Jason Lisle Describes the Earth and the Moon

Jason Lisle is the new Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). Our last post about him was Jason Lisle Explains the Sun — Biblically.

Today he continues our education in creationist astronomy with The Solar System: Earth and Moon. As with his earlier article, a lot of it is just high school science, so we’ll skip that and give you only the unique parts — with bold font added by us for emphasis and a few Curmudgeonly interjections tossed in here and there. Okay, here we go:

When the Voyager 1 spacecraft reached the edge of our solar system in 1990, it turned its camera around and photographed Earth. From such a tremendous distance, the earth appears as a tiny bluish-white grain of sand lost in an ocean of black. This famous image of Earth is named the Pale Blue Dot. From a secular perspective, that is all Earth is — a tiny bit of rock and water in a vast and meaningless universe of chance. But in the Christian worldview, this pale blue dot is the most important planet in the universe.

Those secularists are all fools! Jason goes on to explain why:

Physically, Earth’s properties are similar to the other terrestrial planets: Mercury, Venus, and Mars. These are all solid, rocky worlds, orbiting relatively close to the sun. They all have mountains, valleys, rifts, canyons, and craters. Earth is the largest of these four planets in diameter—two and one half times larger than Mercury, just under twice the size of Mars, and only five percent larger than Venus. So, the sizes are not all that different. But despite these similarities, Earth is unique in many ways. [The others are also unique, aren’t they?]

We’re unique — unique! Glory, glory, we’re unique! Let’s read on:

Most significantly, Earth is the only planet known to contain living organisms. …. This stands in striking contrast to the lifeless, barren surface of the other planets. Many of Earth’s other unique qualities seem to be specifically designed to support such life.

Yes, oh yes! The Earth was specifically designed! Jason continues:

Over 70 percent of Earth is covered with liquid water. No other known planet has such an abundance of water. Since water is an essential requirement for all known life, the presence of water on Earth seems to be a key design feature. Earth orbits at just the right distance from the sun for temperatures to allow for liquid water. Earth’s atmospheric pressure is also just right for liquid water. All of these properties seem designed for life. [But was Earth designed for life, or does life spring up where the conditions are propitious?]

Only a fool would deny it! Here’s more:

Unlike Venus, Earth has a strong magnetic field. This field deflects harmful cosmic radiation, protecting inhabitants on Earth’s surface. The strength of the magnetic field has been slowly but continually dropping since scientists have been able to measure it nearly two centuries ago. This drop is consistent with Earth’s biblical age of around 6,000 years but is wildly inconsistent with the secular assumption of billions of years.

Yes, oh yes! (Pay no attention to this blasphemous article at TalkOrigins: On Creation Science and the Alleged Decay of the Earth’s Magnetic Field.) Moving along:

Earth is tilted on its axis 23.4 degrees relative to its orbit around the sun.

[…]

This tilt appears to be well-designed for life. If Earth were tilted less, the polar regions would receive less energy, reducing the habitable area of the planet. If the earth were tilted more, the seasons would become more extreme, potentially reducing plant-growing seasons and making the environment less hospitable.

That clinches it! The tilt is the icing on the cake. How much more evidence does anyone need? And now Jason moves on to the Moon:

Earth also has a large natural satellite — the moon. Earth’s moon is the fifth-largest moon in the solar system. It is over one quarter the size of Earth in diameter. No other planet has a moon this large in proportion to the size of the planet. The moon aids life on Earth by inducing tides. Tides prevent the oceans from stagnating, and they clean shorelines. The moon also provides light at night — it “rules the night” (Genesis 1:16), being far brighter than any other regular nighttime celestial object. No other planet has such a bright moon in its night sky.

Yowie! That’s amazing! It’s gotta be a miracle! Another excerpt:

The moon has a number of distinctive characteristics. It is both 400 times smaller and 400 times closer to Earth than the sun is. [Wow — what are the odds against that?] This means that the moon and sun have about the same apparent size in our sky on average. This makes total solar eclipses possible. Earth is the only known planet that can experience eclipses where its moon so precisely covers the sun.

Amazing — it’s gotta be a miracle! On with the article:

As the moon induces tides on Earth, the planet rotates faster than the moon orbits and the tidal bulges get “ahead” of the moon. They then pull forward on the moon, causing it to gain orbital energy and move away from Earth. The effect is small but measurable — the moon moves away from the Earth by about 1.5 inches every year. …. Yet secular scientists claim that Earth and the moon are over four billion years old. The evidence from the recession of the moon is inconsistent with the secular age estimate. Of course, 6,000 years ago, the moon would have been only 730 feet closer to Earth. So, lunar recession is not a problem for the biblical timescale.

