Confessions from Evolutionists

The theory of evolution faces no greater crisis than on the point of explaining the emergence of life. The reason is that organic molecules are so Complex that their formation can not possibly be explained as being coincidental and it is manifestly impossible for an organic cell to have been formed by chance.

Evolutionists confronted the question of the origin of life in the second quarter of the 20th century. One of the leading authorities of the theory of molecular evolution, the russian scientist Alexander I. Oparin, said the following in his book:
Unfortunately, the origin of the cell remains a question which is actually the darkest point of the complete evolution theory.
'Origin of Life', 1953 (Reprint), p.196
Since Oparin, scientists have performed countless experiments, conducted research, and made observations to prove that a cell could have been formed by chance. However, every such attempt only made clearer the complex design of the cell and thus refuted the evolutionists hypotheses even more. Professor Klaus Dose, the president of the Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Johannes Gutenberg, states:
More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.
Klaus Dose, "The Origin of Life: More Questions Than Answers", Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Vol 13. No.4, 1988, p.348
The following statement by the geochemist Jeffrey Bada from San Diego Scripps Institute makes clear the helplessness of evolutionists concerning this impasse:
Today as we leave the twentieth century, we still face the biggest unsolved problem that we had when we entered the twentieth century: How did life originate on earth?
Jeffrey Bada, Earth, February 1998, p.40

The Complexity of the Cell

The cell is the most complex and most elegantly designed system man has ever witnessed since the advent of the electron microscope. Professor of Biology Michael Denton, in his book entitled Evolution: A Theory in Crisis explains this complexity with an example:
To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see is an object of unparalelled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings like port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity... (a complexity) beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man..."

The following used to be part of this wu, but The Alchemist has indeed proven me wrong, and I will not let pride get in the way of the truth, so my gratitude goes to the astute noder who has enlightened my knowledge on the matter.

However, even in the destitute state that the following extract has now been left, ironically it just goes to show that the reality of certain situations are beyond the boundaries of Science and/or Mathematics as we currently know it...

And now for the forsaken extract -

So much for the cell, evolution fails even in explaining proteins which are the building-blocks of a cell.

The Probability of a Protein Being Formed by Chance is Zero

There are 3 basic conditions for the formation of a useful protein:
1. All the amino acids in the protein chain are of the right type and in the right sequence.
2. All the amino acids in the chain are lef-handed.
3. All of these amino acids are united between them by forming a chemical bond called Peptide Bond.

In order for a protein to be formed by chance, all three basic conditions must exist simultaneously. The probability of the formation of a protien by chance is equal to the multiplication of the probabilities of the realisation of each of these conditions.

For instance, for an average molecule comprising of 500 amino acids:

1. The probability of the amino acids being in the right sequence:

There are 20 types of amino acids used in the composition of proteins. According to this:
- The probability of each amino acid being chosen correctly among these 20 types
= 1/20
- The probability of all of those 500 amino acids being chosen correctly
= 1/20500 = 1/10650 = 1 chance in 10650

2. The probability of the amino acids being lef-handed:

- The probability of only one amino acid being left-handed
= 1/2
- The probability of all those 500 amino acids being left-handed at the same time
= 1/2500 = 1/10150 = 1 chance in 10150

3. The probability of the amino acids being combined with a "peptide bond":

Amino acids can combine with each other with different kinds of chemical bonds. In order for a useful protein to be formed, all the amino acids in the chain must have been combined with a special chemical bond called a "peptide bond". It is calculated that the probability of the amino acids being combined not with another chemical bond but by a peptide bond is 50%. In relation to this:
- The probability of two amino acids being combined with a "peptide bond"
= 1/2
- The probability of 500 amino acids all combining with peptide bonds
= 1/2499 = 1/10150 = 1 chance in 10150

Total Probability = 1/10650 X 1/10150 X 1/10150
= 1/10950
= 1 chance in 10950

So to summarise - The probability of an average protein molecule made up of 500 amino acids being arranged in the correct quantity and sequence in addition to the probability of all of the amino acids it contains being only left-handed and being combined with only peptide bonds is "1" over 10950.

The above is only a written probability. Practically, such a possibility has "0" chance at realisation. In mathematics, a probability smaller than 1/1050 is statistically considered to have a "0" probability of realisation. A probability of "1/10950" is far beyond the limits of this definition.

This is a question that has been haunting mankind ever since his Reason clicked into place he thought about asking questions beyond the domain of daily needs, and personal gratification.

Who are we?

Were did we come from?

