Life: Destiny or Chance?

Life: Destiny or Chance?

2014, Science  -   53 Comments
Ratings: 7.48/10 from 138 users.

Life: Destiny or Chance? attempts to answer the fundamental question of whether life is the result of articulate cosmic design, or simply a lucky (for us, anyhow) occurrence predicated solely on chance. Basically, are we a mistake?

Looking at it from a very scientific and objective perspective, the film starts by looking at the processes that create and sustain life, and whether they are actually integral to the universe on a grand scale - or just a little blip on the radar for a relatively unrelated flowchart.

The narrator goes on to explain that stellar explosions (supernovas and the like) that spew forth dust are the catalysts for all forms of matter. A computer-simulated rendering of the evolution of the cosmos is used to demonstrate exactly how the universe took shape from time zero up until present day, and enables the commentary to break down a number of phenomena native to astrophysics - dark matter, black holes, solar winds, etc.

A star cluster called the Trapezium pumps out a wind of ultraviolet radiation that clears out an area where young stars can be born to generate solar nebulae where the early building blocks of life can get a foothold. Dust particles begin to "stick together" by way of gravity, and slowly form masses that eventually become substantial enough to constitute what we know as planets.

Interplanetary dust particles that contain carbon and hydrogen particles, when exposed to oxygen in our atmosphere, create H2O (water) particles that are the building blocks of life. Earth's abundance of water, and the ensuing life that emerged from its presence, is due in large part to this process. Each of the planets in our solar system are then chronicled, with explanations of how water prevails on its surface and the moons that orbit them.

The figure thrown out in the film's closing is that our universe has had over forty billion individual favorable opportunities to spawn life in its history, and Earth is the only data point we have where those efforts resulted in the life that we enjoy - doesn't seem all that favorable that we are the universe's primary objective.

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3 years ago

I thought it was all about Adam and Eve....LOL

5 years ago

did anyone else see in their sub titles, after the last sentence of the doc " what does it all add up to? " the number 7 appear vry quickly?

7 years ago

wow so many wrong facts about water on neptune, uranus and europa....they have inner oceans of liquid methane , liquid metals and acids, cant remember what acid exactly, but BIG DIFFERENCE IN H2O AND SULFURIC ACID AND about Enceledeus correct though.

7 years ago

From my point of view the answer is destiny all the way. Great doc

Paul Gloor
8 years ago

We exist in this universe and are able to ask these questions because we are in a universe that has the correct "settings" to make it possible.
Random chance ? No, Divine purpose ? No... Its an inevitable process of physics and chemistry.

8 years ago

great doc. but the comments...religion vs science; you know, it doesn't have to be a contest. One can be "right" without the need to prove it; and especially not proving it by basing your "rightness" on the grounds that everyone else who thinks differently must be wrong; therefor not only are you "right" you are somehow better than the "wrong" ones. We're here. The how and whys are interesting thoughts to consider, but in the long run; It doesn't matter how it happened. We aren't gonna be here long; the least we can do is enjoy it without wasting time fighting with each other about how it happened. I fail to see the point in fighting about any of it.

8 years ago

Sorry but the narrator turned me off immediately.

jon jenkins
8 years ago

it formed the way it did to insure its continued success and growth

jon jenkins
8 years ago

if you thought of the universe as a living entity in its self, then the perfect order it has manifested could be explained as a sort of self intrinsic awareness

Fabien L'Amour
8 years ago

Beautiful images but definitely not an answer to the title question.

8 years ago

A question from a non-scientist relating to determinism and free-will.

The narrator brings up the term 'fine-tuned'…… which implies, or suggests, a 'Fine Tuner', and immediately a dichotomy is established -- is what we perceive all around us 'created' by some prior circumstance, or 'Being', or 'not created, but simply 'random''? He asks ' do you explain 'intelligence''? Are things 'meant to be, inevitable', or are they 'gratuitous, random, and not related'? This is often the pattern of thought presented by creationists, as opposed to determinists, those who would insist that all the elements of the universe are related and contiguous. There are no gaps where a 'deity", or a 'freewill' can insert itself and take control.

Thus we have two possibilities. The first called causality, the idea that each 'event' is related to other prior events, an event is inexorably tied to the events preceding it, and there is absolutely no way for a 'god' to step in and control events. Such as 'God' throwing hailstones down from the heavens to kill the Amorites in the Book of Joshua. The other side being that there is no such 'determinism' operative in existence, and the universe is populated with spirits and ghosts and trolls and deities, all acting ad hoc, at will, indiscriminately, etc...

Science seems to be based upon the first, and religion, mysticism and superstition upon the latter. In our universe there is no possibility that it could be other than it is, since all is related, and thus there can be no 'fine-tuning', since there is no 'Fine-Tuner".

Insignificantly Significant
8 years ago

It was alright, but didn't push many boundaries. I liked the visual of asteroids raining down on the earth. Nebulae are recycling centers of the universe. Stars are a result of gravity vs electromagnetism. Clouds are a result of gravity vs EM, as well. When resources are expelled from the star, EM has won. When they're expelled from clouds...whoops gravity has won. Ok, so it's not a perfect analogy, but still interesting lol. "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes"(Twain).

Fractalized Universe...


8 years ago

Total bovine excrement from start to finish. The Universe is electric, no beginning, no end. How Man seems to love to invent the invisible, then he won't have to explain anything, he can make it up as he goes along (virus/germ theory, big bang theory, terrorism theory and so on).

And the cretinati believe this nonsense because they have never been taught how to learn.