The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery

The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery (Unabridged)
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For instance, intergalactic space, far removed from any star, might be a better spot for measuring certain distant astronomical phenomena than the surface of any planet with an atmosphere, since it would contain less light and atmosphere pollution. But its value for learning about the details of star formation and stellar structure, or for discovering the laws of celestial mechanics, would be virtually worthless.

Likewise, a planet in a giant molecular cloud in a spiral arm might be a great place to learn about star formation and interstellar chemistry, but observers there would find the distant universe to be hidden from view. In contrast, Earth offers surprisingly good views of the distant and nearby universe while providing an effective platform for discovering the laws of physics.

Computer engineers seek to design laptops that have the best overall compromise among various conflicting factors. Large screens and keyboards, all things being equal, are preferable to small ones. The engineer has to compromise between such matters as CPU speed, hard drive capacity, peripherals, size, weight, screen resolution, cost, aesthetics, durability, ease of production, and the like. The best design will be the best compromise. For instance, a threshold must be met for detecting the cosmic background radiation that permeates the universe as a result of the Big Bang. Detecting something is, of course, a necessary condition for measuring it.

If our atmosphere or Solar System blocked this radiation, or if we lived at a future time when the background radiation had completely disappeared, our environment would not reach the threshold needed to discover and measure it. As it is, however, our planetary environment meets this requirement. An optimal location for measurability, then, will be one that meets a large and diverse number of such thresholds for measurability, and which combines a large and diverse number of items that need measuring.

This is the sense in which we think our local environment is optimal for making scientific discoveries. In a very real sense the cosmos, our Solar System, and our exceptional planet are themselves a laboratory, and Earth is the best bench in the lab. Even more mysterious than the fact that our location is so congenial to diverse measurement and discovery is that these same conditions appear to correlate with habitability. Please note we are not able to get to every comment due to the number we receive.

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Privilege vs Mediocrity Scriptural Cosmology. Bio Facebook Latest Posts. Contrary to the scientific orthodoxy, it is not an average planet around an ordinary star in an unremarkable part of the Milky Way. In this provocative book, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards present a staggering array of evidence that exposes the hollowness of this modern dogma.

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The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery [ Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Richards] on axejibykyp.gq *FREE* shipping on. Home · Authors · Reviews · Synopsis · Documentary · Q&A · What Is Intelligent Design? The Privileged How our place in the Cosmos is designed for discovery.

They demonstrate that our planet is exquisitely fit not only to support life, but also to give us the best view of the universe, as if Earth were designed both for life and for scientific discovery. Readers are taken on a scientific odyssey from a history of tectonic plates, to the wonders of water and solar eclipses, to our location in the Milky Way, to the laws that govern the universe, and to the beginning of cosmic time.

He received his Ph. He is the author of over sixty peer-reviewed scientific articles. Jay W. Richards is vice president and senior fellow of the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He is the author of many academic and popular essays. He is also the author and editor of several books in subjects as diverse as science, philosophy, and theology, including Are We Spiritual Machines?

Convert currency. Add to Basket. Hardback or Cased Book. Condition: New. Seller Inventory BBS More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Regnery Publishing, Seller Inventory ABE Book Description Condition: New. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Privileged Planet , please sign up.

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See 1 question about The Privileged Planet…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 15, Jordan Ulmer rated it really liked it Shelves: biographical , cosmology , historical , informative , physics. The existence of other planets, stars, galaxies, and the like is unambiguous though limited support for the Copernican Principle only if these are not at all relevant to our own existence.

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With respect to habitability, our existence depends on such local variables as a large stabilizing moon, plate tectonics, intricate biological and non-biological feedback, greenhouse effects, a carefully placed circular orbit around the right kind of star, early volatile elements-providing asteroids and comets, and outlying giant planets to protect us from frequent ongoing bombardment by comets.

It depends on a Solar System placed carefully in the Galactic Habitable Zone in a large spiral galaxy formed at the right time. It presupposes the earlier explosions of supernovae to provide us with the iron that courses though our veins and the carbon that is the foundation of life. It also depends on a present rarity of such nearby supernovae. Finally, it depends on an exquisitely fine-tuned set of physical laws, parameters, and initial conditions.

Richards Gonzalez; Richards, May 12, Faisal Al-hajji rated it really liked it. Sep 21, Tyler Cox rated it liked it. Many Christians would disagree with the Old Earth persecutive of this book, but this is a great resource on the unique habitability of Earth.

A great resource on combating the Copernican Principle. Dec 20, Randy rated it it was amazing. As human beings we are a cosmic accident. There is nothing special about our planet, our solar system, our sun, or anything about our place in the vast stillness of the universe. But is it true? Carl Sagan was an astronomer. So is there evidence from astronomy that speaks, one way or the other, to the question of purpose in the cosmos?

