Monday, June 17, 2013

Hunting for Creationism - Round 9 - Earth Was Created in a Wonderful Location

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 Was Created in a Wonderful Location".

You know, I'm not all that into doing this one, mostly because it's merely an extension of previous fine-tuning arguments, utilizing the same reasoning errors over and over and over. Who knows, maybe I'll get into it.

Wait a minute! Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you!

These arguments keep boiling down to "They're looking at it backwards."

Suppose we were to come across a city next to a lake. The lake happens to be fundamentally important to the existence of the city for water, etc.

The creationist, in this analogy, would look a that, and say, "Clearly, the existence of the lake is perfect for the city, so it must have been created specially for the city!"

Well, no, you're looking at it backwards. Instead, in actual reality, the rules of the universe caused a lake to form. Humans came across the lake, and since they need a water supply when forming a town, they decided to build near this lake. The town eventually grew into a city.

In both cases, we're taking the same evidence, and coming to two separate conclusions. The question is, what does the evidence indicate more strongly, do we have additional data that helps establish one possibility over the other, and which is making more batshit insane assumptions?

The answers to those questions, by the way, are:

  1. Natural formation of lake and humans building around it.
  2. Yes, the natural formation of lakes.
  3. The idea that the lake was created for the town.
Likewise, within this argument, we have the author stating yet more factoids about the location of our solar system in the galaxy, and planet within the solar system. The author ends with this conclusion:
We are protected because of the way our solar system was created.
Again, the author is potentially looking at it backwards. There's life on this planet because it managed to naturally spawn in a reasonably life-compatible planet, and has managed to survive despite everything that's happened to the planet.

It's a massive failure of the Exclusion Principle - where we have evidence that can equally establish two opposing conclusions, if it wasn't for additional data.


Okay, now I'm going to nitpick.

The Perfect Planet in the Perfect Solar System

"Perfect"... I don't think that word means what you think it means.


The spiral-shaped galaxy in which the earth is located is called the Milky Way. The spiraling arms and center of this galaxy contain many stars set close together, giving off its characteristic brightness.
Some stars explode into supernovas, causing deadly radiation to flow through nearby stars and planets.
...
Our solar system is located about two-thirds of the way out toward the edge of the Milky Way, where we are least likely to suffer collisions with other stars.

Sadly, God hasn't completely protected us. That's still a threat (link to Discover Magazine Blog article about Gamma Ray bursts). If it's such a problem, by not put us all the way out on the edge? Wouldn't that be an even better solution? We're not exactly out of the woods yet, where we're located.

The center and arms of galaxies are flooded with high amounts of radiation. Most stars are located in places with too much harmful energy for life.

Technically speaking, Earth is drowning in such "harmful energy", from our own sun. Good thing God put in a barely functional and wavering magnetic field into the Earth (link to Wiki article on magnetic field variations) as a bandaid fix for creating a planet around such an intentionally hostile object in the first place.

Our solar system also contains thousands of asteroids and meteoroids. These sometime collide with planets. Jupiter keeps large rocks from hitting earth by attracting them with its strong gravity.
The earth's huge moon also protects us from many of rocks that cross our planet's path.
The solar system would be more perfect if it didn't have Death Rocks hurtling around it, in the first place. Clearly, God didn't think that far ahead.

Both the Moon and Jupiter haven't done a great job either (link to Wiki article of list of impacts). So, either the perfect setup for the solar system isn't working that well, or God keeps resetting his attempts at Intelligent Design, over the history of the Earth. The evidence clearly indicates that this planet has had multiple mass extinction events (link to Wiki article). Either the planet's setup isn't perfect, or God is utterly incompetent in his ability to create the kind of life he wants.

In addition, our huge moon is a stabilizing anchor for our planet. Our moon prevents our planet from tilting too far from the attraction of the sun or Jupiter.
I'm reasonably familiar with physics and cosmology. I have no freaking clue what the author is talking about here. Though, poking around on all of the internets, I found this (link to Wiki article) - the moon does stabilize the planet's ongoing fluctuations in tilt. I think the author just explained it oddly.

That also typically happens due to geologic activity (such as when the 2011 Japan earthquake modified the days/tilt - link to National Geographic article), and meteorite/comet/asteroid impacts (link to National Geographic article)... you know, what the Moon and Jupiter are supposed to be protecting us from.

Why would God make a solar system where this was a problem in the first place?

It'd be like, if I were to create a world, cover the entire surface with landmines, poisonous plants, carnivorous predators, acidic lakes and oceans, and a sun that'll fry you in minutes... but I created this one little island in middle of the Acid Ocean, put an umbrella on it, and created a force field to keep out the carnivores and land mines, and then plopped people on it...

... and then insist that the inhabitants on this island think that this is a "perfect" setup...

OR, I could have simply, from the beginning, created a universe that wasn't 99.999% instantly fatal to those people, and then have to create all kinds of exceptions to repair the problems I created in the first place.

We managed to survive on this planet despite the universe.

Instead, the solar system, and our planet, appear to be how it would be in a godless universe. Strange, that.

Meta Analysis

I touched on most of the issues above - the argument has a lot of issues being in concordance to the preponderance of evidence. When a creator is added into the picture, so many things about the nature of the solar system we're living in, stop making a lick of sense.

Occam's Razor says that the most simple answer, that accounts for the most data, with the least assumptions, is most likely to be true. 

God isn't qualifying here...

One thing I had forgotten to point out in previous arguments is that most of these assertions are unfalsifiable - yet another of the standards of evidence that the arguments fail. The author of these arguments has basically taken all kinds of scientific data, and merely asserted that it indicates a creator. How would we falsify that, especially when the data only actually indicates natural phenomena in action?

I don't understand how the author thinks this exclusively demonstrates a creator, unless there's an underlying presupposition that this couldn't happen any other way.

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