Exoplanets

Rob Sheldon on the new Earth-like planet

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File:Artist’s impression of Proxima Centauri b shown hypothetically as an arid rocky super-earth.jpg
artist’s conception of Proxima b/ESO/M. Kornmesser

From Jacob Aron at New Scientist,

A planet just 30 per cent more massive than Earth orbits in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, which is just 4.25 light years away. How Earth-like is it really?

The planet – Proxima b – was discovered by astronomers who spent years looking for signs of the tiny gravitational tug exerted by a planet on its star, after spotting hints of such disruption in 2013. Proxima Centauri is 4.25 light years from Earth, making it slightly closer than the binary star system of Alpha Centauri, which the Proxima star is thought to loosely orbit. More.

From Rob Sheldon

I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Years ago, people didn’t put this type of planet in the “Goldilocks zone”. That’s because of tidal locking.

Very briefly, the tidal force is the difference between gravity on one side of the planet and gravity on the other.

Think of a gravity well as shaped like a funnel. If the planet is really close to the star’s gravity well, then the slope of the funnel is steep, and one side of the planet is lower in the funnel than the other side. This means that there’s a “stretching” force on the planet corresponding to this gravity gradient, which we call “the tidal force”. You and I don’t experience it much, because the difference between 93million miles (distance to sun) and 93 million miles + 5′, is in the parts per trillion. But for this planet that is orbiting a dull red star closer than Mercury is to our Sun, so close that a year is 11 days, this difference starts to get substantial.

So what happens? The planet stretches. Then one side is even closer than before and that side wants to always face the sun. Then like the Moon, it adjusts its rotation so that this side faces the sun 24/7, it is “tidally locked”.

If one side of the planet always faces the sun, it gets hot, while the backside never faces the sun and gets cold. The hot side boils water, the cold side freezes it. All the water migrates over to the freezer, and gets locked in ice. There’s little chance of ever finding liquid water on such a planet. If there is a region where water is liquid, the “Goldilocks zone”, then it occupies a narrow strip where the sun is only half-way above the horizon. But for most of my lifetime, it was expected that even liquid water will eventually evaporate, so that the Goldilocks zone dries out. Then there is no liquid water left on such a planet.

So why are we even considering such a planet “Earth-like”?

Mostly desperation. A few papers suggest that if there is an atmosphere, then convection can bring warm air over to the glaciers on the backside and share the heat. Of course, Mercury and the Moon don’t have much of an atmosphere, mostly because tidally-locking tends to remove it. But hope springs eternal. Especially if it brings cash.

Jut for now, avoid the land rush boom. 😉

See also: “Behold, countless Earths sail the galaxies … that is, if you would only believe …

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25 Replies to “Rob Sheldon on the new Earth-like planet

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    I find the details NS gives interestingly in contrast with the pop sci news type headlines about earth-like planets just next door:

    The team says the planet is likely to be 30 per cent more massive than Earth, although it could be bigger than that. It orbits the star at a distance of 7.3 million kilometres – less than 5 per cent of the distance between Earth and the sun – making its year last just 11.2 Earth days.

    You might think such a tight orbit would scorch the surface of the planet. But Proxima Centauri is a small, red dwarf star and shines much less fiercely than the sun. Standing on the surface of the planet, you’d see the star as a dull red orb, about three times as large as the sun appears from Earth. As a result, the planet sits in its star’s habitable zone, and its surface temperature may be right for it to host liquid water.

    “The similarities end there,” says Anglada-Escudé. Even our knowledge of the surface temperature is fairly uncertain, ranging from a possible -33 °C to the high hundreds, depending on its atmosphere.

    That’s just the average temperature. However, Proxima b and its star are probably tidally locked, so the same face of the planet always points towards the star. So one half of the globe is in perpetual day, the other in never-ending night. “That’s not very Earth-like,” Anglada-Escudé says.

    Privileged planet strikes again!

    (The headline you will NEVER see in NS.)

    KF

  2. 2
    john_a_designer says:

    The big assumption here is that if the conditions are right (which they are not in this case) then life will get started. Explain to me again how life originated.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    No one knows how life originated, not even Christians. And the more planets that are found, the better the chances of finding one similar to Earth.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    “No one knows how life originated, not even Christians.”

    Actually, the key question to be explained for the origin of life is ‘Where did the information come from?’

    Information Enigma
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-FcnLsF1g

    Every book has an author. And thousands of years before anyone had even heard of the enigma that information presents for the origin of life, the bible records that life has an author,,,

    Psalm 139:13-16
    13
    For thou didst form my inward parts:
    Thou didst cover me in my mother’s womb.
    14
    I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
    Wonderful are thy works;
    And that my soul knoweth right well.
    15
    My frame was not hidden from thee,
    When I was made in secret,
    And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
    16
    Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance;
    And in thy book they were all written
    ,
    Even the days that were ordained for me,
    When as yet there was none of them.

    Acts 3:15
    You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

    John 1:1-4
    1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

    I know of no other religion in the world that had claimed that life had an author prior to the discovery of DNA. And I hold that if it were not for the implications associated with it, this scientific ‘prediction’ would be hailed as one of the most significant successful predictions ever in science. Ranking right next to the Bible’s successful prediction for the absolute beginning for the universe.

