by Bill Nugent
Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer and cosmologist, often invoked the phrase “billions and billions of years” when he claimed that evolution had enough time to work. Random collisions of atoms in a primordial warm little pond was supposed to produce the first living cell if simply given enough time.
The formation of life from nonliving molecules is variously called abiogenesis, chemical evolution or proto-evolution. Evolutionists claim that life formed by undirected, random collisions of molecules in the early earth. Abiogenesis has to do with the assembly of the first living cell. Abiogenesis is the alleged first step of evolution. Natural selection, by contrast, is not an assembly process but is a sorting process.
Modern, observational science has progressed to the point where we now know the exact composition of bio-polymers (proteins) and the probability of even one protein forming by random interaction of atoms and molecules. Scientists as prominent as Francis Crick and Harold Morowitz have done probability analyses and shown that random formation of just one protein molecule, even one with “only” 200 precisely sequenced amino acids, is so remote as to essentially never happen. A simple cell, such as a bacterium, is composed of hundreds of varieties of protein. How could the first living cell form by chance in the early earth?
Those who promote evolution often make an appeal to “deep time” which is to say “billions and billions of years.” Unfortunately we can’t put billions of years into a test tube and do observational experiments on them. So we have a stalemate. Random formation of proteins is theoretically possible but should a scientist regard such a hyper-improbable random event plausible and worthy of scientific respect?
Recently there has been some significant movement on the issue of deep time and it looks like the stalemate has started to be resolved even in the highest scientific circles. A peer-reviewed article in a prominent science journal has introduced the “Universal Plausibility Metric” (UPM) as a means of objectively deciding if an event is actually plausible and not just merely possible.
The article by David L. Abel is titled “The Universal Plausibility Metric (UPM) & Principle (UPP)”in the journal Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling. Vol. 6:27 (Dec 3, 2009).
The following is a quote from Abel’s article: “But at some point our reluctance to exclude any possibility becomes stultifying to operational science. Falsification is critical to narrowing down the list of serious possibilities. Almost all hypotheses are possible. Few of them wind up being helpful and scientifically productive. Just because a hypothesis is possible should not grant that hypothesis scientific respectability.”
Abel goes on to describe the mathematical contents of the Probability Metric and how it can be used to falsify hypotheses if those hypotheses are based on utterly remote possibilities.
Abel’s article gives much ammunition to the creationist and intelligent design movements in the quest to falsify the notion that the first life came about by random interaction of nonliving molecules. The UPM is an objective standard from a respected scientific source. Those who promote evolution will find it impossible to hide behind “billions and billions of years.”
To look at a specific example of a probability analysis that could be held up against the UPM let’s consider the work of Francis Crick, Nobel prize winning co-discoverer of DNA. Crick did a probability analysis on the possibility of one simple protein forming by chance. The protein would consist of just 200 amino acids in a polypeptide chain. He describes this analysis in his book Life Itself: Its Origin and nature on pages 51–52.
Crick found that the number of possible sequences of the 200 amino acids was ten to the 260th power which is a one with 260 zeros after it. That number, ten to the 260th power, is far more than the number of atoms in the known universe. In other words to get the right sequence to form the protein would be far less of a probability than randomly choosing the right atom out of all the atoms in the universe. Even if many billions of years of random interaction of atoms is considered it does little to diminish this immense hurdle of hyper-improbability.
An application of the UPM to Crick’s analysis would show that the one simple protein would never form by chance. A protein forming by chance is nevertheless possible but is totally implausible and thus should not be given scientific respectability.
For argument’s sake let’s say that a protein did form by chance, against all odds, in the primordial soup. To form a living cell, that protein would have to combine with other proteins (which would also have to form by chance) and then form a structure, by chance, of cell protoplasm, DNA and other cell components to form a cell capable of living. The monstrously high improbability of such a scenario should cause all scientifically minded people to falsify the notion of life coming from nonlife. If this first step of evolution falls, the whole evolutionary edifice falls.
The same utterly remote probabilities apply to all steps in the theory of evolution. Genetic mutations, the supposed mechanism of evolution, must also cope with utterly remote probabilities. Genetic mutations are mostly destructive errors to the DNA. To put feathers on a lizard to turn it into a bird, for example, would require a favorable, extremely large mutation that would add a long strand of properly sequenced base pairs to the DNA. In other words, the coding for feathers would have to be added to the DNA of the lizard.
Though theoretically possible such a favorable large mutation has never been observed in nature. A step by step series of small mutations to gradually put feathers on a lizard would also be implausible because partially formed feathers would be disadvantageous to the lizard. The needed large mutation with hundreds of properly sequenced base pairs would be as hyper-improbable as the chance formation of the protein we discussed above.
It should be noted that mutations in DNA are caused by errors in the replication of DNA. Such errors in the replication of DNA are often caused by toxins and radiation that interfere with the replication process. Toxins and radiation do not bring new, properly sequenced base pairs to the DNA. The fact that mutations don’t add new, properly sequenced base pairs to DNA is also a problem for the evolutionist.
We can confidently say that virtually all steps in the alleged macroevolution process would fail the UPM test. All steps in macroevolution require extremely rare, extremely improbable beneficial random reshufflings of DNA and addition of new coding to DNA. Evolution is falsified by the Universal Plausibility Metric.
Secular fundamentalists have relied on evolution as their origins myth and have persuaded many into accepting evolution on the false claim that it’s based on science. Evolution is not based on science but rather on hopeful speculation. It’s becoming clear that secularists must abandon evolution and since no other secular grand theory of origins is waiting in the wings to replace evolution, secularists are obliged to return to God.
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Prayer to receive salvation:
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!