Home: creationsafaris.com Bible & Science Library: creationsafaris.com/bisci.htm Table of contents for this book  
CHAPTER 1: How the “Laws of Chance” Affect You 
How the “Laws of Chance” Affect You No theory of chance can explain the creation of the world.
MATERIALISTS USUALLY DO not stop to consider that naturalistic
philosophy cannot satisfactorily explain the very existence of
being–of atoms or anything else. This is a serious flaw. The Path We Will Take
The approach to be followed to this valuable certainty is this:
First, it is important to understand clearly two of the main ideas
of probability theory, the “laws of chance.” This can be done
in a comparatively short time with the help of information in
this chapter and the next. Then we will see how these “laws”
serve to limit what can be expected to happen by chance, regardless of what other natural laws are invoked.
living things without planning? Could matter in motion bring
about the array now existing without an Intelligence directing
its formation? It will be exciting to apply these laws of chance
to the formation of protein molecules, for example, and eventually to genes of the amazing DNA molecule itself!
Probability is a practical concept. The uncertainties of chance
affect our everyday lives. How likely is it to rain on the particular day on which you’ve planned to have an outdoor activity?
What are the odds your airline flight will be hijacked? Is there
a good chance your car will operate without major repairs if you
delay tradein for six months? What amount of cash will probably
be sufficient to take along on a planned overseas trip? What is
the likelihood that you will pass a certain exam in a school
course without more study? There are many other experiments in many diverse fields whose outcomes cannot be predicted accurately in advance. Even if the same experiment is repeated again and again underwhat seem to be the same conditions, the outcomes vary in such a way that they cannot be predicted precisely before the conclusion of the experiment. However, if the same experiment is repeated many times, we often see a certain regularity in the relative frequency with which different possible outcomes actually occur. It is this type of experiment that led to the development of probability theory and to which this theory can be applied.^{7} Who Figured Out the Laws of Chance?
Rather than leave important matters to mere guesswork and
complete uncertainty, many brilliant thinkers have investigated
this subject from the time of the Renaissance on. One of the
first to delve deeply into probability was Blaise Pascal, the famous French mathematician, scientist, and theologian of the
seventeenth century. It was not considered unusual for a man
to be proficient in both science and theology in those days.
Many of the early scientific discoveries were by clerics and
many were by devout nonclerical believers. Probability Theory in Modern Physics The science of physics has been responsible for much more study of probability in this century. Danish physicist Niels Bohr
in 1913 brought forth some of his epic conclusions regarding
the nature of the atom. He built on work done some years
before by Max Planck in Germany. Planck had written of the
“quanta”–or amounts–of energy given off and absorbed by
atoms.^{12} Books on Probability
Books in this field can be very confusing to those who have
not been carefully educated in higher mathematics. There are
actually hundreds of volumes. Pick a book at random on the
subject, and, chances are, it will take a lot of long, ardent cogitation, study and restudy, before one can make heads or tails
of it, unless he is a mathematician or already trained in probability theory. Many writers on probability seem to take for
granted that the reader knows a lot about it from the start. and Statistics.^{14} It was the textbook for a television course called “Continental Classroom.” Another is Warren Weaver’s Lady Luck: Theory of Probability.^{15} A third is Probability and Statistics for Everyman, by Irving Adler.^{16}
In books on probability, code words that mean little to
anyone who has not taken math recently are used–including
expressions such as “Ntuples,” “sample space,” and “the empty
set.” We need not become involved in technical terms here.
It can occupy a tremendous amount of time to become proficient
in the use of the mysterious terminology of advanced mathematics. Are the Laws of Chance Intuitive?
“Chance is a characteristic feature of the universe,” said
Adler.^{17} We are better equipped for life’s decisions if we understand this subject to some degree.
We are inclined to agree with P. S. Laplace who said: “We see . . . that the theory of probabilities is at bottom only common sense reduced to calculation; it makes us appreciate with exactitude what reasonable minds feel by a sort of instinct, often without being able to account for it.”^{18} The whole idea of Probability (as Hume understands it) depends on the principle of the Uniformity of Nature . . . And how do we know the Uniformity of Nature? A moment’s thought shows that we do not know it by experience . . . Experience therefore cannot prove uniformity, because uniformity has to be assumed before experience proves anything.^{19}For our study here, however, there is no need to dig any I deeper into this facet of probability. We will be dealing with the world of nature as evolutionists see it. The laws of chance will be applied to that assumed world to see if things could logically have turned out as they now are on the basis of that theory. In doing this, we will proceed on their own assumption that the uniformity of nature is true, keeping in mind that it is an assumption. When Probability Does Not Apply
There are areas in which chance has little to do. We have
seen that it is not involved when specific outcomes can be precisely predicted. Also, situations in which there is advance
purpose are generally not a field for applying probability theory.
