Infinite Time Plus Chance?
by Mark Goodnight
Lately, I’ve been re-reading Paul E. Little’s Know Why You Believe and this part really jumped out to me about the origin of life.
No one would think a computer could come into being without an intelligent designer. It is unlikely that a monkey in a print shop could set Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in type. If we found a copy of it, we would conclude than an intelligent mind was the only possible explanation for the printing. How much more incredible is it to believe that the universe, in its infinite complexity, could have happened by chance?
The human body, for instance, is an admittedly astounding and complex organism, a continual marvel of organization, design and efficiency. So impressed was Albert Einstein with this that he concluded: “My religion consists of humble admiration of the illuminate superior Spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is reveal in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” To our knowledge, he never progressed to believe in a personal God.
There are basically two choices for Christians and non-Christians alike: Did the universe and the human race being by chance or by purpose and design?
Scientists have long relied on infinite time plus chance to explain the origin of life. The view for them avoids the unacceptable conclusion of divine cause. The process itself requires certain presuppositions and conditions or else no life would generate. For this to have happened there must have been
- an ideally prepared primordial soup
- frequent jolts of electrical charges
- unlimited period of time – eons and eons
Life forms then would evolve. However, the difficulties this theory presents are so enormous that today those same scientists are forthrightly pointing out its weakness.
The distinguished astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle has proposed an analogy to illustrate these difficulties. He asks, “How long would it take a blindfolded person to solve a Rubik’s Cube?” If the person made one move per second, without resting, Hoyle estimates it would take an astonishing 1.35 trillion years! Therefore, he concludes, when you consider the life expectancy of a human being, a blindfolded person could not solve the Rubik’s Cube.”
I want to interject here and point out that yes, there are people who solve the Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. This has really become a thing, and the world record is 23.8 seconds. But they are allowed to examine the Rubik’s Cube so that they can plan how they are going to solve it before the blindfold is put on. (This is all much faster than my own personal record of 108 seconds, and that was without the blindfold.) When you consider Fred Hoyle’s analogy, it helps to understand that in his analogy, they would be blindfolded before given or seeing the Rubik’s Cube…
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