The Israeli-American Gerald L. Schroeder, an Orthodox Jew who earned his B.Sc., his M.Sc., and his Ph.D. in nuclear physics and in earth and planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is one of the most interesting contemporary writers on science and religion. He is a professor at Jerusalem’s College of Jewish Studies.
Here, drawn from his book God According to God: A Scientist Discovers We’ve Been Wrong About God All Along (New York: HarperOne, 2009), is the second part of a passage about our rather special location in a quite congenial galaxy:
Spiral galaxies are fit for life because spiral galaxies provide a range of conditions among which are those optimal for nurturing life. The spiral structure offers a variety of stellar concentrations throughout, from high densities near the galactic center and within the spiral arms to very much lower densities of stars in the spaces between the arms. Depending upon how the outer limit of the Milky Way is defined, the diameter of our galaxy is between 80,000 and 100,000 light-years. Our sun likes between two spiral arms, some 27,000 light-years, or approximately two-thirds of the way, out from the Milky Way’s center. Relative to the thickness of the Milky Way’s galactic disk, the solar system is just above (or below, depending upon one’s orientation) the center of the 6,000-light-year-thick central plane.
Big changes seem to be coming for one of our continents:
I’ve posted about this subject before:
And this is interesting, too: