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Friday, March 08, 2013

What are the odds of life evolving in the Universe?

Time to quickly revisit abiogenesis.  Yes,folks, the unscientific attempt by Darwinists to ignore and avoid the Law of Biogenesis and come up with a way life could evolve from  non life!

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?


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 

I like this post as well, small excerpt below:   I answered three commenters, among other things- commenters in black and me like this.  Other quotes in blue.

"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!

The Anthropic Principle


Last week we discussed how unlikely Planet Earth is. Every facet of our planet—its solar system, and its galaxy—makes life possible. Change anything, and our planet would be as lifeless as space is.
What about life itself? How did life come about? Could there be life elsewhere? NASA conducted an interesting study.They needed to know the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. Earth could not afford the danger if one of our space vehicles were to bring back a deadly microbe for which man had no resistance. 

NASA hired Yale University’s Harold Morowitz, a theoretics expert.  Dr. Morowitz deals with “the laws of large numbers and probabilities.”

Here is how the probabilities theory works: you take a set of circumstances, and you scientifically determine the odds of a certain outcome. For instance, if you flip a coin, you have “even odds” of heads or tails. The more you flip it, the greater the odds are against it coming up “heads”

every time. Once you get to 1/1015, the probability of an event ever happening is negligible.  If you get to 1/1050, the event could not have happened even once in 15 billion-years. After studying the complexity of a protein molecule, Dr. Morowitz concluded that the probability of life occurring by chance is 1/10236. 1/10236 takes into account all the atoms in the universe, and the chance that the right ones came together just once to form a protein molecule.

He said “The universe would have to be trillions of years older, and trillions of times larger, for a protein molecule to have occurred by random chance.”

It’s a bit like throwing 4 billion pennies into the air and having them all land heads-up. Evolutionists tell us that given enough time, this could happen. But as we just learned, there wasn’t enough time and there weren’t enough pennies. (This does not say that life does not exist elsewhere. It just says that it could not exist by random chance.)

The study reminds me of the joke about Neal Armstrong’s first moonwalk. About 100 feet from the Lunar Lander, Neal stooped down and picked up a Rolex watch lying on the moon’s surface. It even had the correct time. Armstrong frantically radioed Houston and asked, “What do we do now? The camera was on me when I picked up the watch! People will think that we weren’t first to the moon. They may even believe the Russians beat us here!”  Houston radioed back, “Don’t worry. We already have a story that earth will believe. We’ll just tell them that the watch evolved on the moon!”

I enjoyed the movie “Contact” starring Jodi Foster. She played a SETI scientist. SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) uses an array of huge radio receivers that listen for “organized”
radio signals. If a signal is random static, it is natural. If it is organized, however, it was undoubtedly sent by an intelligent source. For instance, the signal “2 – 2 – 4″ (about 10 bytes of information) is intelligent. Although SETI has not yet heard any such signal in its 30 years, they keep listening.

By some stretch of logic, many of those same scientists say that a DNA molecule containing four billion bytes of perfectly arranged information did not come from a source of intelligence. It just “happened!”

Considering the odds against evolution being true, why is it so important to some folks that wedo believe in evolution? What does our belief in evolution make possible?
  1. The discarding of “right and wrong.” If life is an accident of random atoms, does it really matter if a Boy Scout helps an elderly lady across the street or shoves her under a bus?
  2. Abortion rights. If we are just an accident of physics, does it matter if we kill our preborn children? After all, they have no soul. They have no rights. They are just “tissue.” Call any Planned Parenthood abortuary to hear this firsthand.) Tell that to any expectant mother who has felt a kick, heard the heartbeat, or seen the sonogram. 
The theory of evolution has put humanity on a slippery slope with no bottom. After all, if mankind becomes extinct through its own excesses, it’s all part of evolution. We just weren’t fit to survive. 
Somehow, that last assumption seems logical. For if mankind clings to something so unproven, so impossible, and so destructive, perhaps “man wasn’t intelligent enough to survive.”
A fitting epitaph.


Anonymous said...

What are the odds of a supernatural being existing or popping into existence "just because"?

Anonymous said...

If you look at current abiogenesis research, the odds of self-replicating mechanisms capable of reproduction with variation are considerably better than zero.

