LETTER: Logic in evolution column flawed
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 13:03
To the editor:
To begin with, I am not taking a stance in the debate as to whether or not God exists. Science can explain the how, but not the why. That is left up to you, the reader, and your beliefs. My intentions are simply to point out the factual inaccuracies alluded to in Richard Winter’s article published on Feb. 28 of this year entitled, “Debating the Ultimate Question.”
The fundamental flaw with Richard Winter’s argument is the misunderstanding of abiogenesis — the formation of life from simpler molecules. The calculations which support creationist theories were formed by deriving the probability of a 300 molecule long protein from forming spontaneously. The odds of this happening are about 10390, which certainly would be impossible. However, abiogenesis occurs the same way speciation occurs. It was a very long process that occurred in small steps all of which were governed by chemistry and natural selection.
The smallest self-replicating molecule of life is theorized to be only 32 amino acids long. The probability of this occurring randomly is only 1040. To be fair, this is still a very large number, however the oceans of early earth were literally filled with amino acids, resulting in billions of trials occurring simultaneously. Even if the concentration of amino acids in early Earth’s oceans was a mere 10-6M — very dilute — then 1031 self-replicating amino acid chains would be created in under a year, let alone millions of years.
Once life is seeded, there is no stopping it. Life grows and changes finding new ways to continue living. Ask anyone that works in a hospital and they will testify to the pervasiveness of evolving bacterium.
So, to reiterate Richard’s question, where does the finch come from? Tracing back the fossil record of birds leads us to the archeopteryx, a bird like dinosaur that lived 150 million years ago. Likewise we can trace dinosaurs back to amphibians, and amphibians to fish, and so on. Through this same process, we can trace the human lineage as well, but I will not go into this in any detail as it can be a very touchy subject for some. For those interested, I highly suggest looking into the research for yourself and arriving at your own conclusions.