Had a thought while reading, “Is there a God?” – you list ‘Elements
essential for life’ as carbon and H20. I’m interesting in your thoughts
about adding oxygen to the list. First its ability as an aerial solvent
(to help create/sustain an atmosphere – and seems as strong an argument as
H20 in the solvent arena?) & essential for fire (which seems to be the
saving grace for Titan – with it’s seas of natural gas, without oxygen, no
fire/explosion!?). Not sure where this discussion can take place/be added
(unless you do a Second Edition) – but I’d be interested at least in your

There are many books out there on what is called the
“anthropic principle.” The anthropic principle can be simply stated: The
reason the laws of nature are what they are is because they were designed
so that advanced life forms can exist in the universe. This is a unifying
theme which begins to make sense of the laws of nature. Under this
heading, one can certainly begin to mention a lot of things!!! There are a
number of articles on the anthropic principle at this web site. To find
them, go back to the home page, click on articles and click on God. You
could go from there.

As to oxygen. Yes, this element has unique properties, without
which an advanced life form, which needs a very efficient metabolic source
of energy, would not be possible. In fact, one can go through the periodic
table and make arguments for the absolute essential need for many of the
elements in order, either for stars to function or for life to exist and
so forth. One could mention iron, with its magnetic properties, which are
essential to protecting the earth from very harmful cosmic particles. One
could mention lithium and berylium which play unique roles in creating
carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. One could mention nitrogen and, of course,
oxygen as playing unique and absolutely essential roles allowing life to
exist. The need for a pair of ions such as potassium and sodium to
regulate nerve impulses, the role of helium in allowing for release of
nuclear energy… one could go on. As a chemist, when I look at the
periodic chart of the elements, I see the fingerprint of God all over it.

If you want some more specific information, please feel free
to ask and I will try to help out any way I can. If you get so into the
topic that you write an article yourself, I will be glad to post it at my
web site. Let me recommend the books by Gerald Schroeder, my favorite
being The Science of God for a pretty thorough working out of the
anthropic principle.

John Oakes

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