Thursday, January 10, 2013

Evolution is False - Planetary Habitability of Earth

Someone decided to list 10 reasons why evolution is false. I decided to go through them. Here's my list addressing them so far:

10. Pagan Origins of Evolution

Here's today's argument as to why evolution is false.
9. Planetary Habitability of Earth: The Earth is balanced just right in this galaxy. The Earth has all the necessary conditions to maintain life including a stable habitable zone from the sun, the right amount of water, protective “gas giant” planets, the ideal orbit for stable temperatures, an ideal axial tilt to maintain seasons and warmth, a protective magnetic field, an exact placement in the galaxy, and essential elements of biochemistry. There has yet to have been discovered such a planet other than Earth that has even met the few conditions mentioned here.

In the name of... Is the author trying to get me to start each response with "oh wow!"?

This argument has little logical connection to the topic of evolution. His point appears to be, if I can try to connect the dots, that since the universe is supposedly fine-tuned, that therefore God exists, and if God exists then evolution cannot be true?

That's my best guess as to his point, anyway.

Aside from being one big whopping argument from ignorance, keep in mind that our discovery of new planets is relatively recent, and is typically from the largest planets on down. This argument is building a negative case, and thus cannot further his cause. He needs to positively demonstrate a claim (link to my expounding on this).

On top of that, he's behind the times in terms of known potential habitable planets.

On top of that, he's assuming that life couldn't exist on Earth if anything was any different. Life is actually very robust. He's assuming that seasons are a requirement, or a "specific" place in the galaxy. He's assuming a lot of things. His entire argument is suffering from the fact that even if habitable planets are very rare, of course we're going to be living on one of those "lucky" planets - even if habitable planets are so rare that there's, on average, only one per galaxy.

Most planets have large magnetic fields. Mars would have been a pretty good candidate for life. It shows telltale signs of having running water in the distant past. Once it got walloped by another celestial body, disrupting it's geologically active core, its magnetic field broke up, and the planet lost its atmosphere (and thus ability to keep a higher temperature) over many millions of years. There's a reason why we expect to find remnants of primitive life, at least, on that planet. There's also reasons why Earth isn't going to stay habitable for much longer (a billion or so years, assuming we don't screw it up in the meantime).

... and that's the next planet over! Alas, I'll stop digressing here, nitpicking the author's factoids.

The author needs to read up on something called "theistic evolution". It tends to come from our more deistic hominid friends. Essentially, evolution happens as we know it, but God just set it in motion. This concept of "theistic evolution" knocks the legs out from underneath this notion that a finely-tuned universe (which again is just an Argument from Ignorance in the first place) means evolution is false.

In summation, argument #9 - not even dead on arrival. The body bag was shipped to us empty. The connection between the author's unstated mysterious point, and whether evolution is false, is so tenuous as to not even be worth mentioning.

Total score for author so far: 0/2


Actually, let's give each of these a possible score of 0 through 10. They'll get 3 points if the logical connection between the argument and evolution. They'll get up to 6 points if they actually address evolution successfully, and not some bizarre characterization of it. They'll get the full 10 points if they successfully refute anything about evolution.

Total score so far? 0 out of a possible 20

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