The Wonder of Water

In the properties of water the cosmos is revealed to be a transcendent unity, with life on Earth and beings of our biological design as its central aim and focus.

– Michael Denton

I love a good science book and this one is right up there. It’s both readable and informative. Water is truly unique in its properties and the way they conspire together to make life like ours on a planet like Earth possible. This book not only sets forth many of the unique properties of water but also explains why they are teleological, not only with respect to specific ends but also with respect to teleological hierarchies. Chalk up another one for Intelligent Design.

Chapter List

1. The Water Wheel
2. Tectonic Recycling
3. Preserving the Ocean
4. The Climate Machine
5. Water, Trees, and Light
6. Water and Human Physiology
7. Water and the Cell
8. Conclusion

http://WonderOfWater.org

150 thoughts on “The Wonder of Water

  1. Alan Fox: You might just as well ask why is there water. Why is there a universe?

    (My answer : I don’t know.)

    You can add to the list, how does the designer do that which he does?

  2. Alan Fox: You might just as well ask why is there water. Why is there a universe?

    (My answer : I don’t know.)

    There are always reasons — as long as you are allowed to make up bullshit reasons.

    That’s where religion comes in.

  3. It seems to me that if the existence and properties of water is not implied by the Schrödinger Wave Equation, then that is a huge fact that calls all of quantum mechanics into question. Because then we have something that needs a new principle in physics to explain, and we’d better get on with it and find that principle.

    I thank Michael Denton and Mung for making this clear. A lot of physicists now need to redirect their work and concentrate on this extension to, or contradiction to quantum mechanics. This is a great moment in the history of physics.

    Either that, or Denton and Mung are wrong, and the SWE does imply water and its properties.

  4. Joe Felsenstein: It seems to me that if the existence and properties of water is not implied by the Schrödinger Wave Equation, then that is a huge fact that calls all of quantum mechanics into question.

    Which came first: water or Schrödinger? No doubt in my mind Schrödinger’s mathematical model of the electron in a hydrogen atom fits the evidence. But does the electron keep a copy of the equation handy?

  5. Kantian Naturalist: Clearly the teacher meant that the wave equation in principle entails all mathematical descriptions of the properties of water. (A little principle of charity goes a long way here.)

    The wave equation provides a description in the form of probabilities as to where the electron may be found. May be.

    Now, is the description the same for every electron of every atom? If not, does the equation explain why one atom is different from another?

  6. Mung: If not, does the equation explain why one atom is different from another?

    You have a way of telling one atom from another? 😯

  7. Chapter List

    1. The Water Wheel
    2. Tectonic Recycling
    3. Preserving the Ocean
    4. The Climate Machine
    5. Water, Trees, and Light
    6. Water and Human Physiology
    7. Water and the Cell
    8. Conclusion

    You obviously missed a chapter:
    9. Profit

  8. FROM THE evidence reviewed in this chapter [Chapter 2], water’s role is indeed, as Bjornerud comments, “profound” and “surprising.” As she comments, “All parts of the fabrication and recycling process are cleverly linked and powered largely by water,” she writes. “The destruction of ocean crust via subduction leads to the formation of continental crust through water-facilitated melting. The destruction of continental crust via water-driven erosion ultimately replenishes the mantle for the next round of… crust production.” She concludes with language whose teleological implications are hard to ignore: “Efficient, sustainable, robust, and elegant, the system would win top honors in an industrial design competition.”

    The three core tectonic processes described above—the forming and recycling of oceanic crust, the recycling of continental crust, and mantle movement (which is the ultimate engine of the whole integrated system)—all critically depend on the physical and chemical properties of water. As far as we know, there is no other fluid which could substitute for water in these three processes. If water did not have exactly the properties it has, there would be no plate tectonics and all the basic biogeo-chemical cycles that allow life on Earth would grind to a halt. To paraphrase Voltaire, “If water did not exist it would have to be invented.”

