by Bill Nugent
You’re out for a walk and happen to find a deck of playing cards by the side of the path. You flip through the cards and notice that they’re all in numerical order by suit. In other words the diamonds are in order from 2 through 10 and Jack to Ace and the same is true for the other three suits. You have in your hands a deck of cards arranged in straight flush in all four suits.
You say to yourself “What an amazing coincidence, someone shuffled a deck and the cards all came out in perfect flush order.” In fact you are so amazed that when you get home you try and calculate the odds of getting a 52 card straight flush by shuffling a deck of cards over and over.
What is the chance that the first card in a newly shuffled deck comes out to be the 2 of diamonds? That’s easy, it’s 1 in 52. And once you’ve gotten that card to come up first what’s the chance of the second card being the 3 of diamonds? That too is easy, it’s 1 in 51. The chance of getting just the first two cards in the right order would be 1 in 52 x 51 which would equal 1 in 2,652.
You then realize that the number of possible combinations of 52 cards is expressed by what your math teacher called “factorial 52” which is 52 x 51 x 50 x 49 x 48 x 47 x 46 . . . x 3 x 2 x 1. You get out your calculator and find that factorial 52 is equal to a sum greater than 8.07 x 10 to the 67th power! Think about how huge that number is. Scientists have estimated that the number of atoms in the Milky Way Galaxy is only 1 x 10 to the 65th power. The number of possible combinations of cards in an ordinary 52 card deck is nearly a thousand times greater than the number of atoms in the Milky Way Galaxy!
Now let’s see if we can get a 52 card straight flush by randomly shuffling decks of cards. If we were to put all six and a half billion people on earth to work shuffling decks of cards and they shuffled the card decks at the rate of one million decks per second and we employed them for fifteen billion years you would have less than a tenth of one percent chance of coming up with a 52 card straight flush in any of those decks at the end of fifteen billion years!!!
You then come to the conclusion that the straight flush deck of cards you found was arranged not by chance but by a human being or some other intelligent designer who deliberately arranged the cards in that order.
What does this little card deck example have to do with evolution? We can use it to illustrate the probability of the occurrence of one small step in evolution.
The alleged mechanism of evolution is genetic mutation. Mutations are copying errors in the DNA. The DNA molecule is composed of millions of nucleotide base pairs arranged in an exact orderly sequence. You can think of DNA as a deck of cards and the base pairs as the individual cards in the deck.
A mutation rearranges or shuffles some of the base pairs. If the mutational shuffling garbles or disorganizes the design information in the DNA, the offspring will be deformed or even die.
Evolutionists claim that random mutations of the nucleotide base pairs in the DNA of living organisms can cause advantageous changes in body structure. Evolutionists also claim that the accumulation of such changes has caused new species and even new orders and new phyla of living organisms to form. However, even evolutionists acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of mutations are harmful or neutral.
Let’s examine the odds of the probability of unguided evolution producing a humble ordinary woodpecker. The woodpecker is different from other birds in that it has an extra heavy duty beak, a very thick skull, thick cartilage behind the beak to act as shock absorber, an extra long tongue and incredibly . . . a flap of skin around the top of the head to act as a storage pouch for the long tongue!
The evolutionist says that all those unique features of the woodpecker evolved from an ordinary bird by the accumulation of random rearrangements of DNA base pairs. (I would point out that the number of base pairs that would have needed to be rearranged would likely have been a lot larger than 52 if you get my drift!)
Furthermore, the list of unique woodpecker features (heavy duty beak, thick skull, long tongue, storage pouch, etc.) had to evolve in tandem. In other words if an ordinary bird got a mutation giving it a long tongue but no storage pouch in which to store the tongue, that would not be advantageous! That bird and its mutation would die out from the gene pool.
The ordinary bird on its way to evolve into a woodpecker would have to have an incredibly large favorable mutation to give it several woodpecker features all at once.
Human DNA contains more than a billion base pairs. If we suppose that a bird has just half that number or 500 million base pairs, how many of those base pairs would have to be rearranged in precise orderly sequence to redesign the skull, beak, tongue and add a tongue storage pouch to make an even remotely functioning woodpecker? I would conservatively estimate that about 52,000 base pairs would have to be precisely rearranged.
We saw in our card deck illustration the incredibly large number of possible sequences of just 52 cards. How can we even begin to calculate the number of possible sequences of 52,000 base pairs? Also consider that genetic mutations are rare and a mutation with even one base pair out of place can be very harmful.
Any objective probability analysis would show that an unguided random shuffling of 52,000 base pairs needed to redesign a bird skull would have such a low probability of success that it would be rendered absurd. Evolutionists usually attempt to rebut such a statement by saying that such a change would not happen with one large mutation. They would claim that it would require many smaller mutations in a step by step incremental way involving relatively few base pairs in each step.
An evolutionist would probably say that a mutation that shuffled just 52 base pairs would be a small mutation. The evolutionist could say that a series of 1,000 mutations, each involving about 52 base pairs would be sufficient to redesign a bird’s skull.
I would counter that even if each mutation rearranged only 52 base pairs in each of 1,000 small mutational steps to accumulate to a total of 52,000 precisely rearranged base pairs it would still be an absurdly low probability for random mutations to turn a sparrow into a woodpecker. Our card deck illustration above shows the outrageously huge number of possible sequences of just 52 base pairs. Imagine the odds of correctly and precisely rearranging 52 different base pairs in each of 1,000 mutations!
This shows that a woodpecker or any complex life form could not evolve by random processes in a trillion years!!! This is just one of the many glaring flaws in the theory of evolution.
Evolution is the origins myth of atheistic materialism. It is taught in our taxpayer funded schools. Evolution is taught as an “unguided,” therefore atheistic process. This promotes atheism and undermines the faith of school children. It is high time that children are taught not only the flaws of evolution but also the necessity of the Creator.*
*Some material in the above article is adapted from a blog by “Jim in Vermont” of the “evolution vs intelligent design” debate group at yahoogroups.com.