Creationists as well as scientists calculate the likelihood of life originating spontaneously on its own at overwhelmingly negative odds. Yet, here we are. Not only developed, but quite well developed. We are here despite the calamities that have befallen earth on several occasions.
- Mass extinction at the end of Ordovician, around 434 million years ago
- Mass extinction event in late Devonian, around 360 million years ago
- Mass extinction Permian around 251 million years ago
- Mass extinction at end of Triassic around 205 million years ago
- Mass extinction at end of Cretaceous period around 65 million years ago
Although this only means that life is resilient, and once established, is tenacious, I think it means something more. I think that it means that life is inevitable. There is something amiss with the figures scientists use to calculate the likelihood of life, some factor not accounted for, some error in figures due to misunderstanding. Perhaps it is the tenaciousness itself, in that, even if a single microbe attains the quality of life, that is enough, and all bets are off. It could just be that at the point that one microbe makes it, the tenaciousness, the resilience, the inevitability, even the chemistry of its existence, make life a sure thing rather than an unlikely event.
Size is Relative
We on earth have come to look upon our planet as a small dot, a tiny piece of real estate, compared to the immensity of the Cosmos. Compared to the Cosmos, this is true. Compared to the size that life arises as, the earth is immense. The surface area of the earth, with its diverse environmental conditions, made it certain that somewhere in some setting the right set of materials, energy, would come together to form at least one self-replicating molecule. After that, replication could have been possible even without optimum conditions. It is possible that the conditions for the origin of life no longer exist on earth. If the earth were somehow sanitized it might be eons, or perhaps never, before life arose again.
It is insane to think that earth is totally unique in its origins. In the vast Universe there must be thousands of planets which went through nearly the same, if not the same, stages of development. We know there are many stars just like the one we orbit. We now know without a doubt that many have planets orbiting around them, granted, large gas bodies. This is simply because we cannot effectively detect small orbiting bodies around these distant stars at this time. Give us another 10 to 20 years and perhaps we can finally put to bed these outrageous myths that still plague us. Gee, if only we had warp drive.