Does our solar system point to God?

Obviously, our solar system is not arrow shaped: if it has a shape, it’s a slightly oval disc. It literally does not point to anything.

But, is there something remarkably unique about our solar system that would lead a sufficiently curious and rational mind to believe it counts as evidence in favour of the existence of God? I think not, and I think not on several levels. But, this short little rebel (SLR) is of the opposite mind.

This needs a caution. SLR confuses a lot of science and as her comment to me makes clear, she’d rather accuse someone of being condescending than to attempt to learn some of the nuance of scientific language. This means that when I try to delve into her reasoning ― which I shall ― I run the risk of coming across extraordinarily muddled.

As another flag in the ground, I want to open by playing Devil’s Advocate. Let us assume SLR can demonstrate there is something remarkably unique about our solar system. Then what? If there is something uniquely hospitably about our solar system, that’s where we’d expect to be. We wouldn’t expect to be somewhere wholly inhospitable looking at the hospitable place; if we were in that situation, we’d have to question our ability to define our terms. Equally, if one could demonstrate our solar system were unremarkably run-of-the-mill and life was generally possible around ‘oodles’ of stars on oodles of planets, then we could agree that life is not borne of remarkable processes (even if life itself is remarkable).

SLR’s argument is far too broad to address all of it: she also argues that the “tight, perfect harmony” of the universe points towards God. More specifically, she argues that it points towards a question we don’t have an answer to, therefore God. Again, playing Devil’s Advocate, if we grant there is some meaningful definition of “tight, perfect harmony” and a lack of an explanation for whatever that means, how do you get to God from there? Not without logical fallacies.

I play Devil’s Advocate to highlight two things about logical syllogisms. SLR insists her arguments are “perfectly logical”, whoever even if one were to accept her premises as true, the conclusions still don’t follow. This is an example of an argument that is invalid. I had to play Devil’s Advocate because, actually, the premises can’t be accepted as true; this is an example of an unsound argument. (If she lets my comment through moderation, it will appear here.)

With that introduction out of the way, let’s have a look at the argument put forward by SLR:

She is flummoxed by the blindness of scientists to understand what is staring them in the face; if life were some automatic and natural process, we should expect to see life happening everywhere, all the time. That, she asserts, is the definition of a natural law: “it happens all the time, everywhere”.

“Thus,” she believes, “if evolution- or the idea that life just ‘happens’ from the primordial ooze, is Natural, then every planet would be seething with its own version of Life. It would be Life that could live on that planet. Who made the rule that Life had to be adjusted to H2O, Carbon and Hydrogen? Why not the gases on Saturn? Why not the heat on Mercury? or the cold on Venus? After all, even here on earth, we find life in the most amazing places where toxic chemicals, astounding heat or extreme cold would kill most other life forms. Life on earth appears to ‘just happen’ according to the environment it finds itself in. It doesn’t appear to be very picky about that- it is a powerful force.”

And already, there’s a lot of low-level understanding to clean up. So, I’m going to try and address it in order:

Why don’t scientists see my easy to follow argument?

The Dunning-Kruger effect refers to the phenomenon of those with a lower ability in a subject being deluded into believing they are far superior in that same subject. The explanation most often given is that one lacks the familiarity with the discipline to even know what benchmarks they should be evaluating themselves against. Although it some across as hilariously arrogant, it may actually be a cognitive error. In that respect, I would like to give SLR the benefit of the doubt.

But here is the issue: cognitive error or sinful arrogance, SLR still believes that the entire community of scientists can’t follow her year-7 reasoning.

To put this in perspective, she is not introducing new evidence; she doesn’t have a new measurement or observation that overturns the establishment. She’s not contributing something new to the conversation.

If something is natural law, it happens all the time, everywhere

False. If something is a natural law, it is true everywhere. The language might be subtle, but the meaning is profoundly different. See, laws describe the relationships between things. The law of gravity describes the relationship between mass and spacetime; the germ theory of disease describes the relationship between biological systems and foreign microbes. In the absence of the things in that relationship, it is still true that they would behave that way together, but it’s not actually happening. Hoyle’s gas laws are true in the vacuum of space, even if there are no gasses to be behaving according to them.

Life is a natural law, and so should be everywhere

That’s wrong on all accounts. As described above, laws do not have to be actualised everywhere; it simply has to be the case that the behaviour laws describe would be actualised, in the presence of the entities those laws govern. That’s it.

