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Creation: Abiogenesis Part VII

Posted by Gregg on Apr 25, 2010 in apologetics, Creation, homeschooling |

Creation

A Sunday guest post by my brilliant husband, Gregg.

Every Sunday, my clever husband offers me a “day of rest” by writing posts on the subject of his primary ministry. This is a topic that is gaining more and more attention in our modern culture. The topic, Creationism vs. Darwinism, is a subject that has broad reaching scientific, social, and metaphysical implications. He chooses to conclude each post with a message intended to hearten and bolster believers. However, for believers and non-believers alike, the primary purpose is to present scientific, historical, logical, and/or sociological data in an empirical fashion, as much as possible written in layman’s terms, and in a format suitable for supplementing any homeschool curriculum whether you choose to believe the Biblical account — or secular guesses — about the origins of human life on earth.

A Darwinian Primer

The 6 types of evolution taught in the average public school, the first 5 being types of Darwinian evolution, and the last being simple modifications or changes within kind and not even really “evolution” are:

  1. Cosmic evolution
  2. Stellar evolution
  3. Chemical evolution
  4. Abiogenesis—Life from non-life
  5. Macro-evolution
  • Micro-evolution (Changes within kind – not evolution)

Citations

“Darwin never really did discuss the origin of species in his [book] On the Origin of Species.”

David Kitts, “Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory,” Evolution, Vol. 28, September 1974, p. 466.

The Argumentum ab Auctoritate is the fallacy of a faulty appeal to authority. This fallacy occurs whenever someone tries to demonstrate the truth of a proposition by citing some person who agrees, even though that person may have no expertise in the given area. For example, it would probably would be fallacious to cite Stephen Hawking as an expert on competitive high speed automobile racing since he is not an expert in that field and doesn’t even have a driver’s license.

“Since Darwin’s seminal work was called The Origin of Species one might reasonably suppose that his theory had explained this central aspect of evolution or at least made a shot at it, even if it had not resolved the larger issues we have discussed up to now. Curiously enough, this is not the case.

As Professor Ernst Mayr of Harvard, the doyen [senior member] of species studies, once remarked, the ‘book called The Origin of Species is not really on that subject,’ while his colleague Professor Simpson admits: ‘Darwin failed to solve the problem indicated by the title of his work.’ “You may be surprised to hear that the origin of species remains just as much a mystery today, despite the efforts of thousands of biologists. The topic has been the main focus of attention and is beset by endless controversies.”

Gordon R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 140.

It could be seen as a false appeal to authority to ask Darwinists about the origin of life considering the fact that Darwin never actually addresses the topic of life’s origin.  However, it is not a fallacy to rely on authorities whose expertise relates to the question at hand, especially with regard to questions of fact that could not easily be answered by laymen.

“All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We all believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did.”

Harold C. Urey, Nobel Prize laureate and confirmed evolutionist, the “Urey” in “Miller-Urey” as quoted in Christian Science Monitor, January 4, 1962, p. 4. [Emphasis mine]

For instance, it makes perfect sense to quote Stephen Hawking on the subject of the Big Bang theory (which he thinks is a joke) since he is recognized as the preeminent theoretical physicist of our time.

“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle.”

Francis Crick, Life Itself, Its Origin and Nature (1981), p. 88 [co-discoverer of the DNA molecule and Nobel Prize laureate]

In other words, not all appeals to authority are faulty appeals to authority. Citing an expert concerning his field of expertise is not faulty. It is perfectly legitimate to consider the opinion of an expert on a particular topic or in a particular field. No one has the time or ability to verify each and every truth claim that has ever been made. We can, and very often should, rely upon the expertise of others from time to time.

“The present laws of physics . . are insufficient to describe the origin of life. To him this opens the way to teleology, even, by implication, to creation by an intelligent agent . . If he thinks he has shown conclusively that life cannot have originated by chance, only two rational alternatives remain. The first is that it did not arise at all and that all we are studying is an illusion.”

Sydney W. Fox, confirmed evolutionist and author of The Origins of Prebiological Systems and Their Molecular Matrices (1965), pp. 35-55.

Today, I wanted to share the thoughts of experts on the topic of abiogenesis. First, a quick glance at the religious and philosophical beliefs of ardent Darwinists.

“Randomness caught on the wing, preserved, reproduced…and thus converted into order, rule, necessity. A totally blind process can by definition lead to anything; it can even lead to vision itself.”

Bur, quoted in *Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity (1972), p. 98.

Oh, how beautiful. How spiritual. Randomness caught on a wing. Oh, my. A blind process can lead to vision itself. I feel myself tearing up. Perhaps these words should be set to music and made into a hymn sung in the hallowed halls of the Church of Darwin.

I cannot stop this compulsion of mine to point out, however, that while this sentiment is, without a doubt, lovely — it is niether scientific nor true. If randomness can produce such living wonders as surround us in this world, then highly intelligent scientists, working in well-equipped laboratories leveraging multi-million dollar grants ought to be able to produce eyes, ears, and entirely new species in a few months’ time.