Can we tell whether or not we were intended? Is there anything special about the earth that might make us rethink the prevailing thought on these questions? But this is only part of the answer. Sometimes people act as if that in itself would be enough to give the answer. And so some people have the idea that if life is found elsewhere in the cosmos, that this somehow disproves the existence of God. The flip side of this is the thought that if we can show that life is very rare or even virtually unique to earth, that this somehow proves the existence of a Creator. Neither of these are good arguments, and they are not the arguments that the authors are making here.

In the not-too-distant past it was commonly assumed that life could thrive just about anywhere in our solar system, our galaxy, or in the universe at large. We now know that this is not the case. At the very least, life of even the simplest kind is going to require two things — carbon, for information-bearing molecules, and liquid water, as a medium for chemical reactions.

Even this basic requirement greatly restricts the possibilities. Right off the bat we know that the vast majority of the universe is not going to be a likely location for life, because the vast majority of the universe is either too hot or too cold for liquid water. What is usually not mentioned is that there is a big difference between the requirements for simple microbial life and those for complex, intelligent life like ourselves. What they discuss is that in addition to the constraints imposed by the requirements for liquid water and carbon, complex life such as ourselves has a whole list of further requirements, things you need to make complex life possible.

Some of these are a terrestrial rocky planet, as opposed to a gas giant. This terrestrial planet has to have plate tectonics, and it has to have a certain kind of geological activity that produces a magnetic shield so that it keeps its atmosphere. The planet has to be the right size, and it has to have a large stabilizing moon. It has to have the right kind of star and be the right distance from it. It has to have the right kind of planetary neighbours like Jupiter and Saturn that protect it from bombardment by comets.

It has to be in the right location in the galaxy, and be in the right kind of galaxy.

The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery

And the list goes on. But they are not arguing that on that basis alone one can conclude that it is the product of design, because it is not known exactly how unlikely it is that these conditions can be met all at once. The universe is a very large place, with possibly billion galaxies out there, containing maybe 1 X 10 exp. The second part of their argument involves this question: is there something else we could learn about this evidence, other than merely its rarity, that would suggest purpose rather than a mere cosmic lottery?

Is there any way we could tell?

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For example, in the early s, astronomer Frank Drake proposed what later became known as the Drake Equation, in which he attempted to list the factors necessary for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations that could use radio signals to communicate. The book argues that there may be many billions of stars, and even possibly many millions of planets, but many conditions must be met before a planet is able to host life. Guy Consolmagno. The Scientist , 19 16 Axe argues that the key to understanding our origin is the "design intuition" - the innate belief held by all humans that tasks we would need knowledge to accomplish can be accomplished only by someone who has that knowledge. Iowa State Daily , June 7. De Natura Deorum then goes on to describe specific features of the earth that allow life to exist.

The answer to this question is the thesis of the book, and it is this: the same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist, that is, that make earth habitable, also provide us with the best overall setting for making scientific discoveries. In other words, the very rare set of conditions that allow observers like us to exist also provide the best overall set of circumstances for observing. So, for example, we need a large moon for complex life to be possible on earth.

But this large moon also makes possible total solar eclipses, which, due to the unique circumstances they create, have been the single most important source of information regarding our sun and distant stars. Total solar eclipses, the product of a large moon which we need to survive, have been essential for the opening up of the field of stellar astrophysics. In other words, that life on the planet with a life-giving atmosphere — that life is able to see into the distant universe.

Now you might think, big deal. The atmosphere that life needs allows that life to see the distant universe. A third example is that the safest and probably the only place in our galaxy for complex life — between spiral arms, which is where we find ourselves — is also the best place for observing the universe beyond our own galaxy. More examples are given in the book, but you get the idea. And so you have to reach for something beyond the universe to try to account for it.

Privileged Planet Place Cosmos Designed by Guillermo Gonzalez, Used

We are simply life that happened to come about on a tiny little planet surrounding a tiny insignificant star in a very large universe that was not intended. But evidence that has emerged in the last 30 years suggests something completely different. I love this book. It is one of my favorites along the lines of Intelligent Design.

It flies in the face of the current storyline that so many follow, that the universe, if there's only one, is all by chance. Inspiring to see that there is a much greater, more fantastic story behind our universe and creation than what many "scientists" want us to believe. The book is fascinating reading but I had to stop after the midpoi I love this book.

The book is fascinating reading but I had to stop after the midpoint. The technical details got too deep for me to follow or enjoy. That's not a complaint of the author; it's the reality of my lack of background in Physics and Astronomy. You may do much better than I did. May 08, Karen rated it it was amazing Shelves: reference.