Once again, we warn you not to pay attention to this wicked item at the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims, which rebuts the claim that Because of tidal friction, the moon is receding, and the earth’s rotation is slowing down, at rates too fast for the earth to be billions of years old.

And now we come to the thrilling conclusion section of Jason’s article:

Of the planets in our solar system, Earth is uniquely designed for life, and the moon is uniquely designed to aid life on Earth. God chose to spend five of the six days of creation working on Earth, making it just the way He wanted it to be. All the other planets were created in one day — Day Four (Genesis 1:14-19). It is as if God took extra care to create Earth.

Jason’s logic is undeniable. Here’s the end:

Astronomers have now discovered hundreds of planets orbiting other stars, and it is likely that billions more remain undiscovered. Yet, of all the planets in the universe, Earth is where God chose to place the creatures whom He made in His own image.

Admit it, dear reader — aren’t you glad we told you about this article? Without Jason’s godly insights, you were destined for the Lake of Fire.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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39 responses to “Jason Lisle Describes the Earth and the Moon

  1. If heaven is going to be populated by babbling twits like Jason, I’ll take the lake of fire anytime.

  2. Yet, of all the planets in the universe, Earth is where God chose to place the creatures whom He made in His own image.

    Note J-Lisle doesn’t go so far as to claim there are no other creatures at all, just that they aren’t “made in His own image”. It seems like he’s setting up for the eventual discovery of alien life.

  3. Just how many planets around how many stars was this idiot using for comparison? I’ll bet he doesn’t know about the planet Baeon circling Alpha Centauri. The people there are so nice, he would really like them. Oh, but he isn’t aware of those people; he must lack faith that God would create people in his image all over the Universe. Doesn’t man create people in his own image all over the globe and weren’t we made in His likeness?

  4. It’s articles like Jason’s that made it necessary to coin the term “Poe.”

  5. @TA, I don’t think he’s hedging. When he worked for AIG he said, “Extraterrestrial life is an evolutionary concept; it does not comport with the biblical teachings of the uniqueness of the earth and the distinct spiritual position of human beings.” The Earth is unique, and so are we, according Mr. Lisle.

    In fact, “humans are the uniquest of the four apes. We’re two and one half times larger than orangutangs, just under twice the size of Chimpanzees, and only five percent larger than Gorillas.* So, the sizes are not all that different. But despite these similarities, humans are unique in many ways.”

    *Like Jason Lisle, I have no idea if any of this is true.

  6. Bit disappointed in Jason, after his good start with the speed of light argument, he is just parroting beaten to death arguments now. Funny how he sides steps the water issue by sticking to planets. Avoiding having to mention that there are bodies, besides Earth, in our Solar system that do have liquid water in large amounts

  7. Anyone who has watched Star Trek* knows that the galaxy is populated by numerous intelligent creatures that look remarkably similar to us – so similar that Kirk can routinely have sex with them. Clearly god made creatures in his own image all over the universe.

    * a work with equal scientific and historic credibility to the source that Lisle quotes

  8. Ceteris Paribus

    Lisle thinks Earth is somehow special, but Jupiter’s moon Io also has a magnetic field; the tidal forces on Io create sufficient heat to produce liquid water geysers from its surface; and Io is even larger than the Earth’s moon.

    But the funnest bit in Lisle’s rant is that he mentions Voyager 1 and the Pale Blue Dot photo.

    It was non-believer Carl Sagan who inspired NASA to turn Voyager’s cameras back around to face the solar system. And for the first time in the history of humans, the photos taken provided irrefutable visual evidence of our heliocentric solar system, centuries after science had predicted that to be the case.

    So when Lisle and other creationists belittle rational thought by asking “How do you know? Were YOU there to see it?” Some times the answer can be yes; we all saw it.

  9. Well all those points are just too much, these cannot be a coincidence.
    I am going to convert to believing in gawd the next chance I get. Where is the nearest Church of the FSM, blessed be his noodlely tentacles! I now realize that FSM created this disc world in the center of the universe and placed sun and moon around us! I have been saved from the fires that burn beneath us!!!!

