## The improbability of Atheism

The methodology for thinking about alien life in the universe comes from a man named "Frank Drake." He is most famous for inventing "Drakes Equation." Drakes Equation states that the odds of life existing are:

1) The odds of a universe coming into existence that can support life. Multiplied by

2) The odds of a galaxy within said universe that can support life. Multiplied by

3) The odds of a solar system inside said galaxy that can support life. Multiplied by

4) The odds of a planet inside said solar system that can support life. Multiplied by

5) The odds of abiogenesis occurring on said planet. Multiplied by

6) The odds of an evolutionary course resulting in intelligent life.

The equation, itself, changes drastically depending on how one defines "life." Is one referring to microbial, single-celled, life? Or is one referring to highly ordered, intelligent, sentient life?

For example, it is factual that there are literally billions of planets in our universe that can support life. Even in our own solar system Mars, for example, is one of these. Which is why the 2020 mission to Mars is so crucial-- it will provide us with additional empirical data by which to populate the fifth term of Drake's Equation (there are some naturalistic thinkers who believe that abiogenesis is both prevalent and inevitable-- the 2020 Mars Mission will empirically test those views).

But if one is referring to highly ordered, intelligent life, then the necessary conditions for this begin to narrow rather drastically. The buzz word, here, is "Goldy-lox zone." Here are some examples of how the concept of "Goldy-lox zone" is applied when thinking of Drakes Equation.

1) Distance from star: A planets distance from the star needs to fit within a specific range. If too close or too far, then the planet is too hot or too cold for life. So it needs to be "just right." This "just right" range becomes severely limited if we are talking about sentient, rather than microbial, life.

2) Electro-magnetic field: A planet needs to have an electro-magnetic sphere for a sufficient amount of time for sentient life to emerge.

3. Type of Star: A planet requires the correct type of star in order to support highly ordered, sentient life.

4. Type of Black hole: A galaxy requires the correct type of black hole before any of its stars can be the correct types of stars.

So on and so forth.

Now notice, here, that we are only dealing with the second, third, and fourth terms of Drakes Equation. So methodologically speaking, one would be tasked with figuring out how many planets (out of a random sampling of planets) are "goldy-lox" distance from their stars. Let's say one does the necessary research, and they find out that (on average) approximately one in twenty planets are in the "goldy-lox" zone from their star.

Moving onto #2, let's say one does the necessary research. . . and they find out that one out of every 400 planets have had an electro-magnetic sphere for a sufficient amount of "goldy-lox" time for life to emerge.

Moving onto #3, let's say one does the necessary research. . . and they find out that one out of every 100 stars is the correct type of "goldy-lox" star.

Moving onto #4, let's say one does the necessary research. . . and they find out that one out of every 20 black holes are the correct type of "goldy-lox" black hole which would permit a galaxy with the correct types of star to form.

Then: 20 X 400 X 100 X 20 = 160 million. So the odds of you picking any one single planet that meet all four of these "goldy-lox" criteria would be ~ one in 160 million.

Summarizing The Second, Third, And Fourth Terms of Drakes Equation:

A lot of research is needed to populate these three terms. But, as we can see, the methodology allows for a fairly straightforward empirical approach-- an approach of randomly sampling planets to see how many satisfy the necessary conditions for highly ordered, sentient life. In the final calculus of these three terms, the question is this:

"there are ~10^23 planets in the universe. . . so what are the odds that any single planet will have the necessary conditions to support highly ordered, sentient life?" And to answer that question, one has to do the math of 20 X 400 X 100 X 20 X a X b X c X d X e and so on. . . however many parameters are required for sentient life to be supported by a planet, and populate each term based on a random statistical sampling of planets.

Rare Earth Hypothesis.

