Ok so we’ve studied probability at school, and I have my own take about it. This might have been though about elsewhere, I don’t know, I don’t care, I’m interested in the science. The starting point is the definition of probability as the number of times a certain event occurs after a set number of repeated attempts, in an environment where all of the known features are set and unchanged during the course of the experiment.
Now the part where I disagree is that this approach only has value for systems that can be physically analyzed repeatedly. For instance, this definition is “not applicable” – in the current general mindset – to determine the probability of aliens living on a distant planet. That’s because – they say – we only have one universe to science out on and discover, and we’ll only be able to take one measurement of the existence of aliens on such planet.
That’s true, but let’s not forget that probability is the analysis of the unknown, and only has meaning and value until we know the properties we’re trying to establish. Therefore, I think, the question should be:
If I take a thousand universes, each with the exact same known properties of the one we know, and with exactly the same unknowns, how many times will such planet turn out to have aliens living on it?
That’s because repetition can happen in a conceptual state, even if we cannot perform it directly, and features of the universe are determined by factors outside of our control. Assuming there is a “single universe”, a “single dimension”, and a “single branch of space-time” [non-physicist talk here, sorry, no idea what i’m actually saying] in a way that there’s only “one truth” out there about these aliens on this planet, we can still apply this definition of repetition to establish the odds of them actually being there.
Therefore this is the definition of probability that I stand by, and I really think this can apply to every possible instance. It just makes sense to me, and I hope it makes sense to you after having read this. If not, it’ll just be something stuck inside my reality.