My family likes to play a puzzle-solving game called Mindtrap. After reading the puzzle from a card, we think, discuss, and analyze how to solve the problem. Often the solution becomes apparent (and even obvious) after identifying a key question or recognizing a hidden assumption. The same applies to apologetics—that’s why we added a new feature called RTB 101 to our website.
RTB 101 aims to describe a biblically and scientifically sound perspective on a number of prominent issues related to science apologetics. Each topic’s page provides a summary of RTB’s stance and includes a selection of articles, podcasts, and video clips for more in-depth study. For example, a few months ago, we posted an RTB 101 page on exoplanets (planets discovered outside our solar system). That page responds to the recently announced discovery of a “habitable” planet and even to claims “that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent”!
At first glance such statements seem to indicate Earth is not unique (and maybe not even rare) in its capacity to support life. However, these pronouncements reflect an assumption and fail to address a key question.
lmost every announcement of a “habitable” planet assumes that the existence of liquid water ensures that life will surely develop. Yet, we really need to answer this question: What are the necessary requirements for a planet to support life if God did place it there? We argue that a planet must meet far more exacting criteria before being declared habitable. Our model anticipates that scientists will find many planets that resemble Earth in a number of characteristics, and as they develop the capacity to search these planets, their findings will generate valuable data to help determine whether life requires minimal characteristics (just liquid water) or more stringent conditions (liquid water plus plate tectonics plus a just-right star/Jupiter in a just-right galaxy, etc.).
The exoplanet RTB 101 page succinctly addresses the central questions and provides links to more detailed information. Other RTB 101 pages address topics such as hominids, global warming, and natural disasters, to name a few. Many more RTB 101 pages are in the works. Stop by the site regularly to see what’s been added and to equip yourself for evangelistic conversation on these important topics.