to wave her wand and a beetle materialized ex nihilo, would the beetle be natural?

    If a god is the proximate cause of a rock, would it be naturally produced?

    If a rock is formed by a volcano, but the ultimate cause of the world in which there are volcanos was a god, would the rock be naturally produced?

    If you could answer those questions, it might help us understand what you mean by natural.

  24. Joe G: We don’t disagree- you only think we do. Huge difference.

    So you agree with all of these statements by Dembski, eh?

    “Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.”

    “I think the opportunity to deal with students and getting them properly oriented on science and theology and the relation between those is going to be important because science has been such an instrument used by the materialists to undermine the Christian faith and religious belief generally. This is really an opportunity to mobilize a new generation of scholars and pastors not just to equip the saints but also to engage the culture and reclaim it for Christ. That’s really what is driving me.”

    “But there are deeper motivations. I think at a fundamental level, in terms of what drives me in this is that I think God’s glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God’s glory is getting robbed…And so there is a cultural war here. Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he’s done – and he’s not getting it. And another thing I think we need to be aware of is that not every instance of design we see in nature needs to be directly attributed to God. Certainly as Christians we believe there is an angelic hierarchy – it’s not just that there’s this physical material world and there’s God. There can be various hierarchies of intelligent beings operating, God can work through what can be called derived intelligences – processes which carry out the Divine will, but maybe not perfectly because of the fall.”

    “Thus, in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration.”

    “If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of Chalcedon (i.e. the doctrine that Christ is fully human and fully divine) and view Christ as the telos toward which God is drawing the whole of creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient.
    Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners do not have a clue about him. My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ.”

    “Theism (whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim) holds that God by wisdom created the world. The origin of the world and its subsequent ordering thus results from the designing activity of an intelligent agent—God. Naturalism, on the other hand, allows no place for intelligent agency except at the end of a blind, purposeless material process. Within naturalism, any intelligence is an evolved intelligence. Moreover, the evolutionary process by which any such intelligence developed is itself blind and purposeless. As a consequence, naturalism makes intelligence not a basic creative force within nature but an evolutionary byproduct. In particular, humans (the natural objects best known to exhibit intelligence) are not the crown of creation, not the carefully designed outcome of a purposeful creator, and certainly not creatures made in the image of a benevolent God. Rather, humans are an accident of natural history.”

    All science so far!

  25. I wrote a post but it seems not to have made it, perhaps due to the number of links.

    But Joe, if you would like to meet then I’ll be in the area, more or less.

    You just have to say where and when. It’s up to you.

    If I don’t show, then you say say what you like. But you suggested a meeting in the first place, I’m just taking you up on that offer. If you are not in fact interested, say so.

  26. Joe G: IE materialism sucks.

    Joe the philosopher has spoken!

    Joe, when you see the adults talking and using those big words you don’t understand perhaps you should just keep quiet so you don’t make a fool of yourself.

    You mis-understanding of orbital physics is a keeper! One for the ages….

  27. Yet planets spiral into their star, oleg.

    Joe, you claim to be a programmer. So why don’t you write up a quick program that demonstrates this and post the code?

    If you

    A) really understand what you are talking about
    B) really can program

    You won’t have any trouble at all. I’ve written more complex things in my lunch hour.

  28. olegt: Replicating the creation of the Earth — a unique event — is of course impossible. However, the theory of its formation is most certainly testable.

    For example, the theory holds that the Earth formed from the same cloud of molecular hydrogen, helium and dust as the rest of the solar system and the Sun itself did. One can measure the ages of the oldest rocks on Earth and of meteorites and compare them. Or one can estimate the age of the Sun using models of stellar evolution (independently tested with other stars).

    That’s just a couple of tests off the top of my head.

    LoL! That is not a test on HOW the earth formed. Try again.

    (what is was formed from does not equal how it was formed)

  29. OMTWO: Joe, you claim to be a programmer. So why don’t you write up a quick program that demonstrates this and post the code?

    If you

    A) really understand what you are talking about
    B) really can program

    You won’t have any trouble at all. I’ve written more complex things in my lunch hour.

    Just read the peer-reviewed literature. It is in there. OR you could just google it.

  30. OMTWO: Joe the philosopher has spoken!

    Joe, when you see the adults talking and using those big words you don’t understand perhaps you should just keep quiet so you don’t make a fool of yourself.

    You mis-understanding of orbital physics is a keeper! One for the ages….

    Again you could refute what I says just by producing some positive evidence for materialism. Yet you never do.

    And your false accusation proves that you are a drooling loser.

