The Odds Against Life

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.


© 2008 by George V. Caylor. All rights reserved. 
The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.
(Ecclesiastes 10:2)


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