    The teleological wonder of plate tectonics is not that each component wheel depends on the properties of water—that is wonder enough—but that each wheel depends on the turning of the others, and each depends on water, so that the entire integrated system depends on water as lubricant. And it is only because water has greased all the component wheels and enabled their turning in perfect unison for billions of years that there is life in the seas or on the land.

    Denton, Michael. The Wonder of Water: Water’s Profound Fitness for Life on Earth and Mankind (The Privileged Species Series) (Kindle Locations 762-777). Discovery Institute Press. Kindle Edition.

    The tectonic system is not only, as described by Bjornerud, “efficient, sustainable, robust, and elegant”; in its self-formative ability, it transcends any design in the domain of the artifact.

    The notion that the tectonic system is the result of design rises unbidden from the evidence. How could such an elegant system of integrated elements of unique fitness, which has fashioned the world for life over billions of years, and which transcends in its reciprocal self-formative abilities any artifact created to date, have arisen out of blind collisions of atoms? And how could the manifold fitness of water, which conveys every impression of having been fine-tuned to turn the wheels, be mere happenstance?

    Denton, Michael. The Wonder of Water: Water’s Profound Fitness for Life on Earth and Mankind (The Privileged Species Series) (Kindle Locations 814-820). Discovery Institute Press. Kindle Edition.

  9. Joe Felsenstein: It all goes back to Lawrence J. Henderson’s book The Fitness of the Environment in 1913.

    To an extent I agree with you. I actually have Henderson’s book. Denton refers to it repeatedly. But Denton also refers to sources even earlier than Henderson.

    Henderson never mentions the SWE. 😉

    ETA: Denton also refers to numerous works more recent than Henderson’s and points out things that Henderson did not mention.

  10. Joe Felsenstein: It would have needed time travel for him to do so.

    Chapter 8 of the book I linked to earlier, Water and Life, is Counterfactual Quantum Chemistry of Water. Stay [finely] tuned.

  11. Joe Felsenstein: It all goes back to Lawrence J. Henderson’s book The Fitness of the Environment in 1913.

    I think your education on the theme goes even further back than 1913, quite possibly to the times of dinosaurs…

    There is not need to tinker with the properties of water because hydrogen bonds are quantum in nature therefore they have quite short lifetimes, possibly even close to zero and not higher than 15 ps. This means that the structure of water clusters can change very rapidly in response to any environmental changes such as change of temperature. Due to the very short lifetime of hydrogen bonds water clusters can change the variety of structures, sizes, shapes; they can decay and form new clusters with the speed close to the speed of light…

    This is one of the fundamental ways that ought to be considered when attempting to explain all the 67 anomalies of water…

    No tinkering required…It’s all built into the laws of quantum chemistry explained by generalized Stokes–Einstein equation…

    No Shrodinger Wave Equation has been mentioned…

    “Quantum Cluster Equilibrium Theory of Liquids:  Temperature Dependence of Hydrogen Bonding in Liquid N-Methylacetamide Studied by IR Spectra”

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp971575u?src=recsys&journalCode=jpcbfk

  12. Joe Felsenstein:
    It seems to me that if the existence and properties of water is not implied by the Schrödinger Wave Equation, then that is a huge fact that calls all of quantum mechanics into question.Because then we have something that needs a new principle in physics to explain, and we’d better get on with it and find that principle.

    I thank Michael Denton and Mung for making this clear.A lot of physicists now need to redirect their work and concentrate on this extension to, or contradiction to quantum mechanics.This is a great moment in the history of physics.

    Either that, or Denton and Mung are wrong, and the SWE does imply water and its properties.

    I can only add that the video meant to show how fine tuned water was to be in existence and this existence to biology/anything.
    Thats their equation that is to demonstrate a complex/so created case.
    Your saying, reductionist concepts, that the SWE trumps water as a fine tuned thing and its fine tuning to other things.

