Re: origin of life, etc.

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 10:12:02 -0500 (EST)

At 03:15 PM 12/15/98 -0400, David Campbell wrote:
>>a) Looking for some opinions on the claim that life cannot have arisen by
>>chance.
>>I see the argument in many christian books using outrageous odds but
>>something is
>>not sitting right with me. I see Hoyle and others quoted on this often.What
>>do you think?
>
>We do not know enough to make accurate estimates of this probability. Some
>of the assumptions that often appear in such calculations are not correct
>(e.g., that the exact sequence of bases found in a particular modern genome
>must be generated to produce essentially the same organism). A more basic
>problem is that evolutionary theory claims that a strong non-random
>component exists, namely natural selection.

To calculate probabilities one must know all the possible outcomes and I am
sure nobody knows that. One cannot calculate probabilities by merely knowing
a set of particular outcomes. The latter is specially true when discussing
the appearance of life from nonliving matter, the creation of the universe, etc.

Moorad

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