MUST-READ: New peer-reviewed paper argues against chance-of-the-gaps

Story from Evolution News. (H/T ECM)

The peer-reviewed paper is here:

Here’s the thesis:

The question for scientific methodology should not be, “Is this scenario possible?” The question should be, “Is this possibility a plausible scientific hypothesis?” One chance in 10200 is theoretically possible, but given maximum cosmic probabilistic resources, such a possibility is hardly plausible. With funding resources rapidly drying up, science needs a foundational principle by which to falsify a myriad of theoretical possibilities that are not worthy of serious scientific consideration and modeling.

Suppose that the odds of forming single protein composed of 100 amino acids are 1 in 10130. (I got the odds from this slide show presented by John C. Walton, a professor of chemistry at the University of St. Andrews). Let’s say you take all the atoms in the universe and react them at the highest possible rate for the whole history of the universe. How many tries would you get to create the protein?

u = Universe = 1013 reactions/sec X 1017 secs X 1078 atoms = 10108

Soooo, you only get 10108 tries but the odds of getting even one protein are 1 in 10130 so it is unlikely that you would get even one protein by chance. Now an atheist may jump at this remote chance and say “but it’s possible!”, and cross their arms like they have a solid explanation of where DNA came from. But this is just insanity cloaked with scientific-sounding language. No one runs their life in a way that is so ignorant of what probabilities really mean.

To make the point clearer, you can just watch this video of an atheist pleading that just because the odds of fine-tuning are incredibly small, that this is no reason to ascribe the design to an intelligent agent.

It’s funny because it’s true!

4 thoughts on “MUST-READ: New peer-reviewed paper argues against chance-of-the-gaps”

  1. but you’re assuming pure chance and anyone with a scientific background knows that not all atoms react, some are much more reactive (think full valance shell) like oxygen, sodium, etc. Yes, ignore chemistry and your thesis would make sense, but then again, you have to ignore a huge body of science…

    I’m curious, what do you put the odds at of the existence a single deity that no one has ever witnessed, keeps himself hidden, his description changes through out history with the changing of the religious and political guards, etc…and the only times deities are “invented” are in times of great conflict in history and by people of low educational stature in times where people are very superstitious…I would say the odds are very low, since anyone in modern times that claims to be a prophet is ignored or ruled fraudulent/crazy…it seems we can only believe the crazies of centuries past – those people that we can’t interview or depose, just “read” about them by the scratchings on cave walls.


    1. It’s a good point, but bonding affinities would produce repetitive order, not specified complexity. It would be like having bonding affinities between letters in a comment. It would produce repetition, e.g. – GAGAGAGA. The connections between amino acids in a chain don’t prefer any other amino acid – it’s like a blank sheet of paper. The guy who invented that bonding affinities theory is now Roman Catholic, by the way. His name is Dean Kenyon, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University, and a supporter of intelligent design.


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