What are the statistical odds-against the"spontaneous-generation theory?

What do the scientist say - John Eccles, winner of the Nobel Prize and one of the foremost brain scientists in this century speaks of one chance in 1010,000 as being "infinitely improbable.....Carl Sagan and other prominent scientists have estimated the chance of man evolving at roughly 1 chance in 102,000,000,000.34......Harold Morowitz, a Yale University physicist,calculated the odds of a single bacterium emerging from the basic building blocks necessary were 1 chance in 10100,000,000,000.24.......Dr. David J. Rodabough, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Missouri, estimated the more realistic chance that life would spontaneously generate (even on 1023 planets) as only one chance in 102,999,940.21......scientists Walter L. Bradley and Charles Thaxton, point out that the probability of assembling amino acid building blocks into a functional protein is approximately one chance in 4.9 X 10191.16.....(continue below)

Update:

(continue) - scientist Harold F. Blum, writing in Time’s Arrow and Evolution, wrote that, "The spontaneous formation of a polypeptide of the size of the smallest known proteins seems beyond all probability.".....David J. Rodabaugh, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, shows the probability that a simple living organism could be produced by mutations "is so small as to constitute a scientific impossibility" — "the chance that it could have happened anywhere in the universe,is less than 1 [chance] in 102,999,942."7....Moshe Trop, Ph.D., with the Department of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, concludes,"All calculations made of the probability [that life could evolve by chance, lead to the conclusion that] there could have been no possibility of the random appearance of life....(NOTE - All evidence cited orginates from the science community)....(continue)

Update 2:

(continue) As shown from the scientist cited above the question is, what are the odds against evolution?...please offer comments!

Update 3:

To BNP - Lets use your first point..."odds of an event occuring" ...lets not confuse the question with ...non-sense "babble" ...

Update 4:

to BNP - According the mathematicians....luck is more like NEVER HAPPENING.....(unless you cite a "cause" for the event..and not the god-of-good-luck..

Update 5:

To ejc_11 - I personally think evolution is a farce..A religion for the atheist.....So I agree with your statement(s)

Update 6:

To science_geek - YOUR ANSWER IS MISLEADING SO Stop with the "sematic" bs..It is very possible to calculate the possibilities of amino-acids combining to form protein which is the essential BUILDING BLOCKS for life.......Since we KNOW the number of amino acids that are needed(20)..A typical protein is made up of a chain of 445 left-handed amino acids.and we know that only left handed strands are used..We can now apply the laws of probability to this. The chances of an average protein consisting of 445 amino acids forming by chance are one chance out of 10^123...There are 124 amino acids in ribonuclease and they must all be in order and must all be correct, or else the protein, ribonuclease, will not work as ribonuclease So the odds for randomly chemically forming ribonuclease are 1 in 17^124).? That is about as easy as getting a royal flush nineteen consecutive times...So science (the) geek.feel free to STOP with your MIS-INFORMATION...As the scientist(s) above calculated the odds

Update 7:

to gribblin - Another word jockey pro who specializes in "semantics"....ok idiot (you)... here's a question..when did "evolution" began...when amino acids "evolved" (changed as u say) into protiens.and then (changed/evolved)...into early life?..the scientist(s) quoted above pegs those odds of this happening to an IMPOSSIBLE EVENT..of 1 in 10^466...I know you would love to IGNORE (the above information)..and concentrate on when fossil appeared..so as to hide behind the evolution ambiguity....typical of atheist supporting their religion of evolution!

Update 8:

To gribblin - Yes idiot..we're discussing the IMPOSSIBLITY (odds) against abiogenesis. ANY EVENT WITH ODDS of 10^30..is DISMISSED by mathematicians as NEVER HAPPENING.....(As those scientist point out)....and of course if abiogenesis NEVER HAPPEN...then you atheist / natrualist / scientist have no religion (Evolution) to later study..

Update 9:

To science geek - (You losing civility speaks volumes!!)

