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Goldilocks III – Tuned For Life

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BENDEDREALITY.COM
Submitted by Roger Conner – September 2016



The Goldilocks Series continues with this list of fascinatingly unique parameters required for our existence on the Goldilocks planet (Earth):

Goldilocks III – Tuned For Life

Goldilocks I – The Strange Existence of the Goldilocks Planet
Goldilocks II – The Mysterious Moon

Remember from earlier articles, what started out as 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible planets for life, kept shrinking and shrinking and shrinking until it hit zero, zip, nada (0).

Then it kept right on going! In other words, the probability that any planet at all, even ours, could ever exist and support life became more and more impossible. We shouldn’t even be here!

The following is a list of even more parameters critical for life to exist on the Only Goldilocks Planet:

1. galactic tides
• if too weak: too low of a comet ejection rate from giant planet region
• if too strong too high of a comet ejection rate from giant planet region
2. H3+production
• if too small: simple molecules essential to planet formation and life chemistry will not form
• if too large: planets will form at wrong time and place for life
3. flux of cosmic ray protons
• if too small: inadequate cloud formation in planet’s troposphere
• if too large: too much cloud formation in planet’s troposphere
4. solar wind
• if too weak: too many cosmic ray protons reach planet’s troposphere causing too much cloud formation
• if too strong: too few cosmic ray protons reach planet’s troposphere causing too little cloud formation
5. parent star luminosity relative to speciation
• if increases too soon: runaway green house effect would develop
• if increases too late: runaway glaciation would develop
6. surface gravity (escape velocity)
• if stronger: planet’s atmosphere would retain too much ammonia and methane
• if weaker: planet’s atmosphere would lose too much water
7. distance from parent star
• if farther: planet would be too cool for a stable water cycle
• if closer: planet would be too warm for a stable water cycle
8. inclination of orbit
• if too great: temperature differences on the planet would be too extreme
9. orbital eccentricity
• if too great: seasonal temperature differences would be too extreme
10. axial tilt
• if greater: surface temperature differences would be too great
• if less: surface temperature differences would be too great
11. rate of change of axial tilt
• if greater: climatic changes would be too extreme; surface temperature differences would become too extreme
12. rotation period
• if longer: diurnal temperature differences would be too great
• if shorter: atmospheric wind velocities would be too great
13. rate of change in rotation period
• if longer:surface temperature range necessary for life would not be sustained
• if shorter:surface temperature range necessary for life would not be sustained
14. planet age
• if too young: planet would rotate too rapidly
• if too old: planet would rotate too slowly
15. magnetic field
• if stronger: electromagnetic storms would be too severe; too few cosmic ray protons would reach planet’s troposphere which would inhibit adequate cloud formation
• if weaker: ozone shield would be inadequately protected from hard stellar and solar radiation
16. thickness of crust
• if thicker: too much oxygen would be transferred from the atmosphere to the crust
• if thinner: volcanic and tectonic activity would be too great