There is a peer-reviewed book that makes the argument (I think rather convincingly) that the earth is so rare. . . that even if there were 10^40 planets. . . you still probably would not end up with something like earth-- capable of supporting sentient life. This peer-reviewed book is a bit of a "wet towel" to many science fiction fans who love to fantasize about the possibility of alien life. Here is a link to the book:

http://www.think-downloads.com/download/Space/Universe/rare_earth_why_complex_life_is_uncommon_in_the_universe.pdf

Answers to Misgivings #1

A typical laymen atheist objection to any methodology which focuses on "odds" is to say something like this:

"Obviously, the odds of us being here are 1 in 1 (100%). . . because here we are!" Another common response goes something like this, "highly unlikely things happen every day! If I randomly draw four cards from a deck, the odds my drawing those four cards are 52 X 51 X 50 X 49. Which is 1 in 6,497,400! "

Here is an easy to understand refutation to these, and similar, common methods of atheist objections:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO-QyzsDmps

Answers to Misgivings #2

"Multi-verse. If there are multiple universes, then you aren't doing the final calculations correctly. There could be many more planets than those we know of."

It is a basic tenant of good methodology to reason from what is known. . . not to reason from what isn't known. Attempting to infer anything from the ever-ready idea that data "somewhere out there" might be missing ultimately boils down to an argument from ignorance. Theists should avoid it just as much as atheists should. "God of the gaps" or "multi-verse of the gaps" both, ultimately, boil down to arguments from ignorance.

Answers to Misgivings #3

Darwin already "cracked the case" with regard to sixth term of Drakes Equation.

That depends on what you mean, of course, by "cracking the case." Suppose I map out an evolutionary tree starting with Windows 10, and trace its evolution all the way back to the DOS program. Suppose I "zoom in" on the part of the tree where Windows Vista transitions into Windows 7, and there I find out that they have 95% the same code in common. Given my "evolutionary tree," and given the fact that these two programs share 95% the same code in common, can I really say that I have "cracked the case" as to how Windows Vista, quite suddenly, turned into Windows 7?

Summary.

I've attempted to provide, here, a "framework" by which people can begin to approach the idea of Alien life. I find the peer-reviewed book which supports the "rare earth hypothesis" compelling. I've also attempted to address, before hand, the most common objections that people raise to what here is, quite obviously, another version of the "fine-tuning argument" but on a much broader scale of using Drakes Equation.

1) The odds of a universe coming into existence that can support life. Multiplied by

2) The odds of a galaxy within said universe that can support life. Multiplied by

3) The odds of a solar system inside said galaxy that can support life. Multiplied by

4) The odds of a planet inside said solar system that can support life. Multiplied by

5) The odds of abiogenesis occurring on said planet. Multiplied by

6) The odds of an evolutionary course resulting in intelligent life.

**Definition of "Life".**The equation, itself, changes drastically depending on how one defines "life." Is one referring to microbial, single-celled, life? Or is one referring to highly ordered, intelligent, sentient life?

For example, it is factual that there are literally billions of planets in our universe that can support life. Even in our own solar system Mars, for example, is one of these. Which is why the 2020 mission to Mars is so crucial-- it will provide us with additional empirical data by which to populate the fifth term of Drake's Equation (there are some naturalistic thinkers who believe that abiogenesis is both prevalent and inevitable-- the 2020 Mars Mission will empirically test those views).

But if one is referring to highly ordered, intelligent life, then the necessary conditions for this begin to narrow rather drastically. The buzz word, here, is "Goldy-lox zone." Here are some examples of how the concept of "Goldy-lox zone" is applied when thinking of Drakes Equation.

1) Distance from star: A planets distance from the star needs to fit within a specific range. If too close or too far, then the planet is too hot or too cold for life. So it needs to be "just right." This "just right" range becomes severely limited if we are talking about sentient, rather than microbial, life.

2) Electro-magnetic field: A planet needs to have an electro-magnetic sphere for a sufficient amount of time for sentient life to emerge.

3. Type of Star: A planet requires the correct type of star in order to support highly ordered, sentient life.

4. Type of Black hole: A galaxy requires the correct type of black hole before any of its stars can be the correct types of stars.

So on and so forth.