Harold Morowitz, a Yale University physicist,calculated the odds of a single bacterium emerging from the basic building blocks necessary were 1 chance in 10100,000,000,000.24.....VS...science geek who says..no way.....LET THE READERS of this DECIDE for themselves..(Vegas would put the money on the Yale University physicist).......BTW....IS it possible for an liberal atheist (you)..to maintain..."adult civility?...yes / no ? ..I realize my information is HURTING you....but the truth hurts..

."I never give them hell. I just tell the TRUTH, and they think its HELL... -"Harry S Truman"

"To love the TRUTH is to refuse to let onself be sadden by it" - Andre Gide

Update 10:

To metzkeb - So that no one is confused by your vain attempt to deceive (which is typed in a format to give the illusion of research).......Dr. Harold J. Morowitz of Yale University has done extensive research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to discover the theoretical limits for the simplest free-living thing which could duplicate itself, or, technically, the minimal biological entity capable of autonomous self-replication....(In PLAIN ENGLISH he wanted to calculate the probability of amino acids RNA etc REPRODUCING.... Minimum biological "ENTITY" ie amino acids / proteins RNA etc....and his research concluded - one chance in 10100,000,000,000.....Or in plain english...ZERO Chances for the early stages of evolution.....

Update 11:

To metzkeb - So that no one is confused by your vain attempt to deceive (which is typed in a format to give the illusion of research).......Dr. Harold J. Morowitz of Yale University has done extensive research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to discover the theoretical limits for the simplest free-living thing which could duplicate itself, or, technically, the minimal biological entity capable of autonomous self-replication....(In PLAIN ENGLISH he wanted to calculate the probability of amino acids RNA etc REPRODUCING.... Minimum biological "ENTITY" ie amino acids / proteins RNA etc....and his research concluded - one chance in 10100,000,000,000.....Or in plain english...ZERO Chances for the early stages of evolution.....

Update 12:

To gribblin - PLEASE don't mention evolution WITHOUT...presenting and accepting an amino-acid-protien "starting point"

Update 13:

To metzkeb - I think .....David J. Rodabaugh, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri,....qualifies as someone ligitimate..and he states (Not MIS-QUOTED) the probability that a simple living organism could be produced by mutations "is so small as to constitute a scientific impossibility" — "the chance that it could have happened anywhere in the universe,is less than 1 [chance] in 102,999,942."7.

Update 14:

To metzkeb - Charles B. Thaxton is a Fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He has a doctorate in physical chemistry from Iowa State University. He went on to complete post-doctorate programs in the history of science at Harvard University and the molecular biology laboratories of Brandeis University. Thaxton has co-authored several books, including The Mystery of Life's Origin and The Soul of Science. He was the editor of the first edition of the controversial creationism/Intelligent Design textbook, Of Pandas and People.[1] The book was featured prominently in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District and the drafts that show the transition between creation to "cdesign proponentsists"[2] to intelligent design proved important in the judge's decision.........(I think Mr. Thaxton has the qualifications to have his commentary injected on the subject at hand.....

12 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    'Spontaneous Generation' died out when Louis Pasteur came along. Don't be afraid to call Evolution 'Evolution'. It's an incomplete theory at best.

  • BNP
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    There is a difference between the odds of an event occurring, and the odds that the means of describing the event are correct. For instance, quantum tunneling has a tiny probability of occurring. Does that make our understanding of it flawed? No. Especially considering that it is a real observed phenomena.

    So to the question - the odds against evolution successfully leading to intelligent beings is tiny. This doesn't change evidence in its favor, it just makes us lucky.

    "According the mathematicians....luck is more like NEVER HAPPENING"

    This is simply not true. Suppose you have a 10^10 sided die. What is the chance of rolling a 1? 10^-10. What is the chance of rolling a 1 at least once if you roll the die 10^8 times? 0.9%. What if it is sampled more times? 10^11 samplings means it is over 99% likely to happen.

    So what you are missing is that even if an event has a small chance of happening, if that even is queried sufficiently many times (and lets face it, the universe isn't exactly small) it becomes nearly inevitable.

    And, once again this is all irrelevant. That a small probability outcome within a model is observed does not negate the model. Now, if every planet which could possibly support life has intelligent life, then it would seem something is wrong with the model, but we don't exactly have that data do we?

