Posted by: John Vandivier | May 10, 2013

The Odds of Evolution

On May 9, 2013 I did a simple Google search for “odds of evolution.” This article summarizes the top 3 results. Why? In order to support the evolutionary objection that without guidance, as in guided evolution, the odds are far against evolution.

What is natural selection? What is a random mutation? Is random just a word for unpredictable? Is there any such thing as random? Or do God’s arbitrary choices simply seem random?

Article 1
The top search result was a relatively small page with some excerpts from the book “A Closer Look at the Evidence” by Richard and Tina Kleiss. The excerpts mostly fail to take into account the effects of Natural Selection. They prove that evolution is impossible without natural selection but not much else. They also perhaps beg the question of how first life arose and whether or not natural selection applies to chemicals. The origin of first life is another difficult question for the atheist evolutionist.
Article 2 a.
A pro-evolution blogger points out issues with an article from Answers in Genesis. See Article 2 b. for the article they respond to. One error includes the reference to a calculation of the odds of evolution without natural selection, that is, by pure chance. That would be an impossibility even the pro-evolutionist admitted. Another error is that computer programs are used in poor analogy to human evolution. The author admits that modern humans have a huge genetic burden which has been accumulated over time, but says that this is due to a lack of natural selection in modern times due to the presence of advanced medicines. I wonder why production of advanced medicines is not traceable to evolution and therefore considered as a product of evolution? The pro-evolution blogger claims that all this medicine and technology is “an unnatural situation nowadays.” I think The Amazing Atheist would disagree (watch at least until 2:18):

The author makes one last point in which he fails to correct a point from AiG about “genetic cancer” which I will in Article 2 b.
Article 2 b.
The author points out that the Neo-Darwinist relies on genuine random mutations. He doesn’t make this point but I will. What has ever been shown to be truly random? Statistical randomness only means that there is no known data relation, not that there is no data relation. It means ignorance. Could it not be that the genuine randomness behind mutation is the arbitrary selection of God? Of course it could!
Back to what he says. The author makes a good point against natural selection by pointing to the apparent genetic deterioration in humans. He argues that mutations clearly exist but they do not usually foster evolution, rather, they foster decay. He notes that natural selection as a theory could address this concern, but finds the theory wanting. He cites biologist Richard Nocick who made the discovery of “evolutionary crippling.” He found that when a lab-beneficial mutation occurs the mutated population usually has a reduced growth factor and survival expectancy outside the lab. He notes that antibiotic mutation doesn’t evidence demonstrate evolution. Rather, it demonstrates artificial selection and variation “with the kind.”
The article mentions C. H. Waddington and Post-Neo-Darwinism which is an emerging school of thought that basically claims that evolution exists, but that it cannot be explained even with the combination of mutation and natural selection.
I love his example which highlights major weakness in evolutionary theory:
“No evolutionist argues that destruction of the earth’s ozone layer is good because it increases mutation rates and, therefore, speeds up evolution. Evolutionists know that decrease in the ozone layer will increase mutation rates, but they, like everyone else, recognize that this will lead only to increased skin cancer and to other harmful changes. Perhaps a helpful change might occur, but it would be drowned in the sea of harmful changes.”
He also highlights that natural selection is a short-sighted process, sighting sickle-cell anemia flourishing in Africa as a resistance to Malaria, despite the fact that such a selection will damage the populations long-term. Finally he wraps up by noting that mutation pre-supposes a gene exists and that the only reasonable way for genes to exist is through creation.
Article 3
I was glad to find that the third article focused on odds of origin of life. Unfortunately it was radically biased, coming from infidels.org, and a bit dated. The author was actually Richard Carrier, a well known metaphysical naturalist atheist. Regardless it had some information on Creationism and Intelligent Design. It even mentioned Dembski! Although in mistaken fashion, and completely omitting Stephen Meyer.
Carrier is going through various statistics on the impossibility of life and disproving their validity. Nearly all of them involve the flaw of not taking natural selection into account. Carrier puts forth the common assertion that beneficial traits will always eventually flow through the whole population and he ignores genetic burden when supporting a Dawkins computer model. Apparently Carrier thinks the Gerald Shcroeder model, while completely wrong, is the best of those he criticizes. I have wanted to try these calculations myself so maybe I will revise his later on.
Carrier notes the discovery of tetrahymena which can self-replicate and is an early form of RNA. One tricky thing is that the chemical cannot copy itself, only other versions, which means you would have to have 2 copies independently spawn.

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