Physics, Earth & Space Icon Physics, Earth & Space

Gonzalez: “Worlds Like This Are Hard to Come By”

David Klinghoffer

So says Discovery Institute astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, talking with his co-author Jay Richards on a new episode of ID the Future. But of course saying planets like Earth are “hard to come by” is quite the understatement. 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.

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. Dr. Richards and Dr. Gonzalez discuss developments in science over the past decade and a half that have confirmed their arguments and predictions.

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? 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. Why are people so afraid of that idea? Naturally, as Jay points out, popular science reporting gives a very different perspective. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Photo: International Space Station, NASA/Roscosmos.