"The Earth, with its atmosphere and oceans, its complex biosphere, its crust of relatively oxidised, silica rich, sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks overlaying [a magnesium silicate mantle and core] of metallic iron, with its ice caps, deserts, forests, tundra, jungles, grasslands, fresh-water lakes, coal beds, oil deposits, volcanoes, fumaroles, factories, automobiles, plants, animals, magnetic field, ionosphere, mid-ocean ridges, convincing mantle... is a system of stunning complexity." 1
(J. S. Lewis, American Geologist)
An imaginary space-traveler approaching the solar system from interstellar space would encounter a very interesting scene. Let us imagine that we are such travelers and that we're arriving at the plane of the ecliptic-the great circle of the celestial sphere in which all the major planets of our solar system move. The first planet we will meet is Pluto. This planet is quite a cold place. The temperature is around -238°C. The planet has a thin of atmosphere that is in a gaseous state only when it draws slightly nearer to the sun in its rather elliptical orbit. At other times, the atmosphere becomes a mass of ice. Pluto, briefly, is a lifeless sphere enveloped in ice.
Advancing towards the sun, you next encounter Neptune. It is cold too: approximately -218°C. The atmosphere, consisting of hydrogen, helium and methane, is poisonous for life. Winds blowing nearly 2,000 kilometers an hour blast across the surface of the planet.
"Unlike Saturn's brilliant, icy girdle, the rings of Uranus (discovered by Voyager) are quite dark and widely spaced. Here we are among the rocky particles. The blue-green gas giant, with its retinue of satellites, rotates at almost a right-angle to the plane of its orbit, so that it 'rolls' with first one, then another pole pointing towards the Sun at times."
Next is Uranus: a gaseous planet with rocks and ice on its surface. The temperature is -214°C and the atmosphere again consists of hydrogen, helium and methane--unsuitable for human beings to live in.
You reach Saturn after Uranus. This is the second biggest planet in the solar system and is particularly notable for the system of rings encircling it. These rings are made up of gases, rock and ice. One of the many interesting things about Saturn is that it is composed entirely of gas: 75% hydrogen and 25% helium and its density is less than that of water. If you want to "land" on Saturn, you'd better design your spaceship to be like an inflatable boat! The average temperature is again very low: -178°C.
Coming up next is Jupiter: the biggest planet in the solar system, it is 318 times the size of Earth. Like Saturn, Jupiter is also a gaseous planet. Since it is difficult to distinguish between "atmosphere" and "surface" on such planets, it is hard to say what the "surface temperature" is but in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, the temperature is -143°C. A notable feature of Jupiter's atmosphere is something called the Great Red Spot. It was first noticed 300 hundred years ago. Astronomers now know that it is an enormous storm system that has been raging in the Jovian atmosphere for centuries. It is big enough to swallow up a couple of planets the size of Earth whole. Jupiter may be a visually thrilling planet, but it's no home for people, who would be killed instantly by its freezing temperatures, violent winds, and intense radiation.
Then comes Mars. The atmosphere of Mars cannot sustain human life because it is mostly carbon dioxide. The surface is everywhere pocked with craters: the result of eons of meteor impacts and strong winds blowing across the surface that can raise sandstorms that last for days or weeks at a time. The temperature varies rather much but drops as low as -53°C. There has been much speculation that Mars might harbor life, but all the evidence shows that this is a lifeless world too.
Speeding away from Mars and heading toward the sun, we notice a blue planet that we decide to skip for the time being while we explore some more. Our search brings us to a planet called Venus. This planet is everywhere shrouded in brilliant white clouds but the temperature at the surface is 450°C, which is enough to cause lead to melt. The atmosphere is composed mostly of carbon dioxide. At the surface, the atmospheric pressure is equal to 90 terrestrial atmospheres: on Earth, you'd have to descend a kilometer into the sea before you reached a pressure that high. The atmosphere of Venus contains layers of gaseous sulfuric acid several kilometers deep. When it rains on Venus, it isn't raining rain you know: it's raining acid. No human or other life could exist in such a hellish place for a second.
Even Mars, the only other planet in the solar system to come close to resembling the earth physically, is nothing but an arid, lifeless ball of rock.
We press on and come to Mercury, a small, rocky world, blasted by the heat and radiation of the sun. Its rotation has been so slowed down by its proximity to the sun that the planet makes only three full axial rotations in the time it takes to revolve twice around the sun. In other words, two of Mercury's "years" is equal to three of its "days". Because of this prolonged diurnal cycle, one side of Mercury becomes extremely hot while the other is extremely cold. The difference between the daytime and nighttime sides of Mercury is as much as 1,000°C. Of course such an environment cannot support life.
THE INFERNAL SURFACE OF VENUS
The surface temperature on Venus reaches as high as 450° C, which is sufficient to melt lead. The surface of this world resembles a ball of fire covered with lava. Its atmosphere is thick with sulfuric acid and a sulfuric acid rain falls constantly. The atmospheric pressure at the surface is 90 times that of Earth: the equivalent of a depth of 1,000 meters beneath the sea.