But, also, I can’t fathom where she is getting the idea that life is a law. There is the argument that life is a natural consequence of entropy in an open system with high energy. But that still relies on the existence of compounds capable of endothermic reactions and a lot of other technicalities..

Why is life so hardy? (Or is it?)

SLR notices that life appears on Earth in a variety of extreme conditions: chemical and thermal. Given that, why isn’t life on Saturn? SLR relates to the answer to carbon and hydrogen; that seems very vulnerable, given how hardy life obviously is. Now what?

This is another confused concept. The core of Saturn is 11,700 degrees Celsius, but it’s surface is -173 degrees Celsius. And, it’s gas. So, it convects. Anything that forms in one extreme will be destroyed in the other extreme. Evolution has never been seen to adapt to either of those extremes, let alone a lifecycle that convects between the two. Not that evolution is even the point here.

“Life” is a good catch-all term for both abiogenesis and evolution. Yet, they are very different ideas. Abiogenesis is more chemically sensitive than evolved biological systems (members of a species). Life must form at some state (abiogenesis) and then is able to adapt to other states.

 

SLR goes on:

“The very fact that it [life] only exists on one planet should absolutely astound every scientist who claims there is no God and that evolution is a Natural Law.  Their own logic demands it!  This should bother them from morning till night. It should embarrass them from meeting to meeting. And yet, they don’t see the incredible fallacy. It astounds me.”

Does life only exist on one planet? How do you know that? I’m not saying life definitely exists on other planets (but given what we know about life and the universe, it’s looking increasingly likely that is the case). But I am asking how you can claim to know there is no other life out there.

 

SLR goes on to say, three times, Einstein believed in God ― and all smart people must; “the evidence is overwhelming”. But no evidence was provided.

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20 thoughts on “Does our solar system point to God?”

  1. These people keep commenting on “how X, how special” the Earth or solar system or universe is. I ask “Compared with what?” We know diddily squat about other solar systems, other galaxies, other planets, or other universes. So, how can they claim that the “harmony” or “order” they see in our locality is so unlike that elsewhere? How do they know that what we have isn’t just plain old ordinary?

    I know, because Jesus told them so.

    I think it is a complete was out time, theirs and ours, to have discussions with the deluded.

  2. I wonder what SLR is going to say when, yes, when, signs of past life or life itself are found on Mars?

    Also, there is an excellent chance that life is humming away in the seas of Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.

    Exoplanets, planets orbiting other stars, are so numerous that high school students are beginning to find them.

    There is so much hydrogen and oxygen floating around in the universe, and dying stars pump out such great quantities of other elements (carbon for example), that life is probably very common.

    That we live in “a universe that is out to get us (words spoken by my Intro to Molecular Biology Professor),” doesn’t mean that life cannot be common in the universe.

    1. Hypothetical biology is a really interesting field — looking at whether liquid methane could replace water in the metabolism of ‘life’ in really cold places.
      It’s fields like that which mean you’re very likely right: the universe could well be teeming with life.

      No idea how SLR would react to that. But she’s here now, so you can ask her.

  3. It is very easy to say someone is NOT logical. It is quite another to prove it. What you people like to so, and which I don’t permit, is to link to OTHER people’s article (like the one so-called ‘scientific’ article on why the earth continues spinning) and then expect me to take it as either sound or logical. Worse, you do this without even reading the article yourself. That is not allowed. You can either reason a logical argument yourself or you can’t. No linking to other articles. Second, you can’t leave whole articles as comments. You can either point out a logical fault in my argument quickly or you can’t. My page isn’t for you to put all your thoughts down. If someone is illogical, it is EASY to point out the flaw. See? I list my complaints here in a few sentences. You simply stated that my first premise wasn’t true: ie, that the definition of a ‘theory’ or ‘law’ of nature is that it occurs the same way throughout nature. Well, that is TRUE. And yet, you say it isn’t. What can I say? you are wrong. If light moved at a different way, a different speed, for example, in a way that breaks the way we currently understand light to move according to our current ‘laws’ and ‘theories’ of the movement of light, then we would need to CHANGE our laws and theories of light movement. That’s a fact, my friend. You came to my site and said, ‘that’s not true. And then, didn’t prove it. You simply went forward and proceeded to debate the rest of my argument without even proving the first part of your argument to be true. Is that logical? no. Thus, why should any credibility be given to any of your argument? It shouldn’t be. So, you can criticize all you want here- but none of the people here who say my article is ‘so wrong on so many levels’ has proven that ANY of my parts are wrong. As to the future showing life on any other planets, well, we will see, won’t we? If there is, I certainly don’t fear it. I would welcome it and change my thinking accordingly. Perhaps you people should read some of the exchange I had with David K. I think you might find some of my extended thoughts interesting. Susan

