The Latest Scientific Discoveries Point to an Intentional
Most of us remember the basics from science classes about how Earth came to be the only known planet that sustains complex life. But what most people don't know is that the more thoroughly researchers investigate the history of our planet, the more astonishing the story of our existence becomes. The number and complexity of the astronomical, geological, chemical, and biological features recognized as essential to human existence have expanded explosively within the past decade. An understanding of what is required to make possible a large human population and advanced civilizations has raised profound questions about life, our purpose, and our destiny. Are we really just the result of innumerable coincidences? Or is there a more reasonable explanation?
This fascinating book helps nonscientists understand the countless miracles that undergird the exquisitely fine-tuned planet we call home--as if Someone had us in mind all along.
"With his typical clarity, insight, and precision, Ross shows
how recent scientific findings undermine naturalism while
simultaneously providing evidence that there is a plan, purpose,
and design in the universe."--Sean McDowell, professor,
Biola University; bestselling author of over fifteen books,
including A New Kind of Apologist
"In Improbable Planet, Ross holds readers' hands, leading them in a readable yet gently technical format through a compelling layer-upon-layer argument for the distinctiveness of the planet on which we live and of the preparation for inimitable life on Earth. The text is replete with references from primary scientific articles in some of the most well-respected journals, underscoring the highest academic rigor taken in substantiating the factual claims. Only the shamefully flippant could dismiss this book as being a faith-filled presentation rather than the scholarly work it represents."--James M. Tour, T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Rice University; R&D magazine's 2013 Scientist of the Year
"Hugh Ross brilliantly silences those who would claim that this Earth, this solar system, this galaxy, and this universe are nothing but a mere accident. Improbable Planet is technical yet poetic; thoroughly scientific yet faith-inspiring. I commend it to anyone who seriously contemplates the wonder of this planet we call Earth."--Pat Robertson, founder/chairman, The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc.
"Hugh Ross takes us on a riveting tour of the scientific story, from the beginning of the cosmos to present humankind. He shows how that story pushes us toward the conclusion that purpose has driven the whole story, with the different pieces intertwined and each supporting the production of an ideal habitat for human beings right here and right now. Not only will this commend Christian faith to scientifically minded inquirers, but it will also strengthen the confidence of believers that we inhabit and participate in a meaningful and purposeful story."--C. John "Jack" Collins, professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
"With thorough notations and research, Hugh Ross takes us on a journey through time and space to bring us firmly back to our own planet, formed by one Creator. For those who need a scientific explanation of our universe and the life-forms within it, you will be satisfied. For those who already believe that God's divine hand created the world and all life within, you will be validated. Hugh Ross writes to stretch our intellect and to strengthen our faith. Improbable Planet does the improbable--demonstrates that the language of science does not threaten but instead augments the prose of evangelism."--Ed Young, senior pastor, Second Baptist Church, Houston, TX
“The air on our planet likewise must be precisely managed to prevent the undue suffering or death of its life-forms. However, different kinds of life at different times in Earth’s history possessed different atmospheric requirements. Typically, the more advanced the life-form, the more atmospheric oxygen it needed to thrive. Thus, Earth’s preparation for advanced life entailed appropriate oxygenation of the atmosphere.” (source)
“As noted, Earth provides an enduring home for life. Because of the way Earth was and now is, it affords habitats for three radically different kinds, or categories, of life: (1) physical; (2) physical and mind-possessing; and (3) physical, mind-possessing, and spiritual.” (source)
“This warm, wet episode, however, would have ended abruptly with an event called the carbonate catastrophe. Liquid water reacts with carbon dioxide to form carbonic acid. As this acid inevitably rained on Mars, it would have produced carbonates, which leach greenhouse gases, water vapor, and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Such leaching would have swiftly transformed Mars into a dry, cold wasteland despite the continued brightening of the Sun. Earth avoided such a carbonate catastrophe because of its unique geological history and its abundance of specific life-forms that helped to sustain plate tectonics. Tectonics, in turn, established a carbon cycle that transformed carbonates into water vapor and carbon dioxide and spewed those gases back into Earth’s atmosphere.” (source)
“The faintness of the youthful Sun poses a problem, a major problem, because the existence of life on Earth requires a relatively fixed surface temperature. Studies show that a solar luminosity change of as little as 2 percent would make Earth uninhabitable! And yet, despite the Sun’s dramatically increasing brightness, life has somehow persisted on Earth’s surface for all this time.” (source)
Hugh Ross (PhD, University of Toronto) is founder and president of Reasons To Believe (www.reasons.org). He is the author of many books, including More Than a Theory and Why the Universe Is the Way It Is. An astronomer, Ross has addressed students and faculty on over 300 campuses in the United States and abroad on a wide variety of science-faith topics. From science conferences to churches to government labs, Ross presents powerful evidence for a purpose-filled universe. He lives in the Los Angeles area.