Re: [asa] Earth's crust, Earth's atmosphere and Creation

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Fri Dec 29 2006 - 15:15:42 EST

Some very common compounds of light elements are in fact highly dangerous. One, in particular, which exists in solid, liquid and gaseous forms kills many people each year in its three forms and also injures and maims more. The liquid form can kill by inhaling or simply by being covered by a small quantity on a cold day. I have suffered minor injuries from each of the three, and have had several potentially fatal brushes with them. Too much of it and you are dead and too little you are dead too! It also forms a constituent part of most poisons. It can be used by police in oppressive regimes to intimidate citizens. It probably killed two members of the US armed forces today and 7 British oil workers yesterday.

As this is so common, does not its very existence raise doubts against fine-tuning?


----- Original Message -----
  From: George Murphy
  To: Jammart Johan ;
  Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 6:04 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Earth's crust, Earth's atmosphere and Creation

  An interesting question. However, the statement "A universe fine-tuned for life should not contain poison" is a non sequitur. All being "fine-tuned for life" requires is that conditions be appropriate for the development of life, not that there be no threats to living things. After all, their are plenty of threats to physical life implied by gravitation, electrodynamics &c, all of which are basic to the development of life: The fact that living things can get killed by falling off cliffs or by lightning isn't an argument against fine tuning.

  The existence of heavy elements is probably a necessary consequence of the same fine tuning that allows life to develop in the 1st place. If you're going to have life, you have to not only make C-12 in stars (requiring the proper "tuning" of strong & E-M forces) but also get the carbon into interstellar space so it can be part of the next generation of stars. That happens in supernova explosions, & another result of such explosions is the formation of heavy elements as nuclei are subjected to a high flux of neutrons. (& this means, I think, not only that there will be Hg, Os & other heavy metals which are potential chemical poisons, but that there will be radioactive elements & the stuff that nuclear weapons can be made from.)

  Apparently God created a universe with sufficient integrity to bring forth living things via natural processes with divine cooperation, in full awareness that such a universe would in many ways be a dangerous place. & that means that it would also be a dangerous place for God himself when he became incarnate.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Jammart Johan
    Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 12:29 PM
    Subject: [asa] Earth's crust, Earth's atmosphere and Creation

    I have read a review (by Korthof) of Michael Denton book "Nature's Destiny" . I would like your advice on two quotes:

    "Osmium-oxide is the most poisonous substance on Earth. Concentrations in the air of more than 2 parts per 10 billion (=1010) parts cause blindness, lung- and kidney damage. This is an extreme low concentration. So it is extremely effective. Conclusion: Osmium-oxide is uniquely fit for killing humans. In other words: Osmium-oxide gives every appearance of having been specially designed for damaging human life. Or is it just a coincidence...? "

    "John Emsley (2005) The Elements of Murder: A History of Poison points out that heavy metals which are natural constituents of the Earth's crust like mercury, arsenic, lead, antimony and thallium are elements that are toxic enough to cause human death. (Nature, 11 Aug 2005). A universe fine-tuned for life should not contain poison."

    How to conciliate those two quotes with the notion of the Creator? My my interest is theology, but I'm interested with science when it deal with the Creation. I would like to have your advices on this ( P.S.: I believe in theistic evolution).

    Many thank in advance for your help!



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Received on Fri Dec 29 15:57:26 2006

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