Skip to comments.Life in the Balance – And why Earth-like planets may be rare
Posted on 03/31/2012 3:00:05 PM PDT by NYer
The video below is a very creative representation of what the day and night sky on Earth would look like if the earth had rings like Saturn. It is well worth a view.
But it puts me in the mind of pondering the delicate balance of life on this earth and, though the artwork in the video is beautiful, I suspect that the presence of rings would dramatically alter life on this earth, perhaps even annihilate it.
By way of disclaimer, let me say I am not a geologist or astronomer. But a number of things concern me about the presence of rings and then cause me, as a Christian and amateur theologian, to once again thank God for the incredible and rare conditions he maintains on this earth, so that we can live. Let me explain.
Rare Earth?? While most people, including most scientists, presume that there may be billions of inhabitable planets out there a lot like earth, there is another theory base (called “rare earth theory”) that is dubious of such a high number.
There are not just a few things that come together to support life on earth, there are many. Here are just a few:
So life here is in the balance of many fascinating things (and a lot more I don’t have time to mention). Just Google “Rare Earth Theory” to read more.
Now, what would rings do to this balance? I suspect a lot of damaging things. Three particularly come to mind.
So, enjoy the video of the pretty rings and THANK GOD we don’t have them!
Life on this earth may be a far more rare and miraculous reality than we think. The more I learn of life, the more amazed I become at what the Lord has done. If science has done anything for me, (and it has done a lot), it has surely increased my wonder and awe for God. God has done a marvelous thing in creating this universe and an even more marvelous thing in creating and sustaining this earth. An old hymn says:
O tell of God’s might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
Established it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Praise the Lord for Planet earth, and behold, life is in the balance, the perfect balance.
The fact that the entire "chances of" rationale fundamentally misstates the problem. How many chances you have of obtaining a certain outcome are largely irrelevant apart from correctly evaluating the events required for that outcome to take place.
In a very real sense, the whole line of reasoning is predicated on "the gambler's fallacy." ....hence my reference to Michael Crichton and his famous speech on the Drake Equation before SETI.
I think it is hubris to believe Earth is the only planet with life, even intelligent life.
I also think an omniscient God has more “capacity” than just one planet & one species in a vast universe.
It all those. “Relatives” of ours are so nearby, why haven’t they looked us up.....or at least dropped us a card? I’m offended!
I have long held that the loss of "God's NIGHT" to modern light pollution has materially diminished our wonder of our small place in the cosmos. For most of us moderns we have to make a special effort to see a truly dark night sky. Pre-1900, our ancestors would see it almost every night. I feel that it does make a difference!
Considering the fact that there are something like 200 known moon in our solar system alone, I’d guess that there are many more moon than planets in the universe and that’s a lot.
I also think our earth, moon pair is really more of a dual planet system due to their relative sizes.
Thanks onedoug, for referencing “The Privileged Planet.” IIIFFFF God has already peopled other worlds, He will tell us all about it/them in His own good time. WE were created in His image, and the Scriptures tell us indirectly that we will spend eternity developing the universe; therefore, I have doubts about life on other planets....as get! That will happen AFTER Good finishes settling the sin question on Earth, when satan had been cast into the lake of fire and the New Jerusalem had been brought down from Heaven and takes its place on the New Earth. It is not arrogance or hubris to think we are unique when The Creator SAYS we are!
Life grows and thrives in the coldest and hottest places imaginable. Survives on nuclear fuel rods, the deepest deeps of the oceans, in lava, and blocks of ice for thousands of years.
The earth is merely a spec of dust in a universe beyond measure and age. Our civilization’s lifespan is not even the quickest flicker of light when compared to the age of the planet (1/15,000 of second if the lifespan of the earth is an hour old), much less the universe. Applying this time span to the universe, comparably we have been aware less than 1/60,000 of a second.
Sure, but Drake’s equation is just a Fermi estimate - a reasonable guess about a matter we don’t have nearly enough data about. There’s no doubt the press sensationalizes such mind-exercises and the speculations some scientists attach to them, but the fact is that we do know that intelligent life is allowed by the physics of this universe. Speculation about how often it occurs is certainly more legitimate than speculation about how common water flowing uphill on other worlds might be.
So what in the universe isn't? Its sum is the total of its parts. And for our part at least, it's as if the universe has created eyes and mind to discern itself. Thus we can, in that sense, speak with some confidence of its measure and its age.
"Reasonable" in what sense?
... but the fact is that we do know that intelligent life is allowed by the physics of this universe. Speculation about how often it occurs is certainly more legitimate than speculation about how common water flowing uphill on other worlds might be.
I don't see how until you've repeatably demonstrated how it in fact started here.
Life, any life, is a proverbial "turtle on a fence post."
We know the capabilities of turtles, and we know the characteristics of fence posts. All the calculations in the world are not goring to give you a legitimate probability for how often you can expect to find another turtle on another fence post.
Thank you. I love “The Privileged Planet”.
Though doesn’t it seem odd to you that despite an abundance of evidence for God in the universe, there is absolutely none at all for Satan outside the human mind? And wouldn’t that undermine monotheism?
Another goodie - to my mind at least...Gerald L Schroeder: “The Science Of God: The Convergence Of Scientific And Biblical Wisdom”
“.....there is absolutely none at all for Satan outside the human mind?”
Whaaaaaat? No, I guess there isn’t, if you discount an insignificant minor little item called the BIBLE!
No offense, but I’m sorry I replied to you. You appear to be so far out in left field that I can just barely pick you out with my 60X spotting scope.
Sure they do. Furthermore, such inferences camouflage the fact conventional "science" threw in the towel on abiogenesis a long time ago.
What's more if you can't confirm your guesstimates, what makes you so sure Fermi estimates are any better than the guy looking for his wallet under the street lamp, because the area he lost it in was dark?
Finally, unconfirmed, as opposed to disputed, planets are nowhere near analogous to attempts to make "life" just another mundane physical process.
Showing me a bird on a fence post does zero to explain the turtle, even if it's the exact same fence post.
The sad fact is this area of science is tainted in the same way as "gun control" advocacy; forget whether the thesis is verified, plausible is good enough....just assume it's correct and legislate accordingly.
Be sorry as you may, but there is none in Torah outside what I believe to be God himself.
And, as evinced in Isaiah 45:7: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”
It was in keeping with the analogy. There's no actual legislation involved unless you count educational standards.
Without such things we'd never have bothered looking for or finding extra-solar planets.
The fact that we knew planets existed makes it impossible to claim we'd never have looked for them elsewhere: just as we will look for life elsewhere.
But again, that is irrelevant. Looking for planets is nowhere near assigning probabilities for finding them...particularly when you've already admitted you have no idea what circumstances repeatably cause planets to form.