By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©2002 |
According to Dr. David Rodabaugh, even giving evolution every conceivable chance and even “assuming that evolution is 00.0000% certain, then evolution has only a 1 in 10^{123} chance of being valid.” The authors give examples to show how extremely miniscule this chance is. |
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In his article, “The Queen of Science Examines the King of Fools,” David J. Rodabaugh, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, shows that given all the time evolutionists claim is necessary, the probability that a simple living organism could be produced by mutations “is so small as to constitute a scientific impossibility”— “the chance that it could have happened anywhere in the universe...is less than 1 [chance] in 10^{2,999,942}.”^{[1]} A figure like this is termed exponential notation, and is the figure one with almost three million zeros after it. Figures like this are terminal to evolution. (We will discuss exponential notation shortly.)
In another article, Dr. Rodabaugh takes the argument to absurd levels to show that “It is impossible that evolution occurred.” Even giving evolution every conceivable chance and even “assuming that evolution is 99.9999% certain, then ‘evolution [still] has only a 1 in 10^{132} chance of being valid.... Therefore, even with the beginning assumption that evolution is a virtual certainty, a conditional probability analysis of the fossil record [alone] results in the conclusion that evolution is a demonstrable absurdity.’” ^{[2]}
According to the French expert on probability, Emile Borél, his “single law of chance” (1 chance in 10^{50}) beyond which things never occur, “carries with it a certainty of another nature than mathematical certainty... it is comparable even to the certainty with which we attribute to the existence of the external world.” ^{[3]} Here we see that one chance in 10^{132} is no chance.
Using probability and other calculations, James F. Coppedge, author of Evolution: Possible or Impossible?, concludes concerning the origin of chirality, or “left-handed” amino acids that, “No natural explanation is in sight which can adequately explain the mystery that proteins use only left-handed components. There is little hope that it will be solved in this way in the future. Even if such a result occurred by chance, life would still not exist. The proteins would be helpless and nonliving without the entire complicated DNA-RNA system to make copies for the future.” ^{[4]} Indeed, “The odds against the necessary group of proteins being all left-handed ‘is beyond all comprehension. ’” ^{[5]}
As the reader can see, when we employ probability calculations relative to the origin of life, we end up with very large numbers, unimaginably large numbers. In part, that’s the problem. These numbers are so incomprehensible they almost become meaningless. Nevertheless, if evolutionists can use an incomprehensible billions of years of earth history to make evolution seem feasible, we can also use incomprehensible numbers to show the absurdity of evolution, even if these numbers do tend to bend the mind at dizzying speeds.
To help the reader understand large numbers, we have prepared a chart of illustrations. Again, these very large numbers are written using exponential notation. Thus, for ease of writing, rather than write out all the zeros in a large number, the number of zeros is placed above the number 10. For example, the figure one million, having six zeros, is written exponentially as 10^{6}; one billion, with nine zeros, is 10^{9}; one trillion, with twelve zeros, is 10^{12}, etc. The kinds of numbers we are dealing with involve hundreds to billions of zeroes, depending on what we are trying to calculate and the odds assigned to a given event. (In the calculations below, the odds cited are often skewed vastly in favor of evolution. This shows that even given odds that were not present, evolution is still impossible.)
To begin, let’s show you what 10^{50} looks like written out:
100,000,000,000, 000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
It would require hundreds of millions of years just to count a number this large.
If we say an event has one chance in 10^{50} of occurring, this is what we refer to. Again, this figure represents Borél’s “single law of chance,” the odds beyond which things never occur. One chance in 10^{50} is an unimaginably small number—it’s one chance in 100 trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion. One chance in a billion is an almost infinitely greater chance for an event to occur. If the one billion people in China each bought one lottery ticket, each person’s chance of winning would be one in 10^{9}—one chance in a billion. So how much money do you think an evolutionist would bet on the lottery if the odds of winning were one chance in 10^{50}?
A person could only be considered a fool if they bet their entire life savings on even one chance in a thousand—1 in 10^{3}. The irony is that evolutionists are gambling on an issue far more vital to them than retirement money with for all practical purposes, literally infinite odds against them. They are gambling on the nature of ultimate reality, the odds that materialism is true and theism false. If probability calculations relative to prophecy and other considerations prove Christian theism true ^{[6]}—and heaven or hell hang in the balance— one might assume people would be very cautious about the risks they take. Apparently not.
In the chart below, we can see how big exponential numbers truly are. We ask the reader to now look over this chart. Ponder its comparisons in order to get a “feel” for the kinds of numbers we are dealing with. Only this will help us realize the kinds of odds against evolution that we are discussing.
Comparisons of Time
Comparisons of Weight
Comparisons of Distance
microns (a micron is 1/25,000 of an inch)
Comparisons of Size
Comparisons of Measure
The above chart gives us an indication of really big numbers.
In the next article we will discuss the odds of two very “simple” things evolving: 1) a molecule and 2) a cell. Remember that thousands and millions of these are needed for life to evolve, and not even the higher forms of life. To begin consider the following information about molecules:
Again, molecules are so small that 1/4 teaspoon of water has 10^{24} of them. Molecules vary from the simple to the complex. A simple molecule may consist of only a few bonded atoms, as in water (two atoms hydrogen; one atom oxygen). A complex molecule of protein may have 50,000 amino acids or chains of simpler molecules.