What startling scientific fact cause astronomer Fred Hoyle to abandon atheism?


Gentleman jacka-, err I mean Jack. Is that your cute way of evading the question?

Update 2:

Acid Zebra: Lol, says he whose answer is an ad hominem attack with a supposed 'true story' with no link

Update 3:

I guess I shouldn't have expected any real answers from atheists

Update 4:

Only childish displays of arrogance, with the exception of Cyanide

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Here's what astrophysicist Dr Rodney Holder says on this (in book detailed below):

    "The initial phase of the universe (that first fraction of a second from the Big Bang) had to be set up in a very special way in order for stars, galaxies and ultimately life to form. Cosmologist Fred Hoyle did some major work on the nuclear reactions that go on inside stars to form all the chemical elements out of the simplest building block, which is hydrogen. He discovered that there needs to be a very fine balance of the forces in nature in order to make carbon, and then to make oxygen without destroying the carbon. Although he didn't believe in God, Hoyle said that his work let him to the conclusion that there was a super-intellect behind physics, chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.

    "...The universe is sitting on a knife-edge as to whether it is going to expand for ever or eventually re-collapse. This is to do with how much total mass-energy there is in the universe. If there is more than a certain critical value, then gravity will pull the universe back and it will re-collapse. If there is less than that critical value, then gravity won't be sufficient to pull the universe back, and it will expand fore ever.

    "Right back at the beginning, the universe needed to be very close to that knife-edge in order for stars, galaxies and planets to form. The mass-energy needed to be what it was to within 1 part in 10/60 (that's ten with sixty noughts after it). That kind of accuracy would be the same as firing a gun from one end of the universe to the other (some ten billion light years away) and hitting a coin you were aiming at. The question is: Was that a lucky shot or are you a brilliant marksman? Likewise, is the fine balance of the universe a lucky happenstance or is there a brilliant designer behind it? I believe that there's a brilliant designer behind it."

    Source(s): God, The Big Bang & Bunsen Burning Issues by Nigel Bovey, chap. 15 (Authentic Media 2008)
  • amaya
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Fred Hoyle Religion

  • 1 decade ago

    Hoyle's Fallacy, sometimes called the junkyard tornado, is a term for Fred Hoyle's flawed statistical analysis applied to evolutionary origins. Hoyle’s fallacy is a surprisingly easy mistake to make when one has not quite grasped how powerful a force natural selection can be. Hoyle's Fallacy predates Hoyle and has been found all the way back to Darwin's time.

    Hoyle's Fallacy is based on arguments most popular in the 1920s before the modern evolutionary synthesis, and is rejected by all evolutionary biologists. The fallacy begins by (correctly) demonstrating that the search space containing some particular solution (e.g. humans, working cells, the eye) is enormous, something which is not contentious. The fallacy occurs when the conclusion is drawn that the huge size of the search space implies that natural selection could not have located the solution. Sometimes Borel's Law, which states that very unlikely events do not occur, is invoked to justify the final step, although the fallacy which relates to the vanishing of the probability itself, has already been committed by this stage.

    Hoyle's Formulation is a rehashing of the older infinite monkey theorem, but applied to cellular biochemistry instead of the works of William Shakespeare. The fallacy claims that the probability that a protein molecule could achieve a functional sequence of amino acids is too low to be realised by chance alone. Hoyle calculated this as being comparable to the probability that a tornado could sweep through a junkyard and randomly assemble a Boeing 747.

    According to Ian Musgrave in Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations:

    These people, including Fred, have committed one or more of the following errors.

    They calculate the probability of the formation of a "modern" protein, or even a complete bacterium with all "modern" proteins, by random events. This is not the abiogenesis theory at all.

    They assume that there is a fixed number of proteins, with fixed sequences for each protein, that are required for life.

    They calculate the probability of sequential trials, rather than simultaneous trials.

    They misunderstand what is meant by a probability calculation.

    They seriously underestimate the number of functional enzymes/ribozymes present in a group of random sequences.

    Hoyle's Fallacy is rejected by all evolutionary biologists, since "no biologist imagines that complex structures arise in a single step."[

    Source(s): That Fred Hoyle?
  • 1 decade ago

    Hoyle suggested a remarkably wasteful Triple Alpha Process as one possible reason why there was so much Carbon in the Universe (Carbon is necessary to the type of lifeform we find). When it was later shown that this wasteful and unlikely process in fact is commonplace (and is the base explanation for our universe's high levels of Carbon) Hoyle decided that he could not avoid the suspicion that our universe is fine-tuned for life.


    As with many 'reformed atheists' there is a chronological problem with Hoyle's version of his own story.

    We know that Hoyle was raised Anglican, we also know that he was already working on the triple alpha process by his early thirties. This leaves - at best - a very short (and undocumented) spell in his twenties when Hoyle may have been an atheist.

    The problem is not as severe as it gets with C S Lewis (the evidence for Lewis' atheism is all hearsay, and mainly dependent on Lewis' own testimony), but there are such huge rewards for being a recovering atheist that it can hardly surprise anyone that popular authors find it an extremely convenient (and lucrative) mantle to adopt.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I see no evidence that he ever did abandom atheism, indeed almost until his death Hoyle promoted the theory that life evolved in space, spreading through the universe via panspermia, and that evolution on earth is driven by a steady influx of viruses arriving via comets.

    Hardly an orthodox religious theory.

    Even if you care to believe that can I suggest you also reseacrch "Hoyle's fallacy" for some balance.

  • 1 decade ago

    The correct answer is: The energy level of the nucleus of a carbon atom.

    I personally consider this a rather weak argument, since it is nothing but an argument from ignorance ("I don't understand why this should be the way it is, so god must have done it").

    What you are attempting here is another fallacy, one known as the argument from authority fallacy.

    You might as well ask us to dismiss the Big Bang theory, since Hoyle disagreed with it.

    Source(s): Agnostic atheist
  • 1 decade ago

    He had a misguided understanding of the probabilities of the triple-alpha fusions process in forming carbon in stars, since refuted. He interpreted it as some sort of divine design, by incorrectly assuming that the conditions had to be finely tuned.

    Hoyle's fallacy is outlined here:


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    As you didn't provide any proof for your statement, I thought I'd look it up. It seems there was no scientific fact that did that, he lived and died an atheist. Hid did not however accept the big bang theory, he had his own steady state theory. He did reject Darwinian evolution for a time, preferring an idea of panspermia and alien interference, but never a god. I guess you got your info from somewhere like AIG.

    Source(s): http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/... serving the intelligent design community.
  • 6 years ago

    No he is not wrong, even today, a protein molecule has never formed by unguided natural chemical processes! The delusional atheists says genetic information can form naturally, but has ZERO chemistry supporting abiogenesis!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hoyle didn't abandon atheism. He proposed a super-intelligent species and trans-spermia to explain evolution. If he were right these would still be natural phenomena not supernatural ones.

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