The Great Evolutionary Myth is that randomness plus time can do anything; the Truth is that randomness, with or without time, can accomplish almost nothing. And those changes which it does accomplish will quickly be blotted out by the next random action or two,—that is, if they are constructive changes. If they are erosional, they will remain much longer.

Throughout inorganic nature we see randomness producing decay and inertness; we do not find it building houses and, then, installing the plumbing in them.

Vance Ferrell, B.A., M.A., B.D., Science vs. Evolution, p. 230.

Faith in blind process is simple religious faith. If it were true that blind process “can lead to vision itself,” then one must look at the odds fairly. Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the Rubik’s cube will concede the near-impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cube faces completely at random. Furthermore, he would have to randomly stop moving those cube faces once the solution had been arrived upon with no knowledge that he had done so. Of course it is possible, but given how much time? Given only complete random movements (no coaching or cheating)? Given no alarm or alert once the puzzle had been solved? What are the odds?

Now imagine 1050 blind persons each with a scrambled cube. That is the number 10 followed by fifty zeros. Here is the number of blind people you would need written out:

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Now try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form then stopping. Since randomness directs that they would not have the benefit of information like “You have arrived at the solution” they must stop turning the cubes based purely on random chance.

If you can conceive of that, then you then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling at just one of the many biopolymers on which life on earth depends. To quote Sir Frederick Hoyle, it is nonsense of a high order.

The notion that not only biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.

Sir Frederick Hoyle, The Big Bang in Astronomy, p. 527.

DeNouy provides another illustration for arriving at a single molecule of high dissymmetry through chance action and normal thermic agitation. He assumes 500 trillion shakings per second plus a liquid material volume equal to the size of the earth. For one molecule it would require “10243 billions of years.”

“Even if this molecule did somehow arise by chance, it is still only one single molecule. Hundreds of millions are needed, requiring compound probability calculations for each successive molecule. His logical conclusion is that “it is totally impossible to account scientifically for all phenomena pertaining to life.”

DeNouy, Cited in Evan Shute, Flaws in the Theory of Evolution (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1971), pp. 23-24.

The odds only get worse the more we learn

Over a hundred years ago, world renowned mathematician Emile Borel calculated the odds of mathematical impossibility at 1 chance in 1050. This number was reduced by orders of magnitude by modern design theorists to only 1 chance in 10150. That is one chance out of the number 10 followed by 150 zeros.

William A. Dembski, “Reviving the Argument from Design: Detecting Design Through Small Probabilities,” Proceedings of the Biennial Conference of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences, Vol. 8, (1991), pp. 101-145.

More than 50 years ago, scientist Harold F. Blum, wrote:

“The spontaneous formation of a polypeptide of the size of the smallest known proteins seems beyond all probability.”

Harold F. Blum, Time’s Arrow and Evolution (2nd ed., Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1955).

Noted scientists Walter L. Bradley and Charles Thaxton, authors of The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, point out that the probability of assembling amino acid building blocks into a functional protein is approximately one chance in 4.9 x 10191.

“Such improbabilities have led essentially all scientists who work in the field to reject random, accidental assembly or fortuitous good luck as an explanation for how life began.”

Walter L. Bradley and Charles B. Thaxton, “Information and the Origin of Life” in J. P. Moreland (ed.), The Creation Hypothesis (IVP, 1994), p. 190.

Now, if a figure as “small” as 5 chances in 10191 referenced by such a statement is honestly explanatory, then what are we to make of the kinds of probabilities involved in the abiogenesis hypothesis that are almost infinitely less? When considering the odds and the probabilities at a practical level, the mind simply boggles at the remarkable religious faith of Darwinists.

According to James Coppedge, the probability of evolving a single protein molecule over a period of 5 billion years is fairly estimated at 1 chance in 10161. This even allows some 14 concessions to help it along which would not actually be present during the random blind processes that Darwinian evolution relies upon. The odds are well beyond mathematical impossibility.

James Coppedge, Evolution Possible or Impossible? P.114

In the late 1970’s, famous mathematician and astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle teamed up with Chandra Wickramasinghe and calculated the mathematical probability that a single bacterium could spontaneously generate from inorganic material. This work was published in 1981. They determined the chance of this occurring was 1 in 1040,000. Hoyle confessed what most scientists are, strangely, unwilling to confess:

“The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40 thousand naughts [zeros after it]. It is enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet or on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.”

Sir Frederick Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space, 1981, p. 28.

For context, the smallest possible theoretical cell is made up of 239 proteins. At least 124 different types of proteins are needed for this theoretical cell to become a living thing. In reality, the simplest known self-reproducing organism is the H39 strain of PPLO (mycoplasma) containing 625 proteins with an average of 400 amino acids in each and every protein.

Yet the probability of the occurrence of even the smallest theoretical life is only one chance in 10119,879 and the years required for it to evolve would be 10119,841 years or 10119,831 times what Darwinists assume is the age of the earth.

The probability of this smallest theoretical cell of 239 proteins evolving without the needed 124 different types of proteins to make up a living cell, i.e., the chance of evolving this “helpless group of non-living molecules” in over 500 billion years is 1 chance in 10119,701.

