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  #1  
Old 03-16-2004, 07:03 AM
Starguard Starguard is offline
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What purpose does the Moon serve?

This is a question I asked a while back that for some reason completely disappeared from this forum. But for those that are interested, I FOUND THE ANSWER. According to a video taped recording of the Discovery Channel, our moon "which is named Lunar" exist primarily for the sole purpose of keeping the earth balanced on its axis. Without it, the earth would spin wildly about leaving one side facing the sun to broil while the other side froze then the inverse would occur.All life on earth would cease without it. The gravitational pull of the Moon is what keeps our axis tilted and balanced the way that it is. Each year the moon is slowly moving away from us though. This was proven by scientist sending or "bouncing" radio waves off the moons surface then would wait to see how long it would take them to return to earth. Testing shows that each year it is taking longer and longer for these radio waves to bounce back. Scientist also predict that the Moon will one day reach a point between the earth and the sun where the gravitational pull from each one will cancel the other out and the moon will stop circling the earth and start circling the sun. We will lose our only satellite.This is not expected to occur for several millions of years from now, but it is destined to happen nonetheless.
By then all manking will probably be dead by then so I guess I won't matter. But anyway for those who are intestered, now you know why the moon exist.
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2004, 07:07 AM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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Cite?
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2004, 07:15 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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What purpose does the Moon serve?

I thought it was there to rhyme with spoon and June.
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Old 03-16-2004, 07:17 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starguard
This is a question I asked a while back that for some reason completely disappeared from this forum.
Because asking the purpose of the Moon is scientifically a meaningless question.

You are falling for a pitfall of the anthropic principle -- because we observe that the orbital dynamics of the Earth/Moon system have those results, it does NOT mean that this is the reason the Moon exists. The reason the Moon exists is because after a major collission in the early aeons of the Solar System, the apporpriate amount of material accreted at an orbit stable enough to form this large satellite. That's it. The rest is an incidental consequence.
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Old 03-16-2004, 07:18 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Yeah, and the sun exists so that mankind can tell the time with sundials.
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2004, 07:27 AM
aerodave aerodave is offline
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Why does the moon have to have a reason to exist? Can't it just "be there?"

And I don't buy the gravitational stabilization bit. While I may be sorry I asked: cite?!
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Old 03-16-2004, 07:35 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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I believe he cited that well known source of thouroughly checked and reviewed material, the Discovery Channel.
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Old 03-16-2004, 07:46 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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What an absurd heap of presumption and wooly-thinking.
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:26 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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The proper name for the Moon is Luna, not Lunar.

Your other assumptions are baloney, too.

Luna exists. We poor Humans may assign meanings, associations or symbolism to Luna, but Luna exists with or without said assigned "meanings".
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:37 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Hey come back Starguard we're not finished with you yet:

Cite?

I thought it was there to rhyme with spoon and June.

Because asking the purpose of the Moon is scientifically a meaningless question.

Yeah, and the sun exists so that mankind can tell the time with sundials.

Why does the moon have to have a reason to exist? Can't it just "be there?"

And I don't buy the gravitational stabilization bit. While I may be sorry I asked: cite?!

I believe he cited that well known source of thouroughly checked and reviewed material, the Discovery Channel.

What an absurd heap of presumption and wooly-thinking.

The proper name for the Moon is Luna, not Lunar.

Your other assumptions are baloney, too.

This is how we fight ignorance. No wonder we aren't winning.
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:42 AM
peterpeter peterpeter is offline
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Yes, I have to just add my redundant 2C, OP.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2004, 08:51 AM
peterpeter peterpeter is offline
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(Uhh, let's try that again, shall we? Spastic keyboard/damn Windows hotkeys!!)

OP, many times we get bad information because we are merely asking the wrong questions. In your case, this is so. You cannot ask, "What is the purpose of the moon?", since purpose implies intention, and there is no intention in nature, only cause and effect. In other words, nature doesn't purpose to do anything, because nature doesn't intend to do anything - if it happens, it happens, and so be it, and what follows will follow. This is the Tao, for the uninitiated. Of course you could take the tack of God the Creator, but you would still have to prove Divine intention, which I think is beyond anyone's ability.

