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If the rate had been greater, matter would have dispersed too efficiently to form galaxies. No galaxies—then no stars, no sun, and no earth. On the other hand, had the rate been slower, matter would have clumped together so efficiently that it would have collapsed into a high-density "lump" before any stars could form. Again, no stars and no sun-no earth.
• The cosmic mass density. Physicists have calculated that for physical life to ever be possible at any time in the universe, the overall cosmic mass density must be fine-tuned to a mere 1 part in 1060.
• The cosmic space energy density. Likewise, physicists have calculated that the value of the cosmological constant (see page 201) must be exact to 1 part in 10120. Shortly before the cosmological constant was discovered, astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss noted that its addition to the big-bang model "would involve the most extreme fine-tuning problem known in physics." The odds that just these two aspects of the big bang randomly happened are 1 in 10180—about the same as winning 23 lotteries in a row with a single ticket for each!
• The speed of light. The constant of the speed of light—299,792,458 kilometers per second—is critical to the existence of life. A faster speed of light would cause energy ("E" in "E=mc2") to increase dramatically, burning up life on planet earth. A lower "E" would cause things to freeze.
• The age of the universe when the earth appeared. The earth had to appear at a certain stage—several generations of giant stars had to have fused enough heavy elements to allow for the proper earth chemistry. Also, the earth had to be located in the right part of the galaxy for life to appear
• Earth's distance from sun: Too close, too hot for life. Too far, too cold.
• Sun's location relative to center of galaxy: Too close to center, too close to meteor storms. Too far away, too unstable.
• Sun's mass: Key to energy distribution to earth.
• Sun's short-term and long-term luminosity variability:
• Must be in proper ranges for photosynthesis.
• Tilt of planetary axis: Necessary for seasons. All three forms of water (liquid, ice, and gas) are necessary to maximize life variables.
• Number of moons: Must have one moon for tidal forces, but more than one would create unbearable tidal instability.
• Ratio of oceans to continents: Must be correct to keep global temperature stable (land and water absorb heat at different rates).
• Position and mass of Jupiter relative to Earth: Jupiter's gravity is critical to life on earth.
• Atmospheric transparency: Important both for rate of photosynthesis and degree of energy transfer (heat) to earth.
• Carbon dioxide level: Important for rate of vegetation stabilization.
• Oxygen level: Important for ozone protection and amount of breathable air for animals.
• Amount of phosphorus in crust: A critical element for health of bone and muscles.
• Chlorine quantity in atmosphere: Critical for developing electrolyte balance.
• Selenium quantity in crust: A critical mineral as an anti-oxidant.
• Fluorine quantity in crust: A critical mineral for the body.
• Quantity of forest and grass fires: Necessary for revitalization of earth nutrients. However, too many would destroy plant-animal balance.
• Volcanic activity: Necessary for spreading of soil nutrients. However, too much could block out critical sun energy
There is an amazing cosmic coincidence that the Moon is about 400 times closer to the Earth than the Sun. At the same time, the Sun is about 400 times larger than the Moon. What this means is that the size of the Sun and Moon as seen from the surface of the Earth is about the same in the sky. When viewed from the surface of Earth, both the moon and sun appear to be about one half degree in size – that is, about the size of your thumbnail when you extend your arm.
In astronomical terms, the Sun and Moon have roughly the same angular size. This makes it possible for a solar eclipse to occur. No other planets in our solar system enjoy the same one-to-one ratio.
from ttomcat ha:
here was that special forumula for deteremining if there are intelligent civilizations out there. According to the forumula there are 100 million million civilizations.
The Drake Equation, as far as mathematical equations go, is quite simple. It consists of a string of unknowns multiplied by each other - that's it, no integration, no differentiation, nothing more difficult that multiplication. This means that the equation is accessible to pretty much everyone. Here it is:
N = R* fp ne f l fi fc L
Originally posted by Aelita
I find the original argument a kind of upside down.
True, conditions on Earth are quite unique, and that includes the Moon that stabilizes the planet's rotation and all that.
But is is exactly why life appeared here and not on Venus. It's not like Earth had been designed with humans in mind. Lifeforms appeared and progressed because the conditions were favorable.
but can also be explained by design.
Originally posted by sardion2000
Science and Faith will never co-exist.
Originally posted by Rren
and even from an evolutionary standpoint intelligent life could be very rare even if the conditions are ideal.
Originally posted by Rren
thought it would be a good idea to point out how difficult it is for life to exist(as we know it) it is far more than just finding Earth like planets around Sun like stars.
originally posted by Divergence
How is it so difficult? Scientists have found life to exist where it was previously considered to be impossible, e.g. ecosystems existing on the chemicals produced by deep sea black smokers.
But the story about the source of life-sustaining energy in the deep sea is still unfolding. In the late 1980s, scientists documented the existence of a dim glow at some of the hot geothermal vents, which are the targets of current intensive research. The occurrence of "natural" light on the dark seafloor has great significance, because it implies that photosynthesis may be possible at deep-sea geothermal vents. Thus, the base of the deep-sea ecosystem's food chain may comprise both chemosynthetic and, probably in small proportion, photosynthetic bacteria