The probability of the existence of Denyse O’Leary

Witness Denyse O’ Leary’s ability to understand an argument:

Who would want this individual managing their stock portfolio?:

If you crunch the numbers in relation to your own birth (i.e. the probability that a particular sperm united with a particular egg multiplied by the probability that your parents met and repeated the calculation back until the beginning of time), you will get a fantastically low probability.

And so? Look – I cannot bring my parents into this (O’Leary, b 1950), because they are still alive.

But let me bring my grandparents, now happily at rest, into it instead: They kept trying and they got what they wanted.

The stats are 9 children on one side and 10 on the other, all born alive, no early deaths. That shows what intelligent design can do.

Seriously? No one was arguing that infant mortality in the O’Leary household was high. No one was arguing that your grandparents didn’t get “what they wanted”.

For Denyse’s parents to meet and reproduce, a whole bunch of improbably events had to happen – either by their decisions or random events. Consider the following. Her dad had to decide to go to that dance on that night and to ask that particular girl up for a twirl around the floor. She also had to decide to go to the dance despite the cold she may have been nursing or perhaps even the invite from a friend to go to the movies. The driver of the bus that narrowly missed them both when they were dating had to have been sufficient alert to realize that the light had turned red. (This is obviously fiction, but you get the gist of the point I am making). Once we get to the sex, the probability of a given sperm – with a given genome – fertilizing a given egg is very low. The probability of the zygote surviving and implanting is extremely low. Even less survive to term. Thus the probability of Denyse (as defined by her DNA) is extremely low. Of course, the same probabilities exist for each of her parents, and grand-parents, and so on back through time. Even allowing for humans to be specially created 6,000 years ago, the probability of Denyse’s existence is not very different from zero. Yet, Denyse exists. And I’m certain that intelligent design has nothing to do with it. Ironically, for Denyse to have the high probability of existence that she desires, the universe would have to be far more mechanistic and deterministic that she would want!


4 thoughts on “The probability of the existence of Denyse O’Leary

  1. Denyse does not care about the odds, only that her god shifted a finger and “Poof!” she came to be.

  2. At risk of being juvenile … a seven five letter fix:

    “Denyse does not care about the odds, only that her god pulled a finger and “Poot!” she came to be.”


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