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

151 thoughts on “The Wonder of Water

  1. Ah, the famous IDiot argument from ignorance based personal incredulity.

    “This _____ (fill in any phenomenon you prefer) is so special it MUST be Designed!!”

    Water wasn’t designed for life. Life evolved to take advantage of water. The IDiots always get it bass ackwards.

  2. I purchased and read Denton’s previous book “Evolution: still a theory in crisis”. And, after reading that, Denton lost all credibility as far as I am concerned.

  3. Neil Rickert:
    I purchased and read Denton’s previous book “Evolution: still a theory in crisis”.And, after reading that, Denton lost all credibility as far as I am concerned.

    Gee, Neils didn’t like a book that criticized evolution theory. THAT’S AMAZING!

    Who could have ever guessed that? A biased moderator on a skeptical website didn’t like a book questioning materialism. Its an historical first.

  4. Very well done video in making a great point, many important poi9nts, and with a grand conclusion. Well delivered indeed.
    It proves, to what most don’t know, how fINE TUNED , water is for biology, chemistry, physics, etc etc.
    So fine tuned that it demands how it came about.
    PUSH and SHOVE in a roll of the dice as some say?!
    Or carefully thought out by a thinking being.
    Well it requires thinking people to figure out what so far has been figured out about water SO its most likely its from a thoughtful being.
    not making itself and other jazz!!

  5. In college chemistry class I was taught that all the chemical properties of hydrogen, all those of oxygen, and hence all those of water, were inherent in the Schrödinger Wave Equation.

    If Michael Denton’s Intelligent Designer wants to fine-tune properties of water she has to do it by tinkering with the SWE. Which would mess up a lot else.

  6. The same physical laws that govern the properties of water, also govern the properties of rust, or dust, rocks, and sand. Clearly since there’s a lot more dust, rocks, and sand, than life in the universe, the universe must have been made for dust, rocks, and sand.

  7. Adapa: Water wasn’t designed for life. Life evolved to take advantage of water.

    I don’t think this particular argument works here. If life can’t exist without water (I’m by no means convinced that is actually true*), then life can’t evolve to take advantage of it as then life would have to exist before it encounters water, and then gradually evolve and adapt to it. But if life can’t even exist without it, you can’t really say life “adapts” to it. That’d be like saying life evolved to take advantage of atoms.

    * I have seen suggestions from chemists that liquid methane or even formamide might also have properties conducive to alternative chemistries of life.

  8. Water is truly unique in its properties and the way they conspire together to make life like ours on a planet like Earth possible.

    You have been misinformed! It is terrible stuff

  9. phoodoo: But would anyone expect a world made by chaos to be describable by equations?

    Why do you think the world would be made by chaos? What does that even mean?

  10. Rumraket: Why do you think the world would be made by chaos? What does that even mean?

    Again, why comment about things you can’t understand?

    It means the opposite of planned or organized. If the world was unplanned or unorganized, it should be chaos, and thus math should make no sense.

    If you don’t understand things, there is no requirement that you respond.

  11. phoodoo: Again, why comment about things you can’t understand?

    For that very reason I am asking questions, not commenting. That’s the only proper response when I don’t understand what you are saying: To ask for clarification.

    It means the opposite of planned or organized.

    So unplanned and dis-organized. Okay.

    If the world was unplanned or unorganized, it should be chaos, and thus math should make no sense.

    Why?

    If you don’t understand things, there is no requirement that you respond.

    I simply ask for clarification. Help me understand.

    I take you to be saying this: If the world came about by a process that was not anyone’s plan, or not subject to anyone’s organization, then math should make no sense.

    I don’t see why that follows. Can you expand on your reasons here?

  12. phoodoo:
    Rumraket,
    I should think its obvious, why would one expect a chaotic, disorganized, world, to produce consistent math that describes it?

    That is not obvious at all. If it’s so obvious, it should be easy to explain why it follows.

  13. phoodoo: Why should math work?

