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Rob J

The argument that the earth (and universe) was designed perfectly for human life is ridiculous. Obviously the opposite is true, human life evolved on this planet in this universe and is therefore adapted to it. Life was "designed" for this world, not vice-versa.


Considering the vast majority of the universe is ~3 K I wouldn't say it's perfectly designed for us. It's almost as if we are well suited for one very small rock in an insignificant corner of a generic galaxy.

I really think that the people who say this forget about the incredible vastness of space and only focus on the infinitesimally small space of the Earth s/he inhabits.

John B Hodges

In Bill Watterson's comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin has a theory that the whole Universe and the history of life on Earth was destined to lead up to his parents, whose sole purpose in existing was to produce HIM (Calvin). He didn't argue from probabilities, but certainly he could have, that his own birth was staggeringly unlikely, and therefore must have been arranged deliberately. He knew therefore that he was a boy of Destiny. Hobbes asked, "So, now that you're here, what are you going to do?" They both then go home to watch cartoons.


It seems to me you had another post about the misunderstanding of coincidence (I'm thinking it was the one concerning the bridge collapse in Minnesota). Things fall from the sky all the time, and it only stands to reason that once in a while, one of them will narrowly miss a human being - but it's difficult for us not to infer some special meaning to the event.

Contemplating the fate of the universe post-humanity is a bracing, though perhaps unavoidably depressing, activity. Things will continue to "happen" in the universe after we're gone, and they will take impossibly long periods of time to do so. Stars will go dim, but hang around for while; galaxies will spread too far apart for any of them to be visible to any other; black holes will dominate for eons and eons, but eventually dissipate (or explode). Etcetera.

One can see how the idea of a god intervening in all that, stopping this absurdity, so we all exist in heaven or whatever, would be comforting, and much more appealing, except - what "happens" in heaven? Eternal worship (or eternal orgasm, as Mark Twain surmised)? Would any kind of eternal consciousness be bearable at all?

As with the question about how the universe came to be, "god" is a tempting solution for many, but it has no real answer for the beginning, or the end.


One thing I always ask when I face this argument is this: Let's say for the sake of argument that the physical parameters of this universe are finely tuned to produce human life. How many possible sets of physical parameters would have produced some intelligent life?

It's an unanswerable question, and one that points up one of the most critical fallacies in this argument. We certainly couldn't have predicted that this universe would have given rise to intelligent life if we only knew the mathematical expressions of its physical laws. We have no way of knowing how many other possible universes contain sentient beings.


"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold," is a line from Yeats, not WC Fields.

Marley Fitz

A good read first thing in the morning. Gets my brain goin.

You use the "roll the dice" idea, I use the "spin the wheel" version when talking to my children (ages 23,21 and 18). "Spin the wheel and you're in the wonderful country, this amazing city, this questionable restaurant having lunch. Spin the wheel and you're a woman in Iran, wondering what she ever did to her "god" that would warrant her having to put on her burqa then navigate her way through a environment filled w/ so much misery."

(Of course, my kids roll their eyes and hope I will shut-up long enough to let them speak. But, they get the point.)

Jason Failes

Besides life being rare in the cosmos,

these are exactly the measures we would expect from a naturalistic cosmos that we inhabit.

A thought experiment: If one of these values were far from predicted and we were miraculously living in a universe where radiation levels should be too high/atoms shouldn't form/proteins would break up instantly, Creationists/IDists would shouting at the top of their lungs that this proves the existence of God (their favorite God, of course).

However, because we have found the exact opposite, that the aforementioned values are what we would expect from a universe that contains us, Creationists/IDists are shouting at the top of their lungs that this proves the existence of God (their favorite God, of course).

Falsifiability: They're doing it wrong, as usual.

King Aardvark

The really amazing thing is that, once they have made this argument, many Christians will then turn around and say that they are creationists, thus rendering the whole thing moot.


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