:: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 ::
Still Statistically Impaired
::This post is part of the Evolution/ID Correspondence Series::
Doug the creationist got back from his Holy Week marathon business trip and has responded to my most recent email. As one can tell from the title of this post, I'm not impressed with his "statistical" arguement, but I'll get to more of that in my response.
I am home now. Last week I stopped at a library in Youngstown, OH to check my email real quickly. Since I was at a library, I glanced at yours with intent of reading it more fully when I got home. Anyway – I checked my aol account and it isn’t there. I thought it would be saved on it, but apparently not. So if you have a saved copy, you can resend it to me if you like and I will read it.
What this all boils down to is this…. You believe that all these events occurred by chance to form life today as we know it. I do not believe that such occurrences could order themselves without a Designer. The probability is too great.
At one point you had mentioned my lack of mathematical elaboration on my points. As you know, the probability of two events occurring together are always multiplied to determine their probability of occurring. Thus, to have 2 “tails” in a coin toss, the probability is ½ times ½. Thus - to get 2 tails in sequence you have a 1 in 4 chance. To have 3 tails, you have ½ times ½ times ½ for a total of a 1 in 8 chance of 3 “tails” and so on….
To have completed ALL of the requirements for the first cell to have formed by chance (as you claim) eons ago ALL the cells chemical requirements of and for movement, nutrition, energy, etc. must have coalesced inside of a plasma membrane in a chance meeting. A so called completed primordial soup must have occurred as a breeding ground for the assembly of proteins, the nucleic acids, RNA’s, lipids, etc.. But consider the probability of each of these items forming individually and then coalescing (without the aid of any preexisting cellular blueprint) only by chance – it’s huge. Then, factor in that each probability must be multiplied by each other in the case of a cell forming – the result is extraordinary! So much so - that even time would not be a factor.
This is just to get off the ground on square one. Granting you the extremely improbable possibility of such an event happening… Then from this first cell (which would have to endure the terrible onslaught of a primitive and very hostile environment to life) we would have to make huge leaps in probability to more complex structures even within the cell.
Remember that while relatively simple in construction, prokaryotic cells display extremely complex activity. The cell’s demand for proteins never ceases. Before a protein can be made, however, the molecular directions to build it must be extracted from genes. These genes (which you have to believe formed at random) would have to be near perfect for the first cell to have a chance at survival.
Then we have to make the huge random leap to the relatively large eukaryotic cell which requires structural support. The cytoskeleton, a dynamic network of protein tubes, filaments, and fibers, crisscrosses the cytoplasm, anchoring the organelles in place and providing shape and structure to the cell. Many components of the cytoskeleton are assembled and disassembled by the cell as needed. Once again – randomness produces such as these?
Again – we are just at the very first step of the monstrous 100 story skyscraper Empire State Building on the stairway of life!
Even if probability were to allow you to take a few steps towards the top of the building (where humanity sits) – remember that there are TONS of obstacles in the environment that would be constantly gushing down the stairs to destroy life! Not to permit it.
Again – then to go past cellular life, we have the huge probability that each species of life needed to form accurately after that. The probability of these species of life are multiplied exponentially by each degree of complexity within them. There is no way around this. That’s the way probability works. The more “tails” that you desire, the less chance that it will happen. In dealing with biological life – you require hundreds of thousands of “tails” to get EACH species up and running.
I simply do not 'buy' that probability as a possibility. And the fossil record simply does not show tons of these species changing in a major fashion. The vast majority occur fully formed. (And I am not talking about micro-evolution [adaptation] but macro evolution.)
If you want to write back – that is fine, but my time is very limited. And my goal is not to help the well, but to heal the sick. As Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” If you believe that Jesus and St. Paul, and other Biblical writers (who all referred to Adam in Genesis as a literal human being) were lying – then you really have no basis for believing anything else that they say.
As God tells us who He esteems in Isaiah 66:2, “ "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”
This is the One whom I fear as it says in Proverbs 1:7… “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
[TheSquire], fear (reverence) of the Lord and His Word is the beginning of true wisdom.
Did you see it? Did you see it? He stuffed words in my mouth!! I didn't call them liars. Doug the creationist just lost some respect.
He who stuffs words into my mouth has recieved my reply.
:: The Squire 10:58 PM :: email this post :: ::