Towhhall.com, the “conservative” forum, seems to spend about equal time promoting religion and beating up Democrats. Which says a lot about why the conservative movement today is in disarray, and why Democrats rule the nation and Colorado. But Townhall does provide grist for the blog. Today Bill Murchison argues:
It’s hard, with it all, to see why the scientific types cling so feverishly to the creed — alien to the whole of civilization, prior to the 19th century — that God couldn’t have dealt the cards originally. Well — they respond — it’s because there’s no evidence to show it. Possibly not. There is something else, though: a thing called common sense. Everything here and all around us just happened, without the intervention of a Designer? Isn’t that just a little improbable?
I trust I need say little in response to the “everybody’s doing it” argument. Nor do I need to spend much time addressing Murchison’s suggestion that a strongly held belief is like an illness. What about the idea that life is improbable? Well, of all the galaxies we know that swirl around our universe, of all the solar system comprising these galaxies, so far as we know exactly one contains a planet that supports life. Yes, life is improbable. Of all the mass in the universe, life claims a miniscule, vanishingly small fraction of it. Yet something that is improbable is also possible, and in a large universe highly improbable things are bound to arise somewhere. Indeed, the very concept of probability implies that we know of something that happens in some cases but not all.
Just think of how improbable it is that you have your distinct set of DNA. Unless you have an identical twin, no other living thing on earth shares your precise DNA. You won the universal lottery.
The idea that life is improbable poses no real challenge to the claim that life arose in a causal universe. It makes sense, whether common or not.