  • 1 decade ago

    Still trolling around and keeping your ears and mind shut to all of the well informed answers. Lets face it, you wouldn't see the truth if it was in front of your face. Also; it's impossible to calculate the odds you are pointing out because there are too many variables involved, and just because something isn't completely understood yet doesn't automatically prove that there is a creator. This is the same logic that was used thousands of years ago when humans couldn't understand what the sun and the moon were, so people took the easy way out and assumed there was a sun god and a moon god, and that was the end of the story for hundreds of years until science figured out what they were. But why do I even bother trying to help you understand the faulty logic you are using, you won't listen. I will hand it to you that you are pretty good at taking quotes out of context to suite your creationist agenda, and you aren't a thumbs down happy person. Nice work, but you aren't fooling anyone that has been educated in these subjects. You would do much better at fooling people in the R&S section who aren't as scientifically minded.

  • 1 decade ago

    The one thing that has been pointed out but hasn't been made clear enough by all answerers so far is that no one can say what the first proto-life form was. They can theorize all they want, they can say "It probably contained this", or "It may have looked like that", but no on can be absolutely sure. Until there can be a clearer picture on that account, then there is no way any probability of abiogenesis can come close to being accurate. All of those scientists that you misquoted or took out of context are wasting their time trying to find the probability of abiogenesis, because the first life form could have been, quite literally, anything. And spouting useless numbers does nothing to bolster your side of any argument you might think you have with evolution.

    Source(s): agnostic and biology teacher
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  • 1 decade ago

    This is what happens when people make assumptions and grab figures out of context. Here are a few examples:

    Carl Sagan was actually trying to calculate the radom chances of man occuring (in the sense of man's genome randomly assembling), but noted that natural selection provides a means for a species' genome to gradually assemble over time (less complex to more complex). He is often misquoted by creationist - and his research actually pertains to extraterrestials.

    Morowitz actually was trying to calculate the chances of life occuring in a state of thermal equalibrium, a state which does not exist on Earth (continuous energy input). Therefore, his calculations have no bearing in the real world and are entirely theoretical.

    Bradley and Thaxtons assumptions for their calculations were way off. They were calculating the possibility of the random assembly of ONE particular protein of a specific size and sequence, not the possibility of any possible protein.

    If you look at the calculations from some of the others you have listed, you will find their names on websites like creationwiki.org or creationresearch.org, not scientific sites and journals.

    The common assumption with these people is the random assembly of organisms or very complex organisms. But, a person who has study biotic origins will note that life did not begin as a single assembly of molecules, but rather the gradual combination of parts. Scientist have been able to prove that protobionts can form within the laws of physics and chemistry. You should study the formation of protobionts and the gradual move towards life before you begin spouting off about "spontaneous generation", which is not a valid scientific theory, and one which is not supported by scientists.

    So, before you continue to misquote and take statements out of context, do yourself a favor and study up on evolution and the beginning of life. Stay away from those creationists websites too, they tend to turn a deaf ear towards science and infect casual readers with their seemingly amazing quotations and false evidence.

  • 3 years ago

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  • 6 years ago

    tough crowd! also, I believe Morowitz's (creationist antaganist looking to support evolution with his theories on RNA) odds of roughly 1 x 10-14 related to Mycoplama hominis' likelihood of creating the protein bonds, whereas impossible is typically defined as 1 x 10 -50.

    • pdq
      Lv 7
      6 years agoReport

      tt - I can't respond to your question because you don't allow e-mails.

  • 1 decade ago

    Ah.

    I was about to congradulate you on not mentioning "evolution" in this objection to abiogenesis ... but then I saw your addition:

    >"As shown from the scientist cited above the question is, what are the odds against evolution?...please offer comments!"

    Nowhere in your long, long list of numbers does it give any odds against evolution.

    It does demonstrate the low probability of abiogenesis (not the impossiblity, of course, but that's another question).

