RE: The Odds of the Big Bang, Abiogenesis, and Evolution

Jeffrey W. Zents (
Tue, 5 Jan 1999 20:52:17 -0600

This is the first good answer to the bad habit of assesing probabilities in
a vacuum. Thank you for the breath of fresh and helpful air.

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Howard J. Van
Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 1999 12:43 PM
To: Matthew Bell
Cc: Evolution Listserve
Subject: The Odds of the Big Bang, Abiogenesis, and Evolution


You asked: "If there were no creator would the odds change considerably?"


1. I'm not sure you got the point of my first reply. The traditional
Christian answer to the question above is, If there were no Creator, there
would be no Creation. Period.

2. This game of looking for numerical values of probabilities is, in my
judgment, utterly without merit. What particular set of presuppositions
would be allowed? What specfic capablities do creaturely systems (atoms,
molecules, molecular ensembles, cells, etc.) actually have? How on earth
would we come to know the numerical values of the relevant probabilities
when we still have so much to learn about the capabilties and processes
that may have contributed to such phenomena as abiogeness or biological
evolution? As I see it, anyone who presents probability values for these
phenomena is engaging, not in anything remotely resembling a scientific
assessment of either abiogenesis or evolution, but in a rhetorical game. I
want no part of it.

Howard J. Van Till