googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: October 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Law of Large Numbers Meets an Infinite Number of Monkeys

In my last post, I talked about the weak responses of evolutionists when addressing the statistical improbability of abiogenesis. Basically, they say that the first living cell evolved from simple, self-replicating molecules. It's funny for two reasons: first, because they usually say that abiogenesis isn't part of evolution. Why then do they use evolution to explain abiogenesis? Secondly, they really have no idea how the first living cell formed so from where do they have grounds to assert a gradual, molecule-to-cell story of evolution? There is no scientific theory of abiogenesis.

In this post, I'd like to explore another tactic sometimes employed by evolutionists in their effort to climb “mount improbable.” Even though the odds of amino acids combining to form even one, simple protein are astonishingly small, evolutionists place their hope in a near infinite number of trials. After all, even the most improbable combination – even a seemingly impossible combination – will be accomplished if all possible combinations are tried. In a universe as large as ours, there are chemical processes occurring everywhere. If you have billions of years of trial and error, even something as unlikely as abiogenesis becomes almost a certainty.

There's an old analogy used to demonstrate this principle: if there were an infinite number of monkeys typing randomly on typewriters, eventually they will type all of Shakespeare's plays. Now, I'm not a math wizard but even I can understand that books are merely combinations of words and words are merely combinations of letters. If someone could attempt every possible combination of letters, then of course he will chance upon the same combination of letters found in a Shakespeare play. If I may be so bold, I might even correct the analogy: in an infinite number of attempts, the correct combination would immediately be reached, not eventually.

However, there's something that's always nagged me about the monkey analogy (besides evolutionists' seeming obsession with monkeys – he he). Like I said, I'm not a math genius but I do have a degree in business and have worked in financial services for nearly 30 years so I'm not a stranger to math. There's a widely understood principle in the business world known as the law of large numbers. The law is used in many different ways but basically the law predicts that the larger a sample is, the more typical it will be. Let me explain how it works, If I tossed a coin 10 times, I should theoretically get 5 heads and 5 tails. However, 10 trials is not a large sample so my results are not easily predicted. I could get 7 heads and 3 tails. 10 is just too small to be representative. If I next tossed the coin 100 times, I still might not get exactly 50 heads, but it will likely be closer to 50/50 than 70/30. If I tossed the coin 1,000,000,000 times, I can almost guarantee that approximately 50% of the tosses will be heads. As a matter of fact, if I got 70% heads after 1 billion tosses, I would suspect that the coin is not truly random.

The difference between the law of large numbers and the theoretical monkeys is that the law of large numbers has been tested many times over. Casinos, insurance companies, lotteries, and many other businesses rely on this principle in their business models. For example, an insurance company with 5,000,000 customers can predict with uncanny accuracy how many 45 year old, insured men will die this year. If slot machines are truly random (which they are), I could theoretically win 100 jackpots with 100 pulls. The odds of doing that may be remote but they exist in theory. Yet by using the law of large numbers, casinos know almost to the penny how much they will pay out in winnings for every 1,000,000 pulls of a slot machine.

The law of large numbers puts a kink in the infinite monkey analogy. I'm not sure how many words typically make up a play but let's say it's 200,000. We'll further assume an average word length of 5 letters. Therefore, a typical Shakespeare play is 1,000,000 characters long (we'll also assume that includes spaces). There are 26 letters in the alphabet plus a space so each peck of the typewriter could yield 27 possible outcomes. 1 million pecks is a reasonably large enough sample that the law of large numbers should apply so we know that 1/27th of the letters will be “A,” 1/27th will be “B,” 1/27th will be “C,” etc. In other words, after 1 million pecks, you will have about the same number of “X” as “A.” Don't forget too that there are punctuation marks are the keyboard so you will actually have as many $, @, and % as you have A, B, or C. In English, the letter A occurs far more frequently than the letter X so I don't care how the letters are arranged, you can never have a Shakespeare play when there are as many X's and #'s as A's!

