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Lets Explore Space!

Let's explore... SPACE!

The Privileged Planet
explores a startling connection between our survival and our ability to observe and understand the universe. Is this merely a coincidence or does it point to purpose and intelligent design within the cosmos?
  
           
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or centuries scientists and philosophers have marveled at an eerie coincidence. Mathematics, can predict the nature of the universe, a fact physicist Eugene Wigner referred to as the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the physical sciences." In the last three decades astronomers and cosmologists have noticed another, seemingly unrelated, mystery. Contrary to all expectations, the laws of physics seem precisely "fine-tuned" for the existence of complex life.

Could these two wonders actually be isolated pieces of a wider pattern? Both are prerequisites for science, yet what about the process of scientific discovery itself? What are its necessary conditions? Why is it even possible? Read any book on the history of science, and you'll learn about magnificent tales of human ingenuity, persistence, and dumb luck. But that's only part of the story, and not even the most important part. Our location is much more critical to science than it is to real estate. For some reason our Earthly location is extraordinarily well suited to allow us to peer into the heavens and discover its secrets.

Elsewhere, you might learn that Earth and its local environment provide a delicate, and probably exceedingly rare, cradle for complex life. But there's another, even more startling, fact, described in The Privileged Planet: those same rare conditions that produce a habitable planet-that allow for the existence of complex observers like ourselves-also provide the best overall place for observing. What does this mean? At the least, it turns our view of the universe inside out. The universe is not "pointless" (Steven Weinberg), Earth merely "a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark," (Carl Sagan) and human existence "just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents" (Steven Weinberg). On the contrary, the evidence we can uncover from our Earthly home points to a universe that is designed for life, and designed for discovery.
 

 
The Search for Purpose in the Universe

Many scientists and philosophers claim Earth is an ordinary speck of dust adrift, without purpose or significance, in a vast cosmic sea. Yet current astronomical evidence suggests just the opposite.  We now know that a rare and finely-tuned array of factors makes Earth suitable for complex life.


Through stunning computer animation, interviews with leading scientists, and spectacular images of Earth and the cosmos The Privileged Planet explores a startling connection between our survival and our ability to observe and understand the universe. Is this merely a coincidence or does it point to purpose and intelligent design within the cosmos?

 Illustra Media presents

The Privileged Planet.

This 1 hour documentary explores the scientific evidence for intelligent design and purpose in the universe. In the process, Earth is revealed as far more than the product of time, chance, and random natural processes. We now know that a rare and finely tuned array of factors makes Earth suitable for complex life. We depend on our planet's oxygen-rich atmosphere, its large moon, its planetary neighbors, and its precise location within the solar system and Milky Way galaxy. But the story does not end here. For, the same factors that make a planet like Earth hospitable to life also provide the best conditions for scientific discovery. Through stunning animation, interviews with leading scientists, and spectacular images of Earth and the cosmos, The Privileged Planet explores a startling connection between our capacity to survive and our ability to observe and understand the universe. A connection that points directly to the work of a creative mind and plan.

 
                                
 
  

Q:
  Is the fact that we can see "perfect" solar eclipses related to our existence?

A: The Earth's surface provides the best view of solar eclipses in the Solar System. The Earth's surface is also the most habitable place in the Solar System. Is this coincidence just that? In The Privileged Planet, we argue that it isn't. The conditions that make a planet habitable also make its inhabitants more likely to see solar eclipses.

Q: Is our existence related to the transparency of the atmosphere?

A:  Atmospheres come in many forms, but not all allow for complex life or clear views of the wider universe. Complex life requires a certain type of atmosphere. It turns that this same type of atmosphere provides a remarkably clear view of the near and distant universe. Complex, intelligent beings are unlikely to find themselves on a planet with an opaque atmosphere or deep in a murky ocean. We explain this relationship in detail in The Privileged Planet.


Q:  Can life be based on any liquid substance, or is water somehow special?
 

A: Water is common on Earth's surface, but one might suspect that on other planets, there are complex, intelligent beings that are not based on water, but liquid ammonia, methane, or nitrogen. But that's very unlikely. As it turns out, water is endowed with life-support capacities lacking in other substances. Together these capacities make water the most anomalous compound known to science. In The Privileged Planet, we also explain how important water has been to the rise of science.


Q: Is Earth a data recorder?

A:  A walk through a Redwood forest is like a walk through the Library of Congress. Trees, along with corals, polar ice, marine sediments, and lake sediments contain vast storehouses of detailed information about Earth's past climate. Is this a typical feature of planets? On the contrary, we argue in that, as planets go, Earth (or, more precisely, the Earth-Moon system) is a quite high fidelity recorder of the past.

Q:  Is the appearance of the night sky related to our existence?

A: Not only is our atmosphere transparent, but we also enjoy dark nights. Several happy coincidences, from having a planet that rotates on its axis, to our location in the galaxy, to the age of the cosmos, conspire to make this possible. And those dark nights have been vital to many scientific discoveries, as we argue in The Privileged Planet.

Q:  Why are there so many planets in the Solar System?

A:  Isn't just one planet (Earth) all we need? Doesn't it seem like a waste of space and materials to have all those other barren worlds? Well, not if those worlds are players in the games of life and scientific discovery. In The Privileged Planet, we discuss how the other planets serve as Earth's protectors while at the same time helping us in our quest to learn about the nature of the cosmos.


Q:  Did Copernicus remove us from the center of the cosmos?


A:  In most introductory astronomy textbooks and popular descriptions of the history of science, students are told that until Copernicus, the West believed that Earth and its human inhabitants viewed themselves as being in the most important place in the cosmos. Copernicus, we are told, demoted us by making Earth merely one of the planets. As it is usually presented, this popular story is mostly mythology rather than historical fact. In Pre-Copernican cosmology, the "center" of the cosmos meant something entirely different from what it is now taken to mean. We explain why in The Privileged Planet.