Theology & Worldview

How Probable is Evolution?

The Bible makes a bold claim by ascribing the creation of “all things” to God (Colossians 1:16, English Standard Version). Often, this claim are dismissed as religious fiction. Yet, everything must have begun somehow. The alternative theory, evolution, needs no creator, suggesting instead that everything came from accidents. It claims that early, simple life forms, over millions of years, developed into all that exists today. The evolution narrative, in some ways, makes a lot of sense. After all, anything could happen given enough time, right? The story has convinced most scientists. However, the odds of evolution occurring are remarkably low.

For evolution to be true, life had to come from non-life. This breaks the Law of Biogenesis, which states that life can only come from life. However, perhaps spontaneous generation could happen under specific circumstances. To examine this possibility, let’s look at the probability of proteins coming into existence by chance. Proteins are the “building blocks in all cells,” so in order for living creatures to exist, proteins must also (“Proteins”). Each protein is made of a specific sequence of around “50 to over 30,000” amino acids (Riddle). More than three hundred types of amino acids exist. However, only about twenty of these acids are “part of the chemistry of life,” (Wile 151). Further, every amino acid has two configurations, namely the left and right “hand” forms. Only the left structure is “used in biological proteins,” (Riddle). According to Mike Riddle, the odds of left hand amino acids separating from right hand ones forming even a small protein with 100 acids is one in a nonillion, which is one followed by thirty zeros (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)! Further, the probability of these acids then randomly sequencing and ending with an actual protein is 1/10130  (Riddle). These odds are only for a small protein with 100 acids. Even the simplest “protein of life” has 124 amino acids (Wile 150). Given these odds, random protein formation, and consequently, evolution, is highly unlikely. If a simple protein has such a low chance of randomly appearing, what are chances of the entire universe forming by chance?

Assuming amino acids beat the odds and allowed for cells to exist, the question of where the rest of life originated from remains. A few “lucky” acids hardly account for all the diversity visible in the biotic world today. Darwin proposed the first simple organisms changed through macroevolution, which, in theory, changes an organism into a different creature by adding to its genetics (Wile, 268, 289). This is very different from the observable process of microevolution, which employs “natural selection… [and] transforms [a creature] into a more specialized species of that organism” but only “within its genetic code,” (Wile, 268, 289). While natural selection, a biological adaption process, is thought to play a role in evolution, it is understood that, within a species, there are “limits of variability,” (Werner 34). For example, no amount of natural selection can exceed a species range of size or shape, because natural selection cannot add to the prescribed traits in an organism’s DNA (Werner 34). Since microevolution cannot change creatures into different creatures, evolutionists today propose that mutations changed microscopic organisms into all other life forms. A mutation is caused by a change in DNA, and interestingly, mutations are almost exclusively harmful. For example, hemophilia A, which keeps blood from properly clotting, and color blindness are both caused by mutations. Even in the few cases where a mutation benefits the creature, they also seem to impair some other function. Georgia Purdom, a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, explains that mutations in bacteria can give them immunity from antibiotics, but away from the antibiotic, the mutated bacteria’s survival rate is lower than the un-mutated (“Antibiotic Resistance of Bacteria”). So, even these rare ‘good’ mutations still cause the loss of information from the organism’s genetic code. In order for molecular organisms to evolve into humans or any other more complex life form, the mutations would have to be mostly beneficial (Purdom, “Are There Beneficial Mutations?”). Even if this was the case, they still seem to always disrupt other functions, so it is questionable whether positive mutations could even result in a better creature. But most mutations are not good. Hence, mutations could not have been the mode of evolution. An almost exclusively harmful method of change could not transform microscopic organisms into entirely different and more complex creatures. As Jonathan Sarfati, who holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, states, “random copying errors” cannot adequately account for the large variety of species in nature (155). No biological process, mutations or natural selection, can cause a creature to develop into another being. This aligns with Genesis 1, which states that God created everything “according to its kind.” “Genetic change” does, in fact, operate within boundaries, just as God commanded in Genesis (“Creation”).

In short, the theory of evolution is highly improbable. First off, even the simplest proteins required by every cell would have to overcome staggering odds to simply form. Then, mutations do not appear to be able to change a creature into a more complex one. The alternative to evolution, of course, is that everything was created by an intelligent being. There are several compelling reasons for why the Bible might tell of that being. For one, the Bible is historically reliable. Additionally, Jesus recognized Genesis as history (Mark 10:6). If he was God, as he claimed to be, he would know what happened in the beginning. To summarize, Evolution cannot explain life, but the Bible seems to have a strong case for being the answer.

 

Works Cited

“Creation.” Answers in Genesis. https://answersingenesis.org/creation/.

“Proteins- what they are and how they’re made.” Science Learning Hub. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1901-proteins-what-they-are-and-how-they-re-made.

Purdom, Georgia. “Antibiotic Resistance of Bacteria: An Example of Evolution in Action?” Answers in Genesis. Featured in Answers Magazine. July 10, 2007, https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/antibiotic-resistance/antibiotic-resistance-of-bacteria-evolution-in-action/.

Purdom, Georgia. “Are There Beneficial Mutations?” Answers in Genesis. Featured in Feedback. April 25, 2008, https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/mutations/are-there-beneficial-mutations.

Riddle, Mike. “Does Evolution Have a . . . Chance?” Answers in Genesis. Featured in The New Answers Book 3. May 30, 2014, https://answersingenesis.org/evidence-against-evolution/probability/does-evolution-have-a-chance/.

Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Evolution 2. Answers in Genesis, 2002.

Werner, Carl. Evolution: The Grand Experiment Vol. 1. New Life Press. 2007.

Wile, Jay and Marilyn Durnell. Exploring Creation With Biology, 2nd edition. Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 2005.

Image Credit: Connor Stark

11 Comments

  1. This is very well written Janae! Good job with your research! (I’m doing Exploring Creation With Biology 2nd edition this year for science so it was good to see some of Dr. Wile’s words in there.)

  2. Great job Janae!

  3. Yep, as a previous student of Exploring Creation With Biology, I applaud this!

  4. The only resource you used that I wasn’t already familiar with was the Science Learning Hub.

    • Hey Jay (not Wile) lol! Smouse, right? I just used that to make sure I was getting a scientific fact right. xD

  5. Hey Janae,

    Good work on this! We are studying this in AP Biology right now. I just wanted to comment to add a resource for you:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLR8eQzfCOiS0AfFPsMAUYr_VVkpU13uv9

    This playlist is a series of videos made by Discovery Science, which is interested in challenging aspects of evolutionary theory and developing alternative explanations. I really appreciate this series, because it is fun, very accessible, while also having depth and avoiding many of the logical fallacies that I see on every side when we try to have conversations about controversial topics like these.

    Once again, good work tackling a tough and controversial topic!

    Thanks,
    Mr. Lang

  6. Thank you so much!! I’m excited to check it out! Sounds great! I really appreciate the recommendation!