left biblioblography: EARTH AS A NON-ISOLATED SYSTEM

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

EARTH AS A NON-ISOLATED SYSTEM

Stumbled across this link at the Bacon Eating Atheist Jew’s blog (this was a month or so ago), and felt compelled to share it:

“Getting closer to the cosmic connection to climate
04.10.2006
An essential role for remote stars in everyday weather on Earth has been revealed by an experiment at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen.
It is already well-established that when cosmic rays, which are high-speed atomic particles originating in exploded stars far away in the Milky Way, penetrate Earth’s atmosphere they produce substantial amounts of ions and release free electrons. Now, results from the Danish experiment show that the released electrons significantly promote the formation of building blocks for cloud condensation nuclei on which water vapour condenses to make clouds.


Hence, a causal mechanism by which cosmic rays can facilitate the production of clouds in Earth’s atmosphere has been experimentally identified for the first time.The Danish team officially announce their discovery on Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, published by the Royal Society, the British national academy of science.The experimentThe experiment called SKY (Danish for ‘cloud’) took place in a large reaction chamber which contained a mixture of gases at realistic concentrations to imitate the chemistry of the lower atmosphere. Ultraviolet lamps mimicked the action of the Sun’s rays. During experimental runs, instruments traced the chemical action of the penetrating cosmic rays in the reaction chamber.The data revealed that electrons released by cosmic rays act as catalysts, which significantly accelerate the formation of stable, ultra-small clusters of sulphuric acid and water molecules which are building blocks for the cloud condensation nuclei. A vast numbers of such microscopic droplets appeared, floating in the air in the reaction chamber. “

What’s my point? It’s great ammo for the next argument you have with an ID advocate (because they usually posit from the angle that planet earth is an isolated system, when obviously it is not). I have spoken of this elsewhere, and bring it up, time and again: we are not a pocket of isolation, at least from the perspective of interaction between planets. Is the universe isolated? We won’t know until we get up and out there, to walk the stars, pinch the dust of a million worlds between our thumbs and forefingers, and perhaps breathe deeply of another atmosphere (or several others).

So while our planet may not be the crux of the universe, there are small inroads here and there, so tiny or sporadic that we miss them when we blink or are too busy chatting or engaged in that act of simply being human:
The universe is wild, wooly, and deep. Or, as Hamlet put it: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Till the next post then.

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5 comments:

beepbeepitsme said...

How can they even begin to seriously argue that the earth is an isolated system?

Where does the isolation begin and end? 10 miles from the planet's surface? 100,000 miles from the planet's surface?

The atmosphere isolates us? From what?

It isolates us from everything else in the universe? I don't think so...

remy said...

I think they begin with hubris. Tell them that they are animals like any other and they "get very irate"

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM:
How can they even begin to seriously argue that the earth is an isolated system?
Well, we are a self-involved species.
I guess the Ptolemaic system has some specious leftovers.
Where does the isolation begin and end? 10 miles from the planet's surface? 100,000 miles from the planet's surface?
Truthfully, most folks don't even think from that angle. Meteorites impacting our planet don't even make headlines, unless they level cities, or leave huge craters.
The atmosphere isolates us? From what?
Well, the vacuum of space, for 1. Cosmic rays (which still filter in).

remy:
Tell them that they are animals like any other and they "get very irate"
Imagine the response if we find out we're NOT alone in the universe.
Apologists would get apoplectic.

beepbeepitsme said...

Kinda bizarre to believe that this little planet earth, sitting NOWHERE near the centre of the universe, but over in a tiny, microscopic blip of the universe - amid billions of planets, stars, galaxies and solar systems; was all made for we humans who appear individually as less than the speck of a speck of dust.

But I guess some people get their rocks off that way.

God belief stems from a geocentric notion of the universe. It is obvious scientifically, that the earth is NOT the centre of the universe with everything else orbiting it; but we might have to wait a while for the religious concepts to catch up.

Talking about Ptolemy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Cellarius_ptolemaic_system_c2.jpg

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM:
Kinda bizarre to believe that this little planet earth, sitting NOWHERE near the centre of the universe, but over in a tiny, microscopic blip of the universe - amid billions of planets, stars, galaxies and solar systems; was all made for we humans who appear individually as less than the speck of a speck of dust.
Superficially, no, not that bizarre. Introspectively, yes it is.
A child, when growing up, believes itself the center of the universe.
Collectively, our species need to get out of adolescence.
God belief stems from a geocentric notion of the universe. It is obvious scientifically, that the earth is NOT the centre of the universe with everything else orbiting it; but we might have to wait a while for the religious concepts to catch up.
Like the recanting of Galileo's excommunication in the 20th CE.