Sent to "The Star",
, on Sat 30/01/2010, published in abbreviated form. Johannesburg
Bob Holcombe (The Star Letters, January 29 2010) waxes lyrical as to our uniqueness.
Has he heard of the Anthropic Principle? This says that the reason we are on a planet and in a solar system hospitable to life, is because life would not survive in a place hostile to life.
If the Tau Ceti system (for example) were more hospitable to life, we could have been on Tau Ceti IV waving our tentacles in the methane in praise of our tantacled god who placed us in such a life-giving environment instead of on barren Earth.
Mr Holcombe goes on to credit his god with the design of the solar system and suggest that we look at the account given of our origins in the Bible.
Has he read the tale of Creation in Genesis? Every fact about the origin and structure of the universe contradicts it.
Genesis 1 says the world was created in six days. Not symbolic "days" of millions of years: literal, 24-hour days, as made clear by repeating "And the evening and the morning were the n-th day" (in those days, and still in Jewish tradition, the day was taken to start at sunset).
Based on hard evidence, science says that the universe is about 13.73 billion (
billion = 109) years old, the sun only about 4.57, and the earth a bit younger at around 4.54 billion years (source: Wikipedia). USA
The Bible says that the sun, moon and stars were created on day 4, some days after the earth, and well after the creation of "day" and "night".
Today everybody knows that day and night are due to the rotation of the earth, which exposes sequential parts of the globe to the rays of the sun. "Day", "night", "evening" and "morning" are meaningless without the Sun.
I'm sorry to offend, but the Biblical account of our origins is not merely inaccurate, it is nonsense. It is not possible that it is the work of a (truthful) divine creator.
Along with the very nasty god it portrays, the Bible is fiction steeped in the mythology of its time. It is no more reliable a handbook than Grimm's Fairy Tales.