When worldviews collide (part 2)

I mentioned at the beginning of the last post that the most dangerous collision of worldviews is the subtle one, where one infects the other without being noticed. As believers we are susceptible to such incursions. This is because, even though by our choice we have left our old life in the world behind, we are nonetheless called to live in peace with, and to love, the people of this world. Sooner or later, that will require that we try to understand them. Which means we will try to make logical sense of what the world believes; and that can be a slippery slope. Because the moment we ask ourselves, “how can someone believe that?” we naturally ask ourselves, “why don’t I believe it?” At that point we must be able to think through the answer. If you are not ready to give yourself a reason for the hope that is within you (1 Peter 3:15), the warnings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:12 and Galatians 6:1 become very real.

1 Corinthians 10:12 So that let him that thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if even a man be taken in some fault, ye who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest *thou* also be tempted.

But the subtlety with which dangerous worldviews spread within a society is not the exclusive concern of the believer. Sometimes people of the world realize what is happening in their own world and raise the alarm. You see, blindness – spiritual blindness – is a self-inflicted illness. Which means not everybody has to suffer from it.

Both Judaism and the early Church recognized the existence of people in their society they called God-fearers. People who, though they may have come from a pagan culture, nevertheless acknowledged the supremacy of one God, whom they revered. In the gospels, the Roman centurion who asked for Jesus’ help in healing his slave was probably one of those people. In the Acts of the apostles, we have Lydia of Thyatira, the centurion Cornelius, and the Ethiopian eunuch that Philip encounters, as examples.

How did these people come to “know” God? As I mentioned in a previous blog post, C. S. Lewis would have an answer: these people recognize the “Tao” of mankind, the Law that Paul said God has written in the hearts of all humanity. John the disciple would say that they just responded as sheep are supposed to respond when they hear and recognize the voice of their Shepherd.

In fact, if God made humanity in His image, and wrote His Law in our hearts, it follows that we all have the ability to recognize the existence of absolute Truth. And because Truth is an integral part of logic, and logic an indispensable part of reason, particularly scientific reasoning, it turns out that we can find scientists in our world who are advocates of Truth.

I am not talking about believers who work in the Sciences. I am talking about a person who has grown up in a society that by default rejects the idea that there may be a supernatural Reality behind our universe, and yet that person has embraced rigorous thinking. As a result, that person can recognize the lies of certain worldviews even without recognizing the ultimate origin of those lies (John 8:44).

The dangerous worldview I am addressing in this and the next post is summarized by this statement: “Human beings are the product of mindless random events governed entirely, and only, by the laws of Physics”.

A recap on Hubert Yockey

Scientists who can think clearly, can be powerful witnesses to the world. I mentioned one of them in a previous blog post: Hubert Yockey, a Nuclear Physicist and Information Theorist who pointed out, in peer reviewed articles between the 1970s and early 2000s, the mathematical impossibility for life to have “evolved” out of non-life.

Since Information can be rigorously defined and must follow precise mathematical rules of probability and statistics, it is straightforward to show that it is impossible for random events to create information. Since DNA is full of information that must be reliably transmitted for life to exist, and since the information in DNA and RNA could not have arisen from molecules with less information (i.e. proteins) through random events, he concluded that life is an axiom of the Universe. It simply must be accepted to exist as it is, without need for explanation.

image of DNA

(This naturally “downwards” flow of information is accepted as the central dogma of molecular biology: the flow of genetic information goes from DNA to RNA to protein; not the other way. But this fact is not just a statement of the way molecular biology happens to work in our planet, it is a statement of the only way it can work in this universe – mathematically.)

Yockey further pointed out that the much-touted primordial soup that supposedly gave rise to the proteins required for nucleic acid via lightning did not exist on the ancient Earth. The environment postulated requires a reducing atmosphere but the Earth had an oxidizing atmosphere.

Yockey’s work turns upside down the dogma of Darwinian evolution. Natural Selection, that great tautology, could not have possibly ushered more complex lifeforms (like humans) from less complex lifeforms (like amoebas) over any amount of time. As anyone that has played the party game telephone knows, information tends to degrade with repeated handling; it never gets more accurate.

Therefore, in Yockey’s model, DNA has always included all the genetic information needed to create every living organism in this planet. Natural Selection doesn’t create new information. Natural environmental pressures may spell the demise of a species possessing feature “X1”; but if an offspring from that species is born that has an alternate – already existing in the DNA code – equally viable feature “X2”, and that feature survives the environmental pressure of the time in question, then that offspring is more likely to survive. The latter offspring is more fit in those circumstances, by definition. Nothing new has been created. Selective pressures only prune, they never create.

