On this ID the Future host and geologist Casey Luskin continues his conversation with astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez about the many ways Earth’s place in the cosmos is fine tuned for life. In this second half of their conversation, Gonzalez zooms out to discuss the galactic habitable zone and the cosmic habitable age. Luskin says that the combination of exquisite cosmic and local fine tuning strongly suggests intelligent design, but he asks Gonzalez whether he thinks these telltale clues favor theism over deism? That is, does any of the evidence suggest a cosmic designer who is more than just the clockmaker God of the deists who, in the words of Stephen Dedalus, “remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails”? Gonzalez answers in the affirmative, but the reasons he offers for this conclusion may surprise you. Tune in to hear his answer. This two-part interview was occasioned by Gonzalez’s essay in the newly released book Science and Faith in Dialogue, available for free here. Part 1 of the interview is here. And Gonzalez’s book, The Privileged Planet, is available here.
On today’s ID the Future, astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of The Privileged Planet, provides a rapid survey of some of the growing evidence that Earth is finely tuned in numerous ways to allow for life. He draws a helpful distinction between local fine tuning and universal fine tuning. And he tells us about the many extra-solar planets astronomers have discovered in recent years and how all that new data continues to undermine the misguided assumption (encouraged by the misnamed “Copernican Principle”) that Earth is just a humdrum planet. Far from it, Gonzalez argues. The conversation is occasioned by Gonzalez’s essay in a newly released anthology, Science and Faith in Dialogue.
Today’s ID the Future explores with physicist and space telescope expert Bijan Nemati the amazing discoveries that may await us when the singularly powerful James Webb space telescope goes on line in summer 2022. Nemati and host Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet, discuss the telescope’s ability to see far deeper into space than any previous telescope, and further into the past. If all goes well it will be able to see so far into the past, Nemati says, that we will get glimpses of the universe close to when galaxies were first forming, not long after the Big Bang. These glimpses may confirm our most current ideas of early cosmic history and galaxy formation, or turn them on their head. Nemati also explains how the new space telescope, already launched and arrived at its orbital point in space, will provide us potentially exciting new information about extrasolar planets. What are the telescope’s strengths and weaknesses, and are there any other telescopes in the works to complement the Webb telescope? As a matter of fact, Nemati himself is working on one of those future telescopes, and he gives Richards and podcast listeners a sneak peek at the project.
On this episode of ID the Future, Bijan Nemati, formerly of CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and now at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, tells what science is learning about how hard it is to find a planet like Earth. Anywhere. The more we learn about the conditions necessary for a planet to host life, the more we see we may need to search at least tens of thousands of Milky Way galaxies to expect to find another one — at least if it all depends on blind luck. This talk is part of bonus material included with the new, thought-provoking series Science Uprising.
On this episode of ID the Future, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Jay Richards speaks with astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez about new research just reported in the Astrophysical Journal. The research suggests that the circumstellar habitable zone for terrestrial planets around stars is narrower than previously thought. This zone around stars, often referred to as the “goldilocks zone,” is where planets are not too hot and not too cold to support liquid water on the surface and, with it, complex life. But there’s another factor, previously underappreciated, which greatly curtails how much further a planet can be situated from its host star without running into trouble. It makes earth’s position that much more fine-tuned for life and, as Richards and Gonzalez discuss, may also strengthen the design argument they put forward in their book The Privileged Planet, now available as an audiobook.