  31. Joe G: One more time -

    YOU are a proven liar. No one believes you when you say anything, let alone that you will be in the States next week.

    Not only that you are anonymous meaning I do not know your name nor what you look like. That means actually finding you would be impossible.

    Yet you seemed quite happy to meet, even asking what day I could be in Boston. What changed?

    And I know your name and what you look like, so I’ll simply find you. And if we do arrange to meet I’ll be happy to share my details with you, fair is fair.

    So, Joe, where and when?

  32. Joe G: Again you could refute what I says just by producing some positive evidence for materialism. Yet you never do.

    But you don’t actually *say* anything other then “you are wrong”.

    So there is nothing to refute!

    For example, I suggest that your understanding of orbital mechanics is lacking and you could write a program that simulates what you claim happens (planets spiral into the sun) to demonstrate your claim but instead you respond that I should check the peer reviewed literature or google it.

    So should I “refute” your suggestion that I google it? How exactly do I do that?

    If you provided your model that could be refuted. But you can’t do that, can you?

  33. Joe G: And your false accusation proves that you are a drooling loser.

    It’s not a false accusation that you don’t understand orbital mechanics. You don’t!

  34. OMTWO: It’s not a false accusation that you don’t understand orbital mechanics. You don’t!

    I can certify that.

  35. OMTWO: Are you a YEC or not Joe? Feel free to answer with a response irrelevant to the question asked as you normally do.

    I am not a YEC

  36. OMTWO: It’s not a false accusation that you don’t understand orbital mechanics. You don’t!

    I understand orbital mechanics. And YOU cannot demonstrate the orbital mechanics of a universe with one star and one planet/ moon system.

  37. olegt: No, you don’t. You don’t even know that a single planet can have a stable orbit around a star.

    Wrong again, oleg. YOU can’t even keep the context straight.

    BTW I never said that a single planet cannot have a stable orbit around a star- never.

  38. OMTWO: But you don’t actually *say* anything other then “you are wrong”.

    So there is nothing to refute!

    For example, I suggest that your understanding of orbital mechanics is lacking and you could write a program that simulates what you claim happens (planets spiral into the sun) to demonstrate your claim but instead you respond that I should check the peer reviewed literature or google it.

    So should I “refute” your suggestion that I google it? How exactly do I do that?

    If you provided your model that could be refuted. But you can’t do that, can you?

    WASP – 18b look it up

    http://phys.org/news170513793.html

  39. Joe G: BTW I never said that a single planet cannot have a stable orbit around a star- never.

    Yes, you did. You kept asking silly questions like this:

    How does it stay away, oleg? Remember there is only that system in the entire universe.

  40. Joe G: Oleg- CONTEXT is everything- I was talking about a one star universe- one star with one planet/ moon system.

    Yes, that’s precisely the system that is stable and does not require any support from outside.

  41. I came to my senses and realized I was dealing with a proven liar

    Lizzie if you are going to guano this reply then guano all of OM’s posts

    OR continue to prove that you are a one-sided pathetic excuse of a human

  42. olegt: Yes, that’s precisely the system that is stable and does not require any support from outside.

    So you say yet cannot demonstrate.

    Heck you can’t even get such a system in the first place.

  43. Joe G: So you say yet cannot demonstrate.

    Heck you can’t even get such a system in the first place.

    Of course I can. It was first demonstrated by Newton, who derived Kepler’s laws from Newtonian mechanics and the law of gravity. It has been textbook stuff for centuries. And you are blissfully unaware of it. Case closed.

  44. LoL! I am asking YOU to support YOUR position. And that has NOTHING to do with ID.

    And yes I say “you are wrong” wrt ID. Ya see you never say anything wrt supporting your position.

  45. olegt: Of course I can. It was first demonstrated by Newton, who derived Kepler’s laws from Newtonian mechanics and the law of gravity. It has been textbook stuff for centuries. And you are blissfully unaware of it. Case closed.

    No you can’t, Newton never dealt with a one star universe- you are a liar.

  46. In fact, no amount of evidence for apparent design could ever count as evidence of actual design. But if science is a search for the best explanation, based on the actual evidence from the physical world, rather than merely a search for the best materialistic or impersonal explanations of the physical world, how responsible is it to adopt a principle that makes one incapable of seeing an entire class of evidence?- page 270

    Guillermo Gonzalez, one of the authors of “The Privileged Planet”, was a (Carl) Sagonite. However the book refutes Sagan.

    It was Gonzalez’s paper “Wonderful Eclipses,” Astronomy & Geophysics 40, no. 3 (1999): 3.18- 3.20), that peaked the book’s co-author’s (Jay Richards) interest.

