Is Planet Earth Unique?

 

planet earth

In 1966 … The same year Time [Magazine] featured the now-famous headline [Is God Dead?], the astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion—1 followed by 24 zeros—planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion—1 followed by 21 zeros—planets capable of supporting life.

What has happened since then? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. The number dropped to a few thousand planets and kept on plummeting … Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life—every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. [e.g.] Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing.

Even SETI proponents acknowledged the problem. Peter Schenkel wrote in a 2006 piece for Skeptical Inquirer magazine: “In light of new findings and insights, it seems appropriate to put excessive euphoria to rest . . . . We should quietly admit that the early estimates . . . may no longer be tenable.”

As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going. In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. Probability said that even WE shouldn’t be here.

Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? …

There’s more. The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all. For example, astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces—gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces—were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction—by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000—then no stars could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp. Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really?

Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology . . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

Two well known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000 power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it!

– “…life cannot have had a random beginning…The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10 to the 40,000 power, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court….The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems…cannot in our view be generated by what are often called “natural” processes…For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly…There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago.”

Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe,
Evolution from Space [Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX:
J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24,150,30,31).

Chemist Dr. Grebe: “That organic evolution could account for the complex forms of life in the past and the present has long since been abandoned by men who grasp the importance of the DNA genetic code.”

Researcher and mathematician I.L Cohen: “At that moment, when the DNA/RNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt…the implications of the DNA/RNA were obvious and clear….Mathematically speaking, based on probability concepts, there is no possibility that Evolution is the mechanism that created the approximately 6,000,000 species of plants and animals we recognize today.”

Evolutionist Michael Denton: “The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.”

Famed researcher Sir Fred Hoyle is in agreement with Creationists on this point. He has reportedly said that supposing the first cell originated by chance is like believing “a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boing 747 from the materials therein.”

It is important to note that the information written on DNA molecules is not produced by any known natural interaction of matter. Matter and molecules have no innate intelligence, allowing self organization into codes. There are no known physical laws which give molecules a natural tendency to arrange themselves into such coded structures.

Like a computer disk, DNA has no intelligence. The complex, purposeful codes of this “master program” could have only originated outside itself. In the case of a computer program, the original codes were put there by an intelligent being, a programmer. Likewise, for DNA, it seems clear that intelligence must have come first, before the existence of DNA. Statistically, the odds are enormously in favour of that theory. DNA bears the marks of intelligent manufacture.

Dr Wilder-Smith is an honoured scientist who is certainly well-informed on modern biology and biochemistry. What is his considered opinion as to the source of the DNA codes found in each wondrous plant and animal?

“…an attempt to explain the formation of the genetic code from the chemical components of DNA…is comparable to the assumption that the text of a book originates from the paper molecules on which the sentences appear, and not from any external source of information.” ” As a scientist, I am convinced that the pure chemistry of a cell is not enough to explain the workings of a cell, although the workings are chemical. The chemical workings of the cell are controlled by information which does not reside in the atoms and molecules of that cell. There is an author which transcends the material and the matter of which these strands are made. The author first of all conceived the information necessary to make a cell, then wrote it down, and then fixed it in a mechanism of reading it and realizing it in practice — so that the cell builds itself from the information…”

Planet Earth is filled with myriad forms of life, each with enormous levels of complexity. Materialists believe life in all its amazing forms consist merely of atoms and molecules. They believe these atoms and molecules formed themselves into millions of intricate animals and plants. This view was born out of an earlier, more naive period in science when the extreme complexity of living systems was not understood. Even if nature could build the necessary proteins and enzymes, it is far from producing life. There is an enormous difference between producing a building block and producing a fully operating and serviced 100-story skyscraper from those building blocks. Buildings require builders; programs require programmers.

Check out the following recent studies:

earth-is-a-1-in-700-quintillion-kind-of-place

probability-for-life-on-earth

 

 

 

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About

Follower of Jesus, married with 5 grown up children, 6 grand children, ex-military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Christian, Intelligent Design
One comment on “Is Planet Earth Unique?
  1. Every time some new scientific development touts the discovery of “the building blocks of life” on one of Saturn or Jupiter’s moons, you can almost hear the scientists’ desperation to diminish Christianity by finding life there. I doubt it’ll happen.

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