Why We Need Earthquakes
Ward and Brownlee's answer to this is as simple as it is devastating. Such a world could have produced life, but it surely could not have produced creatures like us. Science tells us that our world has all the necessary conditions for species like Homo sapiens to survive and endure.
Our planet requires oxygen and a warming sun and water in order for us to live here, and we appreciate this, even though we recognize that people can get sunstroke and drown in the ocean. So, too, it seems that plate tectonics are, as Ward and Brownlee put it, a "central requirement for life" as we know it.
This is not to suggest, as the scientist and philosopher Leibniz once argued, that ours is the best of all possible worlds. But ours may be the best of all feasible worlds, at least as viewed from a human perspective. This recognition will not stop people from bemoaning the next earthquake, but it should at least stop us from blithely assuming that the Creator could have done a much better job.
Dinesh D'Souza, a former policy analyst in the Reagan White House, is author of What's So Great About Christianity and other books.
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Previous columns by D'Souza include:
The Evolution of Darwin | The scientist's problem with God did not spring from his theory. (January 22, 2009)
Staring into the Abyss | Why Peter Singer makes the New Atheists nervous. (March 17, 2009)
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