Wednesday, June 18, 2008
We've Got a Little List
PZ Mxyzptlk has a list and he's not even checking it once. Dana swipes disdainfully at it. It is another of those "arguments against atheism" screeds that do so much to lower respect for the intellect of at least a certain segment of Christians. There are some totally undigested bits of respectable (if not convincing) arguments in this woman's list but most are pathetically embarrassing. These interested me for historical reasons:
17. What/who knew that had Earth been set nearer to the sun, we would burn up?
18. What/who knew that had Earth been set any further from the sun, we would freeze up?
19. What/who knew that had Earth been built larger or smaller, its atmosphere would be one where it would not be possible for us to breathe?
20. What/who knew that we require the oxygen of plants, just as plants require the carbon dioxide of us?
Mayo (Philosoph. of Living) quotes Whewell as profound because he says length of days adapted to duration of sleep of man!!! whole universe so adapted!!! & not man to Planets. — instance of arrogance!!
William Whewell. "The Length of the Day", The Bridgewater Treatises on the Power Wisdom and Goodness of God as manifested in the Creation, Treatise III, On Astronomy and General Physics, p. 38. On p. 39:—" … Man, in like manner, in all nations and ages, takes his principal rest once in twentyfour hours; and the regularity of this practice seems most suitable to his health, though the duration of the time allotted to repose is extremely different in different cases. So far as we can judge, this period is of a length beneficial to the human frame, independent of the effect of external agents. In the voyages recently made into the high northern latitudes, where the sun did not rise for three months, the crews of ships were made to adhere, with the utmost punctuality to the habit of retiring to rest at nine, and rising a quarter before six; and they enjoyed, under circumstances apparently the most trying, a state of salubrity quite remarkable. This shows, that according to the common constitution of such men, the cycle of twenty-four hours is very commodious, though not imposed on them by external circumstances.
As always, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
After all, an omnipotent God could do whatever He wanted to, and wouldn't have to finagle things to get around the restrictions of the laws of nature.
If life existed under physically impossible conditions, then that would be an argument for the existence of an omnipotent God.
It's not like our orbit is perfectly circular, after all. We're around 3 million miles closer in January than we are in July, so we're looking at 1.5 million miles from the average twice a year.
Guess the magic number must be 3.1 million miles, tops ;)
That's easy ... too close is when it's too hot for Satan and too far is when it's too cold for Ymir.