    1. You use the word “proven” a lot. I find that either naive or intentionally stacking the odds instead of conversing honestly.
      See, you didn’t “prove” your points in the first place.
      Second, if you paid more attention, you’ll notice I didn’t say you’re given definition of a theory or law was wrong, I said your subsequent interpretation of that definition was wrong.
      And I explained that. At length. To a depth much greater than anything you explained.

      But, instead of engaging with that, you simply abuse the term “logic” and make a good job of a big distraction: because you think I’m wrong on one point, you refuse to engage with the rest.

      That’s fine. But why you’d block me and refuse to engage and then come here to continue is beyond me.

      1. Allallt, I think you are accusing me of what YOU do! lol You said, “(1) is false. You shouldn’t even believe what smart people believed in their area of expertise. Aristotle was very clever and the father of modern science but was wrong about physics of motion and wrong about the number of legs a fly had.
        What you’re arguing for is an argument from authority.”

        That was exactly what you said. First, you just stated, you are wrong. Then, you backed it up with a completely irrelevant point- that I was allegedly using someone else’s authority to make my point. I never used Aristotle at all. Thus, your rebuttal makes no sense at all! First, you just state, “you are wrong.” like a child on a playground and then, assume wrongly about why I gave my point. You also say I did something I never did in my article. I could call that a lie, but I will just call it an over active imagination.

        THEN, you want me to read a GIANT commentary from you from that point on.

        Let me ask you something: why should I? If your reasoning is this bad, right from the start, on what basis should I have any faith that the rest of your lengthy answer be any better? In fact, I did try to read some of it, but it appeared to be just as badly written and just as conflated as the first point. Therefore, I stopped. And yes, I do have the right and indeed, the good sense, to stop reading your response at that point. If you can’t make your first point, there really is no point going forward. You have already demonstrated your inability to 1) read my article accurately. 2) to reason well 3) create a reasonable argument yourself.

        That means that this conversation simply can’t go well. It also means that you will believe whatever YOU WANT TO BELIEVE regardless of what logic is set before you. Either that or you don’t have the ability to reason properly. I give you the credit of believing that the first is true. That you are simply set in your ways and not lacking in intelligence. Again, if that is true, then the conversation won’t go well.

        If all this is true, then again, it makes no sense to go forward with your argument.

        I hope you can see my logic here. If not, then I’m sorry.

        1. For context, for everyone else, I mentioned Aristotle over at her blog. I mentioned Aristotle to point out that you can’t trust people just because they are clever, not even in their own area of expertise. I did not do this because she made an appeal to Aristotle, but because she made an appeal to a now-dead clever people: Einstein. Ignoring the fact she misrepresents Einstein’s views, Einstein’s religious views weren’t even his area of expertise. (Although, somewhere SLR and I do agree is that Einstein’s area of expertise and God-claims do overlap; science can tell us about a God. I’ve got later posts about exactly that.)

          What has since become apparent in that SLR makes an appeal to clever people who agree with her — and their view is infallible — but ignores the clever people who disagree with her. Hawkins would be an example. As would, apparently, 98% of the National Academy of Science.

          So, SLR mock-outrage is quaint, but facile.

          I also have no idea what I’ve accused her of that she’s now trying to deflect on. Interesting.

          The only person on her post or here to say “you are wrong” is her. She is wrong, but I explain it, not exclaim it. That’s a big difference.

          She then complains about reading.

          So, SLR, here’s what I have to say: you are under no obligation to read what I write. Clearly you know that, because it seems you haven’t read it yet. But my question to you is this: why are you here? If you don’t intend to engage with the post and you don’t actually intend to offer defence of your view, why are you here?
          Don’t get me wrong, you’re welcome to be here. Not just because your inability to either follow or construct an argument bolsters my point, but also because I have no intention of running a censorship policy.