To sum up, we've taken looks at eight planets and not one of them, including their fifty-three satellites offers anything that might serve as a haven for life. Each of them is lifeless ball of gas, ice, or rock.
But the blue planet that we skipped over a while ago? That one's very different from the others. With its hospitable atmosphere, surface features, ambient temperatures, magnetic field, and supply of elements and set just the right distance from the sun, it almost seems as if it had been specially created to be a home for life.
And, as we shall discover, it was.
A Brief Digression and Warning About "Adaptation"
In the rest of this chapter we will be examining features of Earth that make it clear that our planet was created specifically for the support of life. But before we do that, we need to make a brief digression in order to avoid the possibility of any misunderstanding. This digression is especially for those who are in the habit of recognizing the theory of evolution as a scientific truth and who strongly believe in the concept of "adaptation".
"Adaptation" is the noun form of the verb "adapt". "Adapt" implies a modification according to changing circumstances. As used by evolutionists, it means a "modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment". The theory of evolution claims that all life on earth is derived from a single organism (a single common ancestor) that itself came into being as a result of chance and the theory makes heavy use of this sense of the word "adaptation" to support its case. Evolutionists hold that living organisms change into new species by adapting to their environment. We have discussed the invalidity of this claim, that mechanisms of adaptation to natural conditions in living beings come into play only under certain circumstances and it can never transform one species into another in detail in our other books.2 (This is summed up in the appendix "Evolution Deceit" in this book) The theory of evolution with its concept of "adaptation" is really just a form of Lamarckism, a theory of organic evolution that holds that environmental changes cause structural changes in animals and plants that can be transmitted to offspring- a theory that has been soundly and rightly dismissed by scientific circles.
Yet even though it has no scientific basis, the idea of adaptation impresses most people and that is why we must address this point here before going on. From belief in the adaptability of life-forms, it is only a step to the idea that life could have developed on other planets as well as it did once on Earth. The possibility of little green creatures living on Pluto who might work up a slight sweat when the temperature soared to 238°C, who breathe helium instead of oxygen, and who drink sulfuric acid instead of water somehow tickles people's fancy, especially people whose fancies have been richly nourished by the products of Hollywood studios.
But these are only such stuff as dreams (and Hollywood movies) are made of however and evolutionists who are better informed about biology and biochemistry do not even attempt to defend such notions. They know quite well that life exists only if necessary conditions and elements are available. If they really believe in them at all, the partisans of the little green men (or other alien life-forms) are those who blindly adhere to the theory of evolution and are ignorant of even the basics of biology and biochemistry and who, in their ignorance, come up with preposterous scenarios.
So in understanding the error in the concept of adaptation, the first thing that we need to note is that life can only exist if certain essential conditions and elements are present. The only model of life that is based on scientific criteria is that of carbon-based life and scientists are in agreement that there is no other form of life to be found anywhere elsewhere in the universe.
Carbon is the sixth element in the periodic table. This atom is the basis of life on earth because all organic molecules (such as nucleic acids, amino acids, proteins, fats, and sugars) are formed by the combination of carbon with other elements in various ways. Carbon forms millions of different types of proteins by combining with hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen etc. No other elements can take the place of carbon. As we shall see in the sections ahead, no element but carbon has the ability to form the many different kinds of chemical bonds on which life depends.
Consequently if life is going to exist on any planet anywhere in the universe it is going to have to be carbon-based. 3
There are a number of conditions that are absolutely essential in order for carbon-based life to exist. For example, carbon-based organic compounds (like proteins) can exist only within a certain range of
temperatures. They start to dissociate over 120°C and are irrecoverably damaged if they are frozen below -20°C. But it is not only temperature that plays a vital role in determining the allowable limits of suitable conditions for carbon-based life to exist: so too do the type and amount of light, the strength of gravity, the composition of the atmosphere, and the strength of the magnetic field. Earth provides precisely such conditions as are needed to make life possible. If even one of conditions were to be changed, if average temperatures surpassed 120°C for example, there would be no life on Earth.
Therefore our little green creatures who might work up a slight sweat when the temperature soars to 238°C, who breathe helium instead of oxygen, and who drink sulfuric acid instead of water are not going to exist anywhere because carbon-based life-forms cannot survive under such conditions and carbon-based life-forms are the only kind there is. Life can only exist in an environment within limits and under conditions that are deliberately designed for life. That is true of life in general and of human beings in particular.
Earth is such a deliberately-designed environment.
1. F. Press, R. Siever, Earth, New York: W. H. Freeman, 1986, p. 2
2. See. Harun Yahya, The Evolution Deceit: The Scientific Collapse of Darwinism and Its Ideological Background, Istanbul, 1998.
3. Michael Denton, Nature's Destiny, p 106