March 16, 2004 | David F. Coppedge

Privileged Planet Website Opens

A website featuring a new book by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, The Privileged Planet, has opened.  The subtitle of the book is How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery.  The authors take issue with pessimistic views, such as those of Steven Weinberg and Carl Sagan, that our planet is “pointless” or just a “lost speck of cosmic dust” in the universe.  Au contraire, the authors argue with many interesting observations: our planet appears to have been intelligently designed not only for our existence and well-being, but to maximize our ability to comprehend the creation.
    The website also highlights a documentary movie by the same title due to be released soon by Illustra Media, producer of the popular documentary Unlocking the Mystery of Life.  The film will feature Robert Jastrow, Paul Davies, Donald Brownlee, and other prominent astronomers and philosophers.  A video clip of the opening is available on the website.  The book and film are being promoted by the Discovery Institute, an intelligent design think tank.

This is not a typical creationist book or film.  To the extent it argues that our universe and earth appear designed for life and discovery, it makes an old anthropic argument stronger, adding an intriguing original point that our position makes science and discovery possible, as if that were the Creator’s intent.  Don’t expect it to argue for a view of special creation by the Judeo-Christian God, or to argue for a Biblical history or chronology.  It should, however, be a valuable resource to impel knowledgeable skeptics to consider the evidence for design.  Dr. Gonzalez and Jay Richards have impeccable credentials and know their specialties well.

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