    The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
    Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation

    It is also very interesting to note that among all the ‘holy’ books, of all the major religions in the world, only the Holy Bible was correct in its claim for a transcendent origin of the universe. Some later ‘holy’ books, such as the Mormon text “Pearl of Great Price” and the Qur’an, copy the concept of a transcendent origin from the Bible but also include teachings that are inconsistent with that now established fact. (Hugh Ross; Why The Universe Is The Way It Is; Pg. 228; Chpt.9; note 5)

    (Genesis 1 – Transcendent Origin) Scientific Evidence For God’s Existence (Hugh Ross) – 17:00 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/4mEKZRm1xXg?t=1032

    The Uniqueness of Genesis 1:1 – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBXdQCkISo0

  5. 5
    rvb8 says:

    Privilaged Kairos? Please remove the mote from your eye.
    In the 1970s there were no exoplanets except in the minds of sci-fi writers and astrnomers. In the 1980s we began noticing gravitational flux and hypothysized extra-solar bodies; the religious generally scoffed. In the 1990s and 2000s HARPS and the Kepler space telescope have varified (umm, they are real) 3,500 exoplanets, 2,600 planetary systems,600 multiple planetary systems. From these modest varifiable figures, from a small section of the night sky,and if we extrapolate our confirmed data to the rest of the observable universe, we get a very conservative estimate of 11 billion earth like bodies.(Remember this is derived from what we have observed and know as fact, so far.)
    With the launch of the James Webb space telescope in 2018 the priviledged planet will be battered some more.
    I’m absolutely fine with that! In fact a God who wastes so much space is one that needs to be questioned, rethought, or just abandoned. The idea that this vast universe is merely an after thought to our creation is an idea I find offensive to my intelligence. It is so plainly wrong, ‘it is not even wrong!’

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    a few notes:

    More than 1,000 new exoplanets discovered – but still no Earth twin – May 11, 2016
    Excerpt: The team analysed 4,302 candidate planets from a list published by the Kepler team in July 2015. They concluded that 1,284 of them have a 99% chance or better of being exoplanets; another 1,327 of them are more likely than not to be exoplanets, but more work is needed to confirm them. That leaves 707 objects which are likely to be due to something else and 984 which have already been verified as exoplanets by others, and which this study has confirmed.
    Super-Earths
    From the newly identified sample, around 550 are smaller than twice the radius of the Earth, which means they could be rocky in composition. Nine of these lie in the optimistic habitable zone around their stars. However, six of the nine lie on the extreme inner edge of the habitable zone and another lies on the extreme outer edge. This leaves just two firmly within the “conservative” habitable zone and only one of these – the exoplanet Kepler 1229b – is similar in size to the Earth at 1.1 Earth radii. However, even that is not in an Earth-like orbit, as its parent star is a cool red dwarf which the planet orbits once every 87 days.
    http://theconversation.com/mor.....twin-59274

    Be Skeptical of the Hype in the Search for “Earth-like” Planets
    When it comes to exoplanets, “Earth-size” does not mean “Earth-like” – By Guillermo Gonzalez – January 29, 2015
    Excerpt: Research is making it increasingly obvious that habitability depends on far more than a few planetary “ingredients” — the few we usually hear about in the breathless news stories about “Earth-like” planets.
    To grasp the full picture, we have to take account of the myriad details of a planet’s origin, the way it changes over time and its present status.
    What’s more, all the factors interact in complex ways that we are only beginning to understand. A small change in one of these may affect the others, resulting in a dead world.
    https://stream.org/skeptical-hype-search-earth-like-planets/

    Among Darwin Advocates, Premature Celebration over Abundance of Habitable Planets – September 2011
    Excerpt: Today, such processes as planet formation details, tidal forces, plate tectonics, magnetic field evolution, and planet-planet, planet-comet, and planet-asteroid gravitational interactions are found to be relevant to habitability.,,, What’s more, not only are more requirements for habitability being discovered, but they are often found to be interdependent, forming a (irreducibly) complex “web.” This means that if a planetary system is found not to satisfy one of the habitability requirements, it may not be possible to compensate for this deficit by adjusting a different parameter in the system. – Guillermo Gonzalez
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50871.html

    We may be overlooking a critical factor in our quest to find alien life – August 2016
    Excerpt: Many scientists assume that plate tectonics is a given on rocky, Earth-like worlds, but this may be rarer than anyone imagined.
    A new study in the journal Science Advances questions the idea that rocky worlds “self regulate” their heat after forming.
    The implications could be enormous, says study author Jun Korenaga, a geophysicist at Yale University. Essentially, we could be overlooking another “Goldilocks” factor in our searches for worlds habitable to aliens: a planet’s initial temperature.
    If you’re a planet and you start out too hot, the thick layer of rock below the crust called the mantle doesn’t give you plate tectonics. If you’re too cold, you also don’t get plate tectonics. The mantle is not as forgiving as scientists once assumed: you have to have the right internal temperature to begin with.
    “Though it’s difficult to be specific about how much, it surely does reduce the number of habitable worlds,” Korenaga wrote in an email to Business Insider. “Most … Earth-like planets (in terms of size) probably wouldn’t evolve like Earth and wouldn’t have an Earth-like atmosphere.”
    That would mean that many planets in the “Goldilocks” zone may not be habitable after all.,,,
    ,,, Mars and Venus weren’t so lucky. Those planets have a “stagnant lid” of relatively unbroken crust, and in Venus’ case, the consequences are clear: Without the ability to bury carbon in the atmosphere, the surface turned into an 860-degree-Fahrenheit hell.
    The new models suggest that rocky planets which can regulate their temperature, and thus develop all the geologic support systems life needs to emerge and thrive, are much rarer than we might hope.,,,
    he wrote. “[A] planet like Earth could well be the one of a kind in the universe.”
    http://www.businessinsider.com.....eat-2016-8

