Guillermo Gonzalez Extends “Privileged Planet” Arguments to Space Travel

BIO-Complexity, Circumstellar Habitable Zone, earth, Exoplanets, fuel, gravity, Guillermo Gonzalez, Industrial Revolution, Jay Richards, NASA, Peggy Whitson, Physics, Earth & Space, rockets, solar system, space travel, super-earths, The Privileged Planet
As outlined in the book The Privileged Planet, by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, the Earth is not only fine-tuned for life, but is also well-designed to allow us to make scientific discoveries. A new BIO-Complexity paper by Guillermo Gonzalez, “The Solar System: Favored for Space Travel,” extends privileged planet arguments to our ability to travel in space. Gonzalez previously summarized some of his arguments here, but it’s worth outlining some of his arguments. Many of the exoplanets that are being discovered are giant “super-earths,” planets with a mass up to 10X Earth’s mass. These planets pose a problem for space travel. As the gravity of a planet increases, so does the amount of fuel that is needed for a rocket to escape the gravity of the planet and reach space. As Gonzalez puts it,…
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Are Cosmic and Planetary Fine-Tuning Constant?

A Fortunate Universe, aaas, catastrophes, Children of Light, cosmic fine-tuning, fusion, Geraint Lewis, Guillermo Gonzalez, habitability, heavy elements, Jay Richards, law of gravity, Luke A. Barnes, Michael Denton, Michael R. Wilczynska, natural constants, Paul Dirac, photosynthesis, physicists, Physics, Earth & Space, planetary fine-tuning, Science Advances, stars, The Privileged Planet, The Wonder of Water
Since Paul Dirac first wrote about the subject of cosmic coincidences in 1937, many physicists have marveled at the specific values of natural constants, such as G, the constant in the law of gravity (6.673×10-11 N m2 kg-2) — an extremely low number. This is an empirical value measured carefully in labs under controlled conditions; it is not derived from equations. One could imagine it taking a different value.  But it is balanced between two catastrophes. If stronger, stars would burn hotter, and photosynthesis would be impossible, and life, if it could exist at all under the crush of gravity, would have to take refuge underground. If gravity were weaker, opposite problems ensue: stars would be unable to start fusion and form heavy elements, and would slowly burn out by…
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Is Space Travel Our Destiny?

Abraham Loeb, atmosphere, BIO-Complexity, distance, Hubble Space Telescope, hydrogen, interstellar dust, interstellar ship, Mike Hippke, Milky Way, Neptune, oxidizers, oxygen, Physics, Earth & Space, Proxima Centauri, rockets, satellite TV, solar system, space travel, super-earths, The Privileged Planet, Tsiolkovsky equation, Uranus
A few days ago I published the paper “The Solar System: Favored for Space Travel” in the journal BIO-Complexity. I thought it would be helpful for me to give a short summary of the paper to Evolution News readers. I was motivated to do the study after two papers were published in 2018 on the difficulty of launching rockets from super-earths. Super-earths are the most common type of planet that are being discovered around exoplanets. They are somewhat loosely defined as being larger and more massive than Earth but smaller and less massive than Uranus or Neptune. From observations, super-earths seem to transition from rocky to gas-dominated composition above 1.5 times the size of Earth.  Two Studies Together, the two studies not only showed that it is more difficult to…
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Rare Earth at Twenty — And My Connection

American Scientist, astrobiology, astronomy, Charles Lineweaver, Christopher McKay, Discovery Institute, earth, extraterrestrial intelligence, extraterrestrial life, galactic habitable zone, Geoff Marcy, Hugh Ross, Icarus, Intelligent Design, interplanetary dust particles, James Kasting, Jay Richards, meteorites, Milky Way, Peter D. Ward, Physics Today, Physics, Earth & Space, Rare Earth, Science (journal), SETI, solar system, Steven J. Dick, The Privileged Planet, University of Washington, Woodruff Sullivan
This past January marked the 20th anniversary of the publication of the best-selling and influential book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe, by Peter D. Ward and Donald E. Brownlee. As the subtitle suggests, the authors argue that planets like Earth that have complex life are rare, while simple life may be common. Some Background Brownlee and Ward were, and still are, professors at the University of Washington in Seattle. Brownlee is an astronomer. He specializes in meteorites and interplanetary dust particles. Ward is a paleontologist in the biology department. He specializes in major mass extinction events. He’s also a prolific author, having written 16 books.  Mostly positive reviews appeared in leading newspapers and science magazines, including Science, American Scientist, and Physics Today. Even scientists who…
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Introducing Walter Bradley: Friend, Hero, and Coauthor of The Mystery of Life’s Origin

Artificial Intelligence, Baylor University, Biola University, Brian Miller, Charles Thaxton, David Klinghoffer, Discovery Institute, Douglas Axe, Guillermo Gonzalez, Intelligent Design, James Tour, Jay Richards, John Buell, Jonathan Wells, Reasonable Faith, Rice University, Roger Olsen, Skynet, Stephen Meyer, Terminator franchise, The Privileged Planet, They Mystery of Life's Origin, Undeniable, Walter Bradley, Walter Bradley Center
Editor’s note: The following is adapted from remarks by Robert J. Marks at the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith. At the event, Stephen Meyer commented that The Mystery of Life’s Origin, by Walter Bradley and his colleagues, new released in an expanded form by Discovery Institute Press, inspired the current generation of leaders in the intelligent design community. Dr. Meyer said it was his hope there were those in the audience who would be similarly moved in the next generation. Dr. Marks concurred. Greetings! I am Robert J. Marks and I am the Director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence. I am also a Distinguished Professor at Baylor University. The Bradley Center is the new kid on the block at Discovery Institute. We are…
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