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In Memoriam  The author, Dr. James F. Coppedge, went to be with the Lord Saturday, March 20, 2004.  Read the obituary here.

By Dr. James F. Coppedge
Molecular Biology and the Laws of Chance, in Nontechnical Language
First printing Zondervan, 1973; private reprint © 1993

Reviewed by David F. Coppedge

I'll admit at the outset my opinion may be biased, me being the son of the author.  I'm not alone, however, in considering this the best book ever written on the probability argument against evolution.  It went through eight printings with Zondervan, a large Christian publisher, and was required reading at a well-known seminary.  This book is rich in factual content presented in an stimulating way that inspires faith in an omnipotent God.  Whoever can still believe that a living cell could have evolved by chance in a primordial soup after reading Evolution, Possible or Impossible? has an ulterior motive for ignoring the evidence.

In this book, the mechanisms of the living cell as revealed by modern biochemistry are described with enough detail to give some inkling of the mind-boggling complexity going on in even the simplest life.  Then the question is asked, could this complexity, or even a fraction of it, have come about by chance?  It's a good question, because that's all the evolutionist has to work with.  Natural selection, the supposed miracle-worker of evolution, doesn't work until a cell can reproduce itself (and that requires tremendous complexity).  Could chance build one of the hundreds of proteins needed for life?  One gene of DNA?  What are the chances of getting a whole set of genes or proteins for the simplest conceivable organism, even if we allow all possible concessions to make it easy for chance to succeed?  The answers are so astounding, so mentally exhausting, and illustrated with such unforgettable analogies, it will leave you forever convinced life's design demands a Designer.  In fact, the author's proposed title for the book was "A Shortcut to Certainty on Evolution"; i.e., none of the stuff about peppered moths and Lucy and finch beaks matters if the evolutionist can't explain the origin of the first life.  You can't run the bases if you've struck out!

Although the probability argument is the heart of the book, it covers many other interesting topics; how a cell works, how does the DNA code translate into proteins, how do the laws of chance affect you (many surprises here), when is an "unlikely" event actually impossible, why has evolution been so widely accepted, and what about the other arguments for evolution.  The author, after developing a highly successful Christian youth ministry involving legendary adventures in the Sierras among other accomplishments, became enthralled at the complexity of life and the creation-evolution issue.  Already having a PhD in theology, he returned to the university to earn a graduate degree in biochemistry at UCLA.

The book clearly expresses his unique combination of commitment to factual accuracy and awesome wonder about creation.  Dr. Coppedge corresponded with leading scientists by phone and mail during preparation of the book.  Though first published in 1973, it is still scientifically correct and timely reading for today.  If anything,the predicament for evolutionists posed by biochemistry has grown much worse with each new discovery in the interim, making this book, for all its convincing power, somewhat of an understatement! Evolution, Possible or Impossible? can be understood and enjoyed by any layman with a decent high-school or undergraduate education; footnotes are provided for added detail.  Portions of the book are available right here at, --and the entire book (13 chapters) can be ordered from Master Plan Productions -- see Products page for details.

The following review found on . . .

How this book changed my life.
November 26, 1999
Reviewer: Charles R. Wheeler from Washington, Pennsylvania

“This book explodes the myth of Darwinian evolution on the basis of its profound improbability.  I have read many treatises on the subject of evolution.  None bring to the table such a simple yet thorough exploration of the subject.  Reading this text destroyed my doubts in the Bible’s Creation Story.  Since reading it, I converted to Christianity and have since become a minister.”

Another reader wrote December 10, 2000...

“I was really happy to see your review on . . . ..  I found it in our church library many years ago.  I liked it so much that when I left that church, I talked them into selling it to me.  I use it constantly when teaching adult classes on creation.

“I have to admit it is one of the most thorough books I have ever seen on the topic.  It is not only thorough, but understanable and allows the reader who has some background in the biological sciences to pursue the matter deeper in the appendices or by seeking out the many excellent references.  He was not afraid to use many secular scientific works to back up his topic, either . . . .

“Thanks again for your review and providing an avenue to thank him for such an eloquent resource that does not bash evolutionists, ridicule them, or make light of them, but gently requests through thorough analysis that they consider another intriguing side.”

Listen to what Dean Ortner, the famous “Million Volt Man” and director of Wonders of Science, who gives stage presentations on science and the Bible around the country, had to say about this book:

“I well remember your father’s book and how it first excited me to the amazing facts of creationism.  His work put me on the path of my ultimate lecture series by first giving me, an agnostic evolutionist at the time, my first nudge toward the light of creation as a plausible position.  Many, many thanks for what he has meant to me.  His spirit of teaching continues through our Wonders of Science ministry and certainly that of Illustra Media.

.... The macrocosm and microcosm of God’s creation will forever be a testimony to your father’s work and His Father’s grace to investigate it so proficiently.”
–Dean Ortner, March 2004.

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