ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, biodiversity

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The probability of chance

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1The probability of chance Empty The probability of chance Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:10 am



The probability of chance 1

Proteins, for example, consist of long chains of 400 or more amino acids in a specific sequence.  Each of the amino acids in the sequence is one of 20 different kinds, and if the sequence is altered slightly, the protein will not be functional.  Moreover, 19 of the 20 kinds of amino acids[2] come in two forms—a left-handed and a right-handed form—but living things consist only of left-handed molecules.  Outside of living things, amino acids occur only in a 50-50 ratio of right-handed and left-handed forms.  Even if we artificially create a sample where one form or the other predominates, the sample will, with time, return to a 50-50 ratio through a process called racemation.

The odds of 400 left-handed amino acids linking up by chance is less than (0.5)380, and, since the simplest cell would need over 120 proteins, the combined probability would be less than (0.5)380x120 = 1.08x10-13,727.  This is an impossibly small probability, and we have not yet accounted for the specific sequences of amino acids needed, which would reduce the probability far more.[3]

Now suppose that, once every nanosecond for 15 billion years, one billion attempts were being made in every cubic millimeter of seawater on a trillion trillion earthlike planets throughout the universe, to create these 120 proteins.  Would there be time enough to obtain this at least once?

Just do the math:  There are about 1027 nanoseconds in 15 billion years.  Earth's oceans have a volume of approximately 1.3x109 cubic kilometers, or 1.3x1027 cubic millimeters.  For a trillion trillion similar planets, this would be 1.3x1051 cubic millimeters of ocean water.  If a billion attempts were made every nanosecond in each cubic millimeter of these oceans for 15 billion years, the total number of attempts would be about 6.15x1086.  The probability of getting just one set of the needed proteins in all these attempts would be (6.15x1086)(1.08x10-13,727) = 6.64x10-13,641, which hardly makes a dent in the original vanishingly tiny probability of forming the needed proteins.

Probability and Order Versus Evolution 2

the probability of such a numerically ordered arrangement decreases rapidly as the number of components increases. For any linear system of 100 components in specified order, the probability is one in 100!, or one chance in 10158 (a number represented by "one followed by 158 zeroes").

A system requiring such a high degree of order could never happen by chance. This follows from the fact that probability theory only applies to systems with a finite possibility of occurring at least once in the universe, and it would be inconceivable that 10158 different trials could ever be made in our entire space-time universe.

Astro-physicists estimate that there are no more than 1080 infinitesimal "particles" in the universe, and that the age of the universe in its present form is no greater than 1018 seconds (30 billion years). Assuming each particle can participate in a thousand billion (1012) different events every second (this is impossibly high, of course), then the greatest number of events that could ever happen (or trials that could ever be made) in all the universe throughout its entire history is only 1080 x 1018 x 1012, or 10110 (most authorities would make this figure much lower, about 1050). Any event with a probability of less than one chance in 10110, therefore, cannot occur. Its probability becomes zero, at least in our known universe.

The odds of life forming are incredibly small
Frequently, such calculations compute the number of possibilities of assembling a particular protein or nucleic acid sequence from chance alone. They assume that the building blocks (amino acids or nitrogenous bases) are already present and make the sequence relatively small (to give the appearance of placing a conservative upper limit on the probability of life forming). The calculations are then found to be incredibly high, because the event they're searching for depends on multiple concurrent events. The most important trick in most such calculations, however, is that they assume only one viable sequence is possible. That is, only one could possibly result in the existence of some form of what we might call "life". Absent this assumption, we find that they are in fact calculating only the size of the space of possibilities. They don't worry about the size of the space of favorable possibilities (much harder to figure out, in this case), and simply set it equal to 1 a priori. An analogous case would be calculating the probability of picking a black marble out of a bag by simply counting the number of marbles in the bag without regard to color, and dividing one by this number. Instead, one should find how many are black, and divide that number by the total number. Analogously, in this case the arguer tends to calculate the number of possible arrangements of a given length without regard to how many are favorable for the creation of life.