    Gonzalez was part of a team of scientists working for NASA on a project trying to determine whether or not there is life “out there”.

    At least one peer-reviewed paper (G. Gonzalez, D. Brownlee, and P.D. Ward, “The Galactic Habitable Zone: Galactic Chemical Evolution”, Icarus 152 (2001):185-200) came from that scientific research.

    The authors make predictions. For example if/ when we discover other complex life is found elsewhere in the universe, the many factors observed here will also be present there. And that life will be carbon based.

    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”

    “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”

    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.”

    “The combined circumstance that we live on Earth and are able to see stars- that the conditions necessary for life do not exclude those necessary for vision, and vice versa- is a remarkably improbable one.

    This is because the medium we live is, on one hand, just thick enough to enable us to breathe and prevent us from being burned up by cosmic rays, while, on the other hand, it is not so opaque as to absorb entirely the light of the stars and block the view of the universe. What a fragile balance between the indispensable and the sublime.” Hans Blumenberg- thoughts independent of the research done by Gonzalez.

    Other G. Gonzalez papers that were the basis of the book (just skimming through the references):
    “Stars, Planets, and Metals”, Reviews of Modern Physics 75 (2003)101-120
    “Rummaging Through Earth’s Attic for Remains of Ancient Life”, Icarus 160 (2002) 183-196
    “Is the Sun Anomalous?”, Astronomy and Geophysics 40, no. 5 (1999):5.25-5.29
    “Are Stars with Planets Anomalous?”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 308 (1999): 447-458
    “Impact Reseeding During the Late Heavy Bombardment”, Icarus 162 (2003):38-46
    “Parent Stars of Extrasolar Planets III: p Cancri Revisited”, Astronomy and Astrophysics 339 (1998): L29-L32
    “Stellar Atmospheres of Nearby Young Solar Analogs”, New Astronomy 7 (2002): 211-226

    Chapter 16 offers a “Skeptical Rejoinder” answering the following 14 objections:

    1) It’s impossible to falsify your argument.

    “The most decisive way to falsify our argument as a whole would be to find a distant and very different environment that, while quite hostile to life, nevertheless offers a superior platform for making as many diverse scientific discoveries as does our local environment.. The opposite of this would have the same effect- finding an extremely habitable and inhabited place that was a lousy platform for observation.”

    2) It’s inevitable. Whatever environment we found ourselves in, we would find examples conducive to its measurability.

    “…we are able to compare the measurability of our environment with that of other environment. For the discoveries we have made, we can reflect on the conditions necessary for such discoveries, and then compare those conditions with conditions in other settings. For instance, it’s unquestionable that a relatively transparent atmosphere is more conducive to astronomical curiosity and discovery than is a murky (translucent) or opaque one. We know that, at least in our Solar System, such an atmosphere is rare.”

    3) Well, then, it’s just a selection effect of a different sort. There are phenomena we cannot observe and measure. The argument is biased toward measurable phenomena.

    “Contrary to the claims of the anti-realist, who doubts the existence of external truth, scientists aren’t locked in a Kantian box where everything we perceive in the universe is primarily the product of our perception. There are many things we have difficulty measuring, and we realize that fact. For instance, we can’t determine the distance and properties of some astronomical objects. But we know they exist, since we can detect them either directly or indirectly, and we know that we don’t know their distances or many of their intrinsic properties. We can compare the objects in this category with the objects we can both detect and measure, and make generalizations about our ability to measure generally.
    Similarly, we are not so bereft of imagination that we can conceive only of those things we directly perceive. If nature is regular in its operation, which we have every reason to believe, then we have some justification for extrapolating what we don’t see from what we do see. Theory often predicts the existence of certain objects prior to their discovery, such as additional planets, white dwarfs, black holes, the cosmic background radiation, and neutrinos. For fairly secure theories, we can imagine what conditions would allow us to detect such objects. We can then determine whether our environment allows us to do so and compare it with other settings in the universe. And this has happened numerous times in the past. It is striking how often physicists are able to detect entities that are initially predicted for theoretical reasons.”

    4) You’re cherry-picking. You have used a biased sample to argue for correlation.

