Mathematical Nightmare

One piece of the puzzle of whether God exists is the likelihood that a living, functioning cell could come into existence solely by virtue of the unthinking laws of nature.

The first question smart gamblers ask is, “What are the odds?” There’s good reason for it; playing the odds gives them the best chance at winning. However, the odds for many things we see in our universe coming into existence without any intelligent input or intentionality are so mind-numbingly improbable it requires an irrational dose of blind faith to even consider them. How mind-numbing you ask? Let’s look at just one brief example.

Take living cells and the biological proteins that compose them. If we consider just one simple living cell consisting of only 250 short proteins, and those 250 proteins each consist of only 150 amino acids (they can consist of up to 30,000 amino acids), the odds that these 37,500 amino acids (250 proteins × 150 amino acids) could all arrange themselves into a sequence where the cell could actually function is only one chance in 1041,000 (that’s a one followed by 41,000 zeros).

To put into perspective how large a number 1041,000 really is (that’s the number of random attempts 37,500 amino acids would need to produce just one living cell), consider that there are an estimated 1080 atoms in our entire universe. Even if we allowed every atom in the universe one trillion (1012 ) atomic interactions per second for 14 billion years (approximately 1018 seconds), we’d have only 10110 interactions (1080 × 1012 × 1018 = 10110 ).

That’s a lethal problem for agnosticism. Even if the universe were 14 billion years old (the oldest estimate even the most ardent atheists give it), there hasn’t been nearly enough time for 1041,000 attempts at anything. Not by a long shot! And that’s only one example out of countless others we could offer.

Viewed objectively, the evidence indicates our universe is much more the product of an intentional idea than the result of an unintentional cosmic accident.