The interesting thing about unprobable events


People who believe in God often use this argument to prove that there is an all knowing father in sky who controls everything.

“In this infinite span of universe, there exist life on earth because it is planet with certain size, at a certain distance from a star of certain size. Also, the whole process of evolution that has given us two eyes, opposable thumbs etc. etc. seems to be an extremely improbably co-incidence. The fact that an event with a probably of near 0 zero has occurred suggests that someone did it. Someone has been guiding the humanity”.

Actually, this is a well known fallacy. Yes, it is perfectly true that the current existence of humanity in the current form was an event with super low probability. But it is not useful at all to calculate the probably of a specific event after it has happened.

Even though probability of a specific improbably event is near 0, the probability that “some” improbable event would happen in this infinite span of universe is near 1.

To get a better perspective consider the idea of a lottery. There are millions of tickets sold every day. A certain person wins the lottery, he than claims that he has been very lucky. He claims that out of so many millions, he was lucky because he did some good deeds or because God favored him or some other reason.

In reality even though the probability that this particular man would win the lottery was 1/1,000,000; the probably that some man would win the lottery was 1 (100%). Irrespective of who wins the lottery, that man would have considered himself lucky.

Similarly all the evolution of mankind etc. is an extremely rare path of all possibilities, it is nothing special given that almost all other possibilities could have been just as rare.

 

 

 

 

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