Even in an infinite number of trials, the letters typed out by each monkey should be distributed evenly if each trial is truly random. In each 1 million letters, any 1,000,000 long string of characters will look approximately the same as any other 1,000,000 long string. There will roughly be equal numbers of A's, Q's, X's, spaces, and punctuation marks. An infinite number of monkeys will yield an infinite number of manuscripts that will all resemble each other and will all be gibberish.

Time is not a magic formula that suddenly makes the improbable likely. Amino acids combining over and over could be likened to letters being spit out by the monkeys. In a large number of trials, they will randomly combine in similar sequences over and over. There's no certainty or even likelihood that they will ever combine in that fortunate sequence that creates life. Some things are truly impossible.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Defending the Indefensible: How Evolutionists Address the Improbability of Abiogenesis

Evolutionists are rather cavalier in their attitude toward abiogenesis. The supposed first ancestor of everything was not observed. Neither can it be repeated or tested. It's outside of the scope of scientific inquiry yet evolutionists, because of the religious-like tenets of methodological naturalism, dismiss any possibility of divine intervention in the origin of life. It's not a scientific conclusion; it's a faith based one.

Outside the revelation of the Creator, we could not possibly know about the true origin of life. How it did happen can never be known scientifically because it was a unique event in history and we weren't there to see it. However, scientists are also in the dark about how it even could happen. In spite of years of trying, scientists have not been able to create life from non-living chemicals. They've not even devised a plausible scenario. The best they have are fanciful, “just so” stories that are no more scientific than Dr. Seuss.

Seeing that scientists have not been able to create life via their own intelligence, it's rather far fetched to believe that life could randomly begin without the aid of any intelligent design whatsoever. Many creationists have ridiculed the idea of abiogenesis using a purely statistical perspective. That is, given the length of even the simplest protein, the odds of that many amino acids lining up in just the right order to create life seems impossible. Talk Origins summed up the creationists' argument this way (source):

So the calculation goes that the probability of forming a given 300 amino acid long protein (say an enzyme like carboxypeptidase) randomly is (1/20)300 or 1 chance in 2.04 x 10390, which is astoundingly, mind-beggaringly improbable. This is then cranked up by adding on the probabilities of generating 400 or so similar enzymes until a figure is reached that is so huge that merely contemplating it causes your brain to dribble out your ears. This gives the impression that the formation of even the smallest organism seems totally impossible.

That's not a bad summary of the creationists' position and I think the improbable odds is a serious objection to abiogenesis. Now, don't get me wrong. By citing them, I'm not saying TO is not a bunch of closet creationists nor do they cringe when hearing the probability argument. It just that evolutionists aren't daunted by the mind-numbingly small chance of abiogenesis. In a textbook example of circular reasoning, they know that abiogenesis has happened because we're here!

When considering abiogenesis, evolutionists usually dismiss the matter with the tired argument, “that's not part of the theory.” That's rather odd because they always seem to include something about the “primordial soup” or the Miller-Urey experiments in biology text books. So even though they like to claim it's not part of their theory, they spend a lot of their own time talking about it. I'll come back to that point in a moment.

On some occasions, evolutionists have even attempted to address the improbability of abiogenesis. Some rebuttals are more intriguing than others but I've not heard any that are very convincing. Of course, my bias toward creationism casts doubt on my objectivity. Yet there are a couple of things that I've spotted in the evolutionists' argument that betrays their entire point. See if you can spot them in this quote:

If [a 300-molecule-long protein forming by total random chance] were the theory of abiogeneisis [sic], and if it relied entirely on random chance, then yes, it would be impossible for life to form in this way. However, this is not the case.