    Once again for the thick-skulled (ie - you):

    ABIOGENESIS AND EVOLUTION ARE ENTIRELY UNRELATED THEORIES! ABIOGENESIS ATTEMPTS TO DESCRIBE HOW LIFE BEGAN ON EARTH, WHILE EVOLUTION ONLY DESCRIBES HOW LIFE CHANGED AND CONTINUES TO CHANGE!

    So, *please* do not continue to mention "evolution" in questions about abiogenesis.

    _______________________________________________

    Edit:

    > "to gribblin - Another word jockey pro who specializes in "semantics"....ok idiot (you)... here's a question..when did "evolution" began...when amino acids "evolved" (changed as u say) into protiens.and then (changed/evolved)...into early life?"

    Yes. That is essentially correct. Evolution requires there to be preexisting life before it can occur. No life = no evolution.

    The theory of evolution, however, makes no predictions or statements about how that life came into being. THAT PART IS A DIFFERENT AND UNRELATED THEORY!

    If you want, you can believe that God created the first, primordial organism, and there was no abiotic process involved (this may well be true, though it is NOT a scientific hypothesis). Thereafter, the manifest and obvious process of evolution was responsible for the emergence of all the more complex forms of life.

    > "..the scientist(s) quoted above pegs those odds of this happening to an IMPOSSIBLE EVENT..of 1 in 10^466...I know you would love to IGNORE (the above information)..and concentrate on when fossil appeared..so as to hide behind the evolution ambiguity....typical of atheist supporting their religion of evolution!"

    And it does not matter AT ALL to evolution how the first life arose (or how improbable that event was). Evolution ONLY describes what happened afterwards.

    > "To gribblin - Yes idiot..we're discussing the IMPOSSIBLITY (odds) against abiogenesis."

    And that's just fine. But don't mention the word "evolution" in such a question, because it has NOTHING to do with it!

    > "and of course if abiogenesis NEVER HAPPEN...then you atheist / natrualist / scientist have no religion (Evolution) to later study.."

    Like I have (repeatedly) pointed out, it does not matter at all how life arose, as far as evolution is concerned. Evolution requires there to be life, but it doesn't care how the life got initiated.

    As an example, if I have a culture of bacteria in the lab, I can study their evolution. I don't care where I got the bacteria from, I can still watch them evolve.

    And one more time: since evolution is based on evidence and not merely faith, it is science and not religion.

    Do you get it now?

    > "To gribblin - PLEASE don't mention evolution WITHOUT...presenting and accepting an amino-acid-protien "starting point" "

    But I don't have to. All evolution requires is that there *is* such a starting point. It doesn't say anything about how that starting point came into being.

    (and the best-accepted current hypothesis for abiogenesis doesn't begin with amino acids, but with RNA)

  • 1 decade ago

    Spontaneous generation is now better described as accumulative development. AD is an observable phenomenon in notions of synergy and symbiosis. Disparate components mysteriously work together in a concert of intention (want to live), action (commune to live), outcome (lived to reproduce).

    The religist have pointed to SG as the point of creation by a being. Science points to SG as sop to the religist crowd. Metaphysicians point to it not an instance but rather as a manifestation of the long process of and the convergence of "all posibility."

    It is an observable process. It takes time and components in just the right order and magnitude. In a cosmos of all possibility all things are possible.

    Just recently I saw an attack by orthodox religists on science that pointed to science being a religion of time. That may be so. Time is sort of an invisible factor.

    So without having to go into much of the very fine documentation presented above, we may simply conclude that all things are possible in an infinite cosmos. We may also say that local conditions and instances of convergence of various qualities and quantities result in events that may have the appearance of SG.

