Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
As far as we know, our known universe is without life except for this one planet As far as we know, this earth is unique and could remain this way for ever. Man is the pinnacle of life on this planet. For all we know, God might not be able to create a better life form than man.
I agree with all those statements except the idea that "God might not be able to create a better life form than man." That idea cannot be true because there are many flaws left by evolution in the structure of humans. If God can't do better than blind evolution, then he's not much of a god.

Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
God's only begotten Son Jesus is the pinnacle of all men. This is why Jesus remains God's only Son.
According to the Bible, any believer is called "God's son." Jesus is not God's "only" son. He is God's "unique" (monogenes) son amongst many other sons.

It is interesting that Islam has a doctrine that says Muhammad was the "Perfect Man" -
The phrase Perfect Man, is often said to have first been used by Ibn Arabi, though the concept of the Perfect Man is much older, possibly going back to the origins of Sufism, as the doctrine is integral to much Sufi belief and practice. The Doctrine of the Universal Man” (al-Insan-al-Kamil) states that the primordial, archetypal man embodies within him all the divine attributes of God, and man has essentially fallen from this perfect state (see Nicholson, 1984), which has resulted in man’s separation from His Creator. This separation begins with the theological concept of Adam’s fall from Paradise. Reflection on this separation led to the Sufi development of the Doctrine of the Universal Man (al-Insan al-Kamil). The doctrine contends that the universal, primordial, archetypal man which was "Adam” before the fall, was in touch with the creator and vicegerent on earth. Sufis believe that all people have the potential to regain this perfect primordial state. Ibn Arabi, when writing about the Perfect man in his thirteenth century writings used 22 terms to describe the same thing as insa al-kamil, such as the reality of realities, the reality of Mohammad, the Vicegerent, God’s representative, and the Pole.

Thus, the Perfect Man can be defined as a person who has fully realized his essential oneness with the Divine Being, God. Those who achieve this level of the Perfect Man are usually called awliya (translated as friend of God) or saint.
The idea of a "primordial" or "archetypal" man is found also in Judaism. They call him Adam Qadman. And it is found in Hinduism which describes Krishna, saying "The lotus-eyed, dark skinned Krishna is the complete and perfect man of Indian mythological traditions." I think this reveals the idea of a "Perfect Man" to be archetype shared by all humanity, just like we have an archetype of a perfect circle that is never actually realize in any real circle. This explains the near universal concept of the "Fall" which is inevitable when REALITY is compared with the IDEAL ARCHETYPE.

This is why the Bible seems to be symbolic or mythological when it speaks of the perfection of Christ. It sounds like all the other myths found all over the world that are really speaking of IDEALS and ARCHETYPES as opposed to actual, historical, physical realities that always contain imperfections because of the nature of reality.

Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
If God could create a better life form, is it logical to think that God might yet have another Son or that there would be no need for another son of God in another creation? The idea of another Son of God would muck up the idea of the Trinity that somehow Jesus (only) was with God from the very beginning. Jesus is the unique Son of God who was a man. The conception within Mary was a unique event but the baby that was born is no more unique than you and I are unique and we have no double.
I find it fascinating how freely you use untestable hypothetical ideas when you "reason from Scripture" given that you show great skepticism for scientific hypotheses that we can actually have some hope of testing.

Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
Life of earth (as man has come to understand) is finely balanced, just as the moon has been set in the heavens to compliment the Sun and both of these are at exactly the right distance from the earth that enables life to be sustained. Whether life in earth can survive without the moon is another question, we can speculate about in another thread.
It is interesting that you bring up the moon, since I listened to a podcast last night concerning theories of it's formation. I don't think we can say that its orbit is "finely tuned" because it has been always changing. It currently is moving away from the earth at about one inch per year. It adjusts itself according the basic laws of physics. It used to spin faster but now is "tidal locked" so that the same side always faces the earth, just as Mercury is tidal locked with the sun.

But in any case, it is a striking feature of our planet and makes life "better" though it seems quite unlikely that life actually depends upon it. The most important role is tides which flush out the coast. And it is convenient as a "night light." And it has been very useful to help humans learn science because of eclipses. Things like this make some folks feel like God put it there for our good. But the natural history of the moon doesn't allow for the "simple minded" creationism that says God "put it there" like a kid hanging an ornament on a Christmas tree. There is good evidence that it got there through natural law. God's only role, if any, would have been to set up the "initial conditions" of the universe that then led inevitably through physical causality to the current configuration.

Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
So should we regard the term "tuning" as it is being applied to this universe as only really applying to this planet? Life on earth might need only the sun and possibly the moon and everything else in the universe could be taken away without having any effect.
The "fine tuning" of the planet is entirely different than the "fine tuning" of the laws of nature. The fine tuning of the planet involves CONTINGENT things like the placement of the earth from the sun, the existence of the moon, etc. The fine tuning of the laws involves the values of fundamental constants like the speed of light, the strength of gravity, etc. and the form of the laws, such as Schrodinger's equation. The laws define the nature of the universe, whereas the contingent things depend upon events within that universe.