A consequence of that model is that when the environment changes again and feature “X1” is again viable, it will readily arise again. There is no puzzle to be solved when such a “regression” occurs because “X2” did not outgrow “X1”. Both features are equally viable subroutines, already contained in the grand computer program we call DNA. Life has been designed with utter redundancy.

photo of tetra fish and its related Mexican blind cave fish

(In one of my posts I talked about the research that has been done on the Mexican blind cave fish, a tetra that, as the name reveals, is blind and lives in caves and swims close to the bottom looking for food (bottom in the photo). Yet, the fish still carries the genes for growing eyes as any ordinary tetra. If we chemically trigger those genes back “on” in an infant fish, not only can the fish see, it will behave as the ordinary tetra (top in the photo) that looks for food on the surface of the water.)

Now, Yockey refused to be classed with advocates of Intelligent Design. Nevertheless, we have to note with gratitude that by using unassailable mathematics – the kind of mathematics on which our communication systems depend on every day – this true scientist proved there is no materialistic mechanism that can explain where this information in DNA came from.

Anyone who wants to claim that human beings are the product of mindless random events governed entirely, and only, by the laws of Physics is deluding himself. It is a claim that has already been refuted. Human beings are based on a genetic code that was imprinted in DNA in a way that rigorous, honest Science cannot explain.

The second thing to note is that although no one was ever able to disprove Yockey’s mathematics, his work is uniformly ignored by all those “scientists” whose livelihood depends on people and Universities believing in Darwinian evolution. (And like I said in my post long ago, if you proved Yockey wrong then you would have the problem of explaining how come modern Communication Theory has been proven right – experimentally – over and over again.)

Thus, if the reader thinks Darwinian evolution through Natural Selection is a fact because it is accepted by so many scientists, I would suggest that the reason is that most of those scientists have never been told or realized that it violates an unassailable mathematical truth: It is impossible to create information.

The importance of the Expectation Value

Information Theory is not the only problem that Physics poses to Darwinism.

Expectation value, a term used often in Quantum Mechanics, can be defined as the average of all the possible outcomes of a measurement as weighted by their likelihood (from Wikipedia). That means: given N outcomes of value A1, A2, A3… An, each with a probability of occurring P1, P2, P3… Pn, (where P1+P2+P3+…Pn = 100%) the most likely result we are going to observe is the value Aresult = A1P1+A2P2+A3P3+…AnPn.

What matters is the product (multiplication) of value times probability

This may look like math you are not used to doing, but we all do it all the time, automatically.

According to the website Wonderopolis.org: “In a lottery in which you pick 6 numbers from a possible pool of 49 numbers, your chances of winning the jackpot (correctly choosing all 6 numbers drawn) are 1 in 13,983,816. That’s 1 shot in almost 14 million.” (https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-are-your-odds-of-winning-the-lottery) Now, suppose the jackpot has reached the value of $1million. The expectation value in making that choice is $1million divided by 14 million or about 7 cents. That is, if you just paid $2 for a Powerball lottery ticket in this scenario, you did it because you think it is a good investment in order to win 7 cents.

Ok, maybe that was a bad example, since so many people buy lottery tickets. But the reality is that the way we make choices between options is not based only on the probability of a given outcome but, most importantly, on the value of that outcome.

photo of lightning strike

Why don’t you go out to play golf as a thunderstorm is approaching? You won’t have to stand in line. You’ll have the golf course all to yourself. After all, the probability of getting hit by lightning in your lifetime is of the order of 1 in 15,000. That is like the odds of flipping a coin and getting heads 14 times in a row! Why don’t you? Because the expectation value of that decision is equal to the value-of-your-life divided times 1/15,000. How much do you value your life? The actual mental calculation goes like this:

(Pleasure of living the rest of my life)*14,999/15,000

vs.

(Pleasure of playing golf today)*1/15,000

Which is bigger? I hope that I have made the point that talking only about probabilities and not expectation values is, in practice, usually meaningless. It leads to all sorts of poor decisions.

The central Darwinian claim that, given enough time, gradual changes can accumulate into significant changes to justify evolution, fails because it ignores a key weighting factor: Time.

Whenever I see someone state that the Darwinian gradual change hypothesis is reasonable, it is clear that they implicitly assume there is enough time. Time is the key weighting factor here because the essence of the argument is that from the beginning, when Natural Selection started rolling the dice, to now (or the Pleistocene), the expectation value of humanity arising is obviously 1. After all, we are here.

But what most people are assuming is that there is infinite time. Because then any probability, no matter how small multiplied by infinity gives a finite expectation value.

Unfortunately, the universe is only about 14 billion years old, and the earth only about 4.5 billion years old. We do not have infinite time on our side.

More than one scientist has calculated the probability of randomly assembling in one place the genetic material of the simplest conceivable bacterium. That is, setting aside the slow painful climb of Darwinism, of accumulating slightly good changes until we finally get there (which includes all the false starts, all the dead ends, all the highly fit individuals suddenly rendered not fit by an environmental catastrophe), let’s see what are the chances of doing it all in one shot. The likelihood that a bacterium could happen during the lifespan of the universe is comparable to the likelihood that all the molecules of air in the room you are sitting in right now would end up moving to the other half of the room, leading to your death by asphyxia.

Probability is a Bear. (Or another animal starting with a B.)

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