What’s the probability of life happening by chance?

Author: BibleAsk Team


The Probability of Life Happening by Chance

The probability of life happening by chance is impossible! One chemist has calculated the immense odds against amino acids ever combining to form the necessary proteins by undirected means. He estimated the probability to be more than 10 to the 67th to 1 (1067:1) or (10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) against even a small protein forming by time and chance, in an ideal mixture of chemicals, in an ideal atmosphere, and given up to 100 billion years (an age 10 to 20 times greater than the supposed age of the Earth). – A.J. White, “Uniformitarianism, Probability and Evolution,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1 (June 1972), pp. 32-37.

Mathematicians generally agree that, statistically, any odds beyond 1 in 10 to the 50th (1:1050) have a zero probability of ever happening (“and even that gives it the benefit of the doubt!”). – I.L. Cohen, Darwin Was Wrong A Study in Probabilities (P.O. Box 231, Greenvale, New York 11548: New Research Publications, Inc., 1984), p. 205.

Thus, many highly qualified researchers feel they have scientifically proved, beyond question, that the proteins needed for life could never have come into existence by chance or any natural processes. – [Paul Erbrich, “On the Probability of the Emergence of a Protein with a Particular Function,” Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 34 (1985), pp. 53-80 (quote is from the abstract emphasis added).]

Therefore, Dr. Wilder-Smith concluded: “It is emphatically the case that life could NOT arise spontaneously in a primeval soup of this kind.” – Arthur E. Wilder-Smith in Willem J.J. Glashouwer and Paul S. Taylor, The Origin of Life (PO Box 1167, Marysville WA 98270-1167, USA: Eden Films and Standard Media, 1983).

Biblical Perspective

From a biblical perspective, the concept of life arising by chance contradicts the theological framework presented in the Bible, which emphasizes divine creation, purpose, and design.

Divine Creation and Purpose:
  1. Genesis 1:1 (NKJV): “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The opening verse of the Bible establishes the foundational belief in divine creation. According to biblical theology, God is the ultimate source and sustainer of all life, and the universe exists as a result of His creative act. Life, therefore, is not the product of random chance but the deliberate intention of a purposeful Creator.
  2. Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV): “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” This passage from the Psalms reflects the belief that human life is intricately fashioned by God in the womb. Each individual is created with purpose and intentionality, suggesting that life is not a random occurrence but a divine gift.
Order and Design in Creation:
  1. Genesis 1:31 (NKJV): “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” The account of creation in Genesis portrays God as an orderly and purposeful Creator who brings forth life in harmony and balance. The intricate design and complexity observed in the natural world point to the existence of intelligent design rather than random chance.
  2. Romans 1:20 (NKJV): “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” This verse from the New Testament underscores the idea that the natural world bears witness to the existence and attributes of God. The order, beauty, and complexity of creation testify to the handiwork of a Creator who has imbued the universe with purpose and meaning.
The Role of Providence:
  1. Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV): “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” The concept of divine providence, or God’s guidance and care over His creation, is a recurring theme in the Bible. According to this perspective, life is not subject to random chance but is governed by the sovereign will of God, who orchestrates events according to His purposes.
  2. Matthew 6:26 (NKJV): “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Jesus’ words in this passage emphasize God’s providential care for His creation, including the smallest details of life. The idea that God sustains and provides for all living creatures suggests a divine order and purpose underlying the existence of life.
Consequences of Sin and Redemption:
  1. Romans 6:23 (NKJV): “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Bible teaches that human life is deeply impacted by the consequences of sin, including physical death and spiritual separation from God. The existence of suffering, evil, and death in the world is not the result of random chance but is rooted in the moral choices of humanity.
  2. John 3:16 (NKJV): “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The central message of the Christian faith is the offer of salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ. According to biblical theology, the hope of redemption and restoration extends beyond the randomness and chaos of life to offer the promise of new life and reconciliation with God.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the concept of life arising by chance is incompatible with both logic and the theological framework presented in the Bible. According to biblical teaching, life is not a product of random chance but is the result of divine creation, purpose, and design. The Bible affirms the existence of a purposeful Creator who has imbued the universe with order, beauty, and meaning.

The biblical perspective offers a theological lens through which to understand the significance and value of life within the context of God’s overarching plan for creation. As believers, we are called to affirm the sovereignty and wisdom of God in all aspects of life, trusting in His providential care and ultimate purposes.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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