    As I said before the water ius more then SWE.
    Its information that includes SWE. It must be this way.
    Your saying a desk is not a des created by a thinking being but is only a group of molecues/atomes.
    So not evidence of a a creator(of the desk).
    ID thinkers here are saying once again about information as something more then atoms.
    They would not of thought to reduce water into the SWE
    Or include that within the water BUT its still about fine tuning of water.

  13. newton: You find the evidence for presentiment convincing enough to reject the arrow of time?

    If I don’t, then the other option left, as far as I know, is that subatomic particles do travel back in time…

    Which one do you accept?

  14. So God can create the entirety of the properties of matter, including ‘unique’ configurations such as water and carbon, from just a tiny handful of basic quantum particles and their parameters, but can’t generate a system that can evolve without having to constantly poke in and ‘twoing’ it? Hmmm, I say, and hmmmm.

  15. newton: You find the evidence for presentiment convincing enough to reject the arrow of time?

    “As argued before the results of the multi subject analyses are statistically marginal and would evaporate when multiple analyses are taken into account.”

    J.B. Rhine redux.

  16. There’s also this:

    We therefore feel that the current study must be seen as exploratory and should be followed up with replications using a precise procedure to allow for the selection of ROI’s on an individual level while still allowing for pooling of the data.

    That was fifteen years ago. Neither author has published a follow-up.

  17. It smells a lot like the famous dead salmon study:

    Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic Salmon: An argument for multiple comparisons correction

    This was a tongue-in-cheek study that made a very important point regarding the statistical analysis of fMRI results. From the poster:

    METHODS

    Subject: One mature Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) participated in the fMRI study. The salmon was approximately 18 inches long, weighed 3.8 lbs, and was not alive at the time of scanning.

    Task: The task administered to the salmon involved completing an open-ended mentalizing task. The salmon was shown a series of photographs depicting human individuals in social situations with a specified emotional valence. The salmon was asked to determine what emotion the individual in the photo must have been experiencing.

  18. petrushka: “As argued before the results of the multi subject analyses are statistically marginal and would evaporate when multiple analyses are taken into account.”

    J.B. Rhine redux.

    Quote mining huh? Why? Why would you lie to yourself? Aren’t you curios why and how backwards time referral works? Or you are just a wicked skunk….

    “4.1.4 Multiple Analyses
    As argued before the results of the multi subject analyses are statistically marginal and would evaporate when multiple analyses are taken into account. However a number of exploratory analyses for single subjects suggest that on the individual level the results will stand the correction against multiple analyses. For instance increasing the cluster sizewith a factor ~30 for the analyses done for the single subject in fig. 4 results in an
    increase of the t-value to 3.6 with a corresponding p-value smaller than 0.001 and a
    reduction of possible analyses to ~ 10 while each of these 10 possible analyses produces a
    significant larger BOLD preceding erotic than preceding neutral stimuli.
    There is a problem though because analysis on the individual level might result in the
    artefact sketched in paragraph 4.1.1. We therefore feel that the current study must be
    seen as exploratory and should be followed up with replications using a precise to allow for the selection of ROI’s on an individual level while still allowing for pooling
    of the data.
    4.2 Relation with other brain imaging results
    So far no brain imaging studies have been done directly investigating the so-called
    presentiment effect. However some studies measuring event related potentials in a
    guessing task might be interpreted as a studies investigating at least anomalous brain
    behavior contingent on a future event (feedback of the target) although the task is a forced
    choice guessing task (McDonough et al, 2002). The results indicate that the difference
    between the normal evoked potential and the evoked potential generated by a picture of
    the future feedback (target) is mainly in the form of a slow negative going wave at 150-
    500 msec after the test-exposure. These differences were mainly located in the right
    frontal cortex. These results seem not to relate to the current findings. We find the
    anomalous anticipatory effects mainly located in the visual cortex although this could be
    due to the procedure used to locate the regions of interest.
    Further analysis of the current data using random permutation statistics (Blair et al, 1993)
    is in progress and might reveal subtler effects for instance in cortical regions.

