Wednesday, August 22, 2012

chances are

A friend of mine announced today they had four of the winning Powerball numbers from the 320 Million Jackpot this week. One more right number and they would have won a million dollars. As it was, they only won a  hundred dollars. I guess you could say the odds were against them, since the odds of having all the numbers in a winning Powerball ticket are 1 in 175 million. So it goes with the lottery.

This got me thinking (which is always a dangerous proposition) about odds, chances, and other statistical probabilities.

What do you think the odds are that we're all here merely by random chance? That the universe is some kind of cosmic accident that just sort of happened? Well, let's start small - let's take a simple protein molecule. Consider what you would need for a protein molecule to form by chance.  Dr. Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute explains ... 

"First, you would need the right bonds between 75 or so amino acids. Second, these amino acids come in right and left handed versions, so you'd need to get only left-handed ones. Third, the amino acids must link up together in a specified sequence, kind of like letters in a sentence. When you run the odds of all these things falling into place on their own,  you find that the probabilities of forming a rather short functional protein at random would be one chance in a hundred thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. That's a ten with 125 zeroes behind it!"

And that's only one protein molecule! Think of the amazingly complex and precise design of all the different elements of God's creation. It's staggering to consider the odds of all life as we know it coming into being with no creative designer behind it all. It's simply unimaginable. 

Kind of makes those odds at winning the lottery seem pretty inconsequential, eh?  


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