Now notice, here, that we are only dealing with the second, third, and fourth terms of Drakes Equation. So methodologically speaking, one would be tasked with figuring out how many planets (out of a random sampling of planets) are "goldy-lox" distance from their stars. Let's say one does the necessary research, and they find out that (on average) approximately one in twenty planets are in the "goldy-lox" zone from their star.

Moving onto #2, let's say one does the necessary research. . . and they find out that one out of every 400 planets have had an electro-magnetic sphere for a sufficient amount of "goldy-lox" time for life to emerge.

Moving onto #3, let's say one does the necessary research. . . and they find out that one out of every 100 stars is the correct type of "goldy-lox" star.

Moving onto #4, let's say one does the necessary research. . . and they find out that one out of every 20 black holes are the correct type of "goldy-lox" black hole which would permit a galaxy with the correct types of star to form.

Then: 20 X 400 X 100 X 20 = 160 million. So the odds of you picking any one single planet that meet all four of these "goldy-lox" criteria would be ~ one in 160 million.

Summarizing The Second, Third, And Fourth Terms of Drakes Equation:

A lot of research is needed to populate these three terms. But, as we can see, the methodology allows for a fairly straightforward empirical approach-- an approach of randomly sampling planets to see how many satisfy the necessary conditions for highly ordered, sentient life. In the final calculus of these three terms, the question is this:

"there are ~10^23 planets in the universe. . . so what are the odds that any single planet will have the necessary conditions to support highly ordered, sentient life?" And to answer that question, one has to do the math of 20 X 400 X 100 X 20 X a X b X c X d X e and so on. . . however many parameters are required for sentient life to be supported by a planet, and populate each term based on a random statistical sampling of planets.

Rare Earth Hypothesis.

There is a peer-reviewed book that makes the argument (I think rather convincingly) that the earth is so rare. . . that even if there were 10^40 planets. . . you still probably would not end up with something like earth-- capable of supporting sentient life. This peer-reviewed book is a bit of a "wet towel" to many science fiction fans who love to fantasize about the possibility of alien life. Here is a link to the book:

http://www.think-downloads.com/download/Space/Universe/rare_earth_why_complex_life_is_uncommon_in_the_universe.pdf

Answers to Misgivings #1

A typical laymen atheist objection to any methodology which focuses on "odds" is to say something like this:

"Obviously, the odds of us being here are 1 in 1 (100%). . . because here we are!" Another common response goes something like this, "highly unlikely things happen every day! If I randomly draw four cards from a deck, the odds my drawing those four cards are 52 X 51 X 50 X 49. Which is 1 in 6,497,400! "

Here is an easy to understand refutation to these, and similar, common methods of atheist objections:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO-QyzsDmps

Answers to Misgivings #2

"Multi-verse. If there are multiple universes, then you aren't doing the final calculations correctly. There could be many more planets than those we know of."

It is a basic tenant of good methodology to reason from what is known. . . not to reason from what isn't known. Attempting to infer anything from the ever-ready idea that data "somewhere out there" might be missing ultimately boils down to an argument from ignorance. Theists should avoid it just as much as atheists should. "God of the gaps" or "multi-verse of the gaps" both, ultimately, boil down to arguments from ignorance.

Answers to Misgivings #3

Darwin already "cracked the case" with regard to sixth term of Drakes Equation.

That depends on what you mean, of course, by "cracking the case." Suppose I map out an evolutionary tree starting with Windows 10, and trace its evolution all the way back to the DOS program. Suppose I "zoom in" on the part of the tree where Windows Vista transitions into Windows 7, and there I find out that they have 95% the same code in common. Given my "evolutionary tree," and given the fact that these two programs share 95% the same code in common, can I really say that I have "cracked the case" as to how Windows Vista, quite suddenly, turned into Windows 7?

Summary.

I've attempted to provide, here, a "framework" by which people can begin to approach the idea of Alien life. I find the peer-reviewed book which supports the "rare earth hypothesis" compelling. I've also attempted to address, before hand, the most common objections that people raise to what here is, quite obviously, another version of the "fine-tuning argument" but on a much broader scale of using Drakes Equation.