Response from Creationwiki 3:
The odds of life forming by chance is so incredibly small as to be virtually impossible. This is also why scientists have, in recent years, resorted to looking for life from outer space, and have speculated that life must have come to Earth from a meteorite or comet. But this only shifts the problem to a realm that is totally out of our reach, or to replicate (i.e. demonstrate) or prove, and is a matter of blind faith in the power of Nature to do what we have never before seen it do (or even come close to doing) on earth.
To give you some idea of the complexity of the most basic self- replicating bacterium, we first need to break it down into some of its "basic" (yet still incredibly complex) components. For example, all known living organisms are made up of, DNA, RNA, ribosomes, and MANY different types of proteins.
Proteins come in thousands of different types. They are, however, all made up of 21 basic amino acids. However, living organisms are only made up of the Left-Handed (or L-types of) amino acids, whereas experiments in the lab (such as that performed by Stanley Miller) produce both Left-Handed and Right-Handed amino acids. The most basic protein molecule consists of only 8 amino acids, yet it has never been observed to form naturally. The most simple bacterium known to man is the Mycoplasma. It consists of 40,000 protein molecules of 600 different types. It also has DNA (which it uses to make new protein molecules), and RNA (which copies the information from the DNA and then transfers that information to the ribosome (which is located in a different part of the cell)). Ribosomes read the information brought to them via the RNA molecule -- which got it from the DNA -- and use it to line up (Left-Handed Only) amino acids in their respectively correct order, in order to make all sorts of complex Protein molecules.
In other words there is NO WAY that a self-replicating organism such as a Mycoplasma (which is itself only a parasite, and requires a more complex "host" organism to survive) could have somehow made itself -- meaning that (according to the best of our knowledge) there MUST BE A CREATOR.

What is the Probability that Small Proteins would have Formed by Chance in the Primordial Soup? 4

(1) There are 20 different amino acids that make up the proteins in living things. (Remember, these had to form by chance in the first place).
(2) \ there are 20^100 different proteins that can be made from 100 amino acids
(3) This is » 10^130 different proteins
(4) \ the probability that a 100 amino acid protein will form by chance = 1 in 10^130
(5) This means (according to probability) that to form one specific 100 amino acid protein, 10^130 will need to form randomly before the right one forms.

(1) But, for a cell to form in the primordial soup:-
(i) The many proteins that make it all had to form by chance, &
(ii) Each protein had to form by chance right next to each other
(2) The probability that numerous things will occur by chance is the multiple of each occurring.
(3) \ the chance that 2 different (but correct) proteins form by chance= the chance of each forming multiplied together.
(4) This = 10130 x 10130 = 10260
(5) So, as a cell is made up of many proteins, it isn't hard to see that the chances are impossible.
viz - 10130 x 10130 x 10130 x 10130 x 10130 x 10130 x 10130 x 10130 ............
This is an unimaginable number.
(6) It is now easy to see why Sir Fred Hoyle doesn't believe that life evolved on Earth:-

"[T]here are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (1020)2000 = 1040,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup." [F. Hoyle & C. Wickramasinghe (1981), "Evolution From Space", J.M. Dent & Sons: London p:24]


Let’s calculate the odds of building a protein composed of a functional chain of 100 amino acids, by chance. (Think of a meaningful English sentence built with 100 scrabble letters, held together with glue)


BONDING: You need 99 peptide bonds between the 100 amino acids. The odds of getting a peptide bond is 50%. The probability of building a chain of one hundred amino acids in which all linkages involve peptide bonds is roughly (1/2)^99 or 1 chance in 10^30.
CHIRALITY: You need 100 left-handed amino acids. The odds of getting a left-handed amino acid is 50%. The probability of attaining at random only L–amino acids in a hypothetical peptide chain one hundred amino acids long is (1/2)^100 or again roughly 1 chance in 10^30.
SEQUENCE: You need to choose the correct amino acid for each of the 100 links. The odds of getting the right one are 1 in 20. Even if you allow for some variation, the odds of getting a functional sequence is (1/20)^100 or 1 in 10^65.
The final probability of getting a functional protein composed of 100 amino acids is 1 in 10^125. Even if you fill the universe with pre-biotic soup, and react amino acids at Planck time (very fast!) for 14 billion years, you are probably not going to get even 1 such protein. And you need at least 100 of them for minimal life functions, plus DNA and RNA.

1. http://members.toast.net/puritan/Articles/HowOldIsTheEarth_A.htm#Footnote3
2. http://www.icr.org/article/probability-order-versus-evolution/
3. http://creationwiki.org/The_odds_of_life_forming_are_incredibly_small_(Talk.Origins)
4. http://www.unmaskingevolution.com/30-protein.htm
5. https://winteryknight.com/2012/08/05/doug-axe-explains-the-chances-of-getting-a-functional-protein-by-chance-2/

Further readings:
Addendum B: Are the Odds Against the Origin of Life Too Great to Accept?


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