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Planet Earth: Lucky Accident? Leslie Wickman, Ph.D. With credits to NASA, Ron Cottrell, author of The Remarkable Spaceship Earth, Mark SwordAndSpirit.com,

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Presentation on theme: "Planet Earth: Lucky Accident? Leslie Wickman, Ph.D. With credits to NASA, Ron Cottrell, author of The Remarkable Spaceship Earth, Mark SwordAndSpirit.com,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Planet Earth: Lucky Accident? Leslie Wickman, Ph.D. With credits to NASA, Ron Cottrell, author of The Remarkable Spaceship Earth, Mark SwordAndSpirit.com, John Biola University, and Reasons to reasons.org

2 Lucky Design? – location and size Earth’s Location: distance from sunEarth’s Location: distance from sun Earth’s Size: gravity, atmosphere, heatEarth’s Size: gravity, atmosphere, heat

3 Our gravity is just right to keep this thin layer of gases above us.Our gravity is just right to keep this thin layer of gases above us. Earth’s atmosphere:Earth’s atmosphere: –Acts as insulating blanket –Protects us from harmful radiation –Perfect composition to support life

4 Our liquid center gives us the magnetic field which protects us from the deadly solar winds...Our liquid center gives us the magnetic field which protects us from the deadly solar winds...

5 solar wind particles creep through magnetic field at earth’s north & south poles

6 Our atmosphere:Our atmosphere: –78% nitrogen –21% oxygen –1% trace gases

7 The thin invisible ozone layer keeps us alive by absorbing dangerous radiation from space.The thin invisible ozone layer keeps us alive by absorbing dangerous radiation from space.

8 Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere helps to keep us warm.Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere helps to keep us warm.

9 Water vapor permeates the atmosphere, delivering rain & keeping us warm...

10 Lightning strikes once a second on this planet.

11 Lucky Design? - rotation Rotation rate: 1x / 24 hours -slower: daily temps more extreme -faster: tropics warmer, poles colder

12 Lucky Design? - axial tilt 23.5 degree tilt -> seasons23.5 degree tilt -> seasons 2x farmland – 2x farmland

13 Lucky Design? - our Moon - only one - bigger or closer… - smaller or farther… - perfect size for solar eclipses! - only one - bigger or closer… - smaller or farther… - perfect size for solar eclipses!

14 Lucky Design? - crust Earth’s crust: ranges from 4 miles thick in ocean basins to 30 miles thick under some mountain peaks. - thicker or thinner?

15 Lucky Design? - water cycle Earth is the only place we know of with water existing as solid, liquid, and gas, necessary for life…

16 Venus, Earth’s so-called “sister planet”…slightly smaller and a little closer to the Sun…

17 Mars, smaller & a little farther out…

18 Our planetary big brothers Jupiter and Saturn…

19 1994: Comet Shoemaker-Levy

20

21 Considering the Sun: G2, medium sized, middle aged Considering the Sun: G2, medium sized, middle aged perfect brightness, size and age for life

22 change anything, no life!

23 Our sun appears to be a single star…

24 Earth in a Binary Star System - 1

25 Earth in a Binary Star System - 2

26 Earth in a Binary Star System - 3

27 Earth in a Binary Star System - 4

28 Earth in a Binary Star System - 5

29 Earth in a Binary Star System - 6

30 Earth in a Binary Star System - 7

31 Fine-tuning throughout the universe Velocity of lightVelocity of light Electromagnetic forceElectromagnetic force Strong nuclear forceStrong nuclear force Expansion rate of universeExpansion rate of universe Mass density of the universeMass density of the universe

32 All this perfection is so improbable! Probability for 9 life-supporting design characteristics existing in one of the 9 traditional planets of our solar system: 1 in 50 million If we consider ~ 322 finely tuned characteristics of the entire universe, the odds are more like 1 in for such a planet to exist anywhere in the cosmos!If we consider ~ 322 finely tuned characteristics of the entire universe, the odds are more like 1 in for such a planet to exist anywhere in the cosmos! “The impression of design is overwhelming.” - Paul Davies, physicist, The Cosmic Blueprint “A superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.” - Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomer, The Universe

33 Dumb Luck, or Purposeful Order? “…the degree of bio-friendliness we observe in the universe seems far in excess of what is needed to give rise to a few observers… If the ingenious bio-friendliness of our universe were the result of randomness, we might expect the observed universe to be minimally, rather than optimally, biophilic. Note too, that multi-verse explanations still need to assume the existence of laws of some sort, so they do not offer a complete explanation of the law-like order of the universe. Finally, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain certain features of the universe we do observe seems the antithesis of Occam’s Razor: It is an infinitely complex explanation.” - Paul Davies, theoretical physicist


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