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2Re: Astronomers hatch plan to move Earth's orbit from warming sun

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Feb 8, 2001
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      Here is a Yahoo article which is an interesting illustration of what I
      call the `construction project' design argument:

      ... CNN ... Astronomers hatch plan to move Earth's orbit from warming sun
      February 5, 2001 ... (CNN) -- A group of astronomers has come up with a
      plan they claim will save life on Earth from an early demise. All it takes,
      they say, is moving the planet into a different orbit. Their deadline is about
      3.5 billion years in the future. At that time, the scientists say, the sun will
      be 40 percent brighter than it is today and the Earth will be too hot to
      sustain life. Even looking just a billion years down the road, the increased
      brightness of the sun would cause a "moist greenhouse" effect which will
      have a catastrophic impact on the planet. ...But what if the Earth could be
      moved farther away from the sun before it gets too hot for human life?
      Researchers Don Korycansky of the University of California-Santa Cruz,
      Gregory Laughlin of NASA, and Fred Adams of the University of
      Michigan say the idea of changing the Earth's orbit is almost, "alarmingly
      feasible." The scientists' theory is outlined in a paper entitled "Astronomical
      engineering: A strategy for modifying planetary orbit." The paper has been
      accepted for publication in the journal "Astrophysics and Space Science."
      The researchers' theory is a twist on the "gravity-assist" technique used to
      send spacecraft to the outer planets. The team says that by shooting a large
      object (such as an asteroid about 62 miles across) past the Earth, the planet
      could be gradually pulled away from the Sun. It would take thousands of
      encounters to make a difference. One million encounters would move the
      Earth out 41 million miles, or about 50 percent farther from the sun than it
      is today. But the researchers say that if the technique is repeated an
      average of every 6,000 years, the orbit could be increased to keep pace
      with the Sun's increasing brightness. The result, they say, would be to keep
      the Earth habitable for up to an extra 5 billion years. The scientists say their
      plan is not without some drawbacks. In order for this method to work, the
      asteroid would have to pass by Earth within about 10,000 miles. If the
      asteroid comes too close, it might break up or conceivably even slam into
      Earth. Another possible side effect of shooting such a large object past
      Earth, the scientists say, would be to increase the planet's rotation. The
      encounters would have to be planned so that while some would cause the
      Earth to spin faster, others would slow it down back to normal rotation
      speed. It's also possible that the moon would be thrown from its orbit
      around the Earth during these fly-bys. ...(c) 2001 Cable News Network. All
      Rights Reserved. ...

      Now imagine 3.5 billion years in the future. Looking back there were a
      series of relatively minor natural-looking changes caused by asteroids
      passing near to the Earth every 6,000 years or so, and each time the Earth
      made a subtle change of orbit in the one general direction: away from the

      Moreover, some of the changes had to be *very* precise to avoid
      undesirable consequences. A lot of things could have gone wrong, but

      Each change in itself could be explained naturalistically but *the whole
      series* of changes all in one general direction was (and could only be) the
      result of far-sighted intelligent design!

      Even if there was no other evidence but the fact of the changes, an alien
      explorer 3.5 billion years in the future, who knew of Earth's original orbit
      through advanced knowledge of planetary formation, would infer far-sighted
      intelligent design!


      "If we had found such objects as arrowheads on Mars, all scientists would
      have recognized them immediately as the products of creation, even though
      in that case we would have no idea who made them or how. Carl Sagan,
      the evolutionist of Cosmos television fame, wants the government to listen
      for signals from outer space, because he knows full well that we can tell the
      difference between wave patterns produced by time and chance from those
      sent with design and purpose. Note: You don't have to see the creator, and
      you don't have to see the creative act, to recognize evidence of creation.
      Even when we don't know who or what the creative agent is, then, there
      are cases where "creation" is simply the most logical inference from our
      scientific observations. (Parker G.E., "Evidence of Creation in Living
      Systems," in Morris H.M. & Parker G.E., "What is Creation Science?,"
      [1982], Master Books: El Cajon CA, Revised, 1987, pp.33-34)
      Stephen E. Jones, Ph. +61 8 9448 7439. http://www.iinet.net.au/~sejones
      Moderator: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com