The Myth of Chance
A number of reputable scientists have stated their
belief that evolution is a myth. In the following material we are going
to briefly amplify this idea by concentrating on the myth of chance and
what faith in chance does to science. In Not a Chance: The Myth of
Chance in Modern Science & Cosmology, theologian and apologist R. C.
Sproul points out that mythology was not only practiced by pre-modern
cultures. It occurs in every culture and has even intruded significantly
into the realm of science, e.g., in the spontaneous generation theory of
evolution, that all life arose from dead matter solely by chance. He
shows that the concept of chance—something happening totally without
cause—is impossible. Again, the Macmillan Dictionary for Students
(1984) defines impossible as, "not capable of coming into being or
occurring"; "not possible" and "not acceptable as truth."
And yet modern science argues that the universe and
all life in it arose solely by chance. In the words of Nobelist Jacques
Monod, "…chance alone is at the source of every innovation, of
all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind,
[is] at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution…."55
Sproul argues persuasively that, for science and
philosophy to continue in fruitful fashion, the modern penchant for
chance must be abandoned once and for all. If not, the stakes are not
insignificant—the very possibility of doing science lies in the balance.
Essentially, when logic and empirical data are neglected or neutralized
in the doing of science, then "mythology is free to run wild."56
Modern science’s assigning the origin of the universe
and all life in it to pure, random chance does an incalculable
disservice to science because it:
reduces scientific investigation not only to chaos but to sheer
absurdity. Half of the scientific method is left impaled on the horns
of chance. The classical scientific method consists of the marriage of
induction and deduction, of the empirical and the rational.
Attributing instrumental causal power to chance vitiates deduction and
the rational. It is manifest irrationality, which is not only bad
philosophy but horrible science as well. Perhaps the attributing of
instrumental power to chance is the most serious error made in modern
science and cosmology… if left unchallenged and uncorrected, [it] will
lead science into nonsense…. Magic and logic are not compatible
bedfellows. Once something is thought to come from nothing, something
has to give. What gives is logic.57
Chance can explain nothing because chance itself is
nothing: "chance has no power to do anything. It is cosmically, totally,
consummately impotent…. It has no power because it has no being."58
One of the most inviolate and oldest laws of science is Ex nihilo
nihil fit—"Out of nothing, nothing comes." When scientists ascribe
absolute power to nothing, they are creating myths. Here, chance is the
"magic wand to make not only rabbits but entire universes appear out of
Consider again the Nobel-laureate and Harvard
Professor Dr. George Wald when he stated concerning the evolution of
life, "Given so much time, the ‘impossible’ becomes possible, the
possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One only has to
wait: time itself performs the miracles."60
Time is indeed the hero of the plot in the modern
evolutionary storybook. Professor Abdus Salam, winner of the Nobel Prize
for Physics, comments that one reason the Big Bang occurred ten billion
years ago was that "it takes about that long for intelligent beings to
Sir John Eccles, winner of the Nobel Prize in
Physiology/Medicine comments in a similar fashion, "You cannot make life
out of hydrogen and helium, and that was the original stuff. You have to
have the time for the creation of all the extraordinary elements that
are necessary for living existence, and so you will have to have, shall
we say, something like 10,000 million years from the Big Bang...."62
Again, time is not the hero and cannot perform
miracles. To argue otherwise violates the laws of science, logic and
common sense. Regardless, how did the universe exist forever and
then do in time (i.e., create life) what it had not done forever?
Here is magic with a vengeance. Not only does the impossible become
possible; it reaches the acme of certainty—with time serving as the
Grand Master Magician.
In a world where a miracle-working God is deemed an anachronism, an
even greater miracle-worker replaces him: time or chance. I say these
twin miracle workers are greater than God because they produce the
same result with so much less, indeed infinitely less, to work with.
God is conceived as a self-existent, eternal being who possesses
inextricably the power of being. Such power is a sufficient cause for
creation. Time and chance have no being, and consequently no power.
Yet they are able to be so effective as to render God an anachronism.
