Common Disputes a 'Skeptic' may have with Creation

The Creation Declares the Glory of God     God     

A True Skeptic Will Let the Evidence Lead Her to a Valid Conclusion...Let's See if We Can Help Her Along...

The Lottery Paradox

Skeptic: It is not valid to assert that the infinitely small 'odds' against, for example, an eye developing by chance, or Hawking's assertion that the odds of the universe even existing are 1 in 10 billion, are applicable.  Because, for example, take a deck of cards and lay them out one by one.  Whatever arrangement of cards that emerges, the odds are theoretically 10-3 against that particular arrangement happening.  But it did happen, and in fact these 'improbable' hands get dealt every time, so something is obviously wrong with the application of these odds!  Therefore, applying these 'odds' to the creation of the eye etc. is also invalid.

Christian Response:  The Lottery Paradox addresses the seemingly inconsistent logic at work when something that is 'against the odds' does in fact happen (eg. picking the right lottery numbers.)  We hear that the odds against winning the Powerball are 1 in 50,000,000 or so, so the odds are unlikely that any particular person will win, yet someone will.  The answer to the Lottery Paradox requires us be careful in what we are applying our odds to.

The above Skeptical Dispute is an example of a semi-valid dispute, that can easily lead to confusion.  It is true that the 10-3 odds of the card deck appearing in the manner that it did is not valid, BECAUSE there is a 100% chance that the cards will be arranged in SOME manner.  The 10-3 odds can only be applied only if a person PREDICTS what the arrangement will be BEFORE they are laid out.  So the odds of any arrangement of cards occurring is in fact 1-1. 

But, if we know what a 'perfect bridge hand' is, and it gets laid out, we NOW can suspect that the high odds were beaten, because we know that something special, not random, has happened.  We know this because we have defined previously what 'special' is (the 'perfect bridge hand').

Now let's see how the application of the 'odds-making' to the 'scientific evidence' works.  For example, we know of ONLY ONE arrangement of DNA to produce living humans.  We therefore cannot validly assume that there are others.  In effect, this existing arrangement is the equivalent of a 'perfect bridge hand', NOT just a random occurrence.  So, the 'perfect arrangement' would have to had been 'predicted', or 'needed' to occur for life to happen, therefore the extreme odds against it happening by chance to in fact apply.  A Naturalist may now speculate that there 'could' have been other arrangements which may have caused life to be silicon based, or develop four eyes, or whatever, but this is pure speculation and the 'Naturalist' has just pursued refuge in the realm of the 'un-natural'.

The Eternal Monkey and Shakespeare

Skeptic:  Given enough time (and certainly with an eternity), a monkey at a typewriter could eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare.  Therefore, the assertion that, for example, DNA molecules could arrange themselves into the proper sequence to create humans and life is theoretically possible, given enough time. 

Christian Response:  Why would that monkey not simply write an eternity's worth of jibberish?  Anyhow, unless you believe in the effectively defunct 'perpetual universe' theory (which has been replaced by the 'Big Bang' theory), the universe hasn't been here for an eternity anyhow, so the point is moot!