A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXIII

And then did we, Most High Scientist, discover that the world was subject to a global deluge (not that stupid global flood story from the Bible or from many other traditions).(1) We did activate our computer, The Seer 9000, and did run time backward to 2.5 Billion Years Ago (praise Science). We do now know that you are always impressed by the Seer’s results. And as you do now know, The Seer 9000 is nothing like those creationist computers used to simulate a global flood.(2) We don’t rely on Assumptions (praise Science), and The Seer does provide Truth.

So, we did find, that only 2 to 3 percent of the Earth’s surface was land until 2.5 Billion Years Ago. We do know you like precision (praise Science). Now, 28% of the Earth’s surface is above sea level, but alas, we do now consider this to be something of a novelty.

“The team assumed that back then Earth’s mantle was up to 200 °C hotter than it is now, mainly because there was then a larger quantity of radioactive elements decaying and producing heat. A hotter mantle would have made the crust beneath the oceans hotter and thicker than it is today, buoying it up relative to the continents. The resulting shallower ocean basins would have held less water, leading to the flooding of what is now land. In addition, the hotter mantle would cause the continental crust of the time to spread laterally, making it lower-lying and flatter than today, and so more likely to flood.”

We do now say, that During the Water-World period, that any oxygen produced by photosynthetic bacteria would have been rapidly used up through decaying interactions with organic material in the oceans (praise Science). Then did newly emerged land erode, covering the organic sediments in the oceans, which did allow oxygen to build up in the atmosphere.

Then did the oxygen breathing organisms begin to flourish.  The erosion of the land did cause an explosion of life, because it did fertilize the oceans (praise Science).  And then did the newly formed coastal areas provide habitats that allowed photosynthetic life to flourish.

(1). Ancient Earth was a Barren Water World, New Scientist

(2). http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/catastrophic-plate-tectonics

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A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXI

And then did we decide, that the Universe could be teeming with aliens. Sure, we decided that a planet must have the right mass, be the right distance from a star, have the right atmosphere, the right material composition, and the ability to sustain water.(1)

That’s somewhat unlikely, so we decided to say that life might exist on planets with very different conditions, and so might be quite prevalent in the Universe (praise Science).  So, we do now admit that the distance from a star does have some importance.  Too close, things do melt.  Too far away, things do freeze.  Then did we discover that the Earth could be only 5% closer to the Sun without becoming like Venus, but one of us, in 1993, did calculate that the Earth could keep from freezing up to 1.7 times its current distance from the Sun (praise Science)!(2; Sorry our link goes to Shell.  Perhaps it didn’t originally). So, we admit that perhaps a planet’s mass does have some bearing.  Mars is in the ‘Goldilocks Zone,’ but don’t look at it.  Plus, the Earth’s natural cycle does involve volcanoes that release CO2, that keeps the planet warm (praise Science—hate the automobile–do ignore the recent cold).  The pattern of subduction of carbon into the Earth’s crust has kept the Earth’s climate stable for the last 4 billion years (please do now ignore our recent assertions about the wildly variable climate in the past).

So, one of our great fellows noted:

‘”I’ve been kind of twisting the knobs so that they’re different from Earth, but they all have the same mass as Earth,” says Spiegel, who was at Columbia University in New York when he carried out the work.’

So, the mass and distance do seem somewhat important, but we did simulate the tilt and combined with a greater spin rate, we did discover that

“When this large axial tilt was combined with a rate of rotation three times Earth’s, the summers became warm enough for ice to temporarily melt around the pole facing the star (see diagram). This meltwater was only sustainable when the planet rotated faster than the Earth, as the centrifugal force created made it harder for air to flow from the poles to the equator. This trapped heat at the illuminated pole.”

So, then did one of our own argue that we should not think in terms of habitable or inhabitable, but we should consider “fractionally habitable.” Because we do now know that even the Earth is not 100% habitable (praise Science).

So, we are optimistic about the future, and we did title our article, “Why the Universe may be teeming with aliens,” we’ll go right on ahead and print this quote later in the article for those who do keep reading needlessly.

‘”I don’t think we really understand how or why the Earth has been habitable in its history and what the excursions from habitability really were,” he says, “and until we do, it’s hard to be anything but sceptical that some of these models are really going to inform the search.”‘

So, we do end our article (praise Science), with:

‘There is always the chance that the search for liquid water on the surface may be missing the point. What if exotic forms of life could thrive where there is no liquid water at all – swimming around in lakes of liquid methane on Saturn’s frigid moon, Titan, for example? “One should not rule out the notion that a kind of life or organised chemistry could exist in that kind of liquid,” says Lunine. “Let’s cast the net broadly.”‘

So, we do now know that casting the net broadly would not be wrong (praise Science), and let us wish a Happy New Year to SETI.

