Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Some Tidbits To Consider

Just a quick blurb to point out a couple of recent articles that should cause the naturalistic science folks to have "some 'splainin' to do." These kinds of things pop up every once in a while and it is interesting to consider the explanations they offer for discoveries like these.

For instance, yesterday The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science announced the recent discovery of:
a primitive single-celled microbe that answers to the name of Monosiga brevicollis [that] has a leg up on animals composed of billions of cells. It commands a signaling network more elaborate and diverse than found in any multicellular organism ...
This treasure trove of diverse and novel tyrosine kinases took the study's lead author ... by surprise since it was long thought that tyrosine kinases are restricted to multicellular animals where they handle communication between cells.
When the only paradigm by which the scientists are allowed to consider finds like this is the naturalistic paradigm, those who study them are constantly surprised -- and they should be. Pure mechanistic processes cannot account for information rich systems like this one. While they cavalierly mention the ability of cells to "communicate with each other," it is easy to forget the blatantly obvious mystery that goes with having purely physical systems which have obtained such an ability.

The naturalistic paradigm demands that first life was a simple, single-celled organism that later evolved to complex, multi-cellular organisms. But here we have a highly complex, single-celled organism that seems to be capable of assembling a sensor structure meant to handle complex, widespread communication issues. How so? A candid scientist weighs in on that question:
With all this new information, one obvious question remains unanswered: what is a single-celled organism doing with all this communications gear? "We don't have a clue!"
At least they admit it. But what some cosmologists won't admit is the incredible fine-tuning that had to go into the universe just to allow us to exist at all. This article, which posted on Space.com, addresses why cosmologists keep being blown away by how unique the Earth actually is in its uncanny and unmatched ability to support and sustain complex life.

I don't have the room of the time now to start listing all the factors that have to be "just right" to allow us to be here. But I would suggest two books that address these issues in eye-opening depth. The first is Rare Earth, by paleontologist Peter Ward and astronomer Donald Brownlee. The authors make the case that it is entirely possible that we are on the only complex life sustaining planet in the universe. And though they (rightly) offer no theological inferences in their book, one doesn't have to use their imagination too much to see them.

Less trapped by their worldview, authors Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, in their bestseller, Privileged Planet are not only comfortable with making such a claim to divine design of our home planet, they take it a step further. They make a strong case that the factors which allow us to be here also do double duty as factors that allow us the ability and viewpoint from which we can discover how unique we really are in the universe. The correlation will shock you -- especially when you consider that there is no reason for it to be that way.

I would recommend either (preferably both) books for some enjoyable summer beach reading. The stars and galaxies you look up at on vacation this summer may awe you even more after having done so.

[Editor's Note: This would also serve a dual, and not insignificant role, in diverting you from the temptation to pick a book from the Oprah's Book Club List. Nothing intentional ... I'm just sayin']

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