probabilities from RE: The scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design

From: Dr. David Campbell <>
Date: Tue Nov 29 2005 - 16:04:38 EST

> Whatever that sequence ends up being has the same
> degree of probability as the sequence 1 to 100,000 – in theory! But
> a significant resultant number, or a perfect number, looks to be
> impossible. A number with the appearance of randomness is what we
> would expect. But probability theory makes no such distinction. Any
> sequence is equally improbable.
> But the conclusion is where the misapplication occurs: Whatever the
> sequence was, it is so improbable, therefore, there could not have
> been a Super Bowl!
> This is the kind of probability theory abuse creationists invoke as
> “proof” that evolution did not occur. In essence, they are confusing
> probability with predictability. If the sequence could have been
> predicted, then the odds are so low that it would have been a miracle
> had the sequence of numbers been seen beforehand.

Similar fallacious reasoning is also used by anti-Christian sources.
E.g., miracles are much rarer than non-miracles. Therefore, I can
assume that any selected event is probably not a miracle.
The probability of the exact course of the history of life occurring
as it did is extremely low. Therefore, it must just be a
metaphysically random chance that things are the way they are.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA
Received on Tue Nov 29 16:07:10 2005

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