Next time think more carefully about how your question is phrased. Really! You are much more likely to get answers that will really satisfy your search for knowledge; instead of tangential data that gives the appearance of an answer but is in fact unrelated, and so distorts and dsitracts from what you really are after. Good luck!
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2004, 08:58 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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don't ask, OK so there has been a snarky tone, but that's Cecil Adams fandom for ya. However you may have noticed some (OK a small minority) of us have added some valid commentary.

OK, first: Starguard wonders why his/her original question "disappeared" from GD. He may not have noticed that in his original thread it was judged by the moderators that a question about purpose, specifically based on a premise that "God created the moon for a reason" was not a valid General Questions thread so it was locked. A locked thread eventually scrolls off the page as new threads and posts are made. So my opening line was a summary of how come his original thread "disappeared". Sorry about not including the details.

Secondly: We're glad that s/he has found out stuff about the Earth/Moon orbital mechanics, but from a strict "fighting ignorance" POV s/he is still putting the cart in front of the horse. Unless you are a believer in creationist cosmology, or in a cosmological version of Intelligent Design, the moon is not there "for a purpose" of stabilizing life-favourable orbital orientation on Earth; it's just there, and the life that arose on Earth evolved to adapt optimally to the resulting kind of environment.

Discussion of a "purpose" for the Moon would have to go in a different forum than General Questions, because it's not objectively determinable.
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:58 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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In Soviet Russia, you serve the purpose of the moon.
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2004, 09:09 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious
don't ask, OK so there has been a snarky tone, but that's Cecil Adams fandom for ya. However you may have noticed some (OK a small minority) of us have added some valid commentary.

OK, first: Starguard wonders why his/her original question "disappeared" from GD. He may not have noticed that in his original thread it was judged by the moderators that a question about purpose, specifically based on a premise that "God created the moon for a reason" was not a valid General Questions thread so it was locked. A locked thread eventually scrolls off the page as new threads and posts are made. So my opening line was a summary of how come his original thread "disappeared". Sorry about not including the details.

Secondly: We're glad that s/he has found out stuff about the Earth/Moon orbital mechanics, but from a strict "fighting ignorance" POV s/he is still putting the cart in front of the horse. Unless you are a believer in creationist cosmology, or in a cosmological version of Intelligent Design, the moon is not there "for a purpose" of stabilizing life-favourable orbital orientation on Earth; it's just there, and the life that arose on Earth evolved to adapt optimally to the resulting kind of environment.

Discussion of a "purpose" for the Moon would have to go in a different forum than General Questions, because it's not objectively determinable.
Yeah, point taken and all. My objection is to the fact that we all got snarky and we don't know who we are talking to. If I was sitting around with a bunch of kids and one asked :"what is the purpose of the moon?" I would think "what an interesting perspective" and attempt an answer and explain that that isn't the way the natural world works. When I came back and looked at the thread it just struck me as cheap point scoring.
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Old 03-16-2004, 09:21 AM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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A valid GQ would be: How would the Earth be different without a moon?

There would be a lot less tides for example. (The Sun exerts some tidal effects)
Some life depends on tides, and some may use the moon for other reasons, so thats an effect.
Also, the moon has been hit by meteors. Did the moon take a hit instead of the Earth? Would that impact be disaterous?

Brian
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  #17  
Old 03-16-2004, 09:29 AM
Starguard Starguard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious
Because asking the purpose of the Moon is scientifically a meaningless question.

You are falling for a pitfall of the anthropic principle -- because we observe that the orbital dynamics of the Earth/Moon system have those results, it does NOT mean that this is the reason the Moon exists. The reason the Moon exists is because after a major collission in the early aeons of the Solar System, the apporpriate amount of material accreted at an orbit stable enough to form this large satellite. That's it. The rest is an incidental consequence.
Heeehehe

Okay everyone.. I get the point. The way the question is asked determines what type of response one can expect...so in the future, I'll try.. (no will)... be far more careful with how posted questions/statements are asked.