    “This is always a danger with any general hypothesis like the one we’re proposing. When a theorist is looking over a large body of data, it’s always possible that he will pick out the pieces that form an intriguing pattern and ignore the pieces that don’t. As a result, when the data are considered in their entirety, the pattern dissolves. Any argument involving many different scientific disciplines is especially susceptible to such a danger, since it’s impossible to consider every piece of relevant data.
    For this reason, we have intentionally chosen important examples from each of the scientific disciplines we’ve considered. We haven’t chosen obscure experiments or conditions of measurability that have little importance for science. For instance, it’s difficult to overestimate the importance of a transparent atmosphere and visible stars for astronomy, or sedimentary processes for geology. Any astrophysicist would admit the historical importance of perfect solar eclipses in the development of stellar physics. No cosmologist would deny the importance of detecting redshift of distant galaxies, or the cosmic background radiation for our knowledge of the history of the universe. Moreover, as we noted in the previous chapter, other scientists have noticed evidence of the correlation, although none have developed the argument as we have. This makes it less likely that we’re creating the correlation out of thin air.
    This is an important objection nevertheless, because it would be one way to falsify the claim that there is a correlation between habitability and measurability. If our hypothesis is correct, the correlation will continue to be confirmed not only in areas we have considered but also in areas we haven’t considered. We are convinced that there are still many important discoveries awaiting us- some we can anticipate, some we cannot. At the risk of being wrong, we would be willing to predict that an identifiable subset of gamma ray bursts will one day be found to be useful standard candles. The only reason we have for predicting this is that if the correlation is real, gamma ray bursts would be prime candidates for helping us measure the universe. Perhaps they will allow tomorrow’s astronomers to probe even greater redshifts than we can with Type Ia supernovae today.
    Another such prediction concerns evidence of early life. As we mentioned in Chapter Three, Earth’s geophysical processes have erased much of the early history of life. If measurability and discoverability are optimized from our vantage point, however, then we might expect that such information will be preserved somewhere accessible to us. The origin of life is a particularly important question. It would be surprising, assuming the correlation, if it could not be investigated. In fact, we might predict that such evidence is available somewhere, if we search diligently enough. It was precisely this prediction that led one of us (Guillermo) to consider the value of lunar exploration for uncovering relatively well-preserved relics of Earthly life from this early period. Finally, we’re willing to predict that since carbon and oxygen appear so often among our examples of measurability, they will be central characters in future discoveries as well.
    Of course, if we’re right about these predictions, this would not prove our position but only further support it. If we’re wrong, conversely, it would not destroy our argument but would put a dent in it. But clearly our argument has a predictive dimension. In contrast, the Copernican and Anthropic Principles in their most unrestrained manifestations seem much less useful. Positing the existence of multiple universes, for instance, doesn’t offer many fecund research programs within our universe. It looks designed primarily to foreclose certain unwelcome metaphysical possibilities.”

    5) Your argument is too speculative. It is based on guesses and a thin empirical base.

    “Most of the examples we have selected are based on well-understood phenomena, and they are founded on abundant empirical evidence. Examples include the properties of our atmosphere, solar eclipses, sedimentation processes, tectonic processes, the characteristics of the planets in the Solar System, stellar spectra, stellar structure, and our place in the Milky Way galaxy. Some of our other examples have a weaker empirical base, because of the rapid acquisition of knowledge in certain fields. This new knowledge includes extrasolar planets, additional requirements for habitability, and a host of insights in the field of cosmology. But even in these examples our arguments have a reasonable theoretical basis.
    Where our discussions are speculative, we have identified them as such. Thus, our discussion of the Circumstellar Habitable Zone, and all the factors that go into defining it, contain speculative elements, as does our discussion of the Galactic Habitable Zone. While we can’t yet estimate the precise boundaries of these habitable zones, present published studies are almost certainly missing many relevant factors, which, when eventually included, will reduce their sizes, and strengthen our argument. Notice, again, we are going out on a limb here and making predictions, which makes our argument vulnerable to future discoveries.”

    6) Your argument is too subjective. It lacks the quantitative precision necessary to make a convincing case.

    7) How can you have a correlation with a sample size of one?

    “While it is true that Earth is the only example we have of a habitable planet, this does not prevent us from finding a correlation between habitability and measurability. First, our argument is not based merely on the particulars of our home planet and the life we know about. We have argued that life in the universe will almost surely resemble life on Earth, at least at the biochemical level, and a planet very much like ours is probably required for technological life. Starting with these basics, we have used knowledge from a broad range of disciplines to consider a broad range of environments. Discovering a correlation between habitability and measurability, then, is based on our knowledge, not our ignorance.
    For example, with knowledge of stellar astrophysics and climatology, we cab ask whether a planet around an M dwarf is more or less habitable and offers more or less opportunity for discovery than Earth. Similarly, with our knowledge of galactic astronomy, we can ask how position in the Milky Way affects habitability and the measurability of the local and distant universe.”

    And while Earth is the only habitable planet there are 9 planets and many moons that we can use for local comparisons

    8) Since life needs complexity, the correlation is trivial. The greater the complexity, the greater the chance for a correlation between habitability and measurability.

