Apologies for the blogging drought. More soon. I couldn’t help but comment on something in the news recently.
Doing the rounds this week is a Wall Street Journal article by Eric Metaxas titled “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God“. A few thoughts.
“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.”
I’m really hoping that his reference for the “200” parameters isn’t Hugh Ross, whom I’ve commented on before. The fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life is about the fundamental parameters of the laws of nature as we know them, and there are only about 30 of those. Also, exactly zero fine-tuning cases require a parameter to be “perfectly” anything. There is always a non-zero (if sometimes very small) life-permitting window.
The fine-tuning for planets is a bit of a non-starter. How many planets are there in the universe? We don’t know, because we don’t know how large the universe is. There is no reason to believe that the size of the observable universe is any indication of the size of the whole universe.
Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface.
This turns out to be a bit of a myth, however widely reported. Jonathan Horner and Barrie Jones used a set of simulations to test this idea, but their results tended to show that the opposite might be true. (more…)