    “If some god-like being could be given the opportunity to plan a sequence of events with the expressed goal of duplicating our ‘Garden of Eden’, that power would face a formidable task. With the best of intentions but limited by natural laws and materials it is unlikely that Earth could ever be truly replicated. Too many processes in its formation involve sheer luck. Earth-like planets could certainly be made, but each would differ in critical ways. This is well illustrated by the fantastic variety of planets and satellites (moons) that formed in our solar system. They all started with similar building materials, but the final products are vastly different from each other . . . . The physical events that led to the formation and evolution of the physical Earth required an intricate set of nearly irreproducible circumstances.”
    Peter B. Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe (New York: Copernicus, 2000)

    “Earth is a precious jewel possessing a rare combination of qualities that happen to make it almost perfect for sustaining life. Lucky Planet investigates the idea that good fortune, infrequently repeated elsewhere in the Universe, played a significant role in allowing the long-term life-friendliness of our home and that it is unlikely we will succeed in finding similarly complex life elsewhere in the Universe.”
    London astrobiologist – David Waltham, Lucky Planet: Why Earth is Exceptional — and What That Means for Life in the Universe (Basic Books, 2014), p. 1.)

    Why so many ‘Earth-like’ planets wind up being bogus – Terrence McCoy – January 7, 2015
    Excerpt: In June 2011, after several promising planets either proved to be figments or balls of heat and radiation, Harvard astrophysicist Howard Smith said we’re alone in the universe.
    “We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own,” he said. “They are very hostile to life as we know it…. Extrasolar systems are far more diverse than we expected, and that means very few are likely to support life.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....38;hpid=z3

    Eric Metaxas – Does Science Argue for or against God? – (2015) video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjGPHF5A6Po

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    Probability Estimates for the Features Required by Various Life Forms:
    Excerpt:
    Requirements to sustain bacteria for 90 days or less:
    Probability for occurrence of all 501 parameters approx. 10-614
    dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-303
    longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^22
    Probability for occurrence of all 501 parameters approx. 10^-333
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22
    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^311 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.

    Requirements to sustain unicellar life for three billion year:
    Probability for occurrence of all 676 parameters approx. 10^-859
    dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-303
    longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^22
    Probability for occurrence of all 676 parameters approx. 10^-578
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22
    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^556 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracle

    Requirements to sustain intelligent physical life:
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-324
    longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22
    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracle
    http://www.reasons.org/files/c....._part3.pdf

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    As well it turns out even the immense size of the universe is necessary for life:

    Evidence for Belief in God – Rich Deem
    Excerpt: Isn’t the immense size of the universe evidence that humans are really insignificant, contradicting the idea that a God concerned with humanity created the universe? It turns out that the universe could not have been much smaller than it is in order for nuclear fusion to have occurred during the first 3 minutes after the Big Bang. Without this brief period of nucleosynthesis, the early universe would have consisted entirely of hydrogen. Likewise, the universe could not have been much larger than it is, or life would not have been possible. If the universe were just one part in 10^59 larger, the universe would have collapsed before life was possible. Since there are only 10^80 baryons in the universe, this means that an addition of just 10^21 baryons (about the mass of a grain of sand) would have made life impossible. The universe is exactly the size it must be for life to exist at all.
    http://www.godandscience.org/a.....ntro2.html

    God created the entire universe for us – February 2012
    Excerpt: If the sun were represented by the period at the end of this sentence, our galaxy would be the size of the continental United States.,,, Why didn’t God create our modest solar system and a few stars and let it go at that? Because size matters.
    If the universe weren’t as large as it is fusion would be inefficient. As a result, the universe would produce hydrogen, or hydrogen plus a small amount of helium. That means carbon and oxygen — both essential for life — would be missing.
    http://www.dailypilot.com/news.....2339.story

    Here is a video of Astrophysicist Hugh Ross explaining the principle behind the immense size of the universe as well as behind the ancient age of the universe:

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History (To see the Cosmic Background Radiation) – Hugh Ross – video (7:12 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/MxOGeqVOsvc?t=431

    Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity By Hugh Ross
    Excerpt: Brandon Carter, the British mathematician who coined the term “anthropic principle” (1974), noted the strange inequity of a universe that spends about 15 billion years “preparing” for the existence of a creature that has the potential to survive no more than 10 million years (optimistically).,, Carter and (later) astrophysicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler demonstrated that the inequality exists for virtually any conceivable intelligent species under any conceivable life-support conditions. Roughly 15 billion years represents a minimum preparation time for advanced life: 11 billion toward formation of a stable planetary system, one with the right chemical and physical conditions for primitive life, and four billion more years toward preparation of a planet within that system, one richly layered with the biodeposits necessary for civilized intelligent life. Even this long time and convergence of “just right” conditions reflect miraculous efficiency.
    Moreover the physical and biological conditions necessary to support an intelligent civilized species do not last indefinitely. They are subject to continuous change: the Sun continues to brighten, Earth’s rotation period lengthens, Earth’s plate tectonic activity declines, and Earth’s atmospheric composition varies. In just 10 million years or less, Earth will lose its ability to sustain human life. In fact, this estimate of the human habitability time window may be grossly optimistic. In all likelihood, a nearby supernova eruption, a climatic perturbation, a social or environmental upheaval, or the genetic accumulation of negative mutations will doom the species to extinction sometime sooner than twenty thousand years from now.
    http://christiangodblog.blogsp.....chive.html

