Double Your Ark Encounter Donation Impact

Probability of Humans Uniquely Created

on May 15, 2010
Share:

National Geographic News: “All Species Evolved from Single Cell, Study FindsAccording to one scientist, new research shows that the probability humans were uniquely created is 1 in 106000. How can such a specific figure be wrong?

The research, from Brandeis University biochemist Douglas Theobald, attempted to statistically test the hypothesis that all life evolved from the same common ancestor—one of Darwin’s primary assertions. The test proceeded by looking at the 23 universal proteins found in all life-forms, from relatively complex eukaryotes to somewhat “simpler” bacteria and archaea.

Those claims obviously presuppose an evolutionary perspective.

As Theobald explained, the similarity across life is usually attributed to universal ancestry à la Darwin’s theory. The argument against multiple, unique origins of different life-forms, as stated by National Geographic News, is that “[i]f life arose from multiple species—each with a different set of proteins—many more mutations would have been required” and that “it’s highly unlikely that the protein groups would have independently evolved into such similar DNA sequences.” However, those claims obviously presuppose an evolutionary perspective—i.e., that similarity but separate origin could have only occurred via chance processes.

Nonetheless, Theobald interprets his statistical results on that basis, arguing that the odds are 1 in 102680 that the different forms of life arose independently, and calling that the creationist belief that humans originated separately from other life “an absolutely horrible hypothesis” with 106000 (that’s a ten followed by 5,999 zeroes) to 1 odds.

The obvious flaw with Theobald’s conclusions, as we pointed out, is that he assumes protein similarity must have come about either by common ancestry or by the process of evolutionary convergence. Creationists adopt neither view, however, because there is a better view available: common design. Even amid the chasm of differences between various organisms, fundamental similarities make sense in light of a single Designer who re-used many of the basic biological mechanisms throughout life. In fact, commonality is central to separating life from non-life; if we shared nothing in common with, e.g., bacteria, we would probably not classify it as life at all.

Finally, it is ironic that Theobald is trying to use statistics and probabilities to show that all life today must have evolved from a single common ancestor. Creationists and other advocates of the Intelligent Design movement have frequently produced calculations showing the extreme improbability (on the basis of chance processes) of the earth’s special position in the universe, the amazing molecular machines inside our cells, and so forth. But evolutionists balk at such probabilities, providing strange rebuttals in the form of speculative “multiverses” and praise at the “unexpected power” of mutations and natural selection. This time, it’s our turn to balk, but on the grounds that Theobald has presupposed evolution from the start.


Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.

(Please note that links will take you directly to the source. Answers in Genesis is not responsible for content on the websites to which we refer. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.)

Newsletter

Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

See All Lists

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more