From the Desk of Bill Zettler
In this third and last column on “Liberals and Intelligent Design,” I will examine the mathematics that liberals point to for their ultimate argument against Intelligent Design.
Their theory could be best described as “Accidental Design” (AD) whereby starting with methane gas, sulfur compounds, water and perhaps lightening, mechanistic forces plod through eons of time creating species by minute selective steps interrupted occasionally by mutations. The end result, according to AD, is all living things.
The problem with AD is after 148 years (Darwin’s book was published in 1859) it still cannot explain how complex biological systems, such as eyesight, developed. Darwin anticipated this when he wrote in that same 1859 book: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” And, as an example, Darwin continues, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
Absurd in 1859 and even more absurd today.
And these same elitists constantly attempt to use mathematics or “numbers” to prove other points. For example they state that the estimated number of planets in the universe is 10 to the 23rd (10 with 22 zeroes after it) and therefore other intelligent species, perhaps thousands or millions of them, must be “out there” just waiting to contact us. And, of course, they must be smarter than us. And if these alien species are smarter than us, then the Intelligent Designer must not think much of us. Therefore, either we are not important or there is no Intelligent Designer.
Another problem AD’ers have is that the numbers do not add up, i.e. the earth has not existed nearly long enough to have developed its complexity via Darwin’s theory. For example scientists (not priests or religious figures) have calculated the probability of certain biological functions developing randomly. In two independent studies (among many others) scientists Yockly and Sauer both came up with the same odds for a simple, functioning 100 amino acid protein to develop randomly: 1 in 10 to the 65th power. That’s 10 with 64 zeroes after it--a number so large as to approach impossibility. Applying known rates of mutation to that probability gives a time frame trillions of times the age of the universe. Many scientists disagree with Yockly and Sauer’s calculation, but have not come up with any viable estimates of their own. Whatever the probability is, it is certainly large.
If a simple protein of 100 linked chemical compounds (a complex protein would be a chain over 1,000 chemical compounds long) has long odds of being randomly created, whatever those odds are, then what is the probability of randomly creating an 18 billion chemical chain that would live, think and procreate? That chain of chemicals, the great protein creator, is called human DNA.
And, amazingly, every cell in your body contains over a yard of DNA. That’s 30 billion miles of DNA in every human being – and, supposedly, all by accident.
The numbers go on. What are the odds of those 18 billion chained chemicals randomly creating 30,000 specific genes? What are the odds of those 30,000 genes randomly creating 100,000 specific proteins? What are the odds of those 100,000 proteins randomly creating one unique, specific human life, unique as a snowflake?
So it is long odds, times long odds, times long odds, times very long odds. Like winning the lottery a trillion times in a row. Not likely, even in the four billion years of earth’s existence.
Since Darwin’s theory cannot explain how even the simplest protein developed and all of life is a series of cellular events choreographed by specific proteins in precise sequence and with precise timing, one has to wonder why the theory is still hanging around in its current state. The sun does not revolve around the earth and Darwin’s evolutionary theory cannot explain life as described by DNA. Darwin would be the first to agree.
No one knows the answer to the math question, but one could argue that the probability of human DNA happening randomly, out of cosmic dust, would be many, many magnitudes greater than the number of livable planets in the universe and, therefore, the odds of other intelligent life in the universe approaches zero.
Meaning ET is not coming and the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) radio broadcasts into outer space have not received an answer back because there is no one out there to answer.
This is important because--if true--then we are most certainly alone and we are the most intelligent entity in the universe-–except, of course, for the Intelligent Intelligence Designer.
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Part 1: Men + Women Are Equal: http://rffm.typepad.com/republicans_for_fair_medi/2007/08/liberals-and-in.html
Part 2: What Would Darwin Do? http://rffm.typepad.com/republicans_for_fair_medi/2007/08/liberals-and--1.html
Copyright 2007 Bill Zettler
Bill Zettler is a contributing editor to RFFM.org