“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The Truth About Darwin
You Can't Handle The Truth
Slimslowslider said over at BC: "are we or aren't we the roll of the dice, that is the question.'
OK, the opening is a little melodramatic but the fact is that people on both sides of the issue of Darwin's theory of evolution can't or won't handle the truth. But I know the truth about Darwinism and I can handle it.
Darwin's theory stated as succinctly as possible is:
Random Mutation operating through Natural Selection explains the Origin of the Species.
When I was first asked about the scientific validity of Darwin's theory I had to say that I did not dispute the concept of evolution. After all, it is easy to see one's biological antecedents in other, older species. But I did question Darwin's theory of it. I thought Darwin's theory needed to be tested scientifically. And, so, the first order of business was to see if any of the terms within the theory could be tested objectively.
The terms available for testing are Random mutation, Natural selection, and Species. I rejected Natural selection and Species because the definitions are too loose to be called objective. That left Random mutation. But I was leery of the 'mutation' part of the term as also being too loosely defined.
That left the term 'Random.' Now this is a term that one can work with objectively, that is, if you think of mathematics, actually Statistics, as scientifically objective.
In Statistics, probability is the relative possibility that an event will occur, as expressed by the ratio of the number of actual occurrences to the total number of possible occurrences.
Take, for example, a roulette wheel. It has 36 numbers and a couple of zeros making for 38 possible spots for a ball to land on when the wheel is spun.
It is assumed that the chance of landing on any particular number is the same as any other number. So the chance of landing on any particular number is 1 in 38.
1 in 38 isn't much of a chance but people do win. To win twice in a row the chance increases the chance to 1 in 38 x 38 which = 1 chance in 1444.
To win 10 times in a row the chance increases to 1 in 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 which = 1 chance in (Well, you know what? My calculator can't handle the truth)
Let's back off to the biggest truth my calculator can handle: 5 wins in a row. So, the chance of winning 5 times in a row are 1 in 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 which = 1 in 80 million. Now, if a guy told you that he won 5 straight rolls on the roulette wheel you would say that the guy is full of shit.
Now a statistician might say it could be true if the guy played one spin of the wheel every minute of every day for for 152 years. Then there would have been 80 million spins of the wheel and, so, there would have been an even chance of that happening or not happening. (Please, no nit pickers here. I'm trying to get the major point across)
If you've followed me this far (wake up, Doug) then maybe you can see that I became suspicious of, say, human DNA, which has 3 Billion base pairs, assembling itself randomly. Still, an intuition is not proof. And the proponents of Darwinism say that I just don't comprehend how much time nature has had to do this. We need hard numbers.
The first and hardest number to be determined is: How many "spins of the wheel" or events has nature had to work with?"
Here's how I eventually worked it out. Truth is, I don't know and will never know how many events nature has had to work its magic. But I have found a way to calculate the maximum number of events that she has had to work with and if the maximum number does not give an even chance of assembling Human DNA then no lesser number will accomplish it either.
So, let's have a go at finding out that number. It's really not that hard when physicists have already done all of the heavy lifting, as it were.
Let's define an event. It's when something happens. Physically, something must move.
How many "somethings' are there in the universe?
Answer: no. of Particles in the universe: 10^80
How long have they been moving, in seconds?
Answer: Age of universe in secs: 3600 x 24 x 365 x 15,000,000,000 = 10^17
How fast are they moving?
Answer: Speed of light in m/sec: 10^8
How far must they move?
Answer: Smallest measurable distance in universe: a Planck length: 10^-35 m
Question: How many times could all of the particles in the universe moving at the speed of light for 15 billion years travel a distance of one Planck length?
I can calculate what the odds are assembling Human DNA randomly but I would rather start with a simpler analogy from which we can infer the truth.
A typewriter has 26+ keys; Let's say 32 for convenience. How many keystrokes could be typed accurately using a random selection process before the chance of success exceeded 1 in 10^140?
I've worked it out for you: 93 keystrokes.
Now, consider the 3 billion base pairs that make up of human DNA. That's the equivalent of typing 3 billion 2 keystrokes sequences accurately using a random key selection process. What are the chances of that happening? 10 doubles = 1024 or 10^3 We have 300,000,000 of these. Our chance of hitting these 6 billion keystrokes accurately? 1 in (300,000,000 x 10^3) or 1 in 10^900,000,000. There is only one word to describe these numbers: preposterous.
So, does random mutation over a long time produce the life forms we see today? Ain't no way.
If the universe was a trillion times older and a trillion times bigger and if light travelled a trillion times faster it would only make the maximum no. of events possible to 10^176. Then our analogy would only rise to 105 keystrokes. It is not possible for the theory of random mutations operating through natural selection to explain anything about the evolution of life. In fairness to Darwin: he never heard of DNA.
So, if life was created non-randomly, what is the mechanism driving evolution?
I have a theory about that, too. But won't go into that now. This post is hard enough to digest as it is. You didn't think that this was going to easy, did you? Serious people will make the effort.