My intended question was made in an attempt to draw any type of conclusion, from anyone here who is far more knowlegeable of these things than myself (of how the moon benefits us by being in existance). Just as the sun provides heat to stop us from freezing, light so we can see the world around us better, and a whole long list of other things, I figured that the moon had to be serving some type of vital function for all mankind as well ( more along the line of "How does the moon affect us ?) . It seemed to me at the time of viewing, that the Discovery Channel provided the most detailed explanation yet. So as stated before, I will pay closer attention to detail when wording questions as to avoid sending the intended readers off on a unintended tangent

....and also, the correct name for the moon is Luna, "not lunar" as I had typed previously..on this I stand corrected
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Old 03-16-2004, 09:45 AM
Finagle Finagle is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starguard
This is a question I asked a while back that for some reason completely disappeared from this forum. But for those that are interested, I FOUND THE ANSWER. According to a video taped recording of the Discovery Channel, our moon "which is named Lunar" exist primarily for the sole purpose of keeping the earth balanced on its axis. Without it, the earth would spin wildly about leaving one side facing the sun to broil while the other side froze then the inverse would occur.All life on earth would cease without it. The gravitational pull of the Moon is what keeps our axis tilted and balanced the way that it is.

Interesting theory. But it doesn't explain why Mars has a rotational period very similar to Earth's even though it only has two tiny satellites that don't have nearly the mass of our moon. I'm not aware that Venus has any sort of wild precession around its axis, even though it has no moons at all. (Venus does have a very long day, but I don't see anything to suggest that it's particularly variable.) What mechanism do you suggest that would cause this wild spinning?

There is a theory that the relatively large size of the moon in relation to the Earth has helped form a habitable environment by stripping off excess atmosphere, thereby keeping us from being another Venus (soupy hot atmosphere).


As for the moon leaving Earth's orbit in "several million years", I suspect you are off by a few orders of magnitude. For example, this cite calculates that it will take 620 million years just for the moon to move sufficiently far away so that we no longer get total eclipses of the sun.
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  #19  
Old 03-16-2004, 10:00 AM
beajerry beajerry is offline
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We are food for the moon, according to G.I. Gurdjieff.
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  #20  
Old 03-16-2004, 10:05 AM
Redsland Redsland is offline
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Benefits of the Moon (emphasis on pre-modern times):

Regulates tides, which have been important in the creation of ecosystems, and have had economic implications in coastal areas throughout history.

Somewhat useful "nightlight" for several days per months, providing added protection from predators and other threats.

Helpful for estimating the passage of hours during the night as it crosses the sky, and the passage of months as it changes phases, similar to the sunís role of helping estimate hours during the day and years as it travels the ecliptic.

By coincidence, approximately the same apparent angular size as the Sun, permitting the Moon to eclipse our star. Eclipses were important to early religions, and later helped scientists study the Sun in greater detail (particularly the corona).

Traces a route across the sky that when studied in conjunction with the motions of the sun and visible planets, led to increasingly accurate conjectures about the structure and behavior of the solar system.

Because the Earth's shadow on the Moon was always round during lunar eclipses, early observers correctly surmised that the Earth is a spheroid.

Lures/deflects some "near Earth objects" safely away (as another poster mentioned).

In modern times, exploration of it drove huge portions of the U.S economy for over a decade, fueled imaginations young and old, won some huge PR battles, and helped settle many basic questions about the formation of the solar system, the characteristics of its planets, and so forth.
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Old 03-16-2004, 10:15 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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And that, Starguard, is commendable -- you are seeking learning so you have clarified your question. Others would have gotten all defensive after all the ribbing but you found learning amidst it all.
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  #22  
Old 03-16-2004, 12:00 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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What If the Moon Didn't Exist?: Voyages to Earths That Might Have Been, by Neil F. Comins.

Interesting speculation on a variety of scenarios.

But while the book came out several years ago and I don't remember all the different paths earth could have taken, I'm sure that the OP's talk about gravitational stabilization is exactly as much nonsense as the other posters have said it is.
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  #23  
Old 03-16-2004, 01:47 PM
emarkp emarkp is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starguard
This is a question I asked a while back that for some reason completely disappeared from this forum.
Do you mean this thread?
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  #24  
Old 03-16-2004, 02:07 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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This is the best reason for the moon that I have seen yet.

http://www.rathergood.com/moon_song/
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  #25  
Old 03-16-2004, 02:20 PM
Matchka Matchka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach
This is the best reason for the moon that I have seen yet.

http://www.rathergood.com/moon_song/
I was debating it but had just decided to do that link. It is legend.
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  #26  
Old 03-16-2004, 02:58 PM
Flash-57 Flash-57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterpeter
You cannot ask, "What is the purpose of the moon?", since purpose implies intention
Right. The real question you seem to be asking is, "What advantages does life on earth or the earth itself gain from our moon existing?"

Also, "What differences would there be on earth if our moon just wandered away to revolve around some other heavenly body."
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