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The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery
     

The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery

4.1 7
by Guillermo Gonzalez
 

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Earth. The Final Frontier

Contrary to popular belief, Earth is not an insignificant blip on the universe’s radar. Our world proves anything but average in Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards’ The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery.

But what exactly does Earth bring to the table? How does

Overview

Earth. The Final Frontier

Contrary to popular belief, Earth is not an insignificant blip on the universe’s radar. Our world proves anything but average in Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards’ The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery.

But what exactly does Earth bring to the table? How does it prove its worth among numerous planets and constellations in the vastness of the Milky Way? In The Privileged Planet, you’ll learn about the world’s:

life-sustaining capabilities
water and its miraculous makeup
protection by the planetary giants

And how our planet came into existence in the first place.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A movement known as "intelligent design" has emerged in recent years to counter evolution theories that hold that the design of the universe is random. Critics have dubbed this the "new creationism," since many in the movement correlates the intelligent designer with the Judeo-Christian God. Gonzalez and Richards now take the defense of intelligent design one step further. By assessing the elements that compose our planet, they argue, we can tell that it was designed for multicellular organic life. The presence of carbon, oxygen and water in the right proportions makes it possible for organic life to exist; and this combination of minerals and chemical elements exists only on Earth. Moreover, they argue, we can measure the ways that Earth became habitable. Thus, tree rings, stomata on leaves, skeletons in deep ocean sediments and pollen in lake sediments help us to measure how life on Earth developed by design. In addition, the authors contend, the universe itself is designed for discovery ("Mankind is unusually well-positioned to decipher the cosmos. Were we merely lucky in this regard?" No, the authors respond), and because the Earth is habitable we can use it as a measure of the uninhabitability of other planets. "The myriad conditions that make a region habitable are the best overall places for discovering the universe in its smallest and largest expressions." Overall, the authors (Gonzalez is an assistant research professor of astronomy and physics at Iowa State, Richards has a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary) provide a reasoned case for intelligent design, but it's important to note that the vast majority of scientists reject the intelligent design argument, and this book is unlikely to persuade many to change their minds. B&w photos. (Mar. 8) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596987074
Publisher:
Regnery Publishing
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
624,608
File size:
9 MB

Meet the Author


Guillermo Gonzalez, Ph.D., is assistant research professor of astronomy and physics at Iowa State University. He received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Washington, and did his post-doctoral research at the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of Washington. He has received fellowships, grants, and awards from NASA, the University of Washington, Sigma Xi, and the National Science Foundation. He is the author of over sixty peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is vice president and senior fellow of the Discovery Institute in Seattle. He received his Ph.D. with honors in philosophy and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of many academic and popular essays. He is also the author and editor of several books in subjects as diverse as science, philosophy, and theology, including Are We Spiritual Machines?: Ray Kurzweil Versus the Critics of Strong AI.

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The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is good science from top to bottom. Carl Sagan gained praised for reasoning for chance. Gonzalez applies updated, and more thorough analysis. His findings suggest that much is unlikely rather than likely. Gonzalez deserves as much favorable notoriety as Sagan. But it is unlikely that this will be forthcoming. The reason is that the philosophical implications differ. His answer to the Hitchhiker's questions on 'the meaning of life, the universe, and everything else' may not be the same as that preferred by Sagan. But is this preference science? Any who enjoys science, reason, and reasoned scientific debate, should love this book. Book of the year and the decade!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is world most excellent book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overwhelming book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think we are entering a period in which science begins to reveal things about reality that makes people feel uncomfortable, i.e. traditional evolutionary theory, anatomy and physics (especially in the quantum world). We are beginning to see that traditional perceptions of the universe and science is insufficient for adequate explanation as to the most important question: Why? In other words, the "hows" are begining to bore us and so we search for the whys. This book is rather arduous to read carefully but quite intriguing to skim. Regardless, I sympathize for its point of views. I used to be an avid believer in a "Darwinian" theory of evolution and a purely "naturalistic" view of the universe, but have been disappointed time and time again by vague, slow-coming and contradictory scientific explanations by doggedly stubborn scientists who "want" a particular theory to be the best theory rather than being indifferent as to what really is the best theory.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i find it rather ironic that the previous reviewer mentions and critiques the work of Carl Sagan. The very same man who actually was a strong opponent to exactly this type of supposed scientific reasoning and claims. its called pseudoscience, pick up a dictionary and read it. then pick up and read the "demon haunted world" by carl sagan. as for "priviliged planet"... well I'll let Carl Sagan speak for me... "Extraorinary claims, require extraordinary evidence".