There is a common argument from apologists which goes something like:

The probability of life occurring naturally is infinitesimal, to get life from non life the odds are [insert sufficiently improbable-sounding odds]. Belief in this is way less likely than belief that a loving, all-powerful, all-knowing god allows infants to be raped.

Sometimes they even include some commentary on the number of atoms in the universe and how the probability is greater than that or something.

This shows a stunning failure to understand probability. The big numbers sound really impressive, sure, but the apologist puts far too much stock in them.

To demonstrate, take a pack of 52 playing cards and randomise them. Record the resulting order of the cards. Randomise the deck again and record again. Repeat until you have a list of 50 random playing-card-deck orders. The odds of the cards of a single 52 card deck, after randomisation, being in any given order is 1 in 10 to the power 67 (or 1 followed by 67 zeros). The odds of 50 decks of cards being in the exact order you’ve just created are impossible. Utterly, mindbogglingly, mathematically impossible. You could set up a million machines to shuffle 50 decks of cards every second, set them going at the start of the universe, and they would be shuffling to the heat-death of the universe without the probability of replicating your order for the 50 decks being more likely than not.

The mistake made by the apologist with this argument is that they are assuming an outcome is the only outcome and saying that we must work towards that. The only outcome is the exact order of the 50 decks. That’s impossible. However, the experiment proves it is possible, you did it. You shuffled the deck to randomise it and recorded the 50 shuffles. It happened. But it’s impossible! By the apologist’s own logic it’s impossible, so no one can possibly do it. Yet common sense and experience tells us we can do it quite easily, so long as we aren’t aiming for a specific set of results in a specific order, we can shuffle a deck of cards 50 times with ease.

The same applies with life. The order of the molecules isn’t set. There’s no plan. There’s no target design. The order can be any order that works, and there are many orderings which work. If you start with a conclusion and insist that the shuffled deck must end in that way then you fail, yes. If you start with a deck and accept any order then you arrive at a situation more like the origins of life. Any working order would have been acceptable. Once any working order has been achieved then self-replication, errors and selection will improve that order. There’s no need for some cosmic supernatural shuffler to set the deck to a specific order, any order will do.

There is a faulty assumption, that humans are the ‘goal’. The deck must be set to have humans at ‘the end’. Humans aren’t at the end of the deck of life because life is not yet at its end. The question ‘why has evolution stopped’ is asked often on twitter. It’s not stopped. It’s still going. Every child of every generation which is not a precise half-half clone of its parents has shown evolution is still in action.