Abiogenesis was a long process with many small incremental steps, all governed by the
non-random forces of Natural Selection and chemistry. The very first stages of abiogenesis were no more than simple self-replicating molecules, which might hardly have been called alive at all.” (italics in original)

I think the weaknesses in this argument are rather glaring. First, this argument claims a certainty of the pathway from non-living chemicals to a living creature. That's rather presumptuous of them, don't you think? I mean, scientists don't really have any idea how life began so how can they credibly say, “The very first stages of abiogenesis were no more than simple self-replicating molecules”? Could someone please show me these alleged, “self-replicating molecules”? Please show me how they became living molecules. I want scientific evidence please – not more of your Dr. Seuss theories.

The other weakness is a little more subtle. Do you remember how evolutionists usually respond to questions about abiogenesis? They usually say that it's not part of their theory, right? However, in this quote, they actually seem to invoke their theory! They are essentially saying that self-replicating molecules “evolved” from simple to complex via Natural Selection. Yep, that's evolution, all right. How about that? They say that abiogenesis isn't part of their theory yet they use their theory to explain abiogenesis. That's just goofy.

There are a few other things I have to say about their attempts at rebuttals but I'll save those for another post. I think these few points are damning enough for the moment. Let me conclude by saying this: abiogenesis is a fatal flaw in the evolutionary theory. Not “the” fatal flaw, mind you, because there are others, but it alone dooms the whole theory as incredible. If the supposed, first ancestor of all living things could not have arisen without divine intervention, then the entire rest of the theory is academic. Evolutionists dismiss the subject with little more than a wave of their hand. They're simply whistling past the graveyard.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Guess Obama Would Rather Have Big Bird

I didn't hear it in the VP debate last night – the funny line about Big Bird. I was a little surprised because ever since the Presidential debate, it's been a favorite “gotcha” of the Democrats: “thank goodness someone is finally getting tough on Big Bird.” Yes, Mr. President, that's funny. Ha ha.

Perhaps I should remind the administration that we have a $1 trillion annual deficit. That means that each year, we're adding 1 trillion more dollars to the $16 trillion debt we already owe. I've talked about budgets on my blog before (here) but let me remind you a little of what I said then. A budget is a sort of list of priorities. We can't afford everything we want so we have to decide which things we're going to spend our money on.

Proverbs 22:7 says that the borrower is the servant of the lender. When we borrow money, we are giving away our liberty. In the case of our national debt, much of what we're borrowing is loaned to us from China. It's sad. What's worse is that we owe far more than can be repaid in our lifetimes so we are literally making our children, grandchildren, and even our great grandchildren slaves who will spend all of their lives and most of their paychecks paying back what we're spending today. And what do we have to show for it? Sesame Street? Curious George? We're turning our kids into slaves so that our kids can watch Barney! Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

We're financing PBS to the tune of $400 million per year. That's almost half a billion dollars. It's a lot of money but it's only about 10% of PBS's annual revenue. If we stopped funding PBS, they might miss the money but they will continue. They'll just have to learn do it without tax payer subsidies like companies have to do it in the real world.

For the next four years, we need a President who can make the tough decisions. President Obama can't seem to find anything to cut. How strange. We can't afford to keep borrowing so some things have to go. We need a President who is able to decide what our priorities are. We need to provide employers incentives to hire more people. We need a strong military and good intelligence to fight the war on terror. There are dozens other things that I think would come before funding PBS but I guess Mr. Obama would rather have Big Bird.

Keep laughing, Mr. President. We'll see who's laughing in November.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bishop E W Jackson's Message to Black Christians

I posted a video recently exposing the intolerance of liberals. Liberals could never attain the level of tolerance they claim to have because they're idea of tolerance is self refuting. They somehow think tolerance means accepting every view as equal. The irony is that they militantly oppose anyone who doesn't hold the same view of “tolerance” as them. So they don't tolerate intolerance! It's insane.

Their intolerance often displays itself in the form of old-fashioned racism. Liberalism has done more to harm black families than 400 years of slavery. Do you think I'm kidding? Let me point out a few, undeniable facts:

In some places in the US, there are more black babies aborted than born!1 Since Roe v. Wade, tens of millions of black babies have been aborted. It's an American holocaust. Of those who are born, 73% are born outside of wedlock and destined to live their lives in poverty.2 I've heard it said that welfare and child support checks have taken the place of a wage earning fathers in the home.

