Earth's distance from the sun

yonyz
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Earth's distance from the sun

 An article about theism claims that the earth is in the perfect
distance from the sun, and that a bit farther, we will all freeze, and
a bit closer, we will all burn up.

What would an atheist say about this?

 


Indeterminate
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It's just an allusion to the

It's just an allusion to the anthropic principle. I would say four things:

  • both Venus and Mars are in the Sun's habitable zone (although they're not habitable for other reasons), so it's quite a bit further and quite a bit closer for us to freeze or boil respectively. 
  • the orbit of the Earth has a major influence on surface temperature, but almost no influence on pressure. So a heavy planet with a thick atmosphere would be closer to the sun, because the atmospheric pressure would be higher. For example at 98 atmospheres water will boil at about 310ºC, and freeze at about -8º.
  • if there is one specific distance that is ideal for some unknown reason, and it was deliberately set up that the Earth was there, then we would expect the Earth's orbit to be circular. It isn't.
  • there are plenty of other organic solvents and chemistries which would function outside what we consider to be a star's habitable zone. Some of them can be found on Earth in the form of various extremophile life-forms, others are theoretical or exist only in a lab. In other conditions it is possible that life could arise from one of those systems on a planet whose orbit is outside the range where Water is liquid.

 

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I would also think that the

I would also think that the environment allowed us to develop, instead of someone or something setting it all up.  We're opportunistic in that way. 

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My response is simple enough

My response is simple enough to copy from a previous thread.

Vastet wrote:
The Earth is currently in the "Habitable Zone"(HZ) of Sol. This zone is the region around a star within which a planet can have liquid water on the surface (a necessary precondition for life on Earth as observed). For Sol, this region is widely accepted to strech from approximately 0.725 astronomical units away from Sol to 3.0 astronomical unitsaway from Sol. An astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and Sol. Which is about 150 billion kilometres. So in other words, we could be either 27.5% closer to Sol, or 300% further away, and life on Earth would still be supported. Here's a picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Habitable_zone-e

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star_stuff
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the anthropic priciple

indeterminate wrote:
It's just an allusion to the anthropic principle.

This is true. The anthropic principle states that we are only here because the universe allows us to be, which is in stark contrast to the theist argument that the universe is fine tuned for our existence. If you have any doubts of the anthropic principle, ask yourself this question: if the universe wasn't how it was, then would we be here to make the observation?

yonyz wrote:
An article about theism claims that the earth is in the perfect
distance from the sun, and that a bit farther, we will all freeze, and
a bit closer, we will all burn up.

so far this claim is consistent with atheist views because it is a fact (as stated above). In this article, is the theist claiming that this fact is grounds to support intelligent design?

If so, refer to the anthropic principle.

 


yonyz
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Thanks

 Thank you all for the answers.


Marquis
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You just gotta love it.1. If

You just gotta love it.

1. If things had been different, things would have been different, in which case eveything would have been different.

2. Because things aren't different, they are the way they are, because they were made to be as they are, to please us humans, including me.

3. Because things are made to please us humans, including me, they must have been made by somebody like us, who likes us.

4. Because we like to be pleased, and the somebody who likes us is like us, he must want to be pleased right backatcha, in order to be pleased.

5. This is so because I say so, and so does a lot of other people, and that is just how it is, because things are not different.

6. Return to position 1. to complete the fool circle.

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Psychosavant
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1. Obviously this is

1. Obviously this is incorrect, since the earth's orbit is not a perfect circle. It's an ellipse, and thusly its distance from the sun varies.

2. If it were correct, it wouldn't matter. If life is at all possible, given its requirements, these requirements could be fulfilled at any point in the universe. That those requirements are fulfilled here isn't mere coincedence or design. Given an infinite number of possible scenarios, somewhere among said scenarios there must be one that fulfills the requirements. Life, thusly exists here because it is supported. Not the other way around.

   a. What if we found a rock that is found to be incredibly valuable, but also very rare as it can only form in very specific circumstances. If you find such a rock and it's in an environment where those circumstances are available, does that mean that those circumstances were available because of design? No. They had to be available somewhere, and at those places where they are, the rock forms.

   b. Life, as we know it ("as we know it" is a very important phrase to understand), is no more a special phenomenon than any other we witness in the universe, except that we place special emphasis on it, because it is us. Otherwise, like any other phenomenon that has requirements, it develops when those requirements are available.


Psychosavant
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"Imagine a puddle waking up

"Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find my self in - an interesting hole I find my self in - fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for."
- Douglass Adams


yonyz
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 I love the quote. Thanks.

 I love the quote. Thanks.


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yonyz, Here is a whole

yonyz,

 

Here is a whole thread of responses on this issue: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/18913

 

 

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Jormungander
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yonyz wrote: An article

yonyz wrote:

 An article about theism claims that the earth is in the perfect
distance from the sun, and that a bit farther, we will all freeze, and
a bit closer, we will all burn up.

What would an atheist say about this?

 

What I really don't like about that is assumming that 'we' would need to be supported on a habitable planet. I see no reason why extraterrestrial lifeforms would neccessarily need to live in the pressure and temperature ranges that we find comfortable. There are living things that can survive in vacuums (tardigrades), in over 1000 times the sea level pressure, in temperatures around 800°C, and at just above absolute zero (tardigrades again). The range on conditions that living things survive over on earth is extreme. There was a period in earth's history when the entire planet was covered in ice. Did life end under those conditions? No, it did not. There are living things that can survive in ice and ocean water beneath ice. So would 'we' be screwed if planetary conditions were very different? Yes, humans might be in trouble if massive environmental changes took place. Would life itself be screwed if planetary conditions were very different? Maybe not.

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British General Charles Napier while in India