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David Kaufman

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Intelligent Design

Nobel laureate, organic chemist and a leader in origin of life studies, Professor deDuve writes in his excellent book, Tour of a Living Cell, "If you equate the probability of the birth of a bacteria cell to chance assembly of its atoms, eternity will not suffice to produce one..”
Humans and all mammals have some 50,000 genes. That implies, as an order of magnitude estimate, some 50,000 to 100,000 proteins active in mammalian bodies. It is estimated that there are some 30 animal phyla on Earth. If the genomes of each animal phylum produced 100,000 proteins, and no proteins were common among any of the phyla (a fact we know to be false, but an assumption that makes our calculations favor the random evolutionary assumption), there would be (30 x 100,000) 3 million proteins in all life.
Now let's consider the likelihood of these 3 million viable combinations of proteins forming by chance: Proteins are complex coils of several hundred amino acids. Take a typical protein to be a chain of 200 amino acids. The observed range is from less than 100 amino acids per protein to greater than 1000. There are 20 commonly occurring amino acids that join in varying combinations to produce the proteins of life. This means that the number of possible combinations of the amino acids in our model protein of 200 amino acids is 20 to the power of 200 (i.e. 20 multiplied by itself 200 times), or in the more usual 10-based system of numbers, approximately 10 to the power of 260 (i.e. the number one, followed by 260 zeros!). Nature has the option of choosing among the 10 to power of 260 possible proteins, the 3 million proteins of which all viable life is composed. In other words, for each one correct choice, there are 10 to power of 254 wrong choices!

Randomness cannot have been the driving force behind the success of life. Our understanding of statistics and molecular biology clearly supports the notion that there must have been a direction and a “Director” behind the success of life.

Topics: evolution
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  • Jan 24 2012: Why is that the improbability of all these different molecules and atoms aligning like this form such an argument against life existing? A human didn't just happen from nothing? this is billions of years of atoms and molecules colliding, how many collisions of atoms and molecules do you think would have happened in those billions of years? just to form one amino acid say you need a trillion trillion collisions of some atoms.. yea no problem that's easy.

    The vastness of space and the ridiculous nature of physics at a small scale is mind boggling but does not mean that suddenly there is a need for some guy conducting it all. Open your mind. It is incomprehensible to think about all the different atoms wizzing about us, how did they form galaxies? that seems improbable.. must have been done by this guy who planned or whatever.. riiiight.... lrn2science. Atleast science has provided actual mechanisms and answers as to how these things have occured, just you cant accept how improbable they are because there are so many trillions of things happening all the time?

    Intelligent design is the biggest load of bumph and nonsense you could have really said to explain it all, instead of considering the chances of all these different molecules assembling, consider the probablity of some guy designing all this and existing at all? probablity of that is less than the probablity of life on earth rising up from natural processes. The entire point about religion is it is faith, you are basically saying oh something may have happened because some guy said this and then i saw this book and some words were in this order and yea.. that seemed to make sense.. not really that credible when compared to the scientific process of experiment and hypothesis that has actually come up with answers about the world around us.

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