Think About IT: Darwinian Evolution, Is It Mathematically Possible?

The following is Antony Flew’s recitation of the point by point refutation of “the monkey theorem” by Gerry Schroeder, ((Dr. Gerry Schroeder has a B.Sc. Chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) M.Sc. Earth and planetary sciences, M.I.T., PhD Earth Sciences and Physics M.I.T.; He addresses a similar question “Can random mutations produce the evolution of life? That is the question addressed herein” on his website and he demonstrates the mathematical impossibility of such a notion. In his article, Evolution: Rationality vs. Randomness, which led Flew to conclude that the ‘monkey theorem’ ((Also known as the “infinite monkey theorem.” See similar type experiments, all of which fail to produce support for the mathematical probability of Darwinism. The “Shakespeare simulator” did after 1 ½ years, which equals 2,738 trillion trillion trillion monkey-years, produce 24 letters from a line in The Second Part of King Henry IV, (a year later the total was up to 30 letters “which took trillions and trillions more monkey-years to produce.”). However, notes biologist Jonathan Wells “the universe isn’t big enough… to hold all the ‘monkeys’ it would take to type even one of Shakespeare’s sonnets–much less his collected works. And real monkeys don’t type a letter every second without stopping”, which is what the simulator was programmed to do. ((Jonathan Wells, Ph.D., The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2006), 93.)) ‘was a load of rubbish.'” ((Antony Flew with Roy Abraham Varghese, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, (New York: HarperOne, 2007), 77.))

“Schroeder first referred to an experiment conducted by the British National Council of Arts. A computer was placed in a cage with six monkeys. After one month of hammering away at it (as well as using it as a bathroom!), the monkeys produced fifty typed pages–but not a single word…the shortest word in the English language is one letter (a or I)…A is a word only if there is a space on either side of it…The likelihood of getting a one-letter word is one chance out of 27,000. Schroeder then applied the probabilities to the sonnet analogy. ‘What’s the chance of getting a Shakespearean sonnet?’…He continued, ‘All the sonnets are the same length. They’re by definition fourteen lines long. I picked the one I knew the opening line for, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” There are 488 letters in that sonnet. What is the likelihood of hammering away and getting 488 letters in the exact sequence…What you end up with is…10 to the 690th.

[Now] the number of particles in the universe–not grains of sand, I’m talking about protons, electrons, and neutrons–is 10 to the 80th. Ten to the 80th is 1 with 80 zeros after it. One to the 690th is 1 with 690 zeros after it. There are not enough particles in the universe to write down the trials; you’d be off by a factor of 10 to 600th.

If you took the entire universe and converted it to computer chips–forget the monkeys–each one weighing a millionth of a gram and had each computer chip able to spin out 488 trials at, say, a million times a second; If you turn the entire universe into these microcomputer chips and these chips were spinning a million times a second [producing] random letters, the number of trials you would get since the beginning of time would be 10 to the 90th trials. It would be off again by a factor of 10 to the 600th. You will never get a sonnet by chance. The Universe would have to be 10 to the 600th times larger.” ((Flew, There is a God, 77.))

Flew concludes, “if the theorem won’t work for a single sonnet, then of course it’s simply absurd to suggest that the more elaborate feat of the origin of life could have been achieved by chance.” ((Flew, There is a God, 77.))

Ronnie W. Rogers