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DANCING WITH DARWIN 2

by BRONWYN PEARSE. Guest writer

This is the second blog on this topic. Here’s the first Dancing with Darwin 1.   (If you missed it)  

“Two million years ago our solar system passed within 130 light years of a group of giant stars called the Scorpio’s Centaurus. … on earth, deep ocean floor samples reveal an iron-60 excess, the signature of a supernova eruption that also dates to 2 million years ago. This date corresponds to the most recent marine extinction event.” (1) Supernova are those powerful explosions of stars 9 x bigger than our sun that transmit radiation and effect the earth’s ozone shield and its climate stability. These have occurred 23 times over the last 300,000 years within 1000 light years from earth, which is close enough to affect life.  The closest (360 Light years) was 44,000 years ago Fortuitously, over the last 12000 years no Supernova have erupted in our vicinity. For more on this see. Ultimate Supernova

However “astronomers observe in galaxies similar to the Milky Way, a Supernova rate of (I want you to hear this) three per century.” So let’s clarify this. Of all the galaxies discovered similar to ours we observe 3 Supernova events every one hundred years. Over the last 300,000 years, earth has experienced 23. No one could not avoid concluding, that our protection from nearby Supernova events appears exceptional.

SUPERNOVA POWERBALL

In 2016 with one of the three winning tickets for history’s biggest prize John and Lisa Robinson won 533 million in the Powerball. They opted for a lump sum, which was slightly less because in their words “We’re not guaranteed tomorrow.” Guaranteed what I might ask? Life? More winnings? Well imagine if they did continue to win every year. Claims of “rigging” would abound.

I would go so far as to suggest that every century our planet wins the galaxy ‘Supernova Life Annihilation’ competition for our benefit. This ‘known scientific observation’ appears to be glossed over and placed quietly away in the ‘Evidence for a ‘Super Intelligent Being,’ behind this amazing universe drawer.’ For which the key is often misplaced. Yet the Bible makes references to our universe’s unique features and the amazing handiwork of God. In fact, it declares that we should pause for a moment to read what the skies say. In psalm 19:1-3 it says “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands, day after day they pour forth speech night after night they display knowledge there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” This blog presents  an old earth creation view  and includes information taken on course notes by Biochemist Dr Fuzale Rana and Astrophysicist Dr Hugh Ross on ‘Why the fossil record is the way it is’ available at reasons.org

LIFE’S CHALLENGING RECORD

In his book ‘Only a Theory’ arguing against a designer. Theistic evolutionist Ken Miller writes “The designer is never satisfied or perhaps can never get it quite right. He doesn’t just design, he does it again and again and his designs don’t last. “He creates life’, he wipes it out. This isn’t a God who appears to know what he’s doing .” Contrary to this view, if you read the Bible carefully on this point this is exactly how God handles the history of life. In one of the creation texts in the Bible, (Psalm 104) in reference to animals, it refers to God taking away life and renewing the face of the earth (with new life). “They die and return to the dust and when you send your spirit they are created and you renew the face of the earth.” God creates life. It is the property of all life to die off but then he creates life anew.

So why would a loving creator choose this seemingly unending process of speciation and extinction? There is an explanation for this pattern of creation from an astronomical point of view. The assumption that Ken Miller and other evolutionists make is that they presume the earth, the sun and the solar system, as a whole, provides a constant benign environment for life throughout the past 3.8 billion years. They assume that there is no change in the physics of the sun, the earth, the moon and the planets. However this it not the case.

THE SUN

The sun undergoes dramatic changes throughout the history of life. When life first started originating on earth, the suns flaring activity was pouring out at a much greater rate than it does today. It was also emitting more intense gammas ray and UV emissions. Today we just happen to be living at the best possible time in the history of the sun when its flaring activity and UV rays are at a minimum. Stars are like humans, unstable when they are old and unstable when they are young.  The sun is at the most stable time of its life at middle age.

For the first 3 billion years of earth’s history there was only unicellular life forms appearing. These were the only life forms that could tolerate that solar flaring activity. These life forms also were able to tolerate the high levels of radiation given off from the uranium and thorium buried on earth and which gave off 80 percent more radiation then than they do today.

Contrary to the assumptions of the evolutionary biologists the sun’s luminosity (brightness) has also changed dramatically. (It has been termed the ‘faint sun paradox’)

Over “the past 3 billion years, the sun’s luminosity has increased by about 12 percent. Enough to destroy life.” Yet life remains! Studies of stars like our sun, show that the sun started similar in brightness as it is today. Nuclear Fusion meant, as it grew bigger, it became massively brighter. Then it lost mass and grew dramatically dimmer. Then from here the sun gradually got brighter and brighter. While these changes were taking place, the earth’s potential habitability hung on a knife’s edge. A drop in the sun’s temperature was enough to place earth’s habitability in jeopardy. We are all aware how plants and organisms (some more than others) help regulate our atmosphere and co2 levels. In a similar way, God created life in such a way that it regulated the greenhouse gasses on the planet. As the sun got dimmer the appropriately chosen bacteria pumped methane gases into the atmosphere to warm the planet. On their own however, the cooler climate loving microbes would not have generated enough greenhouse gases. Fortunately volcanic eruptions also contributed additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to warm the planet. This life was then removed and replaced. But this time as the sun got brighter the right unicellular life (and as time progressed, more advanced life arrived) stay a similar temperature. By placing just the right life at just the right times God was able to compensate for the changing brightness and keep the earth from sliding down a pathway of ecological disaster where the “earth would became permanently sterile.”

