This is a post from J. Warner Wallace, over at Cold Case Christianity.
Let’s see his four ways first, then I’ll add one that I know.
- The Earth’s Relationship to the Sun Is Favorable to Life
- The Earth’s Atmospheric Conditions Are Favorable to Life
- The Earth’s Terrestrial Nature Is Favorable to Life
- The Earth’s Relationship to the Moon Is Favorable to Life
I’ve blogged about the moon and plate tectonics before, so we won’t pick #3 and #4 to look at. And I blogged about the stellar habitable zone before, so we won’t pick #1, either.
Let’s look at #2:
The Earth’s Atmospheric Conditions Are Favorable to Life:
The surface gravity of Earth is critical to its ability to retain an atmosphere friendly to life. If Earth’s gravity were stronger, our atmosphere would contain too much methane and ammonia. If our planet’s gravity were weaker, Earth wouldn’t be able to retain enough water. As it is, Earth’s atmosphere has a finely calibrated ratio of oxygen to nitrogen—just enough carbon dioxide and adequate water vapor levels to promote advanced life, allow photosynthesis (without an excessive greenhouse effect), and to allow for sufficient rainfall.
Ok, that’s very good.
Now here is one from me… well, it’s from Science Daily, but I found it. Actually, ECM found it. But he told me.
They suggest that the size and location of an asteroid belt, shaped by the evolution of the Sun’s protoplanetary disk and by the gravitational influence of a nearby giant Jupiter-like planet, may determine whether complex life will evolve on an Earth-like planet.
This might sound surprising because asteroids are considered a nuisance due to their potential to impact Earth and trigger mass extinctions. But an emerging view proposes that asteroid collisions with planets may provide a boost to the birth and evolution of complex life.
Asteroids may have delivered water and organic compounds to the early Earth. According to the theory of punctuated equilibrium, occasional asteroid impacts might accelerate the rate of biological evolution by disrupting a planet’s environment to the point where species must try new adaptation strategies.
The astronomers based their conclusion on an analysis of theoretical models and archival observations of extrasolar Jupiter-sized planets and debris disks around young stars. “Our study shows that only a tiny fraction of planetary systems observed to date seem to have giant planets in the right location to produce an asteroid belt of the appropriate size, offering the potential for life on a nearby rocky planet,” said Martin, the study’s lead author. “Our study suggests that our solar system may be rather special.”
So, that’s 5 ways that the Earth and our solar system are fine-tuned to be habitable for complex, embodied minds. Somebody is looking out for you, so be thankful and recognize.
Actually, I was thinking about this today (Wednesday). At lunch, I was thinking about this girl I know who is very disrespectful of me, of what I’ve achieved, and she won’t take my advice in the areas where I am experienced – education, career, saving, investing. I was fretting about it as I was about to start eating my lunch and suddenly it struck me that I don’t give God enough credit for the many blessings I get from him. I don’t mean things that “go my way”, I mean big things like habitability, and so on. So I said a longer grace than normal today at lunch. I wonder if he sent me that rebellious girl so that I would know how he feels when I don’t recognize and respect him, and just complain about the things he doesn’t do for me.
Anyway, I hope this habitability post will give you something to be thankful for. Our God is an awesome God.
4 thoughts on “Four ways the Earth is fine-tuned for life, and one more”
Thanks for going after #2, WK – that’s the one I was looking for info on.
Yes, we have so much to be thankful for! I have been studying the proof for the Argument from Unconditioned Reality from different angles this year, and it is downright mind-boggling to think that the Creator AND Sustainer of us and our universe cares that much for us.
No kidding! I have too.
The KCA was fairly intuitive to me but I am having a struggle with this one. I have a sense that this is a more general and powerful form of
CA. I would like to see a one pager on it. Also a comment from someone like WLC.
Here is a one-pager, but a long one, from a Muslim site, if you do not have the book by Spitzer. The reason I like this page is that it includes all of the logic charts from the book:
And, here is the proof from a Catholic website, but it is multiple links and does not have the flowcharts:
The thing I love about this proof is that it is pretty much a flowchart-style proof and purely ontological. I too have looked for a comment from WLC, and also not found it. In some of his books, he comes out against absolute simplicity because it interferes with God entering into time at the moment of creation. But, the proof in Spitzer’s book calls for the “simplest possible reality,” which I did not think was equivalent to absolute simplicity as in the link above or in WLC’s estimation?