    9) There may be separate pathways significantly different from ours leading to equally habitable environments.

    10) Your argument is bad for science because it encourages skepticism about cosmology.

    11) General Relativity appears to be a superfluous law of nature, which is not obviously required for habitability. Yet it is an important part of science. Does this not contradict the correlation?

    12) The correlation isn’t mystical or supernatural, since it’s the result of natural processes.

    13) You haven’t really challenged naturalism. You’ve just challenged the idea that nature doesn’t exhibit purpose or design.

    14) You haven’t shown that ETs don’t exist.

    “This is true, but we did not intend to. In fact, ironically, design might even improve the possibility of ETs.”

    Well, yeah…

  47. The following is a list of things required in order to maintain/ sustain complex life- (outside of the required chemical processes at the cellular level). The point of the list is to show how very incredibly lucky we are. We won the cosmic lottery! Or is there a purpose for our existence? Does Occam’s Razor really favor one designed universe over multiple chance collisions & multiple lucky events? Does science really favor the chance collisions & multiple lucky events scenario? (also mixed in are the ways the factors aid in scientific discovery)

    ID vs. sheer dumb luck- You decide.

    Factors for complex life:

    1. Liquid water
    a. Enough surface water to help regulate the planet’s temperature
    b. Good solvent
    c. Transports minerals
    d. The presence of liquid water means the planet is in the habitable zone of it’s local star (Sun)
    e. The presence of liquid water defines the CHZ (Circumstellar Habitable Zone. The CHZ of our solar system lies between Venus & Mars. Some scientists have narrowed it to:
    -If the Earth were 5% closer to the Sun – too hot, no liquid water
    -If the Earth were 20% father away from the Sun- too cold carbon dioxide would build up

    2. Carbon based
    a. Great bonding affinities
    b. Allows for complex macro-molecules

    3. Terrestrial planet
    a. Crust thin/ thick and pliable enough to allow for plate tectonics
    b. Recycling of minerals
    c. Plate tectonics means the crust is sitting on an active core
    d. Must retain enough heat for convection, i.e. keep the core liquid
    e. Convection mixes the elements & shapes the continents
    f. Active iron core is required to generate a protective magnetic field
    g. Magnetic field has to be strong enough to withstand the solar winds
    h. Must provide protection from radiation

    4. Oxygen atmosphere
    a. Our oxygen/ nitrogen mix is good
    b. Clear- allows for good viewing
    c. Ours is <1% of planet’s diameter
    d. Allows in the right kind of light for viewing

    5. Stable circular orbit

    6. Large Moon (see also Gonzalez, G., “Wonderful Eclipses,” Astronomy & Geophysics 40, no. 3 (1999): 3.18- 3.20) (J. Laskar et al., “Stabilization of the Earth’s Obliquity by the Moon,” Nature 361 (1993): 615-17)
    a. Our Moon is ¼ the size of Earth
    b. Stabilizes the Earth’s axis of rotation
    c. Gives our oceans a required tidal action
    d. Just so happens that our Moon is 400x smaller than the Sun, which is 400x farther away
    e. Both with a very circular shape
    f. Allows for perfect solar eclipses
    g. Confirmed Einstein’s prediction with the 1919 solar eclipse (gravity bends light) when scientists photographed the Stars behind it. We could have only made that discovery during a total solar eclipse.
    h. Light spectrum
    i. Observing & studying the Sun’s chromosphere is made possible

    7. Gas Giants
    a. Protection from intruding cosmic debris
    b. Great for observing & scientific discovery

    8. Sun- Spectral type G2 dwarf main sequence star-
    a. If it were smaller the habitable zone would shrink and any planets in that zone would be locked into a synchronous orbit (rotation = revolution) as our Moon is with us
    b. Total number estimated in the Milky Way- 100 billion
    c. Over 80% are low-mass red dwarfs (most likely lack a habitable zone)
    d. 1-2% are massive short-lived blue giants
    e. Only about 4% of the stars are early G-type, main-sequence stars like our Sun
    f. 50% of those are in binary systems
    g. Then we have to consider what % of those are in the Galactic Habitable Zone

    9. Location in the galaxy- Galactic Habitable Zone
    a. We are between spiral arms
    b. Perfect for viewing
    c. Not a lot of activity
    d. Not too close to the violent and very active center
    e. More radiation near the center
    Neighbors
    Not a good viewing platform from which to discover
    Not so far away where the heavy elements are scarce

    10. Fine-tuning
    a. Laws of Nature
    b. Laws apply here also apply anywhere
    c. Constants that are independent of those laws

