The idea that everything is set up just right for life on earth

This seems like the best forum for this question.

There are those who propose the idealness of earth for life as a reason to believe the universe was created. Altho I do believe the universe was created, it seems to me that if I proposed this argument to a dedicated atheist, they would just say that of course life arose in the place which happened to be able to support life.

So I was wondering whether there was a part of this argument I was missing the point of?

Thanks :slight_smile:

You then tell the atheist: where in nature do you see something as a result of an accident?
Some thing or some one had to establish life on earth, for everything is ordered. Life on earth was ordered by God.

And then pray for that atheist. God Bless Memaw

Earthly life can be destroyed by (a) a nearby gamma ray burst, (b) Sun going nova, © an asteroid impact. Jupiter’s moon Europa is currently believed to have life-supporting conditions below the ice cover, and does not have problems (b) and ©). If Jupiter (or our entire Solar System) happened to be ejected out of the galactic plane, life on Europa would be safe from (a) also.

Therefore an ideal location for life would be a moon of a gas giant orbiting a hypervelocity star escaping the galaxy.

This demonstrates that Earth is not ideal for suporting life – it is “just” pretty good.

So much better than any of the other planets out there as far as we can tell!!! I’m not looking forward to traveling anywhere else. God Bless. Memaw

The intelligent design argument is a very strong one I believe.

The Design Argument

You say the Atheist responds with “of course life arose in the place which happened to be able to support life.” but Just because conditions are right or even perfect doesn’t mean you get life from a bunch of gasses.

I could make conditions perfect for a tree, but until there is a seed, no tree is going to grow there. Would you find it convincing if I said “of course a tree arose in the ground that happened to be able to support tree’s.”?

Also the fine tuning to allow for life on earth is incredibly improbable, as Ravi say’s it’s like assuming the dictionary came about by an explosion in a printing press, people like Dawkins might be able to calculate the probability of that happening, a number which cannot even be pronounced, but I would like to see someone pick up a dictionary and try to convince people that his dictionary came about by an explosion in a printing press. (all the ink and paper just fell into the right places by chance ;)). I wonder if people would find it convincing with a multi universe theory. :wink:

Question 1: Hasn’t the Darwinian theory of evolution shown us how it is possible for all the order in the universe to have arisen by chance?

Reply: Not at all. If the Darwinian theory has shown anything, it has shown, in a general way, how species may have descended from others through random mutation; and how survival of these species can be accounted for by natural selection—by the fitness of some species to survive in their environment. In no way does it—can it—account for the ubiquitous order and intelligibility of nature. Rather, it presupposes order. To quote a famous phrase: **“The survival of the fittest presupposes the arrival of the fit.” **If Darwinians wish to extrapolate from their purely biological theory and maintain that all the vast order around us is the result of random changes, then they are saying something which no empirical evidence could ever confirm; which no empirical science could ever demonstrate; and which, on the face of it, is simply beyond belief.

Thank you for reading

You seem to be referring to the fine tuning argument.

It is based, roughly, on the idea that certain constants that seem to have impacted the emergence of life are very particular, do not seem to depend by necessity on the laws of physics, and, if they were slightly altered, would (allegedly) have prevented life from arising.

Earth is ideal, but the argument alleges that the existence of a planet like earth depends on a variety of more basic factors. As such, it does not exactly defeat the argument to say that life obviously arose in the place that supports it, since the claim is that not that earth happens to support life, but that the universe supports life as a result of a variety of what look like contingent constants.

I think the argument might vindicate some theistic intuitions, but I don’t really find it decisive. I don’t think we know enough about the nature of the laws of physics and other cosmic constants to conclude what we need to. I also feel as though the probabilities involved are largely based on estimates, which is why people on separate sides of the debate come up with the disparate conclusions that life should be exceedingly unlikely and that life should be inevitable.

It may also be the case that life as we know it would not have emerged if not for these particular constants. But it doesn’t follow that nothing resembling “life” would emerge under different constants. In short, we can’t realistically predict what would be the case if constants of the universe were different; our “modal intuitions” do not extend that far.

Lastly, the fine tuning argument is more vulnerable than are traditional arguments to the charge that it does not rise above deism. Traditional arguments claim that change, efficient causality, perfection, and teleology right now depend on ipsum esse subsistens. I think that gets one closer to the traditional notion of God.

Oh, but you will. Life is nothing but a consequence of chemistry. What you’re missing is that laws of nature allow for self-organizing processes (as long as there is energy input). That’s all it takes to create life, really, and evolution takes from there.

But the fine-tuning argument presupposes that there is (and ever was!) only one universe. While we cannot observe another universes, we must note that nothing in the universe is really unique (as in, being only one of its kind), so it naturally follows that the universe is not unique.

No laws of nature can produce life out of inanimate matter.
No laws of nature can explain where these “matter” i.e. dust, gases, energy came from. How did it come into existence? The laws of nature applies post-existence, not pre-existence.

Others try to model multi-universes to explain for other things. But going into even more complexity does not solve the problem where all these starting blocks of matter comes from.

God does allow laws of nature to be in effect post-existence.

lol, really? what combination of elements on the periodic table gives you life?

Could you please explain* “laws of nature allow for self-organizing processes (as long as there is energy input).”*

Yes and the absurdity of a dictionary coming together through an explosion in a printing press also presupposes that there is only one universe, if there are billions and billions of universes, than the most absurd chances become plausable explanations, which in itself I find absurd.