Jon W said...

Actually we don't know the odds of abiogenesis occurring naturally. You can't generalize from a sample of one.

radar said...

Current abiogenesis research consists of BS scientists hoping for grant money to spend on the impossible because so many people desperately want it!

There is no such thing as "simple life" at all. Bacteria are fantastically complex and fascinating and yet they are considered simple compared to a sea slug.

So let's take these three comments in order:

1) The Supernatural created existence. It is correct to say that God created existence rather than "popping" into it. Ever hear the teleological argument? A Supernatural God can and did create time and space and matter, although it is problematic to say there is actually such a thing as a true vacuum. Nature famously abhors it but cosmologists and astrophysicists might claim that there is a "fabric" to the space-time continuum. If so, that figures, since God says that He stretched and is stretching space.

Anyway, Darwinists are the ones who think everything magically *poofs* into existence with no cause or purpose. Creationists believe in a Creator God, far more logical and a far better fit with the evidence.

2) No. Painfully no! Adam Sandleresque no!!! Abiogenesis is going nowhere and never will. Hopelessly blocked by basic chemistry, not just statistical laws. My mind aches reading the RNA world fairy tales and I shake my head. Wow! Do you believe this yourself, really?

3) LOL! An example of one? Hate to burst your bubble, but when Pasteur proved at last fully to the world that spontaneous generation of life was impossible, all believed God had created. In fact Darwnin's first book presupposed that God had created life and he just tried to cause people to believe that God created simple life that evolved.

There is no way for life to form naturally at all. In fact, science could build an organism somehow that was exactly like a living one and have no clue where to get the "life" part. Just exactly what is life, Jon and where does it come from, aside from the components?

You could set a lamp on your desk and it will not light without electricity to power it. We know enough about electricity to harness it and use it. We frankly know nothing about life itself. We know more and more each day about the containers of life, biological machines artfully and brilliantly designed and slowly degrading from thousands of years of mutations and the effects of sin in the world. But life? Only God knows how to create it.

Jon W said...

Yes, Radar, a sample of one. We only know of one world where life has appeared at all. This one.

"You could set a lamp on your desk and it will not light without electricity to power it."

Hmm. Apparently Radar has never heard of oil lamps, gas lamps, propane lanterns, candles... Tell us, Radar, what do you do when you go camping, and there isn't an electrical power source for miles? Do you take your own generator along? Maybe drive an RV with an APU installed? Or just do without light from sunset to sunrise?

Anonymous said...

"In fact, science could build an organism somehow that was exactly like a living one and have no clue where to get the "life" part. Just exactly what is life."

What on Earth are you talking about? Life in the biological sense is a series of interconnected physical and chemical processes. What's so hard to understand about that?

Interrupt the processes and the life ends.

Re. the odds of life occurring naturally, it's impossible to calculate the odds of this unless we specify the process by which it is theorized to have occurred. Without that, any calculation of odds is meaningless, in particular the nonsensical ones regularly posted by creationists. The odds aren't really all that impossible under all circumstances. Some are more favorable than others.

"The Supernatural created existence. It is correct to say that God created existence rather than "popping" into it. Ever hear the teleological argument?"

Yes, of course we've heard of the teleological argument, but you're leaving out the fact that this is all complete speculation, including especially the part that it "is correct to say that God created existence rather than "popping" into it". It would be correct to say that one can speculate that God created existence, though that would naturally lead one to ask about the nature of God's own existence. And that's always the crux of the God argument, that it's meant to explain the things we can't explain, that it's generally a placeholder for that.

radar said...

"In fact, science could build an organism somehow that was exactly like a living one and have no clue where to get the "life" part. Just exactly what is life." (me)

What on Earth are you talking about? Life in the biological sense is a series of interconnected physical and chemical processes. What's so hard to understand about that? (you)

You are not defining life itself, you are observing and describing. Much like a guy looking under the hood of a running automobile and describing what he sees without understanding the four-cycle system.

What is "life" itself? What is gravity? You don't know. No, the Higgs boson does not describe gravity, it was just a subatomic particle we expected to observe to explain why atoms have mass. But why does mass have a power we call gravity and what is it? You do not know.

