Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ the Great Designer

March 2, 2022 • 8:30 am

In today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “Waste”, the boys ponder the vastness of the mostly uninhabitable Universe. Those who claim that God designed the laws of physics to allow the Universe and, especially, humans to arise, never wonder why that same God made the Universe so large and almost completely uninhabitable by humans. If we’re the special object of divine creation, why doesn’t the Universe just contain Earth alone?

Mo is right: so much for The Anthropic Principle.

25 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ the Great Designer

  1. Maybe it’s just a waste of space ?

    I assume they are talking about their respective “holy” books.

    1. Awesome point, I meant to add – interesting article.

      Mundus — mundane – little etymology there I enjoyed too.

  2. Brilliant as usual.

    Personally, I do NOT enjoy the experience of a shower of cosmic rays on my skin in the morning, or bare raw radiation hitting my face in a vacuous debris filled void without oxygen or temperatures and pressures near something habitable – but that’s just me….

    But tardigrades, I don’t know – maybe they’re fine with that.

    1. You’re conflating “conditions that can be endured” with “good living conditions”. Tardigrades can endure (for relatively short periods) vacuum and cosmic radiation, and I can endure 50m water depths and ice cold water (cold enough to ice up your demand valve), but for both of us, the number of offspring produced in those “endured” conditions is a very Darwinian-ly effective zero.
      Mark’s mention of the Copernican Principle @3 above is apt : we orbit a star which is far from the commonest type (which are “M” dwarfs), but our host star is a relatively common one. 5 to 10% of the galactic population. “A” stars, OTOH, are fractions of 1% of the population.
      By the way, you do get a shower of cosmic rays on your skin every morning. And every evening, and most of the day and night too. Depending mostly on the geology you live on, the cosmic ray radiation dose is around the same as the radiation dose from your buildings, walls, ground, air. Both you and tardigrades comfortable with those doses.

      1. You give people ideas. A scuba copulation at 50 m under water without asubmarine! Guiness book record! Just imagine the decompression times. No, I would not volunteer, not even if it were with Zozibini Tunzi.

      2. “You’re conflating …”

        Well I’m making a silly parallel with Jesus n’ Mo, ostensibly “enjoying” the experience of pleasant things like the night sky, while ignoring everything else that is going on up there and to themselves which they cannot notice by merely hanging out together. So conflation is only one problem with that.

        “By the way, you do get a shower of cosmic rays on your skin every morning. […] Both you and tardigrades comfortable with those doses.”

        That’s why I included it in my comment. It is funny and sort of stupid. On purpose, for humor.

        But this topic was interesting to look into briefly. Apologies for length but I want to know this. This is what I find :

        Cosmic rays are ionizing radiation. They, peaking at about 0.3 _GeV_, and I’d expect them to be energetic enough to cause chemistry on DNA bases on the surface of the Earth. By comparison, UV-C has energies of 4-12 _eV_. (I underlined the units to emphasize the scale).

        Cosmic rays – along with radon (monoatomic gas Rn) – account for part of the background radiation at sea level. If cosmic rays are “comfortable”, then by those lights, so is radon gas. Certainly the less radon, the better for health, but perhaps evolution depended on it – I saw some interesting suggestions along that line for enzymatic DNA repair mechanisms.

        The dose from CR is composed of muons, neutrons, and electrons. CR include gamma rays. Commercial air flight increases the exposure to CR.

        Nevertheless, if I could go back in time and write the comment again, I’d pick gamma rays. But apparently gamma rays are cosmic rays.

        Sources of the factual statements above – some of which were new to me :

        Hyperphysics
        Wikipedia – in particular on background radiation.

        1. I have to add :

          “Radon daughters are solids, not gases, and stick to surfaces such as dust particles i n the air. If contaminated dust is inhaled, these particles can adhere to the airways of the lung. As these radioactive dust particles break down further, they release small bursts of energy which can damage lung tissue and therefore increase the risk of developing lung cancer. In general, the risk increases as the level of radon and the length of exposure increases.

          Radon itself, on the other hand, is almost chemically inactive and an inhaled radon atom is very likely to be exhaled before it decays. Thus, the main health risk from radon is exposure to its decay products.”

