Intelligent Design

How life shaped Earth, with a hat tip to Lynn Margulis

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With a hat tip to Lynn Margulis, a biologist who was not really a Darwinian:

The more we look through a Gaian lens, the more we see that nearly every aspect of our planet has been biologically distorted beyond recognition. Earth’s rocks contain more than 4,000 different minerals (the crystalline molecules that make up rocks). This is a much more varied smorgasbord of mineral types than we have seen on any other world. Geochemists studying the mineral history of Earth have concluded that by far the majority of these would not exist without the presence of life on our planet. So, on Earth’s life altered surface, the very rocks themselves are biological byproducts. A big leap in this mineral diversity occurred after life oxygenated Earth’s atmosphere, leading to a plethora of new oxidized minerals that sprinkled colorful rocks throughout Earth’s sediments. Observed on a distant planet, such vast and varied mineral diversity could be a sign of a living world, so this is a potential biosignature (or Gaiasignature) we can add to the more commonly cited Lovelock criterion of searching for atmospheric gases that have been knocked out of equilibrium by life. In fact, minerals and life seem to have fed off each other going all the way back to the beginning. Evidence has increased that minerals were vital catalysts and physical substrates for the origin of life on Earth. Is it really a huge leap, then, to regard the mineral surface of Earth as part of a global living system, part of the body of Gaia?

David Grinspoon, “Why Most Planets Will Either Be Lush or Dead” at Nautilus

Grinspoon argues that life helping shape Earth means that most planets will either be lush or dead.

Maybe. David, find us one that isn’t dead and we promise to get back to you soon.

Note: Lynn Margulis: “(born March 5, 1938, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.—died November 22, 2011, Amherst, Massachusetts), American biologist whose serial endosymbiotic theory of eukaryotic cell development revolutionized the modern concept of how life arose on Earth.” –Britannica

See also: What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter? (fine-tuning)

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One Reply to “How life shaped Earth, with a hat tip to Lynn Margulis

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    The Earth is far more unique in this universe than the author(s) realize(s).

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    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

    And that is just the probability of getting a planet that can support intelligent life in this universe,,, that does not even take into account the probability against ‘simple’ life randomly appearing on that life supporting planet, or against advanced life forms randomly evolving from that ‘simple’ life on that life supporting planet,,

    Excerpt: Molecular biophysicist, Horold Morowitz (Yale University), calculated the odds of life beginning under natural conditions (spontaneous generation). He calculated, if one were to take the simplest living cell and break every chemical bond within it, the odds that the cell would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment) would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000. You will have probably have trouble imagining a number so large, so Hugh Ross provides us with the following example. If all the matter in the Universe was converted into building blocks of life, and if assembly of these building blocks were attempted once a microsecond for the entire age of the universe. Then instead of the odds being 1 in 10^100,000,000,000, they would be 1 in 10^99,999,999,916 (also of note: 1 with 100 billion zeros following would fill approx. 20,000 encyclopedias)

    16 Steps to Generating Advanced Life | Dr Hugh Ross – July 13, 2017
    Excerpt: Naturalists, materialists, deists, and most theistic evolutionists would answer that the chemicals on early Earth spontaneously self-assembled into a simple cell that was able to reproduce. From there, the cell’s daughters evolved to produce all the life-forms that have ever existed throughout the past 3.8 billion years. Such a history requires that life make at least 16 transitional steps in order to generate advanced life-forms.,,,
    ,,, Evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala notes that, from a Darwinian perspective, each step is highly improbable. Taking into account just a few of these steps, Ayala determined that the probability of intelligent life arising from bacteria to be less than one chance in 10^1,000,000.(1)
    Physicists John Barrow, Brandon Carter, and Frank Tipler calculated the probability of all 16 steps occurring to be less than one chance in 10^24,000,000.(2) To get a feel for how miniscule this probability is, it is roughly equivalent to someone winning the California lottery 3,000,000 consecutive times where that individual purchases just one lottery ticket each time. Realistically, this probability is indistinguishable from someone winning the California lottery 3,000,000 consecutive times where the individual purchases no tickets at all.

    As William Lane Craig quipped about Barrow and Tipler’s work, ” if evolution did occur, it literally would have been a miracle and evidence for the existence of God.”

    “In Barrow and Tippler’s book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, they list ten steps necessary in the course of human evolution, each of which, is so improbable that if left to happen by chance alone, the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have incinerated the earth. They estimate that the odds of the evolution (by chance) of the human genome is somewhere between 4 to the negative 180th power, to the 110,000th power, and 4 to the negative 360th power, to the 110,000th power. Therefore, if evolution did occur, it literally would have been a miracle and evidence for the existence of God.”
    – William Lane Craig – If Human Evolution Did Occur It Was A Miracle – video

    Dr. Ross points out that the extremely long amount of time it took to prepare a suitable place for technologically advanced humans to exist in this universe, for the relatively short period of time that we can exist on this planet, is actually a point of evidence that argues strongly for Theism:

    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.

    The fact of the matter is that the history of earth, and life on earth, gives every indication of “God’s Miraculous Preparation for Humans.”

    Life and Earth History Reveal God’s Miraculous Preparation for Humans – Hugh Ross, PhD – video (2014)

    Moreover on top of all that, there are anomalies in the CMBR, (Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation), which ‘strangely’ line up with the earth and solar system. Here is an excellent clip from the documentary “The Principle” that explains, in an easy to understand manner, how these ‘anomalies’ were found, via ‘averaging out’, in the tiny temperature variations in the CMBR data.

    Cosmic Microwave Background Proves Intelligent Design (disproves Copernican principle) (clip of “The Principle”) – video

    In other words, the “tiny temperature variations” in the CMBR, reveal teleology, (i.e. a goal directed purpose, a plan), that specifically included the earth from the start. ,,, The earth, from what our best science can now tell us, is not some random cosmic fluke as atheists have been presupposing all along.

    Genesis 1:1
    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

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