I was having a conversation today and a friend mentioned an article he'd read that explained how evolution is mathematically implausible or impossible as the time it would take for life to evolve as it is is longer than the universe has existed.

 

I'm not familiar with this argument and wondered if anyone can point me to that article or to something similar. A refutation of the idea would be helpful as well.

Tags: evolution

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I have heard this argument before and I think it might stem from an argument asserted by Dembski.  I believe Dembski's argument has two basic problems, but searching it on google would give you more information.  First he asserts that the odds of this happening randomly are astronomical and he is right.  But evolution is not random.  Second, he basically asserts that the atoms, proteins, cells or whatever must come together "in series" or in other words one at a time and each position is dependent on the previous position and if this were the case just about anything would become mathematically impossible.  The way Dembski calculates the odds it comes out to be something like 1 in 65 to the 10 with like 100 zeros.  And if you imagine that the odds that your life proceeded exactly how you have lived it.  Given all the choices you make every day what are the odds that randomly you make every decision exactly how you have made it?  Astronomical, but your decisions are not made randomly...   Just sayin'
My point general lies in this:  artificial selection can turn a wolf or fox into a domesticated dog in a decade. Why can't evolution and adaption do it in a few hundred thousand years?
Decade? Fox or wolf? - - OK- 10, 20, 30 generations, minor difference. When the selection advantage/disadvantage is large - things can change quickly. The example I used in classroom, in times of low food - the animals who could get food others could not had a big advantage (longer necks?) Have the same selective issue come around 2-3 times in 20 gemerations ... If there was more than one trait to get food & if it had a social divide ... Separation & change, quick path to speciation.

I learned in genetics class that not all mutations involved in evolution is incremental -- but sometimes produces mutational leaps in evolution.  Here's a link to an article discussing mutations and evolution: "Genetics: Large Developmental Leaps in Evolution" 

 

http://www.scientistlive.com/European-Science-News/Genetics/Genetic...

Sure it's mathematically impossible. There's no way you could get all that done in 4000 years
right, and it is SOOOO mathematically possible for everything in the universe to come about in six days, right?
Try "Why evolution is true" by Jerry A. Coyne. He directly answers this bit of nonsense along with many other creationists poor arguments. 
a=b
a^2=ab
a^2-b^2=ab-b^2
(a+b)(a-b)=b (a-b)
a+b=b
2=1
I c wut you did thar
Ever notice how the people who say this have nothing more than high school math on which to base their opinions? Yeah, me, too. All one has to do is look at the fossil record, compare DNA sequences, and spend time observing and documenting species changes to figure out that evolution IS happening. I like to show people this website.  This page is the best starting place, as it deals with the basics about what evolution is about, what the evidence is, and how evolution affects our daily lives.
Great article, Richard! This does offer hope that humans haven't completely screwed up the planet, and where some species become extinct maybe new ones can be persuaded to take their place someday.

"Greatest Show on Earth" and other works of Richard Dawkins can explain a lot about the possibility (read truth) of evolution.

Speaking about the age of earth. It is approximated to be close to 5 billion years.
Now, assume that you count one, every second. To count till a hundred it would take you a minute and 40 seconds and you can count upto 86400 in a day (assuming that You don't sleep during the whole day). It would take 12 days to count till a 1,000,000 and 32 years to count till a 1,000,000,000 or a billion, assuming that you count one every second.

 So 5 billion years must be a long long time.

Evolution in microorganisms happen in a span of months or even days. That is one of the reasons why the antibacterial drugs used ten years ago are of no practical medical significance today. We are multicellular organisms who took millions of years to evolve. Keeping in mind what a billion and million is, it is certainly ample time for evolution.

Hope this is helpful.

 

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