On occasion, I peruse the Discovery Institute's ARN discussion forums. I say on occasion because I can rarely stomach the gibberish there for any length of time or frequency. However, on occasion, the claims made by the Intelligent Design creationists (IDCs, for short) can be both illuminating and entertaining and provide some interesting insights into the inner workings of the IDC mind.
Of late, "JoeG" (Joe Gallien) has been fairly prolific on the ARN board. He was very taken by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richard's book and video "Privileged Planet", and has made many, many internet discussion board, comments, and blog posts "challenging" non-IDCs to see the video and dare to stay a non-IDC.
Anyway, he has recently started a thread at ARN laying out the claims made by Gonzalez and Richards indicating that the earth is "privileged" and therefore, somehow, evolution did not occur, or something. I have pasted a few of the 'facts' that indicate the privileged status of earth below, in lovely lavender, for entertainment value, interspersed with my smarmy comments:
d. Just so happens that our Moon is 400x smaller than the Sun, which is 400x farther away
e. Both with a very circular shape
f. Allows for perfect solar eclipses
Sure, because I guess an imperfect solar eclipse would just be so un-privileged.
And after all, if it were not for total solar eclipses, solar telescopes would never have been thought of, and would never have been able to allow us to discover the things that you can during an eclipse. Because, apparently, if there were no solar eclipses, no human would have ever thought about studying the sun...
g. Confirmed Einstein’s prediction with the 1919 solar eclipse (gravity bends light) when scientists photographed the Stars behind it. We could have only made that discovery during a total solar eclipse.
Yes because, again, if it were not for these perfect eclipses, we would NEVER have been able to observe light being bent by gravity...
i. Observing & studying the Sun’s chromosphere is made possible
Yes, because, again, if it were not for the eclipse, we would never have thought of a way to check out that cool stuff.
b. Clear- allows for good viewing
c. Ours is <1%>
d. Allows in the right kind of light for viewing
These refer to the atmosphere. I guess the "right kind" of viewing is viewing only in the visible spectrum and through an atmosphere known for producing distortions.
b. Great for observing & scientific discovery
9. Location in the galaxy
a. We are between spiral arms
b. Perfect for viewing
Perfect for viewing what? Why, the things we can see!
If we were on the other side of the galaxy, THE EXACT SAME ARGUMENT COULD BE MADE!
What amazes me the most is that these 'arguments' - child-like in their simple-mindedness as they are - were actually considered groundbreaking and irrefutable by two doctorate-degree wielding professionals - one an astronomer (Gonzalez) and a philosopher (Richards), and that so many people - folks like Joe Gallien - are so convinced of the validity of these claims.
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