Instigator / Pro

The Moon is Designed


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 10 votes and with 21 points ahead, the winner is...

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The Moon is designed by an intelligent creator.

Round 1
"The Moon is simply too big, too light in mass for it's size, too specific in it's dimensions, and too useful for it's existence to be a random chance event" Christopher Knight, God's Blueprint

1. Fine-Tuned Stability

"Instead, it is intriguing to note that the Earth-Moon system is close to being unstable. An Earth-Moonlike system that emerges from a moon-forming collision with 9% higher lunar mass or 8% smaller angular momentum develops an unstable obliquity 4.5 Gy after moon formation. This conclusion that our Earth-Moon system is almost unstable is unaffected by the assumed mean-k/Q and obliquity which can be varied from their Earth values by factors of two or more without changing this result. Near-instability may indicate that a large moon and/or low angular momentum are beneficial to habitability for some reason other than axial stability. The Earth could have been “anthropically selected” because it has near optimal values (i.e. as large a moon or as small an angular momentum as is compatible with axial stability). One speculation is that this allows the Earth to have a low rotation rate since the only way to have both a stable axis and slow spin is to have a large moon. Slow rotation, in turn, reduces the temperature contrast between the poles and equator which may play a role in making the Earth’s Ice-Ages rare and relatively mild [5]. Furthermore, the slow precession associated with near-instability ensures that obliquity variation and climate-precession are also slow hence reducing the pace of Ice-Age ebb and flow during the occasional glaciations that still occur."

The gist is, the Earth-Moon system is CLOSE to being unstable, but it is not. It seems be just the right size and angular momentum for stability NOW, when intelligent creatures have "evolved". An unlikely coincidence. There are a lot of unlikely coincidences with the Moon. 

2, Scale-Model of the Sun

The moon looks the same size in the sky as the sun, due to it being about 400 times smaller, and at the same time being about 400 times closer. This allows for near perfect eclipses. 

The average sunspot rotation is 27.3 days

3. The Moon and 237

I already noted that sunspot rotation is 27.3 days

A Moon day is 27.3 Earth days (revolution around it's axis)

It takes the Moon 27.3 days to revolve around the Earth

The Moon is 27.3 percent the size of the Earth

There are other interesting 273's, but they don't have to do with the moon so I won't list them here, but I find it to be more "strange coincidence".

I may have more coming, but I will stick with these for now.

Thx, janesix


Earth's MOON is "an astronomical body that orbits the planet and acts as its only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest satellite in the Solar System, and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits (its primary). The Moon is, after Jupiter's satellite Io, the second-densest satellite in the Solar System among those whose densities are known.

The Moon is thought to have formed about 4.51 billion years ago, not long after Earth. The most widely accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body."

A DESIGN is "a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product or process."


Wikipedia explains, "When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo. This is also stated in Hitchens's razor. Carl Sagan proposed a related criterion, the Sagan standard, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

PRO's extraordinary claim carries the sole burden of proof and extraordinary evidence.

CON interprets the resolution to mean that PRO will present extraordinary evidence proving that Earth's Moon was constructed according to some undefined designer's undefined plan.  CON's job is to interrogate PRO's claim for errors.

As a factual report, PRO's claim answers only one of the basic questions of information gathering and problem solving:

  • WHO- undefined
  • WHAT- designed the Moon
  • WHEN- undefined 
  • WHERE- undefined 
  • WHY- undefined
  • HOW- undefined
1. Fine-Tuned Stability

PRO argues that the Moon's size and angular momentum are just right for axial stability but present science is clear that we lack the data to justify such an assertion. 
The most obvious problem with such an assertion is that PRO has no examples of life-bearing planets or even of exoplanets with various sized moons except for the single, anthropocentric example of our Earth and Moon.  We can be confident that PRO has not compared our Moon's size with other exoplanets' Moon size because we have yet to discover a single exoplanetary satellite- we have just barely started detecting planets in our present young century.  PRO lacks a single data point that is not biased by personal residency.  PRO's assumption proceeds from the first and only case on record.  No generalizations about the relationship between exoplanetary life and exoplanetary satellites is appropriate in the absence of comparable data.

