Alot of people subscribe to a mild form of creationism, although they would not call it as such. They don’t believe in Adam and Eve and all that bulls**t, but I often hear the argument that our planet is somehow ‘tuned’ to permit our existence.
This is an argument from design, the circumstances of life on Earth seem to be an amazing coincidence, so therefore, it points to a designer who ‘tuned’ these conditions to allow life to evolve here. It is certainly true that conditions here on Earth are astoundingly fortunate, liquid water, energy from the sun, it all seems to be almost too perfect.
I totally reject this argument. It’s narrow minded and childish. If I take a guitar and drop it, the tuning gets knocked off and it sounds horrible, how horrible depends on the mechanics of the fall, how hard it hit the ground etc. If I drop it again, it will go to a different tuning, again, seemingly random.
What if (assuming my guitar is made out of adamatium or something similar) I was to drop my guitar millions of times? Is it not conceivable that on one of those millions of occasions, the bang knocks the guitar INTO tune perfectly? In fact, even with millions of possibilities, the odds of that happening become quite high.
How does this fit in with the ‘Earth is tuned’ argument? Well, estimates put the number of galaxies in the universe in the hundreds of billions. The number of stars in our own galaxy is estimated at roughly 100 billion. If you have 300 billion galaxies, all containing 100 billion stars that could potentially have a rocky planet orbiting at a favorable distance you get 1×10^22 (or I with 22 zeros following it) possible solar systems.
Thats a hell of a lot of chances for life. In fact, the more you think of it, the more likely it seems that there is life on other planets that happen to have the same favorable conditions as our own.
But theres more, all this revolves around the assumption that life as we know it is the only way that life can exist. What if there are other planets with conditions not conducive to carbon based life forms but perfect for other types of life? Creatures and forms we cannot begin to imagine, living happily in seas of methane or rivers of mercury. Taking this into account, it seems almost probable that we are not alone in the universe.
There’s nothing special about the Earth in the context of all the other planets in the Universe, yes it can support life, but, it seems likely, so could millions of others. The Earths special features are not a miracle of God, but a miracle of coincidence.
I wonder have those other life forms created religion to explain things they don’t understand like we have done.