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Is The Earth Old Enough For Evolution?


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#1 usafjay1976

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:46 AM


So evolutionists generally say the earth is between 4-15 billion years old right?

I found this excerpt from an article interesting.

The smallest theoretical life requires 239 protein molecules as its building blocks. However according to statistical probability expert James Coppedge, even if we gave evolutionists every possible concession, a primordial sea using every atom on earth with every single necessary component, and speed up the rate of bonding a trillion times, it would take 10119,841 years on average to get the needed set of proteins to make life possible. That is 10119,831 times the assumed age of the earth. (That is a figure with 119,831 zeroes.) To illustrate how long a time this is, Coppedge gives the following illustration: Imagine that an ameba is given the task of moving the entire universe over the width of the universe (thirty billion light-years.) The ameba is to do this moving one atom at a time, moving at a speed of one angstrom unit (the width of a hydrogen atom) every fifteen billion years, the supposed age of the universe. In all the time it would take the ameba to complete this task, we would not get remotely close to forming one protein molecule by blind chance.

This is from: http://peaceyouthgro...s/evolution.htm

I found this interesting but just confused on how he got the number 10119,841

Any thoughts?

#2 Xanifred

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:00 PM

So evolutionists generally say the earth is between 4-15 billion years old right? I found this excerpt from an article interesting. The smallest theoretical life requires 239 protein molecules as its building blocks. However according to statistical probability expert James Coppedge, even if we gave evolutionists every possible concession, a primordial sea using every atom on earth with every single necessary component, and speed up the rate of bonding a trillion times, it would take 10119,841 years on average to get the needed set of proteins to make life possible. That is 10119,831 times the assumed age of the earth. (That is a figure with 119,831 zeroes.) To illustrate how long a time this is, Coppedge gives the following illustration: Imagine that an ameba is given the task of moving the entire universe over the width of the universe (thirty billion light-years.) The ameba is to do this moving one atom at a time, moving at a speed of one angstrom unit (the width of a hydrogen atom) every fifteen billion years, the supposed age of the universe. In all the time it would take the ameba to complete this task, we would not get remotely close to forming one protein molecule by blind chance. This is from: http://peaceyouthgro...s/evolution.htm I found this interesting but just confused on how he got the number 10119,841 Any thoughts?


The problem with this sort of math is that it ignores basic chemistry. It's like saying that fire cannot happen because the odds are staggeringly against random oxygen molecules coming into contact with random carbon molecules by blind chance.

The actual working theories which deal with abiogenesis model the chemical makeup of primordial Earth and ask the question "what sort of chemical reactions can be reasonably expected to take place under these conditions?" Many scientists are now convinced that the emergence of carbon-based life on Earth was not only extremely likely, but nearly inevitable. All the ingredients were in place for the formation of amino acids, simple proteins, and primitive self-replicating RNA strands to form through known chemical reactions. Amino acids have been formed in laboratories many, many times by scientists attempting to replicate the conditions on primordial Earth.

The "blind chance" canard ignores the attraction that certain molecules have for one-another, and the natural processes which cause complex molecules to form from simpler molecules. It is akin to throwing a bunch of bits of steel into a bag and shaking hard, then claiming that there is no chance that all the bits with blue paint on them will clump together, but forgetting to mention that the bits with blue paint happen to be magnetized.

I used to believe claims like these, before I took the trouble to educate myself. The disingenuous misuse of mathematics by certain self-serving Christians went a long ways towards my eventual divorce from the Church.

#3 MarkForbes

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:00 PM

The mutation to change arithmetic would most likely indeed far more time then the seemingly huge numbers of 4 billion and more.
But wouldn't there be a limit anyway? Just extrapolate back the heat projected by the sun unto the earth x thousand years ago. When would the temperate within a range where life is impossible?

#4 aelyn

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:08 PM

So evolutionists generally say the earth is between 4-15 billion years old right?

No, maybe you're confusing the age of the Earth with the age of the Universe. The Earth is considered to be between 4.5 and 4.6 billion years old. The Universe is considered to be between 13.6 and 13.9 billion years old. Nothing is considered to be 15 billion years old.

I found this excerpt from an article interesting. The smallest theoretical life requires 239 protein molecules as its building blocks. However according to statistical probability expert James Coppedge, even if we gave evolutionists every possible concession, a primordial sea using every atom on earth with every single necessary component, and speed up the rate of bonding a trillion times, it would take 10119,841 years on average to get the needed set of proteins to make life possible. That is 10119,831 times the assumed age of the earth. (That is a figure with 119,831 zeroes.) To illustrate how long a time this is, Coppedge gives the following illustration: Imagine that an ameba is given the task of moving the entire universe over the width of the universe (thirty billion light-years.) The ameba is to do this moving one atom at a time, moving at a speed of one angstrom unit (the width of a hydrogen atom) every fifteen billion years, the supposed age of the universe. In all the time it would take the ameba to complete this task, we would not get remotely close to forming one protein molecule by blind chance. This is from: http://peaceyouthgro...s/evolution.htm I found this interesting but just confused on how he got the number 10119,841 Any thoughts?

As Xanifred said, that's assuming there is no such thing as chemistry. He's calculating the odds of a certain configuration of molecules coming together from counting the molecules and assuming any configuration is equally likely, but we know that's not true. Molecules react in very specific ways, that's what chemistry is. He might also be assuming all those molecules come together in a single step which would be even more absurd.

