Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Eric Metaxas: Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God - WSJ

Eric Metaxas: Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God - WSJ: "As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going. In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. Probability said that even we shouldn’t be here.

Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life—every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing."

'via Blog this'


David Friedman said...

I don't believe it.

We may know what combination of characteristics made our species possible. We do not and cannot know all the other combinations that would have provided different ways in which life could have developed and survived.

The odds against a bridge deal in which each player gets all the cards of one suit are enormously high. They are exactly the same as the odds against any other deal.

Ryan said...

In some respect, I agree. It's really hard to know what kind of life could exist in a different universe or in this universe under different conditions. So we're stuck trying to calculate where the kind of life we have observed could exist elsewhere in this universe. And I'm not entirely sure that we are even really capable of understanding the variables and making that calculation. Maybe all the entire endeavor shows if our lack of imagination.

But it has the benefit of being based, at least in part, on the type of life we have observed. And the objection to God is usually lack of concrete evidence. So this kind of argument also has the advantage of flipping the tables, since the response--that life could exist in forms or under conditions we've never observed--lacks supporting evidence.

Brett said...

I couldn't read the article without a subscription, but whenever I've heard about this topic, the unlikelihood of the conditions for life (as we know it) is offset by the unfathomably large number of stars where the experiment is played out. For all we know, the universe could be infinite...which would make anything that doesn't violate physical law possible.

Ryan said...

If you Google the name of the article, and go to Google News, you can often get to WSJ stuff for free.