We will be showing this film, The Privileged Planet, Sunday night at church. Early on the film uses a photo taken by Voyager. The photo is of the earth from 4 billion miles away. It is a single dot among too many to count. That dot is visible as it is caught in a band of light coming from our Sun. Sagan called it the pale blue light. Current reinterpretation of the Capernaum theory called the Capernaum Principal is that the earth is an insignificant planet with no special place in the universe. This is the current taught understanding of our planet, but that is changing fast. Hubble, using his powerful telescope, opened up our understanding of the immensity of the universe. Our Milky Way Galaxy contains billions of stars and planets. Our galaxy is one among millions of galaxies. There are 10,000 billion billion possibilities of another earth.
The film now focuses upon the “three bear qualities” of earth (too cold, too hot, just right). The film then examines the “factors for life” on our planet. Most list contain 20 or more elements. Here are some of these factors that must be present in a planet to sustain higher forms of life:
A pre-requisite is that it must have a large mass of liquid water to absorb heat from the sun. Our distance from the sun is “just right” so that if we were closer by 5% we would be a gaseous heap like Venus, 20% further away and we would be a frozen wasteland like Mars.
Our planet must be within the Galactic Habitable Zone
Orbiting main sequence G-2 Dwarf Star
Protected by Gas giant planets
Within Circumstellar Habitable Zone
Nearly circular orbit
Oxygen rich atmosphere
Orbited by large moon
Correct ratio of liquid water and continents
Moderate rate of rotation
All of these factors need to be “just right” at the same time. Without saying it is impossible to find these factors present among the billions of possibilities out there the statement is made that we are living upon a rare planet, using the phrase from the book “Rare Earth”.
We then learn of the event that led Guillermo Gonzalez down this path. (This is the same Gonzalez that was featured in the film “Expelled”. He lost his job because of this work). It was the wonder of a full eclipse that he viewed in Northern India in 1995. The eclipse is perfectly fitted. The sun must be 400 times bigger than the moon and it must be 400 times the distance from the earth. When the Sun, Moon and Earth line up in a perfectly straight line we can observe and measure the size of the sun and we were able to measure and understand the spectrum of rays from the sun. This couldn’t have been accomplished without an exact and perfect eclipse.
The last point of the film which is based on the book "The Privileged Planet" (the comments, like with most ID or Creation books, give you a lesson in human nature) is that the one place that has the best eclipse is the one place that has observers. The best place to live becomes the best place to study the stars. The film then describes the features that allow us to study the Universe such as our transparent atmosphere and our position in the Milky Way Galaxy. There conclusion is that the Universe has been fine tuned and is accessible to the human eye and mind.
Ps 97:6 The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples see His glory.