Musings on Randomness & Design

Since you and I are both reasonable people, let us compare what is reasonable with what is not, as reason might apply to the possibility of a random universe compared with a designed one.

Let’s consider a lottery drawing, which might have odds of 16 million to one. For the person who wins, we could say he won by chance, for the odds were equal that all the other millions of people who bought tickets might be drawn and could have won. Drawings with odds like this happen almost daily, and we are not surprised that someone, somewhere would win almost every lottery. Presumably, if there were 16 million drawings, all with the same people and same odds, the chances would increase that each person would win sooner or later.

Let’s also consider the beginning of the universe and the processes which brought it to what it is today. Such an event appears to have only happened once, for we do not see things happening everyday similar to what happened at the beginning of the universe. Those who deny the existence of God tell us that the universe began randomly, and tell us that it is entirely possible that the universe in general, and the earth in particular, could have turned out a myriad of other ways. The odds of the universe turning out just the way it did appear so low as to be incalculable.

A problem then arises when we consider that the universe is unlike a lottery. In a typical lottery, someone is likely to win no matter which number is drawn. It might not be you or I, but someone is likely to win. With the universe, however, most all of the other possible combinations do not result in a winner, for most of the possible ways the universe could have turned out would result in no being around to win. Most of the possible combinations of ways would result in no intelligent life.

We can even leave aside the principles advanced by such men as Hugh Ross, whose team has claimed to have counted about 150 variables in the universe which need to be just so for humans to exist. Such evidence seems to have merit, but the shrill cries of skeptics seem to always mention something about not needing “life as we know it” as if some other fundamental type of existence could arise on the next planet somehow. So let’s grant, for arguments sake, that a few other assorted ways the universe could be different would result in such intelligent life as Miley Cyrus.

In such a lottery of the universe, almost all of the other ways the universe could have turned out result in the possibility of life being unimaginably remote. I maintain that in such a situation, that we have indeed turned out the way we have, is an option so incredibly remote that reasonable people can no longer consider this to be truly an option for a purely random universe. That Fred won a lottery would be amazing to his friends. But if Fred started winning every lottery he entered, before Fred won his tenth lottery the reasonable people at the district attorney’s office would launch an investigation, for reasonable people would suspect that something is rigged somewhere.

Singular events with incalculable chances of turning out the way they have, while possible, are not reasonable to conclude that they happened without some guidance. We would hold this true for our neighbor Fred, and for the universe.


About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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