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Re: Science As A Tool

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Posted by Terry Cooper/">Terry Cooper on April 30, 1998 17:38:35 UTC

: What I find interesting are comparisons of God to : to science. In its purest form, science is simply : our tool for observing the world around us. God : is a "person" (at least in most of the dominant : religions). As creator he is unique and by nature : outside of our existence. Science is incapable of : "proving" God. : That being said, I don't think its impossible to : know that he exists. When the Titantic was found, : researchers found it by following the debris : trail found on the bottom of the ocean. Similarly, : the question should be asked, has God left a : debris trail to point toward his existance? : To separate myth from fact we use science and : history to either confirm or debunk an event. : Some say, "If God exists, why doesn't he show : himself to me?". Well, if he has already done : that, all we've got to go on is historical records : and witnesses to his arrival.

: The Bible records such events. It is then in the : realm of faith by which we finally conclude : (or begin) our knowledge of God. Science can only : take us so far. : Thoughts, comments?

Joe-

I'd like to share a few thought with you. I am someone who is a Christian and Science oriented. Reconciling God and Science has been no easy task for me, but I do believe that evidences are there in creation to confirm his handiwork. I would invite you to visit: http:/www.reasons.org/resources/papers/astroevid.html

This is a web site sponsored by Hugh Ross; an astronomer with a perspective of a believer in God. Attached is an excerpt from the above referenced page:

"It is not just the universe that bears evidence for design. The sun and the earth also reveal such evidence. Frank Drake, Carl Sagan, and Iosef Shklovsky were among the first astronomers to make this point. They attempted to estimate the number of planets (in the universe) with environments favorable for life support. In the early 1960s they recognized that a certain kind of star with a planet just the right distance from that star would provide the necessary conditions for life.119 On this basis they made optimistic estimates for the probability of finding life elsewhere in the universe. Shklovsky and Sagan, for example, claimed that 0.001 percent of all stars could have a planet capable of supporting advanced life.120

While their analysis was a step in the right direction, it overestimated the range of permissible star types and the range of permissible planetary distances. It also ignored many other significant factors. Some sample parameters sensitive for the support of life are listed in Table 6.

Table 6: Evidence for the design of the sun-earth-moon system121 -139

1. galaxy type

if too elliptical: star formation ceases before sufficient heavy element buildup for life chemistry if too irregular: radiation exposure on occasion is too severe and/or heavy elements for life chemistry are not available. 2. parent star distance from center of galaxy

if farther: quantity of heavy elements would be insufficient to make rocky planets. if closer: stellar density and radiation would be too great. 3. number of stars in the planetary system

if more than one: tidal interactions would disrupt planetary orbits. if less than one: heat produced would be insufficient for life. 4. parent star birth date

if more recent: star would not yet have reached stable burning phase. if less recent: stellar system would not yet contain enough heavy elements. 5. parent star age

if older: luminosity of star would change too quickly. if younger: luminosity of star would change too quickly. 6. parent star mass

if greater: luminosity of star would change too quickly; star would bum too rapidly. if less: range of distances appropriate for life would be too narrow; tidal forces would disrupt the rotational period for a planet of the right distance; uv radiation would be inadequate for plants to make sugars and oxygen. 7. parent star color

if redder: photosynthetic response would be insufficient. if bluer: photosynthetic response would be insufficient. 8. supernovae eruptions

if too close: life on the planet would be exterminated. if too far: not enough heavy element ashes for the formation of rocky planets. if too infrequent: not enough heavy element ashes for the formation of rocky planets. if too frequent: life on the planet would be exterminated. 9. white dwarf binaries

if too few: insufficient fluorine produced for life chemistry to proceed if too many: disruption of planetary orbits from stellar density; life on the planet would be exterminated 10. surface gravity (escape velocity) if stronger: atmosphere would retain too much ammonia and methane. if weaker: planet's atmosphere would lose too much water. 11. distance from parent star

if farther: planet would be too cool for a stable water cycle. if closer: planet would be too warm for a stable water cycle. 12. inclination of orbit

if too great: temperature differences on the planet would be too extreme. 13. orbital eccentricity

if too great: seasonal temperature differences would be too extreme. 14. axial tilt