    BTW: You don’t have to answer…You know what his means…

  19. J-Mac: If I don’t, then the other option left, as far as I know, is that subatomic particles do travel back in time…

    How about the neither option? The only link you provide to support your position is one about presentiment , if I recall the only statistically significant result was for a small group, larger groups not so much. Is that correct?

    Which one do you accept?

    The one where you have not yet shown that particles travel back in time.

  20. petrushka: “Asarguedbeforetheresultsofthemultisubjectanalysesarestatisticallymarginaland wouldevaporatewhenmultipleanalysesaretakenintoaccount.”

    J.B. Rhine redux.

    Exactly

  21. J-Mac,

    Did you read this? Don’t you find it odd that neither author published a follow-up paper?

    How do you explain that? Did they forget to do a follow-up study? Did the evil Darwinists of the 24th century travel backward in time to prevent the study from taking place?

    Or do you think that just maybe Bierman and Scholte redid the experiment, got a negative result, and declined to publish?

    What seems most likely to you?

  22. newton: How about the neither option? The only link you provideto support your position is one about presentiment , if I recall the only statistically significant result was for a small group, larger groups not so much. Is that correct?

    The one where you have not yet shown that particles travel back in time.

    You don’t know what you are talking about…The double slit experiment proves that electrons travel back in time…If you don’t like it, then you have a choice of time being an illusion but you don’t like this ether…Instead of continues denial, educate yourself!

    Here is a link where a neurosurgeon preformed experiments on patients where backward referral was proven time and time again…

    http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/g.w.m.rauterberg/lecturenotes/DGB01%20ADD/libet-1999b.pdf

    If you looked carefully, the previous paper referred to other experiments that have proven the same results…

    Bechara, A., Damasio, H., Tranel, D., Damasio, A. R. (1997). Deciding advantageously
    before knowing the advantageous strategy. Science, 275, 28 February 97, 1293-
    1295.
    Bierman, D. J. & Radin, D. I. (1997). Anomalous anticipatory response on randomized
    future conditions. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 84, 689-690.
    Blair, R. C. & Karniski, W. (1993). An alternative method for significance testing of
    waveform difference potentials. Psychophysiology, 30, 518-524.
    Dalkvist, J., Westerlund, J. & Bierman, D.J. (2002). Simulations of expectation effect in
    sequential presentations of activating and calm pictures. Proceedings of the PA-2002.
    Everitt, J.W., (1990). Sexual motivation: A neural and behavioral analysis of the
    mechanisms underlying appetitive and copulatory responses of Male rats. Neurosci.
    Behav. Rev., 14:217-232.
    Globisch, J., Hamm, A.O., Estevez, F., and Öhman, A. (1999). Fear appears fast:
    Temporal course of startle reflex potentiation in animal fear subjects.
    Psychophysiology, 36, pp. 66-75.
    Laan, E., Everaerd, W., Bellen, G. van, & Hanewald, G. (1994). Women’s sexual and
    emotional responses to male- and female-produced erotica. Archives of Sexual
    Behavior, 23, 153-170.
    Lang, P.J., Bradley M.M., Fitzsimmons, J.R., Cuthbert, B.N., Scott, J.D., Moulder, B. &
    Nangia, V. (1998). Emotional arousal and activation of the visual cortex: An fMRI
    analysis. Psychophysiology, 35, 199-210.