Nor can you even begin to explain organisms. They are statistically impossible as chance accidental results of explosions and mistakes. When you ignore the Law of Biogenesis and the Laws of Thermodynamics and the Statistical analysis of life happening even once in all the Universe by chance, you are not depending on science, you are a religious zealot. You are a Darwinist. You have no foundation to your belief set. Just sad and empty hopes.

Anonymous said...

Radar, your comment above reads as if it were written by a programmed parody of creationist babble compile at random.

"Life in the biological sense is a series of interconnected physical and chemical processes.[...] Interrupt the processes and the life ends."

Did you disagree with anything at all about the statement? If so, what, and why?

You responded:

"Much like a guy looking under the hood of a running automobile and describing what he sees without understanding the four-cycle system."

Well, yeah... but if he kept looking at it, perhaps with the aid of X-ray goggles, he'd be able to figure out a four-stroke system too. If you want to go with this analogy, fine. We can figure out the mechanics, and the mechanics work.

But then you or someone like you would keep insisting that some magical ingredient (other than fossil fuel) would be required to make these processes happen.

radar said...

Nice, start off with ad hominem attack and go from there.

So tell us what "life" is rather than describing what you see. What is the essence of life? Jon doesn't know. Why should he, it would be big news in science if someone could define "life" rather than alive. We know there are electrical impulses, chemical exchanges and virtually uncountable processes going on in a human being, with something like 100 TRILLION cells all functioning to make one person walk around.

But science not only cannot find a way to produce the raw materials to assemble DNA and the cell, they cannot isolate "life" either. The entire scientific community has become secretive and manipulative and especially exclusive, denying God and those who will admit to believing in Him unless they completely compromise and accept evolution.

You folks have had over 140 years to find a natural source of life and information, observe genuine evolution happening in the wild, find a genuine transitional fossil in the fossil record and find systems that support evolution within creatures. An all "F" report card. The more we know about organisms, the more design is obvious. The more we know about fossils and sedimentary rocks, the more the Flood is obvious. The more we find out about the Solar System, the more we see that deep ages are a canard.

Anonymous said...

One thing we know for sure is that Radar still has no freaking idea what ad hominem means. Although, the exact same thing can be said concerning his knowledge of evolution of course.


Scott said...

Abiogenesis theories will NEVER succeed because these theories only attempt to explain the physical aspect of the organism, and not the informational aspect. The physical aspect of an organism can be compared to the hardware of a computer, and the informational aspect can be compared to software.

Physicist Paul Davies makes clear the distinction between the medium (the physical aspect of the organism) and the message (the informational aspect of the organism), with regard to the origin of life, in his book The Fifth Miracle:

“The laws of physics, which determine what atoms react with what, and how, are algorithmically very simple; they themselves contain relatively little information. Consequently they cannot on their own be responsible for creating informational macromolecules [such as even the most simple organism]. Contrary to the oft-repeated claim, then, life cannot be ‘written into’ the laws of physics…Once this essential point is grasped, the real problem of biogenesis [or life emerging through unintelligent processes] is clear. Since the heady success of molecular biology, most investigators have sought the secret of life in the physics and chemistry of molecules. But they will look in vain for conventional physics and chemistry to explain life, for that is the classic case of confusing the medium with the message.”

Elsewhere, Davies writes:

“Trying to make life by mixing chemicals in a test tube is like soldering switches and wires in an attempt to produce Windows 98. It won’t work because it addresses the problem at the wrong conceptual level.” [italics added]

"Self-organization" abiogenesis theories (like crystal formation) are like trying to explain Microsoft Windows as the result of mixing chemicals and soldering switches.

Anonymous said...

Very well put, Scott. People like Woolf deliberately ignore the design inherent in the living cell. To believe that intricate design comes from chaotic chance is insanity and therefore those who choose to believe the insane simply because they do not like the idea of God have an insane basis for their belief system.

No wonder our nation is becoming a dystopian society! Once you remove the Creator from the equation then there is no longer a basis for wrong and right. Evil people then can prevail by becoming a majority.

Aside from the matter of designed hardware and software in the living cell, we have a non-material factor to consider - life. There is no discernible difference between a living organism and a dead one right after death because life itself is a non-material force we cannot possibly measure or in any way quantify. It is not natural because nature cannot generate life.