(1). Why the universe might be teeming with life, NewScientist.
(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/icar.1993.1010

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XX

And then did we, Most High Scientists, run a computer simulation of the universe back many billions of years in time.  We do know you are impressed by computer simulations (praise Science).  We hope you will forget we cannot predict the weather of this planet very well more than a few days ahead.  We shall, however, present our most recent simulation and we know you will be convinced, because facts are facts.

Thus, as we did run the simulation back in time, the universe did bounce.  We did not find the singularity that we previously said was true, in favor of the now, possibly, real truth.   Because of Loop Quantum Cosmology, did we discover that there was no singularity “before” the big bang (before time existed).  So, we do now assert an infinite recycling of the universe that colapses only to a certain point, expands and then collapses again.  We hope you’ll ignore that silly research that suggests that the current incarnation of the universe will never collapse, because we don’t have to worry about those silly issues that the ID proponents do bandy about.

Bojowald’s major realisation was that unlike general relativity, the physics of LQC did not break down at the big bang. Cosmologists dread the singularity because at this point gravity becomes infinite, along with the temperature and density of the universe. As its equations cannot cope with such infinities, general relativity fails to describe what happens at the big bang. Bojowald’s work showed how to avoid the hated singularity, albeit mathematically. “I was very impressed by it,” says Ashtekar, “and still am.” (1)

Do please ignore that we have not expressed our hatred for the singularity publicly.  We do not like to dissent from known facts in that way.  We do like to dissent from our own views only when we have a better naturalistic explanation (praise Science).

Through our cunning combination of Einstein’s (very very smart fellow) theory of gravity with quantum mechanics our computers were able to discern the nature of the “beginning.”  Please do not look up the dictionary definition of tangible (2).

We did hope that the singularity would disappear, and, praise Science it has.  But don’t look for it to disappear any time soon.  We like the sound of the words Big Bang, and will continue liking it (praise Science).

(1). http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026861.500-did-our-cosmos-exist-before-the-big-bang.html

(2). http://www.onelook.com/?w=tangible&ls=a

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XII

We must pause in our inexorable march toward sentience for a short period of time, geologically speaking, in order to fix our understanding of the universe a bit (a small but irrelevant detail does need a backup plan). Because our facts do ultimately hinge upon the naturalistic underpinning of the universe back to before its very beginning. And we do now know, that Dark Energy, did indeed exist throughout most of the history of the universe.1 We did now take a measurement of the universe from 9 billion years back. We are capable, are we not, because of the speed of light and such? That unmeasurable force, which composes 70 percent of the energy in the universe was acting even then in its precious way (praise Science). One of our prophets said that Dark Energy is, “one of the most, if not the most, pressing question in physics.”1 Just in case, you do not now think that we do not have a backup plan, do now listen to this. The Creationist IDiots did think that there was something special about the Earth. They were utterly egocentric as we do now know without any doubt. But we shall now assert that the Earth doth exist in a unique area of the universe–a bubble of space-time.2 So, if you, as an IDiot, or a cdesign proponent, do not now think you have any kind of upper hand in cosmology (praise Science), we do now present you with the space-time bubble. We do now assert, although previously taking Dark Energy as gospel, that there is a bubble of space-time, created by a lack of matter in the region of the Earth which distorts all of our precise and infallible measurements. We do now consider the possibility that things are not as far away as we did imagine, but we do still like Dark Energy. Because, we have known for 450 years (praise Science), that our place in the universe is not special. And that is the biggest argument against our backup plan. But we do like win-win situations, and thank you for your past stupid notions, but we are one step ahead. (Continued in Part XIII).

1 The History of Dark Energy Goes Way, Way Back, Space.com, November 16, 2006.
2 http://www.livescience.com/space/080930-st-universe-void.html

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part VII

And all life forms did come from a single common ancestor. That simplest form of life that was able to form through unique conditions that did never exist before or since that time. Although we were a little overzealous in our initial thoughts about how life could have arisen, we have now developed more complex sets of facts that are clearly compelling, whereas all previous ideas were clearly false. We were confused and floundering for many years, but the great Stanley Miller and Harold Urey saved the day on May 15, 1953 CE. It was then that it was demonstrated that the primitive conditions of the Earth combined with electricity did give rise to certain amino acids. (1) We did later find that Miller’s conditions were not the same as we discovered in the early history of the Earth, but we were not daunted. We know what is true and what is false. We have no need for invoking a creator. Because Miller and Urey did demonstrate that 2 to 3 of the amino acids necessary for the 22 needed to form a protein, could arise under the right conditions. Then, we did find additional comfort in the experiments of Joan Oró, who did find that amino acids could be formed in a solution of hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, and water. He did also find that a large amount of the nucleotide, adenine, did also form. (2) Then did we learn from Saturn’s moon Titan, that an organic haze may have filled the early atmosphere of the Earth. Potentially did this rain down organic chemicals onto the early Earth. (3)

(1) http://www.issol.org/miller/miller1953.pdf

(2) Joan Oró

(3) http://www.pnas.org/content/103/48/18035.short