The Chance we Exist is Too Remote to be Coincidence

This argument is commonly presented as a theistic argument--that is to say an argument for the existence of “God”. However it’s a deistic argument. Even if it were valid (and it's not), it would only evidence a creator or higher power. It does serve as evidence of Jesus, God, Yahweh, Hanuman, Zeus, Hera, Osiris, Quatzequatel, or any other theistic deity, or any claim made in any holy book. If it is being pressed into such service, it has already failed.

There is a popular argument that the chances of us being here are so remote that the only reasonable conclusion is that we are the work of [insert god du jour here].

Indeed the chances of any of us being here in the form that we are are so staggeringly small that they are quite literally incalculable.

However, note that we make that observation as that which exists, not from the standpoint of any of the other infinite possibilities, each of which would have made the same observation.

Let me explain…

Take a jar of a thousand pennies. Grab a fistful and throw them onto the floor. Then grab another fistful, and do it again. Do it again, and again, and again, until you are all out of pennies.

Now look at your floor.

What you will see is a unique pattern. There will be pennies on top of pennies, some will be heads, some will be tails. But whatever the exact configuration of pennies on the floor, you must be aware that that configuration was next to impossible to achieve. If I took a picture of it, and asked you or a million others to reproduce that exact configuration by throwing pennies, it couldn’t be done. The chances of getting that exact configuration by mere chance is next to impossible.

And yet that configuration occurred.

The fact is that any outcome had next to zero chance of occurring. But there is an infinite number of possible outcomes, and exactly one was in fact going to occur. The chances of that outcome, that exact configuration, or infinitesimally incalculable. Yet it happened.

The universe could have been put together any number of ways. The system is chaotic, like the weather, and as such even a tiny change can, over a long enough period, change the entire system everywhere.

So yes, you can look at each person alive today, and correctly state that the chances of that person being born in that time and place are infinitesimally small. But they would have been the same for anyone and everyone who was and/or could have been born at that time and place.

If we all had 17 fingers, three heads and 431 distinct genders – each of them completely incompatible with each other, the exact same argument could and would be made… What are the odds?

Well, incalculably remote. But we know how chemicals combine, we know how they make larger structures, we know how evolution works, and we’ve reproduced most of abiogenesis in the lab already.

It appears that the creation of life is actually not particularly difficult. That we exist on this exact planet in this exact solar system, in this exact galaxy, and so on and so forth, may be infinitesimally remote occurrence. But that is no evidence whatsoever that it has been divinely ordained– and no matter what we looked like – or where in the universe we were – we would make the same error. Any life on other planets today is likely making the exact same error – our existence is so remote that it must be ordained.

As in “random” system – the incalculable probability of the conclusion is not evidence of a designer or a plan. Each and every one of an incalculable number of conclusions had an infinitesimally small probability of occurring – and yet one of them was going to happen. Our arrogance once again plays a part – that we exist instead of don’t must be proof of favor of some God – that we were meant to. When instead, we are just the lucky ones who exist, and those who don’t exist aren’t around to point that out. And did we not exist, those that existed in our place would make the same mistake we do.

Again, this is in no way whatsoever proof that there isn’t a designer… Perhaps there is. But the extreme improbability of our existence is in no way whatsoever evidence to support it.

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Warren Kincaid
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Richard McClung That’s a “pure faith” reply. The correct statement should be… nothing material within nature exists outside of nature.

Richard McClung
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Nothing​ exists outside of nature.

Warren Kincaid
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So where do you derive your sense of guilt, blame and justice? In nature (without humans), what is right or wrong? From what I see…. if evolution has taught us all to cooperate, we are doing realy bad job at learning it. And worse as we get farther away from principles that are seperate from nature. Principles are not a part of nature. Survival is. Principles come from somewhere else. Don’t look now… but you’re being ripped off by someone who wants you to believe they’re cooperating. (I’m not usually this negative, but the choice to cooperate rather than lie or thieve falls within the boundries of free will as well). We may know the lessons of cooperation, but we seem to choose when and why we do it (or not. And that is outside of nature).

Warren Kincaid
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Indeed… what does make human consciousness exempt from the laws of nature? If we all act solely out of nature, why the need for justice? What makes us so different than the rest of nature? Guilt and justice is a tension in the whole of the human race that nature can’t seem to answer. If we are simply nature, then there is no guilt or need for justice. It’s a tension you cannot escape.

Vincent Palmer
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We only get to see what’s here and not what didn’t make it through evolution, from all the quantum potentials that fail to materialise.

Joel Stromberg
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Joel Stromberg
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Paul Weiss
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If one subscribes to the multiverse theory (as I do), then it would be difficult to believe that there WASN’T a universe in which we existed.