    Summary:
    Within the Galactic Habitable Zone
    Within the Circumstellar Habitable Zone
    Liquid water
    Orbit a Spectral type G2 dwarf main sequence star
    Protected by gas giants
    Nearly circular orbit-
    Oxygen rich
    Correct mass
    Large moon to stabilize the angle of rotation
    Moderate rate of rotation
    Terrestrial planet
    Ratio of water to continents
    Plate tectonic re-cycling
    Magnetic field
    Both plate tectonics and the magnetic field require the core have enough heat to keep it liquid. The convection currents mix the minerals before recycling and also produce the required magnetic field as it flows around the iron inner core.
    The Earth’s orbit is slightly elliptical. When the Earth is closest to the Sun (perigee) the southern hemisphere is enjoying summer, i.e. the Earth’s axis of rotation has the southern hemisphere at a better angle (than the northern hemisphere) towards the Sun for absorbing its vital rays. The Earth has the bulk of its continents in the northern hemisphere. Water stores the heat and then transfers it around the globe.

    The above list contains factors required for complex life, but life is not guaranteed to arise even if all factors are met. The fact that a large, stabilizing moon is required and ours just happens to provide us with a huge natural setting in which we can & have conducted a multitude of scientific experiments that have increased our knowledge base and confirmed scientific predictions, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to evidence to support their finding that habitability = measure-ability. Think about it. In the accepted age view of the solar system & Earth, with the Moon’s recession rate coupled with the Sun’s expansion rate, these perfect solar eclipses, along with the scientific discoveries that accompany them, will soon be gone (10 million years). The best place for viewing eclipses, is also the only place in the solar system with perfect solar eclipses, is also the only place with conscious observers and we, intelligent observers, just happened to arrive when the scenario was best for scientific discovery.

    Earthquakes, even though very destructive, are a necessary byproduct of the required plate tectonic recycling. They also offer us a way to measure the density of the material between designated points via the sound waves produced by plate movement. Volcanoes offer a way to vent the internal pressure. Without vents the internal pressure would build uncontrolled, until the planet exploded. Plate tectonics also means that there is an active core. An active core like the Earth’s creates a protective electro-magnetic field. The size of the field is important- too small and the solar winds blow it away; too large and life is a no-no. Volcanoes are part of the mineral recycling process. Volcanic ash also covers the ground, not only providing rich soil for future generations but also in some cases creating a time vault that enables scientists to get an excellent view of the past. To support plate tectonics a crust that is thick enough to support oceans and continents is required, but it can’t be so thick that it doesn’t have subducting plates to recycle vital minerals.

    The laws that govern nature are independent of the constants that control them. IOW fudge with the constants and even though the outcome is changed, the law still remains true. And that change will, in all likely-hood, prevent the conditions required for complex life.

    Did we win the “cosmic lottery”? Or is intentional design, design with the purpose of having said design be understandable and ensuring beings exist that can grow to understand it, the better explanation?

  48. Joe G: r is intentional design, design with the purpose of having said design be understandable and ensuring beings exist that can grow to understand it, the better explanation?

    No.

  49. Joe G,

    Did we win the “cosmic lottery”?

    In a naturalistic view of the world, the circumstances and history of any planet would have to be exactly right to enable the existence of any particular feature of that planet. Our presence here predicts that the circumstances of the planet should be exactly right for us.

    It would have been a better argument for intelligent design intervention in the biosphere if you could demonstrate that the physical circumstances are wrong for us, and that the garden requires gardeners for its formation and maintenance.

  50. Joe G,

    Joe G: “The laws that govern nature are independent of the constants that control them.”

    The “laws of nature” are really descriptions, that we ourselves have come up with, of certain characteristics of the universe that we then use to build scientific models.

    The way you express it, it sounds like your talking about government legislation.

    When we discover something new, some “laws of nature” may need to be modified to reflect our new knowledge.

    If ID wants to use this as an argument, just tell us the “real” value of pi.

    The math man has designed, clearly has limitations.

  51. Joe can’t even tell us how old the universe is, so its hard to take his (cut and pasted) opinions seriously, he’s just not credible.

    He thinks the mass of other bodies stops planets from falling into stars!

  52. No one can tell us how old the universe is. And we sure as heck do not need to know the age of something in order to determine it was designed or not.

    And no, that is not what I think. I think a one star universe is a perverse imaginary scenario that YOU pulled out of your arse.

  53. Rich:
    Joe can’t even tell us how old the universe is, so its hard to take his (cut and pasted) opinions seriously, he’s just not credible.

