Monday, 28 September 2015

The Science of Fine Tuning

Did you know that if the mass of Jupiter was greater than it is then Earth's orbit would become unstable, meaning our planet would drift either closer to, or further from, the sun? Earth is approximately 93 million miles from the sun and a change of more than a million miles or so would render life on Earth impossible. Equally if the mass of Jupiter was lesser than it is, Earth would receive far more asteroid and comet collisions, too many to sustain human life. The same things are also true is Jupiter was closer or further away from us.

Life on Earth is ridiculously unlikely when you look at all of the requirements. The study of such requirements is known as the Science of Fine Tuning. There are a lot of requirements.

The Earth tilts on its axis at 23.5 degrees, which prevents the planet from becoming too hot or too cold. One or two degrees different and there would be no life here.

The reason for the tilt is because of our moon, which is the perfect size and sits at the perfect distance. This also means we get the wonder of eclipses, when the moon lines up with the Earth and the Sun for dramatic effects.

Other necessities for life include oxygen and nitrogen levels and the ratio between them; the thickness of the Earth's crust; the length of one rotation of the planet; the surface gravity; the amount of seismic and volcanic activity (yes these things are vital for life); the quantity of water and the quantity of salt in the oceans (3.4% - which is equivalent the quantity of salt in our blood streams), quantities of chlorine in our atmosphere and iron in the soil, and many more things I cannot comprehend (such as the quantity of iodocarbon-emitting marine organisms).

If such things do not make you wonder about life on Earth, how it exists and how precious it is, I don't know what will.

1 comment:

  1. amazing and so true, and how does it all stay in balance? There's a verse in the Bible that says God upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1v3).