    2. Susan,

      Scientific discoveries have shown that wherever there is liquid water, there is a high probability that life exists.

      The argument I made here is to give two examples of where liquid water exists here in our own solar system and to also point out that the building blocks of water and biomolecules are common throughout the universe.

      Consequently, there is more evidence for life being common throughout the universe than not.

      Aristotle was a champion of reason and systematic thinking but was not aware of the scientific method.

      My comment also demonstrates the difference in thinking between your very good reasoning and my scientific method.

      Even good reasoning can still fall victim to personal bias.

      The scientific method, where applicable, reduces personal bias to zero.

      1. First, where do I champion Aristotle? I’m not sure why you are even mentioning him to me. Second, where is the scientific information that proves that water is necessary for life? I would love to see it. I think it might be said that LIQUID might be conducive to the start of life due to the ability to maneuver more easily within it- ie, buoyancy. But I would be the last one to say I am an expert in the area. While scientific method might suggest that water might have been conducive to the creation of life ON EARTH, it simply can’t say that other liquid forms COULDN’T be conducive to life on other planets. That is not how scientific method works. Scientific method can only test positive assertions. And let’s face it, no one can explain how life began on earth- no one. Not even close. There IS no ‘Theory’ of life. Not with a capital ‘T’. There are many ideas, but no Theory. So, please don’t say that there are discoveries that ‘show’ that wherever there is water, there is a high probability there is life. There is exactly ONE example of that phenomena: Earth. How can be any kind of probability scale for anything?? That makes me laugh! One out of one chance? Come on! To me, as a science oriented, fact oriented mind, I do believe that God used a purpose driven METHOD to create the universe. I don’t believe he used a big, magical, ‘poof’. I believe God to be the greatest scientist of all- he must be, in order to BE God. I believe we get to have the fun to UNcover what he has already done. If that is so, then I am unafraid of science and in fact, love it. If water is the basis for all life, then so be it. But I happen to think that it takes more than just water to create life. Again, because otherwise, there would be life everywhere in the universe. Because, why the heck is water only on earth?

        If there is water elsewhere and water is the basis of life, then why isn’t life there? Obviously, something is wrong with your theory then, isn’t it?

        I understand scientific method VERY WELL, my friend. The trouble with so-call scientists is that it is THEIR bias that clouds their judgement. I have no bias at all. It is merely that I ALLOW for more possibilities than you.

        If mankind can create life in a test tube and that life is unaware of who created it and the universe around it, then it is OBVIOUS that WE can be the life that has been created. If you can’t extend that clear metaphor to ourselves and our existence, then it is you who fails at logic. Who are we, then, if we are the lesser intelligent being in this situation, to say just how intelligent the superior Being can be? Who are we to set the limit on how intelligent other LIFE in the universe can be? Even YOU are searching for other life, aren’t you? Then why do you assume it will be less intelligent than you? Couldn’t it be far superior to you? In fact, couldn’t it be so far more intelligent that you are a mere bug in comparison to it? Or do you have some scientific method in your pocket that somehow explains how the lower life form can somehow be the dictator that can set the limit on how intelligent other life forms can be??? IF you allow for life in the universe, you MUST allow for different levels of intelligence, correct? Therefore, you MUST allow for limitless intelligence, correct? I AM correct. Thus, you must allow for creatures with an intelligence so great that you can’t begin to fathom it. In fact, who are you to say that these creatures can’t move through time and space? who are you to say that they can’t make themselves invisible? Indeed, we have already created an invisibility cloak for the military- did you know that? If we, mere humans, can do this, why can’t these super beings do this? If we can imagine it, why can’t other beings? Did you know that scientists have already uncovered other parallel dimensions? Proven it, I mean? Through scientific method? That points directly to time travel for human beings. Again, if humans can do it, why can’t other, more advanced species do it?

        Who is the illogical one? You or me?

        My imagination and logic doesn’t break any laws of logic or science. Yours does. Yours would say that man can acknowledge that life can exist in the universe, but can’t be superior to himself. Yours would imply that even if other life existed and were more intelligent than man, mankind could set a limit on how intelligent and technically advanced that life can be, even though we are less advanced and less intelligent. Yours would say that although we make life that can’t understand our existence, we can’t be the product of a higher Being’s work.