PRO cites Waltham as evidence but Waltham is clear that his hypothesis is entirely speculative and unprovable.  For example, in Waltham's "Anthropic selection and the habitability of planets orbiting M and K dwarfs"  the author "presents a rigorous procedure for quantifying such ‘‘anthropic selection’’ effects by comparing Earth’s properties to those of exoplanets", but concludes:

"that it is extremely hard to conclusively demonstrate an anthropic selection effect. For a = 5%, the analysis of Section 3 implies that the null hypothesis can only be rejected if |Abest| is greater than 1.59, i.e. the typical habitability likelihood should change by a factor of at least 39 (=101.59) across x = xe before the case for anthropic selection can be considered to be statistically significant. This is a very severe test indeed which may make convincing demonstrations of anthropic selection effects almost impossible."

Even in the paper cited by PRO, Waltham is nowhere near PRO's confident assertion of unlikely coincidence:

"...our Moon does not contribute to habitability by stabilizing our axis but, instead, very nearly produced instability! This “near miss” may imply that large moons benefit habitability for reasons other than axial stability....One speculation is that this allows the Earth to have a low rotation rate."

Since PRO's scientist is merely speculating, PRO needs much more evidence to establish proof that the Moon is "just right."

2. Scale-Model of the Sun

PRO argues that "the moon looks the same size in the sky as the sun," which is again anthropocentric but also little more than primitive observation and oversimplification at that.  What constitutes a "near perfect" eclipse in PRO's estimation, for example?

The Moon's orbit around the Earth is elliptical, the difference between apogee and perigee is 42,592 km.
The Earth's orbit around the Sun is likewise elliptical, the difference between apogee and perigee is nearly 5 million km.
Further, the Moon orbits at 5.14 degree tilt respective to the Earth's orbital plane, which makes eclipses relatively rare phenomenon.
If some cosmic designer was hoping to achieve a "perfect" eclipse, circular orbits on matching planes would achieve long lasting total eclipses every 28 days: 61,800 over a 5000 year period starting in 2000 BC.  As it is, humans only get to enjoy 11,898 eclipses of which only 3,173 are total and 26 of those miss the Earth entirely.

Even a little careful, scientific observation reveals that the Moon/Earth relationship is dynamic, even a little wonky and the superstitious notion of perfectly designed eclipses revealed as fleeting moments of coincidence.

3. The Moon and [273]

PRO argues that it is a "strange coincidence" that the Moon's rotation and orbit are synchronized but of course, this is not coincidence at all.  The Moon is tidally locked in synchronous rotation with the Earth, which is true of almost every close orbiting planetary satellite in our solar system.

The Sun's sidereal rotational period differs dramatically by latitude so while there is a latitude where the sun's rotational period should be 27.3 Earth days, PRO is choosing the desired number from a range of accurate rotational periods.  Wikipedia states:

"The Sun rotates faster at its equator than at its poles. This differential rotation is caused by convective motion due to heat transport and the Coriolis force due to the Sun's rotation. In a frame of reference defined by the stars, the rotational period is approximately 25.6 days at the equator and 33.5 days at the poles. Viewed from Earth as it orbits the Sun, the apparent rotational period of the Sun at its equator is about 28 days."

PRO further argues that the Moon is 27.3 percent the size of the Earth which ill-defined but also false.  For example, the Moon's surface area is about 37,930,000 sq. km. which only 7.4% of Earth's surface area at 510,072,000 sq km.

So PRO hasn't offered much in the way of extraordinary coincidence but also hasn't yet explained the supposed significance of 273.  That is, if it could be proved that some lunar designer was using the number 273 a lot (or actually 27.3 which is a different number) what does 273 mean to that designer or what is that designer trying to convey by repetition 0f 27.3?

Generally, PRO overstates the claimed incidence of perfection and synchronicity associated with Earth's satellite.  The potential effects of planetary satellites on the development of extraterrestrial life is certainly an interesting question but one for which we will likely have few answers until humans begin interstellar exploration missions.

All three of PRO's arguments supporting a designed Earth have been shown to be overstatements at best and certainly not sufficiently extraordinary to demand an extraordinary lunar origin.  PRO's case is entirely unsupported.

I look forward to PRO's R2 response.

Round 2
Point 1. I need more time to find information. I will concede this point if I run out of time.

Point 2. My definition of a near perfect eclipse: The kind we currently observe. The moon appears to cover the disk of the sun, perfectly enough that we can only observe the corona.

Con points out that eclipses are rare, and that a perfect eclipse would involve the eclipse cycle to occur regularly. I contend that they do occur regularly, not every 28 days like con suggests, but regularly in saros cycles. Saros cycles aren't "perfect", but they are regular enough to be calculated decades in advance.Even "primitive" neolithic people could predict eclipses.

I agree that the Moon/Earth system is dynamic. Systems have to be dynamic in order for life to flourish. I will note that things aren't perfect BECAUSE they are dynamic. 

