The Privileged Planet
by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W.
Regnery Publishing Co., ISBN 0-89526-065-4,
$27.95 hardback, 444 pages, ©2004
The Does God Exist? program has maintained for nearly 40 years that chance is an inadequate mechanism to explain the complexities we observe in the creation around us. This is a superb book to read to understand why this is true. The publisher gives a beautifully simple summary of the book as follows: "The authors demonstrate that our planet is exquisitely fit not only to support life, but also to give us the best view of the universe, as if Earth were designed both for life and for scientific discovery."
This book is divided into three sections. The first focuses on the earth and how our planet is unique in allowing us to observe eclipses, observe magnetic properties, and study the chemistry of the cosmos. It also shows how our moon and surrounding planets affect the existence of life. The second section focuses on stars and galaxies and discusses how the earth allows the conditions for life to exist in stellar and galactic terms. The third section is titled "Implications" and draws conclusions from all the facts laid down in the earlier sections. This includes the Copernican revolution, the anthropic principles, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). The authors devote one whole chapter to anticipating objections to their premise. There is an excellent appendix which shows that the Drake equation needs far more functions than Drake used, and another chapter that deals with panspermia.
This is a book about science, not religion. The book makes no creationist pitch, but does do a superb job with good science of refuting the notion that we are a meaningless speck in a meaningless region of the cosmos.
We recommend this book highly. It is an excellent book to give to a friend who is antagonistic towards God or who feels faith has no valid scientific basis. It does this by its logical attack on naturalism. There is also a DVD of this material that is equally impressive. This book and DVD are going to be great tools for those who teach young people and those active in apologetics.
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, NovDec05.