        My belief and logic doesn’t break under any method- scientific or logic reasoning. I allow for all. Christian thought is NOT against scientific method at all. Only some Christians, who are not educated, fear science. I am not one of them.

        Thank you, Susan

    3. You never proved “Our Solar System Points to God”, you only shared your beliefs. and again, it may be logical to someone who believes in a god but not logical to someone who does not believe in one. Your argument is based on your belief.

      God and Spinoza’s god are two totally different concepts.

      Thanks Allallt for posting this so the discussion can open up without censorship!

      1. You’re welcome. I think her double standard is apparent: she asserted something she doesn’t care to evidence, and she doesn’t use logic; yet she expects a logical proof of contrary views before she’ll yield, but won’t engage in the discussion.
        It seems she’s more likely to leave the conversation than be a part of it.

  4. Oh, and another illogical and annoying thing that got your comment black listed is that you ‘went to town’ on an off handed remark I made in my comment section about my ‘feelings’ about God. I never said my feelings about God were facts. Those were off handed remarks and you latched onto them as if they were part of my article. So annoying.

    1. “Is there any Christian who can be surprised that our solar system is unique in the galaxy? That ours, alone, is conducive to Life as we know it?”

      Q. How are you sure that our solar system alone is conducive to life as we know it? You make the claim but where is your proof there is no other life in other solar systems in the galaxy?

      “That is the very definition of all Natural Law: ie: it happens all the time, everywhere.”…..
      Your definition seems a bit off:
      1. an ethical belief or system of beliefs supposed to be inherent in human nature and discoverable by reason rather than revelation
      2. a nonlogically necessary truth; law of nature See also nomological (sense 2)
      3. the philosophical doctrine that the authority of the legal system or of certain laws derives from their justifiably by reason, and indeed that a legal system which cannot be so justified has no authority.

      “Our Solar System Points to God” is opinion and belief. As previously pointed out you are twisting Einstein to argue what you believe.

      and in regards to the Ezekiel’s prophecy on Tyre that you did not post. You claim that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Egypt first and then Tyre but that’s not what the Prophecy claims. It’s not really that important but it’s probably something you want to review in regards to the accuracy of the bible.

      1. David, you can repeat yourself as often as you like. That doesn’t invalidate that I most certainly did make a logic based argument. One which you failed to prove was ILLOGICAL. Thus, you lost that debate.

        1. Sorry, the one thing you do not have is logic on your side. You’re first claim is to state our solar system points to god but that is a belief. You would need to prove there is a god. This is something you cannot do. Certainly you can twist what you believe to be logic to claim an intelligent designer but it still falls short on providing proof of your claim. Your extraordinary claim as they say, require extraordinary evidence/proof.

          I asked you some questions above:
          “Q. How are you sure that our solar system alone is conducive to life as we know it? You make the claim but where is your proof there is no other life in other solar systems in the galaxy?”

          and I questioned your definition of Natural Law, as others have pointed out that you do not seem to have a firm grasp on what you are attempting to argue.

          When you are making up your own definitions, making your own extraordinary claims and then you are saying “Prove me wrong”….. That’s the rub, you can argue all day telling people there is a magic genie under your bed, and when they look underneath and can’t see it, you can tell them you can see it and demand that they prove the genie is not there. As long as you believe it to be true, you can tell them they are wrong all day. Clearly, it is logical to you but is it truly logical, no.

          It’s a shame you have to be condescending. It’s a true sign of a weak argument.

        2. “SLR goes on to say, three times, Einstein believed in God ― and all smart people must; “the evidence is overwhelming”. But no evidence was provided.”

          It’s worth repeating. Einstein was born to a Jewish family and attended a catholic school for a short period in his youth. He made many references to being agnostic in his life and when SLR mentioned Einstein believing in God, and equating it to her belief, I knew she had no clue about Einsteins religious beliefs. Even when I brought up “Spinoza’s god” she seemed a bit lost in her response.

          I have read her blogs and she likes to say things like “so-called Scientists” and “so-called Atheists”, like it discredits people just on her say so. Like everything else, if she believes it, it must be true.

        3. You haven’t demonstrated you argument was logical. I have argued it fails to be sound or valid (the criteria for logical arguments). You lost the debate because you refuse to defend your point with reason.

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