    He thinks the mass of other bodies stops planets from falling into stars!

    I think he would dearly love to steer the conversation away from this central issue.

    I wonder what his buddies at UD think of him when he associates ID with this level of ignorance.

  54. There was an ID supporter who’s name I think was Setterfeld who claimed he could prove that light had slowed down since the time of Adam and Eve.

    I think Joe’s reluctance to state the age of the universe may have something to do with this.

    Sal Cordova, for a time, also supported this guy but I think Sal eventually saw the light, (no pun intended).

  55. Joe doesn’t understand the EF. The EF uses the UPB. The UBP per Dembski is:

    “Dembski’s original value for the universal probability bound is 1 in 10150, derived as the inverse of the product of the following approximate quantities:[8]

    1080, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    1045, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur (i.e., the inverse of the Planck time).
    1025, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.
    Thus, 10150 = 1080 × 1045 × 1025. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.

    (from wikipedia). So the UBP, and hence the EF, and hence a design inference uses a very old universe. Oopsey!

  56. The point of the list is to show how very incredibly lucky we are. We won the cosmic lottery! Or is there a purpose for our existence? Does Occam’s Razor really favor one designed universe over multiple chance collisions & multiple lucky events? Does science really favor the chance collisions & multiple lucky events scenario? (also mixed in are the ways the factors aid in scientific discovery)

    I’ve never understood this perspective on the world. What exactly did we “win”? And what exactly could we have “lost”? How can either one be quantified in any kind of relative terms? So how can one claim that we were “lucky” if there’s no way to define what the win/loss probabilities are?

    The perspective that we either won something by existing or that such was an intended set-up is a false dichotomy that is begging the question. The conclusion assumes the premise – there’s a purpose either way.

    In other words, “lucky win of the cosmic lottery” is not the appropriate opposite condition of “purposeful created finely tuned universe for our existence.”

  57. Joe G

    OMTWO: It’s not a false accusation that you don’t understand orbital mechanics. You don’t!

    I understand orbital mechanics.

    I keep getting these flashbacks of Dave Hawkins over at TR trying to defend Wally “wonderpants” Brown’s claims about the orbital mechanics of asteroids being launched from Earth.

    Joe has about the same level of understanding.

  58. Joe G,

    Joe G: “d. Not too close to the violent and very active center
    e. More radiation near the center”

    Now there’s a great point Joe.

    Why isn’t man more radiation-proof?

    If we’re meant to explore, being susceptible to radiation poisoning would be a huge drawback to exploring.

    IF we were designed, why weren’t we designed to be able to exist in areas that would be dangerous to the non-human life forms that share this planet?

    While they weren’t designed to observe the universe, according to you, we were.

    And yet, there we are, just as frail to the universe as any other life forms like dogs, cats or birds.

  59. I often wonder how the Designer knew how to make my legs exactly the length required to reach the ground when I stand up.

  60. petrushka: I often wonder how the Designer knew how to make my legs exactly the length required to reach the ground when I stand up.

    And the holes in your head are *exactly* where your eyes go!

  61. 8. Sun- Spectral type G2 dwarf main sequence star-
    a. If it were smaller the habitable zone would shrink and any planets in that zone would be locked into a synchronous orbit (rotation = revolution) as our Moon is with us
    b. Total number estimated in the Milky Way- 100 billion
    c. Over 80% are low-mass red dwarfs (most likely lack a habitable zone)

    This is going to get interesting. The locked rotation/revolution bit is almost certainly wrong, and there appear to be billions of candidate planets orbiting red dwarfs.

  62. Rich,

    Rich: “And the holes in your head are *exactly* where your eyes go!”

    And was it a random accident, that right between those holes, he put a nose, to hold up some really cool sunglasses?

  63. Joe G: It’s not a central issue. YOUR position REQUIRES eons of time, so it invented it.

    tell us about that mainstay of the EF, the UPB. Joe. How does it work? Where do the numbers come from?

  64. Rich: And the holes in your head are *exactly* where your eyes go!

    What’s always amazed me is that the very jaggedy coastline of Britain is exactly right to fit the island.

  65. What’s tragic is that, because of inherent unsuitability, our planet (which SHOULD have been perfect for something far superior), is instead saddled with us, to the detriment of everything else. But the Designer apparently got it just a little bit wrong. Maybe not enough hard radiation, maybe not enough gravity, maybe too little of the necessary trace elements.

    I might have faith that somewhere the Designer got it right, but I’m convinced we represent a swing and a miss.

  66. Umm the mainstay of the EF is our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    And again both ID and myself are OK with an old universe. Apparently you have a problem accepting this.