    Life and Earth History Reveal God’s Miraculous Preparation for Humans – Hugh Ross, PhD – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Y496NYnm8

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8, please see BA77 for details you may not be aware of; note that a sample in the thousands from a spiral galaxy’s galactic habitable zone . . . the best type of potential site . . . is very credibly statistically significant; soberingly so. (BA77, thanks as usual for your indefatigable work to collate key information.) KF

    PS: A key insight is that many exoplanets are hot jupiters, gas giants close to their stars, suggesting a process of forming beyond the frost line then a solar system destabilising inward migration that would toss planets out of the systems . . . suggesting, onward, that there are significant numbers of wandering planets in space . . . a plot element in at least one recent sci fi work. This raises questions about the difficulty — thus, rarity or even “privilege” — of getting a long term stable solar system with terrestrial planets harbouring life. (And that is a disappointment to any Sci Fi fan or would be galaxy coloniser.) The impact of such is seen in just how loosely “earth like” is used now. As the OP discusses. A tidally locked world — unlike what Star Wars suggests, is not a good candidate.

    PPS: Those who set out to judge the motives/mind of God would be well advised not only to see that “the heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament declares his handiwork” but that

    Isa 55: 8
    For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    Job 38: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
    3 Dress for action[a] like a man;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.

    4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.
    5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?
    6 On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone,
    7 when the morning stars sang together
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I should add, I am convinced that early childhood stimulation, drawing out and encouragement have a lot to do with where a child goes in terms of its potential. And, parents (and grand parents) are the best such sources of stimulation — one of the failings of a world that seems to ever more disdain the family. Think of the successive doubling times of life in terms of 1st year, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 16th, 32nd as in effect increments equal to the so far life experience. Then as a crude model think of novelty as proportionate to what fraction of cumulative experience one has so far one day is. Multiply by how early experience is embedded in how one processes onward experience. That strongly suggests, getting powerfully stimulating experiences as early as possible, reinforced rapidly so they become baked-in. (Ever wondered why as one gets older, the days seem to speed up? Fractionally speaking, they do.) KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    Oops cross-threaded by accident. KF

  11. 11
    rvb8 says:

    Kairos, my point was that the gaps are getting smaller and smaller once again, and as you busily and inadequately refute this finding, new and more wonderful discoveries await.And you know and I know, that discoveries in science only go one way; to the detrement of God.
    What happens when, innevitably, micro-organisms are discovered, or the trace of their existance is found? Will you say it’s not intelligent? You will be right of course but it will just be another nail in your cofin shaped denial.
    Of course I’m happy science is proving once again, that the tiny minds of religion are not capable of either curiosity, or imagination. Give me the ‘Horse head’ nebulae, you can keep your burningbush!
    Does BA even realise that the lion’s portion of his time is spent in refutation. He busily plugs holes (or believes he plugs them)in his unmasted ship, as the surrounding ocean engulfs his paltry efforts; and you encourage him?
    Visit science daily, NASA or umpteen other science sites and maybe, you may grasp how Lilliputian his efforts, and yours for that matter, are.

  12. 12
    tjguy says:

    If anyone anywhere ever takes these types of headlines and pronouncements as anything more than hype, they haven’t lived very long.

    As always the difference between reality and hype is significant.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8,

    Science- of- the- gaps that per unfulfilled intellectual IOU’s are ever getting smaller is one of the myths and fundamental fallacies of scientism. (Of course, this is usually cast rhetorically in terms of a false contrast between the natural and the supernatural and projected as oh, you are appealing to god- of- the- gaps.)

    The pivotal failure of scientism is that it drastically misunderstands the reality that the claim or implication that Big-S “Science” monopolises knowledge is a self-contradictory philosophical claim. Lewontin’s classical example is that the scientific-cultural elites wish to indoctrinate hoi polloi so they imagine that “Science [is] the only begetter of truth.”

    This being a philosophical, epistemological claim, it self-refutes. Which does not prevent it from being rhetorically persuasive and emotionally manipulative, firing visions of scientific utopias to come once backward “superstition” is eliminated.

    Which polarisation should instantly trip big red warning flags.

    where also progressivist sci fi utopias are not a good place to find blueprints for a feasible future. One would have thought that the fiasco of Marxism would have taught us better. (Those who fear civilisational collapse by folly of war and self-inflicted disasters, are far more credible and we should look to history for warnings. Civilisations and great powers, historically, collapse. Tickling economic dragons’ tails leading to unsustainable booms anchored in fantasies is not a long-run strategy for success.)

    I won’t bother to play with your pretence of an ever advancing Borg-like juggernaut that will crush or absorb the pygmies that dare oppose it. (FYI, Star Trek and Gulliver’s travels are being satirical of various socio cultural myths.)

    Instead, let us go to the pivotal question of responsible, rational freedom. Without this, we cannot freely, responsibly decide to follow and acknowledge the logical and substantial force of a case, all reduces to some species or another of deterministic, GIGO-driven blind determinism. Nowadays, often cast in terms of wetware as a computational substrate. But computation, inherently, is NOT a process of responsible rational inference and judgement, it is blindly mechanical signal processing per algorithms or functions implemented in a physical substrate. Often requiring huge design, troubleshooting and debugging to get such adequately functional. That is, the smarts lie in the designer, not the substrate, which will blindly churn out error just as readily as correct results. A simple illustration is the Pentium recall on discovery of processing errors.

