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While I haven’t actually read the book or seen the movie …


[William Tucker writes:] I haven’t seen the movie, but I did read the excerpt from the book, The Privileged Planet, in the March 2004 issue of The American Spectator. I don’t know whether I’d call authors Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards’ argument “religious.” “Creepy” would seem a better term. MORE

Oh my word! What a small world! I was looking at little closer at the wonderful article on the miraculous properties of water and the author's name, Chuck Missler, rang a great big bell. http://www.khouse.org/pages/mcat/khouse/about_the_misslers/ As Chuck notes, his day of reckoning came several years ago when -- as the result of a merger -- he found himself the chairman and a major shareholder of a small, publicly owned development company known as Phoenix Group International. The firm established an $8 billion joint venture with the Soviet Union to supply personal computers to their 143,000 schools. Due to several unforeseen circumstances, the venture failed. The Misslers lost everything, including their home, automobiles and insurance. It was during this difficult time that Chuck turned to God and the Bible. As a child he developed an intense interest in the Bible; studying it became a favorite pastime. In the 1970s, while still in the corporate world, Chuck began leading weekly Bible studies at the 30,000-member Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in California. He and Nancy established Koinonia House in 1973. I was the Vice President of Engineering at the firm that developed the personal computer the Soviets were going to purchase in what would have been the largest single computer supply contract in the world. "Several years ago" is a bit dated now as this was around 1992. I didn't know Chuck lost so much. None of it was my fault as the computer worked like a charm and was a model of efficient design. When Chuck's company finally folded I landed a new job at Dell Computer Corporation. What a small world! Sorry for the off-topic comment. I was just too amazed by this and had to tell someone! DaveScot
Tucker's mention of ice being lighter than water prompted me to wonder if there are any other substances where the solid form is lighter than the liquid form. I didn't find any but I did come upon this wonderful article talking about many other unique characteristics of water. Off topic though it is I thought I'd share it here: http://www.khouse.org/articles/2002/440/ I really didn't understand where Tucker was coming from. He seemed bipolar on the whole subject bouncing back and forth between design and no design. He also seemed quite uninformed. For instance, after gigging the Spectator for writing 1022 instead of 10^22 he goes on to make his own mistake of saying galaxies contain 100,000 to 1,000,000 stars. Doesn't everyone know that galaxies contain billions of stars? The Milky Way, an average sizy galaxy, contains around 100 billion stars. He goes on saying "the odds of life being out there are fairly good". Well, not really. I was as big a fan of Carl Sagan as anyone else but it turns out old Carl was probably way wrong. The Drake Equation predicted that the universe, and our galaxy, should be teeming with intelligent life like our own. The Copernican Principle of Mediocrity directs us to make that assumption as well. Thus SETI was born. And SETI became more famously unsuccessful the Fermi Paradox was born - the paradox being that the Drake Equation predicted so much life and SETI not finding a trace of any. There have been many attempts to explain to paradox. The Privileged Planet is one of those attempts. Indeed, even NASA's exobiology program sponsers research into the Fermi Paradox. Much of the evidence the Privileged Planet uses came from NASA sponsered research into quantifying what's called the "galactic habitable zone". As it turns out, the earth IS pretty darn unique, the Copernican Principle of Mediocrity didn't apply, and that may indeed explain the Fermi Paradox. Tucker seems to be way behind the times and is stuck parroting a simplistic version of Sagan's Cosmos. PP meanwhile takes a few steps beyond Fermi explanations and looks at some other unique things about the earth like the moon being at exactly the right distance and size to perfectly eclipse the sun but not a hair more. What're the odds of that? Astronomical would be my guess. A transparent atmosphere is also rather unique. These and other facts about the earth lead to a perfectly reasonable speculation that the earth was purposely platted for observation of the universe. Perfectly reasonable if one does not a priori discount design and purpose in the universe. I for one cannot abide an a priori assumption like that when there is no evidence to warrant such an assumption. Such an assumption isn't science, it's a philosophy. Tucker just doesn't seem to "get it" and wanders around in an uninformed manner talking about the science in Privileged Planet. But then he goes bipolar and brings up a unique characteristic of water which he thinks points to design. It's a good point and one I hadn't fully considered before which led me to the wonderful, informative article on water I mentioned at the outset. And then he closes with the quote from Job. So where is Tucker coming from and what the heck was his point? It seems he just has a personal bone to pick with the Discovery Institute and vents with some gratuitous and poorly constructed DI bashing. above. DaveScot
The same person who wrote this: “Now wait a minute. Are you trying to argue that not only did God put us here on earth but also arranged the size of the sun and the moon so that Einstein’s theory of relativity could be verified? This seems a little far-fetched to me.” Wrote THIS just a few short paragraphs later: “Personally, I prefer the explanation offered in the Book of Job. ‘Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?’ The ways of God are still more mysterious than any of us can comprehend.” And, surprisingly, the irony didn’t knock him over. nostrowski
I think Denyse is right! Denyse, why do you doubt darwinism? Benjii
"I haven’t seen the movie, but I did read the excerpt from the book, The Privileged Planet, in the March 2004 issue of The American Spectator. " I read this comment four times, just to make sure I was reading right. I am stunned by the number of people who are willing to protest or offer opinions about review a film they have never seen and comment on a book of which they have read only an excerpt. As a journalist, I get annoyed when such people trot out the errors of the press, when a journalist who is caught doing this kind of thing is typically fired in disgrace. Also, many of the non-viewer reviewers (Darwinbots) worry that the United States is about to become a theocracy. Darwinbots, relax. You have nothing to fear. If you are willing to rail about films you have not seen and books you have not read - an ayatollah would ask no more of you than that. Denyse O'Leary Toronto O'Leary

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