Joined: Oct. 2009
From the "privileged planet" website
Q #1: Is the fact that we can see "perfect" solar eclipses related to our existence?
A: The Earth's surface provides the best view of solar eclipses in the Solar System. The Earth's surface is also the most habitable place in the Solar System. Is this coincidence just that? In The Privileged Planet, we argue that it isn't. The conditions that make a planet habitable also make its inhabitants more likely to see solar eclipses.
The authors mistake cause and effect. The causes of a solar ecplise somehow cause life. At this point, this isn't testable because we don't have anything to compare our planet to. I would however, be perfectly willing to argue that the moon of a gas giant would be even more 'safe' for any potential inhabitants than our planet.
Q #2: Is our existence related to the transparency of the atmosphere?
A: Atmospheres come in many forms, but not all allow for complex life or clear views of the wider universe. Complex life requires a certain type of atmosphere. It turns that this same type of atmosphere provides a remarkably clear view of the near and distant universe. Complex, intelligent beings are unlikely to find themselves on a planet with an opaque atmosphere or deep in a murky ocean. We explain this relationship in detail in The Privileged Planet.
Again, mistakes cause and effect. Complex organisms surely appeared in the oceans before land. Octopi are known as far back as 95 million years.
I would also point out that the atmosphere of the primevil Earth was pretty hostile and life changed that atmosphere.
Q #3: Can life be based on any liquid substance, or is water somehow special?
A: Water is common on Earth's surface, but one might suspect that on other planets, there are complex, intelligent beings that are not based on water, but liquid ammonia, methane, or nitrogen. But that's very unlikely. As it turns out, water is endowed with life-support capacities lacking in other substances. Together these capacities make water the most anomalous compound known to science. In The Privileged Planet, we also explain how important water has been to the rise of science.
"water is endowed with life support capacities"? "Water is the most anomalous compound known to science"? Why is life based on other solvents so unlikely? Talk about an anthropomorphic view.
Q #4: Is Earth a data recorder?
A: A walk through a Redwood forest is like a walk through the Library of Congress. Trees, along with corals, polar ice, marine sediments, and lake sediments contain vast storehouses of detailed information about Earth's past climate. Is this a typical feature of planets? On the contrary, we argue in that, as planets go, Earth (or, more precisely, the Earth-Moon system) is a quite high fidelity recorder of the past.
Now, we're just getting silly. I'm guessing that they had to add the 'Earth-Moon system' because of the huge array of historical information we can get from the moon. Of course, Mars will have to be added because of all the info (including paleo) we get from there. Then any planet/moon/dwarf planet with craters.
Q #5: Is the appearance of the night sky related to our existence?
A: Not only is our atmosphere transparent, but we also enjoy dark nights. Several happy coincidences, from having a planet that rotates on its axis, to our location in the galaxy, to the age of the cosmos, conspire to make this possible. And those dark nights have been vital to many scientific discoveries, as we argue in The Privileged Planet.
So no other planets rotate on an axis? What would be the difference if our solar system existed anywhere else?
Q #6: Why are there so many planets in the Solar System?
A: Isn't just one planet (Earth) all we need? Doesn't it seem like a waste of space and materials to have all those other barren worlds? Well, not if those worlds are players in the games of life and scientific discovery. In The Privileged Planet, we discuss how the other planets serve as Earth's protectors while at the same time helping us in our quest to learn about the nature of the cosmos.
Again, this is just silly. The planets in our solar system exist to protect us and teach us. So You want to go back to worshipping Jupiter?
Q #7: Did Copernicus remove us from the center of the cosmos?
A: In most introductory astronomy textbooks and popular descriptions of the history of science, students are told that until Copernicus, the West believed that Earth and its human inhabitants viewed themselves as being in the most important place in the cosmos. Copernicus, we are told, demoted us by making Earth merely one of the planets. As it is usually presented, this popular story is mostly mythology rather than historical fact. In Pre-Copernican cosmology, the "center" of the cosmos meant something entirely different from what it is now taken to mean. We explain why in The Privileged Planet
When all else fails, change the rules of the game.
Sigh. I haven't read the book and I'm not going to waste processing power and memory space on it.
Again, please describe the difference between a universe specifically designed for us and one that is not. I'll help, fill in the blanks:
If the universe is designed, then we should see ___.
While you're doing that, provide me with an ID based tool that is better than evolution at predicting results of experiments.
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.