    More fundamentally, Reppert builds on Lewis and Haldane:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    This is an inherent limitation.

    This is a good part of why any species of physicalist reductionism is self-referential, is incoherent and is therefore self-falsifying.

    Non-starter, stumbling fatally in the gates.

    Instead, I have long since suggested Eng Derek Smith’s bio-cybernetic loop model with a two-tier controller as a more promising system architecture for discussion. Where, the in-the-loop i/o controller is under supervision through an interface to a higher order entity.

    This allows autonomy and adaptation, thus also responsibility, to be reasonably discussed.

    Where, just to have a reasonable discussion, there is an implied necessity that we are responsibly, rationally free. Or, discussion collapses into a noisy pointless clash and chaos of GIGO failures.

    That raises world-roots issues as was already discussed.

    However, this is all in a context, you responded with visceral hostility to a summary of a readily confirmed fact. Or rather, cluster of facts regarding exo-planet studies. In your mind inevitable progress of the Juggernaut will show up those wonderful earth-analogu worlds out there and will put to rest silly objections under a tidal wave of discoveries.

    The problem is, statistics is statistics.

    Backed by physics.

    We live in a galactic habitable zone out on the fringes of a spiral arm of a barred spiral galaxy. Where metallicity and sufficient remoteness from frequent supernovae count. Where elliptical and similar galaxies are not good candidates.

    Stars with good neighbourhoods, appropriate metallicity and stability are not as commonplace as we wish (including, not having a nearby companion forming a multiple star system that will tend to destabilise planetary orbits). Then, when we see now about 1,000 exoplanets, we see clearly dominant patterns: hot jupiters, which should have formed beyond the frost line then wandered in close, destabilising and expelling terrestrial inner planets. similarly, solar system simulation studies point to serious potential stability problems with planetary orbits.

    The overall effect is we have few to no actual good earth analogues, in a context where the dynamics point to this as an unfortunately likely pattern.

    Our system is of a patently rare type.

    Privileged.

    We need to face it.

    Galaxy colonisation is going to be a challenge.

    (And yes, that is in the back of my mind . . . currently moving to front burner as a means of economic transformation. Industrial civ 2.0 using more self-sufficient, open source proven tech, energy transformation, solar system colonisation, then if we can achieve the research breakthroughs to trigger it, galactic colonisation. This century’s mission being to reboot industrial civ so that a small but smart community can achieve advanced tech including self-replicating fabs close to von Neumann’s vision. The Moon, Mars, Asteroid belt and maybe gas giant moons, possibly outposts on dwarf planets over the next 200 or so years, while we see if there are breakthroughs in physics to carry us further. And yes, advanced physics with emphasis on high energy particles is the high risk, high potential payoff discipline. Galactic colonisation is a huge potential payoff justifying exploration. Earth transformation is the milk cow to feed that research. But first, we have to survive several emerging geostrategic power grabs.)

    So, no, press promo release sites are not going to answer to the sobering issues ahead.

    KF

  14. 14
    rvb8 says:

    Kairos,
    I am no misty eyed dreamer of a future in space fed and peopled by the great human race; that’s yours and BA’s nonsensical position, you call it heaven. Rembrant yes! Motzart, yes! Shakespeare, withou a doubt! You? Me? BA? Heh!:) There are immortals, whose dreams, visions, and creations will be appreciated by aliens (I saw it on a Star Trek episode), but they are not you.
    No, my point of view is clear and easy to understand. Humanity may do great things, but I doubt it. My life is important? To me, and my family and friends, but again not really important. You see, I’m ok with this, indeed my tiny insignificant part in this- what? ‘creation?’- if you like gives me an ability to see everything in its proper place; largely pointless, but fun.
    You on the other hand, and BA have this overwheening sense of self worth and self importance which interferes with your ability to enjoy the air you breeth.
    It is hard to ask the religious to view life as a precious gift, as they tend to think of their own importance and how God will keep their breth going; sorry!

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    “gives me an ability to see everything in its proper place; largely pointless, but fun.”

    The ol nihilistic “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die?”

    Nihilism is the atheistic philosophy that recognizes the lack of an objective basis for morality or purpose apart from the existence of God.

    If nihilism is true, we should eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die; Dust to dust, and all that jazz. This reminds me of the bleak lyrics of the Metallica song Nothing Else Matters:

    So close, no matter how far
    Couldn’t be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    And nothing else matters

    I never opened myself this way
    Life is ours, we live it our way
    All these words I don’t just say
    And nothing else matters

    If God doesn’t exist then Metallica is right, and the best we can do is live for ourselves, “Forever trusting who we are…and nothing else matters.”

    But if God does exist things are profoundly different. If there really is something to Easter – a real event in human history – then everything matters.

    Looking back at Easter we find purpose, significance, hope, and meaning for all who believe in Christ.

    We have purpose and hope because of a historical event of a man named Jesus raising from the dead and proving his audacious claims of being able to forgive sins and offer Heaven.

    Christians must not say, Jesus has risen and nothing else matters – but rather – Jesus has risen now everything matters.
    http://www.theolatte.com/tag/nihilism/

    You may say Christians are deluding themselves with a false hope. Yet, you are wrong, I hold that Christians have solid assurance for their faith in Christ (and also for their faith in heaven)

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram
    https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis

    Special and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbKELVHcvSI

    Scientific evidence that we do indeed have an eternal soul (Elaboration on Talbott’s question “What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?”)– video 2016
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1116313858381546/?type=2&theater

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Stephen L. Talbott – 2010
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....-of-beings

    Molecular Biology – 19th Century Materialism meets 21st Century Quantum Mechanics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCs3WXHqOv8

    Verse:

    John 14:3
    And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

  16. 16
    rvb8 says:

    “Eat, drink, and be merry for tommorow we die”; Why on earth would you consider this an insult? Along with hard work, study, sex, and physical exetion (more sex), it would appear to be a nobe life, one I am leading at present. I like study, I like working, I like sex, and food, and yes I will die, hopefully not tomorrow.
    And why BA, are you Kairos, and your followers so devoid of humour? I laugh at most things, especially God. I laughed uproriously yesterday at an infantile fart joke, because it came from an infant. What do you laugh at? I laugh at you, and this drives you a little mad. When you or Barry happily insult me,(thus braking your own postng rules) I say ‘whatever’; because I can. Luckily your beliefs don’t entirely rule your life, the enlightenment has defanged your silliest beliefs, but the erge to appear more Calvinist than your fellows is still plain.
    I laugh at God because the enlightenment lets me, Muslims have a very long road to travel. I don’t mock them, not because their faith is any more Middle Eastern nonsense than your own, I don’t mock them because they are not restrained by enlightenment values, they actally think their absurd screed is worthwhile, as upposed to what it is; drivel!

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8, Do you hear your angry, contempt-laced tone regarding an issue that is about sustainability transformation of industrial civilisation in the primary instance . . . across the next 100 years — with particular implications for transforming the South? (Where, solar system colonialisation, fusion technology and the like are in fact obvious, reasonable long-term goals of our civilisation; even as maritime exploration was the obvious challenge facing civilisations 600 years ago, one passed by Prince Henry the Navigator and failed by the short sighted bureaucrats of China who refused to build on Cheng Ho’s accomplishments.) That attitude you chose to project already speaks volumes and not in your favour. Then, you tried to turn about and project the incoherence challenge of evolutionary materialistic scientism. But in fact the necessity of responsible, rational freedom of real independently thinking selves (not delusions cast up by wetware in our heads somehow inexplicably created by blind chance and mechanical necessity vastly beyond credible capability of the observed cosmos) as the first premise of rational discussion already decisively exposes such as self-falsifying. We have already also seen the inherent amorality and undermining of moral government, justice and sustainability of society that such ideologies have again enabled over the past 100 years. Remember, all of these polarising distractions are triggered by the observation that with a sample on the order of a thousand in hand, our home world is turning out to be statistically highly unusual and even privileged. It is sadly patent that, lacking cogent answers you have resorted to the rhetoric of dismissiveness, distraction and contempt. It is plainly time for you and those who think and behave as you have, to think again. Not least, the in progress worst holocaust in history, 800+ million unborn children under false colours of rights and law enabled by the undermining of law through amoral ideologies, speaks a grim warning on the matches we are playing with here. It is time to rethink and to do better. KF

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    rvb8, as well as you ought to enjoy all those things since God created all of them for our pleasure. i.e. Every good and perfect thing comes from God.

    The problem comes when people put those things, and their own self interests, above the interests of God and of other people.

    Too much food, drink, sex, or work can become a god unto itself when it is idolized above God or other people.

    In fact, there are 12 step groups to help with each category mentioned when ‘too much pleasure’ gets out of control.

    Moreover, your personal desire that there be no God, to interfere with whatever you have placed above God, does not constitute scientific evidence against God. It merely affirms the Christian belief that men have, by nature, a rebellious heart that puts its own destructive desires above the good and perfect desires that God has for us.

    Moreover, in science, why in blue blazes should I care what your personal desires are? Only empirical evidence matters!

    And as far as the scientific evidence itself goes, your atheistic/nihilistic position is found to be ‘not even wrong’:

    Theism compared to Materialism/Naturalism – a comparative overview of the major predictions of each philosophy – video
    https://youtu.be/QQ9iyCmPmz8

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted space-time energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted space-time energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is an ‘emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. –

    4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) –

    5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).-

    6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe (G. Gonzalez; Hugh Ross). –

    7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geochemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photosynthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. –

    8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) –

    9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. –

    10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. –

    11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. (Tattersall; Luskin)–

    12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the separation of human intelligence from animal intelligence ‘is one of degree and not of kind’(C. Darwin). Theism predicted that we are made in the ‘image of God’- Despite an ‘explosion of research’ in this area over the last four decades, human beings alone are found to ‘mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities.’ (Tattersall; Schwartz). Moreover, both biological life and the universe itself are found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. –

    14. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) –

    15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe. Embedded to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans before humans become aware of the morally troubling situation and even prior to the event even happening.

    16. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that we are merely our material bodies with no transcendent component to our being, and that we die when our material bodies die. Theism predicted that we have minds/souls that are transcendent of our bodies that live past the death of our material bodies. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule).

    As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy (methodological naturalism), from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the true explanation. – In fact science is even very good at pointing us to Christianity as the solution to the much sought after ‘theory of everything’

    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uHST2uFPQY&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5&index=4

    Moreover, let us be VERY clear to the fact that ALL of science is dependent on basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility.,,,

    Conversations with Douglas Axe: How is Materialism Holding Back Science?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWcdLynqAXs

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    Moreover, if we cast aside those basic Christian presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and of the ability of the human mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility, and try to use naturalism as our basis for understanding the universe and practising science then everything within that atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. sense of self. observation of reality, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasies and imagination.

    i.e. assuming naturalism as true (i.e. methodological naturalism) leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science.

    Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, are built entirely upon a framework of illusions and fantasy – August 2016
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q94y-QgZZGF0Q7HdcE-qdFcVGErhWxsVKP7GOmpKD6o/edit

    As the preceding paper makes clear, and contrary to popular belief, It would be hard to find a more unscientific worldview than atheistic naturalism.

    Atheistic naturalism, besides being ‘anti-science’, is a severely impoverished view of reality that denies the most important parts of what it truly means to be human.

    Materialism, properly understood, purports to afford knowledge, but its salient contribution to modernity is the ignorance it demands. Materialism is a denial of reality. It’s an impoverished superstition, hardly more than magical thinking. Materialism is an amalgam of unexamined presuppositions, delusions of explanatory relevance, smug scientism, self-refuting pretense, and witless non-sequiturs posing as “scientific” conclusions.

    The fact is that the world is plainly more than atoms in the void and man is plainly more than an evolved meat machine. Our beliefs and judgments and insight — all that make us human — are immaterial, and it is obvious that transcendent purpose permeates nature. To understand ourselves and the true nature of existence, we must study theology, philosophy, logic, ethics, metaphysics, literature, fine arts, history, medicine, mathematics, anthropology, sociology, natural science, and psychology, just to start with. Biology and physics and chemistry are important, no doubt, but man and nature transcend physical science and cannot be reduced to it.

    As materialists like Wilson and Coyne and Moran and Novella and Shallit eagerly and witlessly attest, materialism entails deliberate denial of knowledge that does not derive from physical sciences.

    Materialism demands a deep ignorance of reality, and it deserves to be judged as a kind of intellectual darkness.
    – Michael Egnor
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91771.html

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Of supplemental note to Atheistic naturalism being a severely impoverished view of reality that denies the most important parts of what it truly means to be human, the fact that atheism leads to a ‘impoverished life’ is born out empirically:

    “, I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PR11#v=onepage&q&f=false
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Of related note to improving mental health

    Is Christianity Evil? (Mental Benefits of Christianity – Meta-analysis, 8:24 minute mark) – 2014 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dgESPmh-TxY#t=504

    Lack of ultimate meaning in life associated with alcohol abuse, drug addiction and other mental health problems – August 2015
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....092911.htm

    Knowledge of the afterlife deters suicide. Lessons From the Light by Kenneth Ring and Evelyn Elsaesser p.257-258:
    As far as I know, the first clinician to make use of NDE material in this context was a New York psychologist named John McDonagh. In 1979, he presented a paper at a psychological convention that described his success with several suicidal patients using a device he called “NDE bibliotherapy.” His “technique” was actually little more than having his patients read some relevant passages from Raymond Moody’s book, Reflections on Life after Life, after which the therapist and his patient would discuss its implications for the latter’s own situation. McDonagh reports that such an approach was generally quite successful not only in reducing suicidal thoughts but also in preventing the deed altogether.

    Since McDonagh’s pioneering efforts, other clinicians knowledgeable about the NDE who have had the opportunity to counsel suicidal patients have also reported similar success. Perhaps the most notable of these therapists is Bruce Greyson, a psychiatrist now at the University of Virginia, whose specialty as a clinician has been suicidology. He is also the author of a classic paper on NDEs and suicide which the specialist may wish to consult for its therapeutic implications. (14)
    Quite apart from the clinicians who have developed this form of what we might call “NDE-assisted therapy,” I can draw upon my own personal experience here to provide additional evidence of how the NDE has helped to deter suicide. The following case,,,
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/201.....lains.html

    Imagine Heaven – video series
    Description: John Burke has researched over a thousand accounts of people who have experienced life after death and come back to share their experience, as well as interviewed several in person. He’s researched what the Bible, scholars and experts have to say on the topic.
    Youtube playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAx2w5l0LlY&list=PLy61gU5NWK15AZfCB_RurkltZQ_Ldm3w9

    Interview: Dr. Mary Neal died in a Kayak accident and found evidence for the afterlife.
    Imagine Heaven – Evidence for the Afterlife (with interview of Dr. Mary Neal towards the end of the video)
    https://vimeo.com/140585737

  20. 20
  21. 21
    rvb8 says:

    800 million (unusual figure) unborn aborted fetuses. Perhaps this is true, it’s certainly true abortions have occured, and probably happen at a faster rate now becuse of the ‘day after’ pill. We are talking about exo-planets right? Why Kairos meandered into sustainability (big supporter BTW)is beyond me. Does he believe if we find more earth like worlds we can rubbish this one?
    BA called me a nihilist, I am not, finding other worlds would seem to point to a positivity he, and Kairos deny; our earth is it, the waste of space is just that, a waste of space? Sounds pretty nihilistic to me. But then I don’t see humanity as the be all and end all of creation (I’m happy with that word if it soothes some feathers).

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8,

    you and ilk continually monitor UD looking for how to pounce. So, you pretty well know or should know the basis. Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute reports a global abortion rate 50+million pa. In a recent BBC item, the remark was it had fallen to 52 from 56 mn.

    Take 50, multiply by 40 y and by 1/2 for a simple growth model. Slice off 20% to be on the safe side, see where that gets you . . . you fill in the blank: ______ mn . . . since the mid 70’s but to the worst, ongoing holocaust in history, half a generation slaughtered in the womb under false colour of law, perversion of medicine in ways Hippocrates of Cos warned against through the famous oath 2500 years ago, with an enabling media culture and educational elite.