  10. “Many of Earth’s other unique qualities seem to be specifically designed to support such life.”
    I love Herman Philipse’s answer on this one (I paraphraze): Jason Lisle is like the fly landing on the White House concluding it has been specifically designed to provide flies with a place to rest.

  11. “Earth is uniquely designed for life”
    Could Lisle tell us then why the Designer arranged Earthly water in such way that we only can drink 0,5 % of it?

  12. To grant Lisle one point, it IS a remarkable coincidence that the Moon exactly covers the disk of the Sun during eclipses. The odds against that must be astonomical, quite literally! But amusing though it is, this curiosity is in no way vital to life on this planet. Moreover, it is (sadly) just a passing phenomenon in one particular phase of Earth’s history. The Moon is steadily receding, and a time will come when it will be too “small” (as seen from Earth) to completely cover the Sun. No more total eclipses, ever!

  13. Christine Janis

    @ Mark Germano

    “In fact, “humans are the uniquest of the four apes. We’re two and one half times larger than orangutangs, just under twice the size of Chimpanzees, and only five percent larger than Gorillas.*
    “*Like Jason Lisle, I have no idea if any of this is true.”

    Complete bollocks

    http://harry-the-fox.deviantart.com/art/Great-Ape-Size-Chart-289688196

  14. Calling a parody of what Lisle wrote ‘bollocks’ is pretty harsh, no matter how not-funny you thought it was.

  15. Christine Janis

    @ Anoymous

    So, it was a parody? That’s the problem, so hard to tell a parody from the real thing.

  16. Stephen Kennedy

    Take out the oogity boogity and this piece could easily have been written by any undergraduate Astronomy student. It is a mighty poor effort for someone who calls himself an astrophysicist and a director of research. There was no hint of any new research findings or evidence of depth in understanding of Astronomy shown in this paper.

    I wonder what type of research in Astronomy and Astrophysics takes place at ICR. As far as I can tell they have no observatory nor any telescopes of any kind to collect data. I can not imagine that Lisle or any other “creation astronomer” would be granted observing time on telescopes owned and operated by entities that actually do astronomical research. The Vatican has an observatory on Mt. Grahm in Arizona with a 1.83 meter telescope staffed by Jesuit scientists. However, all of their research, which is highly regarded in the astronomical community, is secular in outlook.

    It is hilarious, an organization that has no research facilities and is not engaged in research has a position called Director of Research.

  17. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Jason has been making me giggle for years now with his love of circular logic and presuppositionalism. One of my favorite quotes of his …

    “Evolution is anti-science and anti-knowledge. If evolution were true, science would not be possible because there would be no reason to accept the uniformity of nature upon which all science and technology depend.”

    Some of his other “special moments” are cataloged here.

  18. And we know that God was not capable of making human life survive under any other conditions, right? No?
    Wouldn’t it really be proof of the omnipotent and omniscient designer if human life existed somewhere where the physical conditions were incompatible with life on a purely naturalistic view?

  19. I suspect if the solar system was designed the year would not be in fractional days. The designed orbit of the Moon would make a perfect number of orbits in the course of a year. After all the Bible refers to the ‘lights in the sky’ as primarily for time keeping. Fractions are messy. While God does not necessarily have to favor discrete mathematics, the messy system looks a lot like it would if the Solar system would look if it was formed by chance. If the solar system was more of a clockwork system and the Moon didn’t have a 5 degree orbital inclination to Earth we would have an eclipse twice every month. If eclipses were routine as the phases of the moon, would Lisle find them special enough to mention them as evidence of design?

  20. “I wonder what type of research ….. takes place at ICR.”
    Really? No, I don’t think you really wonder. It’s the same as DI and every single other active creationist: they research internet, looking for minequotable stuff with an eagle’s eye.

  21. Ed claims

    the galaxy is populated by numerous intelligent creatures that look remarkably similar to us – so similar that Kirk can routinely have sex with them

    I don’t think similarity comes into it. As Lenny Bruce once sagely noted:

    Let’s face it, guys are different. And ladies just don’t understand this. Because to a lady, cheating means, l know, hugging and kissing, and liking somebody. With guys, that doesn’t enter into it. Guys are detached. You put a guy on a desert island, he’ll do it to mud. A chicken. A barrel. Anything. A knothole.

