The Meaning of Life: Why Chance Can’t Explain the Creation of Life

In our investigation into the meaning of life, we’re looking into how we humans came to be here. The Bible says God created us. Evolutionists say we arose by random, unguided processes—chance. But how much sense does that really make? Can chance, alone, really account for the appearance of first life on earth?

When asked about this, evolutionists simply throw up their hands. They have no explanation for how first life came about. They simply point to a spin of the cosmic roulette wheel. But chance and randomness lie at the heart of evolution. Chance alone must play the central role. Without randomness, the only explanation for life’s creation becomes an intelligent Creator God.

We’ll start with an interesting question: monkey-typingHow much time and how many monkeys banging away on typewriters would it take to create the works of Shakespeare? Well, the British National Council of the Arts decided to find out.

They placed a computer keyboard in a cage with six monkeys. For one month, they let the primates bang away. Unfortunately, our apes not only banged on the keyboard, they also used it as a toilet. In any event, at the end of one month they produced a grand total of 50 typed pages. So far so good. Yet wait. They didn’t type a single word. The authors of the study even looked for the two simplest words of the English language—the words “I” and “a” which had to be separated by spaces or punctuation to count.

Gerry Schroeder, author, scientist, and lecturer, looked at this result and thought it interesting. So he calculated the chances of creating just one Shakespearean sonnet by chance. Here’s the first line of a popular sonnet: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Each of the bard’s sonnets is fourteen lines long. The one we just mentioned has 488 letters and 103 words.

But the first thing Schroeder did was get rid of the monkeys. Just couldn’t deal with them. Instead he used a much larger canvas. He proposed this idea: Let us convert all the sub-atomic particles in the universe to computer chips. (Sub-atomic particles are electrons, neutrons, protons, etc…) That’s 10E80 particles—10E80 is an exponential number, a “1” with 80 zeroes behind it. (Yes, physicists are able to estimate these things.) Now we’ll let each computer chip spin out 488 trials at a million times a second, producing random letters. And we’ll give our experiment 14 billion years, about the age of the earth. After this time we’ll have about 10E90 trials (a “1” with 90 zeroes behind it). Sounds like a lot. Maybe we’re getting somewhere.

Then Schroeder calculated how many trials we’d need to create just a single sonnet by chance. And the number is—10E690 trials (690 zeroes). Says Schroeder: “You will never get a sonnet by chance. The universe would have to be 10E600 times larger. Yet the world just thinks the monkeys can do it every time.”

But we’re not done. We’re talking about the evolution of life, so let’s look at the following:

  1. The building block of life all—DNA and,
  2. The simplest single celled organism—the amoeba.

amoeba17Did you know that the DNA in the cell nucleus of one amoeba contains more information than in all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica? And in the entire amoeba, there is as much information as in 1,000 complete sets of that encyclopedia. That’s about 44 billion words worth of information! This testifies to the incredible complexity of even the simplest unit of life.

Now for our big question: If 10E80 computer chips, generating 488 trials per microsecond for 14 billion years cannot create a simple Shakespearean sonnet, a mere 103 words—how can random chance ever have created the amount of information in 1,000 sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica, 44 billion words?

Let us also add one more hurdle we rather glossed over. We started our experiment with the concept of a language—letters, words and a syntax. (Syntax is the arrangement of words and phrases, with things like nouns and verbs, to create a sentence that’s meaningful.) So random chance must also create such a language from scratch, with meaningful letters, words, and syntax. No one’s ever calculated how long that would take.

Thus probability simply precludes chance as an explanation for the creation of first life. It’s more than improbable; it’s impossible. What about chance as an explanation for creating the multiple, highly complex organisms that arose within the five-million-year Cambrian Explosion? Well, it also fails to work there.

Yet the entire argument for evolution rests, at its fundamental core, on chance and randomness, not on a supreme intelligence, as the driving force behind the creation of the many species of life on earth.

But enough with science. I think we’ve given enough information that even the most ardent evolutionist will have trouble defending the theory.

Next time we’ll move on to our second question in our quest for meaning: Who are we?