Pat Mc Ginley
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We are here because the exact scientific conditions occurred. Not because a magical guy-in-the-sky magiced us into being because we was lonely and unloved and badly needed some human toys to have fun with, look down on disapprovingly, punish for not believing in him just because he refused to appear in the sky in front of millions of smart phones to prove he was real. Imagine having to die and then spend eternity adoring such a thoroughly unlikeable excuse for a loving god? Much better to look forward to free-heat-for eternity with much more upfront, Old Nick, eh?

Nicky Carligeanu
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The chances that what exists could exist are obviously 100%. Because what exists already exists

Indigo Roland
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Refreshing, simple logic. The simpler we see, the more we reach the core.

Joe Ruf
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Lol. “Our arrogance”?

Colin Pritchard
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Many struggle to debate and theorise the existence of man and in so doing completely miss the simple truth which God reveals to children , often bypassing the adults with their clever intellect

Stewart Mainville
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Which is?

Colin Pritchard
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Stewart. The truth is that God is our powerful creator and so holy He cannot allow anything into heaven that will defile it. Therefore, as we are all guilty and sinful He has to say we are condemned and have no chance of escaping hell by ourselves. As He loves people so much He devised a plan that we could be forgiven of all sin that we have ever commited. He sent Jesus to die a cruel shameful death instead of us so the we could live for ever . God poured out all His anger against sin and its curse upon Jesus on the cross. Jesus took our punishment and we can be forgiven by God and made pure and righteous by a simple act of faith and belief in what Jesus has done for us. Jesus did rise from the dead because death could not hold Him and He offers eternal life to any who will accept His forgiveness and allow Him into their lives. This is the childlike simplicity that our natural intellect will never discover. In the gospels Jesus sat a child on His knee and told those around Him “unless you humble yourself like this little child and accept Me you will never see the kingdom of heaven”. The only way to a holy God is through Jesus and what He suffered for us .… Read more »

Vincent Palmer
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Self righteous condescension. Colin I have experienced ecstasy and more often peace and contentment without God or Jesus.

Do you not see how the verses you lord over are set up to never be questioned if you want to get into heaven.

Because they are a kindergarten story it has to be protected from reasoning. Religions are the greatest indoctrination achievements ever recorded.

I don’t trust humans that blackmail people let alone imaginary deity.

Colin Pritchard
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Vincent. All I say is that religion can be a real curse because it causes people to trust in a religious idea rather than having a relationship with Jesus . Once you know Him nothing can change your mind because it is a spiritual experience not a natural one. There is a God and there is a devil. The bible says the devil was the most beautiful angel before he had pride and fell. Now he has only hell to look forward to and “transforms himself into an angel of light” to fool as many as he can to drag them with him. He gives people a nice experience of peace and joy but it is a counterfeit experience of the real thing that Gods love offers freely as He made a way out. It is not until someone steps across that line towards God that their eyes are open to see the truth.

Colin Pritchard
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I see you are quite an artist Vincent. You obviously see a lot of beauty in colour and the beauty of this world.

Eric McCay
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The answer comes from the concept of entropy. The difference between Bob Dylan and the 3 degree K background radiation from the big bang.

It is the impossibility of low entropy arising from chance that tells us that complexity, including the laws of physics were part of the initial conditions of the universe, the way a seed holds the information to make a flower.

How could light have come about by chance ? It couldn’t.

Colin Pritchard
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Amazing how people fight to try and disprove the existence of God. When we have an encounter with Him and Jesus is your personal best friend and you have such love, compassion, joy, peace and walk every day with Him, no theories or arguments of the foolish wisdom of men can ever take that away. They will never ever find peace without a relationship with Him, no matter how hard they try or how clever and intellectual they think they are. God said” the fool has said in his heart there is no God” and He has “hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes”. They fight so hard to turn people away from the peace and joy they have found in knowing Jesus . I wonder why?

John Termaten
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I just wonder why you are believing Jesus is giving so much joy. I’m walking in peace and joy, and have more compassion then a lot of so called Christians who are living in fear.

Colin Pritchard
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John. We are all made up of body, soul mind and spirit. When we are born again by the Holy Spirit and made into a new creation, it is our spirit , (that part of us that lives on when this tired body dies) that is born again . Jesus said “that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. Our mind is renewed day by day by our renewed spirit as we walk with Jesus but we are still living in this body that is dying and decaying. Our body takes on new life, energy and vitality as our born again spirit affects our body. Many of us still suffer with things like fear when we have not learned through study of Gods Word, who and what we are in Jesus . Our spirit is totally secure in Jesus but we are in a learning process as our mind is being renewed by the Holy Spirit. When we see someone struggling with their faith in fear, we encourage them and build them up to stand strong , always remembering what God said “he that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall”. Some people rely on their own self righteousness , boasting in their own strength and goodness to save them but it will never do so. Only Jesus purity… Read more »

Todd Stearns
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Unless ‘God’s drops a big old smelly one on the lawn and IN PERSON says ‘Hello, children.’ We will never really know what started this exquisite mess.