  22. The whole truth

    Lisle said:

    “When the Voyager 1 spacecraft reached the edge of our solar system in 1990…”

    I think that he needs to read this article:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130911-voyager-interstellar-solar-system-nasa-science-space/

  23. The whole truth

    Lisle’s assertions are all stupid and this one deserves a response:

    “This tilt appears to be well-designed for life. If Earth were tilted less, the polar regions would receive less energy, reducing the habitable area of the planet. If the earth were tilted more, the seasons would become more extreme, potentially reducing plant-growing seasons and making the environment less hospitable.”

    Well, whether because of the tilt of the Earth or not, ice ages and other circumstances/events have certainly occurred that have made the “environment less hospitable”, and throughout the history of the Earth I seriously doubt that there was ever a time when every square or cubic inch of the Earth was hospitable to life, and especially human life. Most of the Earth right now is not “hospitable” to humans and many other forms of life. If the Earth and its tilt are so “well-designed for life” and finely tuned (as creobots claim) then why isn’t every cubic inch of this planet and its atmosphere equally swarming with luxuriant life and especially life that is directly beneficial to humans?

  24. @Christine Janis: If I were any good at parody or satire, I’d leave my regular job. But all’s well that ends well: I got to learn about the Bili Ape and sympatric speciation.

  25. Ceteris Paribus

    Lisle says: “The evidence from the recession of the moon is inconsistent with the secular age estimate. Of course, 6,000 years ago, the moon would have been only 730 feet closer to Earth. So, lunar recession is not a problem for the biblical timescale.”

    Yeah, and it was a whole lot easier for Lisle to measure that 730 feet during his biblical times when the Earth was still flat.

  26. Mark – I am sure that many of us enjoyed your parody [and understood the asterisk] 🙂

  27. @Troy –

    A major benefit of not saying what one means by “intelligent design” is that there is nothing that can be ruled out as being intelligently designed. So, if the solar year is 365.2422 solar days, that can just as much be the product of ID as if the solar year were 360 solar days, or if the solar year were exactly one solar day, or if the solar year were 1/12 of a solar day, or if the ratio of solar years to solar days varied at random from year to year, or if the Earth were to go into orbit around Alpha Centauri.

  28. A quick googling on my internet machine also tells me that neither the Earth’s tilt nor it’s perihelion are constant as Lisle implies.

  29. @MNb: If I might paraphrase your paraphrase …

    “It’s like a fly landing on a piece of crap and declaring, ‘It just doesn’t get any better than this!'”

  30. Wow. It’s like some mysterious unseen appendage is correcting my typos. Thank you, FSM!

  31. Our Tomato Addict feels the supernatural intervention of

    some mysterious unseen appendage

    In a different context, Olivia assures me that was hideously unnerving…

  32. NB: typo in above is noodly appendage bait; it’s a test for oogity-boogity intervention 🙂

  33. And lo! It has come to pass! “ome” became “some”; it’s a miracle!

  34. Megalonyx says: “And lo! It has come to pass!”

    It was Olivia’s idea. She says you need help.

  35. I’m so glad that only on Earth do we have total solar eclipses! Obviously their purpose was that, for millenia, all humans would stare unblinkingly at them and burn out their retinas.

    What great design! It proves that Earth is fine-tuned for life.

  36. “No other planet has a moon this large in proportion to the size of the planet.”
    He must have mightily praised the Blessed Designer on the day when Pluto was demoted.

  37. Jason Lisle behaves just like a cult leader at his blog, eg telling his fans what they should think of any critics who try to post there. When he could no longer refute me here or could no longer spare the time (after I dealt with his false claims about what I wrote or meant) he silently banned me by putting me on pre-moderation and then refusing to moderate ANY further attempted posts despite several requests for him to do so.
    http://www.jasonlisle.com/2013/03/27/its-not-human-reason-vs-gods-word/
    One of his best gems:
    “Hi all,
    Have a look at the cartoon on this page:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/08/24/logical-fallacies-question-begging-epithet
    and see if it reminds you of anyone who recently posted on this blog” (as posted by Lisle at 10.22 am local time on 24.04.13) – after depriving me of ANY right of reply.
    I don’t even have a beard!
    More info here (unexpurgated): http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=3237&p=45664&hilit=propaganda#p45664

  38. Ashley,

    I tried reading Lisle’s blog and it made my blood boil. I’d go trash him but, my blood pressure…

    His habit of editing your comments and inserting his own refutations is infuriating. Non-level playing field.

    Arrogant little putz.

  39. He does it to all critics (not always immediately, nor does he announce anywhere that he will do it as far as I know).