A research study conducted by Dave Waltham, a British geophysicist, has lent considerable support to people who believe the Earth is rare. The researchers set out to provide a method for testing the anthropic principle – the idea that the Universe and Earth have been designed for humans. The study showed that the probability of Earth possessing it’s Milankovitch cycle frequency is less than 0.00001.
Milankovitch theory correlates planetary climate patterns with changes in it’s orbit. In particular, Milankovitch theory is concerned with a planet’s inclination, eccentricity and precession. Milankovitch cycles refer to the cyclical variations in several of these factors. Dr. Hugh Ross over at Reasons to Believe has written and in-depth article explaining the research.
Dr. Ross contends that without such long Milankovitch cycles, the Earth would not be suitable for human life. In fact, long Milankovitch cycles are a critical factor in allowing diverse life-forms to exist on any planet. Waltham himself states in his paper that “planets with Earth-like levels of biodiversity are likely to be very rare.”
Waltman goes on to refute the Gaia hypothesis which contends life itself works together to make the environment ideal for life. According to Waltman, climate stability is a necessary perquisite for life to exist at all. Long Milankovitch cycles help create this stability.