Neither are cases where there are known chains of causeandeffect. When you flip a light switch, the bulb lights up. This
does not ordinarily involve probability.
purposed or caused the tree’s fall at that particular instant. There
is no way to figure out in advance when and where such a thing
will happen. From our human point of observation, we say it
happened “by chance” to occur at that time and place.
Probability theory is primarily involved when (1) there is
believed to be no intelligent planning and (2) a causeandeffect chain is not decipherable because the “causes are too
complex to permit prediction.”^{20}
Often a process is so complicated or we are so ignorant of the boundary conditions, or of the laws governing the process, that we are unable to predict the result of the process in any but a statistical fashion . . . Randomness is in a certain sense a consequence of the ignorance of the observer, yet randomness itself displays certain properties which have been turned into powerful tools in the study of the behavior of systems of atoms.^{21}Evolution is an ideal subject in which to apply the laws of chance. As defined earlier, evolutionary doctrine denies advance planning, and has random matterinmotion as its basic causal source. “Chance mutations” furnish the variability upon which
presently accepted evolutionary thinking in America is generally
founded. Probability–Not Always What One Would Expect
In tossing a coin, our intuition was right. There is one chance
in two that heads will result. There are other situations where
probability does not turn out as we might suppose. That is
why it is important to study the principles of chance. Then
we will be more likely to guess correctly in casual thought.
Here is a case where most people guess wrong: Prove It to Yourself So You May Be Sure It was mentioned earlier that this approach is susceptible to your own verification. You can perform easy experiments privately or with others, drawing coins or other numbered objects, to find out if chance really follows these rules. The time involved in brief experiments may be worth a lot toward arriving at solid conclusions that satisfy your own desire to be sure. One may follow through to whatever extent desired, to gain firsthand proof
that it really does turn out that way, on the average. The next
chapter will include important ideas on how to make experiments scientific and how to make them yield the most information in a short time by using fewer than ten from which to draw.
^{1} Claude Tresmontant, “It Is Easier to Prove the Existence of God Than It Used to Be,” Réalités (Paris, April, 1967) , p. 46. ^{2} To save time, we will often speak of chance and other natural processes in this anthropomorphic (asifhuman) sense. Although it is not scientific wording, it is easy to understand, like the nonscientific term “sunrise.” ^{3} Dean E. Wooldridge Mechanical Man (New York: McGrawHill, 1968). ^{4} Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of NeoDarwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory” Mathematical Challenges to the NeoDarwinian Interpretation of the Theory' of Evolution, ed. Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan (Philadelphia: Wistar Institute Press, 1967), p. 5. Dr. Eden does not indicate whether he agrees with this materialistic idea. ^{5} Amy C. King and Cecil B. Read, Pathways to Probability (New York; Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963), pp. 30,130. ^{6} Darrell Huff and Irving Geis, How To Take a Chance (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1959), p. 113. ^{7} John P. Hoyt, A Brief Introduction to Probability Theory (Scranton, Pa.: International Textbook Co., 1967), p. 1. ^{8} Claude Tresmontant, Christian Metaphysics (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1965). ^{9} John C. Whitcomb Jr., and Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1960). Editor’s note: Available through the Institute for Creation Research. ^{10} Encyclopaedia Britannica (1967), s.v. “probability.” ^{11} Huff, How to Take a Chance, p. 57. ^{12} David Bohm, Causality and Chance in Modern Physics (Princeton, N. J.: D. Van Nostrand Coo, Inc., 1957), p. 72. ^{13} Encyclopaedia Britannica, op. cit., p. 571. ^{14} Frederick Mostellar, Robert E. K. Rourke, and George B. Thomas, Probability and Statistics (Reading, Pa.: AddisonWesley Publishing Co., 1961). ^{15} Warren Weaver, Lady Luck: Theory of Probability (New York: Doubleday, Garden City, 1963). ^{16} Irving Adler, Probability and Statistics for Everyman (New York: John Day Co., 1963). ^{17} Ibid., p. 11. ^{18} King and Read, Pathways to Probability, p. 130.
^{19} C. S. Lewis, Miracles, A Preliminary Study (New York: Macmillan, 1947),
pp. 104, 105. ^{20} Emile Borel, Probabilities and Life (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1962) , p. 1. On the same page, Borel says, “The principles on which the calculus of probabilities is based are extremely simple and as intuitive as the reasonings which lead an accountant through his operations.” ^{21} Harold I. Morowitz, Entropy for Biologists (New York: Academic Press, 1970), pp. 64, 65.

Introduction  Table of Contents  Chapter 2 