WK has pointed out a vid sequence at YouTube, in which Dr Gonzalez lays out a good summary of the privileged planet thesis. Here is the start:
WK (what, you haven’t bookmarked and speed-dialled this blog yet? tut, tut! . . . ) summarises on points of significance for reflection:
- What is the Copernican Principle?
- Is the Earth’s suitability for hosting life rare in the universe?
- Does the Earth have to be the center of the universe to be special?
- How similar to the Earth does a planet have to be to support life?
- What is the definition of life?
- What are the three minimal requirements for life of any kind?
- Requirement 1: A molecule that can store information (carbon)
- Requirement 2: A medium in which chemicals can interact (liquid water)
- Requirement 3: A diverse set of chemical elements
- What is the best environment for life to exist?
- Our place in the solar system: the circumstellar habitable zone
- Our place in the galaxy: the galactic habitable zones
- Our time in the universe’s history: the cosmic habitable age
- Other habitability requirements (e.g. – metal-rich star, massive moon, etc.)
- The orchestration needed to create a habitable planet
- How different factors depend on one another through time
- How tweaking one factor can adversely affect other factors
- How many possible places are there in the universe where life could emerge?
- Given these probabilistic resources, should we expect that there is life elsewhere?
- How to calculate probabilities using the “Product Rule”
- Can we infer that there is a Designer just because life is rare? Or do we need more?
There’s more there too.
Such as, this thought or two on design inferences in the broader sense:
- Are the habitable places in the universe also the best places to do science?
- Do the factors that make Earth habitable also make it good for doing science?
- Some places and times in the history of the universe are more habitable than others
- Those exact places and times also allow us to make scientific discoveries
I think this vid sequence is a very good use for an hour of our time. END
PS: This review paper on the habitable Zones concept is also well worth perusing.