globe-earth-space-western-hemisphere

1. nitrogen quantity in atmosphere
• if greater: too much buffering of oxygen for advanced animal respiration; too much nitrogen fixation for support of diverse plant species
• if less: too little buffering of oxygen for advanced animal respiration; too little nitrogen fixation for support of diverse plant species
2. ratio of 40K, 235,238U, 232Th [potassium 40, uranium 235 and 238, and thorium 232] to iron for the planet
• if too low: inadequate levels of plate tectonic and volcanic activity
• if too high: radiation, earthquakes, and volcanoes at levels too high for advanced life
3. rate of interior heat loss
• if too low: inadequate energy to drive the required levels of plate tectonic and volcanic activity
• if too high: plate tectonic and volcanic activity shuts down too quickly
4. seismic activity
• if greater: too many life-forms would be destroyed
• if less: nutrients on ocean floors from river runoff would not be recycled to continents through tectonics; not enough carbon dioxide would be released from carbonates
5. volcanic activity
• if lower: insufficient amounts of carbon dioxide and water vapor would be returned to the atmosphere; soil mineralization would become too degraded for life
• if higher: advanced life, at least, would be destroyed
6. rate of decline in tectonic activity
• if slower: advanced life can never survive on the planet
• if faster: advanced life can never survive on the planet
7. rate of decline in volcanic activity
• if slower: advanced life can never survive on the planet
• if faster: advanced life can never survive on the planet
8. timing of birth of continent formation
• if too early: silicate-carbonate cycle would be destabilized
• if too late: silicate-carbonate cycle would be destabilized
9. oceans-to-continents ratio
• if greater: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited
• if smaller: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited
10. rate of change in oceans-to-continents ratio
• if smaller: advanced life will lack the needed land mass area
• if greater: advanced life would be destroyed by the radical changes
11. global distribution of continents (for Earth)
• if too much in the southern hemisphere: seasonal differences would be too severe for advanced life
12. frequency and extent of ice ages
• if smaller: insufficient fertile, wide, and well-watered valleys produced for diverse and advanced life forms; insufficient mineral concentrations occur for diverse and advanced life
• if greater: planet inevitably experiences runaway freezing
13. soil mineralization
• if too nutrient poor: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited
• if too nutrient rich: diversity and complexity of life-forms would be limited
14. gravitational interaction with a moon
• if greater: tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe
• if less: orbital obliquity changes would cause climatic instabilities; movement of nutrients and life from the oceans to the continents and vice versa would be insufficent; magnetic field would be too weak
15. Jupiter distance
• if greater: too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth
• if less: Earth’s orbit would become unstable
16. Jupiter mass
• if greater: Earth’s orbit would become unstable
• if less: too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth
17. drift in major planet distances
• if greater: Earth’s orbit would become unstable
• if less: too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth
18. major planet eccentricities
• if greater: orbit of life supportable planet would be pulled out of life support zone
19. major planet orbital instabilities
• if greater: orbit of life supportable planet would be pulled out of life support zone
20. mass of Neptune
• if too small: not enough Kuiper Belt Objects (asteroids beyond Neptune) would be scattered out of the solar system
• if too large: chaotic resonances among the gas giant planets would occur
21. Kuiper Belt of asteroids (beyond Neptune)
• if not massive enough: Neptune’s orbit remains too eccentric which destabilizes the orbits of other solar system planets
• if too massive: too many chaotic resonances and collisions would occur in the solar system
22. separation distances among inner terrestrial planets
• if too small: orbits of all inner planets will become unstable in less than 100,000,000 million years
• if too large: orbits of the most distant from star inner planets will become chaotic
23. atmospheric pressure
• if too small: liquid water will evaporate too easily and condense too infrequently; weather and climate variation would be too extreme; lungs will not function
• if too large: liquid water will not evaporate easily enough for land life; insufficient sunlight reaches planetary surface; insufficient uv radiation reaches planetary surface; insufficient climate and weather variation; lungs will not function
24. atmospheric transparency
• if smaller: insufficient range of wavelengths of solar radiation reaches planetary surface
• if greater: too broad a range of wavelengths of solar radiation reaches planetary surface
25. magnitude and duration of sunspot cycle
• if smaller or shorter: insufficient variation in climate and weather
• if greater or longer: variation in climate and weather would be too much
26. continental relief
• if smaller: insufficient variation in climate and weather
• if greater: variation in climate and weather would be too much
27. chlorine quantity in atmosphere
• if smaller: erosion rates, acidity of rivers, lakes, and soils, and certain metabolic rates would be insufficient for most life forms
• if greater: erosion rates, acidity of rivers, lakes, and soils, and certain metabolic rates would be too high for most life forms
28. iron quantity in oceans and soils
• if smaller: quantity and diversity of life would be too limited for support of advanced life; if very small, no life would be possible
• if larger: iron poisoning of at least advanced life would result
29. tropospheric ozone quantity
• if smaller: insufficient cleansing of biochemical smogs would result
• if larger: respiratory failure of advanced animals, reduced crop yields, and destruction of ozone-sensitive species would result
30. stratospheric ozone quantity
• if smaller: too much uv radiation reaches planet’s surface causing skin cancers and reduced plant growth
• if larger: too little uv radiation reaches planet’s surface causing reduced plant growth and insufficient vitamin production for animals
31. mesospheric ozone quantity
• if smaller: circulation and chemistry of mesospheric gases so disturbed as to upset relative abundances of life essential gases in lowe atmosphere
• if greater: circulation and chemistry of mesospheric gases so disturbed as to upset relative abundances of life essential gases in lower atmosphere
32. quantity and extent of forest and grass fires
• if smaller: growth inhibitors in the soils would accumulate; soil nitrification would be insufficient; insufficient charcoal production for adequate soil water retention and absorption of certain growth inhibitors
• if greater: too many plant and animal life forms would be destroyed
33. quantity of soil sulfer
• if smaller: plants will become defieient in certain proteins and die
• if larger: plants will die from sulfur toxins; acidity of wate and soil will become too great for life; nitrogen cycles will be disturbed
34. biomass to comet infall ratio
• if smaller: greenhouse gases accumulate, triggering runaway surface temperature increase
• if larger: greenhouse gases decline, triggering a runaway freezing
35. density of quasars
• if smaller: insufficient production and ejection of cosmic dust into the intergalactic medium; ongoing star formation impeded; deadly radiation unblocked
• if larger: too much cosmic dust forms; too many stars form too late disrupting the formation of a solar-type star at the right time and under the right conditions for life
36. density of giant galaxies in the early universe
• if smaller: insufficient metals ejected into the intergalactic medium depriving future generations of stars of the metal abundances necessary for a life-support planet at the right time in cosmic history
• if larger: too large a quantity of metals ejected into the intergalactic medium providing future stars with too high of a metallicity for a life-support planet at the right time in cosmic history
37. giant star density in galaxy
• if smaller: insufficient production of galactic dust; ongoing star formation impeded; deadly radiation unblocked
• if larger: too much galactic dust forms; too many stars form too early disrupting the formation of a solar-type star at the right time and under the right conditions for life
38. rate of sedimentary loading at crustal subduction zones
• if smaller: too few instabilities to trigger the movement of crustal plates into the mantle thereby disrupting carbonate-silicate cycle
• if larger: too many instabilities triggering too many crustal plates to move down into the mantle thereby disrupting carbonate-silicate cycle
39. poleward heat transport in planet’s atmosphere
• if smaller: disruption of climates and ecosystems; lowered biomass and species diversity; decreased storm activity and precipitation
• if larger: disruption of climates and ecosystems; lowered biomass and species diversity; increased storm activity

Source: Reasons To Believe : Fine-Tuning For Life On Earth (Updated June 2004)

This article was submitted by BENDED REALITY staff writer Roger Conner, US Navy pilot (retired)


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