Point 3. I don't know why God uses certain numbers, but He does. 273 is everywhere in nature, for reasons unknown. Other canonical numbers are predominant in nature and basic geometry as well. I will get to that in point number 4. 

Point 4.


I have seen that there is an underlying plan, which is built on archetypes and uses what I term canonical, or ideal, numbers. The basic geometry is the basic archetype. One basic archetype, and possible the most important, is the squaring of the circle. The squaring of the circle is known esoterically to be the union of heaven and Earth ( or spirit and matter) with the circle representing heaven, and the square representing Earth. You place a circle evenly over a square, the square having the same perimeter as the circle's circumference. Next you place a circle inside the square so it's circumference touches the sides of the square. The inside circle represents the literal Earth. Then you place a smaller circle on the top of the square, it's center located on the outer circle. The smaller circle represents the moon. The link below shows an illustration of this:

Another example of an archetype is the pentagon. Each of the inner angles is 108 degrees, a canonical number. They add up to 540 degrees, another canonical number. The five sides of the pentagon represent the dynamics of life. When you draw a pentagram, this is further illustrated because of the golden mean, which helps control growth of living beings. 

The platonic solids are archetypes as well, and all have the same canonical numbers. 

The Moon's diameter is 1080 canonical miles, the sun's is 864000 canonical miles and the Earth's diameter is 7920 canonical miles.The deeper you delve into this, the more is revealed. 

Why do the basic shapes and the heavenly bodies show the same canonical numbers, the same numbers that are seen in religious texts and customs all over the world, all the way back to the Neolithic and stone circles like Stonehenge? Because God designed it that way. Not meaningless, not random, not coincidence. The "coincidences" mount up quickly when it comes to the Moon, the whole solar system really. Entire books are written on the subject. Many scientists have said the Moon is "strange" or "weird". 

Thx, janesix

PRO has not objected to definitions or burdens so let's recall our thesis,


PRO will present extraordinary evidence proving that Earth's Moon was constructed according to some designer's undefined plan. I think we can safely say that we have an update in information gathering.

  • WHO- [God]
  • WHAT- designed the Moon
  • WHEN- undefined 
  • WHERE- undefined 
  • WHY- undefined
  • HOW- undefined
1. Fine-Tuned Stability

In R1, PRO argued that the Moon's size & momentum provide "just right" conditions for the development of life.  CON objected to PRO's generalizations about the relationship between moons and life because we only have one example so far of a planet with life.  PRO makes a list of one item and call that item best in show.

PRO has passed on this argument for R2.

2. Scale-Model of the Sun

In R1, PRO argued that the Sun and Moon's apparent similarity is size to an observer on Earth results in "perfect" eclipses as evidence of design.  Con asked PRO to define a perfect eclipse and in R2 PRO described a total eclipse as perfect.

But I think PRO missed my main argument: if God's purpose for designing the moon is to make perfect total eclipses, then God's design has left significant room for improvement in terms of frequency and regularity of perfect eclipses.  As PRO defines eclipses, only 26% qualify as perfect so what is the purpose of all the near misses?  Yes, eclipses are regular and predictable because orbits are regular and predictable but my point was that regularity of perfect eclipses is improvable, even perfectible and any designer who had the capacity to make a eclipse machine moon would understand how to perfect regularity. While a perfect eclipse making moon might suggest intelligent intervention, our wonky, occasional eclipse making moon suggests the vagaries of natural development.

PRO and CON have both pointed out that eclipse cycles and solar/lunar disk similarities were observable by protoscientific humans.  The various theories of some supernatural designer to explain these mysterious phenomenon were understandable in that context and enjoyed the absence of invalidating evidence.  Our modern, scientific capacities not only refute the seeming coincidences of protoscience but offer hypotheses that are falsifiable, testable, and repeatable as we investigate other planetary satellites.  What are the residual advantages of maintaining the mythologies of supernatural explanation beyond the necessities of ignorance?

3. The Moon and [273]

In R1, PRO cited four examples of the number 273 coincidental lunar design.   CON argued that one of those numbers was false, a second was cherry-picked from a range of accurate numbers and the third and fourth were essentially the same number expressing the tidally synchronized orbit/rotation of the Moon. In other words, PRO gave us one number.  Remarkably, PRO dropped all of CON's counterarguments but attributed the (unestablished) frequency of the number in lunar design to God.  We might also note that number is 27.3, not 273.  Same digits, but these numbers are only obviously connected in the Hindu-Arabic base ten decimal number system.  Is PRO also asserting that the Moon's designer uses base ten?