Andrew Button
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We are the result of the particular quirks of this planet, its position relative to the other planets, our star, to other stars, in the galaxy, and universe at large. It is no more surprising we exist on this planet than a shell existing on a snail.

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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Yes thus the chances of us existing is not remote but a certainty.

Keith Webley
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Was reading something this morning that suggested that although the universe is infinite, there are only a finite number of possible histories. In which case the chance the we exist is not remote but a certainty. What’s more we exist an infinite number of times!

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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Atheist and theist emphasise the unimportant nature of humanity. To the theist he is God’s plaything to the atheist a product of chance. That the universe creates consciousness through a need to have a witness for quantum mechanics to work is the mistake of those who think now is now and that the end hasn’t already happened.

Michal Dutkiewicz
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Deepak Chopra territory: – “That the universe creates consciousness through a need to have a witness for quantum mechanics to work”…?

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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Some one beat me to it? I thought I was a genius. Yeah something like that.

David Andrew White
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It has been shown many times that the “observer effect” is bogus. It turns out that the mathematics works perfectly whether the “observer” is conscious or unconscious. An electronic orbital registering a quantum event is an “observer” just as much as anything else.

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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So those experiments where a wave becomes a particle retrospectively when observed didn’t happen? I need to look this up.

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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Show me where I can read of one of these many times that it is bogus.

Shaun Philip Hutchings
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We are the part of the Earth that is capable of thinking and reasoning is an action of thought nothing had any reasons to exist until thought came along so the earth’s reason to exist is that it is capable of keeping alive reasoning creatures. Prior to our existence the universe had no raison d’etre. Only a creature with a will has that or the things it makes or finds useful. Thinking beings gave the earth purpose and value and every other non concrete abstract value.

Darren Nesbit
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‘planet’ ’tilt’ lol.

Reikhart Odinsthrall
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Keep drinking the kool-aid….and btw, you really need to get rid of all your electronic devices…they are all a part of your “Satanic New World Order.”

Or are you selective about the which parts of the “child raping” you disapprove of?

Reikhart Odinsthrall
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Darren Nesbit
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The Humanist Codex everyone’s money’s safe. always two explanations for everything (or they wouldn’t be able to fool everyone.)

i’ve been at this a while, you’re trying to win an argument rather than go on a search for truth. no one will ever win the argument. becayse there are always two explanations for everything.

Darren Nesbit
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Joel Stromberg are you trying to say the bottom of the city has disappeared behind 100’s of feet of curved lake?

where is ther curved lake? does it only curve in one direction, away from us, because it is not curving along the horizon there is it?

i’ve been at this a while. why not use common sense and logic on your own ‘proofs?’

Steve Matthews
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Fuck sake. We’re merely part of the Earth, not its raison d’etre.

Warren Kincaid
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Of course in an infinate number of chances, you’re bound to hit “pay dirt” at some point. The question is… who threw the pennies?

Lee Helms
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This assumes that there was a “someone” who predated the universe. Where did that “someone” come from?

Any answer given can also be applied to the origin of the universe itself, and application of Occam’s Razor shows that it is more likely for a simple fount of particles and energy to arise spontaneously than for a complex conscious being to arise spontaneously.

Warren Kincaid
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One thing is always more more likely than another. But no matter what a person believes… there is no evidence in the universe that matter and energy can spring spontaneously from absolute nothing. The god of the biblical record however is described as something different than that, and yet is actually there. Independant from a beginning or end. Kind of beyond our comprehension, but then again, not so much. The trick is to understand what “all” is when the term “all powerfull” is used. Of course I could be wrong. But then again… so could the Atheists. But you have to start somewhere, right? Actually… Occams Razor asks for the simplest answer with the least amount of steps used in the process. I’m good with that.

Richard McClung
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There was never nothing. Always something changing. The nearest thing to nothing is the Higgs Boson which totally removes the need for a creator. It can go in and out of existence and give mass to matter.

Warren Kincaid
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“There was never nothing”… That means there was always something. This indicates a discussion about the origins and properties of time itself. If the scientific evidence points to an endless (time) stream of fluctuating energy particles and mass, I’m good with that. Does time ebb and flow with it? It’s an Einstein question. God is not just the originator of all things (even energy particles and mass). He stands above and behind those things as well as time itself. It’s not just the stuff…. it’s the system behind the stuff, and the stuff and systems behind that. The word “all” in the claim “creator of all things” means all with an emphasis on “all”. Actually, in science, the laws that govern the measurable are more important than the measured. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson

Warren Kincaid
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It’s a question that will never be fully answered by science alone. All we can do is observe, measure and theorize. We don’t stand apart from “what is”… we are part of it. And this question doesn’t even come close to answering why mankind is like it is. Why can’t we ever seem to come to a unified field of knowledge and morals when we know what is good for us? Why does a destructive human nature stay the same while everything changes around it? It would seem we are flawed in a way that nothing else in creation is. And somehow we’re trapped there.