The problem with this is, evolution is the correct explanation for the diversity of life. If we are discussing the emergence of life in the first place, then I will grant your point has more validity. The evidence in favor of evolution, on the other hand, is so overwhelming that even if it were determined that evolution had a 1 in a billion probability of being true, it would still be true. An explanation that is unsatisfactory because of its improbability, but which is overwhelmingly supported by the evidence, is still the correct explanation.We do not know now how many interactions there are that could conceivably result in life.
If there have been 10^100 such interactions since time began, and the odds are 1 in 10^200, then the odds are still absurdly low that the particular explanation is correct.
In either case, this is the right question to ask. We need to pursue a better understanding of the probability to help us determine the viability of our proposed explanation.
But I'm not taking this approach. I'm saying that those who do claim the explanation is "unlikely," and thus unsatisfactory, have an incomplete understanding of the concepts involved.The WRONG approach is to say "this is how it is, so no matter how unlikely our explanation must be right".
Given enough tornadoes, enough time, and enough junkyards (with the proper components), you would be correct. The probability of a tornado roaring through a junkyard full of old trains and assembling a jet, we can safely say is zero. Given infinite time, though, anything that is physically possible will happen.Well, we aren't sure how many "tornadoes have gone through junkyards". It might be improbable... it might be nearly inevitable.
I could feel I wasn't wording this correctly as I was typing it. There is an obvious pattern in the dice situation. Not so with life. The "watchmaker" argument is not valid because life isn't a "watch," we only view it as such because of our egocentric perspective and overactive agency-detection hardware. Humans are excellent at seeing patterns, even if they aren't really there. We can speak of evolutionary pathways, not because they exist but because we are able to invent them.I don't see why. Both are based on apparent "randomness" depending on very specific conditions. The biggest difference is the much higher unknown element in former case.
The outcome that would allow life is not less probable than any of the other outcomes. Again, we may view it as such because we ARE life, but that doesn't make it so. The outcome of interest is not inherently of interest, it is of interest because we are interested in it. I could just as easily point to any of the other outcomes that don't allow life and say the same thing (ie there is a 1-in-6 chance the die will land on 3, and a 5-in-6 chance it will land on some number other than 3). This doesn't mean it is more like to land on 5 than on 3.Yet if 999,999,999 can't result in life and only one of those outcomes can, then clearly the outcome of interest is far less probable than all alternatives.
This argument is obviated by the size of the universe in the same way that the physical-constants argument is obviated by many-worlds.Yes, though I've also heard it applied to the specific conditions of Earth (temperature, atmosphere, magnetic field, etc)