    The mathematics not about the world, or about the structure of the world. The mathematics is about the structure of the theoretical models that we create to study the world.

    As long as there is something to study, we can look into creating theoretical models.

  14. Neil Rickert: The mathematics not about the world, or about the structure of the world.

    Huh?

    There aren’t mathematics about the world and the structure of the world, that we rely on?

  15. phoodoo: There aren’t mathematics about the world and the structure of the world, that we rely on?

    Not really. The mathematics is about our models. And how well that works depends on how well our models fit reality.

  16. Rumraket: The same physical laws that govern the properties of water, also govern the properties of rust, or dust, rocks, and sand.

    So? Dust, rocks and sand and are not fluids.

    Clearly since there’s a lot more dust, rocks, and sand, than life in the universe, the universe must have been made for dust, rocks, and sand.

    This makes no sense. You may as well be arguing that the universe is made for water.

  17. phoodoo: There aren’t mathematics about the world and the structure of the world, that we rely on?

    Don’t ask Neil. He flunked engineering.

  18. Joe Felsenstein: If Michael Denton’s Intelligent Designer wants to fine-tune properties of water she has to do it by tinkering with the SWE. Which would mess up a lot else.

    This makes no sense. If all the properties of water were inherent in the SWE why does she need to tinker with anything?

    Sounds to me like your chem teacher was doing a bit of handwaving.

  19. Corneel: You have been misinformed! It is terrible stuff

    Yes, floods can happen, and people can drown in it, but this is the wrong thread for that. 😉

  20. So is the designer that fine-tuned water molecules to be conducive to the origin and development of life the same one that designed, say cyanide molecules? Perhaps she was anticipating that those poor plants would need some deterrent against herbivores?

  21. phoodoo:
    Rumraket,

    Do you mean you are going to explain why you WOULD expect consistency from chaos?

    I don’t know what to expect, but you seem to be saying you do. And I wonder how you know?

  22. Mung: So? Dust, rocks and sand and are not fluids.

    So what? What is your problem with minerals and their erosion products anyway?

    This makes no sense. You may as well be arguing that the universe is made for water.

    It makes exactly as much sense as the idea that water was intelligently designed because it is conducive to life. For all we know, the universe could have been programmed to create sand and black holes. Maybe the programmers get hardons for rust-covered barren wastes? Who are we to speculate on the minds of the almighty coders?

    They Work In Mysterious Ways!

  23. Corneel: So is the designer that fine-tuned water molecules to be conducive to the origin and development of life the same one that designed, say cyanide molecules?

    No, different designer.

  24. Rumraket: What is your problem with minerals and their erosion products anyway?

    No problem at all. Water turns out to be quite useful for both.

    What do you think life on earth would be like without erosion and the minerals that are made available? Both due to water, by the way.

  25. Mung: No problem at all. Water turns out to be quite useful for both.

    What do you think life on earth would be like without erosion and the minerals that are made available? Both due to water, by the way.

    If life can exist without water, I think it would be different. But why this obsession with life? Maybe mars, or the moon, are the “true” objectives of design.

  26. Rumraket: But why this obsession with life?

    Let me know when you’ve decided to stop eating. Oh, and what i it that you do for a living? Let me know when you quite your job too. You won’t need it.

    And the obsession is with water and its fitness.

  27. Mung: Let me know when you’ve decided to stop eating. Oh, and what i it that you do for a living? Let me know when you quite your job too. You won’t need it.

    What a strange equivocation you make here. Being concerned with staying alive at a subjective level has no implications for whether water or life are objectively the “end” towards which the universe and it’s laws are set up to support.

    And the obsession is with water and its fitness.

    … for life. It’s purported fitness for life. You seem to make some sort of connection between “water is conducive to life” and intelligent design. But this connection is weak at best. What I’ve been trying to show is that one can make all sorts of connections between causes and their effects. The laws of physics are conducive to rock, dust and sand. And black holes. And all sorts of other phenomena in the universe. What does any of that have to do with intelligent design?

