According to the latest information at the NASA website, in the short time that we’ve been able to look, 3,936 planets have been confirmed in 2,932 planetary systems beyond our own, and another 3,520 possible planets are awaiting confirmation. Some of the confirmed planets are Earth-sized, rocky, and orbit in the habitable zone of their stars, but we haven’t yet been able to analyze their atmospheres for “biosignature” molecules, which may be a sign of life.
Before Copernicus and Galileo, there was nothing to contradict the mythology that our Earth was the only world in existence. Then, albeit with some resistance (see, e.g., the Galileo affair) it was accepted that the Earth is only one of the planets orbiting our Sun — but it was still believed that the solar system was unique. Now, because our observations are of only a small portion of nearby stars, it’s generally accepted that most of the stars in the galaxy have planetary systems — which means that the odds against a life bearing world out there are getting slimmer by the day. But so far, nothing definite has been found that will upset the creationists’ fantasy universe in which Earth was uniquely created to be the abode of the intelligent designer’s favorite species.
That is why we still see stuff like this new post at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Gonzalez: “Worlds Like This Are Hard to Come By”. It was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
So says Discovery Institute astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, talking with his co-author Jay Richards on a new episode of ID the Future. [Wowie, another Discoveroid podcast!] But of course saying planets like Earth are “hard to come by” is quite the understatement.
Yes, today it’s an understatement. Tomorrow, who knows? Some astronomers estimate that in our own galaxy there are Maybe Billions of Habitable Planets. But Klinghoffer and the other creationists live for today. He says:
In the 15 years since these two wrote The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery, Dr. Gonzalez’s field has grown astonishingly, with the discovery of thousands of exoplanets. Some of those planets will come into much clearer focus with the planned launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in a couple of years.
Wikipedia has a write-up on their book: The Privileged Planet. It belongs on every creationist’s bookshelf. Klinghoffer then tells us:
Since the book was published, just how special the Earth is has become ever more apparent, in ways that allow life to flourish, but more than that: they make scientific exploration possible. [For example, see Solar Eclipses Prove Intelligent Design] Dr. Richards and Dr. Gonzalez discuss developments in science over the past decade and a half that have confirmed [Confirmed?] their arguments and predictions.
Great stuff, isn’t it? Klinghoffer continues:
We take features of our planet for granted — a moon, visible stars, rainbows, to name just three out of a great many — but these could easily have been other than they are. As Gonzalez quips, “Who ordered that?” Who indeed?
Ooooooooooooh! Everything is so wonderful! It’s obviously the handiwork of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! Let’s read on:
The Privileged Planet argues not just for intelligent design but for design by an intelligent agent interested in being known through the medium of science. [The designer wants to be known!] Why are people so afraid of that idea? [Because they’re fools!]
And now we come to the end:
Naturally, as Jay points out, popular science reporting gives a very different perspective. [They’re ignorant and disrespectful!] Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted.]
So there you are, dear reader. The whole universe cries out that the Earth is unique. Why do you refuse to accept it?
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