It's like saying the odds of a billion water molecules randomly ending up in the shape of an exquisite and complex fractal starlike pattern is ten to the however million (when you're treating a billion things as totally independent and ending up in a specific way the numbers get high very very fast). It would be true if water molecules always zipped around randomly but they don't, they behave in very specific ways. In some conditions they do zip around randomly, and indeed we don't see hot steam spontaneously forming complex solid fractal crystals in mid-air (though it will form complex patterns of eddies and such as fluids do), but in other conditions they gradually bond together to form snowflakes. You can't throw out probabilities without accounting for how the molecules actually behave.

#5 gilbo12345

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:38 PM

1. The problem with this sort of math is that it ignores basic chemistry.

2. It's like saying that fire cannot happen because the odds are staggeringly against random oxygen molecules coming into contact with random carbon molecules by blind chance.

3. The actual working theories which deal with abiogenesis model the chemical makeup of primordial Earth and ask the question "what sort of chemical reactions can be reasonably expected to take place under these conditions?"

4. Many scientists are now convinced that the emergence of carbon-based life on Earth was not only extremely likely, but nearly inevitable.

5. All the ingredients were in place for the formation of amino acids, simple proteins, and primitive self-replicating RNA strands to form through known chemical reactions.

6. Amino acids have been formed in laboratories many, many times by scientists attempting to replicate the conditions on primordial Earth.

7. The "blind chance" canard ignores the attraction that certain molecules have for one-another, and the natural processes which cause complex molecules to form from simpler molecules.

8. It is akin to throwing a bunch of bits of steel into a bag and shaking hard, then claiming that there is no chance that all the bits with blue paint on them will clump together, but forgetting to mention that the bits with blue paint happen to be magnetized.

9. I used to believe claims like these, before I took the trouble to educate myself. The disingenuous misuse of mathematics by certain self-serving Christians went a long ways towards my eventual divorce from the Church.


1. Care to give evidence of such? Your words are not golden, they do not automatically make whatever you claim correct.

2. Actually no, fire doesn't have organisation or code... THerefore you are comparing apples and oranges.

3. On the complete assumption of what chemicals / molecules were abound at that time as well as other causual factors... Its just one giant assumption.

4. Argument to popularity and argument to authority logical fallacies.

5. And? All the metal required for building a new car frame can be found within a junk yard but that doesn't mean its going to just form on its own... (Not even stating about the code)

6. And? Scientists creating such things is not nature doing it..... In fact its supporting the creationist view since its demonstrating the requirement of an intelligent agent in the formation process. Once an entirely natural process has been done within a laboratory with NO human intervention, (the environment is set up and then left to run), only then can you state that nature is capable of creating nucleotides (for RNA / DNA) and amino acids (for protein)... However this still doesn't confirm if whether this occured or not. Just that it is possible.

7. Not so much as "certain" as per different polarities etc However this doesn't explain the order of which the molecules are claimed to form. Additionally you are forgetting one critical point which totally demolishes abiogenesis...

Chirality. Amino acids and nucelotides are chiral in which there are "left" and "right" handed forms, and are generally present in nature as a 50/50 mix of each. However protein / RNA / DNA is comprised of only one form of the amino acid / nucleotide meaning if just one of the wrong forms bonds then it entirely mucks up the protein / RNA / DNA being formed. There is no way to overcome this problem except to rely on blind faith and just state that somehow it happened.

8. Again, an analogy which has no reference to this discussion

9. Your opinion is noted, however please realise that its not a debate point. What you think about Christians has no relevance to the truth or untruth of a position.

#6 gilbo12345

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:00 PM

Anyone care to comment on Chirality as debunking the claims of abiogenesis and the origin of RNA / DNA / proteins? Or will this be ignored?

#7 jonas5877

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:39 AM

So evolutionists generally say the earth is between 4-15 billion years old right? I found this excerpt from an article interesting. The smallest theoretical life requires 239 protein molecules as its building blocks. However according to statistical probability expert James Coppedge, even if we gave evolutionists every possible concession, a primordial sea using every atom on earth with every single necessary component, and speed up the rate of bonding a trillion times, it would take 10119,841 years on average to get the needed set of proteins to make life possible. That is 10119,831 times the assumed age of the earth. (That is a figure with 119,831 zeroes.) To illustrate how long a time this is, Coppedge gives the following illustration: Imagine that an ameba is given the task of moving the entire universe over the width of the universe (thirty billion light-years.) The ameba is to do this moving one atom at a time, moving at a speed of one angstrom unit (the width of a hydrogen atom) every fifteen billion years, the supposed age of the universe. In all the time it would take the ameba to complete this task, we would not get remotely close to forming one protein molecule by blind chance. This is from: http://peaceyouthgro...s/evolution.htm I found this interesting but just confused on how he got the number 10119,841 Any thoughts?

What makes you think that Dr. James Coppedge was a probability expert? His bio doesn't mention that at all.

I noticed that you did not state what the initial conditions were for this probability nor were the mechanisms for the combination mentioned. The mechanism determines the probability. I have not read his book on the subject. Maybe you could produce more details on his probability calculation.

#8 Stripe

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:14 AM

...self-replicating RNA strands...

There is no such thing as a self-replicating RNA strand.
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#9 gilbo12345

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:28 AM

What makes you think that Dr. James Coppedge was a probability expert? His bio doesn't mention that at all. I noticed that you did not state what the initial conditions were for this probability nor were the mechanisms for the combination mentioned. The mechanism determines the probability. I have not read his book on the subject. Maybe you could produce more details on his probability calculation.


As far as I know the probability takes into the account the length of the average (or smallest) protein amino acid chain, and determining the % ratio of whether the amino acid sequence would arise via chance additions to the sequence over time. If one were to add in amino acid positions and other factors the probability number would DECREASE since adding in more factors means less chance of having all the correct factors at the one time, therefore you're claim here actually seeks to strengthen our position... Thanks for the assist :D




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