if greater: surface temperature differences would be too great. if less: surface temperature differences would be too great. 15. rotation period

if longer: diurnal temperature differences would be too great. if shorter: atmospheric wind velocities would be too great. 16. gravitational interaction with a moon

if greater: tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. if less: orbital obliquity changes would cause climatic instabilities. 17. magnetic field

if stronger: electromagnetic storms would be too severe. if weaker: inadequate protection from hard stellar radiation. 18. thickness of crust

if thicker: too much oxygen would be transferred from the atmosphere to the crust. if thinner: volcanic and tectonic activity would be too great. 19. albedo (ratio of reflected light to total amount falling on surface)

if greater: runaway ice age would develop. if less: runaway greenhouse effect would develop. 20. oxygen to nitrogen ratio in atmosphere

if larger: advanced life functions would proceed too quickly. if smaller: advanced life functions would proceed too slowly. 21. carbon dioxide level in atmosphere

if greater: runaway greenhouse effect would develop. if less: plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis. 22. water vapor level in atmosphere

if greater: runaway greenhouse effect would develop. if less: rainfall would be too meager for advanced life on the land. 23. ozone level in atmosphere

if greater: surface temperatures would be too low. if less: surface temperatures would be too high; there would be too much uv radiation at the surface. 24. atmospheric electric discharge rate

if greater: too much fire destruction would occur. if less: too little nitrogen would be fixed in the atmosphere. 25. oxygen quantity in atmosphere

if greater: plants and hydrocarbons would bum up too easily. if less: advanced animals would have too little to breathe. 26. oceans to continents ratio if greater: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited. if smaller: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited. 27. soil mineralization

if too nutrient poor: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited. if too nutrient rich: diversity and complexity of life-forms would he limited. 28. seismic activity

if greater: too many life-forms would be destroyed. if less: nutrients on ocean floors (from river runoff) would not be recycled to the continents through tectonic uplift. Each of these 28 parameters cannot exceed certain limits without disturbing a planet's capacity to support life. For some, the limits have been measured quite precisely. This is typically the case for the stellar parameters. For others, the limits are more uncertain. This is typically the case for planetary parameters. Trillions of stars are available for study and star formation is quite well understood and observed. On the other hand, only nine planets can be studied, and though a fairly good theory of planetary formation is available, the details have yet to be worked out, nor can planetary formation be fully observed.

To get a feel for how confining these limits can be, the least confining would be parameters #1, #3, and #12 which would eliminate respectively 30%, 60%, and 20% of all candidates from contention. More confining would be parameters such as #2, #13, #15, and #19 which eliminate respectively about 80%, 90%, 90%, 90%, and 90% of all candidates from contention. Most confining of all would be parameters such as #6, #9, #11, #18, #21, and #25 which eliminate respectively about 99.9%, 99.9%, 99.9%, 99%, 99%, and 99% of all candidates from contention.

Of course, not all of the listed parameters are strictly independent of the others. Dependency factors could reduce the degree of confinement considerably. On the other hand, all these parameters must be kept within their limits for the total time spans needed for the support of life on a candidate planet. This will increase the degree of confinement.

About a dozen more parameters, such as the atmospheric transparency, atmospheric pressure, atmospheric temperature gradient, other greenhouse gases, location of different gases and minerals, and mantle and core constituents and structures, currently are being researched for their sensitivity in the support of life. However, the 28 listed in Table 6 in themselves lead safely to the conclusion that much fewer than a trillionth of a trillionth of a percent of all stars will have a planet capable of sustaining advanced life. Considering that the observable universe contains less than a trillion galaxies, each averaging a hundred billion stars,j we can see the not even one planet would be expected, by natural processes alone, to possess the necessary conditions to sustain life.k No wonder Robert Rood and James Trefil,121 among others,140 have surmised that intelligent physical life exists only on the earth.

It seems abundantly clear that the earth, too, in addition to the universe, has experienced divine design. Evidently, personal intervention on the part of the Creator takes place not just at the origin of the universe but also at much more recent times"

This is from his book, "The Fingerprint of God" by Promise Publishing, Co. I highly recommend it.

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