  67. Perhaps we were so designed but random effects destroyed that ability.

    But then again you don’t seem to be able to think past your own strawmen.

  68. Joe G:
    So you hold to the unscientific position of sheer dumb luck- got it.

    So you hold to the position that your designer god designed and created cancer, deadly viruses and bacteria, all other diseases, pain and suffering, misery, sadness, anger, hatred, earthquakes, forest fires, floods, house fires, volcanic eruptions, storms, asteroid impacts, violence, parasites, mental illnesses, serial killers, terrorists, wars, birth defects, car wrecks, heart attacks, strokes, death, nuclear radiation, toxic waste, criminals, and everything else that hurts or kills living things – got it.

  69. dr who,

    What’s always amazed me is that the very jaggedy coastline of Britain is exactly right to fit the island.

    I’m a big fan of our eyes. They are precisely attuned to detect electromagnetic radiation in the visible spectrum.

  70. Joe G on April 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm said:

    The following is a list of things required in order to maintain/ sustain complex life- (outside of the required chemical processes at the cellular level). The point of the list is to show how very incredibly lucky we are. We won the cosmic lottery! Or is there a purpose for our existence? Does Occam’s Razor really favor one designed universe over multiple chance collisions & multiple lucky events? Does science really favor the chance collisions & multiple lucky events scenario? (also mixed in are the ways the factors aid in scientific discovery)

    ID vs. sheer dumb luck- You decide.

    There is, of course, the now-classic counter-argument from Douglas Adams:

    Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise.

  71. Joe G:
    Umm the mainstay of the EF is our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    And again both ID and myself are OK with an old universe. Apparently you have a problem accepting this.

    Sorry Joe. Read the direct quote from Dembski I provided. You need the age of the universe for the UPB. It’s part of its creation. You need the UPB to use the EF. You clearly don’t understand the UPB, EF of ID. Perhaps this is what’s been hampering you in your failed attempts to calculate CSI?

  72. Joe G:
    No, the laws of nature are parameters that this design has to follow- ie cannot go beyond.

    What? Your designer god has limitations? It isn’t omnipotent? What it designed doesn’t allow for miracles? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.

  73. Joe G:
    It’s not a central issue. YOUR position REQUIRES eons of time, so it invented it.

    So, you are a YEC – got it.

  74. Joe G:
    We won our existence.

    Won?

    What about before “We” existed? What about after “We” are extinct?

  75. Joe G:
    Perhaps we were so designed but random effects destroyed that ability.

    But then again you don’t seem to be able to think past your own strawmen.

    Did you say the word “random”? Wonders never cease.

    Exactly what “random effects” occurred? The “fall”?

  76. Joe G:
    Umm the mainstay of the EF is our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    And again both ID and myself are OK with an old universe. Apparently you have a problem accepting this.

    Umm, heck, the mainstay of the EF is that it’s a useless talking point.

    You’re apparently okay with an old or young universe or anything in between. Whatever is convenient at the time. Like most other IDiots you don’t want to commit to anything specific. The only thing you’re certain of is that science is wrong and you are right, even though you don’t have any specifics (or anything else) to be right about. Strange that. Go figure.

    And what about the IDiots who do commit to a young universe and Earth? Are they wrong?

  77. The EF is the process to use when trying to determine the cause of something.

    Do you think scientists flip a coin? LoL!

  78. Rich- Your out-of-context quotes don’t mean anything to me.

    There isn’t any way to determine the age of the universe, Rich. And all we need to use the EF is knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

  79. Joe G:
    Rich- Your out-of-context quotes don’t mean anything to me.

    There isn’t any way to determine the age of the universe, Rich. And all we need to use the EF is knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    I’m sorry Joe, I’m using quotes directly from Dembski. The UBP is the probabilistic hurdle for the EF. This is all very basic stuff and obvious if you’ve read and understood ‘the design inference’. Perhaps you haven’t. If you have your own version of ID (it appears you do) you should formalize them so we can have a common frame of reference, because you are at odds with Demski and mainstream ID. Thanks.

  80. Joe G:
    LoL! Puddles do not think, they do not reproduce and they do not observe.

    Compared to what? Planets and stars? Universes?

  81. Joe G:
    The EF is the process to use when trying to determine the cause of something.

    By whom? Can you produce some scientific papers that specifically refer to the use of Dembski’s “EF” in determining the cause of something, and especially something biological and evolutionary? And can you demonstrate the use of the “EF” in determining whether ticks or the orbit of Halley’s Comet are designed by your god or not, and show your work?

    Do you think scientists flip a coin? LoL!

    You’re the one who apparently thinks that.

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