James Coppedge, Darwin’s Leap of Faith, p. 371

That is 1 chance in the number 10 followed by 119,701 zeros. Pardon me if I don’t attempt to write that number out for you.

Dr. David J. Rodabough is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Missouri. When presented with this exobiology problem, he estimated a more realistic chance that life could spontaneously generate, even given 1023 planets and 15 billion years, as only one chance in 102,999,940.

David J. Rodabough, “The Queen of Science Examines the King of Fools,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1975, p. 15.

While that number is vast and the odds against it nearly infinite, Harold Morowitz, a Yale University physicist, gave a far more realistic “probability” for a single bacterium. He calculated the odds of a single bacterium emerging from the basic building blocks necessary were 1 chance in 10100,000,000,000.

Cited in Mark Eastman, Chuck Missler, The Creator Beyond Time and Space, (Costa Mesa, CA:TWFT, 1996), p. 61.

That is the number 10 followed by one hundred trillion zeros. This number is so large it would require a library of approximately 100,000 books just to write it out. Now try to fairly imagine randomly discovering a single specific zero in a number that vast.

“The improbability involved in generating even one bacterium is so large that it reduces all considerations of time and space to nothingness. Given such odds, the time until the black holes evaporate and the space to the ends of the universe would make no difference at all. If we were to wait, we would truly be waiting for a miracle.”

Robert Shapiro, Origins—A Skeptics Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, 1986, p. 128.

These numbers are so vast and the odds so nearly infinite as to be unimaginable. Given that a single individual’s chance of winning the state lottery is about one in ten million, the odds of winning each successive week involve the multiplication of probabilities so that the odds of winning the lottery every single week of your life from the age of 18 to 99, a period of 80 years, is 1 chance in 4.6 x 1029,120.

In summary, it is almost infinitely more likely that you would win the lottery every week of your life consecutively, from the day you were born, without missing even one winning weekly ticket, for 80 years, than it is that we would have the spontaneous generation of even the most simple bacterium.

Cited in Mark Eastman, Chuck Missler, The Creator Beyond Time and Space, (Costa Mesa, CA:TWFT, 1996), p. 61.

Physicist Dr. Howard B. Holroyd refers to the book, Mathematics and the Imagination, where the authors, Kasner and Newman, name the extremely large number 10100, a “googol.” Noting the fact that there could only, at most, have been 4.8 x 1038 possible mutations in all the life forms throughout the history of earth Dr. Holroyd writes:

“It is not possible in a googol of operations to select at random, from the possible infinity of forms, the shapes and arrangements of the dextral and sinistral bones of even one mammal…Let us recognize that if a result depends upon a hundred factors, and if the probability of getting each one right is 1 in 10, then the probability of getting the whole 100 right is only one in a googol.”

Howard Byington Holroyd, “Darwinism is Physical and Mathematical Nonsense” Creation Research Society Quarterly. June 1972, pp. 6, 9.

Dr. Holroyd also discusses factorial numbers. A factorial number is a number that multiplies each successive number by the next number. So ten factorial would be to multiply 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 x 8 x 9 x 10. Seventy factorial is around a googol (1.198 x 10100). Sir Arthur Eddington estimated the total number of electrons and protons in the entire universe as approximately 3.145 x 1079. This is orders of factorial magnitude less than 100 factorial, which equals 9.3 x 10157.

But when it comes to Darwinism, we are not dealing with 100 factorial but millions times millions factorial.

To illustrate, there are 5,000 fibers in the auditory nerve of man that may be connected to the brain in 5,000-factorial ways—and only one is specifically correct.

The optic nerve has about one million fibers, and these may be connected to the brain in one million factorial ways. The odds they could have been connected correctly by chance cannot even be written out longhand.

Howard Byington Holroyd, “Darwinism is Physical and Mathematical Nonsense” Creation Research Society Quarterly. June 1972, pp. 6, 9.

Holroyd proceeds to show by several other examples how absurd belief in chance evolution is. He points out that the straight hydrocarbon chain C40H82 has about 6.25 x 1013 isomers.

It would be impossible for the entire human race, working full time for four billion years, just to study all the isomers of this single organic molecule of no great size.

Howard Byington Holroyd, “Darwinism is Physical and Mathematical Nonsense” Creation Research Society Quarterly. June 1972, pp. 10-11

When we consider there are ten billion cells in the cerebral cortex, that there are several trillion nerve connections between cells in the brain, plus many other amazing factors, it becomes “preposterous beyond words” to believe that all this originated by chance.

“All the facile speculations and discussions published during the last ten to fifteen years explaining the mode of origin of life have been shown to be far too simple-minded and to bear very little weight. The problem in fact seems as far from solution as it ever was.”

Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), p. 68.

The Truth

Reasonable people think. They do not accept on “blind faith” that anything any fallible man proclaims is true. Look at the odds. Look at the probabilities. Look at what the experts and the authorities in these fields have had to say for years…and consider. Think.

There is an infallible authority. He has given us His expert testimony as to how life began.

How much weight should that be given in this argument?

God Bless you and yours.

Gregg


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