    Merboldt, K.D., Fransson, P., Bruhn, H. & Frahm, J. (2001). Functional MRI of the
    human amygdala. NeuroImage, 4, 253-257.
    McDonough, B. E., Don, N.S. & Warren, C. A. (2002). Differential event-related
    potentials to targets and decoys in a guessing task. To be published in: Journal for
    Scientific Exploration.
    Morris, J.S., Ohman, A. & Dolan, R.J. (1998), Conscious and unconscious emotional
    learning in the human amygdala. Nature, 393, 4 June 19989. 467-470.
    Radin, D. I. (1997). Unconscious perception of future emotions: An experiment in
    presentiment. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11 (2), 163-180.
    nr – X Y Z Nvoxel t-contrast
    vio-neu
    stim
    1 48 -67 3 876 7.025
    2 -42 -67 1 1139 8.066
    3 27 -7- 20 508 7.373
    4 -24 -67 27 313 5.99
    5 -39 -61 -8 501 10.207
    6 -2 -27 -2 276 6.579
    7 8 -26 -3 64 6.718
    8 32 16 0 26 6.664
    9 4 -30 12 527 -7.342
    10 -32 -24 20 648 -7.386
    11 -51 -21 5 290 -6.553
    Table I ROI’s for contrast violent vs neutral, number of voxels in region, contrast
    between responses on violent and neutral pictures
    nr – X Y Z Nvoxel t-contrast
    1 48 -63 0 1322 14.117
    2 -42 -64 0 1331 13.355
    3 -24 -65 28 383 7.158
    4 27 -72 24 587 7.63
    5 0 -20 9 189 6.333
    6 -9 -75 -1 715 -7.264
    7 -34 -26 21 1007 -9.347
    Table 2. ROI’s for contrast erotic vs neutral stimulus

  23. J-Mac, to newton:

    You don’t know what you are talking about…The double slit experiment proves that electrons travel back in time…

    No, it doesn’t. You are confused, J-Mac.

    Not only doesn’t it prove that electrons “travel back in time”, it doesn’t even demonstrate retrocausality.

  24. J-Mac,

    Here is a link where a neurosurgeon preformed experiments on patients where backward referral was proven time and time again…

    http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/g.w.m.rauterberg/lecturenotes/DGB01%20ADD/libet-1999b.pdf

    Again, you’re confused. “Backward referral” isn’t what you think (or hope) it is.

    Ponder this statement from the Libet paper:

    Discovery of these time factors led to unexpected ways of viewing conscious experience and unconscious mental functions. Experience of the sensory world is delayed. It raised the possibility that all conscious mental functions are initiated unconsciously and become conscious only if neuronal activities persist for a sufficiently long time.

    There’s no retrocausal magic going on. Experience is simply delayed.

  25. keiths: Experience of the sensory world is delayed.

    Delayed? What does that mean?

    Your perception doesn’t actually happen when you perceive something, it happens after you perceive something?

  26. phoodoo: Delayed?What does that mean?

    Your perception doesn’t actually happen when you perceive something, it happens after you perceive something?

    He doesn’t understand the slightest thing about this concept…he can’t even read…
    Don’t pay attention to his nonsense…
    Watch the video on double slit experiment to understand the fundamentals…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-MNSLsjjdo

    BTW: I begin to believe that that keiths should have taken engineering of lopatologia …

  27. J-Mac: You don’t know what you are talking about

    Perhaps, the question remains whether you do

    The double slit experiment proves that electrons travel back in time

    “Ma, Zeilinger, et al. have summarized what can be known as a result of experiments that have arisen from Wheeler’s proposals. They say:

    Any explanation of what goes on in a specific individual observation of one photon has to take into account the whole experimental apparatus of the complete quantum state consisting of both photons, and it can only make sense after all information concerning complementary variables has been recorded. Our results demonstrate that the viewpoint that the system photon behaves either definitely as a wave or definitely as a particle would require faster-than-light communication. Because this would be in strong tension with the special theory of relativity, we believe that such a viewpoint should be given up entirely.”

    Now it seems to me a skeptical view is warranted.

    …If you don’t like it, then you have a choice of time being an illusion but you don’t like this ether…Instead of continues denial, educate yourself!

    I agree that absolute time is an illusion but it does not follow that time itself is an illusion

    Here is a link where a neurosurgeon preformed experiments on patients where backward referral was proven time and time again…

    Will look at it

  28. phoodoo: Delayed?What does that mean?

    Your perception doesn’t actually happen when you perceive something, it happens after you perceive something?

    Your conscious awareness of the the perception

  29. phoodoo,

    So first I perceive, and then I am aware that I perceive?