I would love to have a game of cards with you one day, I wonder if I got 4 Ace’s 20 times in a row, would you be calling cheat? or would you be sliding the pile of cash accross the table to me while explaining the multi universe theory? :smiley:

Hey, call me a “dye in the wool faith head immune to reason” ;), but when someone gets 4 Ace’s 20 times in a row, I’m looking for the Ace they have hidden up their sleves or how they rigged the deck, not concluding chance and luck and spectulating about multi universes. :slight_smile: And the chances of getting 4 Ace’s 20 times in a row is better than the fine tuning for life on earth.

I can’t remember exactly where this quote comes from, but it was one of the saints who experienced the Stigmata, and to those who were putting it down to chance/luck e.g. psychosomatic, he said “Meditate on an elephant and see if you grow a trunk.”

Thank you for reading

I agree. I would stay away from the fine tuning argument as well, if possible. Even on the surface, it just doesn’t feel compelling to say that God must exist because without God it would have been really improbable for life to have emerged. Even if it is really really improbable, it is tough to convince somebody who sees very improbable things happen all the time.

Also, most people can’t even come close to estimating how many gallons of water there are in a swimming pool–how can we expect them to comprehend the astronomical numbers involved in the fine tuning argument?

  1. The argument replaces God with Necessity.
  2. It implies that because life has appeared it had to appear.
  3. It fails to explain **why **the environment was favourable.
  4. It is worthless because it is self-contradictory.
  5. If everything** has to **exist there are no reasons for anything!

Distinction between animate and inanimate matter is an artificial one. Are viruses alive or not?

Just because it is just right here, doesn’t mean God didn’t make it just right anywhere else as well.

In Earthly context, “life” means DNA, because DNA is self-replicating (no, it does not absolutely need the rest of cellular machinery to replicate itself). Actually, you can get a quasi-life with RNA only (viruses!) which lead to the “RNA world” hypothesis. So let’s see what DNA is made of:

It’s rather interesting that there are only four elements: C, H, O and N – collectively known as CHON. CHON has been found to be quite common in the universe, e.g. it is present in comets. Most of CHON is a compound known as H2O. An interesting property of that compound is that if heated above 273K, it creates a liquid environment where complex chemistry can take place. It is commonly known as water.

So you have a rocky planet bombarded by comets, and, if the temperature is right, you wil end up with oceans of water containing a brew of NH3, HCN, and similar compounds found in cometary ice. So you cook this brew for a billion years, and… this happens:

Most of creationist arguments are based on the idea that things cannot self-organize into something more complex by itself, i.e. DNA cannot be produced from aminoacids, aminoacids cannot be created from CHON and so on, so obviously, you need God to intervene.

This is nonsense, because e.g. in organic chemistry, stuff does self-organize – i.e. monomers can polymerize into polymers. A polymer is the more organized – ordered – form than a soup of monomers. And the reaction actually happens by itself – it just needs specific conditions to occur.

Here’s a funny story. Yesterday at work I was dealing with an error in a computer program. The error was caused by the fact that two randomly drawn numbers were the same. The probability of this happening was 1:281’474’976’710’656. Not only it happened, it happened on Friday afternoon. Go figure :slight_smile:

Jesus I trust in THEE. And don’t worry about all those things. We’re here, where we are supposed to be, at a time of God’s choosing. I am thankful to be here, no matter what. Imagine the odds of God choosing to create me, (or you). And hopefully, someday, we will spend Eternity with Him. My day is getting closer all the time. God Bless, Memaw

Actually, this is something which constantly pops up in creationist argumentation, which I cannot for the life of me understand:

Why do you assume that God has to cheat by breaking his own rules?

An omnipotent God can equally well create all the 10^500 universes postulated by the string theory and let the things run themselves.

Grey area. It can be dead or alive. But it certainly is made intelligently with RNA/DNA genetic materials with a protein coat with programed responses when it meets a suitable host. Question is, how did it get here already programed and ready to run? Where did the RNA/DNA bits and pieces come from? Where did the information in it comes from? How was it programed into the virus? Did the virus comes first or the host? If the host comes first, then there would be a prior living organism. If one claim the virus comes first, where did the information in the DNA/RNA comes from because it has no host to learn from.

But the question still stands, how did life originate out of lifeless elements? 1) You need a creator to bring elements into existence and 2) a designer to bring life into existence from the elements. Whether it is by evolution or some other methods is a separate discussion.

It doesn’t explain how these chemical elements, atoms, energy etc come into existence. It assume these items were just hanging around in space waiting for some processes to happen. I would be curious to see how laws of nature can produce something out of nothing.

Polar bears have thick fur because they live in a cold climate, they have adapted to where they live. Fish can extract oxygen from water, they have adapted to where they live. Life adapts so it can survive where it lives, and hence any surviving life is well adapted to live where it lives. Non-adapted life has died out and so we don’t see it.

Douglas Adams’ puddle believes that the hole it lives in has been perfectly shaped so it fits exactly. The puddle is wrong.



  1. You need a creator to bring elements into existence

No. You need stellar nucleosynthesis.

  1. a designer to bring life into existence from the elements.

Why? Is your designer alive? If yes then how did the designer get life. A living designer cannot originate life. If you designer is not alive, then what caused your designer?

Whether it is by evolution or some other methods is a separate discussion.

Better to say “abiogenesis” if you are talking about the origin of life. Evolution does not describe the origin of life, but the diversification of the first life into the many species we see today. Darwin called his book “On the Origin of Species”, not “On the Origin of Life”.

It doesn’t explain how these chemical elements, atoms, energy etc come into existence. It assume these items were just hanging around in space waiting for some processes to happen. I would be curious to see how laws of nature can produce something out of nothing.

Here is a quote from Stephen Hawking:

There are something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus, in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero.

– A Brief History of Time

Such a zero-energy universe is indeed, in one sense, nothing. Such a universe needs no cause; nothing does not need a cause.


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