The Blind Watchmaker Thesis

The blind watchmaker

When forced to think about the “blind watchmaker thesis,” a thesis that says God is not necessary for biological creation because the impersonal material forces of genetic mutation and natural selection can, and did, produce all the fantastic complexity of living organisms, a reasonable-thinking person will think it preposterous—i.e., nothing more than a complete “bluff,” as some have called it. For natural selection to work, there must be a self-reproducing entity. But even the simplest conceivable entity is incredibly complex and full of information. Additionally, this whole functioning unit would have to come into being all at once before mutations and natural selection can function, and this assuming they can function at all.

It was astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, in a defense of his now defeated steady-state theory, who came up with some devastatingly powerful calculations on the likelihood of a hypothetical minimum self-reproducing cell coming together, given all the necessary ingredients (which, by natural, non-enzymatic processes, is impossible anyway). He hypothesized a cell of only 400 enzymes/proteins, although a real-world bacterium has about 2,000. Hoyle calculated the probability of this hypothetical minimum cell forming by natural processes as 1 in 1040,000. To put this in context, it has been estimated there are about 1080 atomic particles in the universe. If the universe were actually 15 billion years old, as Richard Dawkins, the Oxford Zoologist who popularized this idea in his 1986 book, The Blind Watchmaker, believes, this would calculate to about 1018 seconds. If every second and every atomic particle were an experiment in a soup of ingredients necessary for a cell to form, this would amount to 1098 experiments. This is way short of any chance of getting our assumed “cell.” If we make every microsecond an experiment, this will give us 10104 experiments. This, of course, gets us nowhere, so let’s make every atomic particle in our universe a universe like our own with every atomic particle in all those universes and every microsecond an experiment. We now have 10204 experiments, but this is still a long way short of 1040,000 necessary for a reasonable chance of succeeding. Consequently, the chance of this happening is zero, zip, nada! Nevertheless, my Atheist neighbor dogmatically (dare I say, “religiously”) insists on believing it anyway, and this while criticizing me for my presumed “blind faith.” Go figure!

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