These are both incredibly important because from them we derive a sense of identity and history. In the past the main arena for these sorts of questions was the debate between religion and philosophy, and the intellectual rigour imposed that for the vast majority of people the discussion was quite beyond them, and they relied on their local religious leader or representative of the academic community to take them through it. In modern times, the arena has shifted to Micro-Biology, and genetics, and associated realms of science, and again the battle is between philosophy, religion, and now science. However, if we are to believe philosophy or religion or science, the other two simply don't exist as they have no value except through an understanding of themselves. Yet, even if we remain impartial we are still left with the questions: Who are we? Where did we come form?

The node above, while superb in it's proof of the unlikeliness of chance protien production, and the inclusion of valued commentary from noted Biologists of our time, fails to answer this question directly by proposing, or supporting a theory of it's own. It simply negates the currently accepted view that life evolved from more primitive forms, by a process of chance, (and perhaps natural selection). Now while we have all been taught to accept this view, to get our marks from school/uni, we should perhaps pay heed to the objections that the noted scholars above have made. Again, we face the problem that although we are much more educated than our ancestors, relatively speaking we are no better off for taking part in this important discussion. There are really only a very few Biologists, Philosophers, and Theologians that know their stuff well enough to be able to argue fairly about this topic.

That being said, we still have our own Reason to fall back on, and perhaps an examination of the problem might be valuable.

There are a number of options:

  • Created/Fashioned/Designed/Whatever by a Higher being. I.e GOD.
  • Nothing/God, Life Always Was.
  • Evolution (Natural Selection + Chance)
  • Other

These are pretty well mutually exclusive. Ie if one is true, then the others are likely not to be true. Having said this, the available evidence does point to an ordered and structured universe that does follow intelligable laws, and a consistent framework. Our own intuition suggests then that the first option is highly likely. Although we may not understand the role of such an entity in a continuing universe, we cannot preclude the information around us that points to a reasoning intellect behind the ordered universe we see around us.

That doesn't stop us, however from also examining the scientific advances in Biology as well. It is perfectly possible that we may learn to fill the gaps and illuminate the dark areas in the theory of evolution, however currently, like the first theory, it is only a theory, and every person must decide which theory most closely fits to their picture of the universe. The Other option is there waiting for something to come along and blow the other two theories out of the water, this is highly unlikely, but it is possible, so it's good practice to cover all the bases. And on that basis (pun intended) I intend to finish this wu.

Here's what I've never understood about the argument that the universe as we know it is too complex to have been formed by chance and that it must have been created by an even more complex being.

Doesn't that argument then raise another issue, namely, that a being as complex as God had to have been created by something even more complex? He couldn't just have happened, could he?

If you buy the argument that the universe couldn't have come into existence on its own, how can you buy the idea that God existed on his own? Seems to me you can make a strong case for either idea. And if you want to believe in God, that's fine. But I find it hard for you to dismiss the arguments of people who choose to believe something else.

I have written about this elsewhere, but I feel I should address the problems with rk2001's calculations. I agree absolutely with Jaez that these kinds of arguments are quite separate from moral or philosophical discussions about religion. Perhaps this is the scientific version of "If the Bible wasn't full of things you disagree with, would you start believing in God? - that is, "If I can prove that proteins CAN occur randomly, would you STOP believing in God?". I sure hope not, since it suggests your faith is on shaky foundations...

In fact, rk2001 has fallen into the exact same trap as many scientists - "if it has maths in, it must be true". The final figure given is already unimaginably large, but still an under-estimate! You might consider things like: availability of each amino acid, reversibility of peptide bond formation, cyclic peptide side-products etc etc. The worst counter-argument would be to go into a detailed study of these numbers, with probabilities and models and whatnot. This would only further put off anyone reading - and would only invite accusations of confusing the issue.

However that kind of response is unecessary since the solution is much, much simpler. I refute the probability calculations thus:

I can make proteins from amino acids at random.

It's really quite simple, just boil up some amino acids and you get protein. Now, rk2001's calculations show that the probability of any particular protein (one whose sequence you decided on before you started) appearing in the mixture is very tiny. This matters not at all - nobody specified a particular protein, and we didn't get one.

So the statement "The Probability of a Protein Being Formed by Chance is Zero" is wrong. The maths might be right, but it's answering the wrong question. As it happens, there is a lot of theory to support much more complicated scenarios for life's origins - but I don't think that the 'truth' of religious belief will be decided in the labs of molecular biology.

I've just thought of an even better counter-argument : polyglycine. It's monomers are achiral, it cannot form anything but peptide bonds and sequence doesn't matter. Experiments have shown that (gly)n forms some secondary structure, so I can confidently class them as proteins. So simple its funny. :)

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