          Source : Wikipedia link to :
          https://web.archive.org/web/20111121032816/http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/community-health/environmental-health/exposure-topics/radiation/radon/public-health-fact-sheet-on-radon.html

          … perhaps this might help the “what’s wrong with Wikipedia” article.

        2. My comment might not make it because of a long link:

          Radon gas is actually less of a health problem than the decay products because they are solid, stick to dust, which also can be inhaled etc. but are not gases.

          Source : Wikipedia

  3. The assumption that most of the universe is uninhabitable is very naive. Our techniques for observing the universe are still at an extremely low level. Our research on exoplanets is actually new. I still remember what sensation was caused by Professor Wolszczan’s discovery of planets orbiting a pulsar. This is only 30 years .
    If it turned out that most of the stars in the galaxy have planetary systems, I would not be surprised. I suppose it would be quite the opposite and there are a huge number of worlds suitable for human habitation. An infinite number of worlds, the problem of not knowing how to reach them is a separate issue.
    We don’t know a lot, we don’t understand a lot, and it will probably be for a long time. But that’s not a reason to close patent offices and stop thinking about the theory of everything.

    1. No matter how many planets there are, even if ALL of them were inhabitable, which we know is not the case from our own solar system…most of the universe is space, and that already immensely dominant, empty fraction of the universe appears to be increasing at an ever-increasing rate. So, yeah, the VAST majority of the universe is uninhabitable, certainly for anything like life as we know it. The portion of the universe we know to be inhabitable by organisms such as we is the outer shell of the Earth and nearby low-orbit (if you count space stations as inhabitable).

      1. … and somehow “the prophets” missed such prophecy, that “God’s creation”, including life on those extra terrestrial sites, were … what, being saved as a surprise for later? That the life out there is exempt from the Big Soul Roundup by one Jesus? Or are they the lifeforms merely the work of the devil? Or is it actually Heaven? Or such life-as-we-know-it does not exist?

        It is so puzzling. Only Sophisticated Theology(TM) can give the answer.

        1. The Holy See answered your question when it was posed by Giordano Bruno, about the same time that Copernicus was proposing his (checks notes) scheme for simplifying astrological calculations. One got to die in his bed, the other got to die screaming on a bonfire.
          Or was Bruno “mercifully” strangled while he was being chained to the stake? I forget.

      2. Yeah, even if every exoplanet in the goldilocks zone around every suitable star is teeming with life, it still wouldn’t amount to more than a speck of lint on the lapel of the universe’s suit.

      3. Sir, I am giving you an answer based on science, and in particular astronomy, and point out that in terms of (which is possible) it may be wrong to say that most of the world is uninhabitable by humans. We just don’t know how to get to these worlds. they exist there, regardless of our helplessness resulting either from the inability to transgress certain laws of physics or from ignorance of the laws of physics that make such a journey impossible.

        Your answer, in turn, reminds me of a philosophical cry, a man who avoids astronomy and only cries – “oh why good God didn’t make everything out of cheese and marzipan, because if the space was made of CHEESE and MARZIPAN then everyone would have a better life.
        For as you know, the most ist a empty space in Universe.
        (I personally like donuts and baklava too)

        But you are right about absolute units, void space is the most large-scale object in the universe. If we treat it as a structure of something and not simply the lack of something, a human would first have to fill it with an energy source, which is the sun and the habitat, which is the planet.

        1. Fair enough. And, who knows if we can engineer ourselves or enhance ourselves to make ourselves able to live on almost any planet or even in intergalactic space, at least for a while. So while I tend to be a pessimist, and dysthymic, I also acknowledge that there may be possibilities for greater reach than might be obvious. So I hope I wasn’t TOO dreary. I just tend to be that way.

  4. Lazy programming, is what it is. He set up a system-building algorithm and didn’t bother giving it a stop condition.

  5. My favourite quote;
    God is an ever-decreasing pocket of Scientific ignorance.
    – Neil de G. Tyson

  6. I like the ‘weak’ Anthropic Principle: of course the particular circumstances allowed us to evolve, if not, there would not be anything anybody could talk about, since there would simply not be anybody. ‘Duh’, as my 11 year old would say.
    Only very few win the lottery, but generally some do. By definition we won the lottery of life, and of sentient life at that (and I resist a pun at deplorable Trumpies there).

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