Exoplanets Fine tuning Intelligent Design

Team finds Earth’s mineralogy is unique in cosmos

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rhodochrosite/Robert Downs

From ScienceDaily:

New research predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.

Wouldn’t that b bad news to the cosmos-a-minute/fund us!! crowd?

Minerals form from novel combinations of elements. These combinations can be facilitated by both geological activity, including volcanoes, plate tectonics, and water-rock interactions, and biological activity, such as chemical reactions with oxygen and organic material.

Nearly a decade ago, Hazen developed the idea that the diversity explosion of planet’s minerals from the dozen present at the birth of our Solar System to the nearly 5,000 types existing today arose primarily from the rise of life. More than two-thirds of known minerals can be linked directly or indirectly to biological activity, according to Hazen. Much of this is due to the rise of bacterial photosynthesis, which dramatically increased the atmospheric oxygen concentration about 2.4 billion years ago.

– Grethe Hystad, Robert T. Downs, Edward S. Grew, Robert M. Hazen. Statistical analysis of mineral diversity and distribution: Earth’s mineralogy is unique. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2015; 426: 154 DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.06.028 More.

It’s certainly worth considering that life forms might shape minerals at or near Earth’s surface for their own benefit, creating a specialized environment that is not automatically replicable on a far-off planet.

Here’s the abstract:

Earth’s mineralogical diversity arises from both deterministic processes and frozen accidents. We apply statistical methods and comprehensive mineralogical databases to investigate chance versus necessity in mineral diversity-distribution relationships. Hundreds of mineral species, including most common rock-forming minerals, distinguish an “Earth-like” planet from other terrestrial bodies. However, most of Earth’s ~5000 mineral species are rare, known from only a few localities. We demonstrate that, in spite of deterministic physical, chemical, and biological factors that control most of our planet’s mineral diversity, Earth’s mineralogy is unique in the cosmos. (paywall) – Grethe Hystada, Robert T. Downsb, Edward S. Grewc, Robert M. Hazend

Just because a planet is out there somewhere and has water doesn’t mean it’s a marine aquarium, right?

See also: Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

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2 Replies to “Team finds Earth’s mineralogy is unique in cosmos

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    This finding falls right in line with the privileged planet hypothesis. The privileged planet hypothesis states:

    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards – The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability

    The Privileged Planet – video playlist

    Yet for observers to be able to make scientific discoveries on a ‘privileged planet’, that planet would need to have the proper resources, i.e. metal ores, minerals, and energy, in order to be able to sustain a technologically advanced civilization for any reasonable amount of time.

    Hugh Ross puts the situation like this:

    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.

    As a Christian, I like the metaphor of ‘preparing for a wedding’ that Dr. Ross uses in the following video to illustrate the disparity that ‘The Anthropic Inequality’ presents in terms of providing a ‘window of time’ for any technologically advanced civilization in the universe to exist:

    Hugh Ross – The Anthropic Principle and The Anthropic Inequality – video (23:00 minute mark)

    As well, in conjection with the privileged planet principle, and the anthropic inequality, the chemistry of the universe just so happens to be of optimal benefit for life like human life

    Privileged Species – video

    The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013
    Summary (page 11)
    Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive. It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms. If carbon-based life is all there is, as seems likely, then the design of any active complex terrestrial being would have to closely resemble our own. Indeed the suite of properties of water, oxygen, and CO2 together impose such severe constraints on the design and functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that their design, even down to the details of capillary and alveolar structure can be inferred from first principles. For complex beings of high metabolic rate, the designs actualized in complex Terran forms are all that can be. There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms.

    a few supplemental notes:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Examples of fine – tuning for discoverability.
    ,,A small increase in ? (fine structure constant) would have resulted in all open wood fires going out; yet harnessing fire was essential to the development of civilization, technology, and science – e.g., the forging of metals.,,,
    Going in the other direction, if ? (fine structure constant) were decreased, light microscopes would have proportionality less resolving power without the size of living cells or other microscopic objects changing.,,,
    Thus, it is quite amazing that the resolving power of light microscopes goes down to that of the smallest cell (0.2 microns), but no further. If it had less resolving power, some cells could not be observed alive. The fine – structure constant, therefore, is just small enough to allow for open wood fires and just large enough for the light microscope to be able to see all living cells.

    The Concentration of Metals for Humanity’s Benefit:
    Excerpt: They demonstrated that hydrothermal fluid flow could enrich the concentration of metals like zinc, lead, and copper by at least a factor of a thousand. They also showed that ore deposits formed by hydrothermal fluid flows at or above these concentration levels exist throughout Earth’s crust. The necessary just-right precipitation conditions needed to yield such high concentrations demand extraordinary fine-tuning. That such ore deposits are common in Earth’s crust strongly suggests supernatural design.

    Newly Discovered Bacterium Forms Intracellular Minerals – May 11, 2012
    Excerpt: A new species of photosynthetic bacterium has come to light: it is able to control the formation of minerals (calcium, magnesium, barium and strontium carbonates) within its own organism. ,, carbonate rocks that date back some 3.5 billion years and are among the earliest traces of life on Earth.

    Calcium carbonate, of which chalk, limestone and marble are made, also makes up corals, shells of snails and other animals, and stromatolites. Strontium Carbonate is used in Ceramics, Pyrotechnics, Electronics and metallurgy. Barium carbonate is widely used in the ceramics industry as an ingredient in glazes. It acts as a flux, a matting and crystallizing agent and combines with certain colouring oxides to produce unique colours not easily attainable by other means. In the brick, tile, earthenware and pottery industries barium carbonate is added to clays to precipitate soluble salts. Magnesium carbonate also has several important uses for man.

    The preceding was just a brief search for uses for minerals. I’m sure that if a study were done of all 5000 minerals then many minerals on Hazen’s list of 5000 minerals will be found to be essential for technologically advanced civilization to exist.

    Minerals and Their Uses
    Every segment of society uses minerals and mineral resources everyday. The roads we ride or drive on and the buildings we live learn and work in all contain minerals.

    Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides.
    – Paul G. Falkowski – Professor Geological Sciences – Rutgers

  2. 2
    mahuna says:

    “It’s certainly worth considering that life forms might shape minerals at or near Earth’s surface for their own benefit”

    I think you have this kinda backwards. From what I understand, atmospheric oxygen and any number of other useful chemical compounds are the WASTE PRODUCTS of the processes that produce them. That is, plants eat carbon dioxide and excrete poisonous oxygen.

    One can only marvel at the intricacy of the Designer’s work in setting things up like that. Plankton has no use for oxygen, but a billion years later humans would need that oxygen to make the humans’ entirely different biological systems work. And all those little critters who toiled for eons precipitating iron oxide out of sea water so that the concentrated iron deposits would be worth the effort to mine in order to make Porsches. Now THAT is “goal-seeking”.

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