Why is Earth inhabitable for life?

Freeman Dyson, a world-renowned physicist and mathematician says “The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known that we were coming.” So maybe it’s not an accident that earth is habitable. 

We caught up with physicist Bijan Nemati, who was a senior engineer at NASA’s jet propulsion lab for over 16 years. What we’ve discovered in the last few decades is that the properties of the universe in general and our planet in particular are fine-tuned, not just for our survival, but actually for our thriving, our benefit. 

So earth is not just habitable, it’s better than that, it’s hospitable. It’s like this: Imagine you’re a space explorer and you land on a distant planet. There’s no water, no oxygen and it’s 300 degrees below zero. You’re screwed but then off in the distance you see a structure and the closer you get the more it looks like a house. When you open the door you find it’s been filled with warm breathable air. You take off your spacesuit and find a faucet with drinkable water and a refrigerator stocked with healthy and delicious food. What’s your first thought? The house and everything in it was the product of a mindless natural process or that it was designed to take care of you, to meet your needs and that someone prepared it as a home for human beings like you? Our planet earth is that home. 

Our planet is a terrestrial planet. It has water and carbon, both necessary for life. It has an oxygen nitrogen atmosphere in just the right proportion for life to thrive. We have plate tectonics to circulate minerals. We have a magnetosphere that protects us from harmful radiation. Our moon stabilizes our axial tilt giving us a stable climate and we have gas giant planets, particularly Jupiter cleaning up the solar system from comets and asteroids that could harm us. And we are located in the habitable zone of a very stable energetic star which itself is located in the habitable zone of a metal-rich mature galaxy so the earth is apparently exceedingly rare.