It appears that his initial thoughts on this subject generated an abundance of email, enough that he felt obligated to clarify his thoughts on the matter.

The End of Evolution
Fred Promises to Shut Up About It in the Future

Our initial discussion was here.


reprise — 2 Comments

  1. He talks about the low probability of a monkey, while randomly hitting the keys of a typewriter, managing to type the title of a book, which is essentially the old, invalid, probability argument (the hurricane over a junkyard is another version of the same argument) against the theory of evolution accounting for today’s species. He calculates the odds of a monkey getting the title of one of Darwin’s works being 1 in 10^140.

    “If you had a billion billion monkeys (more monkeys than I want) typing a billion billion letters a second, for a billion billion times the estimated age of the universe (10^18 seconds is sometimes given), the chance of getting the [title] would [...] be essentially zero.”

    In the theory of evolution, the end result is not achieved by a single fortuitous event resulting in an evolved creature. It is a sequence of events in which, to use the same analogy, the monkey only has to get the first letter right, at which time it is “selected” (it survives), then it types until the next letter is “selected”, etc. Now the odds are only 1/26 for each letter, which for the 117 letters of the title is an expectation of 1,521 keystrokes before the title has “evolved”. A monkey in a single sitting might actually get the title before it got bored.

    He doesn’t explicitly claim his little exercise proves anything, but he has given the “highly improbable” analogy for evolution in which the analogy specifically leaves out the incremental changes which are an essential part of the theory. His incorrect analogy strongly suggests that Darwinian evolution is highly improbable, although he carefully allows that there is insufficient information to draw the conclusion. It is a subtle and suggestive use of words, but since it is a bad analogy, it is totally irrelevant and misleading.

    If God directed evolution in as crude a manner as depicted by Behe in his “Intelligent Design” argument, I would be highly disappointed in Him.

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