Hello, what do you think about this idea? Suppose there is no God / designer and life is just a bizarre event that has happened to have occurred following the big bang. It seems that whatever form of life happened to have occurred following this big bang could possibly have reproduced in a vast number of different ways (eg by pressing a button under a big toe, or perhaps we turned out to be weird alien trapezoid creatures who reproduced by a jolt of electricity etc). In fact, however, humans reproduce in a way which (commonly) involves a profound and beautiful relationship between two people. Given the vast number of ways in which reproduction could have occurred, and given the especially beautiful way in which it actually has happened to have occurred, doesn’t this indicate that there is a designer present rather than blind chance being the cause? Personally I find this quite convincing. If blind chance is the cause then to me it seems extremely unlikely that we would happen to reproduce in such a beautiful way.

There are two sorts of issues here.

Suppose that it is, in fact, extremely unlikely that reproduction should occur as it does. The universe is a vast place. For all we know, it occurs in billions of other ways in billions of other galaxies. Even on our own planet, of course, reproduction occurs in a dizzying variety of ways. That it happens to occur as it does among us might just mean we are the lucky ones. This is just a way of saying that astonishingly unlikely things do happen. The odds against someone being dealt, in a game of bridge, a hand consisting of 13 cards all of one suit are 158,753,389,899 to 1. But it does happen from time to time. And the universe has been around for a lot longer than we have been playing bridge.

Probabilities like the one just mentioned concern the probability that an event should occur on a single occasion. Every time a bridge hand is dealt, it is incredibly improbable that it will be a perfect hand. But the probability that such a hand should ever have been dealt is actually quite good, because so many hands have been dealt. So again: The universe is a vast place, and it is very old, and we have pretty good reason nowadays to suspect that life is quite common. So it just isn't clear whether it is unlikely that reproduction should at some time and in some place have evolved as we have it, even if we grant that it is very unlikely, case by case, and even if it is therefore unlikely that it should have evolved that way among us.

One might also question whether reproduction really does generally involve a beautiful relationship between two people. There are many societies in which such relationships between men and women are quite uncommon. Marriage in such societies is considered a largely economic and social transaction between families, one that has very little to do with the people involved, let alone with whether they love one another. That was so even in our own society until not very long ago. The ideal of romantic love, and especially the idea that marriage should involve romantic love, look to be very human creations that are not, in fact, very old, evolutionarily speaking.

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