This is a new argument in R2.  PRO tosses out a number of undefined concepts and calls it evidence of a plan.

Wikipedia defines archetypes in a number of ways but I think the closest match is:

An ARCHETYPE is "a constantly recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, or mythology (this usage of the term draws from both comparative anthropology and from Jungian archetypal theory). In various seemingly unrelated cases in classic storytelling, media, etc., characters or ideas sharing similar traits recur."

So PRO is again saying that certain numbers occur with a frequency that cannot be explained by nature or science.

CON can't find a workable definition for canonical numbers although any rational number can by definition be written in what's called a 'canonical' form.

Wikipedia says:

"An IDEAL NUMBER is an algebraic integer which represents an ideal in the ring of integers of a number field."  273 is not an ideal number, so we seem to be talking about something different here.

CON asks that PRO define archetype, canonical number, and ideal number in R3.

PRO argues that basic geometry is the basic archetype, so triangles, circles, and squares show up often when observing the universe. But such truism doesn't really forward PRO's case beyond the usual chicken and egg arguments.  PRO can identify mythological archetypes in the Star Wars movies as evidence that Star Wars reflects some deeper spiritual ideal but CON would still argue that George Lucas gets the writing credit for the film.  PRO can continue that God put those archetypes out there for Lucas to employ but that doesn't serve as evidence that God did so.

The squared circle was originally a mathematical problem- you can't make a perfect square with the same area as a perfect circle because that number is always irrational (multiplied by pi).  So the idea is that if you take the mean diameter of the Earth to calculate a perfect circle and then create a perfect square with almost the same area as that circle, the perimeter of that square is about 7,000 km shy of matching the mean circumference of the moon's modern orbit of 2,412,517.5 km.  

PRO calls 108 and 540 canonical numbers but in the absence of a  working definition there's not much to challenge.    PRO calls platonic solids  archetypes with the same canonical numbers  PRO asserts that the golden mean helps control the growth of living beings without explanation. Essentially, PRO seems to be saying little more than "God designed the Moon because geometry is not random." 

PRO argues:

"The Moon's diameter is 1080 canonical miles, the sun's is 864000 canonical miles and the Earth's diameter is 7920 canonical miles.The deeper you delve into this, the more is revealed. "
The mile was codified as 5280 feet back when the length of a foot was determined by measuring the King of England's foot or forearm.  
The meter is defined as the distance light travels through vacuum in a specified time, a universal constant now and billions of years ago.
If the Moon was designed by God, then we should be looking for number patterns in universal constants not medieval standards.
PRO should also define a canonical mile.

PRO asks:

"Why do the basic shapes and the heavenly bodies show the same canonical numbers, the same numbers that are seen in religious texts and customs all over the world, all the way back to the Neolithic and stone circles like Stonehenge?"
Yes, basic geometry is one way of defining the universe in both two and three dimensions.  Yes, many of the same numbers show up over and over again because many of the variables have fixed relationships- an equilateral triangle has identical sides (which PRO might call perfect) because that is the definition of an equilateral triangle.  It is not a remarkable coincidence that a square has four identical internal angles or four identical sides- that is what a square is.  Stonehenge is a circle because the earth is round and so celestial objects move in arcs, segments of circles, across the sky.  If we plant a stick and track the sun or moon's course by that stick's shadow, a circle begins to emerge.  PRO may claim that therefore God created the archetype of the circle but such claim does serve as evidence.

Because God designed it that way. Not meaningless, not random, not coincidence. The "coincidences" mount up quickly when it comes to the Moon, the whole solar system really. Entire books are written on the subject. Many scientists have said the Moon is "strange" or "weird". 
At the end of R2, PRO has claimed that God designed the Moon but has offered little evidence explaining why or how.  Almost all of PRO's argument is cherry-picking numerical relationships, describing numbers in mystical terms with little or no definition.

A design is a plan for the construction of an object.  Evidence for design must be manifestly artificial by definition.  If all of PRO's argument is that the natural is actually God's artifice, then the artificiality of the Moon is not detectable by humans and PRO's claim is not falsifiable: unproven and also unprovable.  PRO needs to offer certain evidence of the Moon as artifact, evidence that human can distinguish from the natural celestial processes described by science.  If PRO can't provide such evidence, this resolution must fail.

I look forward to PRO's response in R3.

Round 3
Pls. extend all arguments to R4.
Round 4
50% forfeit by PRO.  PRO has failed to demonstrate that the Moon was designed.

Extend all arguments.

Thanks to voters for their kind consideration.