Extraterrestrial life Fine tuning Intelligent Design

Fine-tuning: Is Earth’s magnetic core special too, compared to Mars’s?

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A photo of one full lit side of Mars, showing the reddish brown color of its surface and a white spot on the southern side.
Mars/NASA

Physicist S. Fred Singer offers some suggestions pertaining to the hunt for life on Mars:

1. Super-rotation of the core

Seismic data, taken over a period of several years (Zhang, et al., Science 2005), suggest that the (innermost, solid iron) core is rotating slightly faster than the rest of the Earth, at 0.3-0.5 degrees/yr. We don’t know if this super-rotation is constant or varies over time. The analysts did not suggest a cause, hence relatively little attention has been devoted to the phenomenon. Most scientists I talked to had never heard of it.

2. Possible explanation of super-rotation

If I invert the question and ask, “Why is the Earth rotating slower than its core?,” then the answer becomes clear to me, and I can even calculate and estimate its magnitude. The slowing down may be caused by tidal friction, produced by the Moon. This also means that the super-rotation has been going on for billions of years.

6. We may assume that similar processes happened on Mars. I believe that its core was liquefied by tidal friction, but it has cooled and is no longer liquid. Mars no longer has a general magnetic field like the Earth. Its magnetosphere has now disappeared, but its shielding effect may have lasted long enough, I believe, to maintain an ocean on Mars’s surface for some time.

7. Lundin and others have measured the removal of the Martian upper atmosphere by the sweeping action of the solar wind. The crucial question is this: did the Mars atmosphere and surface ocean exist long enough to permit the creation of life forms – as it did on Earth? S. Fred Singer, “Calculating life on Mars” at American Thinker

So he is hoping to find “either krypto-life or paleo-life, just below the Martian surface.”

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See also: The early universe was flat to a “suspicious” one part in a million Hence cosmic inflation theory, promoted with some pretty wild theorizing

and

What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?

4 Replies to “Fine-tuning: Is Earth’s magnetic core special too, compared to Mars’s?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    First, the geodynamo has been present since very early in Earth’s history

    Scientists ‘Iron Out’ Phenomenon That Sustains Magnetic Field Of Earth – 2 June 2016
    Excerpt: “Without Earth’s magnetic field, life on the planet might not exist.
    For 3.4 billion years, this magnetic field has prevented Earth from becoming extremely vulnerable to high-energy particles called cosmic radiation.
    Scientists know that what generates the protective magnetic field is the low heat conduction of liquid iron in the planet’s outer core. This phenomenon is known as “geodynamo.”
    However, although geodynamo has been identified, experts have yet to understand how it was first created and sustained all throughout history….In the end, researchers found that the ability of iron to transmit heat were not at par with previous estimates of thermal conductivity in the core. It was actually between 18 and 44 watts per meter per kelvin.
    This suggests that the energy needed to sustain the geodynamo has been present since very early in Earth’s history, researchers concluded.
    http://www.techtimes.com/artic.....-earth.htm

    Second, the magnetic field is only one of hundreds of parameters that are required to be met in order for life to even be possible on earth:

    Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God
    The odds of life existing on another planet grow ever longer. Intelligent design, anyone? – By ERIC METAXAS – Dec. 24, 2014
    Excerpt: 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.
    Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing.
    Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?
    http://inters.org/files/metaxa.....singly.pdf

    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://d4bge0zxg5qba.cloudfron.....3_ver2.pdf

    Third, even given the optimal conditions for life to exist on earth, there is still no reason to presuppose biological life should exist on earth much less anywhere else in the universe. The optimal conditions for life to exist on earth are a necessary but certainly not a sufficient condition to explain why life exists on earth. As James Tour states, “Life should not exist anywhere in our universe. Life should not even exist on the surface of the earth.”

    An Open Letter to My Colleagues – James Tour – 2017
    Excerpt: We synthetic chemists should state the obvious. The appearance of life on earth is a mystery. We are nowhere near solving this problem. The proposals offered thus far to explain life’s origin make no scientific sense.
    Beyond our planet, all the others that have been probed are lifeless, a result in accord with our chemical expectations. The laws of physics and chemistry’s Periodic Table are universal, suggesting that life based upon amino acids, nucleotides, saccharides and lipids is an anomaly. Life should not exist anywhere in our universe. Life should not even exist on the surface of the earth.17
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....colleagues
    James Tour, a Christian, is one of the leading synthetic organic chemists in the world

    “We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions. We have no idea how the basic set of molecules, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins, were made and how they could have coupled into the proper sequences, and then transformed into the ordered assemblies until there was the construction of a complex biological system, and eventually to that first cell.
    Nobody has any idea how this was done when using our commonly understood mechanisms of chemical science. Those that say they understand are generally wholly uninformed regarding chemical synthesis. Those that say “Oh, this is well worked out,” they know nothing, nothing about chemical synthesis – Nothing!
    Further cluelessness – From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks let alone their assembly into a complex system.
    That’s how clueless we are. I’ve asked all of my colleagues – National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners -I sit with them in offices; nobody understands this. So if your professors say it’s all worked out, your teachers say it’s all worked out, they don’t know what they’re talking about. It is not worked out. You cannot just refer this to somebody else; they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
    James Tour – one of the top ten leading chemists in the world
    The Origin of Life: An Inside Story – March 2016 Lecture with James Tour
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zQXgJ-dXM4

    For pop-sci media to constantly gloss over this profound enigma of exactly where life came from, as if it is no big deal, and to basically claim that life is just an accident that can occur repeatedly, is to blatantly ignore what the science itself is telling us, and is also to, IMHO, severely cheapen how precious ones very own life actually is.