    Yes, there are several studies which have observed the phenomenon

    “Haynes and his colleagues imaged the brains of 14 volunteers while they performed a decision-making task. The volunteers were asked to press one of two buttons when they felt the urge to. Each button was operated by a different hand. At the same time, a stream of letters were presented on a screen at half-second intervals, and the volunteers had to remember which letter was showing when they decided to press their button.

    When the researchers analysed the data, the earliest signal the team could pick up started seven seconds before the volunteers reported having made their decision. Because of there is a delay of a few seconds in the imaging, this means that the brain activity could have begun as much as ten seconds before the conscious decision. The signal came from a region called the frontopolar cortex, at the front of the brain, immediately behind the forehead.

    This area may well be the brain region where decisions are initiated, says Haynes, who reports the results online in Nature Neuroscience1.

    The next step is to speed up the data analysis to allow the team to predict people’s choices as their brains are making them.”

  30. Allan Miller: So God can create the entirety of the properties of matter, including ‘unique’ configurations such as water and carbon, from just a tiny handful of basic quantum particles and their parameters, but can’t generate a system that can evolve without having to constantly poke in and ‘twoing’ it? Hmmm, I say, and hmmmm.

    Not only do humans continually create new software, they continually create new hardware as well.

    And just think of all the different evolutionary algorithms.

  31. newton: Our results demonstrate that the viewpoint that the system photon behaves either definitely as a wave or definitely as a particle would require faster-than-light communication. Because this would be in strong tension with the special theory of relativity, we believe that such a viewpoint should be given up entirely.”

    So, Zeilinger gives up what he has seen and experimentally proven that photons communicate faster then the speed of light because of what???

    “..Because this would be in strong tension with the special theory of relativity, we believe that such a viewpoint should be given up entirely…”

    Well, then it is understandable…because the theory of general relativity has been proven beyond any doubt…right? Wrong! But questioning GTOR would certainly ” assure “Zeilinger of his further funding… lol

    And this is the very essence I have been talking about at UD and other blogs… is that quantum mechanics have never been proven wrong, and the theory of relativity can’t be unified with QM…

    With the very few exceptions, most physicist bet and are willing to abandon the GTOR mainly because QM has never been proven wrong and one, either QM or GTOR, must be wrong…

    Which one is it? Do you know?

    Einstein, who formulated the GTOR,had his own doubts about it and knew that it had limits… What limits?

    Why has Einstein mocked publicly time as being an illusion which was the very essence of his own GTOR?

    “The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins148814.html

    Today we have scientific, experimental proof that again Einstein was right about the perception of time, which obviously means that the GTOR is at least incomplete or in some or many aspects dead-wrong…

    Backward referral is just a small but extremely important piece of the evidence that reality is much more than even Einstein expected in his wildest dreams…

    Today we know what Einstein didn’t know…He didn’t even dream about it; the expanding, accelerating universe caused by dark energy…

    What would he do about GTOR if he had realized that spacetime could be the property of dark energy and not the other way around? Do you even know what that means if this is true?
    This could mean that reality is nonlinear at least at the quantum level…

    This could possibly mean that dark energy causes specetime to stretch, forward and backward “creating” dual vector, both forward and backwards in “time” (s) to allow things like backward referral…

  32. phoodoo,

    My apologies phoodoo,

    It seems I accidentally linked you to the first part of the double slit experiment and not the second, which really applies to the thread. If, for some reason, it switches to something else, it is called:

    How the Quantum Eraser Rewrites the Past | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ORLN_KwAgs

    I hope it becomes clearer what I have been trying to convey…

  33. I love this new plugin!

    I can respond to the ignored without reading his nonsense and still let him know how I feel about his comments…:-)

    Yes!

  34. newton: So first I perceive, and then I am aware that I perceive?

    Yes, there are several studies which have observed the phenomenon

    Only one problem Newton. Perceive means to be aware.

    So its not possible to be aware and then be aware, unless we are giving up on English.

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