At least with God we have a potential miracle-worker. With chance we
have nothing with which to work the miracle. Chance offers us a rabbit
without a hat and—what’s even more astonishing—without a magician.63
A. E. Wilder-Smith, holding three earned doctorates in
science, put it this way:
Present-day biology has also discovered a magic wand which solves
all biological and chemical problems with one wave of the wand. Does
the origin of the most complicated machinery of a protein molecule
need explanation? Do we need to explain how optical isomers are
formed? Do we wish to know why the wings of certain butterflies are
decorated with eagle’s eyes? The magic wand called chance and natural
selection will without exception explain all of these miracles. It
explains the origin of the most complicated biological machine—the
enzymatic protein molecule. The explanation is fabulous—machines are
formed of their own accord, spontaneously, just as the waving of a
magic wand would demand. The same wand explains the billions of
teleonomical electrical contacts in the brain. It explains the almost
infinitely complicated wiring of the computer called the brain."64
Of course, as Wilder-Smith argues, it doesn’t explain
anything. Further, to argue as modern science does that the universe
"exploded into being" billions of years ago require the belief that the
universe exploded from nonbeing into being. Since science has
proven that matter cannot be eternal, this phrase must be taken
literally. But to do so requires more faith in magic and is, in effect,
a faith in self-creation, which, as Sproul shows, is something logically
We can hardly resist the inference that that which exploded, since
it was not yet in being, was nonbeing, or nothing. This we call
self-creation by another name. This is so absurd that, upon
reflection, it seems to be downright silly. It is so evidently
contradictory and illogical that it must represent a straw-man
argument. No sober scientist would really go so far as to suggest such
a self-contradictory theory, would they? Unfortunately, they would and
they do. This raises questions about the soberness of the scientists
involved. But generally these are not silly people who make such silly
statements. Far from it. They number some of the most
well-credentialed and erudite scholars in the world, who make a
prophet out of Aristotle when he said that in the minds of the
brightest men often reside the corner of a fool. In other words,
brilliant people are capable of making the most foolish errors. That
is understandable, given our frailties as mortals. What is not so
understandable are the ardent attempts people make to justify such
Of course, there is much more going on here than poor
science. In Romans 1:18-25 we are told that the unregenerate
deliberately suppress the truth of God as Creator. Here the truth is
suppressed by the rejection of the laws of science such as the law of
causality, the law of noncontradiction and the law of biogenesis, that
life arises only from life. That the rejection of scientific
principles, laws and reasoning should be so forcefully employed in
defense of what is inherently irrational and impossible (the
creation of the universe from nothing), is surely a commentary on the
condition of modern origins science.
A Sin Against God?
However, because God has created us as rational
creatures, it may even be argued that modern science’s sin against
reason is a sin against God. Scientists should know better. And,
generally, in their rational moments they do. They know the universe
didn’t arise from literally nothing. The suppression of truth is to try
and make it seem as if it did. That is the sin. Most scientists,
it seems, prefer to disguise their belief in magic by making the idea of
chance origins appear scientific and rational. Why? Because often
they do not personally like the consequences of having to seriously
consider the implications of a personal creator God who will hold them
accountable in this life. Given the odds against evolution and for
creation, this is an unwise position at best. The conclusions of Solomon
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep
his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall
bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be
good, or whether it be evil. (Eccl. 12:13-14)
55. Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity: An Essay
on The Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (New York: Vintage,
1971), pp. 112-13, emphasis added.
56. R. C. Sproul, Not a Chance: The Myth of
Chance in Modern Science & Cosmology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker,
1994), p. xiv; cf., R. J. Rushdoony, The Mythology of Modern
57. Ibid., pp. 10-11.
58. Ibid., p. 6.
59. Ibid., p. 9.
60. George Wald, "The Origin of Life" in The
Physics and Chemistry of Life, Ed., the editors of Scientific
American (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1955), pp. 9, 12.
61. Abdus Salam, "Science and Religion: Reflections
on Transcendence and Secularization" in Henry Margenau and Roy Abraham
Varghese (eds.), Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on
Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens
(La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1994), p. 100.
62. John Eccles, "A Divine Design: Some Questions on
Origins" in Henry Margenau and Roy Abraham Varghese (eds.), Cosmos,
Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of
the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens (La Salle, IL: Open Court,
1994), p. 161.
63. Sproul, pp. 14-15.
64. A. E. Wilder-Smith, The Natural Sciences Know
Nothing of Evolution (San Diego, CA: Master Books, 1981), p. 26.
65. Sproul, pp. 15-16.