QUICK SAND

An evolutionary framework finds itself on the proverbial quicksand. It wasn’t enough for life to just survive it had to compensate on a massive scale to the changes in the sun and maintain the delicate balance. Here is where the fine tuning comes in. If there was a deviation by more than 2 percent in the suns brightness and the right life was not present at the right time. As the sun got brighter or dimmer just a little then there would have been a runaway freeze event or a runaway evaporation event. There is no way an evolutionary process would be able to accomodate for this precision and over this length of time. If you are going to attribute this to a mindless evolutionary mechanism then over the course of 3.8 billion years you are going to get out of step with the changing luminosity of the sun and the planet would become permanently sterile. On the other hand, no life in the planet would mean no compensation and no hope for future life. As astrophysicist Hugh Ross explains. There is no apparent time during the last 3.5 billion years when earth became sterile.“

As Dr Ross shares in his blog, The Faint Sun Paradox. ”This regulation of Earth’s surface temperature in the context of a brightening Sun mandates a carefully timed progression—the introduction of life-forms and replacement of some kinds with new and different ones through time. As plate tectonics and erosion gradually decline, Earth needs more and more of these advanced plants to sustain adequate carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. This increase in advanced plants meant a significant decrease in primitive plants (was necessary) to make room in the ecosystem.” Moreover, the end product of “carbon removal is; coal, oil, natural gas, limestone ,marble, gypsum, phosphates and sand.” The last time I looked all these are essential resources for advanced civilisation.

I’ll take a moment here to make an important point. I’ve always thought that once the fossil fuels were in the ground they were there to stay but this is not the case. Humans arrived on earth at what is considered the peak time for fossil hydrocarbons (including petroleum) “Not enough time, would have produced too little petroleum. Too much time would have degraded most or all of the petroleum into methane.”

THE DINOSAUR RAP

It has only been in the last few decades that the evidence for the many mass extinction events throughout the history of life on earth has come to light.

All of these events were followed by speciation events. While the the timing of some speciation events is unavailable and research can only provide a window between 0 and up to 20 million years later. In the Triassic extinction event, followed by the Jurassic Speciation event there is a small time window. The (TJEE) is the second greatest mass extinction event on record. It eliminated more than 95 percent of terrestrial megaflora species. plus all the animal species dependent upon these plants. “The TJEE is the only mass extinction event in which an accurate absolute date exists” see blog on Dinosaurs Sudden appearance.

Why is this significant? In their article in the science journal, Olsen, Kent and colleagues write “Analysis of tetrapod footprints and skeletal material from more than 70 localities in eastern North America shows that large theropod dinosaurs appeared less than 10,000 years after the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. “What’s that!” I hear you say.” The mass Jurassic speciation event arose within 10,000 years (Dinosaur Boundary article) and we are not talking microbes or bacteria but large ( diverse) theropod dinosaurs.

 As Dr Ross explains in ‘Improbable Planet’ “Not only do the body size and complexity of the new species astound researchers, but also does their timing. They appeared while  environmental conditions were hostile. “ What is known as the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province ‘CAMP’ events which deposited 4-6 metres of lava over the entire earth and spewed out “sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It acidified the oceans wiping out all ph sensitive marine organisms. While vast wildfires erupted across the land masses…. The appearance of theropod dinosaurs perplexes (evolutionary) biologists. None of their models is capable of explaining such a rapid and dramatic evolutionary advance. … The Jurassic speciation event has led to the hypothesis that a few small- bodied reptiles somehow survived the severity and extent of the (extinction) and .. quickly evolved into a huge population of diverse, complex , large bodied dinosaurs . However conservation biology research contradicts this scenario.”(1) and I might add the most robust evolutionary theory also. Read Improbable Planet chp 14 for more on this. Yes there is ample evidence that life has existed on earth for 3.8 billion years and for good reason. And also that life has progressed from simple to complex and become more advanced. As Ross explains in a recent blog “However they lack the evidence that the origin and history of life was purely naturalistic. We demonstrate in our book, Origins of Life, that all conceivable explanations for a naturalistic origin of life fail to account for the observations and experiments.” Hugh Ross.

LIFE’S KNIFE-EDGE

So again we are left with a sense of awe and wonder of the amazing events that have proceeded human civilisation on this humble planet we call earth. And again we are left intrigued and perhaps in awe by the evidence of a designer behind it all.

So let’s push aside the articles on the professors desk and leave with another expert opinion on it all.

The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural ‘constants’ were off even slightly. You see,” Davies adds, “even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life—almost contrived—you might say a ‘put-up job’.” – Dr. Paul Davies (noted author and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Adelaide University) and agnostic.

References

(A) Biochemist Dr Fuzale Rana and Astrophysicist Dr Hugh Ross on’Why the fossil record is the way it is’ course lectures

(1) Improbable Planet’ , Dr Hugh Ross Pg 216 /217/169/171/189

(2) ‘Only A Theory’ Ken Miller

(3) ‘Why The Universe is the Way it is’ Dr Hugh Ross pg111

(4) ‘More Than A Theory,’  Dr Hugh Ross pg 163

(5) ‘Origins Of Life ‘Face off”: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off Book by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross

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