Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hunting for Creationism - Round 7 - Earth's Core Was Created to Protect Life

I'm on the hunt for evidence for Creationism/Intelligent Design (hereby C/ID). Here, I set the ground rules and mission. Here, I have an index of my search.

Continuing on icr.org (they have a bunch of arguments). Today's argument, "Earth's Core Was Created to Protect Life".

This one is brief, so I'll quote it all at once:

A smaller planet, like Mars, would be unable to hold our atmosphere, which protects us from meteoroids and keeps the temperature within the range needed for life.
A larger planet, like Neptune, would trap too much atmosphere. The pressure and temperature would greatly increase.  A  stronger gravity from the increased size would also trap harmful gases in the atmosphere.
Earth has a strong magnetic field. This protects us from harmful radiation from the sun.
They're doing it again. It's yet another Retro-Causal Argument, that's yet again begging the question, that's yet again massively violating the Exclusion principle. This is basically a "Fine-Tuning Argument".

Of course, if Earth wasn't fit for life, life wouldn't form on it! Of course, life would only form on planets where the planets were compatible with life. How does that indicate a god?

Naturalistic models would produce the same exact outcome, so here we have a data point - the Earth has things like magnetic fields, and enough mass to have the correct amount of atmosphere to support life - to demonstrate a supernatural claim, but could also support a natural model.

... but here's where it falls apart for the supernatural model. The natural model is much better supported, and requires much less assumptions.

  • It doesn't require an intelligence - something that can make/break laws of physics.
  • It doesn't require breaking any laws of physics. No magic is required.
  • It relies on regular, normal mechanisms of the universe.
And further, the supernatural model is nonsensical.
  • Why do we need a magnetic field at all? Couldn't God just create a universe where stars don't bombard the planets with lethal radiation, that can also strip away the atmosphere if the planet's magnetic field wasn't present (like what happened to Mars after it got walloped by a meteor - link to National Geographic article)? Why create an imperfect fix for an imperfect star? Shouldn't they both be perfect?
  • Why do we need an atmosphere? Why create life forms that need atmospheres to live?
  • Why do we need temperature, or to be concerned by it?
This is God we're talking about, right? He can do anything, right? ... such as create universes that don't have problems that then later need to be solved by other awkward solutions, that are indistinguishable from possible universes that form without gods? This argument fails the "Why the fuck would God do that?" test, in terms of a meta analysis.

Alternatively, the setup we see is to be expected merely based on how the rules of the universe works. Statistically speaking, some planets are bound to be compatible with the formation of life, and we should expect to see that on occasion - as soon as our telescopic technology is advanced enough to actually analyze the ever increasing list of potentially habitable extra-solar planets we're discovering (link to Wikipedia).

In the natural model, we don't have to bend over backwards to make up rationalizations for the oversights to the claims made. If there's something we don't know, we simply state that, and keep trying to figure it out with real actual testable empirical evidence.

If you thought this argument couldn't fail any harder, there's one more point to bring up. 

Life is actually a lot more robust than the author is arguing. We have life existing at the bottom of the ocean in 235 degree Fahrenheit water next to thermal vents (link to Deeper Discovery article), as well as life living in desolate sub-arctic conditions... and everywhere in between. Almost whatever hostile environment we can find on the planet, we also find life there.

The implication is that life can exist in a wide variety of environments... meaning that Earth's environmental setup isn't all that special. We could be significantly further away from the sun (or closer), less or more massive, etc, and life could still survive.

I'd be nice if we found remnants of life on Mars. On that day, this inane Fine-Tuning argument will finally be dead. In the meantime, it lingers and festers in the minds of the ignorant, as somehow legitimate.

C'mon science... faster!

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