Never mind that the unemployment rate of blacks is nearly double that of whites. Never mind the drop out rates about black youths. Never mind the percentage of black families whose only income is government assistance. What concerns me most about their plight is their blind devotion to the very people who seek to keep them there. Blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats who only promise them more government assistance, longer unemployment benefits, and easier access to abortions.

How racist is it to tell people that they don't have the tools or means to get ahead? How helpful is it continuously say to someone he can't succeed unless you help him? How insulting is it to say to blacks that if a Republican gets elected, they will be returned to chains? How stereotypical is it to expect every black person to think only one way and, if he doesn't, he's reviled for being an “Uncle Tom” and accused of not acting black!

Democrats are happy to have created a group of people who live under the delusion that they cannot exist outside of the liberal plantation. At least one black pastor has had enough. In a YouTube video, Bishop E W Jackson tells black Christians to leave the Democrat party. He says it far more eloquently than I can so I urge you to watch his video below.

This should be a message to all Christians. Liberals are not our friends. We should welcome them to our churches, we should share the gospel with them, but we should not elect them to office where they can inflict their Godless agenda on us.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Liberals Aren't Pro-Choice About Being Gay

In a pledge to continue defending Planned Parenthood, President Obama made the following remarks:

For you, and for most Americans, protecting women's health is a mission that stands above politics. And yet, over the past year, you've had to stand up to politicians who want to deny millions of women the care they rely on, and inject themselves into decisions that are best made between a woman and her doctor.

In this brief paragraph, Obama has repeated a talking point I've already heard a thousand times – namely, that abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor. I'm sure you've heard that too. Liberals are all about individual rights and leave-the-government-out-of-it when it comes to a topic like abortion. But when you're talking about something like being gay, liberals suddenly aren't pro-choice anymore. In that case, politicians are happy to interject themselves and liberals welcome the intrusion. California just passed a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors.

Now, I know what liberals are saying. They're saying that homosexuality is not a “disorder” and so gay teens don't need to be converted. They're saying that gay teens need to be protected from uptight parents who are forcing them to see counselors in order to “cure” them of their gayness. They're saying that we need a law to protect these young people from forced into a “straight jacket” by a homophobic society (that's a pun). In that light, a law like this almost has a certain appeal. Never mind that their previous pleadings were for lawmakers to say out of practicing medicine; in this case, they need lawmakers to protect them from sinister doctors and parents!

These arguments have a hollow ring to them, however, when you stop to consider that this is an outright and absolute ban on “conversion” counseling. It doesn't matter what the parents want. Neither does the doctor's opinion matter. Not even the “gay” child has a choice anymore. The practice is banned! So, if a boy who was sexually abused when he was 8 starts having gay feelings when he hits puberty, he is not allowed to seek counseling if the objective is to rid him of the gay feelings!

Consider too that we are talking about minors. When we're talking about statutory rape laws, we start with an assumption that underage teens lack the maturity to make certain decisions or give their consent to have sex. Kids at puberty are vulnerable and impressionable. If they are confused and are struggling with emerging, sexual feelings, why do the gay activists insists we should trust these kids to make adults decisions about their orientation?

Once again we see liberals victimizing individual liberties in pursuit of their political agenda. In this case, they're victimizing the most vulnerable in our society – children. When it comes to abortion, liberals consider themselves “pro-choice” but that's a lie because they don't give the babies a choice. In the matter of gay rights, neither the kids nor parents are given a choice. After little Johnny was abused by an uncle, he seeks help because he doesn't like the sexual feelings he now has toward men. The bleeding heart response is, “You're gay, Johnny, you can't change it. You'd better learn to live with it!”

Oh, yeah. That's real compassionate!