    Guilty, guilty, guilty are we.

    With the American total now about 60 millions in line with their proportion of the global population.

    This is a global failure of civilisation.

    One that utterly indicts us as an utterly be-numbed, en-darkened, wicked age.

    The further issue is, evolutionary materialistic scientism under-writes the key radically secularist humanism, cultural marxism and the like that are so much a part of the picture, where from Plato in The Laws Bk X 2350+ years ago, it was known that such is inherently radically relativistic and amoral, thus utterly undermines objectivity of moral government and therefore opens the door to might and manipulation make right nihilism. Yes, 2350+ years ago, we have no excuse of ignorance. Scientism, by in effect trying to undermine bases for knowledge other than big-S Science, manages to put up an epistemological — thus philosophical — claim that refutes itself.

    In addition, evo mat radically undermines the coherent, responsibly and rationally free self, ending in self falsification by incoherence. This of course fatally corrodes responsible, reasonable discussion — a phenomenon readily seen from ever so much Darwinist trollery all across the Internet.

    We need to get back to basics and realise that we must be responsibly, rationally free or discussion is futile.

    Yes, that puts on the table the issue, what sort of world-root grounds the existence of beings like we must be, just to account for the massive fact of responsible, rational discussion and freedom, on pain of self-referential absurdity.

    After Hume’s guillotine argument, that requires a world in which IS and OUGHT are inextricably fused in the root, bridging the notorious gap. Where also, non-being has no causal powers so if once there were utterly nothing, such would forever obtain. We need necessary being root, and one simultaneously capable of grounding ought.

    There is but one viable, serious candidate (after centuries of debates): the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the responsible, reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our manifestly evident nature.

    If you doubt, simply put up an alternative and engage comparative difficulties: ____________________ . (Of course, to do so, you imply responsible, rational freedom, and any scheme of thought not consistent with such cannot meet the coherence and factual adequacy tests so dies not even reach the stage of being tested for balanced elegant explanatory power. This sweeps away entire categories of views fashionable over the past 150 years.)

    So, it is high time to re-think, undergo metanoia and set out to reform our civilisation from its deeply suicidal blood guilt, be-numbing of conscience, en-darkenment of mind, and ongoing march of folly.

    KF

    PS: As for meandered into sustainability, in your patent contempt you did not even pause to do the homework that would easily show that I have long been a practising professional under that theme (with a focus on capacity development — cf here for a recent remark:http://kairosfocus.blogspot.co.....-gvcs.html ), seeing the principle as an application of Kant’s Categorical imperative (and the classical Golden Rule), though I am leery of some of the more junk science and bad economics claims that are too often advanced under that rubric. Energy and industrial civilisation transformation are tied to that. If we can get something like polywell fusion to work, and the Bussard drive, that puts greening across the globe within reach in this century and onward solar system colonialisation. Molten salt and pebble bed reactors are despatchable, allowing us to get out of many of the intermittency problems that plague ever so many renewable techs. I have hope that algae oil may come through, and have not given up hopes for fuel cells. And yes, energy is the pivot. Though good governance transformation is not far behind . . . a current major focus. The distortions of law, government, media, education, family and more driven by abortion are a major manifestation of the progressive disintegration of governance leading to crises that will invite that notorious “solution” the follow me blindly, manipulative political messiah.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Plato’s warning, 2350+ years ago:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: To begin to go back to focus, I find this recent remark by Walker and Davies rather illuminating:

    In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.

    We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).

    [–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]

    Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker [31] for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]

    In short, islands of function in large config spaces pointing to fine tuning and/or to functionally specific complex organisation and associated information; well-known signatures of intelligently directed configuration that (on long observation) are only controversial in an origins context because of entrenched evolutionary materialism.

    To get back to focus, just note that we now have of order of magnitude 1,000 exoplanets, and they show a pattern that makes us see the statistics pointing to the rarity and even privilege of our own home world. Where, just the common pattern of hot jupiters orbiting stars close in speaks to how readily solar system dynamics can be disrupted with planets moving about and kicking out other planets. Models of our own system and explorations of what if scenarios readily confirm just how easily things can get into the solar system equivalent of a billiards game.

    As I noted in comment 1 which obviously triggered RVB8:

    I find the details NS gives interestingly in contrast with the pop sci news type headlines about earth-like planets just next door:

    The team says the planet is likely to be 30 per cent more massive than Earth, although it could be bigger than that. It orbits the star at a distance of 7.3 million kilometres – less than 5 per cent of the distance between Earth and the sun – making its year last just 11.2 Earth days.

    You might think such a tight orbit would scorch the surface of the planet. But Proxima Centauri is a small, red dwarf star and shines much less fiercely than the sun. Standing on the surface of the planet, you’d see the star as a dull red orb, about three times as large as the sun appears from Earth. As a result, the planet sits in its star’s habitable zone, and its surface temperature may be right for it to host liquid water.

    “The similarities end there,” says Anglada-Escudé. Even our knowledge of the surface temperature is fairly uncertain, ranging from a possible -33 °C to the high hundreds, depending on its atmosphere.

    That’s just the average temperature. However, Proxima b and its star are probably tidally locked, so the same face of the planet always points towards the star. So one half of the globe is in perpetual day, the other in never-ending night. “That’s not very Earth-like,” Anglada-Escudé says.

    Privileged planet strikes again!

    (The headline you will NEVER see in NS.)

    KF

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I headlined 22, so there is a thread where that and linked issues are on-topic: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ears-from/ KF

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