    God is not so much on a throne as he is in the works. (Panentheism)

    Source(s): An ancient monk in a monastery in Eastern Turkey.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'll put this into simple terms that even somebody as dimwitted as you can understand. Simple probability cannot be used to calculate the odds of protein formation. And, the same Yale scientist that you claimed supported creation, Dr. Morowitz, said that the order of formation of macromolecules would be lipids, phosphorylated compounds, keto acids, amino acids, nitrogen bases, cofactors, and coding molecules. Considering that amino acids are fourth on the list, and that the presence of the other molecules would enhance their chances of forming, you cannot use simple probability to calculate the chances of a protein forming; i.e, you can't just multiply the numbers. To accurately cacluate the probability would require several probability density functions and high order differential equations of several variables. These equations are extremely difficult to solve. That's why I gave you the example I did. Remember what I said? It took over 100 years and three supercomputers to solve the Schrodinger equation (a second order partial differential equation) for the breakup of a hydrogen molecule by a photon. It's not grade school math like you seem to wish it was. But I wouldn't expect someone who still does math with a crayon to comprehend this (since you seem to think that odds of 1-10^45 are impossible, I'll assume you can't even handle simple subtraction; or at least getting your signs right). You're stuck on thinking you can just multiply the number of proteins by the number times the proteins must combine to calculate the probability of them forming. Sorry, we're not rolling dice here (but cheer up, you did calculate the number of possible proteins of that strand length). Molecular interactions are not random and the presence of certain molecules can enhance specific reactions and retard others. Like I told you before, NOBODY CAN CALCULATE THE ODDS OF LIFE FORMING UNDER ANY CONDITIONS.

    Archie, what you need to do is pull your johnson out of the bible and try doing some real thinking. I know that the idea of having a woman made from one of your ribs is a turn on; but, and try to stay with me here, if you actually could use that pile of sh!t between your ears that up until this point had the sole purpose of directing you to copy and paste trash from the garbage minds of creationist bible thumpers whose favorite past time is rubbing the book of genesis on their nipples, then you might actually be able to see that the world extends far beyond that bubble that you've so delicately wrapped yourself up in and periodically extend a hand from to copy, paste, and just regurgitate the bullsh!t that fits your childish view of life and the universe in general.

    Edit:

    Holy savior on a cross. I nearly fell out of my chair. I'm misleading??!! Have you looked back at your pathetic quote mining and misrepresentation of the works of some very brilliant men? Are you completely retarted?

    Sorry to burst that little bubble of yours again, but that calculation is correct. Hold on, keep reading. You've correctly calculated the number of possible proteins that have a length of 445 left handed amino acids if you have twenty to choose from, order doesn't matter, and the supply can be determined as infinite (meaning that choosing one doesn't change the number of available choices). Welcome to your first day of introductory statistics. It's so sad that chemistry isn't random (if it was then it's a crime for how much I get paid to research cancer drugs; you know, seeing how it's all just random).

    Now stay with me, I'm almost done. What you've done is calculate a simple probability. You have a single variable (an amino acid). Now what you neglected to account for is the fact that if you wanted to calculate the actual odds, you'd have to do those calculation using multiple variables. And here's where it gets tricky. The variables are NOT independant. I could sit here and explain further but I just want that to sink into your pathetically feable mind. After it registers that you've based your rant on trash, you can crawl out of the corner, wipe the tears from your eyes, and post some more pathetic trash that I could tear to shreds drunk with your girl's toungue gently lapping my balls.

    You accuse me of being misleading when you misrepresent the works of scientists. You accuse me of losing civility when you call me out in a previous rant using insults. You accuse me of being an atheist when I've never made any indications of my religious preference. You're a fraud Archie, plain and simple. You've never contributed to the advancement of science in any way and you spend your days searching creationist websites to post their worthless drivle on yahoo in the hopes of appearing somewhat intelligent. I've grown tired of pointing out how dumb you are so I now leave you with your own insecurities and irrational beliefs. It was entertaining while it lasted but I have better things to do and it's obvious that you don't want a scientific debate. You want to lie and attack science using unsubstantiated claims and misrepresenting the work of scientists (by the way, Morowitz is a biophysicist who wrote extensively about the feasability of chemical evolution, and has performed numerous experiments verifying that several biologically neccesary molecules can spontenously form). You've become a pathetic novelty in this forum and will never be educated, will never contribute to society, and will never do anything beyond anonymously ranting on answers.

  • thom t
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    And then the chances of that protein evolving into thing?

    I personally hold for a blend of creationism and evolution, as I think they are not mutually exclusive.

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