A letter in the Aug. 13 Record (“Improbable not the same as impossible”) made some questionable assumptions concerning the probability of life arising spontaneously. First, he correctly pointed out that the probability of any permutation of a deck of cards placed in a line was approximately 1 in 8 followed by 67 zeros. That is “52!,” which we read as “fifty-two factorial.” That means “1x2x3…x52.” This model guarantees that a human hand will arrange the deck in a line that can have 52! permutations. A more realistic comparison is to ask, “What is the probability that an earthquake will knock the deck of cards off the shelf and arrange them in a neat row in a particular permutation?”
Furthermore, we must deal with entropy. A system goes from less disorder to maximum disorder, unless we have an ordering mechanism. We have yet to hear about a process that can bring about the order needed to make a living cell from nonliving chemicals. If we found a wheelbarrow buried in the ground, could we believe that natural events produced it? The second law of thermodynamics would not allow the formation of a living cell, even if there were an ocean of organic soup. Even if a single cell somehow materialized, could we believe it evolved into ever more complex organisms?
The assumption of “billions of years” is questionable. Given the logarithmic rate at which the moon is receding from the Earth, the moon would be touching the earth 1.2 billion years ago.
The writer insists that questioning macroevolution is “antiscience.” Questions about the origin of life cannot be tested; hence they are not in the realm of natural science. Numerous credentialed scientists realize this. John Baumgardner and Russell Humphreys, creationists with Ph.Ds in physics, were dedicated atheists and evolutionists until they examined the facts and became ardent young-Earth creationists. Additionally, the late Wernher Von Braun, who directed our space program, did not believe in macroevolution.
There is no denying that many evolutionists have an agenda. Notice I didn’t say, “Scientists have an agenda.” “Scientist” is not synonymous with “evolutionist.” Evolution is crucial to atheism; there must be a “credible” story of how we got here that does not involve a creator/designer. It is no surprise that evolutionists cling to their belief despite evidence to the contrary.”
When scientists declare a disbelief in macroevolution, they run into opposition. Guillermo Gonzales saw that the Earth is in an ideal position to support life and to observe the universe. He suggested intelligent design as the cause. He then lost his professorship in astronomy at the University of Iowa. We must conclude that macroevolution is a belief system that requires strict discipline to keep its adherents in line.
Concerning retro-pseudogenes, evolutionists insist they are RNA “backfired” into host DNA. For all we know, they have always been as they are. Furthermore scientists have been rather sloppy about defining “orthologous pairs.” (These are genes and/or pseudogenes counterpart to similar genes and/or pseudogenes in another primate.) (Jurka, J., Automatic DNA Sequencing and Analysis; Academic Press, London, New York pp 295-296, 1994) These retro-pseudogenes are not always found where evolutionists would predict them.
Because of some DNA sequences shared by various pairings of primates (gorilla, chimpanzee, orangutan, baboon, people) we can sometimes conclude different lineages for them. At times we pair up more closely with the chimpanzee, sometimes with the gorilla. (Hamdi, H. et al, “Origins and phylogenic distribution of Alu DNA repeats,” J. Molecular Biology 289, pp866-867 1999).
We mustn’t confuse this untestable theory of evolution with real science.
Russell A. Scott