Friday, March 5, 2010

Being Natural Is Not Always Good - 2

A post on this blog a while back offended some people.

There are those who evidently think that the natural world is full of good and only good, so that nothing "bad" ever happens that is natural.

The frequency of earthquakes recently, which kill hundreds of thousands of people, is a natural phenomenon that terrorises the human and other species.

These events show that there are terrifying events against innocents that seem to be built into the cosmos.

In that sense there is natural terrorism which is not "good".

Asteroids, another natural phenomenon in the sense they are not man made, have even made some species extinct:

A panel of 41 international experts ... reviewed 20 years' worth of research to determine the cause of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction, which happened around 65 million years ago. The extinction wiped out more than half of all species on the planet, including the dinosaurs, bird-like pterosaurs and large marine reptiles, clearing the way for mammals to become the dominant species on Earth.

The new review of the evidence shows that the extinction was caused by a massive asteroid slamming into Earth at Chicxulub (pronounced chick-shoo-loob) in Mexico.

(Science Daily, see also). Not so nice for a natural event is it? Great quantities of the oil reserves buried under the earth are also, in my opinion, the results of catastrophes that have happened during the history of this planet:

The original organic source material of both oil shale and petroleum was at least associated with, and probably derived from, at least in part, green algae, since Treibs (28) has found chlorophyll porphyrine in all oil shales examined by him and in all petroleums containing asphalt or, in other words, in all petroleums not purified by selective adsorption during migration. This discovery of chlorophyll porphyrins is undoubtedly the most important single discovery bearing upon the question of petroleum origin. It definitely connects up both oil shales and petroleum with green algae and proves that both have never been at any time in their history subjected to high temperatures and, in agreement with other evidence, shows that the original organic source material was deposited sufficiently rapidly to seal in the organic debris under anaerobic conditions.

(Ohio Journal Of Science; Vol. 48, Num. 4; emphasis added). If catastrophes destroyed the dinosaurs, why would it not also destroy other animal and plant species, burying large masses of them instantly?

At one time scientists were dead set against any catastrophe theories, because for one thing, the concepts of biological evolution were taught as if there was a perfecting process in place where everything was heading naturally to a better place.

Disruptive catastrophe was not seen as part of a perfecting process, but rather as anathema to it.

All we need to do is look at the nature of our Sun, and if we give it the full import we should, we see that catastrophe is natural to the cosmos as it is currently functioning.

Part of our avoidance of extinction, then, is to avoid the catastrophes built into the cosmos, not to ignore them.

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