    From the best scientific evidence we have, life gives every indication of being an outright miracle from God and should be treated with the respect it deserves, especially by those who claim to be speaking with some semblance of scientific knowledge about the matter.

    To Model the Simplest Microbe in the World, You Need 128 Computers – July 2012
    Excerpt: Mycoplasma genitalium has one of the smallest genomes of any free-living organism in the world, clocking in at a mere 525 genes. That’s a fraction of the size of even another bacterium like E. coli, which has 4,288 genes.,,,
    The bioengineers, led by Stanford’s Markus Covert, succeeded in modeling the bacterium, and published their work last week in the journal Cell. What’s fascinating is how much horsepower they needed to partially simulate this simple organism. It took a cluster of 128 computers running for 9 to 10 hours to actually generate the data on the 25 categories of molecules that are involved in the cell’s lifecycle processes.,,,
    ,,the depth and breadth of cellular complexity has turned out to be nearly unbelievable, and difficult to manage, even given Moore’s Law. The M. genitalium model required 28 subsystems to be individually modeled and integrated, and many critics of the work have been complaining on Twitter that’s only a fraction of what will eventually be required to consider the simulation realistic.,,,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/tec.....rs/260198/

    Minimal Cell Challenges Naturalism – March 26, 2016
    Excerpt: “If we’re already playing God, we’re not doing a particularly good job of it,” Elfick says. “Simply streamlining what’s already in nature doesn’t seem very God-like and, if anything, is a very humbling exercise.”
    Venter also felt the humility vibes, according to Live Science:
    “We’re showing how complex life is even in the simplest of organisms,” said Craig Venter, founder and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), where the study was completed. “These findings are very humbling in that regard.”
    http://crev.info/2016/03/minim.....aturalism/

    “Reason and science compels us to see what previous generations could not: that our existence is an outrageous and astonishing miracle, one so startlingly and perhaps so disturbingly miraculous that it makes any miracle like the parting of the Red Sea pale in such insignificance that it almost becomes unworthy of our consideration, as though it were something done easily by a child, half-asleep. It is something to which the most truly human response is some combination of terror and wonder, of ancient awe, and childhood joy.”
    Eric Metaxas – Miracles – pages 55-56

    Of supplemental note: If scientists really want to find out the ‘sufficient cause’ that is necessary to coherently explain exactly where life actually came from in the first place, I suggest that looking to the One Who defeated death might just be an excellent place to start looking:

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

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

  2. 2
    FourFaces says:

    Thanks, BA77. It’s also good to note that many migratory species depend on the magnetic field for navigation.

  3. 3
    vmahuna says:

    The last I’d read on the miraculous creation of Earth from a VERY precisely arranged collision between proto-Earth and proto-Moon included:

    1. Proto-Earth shedding a substantial portion of the original crust, which was taken up by proto-Moon. This is why our current Moon has such a consistent density straight through: Moon is pure crust. For Earth, it means that our Thin Crust produces Tectonic Plates. Venus, with its original Thick Crust, has no tectonic activity, preventing any number of useful resurfacings of that planet.

    2. Proto-Moon shed its ENTIRE metallic core, which quickly sank and amalgamated with Earth’s original core. This gave Earth an outsized iron core, fully capable of producing the powerful van Allen Belts needed to protect Life on Earth.

    3. No similar processes never occurred on Mars, and never could have. Mars’s dinky little moons could never have transferred massive amounts of Iron to Mars’s interior, and without anything comparable to Earth’s van Allen Belts, Mars was destined to be a wasteland from its very beginning.

    So Earth is “unlikely” or “favored” or “rare”. The tiny tolerances required for the Earth-Moon collision imply an aimed shot by a skilled Sniper, who spent a billion years lining it up.

    And of course the resulting Moon is EXACTLY the right size to produce SPECTACULAR Eclipses by the time Humans appeared. The Moon is inching in for its eventual Second Collision with Earth. But during The Time of Man, the Moon “just happens” to have the same apparent size as the Sun, allowing for a Total Eclipse. No other moon in the solar system can produce any similar spectacle during a Sun-moon-planet alignment.

    Amazing what you can get by random chance.

  4. 4
    mike1962 says:

    vmahuna: EXACTLY the right size to produce SPECTACULAR Eclipses

    In order for the solar and lunar eclipses to work so nicely, it has to be the right sized sun, at the right distance, with the right sized earth, and the distance from the right sized sun has to be such that the energy level is just right for stable and utterly complex biosphere, ocean management, etc. Then a right sized moon at the right distance to be tidally locked, and also add energy to the ocean and atmospheric management. A lot of happy accidents! And that’s just at the planetary level. Whew! Who knew randomness could be so interesting.

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