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Cosmic Fine Tuning and Life

QUESTION: Cosmic Fine Tuning and Life


There exist many physical factors that must be precisely set for any planet to be hospitable to life. Life must be in the right type of galaxy. There are three types of galaxies (elliptical, irregular and spiral). Elliptical galaxies lack the heavy elements needed to support life. Irregular galaxies have too many supernova explosions. Only spiral galaxies can foster life. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy.

Cosmic Fine Tuning and Life - Our place in the Universe
Life must also be in the right location in the galaxy. We are situated in the right place in the Milky Way. If we were too close to the centre of the galaxy (closer to the black hole), harmful radiation would make life impossible. Conversely, if our planet was too far out in the periphery, not enough heavy elements would be available for the construction of habitable planets.

Life must also have the right type of star. Stars act as energy sources for life. Most stars are too large, too bright or too unstable to support life. The size and age of the sun enhances the earth’s hospitality. If the earth were moved 1% closer to the sun, bodies of water would vaporize, and life would not be possible. If the earth were as much as 2% farther from the sun, its waters would freeze. Earth has a nearly circular orbit, which ensures a nearly constant distance from the sun -- ensuring that seasonal changes are not too severe.

The other planets in our solar system contribute greatly to earth’s habitability. For example, the massive gas giant Jupiter acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, protecting the earth from incoming comets. Likewise, Mars protects the earth from incoming asteroids.

If earth did not have a moon of the right shape and size, our planet would not be able to sustain life. The moon stabilizes the earth’s tilt, in turn preventing extreme temperatures and creating a stable, bio-friendly environment.

There are many other factors which influence the habitability of the earth. The few examples here detailed unequivocally demonstrate that indeed the earth is a privileged planet, another indicator of intelligent design.

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