  28. Mung:
    Corneel: So is the designer that fine-tuned water molecules to be conducive to the origin and development of life the same one that designed, say cyanide molecules?

    Mung: No, different designer.

    Mmmm, I’ll bet it is. That is probably the same designer that took care of the properties of trinitrotoluene, carbon monoxide and uranium and any other toxic, carcinogenic, combustible and radioactive compound. Why are you swooning over the properties of water and ignoring all the other dangerous stuff? Are we not being a bit selective here?

  29. Mung: This makes no sense. If all the properties of water were inherent in the SWE why does she need to tinker with anything?

    Which is precisely my point. You can’t tinker with the properties of water separately — they come from Schrödinger Wave Equation.

    Sounds to me like your chem teacher was doing a bit of handwaving.

    No, the chem teacher just explained that all those properties of all elements came out of the SWE.

    Any handwaving would be on the part of the person who wanted to see water as “designed”.

  30. Rumraket: What I’ve been trying to show is that one can make all sorts of connections between causes and their effects.

    No one is claiming that water causes life.

  31. Mung: No one is claiming that water causes life.

    As someone who purportedly reads Feser I’m surprised to see you forget the concept of a sustaining cause.

  32. Joe Felsenstein: No, the chem teacher just explained that all those properties of all elements came out of the SWE.

    I seriously doubt that this is true. Seems anecdotal. Do you have any references you can cite that lists the specific properties of all the elements and how they are all derived from the SWE?

  33. Rumraket: I don’t know what to expect

    That seems to be the problem.

    Its also why you can’t understand, that if you are to have choices, then both good and bad must exist.

  34. Rumraket:
    The same physical laws that govern the properties of water, also govern the properties of rust, or dust, rocks, and sand. Clearly since there’s a lot more dust, rocks, and sand, than life in the universe, the universe must have been made for dust, rocks, and sand.

    How do you know that there is a lot more dust, rocks, and sand, than life in the universe? How do you know that stars and galaxies are not living entities? Are we not at the same evolutionary level as bacteria? Do the bacteria in your gut know that the environment they are living in is in fact a living being?

  35. Mung:

    Joe Felsenstein: No, the chem teacher just explained that all those properties of all elements came out of the SWE.

    I seriously doubt that this is true. Seems anecdotal. Do you have any references you can cite that lists the specific properties of all the elements and how they are all derived from the SWE?

    Such a detailed explanation is, of course, not available. But a good discussion of quantum chemistry will make clear that the SWE and approximations based on it are where you start in explaining the properties of chemical elements. The SWE cannot be solved exactly by us, except for the case of a hydrogen atom. But the issue here is more whether Nature can solve it.

    See, for a start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_chemistry

    Unlike the properties of organisms, we can be pretty sure that there is not a DNA molecular somewhere that is encoding the chemical properties of, say, lanthanum.

  36. Joe Felsenstein: In college chemistry class I was taught that all the chemical properties of hydrogen, all those of oxygen, and hence all those of water, were inherent in the Schrödinger Wave Equation.

    When did you go to collage? It must’a been before the Great War? lol

    The properties of water or the atoms bonding together to form water molecule are not inherent in any equations. The Schrodinger equation DESCRIBES quantum mechanical BEHAVIOR of very small particles mainly on subatomic level

    Joe Felsenstein If Michael Denton’s Intelligent Designer wants to fine-tune properties of water she has to do it by tinkering with the SWE. Which would mess up a lot else.

    The unique properties of water look very much to be the effect of two, fine-tuned, competing quantum effects. While this is not a definite conclusion yet, the many experiments with so-called heavy water seem to almost definitely point in that direction…

    So again, the unique properties of water are due to the fine-tuned laws of quantum mechanics, that do not require be tinkered with, because no doubt life is dependent on those laws to be so fine-tuned as well…

    BTW: I didn’t watch the video. I doubt Denton mentioned anything about QM effect on water in his book…If I’m wrong, please let me know…

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