Q. So what are the odds that life could form on Earth by natural causes?
A. Zero chance at all. The natural world does not allow the "building blocks" of life to exist in the open, they must be held within a cell. A review post is found here.
One would need a cell to house DNA and RNA but one needs DNA and RNA to code for cell-building, while the ATP Synthase process must be ongoing to power them and it, too, requires DNA to code for it to exist and a cell within to "live."
When I say "a cell" in such an off-hand way, I am not dismissing the fact that there are multiple millions of operations and multiple millions of components of each of your cells, some with more specialized tasks than others, and you have around 100 trillion cells (and ten microscopic "passengers" per cell, although they are not specific to individual cells and are mostly in the digestive tract). For you, that means maybe two to five pounds of your body weight is actually bacteria! Wow!
The cell is amazingly complex. Evidence-free Darwinists talk about finding ways to evolve "simple life" from nature and ignore just how enormous a task that would be if it was possible at all. They do not even know what "life" is...they can tell you if something is alive or dead. But they cannot capture life in a test tube, or describe it with an equation or comprehend how to start something living. Dr. Frankenstein is a fictional character and so is his monster. Abiogenesis? Also fictional.
But it is more than that. We need a Universe with very remarkable qualities to allow for life, the Solar System and Sun to be in place and the Earth carefully set in the prime position to not only allow for life and be protected from harm emanating from outer space, but also to be in position to observe outer space. We need physical laws that are life-friendly and special properties of some substances to allow for life at all. Can you imagine if frozen water sank rather than floated?!
But, let us suppose that it was possible. What are the odds of this happening?
THE PROBABILITY OF THE OCCURRENCE OF A UNIVERSE IN WHICH LIFE CAN FORM
Coincidence is a mathematical term and the possibility of an event's occurrence can be calculated using the mathematics of probability.
The calculations of British mathematician Roger Penrose show that the probability of universe conducive to life occurring by chance is in 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 123. The phrase "extremely unlikely" is inadequate to describe this possibility.
Taking the physical variables into account, what is the likelihood of a universe giving us life coming into existence by coincidence? One in billions of billions? Or trillions of trillions of trillions? Or more?
Roger Penrose*, a famous British mathematician and a close friend of Stephen Hawking, wondered about this question and tried to calculate the probability. Including what he considered to be all variables required for human beings to exist and live on a planet such as ours, he computed the probability of this environment occurring among all the possible results of the Big Bang.
According to Penrose, the odds against such an occurrence were on the order of 10^10^123 to 1.
It is hard even to imagine what this number means. In math, the value 10 to the 123rd means 1 followed by 123 zeros. (This is, by the way, more than the total number of atoms 10 to the 78th believed to exist in the whole universe.) But Penrose's answer is vastly more than this: It requires 1 followed by 10^123 zeros.
Or consider: 10^3 means 1,000, a thousand. 10^10^3 is a number that that has 1 followed by 1000 zeros. If there are six zeros, it's called a million; if nine, a billion; if twelve, a trillion and so on. There is not even a name for a number that has 1 followed by 10^123 zeros.
In practical terms, in mathematics, a probability of 1 in 10^50 means "zero probability". Penrose's number is more than trillion trillion trillion times less than that. In short, Penrose's number tells us that the 'accidental" or "coincidental" creation of our universe is an impossibility.
Concerning this mind-boggling number Roger Penrose comments:
"This now tells how precise the Creator's aim must have been, namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full in the ordinary denary notation: it would be 1 followed by 10^123 successive 0's. Even if we were to write a 0 on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe- and we could throw in all the other particles for good measure- we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed.
In fact in order to recognize that the universe is not a "product of coincidences" one does not really need any of these calculations at all. Simply by looking around himself, a person can easily perceive the fact of creation in even the tiniest details of what he sees. How could a universe like this, perfect in its systems, the sun, the earth, people, houses, cars, trees, flowers, insects, and all the other things in it ever have come into existence as the result of atoms falling together by chance after an explosion? Every detail we peer at shows the evidence of God's existence and supreme power. Only people who reflect can grasp these signs."
References:* Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind, 1989; Michael Denton, Nature's Destiny, The New York: The Free Press, 1998, p. 9
"1 - It doesn't make any sense to calculate the odds of some particular replicator forming. We need to know the odds of any interesting replicator forming. We don't know enough about chemistry to guess how many possible replicators there are, so we can't do a meaningful calculation.
This is the equivalent of saying, "let's throw math away because it doesn't come out right. Another commenter puts it this way:
"It's exactly analagous to shuffling a deck of cards and then stating that the specific arrangement of cards that the shuffle produced is statistically impossible (a specific ordering of cards in a standard deck is less likely than 1:10^50). This has been pointed out many times to you, but you still make the same argument. Why do you do this? Are we not explaining this clearly?"
I explained this very clearly, I thought, but apparently will have to do it again:
A commenter suggested that he could throw five decks of cards into the air and the combination that would fall to the floor, the order of those cards, would illustrate to me the reason I am wrong about statistics. The odds would be wildly against that particular order of cards to have occurred and would be completely unlikely to occur again should he devote his life to throwing cards up in the air. Yet it happened!
Here is the answer: Throw the five decks of cards up in the air until they fall to earth in one neat stack, sorted by suit and consecutively by value. Then we can talk. For you see, the Huxley Horse argument is still misunderstood. The absolutely ridiculous odds against a horse ever evolving were one over (In Huxley's own words):"The figure 1 with three million naughts after it: and that would take three large volumes of about 500 pages each, just to print! ... no one would bet on anything so improbable happening; and yet it has happened."
Now Huxley was actually being conservative even with such numbers. Statistically any odds more than 1 over 10 to the 50th power are considered an impossibility. Evolutionists try to say, no, that isn't right. A horse just happened to occur but it could have been any animal and with all the possible animals that could have been the odds that one of them would have happened are, well, it is almost inevitable.
The odds against a horse are not so specific, really. The computation is based on the odds against the number of mutations that must occur by chance, survive, and be beneficial enough to become part of the gene pool, over and over again through millions of incremental stages until an animal as complex as a horse is reached. But ANY ANIMAL that you can conceive, not just a horse. A Philaramic Pakylumar would still have to go through that many beneficial and surviving mutations to exist. So, again, using cards to try to change the equation does not work. No matter what organism, the odds of going through so many changes to exist today are so overwhelmingly against occurrence as to make it a statistical impossiblity. On top of that, we don't just have the horse, but we have innumerable different organisms of different kinds, and innumerable species within the kind with all sorts of varieties each of which requiring additional mutations to enter into the gene pool and be a viable organism. So multiply Huxley's impossibility times a few million and then you have life as we know it. Impossible. Yet it is here. Huxley, with great faith, just decided that it happened anyway. I, with greater logic, agree with the Bible account. God created. It fits the evidence without additional corollaries and suppositions.
There will be more on this particular subject later...
"2 - Crystal formation is a crude type of self-replication, and you can get nice salt crystals just by evaporating sea water. Salt crystals are a dead-end because they can't evolve any further, but they do show us that simple self-replication isn't all that improbable."
You are comparing a chemical reaction to the formation of life. There is no basis for comparison here. How is salt replicating itself?
"3 - There's a theory that there are an infinite number of universes. Even if the odds of intelligent life evolving are 10-to-the-50th against, that just means that only one in every 10-to-the-50th universes will have intelligent life. (There's no good evidence that there are an infinite number of universes, but there's no good evidence that there aren't, either. The question of what's outside our universe is ultimately a matter of faith.)"
...and maybe it takes a million universes to make one nose hair on the elephant of existence! If there is no evidence that there are other universes then why even bring it up? This is science????
Not to mention that the definition of Universe encompasses all that IS? How many different alls can you have? Multiverses are the refuge of the desperate!
Thanks and hat tip to Sean Pittman for the video, below!